FOR THIS DOC, GOOD HEALTH STARTS IN THE KITCHEN
For public radio's Dr. Zorba Paster, good health begins
in the kitchen. And when he's not giving advice on his nationally-syndicated
weekly call-in radio show, the kitchen is his favorite place to
In fact, the father of four breaks stereotypes as
the main cook in his family. "I've always loved to eat,"
says Dr. Paster, "so I cooked for my roommates when I was in
college, and I guess I never stopped."
That makes for a pretty full plate, given his national
radio show "Zorba Paster On Your Health," a family practice
in Oregon, Wisconsin, and teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Medical School. Dr. Paster has turned into a recipe-maker as well,
coming up with a new "Heart-Healthy Recipe" each week
for his radio show.
"You can't talk about good health without talking
about good food," he says, "because good health starts
with a healthy diet."
So the recipes seemed a natural, from day one. "They're
an easy way to put good health habits into our daily routine,"
Dr. Paster and a few colleagues adapt conventional
dishes, substituting low-fat alternatives for high-fat and cholesterol-rich
ingredients. "It's not that hard to turn a high-fat recipe
into a healthy one," he says. "All it takes is substituting
a few low-fat ingredients, like yogurt for sour cream or low-fat
cream cheese for butter."
They've turned out low-fat versions of old-standards
-- like macaroni and cheese, pizza, and chili -- as well as vegetarian
dishes, meals for die-hard meat-and-potato fans, and desserts for
persistent sweet tooths. The idea, he says, is to create guilt-free
foods that look and taste like their forbidden prototypes.
Does he use the same low-fat foods at home? Dr. Paster
says he does try out recipes at the dinner table. But, he admits,
his four children are a tough sell. "You try getting a kid
to eat mushrooms," he laughs. "It's not that easy sometimes."
Listeners know Dr. Paster also often finds a culinary
challenge in co-host Tom Clark. Both halves of the radio talk show
duo have very different opinions on what constitutes a "good
"A cheeseburger, fries, and a large Coke,"
Clark quips, admitting his cholesterol level actually doesn't allow
Dr. Paster has two words to describe Clark's dietary
preferences: pretty junky. "He's beyond conversion; but he's
so stubborn, he'll live a long life anyway."
The pair's back-and-forth nutritional needling
is all in good fun. Their spirited banter, talk about the latest
medical research and answers to callers' health and fitness questions
can be heard in more than 80 cities coast to coast each week. The
show is produced by Wisconsin Public Radio and distributed by Public