Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Paper Bag Lunch Girl

blog by: kim

School Cafeteria

Me: “what did your mom make you for lunch?”

Little girl next to me: “peanut butter and jelly on wonder bread, fritos, a twinkie with soda. why are you staring at my food kimmy? what do you have in your paper bag?”

“uh…a sprout sandwich, an apple for dessert and some warm apple juice. raisons for snack. wanna  trade?”

“no weird paper bag girl!”

And so it was my cafeteria life in grade school. A few times it was Triscuits with raw veggies. Whaa? No wonder why I can’t get enough peanut butter as an adult.

When I was really little, I’d dream about those crunchy greasy things that kids called potato chips and secretly wish my mother didn’t sprinkle wheat germ on my food. What  was that anyway? 

As a kid I wanted  junk food and I was not pleased that I couldn’t just have a normal lunch like the rest of the kids. The friday pizza looked so good. If I was given a little money to buy white milk in the school cafeteria, I’d sneak and buy some sort of chocolate hostess cake instead and then lick my little fingers clean. Yummy.

It’s funny how our eating habits as kids makes a difference on how we eat as adults. Even though I didn’t grow up with both parents, years later I remember my father being  good about eating healthy. I was utterly horrified by this. He and my step mom would juice things, fruit, veggies, you name it- it went down that little tube and came out in liquid form. I’d stand there and shake my head and scowl. "Pffft… how odd" I’d say. 

What little I knew. But to this day, I still stick to my coffee as you can see... 

And why oh why did dad work out almost daily? I understand it now, but the time it made no sense. Talk about discipline. I was more interested in boys.

Nowadays I have finally settled into a happy medium. I’m not overboard with the healthy stuff,  you still have to live and enjoy life! But I  also choose whole wheat over white, virtually no greasy fried foods,  chips only on occasion and so on and so forth. I am not disciplined enough to eat all non fat /gluten free/sugar free foods that I cannot pronounce. One must live a little now and then, yes? 

Which brings me to the issue of dieting. I have heard of some of the funniest fad diets. No matter what, even if you take off the weight- if you don’t figure out how to eat healthy and moderate the calories over the long term, it’ll just creep back on. Losing weight AND maintaining it, is about lifestyle. Healthy eating habits and routine exercise are the only way to go. I know. Don't look at me that way. I didn’t write the rules.

Check out these funny fad diets:

The Twinkie Diet- Eat junk food and lose weight? By sticking to 1,800 calories a day - around 600-800 fewer than needed to maintain weight – the guy lost 10 lbs in the first three weeks of his "diet". It shouldn't come as such as surprise. After all, you could lose weight eating two candy bars a day: it's the calories-in verses calories-out that matter.

Eat Backwards and Lose Weight- The Reverse Diet has you reversing the order of what you eat: a heavy dinner for breakfast, regular meal for lunch, then a light breakfast for dinner.

The Lemon and Lime Diet-
According to this diet's rules, you are allowed to only ingest two things (besides water): lemons and limes. The diet's creator believed that this diet would promote health. However, the smarter people out there realize that only eating lemons and limes will cause a serious diet imbalance. No, really?

The Master Cleanse
- It’s has become famous due to the variety of celebs that swear by it. This diet involves drinking water along with maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and lemons. While you'll certainly lose weight by just ingesting these four things, you're looking at a serious imbalance in your body. Just thinking about it makes me very grumpy.

The Toddler Diet - Just eat toddlers. Oh my, that is funny.

But focus back over here. Fad diets don’t offer a healthy, long-term weight control plan. They are so very restrictive. They aren’t a healthy form of dieting that can be incorporated into life for the long haul.
Many diets buy into “yo-yo dieting". Yo-yo dieting is the back and forth gain and loss of weight from excessive dieting. Real weight loss is slow when it is finally done from a healthy perspective.
People who go on fad diets are putting their body at risk for disease and illness. Most fad diets restrict you from eating foods that are packed with the vitamins and nutrients the human body needs to protect itself from fatigue and sickness.

 So maybe, just maybe those people that raised me were actually onto something. Perhaps now I’m a little more thankful for my embarrassing, sprout- filled cafeteria days after all. 

love, the weird paper bag girl


  1. Brigitte added: I never really took care of what I was eating when I was a child but it was typicly french traditional food. I realise now my parents eat more than us, more fat, mainly beacause they were child while second world war and suffered about being hungry. At home with still 3 adult men I need to cook something else than salads or soups! :D I don't use much fat to cook but meals have to be substancial, with meat, vegetables, cheese and fruit. Now I reduce eating meat , really, I always wanted to be vegetarian and I begin to change things... eating healthy is great but...a good wine, cakes and sharing a good meal with friends and family, without counting calories, help men to enjoy life and laugh !
    good blog again Kim!

  2. Joseline added: instilling healthy eating at an early age is good!

  3. Love it Kim! I wasn't allowed soda, junk food or sweet cereals as a child. I think mostly because of cost, but we did get homemade sweets like cookies and such now and then. After I moved out, I kinda went nuts with the crap food, so I take kind of a middle ground with my kids - some sweets, soda now and then, etc. But I eat very healthy - no preservatives, additives or fake stuff! I feel better. I look better. But damn it's expensive!

  4. Kim responded: tell me about it Suzie. crappy food is less costly. it's a shame that fresh, organic produce is more expensive & spoils quicker. healthy and organic foods are over priced. not to mention quality vitamins made from whole foods (not synthetic like in chain stores) it's a shame people have to go broke to eat better. it's hard to a keep grocery bills down as it is.

  5. Traci added: Kim, despite the fact that we were poor. The cooking I grew up with is almost like you can't teach how to cook soul food. It's what the name states "Soul Food" because we were taught mainly without recipes but with a whole lot of love/joy & feelings. The good thing is I have been able to substitute many heavy soul food with dishes with a more healthy twist tho, not all. If I can't substitute we just eat less. no matter the food/snack/sweets/soft drinks it's about self control!! I understand if some peeps may have a hard time with self control but I'm still the opposite, I don't eat enough. & yes, that's is very hard for me to eat 3 meals a day ~ traci

  6. Kim responded: As for 3 meals a day? Personally, i graze all day instead of three big meals. keeps blood sugar regulated and calories low. apple slices with peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, sun chips, salad, whole wheat bread, fruit, nuts, an egg, etc. At least that works for me. I try not to eat huge meals at the end of the day, right before bed...if i did that, it would end up on my ass and i'd be none too pleased. lol

  7. Kim responded: another idea, i love, love desserts. so i often SPLIT one with my daughter or husband. that way i get my fix without too much guilt. same for restaurant meals. when portions are so huge, we split :)

  8. I'm currently on a fad's called the "I'm way too busy to eat" diet. I've lost about 30lbs in fact! Of course, I've also been sick since Oct. Hmmmmm..... No, really, I much prefer to eat healthy, organic options over highly processed food. I do not like nor agree with fat free...our bodies need fats to help our brain power, blood flow, energy, endorphins, it also helps us to feel full longer and absorb vitamins better. Now, I don't recommend going out and buying a bag of potato chips, twinkies and washing it down with a bottle of canola oil. But, and this comes from my nutritionist, anything that says "fat free" or "reduced fat" usually has no nutritional value and is so over processed to get the fat out, it's probably not worth consuming. I also don't like a low-carb diet. Carbs are SO important! They really are, no matter what you hear from these so called fitness experts on TV. It's all about moderation, portion control...but not will power! If you are craving something, your body might need it. Don't fight it, just have a little of what you want, and save the rest for later. :) ~Jillie The Bean~

  9. Dear Jillie The Bean, Good carbs: whole grain/ whole wheat. Bad carbs: bleached white/processed. And what's wrong with a nice refreshing glass of canola oil on a hot summer day? (gags)

  10. cool blog. I'm a new follower. Saw you on networked blogs.

  11. Thank you Stacey! And welcome :)