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What all the healthy people won't tell you

By Steve Schwartzman
On February 26, 2014

Seriously; who is allured to the concept of a diet as soon as you come to realize your food options are limited to Raisin Bran, kale and kale only, tuna with mustard and selective samples of beach sand? I haven’t even mentioned all the running. Who runs? I haven’t had to pitchfork protest a religious goon out of town in decades, so I’ll happily get my cross-town exercise done in the comfort of my 2004 Hyundai Elantra, thank you very much.

There is enough in the world of healthy to make one never want to ever care for their body. We all have that friend who says the word “calories” so many times in a paragraph, you get curious if they’ve mistaken it for basic conjunctions. It makes no sense to you that they would be arrogant about eating a grilled chicken sandwich wrapped in lettuce when you get to simplify and order a Baconator, but they do it nonetheless.

I vent to the general public about this because I recently made a personal push to better my body in fear of obesity, kidney stones and looking like John Goodman. I decided to start small with no soda, all water; the basic tier-one of slim down tactics, but as does life in general, my health habits have evolved to more and more by the hour. In just one week I’ve learned my share of information, and I feel like it’s important that you learn the same.

First and foremost, water sucks. It’s awful. No flavor, no carbonation and it warms too quickly. It’s like having a basic study party without the potential of impromptu pizza runs, make-out sessions in the TV room and the smart kid in the group giving up and saying he’ll just do the project for everyone. If you ever meet someone who claims water is their favorite beverage, I have a secret for you: They’re lying right to your face. That’s like saying your favorite popsicle is “unflavored” — looking at you, Maude Flanders. Anyone who publicly says they crave Dasani has an emergency Sprite Remix hidden under his or her mattress right now in box with a stack of buy-one-get-one Krazy Bread coupons and Fruit Stripe gum. These are just facts.

The plus side affect: Less soda means less sugar. The fun part about almost no sugar in your diet — work with me on this — fruit starts to taste like candy. I don’t know how it happens, but it’s foolproof. One day you meander through the grocery store and glance at a bag of sweet-tooth capsules of sort, and out of left field, the thought comes: “You know what would be better than strawberry taffy? Actual strawberries.” The next thing you know, you are walking out of a store with a sack full of things that ascended from dirt and are purchased by weight — and you’re excited about it.

You think I’m kidding? I ate a grapefruit this morning; an entire grapefruit, because I wanted to. I didn’t even stop to check and see if it was a blood orange. I accepted it as it was. A month ago, I would’ve happily accepted leftover brownies and a Slim Jim for breakfast. Now, I’m a surly vitamin-intake monster, and by some divine providence, I like it that way. It almost feels dirty.

I could go on longer about the the new worlds I’ve discovered in my wholesome-intake pilgrimage both for positive and negative, but let one thing be absolutely clear: Know your limits. Being healthy and living longer is one thing, but it’s one swift step closer to becoming a foodie prudie.

Nobody likes a calorie-counting, corn-syrup factoid jackwad. Lowering sugar and fat from your regimen is one thing, but if you notice you are starting to accept pine nuts as a breakfast cereal, you research how to correctly pronounce “acai,” or you, in any given scenario, find yourself uttering “I don’t know, I just think quinoa makes a better chip than corn,” slam on those breaks, because the only option after that is a conservative-colored food blog, an Instagram full of vegan-friendly brunch appetizer photos and zero friends. Balance in all things, people.

Rant over. Now, if you excuse me, I have 45 minutes of hot yoga to work off looking at a can of Mug rootbeer. We all have a weakness.

Steve Schwartzman is a senior finishing a degree in communication studies. With eight years of column writing and improvisational comedy under his belt, he lives to make you laugh. Send thoughts to or hit him up on Twitter @SESchwartzman.

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