The Opposite Diet Tip #5

February 11th, 2010

The 5th Opposite Diet Tip:

While I was writing down my husband Martin’s overeating exploits – which inspired me to write my book, The Art of Overeating, it occurred to me that for him, food equaled love.  Given his background, this made sense.  He was an only child in his immediate family, as well as his extended family.  The entire family expressed their love for him and for each other, with food.  They gathered often for extended eat-a-thons, lavishing extra helpings and treats on him – a dollop of this, a scoop of that.  Every Sunday, his mother asked him to make out his menu for the coming week – and she made everything on it.

This got me thinking about the connection of food with the emotion of love.  After all, as I point out in my book, the first love we ever receive is given to us in the form of milk from Mom.

There is nothing wrong with associating food with love or with good times.  That is why so many of us feel a sense of wellbeing when we eat our special childhood “comfort” foods.  The problem comes when we use food as a substitute for love and happiness.

When you pass the deli counter and every liverwurst is screaming out, “I love you,” every salami, “te amo,” – that’s not good.  While you can love and enjoy food, food cannot love you back.  It can sustain you and give you pleasure.  That’s it!

Food fills your stomach, not your heart.   So this Valentine’s Day, look for love in other places.  Find it in a person that will say “I love you” or an animal that will have that special shine in their eyes or that wagging tail when you are with them.

Besides a companion, there are so many ways to reap the reward of  love.  There are children and people who need your help.  There is an old friend or relative who would be so happy to see you.  There is the puppy or kitten waiting for you in the animal shelter.

Enjoy your food and live to love.  Than love will fill you up!


Today, my rave is, appropriately, for love.  When we express love, when we give love – we are putting out positive energy.  That helps everyone – and even the planet!  Most of all, it helps us.  Positive energy attracts positive energy.  So spread your love and reap the reward.

The 4th Opposite Diet Tip:

February 5th, 2010

To learn about The Opposite Diet, go to right column and click on “About The Opposite Diet.”

The 4th Opposite Diet Tip:

4. TAOO says “Save the environment and eat everything you order.”  OPPOSITE DIET Advice:  The idea is that if food is uneaten or left to spoil, it goes into the garbage and then into a landfill.  So, the TAOO joke is eat everything you can to cut down on landfill waste.  However, there is another important way to keep excess food out of the landfills and help the environment.  That would be to only buy or order the amount of food you can eat and need to eat.  All food production has a carbon footprint – gasoline for farm machinery, and water and fertilizer to grow the food; gasoline for the delivery of food to markets and restaurants; electricity or gas to prepare the food and water to wash the dishes, pots and pans.  In other words, a lot of energy goes into producing what you are eating.  How much better you would feel – psychologically and physically – if you ate just what your body requires and cut down on the energy waste and your waist!


(sometimes about food and sometimes not…)

Have you ever noticed how unhappy people like to share their unhappiness by trying to make everyone around them miserable with rudeness, thoughtlessness, anger and sometimes outright cruelty.  It might come from the unhappy store clerk or neighbor or driver. I guess that is where the saying “misery loves company” comes from.   My best advice to you and to me is to not let them affect us.  Refuse their “gift of misery.”  Don’t give them power over how you feel.  While you are walking away or driving away, feel sorry for them and think a positive thought for yourself.

What is your opinion or your Rant ‘n Rave?  Let me know.

Next week – Opposite Diet Tip #5

Interview with The View from the Bay

January 25th, 2010

I was on “The View from the Bay” show in San Francisco. Everyone on the show was welcoming and wonderful. I had the opportunity to talk about my book and my “Opposite Diet” tips. What a great experience!

The 3rd Opposite Diet Tip

January 25th, 2010

To learn about The Opposite Diet, go to the right column and click on “About The Opposite Diet.”

The 3rd Opposite Diet Tip:

3. TAOO says “Order from every category on a menu.” OPPOSITE ADVICE – Keep it to 3 dishes. Have you noticed how lots of restaurant menus have added more and more categories? There’s the bread, the starter, the appetizer, the soup, the salad, the specialties, the 1st course, the 2nd course and on and on. Think they want you to order – and eat – more food? Don’t fall for this. Make up your mind before you see the menu – even before you enter the restaurant – that you are going to have 3 courses and no more. A balanced and enjoyable meal would be one appetizer or salad or soup, one main course (with no sides) and one dessert. Choose any dessert you want, but pass on the accompanying scoop of ice cream or dollop of whipped cream.

By using the same strategy at home, you will save time in meal preparation and extra food costs, as well as calories.


(sometimes about food and sometimes not…)

Today I have a Rave! I just had a new (to me) dish at one of my favorite restaurants. It is called flash fried spinach. If you like salads, as I do, this is worth trying. It is so tasty and different. The spinach is crispy but moist. I found a recipe for it online:

– Heat 4 c peanut oil in a deep fryer (or deep pot) to 375°F.

– Deep fry 10 oz of clean fresh spinach (about a handful at a time) for about 30 seconds.

– Remove and drain on paper towels.

– Sprinkle parmesan cheese to taste.

This salad is delicious. Enjoy!

Next week – Opposite Diet Tip #4

The 2nd Opposite Diet Tip:

January 17th, 2010

To learn about The Opposite Diet, go to right column and click on “About The Opposite Diet.”

The 2nd Opposite Diet Tip:

2. TAOO says “Never share.”  OPPOSITE ADVICE – Always share. Whenever possible, split a meal with your dinner companion or companions.  That’s one meal for two or two meals for three or four.   Of course, everyone has to be on the same page.  If either you or your companion is a vegetarian or has food allergies, choices will be more limited and those restrictions must be taken into consideration.  Whatever the situation, sharing will often involve compromise.  You can take turns in choosing what to order.  One meal out will be your choice and the next one will be your companion’s.   It really is a win-win situation, because you and your companion(s) will feel better about the amount eaten and everyone (ever with the split charge) will save money and their waist.

The home is just another version of a restaurant.  If you are eating alone, prepare half your usual portion. If you have a companion, share a smaller meal.  If you have a family, certainly don’t underfeed growing children, but it may also be an opportunity to teach them to eat a healthy amount of food.


(sometimes about food and sometimes not…)

If you have read anything about me on my website, you may have gotten the idea that cooking for me is bringing food in and heating it up.  So one of pet peeves is when I order take-out food, I am almost asked if I want (plastic!) silverware.  I always say “no.”  Not only is that more garbage for the landfill, but that’s why I have silverware at home.  No one listens!  When I get home and open that bag containing the food – there is the plastic silverware!

I know you are thinking that I should check the bag before I leave the restaurant.  You are right, but since I usually forget, I need a method to help me remember.  Any suggestions?

What is your opinion or your Rant’n Rave?  Let me know.

Next week _ Opposite Tip #3

Here is the 1st Opposite Diet Tip:

January 9th, 2010

1.  TAOO says “leave no leftovers in restaurant.”  OPPOSITE  ADVICE –  Ask the waiter to divide whatever you have ordered in half and put one of those halves in a doggie bag before you are served. That way there will be leftovers for dinner the next day.  Most people think they will take home whatever is left over, but then usually finish everything.  You don’t have to worry about not having enough to eat because most restaurants provide humongous portions.

What do you do when eating at home?  Same thing.  You just bought or cooked a chicken or a steak or a bowl of pasta.   Cut it in half and put the other half in the refrigerator for tomorrow.

Yes, this does take some will power because now you have seen the food before it was put on your plate.  Strengthen your resolve with these thoughts – which you can write and keep on paper in front of you:

1. Now you have already prepared food for tomorrow.

2. Leftovers taste best!

Finally, along with each week’s tip, here is a feature called:


(sometimes about food and sometimes not…)

Last October, my beloved Blackberry Pearl finally met its demise.  I decided to replace it with a Blackberry smart phone, the Tour.  To my dismay, I found that I had to buy a new car charger.  Why? Because Research IN Motion (RIM) changed the port sizes on this new phone.  Why?  I think it is to force people to buy new accessories.  I’d love to find a company that isn’t trying to squeeze the last dime out of consumers!

What is your opinion or your Rant ‘n Rave?  Let me know.


Happy New Years Greetings from The Art of Overeating…

December 31st, 2009

A Sumo knows how to overeat.  It makes him big and strong.  Happy New Year!


And coming in 2010:

“The Opposite Diet”

from Leslie Landis and The Art of Overeating

Food Is Love.

December 11th, 2009

The holidays are here, and with them, family, friends, and food.  There couldn’t be a better time to elaborate on a point made in The Art Of Overeating, “Food Is Love.”  That concept is really what inspired me to write the book.

I’ve always believed that food and love are intertwined.  Food is one of the most popular ways in which we express how much we care about someone.  Our very first taste, after all, is mother’s milk.

Then, growing up, we are encouraged to have second helpings of “love” in the form of more pot roast, an extra helping of creamed spinach, another dollop of potatoes au gratin.  Women are told, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

My husband Martin, to whom The Art Of Overeating is dedicated, is a world-class overeater.  He was an only child raised in a food-loving family.  Every Sunday night, his mother asked him to write down his “wish-list” of menus for the coming week.  She made it all for him.

Trained by the best, he became a champion.  I thought his overeating exploits were so amazing, that I began to write them down.  Compiled together, the book was born.

Since The Art Of Overeating is more about universal truths than any particular person or occasion, the stories about Martin aren’t spelled out…so I thought I’d share a few with you now:

  • Once, we went on a cruise with my parents.  Every night, Martin ordered and ate all five of the available entrees.  Finally, my dad—who worried about how Martin’s overeating would affect his health—asked him to please just have one dish.  Martin agreed.  Unbeknownst to us, he spoke to the waiter before dinner that evening.  When we sat down to eat, the waiter brought Martin all five entrees—on one very large dish.
  • Martin once asked me to help him lose weight by telling him when I thought he was eating too much.  The next time we went out to eat, he ordered—as usual—two dinners.  I pointed this out to him, but he argued that it was okay because he wasn’t going to eat all the vegetables.
  • Martin looks in the refrigerator every 5 minutes.  I asked him why he does that since there is no more food in there than 5 minutes before.  He said he just likes to look!
  • The supermarket is Martin’s favorite store.  He loves to go grocery shopping.  He piles his cart high with food—no paper towels or laundry detergent for him.  When he is finished, he always tells me that he has enough food to last for the whole week.  By the next day, he has eaten everything.
  • I am forced to put my name on certain foods or they won’t be there when I want to eat them.  Living with Martin is like living with an office staff.
  • I constantly give Martin articles about the right way to eat and how doing so will increase his life span.  I’m always reading food labels to him.  Sometimes I throw out the unhealthy food he bought and tell him it went bad.  Nothing I do deters him.  One time, I put scary words—death, insanity, sugar-shock—on candy bars he’d just gotten.  I found a pile of candy wrappers, with the words still stuck on them, all around his TV chair.

Like many people, Martin yo-yos between overeating and dieting.  Right now, he is in his diet phase because he doesn’t want to be the poster boy for my book!  We’ll see how long that lasts.

Well, have to run right now—there’s some holiday cookies I need to go write my name on!

Until next time,

Happy holiday dining,

Leslie Landis

“How to look like a noodle when you eat like an elephant!”

December 4th, 2009


It has been fun getting notes from readers and friends about The Art Of Overeating since it was published last month.  Tipping the scale on overeating is such a universal indulgence—I had a feeling that most people would see a bit of themselves somewhere in the humor and have a good laugh.  I’m happy that seems to be the case.

Just the other day, an old friend wrote, “I have been very suspicious of you—have you been peeping at me through the peep-hole?  Because you drew a perfect image of ME! It’s making me very conscious of even looking at food, not to mention that I’ll never be able to binge again! You destroyed my life.”

I know she’s kidding, but she really “got” the book and that was great.  She also wrote:  “Leslie, I guess people that don’t know you will be shocked to realize that, in spite of having that voracious appetite, you are able to keep that spaghetti figure. May I suggest that as the theme for your next book: How to look like a noodle when you eat like an elephant?”

Maybe not a whole book, but definitely a future blog post.  What really made me laugh about it, though, is that when I was a gawky teenager, I read that Sophia Loren attributed her amazing body to eating spaghetti.  So, for years, I ate tons of spaghetti—but all that happened was that my figured looked like a spaghetti noodle.

Buon appetito until next time,

Leslie Landis

Giving Thanks to Thanksgiving

November 25th, 2009


Since Thanksgiving—the most important American holiday on which we are expected to overeat—is upon us, I wanted to help everyone do their part to uphold this important tradition.

As THE ART OF OVEREATING says, “To everything there is a seasoning,” and you’ve got to practice for your high dive into that parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme right now!


  1. Instant gratification saves time.
  2. Aren’t we supposed to end world hunger?
  3. Why cut pork when the government won’t?
  4. Grow the economy and yourself.
  5. The U.S.A. can still be No. 1 in something!
  6. Excess is a normal American trait
  7. It is good exercise for your jaw.
  8. You won’t have to fight temptation.
  9. Overeaters get a lot of attention.

10. It sure does taste good.

So, overeat in style and have a great Thanksgiving!

Leslie Landis

* from The Art Of Overeating