Keto Diet or Bust

By on January 7, 2019


          The New Year’s Diet is as predictable as Sun up – or sun down for that matter.  It’s a given that everybody’s new years’ resolution will include at least a nod towards improving health and that surely must include losing weight.

The buzz word this year is KETO.  Now as best I can tell by perusing several iterations of this diet on the internet,  it’s the newest iteration of the Atkins Diet.

My daughter, Katherine, and I wrote a cookbook cum diet book when Lily and Noel were born.  Katherine figured she could shed some baby weight,  and, as for me, I’ve always needed to shed some weight.  So we wrote this book which is still in print.

Did I mention that Lily and Noel are now 20 years old?  And that Katherine and I are still pursuing diet nirvana.  We made a confession to each other as the new year approached.  We are both addicted to sugar.  Since I was in the third grade, whenever something went wrong in my life, I would head to Mr. Culpepper’s Candy Kitchen for a square or two of his perfect home made fudge.

My friend Virginia and I loved Mr. Culpepper, but his provender wasn’t enough.  We also popped into the dime store on the way home from school and stocked up by buying a Baby Ruth.  Yes, my friends,  Baby Ruth’s are that old.

We would stroll along,  nibbling on that Baby Ruth until,  bit by bit,  we had eaten the milk chocolate coating,  then the roasted peanuts and finally that luscious nougat center.

It’s the one constant in my life that I can look backwards and  forwards and know that one bite of this brings peace and joy.  No matter what has gone on during the day.

Our first cooking sensation came from a love of these flavors too, as we dumped a square of chocolate into a pan with a stick of butter over low heat, then added a box of powdered sugar.  Whiz this all up and pour it out onto a baking sheet.  Top with pecans and let it set up.  Yum.

So you can see where this sugar obsession started.  And would go on to this minute if Mr. Keto hadn’t reared his ugly head.

I’ve got to lose 15 pounds,  the scale and my doctor tell me so.  And the newest craze is a diet that basically relies on fat and protein and eliminates starches and sugars, period. You can eat veggies that grow above the ground, all the nuts you want, and you can dab some mayo on anything that strikes your fancy.  Choose meat, fish, or poultry and please do eat the skin, the fat, and all.

That seems to make complete sense to me, since I love bacon and butter but can give up potatoes and all her root veggie cousins in a trice.

No bread, no cake, no cookies, no problem.  So long as I can have plenty of bacon whenever my heart desires.

And speaking of my heart, I did have quadruple bypass surgery in March and they discovered my poor old heart was harboring all manner of nasty plaque, which they scraped out much the same way they roto-rooter the drains.

They put me on a statin, which I’ve resisted for fifteen years.  They didn’t say much to me about diet, because they know I write about food and I know what to do.

Talk about giving the keys to the kingdom to an addict.  How is this supposed to work?

Well,  I can honestly say, after one week on this diet, I have lost seven pounds.  That’s a pound a day and I am keeping a record.  I have eaten out.  I have gone to parties.  I have skipped the cornbread squares, and the bread baskets.  I have chosen fish to go along with the de rigueur green salad with vinegar dressing.

It’s all going swimmingly.  And by the way  I am as pleasant as a wolverine.  That should surprise no one.  Take away some dude’s cigarettes and he’s ready to kill within a day.

That’s me and sugar.  But I am trying.  Yesterday, I bought a big bag of salad greens and by the end of the day had eaten every bite.  Mayo and red wine vinegar dressing.  Couple boiled eggs for breakfast made into a salad dressed with mayonnaise.  It’s not too bad. Pork chop for lunch, and a whole branzino for dinner.

I wrote a diet book with Dr. Salerno a few years back.  He’s a protégé of Atkins and for that he gets an A.  He recommended mixed drinks provided they were made with vodka and sugar free mixers including tonic water.  Sounds like a plan.

I do have this nagging feeling at the back of my mind, that before this is all over, I may be dragging my knuckles and I already fired the dentist.  So we’ll see.  Wish me luck. Good luck to you on your diet of choice.  Wanna compare notes?  Call me.

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About Linda Eckhardt

Linda West Eckhardt, is an award winning journalist, food writer, and nutritionist. Her more than 20 cookbooks have garnered prizes including the James Beard prize for the best cookbook for a text she wrote with her daughter, Katherine West DeFoyd, entitled Entertaining 101, Doubleday. Their follow-up book, Stylish One Dish Dinners, Doubleday, was also nominated for a James Beard prize. Their next book, The High Protein Cookbook, Clarkson Potter, remains a best seller after 12 years. That book was designed to accompany low carb diet plans. Her ground-breaking book, Bread in Half The Time, Broadway Books, was named the Best Cookbook in America by the prestigious IACP, The Julia Child award. Her award winning radio work with Jennifer English, for a national show on the Food and Wine radio network, was nominated for a James Beard Prize for a show called, “I Know What You Ate Last Summer.”