The Food Obsessive's Diet

By Will Roseliep

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Peter Kaminsky's new book is "Culinary Intelligence." (Courtesy Random House)

June 1, 2012

BOSTON — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates over 35 percent of Americans are obese. That astounding figure puts more than one third of the country at high risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.
 
Some who are overweight or obese decide to make changes to reverse weight gain, including getting more exercise and adopting a new diet. For those who choose the latter, there is a head-spinning array of choices available: low-carb, no-carb, low sugar and high fiber, in addition to celebrity-endorsed diets and weight-loss programs.
 
But setbacks such as unusual foods, a new eating schedule or a complete ban on favorite dishes can derail even the best-intentioned dieters.
 
Food writer Peter Kaminsky was 35 pounds overweight when he decided to make a change. After he grew large on a steady stream of rich foods and large portions — the spoils of the trade — Kaminsky was forced to make a change.
 
“I was a chunky boy,” he said. “I topped out at 205."
 
So Kaminsky developed a diet that allowed him to enjoy the foods he wrote about without sacrificing anything he loved. He focused on maximizing flavor, minimizing portions and cutting out anything not strictly necessary. He wrote up the results in a new book, "Culinary Intelligence: The Art of Eating Healthy (and Really Well)."
 
One tactic that helped: “Get rid of processed ingredients because [you’re] going to put on weight very quickly,” Kaminsky said. “Buy the best ingredients you can afford — and that ain’t foie gras. That’s whatever’s in the farmer’s market.” Cook, or live with someone who does, and you can make those ingredients taste good.
 
Kaminsky’s approach — flavor first — has allowed him to honor his foodie roots while making crucial lifestyle changes. He said his diet is a way to maximize the “flavor per calorie” of everything he eats, from breakfast through dinner and every snack in between.
 
According to the author, the diet has paid off: “Now I’m 166 pounds.”



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