I have vivid images of my father’s mid-afternoon snacks throughout my childhood- and beyond.
Stanley always worked hard and exercised to earn his glass of room temperature whole milk and one of his beloved Hostess snacks. In my mind’s eye, I can smell the devil’s food of a cup cake, feel the grit of the crème in a Suzie Q, and taste the sweet and gummy marshmallow on a sno-ball (known as pink-and-chocolates in the Goldstein household)
I used to be like Stanley; loved junk food, until I made a commitment to myself. Less processed foods, less sugar, more real foods, lots of fruit & vegetables. Sound boring?
Nutrient dense food need not be unexciting. Protein and whole grains are NOT a lesser ‘treat’.
At first this mindset was difficult to digest. A Milky Way, a Twix Bar, Doritos, oh, TREATS. Fruit, not so much. I lived ‘as if’ for a long time. I’d say to myself ‘this peach is natural and delicious and naturally sweet, yum!’ I kept at it, and finally, I truly began to prefer the beauty and flavor of nature’s bounty to processed miracle food.
This weekend was my finest moment: I was at a home that thrives on junk food. At any point in time one can find 5 types of cookies, a half dozen salty treats, licorice, sour patch kids, chocolate in a dozen forms. I needed a snack; I’d just taken a draining hike. I kept searching, without giving a second thought towards the junk food that surrounded me. Ah ha! Natural peanut butter tucked back in the corner of the pantry. I had some whole wheat bread in my bag of tricks intending it for dinner.
Toasted bread brings out the delicate crunch and natural sweetness & nuttiness of the whole wheat. Peanut butter smeared on the warm bread results in an exaggerated richness and satisfying stickiness of the fatty protein.
As I happily munched on this mid afternoon snack, I smugly felt NOT deprived, but sorry for all of the people who think of junk food as a treat.
What’s your idea of a satisfying and healthful ‘treat’?