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Snacko

by on September 18, 2013

“Hi, my name is Dave, and I’m a snackoholic. Yeah, it’s kind of embarrassing how much I eat, so I just kind of owned it.”

In the military, we often have a snack bar in our units. There’s a term called the “Snacko” that sometimes gets thrown around. I first heard it in Japan, where coworkers said “Snacko-san.” I assumed it meant the snack bar. But Urban Dictionary informs me that it’s a joking name for the lowest ranking officer, the individual tasked with refreshing snack supplies.

There’s an additional duty no one wants!

Some days at work, I find myself constantly grazing. Snacking. Munching. Whatever you want to call it, my hand is constantly picking up a small morsel of something to eat.

I’ve been doing the same job for 18 years, and I have tried to fight that habit. But it persists.

I’ve tried strict diet programs, calorie counts, restrictive food choices, and even the popular advice of “Just put down the fork, son.” Those all work great for a time, then snap on a bad day. And when I fail and give up the strict regime, I end up worse than before.

So I’ve gone all Bruce Lee and embraced this situation in order to defeat it.

They forgot about his most famous quote: Waaa-PAAAAAAH!!!

They forgot about his most famous quote: Waaa-PAAAAAAH!!!

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

Instead of a bag of chips, I’ll pack a microwave steamer bag of green beans… they come out crisp, perfect to nibble on one at a time. For a change, in the past I’ve tossed them in a pan with some garlic powder and a touch of cooking spray oil to brown them up.

I skip the sodas and sugary energy drinks for my thermos of black coffee (ok, I do put in some Splenda) and a big bottle of water.

I just finished carving up three fresh peppers into a tupperware dish: one green, one yellow, one red. They’ll make a sweet, juicy treat in the middle of the day.

Skip the fast food or the giant sandwiches and microwaveable meals (though there are certainly healthy options). That’s why God made beef jerky or a string cheese for some protein, and steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots for some vegetables with a touch of fiber.

Fruit’s an option. I squirrel away granola bars in my backpack for the occasional snack between meals. I can even spare an unhealthy favorite treat now and then. (Jelly Bellies are a favorite, despite their hilarious “fat free food” label.)

Doing this gives me room in even a fairly strict diet to splurge on things like the cheesy hash browns with ground beef on my dinner plate.

For me as a snackoholic, it’s all about finding the happy medium: never ravenous, never stuffed. If I’m ravenous, I’m prone to terrible decisions about food choice and portion size. If I’m stuffed, it’s most likely because I made those terrible decisions already.

But if I’m never hungry, merely peckish, nibbling on this or that out of the healthy options I’ve set aside, then even a day of snacking works out just fine.

When I pay attention to what I make available to myself, I can stop paying so much attention to how much of it I’m eating.

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From → Lunch Box

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