Let’s Break Some Diet Rules…For A While.

Let’s Break Some Diet Rules…For A While

As I stood in my kitchen eating a soft-boiled egg and a piece of Chia Bread toast, I was intent on determining whether or not I should add salt. Water retention vs. flavour — ohh if I had a nickel…  I looked down at the egg and marveled at the perfect 3-minute-and-20-second-ness of it. The yoke was the perfect dippiness consistency. The white, firm not mucous-y (sorry, but an egg white with all the goopy nasty bits will make me toss the thing into the micro or toss my cookies!).

Anyway, I leisurely carried on eating, reviewing, revealing…and then HORROR!!! I realized was committing one of the Dieters’ Deadly Sins!! Disobeying Diet Rule #2: ALWAYS sit down and eat your meal at a table!

Rushing to the dining room table, where I eat 98% of all my meals, I quickly grabbed a placemat, turned on the overhead light to be able to totally focus on my breakfast and sat down to pay homage to my oeuf.

And then it started. The drift…

Did Scott take that cheque I left for him?

Wow, we really do need some art on this wall. Looks kinda “just moving out”?

Dad didn’t seem himself yesterday. Maybe I should call my brother. Is my brother in town or did he mention to me that they were going away this weekend?

And before I knew it, toast was scarfed, egg wiped clean out of its shell and I had no recollection of any of that damage being done.

The problem with any rule is that you need to know if it works for you. It’s great to sit down at a table and dedicate yourself to focusing on your food but if you’re like me, you do that ALL THE TIME, and eating that way becomes an unconscious habit. Hey, at this table, in this room, I can eat with my eyes closed and my mind totally somewhere else. And that becomes a problem.

So, if the old diet rules, like always eating at a table, aren’t taking you where you need to go (finally losing that 25 lbs. and/or easily adopting a Portionist™ way of life) toss them away for a while and see if you get further along your path.

For right now, I think I’ll switch it up a little and eat in different places and different ways. At least that way, I’ll be paying attention.

Health and Happiness,

Becky Trenton

Copyright © 2013 Becky Trenton.

Portionism™ and Portionist™ are trademarks of Becky Trenton.

Photo Courtesy of: peterostella.virb.com

What’s a 2005 Mustang GT Got To Do With It?

What’s a 2005 Mustang GT Got To Do With It?

My 21-year-old son loves cars. And not in a casual way. Ever since he could drive, he has scraped together enough cash from part-time jobs to always have some beater in the driveway. Of course, since these cars are usually disasters with incurable problems and an insatiable desire to burn money, we seem to always be talking about, worrying about and planning for the next car.

I don’t care about cars. Didn’t even learn to drive until I was offered a job with a car allowance when I was 25. So when my son and I go into car-talk overload, I phase out but look pleasantly interested as I passively make the right parental comments:

“That guy will certify the car before he sells it, right?”

“Only 55,000 on a 1992 Jetta? That doesn’t sound right.”

Things like that. All being innocently delivered, hopefully helpful types of comments that I hope will ensure my son won’t be a car-buying victim.

And yet…

Last night I was at the dinner table when the laptop comes out brandishing the latest obsession: a Ford Mustang GT. Now, I have already been a great parent so far on this one, but this was the fourth look at what AutoTrader had posted that day. (No classes that day at uni means more time to obsess.)

As he came closer to me with the laptop, I instinctively grabbed a piece of bread and shoved it in my face. While frantically chewing, I was bombarded with thoughts:

“Can’t be expected to make a comment while I’m eating, can I?”

“Oh crap, he’s showing me engines. This deserves a cookie. Or three.”

“Nooooo, not again! Not the comparison of the 2005 for sale at the local dealership versus the 2007 being sold by some guy in a town an hour and a half away!!”

“Where the hell is the wine? My glass is empty!”

And so it goes….

As a dedicated Portionist™, my plated servings can be perfectly sized. As a pushover Mom, I am a mindless serial eater. (Sometimes I’m even a serial cereal eater!)

A wonderful, talented writer named Emma Cappell, (whose WordPress blog called Anyway I Digress) posted a comment on one of my posts. She wrote, “I just wish I could keep up the acute awareness, in what I am eating and in other areas of my life. Be present, be aware.” This really hit home to me.

I recently realized that I use food when I need to be physically present but can’t bring my whole self to the party. Obviously my son’s car is a small example, but how often do I do it? How many of the real stresses in life are met with a cookie or an edging of cake? And how many times under such circumstances am I not even aware I’m reaching for food? Trust me, I’ve caught myself doing this but always after the act. And why does this happen? Is it a case of lack of awareness, a food-wall separation from things I don’t want to engage in or some perverse “reward” behaviour “You deserve a break today” mentality.

Portion control is the first and most important part of the “conquering obesity” equation. The second most-important part is understanding and dealing with our complicated, distorted relationship with food — and its perceived “support-system” role in our lives in 2013.

Health and Happiness,

Becky Trenton

Copyright © 2013 Becky Trenton.

Portionism™ and Portionist™ are trademarks of Becky Trenton.

Image Courtesy of AmericanMuscle.com

If You Can’t Sleep, You’ll Just End Up Eating. A LOT! (New Study)

If You Can’t Sleep, You’ll Just End Up Eating. A LOT!

It seems my mother was right. She used to say, “If you can’t sleep, just eat. Your body needs the energy.” Of course, she’d also say, “Don’t worry. You won’t gain weight.” And on that, she was just wrong.

A new study published February 18 in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology (online) looked at the eating patterns of 16, normal-weight males under buffet-like conditions after they had a night of solid eight-hour rest, as well as after they were forced to stay awake all night.

All participants were allowed to select their portion sizes of seven meals and six snack items in both states.

The study, from Uppsala University in Sweden, concluded that “After a night of total sleep loss, [the sleep-deprived] males chose greater portion sizes of the energy-dense foods,” said lead researcher Pleunie Hogenkamp. “Interestingly, they did so both before and after a breakfast, suggesting that sleep deprivation enhances food intake regardless of satiety.”

And what does this all mean to us?

“Bearing in mind that insufficient sleep is a growing problem in modern society, our results may explain why poor sleep habits can affect people’s risk to gain weight in the long run,” Hogenkamp said in a university news release.

This latest Swedish study builds on a growing amount of research that clearly shows a link between sleep-deprivation and obesity.

This also brings into stark light the need for all of us to become aware of what we put on our plates at all times. If we start to practice what I have now dubbed Portionism™. I define Portionism — and I figure I can, since I made the word up — as “an acute awareness, at all times, of the amount and kinds of food on our plates”, then when faced with lack of sleep and other stresses, we will not randomly and without thought gravitate towards high-calorie foods.

The thought that it doesn’t matter how much you eat, just as long as it’s good for you, is nonsense. Yes, the 5-lb. bag of carrots that you nobly scarf down on Friday may not add up calorically but in terms of volume it does. So when you’re sleep deprived on Tuesday, the 5 lbs. of carrots may end up being 5 or more pounds of nachos, M&M’s and cream donuts.

I know someone will inevitably misinterpret me saying that lots of veg is not a good thing. I AM NOT saying that at all. I am advocating that we incorporate the lifestyle of the Portionist™ (again, my word: for someone who practices Portionism™, of course 🙂 that was prevalent back in the day and is now being brought back by the MyPlate proponents.

In 1973, half our plate was vegetables, the other half was split equally between a protein and a carb. Protein was usually 3 ounces of cooked meat and the carb was either a small-medium potato or 1/2 cup of rice. Simple. Simple. Simple. And small, small, small by today’s standards.

This meant that if we did indulge in a high-calorie meal from time to time, the capacity to overeat wasn’t there.  We never felt sickeningly stuffed or deprived. We ate, we enjoyed and we moved on.

Health and Happiness,

Becky Trenton

Copyright © 2013 Becky Trenton.

Portionism™ and Portionist™ are trademarks of Becky Trenton.


Sources: http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/sleep-deprived-should-watch-their-portion-sizes-1.1168032#ixzz2MEIpEgc7


Image courtesy of LasVegasForSeniors.com

A Tale of Two Chilis: Seriously, How Much Meat Do We Need to Eat?

A Tale of Two Chilis: Seriously, How Much Meat Do We Need to Eat?

Spicy Chili

It’s one of those nasty, cold days in Toronto when the hanging clouds get just enough strength in them to drop the white stuff in a few hours. That means the lovely sheet of ice caused by the earlier freezing rain will now be covered by deceptive snow — all of which makes you cry out for a big glass of red comfort. So since I’ve got my bottles of Chilean cab ready to be uncorked, I’ll now go for a big bowl of red comfort: Chili…of the Con Carne kind, as they used to say, back in the 1973 day. (No I haven’t uncorked my liquor store purchase yet. I promise.)

Since I am exploring all recipes and menus from 1973, I thought it might be kinda fun to take a look at two chili recipes that are from Woman’s Day, 40 years apart. Both recipes are designed to feed 4 people.

From The Woman’s Day Collector’s Cook Book (published 1972) the typical 1973 recipe:

Easy Chili Con Carne With Beans

Yields 4

1 pound ground beef

1 large onion

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder

Dash of pepper

1 tablespoon shortening

1 can condensed tomato soup

2 cans (1 pound each) kidney beans, undrained

1 teaspoon sugar

Brown first 6 ingredients lightly in the shortening. Add remaining ingredients and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.


Me, again. Now, no one would argue that shortening is not the best choice for sautéing veg. And I’m betting the use of the can of tomato soup versus a can of tomatoes would not be your first option. But check out the 2013 recipe below — and notice the 100% increase in meat compared to the 1973 recipe!


From the Woman’s Day website, I found this current 2013 recipe:

20-Minute Chili Recipe

(yields: 4)


2      pound(s) lean ground chuck
1      tablespoon(s) chili powder
1      teaspoon(s) ground cumin
1      teaspoon(s) dried oregano
1      teaspoon(s) salt
1      teaspoon(s) pepper
3      clove(s) garlic, peeled
3      medium onions, peeled and quartered
3      medium bell peppers, quartered, cored and seeded
1      can(s) (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1      can(s) (19 ounces) black beans, drained
Sliced scallions, for serving
Shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, for serving
Sour cream, for serving

Crumble beef into a Dutch oven or large deep skillet placed over high heat. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
Chop garlic, onion and peppers with a sharp knife or in a food processor (see Cook’s Tip, above). Stir into meat mixture until blended.
Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and cook 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Stir in beans and cook until heated through. Serve with scallions, cheese and sour cream.

Source: http://www.womansday.com/recipefinder/20-minute-chili-recipe-120354


Me, yet again. And just in case you think that Woman’s Day is the provider of all things portion-increased, which it definitely is NOT, here’s a yummy little recipe from Michael Smith of TheFoodNetwork.ca’s site.

BTW, this also adds in a pound of bacon to the two pounds of beef — just in case you get a bit peckish! (What’s the emoticon for “she said, sarcastically.”)

Spicy Chili

Spicy Chili

Yield: 4

Ease of Preparation: Easy. A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason feel free to stir your own ideas into this dish. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don’t like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!


  • 1 pound bacon, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 head garlic, separated, peeled and sliced
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 3 -5 heaping spoonfuls chili powder
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 x 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes
  • 19 ounces can black beans
  • 19 ounces can kidney beans
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add bacon.
  2. Add a splash of water and let the bacon render its fat.
  3. As the water evaporates, the bacon will brown.
  4. Pour off excess fat and add the onions, garlic and peppers.
  5. Cook until they are softened and just beginning to caramelize.
  6. Add chili powder and ground beef and stir well, chopping the beef up with a wooden spoon.
  7. Add tomatoes and beans and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Simmer for an hour.
  9. If you have a chance, make this a day in advance and reheat when needed. The flavours will brighten and meld as it rests overnight.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/spicy-chili/recipe.html?dishID=7985


Your friendly blogger here: So in the above recipe we have 200% more meat than we had in the 1973 recipe. There is also voluminous amounts of just about everything else! There are double the amount of onions. The addition of two green peppers, plus 46 extra ounces of tomato source (soup versus cans of tomatoes.)

Now, before the nutrition police come charging down on me, I am the very FIRST person to advocate MORE vegetables in everyone’s diet but what I am pointing out here is that the portions are significantly larger than what would have been served in 1973 and even the veg play a part in this.

Obviously large amounts of vegetables are infinitely nutritionally better for us than large amounts of just about everything else but larger portions in general make us accustomed to eating more. This portion distortion carries over to EVERYTHING we eat. And that is the problem for many of us.

Would you be satisfied with the portion of Chili offered in 1973? Surprisingly we were. And with a nice slice of French bread on the side it would have been enough.

Health and Happiness,

Becky Trenton


Copyright © 2013 Becky Trenton.

A 1973 Valentine Dinner For Two

A 1973 Valentine Dinner For Two


 This menu with recipes comes straight from the pages of “Margo Oliver’s Weekend Magazine’s Menu Cookbook”, which was published in 1972.

Weekend Magazine was distributed through 41 English-language newspapers across Canada and was highly regarded for its articles but particularly for its recipes. Margo Oliver was considered to be the Canadian “Betty Crocker” of her era, which spanned from the late 1950s until the early 1990s. To her, over 9,600 kitchen-tested recipes have been attributed. This Valentine’s Day Dinner For Two is a classic example of Margo Oliver’s simple yet elegant fare of the time. (Keep in mind this was considered a romantic meal, so the addition of the Champagne or rosé wine was to be expected. Also note that there is no rich chocolate-laden dessert, just fresh winter pears and cheese.)

The Menu

Filet Mignons With Mushroom Sauce

Potato Hearts          Carrots Julienne

Green Beans And Celery    Avocado And Tomato Salad

Fresh Winter Pears and Cheese

Champagne or Rosé Wine

Serves 2                                                       



2 filet mignons (1  1/4 inch thick)

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. olive oil

Croûtes (see note)

1/4 cup water

Mushroom Sauce (recipe follows)

Sprinkle meat on both sides with salt and pepper.

Put butter and oil in heavy skillet. Add filets and brown quickly on both sides (about 5 minutes a side — they should be rare). Set filets on croûtes on hot serving plates. Stir water into skillet and scrape up any brown bits. Stir mixture over meat and serve immediately. (Serves 2)

Note: For the croûtes, cut two 1/2 slices from day-old French bread. Trim them so they are just about the same size as filets. Brush them on both sides with melted butter and put on a cookie sheet. Toast in oven at 350 degrees until golden. (This can be done ahead of time.)


1 tbsp. butter

1/2 cup finely-chopped mushrooms

1 green onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp. dry white table wine

1 tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. flour

1/4 tsp. salt

Dash pepper

Tiny pinch tarragon

1/4 cup chicken stock

Heat 1 tbsp. butter in small saucepan. Add mushrooms and onion and cook quickly, stirring constantly, 2 minutes (mixture will be thick and dry). Add wine and cook again until nearly dry, stirring. Add 1 tbsp. butter and stir until melted. Sprinkle in flour, salt, pepper and tarragon and stir to blend. Remove from heat. Add chicken stock, all at once, and stir to blend. Return to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thick. Stir in drippings from filet mignons as direct in that recipe and serve over filets.



2 medium potatoes

Boiling water

1/2 tsp. salt

Dash pepper

Pinch nutmeg

2 egg yolks

Melted butter

Cook potatoes in boiling water with the 1/2 tsp. salt until soft but not breaking up. Drain and put through a potato ricer. (you should have about 2 cups).

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Beat potatoes with electric mixer or rotary beater until completely smooth. Add pepper and nutmeg.

Press potato mixture through pastry bag or cookie press with a rosette tip onto a buttered cookie sheet making hearts 2 to 3 inches wide at the widest part (trace heart shapes with finger on buttered sheet as a guide). Brush with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake 10 minutes or until golden browned. (Makes 4 — serve 2 per person.)



2 cups julienne strips carrots (see note)

2 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. water

Salt and pepper

1/4 tsp. finely-chopped fresh mint OR pinch dried mint leaves (optional)

Combine carrots, butter and water in saucepan, cover lightly, and cook over moderate heat, shaking pan often, just until tender, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and add mint. Serve immediately. (Serves 2.)

Note: For julienne, cut carrots into thin match-like strips about 1 1/2 inches long by 1/8 inch.



1/2 lb. green beans, Frenched

1 tbs. butter

1/2 cup thinly-sliced celery

2 tbsp. short thin strips pimento

Salt and pepper

Cook beans in a little salted water until just tender, about 12 minutes. Keep hot.

Heat butter in small skillet and add celery. Cook gently, stirring often, about 8 minutes or until just tender-crisp. Add to hot beans along with pimento. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and toss with a fork. Serve immediately. (Serves 2.)



1/2 small avocado

Lemon juice

1 tomato


French dressing

Slice avocado thin and dip slices in lemon juice to keep them from darkening

Alternate thin half slices tomato and slices avocado on a bed of watercress for each salad at serving time. Pass the dressing. (Serves 2.)


After this glorious meal you could retire to the living room. Forgo turning on the TV to watch Happy Days or Maude at 8 pm. Skip Hawaii Five-O at 8:30 p.m. and go straight to the stereo to lay down some vinyl. You’d be listening to Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.” (Okay, maybe not tonight unless you were desperate to end the evening early and get to watching Marcus Welby MD at 10 p.m.) But Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” were on the charts, as was Wings’ “Hi Hi Hi” and Olivia Newton John’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” In a less legit relationship? You’d be playing Billy Paul’s “Me and Mrs. Jones” (which was still on the charts in 1973) all night long.

Going out to the movies would see you standing in line for “Save The Tiger” starring Jack Lemmon as the desperately despicable garment manufacturer Harry Stoner in what was described as “the great American Tragedy.” Lemmon’s performance won him an Academy Award and if you added coin to this first day box office you could tell your friends you saw it first.

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

Health and Happiness,



Copyright © 2013 Becky Trenton.

In 2013, I Simply Eat Too Much

Overeating for me was akin to the first time I ever said a curse word at the ripe old age of nine.

Prior to ever saying one, I thought that the whole world would cave in as soon as it leapt from my lips. I was sure that the “Swear Police” would swoop in and take me away or publish my name in the newspaper. My parents would magically appear and be ashamed and horrified at what had come out of my mouth. My life would change forever! But I uttered the word and surprise! Nothing changed. Nobody heard me, nobody noticed. And weirdly, it felt rather liberating. Like I was in charge of my life. So I tried it again. And again. And then it became hard not to complete a sentence without an expletive.

Overeating is similar.

If you’ve been careful and conscientious about what you’ve been consuming for most of your life but circumstances like changes in homelife or stress at work have you throwing caution to the wind and you go out and overeat, the next day you may feel pretty crummy. But when you step on the scales the next morning guess what? You actually HAVEN’T gained 20 lbs!!! In fact maybe nothing has changed with your weight. So you go out and do it again and like the kid who is learning to swear, you may be suddenly accepted by the cool kids. In the overeating example, you may be suddenly more embraced by your friends who will eat anything and everything. You’re not a “drag” anymore , being careful with what you eat. Hey, even fat food starts to like you more because you like fat food. (In this case, “liking fast food” means that you don’t have a nasty reaction and feel sick.)

So what do you do? You eat more and more!

After a month you get on the scales and maybe you’ve gained a bit more weight than you’d like but, hey, the girl behind the fast food counter asked you if you wanted to super-size/jumbo-up/biggie/ or econosize your order and when you said, “Hell, yeah” (because now you swear AND overeat), she seemed so pleased.

So it’s best to swear/overeat and make friends, right?

Wrong, wrong and wrong!! (The third wrong is just in case you decide to take up smoking as your holy trinity of stupidness.) Bad habits are bad habits no matter why you started them.

My overeating bad habit was perpetuated by my very thin mother who insisted that if I was tired, stressed, couldn’t rest and needed energy that the best way to get energy was to eat.

“If you can’t sleep, eat!” she’d say when I was trying to juggle my demanding job, my house and my two toddlers. My mother must have calculated that the strain of the demanding job would somehow chew up all those extra calories that she hadn’t needed because she was a full-time stay at home mom, when she was raising my brother and me.

“Won’t I gain weight?” I’d ask.

“No, you’re body uses it all up for energy!” my non-nutritionally-trained mother would respond.

So, I ate and ate. I liked overeating when I was pregnant (not the smartest idea) so I’d gotten used to the habit.

Since my mother was bone-rack thin I assumed that she knew of what she spoke.


Had I realized, with eyes wide open, that there were no random substitutions in life — that you don’t keep filling up the gas tank when what you really need is an oil change — I would have kicked the overeating habit and tried the “sleep when you need it no matter how messy your house is” option.

I would have looked at my portions and thought that I was eating enough for three grown adults and known this would lead to no good.

Oh well, got it now.

Guess what? I’m tired so I’m going to lie down. How 1973 of me.

Health and happiness,


Copyright © 2013 Becky Trenton.

The Basics of Day-to-Day Eating In 1973

The Basics of Day-to-Day Eating

In 1973

The following is a list of day-to-day eating basics that were followed in our family for as long as I can remember when I was growing up.  My father may have, when he felt particularly hungry, eaten slightly more. For example, when we ate chicken, my father would always have a breast, while my brother and I would have a leg.

Since we were European there was a little more of an emphasis on having a daily salad with dinner and perhaps a piece of a crusty loaf of what was generically referred to as “French” bread.

We were definitely not daily dessert eaters in my family. The very occasional scoop of ice cream or small piece of pie would be eaten as a treat at night.

Here’s how it was:


1 or 2 cups of clear tea

2 slices of toast with either a bit of butter or jam (never both)


1 slice of toast and 1 soft-boiled egg


1 small bowl of cereal or oatmeal


A 6 oz. glass of milk

1 bowl of soup (usually chicken noodle or tomato)

and 4 – 8 crackers with cheese


1 sandwich with 1.5 oz. of meat or cheese or peanut butter and jam


2 pieces of French Toast with syrup (every Friday)


a small bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese

Depending on what was being served there would also be a small handful of carrot or celery sticks


a small apple or orange

and perhaps two small cookies

After school snack (only if asked for)

A small apple or orange


Two small cookies


1/4 lb. (pre-cooked) or 3 oz. cooked meat, chicken or fish

(For example, a pound of pork chops would yield 4 chops, a saucepan of meat sauce would be made with a pound of ground beef and feed 4 of us, a 2.5 lb. whole chicken would feed 4 of us, etc.)

1 medium potato or 1/2 cup of rice or 2 oz. of cooked spaghetti

1 serving of tossed salad (oil and vinegar dressing)

1 serving of veg (usually canned peas or corn with one can – 10 oz.? –  yielding 4 servings. Couldn’t tell you how big the can was but the veg serving could fit in the palm of your hand.

Depending on the meal, my mother would serve the French bread (no butter) and we’d all have a piece.

No dessert

Evening Snack

A cup of tea and if we hadn’t had cookies during the day, a small cookie or, as I mentioned, the very occasional small scoop of ice cream (1/2 cup) or 1/8 of a slice of an 8 inch pie.

Random Snacking

Rarely if ever happened except on road trips in the car.

Bowls of chips or peanuts only appeared when my parents entertained their friends and we would sneak down the morning after and nibble on the leftovers.

Soft drinks were a rarity as well. Saved for holidays and upset stomachs. And you would never drink an entire can yourself!

Eating out was saved for special occasions or vacations and ordering in was usually Chinese Food perhaps 2 to 3 times a year.

We would have the occasional chocolate bar a few times a year or a couple of chocolates from a box of chocolates at Christmas.


I know that this may seem rather Spartan compared to the way we consume today but back then it was just the way we lived. We didn’t really think about it much and we certainly never thought we were on a diet.

We were hungry when mealtime came around and we ate what was on our plate and then moved on.

Food really was fuel. Books, music, movies, television, sports, hobbies, activities and games were for happiness and to alleviate boredom.

Now, I’m aware that there were other people who ate more breads and potatoes, butter, lard, treats and other items. But we often ate a little more protein and we definitely ate more salads and veg than many of my friends.

If you grew up during this time, I’d love to hear how your menus varied or mirrored mine. You may jiggle my memory.

In the meantime, are you ready to eat like it’s 1973?

Health and Happiness,



Copyright © 2013 Becky Trenton.

What is The 1973 Diet?

What is The 1973 Diet?

A food-based journey back to a time when the portions, the importance and the power of food were small for me, and for the majority of the North American society in general.

This all started when I came across an old copy of a Woman’s Day magazine from 1973. My mother loved Woman’s Day and Family Circle and would faithfully buy and keep all copies in a big old cupboard in the kitchen, so picking up the magazine brought back a flood of memories.

In 1973, I was 14 years old and I had no food or body issues. Seriously. It’s not that I thought I was fabulous looking (which I clearly was not!). I just didn’t think about it. I was also the same height that I am now (5′ 3 1/2) and I had my period for over 5 years. Too much info? Not really, because it’s important to know that I wasn’t growing or waiting for things to happen. I’ll post pictures to show you.

I also never really thought about food. I just ate it when I was hungry then stopped when I was full. No biggie.

And if you’re wondering if this is a “glory days” thing,  I assure you it’s absolutely not. Let me state right up front that I was a complete geek, a borderline scary loser from the ages of 12 to 19 (I could actually stretch that timeframe even more but who wants to feel THAT badly about themselves.) No, this is not about reliving some fab summer of ’73 teen experience. I NEVER had that.

So what is the purpose of the 1973 Diet blog for me? Peace. Unfortunately not something as noble as world peace but simply peace of mind. A quieting of thoughts about the constant role food plays in my life. It has such power. It is comforter, rewarder, friend, staller, playmate, substitute for accomplishment, my play for power and sometimes — and this is the craziest one — it even nourishes me. You know, the funny thing is, I’m not even that crazy about the taste of most food. But way back when, in 1973, to paraphrase John Mellencamp, “That’s when food was just food. And eating was eating.” And it should be nothing more than that. How brilliant!

What will you get from this blog? I will have lots of information, insights, recipes, reflections, rants and hopefully lots of the above-cited peace to share. And if you need to lose weight, we can accomplish this too. I am 35 pounds over my healthy weight and my goal is to return to the weight where I don’t need the puffers and the Prilosec. No, not to my 14-year-old self, but to my weight when I was 31 years old.

Perhaps we can start a gentle movement that helps to lessen our societies’ obsession with food and the resulting obesity epidemic.

If you’re interested, let’s take the journey together. I’ll post at least once a week.

And don’t worry if you weren’t in your teens — or even born in 1973. I have the information to take us where we need to go — and the rest we can Google!

Health and Happiness,



Copyright © 2013 Becky Trenton.