Bob Harper Biggest Loser TV Commercial for Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cereal

What’s up with Bob Harper endorsing processed cereal? He’s in a new TV ad for Quaker Oatmeal Squares, trying to convince America how wonderful this processed cereal is. I understand that a person needs to make a living, but it’s very disappointing that he would choose such a poor food product to promote. Shame on Bob Harper!

Take a closer look at Quaker Oatmeal Squares and how outright deceiving the advertising is (including Bob Harper’s enthusiast endorsement!)

The ad proudly states ONE serving has “96% of your minimum whole grain needs” – the small print on their web page states:

**Experts recommend eating at least three one-ounce equivalents of whole grains, or 48 grams daily, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Quaker Oatmeal Squares has 46 grams per serving.

What does 48 grams of whole grain exactly mean? Well, the total weight of one cup of Quaker Oat Squares is 55 grams. So, minus the sugar, sodium, and other assorted preservatives and chemicals, and you’ll find a net of 46 grams of whole grain.

But Bob Harper doesn’t mention that a bowl of this crap also provides 10 grams of sugar, which is about a third of the suggested refined sugar consumption (Did somebody say Fruit Loops?), along with some lovely BHT and fake food coloring. Don’tcha just love all those wonderful ingredients that you can’t pronounce!

Quaker Oatmeal Squares Ingredients:


Compare Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal to REAL old fashioned steel cut oats from Bob’s Red Mill, which contains, hmm, say it with me… OATS!

One 1/4 cup (dry) of gives you just about the same amount of “whole grain” goodness @ 44 grams. Even when you add a tsp of sweetener and a pinch of salt, you still come up healthier with less calories, less sugar, and less sodium, compared to the Quaker Oatmeal Squares. And the bonus is you leave out the chemicals, preservatives, and other assorted ickyness that Bob Harper endorses.

Too bad Bob Harper didn’t choose a company like Bob’s Red Mill to support, but then again, they don’t have a huge marketing budget like Quaker and their parent company Pepsico!

Bob Harper is raking in the big bucks but, to me, he’s looking like the Biggest Loser!

Biggest Loser Season 10

I might be a total sap, but this season looks to be so inspiring!

I love learning about the contestants! Very motivating for me to keep on the right healthy path!

One woman, Shanna Masten (38 years old) from Arizona really got to me. She is a breast cancer survivor, having gone through treatment a year ago. I haven’t talked about it publicly yet, but both my mother and sister were diagnosed with breast cancer within weeks of each other. And I had a little scare that required a biopsy, which thankfully turned out to be nothing.

Anyway, Shanna reminded me so much of the situation with my sister and mother. She said that getting breast cancer wasn’t her “choice”, but losing weight IS her choice. She weighed in at 242 pounds. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it to the ranch, but she’ll be working hard at home (I hope)!

I’ll be rooting for all the contestants and cheering them on. They seem like a nice group of people. I like when they seem like they’re in it for health, not necessarily for the back stabbing game play!

Here is the first episode video on NBC

UPDATE October 5, 2010: Not so happy with this season so far. I thought I would really like the contestants, but I don’t like how it’s turned into more of a game vs losing weight & getting healthy. I am disappointed that it’s all about losing the most weight possible, and 5 pounds is looked upon as a failure. Come on!

Also, I don’t like the new placement of the “yellow line” at all. It just doesn’t seem fair to the girls, since it’s virtually impossible for them to lose as much as the boys. The whole thing is not fair!

I am not feeling inspired by anyone and the trainers are really pissing me off too. Jillian and Bob are getting more and more commercial! yuck!

We’ll see what happens next week

The Biggest Loser on FLN (Fine Living Network)

I finished watching (Fine Living Network) FLN’s rebroadcast of season 7 of the Biggest Loser. It’s been on every weekday morning at 8am and I have a ritual with my two doggies, to stay in bed, have a little breakfast, play on the computer, and watch the Biggest Loser before I head to work.

I didn’t become a regular Biggest Loser fan until season 8, so it’s been fantastic to catch up with older seasons. After watching season 5 with Allie Vincent winning, I was excited to view season 6, with Vickie, the game playing manipulator I heard so much about. But unfortunately, they skipped season 6, and started playing season 7, which was okay.

So now they are repeating season 8. Wow, I watched the original shows, but it was really great to see them at the “beginning” again to realize how far the contestants have come! Especially Shay Sorrells – she is such an inspiration. I follow her on Facebook, & I think she’s just great!

I also adore Amanda and Rebecca. I don’t know why, but I find such inspiration in the Biggest Loser contestants. I know there are a lot of people who disapprove of the show and their weight loss tactics, but peel away all the “Made For TV” crap, and you’ll find human beings finding a new way of life for themselves. I find motivation in their daily struggles! I can relate to their pain and determination. Now that I am so close to finishing my weight loss journey, I need to keep finding new inspirations to maintain all I have accomplished. And the Biggest Loser helps!

And yay, a new episode is on tonight!

The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps – Book Review

When I first heard about the book, The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle, I assumed from the title, that it was mainly about food swaps. Use olive oil instead of butter, or instead of eating a fatty donut, try whole wheat toast. Similar to the “Eat This, Not That” book series.

But once I started reading, I realized it was so much more.

The book starts with summaries and Simple Swaps from various Biggest Loser contestants. I found this section of the book the most inspiring. My favorite was Jen Eisenbarth from season 3.

Swap someone else’s voice for your own. We’re told what’s acceptable and what’s not by others. But listen to your voice. Figure out what works for you.

What an inspirational quote! It set the tone for the whole book for me.

I haven’t read all of the prior Biggest Loser books, but it’s good to see better food recommendations in this book as compared to the ones I have read. They even recommend grass fed beef and free range chicken, but alas don’t mention any better pork, eggs and dairy, but I guess that goes without saying. It’s definitely a clean eating lifestyle that’s promoted.

It’s definitely a bright, very easy to read book with lots of color and photos.

Most recipes include a color photo of the finished dish, and of course, the nutritional data is included.

What I didn’t like is that exact amounts for some ingredients were lacking. Such as 2 slices of cheese or one breast of chicken. Yes, one could assume that it’s 1 oz cheese or one pound of raw chicken, but it be so easier to see it in the recipe, just to keep it straight. Calories can differ drastically when you aren’t using exact measurements!

Recipes that sounded intriguing.

Tangy turkey wrap pg 92
Asian Wild Rice Saute pg 110
Buttermilk Cornbread pg 111
Nutty Waldorf Salad pg 133
Mini Apple Gingerbread Cupcakes pg 152

There are lots of good tips, for instance, if a food contains more than 9 grams protein it’s considered high protein. I didn’t realize that! I love Jillian’s tip on page 173. Use a deck of cards for your workout content!

Same as prior books, they suggest unrealistic (and unhealthy) calorie goals. “Present weight x 7” – for my weight of 161, that calculates to 1127, way below the suggested minimum of 1200 calories and extremely below my Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) of 1454 calories just to stay alive! I wish they would stop suggesting such unrealistic calorie consumption! That’s not something that a person can live with for life!

The other complaint is that they promote processed soy meat-free products, like soy hotdogs, sausage, pastrami. And they sort of suggest using artificial sweeteners in a roundabout way, but they did highlight healthier sugar substitutions like agave and stevia.

Overall I thought The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle would be very helpful for someone needing good weight loss information and inspiration. It’s a way of life not a diet! But as I said previously, the calorie goal suggestions should be completely ignored!

I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks; I like putting my own spin on a recipe rather than exactly following it. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.

Listen To Your Own Voice

From the book The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps: 100 Easy Changes to Start Living a Healthier Lifestyle:

“We’re told what’s acceptable and what’s not by others. But listen to your own voice. Figure out what works for you.”
By Jen Eisenbarth (Biggest Loser Season 3)

I found the book at the library, and started to read it last night. This quote jumped out at me. It’s so true. Everyone has their own opinion on how to lose weight and be healthy, but in the end, all that matters is your voice. Your voice might not be loud and strong at first, but eventually, you will get to know your body and what makes you feel healthy. And my voice is singing!

The Biggest Loser Cookbook Book Review

I really like watching the Biggest Loser on TV, so I was curious to read the The Biggest Loser Cookbook: More Than 125 Healthy, Delicious Recipes Adapted from NBC’s Hit Show (2006).

I started reading and I knew this book wasn’t for me when I read the recommendation to use low fat and fat free mayo. Has anyone read the ingredients in fat free products!? Yuck!

I was immediately turned off!

On Page 3, fabulous fruits and vegetables: thumbs down to the white potato and don’t eat more than a few weekly servings of pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, and yams. Nope, don’t agree with that advice either!

Then there was my recommended daily calories! Ha! At 170 lbs x 7 = 1190. Under 1200! No way! This would definitely be a “diet” not a lifestyle change, something I could never do long term.

I was very happy to see that they initially didn’t recommend using artificial sugars, but then the first recipe included reduced fat peanut butter and artificially sweetened yogurt! In fact, the breakfast recipes are full of sugar free food products like syrup and splenda. Very conflicting!

I did find the Biggest Winner Breakfast Sausage recipe to be very interesting, and might try it!

The Muscling-Up Meatballs recipe also sounded yummy good!

New Fashioned Meatloaf:

and Better Blueberry Pancakes:

The Biggest Loser Cookbook: More Than 125 Healthy, Delicious Recipes Adapted from NBC’s Hit Show is definitely not a book I’d recommend to a clean foods health nut! I don’t think I would even recommend it to anyone actually, because it promotes unhealthy processed foods, but it’s a good base to work from, sort of like Hungry Girl.

Most of the good recipes can be found online, so don’t waste your time buying the book.

I just picked up the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook: Budget-Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love (2008) at the library this afternoon, so we’ll see if that has any improvements.

Read my review on

I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks; I like putting my own spin on a recipe rather than exactly following it. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.

Believe It, Be It book review

Like most of the books I am reading lately, I found Believe It, Be It: How Being the Biggest Loser Won Me Back My Life at the library!

I am a recent fan of The Biggest Loser. I didn’t watch the season when Ali Vincent won the title of “first female biggest loser”, but I am watching the show now! Although I don’t agree with everything about the show (ie crazy advertising recommendations) I think the show is a great inspiration, especially for women.

Ali’s book shares a behind the scenes glimpse of her weight-loss journey: what she experienced at the Biggest Loser ranch and afterward at home. There are no specific details on how she lost weight, but she highly recommends calorie counting and exercise. But everyone has to find their own path to their weight loss. It’s a “feel good” – “yay you can do it” kind of book.

I am glad I read the book, it gave me validation that what I am doing so far is correct, and she is inspiring me to get moving more and exercise!

You can’t stop creating new goals! I keep wondering what’s going to happen to me when I am done losing weight. Will I revert back to old ways if I don’t have the “loss” as a goal? The answer is to keep challenging yourself! Whether it’s with fitness, food or something else, always have a new goal. Never stop trying to reach a new level – physically or mentally!

Everyday will be a choice. Just like now, some days will be easy and some will be tough. One day at a time or during the rough days, one minute/hour at a time!

The book is very easy to read; it would probably take most a few hours to finish. It took me a few days because I took lots of breaks. I returned it to the library promptly, as there was a waiting list and it’s a great book to inspire you to make the move to lose weight! (I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I did!)

I found Ali to be uplifting. Her message us simple: believe it, be it! Don’t just THINK about something, DO it. Plan it and do it!!

ETA: it’s funny, her season of The Biggest Loser is being replayed on FLN channel so I’ve been watching it every morning. Also it was great to see her on QVC last week.