"I love my cigar," Groucho famously told a couple on his quiz show who had 22 children, "but I take it out of my mouth once in a while." Well, I love to eat, but I find it helps to stop doing it for a few weeks a year. I used to pause this way formally, by visiting one of those places called "spa" or "health resort" (or, more bluntly, "fat farm"), which distract you from hunger pangs by enforcing regimens of exercise interrupted by ritual meals of severely reduced calories. (Depending on the kitchen's concept and skill, these occasions can be delightful or annoying. I remember one sojourn at the Rancho de la Puerta when I met a tall, slender San Francisco socialite, still very much on the scene today, who told me she visited the place regularly and didn't eat anything at all while she was there -- and its vegetarian Mexican cooking was quite palatable. But... More >>>