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July 17, 2006

The Ice Cream & Cheese Diet

Instapundit links this book. And he interviews the author in his latest podcast.

The book postulates that calcium is the key to weight loss, and that eating (low-fat) cheese and ice cream will make you slim, healthy, and fabulous.

The book says it has "science" to back this up. Okay, but... why is that American kids, who drink milk throughout their childhood, tend to be fat, and Asian kids, who don't drink milk past infancy, tend to be thin, and know kung-fu?

In response to a question about why women periodically made abstinence pledges, I responded:

You want to know why?

Witchcraft.

Stay with me. I was in a vitamin store and I realized how much witchcraft is still with us. People really think that magical potions will improve their lives.

Apart from basic vitamins, which are useful of course, there are all these pretty minor nutrients and all these non-nutrients (St. John's Wort, crap like that) that people are still buying and eating every day in the belief that they have some restorative or potency-increasing effect.

I'm a skeptic, and anti-bullshit and all that, and yet I found myself credulously wondering if I needed some more Essence of Spearmint in my life until I realized what a moron I was for even contemplating such a thing.

Women are especially succeptible to magical thinking (sorry to be sexist, but men are not the biggest consumers of horoscopes).

And abstinence pledges and all these health fads and heath scares are all rooted in the witchcraft-based belief, which we all have to some degree, that there is some secret mix of things we can put in or take out of our bodies that will give us health, love, vigor, power, youth, and happiness.

Hot yoga, aromatherapy, megadoses of specific (or all vitamins), St. John's Wort... all potions. All witchcraft.

I don't know the science of calcium, but every three weeks a new vitamin or mineral is touted as the key to health and joy. Vitamin C was the first miracle vitamin, and then B, and then A, and recently D, and now it's calcium.

We need all these, of course. But is any one of them really the super-elixir to eternal hotitude?

I follow some diet witchcraft myself, of course. Atkins, as many of you know. But the science behind it made amazing sense, you can test that science out as you diet (you can determine how much stored fat you're burning by, well, peeing on an indicator strip that shows if you're producing the byproducts of stored fat metabolisis), and, well, I lost seventy pounds in four months and I haven't really added any of it back. Oh, sure, I add back five pounds once in a while, but then I take that off again.

I don't know. I'd like to believe a Friendly's Fribble is the key to health, but I need more convincing.

Note: I meant to write "stored fat metabolism," but instead wrote "stored fat metabolisis," which probably isn't a real word, but I kind of like my error, so I'm keeping it.

Oh, And Men Perhaps Spend More On Certain Potions Than Women: There's a whole industry -- a big one -- providing those "muscle-building" powders.

To some extent, I guess, well, they work. If you intend to work out hard and gain weight, you need to take in a lot of extra calories and protein, and those shakes do provide them.

But... the "potion" part comes in suggesting that there are some special ingredients in the power that make them more effective as muscle-building fuel than, say, a big steak with a big side of pasta.

Related: I can't hear this (I'm so tired of writing that), but, from context, it appears that here Sam Neill combats vegitarianism-witchcraft by declaring, "Red meat-- we were intended to eat it!" Maybe it's a commercial for the Australian beef industry or something?

Anyway, red meat, Sam Neill, something for the guys, something for the chicks. And a double-helping of awesome-sauce for the Republican homos.


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posted by Ace at 04:17 PM

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