Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Four-Letter Word on a Food Blog: Diet

I am so pleased to welcome fellow author, J.L. Greger, from Oak Tree Press to my blog today. I know you will enjoy her post on that unspeakable word: diet! So glad to have you here, Janet!

Don't panic. I'll use the offensive word no more than necessary.

Why am I writing on dieting?  
You might guess I'm Scrooge and trying to ruin your fun at a blog featuring delicious recipes.

Wrong! It’s because my new murder mystery is called Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. Linda Almquist (the heroine) is investigating two "diet doctors" for recklessly endangering the lives of their obese research subjects. They are convinced they’ve found an easy way for obese subjects to lose weight - just alter their gut flora. Then Linda finds one of them dead.

Does the research sound strange? You’ll be a believer after you read “The microbes made me eat it” (Science, volume 328, pages 179-80 in 2010).

Oh, did I forget to mention, Linda is trying to lose weight as she searches for the murderer.

Dieting advice that Linda uses
1. Decrease portion sizes. Super-sizing is your enemy. In restaurants, order children’s portions or a half sandwich with a cup of clear soup.

Toppings are meant to add a dash of flavor. That means a teaspoon (not a tablespoon) of butter on bread and a tablespoon (not a ¼ to a ½ cup) of dressing or guacamole on your salad or sandwich.

2. Don’t buy snack foods, except carrots and other raw vegetables. You can’t eat what you don’t have.

2. Decrease fat, sugar, and alcohol intake in beverages. Most standard servings of sweet iced teas, lattes, fruit juices, and regular sodas contain 130-190 calories. Many fruits smoothies and cocktails provide >200 calories, while the unsweetened tea, black coffee, and diet sodas contain no calories. These calories add up when you drink several servings daily.

3. Broil, bake, or grill meats and fish, don’t fry. For example, the typical over-breaded and greasy chicken breast contains at least 300 calories. The same chicken breast, if the skin is removed and the meat broiled, provides 121 calories.

4. Follow this advice everyday for months. It may be easier to stick to your diet if you chew gum between meals or drink at least one glass of water before each meal. For flavor, top meat, potatoes, and other vegetables with a tablespoon of a non-fat, fresh salsa.

Did you learn anything new?
Probably not. You know the basics of dieting, but you can’t stick to it for long. You're not alone. Did you ever notice how many physicians, nurses, and dietitians are overweight or obese?

That’s why so many researchers study obesity. Meet several of them when you read Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. You may decide dieting isn’t so hard after all. 

Please comment
If you leave a comment to this blog along with a way for me to contact you, you will be entered in a drawing on October 1. The winner gets his/her name used in one of my upcoming novels.

Bio: As a biologist and professor emerita of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I enjoy putting tidbits of science into myr mystery/suspense novels. So far that’s Coming Flu and Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight. A third is on the way. To learn more, visit www.jlgreger.com or http://jlgregerblog.blogspot.com.


  1. Thank you Sharon for hosting me. Hope your regular readers didn't mind getting diet advice instead of a great recipe.
    JL Greger

    1. Absolutely my pleasure, Janet. I think what we have "cooked up" for the two-part blog at your site and here will be sufficient! Thanks again for an informative post. My readers are learners!