Lately, I've become dismayed at the lengths people will go to put together a "healthy" meal. They'll jump through a dozen hoops to approximate the taste and texture of bread, pasta, meat, ice cream, even a damn cup of coffee.
Kevlar is meant to be bulletproof -- coffee is not. I seriously doubt Fred Flintstone was downing a 300-calorie mug of oily coffee before heading over to the Slate Rock and Gravel Co.
If you want ice cream/a burger/spaghetti bolognese/coffee with something in it, then have it -- just don't have them all at once.
I don't have "diet butter spray" in the house. I have expensive, grass-fed, organic real butter than you can't spray (or even spread for that matter). Frankly, I think that makes it an even better diet food. What better deterrant to using butter than the 7-dollar-ice-cold butter missle defense system?
There's also no gross sugar-free yogurt in the house.
Wait, I take that back. I have a quart of it but it's called "plain" and it's awesome with a teaspoon of honey and a tablespoon of chopped walnuts on it.
What that delightful little ad up there so beautifully illustrates is the magic of real food. The woman in the ad isn't busting open a box of Tuna Helper or reconstituting a package of Suddenly Salad (yes, it's a thing).
She's also not gnawing on the stick of butter like a Snickers bar.
No, she's practicing what I like to call extreme moderation. While preparing her real food for a real meal, she's having a little smidgen of butter on a piece of bread.
Call the gluten police!
(That's a whole other can o' worms that I won't get into but, yeah, Americans eat too much glutinous food in general and we should probably eat less bready stuff, but I'll give you my pizza when you pry it from my cold, dead, slightly greasy hands.)
If you have to put air quotes around your recipes, if dinner feels like a workaround, then are you really enjoying it? Food should be enjoyable, not a freakin' science experiment.
I'll end with Michael Pollan's reminder:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
(And maybe a little smidgen of butter.)