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Food Fight

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Memories of golden honey glazed ham, apple pie a la mode smothered in real whipped cream, and dark chocolate peppermint bark have given way to the harsh reality of the new year. The words dance in our heads like defeated 2016 politicians.

Eat Green.

Eat Healthy.

Eat Right.

There’s no pivoting: it’s time for a food fight.

Like the new cabinet in Washington, a food fight demands change. Cardboard-flavored crackers, rubbery fat-free cheese, and tiny bags of 100-calorie snacks replace buttery entitlements. There are so many reduced calorie, fat, sugar, and carb foods that you wonder what’s left in the box.

Processed air? Right wing doublespeak?

Let’s face it – can spaghetti squash compete with angel hair pasta smothered in creamy Alfredo? Does skinny bread with sugar-free jelly beat croissants? Do low-fat cold cuts replace sizzling rib eyes?

Food fights exploit real, fake, and alternative facts.

Buttered steak and garlic mashed potatoes in December means baked skinless chicken breasts and steamed broccoli in January. Mouthwatering eggs benedict morph into winter egg white omelets. The sizzling bacon of a month ago is as untouchable as a defeated Democrat.

Attack ads bombard you with alternatives to lose weight fast and painlessly. Fitness programs campaign for photo-shopped bodies fueled by Fitbits, gentle yoga, and not-so-gentle gyms. Experts spread guilt like hot fudge on frozen yogurt.

“Healthy eating begins with you!” screams the National Council on Aging.

“Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated,” insists the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The real facts stand on their own.

*A well-balanced diet helps reduce the risk of chronic health problems.

*1 in 4 “older” Americans has poor nutrition.

*Caloric needs decrease with age.

What can a food fight offer quid pro quo? Dreams of the grand old days of gooey hamburgers, salty French fries, 7-layer cakes, and break-up chocolate?  No.

A food fight inaugurates fantasies of kale, chia, and green smoothies.

According to Health.com, to win a food fight you have to detox and get back to your “healthy, happy self” with stuff like oatmeal, Greek yogurt, beans, and veggies.  WMagazine advises you to emulate the “rich and fabulous” – go to a resort, mountain trekking, or a spa for de-briefing.

For those who can’t afford Mar-a-Lago or Sherpas from the Himalayas, there are simpler ways to replace the joys of rich munching. Fake foods are a start. Try some parsnip, lentil, or baked potato chips. How about zucchini pasta? Chow down on “superfoods” like Goji Berries, quinoa, and teff. There’s even the old standby, Melba Toast.

Veer left and lobby for environmentally-friendly high protein edible insects. The Huffington Post reports that “it’s healthier to eat a bug than it is to eat a steak.” A 3.5 ounce serving of grasshoppers has 14-18 grams of protein; red ants have 14 grams of protein; and the giant water beetle supplies a whopping 20 grams. Depending on the bug, you get additional unsaturated fat, vitamins, and minerals.

Can you imagine the holidays of the future? Golden honey glazed grasshopper roast? Dark chocolate peppermint water beetle bark? Mealworms a la mode smothered in real whipped cream?
Maybe the cardboard-flavored crackers, rubbery fat-free cheese, and tiny 100-calorie snack bags aren’t so bad.

Bon appétit.

Dr. Jeri Fink, author, photographer, traveler, and family therapist, challenges the creaky myths of aging. She believes that now is a creative, exciting time to grow and explore new ideas, people, and places. Visit Dr. Jeri at www.jerifink.com,   www.hauntedfamilytrees.com,   or   www.bookwebminis.com to enter her world of discovery, fun, and insights. Her fiction project, Broken, is a series of seven thrillers that defy tradition. She is presently working on Book Web Minis – a series of fun, fast and positive mini books (50-70 pages long) where readers partner with the experts. Check it out at www.bookwebminis.com

She tells us: “I challenge the art of writing by merging fact, fictional elements, interactivity, and photography into nonfiction mini books. I draw from my training in social work, experience in individual and family therapy, professional research, and passion for exploring positive psychology. My 32 published books, hundreds of articles and blogs, speaking engagements, and active online presence all reflect who I am today.”

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