Monstrous cookies for cookie monsters

From the NYT comes this story about the Cookie Diet, a diet plan in which you survive on “six prepackaged cookies a day, plus one ‘real’ meal — say, skinless chicken and steamed vegetables.” The idea here seems to be that you will be so entranced by the idea of eating the sinful “cookies” that you will forget that you are, you know, starving yourself, and that these aren’t exactly your grandma’s snickerdoodles. (Ahem: “The main ingredient in the Soypal cookie is okara, or soy pulp, which absorbs any liquids you drink with the cookies.” Delicious!)

Surprisingly, the NYT actually acknowledges the cultural clusterfuck that the Cookie Diet symbolizes:

The popularity of cookie diets is hardly surprising in this culture of quick fixes. Who wouldn’t want to exert the minimal effort to get long-lasting results? Who wouldn’t want to lose weight by consuming something verboten on most diets?

“The Cookie Diet is very appealing, because it legalizes a food — the cookie — that is banned from most weight-loss programs,” said Jenni Schaefer, author of “Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover From Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life” (McGraw-Hill, 2009).

“The diet gives people a false sense of control, simplifying balanced nutrition into one food: the cookie,” she added.

The same cultural forces that tell you you must always be on a diet, Fatty McFatterpants, tells you that some foods are “good” and some are “bad.” Cookies, along with cake, pie, baby donuts, and other sweet things usually made with oil and butter, are the sine qua non of bad food. They are the snack of the robot devil himself. The Cookie Diet brilliantly exploits the false morality of fat: you diet by doing what would count as “cheating” on any other diet. You can’t just eat cookies without a plan, after all. And heaven forbid that you make your own cookies rather than spend $56 a week for someone’s soy pulp with secret spices.

Look, here’s the thing: you’re allowed to eat cookies. This is true if you’re fat or not fat. You’re allowed to eat six cookies a day if you feel like it. You’re also allowed to eat a cookie today and a salad tomorrow, or a cookie for dessert and a smoothie for breakfast. You’re allowed to eat whatever you want.

Cookies are not evil. Some things are evil. Cookies are just cookies.

239 thoughts on “Monstrous cookies for cookie monsters

  1. Funny – I’m having a cookie for breakfast right now.

    I think my BIL is on this, or something similar. I just kind of shake my head and congratulate him on the weight loss, because that makes him happy and I love him and don’t want to start an argument with him.

    Sigh.

  2. We think of our plan as a behavior modification program, not a diet,” Mr. Nemet said.

    And here I am, thinking of what I eat as food. Shame on me.

  3. Who wouldn’t want to exert the minimal effort to get long-lasting results?

    Okay, I’m already in a bad mood this morning and was looking for something to direct it at, but this sentence (and the tone that accompanies it) pissed me off. I’m so sick of the meme that says “you guys, we’re sooooo lazy in our culture. I mean, not me, personally. I work hard. As do my friends and the family members I like. But everybody else – like those fat people, especially them – they’re sooooo lazy. They just want quick fixes!”

    Seriously, even if you buy into diet culture, what about starving yourself on frigging cookies says easy way out? Because you’re not hand grinding the soy beans and running okra through your juicer to make your own handmade crap cookies? Apparently fat people are going to be labeled as looking for an easy way out until we en masse adapt that stupid three hours of exercise a day plan that we mocked on here a while back, and even then we better be making our own damn diet cookies.

  4. ETA – a cookie-cookie, not a diet cookie. There were sugar cookies in the breakroom and I’m a sucker for sugar cookies.

  5. The main ingredient in the Soypal cookie is okara, or soy pulp…

    I read that as “okra” at first and about gagged.

  6. Hah, I read it as okra too, though frankly, I’m not sure okra cookies would be any worse than described.

  7. This doesn’t even sound appealing to me. Not because the “cookies” sound weird, but because it also buys wholesale into the assumption that we women want to gorge ourselves all day on cookies. Um, no, I don’t. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. If it were chips, however…

    @LilahMorgan, I fully agree with you. We’re lazy…because many people work such long hours that they simply don’t have time to both sleep AND exercise regularly? …because studying/reading for pleasure/having dinner out with friends isn’t a worthwhile pursuit? I mean, really? We’re not all sitting in front of tvs all day! (Ok, some days I am…but not every day…)

  8. At first reading I thought it said that the main ingredient in the cookies was OKRA.

    This broke my brain. I am a good Southern girl and I looove okra, but, wow, I really really don’t want it in cookies. They’d be…sort of hairy.

  9. I love that you said “you’re allowed to eat a cookie”.
    It’s sad that we’ve reached the point that this has to even be said.
    The guilt that is so pervasive over FOOD is ridiculous. I’m no saint when it comes to my eating, and it’s truly a constant battle, but I’m a work in progress.. that’s all I can be.

    My favorite “Diet” products, like these stupid cookies, are the ones that state “eat this, take that, use this” etc. and then the teeny, tiny print, says
    “used along with diet and exercise”…… there is NOTHING fool proof out there. When will people get that?

  10. Is this a repackaged version of last year’s Smart For Life cookies?

    The one with that wretched commercial featuring obnoxious people singing, “Who took the cookies from the cookie jar?” in such a smug fashion that I wouldn’t have given that company money if the cookies conferred immortality?

    Feh.

  11. “We think of our plan as a behavior modification program, not a diet,”

    Diets don’t work. Soy-pulp-cookie-semi-starvation-oops-I-mean-behavior-modification totally does.

    Hm. Just doesn’t quite have that ring to it, does it?

  12. In addition to what was mentioned above, the thing that struck me was how classist this seems to be. $56 per week? And that doesn’t include the price of the “real” meal, or any beverages? Really? So if my partner and I wanted to go on this diet, we’d have to spend $112 a frickin week. To starve?!?!?! WTF. No thanks, I’d rather spend the $40-$50 a week we spend now and I’ll make my own damn cookies. Which are very yummy.

  13. Funny this popped up just now. I ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast, and when my stomach growled so loudly that my husband could hear it, he brought me a cookie. Not a soy pulp cookie either–a Lofthouse cookie with orange icing and sprinkles. It was almost as good as a baby flavored donut.

  14. Last weekend, I really wanted cookies but was too lazy to actually make them, so I bought a tub of Nestle Tollhouse dough at the store. Not that the cookies were gross or anything, but for some reason, that invisible ingredient of “hard work” (hard? ha!) makes them taste way better. So this weekend I’m making real ones.

    OUT OF THINGS THAT AREN’T SOY.

  15. @spuffyduds I wonder if we can deep fry okra cookies like we fry okra? Because then I might be compelled to eat it.

    I’m sure deep fried okra cookies will be all the rage at state fairs across the country next year. Just you wait.

  16. This reminds me of something I used to see on eating disorder message boards many moons ago. There was a fashion for “mono-diets” and people would post about how they were on the ice cream diet or the peanut butter diet or the chocolate diet. They would eating nothing but that food in small amounts. Glad to know this company is giving people the opportunity to pay for a pre-packaged eating disorder.

  17. Holy shit, I have to agree with the assessment that this isn’t EASY, and that the idea that “we’re looking for an easy fix” is insulting.

    A loved one went on a similar diet – we called it the Silage Puck diet, because those damn things weren’t cookies – and she didn’t go on it because it was “an easy fix”, it was because every other fucking diet had failed, and she hoped that this one would provide the magical key to nutrition and psychology that would make her thin. (Because, of course, you’re fat for reasons of character, not of body type.)

    An article like this makes me stars – for the casual dismissal of the Herculean effort living on 1000 calories a day can be for people – even if some of those 1000 calories come from Stomach! Filling! Chocolate! Scented! Silage! Pucks! (aka “cookies”).

  18. SM, I rolled over the “some things are evil” links, and the last one totally made me snarf.

    that invisible ingredient of “hard work” (hard? ha!) makes them taste way better

    It’s truly NOT hard work — the rolls/tubs of dough have a LOT of chemicals in them to make them shelf-stable. So it is, in fact, the lack of chems that makes the tastier cookie.

  19. Hey, y’all, soy pulp (biji, okara) is pretty good. It’s just the solids that you filter out when you make soymilk, good for making fried patties or biji-jigae. It’s kind of like neutral-flavoured ground meat.

    Meat cookies. Six a day. Um…yum? o_O

  20. @siobhan D: I don’t know why that surprises me though. Stuff has to be injected with chemicals to have any kind of shelf life.

  21. Soy pulp cookies?! I’m guessing the idea behind these cookies is to eat a cookie, drink about a gallon of water, and then walk around all day feeling too bloated to manage to eat a thing. But hey! You got to eat COOKIES! Even if they did taste like the box they came in. Jesus, people.

  22. You know, Halloween is a time when I have a lot of candy in the house and tend to nosh on it a lot (which requires another shopping run right before Halloween as I realize I’ve eaten all the peanut butter cups and might not have enough stuff to hand out).

    On Saturday I hesitated over taking a second mini Snickers bar because my inner diet fairy voice had started malevolently whispering all those admonishments and shaming messages I’ve internalized over the years, and I thought to myself, “When the moment comes that I’m facing death, am I really going to think ‘Thank God I didn’t eat that extra mini Snickers? Or all that cake and chocolate and stuff?’ No. I’m probably going to think regretfully of all the sex I never had, but not about the food.”

    I had the second Snickers, and a Kit Kat. *footstomp*

    DRST

  23. Today is my first day off in six weeks, from a job that requires hours of physical labor every day. This lazy fatty is definitely gonna have to go make herself some cookies. Chocolate chip or snickerdoodle…
    Parenthetically, I love this blog! This is my first comment but I’ve been reading here forever. It was wonderful to hear that someone else (and lots of someone elses actually)agreed with the good sense my mom told me years ago when I went away to college and started doing crazy unhealthy diets and exercise like the some of my friends in the dorm. I called her crying again because I couldn’t lose any weight. She said, “Honey, maybe this is the size God meant you to be.” It started my journey.

  24. Oh, man, this is the kind of thing that would have totally appealed to me when I was still trying different diets. And I would have tried to justify why the cookies tasted like Silage Pucks (hee!) by reminding myself how *good* they were for me. And I would have wondered why I was so hungry all the damn time; after all, I’m on the program! I’m eating the soy cookies! Why am I so HUNGRY!

    Man, it’s nice to be done with all that. I eat whatever the hell kind of cookies I want. And there’s no way that I could make it through my day by only eating six of them. That’s absurd. Not enough food is still not enough food, even if it’s a “bad” food. I can’t get through the day on one bowl of ice cream, either.

  25. Ugh, this just made me remember the time I was dumb enough to try the South Beach Diet. *shudder*

    I made it a day before the vomiting started. I was stuck on clear liquids for days before I could retain any kind of normal food again, and guess what? The very solid foods you’re supposed to add after clear liquids are ultra-forbidden by South Beach — bananas, rice, toast.

    That really drove the lesson home that if what you’re eating or how you’re eating it is making you feel physically unwell, you’ve managed to reverse the entire purpose of food.

  26. *boggle* That ‘real meal’ is maybe half a meal–six horrible fake cookies are SO not enough to make up for that. Unless they’re the size of someone’s HEAD. Just, wtf. Starvation with a pretty bow on is still starvation!

    I’m going to go have some real cookies now (mm, lemon wafer) out of sheer spite. Well, and because I want cookies, but spite gives them a nice kick.

  27. God. 800 calories a day!

    I had the “pleasure” of moving into a house of girls, after having solely male roommates for 2 years, and the day I moved in all of the girls went on 1,000 calorie a day diets.

    It was surreal. They were so grumpy! They didn’t want to go out, they spent all their time in the kitchen obsessing, and didn’t even eat nutritionally sound food. (one person had one slice of pizza a day)

    Whereas I try to get a variety of foods and don’t shy away from a cookie (especially if it is peanut butter).

    Needless to say they all went on a junk food binge after that week and spent the rest of the time bitching about how “fat” they were.

    *sigh*

  28. Easy way out? If there were such a thing, we wouldn’t have such an *OBESITY CRISIS OMG*

    You can accuse me of taking the easy way out when you come up with a fat vaccine, or when I just have to take a pill with my birth control. What’s so easy about choking down sawdust cookies and bland food?

  29. @mccn: Re: Behavior Modification

    Yeah, that’s bullshit, frankly. This isn’t any sort of behavior modification.

    Also, behavior modification usually sounds ominous and negative, because generally it is. I have Clockwork Orange-type images in my head when I hear it, actually. It invokes ideas of criminality which just feeds into the good/bad foods meme and doesn’t help anyone to learn to eat intuitively.

    In one fell swoop they’ve managed to imply that all fatties are lazy, cookie-munching, criminals. That is impressive.

  30. What terrifies me is the idea that they think of their plan as behaviour modification. Now diet plans that encourage you to eat lots of veg, only very lean meat, and use almost no fat or sugar: I can kind of see where they’re coming from in terms of trying to make a lifestyle change that you can stick to: even if we’ve seen that it doesn’t work in practice for any but a tiny minority. But these people are *seriously* suggesting that the answer to being overweight is to modify your behaviour to eat *almost nothing*??!?

    My brane hurt.

    Ob cookie: slightly stale Maryland choc chip and hazelnut cookies are actually really nice, they go all melt-in-the-mouth. I know this because (OMG!) I didn’t eat all the packet at once and they’ve been sitting in the cupboard for ages until I spotted them last night.

  31. To rephrase my favorite post from last week–it’s just a (real) cookie; it’s not genocide!
    I’m waiting to say that this Halloween about the candy shamers.

    Soy Silage Puck cookies aren’t genocide, but geez, if I wouldn’t feed it to my dogs?

  32. I was actually craving cookies until I hit the words “soy pulp.” I think this might be the point of the diet — you think about what you are eating and get so disgusted that it kills your appetite?

    I also snarfed at Tucker Max, although I would put him under really, really pathetic rather than “evil.” Genocide is evil. Tucker Max is simply…..unfortunate.

  33. Preaching to the choir, but people who think living on six cookies a day for months is “the minimal effort” have something seriously wrong with their thinking.

  34. probably like the “soyjoy” bar, the soy based cookies would also give me horrendous hot flashes.

    I give it a rating of “less horrifying than those F-cup cookies that supposedly make your boobs bigger”

  35. Heh, I have a thyroid condition, which means I’m supposed to limit soy consumption. I get a lot of laughs out of people telling me it’s some magic food, or morally superior to other protein sources. Not for me. My doctor will happily give me a note saying, “Forget the soy, don’t eat corn syrup, and have a nice big steak once a month.”

  36. You don’t think that maybe someone wanted to use up some soy pulp, and make lots of money too? So bingo! Soy pulp diet cookies for $1.34 per cookie!

  37. Even the idea of eating 6 delicious oatmeal-and-raisin cookies plus a little protein and veggie makes me feel kind of shaky and undernourished. That can’t be right.

    Honestly, I’d rather eat biji-jigae, which looks sort of vomitous, but at least is warm and filling. (There’s other soups I’d eat first, even other cheap soups, but if you’ve got soybean remnants on hand, there’s worse ways to go.)

    The lack of fruit here would drive me crazy in approximately 2 days – about the same time I snapped from hunger and lack of variety.

  38. But… But… Cookies are a sometimes food. Cookie monster says!

    Especially evil cookies made of non cooky things that conspire to slowly dehydrate you. Those are more like a NEVER food.

  39. I cannot *tell* you guys how much food guilt trips up even a relatively FA-wise person like me. I will literally bargain with myself about an extra egg at breakfast (OMG CHOLESTEROL) versus extra icecream after dinner (OMG DEATHFOOD), the same sort of bargaining I engaged in WHILE DIETING TO THE POINT OF DEATH. I’m not denying myself good things, I say, in my hindbrain, I’m just trying to be smart about it! Of course I could never have both the ice cream and the egg and not feel bad about it, which really depresses me when I realize what I’m doing.

    A cookie is just a cookie, damnit. Cookie monster would be *ashamed*.

  40. @Laura512:

    Awwww, thanks for the link! I love cookie monster.

    “A doughnut can look like a C… but it isn’t as good as a cookie!”

    Indeed, cookie monster, indeed.

  41. Not a soy pulp cookie either–a Lofthouse cookie with orange icing and sprinkles.

    OH GOD THOSE ARE SO GOOD.

    Now I want one. *sigh*

  42. @emi s. are those the oat chocolate cookies from IKEA? amusingly enough at chez morte we call those “the cookies that eat like a meal” because they’re so filling, now why didn’t we think of marketing them as an overpriced diet plan!?!?!

    @liz much love for the Good Omens reference, very apt!

    I have to say personally that no matter what it is that I CAN eat I will obsess about the things I CANNOT eat. I don’t think I’m alone there. And I don’t think cookies are going to be the exception to that rule, especially when it is a 1000 calorie “lifestyle change” ye gods!

  43. @Leslie: I knooooooow!!! I am so with you. Even though I claim to practice “unrestricted eating,” I do all kind of bargaining with myself. “If I eat that scone for breakfast, I should have a salad for lunch. If I have chips and guacamole at lunch, I should skip dinner, etc.” Diet-think is hard to escape.

  44. I, um. Really can identify with DRST’s Halloween candy issues. But the problem is that if I start eating the Halloween candy, Mr. Havoc does too, and, while he eats more than me, making him go out to the store to buy more Halloween candy is actually more work than restraining myself.

    So mostly I just wait until Halloween night and snack on the candy then. :)

  45. I haven’t had breakfast yet, but I do have a pack of butter shortbread cookies in the cupboard. I think I know what I’ll be eating a bit later!

  46. Morte, they’re Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate & Almond Lacey’s cookies. I just googled for a picture. So good!

  47. All this cookie talk has done is made me regret making up a batch of brownies with those gourmet mint m&ms mixed in this weekend. I have chocolate chip dough balls in the freezer and could totally have cookies in my bag right now instead! Waaaah!

    Mmm, brownies. :D

  48. As a vegetarian, I love soy. LOVE it. (I make a mean tofu scramble. Just for the record.) But die-hard soy fan that I am, I still think those cookies sound gross.

    Also,

    “Some things are evil.”

    Like others, the last link made me chuckle.

    ALSO also,

    “Especially evil cookies made of non cooky things that conspire to slowly dehydrate you. Those are more like a NEVER food.”

    Shinobi42,
    That last sentence made me laugh out loud. Hee. It’s funny because it’s true!

  49. We think of our plan as a behavior modification program, not a diet,” Mr. Nemet said.

    So, the idea is to modify behavior to… make people eat cookies for two meals a day? Um, what?

  50. Admittedly, I went on a “diet” of sorts when I was pushing to finish school.

    I ate Luna Bars and almonds almost every meal and that was it. There were a few other foods i tossed in there for variety, but that’s about all I ate. Never mind the fact that I was pretty much a poor student anyway.

    Did I lose weight? Yeah. Was I healthy? Ummm… no.

  51. Oh, for corn’s sake. Just because something’s shaped like a cookie doesn’t make it an actual cookie. They should have to put quotes around the word cookie. I made dirt “cakes” complete with mud “icing” and sand “sugar” when I was a kid, but even then I didn’t think to actually eat them! (Well, ok, maybe I did try tasting one once, but they looked so good! Nothing like a mouthful of dirt to teach one the difference between actual and pretend food!)

    Where’s Michael Pollan on this?!? Oh sure, he’s all about wanting to label food-like non-foods as such, but where’s his demand that these be properly labeled Silage Pucks, I ask you???

  52. Who wouldn’t want to exert the minimal effort to get long-lasting results?

    Yeah this is irksome in excelsis, not only because of the reasons already stated, but because of the ludicrous pretense that, right, there’s good diets and there’s bad one’s and people don’t lose weight/ re-gain it, because they insist on going on the bad ones. It’s good ones you need as everyone noes. The only reason you are not doing the good ones, is because you are BAD, BAD, BAD.

  53. I think that this whole Cookie Diet thing is a throwback to the insipid attitude that fatties should only be seen eating Good Fattie Diet Food in public, ever. It’s funny (OK, no, it’s not) how in just about every conversation you see about weight and dieting online, the haters drag out the old “It’s simple: calories in vs. calories out” and “Eat less, exercise more” tropes, and insist that if you follow those rules, you’ll be thin in no time. Except that you *also* see their heads exploding in outrage if they see a fattie eating an unapproved Bad Fattie Food. Obviously there’s NO WAY that said fattie is, in fact, watching her diet and has made any accomodations for whatever indulgent food she’s eating in her calorie “allotment” for the day. According to the Food Police, I should be able to eat anything I want so long as my “calories in” are fewer than my “calories out”, right? Then why can’t I be on the Stick of Butter Diet? A stick of butter is about 800 calories, a perfect weight loss calorie level for any self-respecting fattie…I should be able to eat that every day and lose weight, right?? WRONG!! Fatties should not eat butter, ever…stupid fatties!

    So now we have the Cookie Diet, where all the stupid fatties who think they can get thin eating Normal People Food can now eat soy gloop cookies with abandon and trick themselves into simultaneously indulging their cookie greed (because all fatties want cookies AT ALL TIMES) and still claim the moral dieting high road. Or something.

    I’ll be over here eating the baklava I bought from the nice Greek ladies at the Farmer’s Market today.

  54. I wouldn’t mind surviving on my oatmeal butterscotch cookies. X3 They are fabulous. And I think I’m gonna buy some doughnuts when I go pick up my paycheck today (they’re BOGOF). X3

    But yeah, this is ridiculous. When I was reading the archives a few weeks back and found the entry where Kate talked about the calorie calculator and found out I burn 3500 calories simply by existing (holy shit, you guys, NOT EVEN DOING ANYTHING), it suddenly snapped all the diet shit into the clearest focus ever. I wrote an entry in my FA blog about how I’d always felt guilty for eating so much in the presence of my skinnier friends, without realizing that I legitimately needed more food than them. I used a pizza as the example food (because it’s a “bad” food), and I can eat half a pizza in one sitting, and do so. Because half a pizza is roughly a third of the 3500 calories I need to survive every day. Of course, I don’t eat pizza that often, but when I do I no longer feel guilty for eating so much of it.

    So yeah, six cookies and a veggie burger? Ain’t fucking cutting it for me, or anyone else. Portions, like people, come in all different sizes.

  55. @Leslie: I knooooooow!!! I am so with you. Even though I claim to practice “unrestricted eating,” I do all kind of bargaining with myself. “If I eat that scone for breakfast, I should have a salad for lunch. If I have chips and guacamole at lunch, I should skip dinner, etc.” Diet-think is hard to escape.

    I do it too, although I don’t think of it in weight-loss-dieting terms (and I would never intentionally skip a meal- for me, that’s a recipe for disaster). It’s more that I know if I eat a) too much greasy processed food or b) too many refined carbs, I feel like absolute crap. So if I’m eating pizza for lunch, I’ll probably go with, say, something less greasy and higher on the vegetable/fiber amount for dinner. I figure it’s a balancing act. Last night’s vegan black bean soup was to balance out the Wendy’s combo meal I ate for Tuesday dinner, since if I eat the fast food twice in a row my GI tract lets me know and I regret it for several days. But damn, sometimes that stuff is tasty.

    As for the article: PT Barnum was right. There really is a sucker born every minute. And 800 calorie diets- I need at least twice that just to keep from feeling homicidal. Good lord.

  56. As a therapist who has done some work with behavior modification…I’m also confused as to how this is supposed to work. The soy cookies make you feel bloated and yucky enough that you never want a cookie again?

  57. This is all very well and good, but eighties ad campaigns teach us that a cookie is just a cookie, but a Newton is fruit and cake. And aughties video game memes teach us that the cake is a lie. And the Bible teaches us that lying is a sin.

    Therefore, while other snack foods might not have a moral component, Fig Newtons are clearly the devil’s work.

  58. @wriggles – that (and a bunch of other comments and this whole damn site) is why I just don’t get into it with my BIL when he mentions whatever diet he’s on. His doctor has recommended some “lifestyle changes” and that he lose weight, which y’know, whatever. If he comes in complaining of a runny nose, she doesn’t blame his spare tire, so it’s OK.

    But it seems like he goes on whatever diet is popular – currently this cookie thing, or something similar (I know there are cookies and one meal a day involved, so…) and loses some weight and then goes back to his old eating habits and gains it back and lather, rinse, repeat.

    I’d rather he actually EAT when he takes his mom out to lunch every Sunday, maybe take a walk now and then and just be happy to be the funny, wonderful, kind-hearted man he is.

    Can I print this whole site and give it to him?

  59. Until about 10 minutes ago I had no idea what or who a Tucker Max is. I wish I’d remained blissfully ignorant.

  60. Isn’t this diet just another version of -’A delicious shake for breakfast! A delicious shake for lunch! And then a sensible dinner.”

    Maybe you could have the diet cookie and the diet shake together. (:

  61. @i-geek:

    I definitely think this is the ideal place to be in; its way more of an intuitive eating method, to know what makes you feel good or not. What I do, and why its depressing for me, is that I don’t think of it in terms of what I like or don’t like, what I know will give me energy or make me feel sleepy all day. I think of it in terms of “what should I/shouldn’t I eat?”, which speaks to dieting and outside pressure on our eating habits.

    I wish I could get to the place you seem to be at. I’m still working at it :P Finding out that I really do like salads once I don’t “have” to eat them is helping, but its a journey, yo.

  62. You know what scares me a bit? That sounds like about the amount I want to eat in a day right now. I’m 4 months pregnant and still below my pre-pregnancy weight. :-/ Never thought I’d be worrying that I wasn’t eating enough.

    Even so, the day I put a soya pulp cookie between my lips is the day the zombies have taken over and I’m barricaded into the Cookie Diet store. Alone.

  63. I can see why people like the “only eat prepared foods” diets like Jenny Craig or whatever. Food is so crazy-making for almost everyone, that just outsourcing the whole decisionmaking/cooking problem on someone else *does* seem like a solution. It’s why rich people have personal chefs, right? I’m not rich but I have to admit that when I notice how clean our kitchen stays on nights we don’t cook, I have a little yearning for a Seattle-Sutton style solution.

  64. @Gingembre: LOL

    Even so, the day I put a soya pulp cookie between my lips is the day the zombies have taken over and I’m barricaded into the Cookie Diet store. Alone.

    Perfect. Really, you just made my day.

  65. Re: Fig newtons, Whole Foods has a whole grain version of them that is EVEN BETTER. i am not kidding. Someone brought them to the ladies dressing room at the show I was just in and the entire chorus is now obsessed.

    Re: Halloween candy, I bought some at the store last night and hid it from my boyfriend before he saw it. He will eat every sweet thing in the house if he knows it is there. This is actually terrible for my whole intiutive eating mojo, because if I only eat 4 Oreos one night thinking I will eat more the next night rather than y’know, half the package, I will not get to eat another Oreo until I go to the store again. So of course I eat half the package, half of those Oreos are MINE DAMMIT.

  66. Shinobi: Maybe sneak half the Oreos into a plastic bag and hide it? Then he can eat the rest of the package himself, think they’re all gone, and you still have Oreos to eat the next day? I’d say the best place to put them would be inside a tampon/sanitary pad box (unless you use a cup), because most guys I know wouldn’t touch those with a ten foot pole (he may be an exception, though). Or somewhere else he rarely goes/looks in.

    I have a lot of practice hiding food because my mother has a very unhealthy relationship with sweets and taught me to hide my Halloween candy from her every year if I didn’t want it to disappear mysteriously in the night. >.> I don’t do it anymore because I currently live alone and have no need to do so, but I’d employ my methods again if I had a significant other with that kind of behavior. XD

  67. OK, now I want a proper biscuit (English here, biscuits are sort of like cookies but nicer what is called a biscuit in America is sort o like what we call a scone) I’m pretty sure that there are no biscuits in the house!

    I want a biscuit and a glass of milk and I want to dunk the biscuit in the milk and then drink the milk.

    But there are no biscuits and I’m eight miles from the nearest open shop.

    I do have some nice 85% dark chocolate with chilli though

    Yeah, that’ll do.

  68. Okra belongs in gumbo, right next to sausage, shrimp, chicken, and crab meat. Now, you come up with a gumbo diet, and I might be tempted to try that because I loves me some gumbo, but okra does not belong in baked goods!

    I’m reminded of Alton Brown’s lentil cookies, but I hear those are actually good. I want to have an oven again!

  69. @shinobi – I have the same situation in my house, but it’s because of the teenage boy I live with. I also just stopped buying cookies. On the flip side, I can whip up a batch of brownies with one hand tied behind my back now.

  70. I don’t see how making them out of okra could possibly hurt them, considering what they probably already taste like.

    Then again, if I wanted to eat something hairy and slimy I’d just get my cat to yak a hairball into my breakfast cereal.

  71. “A round cookie with one bite out of it looks like a ‘C’ and a round donut with one bite out of it also looks like a ‘C’ but it’s not as good as a cookie. A Soy Silage Cookie also sometimes looks like a ‘C’, but you can’t eat that!”

  72. I want Jaffa cakes now. It’s been too long since I have tasted their sweet orangy chocolatey goodness. I just have to find somewhere that sells them.

  73. @Shinobi: So true about the whole grain fig newtons! I have a friend who is a complete fig newton addict and he was won over instantly by the whole grain ones.

  74. “Re: Halloween candy, I bought some at the store last night and hid it from my boyfriend before he saw it. He will eat every sweet thing in the house if he knows it is there. This is actually terrible for my whole intiutive eating mojo, because if I only eat 4 Oreos one night thinking I will eat more the next night rather than y’know, half the package, I will not get to eat another Oreo until I go to the store again. So of course I eat half the package, half of those Oreos are MINE DAMMIT.”

    OMG, do I ever have the same problem. I instituted the Last Cookie Rule because of it. The LCR says that I get the last of any tasty sweet thing in the house, because other wise I’d never get any!

  75. Someone upthread said something like, “I’m not a saint when it comes to eating.”

    WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN?! Eating is not a moral struggle! Unless you are stealing food from starving people because it amuses you, the concept of morality is inapplicable. It’s like saying “I’m not a saint when it comes to pooping,” “I’m not a saint when it comes to the way I wear my hair,” it makes absolutely no sense!

  76. Gingembre – If you’re eating when you’re hungry, you’re doing fine. I’m eight months pregnant and still below my prepregnancy weight. Every body is different!

  77. @Gingember, I misread that as “soya pupae” and thought of the pucks as precursors to soylent green pod people. Now that’ll put you off a meal.

  78. @shinobi I finally had to talk to my partner about the fact that when he ate things I planned on having around and didn’t replace them, he threw off my whole intuitive eating mojo, and that if he finished something it was his responsibility to get more of it or *LET ME KNOW* so I could do the same on my way home from work.

    We’re still working on “I put as much snack on my plate as I felt like eating, please don’t steal from me just ask me to make you a plate.”

  79. Anyone else here old enought to remember Figurines? It was an early 1970′s version of this current cookie diet. You ate the Figurine cookies as a meal replacement. I remeber my mom having them. I do recall Figurines did look rather tasty at the time but I was six and never actually ate one.

    Extra point to anyone who can sing the Figurines song from their ads!

  80. I do remember Figurines, shyvixen! I remember the commercials, anyway; I don’t think my mother ever bought them, so I never got to try one. But much like Stella D’oro cookies and General Foods International Coffees, Figurines seemed like the height of sophistication to my childhood self.

  81. “Figurines seemed like the height of sophistication to my childhood self.”

    Ooh, yes! Sitting down with Figurines and a cup of General Foods International coffee seemed like the most glamorous way to spend an afternoon! Mmm, enjoy the cardboard “cookie” and artificial coffee-flavored beverage!

  82. tree – I have major digestive problems when I eat a significant amount of soy myself. I hate it when people evangelize about soy for that reason.

    Meanwhile I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies this afternoon. From scratch. Take that, soy byproduct hockey puck cookie people!

    DRST

  83. shyvixen: “Maybe you could have the diet cookie and the diet shake together. (:”

    You could dip the soy hockey puck into the gritty pseudochocolate liquid nightmare. It’s magically delicious!

  84. Oh yes, the stealy boyfriend. And hiding chocolate in my sock drawer is no use, he knows that’s a hiding place.
    *Even though* I feel ill when I’ve eaten too much sugar (and for me, that’s not much) I will still eat half the chocolate/cake/whatever just so I GET MY SHARE.

  85. Hey, you know all that crap about no bad foods, “It’s pizza not genocide”, etc? Can we modify that? Because SOY WEIGHT LOSS FAKE COOKIE is a bad food. It is a wicked food. It is a food o’ evil. (It’s still not genocide, though.)

    I might not be quite so emphatic if it weren’t that this ‘cookie’, so called, would actually kill me if I ate it. (Add me to the no-soy-for-medical-reasons Shapelings.) Completely aside from the evil wicked bad social implications, natch.

  86. Oh man, my big brother totally screwed up my intuitive eating at a young age. He still to this day eats a LOT (because he has a ridiculously high metabolism) and as kids if I wanted some I had to get to it first, eat half of it and leave the rest for him. I’ve only recently (thanks to SP, FA, and Therapy) started eating more intuitively.

  87. Funny, I was just fiddling on the computer, looking at Nigella Lawson’s awesome “How to be a Domestic Goddess” and trying to decide whether to make some of her coconut macaroons or fairy cakes this weekend as a delicious treat, and I clicked on this story.

    I swear Nigella and Shapely Prose are my sanity points ™ refueling stations. Don’t know what I would do without you all – keep baking those yummy yummy cookies!

  88. @momotheotter – oh, I love that book. My typical Saturday morning involves turning on the Food Network, drinking a pot of coffee and wandering through all of my cookbooks until I find something to bake. Nigella’s book gets used a whole lot of Saturdays.

  89. @jennykopinski
    “prepackaged eating disorder” – got it in one, I think. One multi-faceted one.

    @liz
    I love love love Good Omens, but so far in many re-readings have managed to overlook any soy and/or okra-related cookie jokes. Enlighten plz?
    (I’m sure I’m missing the point completely.)

  90. Littlem: I believe the reference to Good Omens is about the fad diet that Famine comes up with, the one that includes pre-packaged foods that are scientifically formulated to fool your body into thinking it’s full, while having absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. So you keep eating, and keep starving.

    … And it’s so depressing that what used to read as a ridiculous parody of our culture actually sounds plausible now. x.x

  91. @shyvixen

    ♪♫♪“Figurines do a lady proud
    they’ve got the kind of crunch that you can crunch out loud
    *instrumental interlude*
    My shape belongs to Fiiii-guuuu-riiiines
    da-da-da-da-DAAAA”
    ♫♪♫

    My mom was on every diet known to humankind, and I’ve got a very strange memory for words attached to catchy musical motifs, extending back practically to infancy, which can obviously be both good and bad (she tells a story about bathing me in the mixing bowl and the nursery rhymes’ nonsense refrains I’d offer back at her when she’d pause in the musical phrase — which I guess is a gift I should appreciate but she has a disconcerting habit of telling these stories to people with whom I’d rather have a bit more control over my image, like prospective boyfriends and, literally, visiting dignitaries).

    Plus I’m a sucker for extra points.

  92. @HiddenTohru

    First, thank you.
    Second, I’ve always thought of GNeil and PTerry as rather eerily prescient. I mean, I really thought GWB being elected twice in a row was a sufficient apocalyptic sign that I started combing Revelations looking for the matching symbolism — so being of such a gnarly turn of mind, this doesn’t really sound that implausible to me at all.

    After all, Soylent Green is people!

    ♥♥♥ to you for taking the time to enlighten.

  93. I remember my mother being on some kind of meal replacement biscuits (cookies to some) in the early 80s. It didn’t do her any good.

    This is nothing new.

  94. I can’t even imagine anything that would compel me to eat the same damn thing day in and day out for months at a time.

    I mean, I felt drudgery just reading that article. You know how if you look at a word too long or too much, it loses all meaning? “Cookie” is kind of that way for me now. And it was my nickname in high school!

    I can only imagine how the word would look after a month of only eating cookies.

  95. “We think of our plan as a behavior modification program, not a diet,” Mr. Nemet said.

    And I think of my living space as a spaceship, not an apartment. DAMN REALITY. DAMN IT.

  96. Well, cookies at least have calories. One of my family members just sent me a flier for the diet they are on that claims WATER has more energy than FOOD. I mean, I guess the chemists didn’t the water memo.

  97. I just got home from the store with some bananas and noticed there’s a cute little sticker on them that says, “Guilt-free snacking.”

    Right on the fruit. So we are really doing that now. Not a product someone developed and wants to advertise, but something we picked from a tree.

  98. Beyond nutrition, I think a lot of these buy-our-special-food diets (and diets in general, for that matter) limit more than just what you can eat – if you really buy into the disordered “this is the only thing I can have”, it becomes socially and even geographically restricting. Note testimonials on the site that say “I carry around packages with me everywhere” – that’s just weird. Reminds me of the time caught myself wondering if I should pass up the chance to go to China – on a full fellowship, no less – because it was possible I wouldn’t be able to get diet soda there.

    A cursory google seems to show that most of these diet cookie things look like glorified crackers. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some crackers, but those little air hockey pucks don’t even look like they deserve an honorary cookie degree.

  99. [i/]

    I just got home from the store with some bananas and noticed there’s a cute little sticker on them that says, “Guilt-free snacking.”

    Right on the fruit. So we are really doing that now. Not a product someone developed and wants to advertise, but something we picked from a tree. [/i]

    The white sugar I get says “Sugar, the natural sweetener/15 calories per spoonful.” Maybe it’s because I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but I just think it’s a sad day when sugar has to promote itself.

  100. The white sugar I get says “Sugar, the natural sweetener/15 calories per spoonful.” Maybe it’s because I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but I just think it’s a sad day when sugar has to promote itself.

    Yeah, I had a package at one point that said something along the lines of “Sugar is 100% carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are an essential part of a balanced diet.”

  101. Loving the Good Omens reference.

    The thing that always grimly amuses me about this kind of diet messaging is how contradictory it is. So we’re all talking about “health”, right? But…if one was to try to base a diet on soy in a healthy way would one not be better starting off with, say, edamame? And like someone said above, there’s nothing wrong with okara, but there’s a reason it’s not traditionally made into a dessert. Like someone else said, this is basically a pre-packaged version of what a lot of people do when they’re severely eating disordered (um, hi, with me it was bananas, then lentil soup).

    This also troubles me in that it’s presumably aimed mostly at women, and a diet that requires you to consume nothing but vitamin fortified soy…um, there has been a lot written about the interaction between soy consumption and breast cancer, and while a lot of it is inconclusive, there’s enough there that’s cause for concern that it seems insane for anyone to recommend that women go on a diet that’s 90% soy. You’d think that would be worth mentioning.

  102. Wait…this diet LEGALIZES cookies? As in, if you’re not on the diet, it’s ILLEGAL for you to eat cookies? It was bad enough when we all needed a license to eat ice cream!

  103. Those fake cookies can go to hell. Today I had five delicious Mallomars and I might have another.

    Mallomars are awesome because they’re seasonal, and oh, what a nice day it is when they come back.

  104. I just baked a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies yesterday! Coincidence… or not? *cue Twilight Zone music* And I ate cookie dough while I was at it. Sweet Maude, I love cookie dough.

    They’re pretty good cookies, albeit more crisp than I wanted them to be. My search for the Soft Cookie Secrets of the Pastry Chef Illuminati continues. How do they make those big, soft, cake-like cookies that are so ubiquitous in pastry cases? I know it’s not always due to the alchemy of food factories, I’ve seen them in “all-natural, no preservatives, yadda yadda yadda” bakeries.

    Hope that the Secrets of the Pastry Chef Illuminati do not include okara.

  105. Man, just seeing the word “cookie” so many times makes me want to have cookies for lunch. Maybe I will have six cookies. Or ten. OR A MILLION AND I WILL EAT THE WORLD ARGH.

    And that’s okay.

  106. Also these remind me of a sweet version of shirataki noodles (I was going to put a link but I actually can’t find one that doesn’t get into diet talk in some way, which is not a coincidence). They’re basically noodles made out of water and a plant called konjac, and they are essentially calorie-free. They’re also taste and nutrition free, and have a texture remniscent of raw jellyfish, but slimier. Again, take a food that in itself is just a food, process and repackage it as a weight loss product, and you end up with something that’s very M.E.A.L.S.

  107. I don’t like cookies. Clearly as a fat woman, this means I don’t exist.

    Biscuits is what I’m all about. Mmmm, McVities.

  108. I don’t get the “behavior modification” thing either. Eating cookies instead of two meals (real cookies, not soy-pulp hockey pucks) would leave me with a tummy ache.

    Ew.

    Yesterday I came home after having pad thai for lunch (and mac’n’cheese the day before and spaghetti the day before) and asked if we could just have a salad instead of the pasta we’d talked about earlier. I was pasta’d out. So I had a big bowl of salad veggies with Italian dressing, and a pile of sliced apple & cheddar cheese. I think I wanted some crunch.

    Oh, and I remember Figurines. And Ayds ;)

    Until about 10 minutes ago I had no idea what or who a Tucker Max is. I wish I’d remained blissfully ignorant.

    Me too!

  109. I just got home from the store with some bananas and noticed there’s a cute little sticker on them that says, “Guilt-free snacking.”

    Oh god I’ve been meaning to do a post on this for months. It makes me so mad every time I see it.

  110. Pssst, Electrogirl.

    Leave out the baking soda in your cookies. And use bread flour instead of all-purpose.

    [/Pastry Chef Illuminati]

  111. I’ve not seen these stickers. I will spit nails if you tell me they’re on ‘Chiquita’ bananas, with their amazing history of human rights violations and murder.

  112. @Grafton:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen those on Chiquita bananas. Which, I suppose, is par for the course?

    @Leely:

    If you’re baking any time soon I’ll be right over. =) I scoured the cookie aisle at Target today and didn’t see anything that appealed to me.

  113. Yeah, I remember Figurines. I don’t remember having ever eaten them (either that or I blanked it out), but the jingle is based on the melody to the 1940s standard “Tangerine” (I recognized the melody from my parents’ Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass records, which I was obsessed with). Apparently it had previously been used for Sego (a Slim-Fast predecessor) about a decade earlier, also. Fun truefax to know ‘n’ tell.

    I keep thinking this “cookie diet” thing is some kind of gateway drug dreamed up by manufacturers of actual cookies. “These things are gross! I can’t wait until I can have REAL cookies!”

  114. Omg, those banana stickers make me stabby. Is there really a problem, enough that a marketing department felt the need for stickers to address it, with the general public feeling guilty about eating fucking fruit?
    Wait, don’t answer that.

  115. … the general public feeling guilty about eating fucking fruit?

    A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to someone that my dog liked to munch on the windfalls from our apple tree. Their first comment was, ‘But apples are so sugary!’

    *facepalm*

  116. Also, the Atkins Diet did try to convince the general public that eating fruit was a terrible thing. In fact I had someone I worked with who was on it express aghast horror when she saw me eating a banana. Perhaps the “it’s a healthy snack!” stickers are aimed at people like her.

  117. Wait, mallomars are seasonal? I had no idea! I thought sometimes they were just out because Billy Crystal got to the store before me and bought them all up!

  118. but apples are so sugary

    A coworker once got a beautiful gift basket from his sister. Apples, pears, oranges, cheeses, crackers. He’s like, “It’s all SUGAR! The only thing I can eat is the cheese!”

  119. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen those on Chiquita bananas. Which, I suppose, is par for the course?

    I now feel ill and furious.

    Please destroy them, Sweet Machine. If there’s a food that’s truly evil, it’s anything that puts money in the accounts of United Fucking Fruit. I’d rather eat the damn silage puck.

  120. I get that a lot – I eat a bunch of fruit, because I like it. My coworker likes to wonder aloud if I’m going to eat *a whole mango*. By myself. As a snack. According to this coworker, this will give me diabetes. Which . . . argh.

  121. Had a friend of my sister’s over for dinner once and found out when she arrived that she was on Atkins. She didn’t eat her veggies with dinner because “Peas are pure sugar.”
    Beware the green vegetables!

  122. Speaking of horrendous diets, Deakin University is doing a study on opinions about and history of undertaking various diets. The multiple choice questions allow the option to declare that every diet is bullshit and does nothing, which seems to indicate that the researcher is at least considering that maybe all this ‘diet’ culture really is just bollocks.

    http://www.deakin.edu.au/psychology/research/dietchoice/

  123. I also misread them as being okra cookies!

    Back in community college, one girl (who wasn’t fat at all – she looked a lot like Marina Sirtis/Counselor Troi from Star Trek: TNG) went on the french fry diet. Seriously, all she’d have for lunch every weekday was a small order of fries!

    I do like having sweets that are relatively healthy. I just made home-made cheesecake muffins with fat-free creamcheese, eggs, and no-sugar-added strawberry jam, and they’re scrumptious! My housemate can’t eat artificial sweetener, so we generally don’t get anything that has that in it.

  124. The survey in Blake’s link is very very very rooted in a dieting/thinness/health mentality (even while questioning how you feel about it) and might be triggering for some. Lots and lots of questions about eating and exercise and comparing your body to others and such.

  125. My great-grandfather went on a meal-replacement-cookie diet once, but the cookies weren’t big enough for a meal so he would eat four or five at a time.

    And it’s kind of odd to think of cookie diets that far back.

  126. Also, I think I will make gingerbread cookies this weekend. And flourless peanut butter cookies (1 cup peanut butter, 1 egg, 1tsp vanilla, 1 cup sugar) tonight because a gluten-intolerant friend is coming to visit.

  127. Blake, very interesting survey! I took it, so maybe my data will mess with their brains a little bit. :)

    But yeah, near the end the questions start to get really personal, especially regarding binge eating, so tread carefully if you have trouble with that kind of questioning.

  128. @CassandraSays: I am having such flashbacks to the days when I convinced myself that I liked shirataki noodles and avoided carrots like the plague! Low carb insanity. I think of myself as an intelligetn person, yet I managed to insist with a straight face that bananas and carrots were bad for me. Blarg.

  129. @LucyToo -
    I think of myself as an intelligetn person, yet I managed to insist with a straight face that bananas and carrots were bad for me. Blarg.

    Well, for some of us they can be. I low-carb because I notice I have more energy when I do, and I take chromium picolinate b/c it keeps muscle weight on, which is apparently important for glucose metabolism, which I try to pay attention to b/c my mom’s half of the family gets a lot of diabetes. (Not that one can do anything about it if one’s pancreas just breaks.)

    But that doesn’t mean eliminating apples or oranges or green veggies. For me. So I try not to look down too much on what anyone else might be eating for their reasons, whatever they are.

  130. Look, here’s the thing: you’re allowed to eat cookies. This is true if you’re fat or not fat. You’re allowed to eat six cookies a day if you feel like it.

    Oh, I totally do. Just about every day I have cookies in the house.

    I’m much happier (and probably healthier) since I’ve started… listening to my body and eating, oh, whatever I want whenever I want it. (It’s a lot you all’s fault, since reading Shapely Prose got me into this HAES/FA thing).

    But yes. Did low fat. Did low sugar. Did low carb. Did myself huge disservices every single time.

    I’m happier, healthier, *smarter*, stronger now. Yay!

    (Okay, back to comment reading.)

  131. @queen of nuffink – “Diet cookies…. sounds like decaf coffee and then what really is the point?”

    Decaf coffee makes sense for weirdos like me who LOVE coffee but can’t handle caffeine.

    Now, if you were talking about caffeine-free diet soda…. ;) but then I hate the taste of fakesweet.

  132. You guys, I’m starting to rethink my derisive attitude toward this whole Cookie Diet thing. Did you see that Dr. Siegal is anticipating $18 million in revenues for 2009?? $18 million!! We could put our heads together and come up with our own legalizing-”bad”-foods diet! How about the Moon Pie Diet? We could make our own Moon Pies (we’ll call them, um, Boon Pies! “Boon” short for Boondogle, but we won’t say that part out loud). We can come up with our own lo-cal (and lo-nutrition, shhhhh!) recipe for spun olestra (bonus pooping!), or something, with just enough sweetener to make it palatable, sandwich it between 2 silage pucks (fiber!), then cover it with a brown chocolate-looking substance (because it’s not really about these things tasting good, it’s all about selling the fantasy of Eating Something BAD). Voila! The basis for our Boon Pie Diet. We’ll sell them for $2 a pop as part of our 4 Boon Pie a Day + Some Tiny Amount of Real Food Diet Plan!

    And really, if you look at these things it’s more about selling a “plan” than actual food, so we’ll come up with a “weight-loss package” including 7 laminated cards with a “sensible” meal plan for each day of the week: Day 1 – broiled skinless chicken breast and steamed veggies, Day 2 – 2 slices of roasted turkey breast and a salad (1 tsp. of our proprietary dressing, natch!), Day 3 – poached fish and, uh, steamed veggies!, Day 4 – um, baked! skinless chicken breast and uh, Well, you get the idea! We’ll also include a laminated card of Exercise Tips like, “Walking as little as 10 minutes, 3 times a day can increase the number of calories you burn!” and, “Try taking the stairs instead of the escalator at the mall!” We’ll also write a book (well, it will really be more like a pamphlet) outlining our “plan”. We’ll fill it with motivational platitudes and not-so-subliminal advertising for all of our tie-in products (vitamin supplements! “Metabolism Enhancing” Green Tea Water!). We’ll package this all together for just 3 Low Payments of $99.95 and we’ll even throw in the first week’s supplies of Boon Pies for free!

    C’mon! $18 million a year in revenues! Shit, I have a Ph.D., I’ll endorse it on the package as a sure fire weight loss plan! “This Boon Pie Diet will help you lose weight!” – Dr. McN. That won’t be a lie, people! Everyone will likely lose weight for a while on an 800-1000 calorie a day diet. I didn’t say you’d keep the weight off! In fact, we can offer a !00% satisfaction, money back guarantee (for the first 3 months). (Don’t worry, we’ll rarely have to refund anyone’s money! Some people may begin to regain in that time, but they’ll likely blame it on their own failings like lack of willpower, or lack of discipline, or lazyness!) I didn’t say it was nutritious! I don’t even have to say it’s “healthy”. Hell, diet culture does that for me. It’s implied given that it’s a weight-loss diet, after all. Certainly healthier than being fat as everyone knows! And no, I’m not a medical doctor (my Ph.D. is in biology) but many of the “Doctors” associated with other kooky weight loss products have doctorates in things like physical therapy, or MDs from, I don’t know, Grenada.

    Dr. McN’s Miracle Boon Pie Weight Loss Diet Plan!! You absolutely will lose weight!! Unethical? Yes! Despicable? Definitely! Bad for your health? Most certainly! Did I mention $18 million a year?

    I’m telling you, it’s a license to print money! *Sigh* If you’re feeling squeamish about exploiting vulnerable people, we can give 1% of our proceeds to a HAES Research Institute, or something, OK?? Sheesh.

    Who’s with me?

  133. @littlem–My apologies. My comment was poorly worded. (As well as full of typos–yikes!) Of course there are lots of reasons why various foods are not good for individual people, and low carb eating is beneficial for some. By “low carb insanity” I meant that the diet craze made me ignore what was true of my body and not that all people who eat reduced carbohydrate diets are foolish.

  134. This seriously reminds me of how my parents will buy sugar-free ice cream and eat it in these little egg-cups. And then they’ll have second helpings. And third helpings. And fourth helpings. And pretzels later. And then popcorn. JUST EAT A REGULAR-SIZED BOWL OF REAL ICE CREAM AND STFU.

    It’s really something when the formerly-eating-disordered daughter has to tell them that.

    What, did I say that out loud?

  135. and seriously, is there anyone who hasn’t already figured out that diet food = such things as tiny portions of skinless, fatless protein cooked without fat or sugar and steamed vegetables?

  136. It’s the cookie monster i feel sorry for. Like he isn’t confused and traumatized enough lately.

    “cookies sometimes food now? but cookie monster only food group is cookies! ”

    “me have to eat carrots? me lack necessary digestive enzymes!”

    And now they’re telling him he can eat pseudo cookies all day every day.

    ” me eat cookies now? yay!….(noms diet cookies) WTF? these no cookies!. taste like mud…why you try to poison cookie monster ?( sad face)”

    Cookie monster leaves Sesame Street and applies for a job in Yo Gabba Gabba, where at least they appreciate having a party in your tummy…

  137. @SM – KATE HARDING, Celebrity spokesperson!

    Ooooh, krismcn, can I participate in the meal plans? I so want to bring such oldies but goodies as Jellied Consomme with floating Celery bits back. Why’d they ever go out of style?

  138. @SM & Sarah B. I don’t think I ever learned to eat intuitively – the second I started gaining weight I got a constant barrage of “are you sure you want that?” Nothing like a shit ton of second guessing to ruin my ability to listen to my body.

    My therapist suggested today that I start aiming for mindful rather than intuitive eating at this point.

  139. I’m still pushing the all-mineral diet. Ethical AND good for you (builds strong bones! and teeth!) Gravel for breakfast, stone soup for lunch, a little silver foil for some evening glamour…

  140. @Leely: Thank you, Pastry Chef Illuminatus! I’ll try that as soon as the chocolate chip cookies are gone. :)

  141. “Dr. McN, who will be our celebrity spokesperson?”

    Excellent question. Well, the Cookie Diet has Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Hudson, and Kelly Clarkson (Wait! What?? Kelly Clarkson?? WTF? Dammit! So much for loving her body as is, I guess. *sigh* Pretty much the classic Diet Plan Endorser – previously publicly declared self-lover who finally succumbs to Diet Culture). So, it looks like we can get away with some sort of dubiously famous, D-list, fame chaser. Heeeeey, maybe we can get CHLOE Kardashian! We can have the added publicity of a public, sibling, DIET ENDORSEMENT WAR! Sure, the Cookie Diet will also benefit from the added publicity, but that’s the upside of getting into this industry – practically NO UPPER LIMIT ON YOUR CUSTOMER BASE.

    Of course, the dream endorser would be Oprah. Maybe we’ll be lucky and find out she’s a HUGE (har har!) Moon Pie fan.

  142. @LittleMy: FTW! I cackled for like five minutes over that. Thanks!

    @Meems: I hear that. Even when I was on diets my dad would second guess what I was eating. “Are you sure you can eat that?” If he can’t grasp the WW system how will he ever grasp FA? Today I got an email about how FRUIT! IS! GOOD! *if you eat it on an empty stomach*. I thought my mom sent it so I sent her a polite email about not sending me food forwards because I’m working on this intuitive eating thing. Yeah, turns out it was dad, who doesn’t get it. Anyway, tonight I went to get ice cream and realized I was still full from dinner and if I forced ice cream down because I could, then I would make myself sick. That’s a huge realization for me.

  143. I just did that Deakin study. I’m sure that my answers will challenge the data. I think a lot about being fat, but neither binge nor diet.

    It does ask a lot about your dieting and eating behaviour, including binges, so I second caution to those who might be struggling with those issues.

  144. Dude, the Slimfast people totally beat them to this concept with the “delicious” milkshakes. There is nothing new under the diet industry

    I once drank a slimfast “milkshake” because it was the only thing in the back of my nana’s fridge (I see why) and I couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t let me eat chalk as a child but didn’t mind me drinking chalk as an adult!

  145. I have to confess here that I actually -liked- the Slimfast shakes, at least the kind you made from “scratch” in the morning with the powder and the milk and the blender.

    …uh, maybe I’m confusing it with Instant Breakfast, now that I’m thinking of it.

    it’s still a bit much for lunch, too…

  146. “Maybe you could have the diet cookie and the diet shake together. (:”

    That’s what I used to do a lot as a teenager. I would eat a Powerbar and drink a diet shake… and then I’d eat the rest of my lunch! (What? That was just my drink and my dessert — you can’t expect to call either of those a meal on their own! :D)

    Seriously, though: I fail at “diet drinks” because I treat them like, yanno, *drinks* that are meant to be eaten with the rest of your meal. Om nom nom, chocolate shake + actual food! I stopped doing that now though, partly because as a grad student I’m too cheap to buy individually packaged drinks that are not coffee, and also because I have developed a taste for drinking actual *water* lately. Which is a lot better for my blood sugar and my teeth (and my wallet — tap water is the bomb! ^^)

  147. I’m sorry if this comment becomes a derail, but please *mock* the creaters of these diet-plans, NOT the food item iteself. Okara (as well as Shirataki mentioned in someone’s comment upthread) is a traditional food item in Japanese cuisine, and having it appropriated as “low-fat/low-cal miracle diet food” is offensive enough, but having it mocked here somehow makes it worse. Yes, there are cookies/crackers/biscuits made of okara, and they are quite yummy. They are NOT sold as diet cookies, but just plain snack-food.

  148. Re: BlueRain’s comments – The Silage Pucks of my memory were many years ago, and I cannot comment on their ingredients but I know they weren’t this particular plan. They were serious silage though. Germs and brans and probably straw. Who knows what else? Maybe chitin, because doesn’t ground shells sound DELISH? (Anyone else remember chitin as a meal supplement?)

    I am not familiar with okara specifically and a few folks have pointed out here that, unabused, it’s yummy. The diet industry really abuses pretty much any food that comes their way, so I’d fall over in surprise if these were actually for real tasty to humans, as opposed to “Delicious Food Product!” as sold by dieting wonks.

  149. @ Arwen – If you’re thinking of the same silage pucks as I am I think they were wheat germ and oat bran based, mixed with gravel if the texture was any indication. Which hey, I’m a Scot, oat cakes are a traditional food for me but in that form? No thank you.

    Also RE Shirataki, it’s being marketed as a diet food in Japan too nowadays. Perfectly decent tradional foods get co-opted by the diet industry all the time, unfortunately, and I really don’t think anyone here was trying to imply that the traditional foods of Japan or any other culture are inherantly mockable.

    (Granted I dislike Shirataki, but that’s personal preference that wasn’t meant to imply lol non-American foods are wierd, sorry if it sounded that way.)

  150. I would really appreciate if people could keep the food-mocking down. I think the commentary is veering towards the “if you just ate GOOD food you would feel so much better and probably eat less, which is why French women don’t get fat” ditch.

  151. For the celebrity spokesperson, for some reason I keep picturing Neil Patrick Harris saying “I have a Ph.D….. in dietousness!”

  152. Kristen: I mean, I felt drudgery just reading that article. You know how if you look at a word too long or too much, it loses all meaning? “Cookie” is kind of that way for me now. And it was my nickname in high school!

    Try working in a shop that makes them by the gross. During undergrad, I had a part-time job at an ice cream shop near campus. Almost everything (the ice cream, waffle cones, ice cream bars, ice cream-cookie sandwiches) was made from scratch in the shop’s kitchen. After a few shifts on giant-chocolate-cookie mass-production detail (for the sandwiches), the cookies didn’t even look like food anymore- they were just widgets. Happily, that passed once I stopped working there.

  153. Yes, there are cookies/crackers/biscuits made of okara, and they are quite yummy. They are NOT sold as diet cookies, but just plain snack-food.

    Thanks for the information. Maybe this would be a good fluff topic — what perfectly delicious foods have been deyummified by the diet industry?

  154. Had a friend of my sister’s over for dinner once and found out when she arrived that she was on Atkins. She didn’t eat her veggies with dinner because “Peas are pure sugar.”
    Beware the green vegetables!

    Guh – my mom does this to me – “Peas aren’t really vegetables! Carrots are pure starch! Green beans don’t really have any useful nutrition!”

  155. Cookies that have soy in them are NOT real cookies. They’re, I dunno, the Anticookie. Seriously, I bet that if you put some of these so-called ‘soy cookies’ in a tin with some real, homemade chocolate chip cookies and came back in a couple of hours the good, honest chocolate chip cookies would be reduced to a pile of withered crumbs and the soy cookies would be over on the other side of the tin looking suspiciously innocent.

    These are Jeffrey Dahmer cookies and we must be on our guard.

  156. Michelle, thank you for the Cookie Sutra link. I might have to get that for my partner for Christmas.

  157. According to my biology teacher: Fruit is anything that you eat that CONTAINS seeds (ie: all squashes including pumpkin, tomatoes, plums, cucumbers)

    Vegetables are what you eat when you are eating roots, stems, or leaves.

    Legumes are what you are eating when you eat the seeds, but there is no fleshy outer coating (peas, peanuts).

    Science is wonderful.

  158. Starling,

    “krismcn: Just a quibble, but it’s Khloe Kardashian. [slinks away, ashamed she knows this]”

    That was my first thought on seeing Kloe Kardashian mentioned too. My second thought was, “WHY do I KNOW that?” So … yeah. Not just you. :)

  159. Guh – my mom does this to me – “Peas aren’t really vegetables! Carrots are pure starch! Green beans don’t really have any useful nutrition!”

    *headdesk*

    I remember one of my friends, a beautiful, smart young woman, telling me last year that she wasn’t going to eat grapes anymore- even though she liked them- because “they don’t have any nutritional value. They’re just sugar”. *sigh*

  160. Thank you, Starling. We here at Boon Pie Diet Industries value accuracy. (I guess now that I think about it, I’ve only ever heard her name).

    Arwen – Yes! Anyone who can still sleep at night while participating is welcome! And if you do start to feel a twinge on your conscience, just remember, you’re just trying to help the fatties. You want to help them achieve a healthy weight. After all, you’re not forcing anyone to go on the Boon Pie Diet! We let Diet Culture do that hard work for us!

  161. #

    I just got home from the store with some bananas and noticed there’s a cute little sticker on them that says, “Guilt-free snacking.”

    Right on the fruit. So we are really doing that now. Not a product someone developed and wants to advertise, but something we picked from a tree.

    Hey, it might be nutritious and wholesome and low in whatever we’re demonizing today, but it was still picked by people who aren’t paid squat and who probably live without access to clean water. This is the real disconnect when people moralize about the content of food instead of the production and access of it.

  162. @Godless Heathen – Exactly. We have labelling for sweatshop-free clothing, why not something similar for food produced without massive exploitation? “Cruelty-free strawberries” or something like that.

  163. I live on pizza and diet pop and whatever I find in my parents’ fridge when I come home, and yet 6 cookies + 1 meal sounds like an incredibly unbalanced diet.

  164. I remember me and my mum doing this diet in about 1990- prepackaged sawdust biscuits, 4 per day and a normal tea. Neither of us lost and weight, were grumpy and hateful to be around and it cost my mum several times what just buying ordinary nutritious food would have cost.

    So a couple of weeks later she came home with *da da da DAAAAAH* diet toffees!!! One before each meal would magically help us to lose weight as they were made from secret magic ingredients that would burn off our excess lard faster than necrostising fascitis! Didn’t work.

    Three months later she brought home some teensy weensy ickle pots of jelly made from special magical Japanese seaweed that were going to make us thin forever! Didn’t work.

    Cambridge diet? Didn’t work.

    Lighterlife? Didn’t work.

    I’m beginning to wonder if, y’know, maybe these magic diets are… ummm… money-making scams? Or am I just being cynical?

    BTW I looked up who Tyler Max is and now I feel sick and dirty :(

  165. “Guilt-free snacking.”

    Rather than not artifically imbuing foods with guilt, you do and that drives you to evade that guilt, ‘s marvellous.

    Hey, is the lesson there, forget eating guilt with you food, it’s futile?

    Nah, that’s too good to be true.

  166. “I just got home from the store with some bananas and noticed there’s a cute little sticker on them that says, “Guilt-free snacking.””

    Should show that to the midwife I had during my last pregnancy – the one who used to be a nutritionist. She tried to guilt trip me for eating a WHOLE banana as a snack. “You know that has ‘OVER 100 CALORIES?” Apparently in my third trimester I was not allowed to eat 100 calories… ever.

  167. Chickfactor

    I’m beginning to wonder if, y’know, maybe these magic diets are… ummm… money-making scams? Or am I just being cynical?

    My folks bombed out of a bunch of weight loss programs, then lost a lot of weight with Weight Watchers, then my dad gained it all back.

  168. @Jadis – Awesome rant!

    @shyvixen & littlem, Don’t forget verse 2:

    “Figurines … help keep you as you are
    with a calorie rate … of 138 a bar!”

    As a teen who thought she was fat, I ate Figurines like — well, like cookies. The whole box. In a sitting.

    Food fraughtness much?

    I am also old enough to remember the “Phoenix for Life” diet. It too was a cookie diet, popular in 1989-1990. It was also a handy pyramid scheme! I was sitting in a hot tub at my gym, along with my optometrist, who had his arms stretched across the back of the hot tub, sitting between two women, and was touting Phoenix for Life, trying to convince the women to come aboard his “business.”

    About a month later, I took my damaged glasses to his office only to find out he’d closed up shop and run away. The local paper reported that he’d been involved in fraud, swindling, etc.

    /threadjack

    (There was also something about: “Figurines … crunch-crunch-crunch-crunch-crunch … ” in later versions of the ad. I think there was a line with “munch” in it next.

  169. If you need a celebrity to sell your Boon Pies (TM), you can’t go far wrong with Kathy Griffin, who has stated many times that she’ll promote anything as long as it pays well enough.

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