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Eating Greens: Do I Really Have To?
by Marjorie Dorfman

Why should I eat green vegetables if I don’t like them? Because they are good for you may be your answer, but I don’t like it. Consider humorous alternative below. . .

I don’t know why I feel the way I do about innocent green vegetables. They’ve never done anything to me and some of my favorite things in the whole world are green. Emeralds (my birth-stone) are green, plants are green, money is green and two bathrooms and a bedroom in my very own house are painted green. It is, in fact, my favorite color. Then why can’t I eat green things? Do I sound like a little kid arguing about why spinach might work for Popeye, but not for him? Spinach is not the problem. I actually like it, especially the creamed variety. I also like green peas, lima beans and sugar snap peas. It’s those other green fellows, like broccoli, kale, turnip greens, brussel sprouts and collard greens whose mere mention turn my stomach inside out. I know that they are good for me, but I cannot return their affection. It’s almost like the situation I had with my ex-husband! (Talk about vegetables imitating life!)

My dilemma is a sad one indeed. I am otherwise a healthy and normal person (at least as normal as anyone who writes can be). I love potatoes and tomatoes and eat them often. In fact, I think I’m beginning to look like a tomato, being a little round, sometimes reddish and, hopefully, a shiny pleasure to look at while seated at the table. If you visited my house and saw my vegetable bin, you’d probably think there was some secret government shortage of potatoes and that I was warehousing them for my own clandestine purposes. I have more of them than anything else in my house except for maybe coffee and cat food. (I have seven cats that are always one step, green or otherwise, ahead of me.)

What to do, what to do? I avoid problems and solutions. It’s not the mature thing, but who cares? It works sometimes. I take vitamins and tell myself that whatever I’ve missed by not indulging in the greenies, my vitamins will supplement. This probably isn’t true, but it is the structure upon which rests my house of unhealthy cards. I like to cook and every now and then I experiment. One day I found a recipe called Southern greens that looked kind of interesting. The whole gang of collard and turnip greens and spinach were there, including an interloper called kale which at that time was new to me. Prepared with bacon and other flavorful supplements, I must confess that the taste wasn’t bad at all. It was a labor intensive recipe however, and whenever I think about doing it again those little green fellows come a heaving and I have trouble following through. (I manage maybe twice a year.) Every year since I stopped smoking (ten years in June, but who’s counting?) I make a resolution to "eat more greens". Maybe one year soon it will work.

I have one final experiment to put into practice. I’m going to pretend that the vegetables are money and that by eating them I am "making a sizable investment." In a way it is true, isn’t it? What else is your health and your body if not an investment in your own well being and future? When your body goes, you go. N’est ce pas? Still, I’m sure I’ll have some trouble, whenever I get around to trying this. I recognize that there is a problem with coins and foreign money that isn’t green. Those other colors make me realize that I march to the tune of a different drummer. Perhaps the truth is that I am really in need of an entire orchestra. Can you help me? Have you got any better ideas?

Did you know . . .

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