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comfort food



In “Now Eat This,” Chef Rocco Dispirito Makes Over America’s Favorite Comfort Foods

now eat this

Check-out Rocco’s much-anticipated follow-up, in our review of the Now Eat This! Diet, released March 22, 2011.

If you ask me what my favorite foods are, all the healthy living aside, I will tell you without hesitation they are fried chicken and baked macaroni and cheese. For dessert, I would likely choose a fat brownie. Now a meal like that would set me back well beyond a day’s worth of 2,000 calories, and double the 65g of recommended total fat per day. That’s why I never eat these foods.

So when I opened “Now Eat This,” the newest cookbook from Chef Rocco Dispirito, and found that I could have fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese and a brownie for less than 500 calories and less than 20g of fat, I was very interested. And I think you will be, too!

A few years ago, Rocco realized he’d put on about 30 pounds. That’s what happens when you work around food for more than 25 years; in Rocco’s case, really good food. So he set-out to change that, calling himself “a latecomer to the diet/exercise weight loss experience.” He says his body protested, carrying 20 percent body fat, but he pushed through with the help of a trainer and a dedicated fitness plan. He followed a modified Atkins diet, gave up alcohol and carbs and stuck to high-protein eats. That, plus double-cardio sessions six days a week, helped him get back in shape, and take on a triathlon and an iron man.
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How to Afford Eating Healthy in a Comfort Food Economy

It’s no secret that the economy stinks these days. According to a survey by a Chicago-based research firm, people are passing on the healthier options offered at fast food and casual dining restaurants in favor of a super-sized serving of comfort. Eighty-two percent of respondents say their better-for-you items are selling ‘lousy.” Customers are citing economic factors for their preferences.grocery shopping mom

More than half of consumers say they are more concerned about their eating habits than they were a year ago… yet:

  • 70% say that healthful foods are harder to afford
  • 53% say they buy less-healthful items because those items are cheaper (not necessarily, as I wrote about the price of salmon vs. hotdogs)
  • 44% say their budget prevents them from eating healthful foods
  • 34% of respondents say that they are choosing cheaper fast food over more-healthful options
  • 9% are skipping breakfast and 3% are skipping lunch

To that, I say, this is totally unnecessary. People may think they are saving, but trust me, they are paying for it in their health. They’ll pay even more later whether it’s in some combination of weight gain, lower energy levels or poorer quality of life.

Instead, here are some tips to maximize your comfort with minimal strain on your pocketbook.
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Health Benefits of Honey

By day, guest blogger Maris Callahan is a publicist in New York City. In her spare time, she is a freelance writer and food blogger at In Good Taste, a blog about cooking and eating good healthy food when you’re busy or on-the-go (with a few indulgences, because everyone needs those!) When she isn’t cooking or writing she enjoys running, knitting, photography and a good latte.honey

We all know to put honey in our tea when we have sore throats, but most of us don’t stop to ask why. For centuries, honey has been used as a topical application to help prevent infection, due to naturally occurring antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. With the invention of antibiotics, this practice became less frequent, but consuming honey is still said to have health benefits and might even reduce sensitivity to certain environmental allergens.
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Comfort Foods Are Diet Saboteurs

The idea of comfort food, foods that evoke a psychologically pleasurable response when ingested by an individual, is not new. Your idea of which foods are comforting is somewhat individual and based on a variety of factors. The pairing of sustenance with comfort has been said to start as early as the womb. This pairing continues with the bonding created by infant feeding, both physical and emotional needs are met at the same time, and rewarding toddlers and children with food for good behavior.

Many families use food to distract one from or heal negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, hurt, and even boredom. Many of my family members admit to using food to love and care for each other, trying to meet both physical and emotional needs. How often do we express gratitude and caring during holidays with gifts of food? Is it any wonder that we use food as a drug to effect both our physical and emotional states?
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Emotional Health Leads to Weight Loss

One of the things that makes Jillian Michaels such a popular trainer on The Biggest Loser is that she really cares about her contestants and recognizes that weight gain/loss can be more complex than calories in-calories out. There are a lot of other factors that affect our bodies and metabolisms. It took Brittany Aberle nearly her entire time on the show to discover a hormone imbalance (PCOS) that was slowing down her weight loss.

Another important aspect that Jillian seems to get is the connection between physical health and mental health, possibly because her mother is a psychologist. Every season, as her contestants start to lose weight, Jillian recognizes and helps her contestants to address the emotional issues that are rising to the surface, revealed by the process. This season she’s worked closely with Coleen and Michelle.
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