Receipt for the Celebrated Mrs. Burns’ Stewed Oysters, Philadelphia, PA:
75 oysters parboiled and stewed, then add 3 pints of cream, 3/4 pound of best butter; season with cayenne pepper and salt to taste.
–Colonial Receipt Book: Celebrated Old Receipts used a century ago by Mrs. Goodfellow’s Cooking School; also Famous old Creole and Moravian Receipts; together with some of the best formulas of our well known modern chefs. Ed. Mrs. Frederick Sidney Giger
Last time we started
looking at taking apart this particular article by a “dietician.” Our fearless leader into the heady fray of culinary nonsense thinks any diet that dismisses an entire food group is “crazy.” We also noted that Natalie seems to believe that added sugar is a whole food group, despite the fact that generations of human beings lived without it as a regular part of their diet for thousands of years. (Note that only “added sugar” is the whole food group on her crazy, restrictive diet. She specifically says that fruit, vegetables, grains, and dairy have sugar, but she can eat all of that.)
Our expert then proceeded to explain to us that cutting an entire anything from one’s diet makes it “restrictive,” and the problem with restrictive diets is that you crave the thing you can’t have. This is, of course, why smokers are advised never to give up their smoking.
This horrible restrictiveness is why Natalie feels you would be “crazy” if you tried to eliminate added sugar from your diet; though she also seems slightly unclear about what sugar is and how the body uses it. That alone should disqualify her, since Jimmy Kimmel explained to us all a while back that you are only legally permitted to avoid ingesting something if you can give a perfectly correct scientific explanation of its molecular structure.
Our gutsy guinea pig valiantly attempted a sugar-free diet for thirty days, which she thought would be “easy” because she “doesn’t crave sugar.” To be fair, though, part of the problem here could be definitions. When Natalie says “sugar” and “glucose” and “powers muscles,” these words and phrases clearly mean something different to her than they do in that little shared space we call reality. So it could be that when she said she “doesn’t crave sugar,” she might not have meant what we assume she meant.
You know, that she doesn’t crave sugar.
At least, so I assume from the list of sugary-sweet items in her daily menu. Again, definitions. I’m pretty certain Natalie thinks that things naturally sugar-packed, like a date, don’t count as sugar. So if one eats a bag of M&Ms, one “craves sugar.” If one eats a half dozen dates, one doesn’t.
If you’re interested, six dates weigh approximately forty-seven grams and have approximately twenty-seven grams of sugar. A packet of M&Ms weighs forty-seven grams and has approximately thirty grams of sugar. So her date cravings make perfect sense, don’t they?
As we have seen, our daring “dietician” was unable to keep to her crazy diet for most of the first week. Eventually, she got her feet under her a bit by substituting enormous amounts of natural sugar for the added sugar she put on things. Mostly.
My oatmeal definitely tastes a little bland without a scoop of brown sugar, so I head to the store and pick up some naturally sweet foods, such as dates, bananas, red grapes, and papaya. Problem solved…Luckily, another dietitian (and marathoner) told me to try dates, stuffed with peanut butter and sprinkled with sea salt, for the right mix of sugar and sodium. Although I don’t like to try anything new on race day, I make an exception and opt for the dates instead of the Shot Bloks
That doesn’t seem to have been quite enough, though, so in the end she had a sports drink like this one, which has 34 grams of added sugar. She tells us little until Day 12:
Do you know how annoying it is to ask a waiter if there is any sugar in the food? They look at you like you are the worst person ever. Needless to say, I’m not able to tell if there is added sugar in some of the foods I don’t prepare myself, but I do try to stick to the foods I expect have less.
And since you were totally shocked last week to find that your crackers and your Sriracha sauce had sugar in them, we can probably trust that your judgment was super-sound here, and you had no added sugar.
Halfway there, and it’s finally starting to feel easier. I’ve become accustomed to sweetening my morning oatmeal with bananas and eating pre-workout snacks with natural sugar (dates and peanut butter, anyone?). I can definitely do this for two more weeks.
We already saw how sugar-packed dates are. What about bananas? She said she had “a scoop” of brown sugar on her oatmeal previously. One tablespoon would be about twelve grams of sugar. A banana, medium, has nineteen.
And since when is peanut butter “natural sugar?” Nearly all peanut butter has added sugar/corn syrup/glucose syrup/molasses/cane syrup.
Googles, “Does wine have added sugar in it?”
Can’t find a definitive answer.
Pours glass of wine.
Depends on the wine, Natalie. Lots of wines do that, really. The cheaper the wine, the more likely that is. Also, alcohol….(wait for it)
IS A SUGAR.
Of course it’s a different type of sugar than glucose or fructose, and it is metabolized by the body in a different way. It would likely be fine to say that you are not having any added sugar and yet drink wine on occasion. My concern is that our “dietician” seems to be unclear about what a sugar is, and, even worse for the purposes of our experiment, also doesn’t seem to care that she is still (or may be) breaking her diet. Yet again.
All self-control goes out the window when I’m tired. We arrived in California last night, and I’m super jet-lagged. I need an afternoon cookie to make me feel better. And let me tell you… it worked.
Didn’t manage to keep to diet. Again.
I’ve done this long enough, and I give up! Being on vacation and trying to “diet” isn’t fun. It’s actually really terrible. So I cut this little experiment short and ordered an espresso shot in a chocolate-rimmed ice cream cone. And I’m not sad about it.
And on day twenty-six, we just give up entirely.
My problem with all this is not that Natalie gave up. It’s not that Natalie struggled. It’s that Natalie pretended to cut sugar from her diet when she never actually did. She never let her body use any other ingested fuel source; and then, after teasing her metabolic system with sugar over and over again, she gave up.
And then she said this:
This confirmed my right to roll my eyes at diets that eliminate entire food groups, because it’s nearly impossible to sustain that change for the long term. I’m a dietitian, and I wasn’t able to do it for longer than a week without a slipup.
Let me try to say it one more time, very, very nicely.
First, ADDED SUGAR IS NOT AN ENTIRE FOOD GROUP, YOU……ahem.
Second, just because you couldn’t do it, darling, doesn’t mean someone else can’t.
Third, I have just one more little bone to pick with you. Just a little one.
You have said that cutting a WHOLE FOOD GROUP is simply unsustainable, and also CRAZY. How do you explain your article entitled How to Survive a Barbecue When You’re A Vegetarian?
When all else fails, throw your own party! You’ve gone to a million burger barbecues; now it’s time to
forceinvite your meat-eating friends to an untraditional party. Sure, they can bring a salad with bacon in it, but let them know what you’re serving is all veg-head friendly. Encourage them to step out of their meat-eating comfort zone and get creative with plants.
What I would like to know is what planet our dietician is from. It seems to be a magical place where sugar is an entire food group, but meat is not. Perhaps she’s on the Good Ship Lollipop, headed to Peppermint Bay. Happy landing on the chocolate bar.