Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Confession: I’ve gained 14 pounds since last summer. There’s no excuse for it. I’m cooking more, eating more and exercising less.

Confession: I love bread. And potatoes. And rice. And ice cream. And butter. And fatty meat. And bread with butter. And butter and cream-laden sauces. And… the list goes on and on and on.

Confession: I have high cholesterol. The inherited genes-type. The kind that’s really hard to get under control.

About 8 years ago I weighed 16 pounds more than I weigh now. That’s a total of 30 pounds over my ideal weight of 128. Back then I went on the Atkins diet, high protein, low carb, and lost all 30 pounds. Turned my cholesterol around and felt better than I had in years. I kept it off too. Well, now and then I’d slip and gain a few pounds, but it was always easy to go back to a really low carb diet for a week or two and take it off again.

But now I’m struggling. I thought that I might gain a few pounds while we were in Europe last fall but that actually didn’t happen. Despite the foie gras, cassoulet, croissants, wonderful breads, pommes Sarladaise and the fantastic, calorie-laden French food in general, to say nothing of the red wine at lunch and dinner, walking 5 miles a day kept me trim.

Nope, I really started to gain when we got back home just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas and I stopped walking those 5 miles every day. Instead, I cooked a lot, ate a lot and sat at my computer writing about it. A dangerous combination if ever there was one. And even low carb food, which I espouse enthusiastically, won’t take the weight off if you eat too much of it.

This morning I decided (as I have done almost every morning for the last month) that I really have to do something about it (my weight). My problem is, you see, how boring is blogging about being on a diet? Or an “eating lifestyle”, as we’ve been coached to call it. I mean, do you really want to read about low calorie, low fat, boring food? Of course not. And, of course, I HAVE to write about what I cook, obsessed person that I am. So there’s no sense telling me to shut up already, go on my damned diet, lose the weight, and write to you when I'm finished and can go back to REALLY cooking. Hah! Not on your life. We’re in this together people, through thick and thin (ok, bad pun).

Confession: I have a number of “eating lifestyle” cookbooks in my collection. The South Beach Diet Cookbook, the Atkins Diet Cookbook, Dana Carpender’s low carb cookbook, the 40-30-30 low glycemic book, and two of George Stella’s cookbooks: George Stella’s Livin’ Low Carb, and Eating Stella Style. George can also be seen on the Food Network’s “Low Carb and Lovin’ It”.

Confession: I can’t stand George. I mean, I’m sure he’s a really nice guy and all that, and I know that he’s probably helped thousands of people lose weight while eating healthy, delicious, low carb food, but to watch him on television? All that bouncing around. All that enthusiasm. And then there's his writing style. All those exclamation points!!!!! One exclamation point, maybe two if an idea really needs to make it over home plate, per page is about all I can take. But George uses them with wild abandon. They fly off the pages, darting and flitting about in the air like so many annoying gnats. So, even though I own two of his books, I’ve never used a single recipe from them, snob that I am.

Until this morning. Trudging to my cookbook collection, the first book I laid eyes on was “Eating Stella Style”. Okay, I grumbled, I’ll take another look, but first I’m going to apply insect repellent to keep the exclamation points at bay.

Confession: It didn’t take me long to find some really great sounding recipes in George’s book!!!!! (Maybe if I overkill on the exclamation points I’ll flatten that button.) Reading further, I found more really good recipes. Then a thought started taking shape. Could I possibly use the recipes in George’s book to cook healthy, low carb meals, chart my (hopeful) weight loss and blog them with photos and commentary to boot? Not forever, mind you. Just until I lose this 14 pounds. I’m game, are you?

There is the small, teeny-tiny issue of possible copy write infringement. But, George, I promise to credit you every step of the way. I’ll link to your books, to your Food Network program, to your name. I’ll make it all about you while the (hopeful) weight loss will be all about me. It’s a win-win proposition!!!!! Let’s give it a try shall we? Who knows? We may become friends.


Kalyn said...

Good luck. I know it can work because I did it. For me, South Beach was a little easier to stick with because after phase one you can have low glycemic rice, low carb pasta. and 100% whole wheat bread.

I'm not that familiar with George's recipes so I'll be interested to see what you find.

By the way, I am 100% off of cholesterol medication and my cholesterol was super high before I started eating this way.

working mom - working wonders said...

I have to say... I'll be very interested in reading a blog that makes diet food fun in one way or another. We can all relate these days to an expanding waist line. There must be something good to eat in the kitchen that can become fun with a bit of artful prepartion. I look forward to reading the journey and perhaps picking up a few tips I can practice myself!

christine said...

Thanks Kalyn, your successes with low carb cooking plus your scrumptious recipes are a constant inspiration to me.

Welcome Ami. I hope this low carb journey of mine brings a smile to your face.

old school friend from England said...

I wanted to wish you good luck with the diet, I tried to post a comment yesterday, the gist of it is please keep the recipes coming whether they are low cal or otherwise. The word diet worries me a bit, I sure there is a much better word for cutting back? Any chance of some gluten free recipes, I'm afraid that is my form of a dare I say it diet!! I will try the low carb and I'll see what the South Beach Diet looks like.

christine said...

Hi A! Thanks for writing. No worries, I can't NOT keep the recipes coming. I'm afraid I'm an obsessed person when it comes to cooking and blogging about it.
Yes, the 'diet' word is not used much today but it's much easier to write than 'eating lifestyle' which is why I use it.
For gluten free recipes, go to http://www.glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com. Good luck!

school friend from England said...

I have just bought the South Beach Diet Book and my mind is just boggling at two weeks without carbs!! I think I am going to have to adapt these diets. I don't eat much carbs, I can just imagine what my husbands would say to two weeks without carbs. But I think that carbs are definitely what put the weight on, we'll just have to have smaller portions won't we? Thanks for the gluten free site. I have also visited Karalyn's site as well. I am going to get lots of idea's now. Has anyone heard of Patrick Holford an English Nutritionist. His low GL diet cookbook has some great recipes in it he has a website http://www.patrickholford.com. Now to investigate the glutenfree blog.

School friend from England said...

Just thought I would say that husband should have been singular just in case anyone is worried.