Squid Ink Rice

squid ink rice
Ink black is not an appealing color for rice. At least that’s what I thought when I saw this dish but upon taking a smell on the rice, I instantly fell in love with it. This fried rice was infused with squid ink to make it pitch black. The squid ink gave ‘sea tang’ aroma to the dish and instantly turned the boring fried rice into intriguing dish.

squid ink riceI’ve been digging around the net to find the recipe, but only managed to find the Italian style rice (risotto) instead of the Asian wok fried rice. My fellow diners refused to taste my black rice, apparently they said they have no idea whether squid ink is safe or not. Squid ink is definitely edible and it has been used for coloring in pasta and rice in Spain and Italy. It was their loss since the rice was completely wonderful. It’s quite salty even though the chef admitted that he only added a few pinches of salt.

Squid ink is sold in the fish market and if you don’t have it there, try buying the ink for $0.72 in Amazon. I’d love to get my hand on squid ink fetuccini or spaghetti.

Taking a breather during your workout may be the thing you need to boost fat burning. Research has found that individuals who took 20 minutes break in 60 minutes of exercise experienced higher fat loss compared to other those who exercised continuously for 60 minutes.

The researchers asked seven healthy men to perform three separate trials. In the first trial, the men were asked to exercise continuously for 60 minutes. In the second trial, they were asked to rest for 20 minutes after exercising for 30 minutes with one hour recovery period. The men were asked to rest for 60 minutes on the third trial.

The researchers found that taking 20 minute breather during the exercise helped increase fat burning mechanism. Glycerol concentration (chemical which is released when body burns your stored fat) also increased significantly during last 15 minutes of exercise. In addition to it, the respondents also experienced greater fat breakdown in the recovery period.

Similar research has been done in the past by UNSW. Women who cycled vigorously for 8 seconds followed by 12 seconds light cycling burned more fat compared to women who cycled at regular pace for prolonged amount of time.

Read more about the research here.

People do stereotype others based on what they eat according to this psychology research by University of Toronto. If you happen to be eating fast food, people will stereotype you as less intelligent, less health conscious but also as easy going, fun and more sociable.

Healthy eaters are perceived otherwise as being more intelligent, more responsible but also less humorous and boring. In addition to that, the study also analyzed what makes women more feminine and what makes men more masculine.

In addition of being perceived as fun and sociable, healthy eaters are stereotyped to be more honest than their Big Mac munching counterparts according to this research as published by Canada.com.

“Another experiment found respondents thought a woman who ate a chicken sandwich and salad for lunch would be less likely to cheat at school than one who ate a burger and fries. However, respondents said they would rather socialize with the burger eater” ref

The study also found that women are stereotyped to be more feminine when they eat small portions. That’s why women who are eating with ‘desirable’ male often end up eating much smaller portion than usual.

It’s easy enough for women to be more feminine, just eat less and choose healthy foods and you will become more feminine. On the contrary, men who eat larger and unhealthy meals are often stereotyped as masculine.

The stereotype image which I have in mind is similar to this research. I perceived men who eat in small portion and picky about their food as ‘less manly’. Unconsciously I also eat smaller portion when I am dining with ‘desirable male’.

What about you? Do you have the same stereotype?

Working out during work hours may seem like a wishful thinking. That’s why some Japanese inventors created this stupid fitness phone. Unlike technologically advanced (but aesthetically backward) health conscious phone, the inventors decided that attaching a dumbbell into the phone would work.

Who cares if it would make you appear like a dumb person, as long as you can workout in your office cubicle. Attach this dumbbell phone and hang up your phone for every one minute for maximum result. That will give you more chance to lift the dumbbell phone repeatedly. Of course you will look silly and probably annoy hell a lot of people, but anything for that sexy biceps.

From SmackShopping

If you are in for a laugh, there’s a whole more useless products that you can see here.

Read more offbeat weight loss gadget and story.

Additional Note: This product is a part of chindogu. It is a Japanese art of invention in inventing everyday’s gadget which is not entirely useless but most of the time it’s plain stupid. One of the key factors that makes stupid product a chindogu is, the product needs to be real and exist (apparently it also needs to be useless and plain stupid).

Smokers beware. In addition to lung cancer, it appears that cigarette smoking alters your food taste sensitivity sensor and causes you to crave for starchy food.

A research done by Monell Chemical Senses Center found that women smokers were less sensitive to sweet taste compared to non smokers. Additionally, the researchers concluded that cigarette smoking caused smokers to crave for high fat and starchy foods. The more they smoke, the more they crave.

"We found that food cravings were associated with nicotine dependence ... the more intense the cravings for cigarettes, the more frequent the cravings for foods high in fat and carbohydrates"(ref)

The researchers studied two groups of women, smokers and never-smoker. Some of the participants had a family history of alcoholism.

The research finding stated nicotine dependence and craving was related. The more cigarettes you crave the more high fat and high starchy foods that you crave. In addition to craving, sensory buds on smokers were proven to be duller. Whether this is a good thing or bad thing in relation with weight gain, the researchers didn’t clearly state. Well, I guess if you have difficulty in recognizing sweet taste, then you would need to eat really strong sweet stuffs in order to satisfy your sweet teeth.

In regard of alcoholism history, those with family alcoholism history (both smokers and never smokers) craved more sweet foods and had stronger preference over sweet foods compared to those with no family alcoholism history.

Another reason to quit smoking?

Read the research detail here, news via Yahoo.

Men’s Health has gathered a list of the dirtiest food. Some of the results are no brainer, while some of them are surprising.

9. Oyster
I have never missed eating oyster every time I visit an international seafood restaurant. Raw oysters taste great and they are addictive (and pricey!). Apparently raw oysters are often contaminated with norovirus and bacteria. Cheaper but similar alternative for me is to eat escargot (not sea food but at least it has shell).

8. Cold ham
It’s not the meat which is dirty, it’s the slicer. Ham slicer is often infected with listeria and the bacteria can still grow even though the ham is stored on refrigerator. The article suggested us to move the ham into another package and buy a week stock only.

7. Packaged Salad
They are often contaminated with E Coli according to the magazine. Never mind, they never sell any pre packaged salad here. And fresh salad tastes much nicer I believe.

6. Peach
Ouch, so peach is considered the dirtiest food. They taste nice and they are very expensive here since it has to be shipped from the other half of the globe. It’s considered dangerous since many producers use a lot of chemicals to clear the peach from blemish.

cantaloupe melon5. Cantaloupe Melon
Do you wash the cantaloupe’s skin before you eat it? I don’t. I don’t eat the skin therefore I just slice it directly. According to the magazine my habit makes cantaloupe become one of the dirtiest food. Cantaloupe skin is often infested with bacteria, and if you cut directly to the center then the bacteria will be transferred into the rind also. Be sure to wash the fruit with soapy water before you consume it.

4. Chicken
40% of the chicken sample they tested is loaded with E Coli. Well improperly cooked chicken is also a serious hazard here due to the bird flu outbreak recently.

3. Ground beef and ground turkey
Heavy processing makes ground beef an ideal spot for E Coli. One from four samples of Ground Turkey also contains bacteria according to the magazine. Make sure you cook them properly.

2. Egg
Raw egg is associated with 600,000 cases of food poisoning each year and more than 300 deaths according to the magazine. Raw egg is a major ingredient of popular local drink here. It is composed of milk, ginger, honey and raw egg. Many bodybuilders and athletes are also big fans of raw egg. Be sure to cook egg properly before you consume it.

1. Spring Onion
Uncooked spring onion is the perfect place for bacteria breeding according to the magazine; this nifty onion is also linked with Hepatitis A. This onion is often served raw with spring roll here. Spring onions are also widely used in soup but the thing is, they usually stay in top and not properly cooked.

Via Netscape

Eating and exercising have always been closely linked. There are many questions which arose from this topic such as how long do you have to wait after a meal prior a workout session or how soon should you eat after a workout session? What types of food that we should eat after exercise? Does exercise trigger hunger and increase food consumption?

Eating before exercise:

Eating before exercising is important as it will give your body the needed fuel to do your workout session. But you should pay attention to the type of food, the amount of time needed to digest the food and the type of exercise that you will be doing.

What food?

Food which is high in fat will stay longer in your stomach. It can make your stomach uncomfortable during the exercise (cramping). Carbohydrate on the other hand provides instant energy to your body. Complex carbohydrates such as banana, whole grain bread, pasta and oatmeal can boost your energy level. Study published in Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine (quoted from MSNBC) even encourages caffeine consumption to enhance your work out.

How long do you have to wait?

While it varies from person to person, GoAskAlice has written a neat general guideline about this.

Less than 1 hour for 200 calories meal or lower
1 – 2 hours for liquid meal
2- 3 hours for 400 calories meal
3 – 4 hours for meals over 500 calories

Type of exercise:

The type of exercise that you will be doing also plays an important role. If you are going to do a light exercise such as brisk walking then you can getaway by eating soon before your workout time. If you are going to do intense exercise then wait longer.

During the exercise:

If your workout is a long and tiring one, eating a piece of fruit or drinking isotonic drink during the exercise can boost your energy temporarily. However, even water is usually adequate in keeping your body replenished. Don’t wait until you are thirsty before you drink since thirst may be a sign for dehydration. If you are sweating lot then compensate by drinking water. Don’t just rely on thirst.

After the exercise:

Some people have reported that exercise make them feel hungry that they want to eat even more food thus negating the effect of exercising. While this is true, people who exercise still end up with negative calorie balance. A study quoted by BBC examined two groups of people and gave them the same breakfast.

The first group was asked to exercise for half an hour while the second group did nothing. Then few hours later both groups were asked to dine.

The group who exercised consumed more calories than the group who sat idly but when the calories burned from exercising was taken into account, the group who exercised still ended up with negative calories balance.

Ideally you should eat within 1 hour or 2 hours after your workout; this is when your body absorbs the nutrients most efficiently and muscles absorb nutrients to recover. Protein and carbs are commonly consumed after workout. For weight loss purpose, try to lower your carbs intake but don't banish it completely as it's also important for our body.

Monster Sized Soda

Many fast food companies are making a big hit by offering jumbo sized beverages which sell pretty well.

Have we become thirstier than before? Are we accustomed to 'supersize' our drinks so that we get more value for our money? Fast food companies such as McDonalds and Burger King are selling 42 ounces beverages which contain more than 1 liter of soft drink in a glass.

I can’t imagine finishing it in a day, let alone in one meal. Here are some of the ‘hugest’ sized drinks available out there for you who want to gulp tons of calories without eating any food:

1. Hugo Soda

McDonald’s is kicking this item with a sweet deal that most people didn’t want to miss. This 42 ounces drink was available at $0.89 per glass on summer (no idea whether you can still get this at the same price). That’s a steal! This giant contains 410 calories and that’s not including all the meals and fries that people are having with this drink. I was very astonished at this fact, since the biggest cola served here at McD is ‘just’ 400ml which is just one third from the Hugo sized one.

2. Venti sized Starbucks

This big caffeine powerhouse contains 760ml of coffee which is around 300ml lesser than the grande version. And it’s more than just a caffeine powerhouse; it’s also a calorie powerhouse. Peppermint Mocha Venti with whipped cream can hold as much as 800 calories! (CC) (image from Seed of Growth).

3. 7-Eleven 64 ounces soda

This 64 ounces giant is equal to 1.9 liters! Personally I found this fact is shocking. The biggest soda here is only 1.4 liters ($2) and it will last for more than a week since it comes in resealable package. This behemoth is priced around $1.8 which is very cheap in my opinion.

That’s not all though, refill will cost you measly $1. Not surprisingly, they contain almost twice calories compared to the 42 ounces cup. This behemoth piece has already been sold for more than a decade.

celebrities weighing scaleNumbers can be discouraging. Especially when the number on your weight scale shows that you ate too much during the weekend. That’s why some offbeat folks decided that the world needs a revolutionary weighing scale that doesn’t display number as weighing measure.

Celebrity Weighing Scale compares your weight to famous figures in humankind such as Baby Jesus, Hulk Hogan, Karate Kid, Chuck Norris and many more.

While it still hurts if it shows that you have identical weight with King Kong, at least you can brag to your friends that you have identical weight to world’s richest ape.

That’s not all though, the inventor of this weight scale also invents another version of this weighing scale which uses animal as weight measurement tool.

animal weighing scaleThe animal scale uses various animals such as duck, pig, armadillo, bear and many more. While it also hurts if it shows that your weight is comparable to cow at least it’s a little bit more comforting to see animal picture rather than reading the word King Kong.

These scales are sold by Angry Associates for €35 plus shipping. We’ll let it up to you to choose between animals and celebrities, at least they are less of an insult than number!

Buy the weighing scale at Angry Associates.
Via Gizmodo by way of Diet Blog

More offbeat diet stories

Do you prefer death over exercising? If you do, you are not alone. A survey done by British Heart Foundation has found that six out of ten people in UK would prefer a short life full of beer and happiness instead of a longer life full of exercises and healthy food.

These people know that they are not going to live forever and they plan to get the most out of their life. Sadly, the survey also found that only one third from UK adults do moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day.

The ever demanding career environment has literally stolen plenty of times for exercising. Combined with the availability of fast food chains and sedentary lifestyle, the effect is deadly.

These 6 out of 10 people know that they will be very miserable if they have to live a healthy life far from many things that they love, so they prefer to ‘live life to the fullest’. Sadly most often they die early.

While the word ‘exercise’ is associated with a long strenuous workout at gym, surprisingly it takes much less than that to make your life last longer. Dr. Mike Knapton, director from British Heart Foundation, has said to Daily Mail that even simple activity such as 30 minutes brisk walking, few stairs climbing and house cleaning are already enough to keep our heart in shape.

Surprisingly it’s not as much as I have ever imagined. Sure for some people 30 minutes a day may be hard to squeeze, but surely it’s not impossible. As for myself, I want to live my life to the fullest in my own way.

Sure I may be having much less ‘fun food and drink’ but at least I’ll be happy since I know I am doing something which I want to do. What are your thoughts? Is it hard for you to start a healthier lifestyle and squeeze a little more room for moderate activities?

More on this: The Observer

In an essence, weight loss is simple. In order to experience healthy weight loss, you need to maximize your calories output while reducing your calories input in healthy manner. However, things seldom go as planned, there are a lot of things that can cause your diet to crash, from simple thing such as lacking willpower to utterly complex thing such as hidden calories. Here are five habits which may disrupt or fail your diet over time:

1. Not having well stocked pantry

One of the healthiest meals that you can have is the one that you cook yourself. Even if it's a simple salad, you won't be able to cook one if you don't have the necessary basic ingredients. Our pantry often becomes the deciding factor whether we will bother to cook the meals ourselves or to dine outside. Here is a list of basic ingredients that you should have in your pantry.

2. Not having enough sleep

Having enough rest and sleep should your top priority whether you are in weight loss diet or not. A research suggested that person who sleep less than 4 hours is 73% more obese than those who sleeps between 7 to 9 hours. On top of that, sleep can also relieve your body tension and stress. In order to have a quality life, having enough rest is essential.

3. Weighing yourself everyday

Set up a weekly goal rather than a daily goal. Weighing yourself everyday will only make you more and more anxious since our body weight is fluctuating according to many factors. Do yourself a favor and weigh yourself weekly or biweekly.

4. Not having a meal plan

While having a meal plan doesn't sound like a happy plan, you should really write your own daily meal plan if you are serious about losing weight. Measure and plan what you will eat throughout the week. Your meal plan should be feasible and easy enough to get so that there's a less chance that you will violate it. A good meal plan will also take into account unexpected meals. Try to make room for unexpected meals that you will have at restaurant and how you will cope with it.

5. Thinking everything will go as planned

In fact it rarely goes as planned. You will need to prepare for these and set up a reasonable and feasible long term goal for yourself. More importantly, you should take time and find out why you want to do this diet. Focus and remember your purpose and don't be dismayed if things don't go as well as planned.

Drinking water won’t have any effect in curbing your appetite, a research from Penn State unveiled. Sure, your body needs water in order to perform its metabolism but you won’t get skinny by water, the research suggested.

24 lean women were asked to participate in this research and were asked to spend one day per week for four weeks. The researchers analyzed the effects of these three types of meals to these women. The meals were chicken rice casserole, chicken soup and chicken rice casserole served with a glass of water.

The research result suggested that drinking water didn’t have any significant effect on calories intake while consuming dish with high water content did lower calories intake. Women who ate the chicken soup consumed 100 fewer calories compared to women who ate chicken casserole or chicken casserole with a glass of water.

Although water doesn’t really trim the fat down, but you should still consume a large number of it. In fact, my grandmother always forced me to drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday. During her childhood, medicine was scarce and when she got sick, she was forced to drink a lot of water so that she could heal faster.

But you should be wary of your water intake. Soda and even concentrated juices are packed with additional calories and sugar which may make you even thirstier. As a result you may drink more than you ought to thus packing more additional calories. Plain water is definitely the most ideal choice out there for your fluid intake. The trick of getting the habit of drinking water is to get used to it. Always bring bottled water and consume it whenever you feel thirsty.

Alternatively, if you believe about anything and don't mind spending a lot of money for fabled products, you can try this bottled diet water which promises you a trimmer waist line just by drinking. Of course it comes with a hefty price tag.

Related research: Puffy cereal makes you fuller.

It always amazes me on how people (especially celebrities) are willing to walk off the beaten path to embark on a quirky diet. Many celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are wolfing on jars and jars of baby food as a resort to maintain their figure!

The idea of baby food diet is to replace a part of your daily meals with baby food. Imagine having to choose between liquidized beef and the real thing, I’ll choose the real thing anytime. Followers of this diet may also replace their snacks with baby food to fend off unhealthy snacking habit.

Isn’t baby food supposed to make baby gain weight and become tougher? It’s often high in protein and carbs therefore it can even put on some weight upon the dieter if consumed excessively. Not to mention that babies and adults have different calories requirement. Adults may have to consume a few jars in order to feel satiated.

And this idea is just bizarre, I just can’t figure out why adult can stand to eat baby food every single day. For me the concoction looks and smells yucky (okay I can possibly stand on the fruit jar but not on the beef jar). I also begin to ponder, what’s the purpose of having teeth if you don’t use it for chewing?

Style guru, Mark Hayes, shared his example of a baby food diet plan on this website:

Breakfast: Porridge pudding or mashed banana.
Snack: Water or juice
Lunch: Chicken country vegetables or other fish jar.
Dinner: Liquidised chicken and potato.
Drank 2 litres of water a day.

An advised normal diet to aid weight-loss:

Breakfast: Porridge with banana
Snack: Protein shake
Lunch: Salad and sandwich with wholemeal bread
Dinner: Thai green curry with brown rice
Has six small meals a day

Some people may think that they aren’t that bad but then they must be missing the feeling of chewing food at the end of the day. Eating them occasionally is one thing but eating them as a routine is way too overboard for me. Well, good luck to Aniston and other people who do this baby food fad I am not jumping to the bandwagon. What about you? Do you enjoy eating baby food?

Have you ever had a situation where you have a obese friend who doesn’t really care about her weight, let alone her health? You want to tell her that she needs to really start taking care of her health unless she plans to have heart attack, but you just can’t find the way to tell it without hurting her feeling.

Or perhaps are you the type of person who knows that you need to diet but are just too lazy to start it? The new chair invention by Japanese scientists may be just the thing you need.

What does a cute glowing chair has to do with weight loss you ask? Let’s say that this chair will assign you a color based on several factors including your weight.

The inventors described this chair as an ‘interactive’ chair. It can interact with various objects including people who sit on it and assign color accordingly.

"For example, imagine that a heavy person sat on the sofa. The sofa would change its colour from white to red, as if the blood pressure was rising high," says Kanaya.”

So if you want to tell your fat little friend that she needs to start eating healthily, then just invite her to sit together on this chair set and watch the color changes. Of course this chair won’t save you from having to explain why her chair is flashing in red color.

This chair will do well as your personal diet reminder. Since you will probably need to pay at least $3000 for this chair set, then you would actually love this chair so much that you will sit on it whenever you can.

And if you weight too much, the chair will continuously display a red color, then you will be pissed off since you just waste $3000 on a chair which is supposed to change color but just refuses to do so. Since you don’t want your $3000 to be wasted, then you will probably start working out in hope that the next time you sit on your $3000 chair, it will finally change color and finally makes your investment breaks even.

From Gizmodo, ABC and Inventor Spot.

sashimi salmon saladSashimi (fresh raw seafood sliced thin) definitely falls within the healthy category of a food. Regular consumption of sashimi topped with healthy living style has been long touted as Japanese’s secret of longevity. The most common seafood which is used for sashimi is salmon.

Raw salmon has a fine orange-ish color which enthralls eye and can even urge the ‘raw food despiser’ to try it. That was also the case with me. In fact my early encounter with raw fish was in form of salad!

When the orange raw salmon is combined with leafy green, dripping wet fresh salad, the result is a healthy mouth watering colorful salad. I tried to make the same salad on my own and to my delight, it only took a while to prepare and the result was great, here’s the recipe:

The trick here is to get the fresh fishes. If the fish isn’t fresh then the dish will be ruined. Try contacting your favorite grocery to find out when they usually receive the fish from the port. The beauty of this dish is, you can experiment with various fresh vegetables and the result will usually turn out to be ok as long as you have the fresh fish. In my trial, I even added cheese, carrot and Japanese ginger (gari). Make sure you cool most of the ingredients first, it tastes better when it’s chilled.

-150 gram of Fresh raw salmon (thinly sliced)
-150 gram of Fresh raw tuna (thinly sliced)
- 100 gram of Salad green (chopped)
- 50 gram of Cabbage (chopped)
- Various add-on (you can use tomato, boiled broccoli, cucumber, radish etc, in my case I use carrot, chunk of cheese, Japanese ginger and Japanese mushroom)

- 3 tablespoon of Virgin Olive oil
- 3 tablespoon of Salmon or flying fish roe
- 1/2 tablespoon of Sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice

Serving: 2

I don’t marinade the raw fish since personally I prefer eating them raw and bland.
1. Mix the olive and sesame oil in a bowl and mix all the vegetables and add on in the serving bowl
2. Put the raw fish on top of the vegetables, arrange neatly
3. Sprinkle the salad with the oil, mix well and splash it with lemon juice
4. Top the salad with the roe (put it neatly)

And that’s it. It takes a couple of minutes and the result is an elegant, healthy and colorful dish. You can serve this to your guest and few will think that it only take such a short time to prepare. Feel free to modify this salad to your preference.

What would you do if you know that your 15 years old daughter is on a starvation diet to shed off those ‘invisible’ pounds? If I was the parent then it means that I need to put extra effort in explaining the difference between being slim and being healthy, and I would probably have to spend hours arguing with my daughter too.

That’s the issue that many parents in UK are facing now. Approximately 1 from 3 British teenage girls is currently on starvation diet and insisting that they follow a healthy diet according to a recent story in Yahoo.

Research said that those teenage girls risk themselves on starvation diet in quest to become slim.

A national study shows 37% of girls aged 13-18 admit to eating less than 1200 calories a day in a bid to slim, 40% less than they need.
And while fewer boys diet, almost a quarter admit to limiting themselves to fewer than 800 calories

800 calories are really way too low for teenage girls who still need tons of nutrition to grow. 800 calories a day means that those girls are on starvation crash diet for fast weight loss result.

I don’t want to sound like sour grapes but in my opinion this is the result of many beauty industries marketing campaign which always feature woman as being beautiful and slender. As a result more and more teenage girls seem to think that if they are not beautiful and slender then they are not woman.

I like the “Dove Onslaught” campaign which bears the tag line: “talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does.” Although I don’t believe in Dove’s pure motive to educate young girls (they exist in the beauty industry too), but I like the message which is sent through the campaign.

Parents need to develop a stronger relationship with their daughter so that at least their influence can fend off the beauty industry influence.

via Yahoo

Weight loss business has attracted many companies to invest and market their products aggressively through the use of advertisement. While the advertisements may be exaggerated, some of them are really funny and creative that they caught my attention at once. These four ads are great attention grabber that deliver the product message clearly. Here are four funniest, catchy weight loss ads that I found in Ads of the World. (Hint: Click the picture to enlarge it, use the back button to return to the page)

1. Yogurt Bikini

This advertisement for low fat frozen yogurt uses an unorthodox media for a good effect. It's a surefire attention grabber and yield an honest right on the spot message. "Good men are rare, stay on shape" "Believe me, it's not the bikini that men are looking at". Nuff said :).

2. Weight Watcher Boomerang

Instead of focusing on 'how much can you lose' like other advertisement, this ads brings a different message which focuses on keeping the fat off. The use of boomerang as a symbol is unique and simple.

3. Diet Pepsi and Cat

Easy enough to understand. The cat suddenly becomes thin as a result of drinking diet Pepsi. Instead of showing an image of lean or thin cat (which probably turns people off), it cleverly just shows a cat which can fit into a mouse hole.

4. Diet Coke Curvy Body

This ads is even simpler than all of the ads listed above, it uses the product directly as the medium and cleverly snippets a part of the bottle to give a message "No calories, all curves".

What do you think? Which one is the best among these ads and which one is the worst?

Literally it’s completely okay to occasionally indulge yourself with some ‘sinful’ foods when you are on a diet. In fact, by indulging yourself with such food, you stand a higher chance to succeed in your diet since you will be less likely to break it on a binge ‘sinful’ eating.

But some foods are just way too sinful to be consumed even in moderation, so here are four foods which are very unhealthy yet doesn’t involve any bugs, snakes or monkey brain.

1. Poutine

This dish is a popular dish in Canada. In a nutshell, it consists of deep fried fries served with fresh cheese curds and topped with thick piping hot gravy sauce. One serving of Poutine by Harvey (fast food joint) contains approximately over 600 calories with half of them come from fat (ref: Calories Count).

And if we look at the ingredients, that completely makes sense! Cheese, deep fried potato and liberal amount of gravy. Not to mention that you are likely to eat a second helping.

Read a Poutine recipe by Janet.

2. Deep Fried Mars Bar

If processed sugar sounds bad to your health, what if it’s combined with a batter and drenched in a hot oil to make an oily dish. This Mars Bar was initialy served at Chip Shop in Scotland according to Wikipedia (ref). (although I have seen people selling it occasionally in a food bazaar here).

It consists of a frozen mars bar, covered in a batter and deep fried until the inside has melted. Literally you can use other chocolate bar similar to Mars bar. If this doesn’t sound ‘sinful’ enough

Mars Bar
Baking soda (just half a teaspoon)
All purpose Flour (a cup)
One beaten Egg
A can of beer (you probably won’t need to use them all)

Mix the flour and the baking soda while continually pour the beer and whisking the concoction slowly. Stop adding the beer when the batter is thick enough, then add the egg and whisk the batter again. Dip the Mars Bar and then fry it until it’s brown.

One mars bar contains approximately 234 calories (tips: pretend that the oil and the beer batter don’t add additional calories, you will feel less guilty). If you are really in for a kick then try serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

3. Chocolate Pork

This weird dish originated from Ukraine (ref). It’s made from, well, pork and chocolate. Since chocolate is a comfort food, adding the pork’s fat will transform it into a euphoria inducing food.

I don’t know how many calories that this dish contains. Just imagine eating a whole pork fat covered in sweet glazy chocolate at once! It’s salty on the inside but sweet on the outside, said one of the diner as quoted by BBC.

Recipe from BBC:
* Cut off a section of pork fat (but avoid the rind unless you are really adventurous.)
*Carve the meat into a shape of your choice.
* Cover in melted chocolate and store in the freezer.
* Once the chocolate has set, eat and enjoy.

4. Cheese Doughnut Burger

Since American think that pork fat is way too unhealthy, the folks from Gateway Grizzlies baseball team comes up with an feeble idea to make a healthier version of such dish. This burger is just your usual cheeseburger with one catch, it uses sweet glazed donut as the hamburger bun!

It contains whooping 1000 calories according to CBS and it tastes pretty good. So next time you are hosting a BBQ party, you know what to serve right?

Two sweet glazed donuts
Meat of your choice
A slice of cheddar cheese
Sauce (BBQ, gravy, mustard etc)

So those are four foods what you may consider to consume regularly if the idea of heart attack doesn’t trigger any unpleasant feeling on you.

It's Friday and it's the time that we get some fun by reading the next bizarre diet products.

Do you know that you can literally keep your body slender while pushing down your dental cost at the same time?

A miracle diet product called “Diet Aid Toothpaste” claims to do that for you. In addition to having shiny white teeth (and three ounces of confidence due to your fresh minty breath), you can also lose weight at the same time just by brushing your teeth!

The Diet Aid Toothpaste is toothpaste made from chromium which can reduce your blood sugar level, regulate insulin thus suppressing your appetite.

If you look at the instruction listed at their website, they recommend you to brush your teeth up to FIVE TIMES a day! So whenever you feel like eating you can just brush your teeth and problem’s solved!

A blogger who had tried the toothpaste also said that you are required to brush your tongue, roof of your mouth and your side cheeks for at least TWO MINUTES (bear in mind that you are supposed to brush your teeth whenever you want to snack).

I may be the only one who feel that it hurts a lot to brush your roof of mouth and cheek, I can’t imagine how I would feel if I have to do it for two minutes five times a day.

According to a reviewer on Daily Mail, the Diet Aid Toothpaste claims to be able to trim down 500 calories a day which in turn will reduce your weight by 1 pound per week.

This Diet Aid Toothpaste is priced at £5.99 (around $12) which is expensive! Of course there’s one advantage that you can get by brushing your teeth five times a day using this toothpaste, you can at least be assured that your breath will smell very nice!

I am skeptical to this diet toothpaste. I am sure you will get the same result if you use less ‘magical’ toothpaste such as the toothpaste that you use currently.

If you brush your teeth straight away after you eat then you can literally consume less food. If your teeth are clean and squeaky, then the least thing you want to do is to ‘spoil’ your recently brushed teeth with a bag of chocolate. Not to mention that not all foods taste nice when your mouth is filled with mint fragrance from your toothpaste.

Do this five times a day (provided that you have the time, chance and more importantly, patience) and I am sure you will get result after several months.

PS: Is it just me but why many miracle diet websites are poorly designed, take a look at Diet Fork and this diet aid tooth paste website.

Read about strange diet and gadget here.

We tend to associate people who are infected with serious disease to be thin or at least not obese. According to recent news published in Yahoo, it’s actually the opposite which becomes a norm lately. The news said that almost two thirds of HIV patients are currently struggling with obesity. This news made me think about the effect of obesity toward those who already have immunity deficiency disease. Obesity is linked with various diseases which they could have prevented in the first place.

The researchers studied 663 patients with HIV and found that 63% of them were overweight or obese. The good news was, nobody was thin enough to be called wasted (which was the common thing to happen to HIV patients 20 years ago).

This result came as a surprise since the respondents were from military that tend to be more health conscious than other.

"These folks are in more ways than not becoming like everyone else. If they're overeating, they're going to get fat," said Dr. Michael Saag, director of the AIDS Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who had no role in the study."

Two decades ago, AIDS patients were encouraged to eat a lot of food in order to prevent wasting. But with the presence of modern drug that keep the immunity deficiency virus at bay, patients become healthier in the first place therefore they are not exposed to wasting as much as their predecessors. This comes with a price though, weight gain.

Obesity itself has been linked with various heart problems, cholesterol and risk of diabetes. And it’d be really distressing if they end up surviving HIV but die on the diseases caused by obesity which actually can be prevented.

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These days, it seems like everything is free of some unhealthy ingredient. Sugar-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free; every wants to buy a product that is free of that nagging aspect in their diet.

Check out the products at your local grocery store. You’ll probably find that everything is free of something. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean these kinds of products don’t come at a price.

Now, nobody disagrees that cutting down on some of the unhealthy ingredients in your diet is a bad idea. Still, there is almost no aspect that you can cut out of your diet completely. Almost everything we consume in our diet is useful to our bodies, even necessary, in moderation.

Take cholesterol for instance. Cholesterol is a fatty material that appears in many areas of the body: cell walls, blood, most bodily tissue, etc. Cholesterol usually enters the body through foods that are high in saturated fat.

Cholesterol is a necessary component for certain parts of the body to function, particularly for the membranes of cell walls. Ironically, cholesterol in healthy amounts also helps the body absorb the fat contained in the intestines. Unfortunately, many people maintain diets that are far too high in cholesterol.

When people consume too much cholesterol, their body can no longer use all the cholesterol effectively. Cholesterol gets stuck in the body, as it is difficult to metabolize, just like fat. This can cause injury to blood vessels which is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.

Fortunately, there is a bad kind of cholesterol and good a good kind of cholesterol that can be differentiated. The bad kind is called a low density liboprotein (LDL). This is the form that causes cholesterol to stay present in the blood, which increases the risk of heart disease. The good kind of cholesterol is called high density liboprotein (HDL), and helps bring cholesterol back to the liver where it can be eliminated.

Before you make a decision to purchase only products that are cholesterol-free, make sure you remember that some cholesterol, the right cholesterol, is good for your body. It will build up and maintain cell walls, is used to produce many of the natural hormones in the body, helps the body digest food efficiently, and is a key component of nerve and brain tissue.

In addition to that, About.com has an excellent list on things that can help increase your good cholesterol level, such as:
1. Stop smoking
2. Eat more fiber. It can be gained from nuts such as almond or various vegetables.
3. Reduce your alcohol consumption. (Read on my weekend drinking tips)

Beside taste and hunger level, food’s appearance plays a great deal in determining how much that you will eat. There’s a reason why meals at fine dining restaurant are always presented chicly. It’s because we tend to enjoy the food more when the food is presented beautifully. We don’t eat for the sake of our stomach solely; we also eat for our eyes. And sometimes, it’s the eyes which decide how much we eat instead of the stomach. So here are four visual factors which can affect our appetite.

1. Big Plate or Container

When we are given a plate and asked to take whatever food that we like, then we tend to fill the plate. Similarly, people tend to eat more when they are given a bigger container without realizing that they consume more than they usually do. People tend to count calories based on their eyes instead of their stomach.

A study published in Obesity Research asked people to eat their meal until they are full and then someday they were asked to eat blindfolded and they ate 22% less food without feeling less hungry. And no, I am not going to suggest that you eat while being blindfolded but I’ll suggest you to use medium or small sized plates if you haven’t used them.

2. No end signal

We tend to eat and eat until something tells us to stop. And the stop signal is often given by the package of our snacks instead of our stomach. Before we hit the bottom of the bag, we tend not to stop our eating.

In a research from Food and Brand Lab in Cornell University, the researchers carefully prepare two packages of crackers to be given to an entire class. One package consisted of one large bag containing 44 crackers while the other package contained four small bags each contained 11 crackers. The students who were given the large bags consumed 50% more than the one which were given the four small bags. Try to pour your snacks on a plate or bowl which you can measure and see easily and carefully store the leftover for future consumption.

By using bowl or plate, you can determine how much that you will eat and when that you will stop instead of letting the size of the packages decide it.

3. More Colors equals to more consumption

We like colorful food. It’s pleasant to both eye and our brain although they may not taste the same. That’s the reason also why people bother to color chocolate candies with various vivid colors although they don’t taste really different. Another research by Cornell University found that people ate more when they were given more varieties. They gave two groups of people two bowl of candies; the first one contained four colors while the other one contained six colors. The second group with more varieties of candies ate more candies.

4. Leftover

Beside the image of a clean plate after a meal, there’s one more thing which can deter us from overeating. It’s the leftover food. Study done by Cornell University asked two groups of people to eat chicken wings. The first group had the leftover bone stacked in the table while the second group had the leftover thrashed away immediately. As a result the first group ate 27% less. I guess stashing dirty plates may do the trick too if you have no objection whatsoever too uncleanness.

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