Biff America: A healthy diet and hungry eyes
July 15, 2017
If the fabric of her shorts and tank top cost $2 dollars a square inch, I'm guessing her entire outfit retailed for about 30 bucks. My observation is by no means meant as a criticism or judgement; if I were young and fit, and in my 20s, I would not be (and was not) shy about showing off my physique.
It seems, once I hit middle age, I have become invisible to young women. But this gal was working a booth at a promotional press event at an outdoor retail store to which my wife and I were invited. And that being the case, she was being paid to be friendly to old farts like me. Of course, I pretended not to notice her as we passed. It wasn't until Ellie headed off on her own to buy some stuff exactly like the stuff she already had but in a slightly different color that I made my move.
She saw me coming and seemed to know what was on my mind. If she noticed my quick look towards the direction my mate had gone, she ignored my obviously guilty body language. Instead she smiled like she was happy to see me and said, "Do you want some bacon?" I was too nervous to say yes loudly, so I simply nodded.
In a streak of marketing genius along with the latest and greatest ski, bike, and outdoor gear at the aforementioned event, there was actually a bacon booth with young ladies giving out processed pork. By the time Ellie returned to ask for my credit card, I had consumed a quarter of a pig.
Until my mate started reading hippie nutritional magazines, I always thought I had a fairly healthy lifestyle. I exercise regularly, limit my fat intake, never wear Birkenstocks to a gun show and drink my bourbon neat. Luckily, through her research, my mate has discovered that my diet is engorging my yang, while seriously dwindling the size of my yin. Since then she has been on a campaign to add years to my life with better nutrition, no matter how unpleasant those years might be for me.
Good nutrition is a moving target. Although it was a long time ago, I can remember when pro athletes would tout the health benefits of cigarettes. We ate bran muffins for our colons, drank OJ for vitamin C, milk for strong bones and "Wonder Bread built strong bodies 12 ways" (you won't get that unless you grew up in the 60s).
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Turns out much of what I enjoyed most; bread, pasta, crackers, muffins, scones, energy bars, chips, and even fruit smoothies, can cause inflammation of the spleen. I'm now eating stuff I once didn't even know was food — kale, Chioggia Beets, jicama, flax meal, quinoa. Thank heaven meat is OK, occasionally, but for God's sake, no bacon or sausage. Seems like the perfect meal is to put oil and vinegar on our lawn and graze.
When my Dad was in his 80s he would sometimes eat apple pie for breakfast. When my sisters would chide him for that, he would say "What's it going to do, kill me?" He also would read the obituaries and while crossing names out of his address book mutter, "I guess I showed them."
I would imagine it would be comforting to get to a place in time where you just don't care how you look and to know that how you behave will have little to do with life's inevitability.
In the meantime, I'm occasionally forced to sneak the foods that could kill me, because if the food doesn't, my mate might.
Ellie came out of the store with a bag larger than Santa's and together we headed off. I pointed to her shopping bag and said, "Looks like you enjoyed yourself." She pointed over her shoulder and said, "Yes and you did too, talking to that young pretty girl."
That put me in an untenable position. I didn't think that Ellie knew of the bacon giveaway, so if I didn't admit to lusting after that gal's pork products, Ellie might assume I lusted after the gal herself. So I split the difference and said, "She's no younger or prettier than you."
For a second I thought I had dodged the bullet until Ellie said, "Well then, you are full of both bull and bacon.
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Biff's new book "Mind, Body, Soul." is available at local shops and bookstores or http://shop.holpublications.com/products/biff-america-mind-body-soul