He had told me all about their Armenian traditions. He was bragging rolling his “R” like a leaf blower, “Our tradition is strrrrrong. The American tradition cannot change our Armenian tradition, because we are so strrrrong. We BBQ all weekend long. All different sorts of meat. We drink. Not because we have to drink … out of social reasons. Only one toast takes up to 15 minutes in our tradition. We enjoy eating and drinking together because we are celebrating family time and tradition. We are strrrrrong.” He was a nice man, and I tried to listen without judging. I was happy for him to find his life of drinking and eating fulfilling. Of course, working in fitness and as a nutritionist for over 15 years now in my corporate job, I had my thoughts running through my head. All this tortured meat he had eaten. I am not a big advocate of eating meat, especially not conventionally raised meat. I even feed my dogs only humanly raised and organic meat, and it still gives me the chills. I believe eating anything that has been tormented before consumed (like eggs, milk, even grains that have been treated with pesticides or are GMO) will backfire on your heath. I believe alcohol is a useless calorie intake and will damage your liver and will straight deposit into your fat cells. I believe eating anything that’s not beneficial to your health like refined sugar is a useless addiction and only harms your body instead of nurturing it … I could go on and on.  But as a stripper I am not there to change anybody as long as it doesn’t affect my health or business. I was just seeing it as an interesting insight into Armenian tradition which I do not know much about.
But around midnight Mr. Tradition invited me to join him to eat pizza he had just ordered to be delivered to the club. I politely declined and explained, “Thank you very much, but I do eat gluten free, plus I don’t eat after 7p.m.” His eyes widened as he took a giant bite out of his grease dripping in cheese covered pizza, “Are you sure? What is gluten?” I explained to him briefly the story about gluten, and how it is additionally dumped into grains to make them weigh more so they could sell them more expensive. He was confused. I mentioned, “I don’t believe in eating or consuming anything that is not beneficial to my body.” Him with his rolling “R,” and his insatiable streak of talking, “Well, you know, I have tried to lose weight. I exercise very heavy, and I have talked to all these body builders … Once, I cut out all carbs but I almost died. But I would like to be in good shape but the weight doesn’t come off. I also take this protein shake with green coffee so I can workout harder, but it doesn’t seem to help any except that my heart starts racing and my hands start shaking.” I revealed my mostly kept secret, “I work in fitness for over 15 years now. To be honest, your weight depends 90% on your nutrition. The other 10% is exercise, meaning you can sculpt your body.” Him, “Oh, so what do you suggest?” Me very honest, “Well, you are overweight, but in your case it’s very easy to make a change. Start with just cutting out all alcohol and stop eating after 7p.m. and you will see a huge change within just one week.” He was enthusiastic, “I can do that. Wait, why can’t I eat after 7p.m.?” I explained to him intermittent fasting and some of the amazing health benefits including that Leptin production — the hormone that is responsible for fat burning — would spike if he would fast for 12-16 hours each night. He was excited about his new diet plan when I had to leave the conversation to dance on stage. When I came back he said, “OK, so starting tomorrow no more alcohol and no food after 7p.m. But what about frrrruit? Can I eat some fruit?” Me, “No, no fruit after 7p.m. either. Him, “But just fruit?” I shook my head. Him, “OK, what about green tea?” Me, “No, you wouldn’t want to drink caffeine before you go to bed. No caffeine, no green tea.” Him again, “But just a little bit fruit.” Me, “No.” Him, “Fruit? Isn’t it dangerous to go to bed hungry?” Me aggravated, “No, it’s good for you to go to bed hungry. No fruit, no nothing, OK.” Him, “Tea?” Me, “OK, herbal tea. OK.” Him, “Chamomile tea?” Me, “Sure, chamomile tea but no sugar or honey in it, just chamomile tea.” Him with another attempt, “And a little bit of fruit?” Me, “Noooooo, no fruit, just herbal tea. Or do you want to be fat? And next week you at least replace hormone treated meat with organic meat that’s humanely raised. ” Him screaming as if I had taken his oxygen away, “Now that is pushing it.”

I will see when he comes back next time whether he stuck to his resolution.

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