Fun food choices battle healthy food choices

photo by John Yunker

In the check out line at Costco today, the soda vending machine caught my kid’s eye.  They marveled how the cans were dispensed, by an arm that came up and grabbed the item, rather than the usual drop.  As they watch, entranced, I noticed the coffee vending machine off to the side.  It was cold and rainy outside and a coffee sounded really nice.  75 cents? I’ll take it!

The kids watched in amazement as the cup dropped and filled with hot liquid.  They had to have a hot chocolate too, so they could watch their own drink cup drop and fill.  I think I was feeling a little nostalgic, of years past when traveling in Japan.  The weather was much like today, cold and dark.  I found a vending machine on the street, selling hot coffee in a can.  Thinking back, I remember how the warm can felt in my cold hands, how the sweet warm coffee tasted on my tongue.  This coffee was nothing like that, but I continued to drink it.  It wasn’t good, but not bad enough to throw away.

Then the stomach ache came.  What was I thinking?  Hello!  The machine said Nescafe on the side.  The same stuff you buy in the store, the freeze-dried crap, full of artificial flavors, sugars, and non-dairy creamer.  I would never buy that in the grocery store.  Why would I buy it now?  Sometimes the idea of fun takes over my logical brain.

Like when we go to the 99cents store.  I see a overstock box of organic snacks.  Something I probably wouldn’t buy in the regular store, but it’s only 99cents!  I buy it, bring it home and feel guilty.  It’s not a healthy choice, just a box of processed snacks, labeled “organic”.  Crap is still crap, even if it’s organic.

Slowly but surely I am learning.  My husband helps to keep me in check.  Usually I don’t like to hear it, but I’m appreciative later on.  We all like fun food once in a while, but it can be healthy as well.  Next time, I’ll spend a little more and get something I can feel good about.  Or I’ll just wait until I get home, and make it myself.  At least then, I know what’s in it and I’ll save myself from a stomach ache.

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