Trina Machacek: Can’t zero in on perfect snack

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m always fighting the battle of the bulge, and the double chin and the bat wings of upper arms and the muffin top, which in my case is more of a baker’s dozen of muffins! It’s OK I’m always trying to keep things level on my scale. It keeps me ever vigilant about what I put in my pie hole. Oh, don’t say pie.

What’s ever present in this daily fight is finding something that’s acceptable to have as a snack. When I was a kid, a snack was so much easier to grab. Chips, ice cream, Baby Ruth bar, you know ... all the stuff to stuff in before the dinner bell. But now I know about carbs and sugar and caffeine and starches, the list is endless of what not to have. So today I’ve decided to discuss the “haves” in the world of snacking.

Must put in here I’m not a dietician nor do I have any letters behind my name that will make me scholarly in any way about eating right or wrong. So don’t hold my feet to the fire about my never-ending path to the table. Mostly it’s just desire vs. good ol’ common sense.

I have not been around a lot of women in the past 40 years or so. I have spent a lot of time around men, working and socializing. It just worked out that way and I enjoyed all the good times I got to be part of in that life. Guys are kind of fun to be around. But now I’m around my female friends more and more and since I’m critical of myself I noticed I seem to be out of the loop regarding sizes and fashion and, you know, girly stuff. But I’m learning. Like this ...

Not long ago, like a few weeks ago (I have to qualify “not long ago” ... not long ago can be weeks or months or minutes). Anyway. I was talking to a friend and asked her just what size clothes she wore. She’s thin and since I have no shame I just asked. She said she’s a size zero. Wait, what? I didn’t even know there was a size zero! Then she added she had gained a little weight recently as she had been a size double zero! My answer to that is this — I wasn’t even a size zero in the womb!

I aspire to be on the normal side of this sizing dilemma. I gave a conscious effort to getting rid of that dang X in my size and for the most part have succeeded. But, ah, yes, another but has squished in here! But staying X-less in the size department is becoming a problem I need to attack. I have come to notice it isn’t about meals for me, it’s about those snacks. Snacks are miserable little mouthfuls of a cross between guilt and pleasure. I vote for the pleasure!

I know fruit is the best option. Well, actually no snack is the best option, but not having a snack is not realistic. So I filled my refrigerator with fruit. Good thing it’s summer. I’ve eaten my way through grapes, berries, oranges, apples, melons, even these new things that are a cross between a plum and an apricot — weird fruit. But now I’m all fruited out. I need something else.

So I moved to what is supposed to be the next best thing. Granola bars. Until I read the label and found I could have a milkshake for about the same guilt/pleasure factor. Neither are helping to keeping that dang X at bay. So what snack is there that’s guiltless, healthy, fun, delicious, readily available, and most important, won’t cost me an arm and a leg? Nothing. Yes, I’ve made a remarkable discovery there’s no snack that will cut your snack monster off at the knees and keep you from diving head first into that extra-large family size bag of barbecue chips and licking your fingers until they’re numb! So what to do, what to do.

Here’s the deal I made with myself. It really only makes sense in the middle of the night when sweet is tapping on your left shoulder and salty is riding a bucking bronc on the right — if you’re hungry, for goodness sakes just eat! Maybe not the whole bag of chips, just a handful. Not the entire tub of ice cream, just a spoonful — a big spoonful! Yes, yes your doctor wants you healthy. I want you healthy, too, as I bet your family does. But you’re only here once. Nobody gets out of here alive. Skinny people and fat people, we all go into that good night. So I’ve decided to follow this one rule: When in the kitchen — everything in moderation.

Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Share with her at ... especially advice about what to snack on!


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