The Lord of the Rings Diet
The Lord of the Rings Diet
Originally Published on January 13, 2004
Another great gaming year has come and gone, and while we here at Game Chronicles Magazine pride ourselves on providing our savvy readers with the most up to date, in-depth and incisive game information for 2004 and beyond, we also like to think of ourselves as your partners in the gaming community, partners who not only help to facilitate the flow of information but who also serve to enhance its members health and well being. At Game Chronicles we know that a happy gamer is a healthy gamer, and it stands to reason that by contributing to the overall happiness and healthiness of the gaming public in general we stand to benefit not only ourselves – through a balanced and satisfied readership – but also the community at large; a public service rendered through selfless philanthropy.
But what kind of contribution to make? The holidays are now over, and it’s a fair bet that many of you are now swimming in an ocean of DVD’s, games and enough gift related material to last you a lifetime. So instead of tossing out free copies of “Mark Smith sings the Holiday Classics” or demo CD’s that have a much better chance of seeing the bottom end of your coffee cup than the inside of your CD-ROM drive, why not focus on helping gamers to be healthier?
After all, many of the hottest single player and multiplayer online games today demand your full focus and attention, and if your trigger finger isn’t energized, eyes aren’t sharp and reflexes fast enough you may end up eating digital dirt (read: Game Over) more often than you’d like. Regular exercise and plenty of rest are the first things any gamer wanting to get in shape should look at, but most don’t – marathon sessions of Call of Duty multiplayer are rarely conducive to anything besides blurry eyes and an overworked index finger, and if stooped shoulders and poor posture were integral Yoga poses, then most gamers would probably be Himalayan Yogi’s by now.
Thankfully however there’s another facet to good health, often overlooked by most gamers, that offers a fast and easy way to more energy, stamina and vitality – it’s your diet. That old maxim still proves true, and if we truly are what we eat then it’s time to do some serious pre-spring cleaning. Start right away by tossing out those Guarana caffeine drinks, reheated Pizza Hut chicken wings and the all-Twinkie bandolier you don before each LAN party, its time to get healthy with Game Chronicles first ever diet and health feature: The Lord of the Rings Diet.
In searching for the perfect gamers diet I had quite a few factors to consider, such as the ratio of carbohydrates to protein needed at each meal, how many fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes to include and how much hydration was necessary on a daily basis. Strolling through the health and diet section at Borders bookstore provided a massive wealth of information, where all natural food diets sat alongside medically sanctioned research, which in turn stood next to fad and Hollywood diets that obscure television personalities swore by.
There was the Cretan-Omega diet, which offered a number of benefits from the increased consumption of Omega Fatty Acids, the Raw Foods diet, which advocated a return to the dietary ways of our prehistoric ancestors, and the Oprah Winfrey diet which advocated eating just about everything that wasn’t under lock and key.
Overwhelmed by this deluge of information I turned to a simpler method, opting to delve into the world of extended game playing by myself in order to experience first hand the sensory deprivation that occurs with marathon gaming and to discover what physical needs accompany the demands of intensive gaming.
Armed with nothing but my game consoles and PC I journeyed forth into the halcyon world of games both online and off, noting the changes in alertness, fatigue and energy I experience as the hours wore on. At the end of my marathon gaming session I happened to be playing EA Game’s latest hit The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, based upon the movie of the same name. Reflecting upon the popularity of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy in general, especially amongst members of the gaming community, it suddenly occurred to me in a magnificently clear epiphany that the answer to gamer’s dietary needs lay hidden amongst the epic fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien.
The time was 3 am and after 8 hours of gaming I had to confess to just the tiniest bit of wooziness, but the solution struck me as pure genius. It may have been the games talking, or just the little green man who appeared on my shoulder, but there was magic in the air, Middle Earth Magic to be specific, and I knew that the time had come to reveal the secrets of….(dramatic pause for effect)…The Lord of the Rings Diet!
When viewed as a whole, the LotR Diet is really quite simple. It takes the best elements of those foods seen and heard of in the Lord of the Rings books and movies and combines them to produce a synergistic benefit that imbues the gamer with near god-like strength and stamina. At least that’s what the little green man said. Ahem. Well now, on to the specifics. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts dietary recommendations required to get the most out of the LOTR diet.
Eating Fish “Smeagol Style”
These days, many of the meats, fish and poultry that reach our dinner tables are laced with hormones and antibiotics, medications and growth stimulants used by farmers and livestock owners to increase animal growth and make them resistant to diseases. Unfortunately however scientists and researchers are noticing an increasing resistance in our population to medications such as Penicillin – little Timmy isn’t responding to his medicine the way he used to because he gets trace amounts in the innumerable Big Macs he’s scarfed over the years, causing his body to build up resistance.
To avoid little Timmy’s medicinal malady try to eat fresh, organically raised and farmed meats, just like our friend Smeagol. The forlorn slave of the One Ring, known to many as Gollum, was locked away in solitude under the cold mountains for years before Bilbo Baggins discovered him during his travels with Gandalf and Thorin the Dwarf. During his quiet time Smeagol discovered the benefits of fresh fish, high in antioxidants and gamma lineolic acids. When asked about the best way to prepare fish, Smeagol advised, “Give it to us rrrraw and wwwiggling precious…” Smeagol was kind enough to point out that catching free range fish involves wading into ice cold streams half naked, smacking fishes heads against the rocks and the occasional forbidden skinny dip in the forbidden pool of Ithilien. Watch out though – those fish can be slippery!
[Special note: additional requirements may include wearing loincloth, living alone in dark caves while muttering to self and accompanying small Hobbits on long perilous journeys. Use with caution.]
Brace of Conies
If you’re not a fish person, and the idea of ‘exotic cuisine’ entices you, why not head over to Master Samwise Gamgee’s outdoor safari kitchen for a wonderfully delicious Brace of Conies? Rabbit meat has been known to be quite popular amongst both Hobbits and Stoor’s alike (in the words of one Stoor aficionado, “They are young, they are tender, eat the, eat them!”) and can provide protein and many essential amino acids that give you the energy you need for extended frag sessions, online multiplayer dungeon quests or solitary Bejeweled/Tetris endeavors. Readers are urged to be cautious however, as according to Master Samwise, “There’s only one way to eat a brace of conies.” This involves boiling them over a hot fire for an extended period of time, adding what herbs and spices you can gather in the wild.
Readers should also be aware that preparing conies in the company of others can lead to the desire for chips and ale, a preference that may provoke shock and distaste in the presence of certain gangly creatures (no, not your LAN buddies). In the words of one such creature, “You can keep your nasty chips!”
Of course in this day and age of diet trends, carbohydrates (i.e. breads & cereals), also known as carbs or carbos, remain the most enigmatic and confusing of nutrients. Highly regarded at times for their healthful properties, carbohydrates have at other times been implicated in excessive weight gain and abnormally high rates of cursing/belching during heated rounds of Counter-Strike. In order to balance your meals on the Lord of the Rings diet however you must have at least a small portion of carbo’s to satisfy your trigger finger’s daily requirements. For this we’ll turn to the ancient wisdom of the Elves of Lothlorien, who for ages now have been keeping fit and trim on a diet of Lembas Bread, the legendary Elven loaves and wafers that can keep a man full for days on end.
Black labeled by Atkins dieters the world over, Lembas bread can be the perfect compliment to your Brace of Conies or Raw “Smeagol Style” Fish, providing the energy you need to slay zombies, uncover clues, blast aliens or whatever goals you, your index finger and left mouse button want to accomplish.
[Special note to Orc Readers: Lembas Bread is quite rare and can only be acquired in the woods of Lothlorien as a part of a one time only Game Chronicles special offer. Approach with caution, as the likelihood that you will be shot, maimed or otherwise slain by Elven archers increases with your proximity to Lothlorien. Do not attempt to use cardboard, Mithril or Hobbit-flesh as a substitute. Offer good only in Middle-Earth.]
Another round, Inkeep!
The next component of the Lord of the Rings diet is designed to give gamers that get up and go they really need during the wee hours of the night: a pint of Ale. As seen in the film the Fellowship of the Ring and demonstrated by Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck and Peregrin “Pippin” Took at the Inn of the Prancing Pony in Bree, a long stout pint of ale, served preferably in a tall manly mug with manly scratches around the edge and manly dirt on the handle is just what the doctor called for during rowdy LAN sessions and co-op adventures with friends.
The finest pints of Ale were brewed to life under the boisterous, rough and ready condition of the tavern environment under the watchful eye of scornful brewer masters and surly tavern keepers, and is the ideal drink to accompany your slippery fresh fish.
[Special note: authentic Tavern ale can only be found within the confines of Middle Earth and certain rundown pubs in east London. Prolonged usage may lead to excessive merriment, dancing and falling off tables and inadvertent disappearing acts in the middle of a crowd of befuddled strangers. Possible side effects include singing, overindulgent mug clanking after toasts and the ability of a homely tavern maid’s appeal to morph into that of an Elven princess. Use sparingly.]
Following the conclusion of a hearty and satisfying meal it is tradition in the LotR diet to sit back and relax with a pipe and a brace of tobacco. Nothing caps off a delicious LOTR meal quite like a satisfying smoke, and for our purposes nothing suits the deep end of a smoker’s pipe like Longbottom leaf, a specialized form of tobacco grown and harvested in the Shire. Readers should refer to their local grocer’s store in Hobbiton or the Grey Havens for more information on how to acquire Longbottom leaf.
[Surgeon Wizard’s Warning: excessive use of Longbottom leaf has been known to be habit forming and may involve unwanted side effects such as emphysema, breathing difficulties, cancer, death, and/or smoke ring blowing contests with Grey wizards. Do not use unless over the age of 110.]
To Your Health
And so dear readers we come to the conclusion of the Lord of the Rings Diet, a healthy and nutritious eating plan that encompasses the full spectrum of nutrient, antioxidants and vitamins that you as a hobbit, orc, elf, dwarf, man or wizard of Middle Earth will need to game on into 2004 and beyond with energy and enthusiasm. Enjoy!
*As a postscript, I should note that my editor has informed me that many of our readers are neither fictional creatures of fantasy nor inhabitants of Middle Earth. Hmmmm…With that in mind, I’d like to recommend that our non Middle-Earth readers take the previously stated dietary advice with a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of humor.