Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ants-on-a-Log: For Brighter, Healthier-Looking Skin

I went to see an aesthetician the other day to get my face "mapped" (don't ask). Since winter's hit, my skin has been dry, flaky, AND breaking out more than usual - which I wouldn't usually mind (besides the fact that it makes me look hideous), but the fact of the matter is that I'm back in the US in two weeks and will face the harshest skin critic of all: my mother. "Look at your skin," she'll say, hands folded, over breakfast. "So harsh. So dry. So bumpy. You take after your father," she'll say, before adding, "Not smooth at all. Look at mine! So smooth! No pimples! And all I use is Pond's and hot water!" Then she'll smile serenely at me. As if it were all that simple.

Not wanting to encounter this situation again, I plopped myself down in the beautician's treatment room and complained about my dull, pimply skin while rattling off my £250 (at least) worth-of-products skin regime. She assessed me with a steely eye. "How much water are you drinking?" she asked. "Um ... not enough," I mumbled. She tsked. "What's your diet like? Are you eating crunchy, green vegetables?" she asked, frowning down at my questionaire. "Um ..." I thought back to the last things I had consumed and it went something like this: red velvet cupcake (someone's birthday in the office), two chocolates (I said, it was someone's birthday), pizza for lunch (birthday lunch), two cookies for a mid-morning snack and Nutella over crumpets for breakfast. So ... the answer was, no. "You're not taking care of the inside! Just the outside!" she accused. "Eat more cucumber and spinach," she advised. "Drink more water!"

Her words still ringing in my ears, I vowed to drink more water at work. Instead of taking sips, I started gulping it down. And you know what? My skin drastically improved, over the period of a week or so. Inspired to keep it up, I decided to incorporate more veggies into my diet. Crunchy ones. Like ... celery! Except, with an American twist. I'm talking "Ants On a Log" here: celery sticks, peanut butter, with raisins on top. Peanut butter for that energy and protein boost, plus raisins for a little sweetness - the after school snack every American kid had.

Unsurprisingly, my choice of healthy snack was met by repulsion at work. It started like this: "Ooh, someone's being very healthy! Celery!" (pause) "Wait ... what are you doing with the peanut butter? And ... no ... you're not going to ... with the RAISINS?!"

Undeterred, I crunched my way through two mornings, until Alice came up for a visit and saw what I was eating. "You want some?" I said, wiping the corner of my mouth and offering her a "log". "Um, I'll have one. But without the peanut butter. Or the raisins," she replied, weakly. "Well, that's no good," I said. "You Americans are craaaazy," she laughed, still disgusted. "Well," I replied hotly. "You Brits are boooorrringg." Which I thought was a pretty good retort.

Photo source


  1. Whatever, doubters, ants-on-a-log is great. I've also been known to make peanut butter and spinach sandwiches, though, so my taste in PB & veggies is probably not mainstream. (The sandwiches are not at all bad! And they're a great, easy way to get some protein and some vitamins and feel full afterwards.)

  2. I might try spinach and peanut butter next, Marjorie!


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