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A Junk Food Junkie · 27 December 2012

It would be easy to be a junk food junkie and still be almost vegan. Treats and sweets and empty calories abound for any eating style. But junk food is really just that. Junk.


I know it seems obvious, but eating poorly leads to poor health. We cannot just think that eating too much of this certain food or not getting enough of that particular nutrient are what make us unhealthy or overweight. The more we try to negotiate a solution that includes too much junk food or other empty calories, the more we are really trying to delude ourselves. When we are junk food junkies, we really do not want to be healthy.


There are plenty of sources telling us that eating lots of green leafy vegetables is good for our health. And I believe that you do not need to eat vegan to eat healthy. But whole foods are the key. Whether that means more fruits or vegetables or whole grains, eating whole foods is what the experts tell us is good for us.


Those same experts tell us to stay out of the middle aisles of the grocery store and just shop around the edges. That is where all the produce and other fresh whole foods are. The middle aisles (except maybe the freezer sections) have all the junk food. Foods that are processed so much that almost all their nutritional value is gone. Sure, they provide calories, but those calories are empty and go through people’s systems so quickly that they think they need more right away. They usually have one or more of those seemingly magic ingredients that get people to eat more – sugar and salt.


I am certainly not one to talk. I could easily be a junk food junkie. Even as an almost vegan. I love sweet food. I love salty food. I can sit down to eat a few chips and eat the whole jumbo-sized bag at one sitting. Or at least I used to be able to do that. During this Christmas season, I have been able graze on cookies and other sweets all day long. I have watched my weight increase day by day as I let my guard down and reach for one more cookie or cut off another piece of pie. But I am not really worried. For I have not gorged myself. At least not much. And once the treats are not around all the time anymore, I can go back to eating healthier again.


Sometimes, I wish that I was not so inclined to eating unhealthy foods. I wish that sweets were not such a draw for me. I wish that those chips were not so enticing. But the more I stay away from those foods, the more I realize I do not want processed empty calories. The more I realize that even if I could stay almost vegan, I still do not want to be a junk food junkie.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

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