Tag Archives: Interviews

Biggest Loser Cures Diabetes Ahead of What Standard Medicine Can Achieve

Isn’t it a little bold to say you’re curing diabetes, was my first question for Biggest Loser’s Dr. Robert Huizenga, better known as Dr. H. He asserted that not only can it be done, but Biggest Loser is blazing the trail where curing diabetes is concerned. Yes, a reality show is doing more than his standard medical peers.

We spoke this morning in preparation for tonight’s episode in which the contestants will spend their last week on the ranch. As everyone says their farewells, they’ll meet with Dr. H one more time to find out, aside from their scale weight, how they’ve changed their bodies and their health. For Gina, she’s leaving the ranch without the type 2 diabetes she arrived with.

“If we can keep Gina at the levels she’s at tonight for the next 2-5 years, we’ll say we cured her diabetes,” said Dr. Huizenga.

How is that so? Right now, Gina’s diabetes has been reversed, or is in remission. As Dr. Huizenga explained, they’ve returned all the indicators to normal. To achieve cure, they have to stay that way for the next several years.

Gina’s not the only one turning back time on this disease. Young Lindsay, one of the teen ambassadors featured this season, is celebrating a complete reversal of her pre-diabetes. Doing so at such a young age is better and easier than trying to go back when she’s forty, explained the doctor.

“It’s like putting the toothpaste back in the tube,” he analogized. (more…)

Jillian Michaels Breaks Through: A New Book, Workout DVD, Return to Loser and Live Tour Might Make This Her Biggest Year Yet

In case you missed the announcement, Jillian Michaels is very much back and on track to be bigger than ever. She rejoined Biggest Loser this season and is as popular as she ever was. Meanwhile, she just released a new book, Slim for Life, the sixth title by the star trainer that will no doubt join the ranks of bestseller alongside the others. A new workout DVD just hit the shelves, and this spring she’ll embark on a journey unlike any she’s taken before. You’d think the woman never sleeps, and you might be right, considering she has brought two young children in to her home since May – Phoenix, a son with her partner Heidi, and Lukensia, a daughter she adopted from Haiti. She’s talked about being Unlimited before, but clearly the woman is unstoppable.

We caught up with Jillian to hear how the new book developed and its uniquely customizable format, the status of obesity in our country and what else we need from Let’s Move, and even how these tiny tots have influenced her tough-as-nails training style.

What’s the big take away for Slim for Life? Anyone in particular you’re trying to talk to?

After my last diet book, I honestly thought I had said everything there was to say. Then, over the past four years, I have come to realize just how much conflicting information there is out there. With so many fad diets – and a new one popping up almost daily – I realized people were more lost and confused than ever. I also realized that maybe what had been asked of them in prior diets was too overwhelming. So I decided to write SLIM FOR LIFE. The book is for anyone looking for simple strategies that are affordable, effective and DOABLE because they won’t make you miserable [and will] get results.

I definitely wanted to clear up all the conflicting information and dispel diet, weight loss and fitness myths, debunk fad diets and trends, and provide solutions for every possible diet dilemma from hunger and cravings to finances and travel. (more…)

Kirstie Alley Prioritizes Energy Over Weight as the Measure of a Healthy Lifestyle

Kirstie Alley approached the new year like a lot of us, by making resolutions. But unlike most who just whisper them in to the abyss of new year’s night, Kirstie puts pen to paper.

“I always sit down with a little notebook and I make many resolutions,” she said. She won’t name them because of superstition, but makes them regarding every aspect of her life. She lives by them for the year, but more than resolutions, Kirstie says, “I map out a game plan for everything I do.”

I recently sat down with Kirstie in her luxuriously comfortable home in the heart of one of the oldest neighborhoods in Wichita, Kansas; her home away from LA. We spent just over an hour casually talking about childhood obesity, her healthy lifestyle, chemicals in our foods, and of course her company Organic Liaison. To answer the question on most people’s minds – yes, she looked fantastic!

“I’m not skinny minnie, I look good if I’m wearing stretchy sixes or a genuine size six (which 20 years ago would have been a genuine size 8),” she told me.

She celebrated her 62nd birthday last week during a special appearance on Entertainment Tonight looking younger and better than ever. Of course, I had to ask, how does she do it, because it wasn’t just the cameras!

“I’m really happy, and that’s sort of the biggest key,” she said. Kirstie noted that she’s not a drinker, she thinks alcohol can really age a person, and that she’s always taken really good care of her skin, having stopped being a “total sun worshipper” at 25.

Now she worships energy and organic eating, and there’s no doubt that’s playing a role in slowing the aging process for her. (more…)

Find the Right Diet for Your Personality in “Who Are You Meant To Be”

Every year, more new diets pop up claiming to be revolutionary and suitable for everyone. And every year, millions try them out, hoping that they’ll finally find the solution to losing weight.

Dr. Anne Dranitsaris, PhD and Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard believe that this model is not how weight loss should be approached. In their new book, Who Are You Meant to Be?, released January 1, 2013, they outline how an individual’s personality affects their behavior and, in turn, their dieting styles.

“We’re looking at [dieting] through a different lens than most. What is it that’s driving our behaviors? Why do we people behave like we do around food?” said Dranitsaris-Hilliard.

The mother-and-daughter team’s book is not a diet guide, but it may be applied toward eating styles as part of an integrated look at human behavior. Through their research, they have identified eight different “striving styles” and find most individuals fall under one of these. (more…)

7 Questions About Denise Austin’s 7 Skinny Strategies

Fad diets or exercise products seem to come and go every year. However, there are a few names that have lasted the test of time. Denise Austin is one of those names. She has been in the fitness business for decades. This decade is no exception as she recently released a new book titled, “Side Effect: Skinny.”

Her new book deals with what she calls a “fat blast diet,” and seven “Skinny Strategies.” Since Austin provides seven strategies, we asked her seven questions about her new book.

Calorie Confusion

One step instructs dieters to change up their caloric intake on various days to create calorie confusion and trick the metabolism. While many diets refer to cycling or varying intake on certain days of the week, is this how Austin has seen such long-term success? She said she’s eaten this way for the last 20 years and her work with professionals has convinced her to promote it. As she says, “variety is key.”

Fat-Blast Workout

A second strategy is the “Fat-Blast Workout.” We were curious if it was necessary to follow Austin’s unique workout if one was already on an exercise routine. Would results still be felt without the “Fat-Blast Workout?”

“[It] is divided into two types of workouts: one is the fat-blast walk, which is an interval walking routine that can be very well integrated into any cardio workout that someone may already have established. Again, this interval program is all about changing up the routine and surprising your muscles,” said Austin. (more…)

Biggest Loser Teen Contestants Will Never Step on a Scale, says Host Alison Sweeney

“The trainers expect the kids to change their fitness level in a kid-friendly way,” Alison Sweeney told us about three teens on the new Biggest Loser season. For the first time ever, the cast of 15 contestants is joined by three teens in an effort to highlight the rampant childhood obesity afflicting our youth.

In an interview with DietsInReview, Alison defended that the health and safety of these teens was of utmost importance from day one. “The first thing we considered was their age, the best way to help them, and best guide them,” she said.

To do so, she explains that these teens, two girls and a boy, will never step on the scale, they do not workout in the Biggest Loser gym, and they don’t even live on the ranch.

“These kids aren’t on an island,” she said, contrasting their stay on the ranch to the adults who are completely isolated from outside life. Alison explained that the idea in sending these kids home was for them to “learn to care for themselves in their own environments.” Therefore, not only the kids but the families as a whole are being encouraged to make these healthy changes so that the ultimately support one another in this journey. (more…)

Danny Boome’s Recipe Rehab is Making Over America’s Favorite Recipes on Network TV

My husband’s grandmother Polly makes the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had. I won’t say that’s why I married him, but it’s certainly one of the perks of joining his family! The headache I get after eating it is sometimes worth it – it’s that good. But, deep down I know it’s not good for me at all. With more than a pound of sugar between the cake and icing, butter, and white flour, I could really use some Recipe Rehab.

Families like mine across the country are having their favorite traditional recipes madeover on ABC’s new Recipe Rehab, a network cooking show hosted by celebrity chef Danny Boome. He told me it’s the first show to really bring cooking back to network TV since Julia Child. It’s also the first show to have started on YouTube and made the jump to network TV!

On the show, sponsored by Everyday Health, families submit recipes that they love but aren’t loving them back. So far, since the show’s premiere on October 6, they’ve fixed macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, and spaghetti and meatballs. Maybe Danny will hear my cries for chocolate cake help this Thanksgiving!

During the 30-minute show, we see two chefs makeover the recipes with healthier ingredients. The goal is to lower the fat, calories, and sugar while maintaining the flavor, texture, and even ease that the families love. Then, each family receives the two recipes and prepares them in their own home. Of course, no cook off would be complete without a tasting, at which point they reveal a winner.

“The idea of the show is to try to give people choices, open their minds up,” said Danny in our interview. On the phone he is enthusiastic about the work they’re doing and points out the real value the show offers its American viewers. (more…)

Dana Vollmer Stays Fit after Olympics with a Gluten-Free Diet and Hip Hop Workouts

By Chrissa Hardy for HelloGiggles.com

Dana Vollmer spent her summer training for London Olympic Games, competing in London and celebrating her gold-medal-winning, record-breaking time in London. Would any of these things have happened, had she not discovered her gluten allergy in the spring of 2011? She’s not so sure. After years of daily stomach aches brought on by her food choices, Dana feels better than ever before and could not imagine returning to a life with gluten.

Gluten-free has become a trend, a buzz word that has taken up prime real estate on food labels everywhere. What does it mean exactly? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. Those who are intolerant of it, allergic or sensitive to it, need to adopt a lifestyle of paying close attention to food labels. I sat down with Dana at the Gluten-Free Pizza Event, put on by The Venice Bakery in Los Angeles, CA, to discuss her new life and how going gluten-free changed everything.

Chrissa Hardy: First of all, congrats on your gold medal win! Has your life returned to normal or is it still pretty hectic?

Dana Vollmer: It’s still pretty hectic. I’m enjoying it a lot. Initially, I was planning to go back to my hometown in Texas to visit with my family and sort of relax, but I’ve just been traveling non stop and I love it. It’s been really great. It’s one thing to have the excitement of the Olympics but, now it’s so great to see the kids and how their faces light up when they get to wear the gold medal. I remember when I was 12 and I saw my first gold medal, that’s when I decided that I wanted to become an Olympian. (more…)

Meet Mr. Honeycrisp, the Man Behind Fall’s Most Popular (and Most Expensive) Apple

I walked in to the grocery store a couple of weeks ago to grab a few things and ended up grabbing a few things not on my list. Who doesn’t? I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the front fruit display had traded peaches for Honeycrisp apples. After months and months without eating any apples, I was beside myself with excitement as I loaded up four softball-sized apples at $2.99 per pound.

Yep. I paid a three dollar per-pound price for a piece of fruit. And so have millions of other people. I am part of the reason the Honeycrisp craze has grown in to a full blown obsession rivaling only those who camp out for the first pumpkin spiced coffee of the season. I don’t eat any other kind of apple, and until a few years ago it had been several years since I’d even touched one. Honeycrisps are unlike any apple you’ve ever tried.

The Honeycrisp was developed at the University of Minnesota’s apple breeding program in 1960. It was a cross of the Macoun and Honeygold, a hybrid of the two apples that took more than 30 years to move to market. Between 1960 and 1991, the apple that is now known as the Honeycrisp was identified, tested, and introduced to market in 1991. That was 20 years ago. So where has this divine piece of fruit been hiding? I asked David Bedford, a research scientist and lead apple breeder at the University of Minnesota. This is Mr. Honeycrisp.

Once the Honeycrisp was released in 1991, Bedford explained it was a very grassroots effort to get the apple out there. They had to sell the seeds to the nurseries, who then sold saplings to the orchardists, who then had to plant and grow the trees. These aren’t like tomato vines, they take time, years in fact. Once the Honeycrisp trees were planted they had three to five years before they were fruit bearing.

An apple with no marketing budget and just some excitable word of mouth has grown to be the fifth most grown apple in the U.S, according to Bedford. “It’s a hometown kid without much promotion.” The apple really took off and joined the mainstream, Bedford explained, after Washington state growers got a hold of it. “Sixty percent of apples in the country are grown in Washington,” he said. “When they get behind something, you see it go mainstream.” (more…)

Mindfully Eat Your Way to Weight Loss This Fall

In many parts of the country, fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Other bonuses of the season including being able to exercise outdoors without fear of heat stroke and the holidays are quickly bringing family an friends together. However, that’s also a downside. With the holidays comes the lure of many enticing foods that will quickly pack on the pounds. Fad diets that promise quick weight loss may show results at first, but many times lost weight is regained as soon as the holiday decor is taken down.

Before this holiday season gives you even more reasons to overeat, change your bad eating habits in favor of ones with lasting weight loss.

We spoke with Susan Albers, PsyD., a clinical psychologist and author of Eating Mindfully, to hear her advice on how to achieve weight loss goals through permanent changes in eating habits.

“Seventy-five percent of overeating is caused by emotions, yet most of our diets focus on food, which is why they fail,” she said. “They don’t teach what to do for cravings or slip ups.”

Instead of another diet failing, focus on what she calls mindful eating. It’s not a diet with menus or recipes, instead it’s about changing psychological habits. “It’s more about how you eat than what you eat,” Dr. Albers said. (more…)