Showing posts from January, 2014

FAQ: Is your book a diet book?

I have learned from reading the reviews since I first published my book five months ago that some readers were hoping for a specific weight-loss plan with a detailed outline of exactly what to eat along with exercise routines (even though my book clearly discusses integrating movement into your daily life). I have also learned that some people see counting calories and watching what they eat as incompatible with it being something they would do for the rest of their lives as a lifestyle.
"Diet" literally means "the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats." In my book I go into detail about food groups, methods and vintage guides for deciding what to eat and how much is right for you. "Diet" is NOT the same thing as what was referred to as a "reducing diet" in the 1950s or what we know today as "Weight Watchers" or "Nutrisystem." 
There were plenty of gimmicky reducing diets in the 1950s only …

Labeling Obesity as a Disease May Have Psychological Costs

In my book I make a case for the impact of the disempowering messages of "today" on our waistlines and psyches. Now, here is some evidence that being inundated with defeatist messages from the medical community may really be a form of enabling:  Messages that describe obesity as a disease may undermine healthy behaviors and beliefs among obese individuals, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
The findings show that obese individuals exposed to such messages placed less importance on health-focused dieting and reported less concern about weight. These beliefs, in turn, predicted unhealthier food choices. The other day I was reading a discussion on LinkedIn between a physician and professionals who work with obese individuals. The consensus among them was that until "society" offers better "choices" for healthy eating, that any talk of "personal responsibility" is…

Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast) & Potato Dumplings, Woman's Day January 1957

4 pounds of lean shoulder pot roast (2,880 calories)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ginger
2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup frozen chopped onions (45 calories)
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spice
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons maple syrup in place of 1/3 cup sugar (100 calories)
7 ounces potato flakes (735 calories)
1 tablespoon heavy cream/water in place of 1/2 cup milk (100 calories)
1/4 cup oat flour to thicken gravy (100 calories)
1/2 cup oat flour in dumplings (200 calories)
2 eggs (160 calories)
1/4 cup frozen chopped onions (25 calories)
2 cups sliced boiled carrots with 1/4 tablespoon butter (160 calories)
Parsley flakes

I followed the instructions except for the substitutions mentioned above. To shave off calories and fat, I didn't use gingersnaps nor make breadcrumbs for the dumplings. I also did not brown the meat in fat before cooking.

The marinade before I put it in my fridge for three days.
The recipe states it makes four servings but that would be a …

Sunshine, Sweetness and Morals: It's "The Magic Garden!"

The Magic Garden sadly isn't known by more people because it was produced and aired locally to the greater New York City area in the early 70s through the mid 80s. The filming, except for a special, took place in the early 70s. I absolutely adored this show as a kid! Two groovy hippie chicks, Carole and Paula, greeted viewers, literally, before every show after their opening "Hello" song. However, with a name like "Averyl" they never said "hello" to me.
The half hour was spent in the magic garden with Sherlock, a squirrel puppet who sounds like Ed Norton from the Honeymooners, the "Chuckle Patch," a group of giggling daisies that speak through handwritten jokes on paper petals.

The part that I loved and continue to love most is the sweetness and deliberateness behind it. Carole and Paula's conversations and skits were full of silliness, laughter, sunshine and rainbows, but they were also filled with something very substantive today: Mora…

Nutrition Advice for Kids: 1971 vs Today

I have a groovy nutrition booklet for kids from 1971 called Mystery at the Food Power Tower published by the "National Live Stock and Meat Board." Other thana creepy clown that prohibits adults from entering the tower with their children (and parents who entrust them to the clown), it offers some sensible, straight-forward advice to kids about eating healthily.
Each floor represents a different food group that the clown explains to the kids. My personal favorite is below where the clown clearly advise kids about not eating too much sugar. Click to see the full size:

I was curious about how that would compare to advice today. I went to the CDC website for kids and found this section that mentions sugar:
"So, while everyone enjoys a treat now and then, just make sure they don't start crowding out all the other things you need to eat to feel and look your best"  That's pretty vague, in my opinion. Also, this recipe for kids is supposed to be healthy?! 
I c…

Vintage Maine Recipe: Stuffed Tri-Color Peppers / Dorothy Marr's Macaroni Stuffed Peppers

Inspiration: A recipe card found in a folder filled with dozens of others from the Portland, Maine Wheaton Club, 1940. I did a web search for the club and found this tidbit: News Of Women's Organizations SOCIETY PORTLAND SUNDAY TELEGRAM. PORTLAND, MAINE, MARCH 13, 1949 Gladys Merrill, Editor; Jacquelyn E. Cole, E. Anderson Bulger Reporters. Mrs. Burland Hawkes Appointed Hostess For Wheaton Club Event. Mrs. Burland Hawkes will be hostess when the Portland Wheaton Club holds a dessert-bridge on Tuesday. 

I used Dorothy Marr's Macaroni Stuffed Peppers as inspiration for Averyl's Gluten-Free Stuffed Tri-Color Peppers.

2 each of sweet red, yellow and orange peppers instead of green (255 calories) 4 "Real Foods" organic corn thins (138 calories) 6 oz Sam Mills dry corn macaroni, pre-cooked weight, boiled and drained (607 calories) 1/2 package Pomi strained tomatoes (96 calories) 4 oz organic hard Cheddar cheese, freshly shredded (440 calories) 2 oz Parmesan…

Vintage Booklet: 1957 Looks Ahead to 1982

Fun booklet from 1957
Some of these were close to being accurate:
While many of the predictions never came to fruition, the belief that fruits and vegetables along with a reduction in fat intake would be the diet of Americans was sadly way off the mark despite requiring the least amount of new technology.