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The science of eating

February 20, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
Author Michael Pollan has seven simple words for people who are trying to figure out what to eat.

Pollan says, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.’’ In his book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” Pollan asks the question, when did eating become science?

I’ve only just begun listening to his book on CD in my car as I travel about to and from work and everywhere else, and so far his points are very interesting.

Several years ago, Susan Powter, a self-proclaimed expert on diet and exercise, shouted from her aerobic studio, “Stop the Insanity!”

The problem is, I don’t think we can stop. According to Pollan, America’s involvement with food has become a nationwide eating disorder.

It will be interesting to see how Pollan explores the problems in the American diet and how he suggests solving the problem of too much science in our eating. There has been so much food “science” touted by anyone wishin to make a fast buck by revealing the secrets of why we are all so overweight, that no one really knows any longer what or how much of anything we should be eating. Which diet is best? Why don’t they work? Or more like, why can’t we seem to stick to them and why do we regain everything we’ve lost once we go off of them?

We have even gone so far as to try other cultures ways of eating to see if they know some secrets we don’t. I’ve never really cared to know, but now I find myself asking, why don’t French women get fat?

I recently went to see my doctor for a routine exam. He recommended a Mediterranean diet, which he explained was fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, very little red meat and pork and moderate fat. I told him that’s exactly what I was doing these past few weeks. When I told him I had to put everything I ate up on the Internet for the world to see, he had to laugh. Whatever works.

I’m a bit behind with logging my days and anyone first reading and seeing Sunday's menu would think I have lost my mind if I think this is healthy eating. I promise to catch up over the next few days, so please keep reading and you will see that this day wasn't the norm.

Sunday morning I was lazy after scrubbing floors on Saturday and staying up later than usual. As a result, I slept later and breakfast was later, so by the time it rolled around, I was pretty hungry. I couldn’t resist cracking two eggs on the griddle. These are the first eggs I've had in quite a while. I used cooking spray instead of oil or fat, and my toast was dry although I did have some fruit spread on the side. I also had a glass of fat-free milk and prior to this photo, my usual morning tea with two teaspoons sugar, the real stuff.

By lunchtime, I still wasn’t hungry, so I put it off a bit longer and didn’t eat until around 1 p.m. A busy lifestyle means I don’t often have time to shop, and when I was ready for lunch, I realized there wasn’t much going on in the pantry. I found some bacon and decided to tear off all the visible fat and cook what was left. When I weighed it after cooking, it didn’t even come out to an ounce of meat, so I tossed a slice of cheese and some lettuce with low-fat mayo on a ciabatta roll. I added an apple and a glass of milk, but only ate about half the apple.

My husband wanted to cook dinner Sunday because he had some lump crab meat in the fridge and was dying to find a recipe. He ended up making pasta shells stuffed with the crab, some chopped shrimp, low-fat ricotta cheese and low-fat cream cheese with a homemade marinara sauce. I had three shells and a slice of garlic toast. I knew I was low on vegetables this day and would have to make a run to the store very soon.


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Breakfast: 2 meat, 2 grains, 1 cup milk, 50 discretionary calories