Monday, October 12, 2009

Food, weight, and your take...and faux fried chicken

Most anyone who knows me or reading my blog knows by now that I am a HUGE supporter of the “Fit-Over-Fat” theory. And for those of you following the “Health At Every Size” (HAES) program are likely familiar with Linda Bacon, professor of nutrition at City College of San Francisco and author of “Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight [1].”

Bottom line: some people are heavy and unhealthy, and plenty of thin people are unhealthy [1].

Health goes beyond weight status, far beyond. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), published in August of 2008, assessed the weight and metabolic health of 5,440 adults. While those in the “normal weight” group were the healthiest, metabolically speaking (76.5%), there were 51.3% and 31.7% metabolically healthy in the overweight and obese groups, respectively [1].

The researcher’s conclusion: Though fat people are more apt to be metabolically unhealthy, plenty of fat people are healthy, and plenty of normal weight people are unhealthy [1].

What to do?

Linda Bacon supports “intuitive eating” – a means of consuming food that is in tune with hunger signaling (i.e. eating when you’re hungry and quitting when you’re satisfied). Also recommended to all weight statuses is exercise [1]. Find something you enjoy…and do it. Regularly.

So, being fat is A-okay? No.

There are few individuals out there who can deem their diets flawless. Anyone and everyone should aim to incorporate healthy eating and lifestyle patterns to consume the right amount of the good and work to eliminate the bad. As a nation, we are so hyper-sensitive about weight status, clothing sizes, and weight loss…it’s nearly impossible to get excited about simply making a change because it’s the right move for your health and relationship with food and exercise. Maybe you’re like myself and just wish to escape from food from time-to-time to improve your “foodship” – your relationship with food.

While food, nutrition, and weight comprise my job each day, I would also consider food and nutrition a hobby. I guess you could say food is a HUUUUGE component of my life whether I’m shopping, preparing, eating, or thinking about food…everything seems to come back to food.

Individuals like my mother place little emphasis on food; my mother doesn’t think about food, “crave” food, over-indulge in food, or talk about food. It’s just not a focal point of her life, unlike mine. Which leads me to my next though -- those with little emphasis on food have not only good “foodship” but also healthier weight statuses. I think this also ties in to Linda Bacon’s “intuitive eating,” don’t you?

I’m sure others have heard the saying, “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.” I really feel like I don’t live this message often enough. As an RD, I feel over-consumed in food from all angles, and I can’t help but feel over-whelmed sometimes. And I can’t imagine others don’t feel the same – weight loss gimmicks smothered across magazines in the check-out lane, commercials and advertisements in all of our media, TV shows devoted to weight-loss…it’s every where. Every day. All day long.

So, question…do you feel there’s just TOO much exposure and emphasis surrounding weight-loss, dieting, food, etc.? Do you think your “foodship” could use a make-over?

Tonight, husband requested "fried chicken". The recipe is from The Biggest Loser and it is EXCELLENT! It makes a TON of chicken, but it reheats well in the oven for leftovers. I am using the extra 1% buttermilk to make super rich-tasting mashed potatoes - yummm! Comfort food in this house tonight! 

Biggest Loser "Fried Chicken"

2 pounds chicken tenders
1 quart 1% buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons paprika
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon organic seasoning Salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Large pinch cayenne pepper
4 egg whites, beaten to very soft peaks
Pam cooking spray or olive oil 


Soak chicken tenders in refrigerator, in buttermilk, for 6 hours or overnight. 

Drain and blot with paper towels to remove excess buttermilk. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees Farenheit. Lay bread crumbs out on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Cool. 

Increase oven heat to 450 degrees Farenheit. Combine cornstarch, paprika, seasoning salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a large Pyrex dish - mix well. 

Dredge drained and blotted chicken tenders in seasoned starch. Next, coat dredged tenders thoroughly with beaten egg whites. Last, dip tenders in toasted panko to fully coat. Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet, fitted with a baking rack. Lightly spray chicken on both sides with Pam and season lightly with salt, if desired. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes or until outside is crispy and chicken is just cooked through and juicy. 

Yield: 8 Servings
Nutrient Analysis – per serving

Calories: 270, Fat calories: 40, Total Fat: 4g, Sat Fat: 1g, Chol: 65mg, Sodium: 210mg, Total Carb: 27g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 4g, Protein: 28g problem. LOTS of dishes...

Yesterday's diabetic diet went like this...

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (2 carbs)
1 cup skim milk (1 carb)
1 tsp turbinado (1/2 carb)
1 tsp Splenda brown sugar (1/2 carb)
1/2 ounce pecans, chopped (0 carbs)
cappuccino with 2 Tbsp sugar-free International Delight (0 carbs)
     Total: 4 carbs

pear (1 carb)

3 ounces deer meat (0 carbs)
wheat hamburger bun (2 carbs)
1 slice 2% Colby Jack (0 carbs)
1/2 large sweet potato (1 carb)
1/2 ear of corn (1 carb)

     Total: 4 carbs

2 small slices pizza (2 carbs)
1/2 lb mussels, steamed (0 carbs)
2 mini Twix (1 1/2 carbs)
     Total: 3 1/2 carbs

1 small apple (1 carb)
2 wedges Laughing Cow Light (0 carbs)
     Total: 1 carb

[1]. Jameson, Marnell. Do Extra Pounds Always Equal Extra Risk? The Los Angeles Times. October 12, 2009.


  1. I like the emphasis on being fit. I think so often we assume that fat people are not fit or that thin people are fit. I know quite a few thin people who are totally unfit. I also know some overweight people who can outperform me easily.

    As far as our food relationship goes, I don't like the constant emphasis on diet and "good" and "bad" foods in our society. I think all these messages mess with our head... We are constantly surrounded by food, yet most of it is "bad." I think often what is missing is true enjoyment of food. Rather food is associated with "shoulds" and "should nots" and guilt.

    I think the focus should be on making healthy choices whenever we can. And it should include some form of daily exercise. If we don't focus on looking a certain way or weighing a certain number, I think being truly healthy is much easier.

  2. I saw this study yesterday and found it very interesting. I totally agree that you can be overweight and still fit/healthy, but I still think it's pretty rare. I think of my mom as a perfect example. She is about 20 pounds overweight, but she eats really healthy and she works out (not enough though, maybe twice a week). She is very healthy but she could be healthier. She needs to lose that twenty pounds because she would feel so much better. She is always complaining of being "achy" and tired. I really think just losing 15-20 pounds would help her. Either way, thanks for sharing this study, it's something people need to understand, and YES I do think our society puts way too much emphasis of weight, it's quite pathetic really and I think it's making the situation worse.

  3. Thank you, Andrea and Gina! I appreciate your insight and $0.02!