Dietary Fitness: Hanging Out With the Pecan Sandie Girl

The following is an excerpt from Getting Better, a book about coping and recovery from serious illness.

OK, did I mention that I love to eat?  Sometimes my meds give me a voracious appetite. Yes, put just about any type of food in front of me and I will attack it like a hyena on road kill. One of my docs told me that I should be on a low-fat, low-salt, low processed sugar diet.

OK, that’s not fair for several reasons. First, I’ve only been on one diet in my entire life, but have stuck to it for many years. It’s the Go-To-Bed diet. Once I stop eating for the day and go to bed, I do not eat again until I wake up. I find my intake during these periods is next to nothing. It’s very effective and easy enough that anyone can do it.  I magically can drop 1-2 pounds every night.

Another problem for me is that just about everything I like to eat is full of fat, sugar and/or salt. My favorite vegetable is a cookie. When we’d go to the supermarket, my wife would shop and I’d go hang out with the nice lady handing out Pecan Sandies. Barbara thought I had a thing going with Cookie Lady. I did. I’d talk with her for 30 minutes showering her with compliments about her apron, hairnet and positioning of the cookies on the tray – anything to earn multiple rewards.

If you don’t care for cookies, you could try a healthier food, (but it might be that something is seriously wrong with you and you need to seek counsel from a Keebler Elf immediately). It’s probably nothing an entire box of Girl Scout Thin Mints or Snickerdoodles can’t cure.

That said, I do have a healthy side. It’s the side of me that eats everything else. lists 12 “Superfoods” to strengthen your immune system. I like most of these, as well, and most can make good toppings for ice cream or pizza – and some can, in fact, be found in, or taken with cookies. The list includes: Cherries, Kiwi, Guava, Beans, Water Cress, Spinach, Onions, Carrots, Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale, and of course … Dandelion leaves.  You can get the last one in my front or back lawn in large quantities.  Bon Appetite!

At this point, I could probably do a whole bunch of research and give you several pages of advice on healthy eating, but I’m not going to. That would be disingenuous. One of my other docs told me that I’m active enough that I can eat what I want as long as it is in moderation.

I also enjoy downing the good-for-me stuff that my loving wife serves up from her garden or brings home from the farm where she works.  Or sometimes a caring neighbor cooks up a batch of something and drops some off for us. (a very nice thing for family and friends to do by the way). So, bottom line is to go ask your doctor or a nutritionist what you should eat.  Note: I find that many nutritionists forgetfully leave cookies off your dietary plan, so make sure to add them yourself if you don’t see them on your list.

For a more serious look at Nutrition check out Eating and Drinking Your Way to Better Health – for guidelines on specific foods that we should/shouldn’t consume.

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