Baptist preachers have a reputation - probably deserved - of being fat. That doesn't make them slow bellies. A lot of it is an occupational hazard. Part of it is ignorance. This blog is dedicated to blasting ignorance with a little knowledge - and a few laughs!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Good News on Being Fat

First, the bad news. Americans are getting fatter at an alarming pace. Why? I know it's tempting to say "Americans are getting fatter because they are gluttons." The full story, however, is more nuanced. After years of experience, I think I finally understand how it works: If you eat too much of anything, your body will store it as fat. Even good things, like Almond Joys. That's the bad news.

So, is there any good news? Yes, there is. Although our bodies are very efficient fat storage machines, even they can't keep up with us if we eat waaaay too many calories waaaaay too fast. So, while we might be getting fatter, we probably are not getting fatter as fast as we deserve to be. Wonderful, isn't it? Getting away with something is such a good feeling!

Of course, no one can get away with things forever, not even Bernie Madoff. So, before it's too late, I've been trying to improve my nutrition and carbs (whatever "carbs" are). An important part of this is counting calories (whatever "calories" are). This has been a frustrating endeavor, since most of the information I've found on the subject relates to American food. A table of nutrient values for Long Family Cuisine probably does not exist, if for no other reason than some of the odd stuff we eat here.

It's not so much that we are odd and therefore enjoy odd food. It's just that not all the foods available in America are on the shelf here in Thailand. We've learned to make allowances – and substitutions – in order to alleviate this problem. I asked Mary to give me examples of common substitutions she has made over the years. The results are instructive:

When you are out of:

You can always use:









Fast Food Hamburger

Fried Rice

Whole Wheat

Whole Rice


Bamboo Grubs

Almond Joy

Almond Joy minis

A few facts stand out immediately. To begin with, it helps a lot if you like rice. Also, once you figure out calories for rice, most of your work is done. Finally, it's obvious that there really is no substitute for an Almond Joy. But, you already knew that, didn't you?

I'm no fool. I realize that I still have a lot to learn about this subject. But, for now, I am very excited to have finally found one area of my life where I am not a loser. Or, a winner, either, for that matter.

I just like to eat, that's all,


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