How often do you eat foods that you know are bad for your body?
You’re probably looking at the photo on the right hand side of this post and wondering what a nice looking li’l ol’ lady like me would know about junk food. Believe me LOTS. It saddens me that the food so low in nutritional value is often the food that tastes the best during emotional upheavals or as a stress response. Eating food that is bad for my body has been an unhelpful coping strategy for a long time although in recent decades, I am more discerning. Go me and the MOTH (man of the house).
I feel I know you well enough to peel back another layer and let you into some eating secrets.
- JUNK food is my go to food when emotions, boredom or stress are under managed
- I can eat a big bag of potato crisps in one sitting, on my own – no sharing, selfish, selfish, selfish, me, me, me, yum, yum, and can I say yum once more
- If the block or packet is open, it’s gone. Here we’re focussing on the ‘best before date’.
- If it tastes good, I keep going until it’s gone; this is about ending as well as I start
- I used to love Kentucky Fried Chicken until I heard what some bored male employees added to the coleslaw …
- Junk food – I LOVE IT
Despite being a paragon of self-righteous self-control there are days when busyness sneaks up like a sniper and out the window fly good intent and virtue. The signs are just like yours, we start to feel less sociable, twitchy, perhaps even a teensy bit grumpy and when you realise the clock has just chimed in at 3pm we’re beyond making rational decisions.
Breakfast at 7.30am is a long way from 3pm and the healthy lunch, sitting in the fridge with its legs crossed, is a distant memory. Shamefully what happens next is not pretty, like a woman possessed, trying to raise blood sugar levels above the danger line of becoming comatose I head straight for the cookie jar. Yep, work has cookies that are thankfully packaged in two cookie packs; a disguised blessing.
Low blood sugar gets me heading for quick sugar fixes, as does stress and conflict. It has been a long process and generally I catch myself before the descent into junk food nirvana. However, on the occasions I succumb I remember those handy affirmations telling me to be kind to myself. Sadly, I enjoy the lapse! And then it’s back up on the happy health food wagon – that is until next time. How often do I do this? Hmm, my secret; so I guess that’s a fail on answering the prompt huh?
The other times the healthy eating bar is lowered is when we’re travelling. We tend to prepare our meals beforehand but sitting around airports watching people can be hungry work; and who knows that airports aren’t renowned for cuisine deserving a food critic’s nod.
Generally junk food is so labelled because there is little or no nutritional value. However, other foods high in nutrients, if over indulged upon are also bad for our bodies. In the following list you’ll identify a few that you wonder why they’re in the junk food list. It’s not because they are unhealthy, it’s because the quantities nibbled on at parties and social gatherings are not regulated. It’s so easy to get caught up in socialising and forget about portion control or moderation even. I’ve mentioned potato chips but other foods on my hit list are: salted peanuts, mixed roasted nuts, trail mix, liquorice all sorts, hot-cross buns, savoury finger foods (usually deep fried) and the list could go on for a long time.
While it was a great relief to write about my love affair with junk food in re-reading it I feel it may lead readers to the wrong impression of our usual eating habits. It’s true I indulge in certain foods I know are unhealthy choices but most of the time we’re good eaters who lapse occasionally and enjoy those times.
And if that is not enough …
This is the 201st post on this blog.