No more blueberry Nutri-Grain bars, no more travel containers of Sugar Pops, and hardest of all, no more Nutritious Creation chocolate-chip cookies. Oh, how I love these cookies.
The wrapper claims that each cookie contains 150 calories, but I doubt it. The cookies are too tasty, and too big, to have so few calories. Seeing the number on the label makes it seem like a fact, but I remember the Pirate Booty scandal, when it was revealed that the labels on the supposedly low-calorie flavored popcorn were wildly inaccurate.
In Lisa Young’s fascinating book, The Portion Teller, she warns, “If you are buying a product that’s made by a small, regional company, even one that sells ‘health food,’ the labels are often notoriously inaccurate.” Sadly, that description perfectly fits Nutritious Creations.
I like eating fake food because I get hungry when I’m out during the day, and it’s often not convenient to sit down and eat proper food. Plus it’s a treat—I love cookies and candy. I would never dream of buying a real chocolate-chip cookie or a candy bar, but I can’t resist the supposedly low-cal version.
But I’ve come to see that fake food crowds out real food. I eat a “cookie,” then I’m not very hungry at lunch, so I don’t eat much, then I’m hungry again in the afternoon—when it’s not convenient to eat a meal, so I eat more fake food. More than once, I have to admit, I’ve had three “cookies” in one day.
But no more, I vowed. If I can’t sit down to eat, I’ll buy a banana or some yoghurt. I’ll carry a bag of apple slices in my backpack. I’ll eat bigger meals with more protein so I can more than an hour without a snack.
Of course, today at noon, what is the very first thing my eyes light upon as I walk into Toastie’s to get my made-to-order salad and yoghurt? I spot it among a sea of packaged foods: an intriguing new product, a “100 Calorie Brownie” from Healthy Benefits.
“Hmmm, what if I got this, instead of yoghurt? They have the same number of calories, and the brownie has seven grams of fiber, too…”
No! No more fake food!