No, Chipotle Doesn’t Make You Chubby

Written by: on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

When you see a full-page ad attacking a business that’s been doing extremely well, become very suspicious.

So, I was catching up on the New York Post this morning—and was amazed to come across this full page ad basically bashing Chipotle. Hmm…I thought. Chipotle has been doing extremely well and businesses like McDonald’s have been doing poorly, shutting down restaurants around the country and laying off employees. “Could McDonald’s be behind this?” I thought. “Why else would anyone spend this kind of money to bash Chipotle in a way-too-obvious attempt to negate all the positive feedback Chipotle has been getting.” Or it might be Monsanto: king of the push for GMO’s that’s not doing too well either (Chipotle has vowed to go non-GMO). Some big money group is definitely behind a full-page ad, which can run into the tens of thousands of dollars…if not more.

Turns out my suspicions are justified: This ChubbyChipotle ad is the work of a seemingly innocuous and “helpful” group called The Center for Consumer Freedom, a “nonprofit coalition which opposes activist interference with and legal restrictions on the sale of food and drink, etc…” (according to their website). The only problem: this group is one of many created by Washington, D.C. Public Relations (PR) executive and lawyer, Rick Berman, who heads up a PR group called Berman and Company.

No surprise as I dug deeper, Rick Berman is paid for by big money; while you would never get hold of his client list (most companies have their clients front and center on their websites; this guy supposedly firewalls his list so no one knows whom he represents). This is the same guy behind other websites opposing PETA, GreenPeace, unions, raising the minimum wage, and regulation of trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Click on this independent website to get a bit more background information on this guy (warning: it ain’t pretty).

Chipotle burrito

Burritos can be healthy for you—but don’t load them up with high-calorie cheese and sour cream.

First of all, when it comes to weight gain—eating too much of ANYTHING can make you fat. But choosing Chipotle for your meals definitely won’t make you chubby unless you’re eating 2 giant burritos, plus chips, plus a giant soda at every meal. Moderation is the key to healthy eating and keeping your weight stable. And beans, rice, avocados, tomatoes, lettuce, and a variety of other healthy ingredients that make up Chipotle’s delicious menu are good for you. (Yes, I’m a Chipotle fan—as well as being an advocate for the truth when it comes to your health and wellbeing).

And when it comes to ads like this, dig deeper because there’s some spinmaster at work behind the ad, trying to make you believe something other than what your gut is telling you is right.

Bottom line: when it comes to your health, always, always trust your gut. If you believe, for example, that organic food is healthiest for your family—don’t listen to the cacophony of negatives against organic food saying that organics are no better than foods sprayed with pesticides. If you believe that genetically modified (GMO) foods aren’t good for your health, stick to your guns because there will be plenty of these ads—and even research studies paid for by these companies not telling the entire truth—based on spinning the truth to make you believe that companies like Monsanto are good and are actually there to feed the world and help prevent hunger. (Not)

Your gut is all you have to rely on because where there’s big money, there are big lobbying groups like Berman and Company working to spin the information so they can all make big money (and you’re left with a host of diseases 10/15 years from now).

As a matter of record, I have received no money from Chipotle to write this post—and in fact, have never received anything free from Chipotle. I choose to eat there with my family because I know it’s healthy food—and the ingredients are fresh. My kids love it. And what’s more: none of us are chubby.

Be Healthier: Make these 5 simple dietary changes today

Written by: on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I have a slight confession to make: yesterday (Halloween) I ate WAY too much candy. I could blame the small, easy-to-grab candy sizes that manufacturers make and the fact that high-fructose corn syrup is addictive. But the truth is: my willpower crumbled as I sampled bite-size Milky Way bars, Milk Duds, Mike & Ike’s, Twizzlers, and more—all between visits by trick-or-treaters.

Chocolate holiday candy

Some researchers believe that eating too much sugar contributes to cancer.

Horrible. That’s the way I feel today as if I drank too much yesterday and woke up with a hangover.

But when you fall off the wagon, the next day you just pick yourself up and get back on track. That’s what I’m doing. But something else (besides just feeling like I have a sugar hangover) is motivating me: my dad just had stents put in two of his arteries, almost completely clogged due to coronary artery disease—which runs in the family. (His dad died of a heart attack in his 50s, his mom died of a stroke.) If that isn’t a wake-up call to eat healthier in general, then I don’t know what is.

While slight digressions in diet (ahem…what I went through yesterday) are okay every once in a while, what’s key is following simple dietary do’s and don’ts regularly—and getting almost daily exercise. You don’t need to overhaul everything you eat and become a strict vegan. That’s not it. Just incorporate a few of these changes into your diet, slowly, over time—and you’ll find you won’t feel deprived, you’ll lose weight, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll be healthier!

bowl of garbanzo beans

I love to add fiber-rich garbanzo beans to salads, rice, soups, and more!

1) Limit red meat. Who doesn’t love a juicy burger or steak? But this stuff simply isn’t healthy for you. Cut it out or limit it to once a week, or better yet, a couple of times a month, max. Substitute lean meat (sans the skin) or beans (my favorite) for much-needed protein.

2) Eat more fruits and veggies. Fresh is preferred but frozen works just as well (as long as there are no added sauces, seasonings, or sugar). At least nine (half-cup) servings a day is best.

3) Cut down on the sweets. I know it’s hard, particularly when faced (as I was yesterday) with a giant bowl of Halloween candy. But cutting down on it will give you more energy and make you healthier in the long run (this stuff, as I well know, is crazy addictive). Some researchers even believe that sugar is the food that cancer thrives on—cut it out and you’ll reduce your risk of developing cancer, they say.

4) Skip that white bread in favor of whole grain—and eat more whole grains while you’re at it. Break out of the box: try quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, millet, and more.

fresh herbs

Try adding chopped fresh herbs to all your dishes—and hold the salt shaker.

5) Pass on the salt shaker—or limit your use of it. Salt is like sugar: the more you use it, the more you become “addicted” to it. When you start cutting it out, you realize that you just don’t need much of it any more. Substitute fresh or dried herbs.

But eating the right thing isn’t easy: if it were, we’d have a whole lot of healthier people in this country. What is making it easier for people: just being released today is the U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best diets, a super-helpful guide to what will help you meet your goals—whether it is to be healthy (which should always be your #1 priority) or lose weight. DASH (think: low sodium) diet ranks #1, followed closely by my own fave: the Mediterranean Diet Check it out: this ranking is simple, easy to understand, and offers clear descriptions (charts, scoring systems, recipe links, and more). You can even mix and match: pick a few bits of advice from each diet and incorporate them into your own.

But I digress: the key is that you’ve got to change your eating now—before health problems manifest themselves, as in my dad’s case.

And as for me, I’m tossing out all the leftover candy and taking it out to the garbage bin before my willpower weakens again!