Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Indulgent dinner--and how to eat more healthily

Betty and I went to Cafe Aspen tonight--an old favorite--and indulged in chicken fried lobster with grilled asparagus and basil mashed potatoes--only a demi plate, and I didn't eat much of the potatoes. But the lobster was soooo good. It came with a bell pepper sauce that I asked them to leave off and when the waiter offered cocktail sauce, I almost laughed--who would ruin the delicacy of lobster with strong cocktail sauce? But still, I know chicken fried is not good and this was a one time thing.
Sue next door sent me a review of a book called Food Matters by Mark Bittman, New York columnist who writes "The Minimalist." It's essentially an application of the theories of Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food). Bittman offers theory, followed by recipes. His idea is the same as Pollan's--eat less and eat more plants. Bittman adds eat less meat, less complex carbohydrates (processed white bread, white flour, rice, etc.), and no junk food. But Bittman lost 35 pounds in a remarkably short time by a new approach: eat vegan until six, then eat your normal food. I wondered where fish fit into this because I eat a lot of seafood--tuna salad is a favorite--and I thought I was well on the way to his diet. After all, I eat low fat cottage cheese for breakfast--but oops, a vegan wouldn't eat cheese, nor the single egg I enjoyed for breakfast out earlier this week. And a vegan wouldn't eat fish. Vegan may finally take me to the Spiral Diner, a vegan/vegetarian place I've been afraid to try. I don't eat junk food, I don't eat a lot of red meat, though occasionally I crave it--which I guess is okay after six, and I've made a point of avoiding white breads, etc., usually eat rye for sandwiches as a matter of taste. I think I'll have to buy Bittman's book--if I were truly eating as he recommends, I wouldn't keep seeing the scales register higher (though they were three pounds less at my lasst doctor's appt). My current interest in healthy food reminds me of my mom's adherence in the'60s to the theories of Adele Davis, a nutritionist who advocated eating natural foods. Maybe Mom and Adele were both ahead of their times.

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