Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 10 May 13 15:54
<wickett>, you articulated something i have long felt: that there is something about -taste- that has gotten lost. if you buy eat fresh + local + organic i.e. food that tastes like something, it is a shock to eat commercial food as produced by big ag: to me that all mostly tastes like cardboard painted with (depending on whether susposed to be sweet or savory) grease + salt or sugar. and too salty and too sweet to boot, as substitute for having real flavors. it's been sad, to go retaste foods i liked as a kid --- and realize that -now-they taste too much of salt and sugar and not enough of what they are supposed to taste of. i have observed overweight friends addicted to their diet cokes --- which to me taste like sweetened dippity do --- and when i wondered 'why dont you just drink flavored sparkling water? or sparkling fruit juice [yes this is sugary]?' and inevitably i would get snarled at, as gettting between an addict and his/her substance. my totally irrational hunch is that real food does make us feel gratified and satiated the way factory food does not --- so it's easy to keep eating way too much of it, desperately craving the real thing that the food is supposed to br providing but does not. my mean social science experiment along these lines for decades was to take folks not from the bay area (this, before artisan/local became such a trend) to greens, saying 'i am going to take you to a zen vegetarian restaurant' (and of course they are envisioning wallpaper paste and stinky limp vegetables reminiscent of horrors from high-school cafeterias). of course, they are all blown away by how yummy and satisfying real food in reasonable portions can be. i am a chocolate addict --- and that requires sugar. and in the summers i live on organic ginger ale (also requires sugar). but sugar qua sugar? nah...but then years ago i worked at cocolat, an early gourmet ghetto fancy french bakery. people used to ask 'why arent you fat? i would get fat working there' --- but i am not so sure. small portions of good-quality sweets, available as you might like --- dont make people fat.
David Gans (tnf) Fri 10 May 13 16:00
I have noticed that, too, Paulina. Since I went low-carb I find that when I encounter sugar, a little goes a LONG way.
Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 10 May 13 16:09
yeah, i thiink of sugar as a -potentiator- or seasoning; as in, i would want a little in a fresh fruit pie --- but not so much as to obliterate the taste of the fruit.
Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 10 May 13 16:30
not to hijack darya's bool topic further, but a few more thots on sugar and real food: - in santa cruz, there are now -two- local artisan organic ice creameries. one, penny creamery, has complicated flavors (as one would get served in a good bay area restaurant), jack daniels + raisins + goat milk. the other, mission hill (now served at the monterey bay aquarium), has more homey flavors. i got to talking with the founder of mission hill, who said that in the 1970s, ice cream recipes became 30 percent sweeter. and that many people experience what i experienced: that mission hill tastes like -food- and penny creamery tastes like -candy-. as folks here can imagine, penny creamery is more popular. which brings me to another point, about portion size: - so often in restaurants the dessert size is way too big --- all i want after a decent dinner is the palate-cleanser equiv of an andes mint. this of course doesnt pencil out for the restauarants, as desserts are where they make their money. same same with the two ice cream parlors mentioned above: their smallest serving is twice as much as i want. i eat sweets for a bit of sweetness in my life, not as a substitute for a meal.
. (wickett) Fri 10 May 13 18:13
Re #75: "Our culture is awash in bad food and bad information." Yes, and how did we arrive here? With our mouths and wallets. I cannot imagine eating anything out of the center of any grocery store. My homemade bread, yogurt, jams, stews, mustard, soups, pesto, condiments are *so much tastier* that I simply would not consider eating manufactured simulacra, much less spending money on them. So, why did we, our generation, our parents, our children and grandchildren arrive at this ghastly juncture? Many people can't cook, apparently can't taste, spend lots and lots of money on food substitutes and--worst of all, I think--believe the claims on food packages or in advertising or in stories or fads about the latest and greatest non-food item. Trust tongue and taste buds, trust how your own body feels after eating. If more ravenous after eating than before, if sluggish, bloated, uncomfortable in some way, if unable to think clearly, isn't that fairly good evidence that whatever was just consumed wasn't really compatible with the body that ingested it? And--sniff your food before eating!
. (wickett) Fri 10 May 13 18:19
Psst, loris: homemade ice cream. I've recently started making it. I put in hardly any sugar at all. Real, heavy cream is sweet, so is coconut milk.
Paulina Borsook (loris) Fri 10 May 13 18:46
agreed about homemade icecream --- i used to make it. i simply dont eat a lot of it, so for my once/month when-i-am-downtown treat, i figure an ice cream float made with strawbery syrup from local organic sc farms --- and organic chocolate sorbet --- is ok. it would be too easy to hijack this topic to talk about food politics + subsidies for corn and soy...
Celia Chapman (lark) Sun 12 May 13 14:13
Darya I eat a lot of sugar every day. I know I need to just stop eating it for a while and I know it is addictive for me and I am having trouble just DOING IT. Probably the subject of a different book! I was brought up to eat well, my mom cooked from scratch with a lot of olive oil and fresh ingredients, I knew from high school on that sugar was bad, and I hated the idea of frozen or prepared foods. But somehow over the years I just lost my way. Darya, what don't you like about juice fasts? Does it help if it's vegetable and not fruit? What do you think of those master cleanse things, especially if only done for a day? (Water, lemon juice, maple syrup and a little cayenne pepper.)
Andrew Alden (alden) Sun 12 May 13 17:51
I've always thought the problem with juicing, of any kind, is that you're throwing away all the fiber and not working your jaws and teeth -- not EATING in any realistic sense. Not to mention the equipment needed and the waste created. As for cleansing, it's a false notion.
Cliff Dweller (robinsline) Sun 12 May 13 19:32
I've always thought that if your kidneys and liver aren't doing the job, you're way past maple syrup and cayenne pepper.
Ari Davidow (ari) Sun 12 May 13 19:51
I think one of the interesting things about trying to figure all of this out is all of the inter-related apps. If I want to record what I eat, wherever I am, do I take a physical journal? Sign up for yet another app? Do I need FitBit or something else (yet another app) to track what I actually do during the day? Do I need reassurance/community support from yet another app (Lift?) Obviously, not. It would be like waiting to make a first bike ride until one has all the gear one can imagine. But it starts to feel complicated quickly. Darya, what steps do you find actually work for people? I'm coming to this as an obese person. It's not as if I get no aerobic exercise, or that I eat only junk, but it is fair to say that there is a long way to go.
David Gans (tnf) Sun 12 May 13 19:58
I'm not Darya, but I woiuld say SIMPLIFY. Delete processed and packaged foods from your life and concentrate on fresh, whole ingredients.
Paulina Borsook (loris) Sun 12 May 13 21:12
right. adhering to these heuristics: - gorging on fruits and vegetables - considering, 'is this worth the carbs?' i.e. yes, am out to dinner, fabu artisan bread, yay. no, cheetoes - comsidering, 'is this worth the fat?' i.e. homemade ice cream, yay. no, again to cheetoes.
descend into a fractal hell of meta-truthiness (jmcarlin) Mon 13 May 13 10:53
Has the link between lack of sleep and obesity been discussed yet? Along with a food diary, I would add a column for sleep.
Darya Rose (daryarose) Mon 13 May 13 11:10
Sorry for the delay! It's been a crazy week for me. Gans, I've never done a talk with Lustig, though I think we'd just sit around agreeing with each other :) He's from UCSF, so we've crossed paths a few times. I have a ton of respect for him.
David Gans (tnf) Mon 13 May 13 11:11
As do I! I suppose it would be a terribly agreeable conversation.
Darya Rose (daryarose) Mon 13 May 13 11:13
loris, Not sure the original origin, and I doubt there's any serious data behind it, but it sounds like good advice to me.
Darya Rose (daryarose) Mon 13 May 13 11:19
wickett, I agree it is very sad that people need to be taught to eat again. You were very lucky, but I blame the food industry for most of it. The food industry did a great job of convincing us all that cooking was too mundane and old-fashioned for us high-tech Americans. They made it seem too time consuming and difficult, and we loved the idea of spending less time on it. Nobody really understood that we were trading our health for the "convenience." Luckily the message seems to be getting out now. Better now than never, I suppose.
Darya Rose (daryarose) Mon 13 May 13 11:23
loris, Totally agree with your point on taste. That was the biggest revelation for me. I thought healthier = sacrifice, when the opposite was true. Sadly though, I went to Greens recently and it has gone way downhill :(
Darya Rose (daryarose) Mon 13 May 13 11:26
loris, Also, funny about the portion thing. I saw a discarded tub on the street the other day that clearly contained ice cream at some point. And all I could think of was the tiny scoops of gelato I relished when living in Italy, and how disgusted the Italians would be with the American portions. It's so obvious why we're overweight!
Darya Rose (daryarose) Mon 13 May 13 11:34
lark, Sugar is really tough. I used to struggle with it BIG TIME, eating huge bags of trail mix (with chocolate--this was my "healthy" dessert) AFTER dinner, probably adding 600+ calories per night. What helped me was eating more slowly digesting carbs during my meals. Oatmeal for breakfast, beans and lentils with lunch or dinner. This let me cut down a lot. Do you have Foodist? Have you tried the "I can eat it later" trick? This is tremendously more powerful than "I can never eat dessert" mentality. I don't like cleanses because they haven't been shown to help with anything, and I believe they waste willpower (an exhaustible resource) that could be used to do more useful things like create new healthy habits. I spend 3 chapters explaining why restrictive dieting of this kind does more harm than good for health. I think you can read most of it in the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon :)
Darya Rose (daryarose) Mon 13 May 13 11:57
ari, I hear you. The apps can get overwhelming quickly. My particular audience (tech geeks) tend to love them, but they are certainly not for everyone. I recommend a food journal for two weeks. Like you, I prefer pen and paper. I do like the Fitbit, because it's a lot easier to not notice when you move too little. I tell a story in the book (you can read another version here: http://summertomato.com/how-to-burn-more-calories-without-breaking-a-sweat/ ) about how I was still going to the gym daily but hadn't noticed that I had slipped from 12K steps per day to 7K (because of a job change). It was easy to fix once I realized the problem, but it took the Fitbit to get me there.
Darya Rose (daryarose) Mon 13 May 13 12:04
jmcarlin, There is a strong link between lack of sleep and tendency for weight gain. My number one piece of advice if you suspect this is an issue is to try to eat and sleep at the same times each day. Your body/brain are very sensitive to circadian rhythms, and sleeping and eating tell it when to expect certain behaviors. When you're all over the place in this regard, your brain has trouble making sense of it all and you have less internal guidance for when to start and stop eating. It'll also make you crave more calorie-rich foods.
David Gans (tnf) Mon 13 May 13 12:18
I really like your proposition that "willpower" is a finite resource. My wife <reet> turned me on to a very useful technique: take one bite of that rich dessert and pretend it's the last bite and you ate the whole thing. It actually works!
David Gans (tnf) Mon 13 May 13 12:19
By the way I also want to commend you for an accurate and appropriate use of the word "hack" in the book.
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