The New Diets: End Zone, North Beach and the Modified Montignac

The New Diets: End Zone, North Beach and the Modified Montignac
OK, let’s stipulate, as the lawyers say, that the most famous, followed and fatigued diets in the US of A and France are the Zone, the South Beach and the Montignac (I’m making the statistics up, of course, and we’ll leave poor old Doc “A” out for the moment). But, when have you gone to an event, or a dinner, and not heard someone discussing diets? It may not be polite but c’est la vie réelle. The essentials: The Zone: Eat lots, all the time, but never touch anything that’s from under the ground or a carb, which rules out rice, the mainstay of diets for the Vietnamese Northern folk who defeated us while buried in tunnels. Forget the root vegetables that kept most of our ancestors alive in harsh winters. The South Beach: Avoid bad fats, such as beef, bacon, processed meats (don’t even consider salami), and full-fat cheese, and bad carbs, such as sugar, candy, bread, potatoes, fruit, cereals, and grains. The Montignac: Avoid all processed foods, wheat, all grains, cane or corn sugars and potatoes. You’ll need a PhD in biostatistics so you can weigh everything glycemic. Ok.  So here are the modifications: The End Zone: Still eat lots, much of the time, but don’t get obsessive about proportions of one to the other essential. The North Beach – add booze (Colette is actually the inventor of this). The Modified Montignac – forget the PhD and relax, you’re going to gain it back anyway. How on earth did I ever come up with this subject?  Well, a bit back during my search for Chez (restaurants, not Guevara), I marveled at the ratte potatoes served at Chez Léon in the 17th.  While described in that great scientific tome Wikipedia as nutty and buttery, the chef had not held back from adding his own fat to the dish. This started me thinking.  Had I not the genes dealt me, or the love of running, or the high metabolic rate, might I too not be struggling like Oprah to follow one or another celebrity diet?  And then how could I modify it or their theoretical principles to fit real meals in France?  And so there you have it. The reference is to the potatoes at: Chez Léon 40, rue Legendre, 17th (Metro: Villiers) T: Closed weekends Lunch menus at 24 and 32; dinner at 28 and 34 €. ©2010 John A. Talbott Please visit our Amazon store for your holiday shopping. Bonjour Paris has hand-selected some of our favorite travel gifts and gadgets for our readers… plus many Paris- and France-related books for children, travelers, scholars, and dreamers. Please post your comments or questions and let them flow. Register HERE to do so if you need a Bonjour Paris user name and password.

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