Thursday, December 24, 2009

Very Early Un-resolution for the New Year

I don't make new year's resolutions. I don't waste my time promising myself and everyone around me that I'll make lifestyle changes. I don't have to make a pronouncement to the world. If I intend to do something, I do it. A "resolution" shared with others or even a contract with myself isn't going to make it happen if I'm not dedicated to make it happen.
Here's an article about other health professional's personal resolutions:

Here are some things I'm thinking about for the new year:

1. Unlike others, I think I'm going to try to cook more simply. I spend way too much time in the kitchen. I spend way too much time reading cookbooks and magazines and searching web sites for the perfect recipe. I spend way too much time chopping and dicing and sauteeing and searing. And I spend way too much time thinking about what to cook. I'm going to try to cook my food as simply as possible so that the true flavor of the food is the dominant feature and not the spices and herbs and aromatics.
2. I'm going to try to think about things other than food. I spend way too much time thinking about food. About shopping for it and cooking it and eating it. About where to eat and what to order.
3. I'm not going to "cook" with fruits and veggies. Instead, I'm just going to eat them as simply as possible (see #1 above). An apple or an orange, a cucumber or a radish. I'll just eat them. I won't add them to salads or smoothies or stews.

That's good enough for now.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Latkes, cookies and more

Two holiday parties in one night. Maybe not a lot to most of you but difficult to manage time wise and food wise. Both were potato latke parties. It's the last day of Chanukah and I guess everyone wanted to use up their potatoes! Opted out of latkes at the first event. Enough to eat with veggies and hummus. Second event, latkes smelled a whole lot better. In fact, they were good. Good enough that I ate three of them (they were mini latkes!) with a tiny slice of brisket. Not really overeating but over-caloring for sure. Shame on me. I had "real" Coke. Delicious. Gosh, I do love soda.
But I didn't overeat quantity and I'm feeling pretty good right now. Like I could maybe eat something later. Like a hot fudge sundae. Yeah. Like some ice cream. Cold creamy ice cream. It just slides right down. Doesn't take up a lot of space. Very little space in fact because it melts.
Logic according to Sharon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ali Vincent and Me

I interviewed Ali Vincent today for an article that will appear in the spring issue of Edible Phoenix Magazine ( She was gracious, vivacious, warm, generous with her time and most of all, inspirational! Oh, and the girl looks fabulous! Toned and svelte and just gorgeous. I haven't read her book, Believe It, Be It, but if the writing is only half as dynamic as she is in person, then it's a winner. The girl has charisma.
Can you tell I'm a fan?
I don't usually tape record my interviews. I'm pretty good at taking notes and I've got a dynamite memory but I knew I would be gaga over the girl so I decided to tape the interview just in case I was unable to listen and write at the same time.
Ali was so full of interesting anecdotes about her time on the show and her "new" life that I ended up just listening so it's a good thing I had the recorder running.
She made my day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

OMG....I get to meet Ali Vincent

Look. I'm not really star struck. I mean, I go to LA all the time and my heart doesn't go flutter flutter when some star walks by. And my daughter is a movie producer, after all. I've been to Sundance Film Festival and to a real Hollywood movie premiere.
But, Ali Vincent. The first female winner of The Biggest Loser. Give me a break. Hello. I'm a fan. I was a fan at the start of the show because she's from AZ and also because I just loved the relationship between her and her mother.
Soooo, I'm interviewing her for a story. I'm going to her house. Holy crap. Excited. I'm a little too old to be this star struck but I'm impressed with what she's accomplished.
Hmmm. Maybe she can motivate me!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Biggest Loser Finale

I know. I bad mouth the show and then I watch it religiously. What can I say. Watching the contestants lose weight doesn't actually motivate me (obviously!) but their successes gives me hope--not so much for myself, you understand. But I think they show us that weight loss is possible without surgery as Dr. H said last night. Yes, the way the contestants lose weight is unrealistic. Most people don't have the time or the resources to do what they have done in the time they've accomplished it. But if people are willing to take it a bit slower, the results seem to indicate that eating and exercise can make it possible.
So, back to the show. How many times did my eyes well up? A lot. A marriage proposal. The two mothers rushing into each others' arms. Seeing Shay. Daniel. Well, everyone. Amazing. Pish tosh. I know they all starved and dehydrated themselves for the finale. But if they can hold on to most of the loss, they've got it made.
Because this group of contestants were so big, their weight losses were even more amazing. Over 200 pounds! What!
So, when the contestants are home, eating well and exercising, why don't the spouses also lose weight? Just curious.
And, hello, Jillian looked fabulous last night. I'm just saying. She was strangely subdued, I thought. Bob? He doesn't look well. He doesn't look fabulous. I sure hope he's okay. Because, honestly, he looks kind of frail and sickly. I wonder why they don't plaster make up all over him the way they do the other people on the show. Because whoever the make up person is for the show has a heavy hand.
Thankful that Tracey (is that her name?) didn't win. She looked gaunt. Not healthy. She lost too much weight. Which is what I would have expected from a very obsessive angry woman. Last season I thought Helen had lost too much weight for the finale. But it's what they do for the bucks.
So the show is unrealistic. The contestants lose weight way too quickly. Some of them do it in an unhealthy way. Jillian bugs the hell out of me. I hate that the dietitian on the show, Cheryl Forberg, is never mentioned and that it's Jillian and Bob who do all the nutrition stuff. I am annoyed at all the product placement. But, in the end, I watch. I love the success the contestants have. I hope they're happier. And I hope they're healthier.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Decadent Dessert

I bet the title of this post caught your eye. "Is she posting a recipe for a scrumptious caloric dessert?" Nope. Just trying to make a point. I don't like when a dish is labeled as "decadent". The implication is that you will go to hell--or more correctly, get fat--if you eat it. Decadent means full of fat and sugar and calories. It means "stay away" or accept the consequences. The word implies that it is an indulgence and that you will most certainly over indulge. And if you tell me that something is decadent, I probably will over indulge because if it's "decadent", then I'm guessing I won't have it again for a long time.
Let's be honest--cheesecake is "decadent" whereas an angel food cake is not. It's doubtful you would ever describe a slice of angel food cake as scrumptious whereas a slice of cheesecake...well, that's a horse of a different color. Isn't it?
So I'm saying that we should change our mindset about "decadent". Let's think of it as especially delicious and worth every calorie but not something that we have to be afraid of if we follow mindfulness principles. Taste it. Savor it. Enjoy it. Put it down when you've had "enough" and before it's become a "decadent" over indulgence.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The calorie count and does it matter

Well, Thanksgiving is over. At least for me. I cooked at my daughter's in LA so no leftovers here now that I'm home. No sugary sweet potatoes in my frig. No buttery gravy. No antioxidant rich cranberry sauce or gorgeously crisp burnished turkey skin. Just memories of a wonderful meal. All 2,000 or so calories.
Why does everyone make such a big deal over the number of calories in a Thankgiving meal? It's one meal. And even if you covet the leftovers, I don't think you're eating all 2,000 calories day after day. Or are you?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Feast Day

For my handful of followers (and you know who you are), happy feast day. Enjoy the food without guilt. Eat until you're satisfied. Share with people less fortunate than you. We used to take our leftovers to a park near our house for a homeless family who lived at the park. That way, we didn't over indulge and they had a lovely dinner for the holiday. This year I'll be going to LA to spend the holiday with my kids. If there are leftovers, I know we'll follow the family tradition of sharing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Thanksgiving Eating Tips

Notice I didn't title this post "healthy eating tips". That's because my philosophy is that most of the food served at Thanksgiving is already healthy (sweet potatoes, turkey, pumpkin, green beans or brussel sprouts or spinach, cranberries). Those foods are all touted for their leanness or their antioxidant power or for their fiber content hence the Thanksgiving meal is a healthy one. Now, what about the butter and sugar added to these foods and the quantity we consume? Well, tish posh. That's just a petty thing not worthy of mentioning on the day we celebrate our founding fathers (and mothers).
Seriously, though, there are probably two days a year when I think people can throw caution to the wind (unfortunately most of us don't limit those times to just two days...): Thanksgiving and birthdays.
I have read all the great tips about how to eat healthy on Thanksgiving--how to cut down on fat and calories. Yes. The Thanksgiving meal contains an uncountable number of calories. Of course, if you have diabetes or another medical condition that could worsen or put you in danger, then you must follow your doctor's/dietitian's recommendations. Otherwise, be judicious (don't fill up until you have to open the top button of your pants....that's going too far!). Eat heartily. Enjoy. It's what the Pilgrims would have wanted!
If you're going to feel guilty afterwards, then don't use butter, eat only the breast meat of the turkey, use whole wheat bread for the stuffing, cut back on the brown sugar and be sure to serve fruit for dessert. I think guilt is more unhealthy than an occasional day of indulgence. I did not say "gluttony". I said "indulgence". No one wants to be sick after eating a lusciously delicious meal.
So enjoy your family and friends. Share a delicious meal. Savor all the flavors and textures. Then dump the really outrageous dishes and pack up the turkey and whatever else is relatively "acceptable" to eat for leftovers. One day of indulgence. You have my permission.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dieting as an Addiction

The article, "Researchers show dieters can experience neurobiological similarities of drug addicts", is not new to me. ( I read a similar study fact, I might have blogged about it before.
The last sentence probably sums up the findings: "The stress experienced by frequent dieters in abstinence from palatable food has neurobiological similarities to the negative emotional state of drug and alcohol addicts."
Yes! Is there a dieter among us who has not felt the "stress" associated with giving up palatable foods? Favorite foods? The anticipatory stress that we feel when we decide it's time to cut back or cut out completely something we love to eat because we believe that food is contributing in a negative way to our body? I mean, isn't that one of the reasons we have to wait until Monday to start a diet?
And isn't there longing? Craving? A feeling of extreme deprivation? Regardless of how inclusive the diet is (like Weight Watchers, which allows all foods), there's always a feeling of loss, a sadness, a hunger--both physical and emotional.
From the article: "Forms of obesity and eating disorders can be defined as chronic relapsing conditions with alternating periods of abstinence....and relapse...that continue despite negative consequences." This is the definition of a dependence disorder--whether it be alcohol, drugs or in this case DIETING.
A dependence on dieting. Relapsing by gaining weight back. And dieting again. Even though dieting is only a short term fix. And there are negative consequences to dieting (as well as to obesity). The negative consequences of dietiting, again both physical and emotional, are rarely discussed. The goal is always to lose weight--almost at any cost.
Food for thought.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Eating Out Again

So I'm writing this article on eating out. And I've gotten hundreds of responses from dietitians. It's amazing. I really have gotten a mountain of e-mails. It seems that dietitians do not eat out that much. I'd say most eat out a few times a month. Not sure if it's a money issue or a health issue or if they just don't like to eat out. And these are average weight (by their own report) dietitians. Interesting. I eat out many times a week and some days, many times in one day. And I am not average weight---by my own report. Light bulb moment. And the revelation is....nothing. We all know that food prepared away from home has way more calories so it stands to reason that if someone is "prone" to gaining weight and eats out often, the results will be additional poundage.
The dietitians who say they eat out infrequently cite "liking to cook" as one of the reasons. Well, I like to cook but I also like to eat out. In fact, I love to eat out. I mean, there are times when I don't want to go out. I don't want to be in a room of strangers, being served by a stranger. I don't want to eat with a fork and wear clean clothes. But those times are rare. More often, I look forward to the interactions and I surely look forward to the flavors.
So I get why the dietitians who eat out infrequently are average weight but I don't know how to transform myself into someone who would be happy eating out only a few times a month.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Help me with article, please

I'm writing an article about eating out in restaurants. If you read this blog (and you must because you're reading it now...duh, Sharon) and you've ever eaten out while on a diet, I'd appreciate your help.
You can respond to the blog comment section. I won't post your response (unless you want me to) so your responses will be confidential. Here's what I'd like to know:

1. Do you try to stick to your diet when you eat out?
2. What diet are/were you on when you ate out?
3. If you're dieting or just trying to eat more healthfully, what strategies do you employ when eating out in restaurants?
Do you
a. order appetizers as your entree?
b. share your entree with someone else?
c. pack half before you even start eating?
d. stay away from cream sauces and fried foods?
e. order dessert? share dessert?
f. eat bread? and butter? while waiting for food to arrive?
g. drink a caloric beverage such as soda, wine, beer?
h. choose a restaurant where you know you can get something healthy?
i. order salad with dressing on the side?
j. ask for changes to the meal like--no gravy, dressing on the side, broiled instead of fried, etc.

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Selling out

I've been down on Jillian, the trainer on The Biggest Loser, for a few weeks because her tactics have become overbearing and not at all what I would consider "motivational". Still, I had a soft spot in my heart for her. She's done a great job on her own body and occasionally she shows a softer side on the show. But now....I don't know. Look, I think everyone should take the chance to make a buck when they can. Celebrity is fleeting. And Jillian's time in the spotlight might not last that long. So it's okay for her to make a couple of dollars off her celebrity while she can. Supplements, though?
Janet Helm, a fellow dietitian, has written an excellent post on Jillian's supplements. Here's the link
Yeah, I'm disappointed. She's always stressed hard work as the way to reach a fitness goal. Not supplements. Not pills or potions.
I can guess what happened: Supplement company approached her management team. Offered beau coup bucks. Management team (counting their 10%) suggested this would be a good thing for her. Photo on the ads. Speaking engagements. Royalties. Oh, and of course I'm sure they also told her that she'd be helping millions of people reach their fitness goals.
I'm disappointed.
So, am I to believe that Jillian made over her body by taking these supplements? Uh, I think not.
Read Janet's excellent analysis of the product.
I doubt anyone will be helped by the supplements. Here's hoping no one is hurt by them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My relationship with exercise

I have a relationship with exercise that amazes people who don't like to work out. I like exericse. In fact, I love to exercise. I look forward to going to the gym. I wrote a short essay about my feelings that was published at a new site:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Menu info meant to scare me

How do I feel about listing calories on a menu? Sick to my stomach. Well, maybe that's a little dramatic. Actually, I don't care. If I can look in the mirror and not see my second chin then I can read a menu without "seeing" the calories.
It's not only about the calories--even though I do have a t-shirt from last year's ADA meeting that says "It's the calories, stupid".
Yes, it's about the calories. Calories in vs. calories out. I accept that when calories are out of whack with expenditure, we get weight loss or gain. But I don't eat calories. I eat food. So when I look at a menu, I look at ingredients and cooking method. Do I want red snapper? Do I like carrots? Am I in the mood for grilled or fried food? Choosing a menu item just because it's lowest in calories seems out of touch with what's important about healthy eating--the nutrients.
We've pretty much scrapped the "all foods fit" mantra because I think many dietitians no longer believe that all foods fit. Maybe it's because we've gone overboard with eating the foods that are at the far end of the not so good continuum and forced them to fit. And in some ways, "calories" are to blame. Let's see, I could eat one whole eclair if I just drink water for breakfast because then my whole day's intake will be 1200 calories. Or I could eat 1/2 eclair and have one hard boiled egg for breakfast and still stay within my calorie limit.
I don't think that's the kind of thinking we had in mind with "all foods fit".
Back to menus. Life long weight maintenance (even if it means maintaining weight at a higher than "best" weight level) needs intuitiveness and mindfulness. Knowing when you've had enough. Paying attention to what you're eating; to what you're ordering. And maybe knowing the calories can help but that's just the beginning.
So a salad that includes avocado and nuts and salmon would be much higher in calories (from fat) than a salad of chicken breast, lettuce and cucumbers. In this case, are the calories that important? Or are the ingredients, all recommended for health, as important? I don't think any one would deny that both salads are probably good choices for healthy eating even though the avocado, salmon, nut salad would be way higher in calories. Choosing the lesser caloric salad would mean getting way less of some of the nutrients we consider important for health like omega 3 fatty acids.
Obviously people are interested in calories. That's why the "eat this not that" books have done so well. But choosing a cucumbers over an avocado just because of calories isn't necessarily good nutrition.
So can we expect to see menus list items in ascending order of calories with a dry lettuce wedge listed first and grilled chicken with steamed broccoli last?
I can't be "scared" into losing weight. Of course, knowing that the "big ass burger" (actual menu item in AZ restaurant) has twice the calories as a regular burger is interesting and scandalous news. But understanding why the burger is so caloric might be more instructive to help me make better decisions in the future than just trying to scare me out of ordering it by listing the calories. Oh, and since the big ass has vegetables on it and the plain burger is just meat, it might actually be better to eat 1/2 the big ass for the same number of calories. Making choices on calories alone is not always the best way to choose.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thanks but no thanks

A post on twitter this morning offered the "convenience" of a BMI chart. Um, yeah, thanks but no thanks. Everyone should have a BMI Chart hanging on their frig, I guess. At least the dietitian who posted the offer must think so. Here's what I think: If you're fat, you know it. If you're denying it, finding out your BMI probably isn't going to increase your awareness. Being fat and avoiding knowing that you're fat is not rational so why offer a rational solution.
Even looking in the mirror at your naked reflection doesn't do it. I know I rarely see my body when I look in the mirror. I focus on my face, especially my eyes and hair because they're my best features. If I do "look" at my whole body (and I rarely do because I don't want to be blinded by its beauty), I see what I'm wearing and that's about it.
For me, the best "measure" of fatness is actually just that: a measure. When I measure my waist, even if I cinch in the tape really tightly and hold my breath, the obvious is obvious. I'm fat. The buttons popping off my pants, the muffin top peeking out above the waist line of my way too tight jeans, the flesh under my neck--I can ignore those so easily. But for some reason the tape measure really works for me.
Damn that tape measure. Is it possible, I wonder, to stretch out that tape measure so that it is no longer accurate? Excuse me while I go experiment. Denial is my friend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Halloween Pig Out

Have you gone to the supermarket this week? Huge displays of huge bags of miniature candy bars. Every kind imaginable. With nuts. Without nuts. With nougat. With raisins. With unidentifiable crunchy stuff. I don't really "like" chocolate but how can you walk past the rows of candy and not be tempted. You can smell the chocolate in the air. It's almost Halloween. Not a holiday I celebrate. No kids at home. None on my street. Rarely does anyone ring the doorbell. But just in case.....I mean, I'm just trying to be a good neighbor. So I'll buy a bag (or two) of candy so I'll be prepared should someone come knocking. I wouldn't want to disappoint the kids. It's all for them. Right? And then, it would be a sin to throw away good candy should no one come knocking.
I remember when the kids were little. They'd come home with bags groaning under the weight of candy. I allowed them to eat until they were close to vomiting. And then I'd freeze what was left to dole out slowly over the next few weeks. But first, and I know I'm not the only mother who's ever done this, first I would cull a few of the best candies for myself. After all, I worked for those calories. Walking up and down the block with the kids, checking each piece of candy to make certain it was safe to eat. That can make a mother hungry, you know.
So what.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Joyful Exercise

This video of "piano" steps was passed around with glee yesterday on a bunch of dietitian web sites ( It's worth the few minutes to view it. Dietitians are all clamoring about what a good idea it is because it would mean more exercise. Me? I think it's joyful. Exercise? Sure. But it's just one flight of steps--albeit a steep one and certainly worth the energy expenditure. But watch the video and you'll see wonderment and people just having a good time. I would love the opportunity to play on those steps. You'll understand when you see the video. At least, I hope you'll understand.
And maybe people would exercise more if the activity were fun. I can't say that riding the elliptical, even while listening to my favorite songs, is fun. That's why I like to take aerobics classes once in a while. For the fun. I can't "whoop" when I'm working out alone on the bike. I mean, I'd like to but I'd probably be escorted out of the gym by the people in white coats. And why? Because when we exercise alone, we don't expect those joyful sounds. But it's okay in class. To count down out loud and to whoop and whee as much as we want. At least it's acceptable where I work out.
So, yes, I wish we had those steps here. Not because they would provide an opportunity to exercise but because they would provide an opportunity to have fun (the site is called fun theory, after all!). Don't miss the point. Go out and have a good time while you're burning some calories and strengthening your heart and your bones.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Food Rules and Rules of Food

I'm so disturbed by this essay in NY Times Magazine:

I feel that it is a cry for help from the author. How could the Times have published this without another piece to balance it? Something on "normal" eating.
The author claims that she is not "anorexic" because she is not "fashionably skinny" as though anorexia were a body type and not a behavior! My goodness. This is clearly a case of disordered eating. Her machinations are painful to read. She loves to eat and eat out but doesn't really allow herself to enjoy the pleasure of eating.
She eats only once a day, eschews all carbs (seems like even whole grain ones) and admits that no "nutritionist" would recognize her diet as a diet. Please. Someone step forward to help this woman before she develops (if she hasn't already) some very serious deficiencies.
Her rules are crippling. All about what not to eat. Please, Elyse Resch or Michelle May, contact this woman. Help this woman. And when she's more comfortable in her own skin, perhaps she'll write a response to her essay. Soon.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Words of Wisdom on Facebook

About five years ago I went to a National Speakers meeting. I met Michelle May, Phoenix physician . I eavesdropped as she talked to a friend of mine about her weight loss program called Am I Hungry?. Fast forward two years. I was writing an article for Today's Dietitian on The Reverse Diet. I remembered Dr. May and decided to contact her for some quotes. We met, talked for way longer than necessary for me to get quotes but I was intrigued with her and her ideas. Since then, we've kept in touch kind of randomly. I've followed her "career" as her program has expanded. Dr. May's second book, Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat has just been published. She continues to inspire me especially through her postings on facebook.
Look, I'm still fat. I still eat too much. I'm still struggling with mindfulness and intuitiveness and making better choices. But I do get something from reading her remarks like this one:

Put a sign on your fridge that says: If you're NOT hungry, what you're looking for is NOT in here.

How many times a day do I find myself walking to the fridge or to the cupboard looking for something even though there's no rumbling in my tummy? Boredom? I don't know. I'm not an "emotional" eater. It doesn't matter if I'm sad, glad, pissed or tired. I eat because I want to eat. I don't lose my appetite when I'm sick or unhappy and I don't get hungrier when I'm sad or angry. And being happy (or unhappy) doesn't make me thin!

Anyway, I'm suggesting that you "friend" Michelle May on facebook or on twitter so you can read her daily posts. Perhaps they'll inspire you--maybe not to make any immediate changes but just to ponder a little. Hey, it's a first step!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Still watching Biggest Loser

I wasn't going to watch. Biggest Loser conflicted with So You Think You Can Dance--a much happier show. But I watched anyway. That's what happens when you're addicted! The show is actually kind of boring. Repeating scenes over and over. I don't get it. They've got to have hundreds of hours of footage. Why repeat so much? Whatever.
I would have thought that such heavy people would be losing faster. I wonder if they've upped the calories the contestants eat. Or they've cut back on exercise compared to other seasons.
Last night's episode was very nutrition centered. I think the contestants have learned a lot. You can see the influence of the RD when they looked at the chicken entrees--talking about skin, asking how the side dishes were prepared, wondering if there was sugar in the barbecue sauce. But, where oh where did they learn that they should avoid pineapple, grapes and bananas? And why were they taught that? Berries are lower in calories but why avoid those three innocent fruits? Ones which happen to be my favorites!
And when Jillian, dear Jillian, tries to talk about nutrition she stumbles and mumbles. She should stay out of the nutrition discussions. Stick to screaming in the contestants' faces with such encouraging words as, "when you die" I know you've had enough. What?
The product placement is really getting annoying. The camera focuses on a contestant taking out a piece of gum from a package. Oooh. That's exciting footage.
I hope I'm busy next Tuesday night so I can't watch the show.
Here's the best way to watch the show: Tune in for the first few minutes, which include a nice summary of the previous week minus the repeated segments. Watch the last fifteen minutes so you can find out who gets tossed out and what they look like now as well as the drama for the following week. And that's it. I mean, who has to watch the sweating and panting and groaning and complaining and gamesmanship and crying in the middle?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fat, Sugar and Salt...Oh, my!

I'm still reading David Kessler's book, The End of Overeating. I thought I'd be finished by now. It's certainly riveting but life intervened. Anyway, I'm back to the book. Can't wait until I get to the part that tells me how to stop being seduced by the fat, sugar and salt the evil food industry has secretly added to the prepared foods I buy.
Yes, even I am sometimes amazed by the number of calories in restaurant and packaged foods. Absolutely floored. I don't think people are ordering the "blooming onion" thinking it's a low cal appetizer but who knew how many calories (1500) were in that crispy delight? And don't you dip the onions in Ranch dressing? If not, you should (NOT).
Since I don't frequent chain restaurants (and in truth, I've never had the "blooming onion" although I've had fried onion rings many times), I've sort of convinced myself that if I order smartly, I'll get something that passes for healthy food. But that's a delusion. Because I've worked in restaurants. I know how food is prepared. And I know that if it tastes really good to me, then it is indeed full of, as Kessler points out, fat, sugar and salt. Because my palate is addicted to fat, sugar and salt.
And that's the main problem for me. Yes, I know when I'm satisfied. I know when I'm overfull. I can look at a burger and get pretty close to guessing the weight. I can control the portion size when it comes to feeling full but I cannot control the urge to eat more sugar, fat and salt.
They've hooked me! I'm addicted. So should I try a slow detox by avoiding certain foods when eating out? Should I avoid eating out all together???? Please, don't suggest that I do that. I can't bear to think about cooking three meals a day every day of every month. I love to cook--just not for the two of us. I like to cook grand meals with many courses involving hundreds of ingredients, lots of utensils and copious amounts of food. But dinner for two. Boring.
And what about food shopping? Trader Joe's, evil Trader Joe's. They tempt me with each new product. Bottled sauces (that I could make on my own) entice me. Curiosity takes hold and I have to buy them even though the label screams salt, sugar and fat at me.
So no restaurants. No supermarkets. No specialty stores. But even my local farmers' market is chock full of temptation--breads, cakes, cookies, tamales, prepared dressings, bbq sauce. Is there no haven for me?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fear of regaining weight

Just read a post on a list serv from another dietitian about some clients who have lost and regained weight so many times that they are "afraid" to try again. Very interesting. I think I understand their fear. How many times can you try? How many times can you do the same thing, even if it's a different regimen, and end up gaining the weight back? It's discouraging. It's frustrating. It's disheartening. And it's embarrassing.
It might feel great when people start noticing that you've lost weight. But they're also going to notice when you've regained. That's when I want to put a bag over my head or hide in the house. Failed again. When it's happened enough times, you sort of expect it. So why try again?
There are some who say that eventually, if you keep trying, you will succeed. That is, they say that the statistics for "failure" (losing and regaining) are not as dire as they seem. It may take many tries before success (meaning, maintaining weight loss) but the belief is that eventually if you keep trying, you will lose and maintain the loss.
Then there's the research that says that each time you regain, you are "fatter" (meaning you've lost some muscle each time you diet but when you regain, you regain only fat making you "fatter" than before even if your weight is the same as your starting weight). Well, that's pretty scary. Why would I want to keep trying to lose weight when the cards are stacked against me for maintaining and then ending up fatter than when I started?
Let's not think about losing weight. Let's think about living a healthier life. Let's think about eating more vegetables (not so sure right now about eating more fruits.....), more whole grains, less fat. Let's keep moving as much as we can as vigorously as we can. Let's get enough sleep. Let's find ways to relax and enjoy life whether it's reading a book, contemplating the clouds or taking a yoga class.
Because eating better, exercising and relaxing will surely improve health even if weight loss is not realized. And that just might be enough.

Friday, September 18, 2009

More on The Biggest Loser

Thanks for the comments. Looks like we're all in agreement. I've been reading other dietitian blogs as well as articles online and it seems like everyone is wondering why the tough Marine tactics. Are you listening, Biggest Loser?
Each season, the contestants get bigger and bigger and reveal more of their personal stories. It was easier for me to relate at the beginning than it is now. I was crying, actually crying, when they revealed their trials and tribulations. I'm thinking that it's no wonder they turned to food for solace and I sure hope that heavy psychotherapy is included in the behind the scenes for these contestants because no amount of weight loss is going to erase the sadness the contestants have lived through.
I'll keep watching-it's a train wreck I cannot ignore. And maybe blogging about it will affect some changes in the show. Who knows. Maybe we'll learn more about the program than just the footage we get to see each week. They must shoot hundreds of hours each week but "treat" us to what they think America wants to see. I, for one, want to see them meeting with the dietitian. And how many hours (?) do they spend in the gym each day? What is a typical day? And I do want to know what happens to these people after they leave the show? Is there support from the show? Or are they abandoned?
Give me more realism in the reality show.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Biggest Loser Critique

I've written about The Biggest Loser in the past, usually positive comments. But last night's opening episode has left me feeling at loose ends. For several reasons. Yes, the people are huge. Not really sure if, as the trainers seemed to indicate, this is a reflection of our ever expanding waistlines or just a good way to get us reasonably fat people (ha!) to be scared that we might end up like them (!) if we don't do something now. And the "doing something" would be to buy all The Biggest Loser stuff that they now advertise on the show and on the web site.
Here are my issues (and I'd like to know if you agree or not)
1. I don't quite understand why the contestants, whom we know are very fat, have to expose their bodies. I know they are exposing themselves in many ways--by telling their stories, by letting us see them cry and sweat--but I'm not sure it's fair to ask them to dress down for us. That's so sensationalistic to me. It's not like we don't realize that someone who weighs 476 pounds is very fat! Or do the contestants not care? Because I keep myself covered up thinking no one will know how fat I am! So is it just me?
2. So little attention is paid to nutrition when we know from research that exercise helps more in weight maintenance than it does in weight loss. It's the calories, stupid.
3. How about a little on camera time for the dietitian? We see the doc talking to them about their health. Why not show the dietitian counseling them about their diets?
4. You know, I like Jillian. I do. Bob, not so much. But this berating has got to stop. If Jillian talked to me that way, I'd smack her across the face. I don't care what they agree to, the level of criticism (and the tone!) rivals Hell's Kitchen's Gordon Ramsey. And that's not a compliment!
5. I was appalled that they asked these unfit obese people to "run" one mile without giving them water to carry. No wonder one man was dehydrated and one woman passed out. That's no way to start an exercise program. I work out daily and I wouldn't attempt running in the sand for one mile.
6. I know it's a competition. I know people have to go home. I don't much like the partner thing. Maybe that's because I'm a loner. But I wouldn't want to depend on a stranger the way they've asked these contestants to do.
7. I'd like some discussion about why some weeks people don't lose as much and what the initial weight loss consists of. The heavier people will always lose more at the beginning. They burn more calories just getting out of bed. Most of these people have probably been eating a high sodium diet so switching to healthier foods and just the usual glycogen storage loss you'd see on the first few days of a diet are the reason for the big losses. Lots of water. Water is heavy. Lose water and you see big losses on the scale.
8. Women? They have to contend with hormones. Some weeks they are going to retain water regardless of how much they drink, how little sodium they consume and how much they exercise. Just one of the wonders of being a woman.
Instead of allowing the contestants to hate themselves on national TV for not losing tons of weight each week, how about some science to explain why not.
But, mostly, I want the trainers to stop shouting. Just stop. Please. A little Marine type counting and cajoling, maybe. But stop picking on these people or I won't be able to watch the show. And I'll miss the triumphs if I don't watch.

And lastly, bring back even the contestants who've gotten fat again. Let's talk about it. And does the "show" abandon them after it's over? Or do they continue to support them in some ways? Does 24 Hour Fitness (is that the one?) give the contestants free memberships in their home towns? And if not, why not? Wouldn't someone want to offer a meal delivery to help them stay focused? I mean, come on. Let's help these people who bared their souls (and their bellies) to help us.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another year and still healthy (and as big) as a horse

Had my yearly check up. Never used to do the yearly thing but, thank you Medicare, now I can because it's free (well, nothing is free). Doc was totally unimpressed with me. Guess if there's nothing wrong, there's nothing for her to do. Blood test was even better than last year's. Heart, lungs, all normal. No new aches and pains. Just the usual. So, I haven't lost any weight (in fact, I weigh 20 pounds more than when last I was checked out by her) and yet blood glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and all the rest are good--really good. Go explain that to the naysayers who say that my 36 inch waist and the extra almost 50 pounds on my short stout frame is probably killing me. Hah! Yes, I could keel over tomorrow but it won't be because I'm fat. I don't have genetics on my side--parents both died in their 60s. If I make it past 69 (that's when my father died), then I'll feel as though I accomplished something.
I exercise. I eat well. I try to enjoy my life with an occasional over indulgence of Chinese food or french fries or ice cream or pizza or Pepsi. I've never used drugs or drunk alcohol or smoked although my food vices are probably just as damaging. So let's see if the people who down bushels of blueberries do better than I do with just plain clean living.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Imitation is a form of flattery?

I wrote an article called Confessions of a Fat Dietitian. Then another dietitian started a blog called Confessions of a Fat Dietitian. I wrote to her and asked her if she would consider changing the name of her blog--even though I didn't "trademark" the title (my mistake!), I just didn't want people to think that she and I were the same person. She demurred and abandoned the blog. Then I found a blog called Fat Dietitian written by a student who in fact is not a dietitian. I contacted her. She was not as amenable and still publishes her blog and is still not a dietitian. Now I find a blog, quite by accident, called Dieting Dietitian. Of course, anyone can write a blog called whatever they want. "It's a free country" as we used to say when I was ten years old. But isn't there any integrity? Any creativity? Any originality? Each one came to the title innocently? None knew of the article or my blog? Well, the first one did know about the article and she was an honorable woman which is why she agreed to move on. The second, the NOT a dietitian woman, said she'd never heard of the article. I haven't contacted this last woman. I know I'm probably overreacing. Have no right to be upset. Free country. Right? But I've been writing this blog for about 18 months. And I use it in my signature for e-mail. It's been on "best of" lists.
Never mind.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Getting old and does it matter what I eat?

I've been writing this blog for so long that I'm not sure if I'm repeating myself but here goes anyway....
Now that I'm officially OLD (65), I'm beginning to wonder (again, I apologize if I wondered this in the blog before) if it really matters how I eat or how much I weigh. Here's the thing. Isn't the damage already done? Haven't I breathed in enough crap, eaten enough pesticide and deposited enough toxins to do me in? Does it really make a difference if I eat a bushel of blueberries right now? Will that improve my memory? If I lose 20 pounds (in my dreams), will I avoid breast cancer? I know that eating oatmeal might reduce my cholesterol but my arteries are already loaded with plaque both from years of abuse and because it's just a natural consequence of aging.
Speaking of which....I am getting old. Sure. I could live another 30 plus years. But most of my life is behind me. So far behind that I need my glasses to see it!
So, does it matter? Will I live one day longer if I have oatmeal AND blueberries for breakfast? I've eaten a pretty healthy diet my whole life...just way too much of it. I've always eaten fruits and veggies. Of course, they've often been topped with sugar and cooked in fat but that doesn't negate the antioxidants contained therein!
This is a serious concern for me. Something for me to ponder over the next few weeks. When, if at all, does it stop being important to eat a healthy diet? When, if at all, does it matter what you weigh?

Sunday, August 16, 2009


If you ask me if I know what I look like, I will answer with certainty that I do. I see myself in photos and I agree with the image. But that's today. What about the past? How accurate was I in the past about what I looked like?
My nickname growing up was Fatty Matty. Kids gave me that name in school. There are very few photos of me from my childhood and early adolescence and none from my high school years. My memory of those times is sketchy because in many ways, those were not the best of times. I know that when I was in elementary school, I wore "chubby" size clothes. At least, that's what I remember.
Someone from elementary school/junior high recently e-mailed me a photo of our class from 1955. I would have been in fifth grade, about eleven years old. I'm sitting in the front row, all dressed in my finest, my hair pulled tightly back in a pony tail. And I'm not fat. Not at all. Not one bit. Not fat. In fact, I'm a normal size (well, not height because I've always been short) girl. I look just like all the other girls. And in those days, there weren't as many fat kids.
So why did the kids call me Fatty Matty? And why did my mother buy me chubby size clothes?
I've gained 50 pounds since my 20s. And I would have described myself as fat when I was 20 years old. Now forty five years later, I still call myself fat. I am fat according to the scale, according to BMI, according to waist measurement, according to the way my clothes fit and the size I wear. I accept that I am indeed fat now. But what was I when I was 20? Just right?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time Magazine article: Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin

The buzz at the gym: "Did you read that article about exercise? It hardly burns any calories. Why are we doing this?"
Let me start with "duh". What did they think, my exercising buddies at the gym? Did no one know how few calories are used up in exercise? Let's be realistic. If exercise really did burn that many calories, I'd be a waif. For all the effort and time I put into exercise, I wouldn't be able to eat enough calories to maintain my weight if exercise did such a good job using up calories.
So, no. Exercise will not make you thin. But it will help make you more flexible. Exercise will make your heart stronger. It will make your bones stronger. Exercise will make your body use insulin more efficiently. Exercise may help to prevent breast cancer and colon cancer. I don't know why. But that's what the research shows. People who exercise sleep better. Exercise helps to reduce stress. So it doesn't help people lose weight. Oh, goodness me. Does that mean we should be giving it up?
Are we so obsessed with weight that we'll only choose lifestyle activities that result in weight loss?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Yoga and Mindful Eating...a serious post

I get a lot of this: "I think you're so funny. I love reading your blog." I hope this won't disappoint you all but this is going to be a serious "dietitian" post.
I just read this article, Regular Yoga Practice Is Associated with Mindful Eating ( I'm feeling thoughtful about it.
I don't like yoga. I've tried it a few times--maybe more than a few times. I've gone to yoga studios and tried classes at the gym. I find the remarks and beliefs of the teachers to be difficult for me to accept. Talking about stimulating my liver and kidneys with different poses. I don't know. They're constant chattering during class about how each pose is making a difference in my psyche or my body just bothers me. I like aerobics classes more because all the teacher does is cue the moves and occasionally grunt.
Anyway, I've never been able to get "into" yoga. I even tried hot yoga which I kind of liked more because of the added challenge of trying to avoid throwing up in class from the heat. But I digress. So, I've not been a fan.
This article is giving me reason to try yoga again. As a weight lifter, I am NOT in touch with my body sometimes. Sure, I have to know that I am working the right muscle and know that my form is good but in order to lift heavy weights, I have to get out of my body. I have to ignore the pain and discomfort that often accompanies straining to lift something very heavy.
I've had difficulty with mindfulness when it comes to eating. So I think I'm going to give yoga another chance.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Home and Hot

I'm home! Arrived in the inferno last night. The ride across the desert from LA to Phoenix was HOT! We stopped to eat our lunch and the food in the cooler started to warm up as soon as I opened the cooler!
We went shopping for food at Whole Foods before we left LA. My husband eyed bags of potato chips and packages of cookies. But, no. The week of excess (even though it wasn't as excessive as in times past) had to end on the trip home. At least that's what I decided. I did find some candy bars in the cooler, though. He must have slipped those in when I wasn't looking and I gotta say I was glad because six hours in the car left me feeling like I deserved a food reward.
But now we're home. And although it's only been 1/2 day so far, I'm trying. Had oatmeal for breakfast and tuna fish with veggies for lunch with a pluot for dessert. Drinking water instead of soda. Lots of water. It's 115 degrees here. I'm "eliminating all the stored glycogen quickly" (you dietitians will know what I mean by that!).
Yes, it's hot here. So many people tell me they aren't hungry in hot weather. What's wrong with them? Or that they want to eat "light". What is "light" food? I don't get it.
Going to book club meeting tonight. There will be food. Lots of it. There will be dessert. I hate it when someone refuses to eat something by saying, "I'm on a diet." So I'll taste. And if it's really good, I'll eat it! I'm not going to lie. I will eat it. All of it if it's tasty. That's how it is. I won't, however, refuse something because of dieting. Ugh. It's that word again. I'm not dieting and I'm not following a diet. I'm just trying to get back into the groove of eating the way I know I should eat. And I'm trying to remember what it feels like to be hungry! While on vacation, I often have to eat when others are hungry. That doesn't work out well for me because even if I'm not hungry, I will eat a meal. I mean, who knows when I might get another chance?
Anyway, back to normal (what's normal for me) and hoping there are no restaurant meals in my future. At least not for a few days.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Vacation Food Report

I had good intentions. "Let's try to lose weight on this trip", I said to my husband as we pulled out of the driveway. Right. Started out on the right foot. Except for the ice cream we had the first night but really not too bad. Well, the burger and fries. I mean, I didn't finish the bun. But then I lost all control (did I ever have any?). Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy. Chicken breast only. No skin. But still. Bagels and cream cheese, sweet rolls, pastries of all sorts for breakfast. Pinkberry (the best frozen yogurt) a couple of times. No candy, though. Interesting. I usually keep candy and cookies in the hotel room just in case. Just in case the end of the world comes and I find myself the only living survivor holed up in my hotel room. I want to make sure I don't starve to death. But this time no food in the room. Of course, never once did I find myself hungry but still I think that is an accomplishment I can be proud of. Didn't stock up on junk. And only had Pepsi a few times. Mostly water. What other virtuous things have I done? Last night while everyone else chowed down on steak, creamed spinach, baked potatoes with all the fixings, I, Miss Virtuous, had roasted chicken. Yes, that's right. And I didn't finish it. So there. On my way to a cooking class at Sur La Table with the family. Greek cooking. Should be fun. And we get to eat what we cook! Now that's what I call a good day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

LA trip

100 people looked at the blog yesterday. I guess because of the article in the Chicago Trib. They probably wondered, "Who is this strange dietitian?". I thought I should post again today just in case some of them (you?) come back. There should be something to read.
On vacation. In Los Angeles. Here to see the premiere of the movie my daughter produced, Paper Heart. That was last night. So exciting. Red carpet. Paparazzi. "Famous" people. Audience seemed to like the movie. Some reviews should be out today. We'll see.
To me, vacations are about the food. Where will I eat? What will I eat? So far, nothing too exciting. And not too many calories. We drove here from Phoenix. Six hours. Three potty breaks and food breaks. Packed a cooler. Ate fruit, turkey sandwiches and vegetables! Forgot to pack the bag of potato chips. Interesting. Forgot, Dr. Freud? Maybe not. Forgot to pack the container of mini chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe's. Interesting.
First dinner out, burger and fries. Didn't eat the bun because it wasn't worth eating. Didn't finish the fries because they weren't worth finishing. But felt I "deserved" an ice cream so went to Whole Foods and bought some. Oh, and ate it!
Next up, lunch yesterday. Went to one of our favorite restaurants in Santa Monica, Huckleberry. Had turkey meatballs and snap peas. AND shared chocolate pudding for dessert. Exceptional texture on the pudding. Exceptional.
Dinner was after the premiere at the party. Mexican food. A little of this and a little of that. Too excited and tired to eat much.
Today is a new day. Already worked out. Thinking about lunch as I'm finishing up breakfast (bialy from the NY Bagel place down the street). So far, no plans except for fried chicken on Thursday night. Maybe a little sushi one night. And what else? Funny. I'm not sure. Am I losing interest in eating????

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Me and my big mouth

Okay. We all know I have a big mouth. Lots of food goes into it every day. But sometimes my mouth (or in this case my fingers on the computer keyboard) take over and I run amok with words spilling out. So if you read today's Chicago Tribune article about the Surgeon General (front page), you'll see what I mean. (,0,3509415.story)
Now, I'm not sorry about anything that is quoted. In fact, I laughed out loud when I read the last sentence! I did indeed write that in an e-mail to the journalist. I just hope the rest of the dietetic community thinks it's funny..........
I already got one e-mail from someone telling me that I don't look that fat! Love it. I know. Isn't that great. If I did look that fat maybe I would work a little harder at controlling my mouth.
The article made my day. I love seeing my name in print even when it's not my byline.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My menopausal brain and fat

So, are they ( saying that I have a fat brain?
Great. Not only do I have to worry about my expanding waistline but now I will be obsessed about losing formerly functioning brain cells as they turn to fat.
Is there any hope? Am I destined to be a female Jabba the Hutt with fat for brains?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Turtles and other transgressions

I'm sitting here eating turtles (yes, the chocolate kind). And I did say "turtles", plural. Mmm. That was the last one. All gone. While eating the turtles, I was contemplating how poorly I ate this week. Daughter was here for premiere of her movie (Paper Heart) and we ate where she wanted to go, when she wanted to go. Sort of wreaked havoc with our schedule. BTW...that's an EXCUSE. And now I've just eaten three turtles. Not sure I would have eaten more but there were only three in the box. Am I feeling guilty? No. Am I sorry? Not yet. Will I be later? Doubt it. I do wish they had more nuts, though.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Apologies to Rice Cakes

I never thought I'd say this but here goes....I apologize to rice cakes for a previous post. I apologize for maligning rice cakes. Whew. That was hard.
Here's the thing....there's not much in the house to eat today. Had a busy week and no chance to get to the store. No milk for cereal. No bread. No yogurt. (The frig really is empty!). I still had those chocolate rice cakes that I bought a few weeks ago. So I spread some peanut butter on them. Hey, not bad. Not bad at all. In fact, pretty good. Still a little too sweet for me and really not chocolatey but I would eat that again even if I had other breakfast options.
It does still scare me, though, that they were crunchy and fresh after all this time.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Calories, longevity and do I care

Last week, the all the media were abuzz with stories about the research indicating that people who restrict their calories (and we're talking restricting from what they "should" consume to about 30% of that) may live longer. The findings are based on research with animals. The best review of that research that I've read is on Sandy Swarc's, BSN, RN, CCP, web site (

She goes thru the media reports and actual published research data step by step, refuting or at least pointing out the holes in much of the reporting, findings and logic.

I've often thought about what I can do to ensure that I will live longer. But then I think, "Do I want to live longer or just more comfortably and disease free?". Because that's really the issue. And at my age, how much can I add onto my life by changing what I eat and losing weight? And if it were just one month, would it matter? Possibly, if there was something important to "live for".

Isn't most of the damage done by now? If I were to restrict my caloric intake considerably at my age, I would be hard pressed to get the nutrients I need to keep my body in good working order. As people age, their ability to digest and absorb nutrients declines. It's just a fact of aging. Some of the needs decrease and others increase with age. As it is, it's hard enough for me to meet my protein needs because besides fried chicken and hamburgers (which, mercifully, I do not consume daily or even sometimes weekly), I don't like protein that much. I get most of my protein from dairy products like yogurt and milk.

And it seems to me that to follow the recommendations to restrict up to 30% of calories, one would have to deny hunger. That surely goes against the principles of mindful and intuitive eating. I mean, you'd recognize that you are hungry (so you'd be mindful) but by not eating or not eating enough to satisfy the hunger, you'd be breaking the rules.

A few months ago, I did see a news story about a group of friends (a dinner club???) who meet regularly for a meal....such as it is! They all restrict their calories because they believe it will increase their life span. Interestingly, most of them were older (or looked older!) and were pretty emaciated looking. Kind of skin and bones. Not much muscle. Gaunt. Their shared "happy" meal consisted of tofu and vegetables. No fat. No sugar. Very sparse.

So I wondered at the time, "Are they enjoying the life that they are extending?" I mean, what good is it to live longer if you are suffering hunger (and they all admitted to being hungry most of the time)? Wow. Being hungry most of the time.

Of course, one could not embark on the journey to starvation for the sake of longevity (sorry, maybe that's a little harsh) unless pretty much everyone around her was on board. It wouldn't work for one member of a couple to fill the frig with delectables while the other subsisted on beans and lettuce.

I know most of the reported research seems to substantiate that being fat means you're going to get some dire disease (diabetes, heart disease or cancer) earlier than you should or would if you weren't fat. And the preponderance of reported research seems to support that you will die earlier if you are fat (and get one of those diseases). But I'm not sure I buy it all.

So I'll stick with trying to reduce my caloric intake a little by making "better" choices and not reach for the moon just yet.

Please read the following dietitians' blogs. We are all participating in Women's Health Blogfest.

Angela White at Blisstree's Breastfeeding 1-2-3 - Helpful Skills of Breastfeeding Counselors
Angie Tillman, RD, LDN, CDE - You Are Beautiful Today
Anthony J. Sepe - Women's Health and Migraines
Ashley Colpaart - Women's health through women
Charisse McElwaine - Spending too much time on the "throne?"
Danielle Omar - Yoga, Mindful Eating and Food Confidence
Diane Preves M.S.,R.D - Balance for Health
Joan Sather - A Woman's Healthy Choices Affect More Than Herself
Laura Wittke - Fibro Study Recruits Participants
Liz Marr, MS, RD - Reflecting on Family Food Ways and Women's Work
Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT - Healthy Women, Healthy Business: How Your Health Impacts a Powerful Business
Marsha Hudnall - Breakfast Protein Helps Light Eaters Feel Full
Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RD - A Nutritionista's Super Foods for Super Skin
Monika Woolsey, MS, RD - To effectively work with PCOS is to understand a woman's health issues throughout her life
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog - How breastfeeding helps you, too
Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, LD - Four Keys to Wellness, Just for Women
Renata Mangrum, MPH, RD - The busy busy woman
Robin Plotkin, RD, LD - Feeding the Appetites of the Culinary, Epicurious and Nutrition Worlds-One Bite at a Time
Terri L Mozingo, RD, CDN & D. Milton Stokes, MPH, RD, CDN of One Source Nutrition, LLC - Crossing the Line: From Health to Hurt
Wendy Jo Peterson, RD - Watch Your Garden Grow

Monday, July 13, 2009

Eating Competence Model from Ellyn Satter

Ellyn Satter is a dietitian whom I've admired since the first time I heard her speak at a meeting many years ago. In fact, I've quoted her before when interviewed for an article in our local newspaper about feeding children. I know she's right. She's so right. I found the following from a twitter link sent in my Marsha Hudnall, another very savvy dietitian--

Ellyn Satter Eating Competence encourages you to base your eating on your body’s natural processes: hunger and the drive to survive, appetite and the need for pleasure, the social reward of sharing food and the tendency to maintain preferred and stable body weight.

There it is. In one sentence. Everything anybody needs to know about how and what and when to eat. I love that she distinguishes between hunger and appetite. I made a big point of doing that in my thesis 25 years ago. It drives me crazy when I read stuff that uses the words interchangeably. It's important to make a distinction because there's a difference between eating to survive and eating for pleasure. There's a difference between eating something because you're hungry and you want to get rid of the hunger and eating something because you're hungry but you want something special to eat. And then there's just eating for pleasure without hunger. That's the killer, of course. And don't you love how she includes the social aspect of food? Sharing food. Pleasure. Sharing. Survival.
Although her books are about feeding children and families, her advice is for all of us.
I've been eating sort of out of control for a few weeks. Just eating. And truly not enjoying. And aware that I'm not enjoying much. And feeling slightly more empowered to make some changes. Not the kind that are superficial. Not following a diet--because I cannot sustain that.
I've been thinking a lot about the obesity statistics that are quoted almost daily in the newspaper. My daughter bought me a vintage felt appliqued jacket for my birthday. You'd have to know vintage clothing to know what that is. It's a jacket from the 1940s. Anyway, the arms are too tight and it doesn't even come close to closing in front. People were just smaller. They were smaller and yet they drank whole milk, ate butter and had pie for dessert all the time (well, maybe that's an exaggeration). They didn't know about fat free this or that or Splenda or "options". They didn't order dressing on the side nor did they obsess about taking the skin off chicken.
Just some stuff to think about for today. On my way to meet up with my trainer for some heavy grunting, groaning and sweating.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cookie Cravings

For days, for many days, I have been thinking about eating a cookie. Pretty much any kind of cookie as long as it is crispy. But I didn't. I tried to do what the diet gurus tell you to do. Wait. Perhaps the desire will go away. Try to eat something more nutritious. I did. But cookies kept dancing thru my brain. So I finally gave in to the desire. I had some chocolate chip cookies in the freezer. I baked them a while ago. They didn't come out the way I wanted them to so I didn't gift them as I had originally intended. Still, I couldn't throw them away. So I froze them. I see them each time I open the freezer--which is many times a day. I didn't really want them. They have too many chocolate chips in them which is why I didn't eat them when they were hot and fresh out of the oven. Too much chocolate. I know. For many of you chocoholics, there's no such thing as too much chocolate. But I don't really like chocolate or, better said, I don't lust for chocolate.
Today, though, I needed those cookies. Badly. I don't even know why. Well, I'm trying to write three articles, all long ones, due on the same day. All requiring lots of research. None at all related to the others. So I guess you could say this cookie desire was stress induced.
I tried to quell the desire with cantaloupe. Ripe, sweet cantaloupe. It was delicious but didn't satisfy the craving. Cookies!
I heated one in the microwave. I ate it. Too many chocolate chips. And yet, satisfying. I'm okay now. I don't want another one (probably because it wasn't the best chocolate chip cookie I ever baked) and I'm feeling okay. One cookie. Who woulda thunk it.
Now off to the gym. Not because of guilt but because it's time for step class. Gotta go.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The guilt of feasting

The previous post on indulgences has kept me occupied in deep thought for a few days now. Because I realized another purely person phenomenon--not sure if any of you feel the same way. So I tend to indulge all the time. On the other hand, I hold back when I should allow myself to indulge. It's a holiday. A holiday that demands indulgence: barbecue, potato salad, hot dogs, burgers, ribs. All the foods that most sane people eat only on special occasions. Like this one. So today would be the perfect day for me to enjoy, without guilt, these foods. Especially the ribs and perhaps some chicken wings. With garlic bread. Yum. But, no. I keep telling myself "no". Not good for you. Don't do it. And, yet, I might happily eat a burger tomorrow. I don't get it. Punish myself with deprivation when it's okay to indulge and then indulge when it's better to eat more sanely. Help me work this one out. It's totally confounding.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Indulgence light bulb moment

What was I thinking? I wasn't. I haven't been. OMG.
I was just looking through a new web site ( because they've asked me to write an article for September. I wanted to get familiar with the site. I was checking out the women involved with the site.
Each woman answered several questions including what are your indulgence foods. OMG. That's when I had a light bulb moment--I don't really have any indulgence foods because I eat them all the time. Sure. Sure. I try to control the urge to eat pizza or fried chicken. And sometimes I'm successful. But for thin people, an indulgence really is a once in a while kind of thing. For me, it's normal to indulge. To eat one pint of ice cream. To eat 1/2 chicken, all crispy and fried. To eat three or four potatoes, fried. To eat five slices of pizza. To dip my fries in aioli. To drink Pepsi after Pepsi, refill after refill. To bread and fry.
What's an indulgence to a normal eater is an everyday food for me.
My mother loved chocolate. Loved it. She kept one of those very super huge Hershey's chocolate bars on the counter in the kitchen near the stove. The bar could last one week or more (unless I ate it) because she took off little squares, one at a time and not every day. Just one little square. That was her indulgence.
Or she'd bake a cheesecake. She also loved cheesecake. NY cheesecake. Dense and heavy with cream cheese and sugar. All she ate was what was left on the knife after serving someone. For real. She would just scrape off what was on the knife and call that her portion. Can you believe it?
That's how a normal eater treats an indulgence. Someone like me eats the indulgent food to excess, to pain and discomfort.
So much to learn.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My cold is hungry

I have a cold. A summer cold. It's 110 degrees and humid (Phoenix Monsoon weather) and I have a cold. Runny nose. Tearing eyes. Scratchy throat. If I wash my hands all the time, how could this happen to me! Whatever.
Here's the thing: When most "normal" people are sick, they lose their appetite. Sipping soup or eating dry toast is about all they can manage. Now, I admit that I'm not so sick. I mean, no fever or aches and pains. I did take a nap this afternoon, though, so that indicates that I'm not well.
So normal people don't want to eat when they're under the weather. Me? I'm starving. So hungry. Feed a cold. Starve a fever. Is that it?
Well, my cold is hungry. And I'm feeding it. Had my morning smoothie (yogurt, milk, banana, strawberries, chocolate syrup). might not understand this unless you're Jewish and from NYC...for lunch I had a bowl of wide egg noodles and cottage cheese. Comfort food for me.
Right now I'm getting ready to make turkey burgers, sweet potato fries and grilled veggies. I picked some figs from the tree out back and I'll grill them, drizzle them with honey and eat them with some yogurt for dessert.
And then? Well, it depends if my cold is sated by then or not.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vacations of gluttony remembered

Each time we plan a vacation, food dominates the trip. We won't travel to a location that doesn't have good restaurants. Instead of researching museums and cultural sites, I research restaurants. I study chowhound, buy Zagat books, read through yelp and citysearch postings. I make lists. I read the food section of local newspapers online. When I get to our destination, I'm armed with reservations and maps to the local eateries. I'm obsessed.
We ate in 13 restaurants on our first trip to Napa. The trip was only seven days long. Most of those were lunch and dinner meals. Big meals. It was a vacation of pure gluttony (and gustatory pleasure). No photos of us. We were too fat. Didn't want to be immortalized at that size. (Funny, I would give anything to be that size again!). No. Just pictures of food. Gorgeous, delicious food.
Even our LA trips are centered on where to eat. I'm an avid reader of chowhound Los Angeles as well as the LA Times food critics. We usually have our first feast as soon as we arrive on Friday night. Saturday morning is always bialys at my husband's favorite place. He says they remind him of home (NYC he means) even though I doubt that either of us, after living away from NY for over 30 years, remembers what a NY bialy tastes like. Then lunch. Something grand and glorious. And dinner is always special. Don't forget the snack chocolates we buy for the room should we find ourselves starving before we go to bed at night. Food food food. It's all about food. Visiting the Getty? I don't know. What's their cafeteria like?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

More on rice cakes

"If it's good for you then I like it. If not, then I don't". Words of wisdom from my husband about the chocolate crunch rice cake I just asked him to taste.
So, is it good for him? It's only 60 calories. That's good, I guess. It's made with whole grain brown rice but no fiber content is listed on the label. Strange.
Only 1 gram of fat. I suppose that's good. So, of the 60 calories, 9 of them come from fat. 1 gram of protein. Not significant. 12 grams of carbohydrate with 4 grams coming from sugar (that's 16 of the calories from sugar) so that little light fluffy airy crispy nothing contains 1 tsp of sugar.
Now that's because I bought the chocolate crunch kind. By the way, the"crunch" is not from anything that is added but just because it's crunchy from the puffed rice and the chocolate is just on the outside, not all the way thru the cake.
So that's what a rice cake is--like puffed rice cereal. Which I would rather have. With milk. And fruit. To eat from a bowl with a spoon. Like real food.
The label suggests topping the rice cake with fat free whipped topping mixed with cocoa and sugar substitute, topped with strawberries. What? Fat free whipped topping? I don't think so. Yuck. I'd rather give up food for a week than eat that. I can't abide faux food. If you follow the recipe, the resulting "treat" offers 100 calories (not bad) and 1 gram of fiber (from the berries).
You know, I love crunchy food. Fried chicken. French fries. Potato chips. Taco chips. Fried onion rings. Anything breaded and fried. So the rice cakes appeal to me because they are crunchy. But even though they don't really taste "good", they could represent a problem for me. Because they're crunchy. I wouldn't just want to eat one. Once I start crunching, it's hard to stop. I'd rather crunch on fried chicken because that at least provides protein, vitamins and minerals. The rice cake, nothing.
Look, I understand the appeal. It's midday. You're craving something crunchy (and possibly sweet). And you don't want a carrot or an apple (I wouldn't either). So a rice cake might just be the answer. Not for me. I don't like the taste in my mouth right now.
It's not a good idea for me.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cupcake Kebabs?

So, cupcake kebabs. Are these necessary? Wouldn't it be enough

to just have cupcakes or pink marshmallows or cookies? And is each skewer one serving? Even I'm grossed out by this one. Maybe it's because I don't really like cake and I'm not so much into marshmallows. Perhaps if they were crispy cookies, ice cream balls and potato chips kebabs I would be interested.

What's up with rice cakes?

What is it with dietitians recommending rice cakes as good snacks? Yes, they're crunchy and crunchy is good when you're feeling mouth hunger. But a rice cake without something on it is pretty gross. Dry. Isn't a good snack something that not only satisfies hunger and the need to chew and swallow but shouldn't it also be good for you? So, I get that it is very very low in calories (and taste) but those are "empty" calories.
And if I'm hungry, I need calories not just something to fill up the space for a few minutes. So that means adding peanut butter or some other topping to the rice cake and voila, now it's not so low in calories.
Are there whole grain rice cakes? Hmmm. I don't know. Yes, just checked. Even the brown rice cakes are low in fiber but at least they have some fiber.
I just think that a snack should do more than just satisfy hunger. It seems to me that a rice cake would only do that for a short time anyway.
So I'm going to buy some rice cakes today and see for myself. I mean, I don't want to be critical if I haven't experienced their weight loss powers.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Birthday Gluttony

What does a fat dietitian do on her birthday? Why, eat, of course. In fact, it's been a weekend of gluttony. Friday night was Chinese food. Large quantities of Chinese food. For dessert, a hot fudge sundae. Saturday dinner was fried chicken, smothered potatoes, collard greens (see, green veggie!), very sweet and delicious fountain coke. Oh, and about five chocolate truffles--a gift from a wonderful friend. Sunday. What to eat today since it is the real birthday day. One truffle for breakfast followed by the usual gargantuan smoothie. That all went down easily. I know dinner will be sushi. What to eat before dinner? Hmmmm. Pizza? How to cap off the day? Another hot fudge sundae perhaps. Tomorrow I will lament not having had ribs. I was thinking about ribs. But I'm also thinking about sushi. Choices. When it comes to food, it's difficult to choose. I might actually have had enough. Here I'm allowing myself complete freedom to eat as much of whatever I want. And I'm running out of ideas.
What do I want for my birthday? Dara Torres abs. What did Dara eat for her birthday?

Friday, June 12, 2009

How to stop hating your body

Dara Chadwick, author of You'd Be So Pretty If...:Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies--Even When We Don't Love Our Own, has written the following blog post:

I've got a simple solution to how to stop hating your body--get old. That might create even more displeasure for some women but for me, it's given me "closure" on the subject. I will never again be someone who turns heads unless it's for some gross reason. I will never again wear revealing clothes or be expected to look leggy and gorgeous. In fact, no one would want that. Or at least no one who is sane. So the pressure is off. Looking good, maybe. Looking great, never.
There will be sagging skin and an expanded waist regardless of my weight. A bulge here, a dimple there. It's all part of aging. So now I can let go. The image isn't pretty but it's comforting. It's my body.
I do wish I had felt this way long long ago, in my youth. Because if you lose weight or exercise just to look better, it's bound to backfire. No one will ever look the way they want to. That idealized self. We cannot attain it.
I honestly don't remember what my skin looked like five years ago. I don't recall when the lines and wrinkles appeared or how smooth my skin was before they showed up. I think I remember what a flat belly looks like but it's been a long time and I'm not certain. I did have one, though. I know that. In fact, I even had the Dara Torres abs that I still dream about.
Why, I probably still do have those abs. But they're covered over with a nice thick layer of fat. They're there, though. They would have to be with all the ab exercises I suffer through.
So, acceptance. This is who I am. And it will get "worse" and never get better. And so it goes. My only regret is that I didn't know that I looked pretty good when I was younger. If you're young and reading this, just remember: You're going to get old. Treasure your body now. Not only to take care of it but also to admire it and accept it because it's going to change no matter how well you take care of it.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gym Trash Talk

Overheard at the gym this morning from two women on elliptical(who, by the way, were not working out hard enough as evidenced by their ability to carry on this inane conversation without being out of breath)
Woman 1: I'm working out extra hard today. I've got to lose the two pounds I gained yesterday.
Woman 2: Two pounds? That doesn't mean much in one day. Might just be a regular fluctuation.
Woman 1: Doesn't make any sense. I only ate 1/2 cup of bran flakes, 1/2 cup of skim milk and one slice of pizza yesterday. I drank a lot of water, though. I worked out for two hours last night. How could I gain two pounds!

1/2 cup cereal, 1/2 cup skim milk, one slice of pizza. The whole day? If I were her body (and thankfully, I am not), I'd be pissed at her, too. I'd gain weight just to make her angry!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Piece A Cake video

OMG. I want to laugh at this short video (, but I can't. It's too painful because it's so real. It's what I go thru every time I contemplate passing over into calorie hell. And, like the protagonist, I allow myself to pass into hell only after torturing myself just long enough to make sure I'm consumed with guilt and disgust. Then, and only then, will I step into the abyss and consume whatever. For me, it wouldn't be chocolate cake. It would most probably be fried chicken or really just some huge quantity of food. Quantity. Not chocolate. Probably fried. Or maybe just sauced. Whatever. When will the madness end?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cookie transgression

How do you bake cookies without tasting them? Sure. I shouldn't be baking cookies. Because I cannot do it without tasting them. But I am baking cookies. Double chocolate ones. For a party. To be served with ice cream. Double whammy. I planned to assess their doneness by visual inspection but, alas, I succumbed to the smell of buttery chocolaty cookies. So far I've only eaten one. I intend to freeze them until Sunday. Frozen chocolate cookies taste pretty good, though.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Diets made me fat

Some dietitians admit that they were attracted to the study of nutrition because they were living with an eating disorder. My obsession with dieting began way after I started studying nutrition. Perhaps I can blame my nutrition knowledge for my weight gain?
Of course I dieted when I was younger. There was the Stillman diet (I think it was also called the Drinking Man's Diet or maybe that was another one popular at the time) and Weight Watcher's was "invented" sometime in the 1960s when I was a young adolescent/adult. Interestingly, I wasn't fat then. I think I probably weighed about 50 pounds less than I do now. But I did diet and eat erratically but not with an obsession about it. I also made up my own diets like the time I ate only pistachio nuts and drank Pepsi (yes, with sugar). I seem to recall losing weight on that diet. Don't remember how I felt, though. I think I went on WW early on because my aunt, who lived next door, was on the diet. All I remember from those days is that you weren't allowed to have plain had to be toasted. We all thought that toasting the bread decreased the calories. It was only after studying nutrition that I learned that the "act" of toasting was just a behavioral technique. Oh, well. It was fun to think that toasted bread had less calories. That you could "cook out" the calories.
I don't even recall if we owned a scale when I was growing up. I grew up drinking full fat milk, eating regular butter, french fries every night for dinner, fried chicken as often as I could coax my mother to make it for me, cheesecake, ice cream, pizza...the list of now forbidden foods. Isn't that weird? I grew up on a diet of foods that we all now think are "unhealthy" but I wasn't fat at the time nor were my parents. My father had a "belly" but that came and went with his alcohol consumption not diet.
And I know I was not obsessed with what I was eating the way I am now.
Vegetables. My parents were obsessed with vegetables. We had to eat our veggies or we couldn't leave the table. But they didn't know or care about calories and fat. At least they never talked about it.
So it seems that the study of nutrition has helped to make me fat. No. I'm not kidding. Of course, I'm totally responsible for my weight. But learning about what to eat and what not to eat has made me super-vigilant and obsessed. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fat celebrities and the rest of us

Just read this article ( in the NY Times.
Some pretty insightful stuff, especially the remarks about "self abasement". I say--and I believe it at the time--that I'm trying to lose weight so that I can be healthier. But, really, I'm doing it to look better. I don't know that I am "disgusted" by my appearance but I am not delusional and I know that my naked body doesn't live up to the standards of beauty! (But what 65 year old, thin or fat, can say that her body lives up to the standard of beauty!!!).
One line in particular in this article sticks in my head: "Thin means self-discipline and hard work; fat implies laziness, gluttony and lack of willpower."
I don't know why other people are fat. I do know why I am. I eat too much. I eat too much fat. I eat too much sugar. I consume too much food. I exercise enough. Enough for three people! I don't have a thyroid condition or metabolic imbalance except one that might be created by having too much fat on my body. So for me, I think it is gluttony and lack of willpower. Fat people may not be lazy, gluttonous or lacking in willpower but I am gluttonous and lacking in willpower. If I were less gluttonous and exercised more willpower would I be thinner? Would I be healthier? Would I be happier?
Happier? Would I be happier? When I do exercise willpower and control my gluttony, I am not happier. If I were happier, wouldn't I stay the course? What drives me to overeat again once I do lose weight?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I'm driving to the hairdressers. It's almost lunch time so everyone's got their little signs put up on the street hawking their food, hoping to attract lunchtime business. Navajo tacos. Burritos. Pizza. Chicken wings. Rice bowls. Those are the signs I pass. Nothing for salads or grilled chicken or roasted vegetables.
Of course, each sign conjures up visions of deliciously fatty, calorically dense foods. Pizza. With a chewy crust and the oil pooled on top. Yum. Navajo tacos filled with meat and topped with cheese. And maybe, just maybe, for dessert fry bread dripping with honey and dusted with confectioner's sugar. A plump burrito filled with carne asada, beans, avocado and onions. What's a person to do?
Come home and whip up a more favorable lunch of whole grain pasta, broccoli, chicken flavored with a sort of spicy Asian vinaigrette. I was distracted for a moment but I got back to the real world. What I ate might have actually equalled the calories in some of those luscious offerings but at least I managed to resist and get a few more nutrients in my homemade lunch.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fat Talk

Okay. I've just watched the most vapid show on TV. I don't want to demean the show or anyone who watches it. Hey, I was watching it! And I didn't change the channel. I could have but I was mesmerized. To protect myself from a lawsuit (you never know), I'm not going to divulge the name of the show but it is a reality show that portrays a wealthy family of women who are all quite beautiful. One of the young women was going to pose nude for a PETA campaign. A worthy cause. This particular sister is bigger than the others. Bigger is the best descriptor because she is taller and curvier. Her step father remarked, upon hearing that she intended to pose nude, "Shouldn't you try to lose some weight before you do it?" I was appalled. Amazed. Thankfully, she had an intact self image and ignored him although she did become visibly angry. Probably not as angry I was!
Then I came in here to work on the computer. I received this web site from Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD, the co-author of Intuitive Eating:
It will take a while for the site to load. Be patient. It's worth it. I might have sent the link last year when they were having this campaign to stop the "fat talk". Even so, it's worth watching again.
Funny that it arrived in my mailbox just minutes after the segment with the step father commenting about losing a little weight.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My intuition fails me

As a long time student (many workshops and books read) of Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating, I should long ago have reaped the benefits of those styles of living resulting in permanent weight loss and eternal happiness. Why has even weight maintenance eluded me in the face of all this knowledge. Because I'm still not sure when I've had enough.
As part of an exercise in one of the workshops I took, we all went out to lunch together to Pei Wei's. Everyone--except for me--ordered a "healthy" lunch. I wanted to be "honest", so I ordered honey shrimp over white rice. We were instructed to eat until we had "enough". I ate about three bites and felt that I had eaten enough. The rest of the group ate most of their meal. About two hours later, I was hungry while the others were not. The instructor said that we should not feel hunger for about three hours. If we did, then we had not eaten "enough". So what is enough???? I felt that if I had eaten past the point at which I stopped that I would have been eating past "enough". I wanted to eat more. My brain and my mouth wanted more but I knew that my stomach didn't need it yet. But the amount I ate did not keep me satisfied for three hours.
And this is a problem for me. Is it that I don't recognize "enough"? Do I stop too soon? Is my body different so that I need calories in two hours instead of three even if I've stopped at the "right" time?
Here's the thing: One sip of a drink satisfies my thirst. One bite of food satisfies my hunger. Obviously that's not good enough. How to eat until "enough"? I don't know. Is my intuitition off?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Nothing to do with dieting

This is a rogue post. I've gotta do it, though. My daughter is the co-producer of a movie, Paper Heart, that premiered at Sundance Film Festival and will play at LA Film Festival on June 24 and 26 and will open nationwide on August 14th. If you're in LA, go see it during LA Film Festival week. Or wait until it's wide release in August. I thank you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

50 top dietitian blogs

Not sure how or why but my blog is on this list of esteemed dietitian blogs:

May I say thank you to whomever found me and put me on that list and especially for the comments that describe the blog. I'm humbled.

A little motivation to continue to post.....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Overall health vs. weight

According to a survey, most women are more concerned with their weight than their overall health ( Am I missing something here? Haven't we dietitians been telling people that being overweight IS a health risk? So why wouldn't women be concerned with their weight? Okay. I get it. Even women who don't have a weight problem but are not living a healthy lifestyle (exercise, eating properly, getting enough sleep, etc.) are overly concerned with their weight. Well, I kind of think we have a responsibility with that one. Obesity. Overweight. Overfat. And then linking being fat to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even Alzheimer's. Why wouldn't we women be overly concerned about our weight!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tamales and Peaches

I'm obsessed with food. Shopping for it, reading about it, cooking it but most especially eating it. Flavors. Textures. Smells. I think about food all the time. I drive down the street and think, "Maybe I'll stop at the Chinese restaurant for some wonton soup." I'm just back from our evening farmer's market. I went specifically for peaches. Our peaches ripen early here in the desert and the season is very short especially since the temps are already in the 100s. Got my peaches and should have left immediately. But the Tamale Lady was there. I stopped. I bought pork tamales. Why? Oh, and I ate two of them. It's not that I bought them but I also ate them. See, the buying isn't the issue. It's the eating that is the issue.
My excuse (EXCUSE) is that my livelihood depends on my knowing all about food....the latest trends, the newest restaurants, the best chefs. And this is true. Although friends who do the same work are not as obsessed as I am. It's not just a job to's my life. Food. Shouldn't something else be my life? Do I have to give up writing about food in order to stay away from food? Should I cancel subscriptions to food magazines? Give away all my cookbooks? How do I break free from the obsession if I am surrounded by food all the time?
The peaches are still in the bag but the tamales are eaten.