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Noodle No No

Last night my brother, paranoidJOE, told me he’d run up a big credit card bill this month from eating out and was thinking of stocking up on some Ramen noodles since they’re so cheap. I reacted as if he’d told me he was going to sprinkle arsenic on his taco salad.

“No! Anything but the Ramen!”

I’ve eaten a flying spaghetti monster worth of Ramen noodles in my life, and damn they are quick and yummy. But they are so far from South Beach Diet friendly they’re practically Pacific Northwest. Oh the carbohydrates! Oh, the lack of dietary fiber! The horror, the horror!

Which just goes to show how completely my mindset towards food has changed in the past year. Last October, I would have chowed down on a packet of Ramen with no guilt at all. But now I have all this knowledge about its dietary content and how my blood sugar will spike and then crash and I can’t in good conscience eat them anymore. Oh, the burden of knowledge! Ignorance really can be bliss.

I really hope my brother does not break down and purchase a pile of Ramen noodles. He was the one that got me on the South Beach Diet to begin with and he’s worked so hard to lose 80 pounds on it. I’d hate to see him rebound.

But I also empathize with his financial situation. He moved out on his own for the first time a couple months ago, so he’s just recently learned how damn expensive simply existing is. Shelter, food, gas – you never realize how much that all costs until you’re paying your own bills. I’m also hard pressed to come up with a healthy alternative that is as cheap as Ramen.

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Kirsten • October 14, 2005 at 8:09 am

I’m not totally sure what ramen noodles are. But if they’re the dried kind that come in sort of tangled clumps that you add boiling water to, I’m right there in agreement.

I used to cook them when I lived on my own, because they were quick and easy and I am a rubbish cook – and found that apart from the lack of nutritional value, the blocks they came in were an invitation to overeat. Each one-person clump, once cooked, was a bit more than I needed, but it didn’t seem worth leaving one-third of a block of cooked noodles. (I did try breaking the dry clumps up, but then I just ended up with uncooked noodle fragments all over the place.)

Not sure what I can propose as a cheap alternative, as I don’t know what South Beach permits. But if you can cut out meat for a little while, that makes life much cheaper. Dried pulses (like lentils and chickpeas) are cheap compared to canned, and you can either make them into terrines etc. or make soup.

Then again, some people hate pulses…


PastaQueen • October 14, 2005 at 6:56 pm

Yeah, those dried up block so noodles are what I’m talking about. They are really big with the college crowd.

I doubt my brother would be able to cut out meat. He does some weight lifting and needs the protein. He also really likes meat :)


Mark • October 15, 2005 at 9:06 am

Some of those ramen noodles are deep fried. Check the ingredients list for oil or fat content. There’s also an air-drying process, depending on the company.


Kirsten • October 17, 2005 at 4:24 am

I lift weights too, and I’ve been a vegetarian for 14 years. Although I am vaguely wondering whether some whey protein powder might be a good thing to try out.

(I’m not at all a crusading vegetarian – the suggestion was just prompted by memories of non-veggie friends at college wondering how my grocery bill was always so much smaller than theirs! It was not because I ate less, believe me.)


Dana • July 26, 2009 at 12:33 am

Shirataki noodles are great when you want a noodle fix, they’re just nowhere near as cheap as ramen. However, they’re a hell of a lot less harmful. They’re basically just a smidgen of fiber, and totally gluten-free.


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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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