Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Diva Does Diet by Krista Davis

LUCY BURDETTE: Since we tortured you with cake talk yesterday, it may be a relief for you to read this next post from Krista Davis. I had to giggle when I scanned it, as I'm just now finishing up Krista's brand new release THE DIVA DIGS UP THE DIRT. Her main character, Sophie, never meets a meal or a snack she doesn't like and she's a wonderful cook--which is part of the great fun in this series. And she's a regular person too--sometimes she has to resort to pants with an elastic waistline. Welcome Krista--and congrats on your New York Times bestselling author status!

KRISTA DAVIS: Warning: this post contains a four letter word that may be upsetting to some readers: diet.

I have been eating and overeating for years. So many that you’d think I would have it all figured out by now. As the author of the Domestic Diva Mysteries, I write about food, and I try out a lot of recipes. Well, I have to. It’s part of my job! But there came a time, not so coincidentally after Christmas, when my last guests left, and I had to face the truth. It was time.

Surprisingly, I discovered a few interesting things about food. I have to admit that I subscribe to the theory that you are what you eat. It’s pretty amazing how our bodies react to the fuel we put in them.

For instance, I found that when I ate a protein lunch with no breads or pasta, I didn’t get the three o’clock snooze crisis. Complex carbs were okay, like lentils or quinoa, but those pesky and wonderful breads and pastas put me right to sleep.

And speaking of sleeping, I scoffed at recommendations that sleep is important in losing weight. Whoops, so wrong. Days when I hadn’t slept enough were the worst. I compensate for lack of sleep by eating. When I’m tired, I try to perk up and find energy through food so I wind up consuming more. Who knew?

I was skeptical about the British study that recommended eating two eggs every day for breakfast. Seems women who did that lost more weight than those who ate something else. Those who ate eggs claimed they weren’t hungry mid-morning. They were right!

Thanks to research by the folks at Reader’s Digest, I learned that there are also fat-releasing foods. How cool is that? About an hour after exercising, we’re supposed to drink nonfat milk. It builds up our bones and sheds fat! Even better, small amounts of chocolate (yes, chocolate!) and walnuts also help us lose fat. Nonfat dairy, lean meats, and complex carbs help in that regard, too.

Remember, the no-fat-not-even-a-gram will pass my lips craze? How many bags of those fat-free cookies did we snarf? Hah! Turns out it’s still about calories and exercise.

But wait! There’s even news about exercise. The cool people (you know them, the ones who say things like awesome sauce when something good happens) call it cross-training. Turns out that if you exercise the same way every day your body gets used to it and figures out how to use fewer calories to accomplish it. So we don’t have to knock ourselves out on a treadmill every day (okay, I’m not fooling anyone, that’s something I never did, but I walk twice a day, uphill all the way both times). It’s better to lift weights one day and walk or run the next day. And that weight-lifting? Even the little bitty ones help. If you work out with them, they charge your metabolism and (I love this so much!) you burn calories while you sleep that night!

Now if I could only figure out a way for a computer mouse to charge up my metabolism. Thanks for inviting me to be here today. Now where did I leave that cupcake?

Krista Davis writes the Domestic Diva Mysteries. Her latest release, The Diva Digs up the Dirt, hit #31 on the extended New York Times Bestseller list. Visit Krista at and

LUCY: And now we'd love to hear from you--tips about eating what you love but staying healthy too? 


Edith Maxwell said...

Great post, Krista.

I like to indulge in lots of excellent fruit, cost be damned. If I have a luscious papaya or a big bowl of local strawberries at hand, I'm way less likely to reach for the cookie, and it fills me up for a while.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Welcome, Krista! I love this post, especially since I'm going on a diet myself.

Nonfat Greek yogurt for breakfast (twice the protein, same calories as regular yogurt) is a secret I've found. When I eat that as part of breakfast, I never snack before lunch, even if lunch is delayed an hour or more. It leaves me feeling full. Eggs also work, as does oatmeal. I eat less all day long with one of these three as the centerpiece of breakfast.

I can't give up my breakfast banana, though, because my dog would be heartbroken. He always gets the last half. I think it's the highlight of his day because otherwise he's not allowed people food.

Krista said...

Thanks, Edith. I love fruit. Our raspberries are plentiful this year but I still can't bring myself to cook with them because they're so good plain.

~ Krista

Karen in Ohio said...

Balance is important, isn't it? All those "nonfat" things are made with chemicals, too. I've learned to avoid that kind of stuff.

My day begins with a square of 70% dark chocolate, slowly savored with a cup of coffee. Then I feel as if I've had my indulgence and am not as inclined to treat myself during the rest of the day.

Krista said...

Thanks, Linda. I met you and your husband at Malice! I'm a big fan of Greek yogurt, too. The frozen kind -- not so much. I'm not surprised that the breakfast banana is the highlight of your dog's day. That's so cute! Don't tell him that I home cook for my dogs. (Not as crazy as it sounds -- one has a food allergy that makes it nearly impossible to find dog food for him.)

~ Krista

Krista said...

Oh, Karen! What a lovely way to start the day!

~ Krista

Lucy Burdette said...

Wow, Karen that's the most unusual breakfast I've heard of! Tonka the wonder dog waits for a couple of my blueberries in the morning. He doesn't mind getting the wrinkled ones or the ones that are still too green for me:)

Speaking of berries, our raspberries and blueberries were killed in the hurricane last year. Going out this afternoon to get some to start over...

Kaye Barley said...

Krista, What a terrific post! Thank you!

I was pretty skinny my entire life, which sounds great except it's no longer true. And by being thin I never learned how to eat properly, so now I have to learn and it's hard. The hardest thing I've ever done. Harder than when I was trying to quit smoking.

So I look for this type of help from people I know which makes way more sense to me than fad diets than only work for a while.

And by the way - you looked awesome at Malice!


Krista said...

Lucy, thanks for inviting me!

So sad about your berries. Definitely replace them. There's nothing like fresh berries. At the moment daily walk always includes a raspberry snack when I reach those bushes. Yum! My Golden pulls them off and eats them, too.

~ Krista

Krista said...

Kaye, you're too kind. I did take off some weight and it felt great. I'm jealous that you were skinny all your life! I think it's harder to lose weight than it is to quit drinking or smoking. You can live just fine without ever having another drink or cigarette, but you have to eat!

~ Krista

Leslie Budewitz said...

Krista, congrats on your success on the NYT list! And I thought you looked great at Malice!

And Linda, no reason to worry about that banana. We tend to assume they're a poor choice of fruit b/c they look carb-y, but from a Weight Watchers perspective, they're equal to all other fruits. Hand me one, would ya?

(Am I the only person who was never able to read the column earlier this week on writing fast? It came up w/Lucy's intro, and a repeat of the guest blog from the day before.)

Joan Emerson said...

Unfortunately, I had the same problem with the Peter Andrews writing fast column . . . wonder if there's any chance Lucy might re-post it for us????

Lucy Burdette said...

So sorry about the blogger glitch Joan and leslie--I have no answer! Here's the link to what looks like the correct post on my computer:

I hope that helps! let me know....

Joan Emerson said...

Thanks, Lucy, but I did not have any better luck with your link --- it just gave me the picture of the track runner and the opening paragraph of your article. Don't have any idea what created the glitch . . . .

Darlene Ryan said...

Hi Krista!

The best piece of eating advice I ever got came from a nurse at the diabetic clinic. She told me to enjoy what I was eating. So no eating out of the fridge or over the sink--not that I ever did that. No eating in front of the TV or (gasp) while reading. She believed in savouring everything--even a piece of celery--and in giving a meal one's full attention.

Yes, I sometimes cheat and read a little when I'm having lunch alone.

Leslie Budewitz said...

Lucy -- thanks for trying, but still no luck. Like Joan, I just got the photo and your intro paragraph.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

What a wonderful post! I'm going back to read it again.:)

Deb Romano said...


I was never able to read the Peter Andrews post,either.I even tried Googling JRW and Peter Andrews but still came up with just the first paragraph.

During the workweek,my breakfast is oatmeal with a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseed and fruit. The fruit is usually strawberries and/or blueberries. I add the fruit after the oatmeal has been cooked. It's pretty filling,much more so than a couple of eggs.

On Sunday mornings, I go out for breakfast with friends. usually have eggs then. For some reason, I find that I get hungry mid-morning when I have eggs for breakfast.I seem to be the only person who does not find them to be filling!

Krista said...

Thank you, Leslie! I suspect I'll always be one of those people who has to watch my weight. But it helps to know that things like milk really do it easier.

~ Krista

Krista said...

Darlene, I have to raise my hand and say I'm guilty of that. It's great advice!

~ Krista

Krista said...

Leslie and Joan, the link works for me. Have you tried changing browsers? I can see it in Firefox.

~ Krista

Krista said...

Jessie, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!


Krista said...

That's interesting, Deb. I find I'm the exact opposite. Go figure!

~ Krista

Dru said...

You looked great at Malice Krista and a great post.

Kaye George said...

I'm another one who grew up skinny as a rail, trying as hard as I could to gain weight until I hit 35. I read all the tips and the comments and think I'll try some out. It's almost impossible to exercise outdoors here now that it's 100 every day, but I DO have an indoor elliptical and yoga and weights. I think exercise is the biggest help I can give myself--now, to do it!

Gloria Alden said...

My mother used to try and fatten me up. All that changed when I grew up and got an office job, married, had kids and had to eat the food they didn't because of those starving children in China I grew up hearing about.

I managed to drop some much needed pounds when I took up backpacking a dozen or so years ago. I still could use to lose some more, but I look and feel much better now. I do walk every morning, but have no hills to climb. I guess I should take those dusty little barbells out of the basket beside my reading chair and use them.

My breakfast consists of old-fashioned oatmeal with walnuts, cinnamon (for memory, but not sure it's working), dried cranberries, blueberries, half a banana and skim milk. If I need a midmorning snack, I grab an apple. I almost never eat after supper.

It was interesting about the eggs, Krista. I have my own hens that lay brown eggs, but I give most of my eggs away. Maybe I should have an egg for lunch more often or omelets for supper.

I'm another one who thought you looked great at Malice, Krista.

Anonymous said...

You can eat anything as long as you eat less of it. Enjoy food, stay active, quit eating when you're still a little bit hungry. You'll soon feel full. My friend calls this "God's mistake."

Marissa C. Devers said...

I had struggled with my weight for years! That is until I learned the careful meal planning for low calorie and high fiber diet which consists of more vegetables and fruits. I made stride with my cardio program and I have been in the best shape of my life.