My Horrible Fucking Diet

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Hello Asheville!

Let’s talk diets. Mine is fucking horrible. I eat whatever I want, whenever I want, which sometimes means that I literally eat cake and ice cream for breakfast, hot dogs for lunch, and cheeseburgers for…  breakfast, lunch, and dinner… pretty much whenever a cheeseburger is available. I want one right NOW!!!  It’s 9am in the morning as I write this.

I used to be a vegetarian, Man. Wow, that seems like six million lifetimes ago. Now whenever I do eat vegetables they are usually cooked in hog drippin’s or duck fat. The last time I ate kale, it was deep-fucking-fried. True story, Yo. As a result: I’m fat. People see me and they say, “oh, you’re not fat,” and then they hate me, but compared to the rock-hard specimen of manhood that I was just two short years ago, I’m a fucking tub of lard. And, too, also: I’m having a hard time breathing, my heart races with the least little bit of physical activity, and my left arm and leg go all tingly sometimes. All. True. Stories. It’s fucking alarming how quickly my body turned to the dark-side after I started writing about food. Pork bellies, bacon, cheese grits, deep-fried hand pies… something actually called lardon… Let’s face it, Asheville…

The food that this town is most famous for is not entirely healthy.

Now, keep in mind that I am not a doctor or a dietitian. I’m just a guy who may or may not be experiencing tightness in his chest caused by a sausage lodged in his aorta, so please consult a physician if you have health concerns of your own.

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This is a piece of piecake. It’s pie, baked inside of cake. This one is from Short Street Cakes. It was fucking GOOOD!

I know, I know, it’s all on me. As a person with free will and a mind of my own, I can choose to eat a healthy diet, and NOT shove piecake in my face-hole for breakfast… then bacon-wrapped meatloaf for lunch… and chicken-fried steak-fried chicken-fried steak for dinner. I know that I could eat… um… a yogurt… and some… raw fish… or…

…a cucumber?

I dunno. Healthy stuff. Like, granola and crap. What are those leafy green things called again? You’re kidding me. They’re called “Leafy greens?”  Real creative naming, World. Whatever. ._. I guess I need fruits and vegetables and leafy greens in my diet in order to, like, not drop dead and stuff. I hate it!

I try to eat healthy, I really do… no I don’t.

When it comes right down to it, and I’m sitting in Buxton Hall BBQ, asking myself, “Should I have a salad, or a fried catfish sandwich with American cheese all melted on top like a big, warm, creamy hug?” 99.9 times out 100, I’m gonna choose the fried stuff that comes with a dairy hug.

The two occasions when I did order salad at Buxton Hall, one came with loads of meat on it, and the other came with hushpuppies! Both salads were fantastic, of course, even the parts that weren’t made out of animals and deep-fried balls of corn meal, but I’m not sure that either was exactly what qualifies as a healthy meal. Healthy-ER, perhaps, than eating a couple of doughnuts from Vortex for lunch…  which I’ve also done… several times… but two hushpuppies are not that far off — on a chromosomal level — from a pair of doughnuts, so fuck it… I’ll just push this little ol’ hushpuppy into the hole in the middle of this here doughnut, and viola! A duff-puppy! Nom nom.

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Deep fried salad from Buxton Hall.

Unfortch, it would seem that my deteriorating body needs more than duff-puppies to remain healthy, but what’s a simple-minded troglodyte like me gotta do to stay sexy? The answer is so simple it can be summed up in one word: Juice.

I ferkin’ lerv jerce.

I’m not talking about basic orange, apple, and grape juice, or even Five-Alive! I’m talking about beet juice, carrot juice, kale, chard, even muhfuckin’ parsley can be juiced!

Like 50% of all Americans, I own a juicer that I never use. Why? Simple: Because it’s a giant pain in the fucking ass. First, you gotta buy the raw materials from one of those grocery store places. Then you gotta wash it, prep it, and juice it, then — after exactly  one-tenth-of-a-second of drinking delicious nutritious juice — comes the complete and utter nightmare of cleaning that little mesh thingy, and all of the other juicer parts… yadda yadda…  fahhhck me. Who the fuck am I? Johnny Gotta Lotta Time To Clean Shit All Day? No. I’m Stu fuckin’ Helm, and when life gives me a dilemma… I go out to eat! Or in this case, I go out to drink juice!

Enter Nourish and Flourish

Nourish and Flourish is a juice bar in the River Arts District, not far from my house. I’ve written about it a few times, and I have posted numerous Instagram photos — mostly of, you guessed it: Juice. (#juice #yayjuice #juiceisgoodfoood) — from their beautiful little space at 347 Depot St. Folks might already know that I really enjoy juice, but I’ve never written about how I am also convinced that juice can cure just about anything that’s ailin’ me, and may have recently saved me a couple hundo in trips to the doctor’s office.

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A foamy glass of fresh veg from Nourish and Flourish.

Y’see… one time I had a pimple inside of my tongue. WEIRD, right? Really weird, and let me tell you, also really painful and super un-comfs to eat with. At first I was sure that the hard painful lump deep inside my tongue was cancer, and I was ready to pretty much lay down and die. Then my sister the nurse basically said, well before you do that…  maybe you should have it looked at. So, I did, and the doctor gave me some antibiotics and over the course of about two weeks the pimple went away.

That’s right. A pimple. Inside of my fucking tongue. “That sometimes happens,” the doctor said. Then, much to my fucking dismay, it happened again! Muhhh-therrrrr-fuck! I was pissed. Doctors are expensive, and since I already knew that it wasn’t cancer, but just a little ol’ pimple, I decided, “This can be cured with the awesome power of juice.”

I stepped-up my visits to my neighborhood juice bar, and I’ll tell you what, I don’t give a shit if it was the placebo effect, mind over matter, or The Devil’s black magic, every single time I drank a pint of juice from Nourish and Flourish, that fucking asshole of a pimple inside of my tongue got smaller and felt better, and on the days that I didn’t juice it up, it didn’t get smaller and it didn’t feel better. After about 3 weeks of juice intake — one pint about every 3rd or 4th day —  that pimple started to feel a lot better, and a week later it was gone. The process took a little bit longer than the penicillin, but it was just as effective, a lot less expensive, and — by my calculations — ten-million times more delicious! #yayjuice

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AGAIN: I AM NOT A DOCTOR, DIETITIAN, SCIENTIST, OR NUTRITIONAL EXPERT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM.

But here’s my hypothesis: My fucking gums were compromised by a lack of nutrition, especially vitamin C, and a tiny molecule of infection snaked its way from there, into my blood stream, and took up residence in my dang tongue. Solution: Vitamins and Minerals. STAT! As a rule, I don’t like to take pills if I don’t have to, so I drank juice, and the all-natch vites ‘n’ mins bolstered my immune system, which fought the infection and reduced the pimple until it went bye-bye.

Juice, my friends. JUICE! I am a believer.

Here’s the juice menu at Nourish and Flourish. It’s limited, which I like. Too many juice choices would overwhelm me for sure. I am particularly into the Larkspur. It’s got everything I need to replenish my super-powers and make me whole when I’m feeling diminished. You can also request your own combos.

Cosmos – Carrot, Apple, Beet, Lemon, Ginger

Larkspur – Carrot, Cucumber, Celery, Parsley

Green Heliconia – Apple, Kale, Cucumber, Celery, Parsley

Morning Glory – Carrot, Apple, Beet, Celery, Parsley

Carolina Jasmine – Pineapple, Apple, Cucumber, Lime, Ginger, Mint

Mimosa – Orange, Grapefruit, Lemon, Ginger, Cayenne

Scarlet Runner – Carrot, Apple, Fennel, Cucumber

Manzanita – Apple, Celery, Fennel, Kale, Lemon

These are some other obvious benefits to visiting Nourish and Flourish:

The People! – With Shannon behind the counter most of the time, you’re guaranteed a smile, and some up-beat interactions, that can range from a little chit-chat, to more meaningful discussions. Shannon will talk if you wanna talk and leave you alone if you wanna be left alone.

• The Vibe – It’s mellow as fuck up inside the Nourish and Flourish. It’ll put ya right in the zone.

The Aroma – I’m not sure if it’s just the smell of fresh juice or what, but as soon as you walk in the door of Nourish and Flourish, you get a snoot-full of the most wonderful, refreshing, relaxing aroma.

• The View – Looking out the back window, you get a nice view of train tracks, trees, rolling hills, and such. It’s like being in the country, an inch away from downtown.

• The Price – At $5 a pop, plus tip, the juice I used to cure the pimple in my tongue probably set me back about $60 – $75 bucks. Plus, like I said, penicillin never tasted so good.

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Orange juice is for amateurs. Carrot juice is where it’s at.

So, yeah, juice is good food, but what about the rest of my horrible fucking diet? A person simply cannot continue to eat like I do and expect to live for very long. Right? Yeah, probably not, but whatevs. I walk, I ride a bike, I don’t drive or have kids, I work for myself, I smoke weed, I’m the king of chillaxin’. In other words, I avoid stress like a motherfucker, and when it comes to diets, my own mom always says, “You’ll die faster from the stress of worrying about what you eat than you will from just eating whatever you want and enjoying it.”

Gosh, I love my mommy. She also once lamented that dessert isn’t a regular feature of breakfast. “We eat dessert after lunch and dinner, so…”

— END —

IMG_0273Stu Helm is an artist, writer, and podcaster living in Asheville, NC, and a frequent diner at local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, and the like. His tastes run from hot dogs and mac ‘n’ cheese, to haute cuisine, and his opinions are based on a lifetime of eating out. He began writing about food strictly to amuse his friends on Facebook. 

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External links:

avlfoodfans.com

ashvegas.com

stuhelmfoodfan.wordpress.com

facebook.com/stuhelmfoodfan

instagram.com/stuhelm33

twitter.com/stuhelmfoodfan

wpvmfm.org/show/asheville-food-fan

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