Food Fascinations.

I love food.  I love everything about it–the way it can tell you things about a culture, the way it can bring back all sorts of memories, the consistency of your favorite foods in a world of constant change (ok, I’ll stop with the dramatics soon), the sensory overload it provides (also, I’m easily overloaded), the place it plays in festivities/holidays, and just the simple act of taking a break out of your day to fuel yourself.  I am not one of those people that ever gets too busy too eat.  I feel really sorry for those people.  I am one of those people that eats every few hours, that wonders “Is it lunch time yet?”  I wake up thinking, “Oh wow, yogurt and granola soon! Hooray!”  I have never ever fasted; it sounds completely terrible.

The funny thing is, I don’t really like cooking.  I like to grill outside & I like to cook when I’m at home in a big kitchen with my family around me—but on my own, I tend to search for the quick options.  I’ve given up lots of processed foods in the New Year (I used to survive on Lean Cuisine pizzas, oooh the mushroom and spinach is awesome!), which leaves me with even fewer options.  So my day to day diet doesn’t necessarily showcase a love of food.  (yogurt for breakfast, chicken for lunch, chicken for dinner, blah).  But take me out to eat & I’m in heaven–I’ll eat anywhere, but my current obsession is a good burrito or sandwich with avocado.  What’s weird to me are the long term ‘food addictions’ I seem to find myself involved in, without warning.  Here are some long-lasting foods that I’ve totally been addicted to.

State Farm microwaveable corn dogs (haven’t had them in years, but i can taste them right now)–used to eat them every day before I realized I should eat things that were actually good for me.  The Dr. Pepper I drank (and the chips I ate) were equally tasty and bad for me.

Fuji apples–this is the king of them all.  I fell in love with apples around 2000 & I haven’t looked back. I think apple picking is probably the best fall activity ever invented.  I tried every different kind of apple I could get my hands on, but nothing could beat the Fuji.   At its height, I was eating 5 or 6 apples a day!  I would go on vacation & feel slightly uneasy without my apple companions.  The crispness & the sweetness make me drool–especially with the saltiness of peanut butter.  I have thankfully outgrown this a bit & am now down to one or two apples a day.  Those apples aren’t cheap.

Extra Cinnamon gum–this habit lasted several years…no other gum could come close.  I would go buy it IN BULK.  I bought gum in bulk!!!  Ridiculous.  My new love is Stride Winterblue.  I buy it in packs of 3, which seems much more reasonable.

Sprite Zero–currently me and Chuck can’t get enough of this stuff.  I can’t help it.  Water bores me.  I drink it all the time when I’m working out, & I want something with a little kick for dinner.  It’s perfect & way way better than Diet 7-up.

Baskin Robbins Sugar Free Mint Chocolate Chip Hard Candies–This is the saddest tale of all because it’s so impossible to find these candies.  Me and my running buddy staked out the few stores in Manhattan that had them (weird dollar stores in Chelsea), I would drive out of the way to the only Walgreens in L.A. that still carried them, and I still freak out if I’m out of town and run into a store that has them.  It’s better that I can’t buy them regularly because this stuff can’t be good for you.  But it tastes just like ice-cream & is the perfect counterpart to a soda when at the movies.

Oatmeal–it doesn’t get more exciting than this.  I had this every morning for years, until I bored myself to death (or it was just too hot outside to be eating oatmeal).  I probably loved it less for its taste (it has one?!?) & more for because of the simplicity–buying the big tub of oats, my measuring cup to measure the right amount, and presto.  I love ordering it when I’m out for breakfast because of all the goodies I can put on top (brown sugar, walnuts, blueberries, etc).

Parfaits–In the past year, I’ve really been enjoying parfaits.  I like to try them everywhere I go to see who has the best.  This can get expensive as a daily ritual, so at the current moment, I make my own: non-fat plain yogurt, Kashi Go Lean Honey Almond cereal, & frozen blueberries.  It is crunchy goodness & sometimes I love it so much, it’s also my dinner.

Cookie Dough Balance Bars– I mostly eat healthy, but come on, I need some trash now and then.  Also: I am in love with cookies (best dessert ever, especially when soft and warm…oh, cheesecake is good, too, or maybe a brownie…), so this is my substitute.  It really tastes like cookie dough to me & is a great dessert/treat.

I’m sure there are way more addictions I can’t even remember anymore.  In my quest to have a “cleaner” diet, I guess I mostly worry about having to give up on some of these weird, chemically laced awesomely tasting foods.  I can’t ONLY shop at the farmer’s market, guys, they don’t sell my GUM!  But, habits change, my taste changes, so who knows what my future food fascinations will be (I can bet  it won’t include BEETS).  Do you have any quirky food issues?