Friday, December 12, 2008

Goodbye Laffy Taffy, Hello Taro?

Throughout time, people, not any specific people mind you, but people in general, have had to deal with some pretty difficult things. You have all those instances of religious persecution, civil rights movements, wars, famine, a time or two when some poor sap was asked to lift something really really heavy and carry it up a hill or a really steep staircase. There were folks that had to fight lions in them wacky ole gladiator arenas, fellas who had to dig themselves out of avalanches, and I once knew a guy who stood in line for a KFC buffet behind a really really really fat guy.

Sure, a lot of these things don't really compare with one another, but they all have one thing in common: they are probably the most difficult thing that particular person ever had to deal with.
Me, I've never done mortal battle with any of the big cats, I've never lugged a piano up a muddy slope, and I've never ever ever never been down-wind of Louie Anderson, however, I am dealing with something especially difficult right now, something I've mentioned in passing before, but something that just seems to have grown and grown and grown and taken over my life, kinda like a two-headed tumor monster that sucks the life out of you and calls you mean names at the same time. What am I talking about? The diet.

No, not South Beach, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Cabbage Soup, Zone, Lady Zone, Chocolate, Atkins, Metabolism, Amputation, Scarsdale, One Good Meal, Chicken Soup, The Danger Zone, Grapefruit, Fruit Loop, The Highway Through the Danger Zone, Scottsdale, Carbondale, Chippendale, Chip and Dale, Juicy Fruit, Fruit Juice, or the Arthur Treachers Fish and Chips Diet... I'm on the doctor crossed off everything on my list of good food spreadsheet, slapped me on the wrist and shouted, Soup Nazi style, "No Food For You" diet.

For those of you who haven't heard, my new diet eliminates about eighty percent of what I used to eat, and I used to think I was eating healthy. For example, my usual pre-diet lunch consisted of: a mixed green salad with spinach and some other unpronounceable leaves that Bambi's pal Thumper would probably turn his nose up at, carrots, chopped almonds, dried cranberries, and a nice fat-free raspberry vinaigrette. On the side, a bottled water, an apple, and one of them fancy-mix-it-all-up-like-you're-doin'-the-Cha-cha yogurts with the hunks o' fruit and the bits o' granola.

Post doctor visit... well, I'm still allowed the leaves, the granola bits, and the water. Gone are the presumably healthy foods like carrots, apples, yogurt with fruity hunks, the cranberries, and that lovely raspberry dressing. Why? I'm sugar free now.

The good doctor informed me that my triglycerides, which was also the middle name of the lounge singing creature at Jabba the Hutt's crib in the third Star Wars movie****, were a wee bit high.

**** source - Internet

According to the doc, anything above 150 is high, above 400 is riding that highway through the danger zone Kenny Loggins style, and above 850, well, you might as well do that one foot in the grave thing.(Subsequent Internet research has led me to believe that the doctor was right and also he was wrong. Also, he may be the prince of Siam, can be seen going to the bathroom on something called a pee-cam - but only by Gold Members - and may have invented the banana seat). My triglycerides were up near 1200. So, special diet for Mike.

Apparently (also according to the web), triglycerides are not only Lauren Bacall's maiden name and the capital of Indonesia, but they're some sort of fatty fatness in your blood that makes you (in due time)a pretty good candidate for heart disease, stroke, damage to all the muckety guts, and perhaps even the Oklahoma State Senate*.

*source - the Internet

Triglycerides come from sugar. Sugar, it seems, comes from not only sugar, but things that have sugar in them, like non-sugar-free gum,candy, cakes, two for a dollar McDonald's apple pies, cookies,brownies, Fudgecicles, ice cream, Mountain Dew, ginger snaps, caramel, chocolate, Laffy Taffy, and (who'd a thunk it) Pixie Stix.

But plain ole sugar sugar isn't the only culprit here, it turns out that starchy things like corn, carrots, potatoes, pasta, bread, Cap'n Crunch, pizza crust, my dad's collared shirts, and rice somehow get magically turned into sugars by our bodies. I was hoping that perhaps I could train my body to magically turn the starches into something different, maybe Vitamin D or hundred dollar bills or super models,but the doctor seems to think that's unlikely. The Internet is non-committal, although it does believe that romping in the sunshine while waving hundred dollar bills at super models may lower triglycerides.***

*** source - Internet

Also off the menu are fruits and fruit related things like jellies and juices. Which is both good and bad, because I love fruit juice, but I finally get to tell Richard Simmons to go the hell away.

That list of food I eat on a regular basis that I gave to the doc,it's not much of a list anymore. Really, it's more of a scribbly mess with the words meat and vegetables still sitting there in the middle of a vortexy whirlwind of red pen cross-outs. Now, my dinners consist of things like steak with a side of pork chops or chicken with a side of pork chops or even pork chops with a side of pork chops, and my lunch today is a sandwich made on a multi-grain bread with the consistency and taste of a roofing shingle, sugar free peanut butter,and a pseudo strawberry preserves that is the color that can only come from something radio-active and more than just resembles tar. On the side, I have a little baggie full of root vegetable chips, yes, root vegetable chips. I didn't know what they were either, but they made the weird dude at the Trader Joe's kinda giddy. They're made from things like parsnips, beets, yams, and something called taro that may just end those water-on-Mars debates, cuz that stuff had to grow somewhere and it sure as heck wasn't Earth (the Internet seems to believe that taro is a slutty Hollywood starlet, a province in ancient Greece, and that "taro has leaves that are 1 to 2 meters long with along, erect petiole.**"

**source - Internet (probably one of the icky sites)

I found the chips when the incredibly overzealous Trader Joe's stock clerk ran around the store trying to find stuff I could eat. It was very nice of him to go through the effort, and it was above and beyond when he started opening all the bags and offering me tastes of vegetable puffs, soy and flax seed tortillas, whole grain pancakes,poofy soy crisps, and tofu bratwursts. Now at least I have some variety in my life. Next time I have a steak with a side of pork chops, I can throw some of the orange veggie poofs and a couple of the taro chips (with real beet juice) on the top for color, at least that's what the Internet told me to do.


Jen said...

I'm so sorry. I fear for my doctor visit next week. I'm pretty sure that eating Hershey Kisses and Cheez-its every night before I go to bed has put me in the same place as you. I eat healthy the rest of the day but night time is hard. However if it stops the crash from happening in the morning I think I might be able to adjust. A Trader Joe's is being built as we speak in my neighborhood so at least now I know what to get and I hear they have really good cheap wine.

Da Old Man said...

Mike, good luck with the special diet. Sounds interesting. And Trader Joe's is the official distributor of two buck chuck, the best cheap wine on the planet.
Does that fit in your diet?

PlainOleMike said...

Jen and Joe - That's the other bad news, no alcohol.

ettarose said...

What the hell? Mike I don't know what to say. You are kidding about the 1200 right? I don't know if I could do it. I think I would rather die fat with a twinkie clenched in my cold stiff jaws.

Bee said...

I feel bad for you but at the same time I laughed my tuckus off.
I hope that's okay.