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My doctor told me I needed more fiber in my diet to keep my colon from doing things it shouldn’t. I don’t like it when my doctor starts talking like that and he seems to be doing more of that kind of talking all the time. I’m all for a healthy diet but I’m not about to radically alter my lifestyle and start doing anything avowedly and blatantly ‘healthy.’ I have my principles.
To be specific my doctor said I should eat more raw vegetables and whole grains and if I did that on a ‘regular’ basis my colon would start working like a charm. I don’t like the way that sounds.
Over the years I never thought that much about my colon or what it was doing. We had this agreement that I wouldn’t bother it and it wouldn’t bother me. But since my doctor took the time to mention fiber and that I should be getting more of it I thought I’d be on the lookout for things of a fibrous nature and I’d really try and get some when I could.
A few days later I was in the grocery store picking up a few simple items including a loaf of bread which I hoped would include some fiber for my colon. As I went up and down the bread aisle looking at all the shapes, colors, sizes and prices on the many brands of bread I came across a loaf that made me laugh out loud – or lol as some say in e-mails.
Boldly printed on the bag was the name: "12 Grains Bread." It looks like someone was having fun at my doctor’s expense and was making fun of his serious medical advise. Twelve grains! It’s a veritable fiber feast. My colon will think I swallowed a three-piece wool suit. And I don’t even own a three-piece suit.
I kept repeating to myself: Twelve grains. What would they think of next? It’s like they couldn’t decide what kind of bread to make so they threw in every grain they could think of.
Talk about indecision. Why can’t these bread bakers just pick a grain and go with it? On the shelf next to the 12-grain bread was a puny loaf of 7-grain bread. There was a time when I would have been impressed with a 7-grain bread but those times are now gone. Why buy a 7-grain when - for the same price – you can get five grains more?
But what are the 12 grains? I asked. After thinking about it for a minute I tried to name 12 grains. I soon realized that I couldn’t. I couldn’t name 12 grains I’d like to see in a loaf of bread. I didn’t know there were 12 grains on the planet and now – in 21st centure America people are baking and I can buy a loaf of bread containing 12-grains for me and my colon.
Standing there in the aisle of the supermarket I tried to name 12 grains, any 12. Let’s see, I said: wheat, oats, corn, rye, barley, rice – 6 grains was the best I could do and these bread people managed to find six more?
In case you’re wondering, the grains that made up this 12-grain loaf were: wheat, oats, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, rye, barley, corn, millet, triticale, rice, flax and buckwheat.
How’s a 12-grain bread taste? I thought it was pretty good. And with all that fiber I’m assuming my colon is tickled pink.
John McDonald is a humorist and storyteller who performs regularly
throughout New England. John’s e-mail address is
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