Sunday, September 2, 2012

Eating Philosophies: Dr. Oz vs. Julia Childs

A few months ago a People magazine landed in my office mail box.  A free issue had been sent in hopes that I would place it in the office suite reception area.  Those of you who know me are aware that I would not purposefully expose my clients to print media that promotes artificial thinness, dieting, etc.  So, my intent was to just take it home to throw in my recycle bin.  Well ... I just had to take a peek.  I justified the action by telling myself that I needed to know what my clients are being exposed to when their issue arrives in their mail box  (I hear you snickering!)  I truly was appalled on SO many levels.  But, the kicker was the article about Dr. Oz.  Much of what he promotes stuns me but his statement that he thinks eating should be "joyless" knocked my socks off.  The author of the article made the comment after observing Oz eat that "It was the most efficient and joyless eating that I have ever seen".  When the media started reminding us that if Julia Childs had lived she would have celebrated her 100th birthday on August 15, 2012, I started thinking how diametrically opposed her philosophy regarding eating was to that of Dr. Oz.  Thus, this blog was birthed!

Dr. Oz was more rational when he first started his T.V. medical career.  However, rational and reasonable will not sell books or give you multiple television shows on major networks every week.  He has progressively started touting ridiculous claims like "french fries are the most fattening food on the face of the earth", and "eating should be automated and joyless".  In the article I cited above he admitted that "when I celebrate I always overeat".  When they showed a picture of the inside of his fridge .. I knew why!  Clearly the guy eats in a very rigid, restrictive manner.  He has not developed any internal regulations with food and when presented with "celebratory foods" vs. his yucky looking green drink and flax seeds he goes ballistic.  Sound familiar?  As we have talked about in many of the blogs, restriction breeds binge eating.  He is looking gaunt and weak.  I am wondering what he is aiming for with his austere approach to food and eating.  Eternal youth?  Reaching the century mark?  Who wants to live to be 100 years old if you can't go to a friend's home to eat or truly enjoy what you eat and drink? 

Ahhh .. let's move on to a happier topic.  Julia Childs LIVED and I mean LIVED to be 92 years old.  She once said "Life itself is the proper binge".  Don't you love it?!  Here are some of her cheery and insightful quotes regarding enjoying food:
  • "I think one of the terrible things today is that people have this deathly fear of food"
  • "Everything in moderation ... including moderation"  (I love that one!)
  • The only time to eat diet food is while you are waiting for the steak to cook"
  • "I would rather eat one tablespoon of chocolate russe cake than 3 bowls of Jell-O"
  • Small helpings, no snacking, a little bit of everything ... and have a good time!"
What a refreshing way to approach eating.  I think Julia was an "intuitive eater".  I would choose her as a dinner companion over Dr. Oz any day of the week.  We can care for our bodies, have good energy and be fit without eating "joyless and automated".

Here's to finding the middle ground with food, eating, weight and activity!   And, here's to you Julia!  Bon appetit and rest in peace.


  1. Dr. Oz has gone totally over the edge. He has become a caricature of a doctor, like in that old commercial where the man says he plays a doctor on tv. At first I thought, Scrubs? Really? Did you just come to the Oprah show straight from the ER? But now he has progressed from just being a clown to being a real danger to society. I can only hope that as his true megalomania is revealed that the public will turn from blindly following him, but it hasn't happened yet. I find your comment that he is not looking well to be full of fascinating possibility. I certainly don't wish an eating disorder on him or anyone else, but if in fact he has one, perhaps orthorexia, that makes his horrible episode on eating disorders and pro-ana websites even more disturbing. How hypocritical that he can't see how pro-ana his own comments are. Meanwhile thanks for posting those Julia Child quotes. Fascinating in a totally different and positive manner.

  2. I love the Julia Childs' quotes, thanks so much for those. I especially appreciate the idea of eating small amounts of everything and having a good time! I am trying to be more of an intuitive eater, but it's hard not to go overboard all the time, working on paying attention to the "full signal," so I appreciate the suggestion to keep moderation in moderation as well! :) Thanks again for this--very interesting, I hadn't realized Dr. Oz was advocation "joyless eating," that's a shame...

  3. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing. I saw the Dr. Oz article, too. Thanks to you, I was able to quickly realize the foolishness of it all. The "old" Kanya may have gone out and bought flax seeds, but the new, wiser Kanya remembers all the insights recently learned and makes better choices.

  4. Such a great post. Dr. Oz clearly forgot to "Do no Harm." I can't tell you how much time I spend on damage control (and correcting misinformation). We must be careful who we let define health... Thank you Reba!