My husband Karl and I are very hip, cool cats. We must be, after all, we live in Brownstone Brooklyn. That’s how that works, right?
Karl and I were both considerably overweight when we met, and I have been since I was a teenager. I’ve tried all sorts of diets and exercise routines, with very little success, since then. Every time I would get discouraged (or get excited about some social event and the related eating and drinking) and fall off the wagon, and then, since I was already sitting in the mud on the side of the rocky road, I’d just open up another pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Rinse. Repeat. I just never found the motivation to stick with it. Being thin/fit/healthy/whatever the word of the day was, never quite felt like enough of a possible goal to stick with restrictive diets and difficult schedules. And then I met my husband, and I realized on a much more visceral level why my mother was always so worried about ME. Turns out, I really do care about having a long and healthy life, and I really care about HIM doing the same.
Several years ago, mom recommended Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. She didn’t recommend it as a “diet book,” which I probably would have ignored, but rather as an interesting food science tome that she was reading at the time. I picked up her copy idly while I was home for Christmas, and then when I returned to the Tiny Apartment, found that I wanted to know what else it had to say, and bought it for my Kindle. It’s a pretty dense book, full of science and history and politics, and I thought it was fascinating. Taubes is a science journalist who has written for Discover, Science and other magazines, as well as several books. He started out focused more on physics and engineering, and I should probably read some of his other work. In Good Calories, Bad Calories, he’s moved on to health and nutrition, and advocates carb restriction for weight loss. I’d read Atkins, of course, being a corpulent person, and the South Beach Diet, but neither of those managed to convince me or explain the science the way Taubes’ absurdly named book did. (Seriously, it SOUNDS like a bad diet book….) Nor did they so effectively explain to me why we’d been getting such conflicting advice from medical professionals and governmental organizations. If you’d prefer a more concise version with a lot of the same conclusions, Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It might be more your speed. It’s Taubes attempt to mainstream what was, I think, an unexpectedly popular book. So, once we got through our wedding, which was lovely, thank you, but rather a pain in the ass, we decided to do something about our weight, and when we did, Gary Taubes was still hanging out there in my back of my head.
This week’s agenda includes an update to a Buffalo Chicken Casserole recipe we’ve enjoyed in the past, and finally trying out Cauliflower ‘Mac’ and Cheese…. Stay tuned for more!