I just returned from this year's Indiana State Fair. It was very bad timing, because I had just seen the government's reissued dietary guidelines online. I am not a fan of the current administration, but I did think in this one area they were going to cut us some us some slack...or a least a big piece of chocolate cake.
I can exercise five times a week. I can cut down on carbs. I can eat three fruits a day. I can even choke down eight glasses of water (if I get to count scotch and water). I can eat cod once a week for the omega fat benefits. But I can't do 11 vegetables a day. No way. No how. Yet that's what the government is recommending.
This new nutritional food pyramid, a structure that would make pharaohs roll over in their graves, assuming they weren't too fat to do that, now suggests that the average person needs almost a dozen servings of the green (and yellow and orange) stuff every day.
As long as there are no children present, permit me to make this point: When God invented sex, he made the act pleasurable; if he hadn't, people would have skipped it and gone fishing instead. And where would we all be now? I don't know, but at least we'd be eating a lot of fish.
So what happened with broccoli? I mean if God can make a waterfall and a hurricane, why can't broccoli taste like mint chip ice cream? I don't want to be critical, but when you've got the gift of miracles, flaunt it. It's just that if all these things are supposed to be so good for you, why weren't they made better tasting? Wouldn't you just love to hear your kid say at McDonald's, "I'd like a Big Mac and a large order of beets, please"?
But back to the dilemma. Can a person eat 11 servings of vegetables in one day? My wife, who is a bit of a health nut, suggested that instead of seeing vegetables as tiny pieces of tasteless greenery, I should find some creative way of eating them, to make them more palatable. It sparked a brilliant idea. So brilliant, in fact, that I would like to share with you my plan for getting in your 11 veggies a day.
Two Bloody Marys (with V-8 Juice and celery sticks)
Corn chips and guacamole
Total Veggies: 4
One Bloomin' Onion (steakhouse-style)
Two pieces of zucchini bread with vegetable hummus
One cup of salsa
One portion deep-fried cauliflower
Total veggies: 4
Two hard-boiled eggs (colored with vegetable dye)
Three pieces of cream cheese carrot cake
Deep-fried corn fritters with ketchup
One martini with two olives
Total veggies: 8
Wow, that's 16 servings of vegetables! I can't wait to start this new diet tomorrow. I just wish I hadn't eaten all that junk at the Fair.
Dick Wolfsie has written 12 books and has been a television personality for 30 years. His humor column appears weekly in The Times.