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December 21, 2012

So today is the end of the world. Huh.

Stick with me for a moment. I remember way back to the late 1980s when I was still in high school. There I had a philosophy teacher–yes, I took philosophy in high school–and she was incredible. She was into kabala way before Madonna and one parent filed a formal complaint with the school that she was a witch.

It made sense, since she dressed like a gypsy and every Halloween she would read Edgar Allan Poe to the class by candlelight. She also read tarot cards and palms. So she embraced the whole witch thing. But I loved Mrs. L, and she was among the greatest teachers at the school.

Anyway she foretold as the current millennium came to a close all the kooks would come out suggesting it would be the end of the world. And she predicted that this phenomenon would likely persist for at least a good ten years or so into the new millenium. She wasn’t psychic. She was just extrapolating from history.

How does this relate to food? And what does it have to do with repentance? I’ll tell you.

Remember how I said awhile back that it was time to put on the winter weight? Well, I took my own advice and I have. Ten pounds to be exact. And that’s really plenty. That was despite all the walking I did in Paris, which I thought would have had a greater effect on ameliorating the weight gain. For frack’s sake, I walked thirteen miles in one day! And our hotel room was up five flights of stairs! I shudder to think of the weight gain had I simply taken the metro everywhere.

Anyhow, part two of that plan was always to adopt a New Year’s resolution about eating better. Normally, there would be ten more days left in the year.

But today it all ends. So the time to think about repentence is now.

That means I’m turning over a new leaf. You don’t believe me? Today I’m having steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. And instead of toasting the oats in butter, I toasted them in olive oil. Tonight is Shabbat and I’m going to skip the roast chicken wings, the thigh, the leg, and even the oyster. Instead I’ll eat the breast and remove its skin.

I don’t know what I’m going to do with the bag of butter caramels I brought back from Paris. The little chocolates I have from Kayser can’t be so sinful. It’s just a glossy chocolate enrobed hazelnut. One of those should make a perfectly moderate indulgence every now and again.

More than anything else, this change in diet is going to make me grumpy.

I’m going to watch my portion sizes and exercise control about going back for second helpings. And that means when I go to bed every night I’ll likely do so with just a little bit of a hungry feeling in my belly. That’s the sign that it’s working.

Then, if the world ends, I can say good riddance. I won’t be missing that much anyway.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 21, 2012 11:38 am

    I mentioned this cookbook in the comments on your recent contest post, but The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook is fabulous for helping eat a little healthier. In the introduction Chris Kimball is very clear that it’s not a diet cookbook but instead it’s a different way of thinking about the way we eat. The recipes are as good as anything else from Cook’s Illustrated or ATK. Been eating from this cookbook almost exclusively for two or three weeks now and don’t feel at all like I’m on a diet even though I’ve only been consuming 1,200 calories (or less) a day. I’ve had this cookbook since it was released and every time I feel like I need to shed a few pounds, this is where I turn. In fact, the recipes are so good that, even when I’m not dieting, many have become a staple in our meal rotations.

  2. Jean Patiky permalink
    December 21, 2012 12:01 pm

    Moderation is the key and finding pleasure
    In other things other than food and some if that weight may still be the retention if fluid
    And bloating from the long flight.

    Be mindful of your overall health when you
    Choose what you eat….and visualize your
    Clogged arteries…. It helps….

  3. December 21, 2012 12:54 pm

    I’m struggling to climb back onto the wagon myself… still haven’t gotten back to my pre-wedding weight. It’ll be easier after the holidays, surely.

  4. December 21, 2012 8:16 pm

    I’m telling you, scrambled eggs cooked in olive oil are – dare I say it? – tastier than those cooked in butter. Or at minimum they’re just as tasty. They do burn faster, though, so you need to watch that. :)

  5. December 21, 2012 9:42 pm

    Love NASA and its ScienceCasts video re 12/21/12 end of world prophecy and Mayan long-count calendar (s).

    Dan, what are your thoughts on juicing in general and as a means to eat healthier and/or lose weight? Also, Tim Ferriss has come out with a new book “The Four Hour Chef” (; would be interested in hearing your opinion on it.

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