by Daniel Harris

I had a sister-in-law who was a licensed nutritionist. Not sure what “licensed” means, but she had some certificate and worked in a hospital. Hospitals! Places not known for their cuisine, much less their nutrition.

—So, what do you normally eat for lunch? she asked me.
—Most days when I'm home I make a BLT, you know a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. If I'm working in the audio studio, I usually get a BLT from my favorite deli. I've probably eaten a BLT for lunch two or three times a week since I left college. That's a coupla decades. It's light, filling and tasty.
—Not good for you though.
—Well, I'm going to make one for lunch right now, and you can adjust it when I'm finished.

I put two strips of bacon in an omelet pan and cut two thick slices of whole wheat bread to put in the toaster when the bacon was done. Took a head of iceberg lettuce and some Hellman's mayo from the fridge. Peeled off a big leaf of lettuce and washed it with a tomato. When the bacon and toast were done, I put a big schmear of mayo on both slices of bread, a couple slices of tomato, the two strips of bacon I'd broken in half, and folded the lettuce leaf to cover it all, then pressed the whole sandwich together. I sliced it diagonally and put it on a small plate.

 —There. Is that so bad? I asked.

 The nutritionist gave my sandwich a scowl and deftly removed the bacon.
—This bacon is full of fat, salt, nitrites, and the meat is bad for you. Nitrites are known to cause cancer.
—Bummer, it tastes great.
—This tomato is a member of the deadly nightshade family. Known to cause arthritis. Get rid of it as well as peppers and potatoes.
—That can't be true. Everyone eats potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers.
—They will pay. You'll thank me when you reach fifty.

She slid the lettuce leaf from between the two slices of toast.

—This bread is nothing but a fat farm. Your gut turns it into sugar which gets stored as fat. Don't eat whole wheat bread or any bread. You don't want a bowling ball stomach, do you? Don't eat bread.

I looked at the lettuce leaf. It glistened with bacon fat, mayo, and tomato juice. I ate it in two bites. It was delicious.

—Hey! Don't wolf down your food. You should chew your food until it liquifies. As the yogis say, “Chew your liquids and drink your solids.”
—Well, when I drink Scotch, I chew the ice, does that count?