In the old days, writers wrote in drafty garrets with only rats, a crust of stale
bread, and a bottle of cheap wine to keep them company—and they produced some pretty good stuff. But these days, we know about a little thing called health.
Think what all those pale, sickly writers of yore could have done with good teeth and a happy digestive tract.
As a writer, my days are spent typing, thinking about ways to get away with heinous crimes, and researching different sex positions to realistically describe the love affair between my protagonist, a dwarf from the planet Ataxia, and his Amazon warrior girlfriend. Food has to be cheap, quick, nourishing, and, let me stress again, cheap.
After a bit of real Internet research—meaning I Googled stuff and read at least four or five sentences from the articles I found—it seemed to me the easiest and tastiest way to get through a busy writing day is with salad and the least fattening /most tasty drink to match with the salads is Scotch. And thus was born the Writers Scotch and Salad Diet.
So far, I’ve lost about thirty pounds . It took awhile and there’s more to it than salad, but still……
Use this salad template to build your own healthy, writerly salad.
I used lettuce, celery, broccoli, garbanzo beans, sharp cheddar and blue cheeses, black olives and a couple of crumbled pieces of rye melba toast at the bottom. A note on lettuce—get good lettuce ( stay away from the iceberg lettuce your grocery story probably displays prominently. It’s mostly water, it won’t keep, and it has no flavor. Try loose leaf lettuce or romaine or spinach.
Today, instead of Scotch, I opted for cold cranberry juice (100% juice–not cranberry juice cocktail which contains high fructose corn syrup–code for sugar.) The Writers Scotch and Salad Diet is highly adaptable.
Don’t ever buy dressing again. Most of the bottled ones contain some form of sugar and lots of additives. Get a bottle of red wine vinegar, some virgin olive oil (insert your own 7th grade joke here about how hard it is to find virgin olive oil these days), maybe some cooking wine–burgundy or sherry are good– and whatever herbs sound tasty. I prefer lots of olive oil so I use a 1/1 proportion of olive oil to vinegar with about 1/4 portion of wine. I usually add things like sea salt, ground black pepper, oregano, garlic, celery seed, and maybe some basil.
Mix and let it swap flavors for an hour or two. Then pour on your portion of the salad. I keep my dressing covered on the counter instead of in the fridge. It is usually gone in a couple of days and the olive oil tends to get kind of clotty in the fridge. The cheeses are optional, of course, as is every ingredient.
Each salad is a work of art and is as unique as the artist who scarfs it down while reading over the latest revisions of the WIP. This leaf lettuce salad is good with avocados, carrots, cauliflower, and onion, too. Mix and match.
What writing fuel will you add to your salad?
Follow this blog to get more salad starter ideas and to learn what put the Scotch in the Writers Scotch and Salad Diet.
If you need something to read while you eat your salad, consider my Gothic romance, Just Like Gravity. Available here.