Posted by: ham8cheese | November 6, 2009

dear carbs, i’m breaking up with you

I am one of those people who will eat bread and pasta till the cows come home if you let me. Heck, even after all the cows are tucked away in bed, I will still be eating bread and pasta. Recently, after realizing that perhaps my love affair with carbs was not ideal and my sedentary office job no better, I took decisive action. I adopted a dilettante low-carb approach to eating: no bread or pasta during the day, but all bets are off for dinner and beyond. This means I’m still eating carbs during the day – just in the form of oatmeal, yogurt, and veg (and of course lots of non-carby fare). In the evening, I eat whatever scrumptious meal Mr. Spoke feels like cooking (and, less commonly, whatever I feel like cooking), carbs and all.

I have to say that, having previously tried a stricter low carb diet, I am finding that this approach is much more sustainable for me. For one thing, I do not find myself seriously craving bread and pasta and – perhaps the most perfect food ever, pizza – because I’m still eating those things, just not for all 3 meals. (Honestly, I don’t know what I would do if I had to give up our homemade pizza nights.) This approach to eating (can you tell I keep skirting around the word “diet”?) also has the benefit of not taking the fun out of eating dinner out with friends (“Oh, you go ahead and enjoy that hip-packing lasagna. I’ll just sit here and nibble on my plain lettuce, thanks”). And I think I probably have lost a couple of pounds, although I am not one to weigh myself and don’t even own a scale. Probably the most important effects are psychosomatic – I feel sort of healthier and svelte-er, as it were.

The only thing about this that I’m bummed out about is that it has definitely put a crimp in my bread baking. Till recently, I was very slowly working my way through Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, turning out yummy though perhaps not always aesthetically pleasing versions of ciabatta, italian bread, pita, and rustic breads. But one of the many joys of bread baking is eating it yourself – and in a timely fashion. So a challenge for me will be to figure out how to work in my bread making again while still sticking to the spirit of my low carb till 6 situation.

Apparently there are other proponents of the diet-till-6:00 approach, including Mark Bittman, the NY Times food writer and author of Food Matters, a book that encourages folks to eat less meat during daytime hours for the dual purposes of losing weight and slowing global warming. I think he calls it “vegan till 6,” but truth be told, I haven’t read the book yet. It’s on my list.



  1. […] – but I am finding myself inspired to cook quite a bit these days.  (At the same time, my low-carb-till-6pm diet seems to have fallen by the wayside.  See Exhibit 1 here: low-carb diet 0, Tartine cookies 3 […]

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