Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I know I'm old because I willingly eat lawn clippings now

You know what my favorite thing for lunch is these days? I call it a Green Leafy Salad. Others consider it to be Rabbit Food. And my dad would have called it Weeds in a Bowl.

I combine a cup or so of kale, a cup of Swiss chard, and a cup of spinach. Then over top of it all I pour a teaspoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Enjoy. And rest easy in the perhaps-false notion that this Grass Souffle will prevent you from ever having a heart attack.

Because that's why I eat it, of course. Not because it seems attractive to me (though it does taste really good...honest), but because I'm supposed to eat it. Leafy greens and olive oil are apparently good for you.

That's how I know I'm firmly in the grips of middle age: When food becomes less about pleasure and more about disease prevention.

Mind you, not all of the good-for-you stuff is repellent. I eat a lot of fruit, for example. And I also try and eat a square of dark chocolate every day. Something about flavonoids and heart health. I just really like dark chocolate, though.

Still, the point is that my menu choices now are driven less by flavor than by grams of saturated fat.

My goal is not necessarily to live as long as I can, but to live well as long as I can. I'll take 80 years of active life over 95 years of total life with 15 spent in a nursing home any day.

Of course, none of this will prevent me from getting hit by a bus or dying in a plane crash. There's an old Yiddish proverb that says "man plans, God laughs," and I firmly believe that.

So when I'm killed by a lion that has escaped from the zoo, I at least want the guys at the morgue to look at my mangled body and say, "You know, he really does look good, doesn't he? Like someone who used to eat mulch."

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