Chris Jepson: The original Burger Boy

For the past 40 days, I have been a vegan. I dropped all meat and dairy cold turkey.

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  • | 12:42 p.m. February 22, 2012
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
  • Opinion
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I’m downsizing. Yes, my size.

I’m the original Burger Boy. I could, anytime, slide into a Steak 'n Shake and order up a double steakburger with cheese, fries and a large chocolate shake. Whooooof. Gone in, oh, five minutes. Or less.

Or be driving by a McDonalds before 10:30 a.m. and coast through for a tasty Sausage Egg McMuffin. Just one. I’m no Philistine! Even Julia Child thought them tasty. McDonald’s still has the best fries.

How about a steak from The Outback? Don’t need no stinkin’ Bloomin’ Onion, just a steak and the vegetable medley. Again, a hunk of “bouff” properly seasoned and prepared makes me salivate just thinking about it, still sizzling and smelling like meat ought to – a T-bone perhaps, where you eagerly gnaw the remaining bits of meat off the bone. Suh-weeeeet. Marbled with just the perfect amount of fat. Fat so tasty-scrumptious you willingly, brazenly devour rather than trimming and setting aside.

I like pot roasts, pork roasts, barbeque beef, hamburgers, a beef brisket, beef for stew, stir-fry beef or a beef kabob. I’d eagerly dine, too, on roasted chicken or pork chops. In my 20s, I ravished 20-ounce steaks like they were Hershey Almond Bars. And ask, “What’s next?” I don’t require that amount of beef today. A 10-ounce steak is just fine, thank you.

Once-upon-a-time. Yes, once-upon-a-time I ate meat. Oh, did I mention ice cream? Publix has the best chocolate almond ice cream. Consistently good. It is. I grew up eating vast amounts of ice cream, by the half-gallon. Spoonful after delicious spoonful. I could consume a half-gallon watching Saturday morning cartoons. Easily. Before 11 a.m.

As an adult, I quit having it in the house. I can, as “they” say, resist anything but temptation. When I do (have ice cream in the house), I finish it off in 24 hours. I told my children that there’s no good reason for not having ice cream for breakfast. I know! I know! Save the letters accusing me of child abuse. But trust me, ice cream tastes just fine for breakfast. Not every day. Pace yourself, fer gawd’s sake!

Many of the foods that taste really, really good are, it turns out, not so good for you. Surprise of surprises, I have elevated cholesterol. I took a statin for several years but developed a statin side effect of excruciating leg cramps. My doctor got in my face in December about my course of treatment, and I said I am not looking to meds as the answer.

So for the past 40 days, I have been a vegan. Not a vegetarian, but a vegan. I dropped all meat and dairy cold turkey. Not one bite. I’ve lost 12 pounds. Sometimes I go to bed hungry. I eat grains, vegetables and fruit. In 40 days I’ve had fish twice. I have approximately 50 days to go before I retest my blood for the various cholesterol levels. My family and friends are somewhat bemused by my diet. It’s just a test I tell them. If a vegan diet does not appreciably improve my cholesterol numbers, I may resume my old ways.

Not true. I have become much more conscious of my diet. All I want is another healthy 20 years. Oh, and a steak and a malt and a cheeseburger and a…

And I didn’t even mention bacon. Want proof of God? Mmmm Bacon.

Jepson is a 24-year resident of Florida. He’s fiscally conservative, socially liberal, likes art and embraces diversity of opinion. Reach him at [email protected]


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