The More You Toot, The Better You Feel
Nearly eight years ago, I began an arduous, difficult, and life changing journey filled with struggle and suffering, but also great joy and rewards. No, I’m not talking about my “Weight Loss Journey” (an annoying phrase that I hate with a passion, but seem to repeat constantly because of masochism), I’m talking about marriage. And I don’t normally give marriage advice in this blog, but I figured I would share what is by far the greatest adjustment required post-matrimony. It’s not dividing up the household chores. It’s not learning how to not hog the sheets. It’s not how to resolve the occasional marital spat. Nor is it convincing your spouse to sign a postnuptial agreement. It is…getting comfortable farting in each other’s presence.
You may be thinking “Triple-D (nobody calls me that), how is dealing with marital flatulence worse than the other things.” Well, for starters, particularly nasty emanations can lead to arguments over subjects like “why do you keep feeding me chili” or “why do we keep ordering Indian food” and the like. But mostly, even though the rectal trumpetings caused by digestion may seem small compared to other things that married couples must learn to compromise over, what they lack in magnitude they make up for in volume. Because most of us break the wind, with our obnoxious putrescence ten or twenty times a day. Your dearest soulmate is going to be assaulted with the stench of the dead (literal dead things that you ate and digested, after all) on a regular basis.
And eating healthy doesn’t necessarily help, although there are certain ways to avoid it. Alcohol, for example, can make one farty and it’s good to avoid that anyway. But if you’re trying to obtain all of the necessary vitamins and minerals one needs to live a good life, this may require you to eat a few things that make your body’s exhaust fumes potentially violate the Geneva conventions with the horrid, trench-clearing, airborne toxins you produce.
This is chiefly because one thing I discovered is a good addition to my diet is the usual suspect in the production of gaseous bodily waste. And that is…beans. You know the old poem:
Beans, beans, the magical fruit
The more you eat, the more you toot,
The more you toot, the better you feel
So let’s have beans for every meal!
Or maybe you don’t know it. Maybe you’re thinking that it’s just Boomer nonsense (it is) or maybe you’re struggling with the idea that beans are fruit. They kind of are, by the way, although biology nerds still get into fights over whether or not that’s true. Or, maybe you’re a little unconvinced that tooting makes you feel better. Which varies depending on circumstances. Sometimes I do feel like my clothes fit better after a particularly satisfying rip, although I don’t always feel great if it happens in public. But I have discovered that beans are healthy. As is the vegetable so closely related they might as well be kissing cousins: peas.
Beans and peas were the vegetable mom made you eat that you didn’t hate her for. Not completely anyway. Leafy greens made you wish terrible things on your mother, like boils or leprosy or yeast infections. And okra made you wish your mother would be immediately cast down into Gehenna. But beans and peas were merely mild irritants.
Some of us never get into the habit of eating the green stuff. You should, by the way. But if you have that variant of the Peter Pan complex that won’t let you eat the grown up vegetables, there are many options from the bean family that won’t make you feel like you’re engaged in excessive “adulting”. Which, for anyone that doesn’t know, is one of those words millennials and zoomers invented by turning a noun into a verb just to be annoying.
So let’s start with the classic, normie bean, the green snap bean. The thing that is very edible and quite healthy, unless a Baptist puts it in a casserole, in which case it’s been doused in bacon and fat and grease. And for all of the Keto bros who just got aroused by that description of the lard soaked Baptist green bean casserole, take a cold shower. Fattening up the vegetables defeats the purpose.
A cup of green beans is very easy to add to any meal, at a mere 45 calories per cup. Sadly, though, the normie bean is a little bit lighter on nutrition than many others. A cupful will have a little bit of every micronutrient. Well, except for the vitamin requiring animal sacrifice, Japanese Nori, or cheating. And by cheating I mean supplements. I’m talking about vitamin B12, of course. Green beans do have a healthy dose of vitamin A and lots of vitamin K, which exists in all things green. But it only has small portions of everything else.
The normie pea, green peas, are better for you. A single cup of this has 120 calories, which is more, but still not bad. It also has a chunk of vitamin K and various B vitamins, a healthy dose of vitamin A, two thirds of the vitamin C I’ll need in any day, and a big chunk of copper, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. So it’s much better. Just don’t have it in split pea soup form. It’s gross. I mean it doesn’t taste bad, but it looks like a bowlful of what is either swamp water or really bad diarrhea from someone with a terminal illness.
There was another pea that Mom fed me when I was younger that not only didn’t make me want her immediately condemned to everlasting darkness where there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, but that I actually liked. Even with the small boy’s palate, which only likes hot dogs and macaroni. I’m talking about that side dish that frequently blesses a plate full of barbecue or fried things (which really aren’t healthy), the black-eyed pea. A cupful of these has 200 calories. So, more fattening than ordinary peas, but they’re more nutritious. They provide 90% of my daily folate needs, half of my copper and iron requirements, a big helping of my manganese and phosphorus needs, and a fair amount of magnesium and zinc.
And that’s not the only bean one sees regularly at a barbecue. Butter beans (also known as “lima beans” by heathens and apostates) are also a common side dish. Which I always found surprisingly good, even as a little boy. A cupful of these will give me a big portion of vitamin B6, potassium, phosphorus, thiamine, folate and manganese requirements, and roughly half of the iron RDA. And it’s yet another bean I could eat without wanting my mother thrown into the outer reaches of Tartarus.
Then there’s that white colored bean that is so good for you (and easy to store on long voyages) that it served as rations (since the early 1800s) for scurvy scalawags of the Murrican variety. I’m talking about Navy beans. That’s literally where the name comes from, the Navy used to eat them. And it probably kept them healthy in the early 1800s while fighting Barbary pirates and such. A cup has a mere 140 calories, and lots of folate, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and copper.
On the other hand, maybe they’re not so great. Sailors tend to be awfully bellicose when they come ashore, so maybe eating too many of these gave them anger issues. Or maybe it produced so many farts in the tight spaces of those old wooden frigates that the smell never went away. A six-month voyage would be so unbearable that the sea dogs would obviously feel the urge to punish the landlubbers in bar fights the next time they entered a port.
Anyway, back to beans. Specifically, the bean most commonly used in that food best known for its tendency to make us break the wind regularly, chili. That bean that’s named for a thing you should not eat (because offal is awful), the kidney bean. Somebody in the marketing department needs to come up with a new name. I know they look like kidneys, but doesn’t naming a food after the organ primarily responsible for producing urine affect sales? Anyway, a cup of these has 220 calories, lots of copper, a decent amount of manganese, iron, phosphorus, and reasonable portions of magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc.
I should also mention the bean that frequently adorns the plates of Floridian Cubans, black beans. I noted recently that Cuban food is generally good for you, and black beans are part of the reason. A cup has about 230 calories, most of your folate requirements, and a healthy amount of thiamine, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium zinc, copper, and iron.
Another bean I was introduced to after marriage, when my wife forced me to go to overly yuppie, bourgeois, fancy schmancy places, is edamame. These look like green beans but can’t be eaten like green beans. Because the pod in which the pea-like things are sheathed in is only slightly less resilient than Kevlar. Attempting to chew these could dislocate jaws or teeth. Instead, one must squeeze the little things out and eat them. As with most overly pretentious meals (like oysters and lobsters) one must, for some reason, actually engage in the last steps of food processing before eating them.
But they’re still pretty good for you, in spite of the extra effort involved. And in spite of the fact that eating them makes you the type of high falutin’ snob who wears tuxedos to backyard barbecues. But if you’re willing to tolerate being pretentious, a cup of these beans has lots of omega 3 fatty acids (35% of your daily requirements), every bit of folate you need in a day, a huge portion of copper and iron, and decent portions of phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. And only 190 calories.
Another good bean is the garbanzo bean, as they’re known in the western hemisphere. Or chickpeas, as they’re known to people in the eastern hemisphere or to people in the western hemisphere who like hummus, wear plaid shirts, and don’t like shaving or bathing. These beans have 270 calories per cup and are rich in folate, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and potassium.
But these are just beans that people eat in their natural state. What about beans that people prepare in epic fashion to make them edible by even the most picky youngsters? Such as baked beans, an American classic. Which probably contributed to our obesity epidemic, since they’re really just beans with molasses. They have a whopping 400 calories per cup. This is a lot even for a side dish. And going for sides that are too heavy can make you fat. It is fairly nutritious, though, with decent portions of thiamine and folate and…well just about all of the minerals, really.
But let’s not forget that the primary subject of this post is farts. So let’s visit the greatest fart perpetrator, the import from Mexico known as refried beans. The fartiest burrito and empanada ingredient ever. The low yield version of Montezuma’s Revenge. A cup of these has 500 calories, which probably explains why you see so many fat people in Mexican restaurants. It also has 40% of your omega-3 requirements and lots of iron, manganese, vitamin b6, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and magnesium.
So the moral of this story is that beans are generally a way to get a large dose of the vitamins and minerals (especially minerals) that most people come up short on, and frequently (excepting those last two) without adding too much to the waistline. So eat these whenever you can. And if your wife or husband complains about the farts, remind them that they are now less likely to get cancer, heart disease, or any number of other things.
Tooting doesn’t make you feel better (ok, it kind of does) but eating the things that make you toot does make you healthier. And less likely to die, which I guess is just a macabre way of saying the same thing. Anyway, this is why Mom should not be damned to the lowest circles of Hell for making you eat them as a kid. She was actually making you live longer. And she should probably be beatified for putting up with your bratty ass. And she also tolerated your malodorous farts. Probably because she knew she created them with her cooking.
Originally published at http://drilldowndiet.home.blog on April 14, 2022.