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Laura Kessel is managing editor of The News-Herald in Willoughby. She writes a weekly column and shares her thoughts here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Year of the fruit?

It's been about six weeks since Weight Watchers changed its program, and I'm still grumbling.

But now I'm grumbling for different reasons.

At first, I was concerned when the massively popular diet program altered its points system from one based on a formula that took into account calories, fat and fiber, to one that measures fat, fiber, carbohydrates and protein.

In the world of Weight Watchers, "free" is key. Free translates to no points. Point-free food is what you load your plate with to get that feeling that you're full.

Before the switch, most vegetables were "free." Starchy ones (potatoes, corn, peas) were not.

After the switch, most vegetables still are "free." But (cue the heavenly music), so too is ALL fruit.

An apple? Yes! A pear? Yes! A banana? Yes!

You got it. It's all "free"!

"Free" also means that you can have it with every meal. Before, under the old program, those who followed Weight Watchers rarely ate fruit, because they didn't waste their daily points.

The new program encourages better, or more healthy, choices.

If you just count me, I'd say it's a success. I'm eating fruit about five times a day, and in more variety than ever before. Blueberries, blackberries, apples, pineapple, canteloupe, mango, banana and grapes were in yesterday's intake.

It's sweet and satisfying. It's also quite expensive.

Thus the grumbling.

It's just another example of what I've been saying for years -- it's more expensive to eat healthy. You can get a couple burgers, fries and a Coke at McDonald's for the price I pay for a bag of grapes at the supermarket.

But, in addition to tasting good, it's also starting to show in the waistline. And, you don't get that under the golden arches.

No, there you get a spare tire and a sluggish feeling.

 I guess good taste, healthy feeling and a little weight loss is worth the pricey fruits I'm picking up all over town.

Laura Kessel


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