Grilled chicken in paradise

Beer Can Island
- Cindy Lane | Sun

After many years of enjoying Florida’s cuisine – seafood, shellfish and other treats – I was diverted by a Jimmy Buffett song to that ground beef and cheddar cheese sandwich known as the cheeseburger. As I lived and worked on Anna Maria Island, I became a fan of “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

As I partook in cheeseburgers from almost every outlet on the Island (including the convenience stores), I gained a little weight. Then a little became a lot. Add to that partaking in alcoholic beverages (sometimes with the Privateers), I shrugged it off and bought larger clothes. I traded medium sized shirts for large, then extra-large, and then the dreaded XX-large. My new jeans look like a tarp when they are laid out on the bed. Then it came to an end.

No, I didn’t have a heart attack, not yet, but when I got my annual physical I was told my blood had too much fat.

After 71 years of doing what I wanted, I’m going to do what I need to do. I did it before when I gave up smoking cigarettes 15 years ago, but that only increased my hunger for something in my mouth that didn’t contain smoldering tobacco.

But Jimmy, if I can’t have mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and French-fried potatoes, a big Kosher pickle and a cold draft beer and I’ll remember that song as I eat my grilled chicken breast sandwich with fat-free mayonnaise and fresh fruit and sip my Publix diet green tea – in paradise.