An Argument for Fat, by m

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One of my favourite parts of my summertime life of leisure is spending time in the kitchen (especially now that I have one).  I’m slowly expanding my culinary repertoire and am learning what I like and what I don’t.

For the past few years I’ve slowly been making the switch (along with many health-conscious and quality-conscious foodies) from low-fat, low calorie foods to their full-fat, Julia-Child-Approved counter parts.  I knew the pendulum was swinging that way, but it wasn’t until I picked up The LooneySpoons Collection (Janet & Greta Podleski’s latest cookbook) that somebody explained it clearly for me.

Janet and Greta are hometown heroines around South Western Ontario.  They’ve sold over 2 million copies of their low-fat cookbooks, scored their own Food Network show, and were even featured in People magazine.  They pulled their best-selling cookbooks from shelves a few years back, despite awesome sales, and describe their reasoning in the new book:

“Despite the overwhelmingly positive response [to our cookbooks], we made the tough decision a few years back to take both cookbooks out of print.  […] It bothered us that some of the nutrition information in our cookbooks was outdated and, in some cases, outright wrong (based on newer studies).  for example, back then, fats were classified as “evil” and we were encouraged by experts to drastically cut back on fat consumption, yet they didn’t make a distinction between what are now known as “good fats” (avocados, nuts, seeds, salmon, etc.) and “bad fats” (hydrogenated and trans fats).  We were advised to out ALL fats, which, of course, were replaced by carbs, mostly of the white, refined variety. [vii]”

I would add another thing we’ve replaced good fats with: additives.  Full-fat yogurt is delicious. Fat-free is full of aspartame, sucralose, and a bunch of other things I can’t pronounce.

So, as part of my back-to-fat transition, I’ve prepared a list of my…

Top 3 Favourite Ways to Bring Back the Fat*

1.  Dairy: FFD and I recently made the permanent change to real butter.  Hooray! (This is where Julia Child would be proud).  I also have always preferred regular Activia over fat-free.  And FFD is a believer in regular sour cream.   Which I don’t think I’d ever realllly tried before I moved in with him.  He also loves cheese (which makes me realize that “FFD” is also an acronym for Full Fat Dairy). The bottom line here: they taste like real food.  Also, who knew that so many real dairy products were solids, and not runny? (this reminds me of little A, because I know she sometimes strains her yogurt, which is weird).

I’ve even found a recipe to make my own butter (http://themuddykitchen.com/2012/06/15/my-big-fat-homemade-butter/ ). Can you imagine!? Homemade butter on homemade bread! To think! (Maybe if I’m gifted with courage and a KitchenAid mixer).

FFD

 

2. Oil:  I love Olive Oil! I like dipping bread in it.  I like making salad dressing with it.  I use it in my bread recipes. [As a side note, I’ve heard that it loses a lot of it’s health properties when you cook with it on the stove top (and even if you store it near a heat source), so I’ll try using butter in hot pans from now on.]

3.  Meat: I’m not afraid.  Bring on the red meat. Bring on the dark meat. Bring on the bacon! As far as I’m concerned, it translates to “Bring on the flavour”.  Ya!  You heard me! Everything in moderation and yada yada yada, but seriously, boneless skinless chicken thighs are a lot cheaper than breasts, and they’re not bad for you!  And how much more “back-to-nature” can you get than a steak on the BBQ?  It’s as if my paleolithic ancestors are calling to me! So throw caution to the wind, and eat meat (sometimes)!!

Me and my boyfriend

*Please note that none of this is based on much research other than daytime television health segments and quick Google searches. I just feel better eating things with labels that have words in them that I recognize.

Now back to refinishing furniture…

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The Three Weyward Sisters first appeared in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. It turns out we have more in common with these “weird” sisters than we thought. In the Shakespeare play the sisters represent darkness, chaos and conflict. We’ll leave it up to you to decide which of us represents each. They also usually show up to mark impending doom. Well, we certainly hope that our presence on this little corner of the Interwebs doesn’t mean impending doom for anyone. However, we find our commonalities with the witches in other ways. To be weyward means to be willful, disobedient and to turn away from what is “right or proper”. Those who know us would whole heartedly agree – we are three weyward sisters. We are three headstrong, stubborn (some more than others), obstinate and willful sisters. Read at your own risk.

2 responses »

  1. Thanks for the mention, Sistas!

    My own personal theory (from tablespoons and tablespoons of trial and error) is that fat is good. Fat, I believe – controversially I know – keeps you thin. Have you ever had an incredibly low fat meal only to find yourself DYING for food a few hours later?

    My respect for fat began when I started making duck confit and found out quickly how easily and how inexpensively your can get duck legs but how difficult it is to get the fat. How precious fat must’ve been to our ancestors.

    I started getting WAY less obsessed with the amount of fat that went in my mouth and way more obsessed with its quality. I no longer buy ‘fat-free’ anything and instead opt for the ‘whole food’ even if it means it has fat in it. No more skim milk. No more fat-free 1/2 & 1/2. No more 0% Greek yogurt. No more extra lean meat.

    And yes. Butter. And yes – as much as I feel like. And yes, my butter is fat, my body isn’t (knock on wood!).

    Thanks again!
    xx

  2. Interesting thoughts, sister. Full flavour and fat does have its advantages (and all the rage, right? Paleo anybody?). But, last night the parents were talking about this topic (as we saw that egg yolks are apparently worse than nicotine), and mom pointed out that a sedentary lifestyle is perhaps not as conducive to the big fad of “whole food eating”. The only issue that I see with this new (albeit exciting direction of whole eating) is the lack of conversation about portion control, a sticky subject for many.

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