Monday, July 16, 2012

Good Calories, Bad CAlories

                                                       Foster's Freeze dipped cone from This Tasty Life

 So , I am not a skinny girl yet, nor have I tons of excess energy but I am feeling pretty good..... and better about myself since starting the Paleo lifestyle a month ago.

 I have also lost centimeters and at least 5 pounds.   It is still early days so I am not going to crow about this.  My present regime is such a departure from SAD ( the Standard American Diet),  that I am not at all sure I can sustain it.   Any day out with friends is still a challenge.

 I refused to start the new regime in NYC  because I needed my friend Karen to point me to either a great doughnut or cupcake while I was stateside.   She knew of several top places to choose from and I finally got my wish on the last day and absolutely crooned over a white cake , white frosting, coconut topped cupcake we both ordered after lunch in a great deli, The Gourmet on the upper EAst side.  It wasn't the award winning ones she had in mind but it was good.

 One of the days in New York, I also insisted on having a big dip of frozen yoghurt with fresh raspberries and fresh blueberries and a chocolate dipped soft- ice cream cone from a truck.

 You can never go back....they always say and yes, The Foster's Freeze of my childhood days was probably just as flawed but I didn't realize it.  It wasn't the ice cream that didn't measure up but the rubber -chocolate topping.  After the authentic, 70% dark chocolate I eat every day in Nice, it tasted more like wax than chocolate.... but hey...... how else is it going to stick on an ice cream pyramid?

However, watching Dave put away all of those bacon and eggs, and chowing down on a grass-fed burger with all the trimmings in a lettuce wrap,   I begin to crave fat and meat again....something I have avoided for years.  So I decided to read up on his lifestyle choice when I got back to France.

The first book I read was GOOD CALORIES, BAD CALORIES: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom of Diet , Weight Control , and Disease  by Gary Taubes  ( I downloaded it in seconds onto my Kindle which is a great device for an overseas English- language reader. )

Although I really just skimmed this book ( I couldn't wait to get to the bacon) , I got what I needed from it.  It is not a diet book nor is it advocating a specific diet. There are no meal plans or recipes here.

  It is really about how the political wheels turned in America to promote, without evidence, the low- fat diet which has led to the obesity epidemic in America.    Any of you who have followed this low- fat regime .... (with it's spin-off of  industrial food products including frozen yoghurt),    know that it has failed you and  everybody else who has tried it.  Which of you feel that you have lost weight and kept it off following a low-fat diet?     I don't know of anybody who has.   

 And don't kid yourself about French Women not getting fat!  Just look around you in Nice and you will see that  many French children are now following in the "fat kid" footsteps (although this may not be specifically from Fat phobia but more likely from the growth of industrial foods).

AS I said, Gary TAube's book is not a diet book.  It is a scientific research document of conscientious journalism that tells what went wrong in our country to allow our perceptions to be distorted about what is healthy for the human body.   AND THE REPERCUSSIONS of this faulty information STILL REVERBERATE throughout the western world.

The real tragedy seems to be that the authorities who authorized these dietary guidelines have never fessed up and come forward to correct the misconceptions.   So that many "educated" people in the USA would demur if you told them they could eat the drippings or the chicken fat of their roast chicken, for example, without directly adding to more kilos of body flesh.      

Well one thing I have been doing this month is eating avocado, bacon, sausage, cream, butter, meat, chicken skin, drippings, plenty of eggs. and smoked Mackerel , the fattiest of fish.  Also I have chocolate and a three or four glasses of wine a week.     Despite all of this, I have lost weight.    Of course I eat lots of vegetables too, This is not Atkins all over again.

Maybe I will get tired of being so picky and go back to bread and grains and sugar.  After all, they are addictive and they are deep-rooted in our culture.  Our culture in fact is  based on "the bread of life".

  It is not easy to give up what you had all of your life or had as a child.  And maybe,  I will become a social outcast eating like this.    Hmmm...  Could happen. .. Easily it could.   This new way is not user- friendly for eating with others .

And never to have another white coconut cupcake or soft ice cream doesn't bear contemplating.     Only time will tell if I can stick it or will even want to.  But for the moment.....  Bring on the GREASE.


  1. Another case of delusional aspirations, although giving up the bread and sugar is good. Don't follow a rigid regimen
    because it will ultimately betray you. Eat a broad range of foods in small portions, have wine with meals, and don't eat desserts, unless it's just fruit and nuts. Oh, and have a proper breakfast.

  2. Yes, probably delusional but how to give up bread and sugar.... and I have never eaten an appropriate quantity of pasta in my life...... which turns out to be a thimble full. For the moment I am enjoying cream in my coffee which seems wicked.