Tag Archives: diet

Hard to swallow

I loved grape soda as a child, and more than once have lamented the lack of diet options.

How about a liquored up one?


Henry’s Hard Grape is all grown up — 4.2 percent alcohol by volume, as you can see — with cool retro branding.

I appreciate both.

I was curious enough to buy a six-pack, and it’s pretty tasty. But my diet soda sensibilities are offended by the cane sugar.  To this day, it’s hard for me to drink anything with calories.

Those six hard sodas are gonna last me a good long time.

This just in…

time eat butt













Wow. Crack me up.

Sweet justice

I taught class today at Boston University and grabbed a PopTart from the vending machine for lunch so I could do some work in the library.

One of my students said I was eating “cardboard.”

When I admitted they were better heated, she countered “Then they taste
Iike warm cardboard.”


Is this what the healthy eating craze has wrought? A generation that doesn’t appreciate the guilty pleasure that is the PopTart? Who spurn people who occasionally choose diet soda over water at every meal?

Where is their sense of food fun? Of taking a cheat meal or cheat day? Have we done such a good job of teaching them good nutrition that they have lost their food sense of humor?

I think somebody needs some Sour Skittles.


Snack attack

I love salt.  Salt loves me.  But is it a healthy relationship?


Turns out many of the salty snacks that I enjoy — and have previously eaten with a side of guilt — actually help lower cholesterol.

What the wha?

Quaker Oats waxes poetic about the cholesterol-reducing benefits of their oatmeal, but I have never seen a Frito Lay ad promote pretzels’ power — but they do the very same thing!

So do nuts and popcorn (sans oil and butter) and homemade potato chips!

And to think I have given the statin I take all the credit for my lowered cholesterol.  Turns out my addiction to salty snacks may have helped just as much.

Okay, maybe not as much…but I sure enjoyed them more.

Fruit and hummus, two foods I eat several times a week, also help lower cholesterol.  Who knew?  I sure didn’t.

Actually, now that I read the list, I’m wondering why I have high cholesterol at all.  It’s certainly not from my diet.  I eat all kinds of foods that help keep my numbers down.

Oh right — I inherited it.  I’d rather have money.

Sweet success

Mark Haub, I want to shake your hand.

Or perhaps you’d prefer a snack cake.

Thanks to the research you conducted at Kansas State University — Go Wildcats — there is now empirical evidence that weight loss depends on the calories going in…and not the nutritional value of the food.

Haub, a human nutrition professor, put himself on the ‘convenience store diet’ as part of a class project, restricting himself to 1800 calories a day comprised of Twinkies, Nutty Bars, Oreos, and even Doritos.

Haub shed 27 pounds in two months, and his other health factors improved as well.  Lower triglycerides.  Lower bad cholesterol.  Higher good cholesterol.

He did take a multivitamin and drink a protein shake each day, and tried to eat a vegetable serving as well — usually something green.  But at least two-thirds of his daily diet came from snack foods.

In the CNN article, Haub sounds a little conflicted by his success.   Personally, I feel vindicated.   Although my diet is not as junkie as his study, I have never eaten as healthy as experts recommend, and have gotten my share of flack about it over the years.

Now, when I reach for Froot Loops as a snack, I’ve got scientific proof —

It’s diet food, people.

Good gravy

I cooked last night.

Yes, this is a blog-worthy event.

I made breakfast for dinner.  Biscuits — from a can, I admit — and milk gravy.

Here in New York City, the term ‘milk gravy’ is greeted with much confusion.  So I will explain further in case you are also reading this with your head cocked to the side in bewilderment.

In a skillet on medium heat, I browned flour in vegetable oil.  (Bacon grease is the first choice, but I didn’t have any.)  To the flour, I added milk, stirring constantly over low heat.

Now, during this process, there was a lot of adjusting — how much oil, how much flour, how much milk.  I even added some water at the end to thin the gravy…plus salt and pepper to taste.

But, I must say, the final product was nothing short of amazing.

Filling?  Yes.  Heavy?  Oh yes.  I even added bacon to the plate, so there’s nothing about this meal that my doctor recommends.

But it does a heart good to enjoy such a feast on a good, damp New York City night.

Fat chance

As someone who has tried to outrun her backside most of her life, I had to at least entertain this idea.

FreezeAwayFat — how’s that for a company name — has created a product that uses the cold to reduce fat cells in your stomach, hips and thighs.

How does it work?

They contend that extreme cold activates your body’s brown fat cells, which in turn cause the white fat cells — the icky kind you apparently don’t want — to shrink away, thereby making you trimmer and slimmer.

You achieve this by wearing their Cool Shapes Contouring Shorts and inserting cold gel packs next to the areas you want to trim. Thirty minutes a day for five weeks is all it takes.  You’ll see results without surgery.

I want to believe this will work — even though the shorts look ridiculous — and I’ve never heard of brown and white fat cells before.  It also runs counter to all the things I’ve doubt done in the past to shrink my hips and thighs…like wrapping them in saran wrap under my sweat pants.  (Attractive, I know.)

Plus, if extreme cold is the key, wouldn’t people who live in arctic cold conditions be predisposed to be thin?  Because I’m not sure demographic data supports that.

In the end, Cool Shapes only costs $90 plus shipping — and five weeks of your life — to check out.  If they do work, good for you!

If they don’t, you’ll be set in ice packs for life.

Puppy planner

How do people without dogs organize their days?

I’ll admit, I’ve quite forgotten.

As most of you know, my dog Rory has been in the hospital since Monday morning.  (He’s coming home later today.)  I knew his being away would be weird for me — the house seems empty when he’s at the groomer for three hours — but I never imagined how profoundly his absence would change my days.

For starters, I can’t get up in the morning.  Rory is my alarm clock.  I find myself falling back to sleep…and I usually pop right out of bed.  Yesterday, noises in the hallway finally jarred me awake at 9:00am!

Nice one, Carla.

I also forget to eat meals without Rory here to remind me.  I work from home and, without his very regularly scheduled head bumps on my leg at noon and five o’clock, I end up eating two or three hours late…or not at all.  And I don’t get my regular walks in Central Park or around the neighborhood, either.

It’s true what they say — dogs do keep you healthy.

And bedtime just isn’t the same without Rory Dog around to ‘bark me in.’  (I never seem to move fast enough for him, so he is always ‘encouraging me’ to move it along.)  Last night I found a dozen mindless chores to occupy my time, and didn’t lie down until almost two o’clock in the morning (which may also explain why I overslept).

Rory loves his routine, and his routine has become mine.

And apparently, I need his daily supervision to stick to it.