April 11, 2007

The 30 minute meal (just a half donut)

Sometimes two stories just naturally come together.

Here's a joke. What does a 1/2 donut and Rachael Ray have in common? 30 minutes.
Dunkin' Donuts announced that it will be working with best-selling author, Rachael Ray. As its new brand representative, Ray will appear in a multi-platform marketing campaign for Dunkin' Donuts. Ray will also lend her perspective to the Dunkin' Donuts culinary team in the development of new, "better for you" food and beverage options. In recent years, the company has introduced several new products, including Smoothies, Latte Lite and the reduced carb bagel; in addition, the company has been working since 2004 to remove trans-fats from all of its menu offerings.

Adored by millions for her originality and down-to-earth style, Ray is best known for her "30-Minute Meals," recipes that answer the needs of busy Americans - great tasting, easy-to-make meals with inexpensive ingredients.

"Everyone always asks me how I manage my schedule, and the answer is coffee," said Ray. "Having grown up in the Northeast, I have a long-standing and deep appreciation for Dunkin' Donuts' coffee. In addition, I am excited to work with Dunkin' Donuts' team of chefs as they expand their menu to include new items for customers looking for more health-conscious options."

Now Ray has had "trouble" in the past with her weight. How's she going to keep it off eating all those donuts?

Well, Brian Wansink of Mindless Eating has an answer.

Consider the Four Mile Donut. If we were to walk as fast as we could for an hour, we’d cover a breathless, heart pounding 3-4 miles. If we then decided to celebrate our workout with coffee and a donut, we would eat more calories in a minute than we burned off in an hour.

People who often start exercise programs claim to gain weight in the first couple weeks. My Food and Brand Lab has started investigating what we call Calorie Compensation. We’re finding that almost all of us believe that we burn more calories exercising than we actually do. The problem is that after we excerise we often try to reward ourselves with that pint of Ben and Jerry’s, and that’s where things go wrong. If we pat ourselves on the back, we should also pat ourselves on the stomach because that’s where all those calories are going.

Exercising is an important part of our life and of good health other than just our weight. But for most of us, it will probably be easier to eat one less donut today than to walk four more miles.

Rachael's goin' have to use a little less EVOO, and after all those Dunkin' commercial she's need be walkin' a lot more miles.

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