Sunday, January 15, 2012

Day 9 - "I can't imagine anyone less suited to an Atkins diet."

Morning weigh-in
Me: 162.8 lbs
Charlie: 203 lbs


I had my first night out since starting this diet. I drove to Manhattan to have a good-bye dinner with some friends. We went to a very nice restaurant in the West Village called Malaparte, right around the corner from where they live. It's an Italian restaurant, so I was worried, but I in fact had a delicious meal, and didn't even tell anyone I was on the diet. I had grilled squid with rocket salad, a caprese salad with real buffalo mozzarella (if you're Italian you will know REAL mozzarella can only be made of buffalo milk, which is much fattier than cow's milk). Then as a main course I had a delicious steak with rocket. The only downside of my evening: I drank a glass or two of Prosecco, a glass or two of red wine, and woke up....with a headache. So did Charlie...


I had a long conversation by phone with my graduate school roommate. She has often been on diets and trying to get her weight down, so I told her I was in the throes of an Atkins-style diet. She started laughing and said "I can't imagine anyone less suited to an Atkins diet." I would tend to be the cook when we lived together and was in the habit of coming home and cooking either spaghetti with broccoli and anchovies or penne with tuna fish, or risotto of some kind. That's all I ate, really. No meat. Anna has also tried an Atkins diet, but gave up after a few weeks, she said. It was real Atkins, i.e. even vegetables were discouraged, and she said that after a few weeks she never wanted to see an egg, or a piece of cheese, or meat again. She said she'd only come down to see me if I came off the diet, because diets make people grumpy (I'd confessed to her that I'd been being a bit grumpy to people). I told her no. I am trying this. I am very stubborn when I want to be.

Yesterday's meals

Breakfast/lunch: Swedish meatballs and smoked salmon at Ikea
Late afternoon snack: Cottage cheese, tomatoes and caviar
Dinner: Coconut flour blinis with sour cream and caviar
Corn on the cob with lots of butter
Baby back ribs.
Creamed spinach with cumin seeds and almonds


  1. I had creamed spinach yesterday too. :) I've had it, but never made it before, and never would have because of "all that cream". In fact the entire batch which served 6 people had only a half of a cup!

    The more you adhere to this way of eating, the more conventional wisdom you realize you have accepted on faith. Keep at it!

  2. I never understand when people associate Atkins and other low carb diets with avoiding vegetables. Most of that has to stem from misinformation and ignorance. Eat unlimited leaves and stems (e.g. celery, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, kale, etc). Limit fruits (tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, etc), roots (carrots), and nuts (almonds) until you understand their effect on your weight. Avoid tubers (potatoes), legumes (beans, peanuts), and grains (bananas). Choose hard cheeses over soft cheeses.

  3. Did the meatballs contain bread?

    1. I think they probably did. But I was in Ikea, someone else was ordering for me and I thought, I can't be too purist about this.

    2. Having done this for eight months, I wouldn't worry about this now either. I found, however, that in the beginning it was good to be careful and meticulous. The first three weeks are critical to establishing a good foundation, even if you intend to have a weekly cheat day (like me) or a general 80/20 rule (like Mark Sisson). If your weight loss stagnates for a week, start recording net carbs (total carbs minus fiber).

  4. Corn?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That is a grain!

  5. You might enjoy reading the blog of someone else just beginning her journey:

  6. Hi Sophie!

    "It was real Atkins, i.e. even vegetables were discouraged,"

    That's not real Atkins. That's urban-myth Atkins. I enjoy a strong lifestyle in the OWL phase- I'm dropping a Levi's jean size every six weeks - but even in the Induction or first phase you need to eat 15 net carbs of veggies. Think about what this means!

    1 cup of broccoli (2 net carbs), 1 cup of spinach (3 net carbs), 4 asparagus spears (2 net carbs) and 4 cups - or an entire quart - of baby mesclun (3 net carbs). All that, and you're barely 2/3s over the required 15. This leaves plenty to cover eggs, a spoonful of cream, and a little cheese. :) I eat far more veggies than anything else. In fact, I eat far more veggies than almost anyone else I know. I never eat processed foods, always real foods. :)

    I also second whistler - beware the corn. But now you've learned that lesson and can move forward!

    When you adopt this way of eating, there is often pushback from well-meaning friends. They love you and are filled with anxiety lest you change. What will happen to your relationship when you are a different person? Since humans use food to cultivate and distinguish tribal and social boundaries, a change in diet can seem very threatening to your social circle. That's how I interpret her dismissive comments "I can't imagine anyone less suited to an Atkins diet" and "she'd only come down to see me if I came off the diet."

    She's struggling to maintain the status quo in relationships mediated by food (which why you went out to dinner with her right?). This is a common human impulse. So congratulations to you for helping her see past that, that there are ways to cement relationships and show friendship beyond certain food rituals.

    Best wishes to you!