by Greg Schwem

A green smoothie.

“I am currently on the “adjective” diet, meaning I will swallow anything that describes how I want my body to look.
It’s not the first time I have tried to obtain a better shape via attractive sounding nutritional titles. I strode into a vitamin store recently and walked out with something called “Serious Mass.” It’s a product that, judging by the physiques of other guys buying it, would make my neck the size of my thighs.
Perhaps the product worked for them. For me, it should have been titled “No Mass. Seriously.”
Next up was “Joint Mobility,” a supplement that, according to its manufacturer’s website, prevents inflammation that can result in “unwanted pain, stiffness, cracking, or even popping joints.”
Sadly, those cracks and pops persisted although I felt very mobile when making my way to the couch.
Have I learned my lesson? No, as evidenced by an initial trip to a local smoothie store, where a whole new batch of enticing and promising verbiage awaited me.
I have never been a fan of smoothies, particularly as a substitute for actual food. If I am going to drink my lunch, I want to feel as full as if I had just exited McDonald’s after polishing off a double quarter pounder with cheese and large fries. This has never happened. One time it didn’t happen because I spit out the entire contents after seeing my receipt. Who knew something called “Acai” would require a second trip to the ATM?
Nevertheless, smoothie stores and juice bars now occupy most of the retail space not already acquired by Starbucks. A relative recently purchased a “faith based” juice franchise.
“So, if Jesus ever wanted a smoothie, this is where he would go?” I texted her shortly after the grand opening.
I still have not received a response. Hey, I thought it was funny.
I decided to give a recently opened smoothie bar near my home a chance. I had just left the gym after a particularly spirited workout and wanted to retain that good health feeling for as long as possible, meaning until 5 p.m. when I planned to join a friend for beer and wings.
Striding up to the counter, I ordered something called “Island Green,” containing spinach, kale, mango, pineapple and banana. It sounded inviting, never mind that it was the color of Augusta National.
“Would you like any supplements?” asked the “smoothierista,” or whatever you call the person tasked with grinding kale into a liquid.
“Such as?” I responded.
I was shown a list of powders including collagen, vitamin B12 and whey protein. But my eyes immediately went to another one: “Fat Burner.”
Excuse me? A scoop, or several, of sand-colored powder could burn unsightly fat from my frame? Why was this even in stock? I mean, who is ordering a smoothie and saying, “No, no, I don’t want to remove fat. In fact, I want just the opposite. Can I have a scoop of flab? Do you have any plump? And while you’re at it, gimme two scoops of low self-esteem!”
I didn’t ask what exactly was in Fat Burner; for all I know it’s the color of sand because it actually IS sand. It was also an extra dollar. I ordered it.
The only burn I felt was the one in my stomach, which disappeared after 20 chicken wings.
A friend recently introduced me to the term “SUPERFOODS,” which sounds like, if eaten, would give me the ability to fly. I have tried most of them; I can report there is nothing “super” about chia seeds and lentils.
As of today, I vow not to base my daily food intake around descriptive titles. Instead, I will continue hitting the gym, drinking copious amounts of water and limiting my ice cream intake.
Unless that ice cream is SLOW CHURNED. That’s healthy, right?
(Greg Schwem is a corporate stand-up comedian and author of two books: “Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad” and the recently released “The Road To Success Goes Through the Salad Bar: A Pile of BS From a Corporate Comedian,” available at Visit Greg on the web at
You’ve enjoyed reading, and laughing at, Greg Schwem’s monthly humor columns in Senior Living News. But did you know Greg is also a nationally touring stand-up comedian? And he loves to make audiences laugh about the joys, and frustrations, of growing older. Watch the clip and, if you’d like Greg to perform at your senior center or senior event, contact him through his website at