By Jerry Zezima
The Stamford Advocate
According to an old saying, you are what you eat. Since I am full of baloney, I eat what I am.
Unfortunately, I don’t know what to eat these days — especially bologna, which means I am out to lunch — because I am on three different diets.
This has nothing to do with fat, which is all in my head. It stems from the fact that: (a) I have a history of kidney stones, (b) I have a history of high cholesterol and (c) I aced history in high school.
Naturally, all three diets contradict each other.
The first one, which was given to me by my urologist, is called the Low Oxalate Meal Plan. I had never heard of oxalates, but they sound like a species of cattle (“the male oxalate, which can weigh 1,500 pounds, is one of the dumbest animals on earth”) whose meat makes an excellent steak that I could wash down with beer.
Imagine my horror when I, a guy who loves beer so much that my blood would probably come out with a head on it, saw that I’m not supposed to drink it (beer, not blood, in which case I would be a vampire whose only meals are midnight snacks).
The first item in the “beverages and juices” part of the Low Oxalate Meal Plan, under the heading “avoid completely,” is: “Beer: draft, stout (Guinness), lager, pilsner.”
But when I looked over at the list of good beverages, I saw: “Beer, bottled.”
At that point I needed a beer, bottled, because I was on a diet that contradicted even itself. At least I could use it to wash down an oxalate steak because beef is among the meats that are OK to eat.
I could also have beef with red wine, which I am not surprised is on the good beverage list because I have long considered it over-the-counter heart medicine.
Speaking of which, my second diet is called the Heart Healthy Meal Plan and is designed to lower my cholesterol.
I got the diet from a nurse who took my blood pressure (she kindly gave it back) and measured my cholesterol during a wellness fair at work.
Before I was put on medication, my cholesterol levels rivaled the gross national product of Finland. Now, the nurse said, my good cholesterol is good (and very polite, I might add) and my bad cholesterol isn’t good but isn’t as bad as it used to be.
To make it better, I am supposed to follow the Heart Healthy Meal Plan, which contracts the Low Oxalate Meal Plan because on the former I can eat peanut butter but not beef and on the latter I can eat beef but not peanut butter.
On my third meal plan, the High Fiber Diet, which I got from a nurse in a hospital where I recently had an endoscopy and a colonoscopy at the same time, I can have beans, which I am not supposed to have on the Low Oxalate Meal Plan, and I can have beef, which I can’t have on the Heart Healthy Meal Plan.
I must admit that I am not a fan of vegetables, even though I am one, which makes it easy to ignore all three diets because I can have certain vegetables on one or more of them but not other veggies on one or more of either the same or opposing diets. So, to avoid confusion, as well as kidney stones, high cholesterol and a heart attack, I won’t eat them at all.
My favorite meal plan is the High Fiber Diet because it allows me to have any beverage I want. That goes for beer. Whether bottled or draft, stout (Guinness), lager and pilsner, I don’t know, but I am going to drink it anyway.
If you’re on a diet these days, it’s the only thing that makes any sense.
Copyright 2015 by Jerry Zezima