What is the Ezekiel Diet

The reading diet

The problem of having to slim down again is announced by a loss of reality: I can't see the bathroom scales for about a week. If my gaze falls in the wall mirror, I breathe in and hold my breath. Actually, I think then, it wouldn't even be necessary.

Only - after all, you have to get dressed, and then, with your waistband, the minute of truth comes inexorably towards you. The future is now inexorably dark. All the disgusting nutritional procedures to which one has already subjected are threatening: the potato diet, which brought next to nothing; the "slim-slim dragees", which supposedly eliminate the feeling of hunger if the pills are regularly taken thirty minutes before a meal. The pharmaceutical solution is unsuccessful because the pill bottle has disappeared by the third day at the latest or you forget to take it and - what is most terrible - you don't feel any appetite suppression.

So will it come down to one of the two well-known options again: replacing decent food and drink with low-calorie fillers and water, or does a period of therapeutic fasting begin again, medically garnished with vitamin tablets?

Both versions are equally hideous. The low-calorie ready-made meals taste like soaked sawdust, and the term “therapeutic fasting” can only have been invented by a sadist who belittles the terrible feeling of a starving person in a positive way.

It was at this low point of depression that I heard about the reading diet for the first time. It consists in giving up every second meal and reading cookbooks instead of eating.

On the first day of the new diet, the so-called breakdown phase, I reached out to Henriette Davidis, and my self-confidence stabilized immediately. Henriette, in her "1,825 reliable and self-checked recipes for the preparation of the most diverse dishes and drinks in German cuisine", devoted to the regular consumption of desserts, writes:

"Perhaps the symmetry and the beauty of the shape of the southerners can be traced back to the preference for desserts." Those are words that I love. No such disgusting names as fat paunch or bacon roll. No - beauty of form!

"Sugar," she writes, "completes the shapes."

So, after all, vanilla ice cream with the sugared strawberries tonight. It was Ezekiel's turn to continue the reading diet. Not the Old Testament prophet, but George Ezekiel, the author of the "Mittheilungen eines Gourmands", which appeared in Berlin in 1862. At that time there were only 800 copies of this book; but that is not why it is as valuable to me as the Rote Sachsen-Dreier is to a philatelist. No, Ezekiel is an ideal diet companion. I looked up "asparagus" and found out the following:

“The English have the worst asparagus, they know nothing about vegetables, on the whole they only cultivate the rhubarb plant, which we want to give them from our hearts. Rhubarb vegetables are mean, rhubarb compote tastes like braised gooseberries, if you love them, at least don't tell it and secretly eat rhubarb compote too. "

Until then, if I believed that a roast young kid was a light meat dish conforming to the diet, Ezekiel taught me: “The goat is an extremely hideous animal for the kitchen; Even the tiger would rather die of hunger than eat goat meat, I do not believe it, but Plutarch seriously assures it. "

Ezekiel, who calls himself an “old diplomat”, also praises some things. Peaches, with him grammatically feminine, enjoy his favor: “One shudders at the thought that someone other than a fine aristocratic one Hand could touch peach. Even the most distinguished gentleman can carry a peach across the street openly and without hesitation. Baron von Sydow put on ice cream gloves when he ate peaches. “Since I don't have ice cream gloves, I tried Karlsbadern, the combination of knitted fabric and leather. It was quite a mess and that's probably why it didn't taste that good.

For the weekend, I put something less demagogic on the diet plan. I chose the “Stuttgarter Kochbuch” by Friederike Louise Löffler, the first edition of which appeared in 1806. Up to this reading I was still hoping for a way out. Nouvelle cuisine, I thought, should actually also be allowed during the diet outside of the menu. After all, all weight loss diets were invented at a time when the New Kitchen didn't exist, otherwise the authors - I told myself - would have one occasional interruption of starvation by the Bocuse kitchen safely allowed. But that excuse melted away like maître butter on a rump steak. Mrs. Löffler destroyed this hope.

The ingredients of Nouvelle cuisine turned out to be very old hat: Even back then, Friederike was working with raspberry and currant vinegar (1806!), Herbs and spices instead of water-storing, blood pressure-increasing table salt and with economical cooking times Really did not know? The distribution must have been enormous, because Frau Löffler writes: "It is not only the most popular cookbook for Württemberg, Baden and Bavaria. Also in the rest of Germany, Switzerland, America, even beyond the Black Sea it represents the southern German and Swabian cuisine. "

For the second week of my reading diet, I then chose cookbooks from our century and started with the · Cookbook for the Tropics · published in 1923. In the section “Servants' Food” I found pithy sentences that did me good. If you don't eat much yourself, you like to read from people who are no better either.

I am neither a trade unionist nor a socialist. They would certainly react differently if they read: "Avoid pampering people, because you damage other families who are not able to do more than what is necessary for their staff ..."

And then: “The first right to the bowls of the rulership belongs to the cook. Only after he has taken what he promised him does he give the rest to the servants. However, educate the cook in such a way that what is still to be used is kept for the rulership and only has the rest of it at his disposal. "

I found imitative consolation in Alfred Walterspiel, who answered the question "What is the greatest delicacy you know?" As follows:

"A slice of fresh country bread, baked with a wood fire in a stone oven, coated with lightly salted country butter, with a handful of young hazelnuts and a glass of fresh Moselle."

I tried that out right away. It is really excellent - even if the hazelnuts are all - and really doesn't work if you stick to one glass of Moselle per slice of buttered bread.

On the last day of the two-week reading diet, I decided to try herring by fire. Not the matjes - but Richard Hering.

He was the man who, as the kitchen director of the Hotel Metropol in Vienna, published his “Lexicon of the Kitchen” for the first time in 1907. Even today, “Hering” does not contain any recipes, but 18,000 cooking instructions. And that's why the herring is the bible of every professional cook. Nevertheless, it is also a great pre-culinary experience of success for the layman and for my special diet. I found 456 preparations under the keyword sole. From Adrniral to Tsarist. For example, the “Sole Chantecler” can also be enjoyed as a reading: “Slices of sole, filled with thick velvet sauce, mixed with strips of truffles and table mushrooms, fried, on tartlets with pike fillings; garlanded with ravigote sauce ”.

What a wonderful feeling it will be when, again eating normally, I say to Viehhauser during the menu discussion: "For a fish course, please have a sole Chantecler."

On the 14th day of my reading diet, I weighed myself. Result: 4.8 kg less!

Just for fun, I then put the books from my two-week reading on the scales. They weighed exactly 4.8 kg!

You can't have enough cookbooks to lose weight.