"The perfect body doesn't exist, and seeking it is neither good nor helpful. Therefore, seek a healthy body that functions, not a perfect body for a display case."
- From 100 Simple Secrets of Healthy People
by David Niven, Ph.D
Not only have I gained back all the weight I lost following my surgery last Spring, but ounces galore have now joined the returning waifs - or is that waist? So I guess it's back to the fat, cal, carb-counting grind - again.
Fortunately I like salads and other health-nut stuff all washed down with water, skim milk or sugarless hot tea. I just like lots of it, generously ingested with breads that make every dietary list of foods to avoid. Also, this is the almost fat-free, sugar-free, meat-free diet I've followed for the past 20 years. What else can I give up? Oh, and I exercise, too. I swim a half-mile each morning at the Family Y, run up and down the stairs in my two-story home at least a dozen times a day and now and then go for a brisk walk. What more am I supposed to do? Stop sitting in front of the computer all day?
My tactless doctor tells me not to worry. "Actually, we like our older women to carry a few extra pounds," he said, "in case they get sick, need surgery, or start having low appetite problems." Sounds like the reserve fuel tank on my car, or Dr. Niven's advice (see above) to be more concerned with health than figure.
All this to remind you we're a quarter of the way through February, the groundhog has gone back to sleep, and it's time to celebrate - drum roll please - World Cabbage Day with a salad recipe from Ben Franklin's Almanac. Because 2006 is also this Founding Father's 300th birthday year, how fitting to make his, "Healthiest Slaw You'll Ever Eat." This is how you do it:
Blend half a cup plain yogurt, half a cup mayonnaise, and 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar in a large bowl. Add 4-5 cups shredded cabbage, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 chopped and cored Granny Smith apple, half a cup seedless grape halves, half a cup chopped dates, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss, refrigerate and, when ready to serve, sprinkle with half a cup of toasted walnut halves.
And if you'd like something cabbagey hot to go with your "cold" slaw, try making a bowl of "Bubble and Squeak." Just mix equal amounts of mashed potatoes and chopped, cooked cabbage, saut in butter or bacon fat, and listen to learn how this dish got its name.
But if you're not into cabbage, cooking, or eating foods you don't like even if they are good for you, maybe you're among those who enjoy the puzzles that adorn this column from time to time. So, lest this reading exercise be a total waste of time for you, see if you can locate the ingredients in the following "Hidden Salad Bar." For example, if you read "A raSCAL LION roared at the children," you would write down, "scallion." As usual, correct answers and names of those who find them will be published at a later date.
1. If you have too much pep, perhaps a cup of tea will calm you down.
2. The strangest swimming pool I've ever seen was just wide enough for one person to swim laps.
3. The professor from Orono wrote a textbook and in its intro, Maine played a prominent role.
4. Betty used denim fabric to mat Owen's photographs for the exhibit.
5. Among the hundreds of used-car listings in our Sunday paper, one particular ad is hard to locate.
6. The plaid ribbon I once used for my daughter's hair is now part of a patchwork quilt.
7. Fred has the tires on his car rotated every fifteen thousand miles.
8. Last week the pastor learned how thoroughly a wasp in a choir loft can disrupt a sermon.
9. In "Julius Caesar," that final "Et tu" certainly suggests that Shakespeare thought Brutus was genuinely loved by Caesar.
10. We were laughing uproariously at Andre's singular experience with a skunk and a squirrel.
(From Dell Variety Puzzles and Word Games, March 2005.)
(Barbara Seaborn is a local freelance writer. E-mail puzzle answers and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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