I just spent two days shooting a new episode for the Rachael Ray Show.
At the same time, I was originally supposed to meet with Ben Missbach, a Ph.D. eating researcher who was visiting me from the University of Vienna. My solution? Take him with me. When he asked, “Who’s Rachael Ray?" I said, “She’s like the fun, happy girl next door who’s also a great cook.”
The Rachel Ray Show is an hour-long mix of cooking segments, guest segments, and maybe a remote segment filmed elsewhere. Her executive producer had an interesting plan. Instead of having to choose between either doing a remote segment or a guest segment, she wanted to do both. Here’s the plan:
 Send me to a sight-unseen home of one of their audience members,
 Teach that person how to do a Slim by Design Kitchen Makeover,
 Do it for them while its being filmed by two camera crews
 Show up to the show and the next day and report back
Less than 20 minutes after checking into our New York City hotel, we were car-napped off to a home in New Jersey. There I met Peggy – a happy, photogenic mother of 5 teenagers – and 6 guy camera crew.
These Kitchen Makeovers are eye-opening to homeowners. While the basic ones only take an hour or two, the more thorough or complicated ones (like for celebrities) take about 4 hours. For Peggy, they wanted me to do a basic one. But since they wanted to film it from three different angles, so after I did it, I did it again, then again. Five hours later, Ben and I were back in the hotel.
That night their editing crew cut 5 hours of tape down into a one 3-minute segment: Meet Peggy and her family, Brian invades her kitchen, changes are made, Peggy & Brian high-five or hug (depending on which cut they decide to use).
The next day, our segment with Rachael and 140 jacked-up, happy audience members was filming at 3:30. The car picked us up at 2:00. The rest of the day went like this: traffic jam, backstage entrance, make-up, meet Peggy again, sound check, Dos and Don’ts (let Rachael take the lead, stay on track, don’t look at the cameras, and so on), and . . . GO!
Our cue to go out on stage had been when Rachael starting introducing Slim by Design. As we walked out, they rolled the 3-minute segment of the makeover. Peggy and I were led out to one of the 2 stages and positioned on either side of Rachael. After the segment ended and people were applauding, Rachael talked briefly (totally off-script) about my Smarter Lunchroom program and how it helped support the great work she was doing in schools. [It’s this sort of candid, off-script enthusiasm that makes her popular with so many people like me.]
She then asked me, “Dr. B., how can a person eat better and lose weight without dieting?” I said that it's better to change your immediate environment than to change your mind, and it's easier to become slim by design than become slim by willpower -- willpower has to last for ever, 24/7.
She then pointed to five different props that were sitting out (a bulk package, strange vegetables, a side-by-side refrigerator, a divided plate, and so on), and asked me to explain how they could be used to help people cook more and eat in balance. She ended by plugging Slim by Design again (the Kitchen Makeover approach I did for Peggy is described in Chapter 2), and giving copies to each audience member. Yumo!
From start to finish: 9 minutes.
When I got backstage, Ben and I said good-bye to Peggy and her daughter, and we said goodbye to our Producer and Associate Producer. Within 4 minutes we were headed home.
This segment airs on the Rachael Ray Show on Tuesday January 24th (10:00 AM on CBS in some markets and different times and places in others). Even if you only make 4-5 of the changes I made to Peggy’s kitchen are relevant to your kitchen, you’ll be pounds ahead even if you only do two of them.
Let me know what two changes you’ve put into action and how they work for you.
If you want to do your own Kitchen Makeover:
1) Watch the Rachael Ray Show video and adopt 2-3 ideas
for one month
2) Read the Chapter pdf posted above the photos to see why this also works in
schools, where you work, and where you shop
3) Check out Chapter 2 of Slim by Design. The 100-point scorecard on
pages 60-63 will tell you whether your kitchen is working for your diet
or against it. It also tells what to do to change.
4) If you want to go really deep on this, sign up for the
Slim by Design Course, which is being released this Spring.
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