Polar Vortex Reducing Diet(TM): The Quickest Way to Accidental Health…Guaranteed!


If you’ve looked at any weather radar maps lately, you will have noticed the vast blue blob that’s gobbled up all of the North and most of the Midwest. You’ll notice a spattering of seasonally appropriate numbers, but then you’ll squint at the screen and notice that there are minus signs before each of them. It’s not 22 degrees. Nope! It’s MINUS 22 DEGREES. The high today in my corner of Missouri was expressed by the laughable digit “3,” and it occurred at 12:05 a.m., which basically means it was part of yesterday.

But enough of my personal woes… let’s get to the feature I know my faithful multitudes (Tara, Jordan) are waiting for!


Lose Weight Effortlessly During the Polar Vortex Times! Now, that lean, starved look can be yours in three easy steps!

How to do it:

1. Watch blue blob of frigidity approach your state on the evening news; laugh at reports of empty grocery shelves and people fighting over bread in the Dillon’s parking lot and feel smug, like perhaps you are a more evolved version of the common species, the kind of advanced mammal that wasn’t into Beanie Babies in the 90s, wasn’t into Y2K in 1999, and certainly was not into the planking craze of June 24, 2012.

2. Be so busy making fun of these poor, simple alarmists that you forget to go grocery shopping yourself.

3. Eat nothing but canned beans, wilted lettuce, and Ezekiel bread the whole time you are snowed in, which is four days.


Bonus tips: Watch yourself do increasingly horrible things as supplies grow thin, like lick your finger and dip it in a bag of pure cane sugar. Realize you have sugar addiction. Do absolutely nothing to change. In fact, drink rum with Juicy Juice because rum and Juicy Juice both are forms of sugar and you NEED sugar and it’s been seven hours since you’ve had any.
Try to find Sherlock episodes for free online. Fail. Venture out to coffee shop for human interaction, wearing produce bags for snow boots.  Deride yourself for being 30 and not owning snowboots.
It’s so cold the snot freezes in your nostrils when you breath in; proceed to mouth breath. Trudge home. Try spitting on sidewalk to see if it’s true your spit will freeze before it hits ground; it’s not.
Refresh email forty times to see if work is cancelled tomorrow like it was today. It is not.


What I Didn’t Do Today

-go to the YMCA
-eat daily recommended 4-6 servings of vegetables (consumed: small salad, trace amounts of zucchini, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes in lasagna, frozen collard greens)
-spend time walking barefoot in the grass, reconnecting with nature (instead reconnected with couch, last episode of Sherlock)
-write letters to anyone on my list of People Who Matter (a real list I wrote on the back of a utilities envelope and keep in my correspondence drawer)
-avoid sugar consumption (consumed: 3/4 of large chocolate chip cookie, one serving dark chocolate, 1.5 serving Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food)
-say positive affirmations in the mirror (“I trust in the process and flow of life, I trust in the process and flow of life, etc.” is the personal affirmation that was once assigned to me by an acupuncturist who keenly observed my distrust in the process and flow of life)
-work on my ongoing novel project or revise any stories with the ultimate goal of securing my place in the literary canon
-wash dishes (fruit fly situation: escalated)

On the other hand, I DID:

-not do heroin
-avoid supporting global sex trade (to my knowledge)
-maintain my reputation of being a person who is hard to get a hold of by phone
-read 20 pages of the Toronto-as-Detroit science fiction novel, “Brown Girl in the Ring”

I also biked to the free clinic just over the bridge to pick up my prescription. The brother of an old middle school friend works there, and it’s impossible not to feel ashamed when I see him. The first time I saw him there he asked how I’d been and I said something very awkward, one of those things that was supposed to come off as a joke but fell flat in a sad, too-close-to-truth sort of way: “Oh, you know. I’m 30 years old and picking up government subsidized anxiety meds at a free clinic in my hometown. But otherwise good. Good. You?”

As I trudged forward in line with the literally and figuratively unwashed masses (some of them drooling), I had some deep thoughts about the state of healthcare in this country. The other day my boyfriend waited 9 hours to get some free dental care, and here I was at the free clinic. It’s not that I’m snobbish or think I’m above free clinics (though, obviously, I am). It’s that I shouldn’t *have* to go there. I’m the educated middle class, supposedly. These services were not originally intended for me — they were meant for society’s most unfortunate. I’m almost 30 years old with two degrees and a solid work ethic, and I can’t afford a monthly prescription or medical care.

And meanwhile conservatives sabotage any hope for healthcare reform AND cut support for social programs — double whammy. The ol’ GOP 1-2.

I finally arrived at the pharmacy window (glad to see the friend’s brother this time occupied with something in the back) and the pharmacist announced in a loud, shrill voice: “I’M SORRY, BUT YOUR [NAME OF MEDICATION] IS NOT READY YET. SIT OVER THERE NEXT TO THE GENTLEMAN IN DIAPERS UNTIL WE CALL YOUR NAME.”

(Geez, lady, whatever happened to HIPAA and whatnot?!)