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The Day of the Doughnut

Each year, the first Friday in June is National Doughnut Day, no really, there is a National Doughnut Day. It’s not something that Krispy Kreme made up as an advertising stunt, but they do participate in it’s remembrance, as they should.

“NDD” was originated by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women that served doughnuts to soldiers in World War I. Ever wondered why they called US soldiers “doughboys”? Now you know. Yes we fought the War to End All Wars and made the Canadians jealous all at the same time. These women, the Salvation Army “Lassies”, were volunteers that provided home cooked meals, comfort, support as well as doughnuts that became a vital link to improving morale within the ranks of the US Army overseas. They lived, fought, and died in horrible conditions. This was a small taste of what they were fighting for. It’s only right to institute a national day to remember them by.

So why am I writing about this? I was at the YMCA this morning getting fit on the treadmill doing my best Drew Carey impression, and this Doughnut Day story popped up as a short news piece on one of the cable news networks. I don’t know if they mentioned the history behind it, I had the sound turned down. They made sure to broadcast many images of the happy masses consuming fried ringed sweetness.

Well here I am, half way through a 45 min treadmill session, huffing and puffing, and I get hit with the thought of doughnuts… yea.. mmmmmm doughnuts…. you get it. After I slapped myself back to reality, I had three thoughts:

First was, ‘Exactly how many calories is a standard issue Krispy Kreme doughnut?’

Answer – 190 calories.

Second thought was: ‘How fast can someone eat a doughnut?’

This of course varies with hunger, gluttony, self esteem, etc. I’d make a guess of anywhere between 5 to 30 seconds, perhaps as long as a couple of minutes, at the most.

Third thought was, ‘Wonder if they have a National Treadmill Day? If they don’t, I think it should be the day after National Doughnut Day!’

Actually there is a National Running Day, it’s ironically just two days before NDD, on the first Wednesday of June each year. Wonder if CNN or Fox covered that?

Don’t get me wrong, I LLLLLOVE doughnuts, and I will, upon rare occasion, have one or two with coffee. It’s a good thing that this event takes place to remember what a small band of volunteers did to help their country in time of need. Alas, as with many traditions and institutions in our Nation, the meanings and reasons become lost. They become a marketing tool, or a day of self-indulgance.

For me, someone that is making an attempt to adapt a healthy diet, seeing food ads on TV while working out automatically drives home the costs involved with making the wrong food choices. In this case, roughly 2.5 glazed doughnuts are equal to my 45 min / 450 calorie workout! Doesn’t take much to undo a day’s progress does it?

As I take a look around, in the high school halls and in the shopping malls. I can’t help but think that we, as a Nation, are selling our dreams for the smallest of desires, and the NDD could very well be the poster child.

Tell you what, if you are as skinny as a WWI Doughboy, go ahead and participate in National Doughnut Day. Remember those brave women who traveled across the Atlantic to places and situations unknown to them. If you aren’t that skinny, then devote 190 calories of your workout to them in their memory.

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