Two Thumbs Up

I just read a very inspiring article about the movie critic Roger Ebert in yesterdays New York Times. Many of us remember the often funny and amusing “fight fest” between Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert in the late 80’s and early 90’s, on their show “At the Movies with Siskel and Ebert”. On the program the two would often “duke it out” arguing about which film deserved a “thumbs up” or which stinker deserved a “thumbs down”.  

Roger Ebert, the chubbier guy with the glasses was an avid foodie up until 2006, when he was diagnosed with cancer in his lower jaw. After several surgeries, whereas his lower jar was removed, he no longer has use of his jaw and can neither eat nor speak. However, his mind and his memories remain perfectly intact and he recently wrote a soon to be published cook book about cooking with a rice cooker, titled “The Pot and how to use it”.

His story resonates with me as even though he is physically challenged and can no longer taste or alter the seasoning of  the beloved dishes that he continues to prepare, he uses his extensive experience and his imagination in his preparations for dinner for his many frequent guests.

So this brings me to the question, how many of us actually taste and savor the food that we shovel into our faces? How many of us can actually remember and discern what flavors or ingredients were used in the dishes that we eat?  How many of us, in our attempts to watch our weight, limit ourselves to the blandest, leanest cuts of meat in “mini-me” portions? Bottom line, how many of us actually like what we eat?

I am guilty on many an occasion for the above offenses. In one crash diet after another, I have limited my daily food intake to tasteless, butterless, sauce-less “foods” that offered no sensory pleasures whatsoever.

Thats why I am so utterly convinced that the I LOVE FOOD diet is really “Thumbs Up”. While I do try to avoid foods heavy in carbohydrates, I do not avoid anything else. I eat, trust me I eat A LOT all day long. Whenever “the munchies” strike, I indulge. And, I cheat. Of course I cheat… a little bit anyway. I will absolutely steal a handful of french fries off my son’s plate (when he is not looking), or finish off his Cookies and Creme Ice Cream Sundae after he stuffed himself on 3/5’s of the sweet creamy treat covered in chocolate syrup and chopped nuts. Trust me, a few little indulgences completely satisfies any carb-urge that may rear its ugly head. This is the I LOVE FOOD DIET after all.

From now on, I am going to try to savor and actually taste every morsel that enters my mouth. I am going to try to really experience every bite of bacon, slice of steak  or hunk of cheese. I am going to try to sloooooowwwwww it down when I eat. I am going to make love to my food. If nothing else, eating slower is proven to help with weight loss. Eating slower and tasting your food is a win/win all around.

Chow for now!