Sitting on the table in the doctor’s office, listening to her run through the issues of weight and diet (my first amber light), I suddenly realized that, on a certain level at an acute angle in fluorescent light, I’d eaten unwisely all my life. As she droned, I pondered the miscues, searching my mind for the big answer. The first hint was her prohibition of bowls of steaming pasta:
“Try cutting pasta out altogether for awhile.”
“Don’t I need them, you know, to live?”
“Not the ones from pasta—look, just try to eat vegetables instead. They have plenty of carbs.”
“But. . .”
“And notch up the exercise.”
“What about rice?”
And that was when it hit me, like a poison dart behind the ear. The kicker was rice, specifically its preternatural sweetness. “Wow!”, I thought and slapped my forehead. I have been in the seed business for thirty years and never connected the dots. All grains are fruits; while I knew this, I didn’t realize it. That’s why they’re so delicious, like bananas to a monkey. However, they differ only technically from custard apples. If I didn’t quit eating grains in the quantity my doctor and nurses found incredible, I was going to stray into the red zone. “Avoid rich food”, my grandfather had said. He didn’t know the half of it.
The doctor added that mass plays a big role, so to speak. Double duh. But I needed to hear it. We discussed my eating habits:
“Did you really eat a whole marrow squash, George? That’s interesting, but make sure your plate is empty after that, because you’re getting more than you need. Try eating less. And notch up the exercise.”
The breakthrough was the connection between grapefruit and wheat. Bread is like fruit with fat mixed in. Who knew? Being in the seed business, I should have.