When we got back from Christmas in Newfoundland – where they tear it up on every one of the Twelve Days of Christmas, from Tip’s Eve to the Epiphany – we were corpulant.

We spent three wonderful weeks in South Branch and it must have been the hangovers, the fresh air and the electrifying conviviality of that town that compelled Wayne and I to eat the way we did. We were unstoppable. We’re talking 7,000 calories a day, mostly whiskey, potato chips, mayonnaise, Nutriwhip, margarine, Cheese-Whiz and gravy. That’s a lot of condiments, and they mostly went on top of bread, potatoes and ice cream.

I ate Wayne’s mum’s killer date squares for my breakfast dessert, her molasses cookies for my lunch dessert, and white ice cream with chocolate shell (remember shell?), over top of a white cake that I iced with my mother’s superlative chocolate-marshmallow frosting for my dinner dessert. On Christmas Day, Aunt Jessie brought over an enormous pan of Orange Creamsicle cake:

We were powerless against it.

When we got home, I looked like Keith Richards from the sugar-and-sodium bloat. It was time to start eating clean again. So I turned to an old standby from a hilarious 1980s diet book called Fit for Life. It’s the Energy Sandwich. The principles of Fit for Life aside (does fruit honestly rot if it travels slowly through your system behind non-fruit foods?), this is a really good sandwich. And my naturopath does second the FFL notion that digestion may improve when you eat your veg with carbs or protein, but not both at the same time. (Try it for a couple of days and you’ll see.)

But the sandwich – it’s foolishly simple:

Avocado, sliced thickly


Thinly sliced tomato [which I skipped this time; can’t stomach them raw if they aren’t ruby-reddishly in season]


Mustard, mayo

Salt and pepper

I made one on toasted rye yesterday. Doesn’t this look good?

Something magical happens when you give slices of perfect, creamy avocado a heavy shake of sea salt and a grind of cracked black pepper. I have declared avocado the new cheese in my life, till spring at least.