Food & Drink #3: The Official Retrospace Diet Plan

Here's what people used to think about before eating:

1. Will it taste good?

Here's what people think about nowadays before eating:

1. Is it high in carbohydrates?
2. Is it high in saturated or unsaturated fats?
3. Is it high in trans fats?
4. Is it genetically engineered?
5. Is it organic?
6. Is it contaminated with Salmonella or Mad Cow Disease?
7. Is it high in fiber?
8. Is this serving size too big?
9. Are there cancer causing compounds like sodium nitrite in this dish?
10. Will this cause tooth decay?
11. Does this contain acrylamide or other neurotoxins?
12. Does this contain refined sugar?
13. What kinds of preservatives are in this food?
14. How many milligrams of salt are in this food?
15. Is it high in cholesterol?
16. Does this food lack essential vitamins and minerals?
17. Does this food contain harmful coloring agents?
18. Is it high in starch (we all know starch is a glucose bomb for the body)
19. Does it contain anti-oxidants to combat free radicals?
20. How many calories are in this food?
21. Is it whole grain? ...etc., etc.,..

It's kind of ironic that with all this worrying and fretting over every thing we put in our mouth, the nation has never been more overweight! Our serving sizes have tripled and the obesity rate has skyrocketed. Meanwhile, we point our fingers and laugh at this dish from the 1970s...

I freely admit there are harmful things in food. I'm a bit disturbed that titanium dioxide (a chemical used in paint) is in my canned tuna. In spite of all our cries against dubious chemicals additives and preservatives, our foods have never been more synthetic. It bothers me that synthesized fat substitutes include warnings that they may cause explosive diarrhea! And despite our complaints against factory farming, our meat, poultry and dairy has never been more mass produced with less humane conditions. Where is all this complaining getting us?

When I'm at the grocery store, I see people reading the ingredients on the packages like they're engrossed in a mystery novel. (Don't ask me why there's a baby deer in this picture. Just bear with me.)

So, I am now going to unveil the official Retrospace diet. This will save you countless dollars in worthless diet books, and silly diet plan fees. All I ask in return for saving you big bucks, making you trim, and adding years to your life is that you never doubt a single word I say again.

Here it is, three simple rules:

1. Dig in!
Worrying is taking years off your life. Eat anything you want.

2. Don't eat so damn much!
For the love of God, slow down. Maybe you won't eat like a cow if you stop to talk, maybe drink some wine, or smoke a cigarette.

3. Get off your ass!
That bratwurst is going to go straight to your gut or thighs unless you get a little active. How about you take a freakin' walk tonight instead of watching total crap on TV?

Not surprisingly, the Retrospace diet looks remarkably like the diet from the 1970s and earlier. That's because it is.

I'll also note that I can't throw a stone without hitting a food vendor in any city in this country. Exactly when did it become protocol to eat with every activity? Do you have to eat something in the car, at the mall, at the movies, at the ballgame, at the airport, at the bookstore, at the bar, etc.? Is your hunger so overwhelming that you can't wait till you get home? When I was a kid, we had a Steak n' Ale and a Burger Chef nearby - other than that, you had a lengthy drive ahead of you, and it probably wasn't worth it. In that same city, there's now food thrust in your face on seemingly every corner. Who needs it? TGI Fridays freakin' sucks anyway.

Every once and a while it's okay to dine out. Life is short. So, go ahead, eat up, stop worrying, have a good time, and DIG IN!


  1. I read the ingredients to look for meat - you'd be surprised what has meat in it these days. Fortunately my deer is a year old, so I don't have to stoop so it can help me read :-)

  2. I have to make sure hot dogs are ALL BEEF, otherwise I am all for your diet! Here, here!!!

  3. darius - When I lived out in the country, I had to follow behind chicken trucks on the way to work every day. It made me so incredibly sick looking at these pathetic creatures that I couldn't eat poultry for years, and still have a hard time.

    wings - I'd always heard hot dogs were made of beef lips and assholes. So, you're safe.

  4. RERUN says, "Hey, hey, hey! Have some extra gravy, too!"

  5. Great blog post. I totally agree with you. It has always amazed me that has we fret more about what's in our food and claim we are going to eat healthier we get fatter and fatter. We stress out over everything. We don't enjoy life. We don't just chill out and enjoy a meal without worrying about whether it's got too many carbs or whatever.

  6. The big thing in the 70's was "calories". We didn't realize it was also saturated fats, carbohydrates, etc. We were all pretty green back then...
    In the mid-70s my aunt was on a diet. She had her "calorie count posters" and calorie card in her wallet. She never did lose any weight..

  7. ... also people drank gallons of diet soda, not realizing that ANY sort of carbonated beverage is fattening...

  8. Joe - Hence, TAB.

    Ironically, you're probably better off downing a can of Schlitz than ingesting a diet soda.

    Keith - Thanks for the comment. Glad to see that the Dino Lounge is back up and running.

    Laura - ...and then Dee says "Ooooooooh, .....I'm tellin momma!" Love them catch phrases!

  9. I love you for posting this. Seriously.

  10. I'm laughing at that bratwurst, but not because it's 'unhealthy' or anything...

    And I agree with you, people were way more active and ate smaller portions back then - and I remember in the 60s (in NYC anyway) you hardly ever saw really overweight people.

  11. I bake from scratch and some folks really freak out that I use real butter and eggs in my cakes, cookies, etc... I think it's healthier to eat a small portion of my butter cake or chocolate chip cookies than a ginormous vat of that fat-free sugar-free garbage!

  12. Well, people were much more active back then.