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Would we lose more weight if we were vegetarians?

Column by Kaare Askildt Formerly known as The Farmer in Training

            I’m determined to lose more weight! I started last April and have lost a lot, but I need to shed some more kilos. I say kilos because the number is smaller than pounds! How to go about this I wondered – maybe become a vegetarian? Let’s see, some of the biggest animals in the world are vegetarians, as grass and alfalfa are in the same category as carrots and celery. So if eating veggies is going to make me shed weight, then can someone explain to me how cattle and horses become so big and fat? Never mind sheep and goats that also eat grass; not only do they produce wool, they grow big compared to a mouse. By the way mice eat cheese, which is supposed to be fattening, yet they are among the smallest animals. Conclusion: veggies are fattening! Eat cheese!

            Cheese is a dairy product, made from either cow or goat’s milk, therefore cheese should be considered a veggie by-product, and is supposedly good for weight watchers! Cheesy speaking: there is cheddar (better); brie (be); some gouda (good); and geitost (Norwegian goat cheese)!

            Ice cream is also a dairy by-product. The cream comes from a cow so therefore ice cream should be listed as a food requirement for dieters.

            Okay enough about vegetarian animals; let’s take a look at fruit eaters. Nah! Forget it; it is impossible to explain how elephants get to be the size that they are by eating grass and a variety of fruits. However, wine is made from grapes, and other fruits may also be used to make alcohol. The elephants might be an anomaly, and the daily fruit intake for humans as suggested by dieticians can be achieved by drinking wine. Next would be nut eaters, which includes monkeys, and they are truly nuts, as well as nutty squirrels that are unable to access the bird feeders. So nuts should also be avoided.

            Let’s discuss fish. Yes, some fish are small and slim, and they feed on plankton for the most part. However, whales feed on other fish and when we were sailing in the Pacific Ocean, we observed many orcas and other whales, and considering the size of the adults, I’ll rule out fish as well.

            What about birds? Birds lay eggs, but the eggs have not become birds yet. Birds eat grain; grain is used to make baked items such as bread, cinnamon buns and chocolate cakes, all of which should be considered good! Grain is also used to make beer and ales. However, vultures like condors are known to feed on other birds, and considering the size of condors, I’ll also rule out birds and stick to beer. So if I have a beer in each hand, I will have achieved a balanced diet! Right?

            That leaves red meat. Have you ever seen wild cats such as cheetahs, lions, tigers and other felines? Not only are they slender and muscular, they eat red meat! However, the meat is raw, as in unprepared and not cooked. The felines also raid birds’ nests to get the eggs, raw and uncooked as they are. Humans tend to prepare red meat and either barbecue the steaks or do a roast in the oven. Ground red meat is made into hamburgers and can be obtained off a griddle in fast food outlets. I have come to the conclusion that raw meat and uncooked egg yolks would be a great diet food, as in beef tartar. For the uninitiated, beef tartar is an culinary delight consisting of a select cut of lean raw beef carefully carved and served on a slice of French bread with raw egg yolks either worked into the meat or served on top of the meat (my personal preference), and the dish is usually accompanied by a fine Bordeaux wine (fruit – see above), or as Vikings we wash it down with Aquavit and Pilsner beer! Aquavit is made from potatoes which in Telemark, Norway is called “Jordepple” (earth apple) and therefore a fruit, and the beer is a veggie by-product made from barley and hops.

            At Christmas, while we were decorating the tree, the radio was on and a dietician was discussing how to control the body weight over the holidays. The dietician talked about “egg nog, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, whipped cream desserts, cookies and other yummy food items, and warned the listeners to be careful with the intake of weight inducing foods. She concluded with a message that said, “The average Canadian gains between three and eight kilos over the Christmas season.” Our little two-year-old granddaughter Casey looked at Marion and said, “Gammy, we don’t have to worry about that, do we?” Grandma was surprised that Casey had been able to comprehend what the dietician had just said, and asked Casey why we didn’t have to worry. Casey smiled at grandma and said, “’Cause we’re not average Canadians, we are Norwegian Canadians, right Gammy?”

            I found a very effective Italian diet system called “Pasta Diet” advertised on the Internet, and sent away the $25 US for the booklet. It was a very slim booklet with only one page between hard covers. On the front cover it was printed in large bold letters “The Italian Pasta Diet.” I opened it up and it said to turn the page and follow these few simple steps:

            • You walka pasta da bakery.

            • You walka pasta da candy store.

            • You walka pasta da ice cream shop.

            • You walka pasta da table and fridge.

            Needless to say, I’m still looking for a diet plan!

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