Sunday, January 25, 2009

My resolutions for 2009

I've finalized decided on my New Year's resolutions. It's easier to just blow these things off when you don't share them, so I've decided to just go embarassingly public with them all.

1) Lose 20 pounds, er make that nearly 30.
I know that this tops everyone's list. But with a petite frame and standing 5'3'' in low heels, on Jan. 1st, my weight hit 154 pounds, putting my body mass index at 27.3 making me officially overweight. Before I went to Le Cordon Bleu, I weighed less than 125 pounds.

More depressing is my body fat percentage at nearly 40.6%, according to a spiffy new scale that measures such things. That means in terms of body fat, I'm teetering on the edge of obesity.

How did I get here? Unfortunately, embracing my French culinary training may be partly to blame. Since 2004, I've consumed a whole lot of butter, read meat, wine, cheese, foie gras, white bread, cream and pork in its many delectable guises. I got married, and started cooking a lot of big, hearty dinners for Mike. It hasn't been good for his waistline, either.

My goal: 125 pounds, 30% body fat percentage by adopting new strategies for cooking

2) Make the world a better place by teaching more people how to cook
In December, I ran across an overweight woman in the supermarket who had loaded her cart with a ton of packaged and processed foods. Hamburger Helper, condensed soups, frozen meals... it nearly killed me to watch her put more stuff into her cart. I ended up talking to her and found that she relied heavily on packaged foods for a simple reason -- she never learned how to cook beyond opening a can, a jar or a box.

All I could think was, "I have information this woman needs." We ended up spending an hour in the grocery store together; I gave her advice on dishes that didn't require boxed products. She left with healthier foods, more vegetables and yet spent less than she would have spent on her original cart.

A lot of people believe that we're about two generations away from truly understanding how to cook, and I think that for some people that's true. I'm not sure what this will look like. But some of my happiest moment have come while teaching people to cook, such as this class on Holland America last autumn (photo at left).

3) Use less than one plastic bottle a week.
I'm a huge water drinker, but I dislike plastic bottles. My personal vendetta is to get as many people as possible to adopt this as a resolution to help cut down on the 40 million plastic bottles that end up in landfills every year. Get a Camelbak Better Bottle. It will change your life.

4) Finish my second book by 1st December 2009.
My publisher and agent will be glad to hear this made the list.

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Anonymous Peter Hertzmann said...

I agree with #2, unfortunately my experience teaching at Sur la Table, and elsewhere, is that most of the students I encounter don't want to learn how to cook, they want to learn how to prepare certain recipes. I have to sneak in technique instruction without telling them that's what I'm doing. When we advertise classes that stress technique, no one ever signs up. It's like people want to learn how to play the songs without ever learning to play scales.

As to #3, I think the problem here is the source of the water. People seem to think that bottled water has some advantage over tap water. Where I live in California, and think it's the same in Seattle, the tap water is quite good, especially if you filter it. I installed a small under the sink filtration system and now have better than bottled water with no plastic waste at all.

February 5, 2009 at 12:51 PM  

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