Eating Crow

One day at an early morning ZOE meeting, Jeff Walling was eating a plate full of bacon and sausage. Asked what's with the bacon, he replied, "I'm on Atkins." "Atkins," I said incredulously. "Eating that much fat is supposed to be good for you?" Jeff was kind and didn't treat me like the jerk I was being.

Another time, I was sitting at a meal with two doctors and I assumed they'd scoff at Atkins along with me. I said, "Atkins is crazy. How can that be healthy?"

The oldest doctor, a cardiologist, said, "I've been on Atkins for nearly a year now."

I nearly crawled under the table. I don't remember if it was the doctor or Jeff who said something that led me to finally pick up an Atkins book. I was associating the whole diet with what is known as the "induction" phase. I had seen the way people were eating seemingly all the fat they wanted and thought that was all there was to the diet. Plus, it seemed someone was getting rich off selling low-carb candy bars that I've heard give you gas.

So, now I'm eating crow, which someone once told me is "low fat." I bought an Atkins book, read it and started a week ago.

At first Atkins does encourage you to eat meat, butter, mayo. It's crazy, counter intuitive. Doctor Atkins says we need less carbs and to stop freaking out about fats. We've had low-fat and fat free drilled into us for so long that we're eating way too many carbs and sugar that substitutes for fat in many foods that are called "fat free" or "reduced fat." Something displaces the fat and it's usually sugar in some form.

Conventional wisdom for us has been "don't eat fat!" so when Atkins tells us to eat fat it feels like . . .

  • Driving a nail with the claw end of a hammer
  • Sanding a board across the grain
  • Speaking pig latin (which my wife just walked up to me and spoke so kids wouldn't understand something she said)
  • Putting water in our gas tank
  • Driving in reverse

But all that said, the whole plan seems to make sense and work. I'll report back to you in a few months on my results. The main problem with most of these plans, which in the end are pretty balanced and teach you to eat right eventually, is user error.

So Jeff and doctors, I'm eating a balanced diet today: eggs, spinach, and crow.

GeneralGreg Taylor