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100 Calorie Snack Pack Crap
by Tara G. Walker
Okay, so I’m one of those people who goes back and forth a lot on the whole weight loss thing. There are definitely times that I would like to actually weigh what it says I weigh on my driver’s license. There are times that I would like to go back to the time before I discovered the magic of Krispy Kremes in college. But, for the most part, I just don’t care enough. I look fine, I think to myself. So what if I don’t exactly have a toned stomach? How many women do? I’ve realized that people who have flat stomachs and non-jiggling arms have to spend a lot of time and effort worrying about what they eat and how they’re going to find time to work out 5 days a week.
In reality I guess I’m far more consumed by just about everything else besides exercise and diet. And I also have this whole thing about not caving to the pressures put on women to look like waifs. That said, I have wondered if controlling my portion sizes and eating less crap would make me a healthier, lighter person. But the biggest obstacle in my path is: sugar.
I adore sugar. I love cookies and muffins and cake and brownies and ice cream. And it loves me. It especially loves my thighs.
So I’m shopping and I see this display for 100 calorie snack packs. I decide to investigate. I’ve tried several varieties of these lighter-than-your-beloved-original-snacks, including: Oreo crisps, (very lame and disappointing, kind of like dry chocolate card board) Chips Ahoy, (Flavorless. Seriously.) Ritz snack crisps, (or something like that) and Cheese Nips. The Ritz and the Cheese Nips are actually okay. At least they taste like something.
I discovered the 100 calorie hostess cupcakes through babysitting. The mother of these children would let them split the 100 calorie chocolate cupcakes. (Because she was afraid they couldn’t handle 100 calories apiece?) I’d never been a big fan of prepackaged baked goods (if you can call them baked), but they had a lot going for them; I could say, “Hey, it’s okay. I can even have TWO packages if I want. Cause that’s only 200 calories!”, and I liked the way the cupcake would sort of pop apart inside your mouth and the cream filling would ooze out. So I would steal these little guys from their snack cabinet.
And then I started buying my own. But around my 6th or 7th package of 100 calorie Hostess Cupcakes, I began to feel slightly nauseated. Maybe it was the way the chocolate would stick and melt to the plastic packaging. Maybe it was the preservative rich ooze of the white cream between my teeth. Maybe it was the sour aftertaste. But at any rate, I still have two packages left in the box, and I haven’t touched them for weeks. I’ve completely lost interest in trying “lighter” versions of tasty All-American sugary-preservativey snacks. The longevity of enjoyment for these 100 calorie packs just isn’t there. Eventually, you’ll get bored. And a little sick to your stomach, when you start to wonder how it’s chemically possible to achieve such a potent plastic-sweet taste. At this point, I’d rather have rich, calorie-ridden foods that taste like something and don’t leave me feeling nauseated and unsatisfied.
Bring on the full calorie brownies.
Intelligentsia Coffee in Chicago Loop
By Jesse Stein
The phrase “Good coffee in Loop” is something of an oxymoron. On my arrival in Chicago, I was told that thankfully there is one place in Loop where good coffee can be found—in a café that isn’t too much of a chain. Intelligentsia. Hurrah.
OK, so they’ve named themselves after Russian elites, and they buy their coffee direct in some mysterious manner, so perhaps I should have been suspicious from the start? But they do make STRONG coffee that doesn’t taste like burnt pork crackling, and the panninis are satisfying and vaguely Italian … but something is missing. I remain unconvinced of their alleged supremacy over Chicago’s Downtown coffee kingdom.
I have devised a wish list for Intelligentsia to take on board.
1. CERAMIC BLISS. When I say “have here, in ceramic” that means “have here, in ceramic”, as in, not in cardboard with a silly plastic lid.
2. Where the hell is the cocoa shaker? Who wants a cinnamon overdose every time they head for the cocoa on their cappuccino? (I’ve discovered there is such thing as a cinnamon headache … I should probably pitch this to a pharmaceutical company.)
3. Why is my cappuccino two-thirds froth and one third liquid?
4. SOFAS. Pretty please!
5. Oh, and while you’re at it, can I please have a hot air balloon, a tamed Alpaca and a talking squirrel?
By Anonymous curly-headed editor
I’d like to think my combination of good health and youth gives my sweat a desirable, fresh-smelling quality. Something marketable and reminiscent of late spring. Something pink. But I’m no Sarah Jessica Parker. If I don’t use deodorant, I stink like cooked onions by the end of the day. So I use the stuff liberally.
I also have lots of environmentally conscious, do-gooder healthy friends whose status I am constantly trying to achieve. They do things like make their own compost and wear aluminum-free deodorant. My apartment limits my compost capacity, so I recently tried all-natural deodorant to achieve that hip, organic-girl quality. Deodorants with aluminum have been blamed for everything from alzheimers disease to breast cancer.
First I tried Tom’s of Maine in a stick form. I picked it up from a grocery store on my bus route one afternoon and applied it as I walked to class. By the end of class I had that embarrassing onion and chives odor. I figured that was just because I hadn’t showered right before applying Tom, so the next few days I slopped the stuff on as soon as I got out of the tub. It worked the first two days, but on the third, fourth and fifth days it was powerless.
So I combed online reviews of more expensive aluminum-free deodorants (like Lush products) and didn’t gain any confidence from reviewers about the products’ odor-blocking abilities. At least, not enough confidence to pay $12 for a blob of product that doesn’t appear to have proper packaging and can only be applied in a delicate fashion. I went to a drug store instead and scanned the shelves for aluminum-free sticks. All I found was a type named after the gym shoe Adidas. I was doubtful, but the price was right and it came in a familiar style of packaging. And while it didn’t smell like sneakers, it also didn’t work. I tried it for four days, but on the morning of the fifth day the prospect of wearing failed deodorant on a crowded bus was too much to face. I bought my familiar, aluminum-packed stick of alzheimers’n cancer and have been happily odor-free ever since.