Getting psyched up for produce snacking

02/08/2013 09:34:00 AM
Amelia Freidline

Amelia Freidline, Fresh TakeAmelia Freidline, Fresh TakeIt’s February now and almost time for Valentine’s Day. My grocery store has been advertising this fact since Christmas with an aisle full of huge, red heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate.

How’s your diet doing?

I spent three weeks on a gluten-, corn-, soy-, sugar-, dairy-, egg- and peanut-free diet and found myself dreaming of doughnuts, counting down the days until I’d be allowed to eat cake again.

In the meantime, I ate a lot of dates, beet chips and kale chips.

Maybe the hardest part of a diet — sticking with it — involves psyching ourselves into enjoying what we do get to eat rather than pining for all those forbidden foods.

The Wall Street Journal recently had a story about Boston’s big plans to have a city-wide collective diet and lose 1 million pounds.

The program started last April, and, as of the article’s publication date, Bostonians had shed 74,597 pounds.

I did a little math and figured out that if each resident lost a little over a pound and a half, the city would meet its goal.

So it should have been easy, right?

The Journal story said Boston offered free exercise classes in June at the City Hall Plaza, which was also the site of the Scooper Bowl all-you-can-eat ice cream festival.

It’s a macrocosm of the personal diet — good intentions of healthy eating and exercise thwarted by stress-eating and comfort foods.

When we’re down and out, sore and tired yet still busy, we tend to turn to candy bars, not carrots.

How come?

Carrots are crunchy, sweet, brightly colored, portable and inexpensive. And talk about convenient — you don’t even have to peel off a wrapper.

Take that, Snickers.

Dole Fresh Fruit, Westlake Village, Calif., launched a promotion in late summer billing bananas as “Nature’s Original Energy Bar.” Bil Goldfield, communications manager, told The Packer’s Cynthia David in October that the campaign had yielded good results in reaching consumers.

An energy bar isn’t exactly an ice cream sandwich, true, but it’s good to see produce companies stepping up to the marketing plate and promoting the natural benefits of fruit and vegetables over the perceived health halo of manufactured packaged foods.

On the dessert front, though, there is Dole’s partnership with Yonanas, the machine that makes an ice cream-like treat out of frozen bananas. A similar dessert satisfied my sugar cravings more than once during my diet and kept me away from the cookies.

Here’s hoping Bostonians see more success in the last months of their diet.

After all, whether it’s smaller waistlines for consumers or bigger sales for produce companies, it takes hard work and sticking to it to get the desired result.

afreidline@thepacker.com

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