When I was a boy my mom always tried to force me to eat vegetables—spinach, oh my. Brussels’s Sprouts. Cauliflower. Broccoli. Squash. She was always buggin’ me to eat this stuff. I didn’t like any of it. Finally I reached an age where I could make all my own food choices. I began to eat what I wanted and walked away from veggies, except corn with butter and salt, potatoes with butter and salt, peas with butter and salt, green beans with butter, salt, and bacon fat—Oh, and fries. Other than that most days the only vegetables I came near were the pickles on my burger. I ate my veggies, but they were fried or made with plenty of—you know—butter and salt.
Well Mom hasn’t controlled my diet for many, many years. I eat exactly what I want in the portions that I want. To be honest, that has not been particularly good for me. I’ve been remarkably healthy, but now I’m at the age where my eating habits are catching up to me.
I go to the doctor. The first thing they do is weigh me. They act all professional about it, but they just keep bumping those weights to the right. They write on their little clip-board and they try not to act surprised. Then they check my blood pressure and my cholesterol levels. Let me save you the painful details. After I run up a healthy bill with the doctor he gives me a speech that sounds remarkably like the one my mother gave me with a few medical terms thrown in to justify the considerable expense of the visit.
You can take the medicine and enjoy the side-effects of the medicine and wash it all down every day for the rest of your miserable life with your orange juice in the morning or… you guessed it—you can eat your vegetables. Lay off all that fat-marbled meat with salt. Stop eating all those carbs with salt and butter and fat in its various and tantalizing forms. Ditch the junk food. Potato and corn chips don’t count as vegetables. A Large Coke, Bacon and Cheddar Quarter-Pounder, and a Large Fry does not constitute a balanced meal. Here is what you have to do to stay off the medicine:
Walk at least 30 minutes every day and eat brussels’s sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, squash, salad, salad, and salad with small amounts of lean meat. Meat is fine, but it is best if you consider it a garnish, not your main dish. I can save you a lot of money and embarrassment. I can save you money for drugs, weight watchers, diet pills, and snake oil.
Do what my mom told me years ago. Eat your vegetables and fruit. Get out and play a lot. Say your prayers at night. Don’t make a habit of doing wrong. When you do wrong fess up and make it right. Go to church. Did you hear me? I said go to church—I’m talking every Sunday not Christmas, Easter and when you don’t have the green to get away to the cottage. Go to church and eat your veggies.
I’m pretty sure that if you don’t eat your veggies you are likely to die young and if you know the Lord you are going to go to Heaven and they don’t have fried chicken and barbecued ribs there. You will have glorified tastes for fruit and vegetables and your mother will be sitting over there across the table from you with an “I-told-you-so” look on her face.
August 5, 2014