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Time to pay the piper

Posted by Sheryl Julian  January 4, 2010 06:37 PM

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It was the second day of sitting by the fireplace and watching the snow storm in its various stages, nibbling roasted chestnuts lightly charred on the fire grates. My husband and I were talking about chestnuts saving Europeans from starvation during the wars. They're meaty like fresh fava beans and when they're smoky from the fire, you can't stop shelling and eating them.

Then we decided to see what our healthy little snack was costing us, calorie-wise. We had already sworn off cookies and chocolates, the steady diet for the last few weeks. 

Yikes! One cup of roasted chestnuts is 350 calories. I assure you at the 1-cup point, we were just getting started.

Now an updated "The 'I' Diet" is sitting on my desk. Tufts nutritionist Susan B. Roberts is the author. I stands for instinct. Roberts says that there are five instincts that can be the downfall to good eating, unless you understand them: hunger, availability, calorie density, familiarity, variety. "We cannot change the fact that we have them," she writes, "but we can learn to manage them."

I'm taking it home and studying as if for an important exam. Will let you know what I find.

About Dishing

What's cooking in the world of food.


Sheryl Julian, the Globe's Food Editor, writes regularly for the Food section.

Devra First is the Globe's food reporter and restaurant critic. Her reviews appear weekly in the Food section.

Ellen Bhang reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe and writes about wine.

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