Thursday, October 20, 2005


Sweet AND salty

Lunchtime came and went during the meeting that would not end, and I'm starving and cranky and feeling entitled to a treat so I ask the cabbie to drop me off at the mall instead of the office. I've recently started working out three days a week again, so I'm also trying to instill a sense of self-discipline in my eating habits.

The perfect meal is free, has zero calories, is instantly available and tastes like heaven in a styrofoam box. As I make my way toward the food court, I am weighing (pun intended) the options to find something that balances fiscal prudence with calorie-counting and my insatiable sense of entitlement. The most evil (read: satisfying in the short term) alternative is the New York Fries poutine. Melty cheese-curdy goodness swimming in delicious gravy. With ketchup, bien sûr.

The least evil alternative is the new microwavable Soup at Hand I have stashed in my desk drawer. Perfect score on the financial aspect, not bad from a dietary choices perspective. But yawn. Plus, I know I'll be rooting for a snack in an hour. I think about stopping for a bag of chips as a side dish, which while still within reason on the financial side, begins to seriously affect the validity as a low-fat option.

Then it occurs to me: popcorn! Soup first with a popcorn chaser - less than $3 and less than 300 calories. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner. So I make my way over to the Kernel's counter. Then another agony of indecision as I try to decide between the Buffalo Wings and the Low Fat Air Caramel. Oh evil choices, why do you plague me.

As the clerk regards me imatiently, I try to decide between spending the afternoon stuck with teeth that feel as though they are wearing sweaters because of the fuzzy coating of sugary caramel on them, or spending the afternoon tasting (and tasting, and tasting) the fading flavour of Buffalo Wings. It's good the first time around, but by the third hour it gets a little stale.

"Excuse me," I ask, my eyes scanning the selections I've read a hundred times before, "but what is Kettle Corn?"

"It's a mix of sweet and salty," the bored clerk answers.

It's sweet. It's salty. It's sweet AND salty.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how another junk food addiction is born.

What's your "I so deserve it" food treat? (What? You mean not everyone self-medicates with food? Okay, if not food, what's your favourite little indulgence?)