Saturday, August 4, 2007

Eating on the Road

Thankfully, it is getting easier to stay on my diet while traveling. Waiters and waitresses, especially in the "finer" establishments don't bat an eye when I request no starch, no bread, and extra veggies would be nice. It has gotten easier for me to pass on desserts, too, as my carb cravings are mostly gone. (I do get a twinge now and then for something chocolaty. But then I read somewhere that if you are going to cheat, cheat with chocolate because of the magnesium and flavonoids in it—especially dark chocolate. Of course, it's not the fat in the chocolate that is bad for you, but all the sugar that usually goes with a chocolate concoction. But I digress.)

I've already blogged about the difficulties of getting a decent meal on the day of a flight. The only solution there is to bring your own food which is not without its problems also. But I really ran into trouble on my recent vacation trip when we got to Pennsylvania Dutch country. I wanted to sample the traditional cuisine of the area, but discovered that it includes sugar in almost every dish, or at least in the dishes that the restaurants were offering. Of course, they are famous for their pies including shoo-fly pie whose ingredients are flour, brown sugar, molasses, with a little lard, water, and baking soda, and that's it! I didn't try that one and generally said no to all desserts, but I did try a hot bacon salad dressing and was surprised to find it was very sweet. When I asked the waitress what the ingredients were, she replied, "Well I know how my Mom makes it—eggs, sugar, mustard, vinegar, flour, and bacon."

Sweet and sour combinations seem to be the order of the day in PA Dutch cooking. The Pennsylvania Dutch are actually of German descent and much of their cooking is derived from German dishes like sauerbraten, sauerkraut, and schnitzel. Besides pickling with sweet/sour combinations, they like to have everything well cooked. But the meals also include corn puddings, cranberry sauce and other New World dishes. One dish I would have liked to try but didn't find was hasenpfeffer, braised rabbit.

Dr. Michael Eades has recently posted a blog about a new book by Gary Taubes that is due to come out in September. Eades seems to feel that this is the book that will turn things around and get everyone on the low-carb bandwagon. The current title of the book is Good Calories, Bad Calories and features a piece of white toast with a pat of butter on the cover. I'm sure many people will buy the book thinking that the "bad" calories are in the butter, not the toast, but we'll see. I hope Dr. Mike is right because that will make my life a whole lot easier.

1 comment:

  1. Mark and I were shopping while hungry--not a good plan. He's watching his cholesterol; I'm watching my sugar intake. We both looked at a display of chocolate. Then our eyes met and we both said at the same time, "It's dark chocolate."