After 182 weeks of sharing the highs and lows of trying to get a handle on my weight as a serious eater, I need a break from this column. This column has changed my life and my weight. So I'm taking the rest of August off with the idea that I will use this month-long hiatus to recharge, rethink, and retool the column.
'Ed Levine's Caloric Journey' on Serious Eats
Although I wouldn't wish what I have gone through this week on anyone, I have to say that five visits to a dentist in four days is certainly an effective caloric journey enhancer. My teeth and gums had been hurting all last week, but I certainly wasn't going to go to the dentist before the Sandwich Fest. I didn't eat much there anyway, but not because of my sandwich fest planning. I was just too busy. But by last Sunday my mouth was killing me, so I went to the dentist on Monday.
With the sweltering summer heat upon the city where I live, every time I emerge from New York's 72nd Street subway station covered in sweat, I'm thinking about what treat I can give myself to both cool off and help me recover from that awful experience. So this summer I have started to compile a list of calorically affordable treats. What are yours?
We've been up on Martha's Vineyard for eight days now, and I thought I would give you a caloric journey progress report. On the Fourth, our friends the Grands invited us over for raw clams and oysters, homemade gravlax, and Ann Grand's justifiably famous pulled pork. Ann's pork is amazing, but I managed to avoid both heaping seconds on my plate and piling the pork on the soft hamburger buns she provided. Again, though I could have done better, I also could have done a lot worse. As for the rest of the week...
Ed Levine's Caloric Journey, Week 177: Fourth of July Picnic/Barbecue/Party Eating Strategies, Serious Eaters?
Like a lot of other folks I am facing a weekend full of picnics, barbecues, and parties of every stripe imaginable that invariably involve copious amounts of food. If I'm not careful, these kinds of weekends can kill me, caloric journey-wise.
Now that it's summer I have a favorite pair of shorts and linen and cotton pants—they're reliable barometers for my weight. Each time I put one of them on, I can tell how I've been doing. If they are tighter, if I have to reach just a little bit further to close the clasp, I know it's time to increase my fruits and vegetable quotient.
Vicky had bought a head of romaine lettuce, walnuts, and gorgonzola cheese to make one of her favorite salads the day before, so she was determined to serve it for dinner last night. While I watched a replay of the Yankees game (I had forgotten that it was an afternoon game, so I never checked the score during the day) Vicky made the salad. It was seriously delicious, a perfect June meal, and one that I never would have thought to make myself.
Lately, as this column continues to evolve, as I am not so slavishly devoted to getting on the scale every day, I have begun to see that there are other ways to measure my caloric journey progress. I've been noticing that I'm feeling full more quickly. What that means for me is that I can eat more of the food I love, as long as I stop when my body says enough.
I looked longingly at the huge pot of stew. I looked away. I looked again. That stew was calling my name. "So tasty," it was whispering to me. "Stop," I said in response. "I'm on a caloric journey, and seconds, my tasty friend, don't help. Ever, unless you're talking about salad without dressing, or vegetables without sauce, or fruit salad. So who won this battle of wills, the beef stew vs. me?
Yup, it's true. I was in Rome for ten days and lost two pounds. How did I do this? Believe it or not there was method to the madness. Here were my five Roman Rules.
I've gone fishin' for pizza in Rome, so there will be no extended Caloric Journey post today. I promise to detail my Roman caloric journey next week to let all of you serious eaters know how many pizzas (and other Italian edible species) I've caught, and how many I've thrown back because I'm full and I'm trying not to gain weight in Rome.
All right, fans and occasional naysayers of my caloric journey. I am going to take this journey down a different path for awhile. It's my journey, so I determine the route. I read everyone's comments last week with great interest, both the positive and the negative ones. Of all the comments last week I found Teachertalk's to be the one I couldn't stop thinking about. This is what she said.
Although I didn't much care for some of the comments on last week's caloric journey post (though I'm sure they weren't meant to be, a couple of them felt personal, judgmental, and overly harsh—after all I am trying, and I've managed to keep a lot of weight off for a long time), I have to admit that some folks were right. I am at an inflection point on my caloric journey.
A dinner at Telepan, two seders, a Slice review with three pizzerias on one corner, three Food Lab preparations of lamb, and a Treme second season premiere party followed by a huge spread of short ribs and roast chicken. Trouble city, right, SE'rs?
It was a gorgeous New York early spring evening. The birds were chirping, the forsythia were blooming, I was headed to an important business dinner at one of my current favorite restaurants in New York City, ABC Kitchen. I started fantasizing about ABC Kitchen's toasts, the open-faced sandwiches that chef Dan Kluger (the crab sandwich toast is my favorite). I was thinking about all this seriously delicious food I was about to eat. Then reality hit. It was Thursday night.
After my 40 pound weight gain last week (all right, it was an April Fools' post) I needed and wanted to have a good week, caloric journey-wise. There have been a few hurdles at Serious Eats World HQ. Kettle chips, multiple nut brittles, mini apple crumb pie, and more.
I knew this week was going to be a rough one on my caloric journey, but I had no idea how rough. Last weekend I decided to do a solo taste test of every Haagen Dazs flavor out there. I tried to eat only one spoonful of each variety, but I ended up eating two pints of Dulce de Leche, by myself. Where were my wife and son when I needed them most?
I had deceived myself into believing that granola was good for my caloric journey, but who am I kidding? Granola can be seriously delicious, but from a caloric journey perspective it is evil.
Yesterday we had a doughnut tasting at SE World Headquarters. On a Thursday, no less. The day before my weigh-in. Now I know full well that doughnuts are not on the path to weight loss, or even weight control. Doughnuts are one of the big holes in my weight control game. But what would you do if you were confronted by an entire conference table filled with doughnuts? Well, I know what I did. I tasted a bunch then left the room.