Tuesday, May 19, 2009

David Kessler has been working the talk show circuit to promote his new book and I've heard him interviewed by Bill Mahr, Diane Rehm, and Terry Gross. He is the former head of the FDA. I have not read this book, but I have enjoyed hearing his interviews.  

The gist of his book is that a lack of will power is not responsible for our overeating. The problem is our addiction to and conditioning by high levels of sugar, fat and salt. We get preoccupied by food because our minds and bodies are programmed to tell us to eat as much of these things as possible when they are available. And they are always available (here, to most of us). He talks a little bit about re-conditioning the brain to not be preoccupied by food, but I'm sure that the billion-dollar question is "Just exactly how does one program the mind not to be preoccupied by sugared-up, salted-down, fat-soaked food?"

He asked Diane Rehm which of the two food items on the cover she would prefer. She replied, "Well, the carrot cake, of course!"  I thought about this question myself and found my answer much more complicated. First, I am a BIG fan of carrot cake.  I chose it as my wedding cake. If I was stranded on a dessert island... I wouldn't mind if the only dessert was carrot cake. (Spelling intentional.)

But it got me thinking. What would I choose? What if I could have all the carrot cake I wanted OR all of the organic, homegrown carrots from my own garden? One or the other. I would absolutely choose the homegrown carrots, and that right there is the reason I garden. [This is important: I would choose my homegrown vegetables over carrot cake, people!!] I know that much dieting advice is given about eating lots and lots of vegetables. However, what I see passing for vegetables sometimes makes me want to fill up on grilled cheese and Dove chocolates and skip the limp, overcooked, mush-pile of green beans. Even most "baby carrots" that you buy at the store are flavorless and rubbery. (Compare to the carrots that make me want to do cartwheels.)

So, maybe one of the answers to the question,"Just exactly how does one program the mind not to be preoccupied by sugared-up, salted-down, fat-soaked food?" is grow your own veggies!  Of course, you'll likely still be preoccupied with food, but it will be healthy food.

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