Talking to your wife is a little like having a conversation with an IRS agent…volunteering information can be dangerous. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s prudent to give either of them false information if they ask a direct question, but some things should be on a need to know basis. Let me give you an example.
A couple of weeks ago I paid a visit to my doctor, Mark. It wasn’t anything serious; I just needed an annual physical. It went fine. He was happy that I’d lost twenty-three pounds since last August and he was pleased that my blood pressure, cholesterol numbers and other metrics were well within the acceptable range.
Somewhere during the conversation, I casually said, “My weight loss seems to have plateaued. That’s odd. If I’m putting some effort into it, I can usually drop forty pounds before I start to slow down.”
“Well, you’re not as young as you used to be,” Mark replied.
“Thanks for pointing that out.”
“I just meant that sometimes the older a person gets, the harder it is to lose weight.
“OK, so what do I have to do to get around that? I’m already the sole support for three carrot farmers.”
“You need a more balanced diet and you need more exercise.”
We discussed his thoughts on exercise for a while and then I said, “So what do I do about a diet?”
“Well, with your numbers and lifestyle, I’d recommend a Paleo Diet.”
“It’s based on the idea that, genetically, we’re not much different from early modern humans. They didn’t grow any of their foods; they hunted and gathered. So, the concept is that our systems aren’t designed to properly process grains and foods that contain high levels of sugars or starches.”
The thing about doctors is that they have this calm, matter of fact way that makes their argument sound so logical.
“So what can I eat?”
“Just stay on the outside walls of the grocery store…meats, fruits and vegetables.”
It sounded so logical.
“So what did the doctor say today?” Linda asked while we were eating dinner that night.
“He says I’m fine and he said that maybe I should think about trying something called a Paleo Diet,” I replied innocently.
If you look up millisecond on Wikipedia, it’s defined as the amount of time it takes for your wife to Google something your doctor has said.
“Where are you taking that?” I asked as my fork stabbed air after she ripped my plate with a half-eaten baked potato from the table.
“You can’t eat potatoes on a Paleo Diet.”
“No. From now on you eat sweet potatoes. But, you can’t have butter or brown sugar on them,” she said while scrolling down a page on her tablet and feeding my potato to the garbage disposal.
Still hungry, I grabbed a clean plate from the cabinet and retrieved a generous helping of green beans from the serving dish.
“Uh-uh, you can’t have green beans either,” she said as my beans disappeared and joined my potato.
“Why? Green beans are a vegetable.”
“They’re a legume. No legumes.”
“What’s wrong with legumes?”
“I don’t know, but you can’t have them,” she mumbled as she flipped through a list of Paleo cook books on Amazon.
The next morning I woke to an odd aroma drifting through the house. Following it to the kitchen, I found Linda making my breakfast (an unusual occurrence in itself, by the way). “What’s that in the skillet?” I asked warily.
“It’s a Paleo pancake.”
“Aren’t pancakes supposed to be round?”
“It’s a Paleo pancake. It’s supposed to look like a tire from Fred Flintstone’s car. Just try it.”
“What are these big lumps mixed in?”
“I thought grains were off the list. How do you make a pancake without flour?”
“The recipe substitutes eggs.”
“Eggs and what?”
“You made me a banana omelet?”
“I suppose you could call it that, but I prefer Paleo pancake.”
“I’m almost afraid to ask, but may I have some pancake syrup?”
That request was met with ‘The Look’, so I picked up a fork and took a bite. “It’s a little dry,” I said cautiously.
“Try this,” Linda suggested as she squeezed two small drops of honey out of a bottle shaped like a bear.
“Gee thanks,” I answered as I tried to spread the infinitesimal drops around top of my odd shaped pancake.
“Just remember, that’s your total allotment of honey for the day,” she said as she left the kitchen.
Paleo Diet. It sounded so benign when Mark suggested it. But after living with it (at least while in Linda’s field of vision), I have several key observations.
Most folks today don’t have diet related disorders until they’re in their middle years. Early humans didn’t have a very long lifespan. They probably didn’t live much past thirty-five. Granted, it wasn’t heart disease, cancer or diabetes that did them in. More likely, it was an encounter with a wooly mammoth or a saber tooth cat that took them off of the roster. But, how do we know what would have happened to them if they had made it until they were fifty or sixty? Maybe potatoes and green beans have a secret ingredient that the human body needs to make it to eighty.
Speaking of potatoes, my grandmother was an Irish immigrant. Potatoes have been a diet staple in Ireland for centuries. How do we know that there isn’t an Irish mutation that allows me to eat potatoes without any negative repercussions?
Staying with that line of thought, Native Americans have been growing and eating corn for millennia. By all accounts, they were healthy, lived long lives and were doing well until European squatters moved in. My great-great grandmother was a Seneca Indian. Why can’t I eat corn?
On the Paleo Diet, I’m allowed to eat apples, oranges, grapes and other fruits. But, if I squeeze out the juice and drink it, the Paleo referee is going to give me a penalty. How’s come?
I don’t drink much alcohol, but occasionally I will have a cold beer on a really hot summer day. That’s not allowed on the Paleo diet. However, I’m told that wine in moderation is fine. I wonder if early modern man had a preference for alcohol what drink he used to get a buzz.
The list goes on and on.
The root cause of the problem is that I casually and unnecessarily mentioned Paleo Diet to my wife. This was a piece of information that she had no reason to investigate before I mentioned it and I will be paying the price for a long time to come. I should have put a period after “He says I’m fine.” After forty years, you’d think I would have known better.
Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to make the best of it. Maybe I’ll start drinking wine. I should ask my friends at The Wine Wankers what wine goes best with grilled Giant Ground Sloth.
P.S. I’m not buying the idea that cavemen pulled their women around by the hair. Some things just aren’t in a man’s DNA.
16 responses to “What Wine Goes Best With Grilled Giant Ground Sloth?”
Ha JF this post cracked me up! Since I’m vegetarian, it’s probably not a surprise that I’m not a fan of the Paleo diet (or any other extreme diet that comes along). However last weekend my husband and I had a heated argument (on the front porch, to the delight of our neighbors) about how many eggs out 10 year old should eat in a week. That segued into a heated debate about sugar. Then I undercut all my arguments about how she should eat more healthy by making her hot cocoa and grilled cheese – THE SHAME!
The grilled cheese was on whole wheat bread – that’s gotta count for something, right?
Absolutely! Whole wheat bread gets you extra points. Beyond that, as far as I’m concerned, hot cocoa is a dietary staple! 🙂
What!? No SPUDS!? 😮
Oh V, you know me better than that. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. 🙂
I’m really glad that you stopped by. I’ve been going through V withdrawal.
A friend of mine did the Paleo diet. For about a month. That was all she could stand. I think the sweet potatoes finally did her in. Good luck!
May I cite you as an impartial witness if Linda asks me for evidence while I’m disputing the validity of this exercise? 🙂
Well, I’m definitely not partial to the Paleo diet. I have a background (admittedly quite a long time ago) in anthropology and archeology, and the Paleo diet doesn’t sound all that much like what I learned back then. My friend thought it was a fairly good kick start, but the effects really did not last long. She backslid pretty quickly. (And she hated having to cook so much!)
Haha I am wishing you good luck! I love reading about eating clean and good exercises but Paleo diet seems quite tough! I started pilates & yoga and I am also trying not to take processed sugar except for some special occasions which is already a bit hard… I’m also wondering what paleo exercise would be like 🙂
Paleo exercise involves being chased by an Agriotherium several hours each day. 🙂
Dude, I looked up the Paleo diet last year and the Irish, Cuban, Native American in me shouted a resounding “NAE GONNA HAPPEN”. I will be saluting you every time I bow down at the the potato and beer alter, my friend.
Well, have a loaded baked potato for me. On second thought, have two. 🙂
I shall, just without the chives.
🙂 Brilliant! Although, as a vegetarian who would be vegan if it were not for the existence of chocolate, I am afraid I’d have to reduce your diet even further! Just think how happy the carrot farmers would be!
We all have our guilty pleasures. Yours is chocolate and mine is Twinkies. I have no idea what’s in a Twinkie, but I’m sure the ingredients aren’t Paleo compliant. 🙂
We are not completely Paleo. I think I will let you be Primal. Then, you can still have Greek yogurt, and cheeses.
“I think I will let you”…sigh