Thursday, August 23, 2007

Classic Dieting

Let's start with the title: slenderalla cook book. And the picture. Do you see that? The pink silhouette with a 12 inch waist? Is that what I should look like? Is that the pose I should strike after straightening the house and refreshing my make-up and fetching slippers and a scotch on the rocks for my husband when he returns from a long hard day at work? Does the 30 day 1200 calorie a day menu provide enough calories for me to pose and fetch and clean and freshen and straighten and pour? Or have I earned the extra calories in the 1500 calorie a day menu?

Surely this violates my own no-kitsch rule. I mean, really, it has a recipe for crab meat in aspic. Crab. Meat. In. Aspic. But beyond these recipes, beyond the pink silhouette, and a height/weight chart that measures women's height with 2 inch heels on, there are good recipes and surprisingly sound advice and observations.

Sounding like a modern writer, Waldo talks about "freak" diets, including "hard-boiled eggs and grapefruit, 3-day 'miracle' diets, 8-day 'health' diets, 10-day 'wonder' diets, and 18-day 'Hollywood' diets." She warns that these may lead to brief weight loss but may result in boredom and "ravenous hunger." As a woman opposed to ravenous hunger, Waldo had me hooked.

She warns of shifting social patterns with shorter work hours and more television. Emotional eating, the myth (for most people) of physiological reasons for being overweight, and calorie counts for popular foods are all included.

The recipes are well organized and include calorie counts (though the counts seem a little low in some cases and there is no other nutritional information), and there is a large section on desserts since deprivation of things you love isn't necessary for slenderella-wannabes. Chapters are pretty straightforward and include interesting topics such as "pickles and relishes" and "outdoor cookery." Non-kitsch recipes include cheese puffs, pepper caponatina, lentil soup, orange and onion salad, curried eggs, peach pie, and cheese cake.

My first edition Myra Waldo classic was snagged at Fenwick Books, a used bookstore in used in Leonardtown, Maryland. If you want your own copy you can find newer editions online, like the one here.


Catherine said...

that slim silhouette begs the question...Where's Waldo?

i am cooking dinner for some family friends tomorrow night, and i was thinking about that scrumptious phyllo casserole you cooked for me one time.

i've been doing the weightwatchers thing...about 5 pounds from my goal. i'm quite hungry, really.

Me said...

The spinach one? That was from a Weight Watchers cookbook! I just added a ton of garlic and maybe some dill to it because otherwise it seemed bland. Congrats on the weight loss and being so close to goal.

Thanks for the comment--you're the first!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Very very funny!

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