Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Biggest Loser 12: Iron Chef, Ranch Style

Welcome to the latest episode of the Biggest Loser, where throwdowns occur on a regular basis in the gym, the house, the weigh-in room...and occasionally in the kitchen.

Of course we had all of the drama involving Jessica being sent home, Ramon being upset, and all of the players having to watch their backs before any knives got stuck into them. I have to say - I REALLY miss the camaraderie of last season, when the majority of the players really cared about each other and were more worried about each person than the gameplay. Yes, there will always be gameplay and moments of drama, but the Season 11 players seemed to find the perfect balance between the game and friendship. This is only another reason why it was so nice to see Olivia back for this episode!

So I will move into the positive aspects of the week. Olivia was back, along with Chef Devin Alexander, who writes the Biggest Loser cookbooks plus her own. She prides herself on decadent food without the fat, calories, and other unhealthy stuff - and she certainly does it well. From experience I can say that her recipes are to die for...except you won't die because the food is good for you. If you haven't checked out the Biggest Loser book series you should, and do yourself a favor and get some of Devin's own line of cookbooks. Your taste buds AND waistline will thank you!

Olivia and Devin were the judges of an Iron Chef style challenge on the ranch. Each team had to prepare a dish, with the help of their trainers, that was low in calories while being both delicious and filling. The two of them did not know who made each dish until after they decided the winner. The winning team got a one pound advantage at the weigh-in, along with a healthy lunch with extra surprises. All three dishes looked like something I would make, but the team of D & O chose the Black team's slaw with pork medallions. It actually looks like something you could serve for a holiday lunch. So to the Black team goes the spoils...including their recipe featured in Devin's new Biggest Loser cookbook. (Yes, I've ordered mine forn Open I'll definitely be trying out the recipe.)

Olivia's lunch with the Black team caused plenty of tears, both on the ranch and at my house. Those scrapbooks were amazing, made completely with love. And roses from Becky's husband? The icing on the cake. (As long as the cake is from a BL book!) Olivia also had a long talk with the players, in which I hope her positive spirit rubbed off on them. We could sure use it this season.

Another eye-opening moment came when Dr. H's colleague, Dr. Linden, showed us some brain science. Of course we all know that eating makes people happy...but the real kicker was how differently obese people's brains process food than slender folks. It's actually very helpful to know this, because then you can deal with the differences. Now we know why thin peeps are satisfied with less!

The elimination was drama filled as usual, but Joe looks incredible now so he is definitely putting the knowledge he learned on the show to good use. Next week the players go to singles, which will make it even more interesting. Hopefully nobody kills anyone this season! Also, I pray for more positive moments like those with Devin and Olivia...which is what this show should really be about.

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