Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I've got the solution to America's obesity problem right here.

Andrew came home from school earlier than he had planned to today, kind of surprising me. I was just about to take a nap since Rachel had just gone down for one. He said he'd join me because he's feeling sick, too, now. What he doesn't realize is that him being sick is against the rules. He's not allowed to get sick.

Rachel woke up at around 3:00 PM and since Andrew hadn't seen her since 9:00 AM yesterday I poked him awake and firmly suggested that he go spend some one-on-one time with our daughter while I spent some more one-on-one time with our nap. Clearly both Rachel and nap time have been feeling a little neglected lately and I thought it only fair that we divide our parental attentions accordingly.

After much poking and prodding he finally surrendered his will to the cause and got out of bed. I stayed in bed but I didn't fall back asleep. Instead I started thinking about what to make for dinner. When I made my list for the week (yes, I'm back to making lists, but only for the week since going shopping for the whole month here is impossible; the fresh food rots too fast) I wasn't sick, at least not very sick, so I thought that I would have more energy than I actually had this week. I've ignored my list and focused on easy dinners that don't really require much cooking.

This means that I have a lot of produce to use up in the next few days, which is fine, except that I still feel not very energetic and chopping vegetables doesn't sound appealing. I have potatoes to use but I don't really liked baked potatoes which means that I have to chop them up somehow and that sounds like a lot of work to me.

Since I was technically still having nap time I took a little while to daydream and entered the land of "What Ifs."

You know how grocery stores, even here, have a deli counter where you order your meat or cheese and they say, "Sliced or shaved?" (I like mine shaved, personally, so I usually say, "Shaved, please.")...And then they put it in/on that cool meat-cutting (or cheese-cutting) machine and 10 seconds later you have neat little pieces of thinly sliced lunch meat?

That is totally awesome because then you don't have to spend the time slicing your own lunch meat. It's so much faster than using left-over Thanksgiving turkey in your lunch because it's basically pre-prepared, yet still fresh.

Well, what if they had some cool machines like that in the produce department?

Then you could pick out your kilo of potatoes for dinner, walk up to the slicer-guys and say, "I'd like these cubed, please." And then they'd do it in like 10 seconds in their cool dicing machine.

Or if you wanted your carrots sliced Julienne-style you'd just take it up to the slicer-guys and say so and 10 seconds later they'd hand you a package of Julienned carrots.

Do you know how much time that would save? Tons. And I think it would motivate people to eat more healthy meals. So much so, in fact, that I probably just solved America's obesity problem.

There are some downsides, like having to go shopping more often because sliced produce goes bad faster than non-sliced produce. Of course, you face that same dilemma with meat and cheese, right?

Also, Egypt has juice stands in some of their grocery stores where you buy oranges (and grapes now, too) specifically to have them squished into orange juice (or grape juice, respectively). America needs to get the memo on that one because I'm sure going to miss fresh juice when we get like a year and a half.


  1. Brrrrrrilliant! (Roll the R please)

  2. They have machines and stuff like that. you just have to actually watch tv and watch for the promo spot to call. Then you get the vegetable cutting machine, a "free" second vegetable cutting machine for a friend, and a "free" set of knives for only 3 installments of $19.99 plus shipping and handling.

  3. I know they have stuff like that...but then I still have to do all the work of preparing the vegetables and cleaning the machines. Ideally someone would do that for me.

    Apparently I'm just feeling lazy today.

    After I complained about how long it took to cut up potatoes Andrew went ahead and cut them up for me. So now all I have to do is clean up.

    That works almost as well as having them do it at the store.

  4. Please start a fresh juice and vegetable chopping business upon your return. Thank you.

  5. I know, I'm numbering the things I'll miss about Egypt, cheap, fresh stuff is at the top of the list. And yogurt. They need to get on the 'good yogurt' bandwagon. Juhayna, i will miss u.

  6. I often chop all my vegetables in one go. And then when I putting a lunch together three days later and realize I want green bell peppers? They're ready! It's convenient, eventually.

  7. I love this! I concur.. you have most definitely solved America's obesity problem :) And, I agree with everything you said about the fresh fruits/vegetables.. I love them here, wish they could be chopped (ps-I've found pre-sliced apples in the grocery store in America, and the veggie trays, but that's about it), and will miss them dearly come June.

  8. I want this. I want it enough that I might invent it. I will be opening a grocery store that does that, and ALL of your blog friends will shop there, because clearly this is a good idea.