What you know, can kill you.

by: Andrea Mulder-Slater

I’m fairly certain getting healthy shouldn’t make you feel sick.

Then again, I’m no medical expert - though I do read the Google News Health headlines faithfully, which – as a rule - is not conducive to getting a good night’s sleep, what with all the bulletins about procreating superbugs, medical mix-ups and bacon condoms.

Seriously. Look it up.

Still, all of my late-night reading brings me closer to the truth. And the truth is, I’m a health failure.

Case in point: Omega 3 fatty acids. Apparently, according to medical experts, I am not getting enough of them in my diet. This means I will become sick and die but not before my nails become brittle, my hair turns to straw and I become overly anxious.

It may be too late.

Appealing, no?


In an effort to stay alive – and supple - I decided to take matters into my own hands. However, after contemplating the prospect of eating salmon every day, I developed an alternative step-by-step plan.

Feel free to follow along. It’s for your own good. 

Step 1: Determine you aren’t getting enough Omega 3 in your diet. This is a given.

Step 2: Research the hell out of Omega 3 supplements.

Step 3: Despite hours of online research, in a fit of grave concern over your health, grab the first bottle of fish oil - and the first bag of potato chips - you see on your next trip to the health food store.

Step 4: Eat the healthy chips as you begin to regret your $40 fish oil purchase.

Step 5:  Contact the fish oil company to make sure their product does not contain heavy metals, PCBs or crack cocaine. Wait for email reply.

Step 6:  Become instantly suspicious of anyone who signs her emails with “Yours in health”.

Step 7: Put your new bottle of Omega 3 fish oil in the fridge. In the door. Behind the coffee cream.  Walk away.

Step 8: Wait six months. 

Step 9:  Remember that you still aren’t getting enough Omega 3 in your diet.

Step 10:  Sample a mouthful of your husband's sardine snack in the hopes that you have somehow developed a taste for all things oily, stinky and chewy.

Step 11:  Eat a handful of chocolate chips in an effort to mask the flavor of canned fish. Make a mental note to stay away from cats.

Step 12:  On your next trip to the grocery store, pick up a bottle of “Organic” Omega Fish Oil pills. Make sure they are Norwegian, because Norwegians are healthy.

Step 13:  Talk your mother into taking a pill. Wait 5 minutes (or so) and then, take your own pill.

Step 14: Panic when your mother tells you she is experiencing blurred vision. Wait 5 minutes and then, panic when you start seeing double. Develop a serious case of nausea.

Step 15: Talk yourself out of the thought that fish oil pills can kill you. Repeat the following: “It’s just fish. It’s just fish It’s just fish”.

Step 16: Abandon your fallible mantra and instead Google “fish oil supplement death” in an effort to ease your mind.

Step 17: Discover that taking fish oil supplements can actually increase your risk of stroke and death in general. Wonder why in the hell you didn’t spot this fly in the ointment during your countless hours of previous research.

Step 18:  Panic like you’ve never panicked before. Worry that you may have inadvertently created a murder-suicide situation. Quickly work out the movie title. Decide on “Death by Omega 3”. Imagine Drew Barrymore as the protagonist.

Step 19: Once vision returns to normal and the urge to vomit subsides, ceremoniously throw away any and all fish oil products that may be lurking in your house.

Step 20:  Resolve to eat more flaxseed.

No, really.

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