Julie Sherman (julieswn) Mon 29 Apr 13 19:50
This week we welcome Darya Pino Rose to Inkwell.vue. Darya is the author of Foodist and creator of Summer Tomato, one of TIME's 50 Best Websites of 2011. She received her Ph.D in neuroscience from UCSF and her bachelors degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley. Darya spends most of her time thinking and writing about food, health and science. She eats amazing things daily and hasn't even considered going on a diet since 2007. Interviewing Darya will be our own <debunix>: Debunix is a pediatric specialist in Southern California, who left her heart in San Francisco, where she occasionally gets to go visit it. She was a foodie long before arriving in San Francisco for a decade at UCSF, but enjoyed experimenting with food and cooking techniques long before she became a graduate student, and she still cooks obsessively. She can still remember her excitement when she finally took a course in nutrition in medical school--the hope that finally she was going to get the real skinny on diet and health, and her utter disappointment when the class focus was on the metabolic needs of the hospitalized patient. Recovered from that disillusionment, and more skeptical than ever after seeing a lot of dietary fads come and go, she still reads a lot about nutrition, but when her patients' families ask her, as they always do, 'what's the best diet for a person with [problem x]', she likes to keep it simple, starting with Michael Pollan's 'Eat food, not too much, mostly plants', and to hand out Darya's "How to find real food in the supermarket" diagram. Welcome to Inkwell.vue, Darya and <debunix>!
Julie Sherman (julieswn) Thu 2 May 13 13:56
So Darya I understand that you are not about diets or about shoulds when it comes to what you eat. So could you explain your philosophy about diets and eating?
Darya Rose (daryarose) Thu 2 May 13 14:20
I think the purpose of eating is to make your life awesome. This can be achieved through the sensual pleasure of enjoying food, the health and fitness a positive healthstyle can bring, and the people and relationships that are made stronger around food. I strive to create balance among these things when choosing what to eat. I believe that when you start with dieting and deprivation you are selling yourself short. For starters, dieting is not a proven strategy for long-term weight loss or maintenance. Dieting also makes your life suck, and that is unacceptable. To get healthy you need to build healthy habits that last, and the only way to do that is to make them rewarding. The moral of the story is that if you don't love the food you eat you'll never stick with it. So you HAVE TO enjoy food if you want to be healthy. Isn't that the best news ever??
Cliff Dweller (robinsline) Thu 2 May 13 17:03
Darya, my life is particularly awesome right now as I am spending two weeks in the greatest city for food in the United States, New Orleans. Over the years, I have seen a slight shift in the better restaurants toward local and a few lighter options, especially fish. But typically even these places throw butter, bacon, etc. on nearly everything. I walk a lot here, but still, I do get a bit sluggish after a few days. Do you just give up and go with it when you're on vacation, then "diet" when you get back, or just gradually return to normal?
Ruth Bernstein (ruthb) Thu 2 May 13 17:52
That is a great question--I don't travel much (we have two young children) but I love summer tomato and I am really happy you're here.
paralyzed by a question like that (debunix) Thu 2 May 13 18:35
Sorry I'm late to the start here. Welcome, Darya! I've been enjoying Summer Tomato for quite a long time--I think I first discovered it through the SF Chronicle food pages, which I still browse long after leaving the city. The blog form seems to break things down into manageable chunks of graduate-student time. I'm curious what would inspire someone who has just completed a PhD thesis to uncurl from a fetal position and immediately go out and write a book.
. (wickett) Thu 2 May 13 19:51
It is my sincere hope that you have just written *the last diet book ever published* and we can write, read, think about, and act like humans have for millenia: as gatherers, cooks, eaters, and enjoyers.
David Gans (tnf) Thu 2 May 13 20:43
WELCOME Darya! I've been a fan of your blog for several years. Congratulations on your marriage and your book!
die die must try (debbie) Thu 2 May 13 20:49
I like your blog, and I also wanted to say how happy I am that your dad made those huge changes and your part in that. I love how he changed when he was ready, but you put the pieces out there for him. <http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2013/05/01/family-fat-loss-foodist/>
descend into a fractal hell of meta-truthiness (jmcarlin) Thu 2 May 13 21:10
Welcome Darya, I've almost finished your book now. A number of years ago I went on a modified Food Addicts in Recovery diet and lost a lot of weight. I noticed that your food recommendations are reasonably close to what I lost all the weight on. Since then I've tried to maintain the weight by small plates, farmer's market food and avoiding junk . But the weight has crept back up. I found one "Homeric" D'oh in your book that I had totally forgotten about: chew your food. I'd go start raving bonkers if I counted how many times I chew each bite, but I found it's been reasonably easy to remember to chew rather than bolt my food, dog like. We'll see what affect is has on my weight. So I'm wondering if you've found that some people need a little nudge like that and how many need to do what I did originally - start from scratch?
David Gans (tnf) Fri 3 May 13 09:29
I have gotten tremendous value from the lists and advice etc on <http://www.sumemrtomato.com>. "Ten reasons why you should never eat free food," surprsing places you'll find sugar, stuff like that. As Diane notes above, the quick-read presentation makes it easy to absorb.
David Gans (tnf) Fri 3 May 13 09:33
I also got great value from reading Gary Taubes' book "Why We Get Fat." FRom him I learned that some people are better off avoiding carbohydrates (almost entirely) and sticking with protein and fat. I seem to be one of those: quitting bread, pasta, sugar, etc. has worked well for me, and the eating of eggs and cheese has not increased my cholesterol and triglycerides. I still eat carbs in the form of fresh fruits and (non-starchy) vegetables. In doing this, I am obeying Darya's dictate of enjoying the foods I eat! I don't even miss bread all that much. Have you read Taubes, Darya and Diane?
David Freiberg (freemountain) Fri 3 May 13 09:54
I'm with you, David - semi paleo!
David Gans (tnf) Fri 3 May 13 10:13
Yes! BTW both my PCP and my cardiologist are on board with my decision.
descend into a fractal hell of meta-truthiness (jmcarlin) Fri 3 May 13 11:07
There's a typo in <tnf>'s post of the URL. It's http://summertomato.com/
David Gans (tnf) Fri 3 May 13 12:02
Sorry about that!
David Gans (tnf) Fri 3 May 13 13:27
Just read the story <debbie> linked to in <8>. So inspiring!!
those Andropovian bongs (rik) Fri 3 May 13 13:45
What I skimmed was fascinating, and I just bookmarked it.
Darya Rose (daryarose) Fri 3 May 13 13:48
robinsline, Vacation can be tricky, but when I have special occasions like that I try not to worry about it too much. If you're healthy at home most of the time, I find that my body will naturally get itself back to its set point if I put on a pound or two. That said, normally with all the walking and better portion control I tend to lose weight on vacations, but only outside the US. The one thing I do is try to be sure and eat as many fresh vegetables as possible when traveling. That is, even if I'm eating bacon crusted dinner rolls for dinner, at least I try to have a salad on the side or for lunch earlier in the day. It at least prevents the "sluggish" feeling, and I think wards off the colds that often accompany long flights.
Darya Rose (daryarose) Fri 3 May 13 13:53
debunix, Hahaha, you understand grad school well. The truth is that I was itching to write the book, and the only thing preventing me from doing it earlier was time. It also helps that I only had a small amount of savings to live on, so if I didn't get the book deal soon after graduation I was going to go broke!
Darya Rose (daryarose) Fri 3 May 13 13:55
wickett, You and me both! Dieting is the worst. If nothing else, I hope to change the popular dialogue about dieting and have at least a few people question its value.
Darya Rose (daryarose) Fri 3 May 13 13:59
<jmcarlin>, People are really all over the place when it comes to health. Some people start off like me, very familiar with the dieting world and most of the "science" out there, but just haven't figured out the code for themselves. Others, like my dad (in <8>), need to start from scratch. It is my hope that Foodist can help all of them across the board.
Darya Rose (daryarose) Fri 3 May 13 14:05
<tnf> Thanks Gans!! I actually wrote a review on Taubes' book. I think it's good to read, but had a few beefs with it (no pun intended): http://summertomato.com/book-review-why-we-get-fat-by-gary-taubes/
David Gans (tnf) Fri 3 May 13 15:11
Thanks! Off to read it now.
David Gans (tnf) Fri 3 May 13 15:18
ANd from that review, another small pile of books that are worth a look. You characterized Gina Kolata's "Retinking Thin" as "not a particularly good read." She seems to have written a lot in the New York Times that doesn't really serve her subject matter (and all of us eager readers) very well. Do you ahve concerns about her writng in this area, too?
Darya Rose (daryarose) Fri 3 May 13 15:56
I don't follow her work very closely, I just thought the book wasn't particularly helpful. It basically said "diets don't work, and there's nothing we can do about it." I hope to convince people that there is something we can do, it just isn't a diet.
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