Friday, February 14, 2014

From rebel to fibre junky, how times have changed

There we were, the Missus and myself out on a Friday evening.
The work week had finally come to an end, the children were all busy doing stuff and we had some time to ourselves.
So we jumped in the hot rod (a.k.a. seven-passenger mini-van) and headed out to make the most of the beginning of another glorious two days off work - we went grocery shopping.
My, how a Friday night has changed.
Friday night used to be the warm-up party for the big Saturday night party that always carried into the wee hours of Sunday morning.
So instead of a wacky night out filled with fun and frivolity, we hit the local grocery store to pick up a few items.
Wait, it gets worse.
Walking down the breakfast aisle, we were trying to decide what type of cereal to purchase.
Back in the day, the choice was simple – grab what ever you want and enjoy. No discussion, no real decision making – just grab and go. But being in my very late 40s has changed my cereal-buying standards.
Instead of just buying what tastes good, my wife and I read the labels to see how healthy everything is.
Chocolate-Coated Sugar Bombs do not do well on the health-o-metre - go figure. Bland, course and gritty cereals do.
As a general rule for cereal - and pretty much all really healthy foods - the worse it tastes, the better it is for you. If it tastes like you are eating flavoured sand, wood or roots of some sort, then it has to be good for you.
Lately, the culinary quest in all food staples has been fibre. It is all about making sure the bad cholesterol gets taken care of by our good friend fibre.
The more fibre the better. Pretty soon all I will be eating is tree branches and pine needles in my ever-increasing quest for fibre input so I can have a healthy output.
It never used to be this way. Just like a Friday night used to be a time of merriment, food used to be a time of feasting on fattening, artery hardening, cholesterol-laden, sodium-infused goodness.
Bacon cheeseburger? Yes please. Fries? Of course. Gravy? You have to ask.
Those were the days.
But somewhere along the line, I realized I have to start feeding myself healthier fare than grease, fat and more fat. The biggest problem with that realization was I didn't want to.
I liked bacon cheeseburgers, but I also knew I had to make the hard decision to look at the heart smart portion of the menu and not simply get what I want. Such is part of growing older, just like spending a Friday evening at the local grocery store.
So as the Missus and I perused the little information charts on the back of the cereal boxes, we both looked at each other and smiled as we came to the same realization at the same time that we are no longer the young and indestructible beasts we once were.
I used to be a bad boy, a rebel living a devil-may-care lifestyle. Laughing in the face of danger, snickering at those tofu-farting health nuts and their soy bacon, and having a full-blown guffaw at the plant eaters.
Now I am the one reading cereal boxes to see how much fibre each bite has, swapping my fries for a garden-fresh treat and turning down my much-loved bacon. I have yet to succumb to the siren-like enticement of soy bacon and would rather go without than feast on whatever soy bacon is.
But in the end, I know it is the smart thing to do. You don't see very many elderly bad boys and as my years on this earth tick by, I guess being an old good boy takes priority.
But I still wish bacon was a health food.

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