By Debbie Baldwin

I have an idea for a board game, working title: Diet Tribe. In it, players would move a tiny grocery cart around a board that represents a grocery store. The goal is to be the first to check out with a full cart of food that will encourage weight loss, speed metabolism, lower cholesterol, manage blood sugar, prevent heart disease, slow aging and promote good digestion. Your cart must contain food from every department (no floral or pharmacy).

Player 1 rolls the dice—or picks a card—and proceeds to liquor. Now, I know what I’d put in my cart in the three-dimensional store. But for the game, I will add a bottle of red wine. While alcohol is the enemy of weight loss, the good outweighs the bad for heart health and cholesterol, so the player continues. In the bakery, you choose bran muffins…Buzzzz! Too much sugar, too high in calories…Go back three spaces.

The meat department is actually a trick: You’re supposed to choose fish— salmon, to be specific. Chicken has hormones and red meat isn’t heart-healthy. In produce, steer clear of bananas. Sure, they have potassium, but they also have a boatload of sugar. Eggs have protein, but they’re miles high in cholesterol. If you land on a cursed space, you have to go straight to the canned soup aisle where there is no escape until you can name all 15 superfoods.

Chips have no cholesterol but they also have no nutrients. Popcorn is high in fiber but it’s loaded with sodium. Pomegranate juice is full of antioxidants and vitamins (oh and there’s a bonus section where you get points if you can explain antioxidants) but it’s high in calories. Purchase of any white food automatically makes one of the wheels on your shopping cart go wonky.

If you get to check out with blueberries, organic chicken, whole grains, vegetables of every color—bonus for kale—skim milk, almonds and hummus, the game will let you sneak chips and salsa through as a bonus. While you’re waiting to check out, you read in the tabloids that new research shows we should all be eating high fructose corn syrup and butter, so back to the aisles you go. At the end of the game, you total up your calories, fat, protein, sodium, carbs and cholesterol; and then you get to kick the chair out from under you. I’m still working out the kinks, but I think it has potential.