Living in Paradise

Bring on the Willpower

Bring on the Willpower

“Poor grandma,” my friend said. “The doctor says she can’t have calcium so we took away her morning cup of hot chocolate.”

“Isn’t this the woman who’s 95 and in failing health?” I said.

“Yes. The doctor thinks she won’t be around in six months?”

“And you took away her morning cocoa?!” I practically yelled at her. “What? Does the doctor think it might kill her?”

My friend was at a loss for an answer, like so many of us when it comes to health care and what we should and shouldn’t eat.

If my doctor said I had six months to live, the first thing I’d buy was a carton of cigarettes. Hang the cost. Light me up. I gave up smoking almost 40 years ago, and I still miss the disgusting things.

And bring on the steak, pie and ice cream … gallons of it.

Almost every day, someone adds a new item to the no-no food list. By the time I reach 95, the only thing left to eat will be lettuce grown in California without pesticides and downwind from any radioactive material floating in from Japan. The greens will be wrapped in paper. No plastic please; it causes cancer. This healthy bundle will be delivered to my front door by a drone.

Just yesterday, a doctor on my computer told me about a new menace to our bodies. Lectins. They’re killing us, he said, along with all the good flora, fauna and microorganisms that live in our digestive system. No longer can we eat tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, beans, cashews and grains. Peanuts are the food of the devil. Splenda is akin to cyanide.

Forget red meat. It contains antibiotics that also do a number on us. No wonder we need antacids, stool softeners and laxatives.

When my personal physician decided I had acid reflux … and doesn’t everyone these days … I googled a list of the items I shouldn’t eat. Tomatoes were at the top. (I sense a pattern here, so bye-bye Italian food.) Then red meat, alcohol, fried foods, peppermint, citrus fruits, carbonated beverages, refined sugar and so forth. You get the picture. Everything edible.

At my last visit, my doctor’s assistant told me to give up cereal for breakfast. At no time should I be drinking milk. Yogurt was a must in the morning but only the most foul-tasting, sugar-free brands. So, I was mixing yogurt with blueberries and other tasty fruits to please my doctor when I discovered that blueberry skin is No. 1 in the retention of pesticides. It’s a can’t-win world.

My physical is coming up in a month or so. My cholesterol will be sky high like it was last year. My doctor took away my Crestor on suspicion that it was messing with my liver and hasn’t come up with a panacea. I predict she’ll be removing my cheese next.

I shared my food woes with my friend Joan recently. This is the Joan who looks terrific, seems to be quite healthy and has wine at 5 p.m. every day.

“What’s your secret?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t worry about any of that stuff.” She smiled as she scooped up the last of the dressing-free salad on her plate.

That’s it. Willpower. Self-control. Where can I get a couple pounds of that to go in 2022?