2020 is here. I can tell because the diet and fitness ads are everywhere. Until political ads and H&R Block replace them, we will be made to feel guilty for every gluttonous crumb that has made our clothes tighter. From the kids’ fun-size Halloween candy, which initially led us into temptation like Eden’s serpent, through New Year’s Day brunch, which you might be eating as you read this, our over-indulgence has met an abrupt end. We begin a penance that the Dominican Savonarola would view as over the top. His Bonfire of the Vanities will seem like a homecoming pep rally compared to the purging of our refrigerators.
Those four slices of cheesecake on the fridge’s second shelf, the various sacks of cookies we gladly accepted from co-workers and loved ones alike, bottles of wine, Scottish shortbread, imported chocolate, cheeses of the month, restaurant gift cards, and bags of chips in the pantry that didn’t get eaten during the festive season. Gone is that platter of tamales that you promised yourself you wouldn’t eat at one sitting, and you probably have no memory of all those other baked goods like the muffins, breads, and pies. Shall I remind you of the pizza and spicier foods we ate to break up the monotony of roasted birds, stuffing, and gratinéed casseroles?
If you’re like me, you’re thankful that the annual physical and doctor’s visit occurred before the end of the insurance year. You don’t want a medical professional peeking under the gown this month! Most of us will take a reactionary approach to regaining the lost ground since October 30; not that we were in great shape after a summer of picnics, grilling parties, and vacation indulgence. Like many, I was still carrying the weight of a big Super Bowl party, which was spread before me in early 2019 to sabotage my healthy efforts.
But I’m serious this year. I know I was serious last year, and all the years going back to Y2K, but I really am going to do something about my diet this year. 2020, the last year of the teens (or the first of the twenties if that’s the way one chooses to look at the decades) is going to motivate me. I’m so motivated that I replaced my annoying chips and salsa habit with alternatives. I gave away the tortilla and kettle potato chips last week. I replaced them with BBQ sweet potato chips, plantain chips, and something that looked interesting called honey mustard kale chips.
I might be able to stay committed with two of the alternatives, but sweet Jack LaLanne! Have you ever tried a honey mustard kale chip? I’ll save you the trouble. Imagine that you have found a dollar bill crumpled and lying in the street. It’s been run over by a city bus, three taxicabs, and a bike messenger. It blew into a crosswalk where five thousand Times Square revelers staggered home after the ball dropped. You picked it up, forgot about it in your pocket, and it went through the laundry. You found it in February and decided to eat it after dipping it into a jar of honey mustard and letting it dry on the counter for a week. That is the taste and texture sensation that awaits you if you disregard my advice and eat what the FDA should never have approved.
I remember when kale was the darling of the butcher shop. This leafy green was a marketing tool like mannequins in a store window. It was attractive enough to get your attention, but not so prominent that you took your eyes off the goods that the merchant wanted you to see. If anything good has come from kale it’s that I’m drinking more water. It’s the only way I can get rid of the aftertaste.
© 2020 by Patrick Brown
To learn more about my books, especially the three featuring Maggie Lyon, visit my author page at: http://www.amazon.com/Patrick-Brown/e/B005F0CYH2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1419885131&sr=8-1