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Eliminating syllables from your diet

Scott Paulsen
| Friday, Nov. 11, 2011

Few things on Earth make me happier than pork chops. I'm a simple guy. Give me a couple of thick ones, a George Foreman grill, salt, a little pepper, a new tune from Tom Waits and a tall, blond wife.

Is that too much to ask?

A few nights ago, the table was set and dinner was served. There were fresh chops from one of the neighbor's hogs, potatoes harvested from one of our raised beds, collard greens bought at the Washington Farmers Market and, for dessert, apples grown in the orchard at the end of our road, canned with cinnamon and syrup by yours truly.

I blame the tall blonde for this. Had she left well enough alone, I could have continued with my single-man diet of Slim-Jims, Cap'n Crunch and Taco Bell. I was happy, but spent a lot of time in the restroom.

She was not perfect, either. When we met, she smoked Marlboro Lights and, sometimes, forgot to eat at all.

It's been a slowly evolving process for both of us. Like many, she now shops with one eye on the cash register and the other on the list of ingredients posted on the side of every package. Her loosely interpreted rule is to avoid foods that contain long paragraphs of words that sound as though they belong in a chemistry textbook.

We are not "health-food" people. I'm not here to preach. You won't catch me wagging a finger, reminding you what country your grapes came from or asking you to consider the fate of the poor, poor animals.

I'm too busy eating bacon to think about geopolitics. I'm not concerned about environmental impact as I slice a homegrown tomato. Trade and immigration are nonexistent thoughts as I dig onions from our garden.

Here's what I know about food: The pig raised by our neighbor, sold to us and butchered just down the road, tastes really good.

The apples grown in the orchard less than a mile away are some of the best I've ever tasted. There is no comparison between the Brandywines we eat and the imposters labeled as "tomatoes" at the grocery store.

Fresh just tastes better.

Am I healthier because I eat less prepackaged and preservative-laced frozen foods than I once did?

Beats me.

Hope so.

I have noticed that my coat is shinier and I now can chase the stick all day.

I'm no saint. I still gobble junk now and again. It's not my mission to save you through diet, or rid the world of Pop-Tarts and Pepsi. In fact, if the folks at Kellogg's have a few moments, I have ideas about new flavors I'd like to run past them.

Bacon, for starters.

Had my diet stayed HotPockets and Twinkies, all day long, would I be happy• Absolutely.

And I'd be able to tell you about it in a newspaper column.

However, I'd have to write it while in the bathroom.

And that can't be good, right?

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