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updated: 9/12/2013 1:24 PM

Lean and lovin' it: Defining a "foodist"

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  • "Foodist: Using Real Food and Real science to  Lsoe Weight Without Dieting" by Darya Pino Rose (Harper One, 2013)

    "Foodist: Using Real Food and Real science to Lsoe Weight Without Dieting" by Darya Pino Rose (Harper One, 2013)


Darya Pino Rose likes creating new words like "foodist" and "healthstyle," and loves to eat and write about food -- healthy, real food. Rose also makes lists; lots of 'em (more about that later).

Ever since Rose drank her first SlimFast shake at the age of 11, she's been involved with weight loss and maintenance in some fashion.

In high school, Rose was immersed in ballet and, as she writes "... ate less than 10 grams of fat a month (in my mind I ate zero), and was very, very thin."

College saw the end of Rose's ballet efforts and too-skinny life and the beginning of becoming a neuroscientist who today holds a Ph.D. After putting on 25-plus pounds she followed the Atkins plan and by eating the bars, snacks and prepared foods she shed the excess weight.

Later, during a visit to a San Francisco farmer's market she tasted a just-harvested tomato and she remembered how amazing unprocessed "real" food tastes. That common sense thump on the head lead her to create, now a well-regarded healthy living website.

Now, for Rose, it's all about eating real foods not about dieting, points she drives home in her new book: "Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting." As she writes: "Foodists don't diet," they eat real (read unprocessed, not chemicalized) food in reasonable quantities.

Rose believes that the core of why weight-loss diets are destined to fail is how calorie restriction works against will power. Low blood sugar not only makes us hungry, but because our brains lack the energy supplied by glucose, we make decisions that work against us. She annotates the studies on which this concept is based.

One key issue that really struck a chord with me is how willpower works against us by requiring us to ignore our body's natural hunger signals. People who naturally maintain a healthy body weight usually don't count calories; they listen to their body and only eat when hungry and stop when satisfied (not full).

To support healthy weight loss Rose has lots of lists to guide the reader through the daily minefields that the "real" world sets.

For example, Rose shares 10 simple substitutions (with explanations) that make can make restaurant meals healthier, like ording a salad of mixed greens instead of iceberg or romaine lettuce, having fruit instead of toast and a salad instead of potatoes. Order brown rice instead of white, wine instead of cocktails, beans instead of rice and shun processed American cheese in favor or other varities like cheddar or provolone.

Or, here are Rose's 10 reasons to never eat free food: it's cheap (cheap means low-quality, mass-produced calories made by industrial processes), it's flavorless, it's bad for you, you aren't saving money, you'll feel gross later, it screws up your metabolism, you'll gain weight, you're eating empty calories, you don't need it and it isn't worth it.

Rose walks her talk following her "foodist" path and maintains a normal body weight. Read her book and you may find a foodist lurking inside of you.

"Being healthy isn't a destination; it's a journey," she writes. I couldn't agree more.

Try this recipe: Rose shares a few recipes in her book. She claims her roasted curried cauliflower tastes as good as french fries. Try it and see if you agree.

• Don Mauer welcomes questions, comments and recipe makeover requests. Write him at

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