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Posted on Friday, January 5th, 2007

Dave!The first email I opened this morning was somebody saying "You are a f#@%ing asshole and your blog sucks!" Ordinarily, I'd be thrilled to receive such well-written and thoughtful feedback, but this morning I wasn't in the mood. So instead of sending my usual automated reply ("Thank you so much for your lovely letter regarding Blogography, and I look forward to making you even more angry in the future!") I instead wrote back with this...

"Wow! You've figured it all out! I make my blog suck ON PURPOSE because, as you have so astutely surmised, I AM an asshole! Congratulations on your brilliance, and I hope you die real soon now so my secret will be safe!"

Then I got worried that by hoping somebody else is going to die, I might be wishing death upon myself, and suddenly became concerned about my health and well-being. Perhaps a diet of candy, chips, and Coke with Lime is just the excuse that irony is looking for to kill me off? Well screw that. I'm going to start eating healthier snacks!

So there I am at the health-bar aisle of the grocery store looking at the hundreds of healthy alternatives to candy. I am amazed at how expensive it all is. But what's money compared to my health? Nothing! So I scoop up an assortment of yummy-sounding bars, pay my $25 (holy crap!) and am on my way.

Once I get to work I decide to have a health bar for breakfast. GAH! IT'S HORRIBLE! HORRIBLE!! Dumbstruck at the foul taste in my mouth, I spit it into a garbage can while making a mental note to never buy that brand again. Then I try another one, AND IT'S EVEN WORSE! ACK!!! I PAID $2.99 for THIS?!? After spitting my fifth health bar in the trash, I'm screaming "OH LORD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME??" as I open up number six, which is called a "Bumble Bar."

Bumble Bar Almond still tastes outrageously bad but, compared to the first five I tried, it's at least edible. So there I am chomping away on gobs of seeds and sticks, trying my best to be happy at how healthy I'm going to be from all this suffering. At least I was, until I looked at the Nutrition Facts...

Nutrition Facts

WTF?!?

Seriously, WTF?!? It's the same calories and fat content as a tasty Hershey Bar with Almonds! About the only difference is 2 grams more fiber, 4 grams less saturated fat, and an additional 18% iron!

Holy shit. Give me back my frackin' candy! I'll just eat a handful of Shredded Wheat for breakfast to make up the difference in fiber, and suck on a nail to get that extra 18% iron.

What really frosts my cake is that I could have bought FORTY candy bars for the money I paid for these ten "health" bars. This blows. The ones I threw out are probably healthier because they tasted worse, but I'd rather die than have to eat that crap for the rest of my life. Better to die young and happy from snacking on junk than old and miserable from eating disgusting health bars.

Maybe I'll just starting taking a vitamin with my first can of Coke with Lime of the day? That's probably the same thing anyway. Yes, thanks to vitamins, I can be healthy and still eat delicious crap! Modern science is great.

Yargh. Karma dictates I find something good to blog about now. Fortunately, I have a book that's totally sweet to talk about in an extended entry...

A while back, I received a wonderful self-published cartoon book about the Hindu deities by Sanjay Patel (who works at Pixar Animation Studios). After passing it around to dozens of people, it became a bit ragged and worn which was kind of a bummer, but I was happy so many people had been enjoying it.

Wisely, Peguin Books picked it up for publication, so I decided to purchase a fresh copy to have on my bookshelf. Today it finally arrived, and I was once again reminded what a cool little book it is...

Sanjay Patel: Hindu Deities

If, like me, you have trouble remembering Shiva's manifestations or can't seem to keep straight the ten incarnations of Vishnu... this is the book for you. Heck, even if you have no interest in the Hindu faith at all, I'd still recommend getting this book. Not only is it wonderfully illustrated, but it's endlessly entertaining as well. The various Hindu gods and goddesses all have fantastic stories of adventure, mystery, and beauty that can be enjoyed by anyone. Learning a bit about Indian culture and religion along the way is just the icing on the cake.

Kali and Davena
Hanging out with Kali and hoping not to get the measles.

When it comes to Hinduism, I've only studied the Bhagavad Gita, which is the most famous part of the epic Mahabharata. Reading Patel's cartoon book only makes me want to go further, but it's a daunting task (the entire text has got to be 2 or 3 times larger than The Bible). Fortunately, there are a number of English translations and abridgments out there, I just need to find one I like and get to it. In the meanwhile, "The Little Book of Hindu Deities" is a happy read that I'm very glad to have found again.

For more information on the book and to see some terrific sample pages, head over to Ghee Happy, which is Sanjay Patel's official site. You can buy the book from Amazon for just $11.50 by clicking here.


Categories: Blogging 2006, Books, Dave ApprovedClick To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Alexis says:

    Man, I totally could’ve used that book years ago in my Eastern Religions class! I remember pouring over “The Complete Idiots Guide to Hinduism” the night before the final because I simply could not keep everything straight!

    And besides that, it looks adorable, and will feed my addiction to all things even remotely Pixar-related…

  2. diane says:

    Yes, I just looooove how easy it is to eat healthy in our culture (sarcasm). I found a wonderful new store here called The Sunflower Market–it’s way brighter and more extensive than Whole Foods–but to shop there regularly I’d have to sell a major organ.
    I am addicted to FruitaBu though, and it’s both healthy and reasonable. Plus I like “Smooshed Fruit” as it sounds wayyy better than “Fruit Leather.”
    That book looks awesome! And I am all for supporting independent artists. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kyra says:

    Ok, my personal trainer side is going to take over for a minute: Go buy an apple, Dave! :) As far as bars, they’re SO nasty, but the ones I CAN stand are Zone Bars (chocolate caramel, Chocolate peanutbutter, mint chocolate. The other ones I don’t know about) http://www.zoneperfect.com/products.aspx They’re a heck of a lot cheaper too (you can buy em by the box for about 70 cents a bar.) The health stats are a LOT better. The health bar industry drives me absolutely BONKERS, only a few are legit replcasements for a healthy meal – most are just jacked up candy, and the few that aren’t are like chewing on melted compressed old tires. *blecht* But the zone ones I actually like, if I am having a chocolate freakout, and shouldn’t give in just yet. ;)

    I liked the massive portion of the Mahabharata I studied in college. A nice translation that was over 2000 pages, and made my eyes cross, but I enjoyed it more than the Odyssey. Give me a woman who strikes real fear into the heart of men, unlike circe and her island of pigs…er…men. (of course, maybe they were pretty darn scared. Just think of Odysseyus’s fate being held captive by a stunning goddess and being forced to be intimate. Horror of horrors.)

  4. ms. sizzle says:

    remember just the other day when i said there was no food in your food? ahem! but seriously, start small. like add a vegetable with the chips or something. eat some tofu or beans and wash it down with the coke with lime. those bars are pretty icky tasting, i agree.

    your reply to the dicktard who said your blog sucks? pure brilliance! :)

  5. suze says:

    Cool. I’ve not even read the Bhagavad Gita (although it is sitting on my bookshelf along with other spiritual texts that I mean to read soon), so this book would be very useful.

  6. Avitable says:

    My wife would love that book. Remind me in April so I can get it for her birthday, please.

  7. Hilly says:

    Not to sound like Sizzle’s love-monkey but uh…she is totally right about there being no food in your food. Those health bars are just as bad as candy…you are right. Maybe an oatmeal bar or snacks that are like string cheese and nuts? Bwahaha, lookit me trying to convert you.

    It absolutely is awful that it costs more to eat healthily than it does to stuff mac n cheese with a side of ramen down your gullet.

    And I seriously don’t understand why people think you are such an asshole…you are a Kate Cupcake through and through ;).

  8. nancycle says:

    Hey Dave – there’s a time and a place for those “health bars”. Like if you’re on a trail and rather than eating the bark off a tree you gleefully peel back the wrapper.

    You’re so wise…OK, anyway, um…oh, yeah. Apples. Bananas. They could be your friend. Small cups of apple sauce. Oh-um…Toast, whole wheat of course…Those baby carrots are good snack food.

    Welcome to “The Mom” in me.

  9. adena says:

    I love Hinduism…..it’s so colorful, and the gods are so interesting.

    I got hooked when I was in India, and got to see all those crazy shrines, and brought back many a diety w/ me.

    That book looks fun!

    As far as health bars…they’re all disgusting. The only one that I actually like, and will eat (if I’m feeling an urge to be healthy) is a Balance Bar, flavor “Yogurt Honey Peanut”. But, let me state that is the ONLY Balance bar that is even remotely edible.

    Remember…Yogurt Honey Peanut.

  10. Karl says:

    Dude, totally go with the candy. Or as Kyra mentions, an apple or banana. Those “health” bars are friggin’ deadly.

  11. Cavan says:

    I really like Protein2Go bars, but mostly because they taste like sweet, sweet candy. A 72 gram bar gets you 22 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat, though they do manage to cram a lot of carbs in there.

    But, I mean, who cares about nutritional stats when they come in flavours like Pralines & Cream, Double Chocolate Supreme and Fudgy Peanut Butter Cup.

  12. vicky says:

    I’ve done the same thing-decided to start eating “healthier” and gone for those GD bars. Nutrition facts aside, they’re horrible!!! I bought the peanut butter and chocolate ones, because I’m a sucker for anything involving peanut butter and chocolate. Except I’m convinced they’re made of compressed sand, with maybe a dash of tar for chewiness. bleccchhhh…..
    Keep up with the diet of candy, chips, cookies, and coke with lime. Lime counts as a fruit, right? At least you won’t get scurvy!

  13. That book looks perfect for a gift I’ve been needing to buy!

    Also, if you don’t want to go full on fruits and veggies, may I recommend Wendy’s Frosties? Chocolately goodness AND 10 grams of fiber.

  14. vicky says:

    Holy Vishnu!! I’m all set to buy the book, and go to gheehappy.com to check out the website, and, and, and, I’m going to hyperventilate! I can buy prints, and t-shirts??? The art is adorable, (paled in comparison of course to EVERYTHING drawn on blogography), and now I can surround myself in it 24-7! Yippee!!! See, one recommendation for a book and you completely make one girl’s day! Thank you!

  15. kilax says:

    I am of the belief that you can eat anything you want as long as you don’t overdo it – want a diet entirely of donuts and burritos? Well, stay under 2000 calories a day and you should be fine! Some people don’t understand this – they think that only fad diets work, or following the food pyramid (because the USDA is really looking out for us… riiiiiiiiiiight), but I know you can eat what you want as long as you don’t eat too much and you will be fine.

    Of course, the truth is, if you follow a diet of only a few foods you will eventually get sick of it and crave healthier things… right, Dave? :)

  16. Kapha says:

    Suck on a nail for the extra iron!! lol!! :D

    We’ve been into really good – and constantly search for better – health bars forever and have come down to the following four. Note that the two Greens+ bars are 250 calories (just 20 above your two listed) but provide 20g of protein and less fat (and better fat at that).

    * Clif Bar – Peanut Butter Crunch – These have been good for years and are even better now. Not a meal replacement per se but make a great inbetween bar. Beware lots of flavors of Clif Bars are tooooo sweet – this one isn’t. Can often get for $0.99 apiece if you buy a box at a time (or look at the right stores – often not at health food stores).

    * Clif Bar “Builder’s Bars” – Peanut Butter – EXCELLENT chocolate and peanut butter mix, great texture/flavor, 20g protein, lots of fiber, can act as a small meal replacement, very satisfying. The “Chocolate Mint” flavor is pretty good as a dessert if you didn’t get enough to eat, but personally I think the “Chocolate” and “Cookies n’ Cream” flavors are awful (and I LOVE good dark chocolate).

    * Greens+ “Protein Bar” – Natural (Peanut Butter) flavor – These are top-notch and two (often just one) act as a meal replacement – just be sure to drink a glass of water with them, as they are “dense” but taste great. The Chocolate Peanut Butter is excellent for choco-holics, but not to be taken after 6pm unless you want to stay up late (the chocolate also flakes so is not a good choice when driving, where these others are as they can be opened with one hand!). Also be aware that the labels for these bars look VERY similar to their other bar, the “energy” bar, listed next:

    * Greens+ “Energy Bar” – Hands down the best “green” type bar we’ve ever had. Delicious. Good for when you need energy. Do NOT eat one in the evening or at night unless you are planning on staying up! Also you can usually eat half of one – they are surprisingly filling and satisfying. Prefer the plain greens flavor. Try eating one with Dark Chocolate-covered Espresso Beans when you REALLY need some energy! ;)

    We’ve been into health bars since before they were everywhere and are constantly on the lookout for new/better ones. Some good ones have come and gone, but the above listed four have been staples for us for the past year or two. We don’t bother with any of the other ones – so many taste terrible, are too sweet, or make you sleepy, etc.

    Also, if you really get into the Greens+ bars (we buy like 6 cases a month), it’s best to order from an on-line source to get the price down to $1.99 or less per bar.

    Hope this helps! :)

    Since this is already a huge reply, here’s the ingredient list for the Greens+ bars. It amazes me they can make something with all this in it taste fantastic and actually give you energy for whatever you’re doing (both bars keep me going through hours of software engineering):

    Greens+ Protein Bar (Natural Flavor) Ingredients: Organic peanut butter, whey protein isolate, organic agave nectar, organic quinoa sprout powder, original GREENS+® powder (non-gmo soy lecithin, organic Hawaiian spirulina, organic apple fiber, barley grass powder, wheat grass powder, Japanese chlorella, hydroponic soy sprouts, organic brown rice bran, sprouted barley malt, alfalfa grass powder, royal jelly, Montana bee pollen, acerola berry juice, natural vitamin E, licorice root powder, milk thistle extract, echinacea root extract, Siberian eleuthero root extract, astragalus root extract, licorice root extract, organic red beet juice, dunaliella salina algae, organic Nova Scotia Dulse, organic ginkgo biloba leaf extract, organic Japanese green tea extract, grape seed and skin extract, organic Swedish bilberry extract), extra virgin coconut oil, mixed tocopherols (natural vitamin E).

    Greens+ Energy Bar (Natural Flavor) Ingredients: Organic medjool dates, organic almond butter, organic quinoa sprout powder, non-gmo soy protein isolate, original GREENS+® powder (non-gmo soy lecithin, organic Hawaiian spirulina, organic apple fiber, barley grass powder, wheat grass powder, Japanese chlorella, hydroponic soy sprouts, organic brown rice bran, sprouted barley malt, alfalfa grass powder, dairy-free probiotics, royal jelly, Montana bee pollen, acerola berry juice, natural vitamin E, licorice root powder, milk thistle extract, echinacea root extract, Siberian Eleuthero root extract, astragalus root extract, licorice root extract, organic red beet juice, dunaliella salina algae, organic Nova Scotia Dulse, organic ginkgo biloba leaf extract, organic Japanese green tea extract, grape seed and skin extract, organic Swedish bilberry extract), organic rice crisps, wildflower honey, mixed tocopherols (natural vitamin E).

  17. Kevin says:

    Dude, you weigh what, a buck sixty? And you need to live healthier? Uh huh. Sure. Just go for a walk at night and do the shredded wheat idea. You’ll be fine.

  18. amanda says:

    I agree with Kyra also…the highly manufactured and processed “health food” is often jsut as bad for you as candy. Get thee to a Whole Foods!

  19. undisciplined says:

    Hah, I can definitely empathize with the bite, grimace, and toss! I’ve come to love Golden Temple Wha Guru Chew -Almond Ginger. Satisfies a sweet craving and is economical when compared to other health bars. Try it, it’s delicious. Bumblebar wouldn’t be so bad if they toasted the sesame seeds. Bleah! See, I tried that one too! Don’t let that pretty packaging fool you!

    Hope some good karma comes your way soon because I am absolutely buying that adorable book!

  20. Neil says:

    I’m telling you, no self-respecting Hindu deity would eat a piece of junk called a Bumblebar.

  21. Eve says:

    Kapha’s got it right. Those Clif bars are delicious and healthy too, I eat them for breakfast a lot. The same company makes Luna bars, which are marketed towards women, but I’m sure men can eat them too (LOL!). Truthfully, all those bars are probably not the best for your health, since they are loaded with sugar and other crap. But, I’m not really a breakfast eater and I don’t want to be bothered, so I go with the bar (it’s that or nothing). For lunch and dinner, I stay healthy with lots of veggies, tofu, brown rice (though, regular pasta shows up a lot in my meals too).

    That Hindu book looks really interesting. I’ll have to put it on my list of things to check out.

  22. Laurence says:

    You are so lovely when you answer at a hate-mail !!! I really like yours answers!!! :-)

    Health-bars are not a good idea… Try the French cuisine :-p

    And I love always Lil’ Dave… And I love the design of the Ghee Happy site… It is very cool…

  23. Naomi says:

    Health food–inarguably–is an invention of the devil.

  24. WanderingStar says:

    Oh I adore that book! I didn’t know if anyone had really heard of it. I heard he had written it as a simpler read for his kids or something? I dunno, but it’s fantastic :)

  25. Bob237 says:

    I don’t want to rub salt (EVIL!! Bad for you…) into your wounds but…The whole “health foods” schtick is a bunch of BS – there is ZERO scientific evidence that so called “organic” foods (all meats & vegetables on this planet consist of complex carbon based molecules – which any chemist will tell you are ORGANIC compounds) are any better for you than “regular” products. It’s all a triumph of hype and hyperbole – coupled with consumer ignorance (“This shit tastes bad so it must be good for you”). BUT the result is that the food industry gets to sell you stuff like those crappy bars at a premium beecause it or you have convinced yourself that you are doing yourself a favor by paying that ridiculous price…. somewhere PT Barnum is laughing his ass off!

    Also look at who owns a lot of these companies.A lot aren’t mom & pop farms or the local grocer, but are divisions or subsidiaries of (EVIL!) companies like General Foods, Swift, Proctor & Gamble (Yeah…the SOAP makers for &deity;s sake!)They’d be crazy to jump into this end of business, it’s the fastest growing portion (it’s just about he only portion showing growth. Fast foods & convenience – microwave – foods are mature markets…is there any place on the North American Plate that isn’t five minutes from a Mickey Dee’s?) and they get to charge a premium price for very little additional outlay.

    My dad spent 35 years in the food industry (the fact that he was a chemical engineer should tell you a lot about what really goes on inside those plants (grin)) He was chief design engineer for the world’s first computer controller sugar refinery (Boston, 1960…your watch has more computing power than the whole plant did), then spent ten years as assistant to the VP of R&D and finished up his last 15 years as technical assistant to the VP-Operations (IOW, one of the company’s top trouble shooters)and held several patents in food technology. So I think he knew what he was talking about.

    His advice? Eat and drink whatever you want, but in moderation, and get exercise. Following this regimen, mom made it to 88 and dad to 90. So I try to avoid snacks (if I do snack or go to a party I cut down the portion size in my regular meals. Do NOT skip meals…you get ravenous and then overeat) and I walk a few miles every evening after dinner. I’ve been taking these walks since my college days and find it helps clear my head and cleanse my soul as well…nothing like a couple of miles around campus at midnight in February with the stars so clear they are like diamonds…

    BTW, you’ll be interested to know that home purchases of sugar is just a minor part of the market. The vast majority of it goes to the food and bottling industries. Your friends at Coke (Pepsi & 7-Up as well) have very stringent requirements about the quality of sugar they get. Not the sugar itself, but the trace compounds that it contains (this mainly results from the climate and location that the sugar is grown in…Puerto Rican sugar has different trace compounds in and proportions that Jamaican sugar does). These trace compounds affect things color taste, pH, etc. As the trouble shooter, Dad would often get called in when a batch for one of these companies tested off-spec for these traces to figure out how to redeem the situation. In some cases all that could be done was to prepare a new batch and sell the old one to an off-brand producer.

    Eatin moderation and tell the “health food” industry to “take a hike” (while do yours)!

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