Joanne Palmer: My itchy trigger finger |

Joanne Palmer: My itchy trigger finger

Joanne Palmer

In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at or

— Just as I finished eating one of my all-time favorite meals (bread and butter), I opened an email from my sister encouraging me to read a review of the new diet book "Bread is the Devil: Win the Weight Loss Battle by Taking Control of Your Diet Demons" by Heather Bauer and Kathy Matthews.


My sister is well aware that I consider diet to be a four-letter word and something to be avoided at all costs. However, she knows I have a good sense of humor, and she thought I would be amused by the Devil Detective Quiz within the book. The quiz is supposed to help you identify your food triggers, which you then can avoid to win the weight-loss battle. I thought I would share the results of my quiz with you.

'Devil Detective Quiz'

■ Are there certain people in your life who trigger you to eat unhealthy food?

Yes, the two male members of my household. They would prefer to have meat and potatoes at every meal. Add the dog to that list and I am outnumbered, 3-1.

■ Do you eat quickly?

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Yes. When you eat dinner with a teenager who is wildly eyeing your plate full of food, it's a good idea to practice speed eating.

■ Are you a heat-seeking missile for a waiter with a tray of crab puffs?

Absolutely not! However, I might put a waiter in a headlock for bacon-wrapped water chestnuts. Or shrimp.

■ Are you still holding onto your pregnancy weight even though your child is taking the SATs?

What?! Is there a statute of limitations on this? If so, the last I heard, you were allowed to maintain the weight until your offspring got married or turned 26, whichever comes first.

■ Have you ever eaten a french fry from your child's car seat?

Is there another reason to have children?

■ Do you regularly indulge in Mish-Mosh dinners? (A bowl of cereal, a cup of yogurt and a spoonful of peanut butter?)

Pish-posh. Mish-mosh must be a newfangled term for grazing. I think grazing is good. Lots of diet books recommend eating small portions throughout the day. Mish-mosh implies there is no strategy. I have a strategy. It's sampling everything in the refrigerator. I call it quality control.

■ Do you think a trip to the supermarket is exercise?

No. I consider a trip to the supermarket my social hour.

■ Do you find that competitive moms drive you right to the ice cream for comfort?

Yes. Competitive moms, helicopter moms and soccer moms. I prefer the company of other slacker moms. And I prefer chocolate to ice cream.

■ Are you capable of stealing a child's Halloween candy?

Yes, this is why my son issues a restraining order every Oct. 1. But, I take issue with this comment. If a mother has spent time and money buying a costume, it is only logical that she gets a return on her investment — and by that I mean raiding the candy. Besides, a loving, caring mother would not want her child to eat all the candy and then have to pay an exorbitant dental bill.

■ Can you stop at just 12 almonds?


■ Do you find it hard to eat well when visiting family or relatives?

Let's get real. Most of my friends who are dealing with aging parents have confided in me that they make a stop at the liquor store before they even cross the threshold.

■ Do you eat healthier when you exercise?

No. I feel I have earned the right to celebrate my workout by eating whatever I want.

■ Do you eat out more than twice each week?

Yes, I hate to cook.

Without even tallying up my answers, I am sure I flunked. I have more triggers than I have time to calculate, which is why I am going to give up bread for Lent and just focus on eating nothing but fruits and vegetables until Easter.

Lucky for me, Easter comes early this year.

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