One of the unexpected bonuses of the current Olympic Mania (Phelps Division) is the revelation of a diet that I might actually be able to observe without cheating. Or at least, in the spirit of John Edwards, not cheating that much.

Swimming sensation Michael Phelps has an Olympic recipe for success – and it involves eating a staggering 12,000 calories a day.

Phelps lends a new spin to the phrase “Breakfast of Champions” by starting off his day by eating three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise.

He follows that up with two cups of coffee, a five-egg omelet, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes.

At lunch, Phelps gobbles up a pound of enriched pasta and two large ham and cheese sandwiches slathered with mayo on white bread – capping off the meal by chugging about 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.

For dinner, Phelps really loads up on the carbs – what he needs to give him plenty of energy for his five-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week regimen – with a pound of pasta and an entire pizza.

He washes all that down with another 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.

I plan to start with the next meal.  I know it will require monumental will-power and self-discipline, and there may be the occasional fallings off the wagon.  But I am determined to see it through until this aging carcase passes for Mr. Phelps at the mall (at least in the dusk with the light behind me).

I already have everything except the mayonnaise, the chocolate chips, and the grits — but I’ll get them this afternoon while I’m at the mall buying the Speedo.