In the aftermath of the legalization of marijuana in California, a friend asked if Drink Your Carbs would be an effective diet for the average weed smoker. Our answer is absolutely. Assuming said smoker is willing to stick to the DYC Food List, it should be more effective than it is for drinkers.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house / Not a creature was stirring, except for Santa who trying to choke down his billionth cookie of the evening.
In our experience, the over-21 set tends to be Santa skeptical. Some people get hung up on the impracticality of delivering presents to the roughly 2.2 billion Christians worldwide. Others concern themselves with the physics of flying reindeer or the difficulty of stuffing a morbidly obese man down the narrow flue of a modern chimney. At Drink Your Carbs, our skepticism springs from the sheer volume of cookies left on hearths that, for politeness reasons, Santa is required to consume.
Some people collect stamps and coins. Others fill their homes with old records and vintage toys. There is a man who lives just down the street from us who we’ve been told has a world-class collection of cut glass poodles. He keeps a few on display on a windowsill, but we have yet to be invited in to view the full collection. We have a childhood friend whose mother has filled her house with Lladró figures of children dancing and playing which look like overgrown pieces from a Norman Rockwell themed chess set.
For us to belittle other people’s collections would be hypocritical. We have so many collections that we can barely track them all. Our shelves are crowded with antique jars, espresso cups and Godzilla toys dating from Steven’s childhood. Hidden in various locations, including under the bed, are seven ukuleles, three guitars, a clarinet and a Theremin. We store enough wine on site that we could stop buying today and last three years. We are truly the Imelda Marcos of athletic equipment, with two surfboards, four bikes, three sets of skis, skateboards, weight vests and more pairs of running shoes than a mid-sized track team. We are also diet book junkies. We cannot walk past a used bookstore without checking out what crazy diet books they have on hand.
1957 was a momentous year in American culture. Wham-O introduced the Frisbee. Dr. Seuss published The Cat in the Hat. The Brooklyn Dodgers moved from New York to Los Angeles, a betrayal that Steven’s Brooklyn-born father is still bitter about. On the political front, Congress authorized the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention to inconvenience Americans by conducting a yearly survey of their health and lifestyle.
The pattern the CDC has since established is to publish new statistics monthly. The media then takes those figures and converts them into alarming headlines. Numbers showing that obesity continues to trend upward become, “Average American Now Shaped Like Michelin Man.”
When did science become public enemy number one? Every time a study is published, politicians and public figures emerge to question the new data. “I’m not a scientist,” they customarily begin. “But this new data must be wrong because it contradicts one of my childhood beliefs.”
We hold a very different attitude: When data contradict our beliefs, we lean towards the data. If the data are compelling enough, we will abandon our previously held beliefs. In other words, if your beliefs crash headlong into reality, it is unlikely that reality is the problem.
“Are you excited that the book is done?” We were asked this question a thousand times after the book was published.
“Of course,” we lied. The truth was too embarrassing to admit. The only emotion we felt was dread. When you release a book, you lose control. We like the book. We think it’s funny. But it was possible that everyone else would find it Old Yeller depressing. You never know how people will react; if you don’t believe us, ask anyone who has a Twitter account.
Aside from one, “Stop trying to take away my Fruity Pebbles, Haters!” the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive. Allow us to share a few of the responses we’ve received:
The two most frightening words in the English language are “extra crispy.”
We were reminded of this on a recent visit to the Hopkinton State Fair in New Hampshire. Some of the foods available from the vendors could rightly be described as homicidal. They had taken the least healthy foods that science has ever produced and found a way to more than double the calories without adding even a single useful nutrient.
All of those bright colors and food additives sheathed in oily breading got us wondering: exactly how many calories does deep-frying add? We knew that frying was bad, but we wanted to know how bad. That question turned out to be far more difficult to answer than we imagined.
Perhaps the four most frightening words we’ve ever heard spoken are, “No, no. Not spicy.” We were sitting in Chili Fagara, a small Sichuan Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong just a few blocks away from the Cat Street market. We’d just polished off the last of an appetizer called Dumplings in Chili Sauce which was essentially pork-filled ravioli floating in a thick stew of bubbling red chili oil. It was the single spiciest food either of us had ever tasted. We were on fire. We were visibly soaked in sweat. No quantity of beer seemed able to quench the burn. We grew up in Colorado. We pride ourselves on being able to handle spice. If this restaurant considered this dish “not spicy,” we were in serious trouble.
The waitress must have seen panic on our faces. She smile softly and added, “Not spicy, numbing.” And she was absolutely correct. It took a moment to realize it, but our mouths weren’t on fire at all. The sensation we were feeling was more akin to having your foot fall asleep or licking a nine-volt battery. For the first time in our lives, we were experiencing numbness. It turns out that there’s a sixth taste about which we we’d never heard.
“Lose weight while eating ten slices of bread a day.” As unbelievable as it sounds, this is current dietary advice being pedaled by the US Department of Agriculture.
To be fair, this specific recommendation was made for Steven who weighs 185 pounds. Andrea weighs considerably less, so she only gets 9 slices of bread per day.
The ten-slice recommendation is, as far as we can tell, brand spanking new. We assume that we would have noticed it last year when we published our scathing review of USDA Food Recommendations. Our best guess is that it was added in a recent redesign of the MyPlate website.
The two weeks on either side of the New Year is the busiest time of the year for people who sell gym memberships. Companies that peddle diets, books, videos and pre-packaged meals, see a similar pick-up in April and May as people come to terms with the fact that the weather is getting warmer and they’ll soon be wearing far less clothing.
Since we’re in the business of selling nothing at all, we never expected to be swept up in the back-to-summer frenzy. It has happened nonetheless. Not only are more people visiting DYC and spending more time perusing the website, but we are now regularly receiving emailed questions from people we’ve never met. And surprisingly, not all of those requests are asking if we’re interested in black market pharmaceuticals from Canada.