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Penkava: Carb Wars: The Last Breadi

I don’t know what to eat anymore. I know I’m supposed to eat healthy, but healthy has changed as many times as commanders of the Death Star.

Over the years, the dietary experts have changed their recommendations so radically that we no longer know what to stick our lightsaber flatware into.

Take breakfast, for example. Back in the day, we heaped our plates with steak and eggs and toast. This was the most important meal of the day, and we scarfed it up like Jabba the Hutt at the cantina on Tatooine.

But then cholesterol was discovered in eggs. They were chock full of it. Experts said this stuff clogged our arteries and killed us, so those nasty eggs were eliminated from our plates faster than the Millennium Falcon making the Kessel Run.

Then somebody said that there actually were two kinds of cholesterol: good and bad. Evidently, now it was OK to eat the whites of the eggs, but the yolks were from the Dark Side.

Years later, there was a revelation that cholesterol in a food doesn’t really effect how much of it ends up in the blood, so eggs in their full glory were back on our plates. However, it appeared that the steak was killing us, so that was off the table.

However, it was later discovered that the steak was actually fine … it was the toast that was deadly. It was Carb Wars, as we cleaned our pantries of the last Breadi.

Then, oops, we were told that rather than eliminate the bread group, we actually should eat more carbs. It was like The Return of the Breadi. All we needed to do was exercise to stay healthy.

Oh, still later it was found that it didn’t matter what you ate or if you exercised because we were all victims of genetics and our genes were the prime determinant of our fate. So we returned to a heaping plate of breakfast and then burned it off sitting in our La-Z-Boy escape pod.

So let’s see: We went from eggs to no eggs to partial eggs and back to eggs. Then it was steak, no steak, steak. This was followed by toast, no toast, and toast again. For a while it was free-for-all food, but with exercise. Then we lost exercise to genetics. But wait, there’s more.

Now the Food Pyramid has been reduced to the Food Plate. Rather than feasting on a monumentally massive dietary representation, we now are devouring snippets of cuisine on a symbolic paper plate.

Oh, well, thus is progress. Now I just eat what my wife puts in front of me. I tell her that I’ll try my best.

She replies, “No. Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”

The Force is strong with that one.

• Michael Penkava taught a bunch of kids and wrote a bunch of stuff. Next, he is writing about turning in his leased car. He’ll call it, “Return of the Jetta.” He can be reached at

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