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EAT THIS NOT THAT

Ride healthier, eat at the same places 

It's a beautiful weekend and I'm riding down the road about noon. My hunger starts to beckon and I pull off at the next greasy spoon or fast food stand. I place my order and begin to eat copious amounts of mayo or cream sauces, a 1/3 pound burger and a steady stream of French fries. As I ride away it doesn't occur to me I've already eaten about 120% of my daily recommended intake of fats and more than 90% of the recommended carbohydrates and calories for the day.

Next thing I know I'm standing in the book store when this cute little oversized pocket book stares over at me. Eat This Not That. I open it up and begin to thumb through the pages. I can't put it down. The book begins with suggested orders you can place at more than 50 national food chains ranging from McDonald's and Burger King to Red Lobster and Chili's. You'll recognize a lot of them as you page through. Each page shows you how to indentify the unhealthy dishes at each restaurant and how to get around on the menu to get a more substantially healthy meal. This first section of the book is worth the cover price.

Author David Zinczenko, the editor in chief of Men's Health, didn't set out to make a diet book with Eat This Not That. Instead he wanted to reveal the dark side as well as the healthier side of eating out. It works. For the second section of the book, Zinczenko goes through typical generic menus and discusses the pros and cons of various food items. Pizza, chicken, various sandwiches, Chinese food offerings and more are covered. His point is the better you understand what is in the food you are eating the better choices you can make when you sit down at the table.

In part three, Zinczenko takes a stab at holiday dinners. For Thanksgiving, he covers ground about white turkey meat versus dark meat, leaner portions of cranberry and starches and finally pumpkin verses pecan pie; which is better and why.

Certain tones are underlying throughout the book. Keep meat portions down to the size of a deck of cards per meal. Sub mustard and ketchup for mayo and fatty cream sauces. Reduce carb intake and work toward eating more complex carbs such as whole wheat grains over items made with enriched white flours. You may have heard these before but reading about them again in the context that Zinczenko comes at them is more convincing than the monthly newsletter from your HMO.

The forth section of the book deals with store-bought items like yogurt, crackers, breads, bacon, cream cheese and hundreds of other items. Zinczenko gives you the tools to be a better shopper by providing thousands of tips to help you better understand the pros and cons of each item. Two tablespoons of whipped cream cheese has about half the calories of regular brick style cream cheese. Turkey bacon has the same amount of fat and calories as regular bacon, but comes with an additional 100 mg of sodium. Not such a great alternative after all.

Zinczenko closes the book with comparisons on beverages. Juices, designer coffee drinks, energy drinks, beer, wine, cocktails and pop all get a going over.

In the end it makes my next ride a better one as I play with the variations on my past eating habits, learn how to avoid blood sugar crashes and tip a pound or two off the scale every month as a result. I still eat at greasy spoons and burger stands, only now I do it smarter.


EAT THIS NORTHWEST!

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As you might imagine, we've added Eat This Not That to the mix in the Sound RIDER! online store. You can buy it at lots of bookstores, but we want you to buy it from us . To sweeten the deal you'll get a directory of 35 great places to eat in the Northwest when you buy the book. Click here for more details.


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