My husband and I could probably do without all of our tv channels except for the Food Network, the Travel Channel, and the Sci Fi Channel.
On the travel channel, we tend to watch Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Food, and Anthony Bourdaine's No Reservations.
Surprisingly perhaps, but as I eat fewer carbs, the cake and candy challenges no longer make me hungry. I see them more as architecture, I suppose. I also don't watch Paula Deen, Nigella, or Giada nearly as much as I used to (but still watch Diner's, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network and Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel).
I find that it isn't the shows, but rather things going on in my head that determine whether they're a positive or a negative influence. If my head's in a bad place, the Hardee's and Quizno's commercials can set off cravings, and if I'm where I need to be, even the most decadent food shows may tempt me to get into the kitchen, but don't necessarily tempt me to create foods I shouldn't be eating.
I do try to stay away from carbs, but the other day I was watching a candy making show, and I decided I wanted butter toffee, so I made some. Just enough for my husband and I each to have a relatively small piece (smaller than an average candy bar). I melted one tablespoon of butter in a glass bowl in the microwave, and added a little less than a 1/4 cup of brown sugar (not packed). I microwaved on high until bubbly (about 2 to 3minutes), stopping to stir every minute, and poured it onto buttered baking paper to cool.
I wouldn't say it was a good choice, but it was a better choice than making a pound of candy, or even making a cake or batch of brownies (which knowing us, wouldn't have lasted very long). Even though the candy was quick and easy in the microwave, I don't see myself making it every day (week, or month for that matter).
I think it's like what I said in another thread about people finding excuses, rather than excuses finding people. If I WANT an excuse to go off plan, the food channel is as good as any; but if I don't want an excuse, the food channel doesn't shove one (or anything else) down my throat. Unless I'm in a strong frame of mind, I do avoid shows that showcase high calorie foods that I will find tempting. Candy and cake shows aren't usually much of a temptation, but high calorie savory foods can be. In a weak frame of mind, a show on backyard pork barbecue can give me a major craving for country style ribs - the fattier, the better, basted with a sugary sauce and served with corn on the cob and mayo-based slaw (a carb/fat nightmare).
Although the last time I craved barbecue after such a show, I still made a pretty good choice (I made a huge batch of vinegar based slaw, and made some sloppy joes with my lean beef/tvp mixture and poured it over a small baked potato).
So, I guess it all depends on how you feel and react to the shows. If they inspire better choices, or at least don't inspire worse ones, it's all good.
Last edited by kaplods; 05-10-2009 at 10:46 PM.