Saturday, December 31, 2011
Food shouldn’t be a reward or a punishment, Dr. May claims, and this means that the Eat to Live/Live to Eat debate is beside the point. Everybody eats to live, and everyone has foods he or she likes better than others. They key to combining the two is to understand yourself and your eating habits and learn to improve them.
You’ve probably seen most of the information in Dr. May’s book before. Magazines like Shape, Self, (Insert-your-gender-here) Health and/or Fitness, Cosmo, and countless others thrive on providing snippets of this sort of advice (with considerably more drama, though, and a lot more exclamation points). Eat What You Love puts it all in one place. Dr. May doesn’t make self-examination fun, but she helps you step through it in a way that doesn’t make you feel like you’re watching Dr. Phil. And also without “inspirational” photos of people who are obviously far better genetically-endowed than you are.
The first and most important thing, according to Dr. May, is to learn when you’re really hungry, as opposed to when you feel like eating. Seeing or smelling appealing food can trigger hunger, but more often it’s just a desire for that particular food making you think you’re hungry. Once you can objectively evaluate your hunger, you can eat to satisfy it. Don’t wait until you’re too hungry, because you’ll grab whatever’s on hand. But don’t eat when you’re not hungry enough just because you think you might not have a chance to eat later, either. Whether it’s a walk around the office, a glass of water, or a quick e-mail to a friend, there are ways to distract yourself from eating when you’re not really hungry. And there are ways to avoid getting caught without something to eat when you are genuinely hungry, too.
By understanding hunger and its triggers for you, you’ll also be able to navigate situations when you’re going to be exposed to a lot of food, like restaurant meals, parties, and holidays. And yes, you will overeat sometimes, unless you’re an ascetic who finds nirvana in self-deprivation. If you’re attuned to your body’s hunger, though, you will compensate gradually for these occasions, because you’ll feel like eating less. So don’t make them into more than they are – we all have enough things that are more important to worry about.
Obviously, I’m oversimplifying. Understanding why you eat when you’re not hungry isn’t always easy, and Dr. May says up front that addressing the underlying causes is not necessarily something you’ll get from a book. That said, there’s a lot more substance to help here, including important nutrition information, ideas about portion control, advice about not being unrealistic about exercise, and some things to look out for in terms of medical conditions and their relation to food.
Lest you think I’ve gone soft on you, I did have some quibbles after reading it. There’s a fine line between motivation and personal stories to fill pages. The book leans a little too much toward the latter for my taste, and I skipped them after the first few. And while Dr. May clearly tries to avoid psych-speak, some of it sneaks in there anyway (in control vs. in charge...I’m not sure I get it or if I should care one way or the other). The most serious let-down for me, though, is the recipe section. While Dr. May makes no claims that this is a cookbook, she’s married to a professional chef. So I had hoped that the recipes might be more interesting. But even the most casual reader of this blog will have seen the few recipes in the book done better elsewhere.
In the end, though, these things didn’t keep me from thinking the book is useful. It’s worth reading, even if you think you’ve heard it all before. 2012 is a new year, after all, and maybe it’s time for a new approach to eating, too.
Friday, December 30, 2011
|Photo by Emily Clack|
Thursday, December 29, 2011
- Newseum New Year's Eve Party 2011
- Graffiato: Not interested in long lines and cover charges? Head to Graffiato in Chinatown, where it's dinner as usual starting at 5:00pm. Make a toast with the prosecco on tap, and warm up with a Hot in the City - house-pressed pear cider, Jefferson's Rye, winter spices and apple chip. New Year's Eve reservations can only be made by calling 202.289.3600.
- J and G Steakhouse: Ring in 2012 in style at J and G Steakhouse. Host a private party in the "New Year's Eve Bubble Lounge," a wine bar package for up to 20 guests that includes perks like a private bartender, valet and private entrance with a red carpet, complimentary cook books and full access to the W Hotel's rooftop POV Lounge. Or, enjoy decadent offerings like foie gras brulé, sautéed Maine lobster and black truffle fritters from the prix fixe menu from 8:00 - 10:00pm. Reservations can be made online, and pricing varies by seating time and wine pairing option. Call 202.661.2440 for all private dining requests.
- Smith Commons: Check out Smith Commons on H Street for a sumptuous three-course dinner and dance party this New Year's Eve. For $60 per person, guests can enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres from 7:00 - 9:00pm, a prix fixe menu with highlights like braised short ribs and lobster ragout, a complimentary Moet Imperial Champagne toast at midnight and live music and DJ entertainment until 3:00am. Seatings are from 6:00 - 7:30pm and 9:00 - 10:30pm. Reservations are recommended, and can be made online or by calling 202.396.0038. Smith Commons is also open on New Year's Day for brunch, "Smith Hour" and dinner.
- Taberna del Alabardero would like you to join us for a Spanish Style Dinner on New Year’s Eve in the perfect ambiance on Saturday, December 31st. The evening will include live entertainment, a special pre- fixed menu priced at $120 per person (available beginning at 8pm, with regular a la carte option from 5pm-7pm), ringing in the New Years with the Eating of the Grapes at midnight. Contact Marta Molina at email@example.com or Nicole Wahnon at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and reservations. 1776 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006 (202) 429-2299 or www.alabardero.com .
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
- Christmas Eve
- Join Chef Todd Gray at Equinox for an elegant Christmas Eve feast starting at 5:30pm. The menu will include traditional fish dishes and innovative seafood creations, with wine pairings. Top off the evening with a mulled bourbon manhattan served in a festive, ginger-rimmed martini glass. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 202.331.8118. (Price TBD).
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Friday, December 16, 2011
|Photo by Emily Clack|
Thursday, December 15, 2011
- Winter Solstice Dinner - Friday, December 16 An Equinox tradition, celebrate the winter solstice with a four-course seasonal dinner and wine pairings. This year, Equinox introduces its first executive chef, Karen Nicolas, whose own commitment to using fresh, seasonal ingredients rings true in her inspired menu. Together, Chef Gray and Chef Nicolas will guide guests through the menu and celebrate the holiday season. Dinner is $125 per person, inclusive of tax and gratuity. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 202.331.8118.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
|Photo by Kristen Finn|
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
Thursday, December 8, 2011
- CHEF JOSÉ ANDRÉS TO SPEAK AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES: This event will be held on December 8th in the William G. McGowan theater at 7:00pm. Doors open at 6:30pm and seating is first come first serve so be sure to get there early! For more information about this event, please click here.