I’m in mourning. Hostess…the makers of Wonder Bread and Twinkies…has gone belly up. Yep…and it’s the second time in less than three years. I don’t want to start a panic, but another attempt at reorganization doesn’t look good. The company claims that the public lean to healthier eating created a decline in demand. I suspect they started messing with the formula and took out too much of the artificial goodness. Big mistake…that spelled the beginning of the end because we all know that it’s the fake stuff that makes it taste good.
I grew up on Twinkies, the spongy yellow cake with the mysterious cream filling. It came in a two pack. The bottom stuck a little to the cardboard, leaving a creamy cake trail as a nice surprise…like finding a few loose french fries in the bottom of a McDonald’s bag.
Twinkies are marketed as “Golden Spongecake with Creamy Filling”. I’ve had them fried, dipped in chocolate and covered in ice-cream…but it’s that enigmatic creamy center that is the heart of its snack food goodness. I’ve tasted home recipes that claim to replicate it, but none of them come close. I’m certain that the creamy center is full of so many artificial additives that the FDA can barely qualify it as a food…and yet something poly and something peptide come together in the secret bakery laboratory to create the perfect storm.
I know there is no health benefit and most likely, no real cream in the creamy center…adding a “y” or an “ish” to the end of a word doesn’t necessarily make it so. It is just playing it safe and a total lack of commitment to the meaning.
When I was in grade school I considered it a lucky day if I opened my lunchbox and found a package of Twinkies…for a family of six kids, it was a rare treat.
And you couldn’t find a house without a polka-dotted bag of Wonder Bread on the counter. Unless my Mother was able to scrape together a handful of change for hot lunch, Wonder Bread and bologna and yellow mustard was the daily special.
Wonder…the bread that built “strong bodies 12 ways” was about to change that number to 13 when the FTC brought the Truth In Advertising hammer down and demanded they retract the claim that the calcium they started adding aided brain function and memory, since they had no studies to prove it.
The FTC and the FDA…those killjoys…the official watchdogs there to remind us that everything good is bad. Of course, that only seems to apply to quality and not quantity. If quantity was the issue, then all snacks would come with a warning label: EATING TOO MUCH OF THIS WILL MAKE YOU FAT.
I wasn’t happy about it, but I adapted when they started packaging Twinkies as singles, a yellow sponge capsule wrapped in plastic that I came to call my medication…though I did miss licking the cake trail off the cardboard.
In a show of solidarity and in preparation for a possible world without Twinkies, and the added fact that I have to put on a bikini in a week or so, I decided to spend the weekend doing a cleanse.
Utter the word “cleanse” and the reaction is the same…a lot of questions and some serious head nodding. A cleanse…which is a socially acceptable way of saying that I intend to spend two days pooping my insides out…totally on purpose.
I’m not endorsing cleanses. I know they can’t be good for you and I haven’t had much success with them. But they promise quick results and the looming week ahead in a bikini has scared me straight.
I’m trying out the lemon cleanse this weekend. So far I can report that the lemon juice has burnt all the skin off of the insides of my cheeks and the maple syrup has found a cavity friend in one of my back teeth. This particular cleanse promises a healthy clean supercharged feeling…the end result, an intestinal tract readjustment and a loss of bloat and weight which will propel me toward optimal health. I’d report back to you with my results, but by the time you read this I can almost guarantee that I will have eaten the frozen meatballs in my freezer, straight out of the ziplock bag. I’m weak that way.
While I am a fit person and exercise is a daily part of my life, so is eating badly. I know what’s good for me to eat and a lot of the time I simply choose to ignore it. I come from an Italian family who use food to pass the time. If you’re celebrating…eat. If you’re sick…eat. If you’re tired…eat. If you’re angry or sad…eat. If you’re bored…eat. If you’ve just walked through the door…eat. If you’re leaving…take some leftovers so you’ll have something later…to eat.
I’ve tried a lot of diets. I have the same ritual each time I start a new one. I empty my cupboard and refrigerator of temptation. I don’t keep much junk around. I had to ban cake mixes from my house a long time ago. The batter is fair game and I’ve been known to eat that frosting that comes in a can like it’s pudding.
I’ve tried to lean my cuisine toward a healthier choice while weight watching. It all comes down to two little words: PORTION CONTROL.
I’ve got nothing against the celebs who tout the packaged meals that some of those diet companies offer. They’re getting paid big money to sell you The Emperor’s New Clothes. Of course you’ll lose weight…you’re eating a handful of food from a one inch by six inch box.
At least Weight Watchers encourages you to eat real food though I totally abused their points system after I figured out that eating six of those little pudding tubs at one sitting only adds up to 12 points.
I got up yesterday morning and threw out the half-eaten bag of potato chips I opened the night before as my farewell toast to junk food. I made sure to pulverize it first so I wouldn’t pull it back out of the trash. I can’t be trusted.
As I mixed my first dose of the lemon concoction, I reminisced about some of my past diet adventures…NONE of which I recommend.
There was Treat Week…a seven day event consisting of eating as much as I wanted of one item…each day…all day long. Treat Week started on a Monday and ended two days later. It culminated in a serious bout of diarrhea…so I did lose a little weight. Of course, I’m sure my choices could have been better…instead of a day of vegetables and a day of fruit…I chose a day of M&M’s and a day of chili dogs. Hey, I read the directions…it said “anything”.
My sister’s tried and true approach…if you can wash it, you can eat it…has some merit and appears foolproof on the surface. I was amazed to learn that a lot of cookies can actually be washed and chocolate is totally rinseable.
I’ve tried the “Nothing White” diet. At first I was doing great…sticking to all colorful foods. Bright red and yellow peppers and green leafy vegetables gave way to Skittles and those raspberry colored Zingers…you know the ones I mean…the mock Twinkies with the raspberry “flavored” coating covered with what I strongly suspect is just plastic shavings that they tout as coconut.
I will never be skinny. I’m a curvy girl and proud of it. I like feeling lean…for me. I try not to weigh myself because I only seem to want to do it when I feel like I LOST weight. That is very thin ice to walk out on…because you usually weigh more than you think you do. With the older scales you used to be able to hang onto the towel rack and lower yourself onto them to get a more favorable result. These new digital scales are like a personal lie detector. You can drag it all over the bathroom floor and it will read the same WRONG number every time.
My weekend cleanse will be over at 12:01 a.m…not that I’m counting the minutes.
Twinkies…I’ll miss your golden creamy goodness…gone perhaps…but not forgotten.
Day Three Hundred and Forty Three and Day Three Hundred and Forty Two…goodbye Hostess…hello Dolly Madison.