Non-Foods, Kind of Like My i-Phone

“Laura, have a Doritos,” my friend said as the bag was passed around the table.

“No thanks,” I replied.

“How can you turn down Doritos?” he asked. “They’re delicious.”

“I don’t know, I guess it’s the same way I refuse to ingest fast food hamburgers, diet drinks, deli meats with nitrosamines, and French fries. I simply don’t consider them food. It would be like picking up my phone and eating it,” I shrugged.

“Now that’s will-power,” he laughed and popped another Doritos into his mouth.

“I don’t really consider it will-power,” I said. “I know most people enjoy Doritos and I used to eat them by the bag—the large bag of course—but I don’t consider them food anymore. Like I said, it would be like eating my phone.” I pointed to my cell. “They’re not hard to say no to, because I’ve made up my mind and they don’t exist in my repertoire of what constitutes food. Plus, this way of being keeps my trim figure in check,” I joked.

 “Well, I’d eat my i-phone before I’d give up Doritos,” my friend said and licked the orange coating from his fingers. “They sure are tasty.”

I nodded, remembering the yummy taste of Doritos cheesiness. “I’m glad you’re enjoying them,” I chuckled. “I see you’ve made your choice and I respect that.”

I’ve spent many years reading and pondering labels. I’ve studied nutrition and given the experiences in my life—having had tumors and cancer three times—I think most would agree it would be absurd for me to ignore what I’ve learned and continue to eat non-foods. I have no desire to be sick again. I’ve come up with a way to rationalize my food choices based on nutritional value and a sort of risk and reward mentality that suits me. I don’t believe my body wants to tolerate chemicalized or nutrient-dead foods, so I avoid them. It’s as simple as that.

As soon as I see monosodium glutamate; hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated anything; artificial colors, like yellow #5,# 6, red #40, or any other color of the rainbow; aspartame, Nutra Sweet, Splenda; and nitrates or nitrites— I’m out. I wouldn’t eat spoonfuls of chemicals on their own, so why would I eat them in my food?

Deep frying alters the molecular composition of the nutrients, especially in potatoes, and is known to render the compounds carcinogenic. Why would I willingly eat foods that promote cancer—that chomp away at the antioxidants in my body, like a Pac-Man game gone rogue? I’m not going to say I never steal a fry, but it’s pretty darn rare. I feel these “non-foods” are dangerous and I don’t want to roll the dice. Sometimes I reconsider and eat sweet potato fries. You see, we all make choices!

What choices are you contemplating or making healthy junkies? Feel free to share on facebook at The Healthy Junkie fan page.

Next week, I’ll blog about demystifying food—making sense of the abundance of nutritional information. We don’t have to be perfect to be healthy!

8 responses to this post.

  1. So funny…I tell my kids when they have the urge to eat fast food, “Just as long as you know you are not eating food.”

    Thanks for the post and reassurance that there are many others who use the phone metaphor!

  2. Posted by LIndy Powell on August 23, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    And really, dear Laura, don’t you think kale chips are just as delicious and addictive???
    Love, Lindy

  3. Posted by Nada Viviani on August 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Well said Laura! What you said will stay with me forever, I am sure of that.

  4. Posted by Kelly M. on August 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Finally, I have a hard time finding other people who agree with me. I tell Simone all the time the reason we don’t go to McD’s is because they put crap in their food which is not FOOD. Her Dad still takes her to those places but she often repeats what I say to other people. I also show her how our food grows in the backyard, sort of a farm to table lesson. I wish there were more places here in Napa that support that way of eating.

    • I love that a few of you parents have commented that you use this sort of logic with your children and it seems to work. I am inspired by my green smoothie monster nephew. If my little nephew can pound back the veggies, so can I.
      Laura Levesque Page
      The Healthy Junkie

  5. […] Recipe Page « Non-Foods, Kind of Like My i-Phone […]

  6. Laura, this struck a chord, because I agree that being conscious when we are choosing to eat a non-food makes it less likely that we’ll continue on that path. Thanks for suggestions for recipes and easy things to eat healthier on your site. Sometimes we just need a nudge, reminder to choose what truly NOURISHES us, body and spirit. We often make fruit/protein smoothies, but I’ll add veggies after watching your video – I forgot about that and know we don’t eat enough veggies on average. Thank you!

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