Since there are absurdly few occupational hazards to my job as a food writer, I grumble about the one odious problem: too much great food. Whether I'm testing recipes or going to restaurant openings, I am always consuming more calories than my body can burn. I keep my intake under control at home, but when I travel, I go wild. I come home feeling fat and uncomfortable, and then diet on lettuce leaves and carrots until I'm back to normal.
On a trip to Paris one Christmas, I complained about this dilemma to my friend and hostess, the petite Caroline Ducrocq, a screenwriter and the wife of one of my oldest friends, the actor Howard Hesseman. I begged her to tell me how she keeps her figure, which is minute enough to provide steady employment to the seamstresses at Azzedine Alaia and Jean Paul Gaultier. (Their smallest size is too big for her.) Believe it or not, she has a very healthy relationship with food and loves to eat.
She told me that if I ate as she did, I would lose weight during my time in Paris. Here were her rules: no snacking between meals, no eating unless I was hungry, walking as much as possible, drinking lots of water and eating only fruits, vegetables, proteins and butter or olive oil. "Carbohydrates do not pass my lips," she told me in her fetching Parisian accent.