The Diet Dilemma


I walked by the vitamin and diet section of the store the other day 
and the aisle was crammed with shopping carts and people examining 
all the different bottles listed in alphabetical order from A to Zinc.

On the other side of the aisle were books on diets and health foods. 
Above that was another whole shelf filled to the top with energy bars, diet pills, and canned diet drinks. There were low calorie, sugar free, low fat, no fat, and low carbohydrate diets.   How does one choose between all of these diets?

Since there seemed to be so many items for the low carbohydrate diet, I asked a sales clerk about it and she told me it was the most popular diet now and everybody was doing it.  Her comment seemed strangely reminiscent of the line my teenagers used to give me and usually I found that the definition 
of ďeverybodyĒ had been drastically altered. 

The clerk went on to tell me that all that is needed 
to be on the low carbohydrate diet was just to not eat anything white. 
I laughed and said that sounded pretty good to me since I have a box of 
food coloring in my kitchen cabinet and chocolate cake isnít white. 
She didnít seem to appreciate my humor and pointed out that chocolate 
desserts have white flour and white sugar in them.  She explained that 
mainly the low carbohydrate diet consisted of protein such as meat and eggs. 
I think she was pretty much describing a McMuffin with only the Mc and no Muffin.  Does this mean the fast food industry may soon come out with a low carbohydrate menu?  I have a feeling it may be known as the ďGrouchy mealĒ.

Next to the diet section was a shelf full of bottled water. I thought that water 
was water and you had the choice of hot or cold but apparently not. The shelves 
were loaded with all kinds of water.  The bottles were labeled spring, purified, mineral, sparkling, and even water with flavoring and vitamins. 
It sure seems strange to pay the same price for a bottle of water as for 
a soft drink.  It appears that we are paying twice for water since most 
people pay for water that comes to their homes unless 
they happen to have a well.

I suppose bottled water has now replaced the old canteen but unless a person 
doesnít have good water at home, why do we buy it in bottles when it comes 
right from the faucet into our homes and often complete with a filtering system? 
How do we know some guy isnít in his backyard filling those plastic bottles 
we buy on the shelf with water from his garden hose? 

I suppose we buy bottled water and diet food because of time and convenience. 
This way, we save time so that we can have more time to devote to getting 
stressed out so we can spend more money on vitamins that alleviate stress. 

It is an interesting fact that statistics show the amount of money spent by 
Americans annually on weight-reduction products and services, including diet 
foods, products and programs is $33 billion dollars.  That should tell us something.

I couldnít help but wonder just what my grandmother would have had to say about things like this. Her motto was, ďAll things in moderationĒ. 

When it came to water back then, my grandmother only had two choices: 
Deep well or cistern.  Diet and exercise were just a part of daily life 
and nobody thought much about it because they didnít sit around much with a 
garden to care for, food to preserve, and lots of chores to do.  The children 
all had chores to do and played games outside for exercise.

Thereís no doubt about it, my grandmotherís lifestyle was much better than the way we live these days.  I think Iíll follow her example and work in the garden this 
spring but first I think Iíll just finish this high protein energy bar
and my bottle of spring water.

Pamela Perry Blaine
© March, 2004


*Here are a couple of humorous diets that just might work: 

10 Calorie Diet

Breakfast:  Scraped crumbs from burnt toast

Lunch: 1 donut hole with 1 glass dehydrated water

Afternoon snack:  Belly buttons from 2 navel oranges

Supper:  Prime rib of tadpole garnished with 1 leaf of clover


Just walk pasta bakery without stopping.

Walk pasta candy store without stopping.

Walk pasta ice cream shop without stopping.