I know, I know, the Federal government has guidelines for a healthy diet. Formerly called food groups, it’s now called the food pyramid.
While there are many groups doing the same thing, the Center for Science in the Public Interest is the faction that is in the public eye the most frequently and has earned the name the “Food Police.” Founded in 1971 by its current executive director Michael Jacobson (a vegetarian, by the way), CSPI wants to take all the joy out of eating for reasons only they know. This is a case of “do as I say, even though we have been proven wrong a number of times, and because we are good at getting headline attention in the news.” The worse part is people listen to them, go into panic mode and things begin to happen, like the conversion to trans fats in restaurants. These are also the people who told you popcorn and ice cream are deadly.
Well, I have created my own list of food groups. (WARNING: If this gives the Food Police a heart attack just reading it…I am not responsible.)
Let’s start with a meal food group. I love breakfast in it’s thousands of forms: eggs, bacon, sausage patties, sausage links, omelets, pancakes, waffles, biscuits and a whole assortment of other goodies. I think I could eat breakfast three times a day in some variety and not get bored with it anytime soon.
A derivative food group of breakfast: donuts, Danish, pastries—you get the idea. I love a good plain donut that is crispy on the outside, particularly inside the hole, with a slightly greasy interior. Second favorite: chocolate frosted crème filled, glazed or unglazed.
The next major food group is meat, mostly chicken, beef, pork and seafood. I have taken up eating a lot more chicken and less red meat, but that’s a choice I’ve recently made. I wish there was a good seafood market near me with reasonable prices, because there is a whole lot of it I like. But an occasional steak is good.
Another derivative food group is what I call variety meats: bacon cheeseburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, BBQ pork or beef, and fish sandwiches.
In the vegetable group the predominance is peas, corn, green beans, baked beans, potatoes (in a thousand forms, but especially fries, tots and coins—baked at home, fried out in the real world), sweet potatoes, yams—you get the idea…anything starchy. However, I do like salads, especially made with iceberg lettuce and several healthy toppings with a very moderate amount of Thousand Island dressing. Cole slaw, plus potato and macaroni salads are good, too.
Next, comes the dessert category. Brownies (without nuts) are tops and I am fond of pies of just about any type, and tolerant of cakes. Cookies (oatmeal-raisin) are great, and so is pudding.
But the best food group is pizza. This may sound strange but my favorite is a thin-crust double-cheese, double-sauce from Pizza Hut®. After that would be Supreme-type pizzas from just about anywhere. Another favorite is double-pepperoni, with light onion. MMMMMMMMM!
Finally is the miscellaneous group. Again you may be surprised at how limited this is: ice cream snacks (especially ice cream sandwiches), Snickers®, JIF® peanut butter (eaten with a spoon and not on bread), Mounds® bars, xxx
The beverage category is limited to water, 2% milk, and Diet Rite Zero®.
But I have been behaving lately, and it’s making a difference. I am making different and better choices, HOWEVER, I do reserve the right to occasionally take a small, short trip through my groups for a treat. It’s all about choices. I no longer choose to eat certain things, not that I can’t. If you feel you can’t have something, that’s when you want it the most.
(Are you hungry just reading this. No joke, my mouth was watering as I wrote this column.)
Let me know what some of your favorite food groups are. Now if I could just find a good, gooey brownie without nuts I’d be a happy man right about now!