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National Editorials & Columns

A vegetable too far

After a few doctor visits and constant problems with prescription medicines, my friend, Dave, has decided to pay attention to what he eats, hoping to cut down on some of the more unpleasant side-effects and, perhaps, become healthy enough to stop taking some meds altogether.

Years of airplane peanuts and convenience store lunches have taken their toll on him, and he was feeling old before his time. So he did what many people in his condition have done: He bought a juicer.

He loves it and now he can’t wait to spread the message of juicing to everyone who comes in his house. Me? I like juice, but I have never had a juicer. I’m a blender person.

Last week, I found a recipe for a smoothie that called for frozen banana chunks. This blender couldn’t handle them, and frozen banana chunks are marshmallows compared to ice. So I was in the market for something new. Maybe a juicer is just the thing to replace my failing blender.

“See, you can put anything in it and it all tastes good,” Dave says, throwing in some apple slices, a few chunks of pear and a handful of seedless grapes.

It did taste surprisingly good.

“Let’s add a little tomato and green pepper.” Whrrr, whrrr, whrrr. Less good, but still a healthy-tasting drink. I could almost feel lost strength coming back to my legs, increased vigor, deeper breaths. If I did this every day, if I stopped eating bacon cooked in sugar, cheese-covered everything, junk food snacks and late night cookie dough ice cream, I could see myself living to 150.

Maybe Dave is onto something here.

“He can see I’m a convert. He reaches into the fridge and pulls out a bag of dark green lettuce.

“Wait till you try this. Kale! It’s a miracle food. You barely have to eat anything else.”

I take a sip – of the most disgusting stuff known to man.

Within seconds my skin re-wrinkled, the sciatica returned, my hair turned white and I shrunk several inches.

I’m going to try blending my bananas again.

• Contact Jim Mullen at JimMullenBooks.com.

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