Call me Herb, Herb I. Vore

Annapolis Valley Register - - OPINION - Steve Bartlett The Deep End steve bartlett steve bartlett is an ed­i­tor with saltwire Net­work. he dives into the deep end mon­days to es­cape real­ity, and these days, jerky. reach him at steve. bartlett@thetele­gram.com

My foot was the size and colour of a Cana­dian Coast Guard ice­breaker.

That’s the type of in­jury to be ex­pected af­ter run­ning a 42-kilo­me­tre ul­tra-marathon dur­ing which you flee starv­ing al­li­ga­tors, hop­scotch across hot lava and save a fam­ily from a guy phon­ing to see if their Windows was run­ning.

Un­for­tu­nately, the swelling and pain in my left hoof in­volved no such ath­leti­cism, ad­ven­ture or ac­tion-hero­ism.

I ac­tu­ally had no clue what caused said in­jury, but con­cede I may have hurt it coach­ing, not play­ing, base­ball.

Stand­ing by first and fist­bump­ing seven and eight-yearolds as they reach base re­ally is more phys­i­cally chal­leng­ing than you re­al­ize.

Guar­an­teed it was part of Conor Mcgre­gor’s train­ing regime for the May­weather fight, al­though I fear the lan­guage he might have used in front of the kids.

What­ever the cause of my in­jury, the pain in my foot es­ca­lated to the point where I would rather watch “The View” than stand up.

That, dear reader, is some kind of agony.

I went to see my doc­tor, in­stead of saw­ing it off with a Jamie Oliver knife.

He wasn’t ex­actly sure what was go­ing on, and de­cided to treat me for a sprain.

If it didn’t clear up in a few days, he was send­ing me for Xrays.

Then the topic switched to my weight.

“Doc,” I asked, “this might be less painful if I dropped a few pounds. And I don’t want to be com­ing to your of­fice reg­u­larly. I need to lose weight. I’ve tried ev­ery­thing. Do you have any sug­ges­tions?”

He of­fered up the idea of adopt­ing a plant-based diet, so I ate him in a sin­gle gulp, a pro­ce­dure for which he likely billed the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

OK, I was a car­ni­vore, but not a cannibal and, al­though “Si­lence of the Lambs” is my favourite movie, I didn’t re­ally eat my doc­tor.

In­stead, I ate his words — that he’s got some pa­tients on plant-based di­ets who are los­ing weight and see­ing im­proved health.

“They are still eat­ing some chicken and fish a cou­ple of times a week,” he ex­plained, “but most of their meals are plan­tbased, and they only eat red meat once a month or so.”

I was in­ter­ested, but I LOVE steak to the point where I just all-capped and ital­i­cized the world “love,” and I’ve carved “SB + PR = True Love Al­ways” in the deck rail­ing next to my bar­be­cue.

“PR” is prime rib’s ini­tials. But sit­ting in doc’s of­fice with my foot swelling and stom­ach bulging, I be­gan giv­ing plant-based eat­ing some se­ri­ous thought.

“I should give this se­ri­ous thought,” I told my­self.

I did, and then de­cided to give it a try.

Sev­en­teen days later — out­side of two meals that in­cluded chicken, one that in­volved cod and a sin­gle slice of pep­per­oni pizza at the kids’ base­ball ban­quet — all of my meals have been plant based.

That’s a sig­nif­i­cant re­duc­tion in an­i­mal proteins, and to be hon­est, it hasn’t been that hard.

The big­gest chal­lenge was a walk­ing past a sale on prime rib this week­end. “True love al­ways,” I whis­pered to the steaks. “We’ll get to­gether for a one-off some day soon.”

Se­ri­ously though, the plan­tbased meals have been tasty and there’s a lit­tle less of my waisty (apolo­gies for the un­ex­pected rhyme).

I’ve lost a few pounds, and my foot is bet­ter (al­though the swelling likely wasn’t diet re­lated).

Best of all, I feel more alert and en­er­getic.

Please don’t tell my wife about the lat­ter though. I’m think­ing about sav­ing the ex­tra en­ergy for that ul­tra-marathon.

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