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Old 05-10-2009, 09:57 PM   #1
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OK, so I've made the committment to a healthy lifestyle. I've lost a fair amount of weight. I now exercise 90 minutes a day, 4 days a week. I am making progress.

So WHY oh WHY am I obsessed with THE FOOD NETWORK??? If I'm not watching Nigella, it is the Food Network Challenges -- who makes the best cake recipe? who has the best BBQ? I even watched the Luau challenge, and I live in the MIDDLE OF THE COUNTRY!!! I can barely find Hawaii on the map!! Baskin-Robbins' new ice cream flavor challenge! The Pillsbury Recipe challenge!!! Will Bronwyn be declared America's Best Cake Designer???
Unwrapped, Alton Brown, Iron Chef, Everyday Italian, Top Chef, Kitchen Nightmares...the list is endless...and is this helpful? Seriously? To achieveing my goal? Or harmless entertainment????

Anyone else like this out there??? Thoughts???

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Old 05-10-2009, 10:01 PM   #2
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No. I don't watch TV.

Sounds like you enjoy these types of shows, so maybe you can make a challenge of it. Take the tips and tricks you learn watching these shows to become a wonderful "healthy" cook. Challenge yourself to make a wonderful gourmet dish patterned after one you see - but make it totally "on plan".

If that doesn't work, there is always the OFF button
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:17 PM   #3
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I would think it's only harmful to you if it acts as a trigger, making you binge. If not, if you don't get cravings from the shows, why not watch them? I agree with CountingDown that you could get some really good tips from these shows, especially on spice and herb combinations for different flavors. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:31 PM   #4
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I like the food network and can somehow disconnect from the fact that it's FOOD they're working with. Unless it's Paula Dean; her stuff looks like something my grandma might have made with all the butter and cream and her comforting Southern accent.

But I do feel sometimes like I have just switched my obsession with food from an unhealthy one to a heathy one (if there is such a thing). So instead of planning trips to the store for fatty chips and beer and cookies, I think about "what's for dinner", or "how many calories, can I afford it". Food is still very much on the forefront of my mind, just in a different way. Can anyone relate to that?
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:37 PM   #5
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I used to like watching Paula Dean, and I thought her stuff looked delicious even though I read other people though her stuff looked gross. heheheh, I remember one time she was make some Elvis peanutbutter,honey, banana, SUGAR COATED grilled (or was it fried?) sandwich and I was actually quite entertained thinking about making it myself... good thing I never did try making it!

ETA: lol, I looked up the recipe and it is a fried peanut butter sandwich don't look

Rachael Ray isnt too bad to watch, I think since she has to watch her own weight she makes more healthy stuff.

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Old 05-10-2009, 10:45 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:05 PM   #7
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I don't think it's necessarily a problem -- I know it isn't for me! I like the food network and it doesn't cause a binge.

And I like picking up cooking tips that fit with my healthy lifestyle. As for the other food... there are lots of recipes I'm certain I will never try!

So, I say enjoy, unless you think it's causing you a problem.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:20 PM   #8
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I agree about switching to shows like Healthy Decadence or Cook Yourself Thin if the other shows torture you. I am a foodie, always have been and probably always will be. When it comes to recipes and cooking, well..I would say I am somewhat of an artiste'! LOL...I watch several cooking shows when I have the time and they don't usually tempt me.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:33 PM   #9
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Rachel Ray will sometimes cook things that she says are "figure friendly". Paula Dean's never are, but she's so fun and entertaining that I like to watch her. She was spoofed on some morning talk show awhile back, and the lady who was playing Paula was serving up sticks of butter sandwiched between two glazed donuts. LOL! It's not too far from the truth!
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:53 PM   #10
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I Love watching the Food Network too! But I can honestly say that I do not get hungry or have a craving when I watch it. It is good entertainment and I like to make the recipes my own. Paula Deen used to be my favorite. I used to make her food all the time. But it is old fashioned fattening food so I don't watch much now. I think you should just enjoy the shows!
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:17 AM   #11
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I LOVE the Food Network! We watch it all the time. I like to take the things they make and use them as ideas for home. Even the shows with the not-good-for-me things serve a purpose. I can watch Paula Deen and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and just be in AWE of the fact that I used to eat that way...kinda gross to me now...
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:38 AM   #12
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I can't remember who to give the credit too, but I'll never forget someone here at 3fc using the words "Food Porn". FOR ME, that is exactly what it is, food pornography. Watching that stuff on TV still stirs up my addiction just as it does for a sex addict who watches XXX flicks. I have had to give up my Food Net Work addiction, and have replaced it with other activities. HGTV has given me countless ideas for my home and lawn and I can say that without a doubt, since making the switch, I have not only lost a lot of weight, but my home is becoming so beautiful. (Also great exercise and anxiety reducer).
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:03 AM   #13
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I spend a lot more time lately reading cookbooks, but it doesn't really make me want to eat more. It really just makes me want to eat better. But I'm not reading Paula Deen cookbooks either.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:33 AM   #14
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If it isn't causing you problems then I see nothing wrong with watching other people cook and compete, after all, at the end of the day it's simply entertainment.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:43 AM   #15
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We used to watch the Food Network all the time, loved it! We ditched the cable about 9 months ago so we haven't watched it since then, but it used to be on all the time. I sure did love me some Alton Brown!
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