Eating well is a family business for cookbook author Eileen Yin-Fei Lo, and her husband, veteran food writer Fred Ferretti. But it was their daughter, Elena, who maneuvered her father into eating wisely. "Hopping on and off aerobics stools and refusing third helpings of choucroute were not, to me, psychically fulfilling," he says. It was not until Eileen began testing recipes for the latest of her six books, The Chinese Way: Healthy Low-Fat Cooking From China's Regions (Macmillan), that Fred was won over to a low-fat life.
Take losing weight, America's girth industry. Over the years, we've all been subjected to incessant sermons: slimness is good, roundness bad; exercise good, indolence bad; brown rice good, confit bad. At first I swatted these platitudes away as buzzing pests, but gradually, grudgingly, I came to agree with these calorie counters, these saturated fat gurus.
Periodically I would tell myself, as well as my wife, Eileen, our children and anybody else who pretended not to be bored, that I truly intended to lose weight. Tomorrow, I would say, next week, next month, perhaps after I return from that foray into the rich underbelly of France where those fat geese live or from the truffle beds of Piedmont in Italy. When I could give complete attention to my diet, I would begin.