In the Oct. 30, 2009 issue of Entertainment Weekly horror writer Stephen King took a break from scaring people and instead wrote an article on a humorous look into snacking while watching TV and movies. This is soon after writing an article on a gastronomical tour of the movie-theater concession stand. He is obviously no health expert. He is just throwing out some funny ‘wisdom’ for healthy snacking at home or your local theater.
Whenever he visits his local movie theater:
I always start my order with the ritual drink — Diet Pepsi if possible, Coke Zero as a fallback, Diet Coke the court of last resort. A big diet cola sops up the calories and cholesterol contained in movie snack food just like a big old sponge soaks up water. This is a proven fact. One expert (me) believes a medium diet cola drink can lower your cholesterol by 20 points and absorb as much as one thousand empty calories. And if you say that’s total crap, I would just point out I don’t call it a ritual drink for nothing. Sometimes I add a strawberry smoothie with lots of whipped cream, but I’m always sure to take enough sips of my ritual drink to absolve me of those calories, too.
And although it’s a matter of personal choice, I myself don’t eat movie meat (go on, snicker, I can take it). My motto is “Never buy a hot dog that’s been waiting in a foil Baggie under a heat lamp.” For all you know, that stray dog could have been there since Revenge of the Sith. Nachos are good, but only if you get the reserve swimming pool of cheese sauce, because one is never enough.
Oh, and never buy loose candy at the movies. Loose candy is a calorie trap. Buy your candy in boxes, then shake it — hard! — before opening. Shaking candy either knocks those pesky calories right out, where they stick to the cardboard, or kills them. And it doesn’t take a genius to understand that a dead calorie can’t make you fat.
When snacking at home, he suggests:
First, know your enemy: the insidious calorie. You have to limit your intake of those little beasts. But does that mean you have to limit your snacks? No. Just remember to tap your food. When you sit down in front of FlashForward or Lost with a few doughnuts (”a few,” by definition, is six), remember to tap each one on a hard surface before starting to munch. Doing this causes the calories to sink (it’s simple gravity). Then, when you eat your doughnut, just remember not to eat the bottom part. Throw it away (or feed it to the dog), because that’s where the calories are. The rest of your doughnut is calorie-free.
You can food-tap a whole host of tasty snacks: popcorn, brownies (if they’re hard enough to tap without crumbling to bits), even ice cream bars (harder smacks on these are necessary to dislodge the calories). Tapping won’t work with cakes and pies, but fortunately for the devoted snacker, cakes and pies are what nutritional experts call baked goods, and when stuff is baked, the calories shrink from the heat and draw in to the center. So, when you serve yourself a nice fat wedge of chocolate pie, just remember to cut off the pointy end, because that’s where the calories are. When enjoying angel-food or Bundt cake, cut around the center ring and throw it away. The rest of the cake is calorie-free (except for the frosting, but you can’t have everything).
I’ve read many of Stephen King’s novels and short stories and I’ve never seen him show his sense of humor like this. Of course, take his suggestions with a grain of salt. Speaking of, limit your salt intake and enjoy the show.
What are your favorite snacks while TV and movie watching?