Sugar free Jell-o brand pudding tastes like ass.

Just sayin’ is all.

In all fairness I also must say that Jell-o brand sugar free gelatin tastes pretty good. So one out of two isn’t too shabby. Avoid the sugar free pudding and scarf down the sugar free gelatin.

Eating healthy is going to kill me.

One of the perks of working for my current employer is that they allow us to partake of a large selection of free drinks and snacks on our breaks and over lunch. In addition to the usual assortment of various bags of chips and random candy bars there’s a few healthy (or more healthy at least) alternatives to choose from. Amongst the pre-packaged single-serving bowls of cereal, for example, are some Kellogg’s Special K and something called GOLEAN Crunch! from Kashi foods. Being that I often have a bowl of cereal when I get here in the morning I’ve been trying to avoid the temptation of the Kellogg’s Sugar Corn Pops (a long time favorite of mine) in favor of the GOLEAN Crunch. Here’s the ad copy from their website:

Kashi GOLEAN Crunch! cereal will satisfy your sweet cravings in a low fat, healthy way. With 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber, GOLEAN Crunch! has more than twice the protein and fiber of the average cereal, so you stay full until your next meal!

Whether you’re enjoying a bowl of GOLEAN Crunch! for breakfast, using it as a topping for yogurt, or snacking right out of the box, you’ll love these crunchy clusters made from Kashi Seven Whole Grains & Sesame™. They’re naturally sweetened with a touch of honey and cinnamon, then toasted to perfection for a hearty crunch.

It certainly sounds healthy enough so I gave it a try and found it to be quite tasty for a (supposedly) healthy food. There’s just one problem with it: It turns me into a walking and talking natural gas reserve. And when I say that it gives me gas I don’t mean that it causes me to fart once or twice later in the day. No, I’m talking in a all the national gas companies are in a bidding war over rights to my ass way. As in I’m beginning to get worried I’m going to float away way. As in you don’t dare bend over lest you let rip with the flatulence heard ‘round the world way. In case you’re too obtuse to catch my drift, I’m talking some serious gas production.

This would be bad enough at home, but it’s even worse when you’re at work at a job that requires a fair amount of stretching, bending, and reaching – all of which put you at risk of squeaking at a decibel level impossible to conceal – in a room with some 100+ other people. The one upside is that there are so many fans in operation along with the AC that any potentially offensive smells are quickly dispersed. Not that these emissions are particularly odorous (surprisingly they aren’t), but that doesn’t help you much when 30 people suddenly look to see who started up the chainsaw in their midst only to realize that it wasn’t a chainsaw.

And the gas just kind of sneaks up on you too. You’re fine one minute and then the next you feel like your intestines are about to explode out of your abdomen. So you try to hurry to the closest bathroom so you can at least fart in an environment that most people will grudgingly accept as appropriate, but you can’t hurry too quickly because if you move too fast you start sounding like you’re on a mini-bike as you putt-putt-putt along your merry way. Trying to hold the gas in for any amount of time is just stupidly dangerous and only makes the inevitable expulsion that much worse. Though if you’ve ever wondered what Mount St. Helens felt like before it blew its top then it’s one way to find out.

The thing I don’t understand is that when you compare the amount of food in that single serving bowl (roughly 2.6 oz or 73 grams) the amount of gas produced seems exponentially higher. I know it’s not possible, but at times I swear my digestive system is violating the first law of thermodynamics. I’m probably contributing way more than my share of greenhouse gases by trying to eat a healthy breakfast and I’m beginning to think I’m going to have to offset my carbon ass-print by switching back to Kellogg’s Sugar Corn Pops. I’m not doing it for me, but for the sake of humanity. Or at least my fellow coworkers.

KFC to become KGC, at least in part.

What is the world coming to? Word has it that Kentucky Fried Chicken is about to start offering grilled chicken on their menu:

Doug Hasselo, KFC’s chief food innovation officer, says, “This is transformational for our brand.”

Louisville-based KFC, a subsidiary of Yum Brands Inc., hopes grilled chicken will lure back health-conscious consumers who dropped fried chicken from their diets, or cut back on indulging.

KFC announced last year that fried chicken at all its U.S. restaurants had zero grams of trans fat per serving after the chain switched cooking oils.

KFC says the grilled chicken has significantly fewer calories and fat, plus much less sodium, than its original recipe fried chicken.

Why it’s sacrilegious I tell you! Next thing you know we’ll have cats and dogs living together! Total anarchy!

Fast Food and Portion Sizes

Not the usual post that shows up here, but I found an interesting article with some conclusions that came out of the Documentary “Super Size Me” by Morgan Spurlock. First off, if you haven’t seen the movie go check it out

Back to the topic at hand, the article, “Self-Experimenters: Filmmaker Gained Weight to Prove a Point about Portion Size”, is an interesting look into the aftermath of doing such an experiment as Morgan did.

Morgan Spurlock’s “really great bad idea,” as it would later be called, came to him after a gluttonous Thanksgiving meal. Jeans unbuttoned, stomach engorged with turkey—and eyeing a second helping—the 32-year-old playwright noticed on the television news that two teenage girls from New York City were suing McDonald’s for allegedly making them fat.

“It was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard of,” Spurlock recalls thinking. Until, that is, a McDonald’s spokeswoman appeared on screen to deny any link between the chain’s food and the girls’ obesity, claiming that Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets and the rest of the gang were nutritious. “That was even crazier than the lawsuit,” says Spurlock, now 37. “If it’s so nutritious, I should be able to eat it every day.”

I agree with him, most of those lawsuits against McDonalds are pretty stupid. At some point the user has to be held accountable. I will say that companies such as McDonalds can be very deceptive in their advertising and marketing, as well as statements from their spokespeople about having healthy meals. If McDonalds wants to make the statement their food is healthy, we should hold them accountable for such a statement.

To prove the statement by the spokesperson was ludicrous at best, Spurlock set out on a crazed diet of nothing but McDonalds for 30 days. If their food is healthy there should be no problem right?

But what most alarmed his physicians was the damage to his liver, which became so engorged with fat that it could have been marketed as pâté. “I expected his triglycerides would increase temporarily, his blood pressure would go up, he’d feel miserable,” said Dr. Daryl Isaacs, Spurlock’s general practitioner. “I never expected an acutely fatty liver. By the third week he had the liver of a binge alcoholic.” All three physicians ordered Spurlock to stop, but he nervously stuck it out.

Aside from the obvious issues with the diet like weight gain and cholesterol, he also experienced more severe or shall I say scary by-products of the diet such as lack of sex drive, heart palpitations, and the above issue: the liver of an alcoholic.

Spurlock’s self-experiment brought attention to unusual obesity-related illnesses. Lisa Ganjhu, Spurlock’s gastroenterologist, says the film increased public awareness of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a severe liver inflammation that is not due to alcohol but rather brought on by rapid weight gain; it is associated with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Fredrik Nystrom, a professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Linköping University Hospital in Sweden, replicated Spurlock’s experiment with 18 subjects, nearly all of whom experienced the same rapid liver damage, but recovered after they ended the fatty diet.

It seems a diet high in crappy food can have some drastic side effects. The movie has a pretty eye opening scene where the doctor is trying to explain this phenomenon (at least at the time it was) to Spurlock and he was completely dumbfounded and surprised at the results. He recommended Spurlock stop the diet immediately. What surprised the doctor was that all estimates and best guesses assumed his cholesterol and heart issues would stop Spurlock before a bad liver would.

The other interesting thing brought up in the movie and article:

The striking documentation of his health problems put fast food purveyors on high alert. “Food portions in America have increased in parallel with rates of obesity,” Lisa Young, adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University, wrote in a recent study published in the Journal of Public Health Policy. Obesity in adults skyrocketed in the U.S. from 15 percent in 1980 to nearly 33 percent in 2004, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, putting Americans at greater risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Young says that the average daily U.S. food intake per person has increased up to 300 calories since the 1980s.

Within weeks of the movie’s May 2004 debut at the Sundance Film Festival, McDonald’s pulled Super Sizes from its menu, saying the move was designed to simplify diners’ choices. “The only thing that got McDonald’s to reduce its portions,” Young tells Scientific American, “was the publicity of the movie.”

Food portions have increased at a very close rate to obesity rates. Something confirmed by a study I read in a book by that asshole on TV… oh yea Dr. Phil. Anyways, the study mentioned looked at food portion sizes in Europe (I think specifically Great Britain and France) and America and also looked at obesity rates and average weight of adults. The study found that portion sizes in America are about 24% greater than Europe and the average weight is also about 25% greater. Something that goes right along with the study mentioned in the quote above from the article.

Anyways, my weight loss plan for the last 8 months has just been to eat less and exercise more along with getting some help from what appear to be decent sources of information (the authors of this book got a team of researchers together and poured through over 10,000 studies and research to find the best info). So far I am down 15 lbs, have a ton more energy, and I haven’t really gained any fat weight.

Mississippi lawmakers want to ban fat people from eating out.

I’m not sure if I qualify as obese, but I’m definitely on the heavy end of the scale and I know more than a few obese people. Then again, in America these days, who doesn’t? I’m aware of the health problems that being overweight brings with it and how much better off everyone would be if more of us could stick to a healthy diet, but I’m not sure this proposed law in Mississippi would really help:

FEBRUARY 1—Mississippi legislators this week introduced a bill that would make it illegal for state-licensed restaurants to serve obese patrons. Bill No. 282, a copy of which you’ll find below, is the brainchild of three members of the state’s House of Representatives, Republicans W. T. Mayhall, Jr. and John Read, and Democrat Bobby Shows. The bill, which is likely dead on arrival, proposes that the state’s Department of Health establish weight criteria after consultation with Mississippi’s Council on Obesity. It does not detail what penalties an eatery would face if its grub was served to someone with an excessive body mass index.

Let’s repeat that so you fully grasp what the bill is saying: They want to make it illegal for restaurants to serve you food if you are considered obese by the State government’s standards. In short, they want to turn every fast food joint and high-hifalutin bistro into the Food Police charged with the responsibility of not feeding you if you’re too much of a fatty. Apparently they think that you’ll just go home and start jumping rope if you can’t eat out as opposed to, say, going home and downing an entire tub of Ben and Jerry’s as comfort food therapy. 

Somehow I don’t think they have thought their clever plan all the way through.