Day Two: The Whole in My Heart

The men awakened this morning complaining of a certain hollowness in their midsections. This demonstrates conclusively that sleep does not cure all ills, for said hollowness is the precise malady they complained of last night. I must beware that the quiet grumbling already beginning among the ranks does not spread into general mutiny if we are to survive the month.

–excerpt from the journal of an anonymous expeditionary force leader

It’s a curious thing how one can consume vast quantities of vegetable matter and yet have one’s vital organs report no change in status. I used to marvel politely when informed that an elephant can eat up to 330 pounds of food each day, but I don’t anymore, because it’s all leafy greens. I could probably eat 330 pounds of leafy greens each day, if I had big enough teeth. The stuff has some kind of antimatter properties once consumed; it takes up no space.

Today’s “Whole Thirty” lunch consisted of a salad left over from yesterday’s lunch. Yesterday, having consumed a sizeable quantity of yam in the morning and a no less significant portion of pork and raw carrots for lunch, I did not consider myself equal to the task of consuming the large and handsome salad my wife had prepared (topped with frozen raspberries). This was before I remembered the physics-defying properties of leafy green vegetable matter. Thus, I put the ill-fated pile of rabbit food back into the refrigerator with the noble intention of eating it today. When today rolled around, I was once more painfully reminded of what should be an axiom of the kitchen: leafy greens, removed from their protective wrapping, are a one-way food. They can come out of the refrigerator, but having done so they may never return, upon pain of consuming a slimy, sinewy green mass. Fortunately, though I may not be a thinker, I am a man.

My wife is a kindly soul, and I think she feared that my constant relaying of personal inner emptiness into the surrounding environment might result in the formation of some kind of vacuum or black hole. Therefore, today’s lunch was accompanied by an indeterminate (but significant) number of mixed nuts she made a special trip to procure this morning. I was surprised by the appearance of nuts on the menu and asked if therefore peanut butter is acceptable on this diet. (As a staff officer, I strive to keep myself above the operational details, leaving such things to my trusted lieutenants.) She replied that no, peanuts are verboten because they are legumes. I responded (after a hasty inspection) that this package of mixed nuts contained peanut oil. Verboten? Nein, said she, that is fine. You can have the oil, the fat, but not the entire legume. This as opposed to fruits, where you can have the entire fruit but not individual parts of it (viz., the juice). It is important for any fad diet to have plenty of arbitrary rules, because it gives the disciples many things to think about.

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