Why does health taste so boring?

I ate a ton of vegetables today. Spinach and mushrooms for breakfast, cauliflower soup for lunch, broccoli and a li’l salad at dinner. Of course, now what I really want is a bologna sandwich and a mess of potato chips on the side.

Bologna, mayo and a bunch of crunchy iceberg lettuce on white bread — this is a secret shame of mine that I indulge maybe once a year. I haven’t done it for a while; maybe this weekend. I ask you, though — if vegetables are so uniformly great for us, why don’t we crave them more? Why is it a chore to eat them consistently? Why aren’t our bodies more adapted to a plant-based diet?

Why do we want to put cheese on everything? Why is sugar so great? Why is whipped cream (with lots of sugar) something you want to dive into, but broccoli, meh?

I’m thinking some dessert is in order, but I made Alan take the dark-chocolate sea-salt caramels I bought at Costco for Valentine’s weekend to his office, so I wouldn’t eat them all. Sigh. February. It just never gets better.

But there’s less of it to live through than we already have. March starts spring and spring-like activities. And by this weekend it’ll be in the 40s.

So how was your Presidents Day? I worked on one thing that became the only thing, and tomorrow it’ll be a big thing. That seems to sum it up. My hard-working boss is on vacation this week, which means a shifting of duties, and, today, three emails from him. The last one was replied to by one of my colleagues to the effect that we didn’t want any more emails from him. They weren’t bad emails, just the can’t-help-yourself sort. Beaches aren’t all that great, at least when you have iPhones.

Which seems like a good transition — beaches, reading, food stress — into the bloggage, an essay about Oprah and forgiving oneself for not having a perfect body:

My epiphany was this: Oprah is one of the most accomplished, admired, able people in the world. She has an Oscar to keep all her Emmy Awards company. She creates magic for other people and herself on the regular. So if Oprah can’t do permanent lifelong weight loss, maybe it can’t be done. Oprah is also crazy rich. If Oprah can’t buy permanent lifelong weight loss, maybe it can’t be bought. And that sucks.

Sure does. But maybe it’s OK, too. There’s a size 16 woman on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Relax. Eat the bologna.

What else? Vanity is dead. Now there was a lovely young woman, if at little untalented at being a pop star. And she died of an inflammation of her small intestine, begging for money on GoFundMe. Life’s not all it’s cracked up to be for anyone.

Think I’ll turn in early. Happy Tuesday, all.

Posted at 12:11 am in Popculch |

45 responses to “Why does health taste so boring?”

  1. MichaelG said on February 16, 2016 at 12:39 am

    How was POTUS day? It was 76 degrees here Monday. The big news is that I seem to have some fuzz growing on my head that I hope means I’ll have hair in the next month or two. Annnd, I finally feel something like normal after all that chemo. That shit really kicks one’s ass. Nice day all around.

    I saw the pictures of Ashley Graham and she is a lovely young lady with a truly gorgeous body. She’s a lot of woman.

    Talk about beggars, look at that Kanye West creep broke and sniveling for Mark Zuckerberg to make him a gift of 53 Million bucks.

    559 chars

  2. Deborah said on February 16, 2016 at 2:10 am

    Good news MichaelG!

    I’ve been on a bread kick that l can’t seem to stop. Little Bird and I were avoiding carbs for awhile, then I couldn’t take it anymore and started in on bread nearly everyday, usually toast in the morning. That’s my only vice right now, we eat pretty healthy stuff mostly. I like vegetables, mostly in the form of salads. I read somewhere that a cheese habit is as hard to break as quitting heroin. Now I’m hungry for cheese on bread.

    458 chars

  3. Brandon said on February 16, 2016 at 2:11 am

    @Michael G: I’m glad you’re feeling better.

    Vanity wasn’t the greatest singer, but she did a good job as the dance show host/damsel in distress in The Last Dragon. And we all remember “Nasty Girl.”

    207 chars

  4. Linda said on February 16, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Craving for vegetables? I have them. If I don’t eat them often enough, I will really pig out on them, but especially fresh fruit. I have to have some every day. But the craving for fat and sugar is real, a relic from when those elements of diet were hard to get instead of mass produced.

    I have, unlike Oprah, managed a large weight loss (100 lbs) and kept it off going on nine years, but doing it amounts to a part time job in itself. When people condemn fatties, they make it sound like eating a few salads and a walk around the block once in awhile will keep it off. Bullshit. The real fantasy of thinness is that once it is achieved it’s easy to keep. In fact, naturally thin people seem repulsed when I tell them that it’s an ongoing struggle. Maybe believing that it’s easy makes it easy to think fat people are just lazy slobs.

    838 chars

  5. basset said on February 16, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Size 16? She’s what one of Elmore Leonard’s characters used to call a “fine big girl,” and a definite 1 on the binary scale.

    Mrs. B and I saw Michael Martin Murphey last night, at a nice bar/restaurant where the cheapest wine was $9 a glass… good show but way more right-wing politics and bragging about being a NRA member than we’d expected. Finished with “Wildfire,” how could he not, and the encore was some slow depressing song about criminals killing each other, made for a strange vibe on the way out and being Grammy night in Music City the place might have been half full.

    587 chars

  6. Linda said on February 16, 2016 at 3:51 am

    Yay, MichaelG for getting better!

    33 chars

  7. basset said on February 16, 2016 at 3:55 am

    Meanwhile, the mandatory political content:


    Couldn’t name you a single song by any of his favorites except Dwight Yoakam but I do recognize the Dead.

    292 chars

  8. ROGirl said on February 16, 2016 at 5:54 am

    Imagine if Oprah were happy with her body. She would have been the voice of fat acceptance, instead of making it about her failure to achieve permanent weight loss.

    164 chars

  9. David C. said on February 16, 2016 at 6:02 am

    I had a pretty good Washington’s Birthday. Presidents Day only exists in mattress stores.

    89 chars

  10. David C. said on February 16, 2016 at 6:32 am

    I looked at Charlie Pierce’s Esquire column this morning. He has the best ever suggestion for an Obama Supreme Court nominee. Anita Hill. That would be truly brilliant.

    168 chars

  11. Suzanne said on February 16, 2016 at 6:41 am

    I have never heard of Vanity, just like I’d never heard of most of the performers that were on the bit of Grammy Awards I watched last night. I read this morning that Adele’s performance was “off” but it kind of made me like her more. Proves she was actually singing live & not lip synced & auto-tuned like most of them.

    328 chars

  12. Icarus said on February 16, 2016 at 7:23 am

    A nutritionist told me once that cravings develop from eating a lot of something. It sort of makes the body addicted to it. Her point was that if I started eating broccoli instead of potato chips, I’ll crave it as much as I do chips. Either I dropped the ball on that one or it wasn’t true. I do eat my veggies, but I also crave chips and french onion dip.

    I hadn’t thought of Vanity in years. Very said to hear the news on that one.

    442 chars

  13. alex said on February 16, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Suzanne, if you saw Prince’s Purple Rain movie in the 1980s, then you’ve heard of Vanity and seen her perform too, along with about a half dozen other short-lived pop stars who sang not terribly memorable formulaic songs written and produced by Prince. And if you missed Purple Rain, well, you didn’t miss much really.

    318 chars

  14. beb said on February 16, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Alex… so harsh – so true. When I heard that Vanity had died and was on GoFundMe for food I couldn’t help wondering where Prince was. Surely he’s rich enough to help and as a former girlfriend shouldn’t he?

    About the fat girl on Sports Illustrated’s cover… When did size 16 become a plus size and when did size 2 become the norm? The girl on the cover looked gorgeous, well proportioned and not fat.

    Samantha Bee’s new comedy show has started (TBS, Mondays at 10:30). How good is she? My nearly choked to death last night As I was taking a sip and she dropped an monstrously funny line. I was five minutes trying to cough the water out my lungs that I’d swallowed. Yes, I’d say she’s good. Jon Stewart-good.

    716 chars

  15. alex said on February 16, 2016 at 8:20 am

    And to the credit of Kevin Leininger, at least he’s not jumping on the bandwagon of right-wingers who think Scalia was murdered by Obama. At least not yet, anyway. Instead, a screed against “sophisticates” and “so-called intellectuals” who need to quit interpreting the Constitution and the Bible for those who take both literally as God intended.

    496 chars

  16. kathy t said on February 16, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Fun with cancer:
    So far I’m one of the lucky ones. Diagnosed with esophageal cancer in Oct. 2014. Had chemo, radiation, surgery. One lasting side effect: A 70 lb weight loss!(and thanks to my fat stores I never needed a feeding tube or nothin’).
    So now, covered up, I look mahvelous. And it gives me perverse pleasure to be complimented by the fat snobs who haven’t seen me in a while. I wait till they’re done gushing, and then say gravely, “well, if I survive the next 5 years I’ll be able to tell you if I can recommend my weight loss program.”

    551 chars

  17. brian stouder said on February 16, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I think Basset at 7 has the early lead for Thread Win – with that marvelous linked story about Kasich’s pop-music tastes!

    And here’s wishing continued strength and improving health for kathy t and MichaelG

    208 chars

  18. A. Riley said on February 16, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Oh, I don’t know . . . every winter I get a craving for tomatoes and citrus, which I indulge madly. Of course, it would be better to indulge madly while lounging by a fountain in sunny Spain or someplace, but one does what one can.

    231 chars

  19. Judybusy said on February 16, 2016 at 9:40 am

    I hope the news continues to be good for MichaelG and kathy t!

    I found a new way to devour roasted cauliflower: make a blood orange/shallot/garlic reduction and drizzle that over the vegetable.

    I had yesterday off, and watched a movie called Grizzly Man by Wim Wenders, with music by Richard Thompson. It was a very interesting story of Tim Treadwell, who spent about 13 summers hanging out with grizzlies in Alaska. I think he had some pretty serious mental health problems, and he beat the demon alcohol by bonding with the bears. However, he shot incredible films of the bears and travelled the rest of the year talking to school kids about them. My mouth was hanging open as I watched some of the shots. He met what was likely an inevitable end, getting killed by one of the bears.

    792 chars

  20. Deborah said on February 16, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Judy Busy, I’ll have to look up that movie. Is it recent? I like Wim Wender’s movies, hadn’t heard of that one.

    Well, Little Bird leaves for a trip to visit a friend in DC today. There may or may not be more to tell about that.

    I leave for Chicago a week from today. The weather here in New Mexico has been amazing this last week and a half, it’s supposed to continue like this until I leave. I’ve been watching the weather in Chicago, not as nice but getting better towards next week.

    491 chars

  21. Judybusy said on February 16, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Deborah, it’s from 2005. I got it through my library. Did you ever see his film about the cave paintings? Seeing this one reminded me I never saw it; will have to see if it’s also at the library.

    195 chars

  22. Judybusy said on February 16, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Oh, a correction, Deborah, it was Werner Herzog who did the movie. The other movie is Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Wenders’ Wings of Desire, however, remains one of my all time favorite movies.

    190 chars

  23. Charlotte said on February 16, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Argh! Grizzly Man! Not Wim Wenders (who we wouldn’t slander with such nonsense) but the egomaniac Werner Herzog. Saw it here when it came out with a panel of bear people, all of whom had to be polite because the surviving ex-girlfriend was in attendance, but afterwards, at dinner, let loose. That Treadwell asshole was clearly feeding both the bears and the foxes, endangered not only himself and got his girlfriend killed, but ruined a whole bunch of bears in a pristine part of Alaska by feeding them, and habituating them to humans. And Herzog comes out like this is some noble German Romantic quest. It wasn’t. It was an idiot of the kind we see too often in places where there is wilderness — a guy who wasn’t interested in what was out there, but was consumed with the need to project his own inner deficiencies all over the wild animals and wild country. A girlfriend of mine recently showed it to her high school class here in Livingston, kids who have spent their whole lives learning how to behave in bear country, and they were appalled by his behavior — which was heartening. (There’s a very funny YouTube out there that’s a play on Treadwell’s love of “bears” and riffs off his sex in truck stops crack.) Sorry to rant, but that movie pisses me off more than Herzog’s movies usually do.

    Congrats to Michael and Kathy T — I’m laid up with a reconstructed ankle and it’s making me crazy being an invalid. Hats off to you both for getting through it and here’s to remissions continuing!

    1505 chars

  24. nancy said on February 16, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Yes, what Charlotte said. When I was a journalism fellow, our director brought in some guy who was doing the same thing — based on his (the director’s) holy-shit moment at a photo of the guy fishing in a river next to a bear who was comically standing on his back legs, like they were besties or something. The director fancied himself an outdoorsman, but was mostly just a guy who went hunting and fishing (with guides) at various places on his world travels. He thought this was an amazing accomplishment, what this guy had done with Kodiak bears on Kamchatka and Sakhalin.

    On edit: It was this guy, Charlie Russell, and I think that cover photo was the one in question.

    I noticed Alan fidgeting during his presentation, and was the first to ask a challenging question, something to the effect that people have been training bears in circuses for centuries, so how exactly did this qualify as scholarly research, or anything other than an ego project? He didn’t really have much of a response, other than a lot of blah blah about raising awareness, endangered habitats, etc.

    I don’t know what came of him, but I trust he wasn’t Treadwelled, or we’d probably have heard about it. Treadwell was almost certainly an untreated manic depressive.

    And yay to Michael and Kathy T, too.

    1417 chars

  25. Brandon said on February 16, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    @Kathy t: I hope you continue to gain strength and feel better.

    Vanity was never in Purple Rain nor on the soundtrack, though she was originally slated to be Prince’s co-lead in the movie. She had left her group Vanity 6 after one album was recorded.
    Patricia “Apollonia” Kotero
    replaced Vanity as the leader of the group, now renamed Apollonia 6, and as female lead in Purple Rain.

    never was on the soundtrack itself and


    569 chars

  26. Brandon said on February 16, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    I miss the Edit button.

    23 chars

  27. jcburns said on February 16, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    It misses you.

    14 chars

  28. Snarkworth said on February 16, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    Six years out from breast cancer here. Surgery and radiation, but no chemo, so MichaelG and kathy t had a harder time of it. I remain beyond grateful for modern medicine.

    170 chars

  29. Jolene said on February 16, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    I think I must be the luckiest cancer survivor on the planet. About a dozen years ago, I had a spot of melanoma on my ankle, which was excised and that was that. No further treatment required. My ankle swells too easily due to a disrupted lymph system, but that’s it.

    Then, two years ago, I had endometrial cancer. Following a hysterectomy, which barely requires an overnight stay these days, I had both chemo and radiation. With each chemo treatment, I had two or three days of aching bones and muscles, which responded to the pain melds they gave me. I lost my hair, of course, but that was short-lived. And, again, that was that.

    I wish I could pass this good fortune on to others who’ve suffered more. Best I can do is send good wishes to MichaelG, Kathy T., and anyone else who’s dealing with this disease.

    820 chars

  30. Deborah said on February 16, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Jusy Busy, I saw the Herzog cave painting movie in 3D, it was interesting.

    Wim Wenders though is one of my absolute favorites, I’ll go to any movie he directs. A few months back we saw a beautiful Wenders movie, a documentary about the photograher Sabastiao Salgado called Salt of the Earth. A couple of years ago we saw the Wender’s film Pina, about the choreographer Pina Bausch, that one was in 3D too. And Wings of Desire is one of the best films ever made, I totally agree. Wenders made a sequel to it which I can’t remember the name but it wasn’t nearly as good.

    571 chars

  31. Jeff Borden said on February 16, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    When I left a screening of “Purple Rain,” I drove immediately to Peaches and bought every LP by Morris Day and the Time. I still dig Prince’s music, but the Time, whoa.

    I spent President’s Day traversing the floor between the couch and the bathroom with the 24-hour flu. Ugh. I don’t think I’ve ever had a back ache like the one that bug produced.

    350 chars

  32. jcburns said on February 16, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    How many people here could successfully translate “drove immediately to Peaches”? I used to love their large (yuuuge!) reproductions of album covers. In Atlanta it would have been “drove immediately to Turtles”, which is about as nonsensical.

    242 chars

  33. alex said on February 16, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    And don’t forget Rose. Or Tower.

    32 chars

  34. Jeff Borden said on February 16, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    I still have most of my 1,400 slabs of LP vinyl in Peaches record crates which, sadly, are consigned to the basement.

    117 chars

  35. Sherri said on February 16, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Glad to hear from all the cancer survivors!

    This article explains my pessimism with our current system of separate legislative and executive branches but with parties that have become more parliamentary-like: https://newrepublic.com/article/129944/end-supreme-court-know

    273 chars

  36. brian stouder said on February 16, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Sherri – thanks for the link to that article; it was interesting, indeed.

    Made me go to Uncle Google, and learn that the Justices were born in the following years

    1933 RBG
    1936 Kennedy
    1938 Breyer
    1948 Thomas
    1950 Alito
    1954 Sotomayor
    1955 Roberts
    1960 Kagan

    So indeed, we could be down another Justice (or two) over the course of the next 12 or 13 or 14 months…and then we really will have a Constitutional crisis on our hands

    445 chars

  37. Brandon said on February 16, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    @jc: Is it you or Nancy who took off the Edit button? Was it giving problems?

    77 chars

  38. MarkH said on February 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Count me as a Peaches translator. Borden, JC – who was that guy who owned the chain, Waly something-or-other….

    112 chars

  39. Scout said on February 16, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Scalzi’s take on the SCOTUS kerfluffle is helping me stay calm:

    “Now that Scalia’s dead, Mitch McConnell and other Republicans are trying to float the idea that Obama shouldn’t be allowed to name Scalia’s successor because “the people should have their say,” as if a) presidents have not nominated (and the Senate approved) judges in election years numerous times before, b) presidential terms somehow magically end more than eleven months before the new president takes up the gig. Speaking as one of “the people,” and specifically one of the people who voted for Obama in 2012 and will vote in the election of 2016, I know I didn’t and don’t vote for a president to have three quarters of a term; I voted for them to have a whole one.

    Also, you know, the Constitution, of which Scalia was reportedly fond of, does not say “The president shall nominate Justices to the Supreme Court, unless it’s, like, less than a year before he’s out of office, or Mitch McConnell doesn’t like him, in which case screw that dude.” In this situation, what would Scalia do? The answer, as noted above, is “whatever he wanted, then he would blame Madison,” but in this specific case, the Constitution is pretty non-ambiguous about what needs to happen.

    Bear in mind that if the Senate really is going to try to block Obama from making an appointment, no matter who he nominates, what they are doing is giving him a bludgeon, with which to pummel the entire Republican party, during an election year. I think Obama, who since the 2014 election is definitely in the “no fucks to give” phase of his presidency, will be delighted to pummel the GOP all the merry day long. So, you know. Go ahead, Mitch! You did a bang up job of limiting Obama to a single term. I’m sure this spectacular new plan of yours could in no way fail.”

    There’s a bit more, but that is really the gist. http://whatever.scalzi.com/2016/02/16/various-and-sundry-21616/

    1969 chars

  40. kathy t said on February 16, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    This longtime lurker, well maybe 2 posts ever, was very touched by the good wishes. Thanks, guys.

    98 chars

  41. Dorothy said on February 16, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Our Peaches album crate has been gone for many years. And my Peaches baseball type tee shirt was so soft, and was one of my favorite shirts to sleep in. I have a picture of me wearing it, decked out in my white Afro.

    Great news from Kathy T and Michael G! (They rhyme!). My husband is a five year colon cancer survivor, for which we are grateful every damn day. We spent Presidents Day reading under a beach umbrella in San Juan. Tomorrow we head to Ponce. Doesn’t get much better than this. Best of all it’s supposed to be in the 60’s when we come back home Saturday

    572 chars

  42. Suzanne said on February 16, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    All you who have faced cancer, smacked it upside the head, and keep on going have nothing but respect from me. To deal with that while dealing with life takes courage and lots of it. Kudos to you!

    196 chars

  43. Hank Stuever said on February 16, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I have incredibly fond memories of when Peaches closed its Oklahoma City stores in the early winter of 1982, if I recall correctly. What a GOING-OUT-OF-BUSINESS sale that was. I bought at least a dozen LPs and cassettes for almost nothing — Hall & Oates, the Clash, Rolling Stones, Loverboy, J. Geils Band, Adam and the Ants, Stevie Nicks, Genesis. I was in 8th grade, so stretching a lawn-mowing/babysitting dollar was important. (Also I never fell for the Columbia House 12-for-a-penny ads — my older sister had been through that experience.)

    550 chars

  44. MichaelG said on February 16, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Thank you for the good wishes, everybody.

    41 chars

  45. Sherri said on February 16, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    The fact that it’s a Supreme Court seat is shining a spotlight on the issue, but the Republicans have been blocking Obama from making appointments to the appeals courts since they took control of the Senate: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/16/us/politics/before-antonin-scalias-death-a-clash-between-gop-and-obama-over-appellate-judges.html

    I’ve seen lots of articles claiming that Republicans are still mad about the Bork confirmation hearings, that this is all payback because Bork was rejected purely on ideological grounds. I think that’s bunk. I think they can count, and know that they only way they maintain power is through anti-democratic means.

    Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were still in high school during the Bork confirmation hearings, and Tom Cotton (R-Ark) was in elementary school. Maybe Orrin Hatch still carries some personal animus over the Bork confirmation hearings (though plenty of us could say the same about Orrin Hatch and the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings), but I don’t think that’s what’s driving the current mess. That seems like a “both sides do it” false equivalency.

    1108 chars