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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Plus-sized portions and programming

A couple of days ago, I wrote:

Full confession: I'm not a breakfast person. [...] Waffles, pancakes, cereal -- they don't do anything for me. I'm a person who goes to breakfast places and orders a sandwich.

Almost immediately after that blog went up, I remembered one of the best meals I've ever had and yes, it was breakfast. Last summer while vacationing in Alaska and Canada, I enjoyed this feast at Anchorage's popular Snow City Cafe.


A truly amazing meal. Thick, fresh whole-grain bread smothered with berry preserves, an enormous customized veggie omelet (peppers, spinach, onions), a heap of potatoes -- I could only finish about half before calling it quits. I'd go back to Anchorage just to eat this again, any time of the day!

Several friends have been or are going to Anchorage this summer and the number one recommendation I've made, more than any sightseeing attraction, is the Snow City Cafe. (Be prepared for a long wait but grab a mug and help yourself to coffee and the newspaper to pass the time -- believe me, it's worth it!)

Alternately, I chatted up the fantastic weekend farmers market, where the freshly-grilled halibut tacos and salmon quesadillas absolutely blew me away.

Yum, yum, yum.

(If YOU are a breakfast person, or just enjoy Greek yogurt any time of the day, head over to Megan's blog. She's giving away a sample package of Chobani and it can all be yours with one click. Go, go, go!)

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Speaking of food, THIS is how well my mom knows me. During our weekly Skype session, she mentioned that TLC has a new reality show chronicling a morbidly obese family and she was sure I'd want to watch it in the autumn.

I know it's wrong, but these programs fascinate me. Call a show "I Eat 30,000 Calories a Day" or "The 2-Ton Man" and you're guaranteed an audience of at least one -- me.

Shows like this are only gaining (no pun intended) popularity. A "Bachelor"-type reality show, "More to Love," debuts this week on FOX and features all plus-sized contestants. A friend recommended Lifetime's "Drop Dead Diva" and after seeing two episodes, I must admit it's not half-bad. Plus it features Margaret Cho, which instantly elevates anything out of mediocrity.

In a country where 2/3 of the population is either overweight (10% or more over your ideal body weight, with a BMI over 25) or obese (30 pounds or more overweight; 33% of Americans fall into this category), is an influx of plus-sized programming an effort to see ourselves when we watch TV instead of size-zero starlets?

Why can't there be a happy medium rather than defining everyone as either too thin or too fat? What about putting a happy, healthy woman on TV, regardless of size, and accepting her just her as she is?

(Which reminds me, if you haven't checked out Operation Beautiful lately, what are you waiting for?)

Food for thought: According to the Los Angeles Times, the average American woman weighs 162.9 pounds and wears a size 14.