Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Baby Nuthouse: Twizzlers, anyone?

In general, I'm a pretty healthy person. I'm not a big fan of junk food, fast food, or any kind of food that isn't really food.

But ever since my husband’s vasectomy, I sure have been eating a lot of Twizzlers.

Let’s see if I can explain this one.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, we had no children. No money, either, so when my husband and I really wanted to splurge, we’d buy a massive bag of Twizzlers and sneak them into the dollar show. Or we’d go to a park, or rent a video, or play a game, and quite often Twizzlers were a part of the equation. I thought Twizzlers were very yummy. Soon they became a regular on the grocery list.

There was just one problem.

Twizzlers, as you might already be aware, are not very nutritious. The primary ingredients are:

Corn syrup,
Flour,
Sugar,
Cornstarch,
Artificial Colors, and
Artificial Flavors

And although Twizzlers come in one- to two-pound packages, the serving size is a scant four pieces. These four pieces provide 160 calories, one gram of fat, 36 grams of carbs, 19 grams of sugar, one gram of protein, and no vitamin C, calcium, iron, or anything else of nutritional value. In other words, if I ate 30 Twizzlers (which, in the course of a full-length movie, is easy to do), I would have consumed 1200 empty calories.

One day I determined that Twizzlers didn’t fit into any of the food groups, they kept me up at night when I ought to be sleeping, and as a matter of fact, they weren’t even that yummy after all. For many years I didn’t eat Twizzlers. Didn’t crave Twizzlers. Didn’t even think about Twizzlers.

Then, three kids and many years later, along came my husband’s vasectomy, which was a total nightmare. (Note: Do not mention to your husband that mine had a nightmare vasectomy experience! Remember: Tubal ligation=Major surgery! Vasectomy=No big deal.)

From the moment he walked in the door I knew it had in fact been a pretty big deal. After ten years of marriage you get to a point where you can read the subtle signs, for instance:

He started throwing things, and
He yelled at the children if they spoke to him.

I quickly whisked the kids away, kept them out of sight until they were tucked safely into bed, and then I cautiously poked my head into the living room where my husband was lying on the couch with a bag of ice on the offending body parts. He looked slightly less enraged, so I took a chance.

“Can I get anything for you?” I asked.

He rattled off a list and handed me his prescription. Then I was off to Walgreens for drugs, Doritos, chocolate, and Twizzlers.

The Twizzlers were on sale if you bought two packages, so I came home with a couple pounds of strawberry flavored twists.

A few days later, I noticed the Twizzlers in the pantry. I hated to see them just dry out and go to waste, so I decided to eat one.

Bad news. It was yummy.

I had another. Then a few more.

Twizzlers became a regular part of my life again. When I wanted to stay up late, I knew I could count on the sugary candy to keep me awake. I began gnawing on Twizzlers while driving, reading, or catching up on my favorite TV show, LOST. You can bet I ate more than four pieces at a sitting. In the time it took to watch two highly intense episodes of LOST, I could easily polish off a full day’s worth of calories.

On my most recent trip to the grocery store, I stopped myself from tossing a pound or two of Twizzlers into the cart. They were even on sale, which made it twice as hard to resist. But for the time being, my home is Twizzler-free.

I have to admit, when I started writing this post, and I inserted that photo of the Twizzlers, I had a sudden urge to run out to the store for a jumbo-size package of artificially colored cornstarch and corn syrup.

But in the course of writing down the ingredients and nutrition facts of Twizzlers, the urge went away. I went to the fridge for some naturally-flavored strawberry yogurt instead.

Thank goodness. 10:00 p.m. is way too late to be going out anyway, isn’t it?

Find out next Wednesday, when I investigate the Morphing of Time.

1 comment:

Beth said...

Wow, you have a lot more discipline than I do...I probably would've broken down and gotten some! lol

By the way, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! I am a total comment whore and just love reading them! :)