Monday, February 25, 2008

Fast Food

This past weekend, we watched the movie, "Supersize Me." (I know it is old now--give me a break; it took me about eight years to work up the courage to watch "Forrest Gump" and afterwards, I swore I would never watch it again.)

I found the movie very disturbing. Not that we eat at McDonald's a lot. We actually eat there very little--I got a breakfast sandwich (bacon, egg and cheese biscuit) and an orange juice the morning we took Jonathan to camp last summer. When we drive to Minnesota we often get breakfast there on the way out of town, but since we drive to Minnesota less than once a year, that still doesn't add up to much.

Very occasionally, if I am out shopping with kids (which is rare--we all hate shopping, with the possible exception of Laura--we do not spend a lot of time out looking for places to spend our hard earned cash) we will swing by the drive through and get some burgers (usually double cheeseburgers off the dollar value menu) and water. I ask for water in a cup, with a straw and ice. Because I like straws and ice, and who wants to pay $1.25 for a bottle of Dasani when you can get ice water with a straw for free? (OK, my son DJ does, because he is creeped out from reading about the bacteria levels in commercial ice machines. I don't let that bother me, and I have not gotten sick from ice yet. There are enough things out there to fear and eschew; I refuse to be intimidated by ice.)

Once I was out shopping with the girls, and we stopped by McDonald's and got large chocolate shakes for a treat. They were obscenely huge. We sat in the van in the parking lot at Wal-Mart and tried to finish them. We felt a little sick to our stomachs for the rest of the day, and I am sure I skipped dinner altogether.

If I am hungry when I am out shopping, usually I buy a Payday bar and a bottle of chocolate milk. That's my power lunch. I can get it at Wal-Mart for approximately $1.40. It holds me. While it certainly contains too much sugar, it is also packed with peanuts and milk, which, if you aren't allergic to them, are both pretty nutritious (i.e. good for you).

There was a year when Lu was in seventh grade, DJ was in eighth, and Shannon was in tenth, when I was a youth counselor for our church youth group. The three of them had piano lessons after school, and we went directly from piano to church for youth group. Sometimes I made sandwiches to go, but the majority of the time, we grabbed dinner at Wendy's, which is right next to church. I let them each choose two items from the dollar menu. Laura usually got chicken nuggets and a side salad (with Ranch dressing) and combined them. DJ always got two value burgers. I am not sure what Shannon got--usually a burger and something else. I often got a baked potato and chili. That year of once-a-week Wendy's was not so great. I was really glad when it ended. I have never eaten so much fast food in my life. Also, I cannot for the life of me remember or figure out what I did with Jonathan on those nights. That is really bothering me. I'm glad we don't live "there" anymore. It is so great that DJ can drive himself, Laura and Jon to and from youth group now.

Anyway, I hope we are not going to die from fast food. We almost never get soda, and we get fries even less than that. And when we do go to a fast food establishment, it is less than once a month, except for that one year we ate weekly at Wendy's. However, I fear that many of the convenience foods we get at the grocery store or at Sam's club are nearly as bad as bona fide fast food.

I am also suspicious of what Shawn eats for lunch. That is a dark mystery. But today he took a sandwich from home. Maybe the movie spooked him, too. He took a sandwich and a banana. This is a watershed day. It is also his 44th birthday.

Happy birthday, dear Shawn, happy birthday to you. No Micky D's birthday cake for you--I made you a "homemade" one from a Duncan Hine's mix--lemon with tangy lemon icing (also homemade with real butter and powdered sugar) and cherry pie filling (canned) in the center of each layer.

The cake is only for good children who eat plenty of fresh cocktail shrimp and fresh vegetables and dip (broccoli, cauliflower, yellow pepper, grape tomatoes, cucumber, carrots and celery) and garlic foccacia bread beforehand. (*wink*)

No comments: