Ten years ago there was a paradigm shift that affected millions of hearts, but first, a very short story.
In the late 1990s, I stood at a checkered tablecloth covered table in front of a store in Northgate Mall that was selling my cookbooks and offered tasting samples from those books. A normal-sized, healthy looking young man walked up to me, asked for a small brownie sample and then questioned me closely about the fat content in my recipes. Overcome by curiosity, since more women than men buy my books, I asked him if he cooked.
Before Christmas and uncertain that Santa knew exactly what I wanted; I gave myself a gift: a new bundt pan to replace my 20-year-old pan that was too thin, too dark, scratched-up and barely nonstick any more.
Holidays, food and families have interwoven themselves, like braids on a loaf of challah or strands of colored beads on a Christmas tree, since time now forgotten. That continues to be true for me.
When I was a kid, this season’s parade of holidays always stepped-off with Thanksgiving and since my folks couldn’t decide whether we should be with Mom’s or Dad’s family, we settled on -- both. This didn’t happen just once, but for many years. If you ever wondered how I got to be over 300 pounds, knowing just that bit of holiday history should be enlightening.
How times have changed.
In 1990, Thanksgiving made me uneasy.
Not about getting together with my family. No. That year I'd lost more than 100 pounds for the first time and in my family, Thanksgiving dinner triggered the start of a food-centric race running for the next six weeks. T-Day 1990 marked the single toughest meal I'd faced that year.
If controversy and confusion caused weight loss, anyone considering intermittent fasting (sometimes referred to as IF) would lose weight just by reading about it.
Intermittent fasting is this year's most popular no-calorie-counting, no-fat-gram-counting, fast-track to weight loss diet. When I wrote about David Zinczenko's "The 8-Hour Diet" book earlier this year I had no clue how widespread the IF trend was about to become. Head over to Amazon.com and you'll quickly find more than 100 books on the topic, each one slightly different; many with glaring similarities.
By far the most popular vegetable in America is ... the spud, yup the good ol’ potato. However, when it comes to per capita potato consumption, American’s turn out to be laggards, since Poles consume more than twice as much. Peru, potatoes’ first home, equals our potato consumption, while Indonesians consume an infinitesimal amount.
A friend recently described, in loving detail, a tangy-sweet broccoli salad with raisins, nuts and bacon and expressed disappointment that the salad couldn't be purchased by the pint. His reverent praise drove me to my not-exactly-organized recipe piles to see if I could find something that matched his mouth-watering description.
Darya Pino Rose likes creating new words like "foodist" and "healthstyle," and loves to eat and write about food — healthy, real food. Rose also makes lists; lots of 'em (more about that later).
Some folks love it; others can't stand it.
What is it?
By the numbers, few folks like lamb, let alone love it, and over the past 40 years we've come to like it even less.
Most medical and nutritional professionals agree: ultra-high protein, low-carbohydrate, high fat weight loss plans not only aren’t healthy, but sometimes trigger health problems.
Weight loss is rarely an easy journey and celebrity chef Art Smith knows that first hand.
I'm about to celebrate my 66th birthday, which got me thinking about aging and what, in terms of health, my future may hold. I've been fortunate so far, since: I've never undergone surgery; my blood pressure continues to be normal; I only require glasses to read and peer at my computer screen and still have most of my almost gray-free hair.
When I was a kid, my mom’s potato salad was so good she never attempted cold cucumbers in sour cream, which turned out to be a good thing since I found that salad as unappetizing as I did sauerkraut or rutabagas. I didn’t escape that salad easily, though, because during the summer we regularly dined at grandma’s house, where a big bowl of those cold cucumbers in sour cream were always on her warm weather menu. I shunned her cucumbers, even though Grandma said they were “soooo” good. To me, they looked watery and limp and tasted sour like vinegar. Ugh.
For me, grocery shopping's mostly an on-the-run, in-and-out Saturday errand. Quick-trip food shopping leaves me little to no time to read packaged product ingredient lists and places me in at a disadvantage when it comes to selecting the healthiest options.
When we grocery shopped more than 20 years ago, we relied almost exclusively on food product ingredient lists to divine their nutritional content. Those labels listed ingredients by weight from the most to the least, but standing in a supermarket aisle attempting to quantify that list into something numerically useful required mystical powers or today's Smart Phone.
Just like everyone else, I cheered loudly when nutrition facts began appearing on food labels. Food Facts, although sometimes confusing and moderately ambiguous, made for informed and sometimes easier purchasing decisions.