Sunday, January 29, 2006

Low Carb and Cranky

Dear Zen Mother,

Like so many, I am hoping to lose weight for my New Year’s resolution. What type of diet should I choose?

- Alicia from Amesbury

Dear Alicia,

We torture ourselves with the latest diet fads only to realize these fads never live up to their promises. It’s not what we eat, or how we eat it but how much we eat. We simply eat too much food.

Compare the size of a take-out sandwich to one when I was growing up in the sixties. Back then, you had a slice of meat and a slice of cheese between two thin slices of bread. Now, they hand you a sandwich that’s big enough to come with a birth certificate. Congratulations, Mrs. Z. Here is your bouncing pastrami on rye. Do you need help getting it to your car?

Whatever diet you choose, please don’t eliminate all carbohydrates. Those crunchy, chewy creations coming out of the ovens at Annarosa’s Bakery are responsible for the “feel good” chemical, serotonin. Without these starches in your diet and an ongoing production of serotonin, you can become very cranky, very fast. Here’s a conversation I overheard between two close friends that quickly eroded over a low carb luncheon.

“Darling! So good to see you. You are looking fabulous!”

“Well, thanks, sweetheart. I had a Botox enema on Tuesday and my derriere has never been tighter!”

“You go, girlfriend! Should we order? Oh, and do you mind if I ask the waitress to remove the bread basket?”

“Low carb convert?”

“Low carb and loving it!”

(two rib-eye steaks with no potatoes and a side of cauliflower later)

“I’ve got the whole family eating low carb now.”

“Well, they must be thrilled not to suffer through your Baked Ziti anymore.”

“A bit like suffering through your homemade pizza, I suppose. Whatever possessed you to install that overpriced brick oven anyway? More sparkling water, dear?”

“You’re just bitter because you can’t afford to renovate your kitchen. That’s ok, honey. Your appliances are so outdated they’re considered “retro.” Could you pass the Splenda?”

“I’m bitter? You should inject that packet of Splenda directly into your bloodstream with all the bitterness coursing through your veins.”


“I’m sorry, was that a snort?”

“No, why?”

“I thought I heard you snort.”


“Because I heard a snort.”

“I don’t care what you heard. I didn’t snort! Only pigs like you snort.”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard what I said. You little whore!”

“What? How dare you! I think we all know who’s been playing the role of whore around here.”



(Low carb ex-friend storms out of the restaurant)

“Waitress, a vodka martini, please! AND BRING ME MY BREAD BASKET!!!”

Zen Mother appears weekly in The Newburyport Current. Do you have a question or topic for Zen Mother? Send it to She’d love to hear from you.