2009-05-14 / Sam Bari

Living longer and leaner, with less hassle

You can't beat a system you can't understand
By Sam Bari

When I was a kid, mothers had a basic rule for assuring a healthy lifestyle for their families. The fundamental rule was: Feed them things that don't taste good. This rule particularly applied to children.

Mothers across the country began each day by giving their defenseless offspring two multi-vitamins made of compressed fur balls that they washed down with a full tablespoon of cod liver oil. I had nightmares about the experience. Male alligators were more kind to their little ones. They ate them.

I resisted falling asleep at night because I feared that sleep was a passage to morning at warp speed. The taste of cod liver oil and fur balls lingered on the back of my tongue for 24-hours after ingestion when it was reinforced on a daily basis. The practice scarred children from my generation for life.

Then we were further violated at the dinner table where we were forced to consume copious helpings of broccoli, cauliflower, lima beans and squash. Somehow, we miraculously survived the abuse and managed to claw our way to adulthood with a modicum of sanity intact.

I am not sure how it happened, but scholars from the rock 'n' roll generation allegedly did research on matters of health and convinced government authorities that exercise, a well-balanced diet free of fat and sugar was the path to a long and healthy life.

If that is the case, then explain to me why my uncle, who drank whiskey every day, believed that if food wasn't fried it wasn't edible, and never did a lick of exercise in his life, lived to be 92. He died of old age at home in his sleep. He never spent a day in the hospital and had no dreadful diseases.

Our crack team of researchers, the Googlamaniacs, spent nanoseconds looking into the matter and came to the following conclusions:

Cardiovascular exercise will not prolong your life. Your heart has so many beats and that's it. Eventually, everything wears out, hearts included. Speeding up your heart to make you live longer is about as sensible as driving your car faster to make it last longer. If you are bent on having a long life, take a nap.

Eating less meat for a healthy heart is a myth. Cows eat hay and corn. Those are vegetables. A good steak is an efficient method of delivering vegetables to your system. Chickens and pigs are also fundamental vegetarians. Enjoy. You'll get all the vegetables you need.

This business of reducing alcohol intake is just ridiculous. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine. Beer is made from barley and other grains. Whiskey comes from corn. You need your fruit and grains. That's why happy hour was invented.

I can think of no good reason to join those fanatics at the gym. As far as I'm concerned, no pain . . . hey, that's great!

And whoever said that swimming was good for your figure must come from a distant planet. If that is the case, then why are there whales?

Getting in shape is not the be all, end all of leading a happy lifestyle. After all, round is a shape.

Here are a few things you should consider: The Japanese eat little fat, while the Mexicans eat lots of fat. However, both have fewer heart attacks than Americans.

The Chinese do not drink much red wine, while the Italians and French drink lots of red wine. Still, all three have fewer heart attacks than Americans.

The Germans drink lots of beer, eat sausage and fatty food every day and they too have fewer heart attacks than Americans.

You can eat and drink anything you like. Apparently, living in a system you can't understand is what kills you.

Return to top