Monday, February 27, 2006

Eating Contests

My friend, Raven, and I were watching Nathan's Famous Hot dog Eating Contest and all of the work that goes into it prior to competition. In one word: it's INTENSE. There is a method to the madness, or as I like to put it, an art to "stuffing one's face."

The good competitors know that they need to adequately prepare their stomachs for the massive quantities of food that will enter into it. This means inflating it with excessive amounts of water, fibrous foods, and anything else that distends the stomach.

Kobayashi, aka "The Tsunami," secured his fifth straight win on July 4, 2005, by consuming 49 Nathan's Famous hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. Although he weighs in at only 144 pounds, he has mastered the art of food stuffing. According to Kobayashi, this is because he is an ultra fitness and health buff. He believes that in order for his body to metabolize and stuff in the food, he needs to be in excellent condition.

Okay, is it me, or... WHEN DID SOMEONE NEED TO BE ULTRA FIT TO STUFF THEIR FACE PROPERLY???????? Call me bizarre, but isn't ultra fat more fitting??????

I was also under the impression that larger individuals do not have proper amounts of the hormone "leptin," (from the Greek leptos, meaning thin) which is involved in the important effects in regulating body weight, metabolism and reproductive function. So, wouldn't Kobayashi's lean, muscular body have lots of this hormone???? Wouldn't his body physically be unable to consume as much as the 280 lb pack of meat to his right???

In any case, I guess our bodies have physical limits. Some have seemingly transgressed these, h0wever.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

If you haven't already figured it out, I really like food.

But I also like the way people relate to their food--culturally, nutritionally, emotionally...

I've noticed that our culture is continuously trying to use food as a vehicle for new trends, weight loss, weight gain... And suddenly, we find ourselves believing every fad diet, Hollywood drink, or "bun" machine that will magically erase the years of pie and cake from your thighs-- in, oh, about three days.

How convenient. So convenient, YOU FORGOT TO LOSE.

Adopt a "my way or the highway" mentality. Don’t allow these crazy new OR old diets get in the way of your own lifestyle and the way you want to eat. Don’t be scared that you’re eating the wrong thing, or doing the wrong thing. Unless you are licking the nonstick spray off your pans, I’m sure you’ll survive. Granted, there are a number of foods out there on the shelves that actually HAVE the same ingredients in them as a nonstick cooking spray—but unless you live in a bubble of people that all share the same values on food, exercise and diet, it is very rare that you will be able to stick to a restrictive meal plan that these fad diets advocate.

AMERICA is a mixing pot of ethnicities, cultures, foods, people—we are not one nation under the same religion, with the same dietary values. The beauty of this country is that so many cultures ARE actually surrounding us. Sure, you may find picky food connoisseurs attack a restaurant for failing to produce an "authentic" Peking duck, as it lacks proper amounts of bitterness to the sauce... But otherwise, how wonderful it is that we can join a diverse population, by the culturally different types of food we eat.

The POINT is that when we live in a culture that embraces myriad foods, it isn’t too realistic to restrict food groups and the like (unless, of course, you have cornered yourself off from the magical and diverse world we have out there, in which case you are depriving yourself in more ways other than "dietetically.") Macrobiotic diets are definitely healthy. Diets that emphasize whole grains, vegetables and legumes are certainly something to strive for. Limiting saturated and trans fats in the diet is surely something to take note of. The amount of nutritional information out there is endless—anyone can look up how to eat healthily. You don’t need a diet or book or nutritionist to tell you that part. Then what’s stopping America from just doin’ it already?????

EVERYONE has their own ideas on that one. Processed foods, oversized portions, lack of physical activity, lack of education, sugar, trans fat, you name it…yada yada yada. All of these answers are probably correct. But before I put my two cents on the table, let me propose this question to my inquisitive reader: When you have Q-tips in your draw the size of a large shoebox, do you think twice about using two or three or maybe even four? What do you do when there is A LOT of something around you? Conserving some for later isn’t usually your first thought. A family-styled meal of raviolis comes out of the kitchen at Mambo Italiano’s. First thought? “There’s enough ravioli’s here for my family, the fam to the right of us, AND for the army in Iraq.” So you pack about 15 of them in your mouth, and waddle out of the restaurant blaming the cooks for serving so much pasta.

Wouldn’t it be GREAT if we could just blame the cooks at restaurants? Problem is, when they actually serve you a regular portion of, let’s say, a piece of fish, you’ll be rattling off your mouth post-meal about how expensive the place was, “for two measly bites of a piece of salmon!” And so when you get home, you scarf down the icecream in your freezer to equal out the calories you lost at your proportionally correct meal at dinner.

Now if only you had realized that you CAN save some for later. The “save some for later” notion is something anyone can do. Carry around a small tub-a-ware if your eyes are larger than your belly, and fill it up—for later! Maybe later, you’ll realize you were full off of a certain amount… We forget the power of the doggy bag.

Moderation is the word we all are sick and tired of hearing. But it’s a good word. The phrase ALL things in moderation—the biggest oxymoron of them all—is truly "moronic." SOME things in moderation would make the phrase candid. There will always be that moment when family dinners overwhelm you. Hence, SOME.


You are like a snowflake, thank you comedian Lewis Black, and you are different from the other snowflakes. So what makes you think you can have the same eating plan as me? Or him? Or her? Or your mother? YOU CAN’T!! You can’t, my friend, you can’t. So don’t try to follow Cousin Emma, stalking her in order to mimic her “dietal” habits! Because have you forgotten? Emma is allergic to peanuts and can’t eat peanut butter. That’s a shame… Peanut butter is good, healthy too—and you sure like peanut butter. So have the thing! Just EAT IT! Eat it and forget about it. It digests, it does so like this: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!!

Nutrition Website

My personal blog here at Blogger is still going to remain intact; however, please visit my new website,, which will host more nutrition topics (because obviously you just can't get enough!)