The consumer whore report on healthy eating

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, (and by “you” I mean my fellow consumer whores who believe in supporting local business but are continually lured by the Siren Song of the Starbucks drive-through) but your friendly local international coffee chain is trying to go healthy. Are you familiar with the new menu items? Oatmeal with dried nuts and berries? The multi-grain roll? A dash of protein powder for your skinny latte? I am a regular drive-through customer, and I cherish the occasional morning commute that includes a one-on-one with a venti latte and an old-fashioned doughnut. But I’ve been reading up on health issues for my age group (holy shit, I turned 34 and I didn’t even mention it here!) and it occurred to me that my twice-weekly doughnut probably wasn’t the best medicine for my increasingly middle-aged organs. So last week I tried a few of the “healthy offerings” in lieu of my sugary little friend, and before you place your order for a fruit stella with its “juicy baked berries and omega-3s,” let me give you a Grade Adler-style woman-on-the-street review of the new menu: EW.

I like my latte, and I don’t care what you say about the tastelessness of protein powder–adding a dash of healthy to my java changes the way it tastes. And the multi-grain roll? I should not have to worry about breaking a tooth on a whole grain while experiencing the sensation of chewing 8-hour-old gum. The oatmeal wasn’t bad, but really, it would be difficult to screw up instant oatmeal. And what exactly IS a stella? Does calling it a stella make it more appealing than what it actually is, a pricey chewy fruit granola bar?

I find myself on the horns of a dilemma, and I have to say, I’m kind of used to sitting atop these particular horns. I know I should eat healthier food–more fruit and fewer mini Snickers bars, more whole grains and fewer doughnuts, more water and less diet Coke. But I don’t want to, plain and simple. It is an effort for me to plan ahead for this kind of eating. I like fruit, but it is messy and has to be cleaned; I have never had to wash a mini Snickers bar before popping it in my mouth, and while I actually LIKE drinking water, there is nothing quite like an icy cold diet Coke in the late afternoon. With a mini Snickers bar.

And yet. I want my daughter to have healthy eating habits. I want her to like eating fruit. I want her to prefer water over soda. She has never actually ingested soda (except for that one time when she was about 7 months old and leaned over and swigged a swallow right out of my straw, but that was not my fault becuase I was not aware she could drink from a straw!). She loves grapes and blueberries and apples. She drinks only milk and water, not even juice, and even though she has a serious ice cream addiction, I limit her consumption severely. I manage to set a good example by restricting my own bad eating habits to the car or my office, but I feel sort of like a scam artist. Okay, very like a scam artist. And I’m telling you about it because admission of a problem is the first step to fixing it, right? So I’m going to publicly declare my devotion to healthier eating, because a month from now, when I talk about how good that old-fashioned doughnut was on the ride to work, I fully expect one or more of you to make a snarky comment along the lines of, “Huh. I guess that healthy eating thing didn’t work out for you.”

But let me make one thing clear: I will not be adding protein powder to my occasional latte, and I will not be attempting to eat any more of those horrible rolls, and I can make instant oatmeal myself for a fraction of the cost. And also, just so you know, I will not be throwing out my mini Snickers bars, and when I break down and eat a handful at the end of a long day, I certainly won’t be talking about it here.


4 thoughts on “The consumer whore report on healthy eating

  1. I saw a sign that advertised protein powder now available at the local starbucks and it kind of made me gag. If I want protein powder I’ll go to jamba juice, thank you very much 🙂

  2. I could have written that post. Except for the part about adulterating your Starbucks experience… that was foolishness, my friend, and you paid the price! 😉 But I am in the same boat in terms of needing to eat more healthily to be an example to my kids (kidS! yowza!) and sneaking crappy food after they’re in bed or when I am out of the house. On the other hand, we eat much more healthily at meals now because we are cooking for and eating with Natalie, so I often use that as an excuse to justify some of my indulgences – they’re balanced out, see?

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