Friday, January 14, 2005

Eating Crow

One day at an early morning ZOE meeting, Jeff Walling was eating a plate full of bacon and sausage. Asked what's with the bacon, he replied, "I'm on Atkins."

"Atkins," I said incredulously. "Eating that much fat is supposed to be good for you?" Jeff was kind and didn't treat me like the jerk I was being.

Another time, I was sitting at a meal with two doctors and I assumed they'd scoff at Atkins along with me. I said, "Atkins is crazy. How can that be healthy?"

The oldest doctor, a cardiologist, said, "I've been on Atkins for nearly a year now."

I nearly crawled under the table. I don't remember if it was the doctor or Jeff who said something that led me to finally pick up an Atkins book. I was associating the whole diet with what is known as the "induction" phase. I had seen the way people were eating seemingly all the fat they wanted and thought that was all there was to the diet. Plus, it seemed someone was getting rich off selling low-carb candy bars that I've heard give you gas.

So, now I'm eating crow, which someone once told me is "low fat." I bought an Atkins book, read it and started a week ago.

At first Atkins does encourage you to eat meat, butter, mayo. It's crazy, counter intuitive. Doctor Atkins says we need less carbs and to stop freaking out about fats. We've had low-fat and fat free drilled into us for so long that we're eating way too many carbs and sugar that substitutes for fat in many foods that are called "fat free" or "reduced fat." Something displaces the fat and it's usually sugar in some form.

Conventional wisdom for us has been "don't eat fat!" so when Atkins tells us to eat fat it feels like . . .
  • Driving a nail with the claw end of a hammer
  • Sanding a board across the grain
  • Speaking pig latin (which my wife just walked up to me and spoke so kids wouldn't understand something she said)
  • Putting water in our gas tank
  • Driving in reverse

But all that said, the whole plan seems to make sense and work. I'll report back to you in a few months on my results. The main problem with most of these plans, which in the end are pretty balanced and teach you to eat right eventually, is user error.

So Jeff and doctors, I'm eating a balanced diet today: eggs, spinach, and crow.


At 6:28 AM, Blogger David U said...

Greg, my doctor has informed me that my bad cholesterol is too high, so I am trying to watch what I eat also. Maybe I should pursue Atkins. Anyway, I think it is great that you want to be healthy.....because then you can bless us all for about another 50 years!

Good luck!

At 9:37 AM, Blogger James said...

I thought the same thing at first. However, three folks at church were put on the diet by their doctors, and have each lost 20-50 pounds. The key is to read the book. It is not at all what 90% of people think. You do not give up veggies (the most common misconception), instead you give up those that are fattening like corn (used to fatten pigs before the sale/slaughter) and eat plenty of those that are high in nutrients and fiber like broccoli and cabbage.

For me, it helped break a terrible soda habit and lose 20 pounds (from 2-3/day to 2-3/month). Cholesterol usually comes down significantly.

At 4:46 PM, Blogger Matt Elliott said...

I lost a tremendous amount of weight on Atkins back in 1999, lowered my cholesterol, and have never put (all) the weight back on. I still have to watch myself, but I've never approached my highest weight since that time.

It's too much detail to go into in this forum, but we also are pretty sure we cured our infertility because of the diet. Long story short -- we were dealing with a medical issue for which a high protein/low carb diet was a recommended alternative treatment. We found out about the issue AND the treatment AFTER we got pregnant.

Needless to say, you won't hear us trashing the diet.


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