Food Chat: Julia Child, Calories, Cake, Corn on the Cob

When I post photos and recipes to my blog or Instagram I sometimes receive messages from people wondering how I can eat cake yet maintain my weight. Did you know that beginning in her early forties and through the rest of her life Julia Child counted calories and weighed herself daily? She was an “assiduous calorie counter” which is exactly what I’ve been doing since I turned forty and documented in my vintage diet book American Women Didn’t Get Fat in the 1950s.

”I used to feel that the more I ate at every meal, the healthier I would be,” she (Julia) said. ”But I started putting on weight when I was 42. I weigh myself every morning.”

Her diet includes a lot of fruits and vegetables, few desserts, small portions and six tablespoons each day of fat or oil, including two of saturated fat. ”I like marble steaks, and I like butter,” she said. ”I am very careful to eat two tablespoons of saturated fat a day, with greatest pleasure.”

To me it’s no different than maintaining a budget by spending wisely. When you know you can afford to buy or eat something it can be much more enjoyable! And really, as a former apple orchard boss lady shared with me when I worked at her farm stand in the mid 1980s, it’s always a good day when you can stand up and take nourishment! At the time I didn’t really get it but since then as I’ve grown older I know how deep and true it is. To be well enough to eat and enjoy a nourishing gift as “simple” as a freshly picked apple is a good day! We don’t need apple pie.

Like Julia, I enjoy a good ribeye steak, butter and cake but I always measure my butter and sugar so that it’s part of a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I had my annual physical in December and my cholesterol numbers are the same as ten years ago: excellent. My eating was terrible before then with yo-yo dieting, zero butter, lean meats and highly processed “diet” foods vs an actual balanced diet comprised of real food. That was reflected in my cholesterol which was higher then than it is now.

Homemaking is about taking care of our homes, and first and foremost that’s the body in which we live! Next is the roof above our head that hopefully also keeps us grounded and the land on which it sits. I love creating, cooking and baking as a prayer of gratitude. Enjoying simple ingredients made with care can be so fulfilling and fun! Do you agree?

I’ve been creating many new (secret right now) gluten-free whole grain recipes including the peanut butter frosted oat cake pictured above with a 100% fruit peach jam filling. It’s a low sugar delicious PB&J sandwich disguised as cake! I like subterfuge in my food, apparently.

I also completely and immensely enjoyed eating gently boiled frozen sweet organic corn frozen in time since the summer. It was so crisp, sweet and dripping down my chin juicy and the noon sun was brightly shining while birds were singing. I think I had fifteen minutes of Indian Summer in January!

6 thoughts on “Food Chat: Julia Child, Calories, Cake, Corn on the Cob

  1. “To me it’s no different than maintaining a budget by spending wisely.” This is such a good analogy! I eat cake too (and candy, and ramen noodles…) in a similar way. I also don’t drink soda (I treat it like candy) which makes a huge difference! I definitely agree 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was very impacted by your American Women Didn’t Get Fat in the 50’s book (and corresponding blog). Although I’ve tweaked my diet somewhat, it’s still the backbone of how I eat. Back then I could not imagine going gluten-free, but due to stomach sensitivities I eventually decided to. I’ve now been gluten-free, and cola free for over a year. I lost a good deal of weight without even trying. I eat butter, bacon, and sugar almost everyday, My indulgent drinks are seltzer water and cranberry juice. I still say thank you for helping me get on this path to whole food eating and also for a clear look at what twisted narratives the diet/food industries have dished out for decades.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Chrissy it’s great to hear from you! I needed to hear this today, thank you very much for taking the time to share this with me. Congratulations to you on your joyous eating and results!

      Liked by 1 person

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