Gluten Free For Good


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It’s the new year and more than just a few of us have made resolutions to eat better, lose weight and exercise more. I’m definitely on a mission to lose a few pounds and reset my metabolism after the holidays. I even blogged about it on New Year’s Day. Staying on track with healthy eating can be a bit of a roller coaster ride. For me, sugar is the fuel that causes the thrills and spills.

As a nutritionist, I’m always curious as what makes people overeat. Or, what motivates me to eat that last little sliver of cheesecake when I’m cleaning up after a party – even though I’m absolutely stuffed. Why do we even let ourselves get to the point that we’re absolutely stuffed? If we’re full, why do we pack down one more cookie or the last few bites of the cheeseburger? Or, in my case, two more pancakes floating in maple syrup.

Why do we do that to ourselves?

It’s complicated.

In 1960, women ages 20 to 29 averaged about 128 pounds. By 2000, the average weight of women in that age group had reached 157. For women aged 40 to 49, the average weight had gone from 140 pounds in 1960 to 169 pounds in 2000. *

I wonder what those numbers are a decade later, in 2010?

Two out of three American adults are overweight or obese. We’ve all heard the health risks that accompany being overweight. So, why do we keep shoveling the food in?

This is a test. I had a recipe ready to post today, but the focus at the beginning of the year is always the same and it got me thinking. Why do we do this over and over each year?

According to the research, there are certain food combinations that trigger overeating and understanding why isn’t easy. I can’t really tell you why I ate the last of the cheesecake while cleaning up the kitchen (and fought my daughter for it). I was full, I certainly didn’t need it. There’s no good reason, except that I like cheesecake and in some odd way, I find it satisfying. At least while I’m eating it, but then immediately afterwards, I feel like poo and kick myself in the bum for overeating.

Bazillions of dollars are spent on dieting each year; people lose a few pounds, regain it, and then start the process all over again the next January 1st. Why? Back when I was growing up (the fifties and sixties), most people weren’t overweight. Weight was fairly stable. What’s different now?

I’ll expand on this in a later post, but for now, I’d appreciate it if you’d take a survey. Please choose which food you crave most from the choices below and leave your answer in the comment section. I’ll post the results in a few days. Be honest, there’s no right or wrong. Which one looks the most tempting?

1. Bacon cheeseburger with all the trimmings

2. Brownie ice cream sundae with whipped cream

3. Raw, fresh broccoli

4. Kraft macaroni and cheese

5. Pancakes with butter and pure maple syrup

6. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing

Okay, guys – let me know which one of these choices sets your heart on fire? Are you drooling yet? Which lever would you keep pounding?

I’ve already scarfed up the pancakes, if you’re wondering.

* Weight data from The End of Overeating, Dr. David Kessler (Nutrition Action Healthletter)

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74 Responses to “tempting food survey”

  1. Michelle Houston says:

    If I could eat it, the mac and cheese would probably win. But the chocolate cake and brocolli with firecracker sauce were running a close second.

  2. Michelle says:

    The pancakes, definitely! Which is funny because I usually don’t like bread-type foods anymore…

  3. Laura says:

    Mac ‘n cheese for me.

  4. kathy b says:

    I want the brocolli with the cheese sauce (from mac & cheese)

  5. Elizabeth says:

    brownie sundae, no contest

  6. Linda says:

    The brownie sundae. I just finished lunch and the hot fudge with the cool ice cream I sounds the best to me. The pancakes are second. I’ll just share my opinion on the food thing. I think that what most people eat during any time is history is more of a statement on what is going on culturally more than based on nutrician. People are far removed from their food now – choices are made based on what is quickest and what has been best marketed to them. People don’t garden or cook to the degree they have in the past. The foods in the cultural norm are not what is best. But most don’t take the time to go beyond.

  7. Kat says:

    Definitely the chocolate brownie and oozing icecream! Even if it’s got gluten in it, I’d eat it.

  8. Martha says:

    chocolate cake with I hope buttercream frosting

  9. Liz says:

    I love being able to “listen” to the way you think. You are so wise, Melissa! I’m attempting to get back on track too. And while I drooled at the sight of all of those photos — the burger really sticks out for me.

    In a close second is the mac n cheese.

  10. Katie says:

    Bacon Cheeseburger, hands down.

  11. Sandi says:

    the pancakes — especially Pam’s Gluten Free. Yum!

  12. Anne says:

    Bet you wished you hadn’t asked :).

  13. Melissa says:

    HOLY COW, what a response!

    EVERYONE – thank you for your insightful, honest, humorous and creative answers! I have been totally blown away by the response to this post. As a nutritionist (and an obsessive thinker), I have lots of changing thoughts on why we overeat and why we insist on doing it even when we don’t want to. What is it about a piece of chocolate cake or a big, fat, juicy burger that has complete control over us?! How can that stack of pancakes boss me around? Grrrr…

    I can’t go through here and answer each comment personally, which I usually try to do, but you’ve given me so much material on which to create my next post. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!

    Okay, my friends, on to what this means (at least in my pancake-filled mind).

    Although, after going through all these again, I think maybe I want the brownie sundae right now.


    Stay tuned!

  14. patty says:

    If you had lobster, crab legs, shrimp (any seafood really!) that would have gotten my vote hands down! But of all the things you have on here, I would choose the pancakes. Yum.

  15. Oh this is going to be interesting, I look forward to hearing your tallied results.

    I went back and forth between the broccoli and the chocolate cake. I haven’t had chocolate in over a month so I think I am feeling a little chocolate-deprived at the moment.

    I can never handle too much of the really rich stuff anyways so my vote is for fresh, raw, crunchy broccoli – but it would have to have some sort of salty, creamy dip to go with it. 🙂

  16. Melissa says:

    Again, thank you everyone! Great comments and I appreciate every one of them. Even the beer guy (that would be you, Jack).

    Part 2 to follow! Stay tuned.


  17. j says:

    That would be a toss up between the burger and pancakes for me, but truth be told there exists only one single unhealthy food on earth that I truly, vehemently, and regularly crave: cinnamon rolls (cinnamon buns, sticky buns…whatever they are called they are pure NIRVANA!)

  18. Barbara W says:

    gotta be the chocolate cake!

  19. Joan V says:

    Definitely the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting!!! But I can no longer have it!

  20. Jenny says:

    Definitely the chocolate sundae… not that I would though. The brocoli would be a lot more temping if it was steamed, marinated, baked, fried, or otherwise dolled up in some way!

  21. Janan says:

    Bacon cheeseberger, even tho I don’t even eat bacon. But that is just today. On other days it would definitely be the brownie sundae or the chocolate cake (i’d leave the icing). Thanks for some very interesting posts!

  22. Brenda says:

    Actually – I don’t really crave any of those.

    I would, however, enjoy apple crisp.

  23. Gina says:

    Bacon Cheeseburger, love meat, LOVE bacon, wish I could eat the cheddar and a nice hamburger bun with taste, texture and fortitude to hold up to the burger and all the fixins’ That would be cool.
    BTW I love your blog, it’s clean, (love the white wall paper) clear, easy to read, the pictures are bright and inviting the content is fresh and interesting. I’ll be sure to tell my friends and students. Take Care.

  24. Kelly says:

    I reckon number 6 sets me on fire. Just wish I could have it though!! Any suggestions as to how to convert this (but retain the nice, even, craggy texture) to a gluten free recipe?

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