This morning I had a live TV interview on Fox 2 News. When I started my job at SLU a couple of years ago, I had no idea how much of an opportunity I would get to interact with the media. I realize nutrition and health topics are of interest to most people, and I am relieved that the media utilizes our faculty from SLU instead of consulting the author from the latest diet book. Live interviews are pretty scary. Even though I have now done ~10 of them, I still get sweaty palms and a heart beat that beats so hard I am afraid the camera man could capture. My hair is always an issue too, no matter how much hairspray I apply it always seems I have one or two hairs that want to stand straight up and say HI!! The camera light usually catches them just perfectly. And now to the point that you care about…the nutrition tips. Today’s interview was on fast food restaurants and their attempt to sell you something healthy for breakfast. Steak N Shake gladly brought over all 4 of their new breakfast smoothies to model on the set. If they had only known I was going to bash them…I did start off by discussing the smoothie’s strong points. The smoothies are made with fruit, milk and low-fat frozen yogurt, so naturally, it is high in calcium, vitamin C and A. On the flip side, the smoothie contains 550 drinkable calories, and includes 21 teaspoons of sugar, and 6 grams of saturated fat. Although some individuals might actually need 500 calories for breakfast (since it is the most important meal of the day); the average individual does not need to “drink” this amount of calories, in addition, calories which come from a large amount of sugars and unhealthy fat. If you decide that you can’t spare 5 minutes in the morning to throw a bowl of oatmeal in the microwave and grab a banana. Here are some of suggestions: 1) Choose an English Muffin, bagel, or toast for your sandwich instead of the croissants, biscuits, or pancakes (think McGriddle). 2) Pick only 2 ingredients, like ham and egg, or cheese and egg. 3) If you leave off the cheese, you save ~100 calories and ~8grams of fat. 4) Order the kiddie size. 5) Don’t be afraid to get creative with the menu and order things a la carte. However, this might create a delay in your order and create frustration in the line of cars behind you. The most important message here is not to skip breakfast. Those who eat breakfast tend to eat less the rest of the day and have improved mental function and focus…very necessary for live TV interviews.
Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.