Thursday, January 7, 2010

Biggest Loser Review, and Dinner #1!

Good morning! I hope everyone is having a great week.
Here are some updates since last time:

- I got a call on Tuesday, randomly, and was asked to do a segment for NBC4 on healthy snacking, and making realistic nutrition goals in the new year. I will hopefully be able to post the clip soon.

- I realized that you are very interested in meals and snacks that center around exercise. Therefore I will be doing another "Nutrition Tidbit" on pre-workout meals/snacks sometime soon.

- I updated my "About Me" page. You may have seen it posted yesterday (and thank you for the sweet comments, they meant so much to me). If not, you can look at it now, or whenever you want, I just thought I'd let you know!

Last Friday I made my first dinner for my 2010 cookbook! As I explained in my post (see link to the left) I will be creating two new dinners each week. They will be simple, healthy dinners for busy parents, or just busy people! As I make these dinners I will be compiling a list of about 30-4o ingredients to keep in your house at all times, which can be used to make these meals. I hope to have a stock-pile of over 100 simple and healthy dinners that you can create using 30-40 ingredients (obviously not each ingredient per recipe).

Recipe #1: Curried Chicken Cheesy Mac

Pasta of any kind, or a boxed Mac and Cheese

I used Annie's 25% reduced sodium Mac and Cheese. 430 mg sodium per cup is not low, but it is low compared to other brands.

Ingredients, continued...
3 ounces cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup broccoli and green beans
4 slices avocado
1 t curry powder
1 t ground pepper

After you cook the pasta, or the mac and cheese, put the chicken, vegetables, and avocado on a plate. Heat for about 2 minutes (or until desired hotness). Then add the mac and cheese on top (if you just do pasta, add the pasta, and sprinkle your favorite cheese on top). Top with curry and ground pepper, or any other spices you desire.

Nick's rating: 8 out of 10

  • About 700 calories (if using 2 cups of the mac and cheese)
  • Almost 950 mg sodium (yikes) ** probably less if you just use pasta and cheese **
  • About 12 grams fat (including some healthy monounsaturated fat from the avocado)
  • 1 serving of vegetable

Possible Modifications
  • Use any spices you would like
  • If you prefer beef, or even tuna, those would be fine too
  • Use whole wheat pasta if you'd like
  • Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt, if available
  • Add more, or different vegetables
Other Uses
The leftover mac and cheese (about 1 cup for Nick) can be used the next day for a packed lunch or lunch at home. You can add any vegetable you would like, to make it healthier.

Biggest Loser Review

The initial weigh in was in their hometowns, in front of everyone in their city (or at least a lot of people). I think this made them feel guilty and ashamed. I truly believe that it helped give the contestants motivation. And I hope it inspired some viewers at home to become motivated as well. It's sort of harsh, but I think whatever will help someone survive is necessary.

I loved the first challenge. I wish they would have explained the fact that riding a bike, especially a stationary bike, is much different than a 26 mile marathon. Overall, it was a heck of a workout, and a great way to jump start the season. Some of them were going faster than I would go!

I liked to see doctors on the scene. I know I've only been watching for one season, but until last night, I'd never seen a Biggest Loser doctor (or dietitian for that matter).

I like that Jillian and Bob provide "key pieces of advice" throughout the season. Even though the had to mention "Brita" and "Walmart", it was still a good tip and good information about water and staying hydrated.

Of course I have to say, I hate the commercials for the stupid Biggest Loser products.

They act like the reason the contestants are getting "bigger each year" is because of the obesity epidemic. That's not 100% true though, in my opinion. The show picks the contestants, obviously, and they are picking larger contestants each year simply to make it more dramatic and interesting.

Is it realistic to sit at a computer and input all of your calories consumed, each day? Maybe for some, but not for others. I mean, it gets old, really fast. In the real world it's just not as easy as the show makes it out to be. The BL contestants get nice new computers, breaks in the middle of the day, and not to mention a fairly limited amount of food to input! Yeah, that's easy. Try doing it in the real world, in the middle of your everyday hectic life, it'll be a little different...

The weigh-ins take forever. It's incredibly annoying. Thank goodness for Tivo.

Why is it such a feat for the "heaviest guy in BL history" to have had "the biggest first week weight loss in BL history"? Shouldn't that cancel out the feat of being the heaviest player? I mean, there is nothing to celebrate here. I would hope the largest player looses the most weight!

Giveaway Update

Emily of The Health Nut

Coming Up
Tonight Nick is off from work, yeah! We're planning a nice and relaxing evening. Stay tuned for my next post, which will feature information on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and a new dinner for the 2010 cookbook! Thanks for reading, and have a great day.


  1. I love your cookbook idea, and that meal looks so delish! :)

  2. un beau blog de belles photos
    bonne année 2010
    à bientôt

  3. the combination of mac and cheese and avocado!

    I didn't watch BL, but I plan to catch up on Hulu soon!

  4. oh! great recipe girl :) if i wasn't freaked out by the sound of mac n cheese that would be on my things to make list for sure!

    i agree with tbl! i thought it was a nice start and i was also glad to see a good amount of people that were "averagely obese" and not like near a half ton. but i thought it was a little boring in the beginning and they spent too much time on the weigh ins and outs. but the guy at the end who got the boot looked fab!

  5. I watched the Biggest Loser for the first time in years because I wanted to keep up with your recaps. I won't be watching again. I thought the contestants were exploited and the whole "biggest contestant ever!!" was a marketing scheme on behalf of the producers for ratings. It made me sick. It was nothing like the first two seasons that I liked so much and reminded me exactly why I stopped watching in the first place. Horrible.

    Mac & Cheese w/avocado sounds amazing! You need to post pics of your hair after you used the Chi!! Have a great day Gina!

  6. The mac and cheese sounds great! I love anything with avocado!! Thanks for the BL review. I missed it but it is nice getting a little summary here!

  7. I was thinking the same thing about them saying that the contestants were getting bigger each year. I do think there is some value in choosing participants with larger amounts of weight to loose. It could really help people who think they are too big to workout. However, I don't know if most beginners could do 26 miles on a bike their first time out.

  8. I enjoy reading your reviews. I don't watch TV and even though I told myself maybe I watch biggest loser this season I completely forgot on Tuesday

  9. Love the cookbook idea! I really liked that they had the contestants bike a marathon. I thought that was a really good idea.

  10. OH I felt so bad for them when they had to weigh in right in front of everyone! Especially that one girl that was just crying the whole time. She's at that age where self-image is really tough...(well I guess it can be for all ages!).

    What did you think of the two families going home for 30 days and competing against each other? My bf hated it. I thought it was interesting.

  11. I think your point about having to input calories into the computer is true about a lot of aspects of the biggest loser show- we could all lose some weight if all we had to focus on every day is exercise!

  12. i totally agree with you on everything you said about biggest loser- thanks for your review!! and i love the dinner you made, it sounds delicious.


  13. Great looking dinner. Would be tasty with tofu too, maybe even portabellos, oh or "chick'n" for vegetarian options. We have just bought some cookbooks so I hope to cook some more meals from scratch at home.

  14. I thought the exact same thing when they made a huge deal about the biggest guy loosing the most weight ever. Seems like common knowledge that that is what should hapen.

  15. I haven't watched TBL yet because we had a recording conflict and hubby's football game won...I agree that sometimes, even though I seriously LOVE the show, that it can get a bit boring. I sometimes end up fast forwarding certain segments too! Can't wait to see it, I think it is recording tonight!

  16. Okay, I had to skip over your BL review - I swear Tony and I searched to DVR the show because we were going to be out, and it only showed up on Fine Living, which was Season 8. So I have to wait until Saturday night to watch it!!

    So sorry I couldn't read this post - I didn't want to ruin the show.

    Happy Thursday Gina!

  17. I watched the Biggest Loser. It was okay. I do wish they would show the dietitian. She's there! I heard her give a talk once about the show. Very imformative!

  18. Love the curried chicken mac and cheese recipe, it looks delicious, what a great idea!

  19. I love annie's mac and cheese, so you picked a good starting point! So awesome you're continuously on the news!

  20. I buy Annie's mac and cheese for my 16 month old. She loves it. I always add veggies to it and a little extra cheese for her. Not sure if she'd like the curry...

    I liked the Biggest Loser. I think it's going to be a good season :)

  21. come on lovie you can make mac and cheese from scratch its so easy LOL congrats on the news segment

    love Rebecca

  22. Such an awesome recipe!! I love the idea of curried mac and cheese, and the avocado along with the other veggies sounds like the perfect pairing with the curry! YUM! I have some Annie's Mac in our pantry right now - this sounds like the perfect supper for us to fix very sooooon! :-) Thank you, thank you!!

    I can't wait for your next news segment!!

  23. Lovin' the mac and cheese :) Great post - I missed the show but enjoy your recaps - your pretty spon on ! And thanks for the suggestion of that book - really appreciated trust me - I'm going to check into it...

  24. I love the recipe, right up my alley.

    I agree with you regarding doing a food diary/computer entry. I think it does work but even I have tried recording what I ate, and it is such a big pain. Any time I have patients do a food diary, there are so many holes and it is hardly ever accurate. At the same time, I think it can be a helpful tool and for some it works.

    I wish I had TIVO cause I always flip back and forth channels during the weigh in. So dramatic!

  25. Your din din looks yum.. I like how you spiced it up with some veggies!!

    I watched some of BL.. I lost patience during weigh in though.. uh does it always take that long?!?!

    Enjoy your night in with Nick :)

  26. great BL lreview i was wiating for you to do this! I totally agree about how this season has the biggest contestants, and they make it sound like its because of an obesity epidemic. I did love the first challenge, the next day at teh gym I did 10 minutes on teh bike as fast as I could to see what 26.2 miles would look like for me! what a workout!

    ahh teh stupid biggest loser ads!! when she was talking about the Brita! I mean come-on, really?

    haha mmm annies mac looks great!

  27. Can't wait to see the clip of you on the news!

  28. I like your dinner. I think you bulked up your mac & cheese a few months ago with veggies, and I have "borrowed" your idea several times since! And I love that you are putting together a cookbook.

    I didn't see The Biggest Loser, but, as always, I enjoy your recaps! :)

  29. Oh, and you asked the other day if I had a twitter account. Yes, I do it's @wellandrea. But I haven't been active at all lately...

    Also, I updated my About page as well a little while ago, and there is now a picture of me...

  30. The raw oatmeal was actually made from sprouted oat groats which were then ground with was really good, but requires some preparation.

  31. That's SUCH a good idea about the cook book. Although, I don't I could create two new recipes each week. Can't wait to see what else you make :D
    I completely agree with everything you said about this BL season touting the "biggest cast" season and the biggest player losing the most weight. Kind of annoying, but I can't stay away! But yeah, couldn't deal with it without TiVo!

  32. You had me at avocado with mac and cheese. LOVE the combination.

    I agree with having BL taped on my DVD'r the WI took so long and was really boring that I feel asleep. It was brutal!

  33. i love adding curry to foods, it gives such a great flavor! thanks for TBL review, i still have the episode taped to watch but im such a sucker for the show. although yes, thank god for taping when it comes to those weigh ins!!!

  34. I really appreciate your blog for showing a wealth of variety. Annie's is good.

  35. Like the show, but can't stand the product are good but Bob sounds so cheesy when advertising! I was really angry when they said two people were going home before even getting to workout with the trainers...I know they may be able to come back, but I thought that was crap...if they couldn't ride the 26.2 miles, they probably need to be there the most!

  36. I agree... I want to see more MDs and where is the RD? And the weigh-ins do take forever!

  37. hhaha so im glad you think the weigh ins are boring because I REALLY DO!! i was this supposed to take this long?! im not a fan!!
    that dinner looks GREAT girl!

  38. Excited for the cookbook! Recipe #1 looks delicious!! I agree with your review of the BL, the weigh-in's do take WAY too long! I loved the 26.2 mile biking challenge, and it definitely looked like a workout. They will scoff at that workout in a few weeks, huh!?

  39. I agree with your Biggest Loser comments, but I have to say that I loved the biggest guy - Mike. He was hysterical and was the only saving grace of that extremely long weigh-in. I do hope he sticks around - for his sake and ours (viewers). I just started reading your blog and it looks great!

  40. I was a tad bored by BL this week...I found myself not paying attention to most of it and just read blogs lol...and yup, thank God for my DVR! I hate the weigh in part lol. And why is it that the face they make after the weigh in, BEFORE the commercials, never matches the face AFTER the commercials lol

  41. I don't watch Biggest Loser, but I do know enough about it to agree with what you said...and all that marketing ploys...It just is not practical or realistic for real, living people with normal lifestyles and jobs...

    Wait! Does the NBC segment mean you're gonna BE ON TV?!!! WOo hooo~~~

  42. so fun! i can't wait to see all the new recipes!

  43. Another tv spot?! Gina, this is so exciting! Congrats :)

    I haven't watched The Biggest Loser, but when I heard about this season having "the heaviest contestants yet!" I thought :didn't they say that last season??? Yes, obesity is a huge problem in this country. But the size of the contestants isn't an idication of that. It's just means that they want to attract more viewers by selecting contestants who face an even bigger challenge. I've tried to get into this show, but I just can't.

  44. I agree that it's not the contestants' fault that this is the "heaviest group ever" or something. The producers are in total control of who they pick! This is the heaviest group because they wanted it to be the heaviest group, just as next season's contestants will be even bigger (though I shudder to imagine it).

  45. ohmigod. I'm SO embarrassed. Disregard my last stupid, half-awake comment about the TV segment!! What was I thinking?! I already saw your segment on eggnog! I was having an Asian blonde moment. Oops...T__T

  46. Thanks for the recipe! I bet it would be GREAT with soba noodles and nutritional yeast in place of the pasta and cheese, too. I like the idea of turning traditional mac and cheese into a curried kind!

  47. Thanks for mentioning the giveaway! Can't wait to read about the rest of your fantastic recipes. I think it's such a good idea to write a 2010 cookbook. Has it snowed a lot in Cbus?

  48. I couldn't agree with you more on all of your points about BL, but especially the one about the heaviest person losing the most weight. Insane. I would love it if the show was only an hour... a challenge, some food info., last chance workout and a short weigh in.

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