|Dr. Oz in his scrubs after taping episode of The Dr. Oz Show|
Chances are if you dine out with Dr. Mehmet Oz he won’t be staying for dessert.
“One of my pet peeves with restaurants is when they push dessert. It’s metabolic suicide,” Oz told me recently after the taping of The Dr.Oz Show at NBC at Rockefeller Center in New York. As one of the studio audience participants I got to watch Dr. Oz in action and gain a better understanding of his media mission to help viewers improve their lives, “We try to get people into wellness. But, it’s not really a health show, it’s about life.” Topics on the show this day included the body pains you shouldn’t ignore, tips on buying food and health products in bulk and discerning which outrageous alternative health treatments are actually legitimate. Hint: leeches can play an important role in modern medicine.
Assertive with Oz
Now back to the issue of declining that dessert. Oz, who is a cardiac surgeon as well as Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, is concerned about the significant health consequences of obesity in America but says, “It’s really a 100 calorie problem.” He explains that by cutting 100 calories when you can (skipping dessert) or by burning 100 calories through exercise most folks can prevent weight gain. “You need assertiveness training to dine out. You have to ask the waiter not to bring the bread and butter. Look on line at the menus ahead of time. Even fast food restaurants have healthier options today.”
And if you can’t find a healthier version of your favorite restaurant food, The Dr. Oz Show can show you how to make your own at home. Do you like fried rice? In a segment called “Fake Out - Take Out” a Dr.Oz fan identified as Lisa prepared a lightened up version of Shrimp Fried Rice that featured edamame beans, quinoa and ponzu sauce- which is lower in sodium than soy sauce. Audience members tasted and approved. “Number one, you have to give them foods that they like,” explained Oz “Foods that taste good and happen to be good for you. The ponzu sauce was a smart idea.” Calorie savings shared on the show revealed that a typical order of Take Out fried rice contains 1000 calories, while the “Fake Out” lighter recipe contained only 360 calories.
The Oz File
Dr. Oz gained fame as a medical expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show for over five seasons and has authored best selling books with Dr. Michael Roizen including YOU: On a Diet and YOU: Losing Weight. The Dr. Oz Show has earned Daytime Emmy Awards for Best Informative Talk Show host two years in a row for 2010 and 2011.
After observing the morning taping, I met Dr. Oz in his office where he had changed out of the tailored suit he’d been wearing for the show and into comfy blue scrubs and a black t-shirt. His was relaxed and welcoming even though he was preparing to tape another episode in the afternoon. I felt as if I was being greeted by a family physician who’d known me for years and told him that’s how he appears to greet the guests who are ‘patients’ on his show. “I think that’s something that’s lost in American medicine,” he said, “Someone who knows your parents. It’s about identifying a quilt of symptoms.”
Another highlight of my visit to The Dr. Oz Show happened in the hallway outside the studio. I heard someone call my name, "Carolyn? Is that you?! It's me Kari Pricher from CNN Features!" Kari and I worked together at CNN when I was hosting Travel Now. Now Kari is an Editorial Producer for The Dr. Oz Show. Small world and a wonderful coincidence to run into her again. Way to go Kari!!!
Even though topics presented run the gamut from flossing to fibromyalgia, Oz believes “Good nutrition is the foundation of the show. When I walk into a grocery store I see all of the healthy foods and it’s like a pharmacy.” I looked next the scripts arranged on his desk and noticed a plate of food. Guess what he was having for lunch? A serving of the winning recipe for healthy alternative take out – the shrimp fried rice. How about that?
Oz is a doctor who takes his own medicine.
"Fake Out" Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe
2 tbsp canola oil
3/4 lb frozen shrimp, defrosted
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chopped red pepper
1 cup asparagus cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup shelled edamame (frozen can be used)
3 tbsp Ponzu sauce
1 egg and 2 egg whites whisked together
2 cups quinoa cooked in water
Additional Ponzu sauce to taste
Sriracha sauce to taste
Cook quinoa in water. Bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup dry quinoa to a boil. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until tender.
In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the oil on medium heat. Add the shrimp and garlic. Add pepper, asparagus and edamame. Cook for a few minutes until vegetables start to wilt. Add Ponzu sauce and cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Move all ingredients to one side of the pan.
Scramble the eggs and egg whites. Cook in the pan. Add the cooked quinoa and mix all ingredients together. Add Sriracha and Ponzu sauce to taste. Enjoy!