Friday, March 11, 2005

Curse the Girl Scouts and Their Sugary Goodness!

It's cookie time again. Since I don't actually know any girl children between the ages of 2 and 20, I have been forced in recent years to depend on fate to deliver the cookie crack to my doorstep. Usually there are dealers on the campus of my school around the end of February, but as I hadn't seen any by last weekend I was starting to get a little panicky that I might have missed them. So I took it to the next level: I stalked.

Yes. I went to the Hoosier Girl Scout Council website and looked up the schedule for freelance cookie selling in the Indpls area; then I "casually" happened to go grocery shopping at O'Malia's. Sure enough, I was accosted at the door by three girls in brownie uniforms, sashes aglow with all the badges I never earned, offering me their wares. I played hard to get, made a show of needing to go buy some produce (I got some green beans, two overripe nectarines, and a nice mango) and then came back and dropped $15 on their table, grabbed 5 boxes and scurried off to my car to eat some before I even turned on the ignition.

The thin mints aren't the problem. I love 'em, but as addictive cookies go they're not all THAT bad; I eat a few in March and throw the rest in the freezer, to be broken out and eaten on my "I had a horrible day and I deserve something special" days. I usually run out in January, I'm pretty good about parcelling them out. But the Samoas are another matter. They're amazing... And they are heart-stoppingly bad for you. If you've never had one, they're a shortbread ring, topped with caramel and toasted coconut, bottomed and striped with dark chocolate. It's like a Twix bar on overload. I don't even like coconut, and I can't leave these things alone. One cookie is 75 calories, of which 35 come from fat. Compare this to the Thin Mint, which has about 35 calories per cookie, 15 from fat. Add in the fact that for your $3 per box, you get 15 Samoas, versus about 40 Thin Mints. Obesity, thy name is Scouting. It would be faster and cheaper if a Girl Scout just came to your door, rang the bell, and shot you instead of making you fill out the order form.

Don't get me wrong, though--I'm all for the scouts and their cookie pushing ways. I was a scout for about 8 years myself, I even stuck with it after my troop dissolved in 9th grade and I got merged with another troop. (Then I quit--the other troop was just boring. My mom had been the leader of Troop #1309, and we did all kinds of great stuff that other scouts didn't do. We didn't go camping much, but that's another story.) It's just that the arrival of Cookie Time coincided with the implementation of a diet and exercise plan, and I've gotten off to a wobbly start. I'm not "on a diet," mind you. I'm making some longterm changes in what I eat and how I eat it. It's not about counting carbs or calories (though I know that works for a lot of people! no offense implied) but more about eating natural foods, organic when possible; eating more fruit and vegetables; eating snacks throughout the day rather than huge meals with big spaces in between; and following an exercise program. Cookies, while not verbotten, are certainly not meant to be a daily accoutrement in the plan. It's all good, though, I finished one box of samoas and the other is in the freezer—and unlike Thin Mints, Samoas can't be eaten when frozen! I'd have to take time to defrost them to avoid breaking (another) tooth, and that cuts the whole impulse eating thing by 90%. I might even still have them come next January....

In an intriguing coincidence, another blogger has chosen the name cautionary tale for her trials and tribulations; her name is alex, and she apologized to me on her blog the moment she realized our names were so similar. I would probably never have even known, except that I noticed a canadian ISP had spent a bunch of time on this site and I thought, odd... I don't know any Canadians! So I went over to her site, and there's this apology. I figure, great minds think alike, so she must be cool. Anyway, if you happen to find her instead of me when you're googling "cautionary tale", say hi. I leave for Vegas on Sunday, so hopefully will return with tales of wild debauchery. Or, more likely, not.