Archive | March, 2012

Four Reasons Why Eating Healthy SUCKS!

23 Mar

When I was growing up, my parents owned a health food store.  They not only sold health food, but served it in their very own health food restaurant.  For many reasons, the business didn’t survive.  If you ask me, they were ahead of their time.  It was the 80’s, the age of Pepsi and Michael Jordan.  Nobody was concerned with eating healthy!  Well, nobody except my parents.  While the cool kids unwrapped their brown sacked lunches full of Dr. Pepper and Twinkies, I pulled out my all natural Hansen Soda from the first of its kind reusable lunch bag.  Yep, I was that nerd.  My parents were recycling and celebrating Earth Day like it was Christmas and my dad started composting back before they even had a name for it.  Instead we were just that weird family who put garbage in their garden.  Growing up with such Eco-friendly, health conscious parents could only lead me to one fate.  So naturally, when it was time for me to live out on my own I did what any responsible 18 year old would do.  I bought as much junk food as I could afford!

From HoHo’s to Ice cream, Lucky Charms to Doritos, I wanted it all.  These were forbidden fruits where I came from and I didn’t care what was in them, I was eating them.  Now, it took me years on this new found diet of mine to start reevaluating the food I was consuming.  It wasn’t actually until I had kids of my own that I began to resort back to the “healthy side.”

It’s no secret we should all be eating healthy.  The news is riddled with headlines of the benefits of having a healthy diet.  Hell, it seems everyday there’s some new recommendation of what’s in and what’s so last season when it comes to food fads: No Carbs, No High fructose corn syrup, no MSG, Gluten Free, All Organic, the Caveman diet, back to our roots, blah, blah, blah.  So, from someone whose enjoyed both ways of eating I’m going to go against the grain and tell you why eating healthy SUCKS!

  1. It’s confusing:  Remember when we were kids and we used to go down to the local farm and pick Doritos straight off the tree?  No?  Oh yeah, that’s because Doritos aren’t natural, yet pick up one of their packages and check out the huge “Natural” label posted on the front of it.  Whole Wheat doesn’t mean S—t unless it says 100% in front of it.  Cage Free Eggs translates to hundreds of chickens living in a tiny warehouse with no windows and crapping all over each other, but hey, at least they’re not in cages right?  It’s labeling like these that work to confuse us into thinking we’re living the Healthy way, but in fact we’re still not.  For more label info check out www.USDA.gov
  2. It’s time consuming:  I can’t remember the last time I made a home cooked meal for the family faster than I could heat up a hot pocket in the microwave.  Who wants to make homemade chili for hours in the kitchen when you can pop open a can of Staggs in a few seconds?  Eating healthy takes time!  Time to plan, time to shop, time to cook and time to eat.  Last I checked, “time” was something we were all short on.
  3. It’s expensive: I watched this show once called “Extreme Couponing” about people (mainly housewives) who rob the stores blind by taking home $500.00 worth of groceries for $1.00.  While I applaud their talent and effort, most of the crap they’re stocking up on is exactly that…crap.  I considered couponing once, but when I tried to find actual food in the coupon books I was at a loss.  Never once have I come across a coupon for broccoli or Pasture raised Eggs, but a 24 pack of Smuckers Crustables, where’s the scissors?  Times are tough, and we all need to cut costs where ever we can.  Couponing is a great way to save money and just another reason why eating Healthy SUCKS!
  4. It’s inconvenient:  Jack in the Box has a special right now “2 cheeseburgers for 99 cents.”  Seriously?  I don’t know about you but I can’t make 2 cheeseburgers at home for 99 cents.  And when you’re on the run and out and about, good luck finding a healthy fast food drive thru.  So now that we’re on the healthy side of living, if we want to eat on the go, we have to plan ahead of time and pack a lunch.  Talk about inconvenient.

I may have grown up eating healthy, but the word ‘healthy’ in today’s market is foggy.  Marketers use it to sell whatever they want and unless we have a PhD, figuring out how to read between the dirty little lines of the food labels takes time and effort that most people don’t have.  I’m not even going to get started on GM (genetically modified) food.  Oh yeah, those are out there.

So yes, eating healthy Sucks!  But despite all the reasons listed above I wouldn’t feed my family any other way.  What can I say, my body likes it.  Plus, I think there are a lot of other things that Suck even more: Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer.  We are what we eat, right?

Here are some resources I’ve found if any of you are interested in living the high maintenance way too.

www.USDA.gov :  this is the actual guidelines for labeling in the U.S.  You’ll notice there is no mention of genetically modified foods as there is yet to be a mandatory label of those products.

Food Inc. : Documentary of the production of our food in the U.S.  Informative and disturbing, but a real conversation starter!

www.localharvest.org  : Great website to find local farms in your area for veggies, meat, eggs, honey or farmers markets.  Just type in your zip code.

Eat This, Not That : books and a website with tons of information about substitutions and the dirty little secrets about the food you’re eating.

We are heading out to a local farm this weekend, Inspiration Plantation, to wave to the animals we will soon be eating.  Maybe we’ll see you there!

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Oh the Places we Go…Glowing Greens

9 Mar

Destination:  Glowing Greens

Family Friendly: Yes

Cost:  Reasonable; $8.00 adult, $7.00 youth, 3 and under FREE

Is it worth it: DEFINITELY!

If you go: check website for directions, hours and any specials they may have

I love living in the Pacific Northwest!  An hour away from the ocean, an hour away from the Mountain and just a quick drive over the river to Portland, it seems Vancouver is the perfect place to live.  Granted, I don’t love the rain, but then again, who does?  Living so close to a big city has its advantages.  We get to enjoy the sights of the spray painted “human statue” collecting his hard earned money.  We get to listen to the soundtrack of the streets played by the very talented “bucket drummer.”  We get to witness humans in their natural habitat, humbled by the homeless dogs and their humans.  But perhaps the best part about living just outside of the city is we get to enjoy the weirdness of Portland without having to go completely native.

One of my favorite things about Portland is the little treasures one can find by just walking the streets.  One day, while doing just that our family stumbled across a curious Pirate statue standing in front of a store.  Now, I don’t have to tell any mother of boys that a mysterious Pirate statue is like the mother ship calling them home, so naturally we had to investigate further.  What we found was the most interesting Miniature Golf place I have ever seen.

Down winding stairs, beneath the city street is Glowing Greens.  A mini golf course themed in only the best theme imaginable, Pirates!  18 holes, each with their own set up of sharks and treasure, pirates and skeletons, and all painted in neon paint glowing brightly beneath strategically placed black lights.  Why drive your ball into a boring old windmill when you can shoot it beneath the jaws of a Great White Shark?  We quickly paid the reasonable prices and were handed our (yes) glow in the dark golf balls. 

Our first hole required our balls to pass under a ferocious crocodile, all while an animatronics’ pirate mocked us from his perch high above.  The boys were bursting with excitement, so distracted by the atmosphere of the place, that they quickly forgot we were even playing a game.  My favorite hole was #5, where our ball had to disappear beneath a realistic looking great white shark.  I won’t give it all away, as discovering it for yourself is part of the fun.  I will, however, warn you about hole #16, where a very real sounding monster pounds on the gates behind the hole.  Tristan had a hard time with that one.  No detail is out of place, from the reggae music in the background to the 3-D images popping out all over the walls; this is our new favorite place to golf. 

 

Tips if you go: 

  • Don’t bring a purse.  You are golfing and there is no place to set it down permanently.  Instead bring a back pack with your valuables in it and wear it comfortably on your back as you play. 
  • Don’t go if your kids are easily scared.  It’s not terribly scary but there is hole #16, and some weenies may not be able to handle it.
  • Go during the day.  Something tells me it’s a hot spot for dates and teenagers at night.

The boys dream come true

 

 

 

So, RRRRRRR you ready to go yet? (Come on, you didn’t think I could write about pirates without saying “RRRR” did you)?  If you have kids, boys especially then Glowing Greens is the place to go on a rainy day.  It’s active, exciting and they won’t easily forget it.  Sorry girls, no Jack Sparrow at this Pirate set.