I’m a health coach and I love SPAM.
Is that an oxymoron? People get all self-conscious about their food choices around me when they hear I’m a health coach. They’ll say things like, “Is this okay to eat?” or “I probably shouldn’t eat this in front of you.” I’m not the food police, honest! In fact, I think it’s really healthy to enjoy your food, whether it’s doughnuts or kale salad, although I draw the line at the deep fried butter on a stick at the Iowa State Fair (that’s just gross).
Did you know there’s a SPAM museum in Austin Minnesota? After driving by the sign for the SPAM museum for 18 years, I finally went to check it out.
Can you believe that every hour 44,000 cans of spam, or 33,000 pounds, are produced
worldwide? SPAM is in more than 40 countries and there are 14 varieties of Spam available around the world, including Turkey Spam, Teriyaki Spam, and Spam with bacon, chorizo, or cheese. Hawaii consumes the most SPAM in the USA, approximately 7 million cans a year (can you believe that?). There was even an exhibit at the SPAM museum about Hawaii and their love of SPAM.
As a kid growing up in Hawaii, you have SPAM a lot.
I enjoyed SPAM in many ways but my favorite way to eat it was in SPAM musubi. I still make it today and my kids love it too. To make this delectable dish, you take regular SPAM (skip the teriyaki flavored one) slice it and fry in a pan until it gets nice and brown. Flip it over to brown the other side, then add the teriyaki sauce (I use Trader Joe’s soyaki) for a nice glaze. It’ll char a little, but that’s okay. Make sure both sides of the SPAM are coated with sauce, then move it to a plate to rest. Place a half sheet of sushi nori on the counter, make your rectangle of rice (using a mold like this), lay the fried SPAM over the rice and wrap it with nori. SPAM musubi is so popular in Hawaii that you can find it anywhere, even at the 7-Eleven!
Eating healthy 100% of the time doesn’t work.
As a mom with kids (and a hubby who’s not really health conscious) it would be impossible to eat healthy 100% of the time. And quite frankly, trying to do so would suck all the joy out of eating. So for me, a well-balanced diet means making room for SPAM musubi and other foods I enjoy, even if deemed “unhealthy”. I strive for an 75/25 diet, where 75% of the time I stay away from processed food and load up on veggies and the cleanest protein I can find. And then the other 25% I enjoy without guilt. Do I ever mess up and go overboard on junk? You betcha. That’s life.
And guess what? Even though many people think of SPAM as a “mystery meat”, it’s made with pork shoulder, ham, salt, water, sugar, potato starch, and nitrites — basically a hot dog! So try making a SPAM musubi for yourself. And the next time you visit Hawaii, make sure to stop by the 7-Eleven and grab a hot one.
What’s something you love that others might label as “unhealthy”? Tell me about it and then go enjoy some!