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What We’re Loving: '50 Shades of Chicken'

What We’re Loving: '50 Shades of Chicken'

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While the book isn’t released yet, expect to see Christian Grey in your kitchen very soon

OK, so you’re well aware how we feel about 50 Shades of Grey — we love it as much as the rest of America does.

Although we’ve dabbled in cooking the book ourselves in the past, there’s nothing like taking your book club to the next level with this upcoming cookbook from Clarkson Potter: 50 Shades of Chicken. Yes, chicken.

Inspired by the famed book’s main character's need to constantly feed lover Anastasia Steele, the author of the cookbook, who uses the pen name FL Fowler, came to the conclusion that cooking is a little bit like love.

The author told People, "The recipe and headnotes follow a chef and his chicken on an emotional journey very much like the original trilogy. You start with an overbearing cook and a pigheaded chicken but by the end they're spanking and tying each other up like soul mates. There's a bit of Christian and Anastasia Steele in every dish."

So in mid-November, Nov. 13 to be exact, pick up the book and sex up your dinner or your book club with recipes like Dripping Thighs and Mustard Spanked Chicken.

Yep, the book goes there.


Wow. Such a fun and BUSY weekend! By the time I got back home last night, it was almost 9pm and I realized that I’d already missed the whole first hour of The Bachelorette. Crap (although I hear I didn’t miss too much). I had a feeling she was going to pick who she did (no spoilers, in case anyone DVR’d!) but I will say that I was secretly hoping that she was going to say no to both Jef AND Arie, and then bring Sean back. Ehh…no such luck.

Anyway…you guys didn’t miss much around here this weekend, since most of my time was spent away from this ‘ol computer:

So now let’s get ya caught up on yesterday! Later in the afternoon, I had plans to meet up with some of the girls for lunch (before Rachel left for her honeymoon, lucky duck!) and we met up at The Whistling Kettle. The one and only other time I’d been there was back in March of 2011, so I was excited to be back again.

Of course, I had to get the “full effect,” so I ordered the “Make Your Own Afternoon Tea” again, which includes a choice of sandwich/quiche/crepe, soup/salad, dessert, and unlimited iced tea.

For my first course, I stuck with a regular house salad with a Greek vinaigrette with feta in it, which was fantastic.

For my main course, I decided to go way out in left field and ordered the Ratatouille Crepe.

The last time I had a crepe was actually when we were down in Mexico (gosh, remember those things. ), but I don’t think I’ve ever tried a savory crepe. This one was filled with roasted eggplant, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and a bunch (almost too much) feta cheese. Besides the heavy handed feta, it was definitely a great choice.

For dessert, I had ordered their mixed berry scone, since I loved it so much the last time, but it turns out another waiter had given away the last one before out waitress could make our orders…go figure.

Instead, I got their chocolate chocolate berry(?) scone which, honestly, was just as good and I still devoured the whole thing.

The girls and I spent over three hours sitting at lunch, mostly reminiscing about last weekend’s festivities, and also just catching up in general. Put us girls together and we could talk foreverrrrrrr.

I ended up leaving lunch more stuffed than ever, which was not smart on my part…seeing as though Jay and I were headed to my in-laws house for dinner as soon as I got back home. Luckily, we all hung out and chatted for a bit before actually sitting down for dinner.

On the menu was crockpot BBQ pulled pork, salad, and my mom-in-law’s macaroni salad. Everything was delicious, and had I not still been stuffed, I definitely would have gone back for seconds.

I did, however, manage to have room for a teensy bit of dessert…

Homemade brownie + ice cream = Heaven.

By the time I got home last night, I was feeling absolutely UGH. After three different meals eaten out over the weekend (and decent sized ones, at that) my entire body just felt sluggish and gross. I know you guys know what I’m talkin’ about.

I woke up this morning and made sure to squeeze in my workout (40 minutes of cardio + 20 minutes yoga) before enjoying the breakfast I had prepped and waiting for me in the fridge.

A glass of iced coffee + a batch of overnight oats in a jar, made with oats (duh), unsweetened vanilla almond milk, chia seeds, mashed banana, blueberries, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Delicious, indeed.

Now it’s about time to go take care of all those usual Monday things!

Random Question for the Morning:

If you could bring one character to life from your favorite book, who would it be?

Fifty Shades in Fifty Ways: My Opinion

Ah, just beginning to write this blog post I’m a bit nervous of the fall-out.

But freedom of press and expression and all that is important. And this isn’t about judgment on what’s good and what’s bad, who hates fifty and who loves it, etc, etc.

I’m a writer of romance. When my book The Marriage Bargain hit the bestseller lists, it was around the same time Fifty Shades of Grey blew up the world. My book was listed on every What To Read After Fifty lists, along with Day’s Crossfire series. It was rated in the top five books that people left behind in hotels (number 1 was 50 Shades)– which I never knew was such a big deal but I thought it was super cool to be included. Just the other day, The Marriage Bargain was just included in the Top Books to Read After Fifty Shades in this Washington Post article: here

But this blog isn’t about comparing or touting my book. I just wanted to set the precedent I was around and involved in the industry at the time the book stormed the world, and after keeping a long, long, silence, I’d just like to speak on my own page about a few things.

Did I enjoy the book? Yes, I did. I was swept up in the power of the characters, and for me, characterization is everything to me. I can forgive plot, I don’t need crazy sex (though it’s fun) but if there’s great characters, and chemistry, I’m in. This book, above all, is a romance.

I’d read many, many BDSM novels and even wrote a whole bunch before Fifty, so this didn’t shock me or even make me pause. What makes me sad is the huge turnover of people screaming abuse toward women, insulting the book and film, and intelligent, educated, kick ass women turning on each other. The Facebook posts are brutal, along with many intelligent, thoughtful articles about 50 Shades and the culture being dragged down by inane, mean comments going on for pages and pages. When the Washington Post article came out and I was excited about the mention, I literally had a bunch of scathing comments regarding my book, basically saying they wouldn’t read mine because they’d need to bleach their brain out, and how offended they were I thought I’d lower their social and educational statuses by even imagining they’d read such EXCREMENT.

If I hate something, I usually just don’t comment. If I hate something, I don’t buy it, or talk about it. Especially anyting with creative expression such as books, movies, or music. That’s why we live here. Again, our power is not to buy it or see it or listen to it. Isn’t that powerful enough without stooping to such incredible cruelty and hatred? I’m also okay with a good, solid debate. I love a good conversation. What I don’t love is a good conversation being pulled down into the trenches of a muddy, bloody cat fight.

This book is not about women being violently abused because they have no say. We’re not talking about women who have been conditioned to want abuse. The book revolves around a sexual preference behind closed doors with two people who negotiate and know exactly what they are getting into. Or not. It is about experimentation. Safe. Sane. Consensual. The goal is toward the woman’s ultimate pleasure, one of my favorite things in writing BDSM romances. There is aftercare. There is powerful emotion.

To me, the huge draw of Fifty Shades was not the sex like the world is tittering about. Yes, the sex was a main segment of the book. But what women are crazed for is the feeling of being worshipped and loved. Adored. Sexually and non-sexually. The fantasy is the billionaire, but his focus isn’t always on the bedroom. He makes Anastasia feel completely and madly adored in every way, shape and form. This is the crux of the romance, and what makes women swoon and buy romance books and line up for the movie adaption.

Imagine a man listening to your thoughts and needs, interested in your dreams, out of bed? Imagine a man worshipping your body in bed, no matter what form that body takes?

I saw the movie on Thursday evening. Did I like it? Yes, I did. I thought the actor and actress did an amazing job trying to deepen the characters and layer emotions from the book. I thought they exuded great chemistry. I thought the sex scenes were beautiful, and erotic, and done in a very tasteful, sense heightening way.

What I didn’t like? The huge crowd of older women in the front, ruining the movie for me by giggling like a bunch of teenagers every time something sexual was said. I mean, really people? I also was assaulted by many women who came out of the movie, loudly proclaiming it was a bunch of shit and they hated the book just as much as the movie.

Trust me—if you didn’t like the book, you will hate the movie. Just don’t go see it. It followed the book pretty closely.

Anastasia made choices of her own. Critics have said she was a young, naive girl who wanted Christian so bad she’d take a beating and abuse just to get him.

I disagree. There was a contract she didn’t have to sign. He was honest with her about his preferences. She always had the power and has the power – Not the Dominant. He can only accept or not accept what she agrees to. Am I okay with that?

And are we really going to bring up an argument back from the eighties that romance novels cause women to think these books are reality? Really, dudes? I thought we’d’ moved on and decided women are super smart and know exactly what is reality and fiction. Men don’t really want to blow up buildings and kill people for real, right?

Just my two cents. That’s what I see as rocking the world on its axis, much more so than whips and chains. That’s it. I’m not accepting negative comments or meanness, I just wanted to share my own opinion without anyone’s judgment on my page. If I’m going to hell, so be it. Same as I won’t judge you when you post on your page, for whatever your opinion is.

Foil Packet Camping Dinner Recipes

Things to know if you&rsquore new to foil packet cooking:

  1. Foil packet camping dinners are super convenient because there are no dishes involved (besides the meal prep) which means very little clean-up afterwards.
  2. There are different ways to fold your foil pack depending on what you&rsquore cooking. You can read this guide to learn the different methods.
  3. Use heavy duty aluminum foil for best results.
  4. You&rsquoll need a pair of tongs or heat resistant gloves to flip the foil pack over.

17 Foil Pack Dinner Recipes For Campfire Cooking

Mixed Mushroom Hobo Foil Pack &ndash Try this simple 4 ingredient (plus salt and pepper) recipe from Martha Stewart

BBQ Chicken Foil Packs from Pillsbury

Image and recipe from Pillsbury

Southwest Chicken Foil Packet from Everyday Dishes

Grilled Foil Pack Veggies from Tablespoon. Precut your veggies at home before you head out, and this recipe will come together in a snap!

Image and recipe from Tablespoon

Whole Wheat Pasta Packet Recipe with Goat Cheese from Cook in Canuck

Cheesy Sausage Potato Foil Packets from The Recipe Critic

Grilled Meat N Potatoes Foil Packets from Thrifty DIY Diva

Salmon and Asparagus Foil Packets from Cooking Classy

Baked Ranch Pork Chops and Potatoes foil pack dinner from Buns in My Oven

Foil Packet Fajitas from The Shirley Journey

Asian Chicken Vegetable Foil Packets from Two Peas and Their Pod

Bacon Ranch Potatoes Packets from Gather for Bread

I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!

Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken and Biscuits has become the third-largest quick-service chicken chain in the world in the twenty-two years since its first store opened in New Orleans in 1972. (KFC has the number-one slot, followed by Church's Chicken). Since then, the chain has grown to 813 units, with many of them overseas in Germany, Japan, Jamaica, Honduras, Guam, and Korea.

Cayenne pepper and white pepper bring the heat to this crispy fried chicken hack.

Did you like this recipe? Get your hands on my secret recipe for Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and other Popeyes dishes here.

($23.88 annually)*
Save $12 vs. monthly

Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!

In 1991 Kentucky Fried Chicken bigwigs decided to improve the image of America's third-largest fast-food chain. As a more health-conscious society began to affect sales of fried chicken, the company changed its name to KFC and introduced a lighter fare of skinless chicken.

In the last forty years KFC has experienced extraordinary growth. Five years after first franchising the business, Colonel Harland Sanders had 400 outlets in the United States and Canada. Four years later there were more than 600 franchises, including one in England, the first overseas outlet. In 1964 John Y. Brown, Jr., a young Louisville lawyer, and Jack Massey, a Nashville financier, bought the Colonel's business for $2 million. Only seven years later, in 1971 Heublein, Inc., bought the KFC Corporation for $275 million. Then in 1986, for a whopping $840 million, PepsiCo added KFC to its conglomerate, which now includes Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. That means PepsiCo owns more fast food outlets than any other company including McDonald's.

At each KFC restaurant, workers blend real buttermilk with a dry blend to create the well-known KFC buttermilk biscuits recipe that have made a popular menu item since their introduction in 1982. Pair these buttermilk biscuits with KFC's mac and cheese recipe and the famous KFC Original Recipe Chicken, and skip the drive-thru tonight!

Jerrico, Inc., the parent company for Long John Silver's Seafood Shoppes, got its start in 1929 as a six-stool hamburger stand called the White Tavern Shoppe. Jerrico was started by a man named Jerome Lederer, who watched Long John Silver's thirteen units dwindle in the shadow of World War II to just three units. Then, with determination, he began rebuilding. In 1946 Jerome launched a new restaurant called Jerry's and it was a booming success, with growth across the country. Then he took a chance on what would be his most successful venture in 1969, with the opening of the first Long John Silver's Fish 'n' Chips. The name was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. In 1991 there were 1,450 Long John Silver Seafood Shoppes in thirty-seven states, Canada, and Singapore, with annual sales of more than $781 million. That means the company holds about 65 percent of the $1.2 billion quick-service seafood business.

In early 1985, restaurateur Rich Komen felt there was a specialty niche in convenience-food service just waiting to be filled. His idea was to create an efficient outlet that could serve freshly made cinnamon rolls in shopping malls throughout the country. It took nine months for Komen and his staff to develop a cinnamon roll recipe he knew customers would consider the "freshest, gooiest, and most mouthwatering cinnamon roll ever tasted." The concept was tested for the first time in Seattle's Sea-Tac mall later that year, with workers mixing, proofing, rolling, and baking the rolls in full view of customers. Now, more than 626 outlets later, Cinnabon has become the fastest-growing cinnamon roll bakery in the world.

Anyone who loves Olive Garden is probably also a big fan of the bottomless basket of warm, garlicky breadsticks served before each meal at the huge Italian casual chain. My guess is that the breadsticks are proofed, and then sent to each restaurant where they are baked until golden brown, brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt. Getting the bread just right for a good Olive Garden breadstick recipe was tricky—I tried several different amounts of yeast in all-purpose flour, but then settled on bread flour to give these breadsticks the same chewy bite as the originals. The two-stage rising process is also a crucial step in this much requested homemade Olive Garden breadstick recipe. Also check out our Olive Garden Italian salad dressing recipe.

Menu Description: "Here they are in all their lip-smacking, award-winning glory: Buffalo, New York-style chicken wings spun in your favorite signature sauce."

Since Buffalo, New York was too far away, Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery satisfied their overwhelming craving in 1981 by opening a spicy chicken wing restaurant close to home in Kent, Ohio. With signature sauces and a festive atmosphere, the chain has now evolved from a college campus sports bar with wings to a family restaurant with over 300 units. While frying chicken wings is no real secret—simply drop them in hot shortening for about 10 minutes—the delicious spicy sauces make the wings special. There are 12 varieties of sauce available to coat your crispy chicken parts at the chain, and I'm presenting clones for the more traditional flavors. These sauces are very thick, almost like dressing or dip, so we'll use an emulsifying technique that will ensure a creamy final product where the oil won't separate from the other ingredients. Here is the chicken wing cooking and coating technique, followed by clones for the most popular sauces: Spicy Garlic, Medium and Hot. The sauce recipes might look the same at first, but each has slight variations make your sauce hotter or milder by adjusting the level of cayenne pepper. You can find Frank's pepper sauce by the other hot sauces in your market. If you can't find that brand, you can also use Crystal Louisiana hot sauce.

Menu Description: "Quickly-cooked steak with scallions and garlic."

Beef lovers go crazy over this one at the restaurant. Flank steak is cut into bite-sized chunks against the grain, then it's lightly dusted with potato starch (in our case we'll use cornstarch), flash-fried in oil, and doused with an amazing sweet soy garlic sauce. The beef comes out tender as can be, and the simple sauce sings to your taste buds. I designed this recipe to use a wok, but if you don't have one a saute pan will suffice (you may need to add more oil to the pan to cover the beef in the flash-frying step). P. F. Chang's secret sauce is what makes this dish so good, and it's versatile. If you don't dig beef, you can substitute with chicken. Or you can brush it on grilled salmon.

I've cloned a lot of the best dishes from P.F. Chang's. Click here to see if I coped your favorite.

The automated process for creating Krispy Kreme doughnuts, developed in the 1950's, took the company many years to perfect. When you drive by your local Krispy Kreme store between 5:00 and 11:00 each day (both a.m. and p.m.) and see the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign lit up, inside the store custom-made stainless steel machines are rolling. Doughnut batter is extruded into little doughnut shapes that ride up and down through a temperature and humidity controlled booth to activate the yeast. This creates the perfect amount of air in the dough that will yield a tender and fluffy finished product. When the doughnuts are perfectly puffed up, they're gently dumped into a moat of hot vegetable shortening where they float on one side until golden brown, and then the machine flips them over to cook the other side. When the doughnuts finish frying, they ride up a mesh conveyor belt and through a ribbon of white sugar glaze. If you're lucky enough to taste one of these doughnuts just as it comes around the corner from the glazing, you're in for a real treat—the warm circle of sweet doughy goodness practically melts in your mouth. It's this secret process that helped Krispy Kreme become the fastest-growing doughnut chain in the country.

As you can guess, the main ingredient in a Krispy Kreme doughnut is wheat flour, but there is also some added gluten, soy flour, malted barley flour, and modified food starch plus egg yolk, non-fat milk, flavoring, and yeast. I suspect a low-gluten flour, like cake flour, is probably used in the original mix to make the doughnuts tender, and then the manufacturer adds the additional gluten to give the doughnuts the perfect framework for rising. I tested many combinations of cake flour and wheat gluten, but found that the best texture resulted from cake flour combined with all-purpose flour. I also tried adding a little soy flour to the mix, but the soy gave the dough a strange taste and it didn't benefit the texture of the dough in any way. I excluded the malted barley flour and modified food starch from the Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe since these are difficult ingredients to find. These exclusions didn't seem to matter because the real secret in making these doughnuts look and taste like the original lies primarily in careful handling of the dough.

The Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe dough will be very sticky when first mixed together, and you should be careful not to over mix it or you will build up some tough gluten strands, and that will result in chewy doughnuts. You don't even need to touch the dough until it is finished with the first rising stage. After the dough rises for 30 to 45 minutes it will become easier to handle, but you will still need to flour your hands. Also, be sure to generously flour the surface you are working on when you gently roll out the dough for cutting. When each doughnut shape is cut from the dough, place it onto a small square of wax paper that has been lightly dusted with flour. Using wax paper will allow you to easily transport the doughnuts (after they rise) from the baking sheet to the hot shortening without deflating the dough. As long as you don't fry them too long—1 minute per side should be enough—you will have tender homemade doughnuts that will satisfy even the biggest Krispy Kreme fanatics.

Before he became America's sausage king, Jimmy Dean was known for crooning the country hit "Big Bad John." That song came out in 1962 and sold more than 8 million copies. His singing success launched a television career on ABC with The Jimmy Dean Show, where Roy Clark, Patsy Cline, and Roger Miller got their big breaks. The TV exposure led to acting roles for Jimmy, as a regular on Daniel Boone, and in feature films, including his debut in the James Bond flick Diamonds are Forever. Realizing that steady income from an acting and singing career can be undependable, Jimmy invested his show-biz money in a hog farm. In 1968 the Jimmy Dean Meat Company developed the special recipe for sausage that has now become a household name. Today the company is part of the Sara Lee Corporation, and Jimmy retired as company spokesman in 2004.

This clone recipe re-creates three varieties of the famous roll sausage that you form into patties and cook in a skillet. Use ground pork found at the supermarket—make it lean pork if you like—or grind some up yourself if you have a meat grinder.

Check out more of my famous breakfast food clone recipes here.

In the early 90's Boston Chicken was rockin' it. The home meal replacement chain's stock was soaring and the lines were filled with hungry customers waiting to sink their teeth into a serving of the chain's delicious rotisserie chicken. So successful was the chain with chicken, that the company quickly decided it was time to introduce other entree selections, the first of which was a delicious barbecue sauce-covered ground sirloin meatloaf. But offering the other entrees presented the company with a dilemma: what to do about the name. The bigwigs decided it was time to change the name to Boston Market, to reflect a wider menu. That meant replacing signs on hundreds of units and retooling the marketing campaigns. That name change, plus rapid expansion of the chain and growth of other similar home-style meal concepts sent the company into a tailspin. By 1988, Boston Market's goose was cooked, and the company filed for bankruptcy. Soon McDonald's stepped in to purchase the company, with the idea of closing many of the stores for good, and slapping Golden Arches on the rest. But that plan was scrapped when, after selling many of the under-performing Boston Markets, the chain began to fly once again. Within a year of the acquisition Boston Market was profitable, and those meals with the home-cooked taste are still being served at over 700 Boston Market restaurants across the country.

How about some of those famous Boston Market side-dishes to go with your copycat meatloaf recipe? I've cloned all the best ones here.

Menu Description: "Made from scratch in our kitchens using fresh Grade A Fancy Russet potatoes, fresh chopped onion, natural Colby cheese and spices. Baked fresh all day long."

In the late sixties Dan Evins was a Shell Oil "jobber" looking for a new way to market gasoline. He wanted to create a special place that would arouse curiosity, and would pull travelers off the highways. In 1969 he opened the first Cracker Barrel just off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee, offering gas, country-style food, and a selection of antiques for sale. Today there are over 529 stores in 41 states, with each restaurant still designed as a country rest stop and gift store. In fact, those stores which carry an average of 4,500 different items apiece have made Cracker Barrel the largest retailer of American-made finished crafts in the United States.

Those who know Cracker Barrel love the restaurant for its delicious home-style breakfasts. This casserole, made with hash brown-sliced potatoes, Colby cheese, milk, beef broth, and spices is served with many of the classic breakfast dishes at the restaurant. The recipe here is designed for a skillet that is also safe to put in the oven (so no plastic handles). If you don't have one of those, you can easily transfer the casserole to a baking dish after it is done cooking on the stove.

Love Cracker Barrel? Check out my other clone recipes here.

The first Auntie Anne's pretzel store opened in 1988 in the heart of pretzel country—a Pennsylvanian Amish farmers' market. Over 500 stores later, Auntie Anne's is one of the most requested secret clone recipes around, especially on the internet. Many of the copycat Auntie Anne's soft pretzel recipes passed around the Web require bread flour, and some use honey as a sweetener. But by studying the Auntie Anne's home pretzel-making kit in the secret underground laboratory, I've discovered a better solution for re-creating the delicious mall treats than any clone recipe out there. For the best quality dough, you just need all-purpose flour. And powdered sugar works great to perfectly sweeten the dough. Now you just have to decide if you want to make the more traditional salted pretzels, or the sweet cinnamon sugar-coated kind. Decisions, decisions.

Menu Description: "Nearly world-famous. Often imitated, hardly ever duplicated."

"Hooters is to chicken wings what McDonald's is to hamburgers," claims promotional material from the company. True, the six fun-loving Midwestern businessmen who started Hooters in Clearwater, Florida, on April Fool's Day in 1983 chose a classic recipe for chicken wings as their signature item. But while some might say it's the buffalo wings that are their favorite feature of the restaurant, others say it's the restaurant chain's trademark Hooters girls—waitresses casually attired in bright orange short-shorts and skin tight T-shirts.

Today there are over 375 Hooters across the United States serving more than 200 tons of chicken wings every week. The original dish can be ordered in 10-, 20-, or 50-piece servings or if you want to splurge, there's the "Gourmet Chicken Wing Dinner" featuring 20 wings and a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, for only $125. To further enhance the Hooters experience when you serve these messy wings, throw a whole roll of paper towels on the table, rather than napkins, as they do in the restaurants.

They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry. Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. This clone requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.

Now, how about a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to go with those fries? Click here for a list of all my McDonald's copycat recipes.

It took chefs several years to develop what would eventually become KFC's most clucked about new product launch in the chain's 57-year history. With between 70 to 180 calories and four to nine grams of fat, depending on the piece, the new un-fried chicken is being called "KFC's second secret recipe," and "a defining moment in our brand's storied history" in a company press release. The secret recipe for the new grilled chicken is now stored on an encrypted computer flash drive next to the Colonel's handwritten original fried chicken recipe in an electronic safe at KFC company headquarters. Oprah Winfrey featured the chicken on her talk show and gave away so many coupons for free grilled chicken meals that some customers waited in lines for over an hour and half, and several stores ran out and had to offer rain checks. Company spokesperson Laurie Schalow told the Associated Press that KFC has never seen such a huge response to any promotion. "It's unprecedented in our more than 50 years," she said. "It beats anything we've ever done."

When I heard about all the commotion over this new secret recipe I immediately locked myself up in the underground lab with a 12-piece bucket of the new grilled chicken, plus a sample I obtained of the proprietary seasoning blend, and got right to work. After days of nibbling through what amounts to a small flock of hens, I'm happy to bring you this amazing cloned version of this fast food phenomenon so that you can now reproduce it in your own kitchen. Find the smallest chicken you can for this KFC grilled chicken copycat recipe, since KFC uses young hens. Or better yet save some dough by finding a small whole chicken and cut it up yourself. The secret preparation process requires that you marinate (brine) your chicken for a couple hours in a salt and MSG solution. This will make the chicken moist all of the way through and give it great flavor. After the chicken has brined, it's brushed with liquid smoke-flavored oil that will not only make the seasoning stick to the chicken, but will also ensure that the chicken doesn't stick to the pan. The liquid smoke in the oil gives the chicken a smoky flavor as if it had been cooked on an open flame barbecue grill.

The grilled chicken at KFC is probably cooked on ribbed metal plates in specially designed convection ovens to get those grill marks. I duplicated that process using an oven-safe grill pan, searing the chicken first on the stovetop to add the grill marks, then cooking the chicken through in the oven. If you don't have a grill pan or a grill plate, you can just sear the chicken in any large oven safe saute pan. If you have a convection function on your oven you should definitely use it, but the recipe will still work in a standard oven with the temperature set just a little bit higher. After baking the chicken for 20 minutes on each side, you're ready to dive into your own 8-piece bucket of delicious indoor grilled chicken that's as tasty as the fried stuff, but without all the fat.

El Pollo Loco, or "The Crazy Chicken," has been growing like mad since it crossed over the border into the United States from Mexico. Francisco Ochoa unknowingly started a food phenomenon internacional in 1975 when he took a family recipe for chicken marinade and opened a small roadside restaurante in Gusave, Mexico. He soon had 90 stores in 20 cities throughout Mexico. The first El Pollo Loco in the United States opened in Los Angeles in December 1980 and was an immediate success. It was only three years later that Ochoa got the attention of bigwigs at Dennys, Inc., who offered him $11.3 million for his U.S. operations. Ochoa took the deal, and El Pollo Loco grew from 17 to more than 200 outlets over the following decade.

Re-create the whole El Pollo Loco experience at home with my copycat recipes for avocado salsa, pinto beans, Spanish rice, and bbq black beans.

The talented chefs at Benihana cook food on hibachi grills with flair and charisma, treating the preparation like a tiny stage show. They juggle salt and pepper shakers, trim food with lightning speed, and flip the shrimp and mushrooms perfectly onto serving plates or into their tall chef's hat.

One of the side dishes that everyone seems to love is the fried rice. At Benihana this dish is prepared by chefs with precooked rice on open hibachi grills, and is ordered a la cart to complement any Benihana entree, including Hibachi Steak and Chicken. I like when the rice is thrown onto the hot hibachi grill and seems to come alive as it sizzles and dances around like a bunch of little jumping beans. Okay, so I'm easily amused.

This Benihana Japanese fried rice recipe will go well with just about any Japanese entree and can be partially prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until the rest of the meal is close to done.

Once a regular menu item, these sweet, saucy wings are now added to the KFC menu on a "limited-time-only" basis in many markets. So how are we to get that sticky sauce all over our faces and hands during those many months when we are cruelly denied our Honey BBQ Wings? Now it's as easy as whipping up this KFC honey BBQ wings recipe that re-creates the crispy breading on the chicken wings, and the sweet-and-smoky honey BBQ sauce. "Limited-time-only" signs—we laugh at you.

How about some famous coleslaw or wedge potatoes? Check out my collection of KFC clone recipes here.

For two years after the first Olive Garden restaurant opened in 1982, operators were still tweaking the restaurant's physical appearance and the food that was served. Even the tomato sauce was changed as many as 25 times. It's that sort of dedication that creates fabulous dishes like this popular soup. It blends the flavors of potatoes, kale, and Italian sausage in a slightly spicy chicken and cream broth.

You've got the soup recipe, how about creating your own bottomless Olive Garden House Salad and Breadsticks? Find more of my Olive Garden clone recipes here!

One hot summer day in 1946 Dave Barham was inspired to dip a hot dog into his mother's cornbread batter, then deep fry it to a golden brown. Dave soon found a quaint Santa Monica, California location near the beach to sell his new creation with mustard on the side and a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade. Be sure you find the shorter turkey hot dogs, not "bun-length". In this case size does matter. Snag some of the disposable wood chopsticks from a local Chinese or Japanese restaurant next time you're there and start dipping.

Update 5/3/17: If your hot dogs are browning too fast, turn the temperature of the oil down to 350 degrees. And rather than using chopsticks, thick round skewer sticks (corn dog skewers) found in houseware stores and online will work much better.

By sneaking around to the back of a HoneyBaked Ham store I witnessed the glazing process through an open door. The hams are delivered to each of the 300 HoneyBaked outlets already smoked, but without the glaze. It is only when the ham gets to your local HoneyBaked store that a special machine thin-slices the tender meat in a spiral fashion around the bone. Then, one at a time, each ham is then coated with the glaze—a blend that is similar to what might be used to make pumpkin pie. This sweet coating is then caramelized with a blowtorch by hand until the glaze bubbles and melts, turning golden brown. If needed, more of the coating is added, and the blowtorch is fired up until the glaze is just right. It's this careful process that turns the same size ham that costs 20 dollars in a supermarket into one that customers gladly shell out 3 to 4 times as much to share during the holiday season.

For this HoneyBaked Ham glaze copycat recipe, we will re-create the glaze that you can apply to a smoked/cooked bone-in ham of your choice. Look for a ham that is pre-sliced. Otherwise you'll have to slice it yourself with a sharp knife, then the glaze will be applied. To get the coating just right you must use a blowtorch. Get the kind that is used for creme brulee from almost any kitchen supply store. They're usually pretty cheap. And don't worry—I didn't leave out an ingredient. No honey is necessary to re-create this flavorful glaze.

To get their Extra Crispy Chicken so crispy KFC breads the chicken two times. This double breading gives the chicken its ultra craggy exterior and extra crunch, which is a different texture than the less crispy Original Recipe Chicken that’s breaded just once and pressure fried.

As with my KFC Original Recipe hack, we must first brine the chicken to give it flavor and moisture all the way through, like the real thing, then the chicken is double breaded and deep fried until golden brown. KFC uses small chickens which cook faster, but small chickens can be hard to find. If your chicken parts are on the large side, they may not cook all the way through in the 12 to 15 minutes of frying I’m specifying here. To be sure your chicken is cooked, start frying with the thickest pieces, like the breasts, then park them in a 300-degree oven while you finish with the smaller pieces. This will keep the chicken warm and crispy, and more importantly, ensure that they are cooked perfectly all the way through.

On my CMT show Top Secret Recipe I chatted with Winston Shelton, a long-time friend of KFC founder Harland Sanders. Winston saw the Colonel's handwritten secret recipe for the Original Recipe chicken, and he told me one of the secret ingredients is Tellicherry black pepper. It's a more expensive, better-tasting black pepper that comes from the Malabar coast in India, and you should use it here if you can find it. Winston pulled me aside and whispered this secret to me when he thought we were off-camera, but our microphones and very alert cameramen caught the whole thing, and we aired it.

I first published this hack in Even More Top Secret Recipes, but recently applied some newly acquired secrets and tips to make this much-improved version of one of the most familiar fried chicken recipes in the world.

This recipe was our #2 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).

Menu Description: "Our award-winning Baby Back Ribs are slow-roasted, then basted with Jim Beam Bourbon BBQ Sauce and finished on our Mesquite grill."

When your crew bites into these baby backs they'll savor meat so tender and juicy that it slides right off the bone. The slow braising cooks the ribs to perfection, while the quick grilling adds the finishing char and smoky flavor. But the most important component to any decent rack of ribs is a sauce that's filled with flavor, and this version of Roadhouse Grill's award-wining sauce is good stuff. I ordered the ribs naked (without sauce) so that I could see if there was any detectable rub added before cooking and I didn't find anything other than salt and a lot of coarse black pepper. So that's the way I designed the recipe, and it works.

Now, how about a copycat Roadhouse Grill Roadhouse Rita to wash down those ribs.

Order an entree from America's largest seafood restaurant chain and you'll get a basket of some of the planet's tastiest garlic-cheese biscuits served up on the side. For many years this recipe has been the most-searched-for clone recipe on the Internet, according to Red Lobster. As a result, several versions are floating around, including one that was at one time printed right on the box of Bisquick baking mix.

The problem with making biscuits using Bisquick is that if you follow the directions from the box you don't end up with a very fluffy or flakey finished product, since most of the fat in the recipe comes from the shortening that's included in the mix. On its own, room temperature shortening does a poor job creating the light, airy texture you want from good biscuits, and it contributes little in the way of flavor. So, we'll invite some cold butter along on the trip -- with grated Cheddar cheese and a little garlic powder. Now you'll be well on your way to delicious Cheddar Bay. Wherever that is.

Since McDonald's doesn't sell onion rings, these crunchy, golden hoops from the world's number two restaurant chain are the most popular onion rings in the world. There are more than 12,000 Burger Kings in 61 countries these days, and after French fries, onion rings are the second-most popular companion to the chain's signature Whopper sandwich. Check out how simple it is to clone a whopping four dozen onion rings from one onion, using this triple-breading process. When frying, trans fat-free vegetable shortening makes for the best Burger King Onion Rings recipe, but you can get by fine using vegetable oil if that's the way you want to go.. (For a great dipping sauce—similar to Outback's Bloomin' Onion sauce—check out my clone recipe for Burger King's Zesty Onion Ring Dipping Sauce.)

This delicious crispy chicken in a citrusy sweet-and-sour chicken is the most popular dish at the huge Chinese take-out chain. Panda Express cooks all of its food in woks. If you don't have one of those, you can use a heavy skillet or a large saute pan.

Exclusive signed copy. America's best copycat recipes! Save money and amaze your friends with all-new culinary carbon copies from the Clone Recipe King!

For more than 30 years, Todd Wilbur has been obsessed with reverse-engineering famous foods. Using every day ingredients to replicate signature restaurant dishes at home, Todd shares his delectable discoveries with readers everywhere.

Now, his super-sleuthing taste buds are back to work in the third installment of his mega-bestselling Top Secret Restaurant Recipes series, with 150 sensational new recipes that unlock the delicious formulas for re-creating your favorite dishes from America's most popular restaurant chains. Todd's top secret blueprints and simple step-by-step instructions guarantee great success for even novice cooks. And when preparing these amazing taste-alike dishes at home, you'll be paying up to 75 percent less than eating out!

Find out how to make your own home versions of: Pizza Hut Pan Pizza, T.G.I. Friday's Crispy Green Bean Fries, Buca di Beppo Chicken Limone, Serendipity 3 Frrrozen Hot Chocolate, P.F. Chang's Kung Pao Chicken, Max & Erma's Tortilla Soup, Cracker Barrel Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake, Olive Garden Breadsticks, Cheesecake Factory Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake, Carrabba's Chicken Bryan, Famous Dave's Corn Muffins, Outback Steakhouse Chocolate Thunder from Down Under, T.G.I. Friday's Jack Daniel's Glazed Ribs, and much, much more.

Simple. Foolproof. Easy to Prepare. And so delicious you'll swear it's the real thing!

Fifty Shades of Drek

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"&mdashthe last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.


Really, this thing (these things) deserve to have their worst excesses exposed. I offer you an excerpt, bowlderized at the source.

Christian is standing over me grasping a plaited, leather riding crop.

He’s wearing old, faded, ripped Levis and that's all. He flicks the crop slowly into his palm as he gazes down at me. He's smiling, triumphant. I cannot move. I am BLEEP and BLEEP, BLEEP on a large four-poster bed.

Reaching forward, he trails the tip of the crop from my forehead down the length of my nose, so I can smell leather, and over my BLEEP, BLEEP lips. He pushes the BLEEP, BLEEP BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEP etc…





#1, Hey, good advertisement! I guess I will have to read the book at some time or another.

There was an article in our local paper about the book. Banned in the libraries of some nearby areas and our local library has a zillion holds and has ordered dozens more books. There was also the obligatory slam of the quality of writing.


I just want Cliff to know what he's up against.

That's some powerful writing.


A fan page for FIFTY SHADES. Please read the "About Me" citation, it's a gem.

News for the person running the site: intelligent women don't read this kind of shit.


I have learned from a certain fan site that some guy called "Cliff Burns" is just plain rude.

We all know that Cliff is just bitter because Anastasia, in the novel, is a portrait of Cliff himself:
"Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me. Perhaps I've spent too long in the company of my literary . heroes, and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high."



By the way, I'm getting lots of hits on my blog from that fan site--you're right, apparently I'm not exactly a popular guy.

God, I hope no one from their l'il group seriously tries to defend the literary brilliance of the FIFTY SHADES books. I'll be forced to eat them.



A good literary feud always gets the blood up, Anna.

And why cede the field to people just because they have tiny brains, thin skins and the wit of an outcropping of granite? To quote from a note I dropped to someone recently:

"I'm a proselytizer on behalf of the printed word, truly believe that reading saved my life or, at the very least, preserved my sanity. Thus, I am utterly appalled when I see what traditional publishers, supposedly arbiters of taste and discernment, are foisting on the general public.

Vampire porn, S & M "erotica" written at about a Grade 8 level, fake memoirs and don't get me started on the fantasy genre, with its rampant misogyny and rape scenarios galore.

Surely we can do better than this?

And what has happened to intelligent, discerning readers? Why are so many people gobbling up semi-literate chicken scribbles and making millionaires out of people who, if there was any justice in the world, would be flipping burgers at McDonald's?"

I genuinely LOVE books and to stand aside, mute, while corporate scum and a bunch of mental zombies flush literature down the toilet is more than I can bear.

It's Canute against the tide, I know, but, remember, my greatest heroes are Leonidas and the Spartans who fought a heroic and hopeless battle at Thermopylae. What can I tell ya, I'm a sucker for lost causes.


One significant difference is that porn movies are not treated as "film-making success stories" when they rake in the dough. But Fifty Shades is widely touted as a publishing success story worthy of serious coverage.

Readers, meanwhile, are not fooled, which does indeed make one ask, why get excited? The readers who read Fifty Shades are not the readers I'd hope to reach.


Where is KSW, who if I remember rightly has read some "literary erotica" such as The Story of O and could probably critique this silly thing against its own genre?

The whole thing is just making me laugh. As AJ points out, readers are indeed not fooled.

Ian, it's interesting that you brought up the ereader thing on the other thread, because last week at this training I was attending in Houston, the trainer noticed I was reading an ereader and actually asked me if I were reading this very "book". I said no (even if I had been, I probably would have lied because I would have had some shame about it - but as it happens, I was reading about the farthest thing from it I can imagine, which was a G.K. Chesterton Father Brown story) and he said that he had been sitting next to two different people on the plane both of whom were apparently not at all shy of telling him they were reading that book on their ereaders. (TMI, people!)




Anna: You want someone to critique it against its own genre? I'm not KSW but here are my two cents (if they're worth that much).

I've read Story of O and I'm sure as hell not gonna read Fifty Shades of Grey to compare. The clip at the top does well enough for me. What psychological insight! What passion and profundity! And I love how EL James describes leather as smelling like leather - very Ionesco-ian. Really sends a jolt through you. And the use of present tense makes it all so immediate!

Please. Beep out all the explicit words in Story of O and you're still left with a book (well, maybe a third of a book such is the fate of erotica).

That novel was disturbing, well-written, well-designed and had scenes that I'm never going to forget, one of which left me outraged, moved, horrified and shaken all at once. Possibly the strongest mix of emotions a book has ever gained from me. It was a trip to the dark side and grueling to read. I wanted to set every single character's hair on fire. The descriptive passages comparing the nightmare interiors of the chateau with the autumnal beauty out the window and the psychological descriptions of how O felt were a sight better than just sticking the word "triumphant" in and thinking that will suffice. Story of O got a reaction from me on every page and was of literary quality. Yeah, the addendum was a rip-off and the man who wrote the introduction was a lying piece of shit but the book itself was good.

As far as I know, unlike literary sci-fi, etc, literary erotica is not capable of transcending its genre limitations, but I have not read nearly enough of it to say for sure. That's just my suspicion. Be that as it may, Story of O was a good book. I didn't like it but I admire it. Fifty Shades of Grey is crap. Laugh it off the court.


17: Wow, that mini-review does not make me want to read Story of O but it sure does make me think it has literary value.

Seems like we have a consensus here between you, me and AJ that mockery is the best reaction to this 50 shades of whatever. Cliff is still going with righteous indignation.






# 21 Embrace the flow - a bull whip collection artfully snaking around and surrounding an endcap display of the book.-)

The whips were popular and plentiful when I was a kid.

You are correct no one has reviewed the book in erotica, which I clicked on by accident


You sure it wasn't a friend who clicked on that? Mmmm?



I am the one with the wandering eye! It is barely noticeable with sunglasses and my cousin is just fine.

I saw this article on cnbc about how erotic literature has taken off with the ebook sales. the video gives some hard economic facts if it is still there. I thought it was well researched.

I am over my head in that topic but I find it informational as I do Snobs. Nice rare links here!


I was over at Photography Snobs.

They were criticizing the wildly popular "Fifty Fotoz of Fux" - wrong shutter speeds, poor contrast choices, hamfisted air brushing. Basically, not artistic enough.






LibraryThing attracts a better class of readers. Only a little over 600 people have logged it in over here.

Then I checked the Amazon bestseller list. 3,400 reviews and counting. And the other two books in the trilogy are right behind it. Hilariously, further down the list there's a book called The Art of Intelligence.






Come now, I think we're all being a little harsh on this harmless book. Just take a look at Gilbert Gottfried reading passages from this nuanced work of literary eroticism:


I heard an interesting defense of this book lately (from someone who hasn't read it).

"It's porn. Why are you holding it to literary standards? That's like shooting fish in a barrel. Its goals are not literary, so why judge it as if it is?"

Hmmm. I think it was Mark Kermode who asked "why be Michael Bay if you could be Christopher Nolan?" That's a quote I still remember. Why be The Lowest Common Denominator? Why be a sub-literate hack? If you're going to write a work of erotica, the first thing to do is learn how to write.

Writing well takes exertion. Giving accolades to EL James is like giving the Olympic Medal to the one who stood still. Writing is writing, regardless of genre. I may read old romantic suspense with a far lower bar than I do for "literary" works, but the bar is still firmly in place and I recognise the ones who can't clear it (like the eye-wateringly bad Clarissa Ross).

I am of the opinion that a beautiful, skillfully crafted paragraph, whatever it is describing, is more awe-inspiring, shiver-inducing and (ta-da) erotic than a clunky, badly written description of an actual erotic scene.

What I wonder is why Stephanie Meyer hasn't done something useful with her ill-gotten gains and sued EL James for plagiarism.



38: "It's porn. Why are you holding it to literary standards? That's like shooting fish in a barrel. Its goals are not literary, so why judge it as if it is?"

Interesting you should bring that point up. Susan Sontag wrote an essay entitled "The Pornographic Imagination," examining 60s era literate smut like Story of O and The Image

As far as literate smut goes, Georges Batailles is still the gold standard. He wrote everything from anthropology to philosophy, yet wrote one of the most twisted pieces of porn I've ever read, The Story of the Eye

But regarding this thread, Fifty Shades of Grey isn't piss-awful because it's either "porn" or "literate fiction." It's neither. It's tacky Harlequin-style romance tarted up with supernatural elements. Hell, Harlequin and other publishers have entire lines devoted to this genre. Why this book has taken off with the gay-hating Republican trophy wives? Another sociological phenomena I'd like to understand from a historical standpoint, especially given America's utter fear of human nudity and sexuality, yet its sacred devotion to the free market and similarly, to the notion that "sex sells" . well . everything. Then again, is this really a surprise from a nation that chooses the Puritans as its spiritual descendants? Those sexually deranged, Quaker-hanging, moral hypocrites that England, in a rare moment of intellectual bravery, had the common decency to kick the fuck off the island. America has been dealing with these religious plague-bearers ever since. Seriously, the book is a romance novel with explicit sex scenes in it. The only real vulgar thing is its ridiculous popularity. Surprised we haven't heard any uproar from the Religious Right about this? Then again, they are probably too busy not getting caught having gay sex with their parishioners and figuring out how to make Romney into their personal hand-puppet to bother with this little book.




Why this book has taken off with the gay-hating Republican trophy wives?

Did you survey this demographic, or is this social criticism?



A quote from William Gass which I found pertinent to this thread:

"In the act of attacking their enemies, the avant-garde declared those enemies to be their equals - the main body. Can we nowadays imagine any self-respecting artistic movement turning upon the comic book, the blood flick, the gooey erotic romance, minimal moonshine or similar musics, painted photographs as large as small buildings, sideshow sensationalism and other vocal groups, TV's endless inanities, as if these had betrayed some noble cause, or had lured us off the high road of art and onto the low road of love and other lyrics? Any avant-garde that believes itself up to the mo should have the High Moderns as its foes, but these artists are, in fact, among the avant-garde's few friends, and its only equal although there is at present some doubt about even that, because the avant-garde itself - in name, if not in substance - is now a trademark for the trendy." (from "The Vicissitudes of the Avant-Garde")

Gass is saying that the artistic movements have died out, that in the modern field there is no worthy opponent, just stuff like what we're discussing here. So why are we ganging up on something that should be beneath our notice? "When there is no windmill to tilt at - tilt not."

Or does this sound like a snooty form of defeatism?

Meanwhile, trash reading has existed since the novel first appeared and the lowbrow end of it has always been scorned. The Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers I've got claims that a study of pulp reveals an enormous amount about the preoccupations of the masses and is therefore an excellent sociological study tool. I wouldn't mind a good book on the subject. Making the List: A Cultural History of the American Bestseller might also help fill in the gaps. We've got to live with this stuff (even if we don't read it), therefore we might as well get something out of it. if it's at all possible to do so.



46: More people, alas, drives the sales numbers up almost past endurance. But is the writing really WORSE than the worst of the pulps? You had people back then writing as fast as humanly possible - one guy (forget the name) called himself "the fastest typewriter in the East" and could churn out a book a week in any genre assigned to him.

On the other hand, he never scored gigantic hits with his stuff. The halfways competent writers scored the hits (just like in music).




FIFTY SHADES is wayyyy beneath pulp. It's sub-literate, incompetently composed, elementary school scribbling. I've read a good number of the pulp writers--and here we can include Dashiell Hammett, Robert Howard, Lovecraft, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Zane Grey--and it would be hard to find any examples from that milieu that mutilate the English language and ordinary rules of sentence construction with the apparent ease of E.L. James, Meyer, Amanda Hocking et al.

And none of the pulp guys ever received seven figure contracts and front page attention. They were trying to pay the bills at 1/4 cent a word.


#48 Wow. The kinda guy who gives self-publishing a bad name. And I know LOTS of people just as deluded and fucked up the next reigning giants of the literary world. if only the indifferent reading public and scheming, monolithic publishers would pay obeisance to their unique genius.

As Jung said "People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls."


ConfiteorMedia asks, " what happened to all the people who need high literature, great writing, serious prose?"

They're still around. I suspect that most of the people reading 50 SHADES are people who don't read much. That's a lot of people. These are not the people who used to read literature.


I've read all 50 of the posts here and have really enjoyed this discussion. My stepdaughter, married with children, is loving 50 SHADES, and I told her it sounds trashy to me. I haven't and don't intend to read it.

However, I also don't make such strong-sounding comments as those here about a book I haven't read. I wonder if anyone here has read it. I'm tempted to read it just so I can give it a bad review.

Has anyone seen a bad review of this book written by someone who has actually read the whole thing?


Good points being made here by all.

It seems to be the case that everyone is lambasting EL James for the sheer obnoxiousness of her success. The book is being trumpeted as a self-publishing triumph, James is making a fortune and discerning readers can't ignore it when it's being thrown in their faces. It's the advertising campaign. I get the same thing on YouTube - when looking up a good band such as Beirut, I'll get hit with a commercial for the latest diva the music industry is pushing when NOBODY who likes Beirut could possibly find that commercial anything but offensive.

The link at #48 proves also that negative publicity is no better* than good. Whichever way you stir the pot, the pot is still being stirred.

Oh, and Cliff: GREAT quote from Jung.


53: Yes I have seen a bad review by someone who read it. She was on the hot reviews on LT for more than a week - probably everyone here has read her review. I also took the time to read many of the other reviews which were almost uniformly positive, giving it 4 or 5 stars. They were not really judging the literary quality. They were judging the erotic element, to put it delicately. I also have read an excerpt or two and found them funny, because they were so stupid, just like I found the Twilight movie (apparently this book was originally Twilight fanfiction). It is like reading online erotica written by random people on the Internet, which I have also read, so I have a basis for comparison.

However I am not claiming that the people reading it are "Republican trophy wives" or anything like that. And I have not been one of the people who have been wringing their hands about it, actually the quote in 38, "It's porn. Why are you holding it to literary standards? That's like shooting fish in a barrel. Its goals are not literary, so why judge it as if it is?" sounds like a very good paraphrase of what I have been saying since someone originally brought this up on another thread.

I don't think you have to read an entire book to know it is bad. Sometimes I can read a good review and think I know enough to comment intelligently on a book. Sometimes you can read the back cover, or the first two pages, or a random excerpt, and that's enough for you to know it is bad writing (however we define that in our various subjective ways).

I do understand the outrage at its being marketed so heavily when it is so empty of content, pathetically badly written, and stupid, but then again I feel the same way about the Game of Thrones series and there is no escaping from it, either. In fact lots of bestsellers are not my cup of tea and yet there is enough good stuff out there that I am pretty happy. However, I am not an author trying to compete in a limited market, just a reader who prefers her books to sound at least halfway literate.


As a pro writer, I really take issue with FIFTY SHADES and its putrid ilk. There is only a finite amount of shelf space in bookstores and libraries in North America and too much of it is taken up by shite. Selfishly speaking, I want a crack at that shelf space too and with (seemingly) fewer and fewer of us reading "seriously" any more, I'm seeing my chances of nabbing even a few precious inches rapidly diminishing.

Welcome to Generation Stupid.



57: Dialogue between a Priest and a Dying Man was a good atheist philosophical tract. I'd need an iron stomach to read anything else by him.

Back on topic, Anna_in_PDX is possibly taking the sanest approach - live and let live.



Well I will be sure to leave 50 Shades of Grey to all the people that think that reading a Danielle Steel novel is actually reading. GAG.

When I was down with a recent surgery I was looking for reading material and my sister said something about this series and I looked it up real quick and the best description was SOCCER MOM PORN, and right there I knew I would just pass. From what I am reading here this series is even worst then the old harlequin romance crap that after reading a page or two you just want to throw the thing across the room.


"Soccer mom porn". That's a new one.

That's a freakin' scary demographic.


61: (not in defense of the Shades of Grey book but just a general comment) Um, why would soccer mom porn be so scary? Porn has been around for a long time (going back to the ancient romans at least, no?). it has never been highbrow, and now it caters to women as well as men, why is this a bad thing? (though why it has to be so S&M oriented I will never understand. )

60: I have wanted to fling Danielle Steele books across the room too, on occasion. I am one of those people that look compulsively around for reading material and if there is a romance sitting next to the phone book I start with the A's.


Anna, I was a soccer dad so I know all about those soccer moms. Vicious, savage people:

"Clarissa, don't just lay there! Go after that kid! Kill him! Kill him!"
"Anthony, it's just a little blood. Keep playing, we'll get it up stitched later. "
"How could you miss? Mommy showed you that drop shot a thousand times!"
"Ref! Ref! Open your fuckin' eyes, that kid's been diving all game!"



It's the off-season substitute for hockey.

In making notes recently contra common cultural assumptions about Canada as a "nation of peacekeepers," it occurred to me that Canadians are paradoxically addicted to the most violent of team sports, in which outbreaks of fisticuffs have long been regarded not only as inevitable but as an integral part of the game.


Like finding out the Swedes cut open baby seals and wear them on their heads to celebrate winter solstice.

Ordinarily, a sane, sedate people but, in actuality, a culture with a dark underbelly.





What, the baby seal on your head?

Strange customs they have in Saskatchewan.


Drop by for one of this province's institutions: a foul supper. Every autumn, people gather together in infernal places like church basements and community halls and--what?

Er, sorry. That should read "fowl" supper.


Really, is there anything more to add?

Perhaps a Mayan-like Apocalypse is a GOOD thing.


The Mayan apocalypse has come and gone. Remember what Wilfred Owen wrote about EL James cashing a cheque:

And by her smile, I knew that sullen hall
By her dead smile I knew we stood in hell


Yet another reason to like you.


Speaking of Roman-era porn, one of my thrift store finds was about the archaeological finds in Pompeii Lots of orgies and satyrs with giant wangs. Then again, was Rome ever subtle about anything?

Well, back to my unexpurgated Catullus and the Satyricon






But I don't think people are judging it as if its goals are literary. This is actually a straw man.

People are responding to hype that treats it as if its goals are literary.

To say, "you can't judge it as if its goals are literary" is equivalent to declaring that there is no point mentioning that the emperor has no clothes, because his tailor never intended to make any.


Ten million copies of this shit sold in 6 weeks?

That indicates a sickness at the heart of our culture that simply can't be ignored or brushed aside. Any attempt to further dummy down the Western mind must be met with the utmost scorn and hostility. Crap does NOT get a free ride, especially in a group of discerning, sharp-witted snobs.



81: Agreed. My issue isn't the porny-ness -- seriously, read George Bataille and DAF Sade for plenty of that goodness -- it's that the writing is terrible. Then again, this is a culture that makes an ethical fetish from voting "for the lesser of two evils," eroding the standards of education, and spot-welding homophobic Christianity on any flat surface for their own masturbatory edification. Of course these people would flock to this dreck without a second thought. To paraphrase the bisexual alcoholic trailer park supervisor Jim Leahy from Trailer Park Boys, "When you stare into the shit-abyss . "

People who are too stupid to think and too afraid to think critically, well, then of course they'd like crap and believe they are eating chocolate pudding.

Americans are Bible-thumping, gay-hating, not-cheap-healthcare-wanting sub-idiots. We aren't Rome, we're the Byzantine-Empire-as-Megamall-Megachurch. I would curse the whole damn lot of them, but why waste the energy?



Fan fiction from the fan fiction


An improper use of Thomas the Tank Engine:


Surely, the secret of 50 Shades is simple - it's porn for women that respectable women have heard of and can buy from respectable sources - especially for e-readers so they can read it on the bus.

Was it Chesterton who said that people don't look for bad books (and music and art) they look for books etc of a particular type, and if they can't find good books of that type, they read bad ones? People wanted porn, they didn't know where to find good or at least well-written porn, so they bought badly written porn.


Are there examples of good erotica-slash-porn, Auntie? Are you thinking along the lines of Anais Nin, Henry Miller, et al?

Is there a possible thread here to counter the "50 Shades" phenomenon?


87: Surely, the secret of 50 Shades is simple - it's porn for women that respectable women have heard of and can buy from respectable sources - especially for e-readers so they can read it on the bus

I can attest to that. I love it when some curious female type asks her friend on the bus this wonderful question, "So what's it about?" Be prepared to hear euphemisms so tortured and deceptive you'd think it came from a memorandum penned by Robert McNamara

Yuuucchhh . nothing is more vulgar and vile than the whitebread middle-class Americans in search of "respectability."

Let me be the first to take Hedley Lamarr's pledge "to stamp out runaway decency in the West":

Is there a possible thread here to counter the "50 Shades" phenomenon?

Probably not a thread, but a garrote would do nicely.



>90 dcozy: Ah, but that's the thing . . . in these days of the Internet, it's easy to get your hands on vast quantities of porn in any flavor imaginable . . . including stuff along the lines of "Fifty Shades." Finding that particular vein, or any particular vein of porn/erotica on the internet, though, takes either a fair amount of trial and error or finely honed, very specialized search skills.

The "respectable women" and "whitebread middle-class Americans" who've flocked to Fifty Shades have neither of those things. (And are, I suspect, quite likely to view the unfilterered hinterlands of the web as a dangerous cesspool of Very Nasty Things they wouldn't want to encounter even in passing.)

Fifty Shades does for written erotica (or porn, if you like) what films like Emmanuelle did for the cinematic version back in the mid-70s. It creates a culturally demarcated-and-approved safe space where they can go, confident that they'll be turned on and yet not see anything that'll make them feel icky.



91: Fifty Shades does for written erotica (or porn, if you like) what films like Emmanuelle did for the cinematic version back in the mid-70s.

At least Emmanuelle was better written, at least in terms of the films adaptations I've seen. By the 90s and the Krista Allen derivations, the series had run its course.

92: Only if they are sticky. Reminds me of this bit of dialogue from Serenity:

Kaylee Frye: Goin' on a year now I ain't had nothin' twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries!
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Oh, God! I can't *know* that!
Jayne Cobb: I could stand to hear a little more.




The trouble is that a lot of erotica/porn is not written with women in mind - it's years since I read any Anais Nin but I seem to recall that it was written for a bloke, for cash. One reason for the popularity of fan fiction (especially slash fan fiction) is that a lot of it is erotica/porn written by women for women largely away from the male gaze. I've seen a number of studies in which it is described as a "safe space" for women.

If you don't want to go looking, if you don't know how to go looking, and/or if you want porn in which all the decisions are made by someone else "wiser" and "more experienced" - Fifty Shades of Crap probably looks like a good deal.

And women can have very discreet fun on the bus, we don't have to act like that women from "When Harry met Sally", you know.


That's from the always excellent xkcd:


More shit in the pipeline:

A seven-figure contract? Seven figure?




>96 AuntieCatherine: - I thought the main market of written porn was women hence most of the big romance publishers also have more erotic off-shots.

>98 CliffBurns: - this is from Wikipedia, about the founding of Penguin - Anecdotally Lane recounted how it was his experience of the poor quality of reading material on offer at Exeter train station that inspired him to create cheap, well designed quality books for the mass market. And now they can't be bothered making an effort.

102 timspalding

Potential sales. They're not stupid.


Yes, those potential sales.

Embarrassing that publishers think their audience is so stupid. and so frequently right.

Skimming the murky waters of self-publishing for their talent. It doesn't get much lower than that. Truly bottom-feeding.



Back when Lane launched Penguin, such an imprint was rare or nonexistent in England (there were cheap mass market pocket books on the Continent since at least 1908, when Insel Verlag began publishing "two-mark" pocket books, and then in 1912 started Insel-Buecherei--Lane copied their design for King Penguins and some poetry series. Was probably inspired by them altogether.)

Now there are plenty of cheap good books around, but the taste of the readers on average still inclines to sex and gore, the carbs and fats of printed text. Human nature. But! At least there are today ALSO plenty of cheap Odysseys and David Copperfields, for the lit-conscious.


#104 Gawd, that's terrible, Geoff. Sue the A.I. that came up with that particular algorithm.

(On the other hand, ruthlessly speaking, it might nab you some sales.)



103: Embarrassing that publishers think their audience is so stupid. and so frequently right

Not really, these people are the same people who vote Republican, think the Earth is 6000 years old, and homosexuality is a choice. In other words, the perfect demographic for a nuclear holocaust:



Bret Easton Ellis wants to adapt Fifty Shades for the big screen.




I thought he was a flash in the pan, part of that New York "Brat Pack" that emerged in the 80's. and disappeared without a ripple.

AMERICAN PSYCHO did it for me. An over-hyped, carefully and shamelessly conceived outrage, irredeemably stupid and mercenary.



113: AMERICAN PSYCHO did it for me. An over-hyped, carefully and shamelessly conceived outrage, irredeemably stupid and mercenary.

I thought it was brilliant for exactly those same reasons. Nobody more "stupid and mercenary" than an American stockbroker -- or whatever the hell Patrick Bateman did? Then again, that's the only BEE book I've ever bothered to read.



116: Yes, but you're approaching it as an independent-minded Canadian. BEE hit the nerve when it came to portraying the inner psyche of the typical Wall Street yuppie scumbag. Who needs depth and subtlety when it comes to anvilicious fables? That's what it was: a fable. Mr. Ellis ain't no Henry James, that's for damn sure. But the junk bond-trading Ivan Boeskies who engineered the 1986 Crash weren't Carnegie or Rockefeller either. The book is a perfect distillation of the superficial rot and macho psycho idiocy that permeated the United States in the 80s. A book of its time that captured the coke-addled superficiality. Great Literature: hardly. But I wouldn't put a Van Halen song in the same category as John Cage either.

I also haven't read another Ellis book, nor do I plan to. I'll be charitable and put him in the same category as Orson Scott Card and George Lucas: one-hit wonders with one era-defining work under their belt, but have been creating diminishing returns ever since.

Then again, I like Robertson Davies and that dude seems to drive Canadians into apoplexy for whatever obscure-ass reasons I can't fathom. Apparently this bearded yutz who looks like an Al Hirschfield caricature is the Literary Antichrist in Our Healthcare Doesn't Suck-Land.

118 timspalding

I love Davies. Whom did he drive into apoplexy and why? I don't know anything about his reception, except that I thought he was universally loved.



#118--universally loved? Robertson Davies? Not among the Canucks I know. Since his death, Davies' work (except perhaps because of the occasional appearance on a college syllabus) has virtually disappeared from our literary memory. I joked in one article (years ago) that if you're looking for a quick fire-starter, Davies' tomes were perfect because they were fat and dry and would go up like a torch. I always found his "humor" debatable and his prose unexciting.

Nothing he wrote can hold a candle to Mordecai Richler or, say, NOT WANTED ON THE VOYAGE by Timothy Findley.

There are far better Canadian writers out there than old, fusty Robbie.



Wow. De gustibus, perhaps, but I found the Deptford Trilogy one of the high-points of my reading life. I agree he belongs to a different era somehow but, well, that was a better era :)








Better than Fifty Shades of Grey, an Incomplete List:




Ah, well, to each his own. I still very much doubt Ellis is smart or talented enough to grasp the concept of irony. For him, "irony" is the mysterious process by which his drycleaner removes the wrinkles from his pants. AMERICAN PSYCHO as some kind of moral or ethical statement of the greedhead mentality in New York in the 80's? Then it's more stupid, inept and ham-fisted than Oliver Stone's "Wall Street". And that's saying something.

The novel created a splash, made its fading author another pile of money before he slipped off into obscurity. Where he still resides. And may that ever be the case.


132: What exactly were you expecting? Depth, nuance? The book's title is American Psycho? It's like seeing a Herschel Gordon Lewis movie and being outraged that the film lacks the metaphysical nuances of, say, Solaris

And Oliver Stone's Wall Street may be all those things -- he does lay the moralizing on a bit thick, then again, that's how we Bible-thumpin' Americanos likes it . how else would you explain the alleged popularity of Ms. Ayn Rand and Mr. Joel Osteen? -- but Gordon Gekko is one hell of a charismatic villain. Bud Fox, on the other hand, had all the personality of a wood block and just as much acting range.




Geoff: surprised he has that many books about. I've seen none of them about and know of no discussions or interest in his works, new or old.

To me, he's one of those "Whatever happened to. " cases.

Like Tama Janowicz, remember her?


136: To me, he's one of those "Whatever happened to. " cases.

Considering he became famous in the 80s -- that esteemed decade of taste and restraint -- I'd call him the literary equivalent of David Hasselhoff

The person/screenwriting program/poorly edited Id that wrote Fifty Shades of Grey will be remembered as the literary version of William Hung -- Uber-popular, no damn talent, on a show watched by post-menopausal social conservatives, and gone in 14 minutes 59 seconds.

This comet of amateurish sex-prose will be replaced by yet-another Flavor-of-the-Month that all the suburbanite cattle will read because everyone else is reading it, be it Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Jodi Picoult, Twilight, the Hunger Games, or whatever. The heart of the matter is this: In the end, the content doesn't matter. That's a red herring. The most vile and repugnant thing is this middlebrow desire to "read what you're told" (a similar behavior to their "do as your told" mentality) and to behave like domesticated sheep (my apologies to sheep, who at least provide warm wool and gyro meat). I bet it would be even more popular if the book came with a complimentary armband and pair of fuzzy hand-cuffs. (The sexual bondage is no big deal, it's the willful mental bondage that's truly disturbing.)

No wonder this book sold so well and Prick Santorum did so well during the primaries.


Fifty Shades of Grey should be charged with plagiarism. Eric Idle worked very hard on this sketch:


I picked up FIFTY SHADES while waiting for Sherron at the drug store, read the first line--the first LINE, folks--and giggled.

I've tried to find it to reproduce it because the line is so wrong, completely inept. Shoot. can anyone quote it here?


Got it. The first line of that mammoth runaway bestseller, FIFTY SHADES OF Y'KNOW:

"I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror."

Let's just take a quick red pencil to that, shall we?

The "with frustration at myself" is completely extraneous, not to mention tuneless, the kind of gaffe a Grade 8 diarist would make. Who the fuck else would be in the fucking mirror?

Fuck, the people who read this shit are stupid. No getting around it. As dumb as fucking fenceposts.



141: Not "It was a dark and stormy night . "? Even for the fatuous hackery of bestsellerdom, that opening line is a bit thin.

Here's what Gore Vidal has to say about the whole "looking into the mirror" shtick in popular literature, in this case the much-vaunted The Winds of War by Herman Wouk:

"We get the Mirror Scene (used by all pop-writers to tell us what the characters look like: "the mirror told her a different story, but even it seemed friendly that night: it showed . " " from "The Top Ten Best Sellers", 1973 in United States: Essays 1952 - 1992

If I wanted to read a diary with abundant perversity, saucy nuns, and the occasional theological-alchemical discourse, I'll pick up a copy of Giacomo Casanova's diary or some Anias Nin

"Go ahead, America, gorge yourself on sub-standard offal. I'll be over here eating the literary equivalent of a steak."



You just couldn't believe it would get hotter:


Where DO you buy "mummy porn" these days?











This seems to be the new trend: publishers snapping up the rights to popular slash fiction sites. I do find it very disturbing actually. I mean, could you imagine a film company snapping up the rights to student film or someone's home video collection? Is the publishing industry really getting this desperate?

Having read some of the quotes, I can't even see the appeal of the sex scenes. "Badly written" isn't the worst accusation you can level at a work of erotica. The worst insult would be "boring", and quite frankly, I found those quotes boring. Part of the appeal of reading erotica is that it builds anticipation. The actions of characters are so unpredictable that you can't wait to read what they do next. It's the same anticipation you feel when your making a love to a new partner for the first time and aren't familiar with he's sexual style and technique yet. The passages from "Grey" read like every bondage scene that's ever appeared in film or literature. It's every cliche in the book (so to speak). How can it be exciting if there's no anticipation?


OK I just have to say that "Sweater McTits" is a funny name. It sounds like a punk band led by my favorite local singer Storm Large.


Does FIFTY SHADES give bondage a bad name?


154: Maybe 'Tess' is mentioned so often because it is about an 'innocent and powerless victim' (per the back of the book) and some wealthy man.

That would also explain the appeal our dumb-as-cattle electorate has for Mitt Romney




Not sure about the protocol of posting links to this LT challenger, but it is a very funny review (although some of the .gif files are clunky)



Andrew O'Hagan on the "Fifty Shades" phenomenon and the historical pedigree of the shite-awful mass market smut book:


>163 kswolff:: kswolff, thanks for posting Andrew O'Hagan's review. I love the reference to mother's liking it because, "there's no mess on the carpet afterwards and everyone uses condoms". I actually find it funny that he refers to the constant mentioning of brand names as a "harkening back" to the decadence of the '80s. I've found that the obsession with brand names has actually worse now then it ever was in the '80s. Our average incomes have made us more covetous of the "right" brand names rather than less.

>161 anna_in_pdx:: anna, love that review! It's one of the most entertaining reviews I've ever read, and I love that she addressed the real concerns about the plot of the book, as well as the issues with writing and cliches. "Inner goddess"? really? Does anyone really think that marketing-speak coined by a ladies' razor company is a reflection of how women actually think about their sexuality? Apparently E.L. James does. The more I hear about this book, the more I despair for the erotic imagination of women everywhere.









169: At this point, I'm for letting Fifty Shades have its day in the sun. Not for any charitable reason, but only to hasten its inevitable "fifteen minutes of fame" and then we can get on with our lives. Yes, it's a terrible book. Yes, people are worse off for reading it. Yes, the millions EL James has accrued is an inevitable sign of the Apocalypse/Singularity/Cubs winning the pendant. Can we stop drawing attention to it already. The greatest retort is not hyperventilating snobbish blast, but casual indifference. Our collective outrage -- which is getting a wee tad tiresome at this point -- only validates these philistines reading that whale vomit of sexual retardation. "See! Look at what that David Mitchell reader is doing when I say I like Fifty Shades! Ha ha!"

What? You're reading "Fifty Shades"? Pfft, whatever.

These same people will read whatever the Bestseller List tells them to read. Our frothing rage and King Lear-esque sword-swinging at the sea will make no difference whatsoever! Save your energy for what really matters. Something something carbon footprint TED Talks.


Ellen: best of luck with your writing and I'm certain Karl is right, FIFTY SHADES has had its day in the sun.

To the remainder bins and thrift shops with it!


Let's let Clive James lift our collective spirits with some poetic snark:

'The Book of my Enemy Has Been Remaindered'

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse,
My enemy's much-prized effort sits in piles
In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.
Great, square stacks of rejected books and, between them, aisles
One passes down reflecting on life's vanities,
Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews
Lavished to no avail upon one's enemy's book --
For behold, here is that book
Among these ranks and banks of duds,
These ponderous and seeminly irreducible cairns
Of complete stiffs.

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I rejoice.
It has gone with bowed head like a defeated legion
Beneath the yoke.
What avail him now his awards and prizes,
The praise expended upon his meticulous technique,
His individual new voice?
Knocked into the middle of next week
His brainchild now consorts with the bad buys
The sinker, clinkers, dogs and dregs,
The Edsels of the world of moveable type,
The bummers that no amount of hype could shift,
The unbudgeable turkeys.

Yea, his slim volume with its understated wrapper
Bathes in the blare of the brightly jacketed Hitler's War Machine,
His unmistakably individual new voice
Shares the same scrapyart with a forlorn skyscraper
Of The Kung-Fu Cookbook,
His honesty, proclaimed by himself and believed by others,
His renowned abhorrence of all posturing and pretense,
Is there with Pertwee's Promenades and Pierrots--
One Hundred Years of Seaside Entertainment,
And (oh, this above all) his sensibility,
His sensibility and its hair-like filaments,
His delicate, quivering sensibility is now as one
With Barbara Windsor's Book of Boobs,
A volume graced by the descriptive rubric
"My boobs will give everyone hours of fun".

Soon now a book of mine could be remaindered also,
Though not to the monumental extent
In which the chastisement of remaindering has been meted out
To the book of my enemy,
Since in the case of my own book it will be due
To a miscalculated print run, a marketing error--
Nothing to do with merit.
But just supposing that such an event should hold
Some slight element of sadness, it will be offset
By the memory of this sweet moment.
Chill the champagne and polish the crystal goblets!
The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am glad.







I say this semi-seriously. Why don't you folks with a gift for the written word strike while the iron is hot? Crank out some drek that would still be heaps better than 50 Shades and make a fortune. That old novel you could never get published? Slap some humpin' in there! It's got to be better odds than playing the lottery. Then you could kick back and focus on quality work. Of course as a graphic designer and not a fine artist, my mercenary streak may be wider than yours.

You could use a pen name and stay mysteriously out of the public eye. If your family wonders how you came by all that money, you could make up a less damning explanation. For instance, maybe you seduced a wealthy old man/woman/horse and the money was willed to you.

Please note that I'm not trying to kick the beehive, just that it's amusing to speculate. Hmm. Now that Tommy Kinkade has left a big smarmy void in the world of pseudo-art, perhaps I should pull my neglected paintbrushes out of the drawer.


Ah, Fred, I'd rather burn me fingers off with a blowtorch.

Ms. James can sleep on her mattress stuffed with all the money she's made.

I just hope she's the kind who smokes in bed.




John Steinbeck tried it when he was struggling to finish his first novel. Disgusted with the garbage he saw being published and jealous of the success of people he knew who he considered awful writers, he wrote a trashy murder mystery called "Murder by Moonlight," I think, under the pseudonym Peter Pym, and threw in every trashy plot twist and sensationalist device in the book.

It failed to find a publisher. It is very difficult to write something that you hold in contempt.


183: Auntie Catherine, you just made me nostalgic for my old stomping ground of Dundee.

". It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed."

I hope you're not suggesting that this is not art.




The reason it doesn't work is for the same reason that well-written erotica doesn't sell as well: most people like to "play" at being "edgy" but don't actually have the stomach for it.

If you'll allow me a bondage metaphor, Fifty Shades of Grey is "vanilla erotica". The main character is into S & M (edgy), but he's supposedly that way because he was sexually abused (vanilla). A well-written work of erotica would acknowledge that there is a part every man likes to feel powerful and strong, and a part of every woman who loves to feel her lover's strength and know that she's at his mercy. Most people don't indulge these instincts so far as to practice S & M, but we do feel them. The kind of people who love Fifty Shades, love it because speaks to our primal instincts while still decrying them as "abnormal" and making us feel very moral indeed.

But a well-written work of erotica wouldn't shy away of the fact S & M has it's roots in very normal, healthy feelings, and wouldn't condemn it as abnormal. So all your soccer moms would be far too appalled to want anything to do with it.


188: The reason it doesn't work is for the same reason that well-written erotica doesn't sell as well: most people like to "play" at being "edgy" but don't actually have the stomach for it.

(a teen magazine editor asks Daria for her definition of "Edgy")
Daria Morgendorffer: As far as I can make out, "edgy" occurs when middlebrow, middle-aged profiteers are looking to suck the energy - not to mention the spending money - out of the "youth culture." So they come up with this fake concept of seeming to be dangerous when every move they make is the result of market research and a corporate master plan.

Fuck this edgy noise, I'll be back reading some George Bataille and Jean Genet







It isn't the sexuality of the book that offends me, it's the paucity of talent, its utter tunelessness, the ineptitude of the author, the crimes against language it commits in literally every paragraph.

As to the "sexuality", the various excerpts I've read provoke peals of laughter, rather than erotic thoughts.

Serious readers have passed judgement on this turkey: leave it to the sexually frustrated, juvenile minds is was intended for.


Don't need the reviews - I've read it myself. It was thrust (ooh errrr) into my hands with a merry cry of "You like books". Reading it was like walking on broken glass, constant wincing, and that was only the prose. The first line drops off the page with a resounding clang and it doesn't get any better.

As far as I'm concerned, it's porn, being written to arouse and having no other possible effect.

And how dare you assume that people dislike it from prejudice and bad reviews. I am perfectly capable of despising it all by myself.


"It may not be the perfect book. "


194: That is an interesting website, looks very um, commercial - but I don't think the people on this particular list are your target audience.

Some of us have better things to do than read crappy books we won't enjoy. This does not mean we are prudish about sex/porn. Quite the contrary, we actually have another conversation going on about well written porn, which exists. 50SOG is not it. And no we don't have to read it if a review gives us an idea of what the writing is like and it is not our cup of tea. Why would we?






>202 anna_in_pdx:: LOL! I guess you're not big on trusting people then. Oh well. To each their own.

And, incidentally, the turn-on doesn't come from thought that he could hurt me, but from the knowledge that he chooses not to.




". that doesn't mean the emotional desires (emphasis on "emotional") that drive them to peruse that sexual practice don't exist in all of us."

Emotional desires/sexual fantasies are hardly universal each person has their own peculiar quirks and predilections. S & M and power games may appeal to some and be a huge turn off to others. I've read some very good eroticism that did nothing for me, simply because the ideas and practices described just weren't my cup of tea.

Different strokes (ha ha) for different folks.


Sexual fantasies do vary. Our cultural upbringing and family philosophies teach us to believe certain things, and that colours what we find appealing but certain basic emotional needs stay the same. These are the wants driven by physical survival: food, shelter, sex (survival of the "tribe"), belonging (strength in numbers = increased chance of individual survival), and so on.

Look at the men that are consistently named "sexiest man alive" in popular culture lists. They're all 6 feet tall or taller, with very muscular builds: your typical "alpha males". This is no accident. A large, strong mate is not only capable of defending his female and her offspring from a physical attack, but is more likely to produce large, strong, healthy offspring who have a better chance of survival themselves.

The stereotypical image of a young man trying to impress his girlfriend: he invites her to watch him play his sport of choice. A display of his strength and physical abilities that he believes will "win her heart". Why does he assume this will win her love? Because instinct is stronger than logic, and even though the ability to wrestle bears is no longer necessary to survival, he instinctively understands she will find a display of physical strength attractive. And he's right she does.

Now go and have a look at the forums where fans of Fifty Shades of Grey are posting. Read how they gush about "sexy" Christian Grey. These women aren't closeted s & m practitioners. They are ordinary women, who would be appalled at the thought of being involved in an s&m relationship. But physically aggressive Grey has them oohing, aahing, and waxing poetic. If they didn't find strength attractive, do you really think so many soccer moms and church ladies would rushing out to buy this book, regardless of how terrible the writing is? The fantasy overpowers our principles because it has it's root in our survival instinct. It isn't what we would actually want to live with in reality, but the fantasy is exciting.


I have to say, I find it deliciously ironic to see male "strength" extolled in the context of this book and the romance genre in general. I mean--THAT is a balls-cutting, masculine-power-sapping genre and paradigm par excellence. What's THE story, the one and only story every single title of the type pushes? The saga of a "powerful" macho, a cruel, sneering tiger being tamed and domesticated into a lovable plushie for the exclusive use of one super special lady! No wonder most men can't abide it.

As for the pseudo-biological hokum, there's only one general (not universal--there is such a thing as asexuality) "primal" sexual instinct, and that is to have sex. Anyone who isn't asexual is desirous or capable of having sex with one, two, more, any or all of the following: men, women, sheep, chicken, garden vegetables, Disney characters, mechanical implements etc. Nothing more is needed for survival of the species than this compulsion to have sex. As for individual survival, your utterly silly equation of physical strength with survival didn't hold even back when we lived in caves. Very strong men can be felled by a virus, an axe, poison, a zillion manifestations of their own stupidity and others' cleverness and so on ad infinitum. Short men sometimes need to be no taller than Napoleon.

You go all woozy at the thought that your boyfriend could do you grievous bodily harm, but doesn't well, does it ever occur to you what damage you could do to him? I mean, I assume you're not Tinkerbell. Anyone with a forefinger can, at a minimum, blind a person with an eye. For instance. And yet, mostly, we don't. Sexxxy.

Others have tried to point out (in vain) that your "facts" aren't facts at all, merely your personal preference, which you expand into some sort of "rule" based on no science to speak of and a forum with others with the same preference. But there are plenty of forums out there of ALL kinds, including where submissive men look for women to dominate them. How do they--submissive men and dominant women--fit into your little world? How do homosexuals? "Versatiles"? How do people who prefer to feel they are in equal partnerships, in bed as out of bed? How do men who, all questions of "domination" aside, simply like statuesque, tall women? How do women who prefer the looks of girly men? How do men and women who are turned OFF by any hint, including strictly imaginary, of violence?

If you're at all interested in finding out about the true nature and diversity of sexual interests in the human species, I suggest as a first stop Dan Savage's "Savage Love" column and his archive of letters.


>208 LolaWalser:: what makes you think that a dominant women can't enjoy playing submissive for the sake of the game? I assume that we can at least agree on the idea that sex should be playful?

I only addressed in my previous post the primal basis for female attraction. But the human race wouldn't have survived if men weren't also attracted to women based on survival strategies. You assume that because men are the physically stronger gender that that means women must be weak or useless. That is the flaw in your logic.

Look at the women who consistently make the list of desirable women in men's magazines: tall, strong, fit. Female athletes often make the cut while women's magazine's lists of beautiful women ignore female athletes altogether. For our species to have survived, both genders had to find strength attractive. Ironically, it's women who scoff at the idea that a physically strong woman can be attractive, not men. Strong women are more capable of defending their offspring. Ever notice that outdoor guides consistently give the advice to avoid female animals with offspring? There is nothing more dangerous than enraged mother defending her children. Nature doesn't leave any animal - including human females - without the ability to defend themselves.

This easily opens the door to men finding powerful women seductive, and to the dominant woman-submissive man scenario.

I find it disturbing that you say that because a couple act is equals in real life that they can't enjoy sexual role-playing in the bedroom. Are you really that incapable of separating fantasy from reality? Do you really believe that a strong woman couldn't possibly enjoy playing submissive occasionally? Or that a strong man couldn't possibly enjoy playing submissive. What a boring love-life that would be: having no variety in the bedroom. You seem to think that all of the sexual scenarios you list happen independently of each other. That the dominant woman always has to play dominant, the dominant man always has to play dominant, the equal couple are incapable playing at domination, and the homosexual couple couldn't possibly take pleasure in playing dominant-submissive bedroom games. You mention "versatiles", but it doesn't seem to occur to you that we are all versatile in our sex lives.

As for the men that you so condescendingly describe as "girly men", I assume you mean men of a slimmer build with delicate features. Let me enlighten you as to the variety of the human form. I am a 5 foot-5 inch tall woman who wears a size 0. I was also described by an artist friend as being the perfect blend of masculine strength and feminine softness. I weight train and swim. I trained as a gymnast in my youth and years of practice and training have left my body rock solid. I am small and powerful simultaneously: as are small men. The strength is still present, it just assumes a different form. As for height, tall is comparative. My sister is 5 feet tall. Her husband is 5 foot 6. To her, he is tall. But I can't wear heels and stand next to my brother-in-law without towering over him. What a woman perceives as "tall" is all down to perspective.

You talk a lot a about diversity, but you really don't seem to understand just how much diversity there can be in one person's sex life. Assuming, of course, that you can separate fantasy from reality.

As for books like Fifty Shades and romance novels, they are the product of people trying to civilize sexuality, not the result of our primal drives. And there I agree with you: they are disgusting and offensive. The strong independent man is always domesticated and the woman never sets one toe outside the carefully prescribed role society has carved out for her. As far as I'm concerned they are an insult men, women, and sex.


The strong independent man is always domesticated and the woman never sets one toe outside the carefully prescribed role society has carved out for her.

That encapsulates the sexual politics of every Republican campaign platform ever, including the one Lincoln ran. In the words of Eric Cartman, zenith of human civilization and nuanced wordsmith, "Git yir bitch-ass back into the kitchen and bake me a pah!" Glad to see the readers of Fifty Shades have the emotional development of a foul-mouthed racist 8-year-old.


Wriggling and writhing of that order is worthy of an Olympic rhythmic gymnastics routine, but I'm afraid it's too late for medals or even a cookie.

Putting words into my mouth (i.e. LYING) about what I have said, only makes me cross and unwilling to further bother with you. Pretending to hijack the arguments you obviously don't understand, OTOH, is still deliciously ironic. But, beyond a couple of laughs, I'm writing you off as pure waste of time. Go yank another chain--maybe someone's who'd enjoy it! )


LovelyPride, please shut up. You're being extremely offensive to those of us who aren't straight with the so-called "typical" or "essential" drives/desires that are really just examples of your own beliefs and personal identity. You're basically saying that the rest of us are broken or wrong or disordered for not being exactly like you (or like whatever the media is pushing today), and that is unacceptable. What you and the media are perpetuating is harmful even to straight men and women, if they don't conform.

Also, I'm not sure if you've realized, but the ideal of men/women who are ranked in the "Most Attractive" or "Most Desirable" or whatever has changed a lot over the years according to fashion and cultural shifts? That whole athletic/strong thing isn't exactly consistent. just look at how the rakes were fashionable back in the 1660s or even Gary Cooper in the 1920s. Cooper had to change his image in the 1940s because the debonair, stylish, perhaps even foppish image had fallen out of fashion.

I'm also not too fond of the derision towards romance novels in this thread while other genres are given a pass as being okay, even if not Literature. They're all pulps, they just have different themes and audiences. And there are different qualities of romance, just like you have different qualities of sf or horror. Harlequin/Mills & Boon are fairly famous for standardizing a fairly terrible plot pattern with stereotypical character types that are easily mocked, but there is a huge spectrum out there. The main element of romances, from what I can tell, is that the primary plot has to do with personal relationships and character growth, usually related to a romantic relationship, and with the promise that the ending will be a Happily Ever After. (But I suppose all this is neither here-nor-there since we are Literary Snobs and no one is trying to argue that romances are Literature. I can't even think of one off the top of my head that I'd recommend, since when I read them, it's a junk food thing. I'm a snob about my junk food and won't eat just anything, but sometimes I really want to indulge in something bad for me.)

Costco’s Meal Prepped Chicken Alfredo Is On Sale For a Limited Time

If there is one thing that can save our midweek slump, it’s having easy meals ready to go after a long workday. Nothing feels worse than coming home to a hungry family and realizing you have absolutely nothing planned. Sure, you could make a fast meal like antipasti caprese salad or 5-ingredient sausage carbonara but sometimes you want something even easier than that. Costco has a ton of oven-ready meals for those days you just really cant cook (like their awesome taco kit). Their meal prepped chicken alfredo is currently on sale and it looks seriously delicious.

Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you&rsquoll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

The popular account @costcobuys shared the find, writing, “Costco&rsquos delicious chicken Alfredo with penne is $3 off through 5/16! 🙌🏼 If you haven&rsquot tried this yet now&rsquos a good time! 😋” It costs around $16 dollars, but with the discount will cost you around $13. For a meal that’s pretty much already made and can feed the whole family, that is such a good deal. Costco fans seem to be loving this, one wrote “I just had this yesterday, so yummy😋” another commented, “Oh yum! My family loves this stuff!”

All you have to do to cook this one is preheat the oven to 400 degrees, take the plastic top off, put tin foil over the dish, and pop it in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. It’s seriously that simple.

We have a feeling your picky eaters will love this chicken dish. What’s not to love? It’s cheesy warm chicken-filled pasta. Sounds pretty delicious to us. If you’re looking for another way to put that Costco membership to use, we highly recommend looking at their premade foods. They’ve got a great selection at low prices. We have a feeling Costco premade meals are going to become our midweek tradition.


Youth and Summer: Love and Hope: Colour and Song: what are all these but
aspects of morning 2 What can be more pensive than a summer evening 2 What
so joyous as a summer morning 2 Morning is the childhood of Day. Morning is a .

ISBN: UOM:39015071099454

Category: Bibliography

Vols. for 1871-76, 1913-14 include an extra number, The Christmas bookseller, separately paged and not included in the consecutive numbering of the regular series.

What Is Schnitzel?

Schnitzel is a dish of thin cutlets of meat that are breaded and fried. It is a simple dish, but the crispy exterior and juicy interior are a combo that have gained it much popularity.

Even though we most often think of schnitzel as a German dish, it actually originated in Austria. We have another article that goes pretty in depth into the history of schnitzel, if you&rsquore interested.

Most commonly, you will find veal schnitzel (Wiener-Schnitzel, the most traditional version) and pork schnitzel. But today, we&rsquore making another fairly common variation, Hänchen-Schnitzel, or chicken schnitzel.

What We’re Loving: '50 Shades of Chicken' - Recipes

Aug 30, 2016

I am SO tired of talking about Banting. The minute people hear I am a dietician – they are like a moth to a flame. I am also so tired of seeing ‘Banting Menu Boards’ outside struggling restaurants – trying to make a quick buck on the marketing tidal wave that Banting has made. I am also so tired of trying to fix what Banting has done to so many of my patients.

When faced with a Banting question in a social setting, I try and keep calm and very professionally give my one liner that I hope shuts them up, “If Banting was working – I would be out of a job, and I am not!”

This being said, the questions have forced me to write one last blog post on this topic. I am ready for the ‘Banting Cult Fraternity’ to lash out at me like they did when I wrote my last blog post on ‘My Thoughts On The Tim Noakes Diet” – but I feel strongly enough about the below points to fist fight anyone throwing punches my way.

I must first clarify that Banting does have a place in the nutritional management of diabetic or insulin resistant people. That’s it! The Banting Diet can safely be used to manage that ‘at risk’ group of our South Africa society – not for your ‘Average Joe South African’. I will even go as far as to say that I recommend LOWER carb diets for this ’at risk’ group when I consult them. I do not however, recommend the ‘carb elimination and fat purge?’ part of it.

I also want to clarify that I have spoken to tons of people who claim they are Banting - but they say things like “ I don’t eat cream or butter or red meat” – so then you are not Banting! Also, those of you who are cutting bread, alcohol and breakfast cereals out of your diets but are still eating apples, oats and quinoa – you guys are not banting either… Banting is no grains, no fruit (other than berries really,) no dairy and LOTS of animal fat.

So here are my personal observations as a dietician and as a human being as to why I do not think you should be Banting.

  1. Cholesterol Levels Are On The Up
  1. The Banting And Cancer Debate And Its Reality
  1. The Science Is Not Showing That It Is Better Than Any Other ‘Diet’
  1. The Banting Bad Mood
  1. The Public Think They Know More Than The Scientists
  1. Marketed To All But Not For All?

Prof Noakes agrees that his diet is not for every body – but then why has he marketed it to everybody? Why did he kick off his marketing campaign to the lay public and not to the cardiologists, endocrinologists and dieticians who work with diabetics daily? He will answer this question by saying. “In my opinion, most people are insulin resistant these days”. Well if they aren’t then this diet could have catastrophic effects on their health – then what!? There is no disclaimer saying ‘Before starting the Banting Diet have your insulin levels checked and if they are normal, do not follow the diet?

The typical South Africa middle aged man is doing the best on the Banting diet. A typical fat bellied, inactive, meat loving 50-60 year old. He loves Banting for a few reasons:

  1. He is seeing results as his belly size shows you that he is insulin resistant – so he should be on a lower carb diet.
  2. He loves chop fat, soft cheeses, butter, salami and mayonnaise – so this way of eating feels free and liberating and he absolutely loves it!
  3. He probably also has high cholesterol and is on statins already (cholesterol lowering drugs).
  4. The high fat content is helping him to keep full and avoid the sugary junk that he was eating in the past.
  1. She has always eaten pretty healthily – so eating fat and fat and more fat is freaking her out. She is sub-consciously worried about the long-term effects
  2. She isn’t losing as much weight as her husband and that is annoying her – as she is stricter and more aware than he is!
  3. She finds the food rich and expensive as a long-term solution.
  4. She feels her moods are low and she is not her self – she wishes she could feel happier.
  5. She craves bad carbs when she is emotional and very little can take this craving away… So she often succumbs and then sits with guilt.

So how can we be recommending the same diet to both of them?

If you want my opinion – eat with caution. I am seeing far too many ‘Ex-Banters” who are now sitting in my office with bigger problem on their hands than before they started Banting.

Take the good advice out of Banting, which is ‘move back to whole foods’ – but do not eliminate whole food groups (grains or fruit) and do not over compensate with others (animal fats). A ‘Clean Approach’ to eating makes much more sense to me – whole, unprocessed, fresh and nutrient-rich food from all the groups available to us!

Balance is the key to health – and Banting is NOT balanced, I do not care what anyone says!

If 'Clean Eating' sounds more reasonable to you - why don't you try one of my Online Clean Eating Guides ? They contain daily meal plans, shopping lists, recipes and more.

100 THOUGHTS ON “Banting Is Not Balanced – I Don't Care What Anyone Says!”

Interesting debate. This debate is all over the internet with strong data, studies, arguments both sides. Yest there is so few onjective persons. Will we ever reconsile?

Are there any skinnies out there, like me? And prediabetes? A1c 5.5 ish

Whenever I eat any even good carbs my BS spikes. So I eat avo, eggs, nuts, green veggies, sardines, 2small fruits a day…and my glucose meter shows 5 after meals. And I feel great. I’m 50 male.

Can we agree, watching your BS post meals show the way to go?

Hi Kelly
Thank you for a good, balanced opinion.
I have been a very active Banting enthusiast for 4 years now… and yes, I have done the butter, cream and fats properly… yet what I found initially was weight gain, which I then realised was too much yogurt and nuts… I did the banting breads , buns, muffins etc and they all are terrible – I cant stand the graininess of almond / coconut flour and the taste of linseed flour is awful. So I dont do any of those substitutes anymore…
So, I have been cooking for hubby and 2 kids aged 6 and 8 by adding carbs for them in the form of potatoes, rice or paste when required. No sugar and lots of fresh veggies… I have what I cook for them, just without the starch / carbs…
But, I pick up weight every now and then, especially if a cheat (even just a little bit) and for the past 4 years I have been struggling with reflux / heartburn constantly… Banting diet makes me feel full, yet somewhat sluggish and now that you mention it – I have been mostly in a bad mood…
I have read some stuff on Keto, paleo, tried some prescribed banting meals etc yet eventually got to the Cinderella Solution… This has lists very much like banting but one is permitted to have oats, quinoa or wild rice with your lunch, some fruits (obviously in moderation) and much less dairy…
and guess what – I have not been struggling with heartburn for the last 3 weeks that I have been trying this, have more energy and mood swings are definitely less…
So, my take on banting is that it worked somewhat for me, but it is very easy to start living off fats (nuts, cheese etc) and proteins and loose track of eating balanced diets with veggies included – which just anyway leads to weight gain and sluggishness.
I now feel balanced by just adding quinoa / wild rice to my lunch and reducing cheese and creams and nuts… and my moods are 100% better (which I originally thought were my hormones)…

A good article and I agree with you 100%

I found this post on s search for ‘Banting doesn’t work’. I’ve recently been researching around this diet for health reasons.

I’ve suffered with lpr (silent reflux), which I figure is GERD of another form. It’s horrid. And scary. The Drs have failed to treat it prescribing PPIs. Everything I’ve read about PPIs is that they’re not very good, particularly for long term use. I believe that treating the symptoms and not the cause has got to be the way to go..

I’ve also just been told l have high Cholesterol, but that it might be ‘familial’ (am awaiting tests) …so I’ve been all over the internet, looking at what you might term ‘laymen’ (normal people) sharing their experiences… to treat both conditions NOT to diet per se. I’ve been cautious and haven’t quite felt convinced at the best way to try. Until this week when I’ve read numerous articles on LCHF diets, treating GERD. These recent articles have been written by two Drs, one a self declared ‘Functionsl Medicine Dr’, complete with links to journals, another Dr (who has written a book on the medical profession), another Dr who talks about insulin resistance (which my mother also now has been diagnosed with), and a personal trainer – all within two days I’ve made these connections.

All of these commentators have researched LC diets in relation to medical conditions as medical practioners. To disregard them in the way that you do is somply Facile. Further you also fail to provide any medical evidence to the contrary.

I would concur however that balance is important and necessary. I might suggest that a period of Banting might be beneficial for many people, then move to a more balanced lifestyle. For mysel I can see that I have a terrible sugar addiction (like most), and I think I’m much more careful than most ( I have honey in my tea, I don’t drink Soda, I have chocolate a couple of times a week, I don’t eat biscuits, but will have the occasional cake… but I do probably eat too much bread and low value (nutritionally speaking), I work out a couple of hours a week, I could do more… However, my system is out of balance, I’m carrying a few pounds, my digestion is acting up… Banting seems a good place to start. The diet I intend to try, does exclude all sugars, it does exclude grains (most of which are often refined, and bleached as we know), it does include fruits…but it suggests to moderate them. The picture you paint is simply over simplified.

I’m looking forward to the road towards better health and balance.

Firstly, thank you for writing such an enlightening and well written article. Folks in South Africa in particular seemed to have subscribed massively to this Banting malarkey and really need to start getting the correct information- I shudder to think what the effects of all this Banting is doing to people’s health!

I too bought into the whole Banting thing and at the time believed it all but something never felt right about the foods I was eating (it is so easy to get it wrong which is why people have no success, that and it’s complete nonsense for 95% of people). I gained so much weight and was completely miserable…. until I watched “What the Health” and utterly eye opening documentary which long story short resulted in me becoming a Vegan. (Best thing I have ever done, hands down) and for more reasons than just my health.
There’s far more damage being caused by Banting lifestyles than just clogged arteries but ultimatly people are so misinformed which is a large part of the issue and why I get so crazy mad about it… everyone’s an expert right?!

Since I’ve stopped eating meat and dairy – I’ve lost weight, I feel normal in my body again, more energy, better skin, the list goes on… but more importantly the food I eat is fresh and varied and delicious and feels right… feels balanced… it’s not about what you can’t eat but about all the stuff you can and without sounding cheesy – nature’s basket is plentiful and way more budget friendly! It’s not rocket science that an unprocessed natural piece of veg or fruit is going to be better for you. I’m not qualified like you are in your field but I also think it can be a lot more simple than buying into a bunch of nonesense that ultimately just doesn’t feel right… Plant based, Whole Foods, Excerise & Water… I believe it’s that simple :)

I tried banting for a short while. My energy levels werent great but i persisted. It was only after running distances greater than 10km that i felt something wasnt right. After reintroducing carbs with my protein and a low fat diet, i felt my body getting stronger and i was able to cope with the longer distances. My body also started toning up more after bringing back the carbs. I now follow a healthy eating plan. It was actually surrreal to realise that my body was only ready to shed the extra fat when it was supported with the correct bavlance of protein carb and veg. Banting is beneficial for that select group but defintely is not for everyone

I agree 100% with Kelly. She summarize this perfectly. What she says about layman trying to spread rubbish is just amazing. For instance: “It has been proven through several biopsies that consumption of excess Fructose causes our liver to produce small dense LDL cholesterol. The worse kind.. Even with this bad cholesterol, it can only permeate the arterial walls through damage caused by the release of excess insulin” NOW where on earth have you studied biochemistry?? Fructose is NOT dependend on Insulin! and a much better sugar in moderation. After 40 years in the medical field and having practice, teach and studied nutrition, I came to the same conclussions as Kelly. My recent discovery is that ALL people with this obsession actually suffer from the sectarian spirit and it becomes a religion now. They are all “better than thow” and knows their “Bible” better than the experts. Last but not the least, everyone reading this blog should study the mediteranean diet. Its the MOST studied dietary lifestyle and has the best outcome in terms of health. The Banting Diet is producing some horrible medical cases , like strokes and CVD which is pilling up and we collect them for further evidence based medicine and action.

Thank you for a awesome post. I am also sick of the banting thing. The problem with most banters is you cannot have a conversation with them about balanced diets and exercise even moderate exercise compared to possible side effects of banting. They are so stuck on Prof Noakes theories they are blindsided and sometimes even get downright nasty. Overweight inactive children becomes overweight adolescents and adults. Thanks for the info.

Hi… I just want to say… Four years ago I was at a dietician… She placed me on a diet for my cholesterol. My ldl was 11. After a year of being on her diet, loosing 5kgs, exercising, I decided to test my cholesterol… My ldl only decreased until 8… Still too high… I felt bummed because I followed her diet religiously. I am 1.8m tall and weighed 68kgs, good shape. I went back to her and we changed my diet making it more fat free strict, more “healthy” carbs etc and after another six months I tested. The test disappointed me again, 8. It did not go any lower. As time passed I got fedup and left the diet and just ate mildly healthy not caring about my cholesterol or this balanced eating nonsense.

I got sick afterwards, PCOS… Ovarian cysts, some popped and caused me to gain a significant amount of weight. 40kgs in a month and a half, I weoghed 110 to be exact. I was devastated, felt sick. After ditching contraception medicines and hormonal treatments the gynecologist gave me (because it made me more sick than ever), I tried the “balanced” eating ways again like you explained to us here in your post… It did not help at all, I thought I will never loose weight or get my hormones balanced and be happy and healthy again.

Finally after searching for months on how I can fix my hormones and get my cholesterol down and my weight, and be healthy, I came across banting. A month into banting, I had my menstrual cycle which was gone for eight months and my water retention disappeared, I had energy and I felt positive and happy, yeast infections I used to have cleared up! I lost 30 kg so far in a course of three to four months of banting. My hormonal acne cleared up, I have no more cysts, my hormones are balanced, and guess what, my cholesterol, my ldl level tested a month or two ago is 3.. :)

I believe in banting because I was on two dietician diets, cholesterol meds, hormonal meds, I even exercised while being on these typical “healthy balanced eating” trends and nothing helped or made me feel as amazing as I feel now… Pluss I have never noticed bad moods since eating banting, in fact I am in a better mood than ever in my life, I am confident and I feel amazing!

I LOVE BANTING it saved me from becoming a diabetic type 2, becoming severely obese and getting heart disease and even from the chance not to be able to have kids… I used no medications, nothing… All I did was cut carbs, and sugars, embrace healthy fat, meat Nd veggies :) I get enough healthy banting carbs in my system! My doctor also picked a fight with me when I told him I am banting but after seeing my ldl results he kept quiet.

Thanks for your blog post/article. But this is my story without using fancy scientific words, just what I experienced with banting so far.

I have to agree with the balanced being the key word and critical. Yes you loose wait on banting but am not sure about the sustainability.

When I was first introduced to the Banting Diet, I honestly thought it was a brilliant way to lose weight and be healthy. But I was actually wrong, I was introduced to the biased side of the story.

I am currently studying BSc Human Movement Science and Physiology at Potchefstroom, and I am in 2nd year. One of my subjects, Exercise Physiology, has made me realise everything about the Banting Diet, as well as it made me realise how ignorant people are. We need carbohydrates to function, and there is a very long list. Not many people realise that starch and fiber is carbohydrates (polysaccharides to be specific). Fiber is absolutely crucial for our diet, as it plays a regulatory role in heart disease and obesity, AND it help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. And the list continues, but I don’t want to keep you reading.

I completely agree with your article, and it is a very good read. It is all about having a balanced diet, and eating clean! Keep up with the brilliant work!

I have struggled with my weight most of my female adult life…im almost 40. At my heaviest I weighed 110kgs and it was terrible. (Obesity and diabetes run in my family) I tried a few different diets but Banting was the one that worked for me. I think of banting as eating real food. Banting does in fact allow dairy (in moderation for some people) so I get in all the goodness I need. Free range meat, eggs, fresh veggies and yummy cheeses how can u go wrong? I’m not a huge fan of fatty meat so get my fats from olive/coconut oil, nuts cheese and Avo. I still have my red wine over the weekends and have lost 40kgs. I’ve been banting for 2 years now and cannot be happier. I don’t crave junk food or sugar anymore and my overall health is 100 times better. I know banting works but u need to find the right balance. I’ll never change and will support banting all the way.

Thanks for the article. I really enjoyed it.

The other thing that people keep forgetting with banting and why it’s so popular, is because a lot of the resources are free. The information is easy to access, the rules are simple to follow, even restaurants cater for it now and let me say again you can get a lot of the information on it for free. So the barrier to entry is extremely low.

I was happy to see you included a link to clean eating plans at the end of the article. I was thinking “great, I can send this to my friend to rather consider than banting”. Problem: they’re all paid plans. And nobody’s saying you shouldn’t make money off your expertise. But if your denouncing a system that’s “helping” a lot of people through its ease of use and easy access to information, then the alternatives unfortunately have to attempt being as accessible.

Either way, something to consider to give your article a bit more credibility, is links to the studies you’re referring to (some people like myself like following up and if you did I’m sorry. I’m browsing this on mobile and not seeing any links) and maybe linking to a couple of basic clean eating plans that are available for free, or create you’re own that you’re willing to share for free. I’m sure you’ll get a lot of hits for it especially off this article alone. The sales pitch at the end unfortunately brings a lot of the information and its sincerity into question.

Thanks again, I have sent your article to my friend regardless. My suggestions are just in case you want people to easily consider other alternatives to banting and helping them find the information necessary to get them started.

Fascinating discussion but a bit confusing lol. I think one of the problems with banting is that it’s kinda expensive for the average South African.

Hi Kelly,
This was an interesting read. I have to say this banting phenomenon has gone viral… but the concept of low carb had been around for years before, and I don’t know why it’s suddenly so popular.

I am insulin resistant, Have reactive hypoglycemia and PCOS. I have found eating lower carb has been beneficial for me,because my moods are now stable, I don’t get severely depressed from the sugar highs and lows, and I cannot control myself around sugary/starchy foods. So for me it works, but then again my brother is vegan and that works for him, and my sister eats everything in moderation and that works for her.

I believe there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to diet…. or anything in life.

Everyone must listen to their own bodies. But I do agree with you on people consume too many animal products.

In my approach to low carb, I try and cut down on dairy/ animal products and try and incorporate tons of veggies, plant fats (avo/coconut milk/nuts) and limit the processed starch.

But there’s nothing wrong with fruit in moderation! And complex carbs!

I did enjoy the condescending comments relating, often, to fringe research or research in its infancy which has not been peer reviewed, thoroughly tested or accepted by the broader scientific community. There are ‘studies’ and then there are studies. Thank you for this balanced post.

I do not believe in this banting.

What ever happened to eating a good breakfast, a fruit, lunch (a salad with tuna is what I normally have) and then supper I have my meat, potato and veg or whatever but I eat what I want with a moderate portion.
I am lucky that I don’t have a sweet tooth, and I don’t like carbonated drinks, so I do drink a lot of water (and I do like a glass of wine in the evenings :-) ) I also don’t eat alot of take outs.

I think society has forgotten about the basic’s and is fighting and this nonsense high fat, low protein, low fat, high carb or whatever….

I am not overweight, I am healthy and quiet happy with my “diet”. I have also lost about 12kg’s but over a year and I am glad I did not over exert my body, I did it gradually..

Oh and exercise very important.

Hi Kelly
Im a forth year Nutrition student at the National University of Lesotho.I would really like to thank you for putting this topic up for a debate. All I can conclude from all these comments especially from “banters” is that people are still not educated about good nutrition and clean eating….

Thanks for the balanced approach.
I’ve run a CDE (diabetic practice) for 18 years and I am happy to advise Low carbs high fats.
I have seen 6 patients cholesterols go down (Totals and LDLs) and can not recall any going up significantly.
We do lipos annually and they have varied a lot, before the Banting variable came along.

Thank you for your honesty. I would like to know what fruits are good to eat for weight loss?

I absolutely agree with you in as much as people saying they are banting and having no idea whats required. Strangely enough their are very few banters that will equate banting with a low carb diet or say that they are on low carb. The principles of LCHF and nutritional ketosis are very simple and easy to follow and it will correct your weight and health.

As to your comments on cholesterol and the bodies that you refer to that are concerned, may I suggest that you brush up on your reading. I would recommend The Big Fat Surprise and Why we get fat and then check your opinions again after that.

A very recent study showed that the highest cause of heart disease isd obesity followed by the second highest cause being normal lipid levels. Cholesterol did not even feature and could not be plotted as a cause.

This article is incredibly interesting and informative. I personally chose to go clean food route and saw drastic results (even though I wasn’t actually over weight). Thank you for sharing this.

You are a dietician that studied on bad science. Physicists once had text books that said the earth was round. Tik Tok

This way of life has plenty of new science to back up, its not not a cult it’s a lifestyle way of eating that has 10’s of thousands of people healthier for it, including me (25kgs lost in 7 months), I ate a ‘balanced’ diet and was still putting on weight!! With this lifestyle we not starved or don’t feel deprived as you mentioned and it can be expensive, but for me it actually works out cheaper!!

I have a family member who was morbidly obese, insulin resistant, heart problems and the list goes on… she has lost 27kg in 8 months and still going, insulin is normal, heart condition improving…! Some woman do battle, but there are many mistakes that can be made while Banting to retard weight loss. The general public are not so stupid and don’t claim to be scientists, but we (10’s of thousands) trust newer science, rather than the science that has made the world sick and scientists in food boards funded by grain and margarine companies!!

Please refer to the links below…

As DR Lubbe said perhaps do some more research and PS great advertising!

Thanks for sharing your views on Banting, and I’ve read and understand where you’re coming from. You’ve expressed your opinion on the matter but may I recommend that you attend the LCHF summit to be held in Cape Town later this month where 17 of the worlds top experts (scientists, heart surgeons, researchers and medical doctors) will be present and present evidence for LCMPHF eating based on human trials and scientific studies). I believe its the duty of care of each professional whether in the medical or nutrition field to attend this, and be open to the findings, so as to ensure that opinions shared are based on fact and science. I am prepared to wager that the cases you have seen where Banting or LCHF is “not working” is because the patient has failed to adhere to the actual principle and guidelines and is gaining weight because of this. In addition, the book “Cholesterol Clarity” by Jimmy Moore and Dr. Eric Westman should clear up any issues (backed with scientific study) on whether saturated fat causes cholesterol. If that doesn’t convince you, try reading “The big fat surprise” by Nina Teicholz – I’m sure you’ll find it riveting.

As a follower of LCHF since Nov 2013 I have found it my responsibility to self-educate on the topic because of the negative low carb dogma that has existed since the US government condemned millions of americans to obesity, hypertension, cancer and diabetes by recommending a higher carb, grain based diet. I have remained open to both sides, choosing to let the facts educate me. I am finding it difficult to fault LCHF, since even the famed “China Study” on animal protein has been dismantled as flawed.

Hope to see you at the summit, and trust you will remain open to the findings as your patient’s health and well being should ride on evidence, rather than experience/opinion.

As far as I know the earth is round?

Ryan my blog does not promote refined grains or margarine. Neither are classified as clean. Your family memeber would have done well on banting as she was morbidly obese, insulin resistant etc – as said in the blog – this is the population group who should be considering a lower carb diet – not the whole population.

Not everyone is morbidly obese or insulin resistant.

I follow Paleo, which is different from Banting – for one the emphasis is not on high fat, though good healthy fats and oils are certainly encouraged and I eat them far more than I used to. (I am very slim). One of the areas that is similar is that grains are not allowed. I have been on the Paleo diet for over 2 years and feel way better without grains and all that they bring with them. My partner had high cholesterol and was on statins and he is now well in the normal range with no statins. He didn’t achieve this by eating grains! I think (even) Dieticians should constantly question the status quo and realize that what was considered healthy, isn’t necessarily so. Didn’t I hear within the week on Sky that it has been discovered that butter is good for you? It’s enough to make you fall around laughing. And as for doctors – it is only very recently that they stopped suggesting Special K for breakfast. Or maybe they still do it :) What do doctors really know about nutrition? Another point I have to make: why are doctors (and it seems dieticians) saving this special vitriol for Banting? Why aren’t they tackling processed food manufacturers, governments, pharmaceutical companies, Monsanto et al with the same vigour? As for the failing restaurants: I often go to Starlings who serve some Banting foods. Starlings is pumping!

Thanks for your comments. I am pleased at the reach that this article has had, as I believe that we all need to have an opinion and ultimately we all have a choice as to what we put into our bodies. I however do not believe eating a high fat diet is correct and I will stand by my notion that clean eating is a more balanced way of eating. There are also multiple papers proving that a whole food, balanced diet is nutrient rich and essential for optimum health – for your ‘normal’, non-diabetic, non-insulin resistant people. I however do believe that banting can aid in cases where the pancreatic function is low or ceases to work – these are not the majority of the population though. I do keep abreast of the publications and 100% agree that sugar and refined carbs are toxic for our bodies. I do not however put all carbohydrate sources in one group and I do not believe that animal fat should be eaten in excess.

Clean eating is balanced – and life is about balance. But life is also about choice – so these blogs are there to give both sides of a current coin and ultimately allow the public to choose for themselves!

Thanks Doc. Very well said.

Kelly: In Sweden this debate was raging some years ago with doctors (but not RD’s) slowly turning towards belief in late published research, feel free to be the first(?) RD in S.A. to promote healthy eating instead of grains, grains and oh, more grains. Grains is not human food. Leafy greens, meat and fat (not PUFAs) are.

With regards.
Glen, LCHF eater since 2009 with PERFECT lipid profile

I hope that you have not assessed your clients success in banting, on whether or not their cholesterol has gone up or not. Since industry standards are dictated by pharmaceutical companies, who are dying to increase their pool of potential clients, you should know that their advised values are only beneficial to their bottom line.

There are zero studies that have been done on the effects of cholesterol levels, that show an increased rate of heart disease with an increased level of cholesterol.

Our friend Kelly makes plenty comment on “balanced diet” which I do not understand the relevance of.. A giraffe, one of the biggest mammals on earth, only eats acacia leaves, How do you think this is possible. Panda bears only eat bamboo shoots, have you ever analyzed bamboo.. The secret lies in their stomach bacteria. The same is for humans.. There are only certain foods that our bacteria are happy with. This is exactly one of the reasons why banting works.

It has been proven through several biopsies that consumption of excess Fructose causes our liver to produce small dense LDL cholesterol. The worse kind.. Even with this bad cholesterol, it can only permeate the arterial walls through damage caused by the release of excess insulin. All this damage is a symptom of too many carbs.

So my point is, to say that your patients have become worse due to increased cholesterol as a result of eating saturated fat, is as a result of a long series of lies and assumptions. I really think you should do some research on this topic. IT really is liberating, it’s like a huge puzzle that you just keep finding all the pieces to and they all stick together and make a perfect picture.

I wish you all the best.
Donovan Bold.

Thank you Kelly that is all I can say.

I clearly state that I do not believe in any processed foods – that is what ‘clean eating’ is.

Banting is a high fat diet – this is where the problem lies.

Butter is a ‘clean food’ as it is not processed – so eating clean does allow for butter – but not for butter in excess.

Hi Kelly
Interesting that you should choose the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s scientist as reputable…if you were as well known as Tim Noakes, surely they would slate you for your recommendation of food items such as butter, etc.
I guess what an earlier commentator was getting at how can you trust what scientists say if they are being sponsored by the makers of the product they recommend (go to the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s website and take a look at their 5 big sponsors on their home page and google what they manufacture…and the sponsors were also funding the Stellenbosch study…)
The good that’s come out of this, is hopefully people starting to question what they have been spoon fed to be believe is good for them.
Incidentally, compared to the “recommended” amount of fat on a well known weight loss program (the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of olive oil per day), the LCHF is HF, but if you read what Noakes is saying in his book, you will see it is “eat enough fat…small amounts..your body will tell you how much…” (ref Real Meal Revolution, page 10) and I would dare to guess that these small amounts would not entirely differ from what you are telling your clients to do :-)
With nearly half the SA population being obese, I believe our health care professionals would be well advised to tackle this problem with something like Banting (as most do not have access to specialist dieticians like you) – I can attest to a much lower food and medical bill since being on the Bant-wagon :-)

I think the problem is that “Banting” seems to be the catch all for all the low carb, high fat diets including Paleo etc. I also think that if you have a good look at what Tim Noakes says is that LCHF worked for him but his approach for other people is more Paleo than Banting. When people ask me what diet I follow, I very rarely say Paleo as that requires a five minute explanation or a response like “Is that like Banting?” resulting in me answering something to the effect of “Similar” to avoid a lengthy explanation.

Perhaps more concerning is your reference to institutes like the Heart Foundation who have their logo’s plastered all over margarine and cereal, both of which are essentially toxic. Secondly, their research, much like most of the other research being used to teach on was sponsored by Big Food who are trying to sell you margarine, high fructose corn syrup etc.

Given the blatant lies from the likes of politicians, Big Food, drug companies etc, surely one needs to look at mainstream research with some skepticism and to therefore try and understand what they are not telling us and to look at independent research before we arrive at our own conclusion. Tim Noakes has proven his theories (albeit on a small scale, Chris Kresser – see – has proven his theories not only from his patients but also by re analysing data and evidence from his peers. He doesnt just accept Harvard Medical reports as gospel)

Although you talk about “clean” eating, you don’t mention “grass fed” and genetically modified, both key factors to healthy eating. You also mention grains, again, most of which in South Africa are now genetically modified and again, they have not been tested enough to be declared safe.

Grain, even Heritage grain, is not ideal because of the natural toxins and gluten issues which requires one to germinate, soak etc the grain before eating it. Its not only a schlep to prepare grain properly, but I don’t know of any food producer who does this so grain should be off the list completely. Even worse is the GM grain that has natural pesticides engineered into them. These “pesticides” are known to disrupt our gut flora which can cause Leaky Gut Syndrome, the source of many auto immune diseases.

I can go on and on, but my point is that your heading is probably correct, but the contents of your article leaves me feeling that you have not turned over every stone and are still too entrenched in the dark ages of nutrition. As a dietitian, if what I have read is correct, your industry will become the most important health industry bar none because if people really eat properly, they do not get sick.

I therefore urge you to find the truth, read the “little guys” research etc because the likes of Kelloggs, Monsanto, Coke etc are slowly killing us and can only be stopped when us sheeple wake up and demand proper information and proper food en masse.

A clear sane voice. Good for you

People are missing Kellys point completely. She is trying to promote balance and sustainability. Its a long term plan with long term results that will last. When did losing 25kg’s in 7 months become something to aspire to? This kind of dramatic weight loss has its own set of problems and would not be necessary if we teach children about balanced wholesome diets. Processed food is the enemy whether it be carbs, sugars or fats and taking a run once in a while wont hurt either…
Banting is the short term answer for people who simply lack the self control to make sure they burning what they consume.

Thanks for your comments. Eating Clean and the Food Pyramid are 2 completely different ‘nutritional philosophies’. Clean Eating does not state that carbs, especially refined carbs be the basis of ones diet (as the food pyramid does). Clean eating promotes a balanced way of eating – so eating from all food groups in their whole form. The fact that millions of South Africans are obese is certainly not because they followed the food pyramid rule book- lets be honest. They just like the taste of junk/fast/refined food – they are not eating that because the rule book told them to.

The fact that the Banting facebook group has 50 000 does not bother me – although as a medical practitioner it is slightly concerning as I am sure not all 50 000 followers are insulin resistant. And Prof Noakes has even said that a LCHF diet is for IR people – his own words!

I will continue to be informed by the science and yes, I do have an open mind -that is why I wrote this blog post.

An example of a properly written opinion piece quoting actual science and not personal opinion.

I see your point, Personally, I would like to see nutritional science break away from the outdated food pyramid that made us all carb/insulin resistant and obese, and maybe should be moving more towards the ‘caveman’ diets like Atkins, Paleo and Banting.

A large part of the South African population are unhealthy due to the decades of incorrect nutritional guidelines and 10’s of thousands are having really positive results. I am sure you already know that once you become carb/insulin resistant, you like that for life! So hence the banting/paleo is a life time change,to keep this in check, resulting in the growing LCHF market to supply the demand. The Facebook group Banting (Tim Noakes Diet) have over 50 000 members!

You may also be over thinking the amount of fat actually consumed, fat and water is becoming quite popular to fuel high performance athletes. Therefore the are many other health benefits a healthy non carb/insulin resistant person may receive from following these caveman lifestyle diets.

From your replies, the blog article headline should have read ‘Banting not for everyone’

Anyway, hope you now better informed and see the misinformation from your article with an open mind -)

I notice you make the statement that there is no research backing up LCHF diets but then make counter claims, stating there is research to back up your position.

Yet you don’t reference them. Why?

I can comfortably link you to at least 20 studies showing LCHF outperforms LFHC both on markers and weight loss. But they are very simple to find. Have you read them and can you please explain why you don’t agree with their findings?

As suggested above, I would recommend you brush up on your reading or maybe attend the suggested conference.

Lastly, “nutritionists” love to use meaningless (and highly unscientific) words like “BALANCED”.

Can you please explain (exactly) what you mean by this? “Balanced” in what way, how do you measure it and the research to back it up?

Great Blog post! Totally agree! I have seen first hand how the health of certain people have suffered on this fad diet called banting. My uncle’s father died young of a heart attack. he started banting for 5 months and then he had a heart attack. The doctors blamed his diet and luckily he had the presence of mind to stop eating all that saturated fat and is now fit and healthy again.

I absolutely agree with you Kelly, I eat as clean as I possibly can with a moderate exercise programme and I have lost weight in a controlled manner so that I don’t yoyo. I tried banting but because of my pancreatitis I had a couple attacks after I had the double thick greek yoghurt, cream and butter. Clean eating is definitely the way to go and I thank you for your article which I thoroughly enjoyed!

If you read my article properly you will see that I state that obese people are insulin resistant and therefore can see results on a banting diet. Secondly – please send me proof that the Stellenbosch study was sponsored by a company that sells or manufactures carbohydrates? The health care professionals have their patients best interests at heart and I am sure I speak for my colleagues – we will recommend what science proves without reasonable doubt.

As this was a blog post and not a scientific journal article I did not reference articles for or against LCHF diets. I did however mention that a study was done in a South African University that proved that it was no better than a balanced eating plan for weight loss in normal non-insulin resistant people.

In terms of balance – eating foods from all the food groups is what balanced means. All foods groups give the body different nutrients and clean eating is based on maximising the ‘nutritional intake’ of ones diet – it is not based on calories or on focusing on one or two groups. It focuses on eating whole, unrefined foods from all the food groups – carbs, protein, fat. dairy, fruit, veg.

Kelly, that does not help at all. It is so vague as to be completely meaningless.

Do you mean that balanced is 33% each of fat, protein and carbohydrate, for example?

That would be perfectly “balanced”, right?

When we talk protein,should the 20+ amino acids be perfectly ‘balanced’ as well?

What about fat? How do you ‘balance’ the various saturated and unsaturated fats?

And, I assume you advocate. ‘Balance’ between refined and unrefined carbs.

I had to approve this comment – #giraffe

Where in my article did I recommend grains, grains and more grains? Balance was what was recommended – all whole food group balance? I 100% disagree that oats and quinoa (which are both grains) are not human food – their nutrient contents far outway that of saturated fat.

I do not recommend Kelloggs or Coke – maybe re-read the article and look up what clean eating is? In the idea world I would recommend organic everything but realistically the average South African cannot afford to eat a 100% organic diet. The whole pharmaceutical company argument is flawed as they do not promote whole oats, quinoa and sweet potatoes – they promote the food pyramid, which we all agree is wrong and completely outdated!

From some of the comments it appears to me that the Banting bad mood (or BBM as they call it) is a real thing.

Well said Kelly. I have found that talking to my customers about food all day long, many see the Banting Diet as a Weight-loss Diet! I agree with all you have said and have also experienced the disappointment when it has back fired – and not in people who have not stuck to the diet, as an earlier comment suggests. The negative comments seems to have filled in the blanks eg assumed things that you have said which is very telling. Ie by saying you don’t agree with a butter / fat-laden diet, then “you must be saying one with margarine” is the choice!! People just really don’t seem to know what a healthy diet (eating plan) is any more. Maybe it is all the bombardment by consumerism? Schools don’t help either when they take Nutrition out of the curriculum and only serve it up in bits and pieces, spread through various learning areas.

Hi Kelly. Thanks for replying.

Part of my response concerning grains referred to the Swedish dieticians’ typical recommendation of “eat more grains”. I guess you incorrectly got a reaction from me which was aimed towards the Swedish (and as often seen American) RD’s advice. My apologies.

Although I agree with you about the nutrient content being better in grains vs saturated (or PUFAs as you may know) fats the whole idea behind LCHF is that while eating LCHF style you should get the nutrients from the GREENS, seafoods (vegan and animal based) and meats.

If you look at GI problems, eliminating grains makes for a huge benefit for many people (purely anecdotal evidence from my part, and usually found out by seriously ill people after years of following RD’s advide to add more grains to the diet). If your best (listed as number 1) argument against LCHF is that cholesterol levels generally are rising on LCHF-style diets, then I think that you are way wrong.

Further on, more and more studies are clearly stating that a high intake of sat fats are NOT linked to heart disease and that we in the western world has been wrong since the 50’ies.

Concerning the allready healthy individuals a “balanced diet” (without unnecessary grains) could be right. For instance add starchy foods like potatoes and carrots (not generally an LCHF food group) and you would probably feel better. The main problem with a balanced diet is that most people can’t define “balanced”. Perhaps you can, but I don’t know what balanced means. Not everyone can visit a dietician to find out.

Finally (long answer here =)), I agree with the “whole food, prepare it yourself from ingredients you understand” idea and that an approach such as that would work very well for the majority of people except that very few follow the typical issued advice (at least in Sweden). Ditching all nutrient void foods including wheat and sugar containing foods and ready made foods would probably take away a lot of the problems we today face in the western world.

With best regards from a snowy Sweden.

PS. It is interesting to see that S.A. is now in the state where Sweden was some 4 years ago, with the debate raging. Something good will come out of it.

One very new example of a meta-analysis done on research suggesting fat-phobia is unnecessary:

I find it incredible that the reply I wrote yesterday was not published – even though the tests I suggested would be helpful to everyone. Remember: the low-fat debacle has fattened the world, made them more ill in the last thirty years than ever before and, believe it or not, no modern studies agree with it. The body needs natural fat, a small amount of protein, and not one single gram of carbohydrate. Unbelievable, I know, but the more reading you do on this, the more you’ll find it’s actually right.

I first stumbled across the “Noakes” approach to nutrition in his book Challenging Beliefs. The first thing that struck me was how compelling his argument was especially as he was having to publicly eat a large dose of humble pie.

My personal experience of LCHF is that it works. As a mid 30s males of slim build I went from 85kg to 79kg, and haven’t really increased my level of activity (I run 3 x a week), and yet my times are the same as 15 years previous when I was at my fittest.

As for your stance on the “Banting” diet: I think there is broad agreement on the issue of “clean” eating with natural/organic sources being favoured by both camps. The key contention is the carbs v fat as energy source debate and implications for long term health.

My understanding is that the infamous Ancel Keys study that has been essentially used by western governments to defend the balance myth is flawed and the claim that “high cholesterol” causes heart disease is also flawed with the argument being far more nuanced. Thus there is no clear evidence to support the claim of a balanced diet being automatically better than LCHF.

There are two of your points that do need to be challenged directly. The first is your reference to the University of Stellenbosch study. Opponents of Banting seized on this with glee but essentially what this study said was that anyone can lose weight by controlling calories (basic high school science!!). LCHF would not challenge this (it is fundamentally the basis on which Banters lose weight as well) but the key difference with Banting is that you don’t feel hungry and hence don’t feel the need to eat. So for the naysayers, who call it a fad the diet, Banting has far greater potential for long term success as if done properly you feel less hungry. Carbs (sugar) it seems are addictive and mess up the body’s homeostasis.

The second argument of yours with which I find a logical flaw is your admission that the Banting diet is ok for over-weight pre-diabetic men. Surely the obesity and diabetes epidemic that is ravaging the western world requires intervention BEFORE they reach this stage? As a Banting diet appears to be sustainable and suitable for a variety of different lifestyles surely start as you mean to go on?

Hi Kelly, I have read this blog with keen interest and must share with you my experiene. As of this morning I am 37kg’s lighter than I was 18 months ago, my Cholesterol is now within the acceptable levels (and I’m no longer on statins), my blood sugar is back to normal and my BP is also normal (no more BP meds). I was one of those “fat bellied, inactive, meat loving, not yet 50 – 60 yr olds” (close but not yet earned my cigar at 49). While I don’t agree with all that Tim Noakes says, I must give him credit for opening my eyes and changing the way I view food and my diet. As much as possible I have cut out breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potato and most of all, refined sugar. I have not increased my intake of fats but have also not cut this out of my diet. I don’t think I have seen anywhere where Noakes advocates increasing your fat intake and I think therein lies the problem and the controversy, I think many people grab onto what is NOT being said and typical of the South Efrican man, they chomp down on that lekka lamb tjopie vet en al, oblivious to the side effects because they are following their version of “Banting”. Agree with you wholeheartedly, it’s all about balance. It’s not diet, it’s a lifestyle thing. I find Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint very interesting and a great approach to healthy balanced lifestyle, especially where he says sex is good for your health. Anyways, I’m enjoying the “new” me, so much more energy, self confidence and hey being able to buy regular clothing and not shopping at Rent a Tent is an absolute bonus. So for me it’s all about moderation, except when it comes to healthy living, then go all out, after all we only get one body and one life to live, best we look after ourselves. Eat wholesome, natural foods and avoid all that processed junk that’s so in our faces and around every shopping aisle. Kind regards, W.

Amazing how hearsay is used to slate Kelly, but medical facts are disregarded when looking at Noakes.
2 see a dietician and see what works for you
3 or find what works for you.

I am not obese but as the rest of my family seems to have Diabetes, I settled on Exercise 5-6 days a week for 60 to 75 minutes to keep my weight down – down 14kgs from max.
I limit grains I limit fat I limit meat , i do not limit chocolate because I love chocolate, ok maybe I do. No diet will ever solve your problem,only a lifestyle will. I enjoy my food , by the way what it is processed food? What is fast food? I used to have a Nandos burger once a year but its actually better to eat a home roasted chicken with oven roasted veggies.
My plate is invariably more vegie than anything else, lost of garlic chilli and spices. I am limiting starch and have always believed in double cream yoghurt. I do not do supplements and do not have a doctor- he left the area about 6 years ago. I am 53.

JUST EAT REAL FOOD! I think everyone has forgotten the basics of health and nutrition and who says Banting is for everyone? I don’t believe there is one single healthy diet for everyone, we are all different and YES, banting does work! But then life is full of choices, so make your own.

Point 1: Fat and fullness – I am very aware that this is the ‘key’ as they say fat keeps you fuller and then directly you eat fewer kcal and lose weight. One can do the same without ingesting animal fat, with whole carbs, protein and fat and have the same effect – and we know the long term risks. Do you know what the long term risks of a high animal fat diet are? I don’t and I would be WAY too scared to see if it were my body.

Point 2: Tim Noakes has categorically said that Banting is for IR/Pre-diabetic people – and being obese is a risk factor for IR/Diabetes. Teaching people to eat better is definitely essential to prevent them from becoming OBESE… But banting is not recommended for those who are not IR therefore those not obese!

I have never ONCE recommended the LOW FAT WAY… Please read the blog and become more ofay with what clean eating is. Low fat foods are not clean as they are all processed.

Sho I am tired of writing the same thing to all you banters!

P.S If you believe that we (non-insulin resistant people) do not need a single gram of carbohydrate then great – I don’t at all! And studies have shown that the primary source of energy for the brain are carbs in people who have adequate pancreatic function- but WHOLE UNPROCESSED CLEAN Carbs!

Why do you assume that it is a lack of self-control that is the problem? Obviously you have never had to deal with a health issue and good luck to you. I had been told to “vreet less and exercise more” by a doctor. The Diabetes Clinic I attended gave me a daily breakdown of +- 50-60g of carbs per meal. I did “Banting” and after losing 8kg hit a plateau, did research and switched to a keto LCHF lifestyle. And by the by, I do an Aqua class everyday and swim on average 5km a week, so just how much additional exercise do you think I should have been doing? A LCHF lifestyle is healthy and sustainable and vegetables are eaten with every meal – it’s not all about meat and fats

We have been following this way of life for over a year, after seeing a dietician, following a heart foundation diet for 2 years and getting sicker and fatter, with carbs to thank for all of our ills. In the last year we have seen weight FALL OFF, blood pressure drop, have energy now like never before in our adult life. Take your blinkers off before you kill your patients and yourself.

Banting is 100% clean eating with moderate amounts of fat…enough to keep you fueled. Lots of leafy green veg…moderate protein and appropriate amounts of fat. Stay away from processed foods. Nowhere is it recommended to consumer ridiculous amounts of fat. Kelly, where is this perception coming from? I’d be super interested to know.

Yes balance – balance in ensuring one gets all the food groups, all the amino acids, fibre, all the vits, minerals, antioxidants etc etc. This can be achieved by eating all the groups, in their whole form daily. I am afraid if you find my advice ‘meaningless’ then choose to read another blog post. With regards to your last point – as I have said in all my replies – a balanced clean diet does NOT contain any refined or processed foods so no, no ’balanced between refined and unrefined carbs…

Banting is really neither a high fat nor a high protein ‘diet’. Ultimately a true Banter learns to eat moderate or ‘balanced’ amounts of fats/oils, proteins and low carbs from healthy vegetable sources, as well as from cuts of meat and oily fish and they are ultimately encouraged to abandon alcohols, sweet treats no matter whether they have been made with xylitol, stevia and 85% chocolate products and fruits apart from certain berries and even then ‘only occasionally’. Since I started Banting, I’ve regained energy levels I last experienced in my 20s and have experienced numerous health benefits which have proved to me that grains just aren’t for me. I focus on ensuring that I eat more Banting-permissible vegetables than protein in amounts larger than my fist and I avoid even Banting-friendly deserts. I occasionally eat Orange list starchy veg if I require a carb boost to avoid too low sugar levels and associated depressed mood levels. I have found I can survive on one full plate of food, daily, in accordance with Banting-recommended proportions for fats, proteins and low carbs and for the rest of the day, I can survive on what can only be called ‘Banting-permissible snack-style’ meals. Living in Europe, I’ve noticed an array of low-carb cook books and all feature oats as the only permissible grain in very small amounts to use as binding agents in breads and zucchini fritters. Beans, peas and lentils also feature but on the whole the low carb approach to eating is simply just another dietary option, and has not generated controversy or caused people to lash out at each other, as it has done is SA. My personal feeling is that this is because of the merchandising possibilities it offers entrepreneurs there and let’s face it, there can be no co-incidence in the fact that Sally Creed et al’s range of products was launched almost simultaneously with the launch of the “Real Meal Revolution”. Whoever designed the marketing of the Banting “lifestyle” must have achieved their Marketing qualification summa cum laude. I’ve objected strongly to the Banting specialist magazine’s use of a picture of a lemon meringue-style Banbting desert on the front cover for it’s first 2015 edition and straight after the Festive Season Fest of December, because we’ve all been accused of being ‘addicted’ to carbs, a highly loaded verb to be using. It makes no sense then to place the trigger substance under the noses of carb ‘addicts’ if you claim to be part of a movement genuinely interested in reducing South Africa’s soaring obesity and diabetes rates. It is for this reason alone that I too am wary of the theories behind Banting and the inflammatory terminology – “addicted”, “revolution” – I’ve seen used in an effort to persuade people to adopt the ‘lifestyle’, another clever tactic to differentiate this diet from all previous options to date, but I would not slam it outright. For me the real benefit of the Banting theory is that it has highlighted the fact that too many people get away with pronouncing on issues of health and what we should do for improved health, without really being called upon to prove that they have the best credentials to advise the public. Not even the medical fraternity can agree on what causes cholesterol levels to rise. It must be seriously considered that obesity levels and the incidence of so-called ‘Western diseases’ rose in direct proportion to the increasing availability of sugar-packed fast and ready-prepared foods, from Burger Joint-type options to those attractively packaged varieties available to purchase from up market and other supermarkets. I’m prepared to bet that the tsunami-like wave of fries, pastas, pizzas and burger buns as well as a vast range of factory-made confectionary is as guilty as excessive amounts of saturated fats in butter and pork crackling in contributing to obesity rates among adults and children alike post 1970’s. The increase in working mothers and the concomitant decrease in popularity of home cooking has also led to very bad eating habits and a poor knowledge of what truly constitutes nutritious food. Vegetarianism isn’t the answer either, as India’s reputation as the Diabetes capital of the world will attest.

HI Kelly
For 2 years I have been having a low sugar, high insulin problem. I was told I was insulin resistant, am not so sure anymore. I totally cut out carbs and ended up in hospital with very low sugars (the specialist could not work out why my sugar was so low) I figured it out myself. No matter what illness you have balance in your diet is key. All I know is cutting out carbs nearly killed me. I have less carbs now and have changed my diet more to a low GI diet which includes baby potatoes, low GI bread. provitas etc and have definitely had improved health with regards to the sugar issue

And what´s on my plate now days? Well, meat, poultry, fish, eggs , cheese, butter and vegetables, just avoided all the ones high in carbs/sugar… (all unprocessed)

Even a healthy person can eat this way!

It is called a ‘low carb HIGH fat’ diet. So, fat is the meant to be the dominating food group of the diet – if you are doing it correctly.

Another one approved just to show my followers the ‘personal attacks’ – “Take your blinkers off before you kill your patients and yourself” – I am following the latest literature and ensuring that I recommend what has been recommended for diabetic and non-diabetic patients. I would be putting , my clients at risk if I were doing the opposite.

I thought I would approve this comment as the person states – “obviously you have never had to deal with a health issue and good luck to you” – I sit with patients every single day of my life and help them sort out their health problems. As you (Sharon) attended a diabetes clinic – that would make you a diabetic right? And if you re-read the blog you will see that I have stated that a LCHF diet does have a place – and that place is in diabetes management…?

You are not banting then – banting is a low carb HIGH fat diet Ryan. The blog post discussed why I believe a LCHF diet is not balanced – I did not say what you are eating is not balanced.

Thanks for your words – it is amazing how angry and personal some of the replies have been… Doesn’t faze me though – I believe that we all have a choice, so let everyone do what they believe is right… I hoped to just shed some professional light on the whole matter!

Kelly, I couldn’t agree more with you.

I am amazed at the time and effort some people put into their replies and comments trying to contradict your opinion – usually if I don’t agree with something I just ignore or scroll pass. Unless I am trying to convince myself of something….But I will take the time to support a relevant topic.

Anyways, as a health professional I am blown away at this Banting issue. As you’ve mentioned, it has it’s place, but that’s about it!

I am all for healthy, clean, balanced eating.

And I have loads of respect for you, for putting yourself in the line of fire by tackling this topic head on.

I guess one big problem here is that there are a large portion of the population who walk around being insulin resistant and are actually thin and healthy looking people. So how do you find out if this is an issue in time?

I am now in my mid 30’s, I have been eating pretty much what I like for the first 30 years of my life and not had any weight gain at all. My brother told me “once you hit 30 the belly will come!” Sure enough It started to creep up on me so I had to do something about it. LCHF has been the only thing that worked for me. I am not diabetic or sick in the healthcare sense of the word so according to your stance LCHF would be a potential danger hazard.

The issue I am facing is that if I start to eat “moderate” amounts of carbohydrates (what would be considered a normal serving of rice with my meal for example) ALL the cravings start coming back. Its impossible to walk past an isle in the supermarket with candy without stopping and longing to eat the whole damn thing. Which I can do and have no problems avoiding if I keep the carb count low.

How do I fit into your world?

One thing that I have noticed with Banters is that they look 10 years older than before they started banting and they do not look healthy. Take a look at people who eat organic fruit, organic veg, organic dairy, good fats and some Organic free range animal protein and organic pulses – These people glow and they look young and healthy. Just saying!

Hello Kelly, thank you for this article = EXCELLENT! Don’t let the negative comments and criticism get to you, it’s par for the course – don’t give up the brilliant work. Best regards.

One thing that I have noticed with Banters is that they look 10 years older than before they started banting and they do not look healthy. Take a look at people who eat organic fruit, organic veg, organic dairy, good fats and some Organic free range animal protein and organic pulses – These people glow and they look young and healthy. Just saying!

Please then tell the public how much fat they should be having? Another example of what a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach of flawed!

Hi Kelly,
It is a great pity that you did not attend the Old Mutual Health Convention at the CTICC last week 19-22 Feb. It was an ideal platform for young bright minds like you to engage with the very people whose research results you are putting into disrepute. You could have perhaps picked huge holes into their arguments with all the recent research reading you have done.
So, WHERE WERE YOU? This could even have boosted your credits with the Medical Council by 29 points.
Have more courage in future and engage with the scientists who swim against the stream and bring them back to the fold or perhaps learn something different to what textbooks have taught you.
Before making sweeping statements about other professionals on your blog it may be wise to enter into good scientific debate with them personally so they have an opportunity to show you their thought paths that took them to their conclusions.
By the way have you read Prof. Noakes’ books?
Have you read articles/ research by Zoe Harcombe, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, Dr. Stephen Phinney, Dr. Jay Wortman, Dr. Eric Westman?
It may take you on a different journey or you may continue with what you trust to be true, but don’t base your judgements on hearsay. It is beneath you and not professional.

Hi Kelly, I am a dietitian working at the CDE and all I can say is ‘well said’. You articulated everything that I have been wanting to express. Well done for taking this on and standing firm. :-)

Not true actually. A LCHF meal should look like this: A small serving of protein based food, can be meat, eggs, poultry the same amount as what is recommended by everyone else. A generous serving of vegetables low in carbs, added to this fat to reach satiety. The serving of fat can vary considerable from person to person.

I blog quite often and I really appreciate your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.
I’m going to take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once a week.
I subscribed to your Feed as well.

Kelly, why is it called ‘clean eating’ – plse elaborate. Just interested in that adjective.

Leigh – thanks for your comments.

I have to highlight one of your lines “Skepticism drives scientific investigation militancy halts it!” BRILLIANTLY PUT!

May the most scientifically proven dietary style win :) I have to say, I believe it will be most balanced one.

The best scientists are skeptics, constantly questioning their own views and opinions, and constantly trying to disprove their own assumptions. The only way that nutritional science and dietetics can make progress towards helping people to be healthier is to constantly question assumptions and try to prove themselves right – or wrong.

Which is why I find banters so interesting. There’s no leeway in their absolute militancy that banting is right. Which is why you end up being personally attacked for questioning their beliefs – and I don’t have any qualms calling them ‘beliefs’ more routed in faith in a charismatic leader than true scientific rigour there are still too many questions left unanswered. For instance, banters seem to believe that gut microbiota can provide all the nutrients absent from the diet when banting. This has in no way been proven. Gut flora seem to be pretty astounding but asserting sans evidence that they provide you with essential nutrients? Sounds sketchy.

My point is this: skepticism drives scientific investigation militancy halts it.

If anything, this banting thing has given researchers a great reason to investigate further and improve our understanding of the role of nutrients in the diet. Therefore, as you say, keeping up with the latest literature is the only rational response. Unfortunately, when irrational people who follow fads have their beliefs questioned, the irrational response is personal attacks. They cannot prove their assumptions correct so resort to ad hominem.

Thanks for the great post. Your efforts at rationality are appreciated by some few.

Hi Kelly, My experience with eating a LCHF diet has been very positive. It does work for me. I lost 25kgs and have maintained my weight for 9 months. It is a lifestyle that I choose to stay on. ALL foods contain carbs, so it is the LOW CARB grams that we need to count. The fats definitely helps with cravings and help me to feel satiated. I now know that processed foods create more hunger due to the manufacturers manipulating the taste to create that instant bliss spot. So eating Real good Food is a throw back to my parent’s days where there was not much processed foods and we ate a lot of fatty meats. Take a walk down the isles of your supermarket and anyone will realise that 80% of the shelves contain processed foods and more come onto the market by the dozens each week! My bloods test are ALL good- I have them done last year and again this year. My GP is astonished at the results. I am full of energy.

Thank you for your balanced blog post. It has clarified a lot of issues for me. I just find it so pathetic that people jump in to comment simply because you are not advocating something that they believe to be true. They don’t even bother to read the full post first.

It is called Clean Eating because it entails unprocessed food – so man has not added or taken anything out of the food. It is therefore as ‘clean’ as nature intended:)

Dear Kelly, WELL SAID. You are absolutely on the button!!

I am about 15 kgs overweight and I tried banting. Yes, I lost weight, but I turned into a person that I didn’t even recognise. I have clinical depression and am on medication. I was on edge constantly. I gave up after a week. I know that’s a very short time to give something a chance, but since I have been fighting to feel normal for most of my life with my depression, I wasn’t willing to make everyday harder for me to cope

Hi Kelly! Well done for courageously speaking about what an imbalanced diet Banting is. Followers seem to be obsessed like Marilyn Manson’s clan. All the skinny people I know seem to eat carbohydrates ( ‘good carbs’) and the fretting banters are still fat as 100 kilos of body weight in a five foot six inch person is still fat regardless of the 100 kilos they have already lost. What also bothers me about this silly fad is the lack of fruit and then having to take vitamins and other supplements to make up for the loss of natural food. I don’t think fatsos got fat by gorging on fruit, whole grain bread , lentils, brown rice and veggies!
Anyway, Kelly, kudos to you!!

Dear Kelly,
Elated to read your blog! I am a South African living in in the Gulf, and was fortunate enough to be meet a wonderful nutritionist here who promotes clean eating. I have always struggled with binging, digestive issues etc. Since pirsuing clean eating and a predominantly alkaline diet, I have had almost zero cravings and feel so healthy. There are a large number of South Africans here in the Middle East who pursue Banting. When one gets together socially it is almost all that people who follow Banting talk about. It has been a diet that has just not made sense to me intuitively, so I have appreciate your scientific input. Keep up the good work! Hope you can promote clean eating in a big way!

Would be interesting to see the response this blog post would have with people who have perhaps tried banting, got to their goal weight and have started introducing more balanced eating with all food groups to maintain a healthy weight. Just as a dietician would of recommended in the first place.

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