Trendy foods I do not understand and probably never will

I never realized food could be trendy. Apparently, it’s a thing. Foods that weren’t so popular back in the day can make a comeback. Foods never before noticed are suddenly labelled “super” foods. Health and fitness gurus latch onto a food and pretty soon it’s everywhere, and it’s up to us mere plebians to jump through the hoops to “stay in the know” about these new, trendy foods that all the cool people are eating.

I hate it. Worse yet, I don’t understand it. Apparently, I’m a simple mid-western girl when it comes to my food. If it was eaten back in the 1950s I’m probably still eating it (yes, including bologna and white bread because despite their unhealthy nature, they sure are delicious…). Every time one of these trends comes along I’m all, “Ooh! I should try/buy/make a meal with that!” but my inner monologue is all, “Mer. You know you’re not going to…” My inner monologue is usually right. Mainly because the new foods are… weird. And I don’t understand them. If I can’t differentiate whether it’s a grain, a fruit, a veggie, a dairy product or a nutritional supplement, why would I dish out $25 for a half teaspoon of it? I mean… really? Not gonna happen.

For instance, some of the foods I do not understand include (but are by no means limited to…)

Quinoa:

I don’t even know how to say this word. So, I say Quinones. Like, as in John, from 20/20. I have no idea what this food is. Is it a grain? A veggie? For some reason, when I say this word, I picture a small green ball, some sort of cross between a lime and a kiwi. And yet, I know that’s incorrect.

quinoa

Who knew?

It’s a grain. Used for what, I have no clue. I’m going to guess it aids in weight loss. It’s probably one of these super seeds that packs a punch of protein or… something of that sort. But again, it’s totally foreign to me. I might as well be looking at an extra-terrestrial life form. Does. Not. Compute. So, why would I eat it?

Kale:

What’s the big deal about kale, anyway? What, it has tons of vitamins and protein? Doesn’t spinach as well? Why is kale so special? Why does it get to be the prom queen? I have a feeling kale is like the asparagus of the 90s. Was asparagus a thing in the 90s? I seem to remember it got kind of big there for a while… but what do I know? I was still eating veggies out of a can.

Kale

You wish you were this cool.

Yup, apparently it is so super cool it helps you lose weight and grow angel wings too! I’ll stick to spinach. Spinach is just as cool. Why should kale have all the fun?

Coconut Oil:

I get it. It’s amazing for your skin and hair and way better for you than any other cooking oil. But I’m perfect happy with my extra virgin olive oil, and I honestly can’t come to terms with cooking with something that most people slather on their skin for tanning purposes.

Coconut OIl

I’m sure you’re amazing, Coconut Oil. But, nothing is ever going to happen between us.

Plus, let’s just face it. I’m too lazy to even bother looking when I’m at the grocery store.

Cilantro:

Let’s just get this out of the way so there’s no confusion. I hate cilantro. Ever since someone tried to put it in my salsa, I have hated it with the passion of a thousand burning suns. No one asked you to decimate the beauty of that natural flavors of salsa, Cilantro! I don’t even understand why you exist. You taste limey and bitter. Not once have I ever uttered something like, “Hm… this meal is delicious! If only it tasted a little more limey and bitter!”  Nope.

Cilantro

Go away, Cilantro. Nobody wants you here.

Avocados and/or Guacamole:

Um, first of all, avocados taste like grass. Why buy avocados to eat when you can just feast in your own backyard? Furthermore, guacamole is simply that same grass flavor mashed up as a dipping sauce. How is that tasty? “Mmmm… grass. My favorite.” And yet everyone raves about guacamole. “Where’s the guac?!” What is that? Now you have to have a trendy new nickname for it too? Because you are that cool? And why is the meat of the avocado all mushy? Ew. What are they, the legumes of the fruit family? It’s always something with you two, isn’t it? Well, I for one am not buying it.

Avocado Guacamole

Really? WHAT ARE YOU?!

I mean, c’mon. You’ve been around for how long now and I still haven’t purchased you? Yeah, probably never going to happen.

I know that last one is going to wreak havoc with most readers. “HOW DO YOU NOT LOVE GUACAMOLE?!” I know. I can handle it. I like to live life on the edge. Bring it.

What are some foods you don’t understand? Or are you a total foodie who rushes out every time a new one comes on the scene? (I hate you, by the way. No, I don’t. Not really. Only sort of.) I guess I’m just too un-cool for all the cool foods. I mean, I still feel like a hipster when I eat yogurt so… yeah.

Sugar: You’re doing it wrong.

World Health Organization Lowers Sugar Intake Recommendations

sugarUm, why was I not informed of this? When did this happen? And where was I when it happened? (Probably hiding from my students, stuffing my face full of cake doughnuts in the teachers’ lounge if memory serves…)

The new recommended amount of sugar a woman should consume every day is 25 grams. Or 6 teaspoons.

Um… I guess I’ve been doing it wrong?

6 teaspoons? You’re sure it’s TEASPOONS? Not tablespoons? Maybe you’re confusing teaspoons with cups… That happens to me a lot. Teaspoon, cup… it’s hard to keep straight. Pretty sure you’re talking cups here. Not teaspoons. Cups. It’s okay. Common mistake. Happens to me all the time.

Because honestly, if you’re talking teaspoons, I should have died by now.

You see, my mother and I had gotten into the habit of eatig Oreos (Double Stuf of course) and Mounds Bars and drinking Coca Cola on a daily basis. And maybe we’d throw in a couple of Twizzlers and Chocolate Parfait Nips for good measure. A good time was had by all.

And then my mother turned to me and said, “I wonder what the recommended daily intake of sugar is?”

So, I pull out my phone and I ask “What is the daily recommended intake of sugar?”

Sweet mother of God.

25 grams?

I pulled out the Mounds Bars. “Hm… ”

I pulled out the Oreos. “Huh.”

I pulled out the Twizzlers. “Ahahahaha… ha.”

I pulled out the Nips. “Whaaaa?”

I pulled out the Coke. “WHAT THE WHAT?!”

And then imagine my response when I pulled out the yogurt I thought was healthy and read that label.

Something to the effect of, “@#)$(*&!@#^_)@#$(*&^%$!”

I didn’t even have the guts to add up the amount of sugar we had been consuming. It was probably over 100 grams. When the daily recommended amount is 25.

We should seriously have died a couple weeks ago.

When you start reading labels, it’s amazing how much sugar is in everything. Holy Crappers… It’s everywhere! You can’t escape it. You actually need to make a concerted effort to get it out of your diet.

So, my mother and I stopped eating all that crap. The first few days were torture. All I could think about were Oreos and Mounds Bars. But then, once you start tapering off and get it out of your system, you don’t find yourself missing it as much. Except when you’re on your period and you’re hangry all the time. (You might as well hook an IV of sugar water up to me just to keep me happy.)

I seriously had no idea I was consuming that much sugar. And honestly? I’ve been doing pretty well avoiding it and replacing it with natural sugars from fruit. Except for last night. When I went out to dinner with the girls. 1 and a half glasses of Coke and the largest slice of Lemon Cream Cake I have ever seen in my life later, I’m pretty sure I failed. And last week, when the craft fair was selling Kettle Corn and Funnel Cakes? Well, it wasn’t my finest moment. But at least I’m trying.

25 grams, huh? If I hadn’t confirmed it with multiple sources, I would’ve thought CBS News was pulling my leg.

25 grams. Clearly I was doing it wrong.

You’re doing it wrong.

burger with mayo

This is not my burger, but it might as well be because it looks DELICIOUS. I’m assuming there’s mayo hiding there somewhere…

There are some people in this world who seem to think that putting mayo on a burger (hamburger, cheeseburger, buffalo burger, doesn’t matter) is entirely unacceptable. That it’s somehow wrong. Somehow… Canadian.

I don’t know what the Canadian thing is all about. I’ve never been there so I wouldn’t really know.

Hang on, let me do a quick Google search on that. 

“Is mayo on burgers a Canadian thing?”

Apparently, it is…  “Welcome to Canada! Would you like some mayonaise with that?”

Anyway, as I was saying… How awesome is Canada, eh?!

The Canadians are right. Burgers don’t taste right… don’t have the right kick… without mayo.

Ketchup? On burgers? What is that?! Ketchup is the gawky, middle school, zit covered younger brother of mayo. It does nothing. Not even for fries. The entire invention of ketchup (or katsup for those of you who don’t know how to pronounce it properly) is utterly pointless. That’s why mayo is so important. It’s essential for the proper flavor of a burger.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a burger without mayo on it. And let me tell you, I would have remembered it because I would have hated it.

Which is why, right now, as we speak, (not literally, because then I’d get all kinds of juices and weird ingredients all over my keyboard which would not be easy to clean up and it probably end up smelling really gross for a really long time) I am making hamburgers with mayo on the bun. And onions and tomatoes and lettuce. Because, furthermore, a burger isn’t a proper burger without the salad on top.

*Gasp!*

It just occurred to me! That’s why burgers need mayo! Because they need the garden first to make a proper burger. The mayo is the salad dressing of the garden that makes the burger proper!

Whaaaaa???  Mind blown, right? Next I should tackle world peace…

Anyway, however you’ve been preparing your burgers, you’ve been doing it wrong. Trust me. I should know. I’m about to achieve world peace.

Food Issues

So, as most of you already know, I’m a big fan of food and naps. (The fact that I’m not dangerously obese or even overweight is sort of a medical miracle in and of itself… because seriously… those two things are not an ideal combination. But apparently my metabolism is cool with it so… YAY!) The asshat, however, was not. Especially when it came to food.

You know when you have a big occasion coming up – a birthday party, a wedding, Christmas, the Super Bowl, lunchtime… and you get all excited about all the delicious foods you’re going to consume? (C’mon now. I know this doesn’t just happen to me. It’s okay to admit you get excited about food. Food is pretty much God’s way of telling us He loves us.) Yeah. That never happened with him. Ever. It was seriously a major damper on my life.

If it was Monday, and I knew that on Friday we were going out for a delicious steak dinner on Friday for my brother’s birthday? My week was infinitely that much better knowing I had that to look forward to. If it was 7:30 AM, on the worst day of the week and the students were insane… my day was instantly improved by the fact that the PTO had provided donuts and coffee in the lounge for the teachers. My days revolved around food. I’d wake up and look forward to breakfast. After breakfast, I’d look forward to lunch. After lunch, I’d look forward to dinner. After dinner, I was thinking what I could eat the next day and what would work well for dessert. I seriously thought about food all day long. Because food is delicious and awesome and interesting. Heck, I’d talk about food with my friends. Screw gossip and rumors. Let’s talk food, bitches!

(Okay, this is starting to sound like I have a problem. I don’t. I just really like food.)

The problem was, as much of a food lover as I was… the asshat was the total opposite. He never thought about food. He never looked forward to it. His diet was abysmal.

You know how there are “picky eaters” out there? People who are like, “Ew! Flavor! Weird texture! What am I eating? Why doesn’t this taste and feel like white bread! Icky! Ew! Yuck! I only want to eat things that taste like white bread! Where’s my mommy?!” Yeah. He was one of those people. Only he took it to a whole ‘nother level.

For fruits, he would only eat bananas, grapes, watermelon and apples. That’s it. Never a pear. Never strawberries, blueberries, or cherries. Never a peach or a plum. Never a mango, never a slice of lemon or lime in his water. Never a kiwi or some cantaloupe. Never a pomegranate. Not even an orange. He had never even tasted an orange once in his life. Ever. He was afraid to try them. In case they were “icky”.

Vegetables were a whole crapload of issues. He wouldn’t eat lettuce because food shouldn’t crunch. Even though apples crunch… Lettuce was “gross” and the texture was “weird”. So, by association, that also ruled out spinach, celery, and cabbage. Pretty much, any type of vegetable was off limits entirely. Think of a vegetable. Yup, he wouldn’t eat it. Greenbeans, peas, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, onions, cucumbers, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini… you name it, he wouldn’t eat it. The only veggies I remember him ever eating were corn and potatoes… and those don’t even count because they’re grain and starch. It’s not like he had tried these items before and decided he didn’t like them. He had never even tried them. Mainly because his mom only fed him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches growing up (which he brought with him to work EVERY DAY  –  and when I say EVERY DAY, I literally mean EVERY DAY because not ONCE did I see him bring anything else for lunch during our 5 years of marriage – I am not kidding) and if there was something he didn’t like for dinner, she’d make him a sandwich. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He was never required to try anything new. He was never required to grow up.

SO… because of his “food issues” making anything of substance was pretty much out of the questions. He didn’t like spaghetti with marinara – it had to be with butter. He didn’t like gravy on potatoes – it had to be butter. He didn’t like anything but meat on pizza. He wouldn’t touch eggs. If I wanted to add onion or garlic to the meal for flavor, I literally had to prepare it in secret and then hide it in the food, and pray he wouldn’t notice, otherwise he wouldn’t eat it. It was maddening. Especially when I loved food SO MUCH! I could never get creative with cooking and I couldn’t even enjoy food because he’s sitting there with his buttered noodles ruining his colon and hardening his arteries.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I went to visit my friends this past weekend and I got to eat – and ENJOY – REAL FOOD – and not have to worry about what he would eat, or what our hosts could or couldn’t prepare because of him. It. Was. Amazing.

I had pizza with fresh basil and sundried tomatoes and MUSHROOMS. I had EGGS! With onion and peppers and mushrooms! I had a BURRITO! WITH ALL THE FIXINS! WHAT THE WHAT?! FOOD?! With FLAVOR AND COLOR AND TEXTURE AND NUTRITIONAL VALUE?! WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?!

Oh wait… that’s normal, regular life. Welcome. They’ve been waiting for you.

So, MAJOR silver lining to this whole thing? I can enjoy food again! Normal, delicious, real-people food.

And it is delicious.