Eat Your Veggies

As we grow older, we seem to constantly be dieting.

We put on a few pounds, then a few pounds more, and eventually, we’re always paying attention to what we eat. Or at least thinking we should be paying attention.

To that end, we tend to move away from such huge portions of meat, gravitating toward what’s supposedly ‘good for us.’

That would be vegetables. At least, that’s what mama said.

So let us now ask the important question, and then we’ll examine the answer:

“What is a vegetable?”

While I like the notion that grass-fed beef is a vegetable (hey, all it ate was grass!), I seek a deeper, more thoughtful discussion.

Squash, eggplant, tomatoes, and okra are all vegetables. Okay, they are actually all fruits since they come from a flower, but we are going to use conventional thinking here and just let them be vegetables.

A lot of people – like me – do not like vegetables, including, but not limited to, the aforementioned garden foods, unless they’ve been fried or put into a casserole with lots of other yummy stuff.

However, in order to insure a more healthy diet for myself, I’ve learned to think outside the box.

The pizza box.

Yes, friends, leave off the sausage and pepperoni and what you have is a veggie mix.

Some of you will want to challenge me: “what about the cheese?”

Cheese is not meat and therefore doesn’t count.

“What about the crust?”

Again, not meat. In this case it’s simply an edible plate for your nutritious feast. Have another slice of vegetables.

Recently, I’ve had my eyes opened to vegetables in a way I never expected, and I want to share it with you.

We were at a small-town diner for lunch, and one of the menu items was a vegetable plate. You picked four veggies for their list, they added cornbread, and you were a healthy-eating machine.

Now, I usually completely ignore vegetable plates, but I was intrigued by the list. There were the usual Southern suspects: green bean, mashed potatoes, and collards.

But wait, it gets better.

-fried okra (see previous comments)
-squash casserole (see previous comments)
-mashed potatoes (yes, I know, but I forgot to tell you they were served with gravy)

The list was extensive.

And right there, right there at the end of the vegetable options…

Mac ‘n Cheese.

Mais oui, bazinga, yahtzee and of course! I am moved to poetry.

All these years
I never knew.
It’s on the list,
You know it’s true!

Tonight, I begin my diet anew, eating plenty of veggies. Say hello to the new, healthier me.

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