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Movie Foods

5 Things I've Learned About Food and Fitness at the Movies

By Joe Wilkes
From the Million Dollar Body Club - Join Today and Workout to Win!

For most of us, movies are a pleasant diversion for a couple of hours when we could be working out. While we're pretty sure doing squats and lunges at your local cineplex will have the ushers showing you to your car, your afternoon matinee isn't a total waste of time. In fact, the movies have taught us a lot of lessons, some good, some bad, and some just plain wrong, but all food for thought. Here are five things I've learned about food and fitness from films.

  1. shakeProtein, good. Raw eggs . . . ? In Rocky, everyone remembers the iconic scene when Rocky cracks a few eggs into a glass and sucks them down before running out of the apartment to get in a few rounds with some hanging sides of beef. Some people see an underdog fighting to the top; I see salmonella, E. coli, and an opportunity to whistle-blow to the USDA. Eggs are a great source of protein, this is true. One large egg only has 71 calories and is packed with 6 grams of protein and no carbs. However, it is also packed with 5 grams of fat, 2 of which are saturated (the bad kind) and 210 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 percent of the government's recommended daily allowance. If you take the yolks out, you lose all the cholesterol, all the fat, and still get 4 grams of protein per egg white. You can even buy them pre-separated, if like Rocky, you're not someone with a lot of time to hang out in the kitchen. But you should take the time to at least microwave your egg whites, as raw eggs are a pretty good delivery system for salmonella. Combine that with the excellent chance of getting E. coli from the raw meat workout, and Rocky's workout routine would have likely been followed by four miserable days on the toilet. Protein, good. Raw eggs, bad. And if you're looking to give your morning smoothie an extra boost, consider using a scoop or two of a quality protein powder instead.
  2. spinachCanned spinach may cause gigantism in your forearms. You're out for a walk with your gangly, toothpick-thin girlfriend, and the next thing you know some guy twice your size is trying to make time with her. What do you do, hot shot, what do you do? If you're Popeye the Sailor, the solution usually involves acts of horrific violence fueled by a megadose of canned spinach. Popeye's rage, by itself, gives him enough strength to open a couple of cans of spinach by merely squeezing them until the tops shoot off; and once he eats the spinach, it's nighty-night time for Bluto. But what if the store was out of canned spinach? Would frozen spinach fuel the fisticuffs as effectively? And what about fresh? There's rarely time during a wharf fight to throw a salad together, but would it even be worth the effort? The good news is all three forms of spinach are highly nutritious. You can get most of your vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as a lot of calcium, iron, and fiber. Canned or frozen spinach also has the benefit of being already cooked, so your chances of getting E. coli, as in recent scares, are remote. The only real downside to canned spinach is some brands add quite a bit of salt, but if you check the labels, there are plenty of low-sodium brands available. And there appears to be no evidence that too much spinach will cause your forearms to become grossly misshapen, so eat up!
  3. Chalene KickingHousehold chores can be martial arts. Who wasn't inspired by Daniel-san in The Karate Kid? After a few weeks of painting Mr. Miyagi's fence, waxing his cars, and staining his decks, he was able to become the citywide karate champion beating much bigger competitors, with years' more experience. Of course, most of us don't have the luck of having the alcoholic janitor of our apartment complex being a secret karate master (although mine showed me how to make the clothes dryer work with half the quarters!), and even if we did, we'd eventually run out of stuff to paint, and that would be the end of our workouts. But the principles of Mr. Miyagi's training are sound, even if the results are far-fetched. By mastering certain moves, you can train and strengthen your muscles, burn fat, and enhance your cardiovascular system. You won't have a huge Japanese garden with freshly stained decks when you're done, but you'll be in killer shape! As a side note, is collecting classic cars really a feasible hobby on a janitor's salary? Like much great art, The Karate Kid leaves more questions than answers.
  4. Chin UpsThe secret to getting in shapeâincarceration! In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the special effects were jaw-droppingâincredible car chases, a shape-shifting villain made of molten metalâbut the awed question on most people's lips leaving the theater was "What the hell happened to Linda Hamilton?" Sarah Connor, the mulleted, hapless screaming meemie from the first Terminator was gone, and a new, ripped, kick-butt heroine had taken her place! And apparently, at least part of the secret to this transformation was being committed to a loony bin. This backs up what we always say at Beachbodyâyou don't need a gym to stay in shape. Just using a chin-up bar and her body for resistance, Sarah was able to get a pretty good workout in the booby hatch. And as long as we can behave well enough to stay out of restraints and off the thorazine, we can grab a good workout anywhere as well. Or check out the resourceful kidnap victim, played by Bette Midler, in Ruthless People. She was able to turn a hostage situation in a couple's basement into a weight loss opportunity. Both these characters show that there's no excuse for not getting your exercise. You don't need expensive equipment, gym memberships, or even a court-ordered stay in a mental institution to get in shape, although if you want arms like Linda Hamilton, you might check out investing in a good chin-up bar.
  5. chocolateChocolate will just about make you lose your mind. As you can read in 9 Foods to Heat Up Your Love Life, chocolate does have some potent properties, but it's debatable whether it will make you rip off your clothes and jump on a horse in a fit of passion as in Like Water for Chocolate. And unlike in the movie Chocolat, it's doubtful chocolate can end domestic violence, reunite estranged relatives, and increase tolerance for gypsies in mid-twentieth-century France. Some studies have shown that chocolate can cause the brain to release low levels of dopamine, which can have a mild opiate effect. Other studies have shown that chocolate contains small levels of cannabinoids, chemicals also present in marijuana. But to get the kind of crazy mood swings you see chocolate produce in the movies, you'd have to eat hundreds of pounds a day, and I don't think you'd have Juliette Binoche's figure if you did that. And, for the record, Forrest Gump notwithstanding, I have found that life is rarely, if ever, like a box of chocolates.

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I am a full time Beachbody Coach. I motivate and guide close to 2,500 Club members and head a team of 11 Beachbody Coaches who are all committed to helping you reach your goals. Before joining BeachBody, I was a certified personal trainer for more than a dozen years and have been a running coach for over 20 years. Continued...


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