They were something I would purchase, put inside of the crisper to feel good about myself, and then completely forget about them until they were brown and needed to be thrown away.
In hindsight, I did this with a lot of healthy foods – heads of romaine lettuce and spinach and kale that make me look at the checkout line like I know how to actually eat something other than processed crap.
But they don’t make a crisper efficient enough for the lengths of time that stuff would sit while takeout boxes and fast food wrappers accumulated inside of the garbage can.
I’d often stash the good stuff at the bottom of the garbage can so my wife didn’t find out.
But last week I made the precursory trip to Costco to pick up a few things that I needed. And some of those that I thought would look good in the fridge – and make me feel good about buying (but I bought organic kale!) – and I went about business as usual.
But then I did something that I hadn’t previously done.
I ate an apple.
Now this was no ordinary apple – it was a honeycrisp (the choice of my wife and coincidentally, my boss) – and I had never previously actually eaten one all the way through. The last honeycrisp apple that I tried to eat I slathered in syrupy caramel and convinced myself that it was okay because, I was still eating an apple.
I moved on to peanut butter because that was healthier.
But now, as I bit into this apple time and again, I realized I didn’t need any of that stuff to make it passable – it was delicious.
It took me four days to go through the entire carton of sixteen, and I went straight back out and bought another.
Want to know the greatest things about apples?
They’re portable. I can pop one in my backpack or even in my jacket pocket on my way out the door and when I get the urge for a snack, I only have to reach as far away as I stored that little pink and red and yellow bundle of deliciousness.
And they don’t need to be kept cold. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily keep them in in trunk – like I now do with a case of bottled water – and expect to get the same level of refreshment that I get when they come out of the fridge. They probably wouldn’t last very long that way.
But room temperature is a fine way to enjoy Washington’s greatest export (aside from early 90s grunge music of course) and it makes it easier to incorporate something that’s moderately healthy – there is natural sugar in apples – into my daily diet.
But here’s what happened.
It didn’t stop there.
I replaced the potato chips with a bag of organic apple chips. I picked up a bag of Brussels sprouts and cooked them up with cranberries and dates. I found new seasonings to add to broccoli.
And, since I can’t seem to give up carbs completely, I stocked up on Kings Hawaiian rolls and some sliced turkey breast and make myself turkey and pesto sliders when I feel like a snack that wasn’t grown.
And if you’re like me, you drink a lot. No I’m not talking about alcohol – that ended years ago. I’m talking about water or soda or tea or Gatorade or juice. Whatever it is that you choose to hydrate yourself with. And one of the other things that I picked up was a case of glass one-liter Teajava bottles that can literally be diluted down with water (strongest tea I’ve ever drank) to make a two-liter bottle you can take with yourself on the go. It’s convenient, and it’s relatively cheap, and you don’t have to worry about anything growing inside of your sun tea when you leave it out in the sun too long.
I bought a pair of sized 38 pants not too long ago. And while they’re still snug, they fit. I can squat down without ripping them. I don’t have to worry about bursting the button off. And at the end of the day, that’s what this is all about.
One day at a time.
One meal at a time.
One apple at a time.
That works for me.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.