I received the following question via email:

I was at the gym this past weekend and on the TV was Hungry Girl doing her cooking show.  I am a HUGE fan of the IDEA behind Hungry Girl, but once you really take a look at some of her recipes, you will find that there is a whole bunch of CRAP in them (egg beaters, fat free half and half !?!?! sugar substitutes etc.) which all made me think…..WHAT WOULD LAUREN WATCH if she were running on the treadmill right now and she wanted to watch a cooking show?
This is a great topic and I love that you are exercising while watching cooking shows.  I can’t say I do the same but have four cooking/food TV shows that I watch. I enjoy Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa as her recipes are the ones I go back to time and time again. They always work and work  particularly well for families and groups. You have to pick and choose though. One day Ina can be making her Lemon Chicken Breasts (one of my staple recipes) and the next day there’s two sticks of butter getting tossed into the food processor (those aren’t Foodtrainers-friendly). 
I am also a Giada fan and DVR Giada at Home. I believe the show is filmed in Malibu. If it’s not it’s another incredible beautiful California oceanside location. The photography is so appealing. I love Giada’s philosophy, learn a lot from watching her cook but don’t always feel her recipes deliver (although this tilapia was a recent keeper).  I have noticed that both my husband and sons enjoy Giada when I am watching (I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that one).

The show that probably comes closest to my food and nutrition philosophy is Ellie Krieger’s 

Healthy Appetite. Ellie is an RD and her shows are chock full of nutrition information. Ellie is always looking for a way to add flavor without adding calories and to ensures her recipes pack a nutritional punch. I know some friends who don’t love Ellie’s show or manner and I would encourage you to try her cookbooks in that case.

My favorite food TV show isn’t necessarily healthy. I actually thought of it when I read a recent article entitled “Do Cooking Shows Make you Fat”?  The show is called The Best Thing I Ever Ate. On each episode food personalities (there is now such a thing) gush on any given topic from “foods in a bowl” to “snack foods”. This is food foreplay. It makes my mouth literally water and if you could “click to order” the food discussed I probably would. I was sick in bed watching one episode and went downstairs to Google McClure’s pickles.  I do think food and cooking shows can increase your appetite. This show definitely turns me into a “hungry girl”.
What are your favorite food TV shows? Do you cook what you see being prepared? Does it change your eating in any way? Does it make you hungry?
Congratulations to Sam (Mom at the Barre) for winning our Purely Elizabeth Giveaway.


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