Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It Ain't Easy Goin' Green When You're a Picky Eater

**I was scoping old posts and discovered this one saved as a draft. Not sure why I didn't get it posted two months ago, but here it is. And no, I don't want to hear from dedicated healthy eaters on this one who are pissed because I didn't fall head over heels for Kashi. I'm not really dissing the foods discussed here. I'm just saying I could use some training wheels on my path to better living.**

Since the beginning of the new year, I have been trying to watch what I eat (and I mean more so than just watching the food as it disappears into my mouth.) I've cut back on the fast food eating. I no longer hit Sonic or Dairy Queen for snacks all the time, either. The greasy breakfast food has also been RIF'd.

In the interest of changing my eating habits while not actually having to cook or prepare anything, I started looking at what was available at the grocery store. Kashi has been getting pretty good press, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

First off was breakfast cereal. Mighty Bites is shaped like little people, which is a tad on the freaky side. Taste isn't so bad. It's like Lucky Charms without the marshmallows. And the sugar. So, actually, it's the part of Lucky Charms you save for last. (I have to fess up that I let the cereal go stale, so I threw it out.) Then I found their Lemon Rosemary Chicken frozen entree. OK, I said to myself. This doesn't look too bad. In fact, it actually looks pretty good. And I really like Rosemary Chicken (btw, Red Lobster, you really should put it back on the menu!)

I took a box to work and heated it up for lunch. Here's the grade: the chicken was rosemaried and lemony as promised, so A+ on that. The sugar snap peas weren't too bad, so I'll grade them a B. I can't stand mushrooms of any sort, so those were dug out and tossed before the meal even hit the microwave. Their Kashi® 7 Whole Grains Pilaf is where things really went off the rails. It looks like oatmeal (ok, I can get past that--it's healthy, right?) and tastes like I'm eating the weevils that got into said oatmeal after it resided in the pantry for a few years. And it could have used some butter and sugar. D- on the pilaf! (F for the popping sensation as I chewed that made me think of weevils!)

There are some other meals I would have liked to try, like the Lime Chipotle Shrimp, but the majority of their entrees come with that gnarly pilaf. Kashi, could you please make some "starter" meals for those of us new to healthy living? Easing into this would make it a lot easier to stick with it.

And in the interest of trying to cut out my Hershey-related snacking, I picked up a couple of thinkGreen nutrition bars in the Peanut Butter Chocolate flavor. Now here's something that will help ease me into better eating, right? Well, maybe, if they hadn't stuck nasty RAISINS in it!!!!!

I might actually have gotten past the first bite if not for those. I cannot stand raisins! They are rotten grapes! And raisins and chocolate do not mix! Peanut butter and chocolate mix! Marshmallow and chocolate mix! Strawberries and chocolate mix! Almonds and walnuts and pecans and peanuts mix with chocolate! Raisins do not!

The people over at thinkProducts are pretty sneaky. Raisins is buried down pretty far on the ingredients list. Technically, it's at number 4, but all the parenthetical inclusions on the preceding ingredients hides it much further down. And the taste of dates is pretty overwhelming, as well. I recommend it to much more experienced healthy eaters than I. But right now I'm pissed I paid 2 bucks for a snack bar I'm not going to eat.

So far, I have not succeeded in finding a "good" prepackaged health food (and by that, I mean something a professional processed food eater can get into immediately.) Even Lean Cuisine let me down with their chicken fried rice bowl. And typically, after I've picked out all the stuff I won't eat, there's not much left of those meals. I might actually have to cook, just so I can keep out the ingredients I don't like.

Today I'm going to just go simple and have a salad for lunch. With bacon. And possibly chicken. And tons of Ranch. Damn, I've blown it already.
**Note: Screw salads, today was Mexican Food Wednesday. Arriba!**

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