Just the Flax

By Leigh Anne Jasheway

NABBW’s Boomer Humor Expert

On the advice of Dr. Oz and this guy I sat next to at the Department of Motor Vehicles, I’ve started adding flax and chia seeds to everything I eat. They’re both tasty when sprinkled on cereal and baked into cookies (mmmh, cookies), but I have to say it’s hard to get the seeds to adhere to carrot sticks unless I slather them with cream cheese or peanut butter first. I’m sure that’s heart-healthy, right? Besides, as far as I know, no one’s made flax butter yet.

One thing no one warned me about was that these tiny seeds may be good for my body, but they’re hell on my gums. And I’m not just talking about a few seeds stuck between random teeth (not a good look, but I could live with that). The problem is, like many middle-aged people, I have flabby gums. The tight, firm gums that used to turn heads in college have been replaced by droopy, saggy things that shock my dentist when I show up at her office every three years. I’d go more often, but my self-esteem suffers every time she uses a yardstick to measure just how deep the “gum pockets” are. It doesn’t help that she calls out the numbers in the metric system. “4,117 millimeters, whoa!”

Needless to say, with a virtual Carlsbad Cavern cave system under my teeth, it’s easy for tiny flax or tinier chia seeds to get stuck in there. That is not to say I haven’t also lost a piece of coconut, a chocolate chip, or a hiker, but those are big enough to floss out.

What I really need — and I know I’m not alone here — is some kind of exercise program to tighten up my sedentary gums. If you can work out your triceps and gluts, why not your gum line? I tried to develop such a program on my own, but apparently a 30-minute routine of smiling like a chimpanzee then puckering like a llama about to spit, is useless. Well, not entirely. I did make a few new friends on the bus.

If you’re a dental professional looking for a way to boost business, please don’t ignore the flabby-gummed. We need some kind of workout device and the Gumerciser may just be your ticket to a stint on the Home Shopping Network.

Leigh Anne Jasheway, M.P.H. is a stress management and humor expert who helps women and men manage stress, embrace change, and become healthier by learning to lighten up. She speaks at 50-60 conferences and workshops every year and has been a national Speaking of Women’s Health and Healthy Woman keynoter. She’s a member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH). Learn more about her at her website. Leigh Anne’s new book,Confessions of a Semi-Natural Woman(a collection of 99 of her funniest humor columns from the past ten’ish years – including the one that won the Erma Bombeck Humor Writing Competition – is now available at www.accidentalcomic.com) She also has a new blog. Of if she says, If you go there and like what you see, you can subscribe by clicking the subscribe button (who knew?)”

Leigh Anne Jasheway, M.P.H. is a stress management and humor expert who helps women and men manage stress, embrace change, and become healthier by learning to lighten up. She speaks at 50-60 conferences and workshops every year and has been a national Speaking of Women's Health and Healthy Woman keynoter. She's a member of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH)