Over the Christmas holidays she told me about the Whole 30 "experience." It's a regimen that cuts out almost all foods--except water--for thirty days. Well, that's an exaggeration, but not by much.
I am now about two-thirds through this despotic diet, and I can report the following emotions: rage, resentment, hallucinatory behavior, deviousness, loneliness and dreams of butter.
I should've suspected something when my sister said, "It's only for 30 days. Even you can do that."
In fact, the author of this diet comes at you like a Marine drill sergeant, "Don't you dare tell me this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard." It's as if a Catholic priest married a Jewish mother. There is enough guilt here to spread over a million bagels.
You're not allowed to eat much of anything that makes you happy. No pasta. No bread No wine--not even to cook with. No sugar. No milk or cream. But wait, there's more. No beans, peas, peanuts and even all forms of soy, including tofu. No tofu! I always considered tofu the single reason to avoid health food. Even that tasteless block of bouncy nothingness isn't good enough for this diet.
The other night three of us on this diet had dinner at a restaurant. Naturally, the choices were limited. Of course I couldn't help reading the other, "non-compliant" selections on the menu. That caused me to go into a crazed reverie, just like one of those World War II movies where two guys are in a foxhole and one of them starts dreaming of home.
"You know what I want?" I said.
"What?" a fellow Whole 30 sufferer at the table asked.
"I want a huge slice of home-made apple pie, just like my mom made in Brooklyn where I grew up."
"You're not from Brooklyn," the other Whole 30 pilgrim said.
"I am now. That pie will ooze juices from the apples, and the crust will be buttery, and the edges will be crisp and brown."
"And my ma will put an enormous scoop of vanilla ice cream on it, the best vanilla ice cream in the world, and it will be creamy and rich."
"Shut up, Richard!"
"And that cold delicious ice cream will start to melt, and it will begin to drip into the pie."
"Stop it, or I'll come at you!"
"And before I take my first bite I'll lower my nose to the pie, and smell the crusty apple beautifulness and feel the coolness of the ice cream."
"I'm going to shoot you!"
"Then I'll take my fork and cut into my ma's great homemade apple pie, and I'll put an enormous portion on my fork with a big portion of vanilla ice cream, and I'll slowly bring it up to my..."
NOTE: The post stops here for some reason. Obviously something terrible went on in that restaurant at this point.