Eating Healthy in a Not So Healthy Neopia
"I can't tell you how many times people come in with chubby, lethargic, unhappy pets. Every day! 'What do you mean?' they'll say, 'I thought omelette and jelly was a balanced meal!'"
"Not so?" I ask the Quiggle shopkeeper, owner of the Neopian Health Foods Shop.
"NO!" He bellows back at me. I've been guilty of such a feeding regimen in the past, as I'm sure most of us have, and am feeling pretty bad at this point in the conversation. We talk further and the Quiggle explains to me what exactly Neopets need to eat to stay healthy. This information is so refreshing, so breathtakingly simple that I don't believe I have ever heard it uttered in Neopia before. It struck me as something all of us Neopians should know, so I compiled it here in its original form as an interview:
Me: So what's the secret to a healthy pet? All faerie foods? Like if they're magical, maybe your pet's stomach would digest magic and-
Health Food Quiggle: No! There's no secret! It is almost all common sense - just eat a balanced diet. That means getting all your essential vitamins, and enough protein and carbohydrates. Junk food should be a treat, not a meal. Anyone that feeds their pet more than one Chocolate Fudge Pizza Block in a week should be ashamed.
Me: Uh... vita-...?
HFQ: Vitamins. You need Vitamin B6, D, B12, E, Folic acid, C, Iron, B2, Calcium.
Me: Calcium! I know that one!
HFQ: Right, you can get calcium from milk and cheese mostly. I would recommend Harffel Flavoured Milk - straight from Kau Kau Farms! *holds up a carton* But for the vegan or vegetarian pet, try some spinach or Vegan Cheese. *holds up*
Me: Hey, is this whole thing going to be a commercial or can we conduct an interview?
HFQ: I don't know what you mean; my only concern is for the health of Neopia. And if maybe what pets need to get healthy are items from my store, then, well, so be it.
Me: Hm, yes. Can you tell me about B2?
HFQ: That's what keeps your pet's hair, nails, scales, claws, talons, feathers, whatever! looking so spiffy and nice. It can be found both in milk and in leafy greens, so how about going for both with a... Cheesy Baby Cabbage! *holds up triumphantly*
Me: *sigh* Alright, since you're not going to stop, what about Iron.
HFQ: Beans mostly, and spinach. *holds up a bowl of Lentil Soup*
Me: That actually looks delicious.
HFQ: See? Eating healthy can be fun!
Me: I'm still not going to eat a raw parsnip.
HFQ: Not even a little taste?
Me: No. Never. Ew. Talk about vitamin C.
HFQ: Oranges and Orange Juice would be the standard. But I would like to recommend Chomby Juice to everyone - it's a blend of several Tyrannian fruits that's really quite enjoyable. *sips on one himself*
Me: Where did-... How long have you-... Nevermind. What's folic acid?
HFQ: It's for your brain. I would recommend... asparagus.
Me: Asparagus will improve your brain.
HFG: Asparagus will cure all ailments and diseases. You will win all games, including the Battledome.
Me: Asparagus will create lasting peace throughout the lands.
*both glaze over and drool thinking of asparagus*
Several hours later we both snap out of it and continue with the interview.
Me: ... *gurglegurgle* Uh, vitamin E?
HFQ: ... Uh, E? Vita-...? Oh! Yes, you can get that from nuts. Try Bag of Nuts *holds up* or Bag of Peanuts. *holds up*
Me: You never miss an opportunity. What about B12?
HFQ: Seafood is good for that. Try Oyster Salad or a Pickled Eel.
Me: Not going to hold those up, huh? Are you out of those? Finally something you can't wiggle around in my face?
HFQ: Actually I don't stock those.
Me: Oh. *feels awkward* Um, Vitamin D? Hey, I think we're almost done!
HFQ: Well, you can get that for free by walking in the sunlight, but... you could also go the more delicious route and get some fish from me. Maybe some Chili Salmon Souffle? *holds up*
Me: I'm glad you're back to normal. Can you take us out with B6, our final vitamin of the day?
HFQ: Sure thing! That can be found in almost anything I sell - from Bananas *holds up* to a Green Scorchipepper! *holds up, of course*
Me: Lovely. Hey, before we go, can you answer something that's always bothered me?
Me: Well, I have a Skeith. And I've heard this to be true of Grarrls too. You know how they can eat anything? I mean how they can eat, say, a Volcanic Rock. Why is that? It can't be healthy, right?
HFQ: Oh, well, with Skeiths and Grarrls, disregard all my previous advice. Their stomachs are made of... magic. They can eat anything they want and always be magically healthy. Due to magic.
Me: I see. And robots?
HFQ: Just make sure they get plenty of iron! *laughs for a very long time at his own joke*
HFQ: No, really. They need things like an Oil and Nuts Slushie. *holds one up*
Me: There's no special diet for mutants or faerie pets or anything?
HFQ: I don't see why there would be. Mutants and faeries are just like any other pets; they just look a little bit different. Baby neopets have a few specific needs, though, mostly based around how their widdle gums and too sowft to chew awny gwown-up fwoods.
Me: Uh... I'm not a baby.
HFQ: Er, right. Sorry. Well, if you were a baby, and I'm not saying that you are - only that if you were - I would suggest anything by GaGa Grub, the makers of the finest baby food. Pea and Ham Baby Food is a classic, and Forest Fruit Baby Food would have to be my favourite. Um, not that I eat... baby... food... of course.
Me: Well, this adver- I mean, 'interview' has been every informative. Thank you for your time.
HFQ: Would you like a Twirly Fruit Toasty?
Me: Uh, maybe later?
HFQ: Two Garlic Bulbs? Organic Broccoli? KAU KAU FARM ORGANIC BOTTLED MILK!
His screams followed me out the door a good ways down the street. I for one intend on keeping my pets a little healthier these days, but I think I'll be buying from other users in the market...