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Food for the stomach

Agriculture.com Staff 05/22/2007 @ 9:26am

This week, I'm having surgery on my stomach and in my effort to be a good patient I was reading all the instructions the nurse gave me. The first thing I noticed, right off, is that I'm supposed to be on a liquid diet for a week.

And we're not talking fun liquids -- we're talking chicken broth and green tea.

I'm trying not to whine here -- although a whiner could conceivably point out that this chicken broth/green tea segment of time will run through the Memorial Day weekend, when the smell of grilling meat will pretty much permeate the air throughout America.

Hard to get that real charcoal flavor in green tea.

This same tragedy happened to me once before, a few years ago. I had a gallbladder attack two days before our local high school graduation and we had been invited to seven graduation receptions. I wasn't allowed to eat anything except leaves and berries and no one was serving those. I seem to remember lots of cake, ham sandwiches, and one place that was serving homemade bratwursts. Two weeks later, I would have been able to eat any of it, but do you think any of those people invited me back? Not a chance.

But a week on chicken broth isn't very long -- I can handle that. The really scary part is what comes next. The instructions went on to say that there are further dietary restrictions; for a month and a half I should avoid, among other things, bread and meat.

What the hey? A man could starve in a month and a half. I don't really understand -- if I'm not going to eat bread and meat, realistically, what kind of meal is possible? I read further. In addition to bread and meat, I'm not supposed to consume chocolate or alcohol.

Bread, meat, chocolate and alcohol -- those are the four major food groups. There isn't really anything else out there to eat.

I understand that theoretically there are other "food type" items in the world. I paid attention in health class and I even know all about the food pyramid. I don't have anything against some fresh fruit or even a tomato, but really, life without meat and bread is...you know, messed up.

I called my sisters; they're smart women, so I figured they could help me out. One sister sent me a recipe for a smoothie she often makes herself -- yogurt, fruit, honey, maybe some almonds, all blended together. She says that if she has one for breakfast, she can go four or five hours without eating.

That's another mystery. I can understand that a person could have the capacity to go four or five hours without eating. I just can't imagine why anyone would have the desire. I mean, the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is the prospect of five or six meals.

Oh well, I'm just going to have to be brave. In the cosmic scheme of things, I know there are worse things than living on boring food for a couple of months. I'm sure I'll be okay.

But I'm warning you, I'm going to be cranky -- and full of liquids.

Copyright 2007 Brent Olson

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