Asylum A'surfin Musings ... What are you hiding Mike?

I was discussing the Eades' Sous Vide Supreme the other day, and I went looking for a link.  I found this commercial on YouTube:

and this one

For those who aren't followers of this duo, or who didn't try the 6 Week Cure, these two ventures of the Eades' launched about the same time.  Indeed much of the promised internet support for 6WC never seemed to materialize and was blamed on the travel schedule and such for "changing the world" with their new kitchen gadget.   

I do believe it takes a special ego to think you're going to change the world with such a device.  Even when they were relatively new to the market, one of my first purchases for my first apartment was a microwave and it wasn't all that expensive if memory serves.  Even before the rotating carousel became standard, and before the invention of newer food packaging technologies that bring us microwave popcorn and steam in bag veggies and such, the device was useful for many things.  The microwave was world changing.  But a sous vide contraption?  

Personally, I have never tried to serve medium rare steaks to a large dinner party, and if I had, I'm thinking the convenience the SVS would offer for doing such would outweigh where I'm supposed to park this galunk the other 364 days of the year.  I have one of those vacuum sealer thingies and it spends a lot of time collecting dust atop the fridge.  I only ever use it if I've purchased a bulk of meat on sale.  Then it's worthwhile to dust off, cut the bags and such.  But you know what else?  I've used "good quality" bags for those devices and when stuff gets moved about in my chest freezer ... yikes! ... I have found that they lose their vacuum rather easily at times so I've not really come out ahead after all.  In any case, I've never thought a cooking method that involves a food sealer (or one of those contraptions with an air pump) -- IOW specialty bags -- qualifies as simple to start with.  Secondly, that device is not small and filled with water will not be light.   Unless I was using that almost daily and kept it on my countertop I'd have to take it out, fill, drain, put it back.  More hassle.  And even if I used it every day, that water would need changing out rather frequently anyway.  More likely such a device becomes a $450 space hog I'd probably store something inside in the way back of a cabinet ...

Ahhhh ... but that wasn't really the purpose of this post, that's just me thinking out loud.  What DID hit me is that these commercials were obviously filmed sometime in Fall 2009 with the release of their 6WC book.  Now ... Mike Eades made no bones about the origin of their diet -- It was to cure his and MD's bellies.  To hear Dr. Mike tell it, six years or so prior the Eades were set to film their cooking show when the director noticed a problem, well two really.  Apparently:
“We’re going to have to do something,” he said, “you guys are too fat to be starring in this kind of a cooking show.”
We were stunned. I was a much lesser version of my former fat self and thought of myself as pretty slender. Mary Dan had gained a little weight in the ten years since the publication of Protein Power, but certainly wouldn’t have been considered fat by anyone’s estimation. People we met at lectures, book signings, and other appearances uniformly commented on how thin and healthy we looked and always added that we were good advertisements for our diet.
 ... Bellies…?
“When you do lectures you’re dressed up, right? You wear suits, don’t you?”
We nodded.
“At book signings you sit behind a desk, shake a few hands and sign books. It doesn’t work that way on TV. You’re going to be moving around, bending over, putting stuff in the oven; you’re going to be seen from all angles. If we try to hide the fact that you’ve got a little extra weight around the middle, which will be hard since the camera will magnify it, the viewers will know. Putting you in baggy sweaters or loose clothing will just make them think you’re fat and trying to disguise it, and the show will lose all credibility.
 ...“What can we do?” we asked. “If we try to hide it, they’ll think were fat; if we don’t, they’ll know for sure. It’s a Catch-22. We can’t win.”
Our director said, “I haven’t worked in this biz for over 40 years and not learned a trick or two. Here’s how we’re going to make this work. Since you, Mary Dan, are going to be the main cook, we’ll keep you standing behind the counter. You’re short enough that with the height of the counter and a little work with wardrobe we can keep you covered without appearing to do so. Mike, we’ll have you do all the moving and bending, so you’re going to have to take the bullet.”
The  bullet in Mike's case turned out to be a girdle.  As the story goes, after the careful/girdlized pilot, the Eades had six weeks to shed the paunch and they claim they did.  I've never seen that show so I'll take their word for it.  But six years later?  When they write the book and are hawking it?  

Well ... there you have the Eades' either hawking a cooking device in their doctor's coats, or MD in an apron with Mike sitting down in a baggy vest partially obscured by books and devices.  

Things that make you go hmmmmmmm.....  

If low carb advocates either are not following their own advice, or if they are and not achieving desirable results it makes no difference.  It makes them poor "poster folk" for the lifestyle, and uncredible "gurus" for the cause.


Diana said…
"these two ventures of the Eades' launched about the same time."

I was skimming and thought you wrote, "these two vultures...."


Regarding paunches and such, the words to describe middle-aged men in the old Plains Indians cultures was: "big bellies."

This in the 19th century, from people who ate good ole grass fed buffalo meat, and who exercised real hard.

Maybe when you are a middle-aged dude, you should just wear the relaxed fit dad jeans and make your peace with it.

Just a suggestion, guys. My boobs ain't as perky as they used to be. Your belly isn't as skinny.
Muata said…
I'm still shaking my head that he admitted to having to wear a girdle!!! And no one called him on this because he supposedly lost the weight?

So, let me get this straight Evie, the 6WC was written based on their having to lose weight in 6 weeks for their cooking show? Please excuse my ignorance, but I haven't really followed them since I read PP many years ago and the exchange with AC, so all of this is new to me ...
CarbSane said…
LOL Muata! Yep! The 6WC was "born" from these two having to lose weight. It's all the more ridiculous that the paperback version that came out a few months ago pictures some other couple on the cover. But clearly by the time they published the book they must have added back the weight as their infomercials utilize the very same tricks he said nobody would fall for in that blog post!

It looks VERY contrived to have him sitting down like behind the stuff hiding him.

I tried that diet and I'm not sure why it never hit me until later that these two shouldn't have needed such a diet to begin with, right? Chuckle :) They also give a shout out to Slow Burn in the book too. Ummm ... again ... if less than a half hour a week is too much to ask ...??!!
Sanjeev said…
$450 to be able to boil meat in a cheap looking plastic & aluminum doorstop?

Doesn't even look like a pressure cooker of any kind ...
CarbSane said…
Sous vide was popular on Top Chef a few seasons back. The Eades even got Richard Blais to hawk their device. I don't get it for the home kitchen. There's far more work/prep before you can "set it and go" like a slow cooker and such. And letting my food sit in water for 12 hours if I'm not ready to eat it is not really a selling point for me. It's popular for restaurants and was for Top Chef because it does foolproof cooking certain things for a lot of people. There's probably a reason nobody brought this into the home kitchen before :)
I'm not interested enough in cooking to make counterspace for some gadget like that. I have slow cookers neglected in my kitchen as I type.

But it's true. They're using the "hiding" techniques, and it's obvious to me. I noticed it before reading the post that followed the videos.

I don't think they look bad or wretched or anything. They don't look morbidly obese. But they don't look LEAN. Now, for many of us, just stopping being obese is enough. :D But I do think it's better to just fess up that you're struggling, cause many struggle. Just put on the spandex and show off what's REALLY under those coats. Most folks don't expect older folks to look like athletes (though surely some DO look fit and lean like New Evolution's De Vany and the recently deceased LaLanne). But we do expect docs to be honest. Well, don't we? :)

In fact, scientifically speaking, isn't it best for them to admit what they weigh, how they struggle with regain/middle-age spread/old age metabolism slowdown, and talk about how best to handle THAT with Protein Power or whatever....or to consider where PP may be deficient, if they can see something that may need to be tweaked.

I mean, for me, please, just be real and stop with the hiding/girdling. Says the gal who posted a non-girdle pic of me in shorts yesterday. hah. I wanna see the workout wear pics of the Eades.

Come on, doctors. Just show us the bods in shorts and snug tops and it's okay. We're all in the struggle...
Muata said…
@Evie - Have these folks NO SHAME? So, they go on a crash diet, lose the weight, only to do what every other yo-yo dieter does -- regain the weight. And people still listen to this couple? Go figure?

@Princess Dieter - I couldn't agree with you more. Listen, those who have athletic physiques are in the VAST minority in this country, so nobody is expecting them to look like their ready for the cover of a fitness mag, but don't hide behind overpriced kitchen appliances ... LOL!!

Part of me wants to believe that they want to hide their weight problems because it's hard to stay balanced on a pedestal when your weight fluctuates ... and if you fall, folks just may not look up to you any more (read: by your products).
CarbSane said…
Hi Princess! Yep, not 30 seconds into the top video I had that thought. I have a rather vivid memory of this issue having still wanted to believe that a diet might help with the remaining belly fat and been among a number of folks over at Jimmy's who were anxiously awaiting the book release in Sept 2009 and trying the diet. So I remembered almost the exact wording of that blog post Eades wrote that I quoted from. How odd for him to discuss that at the time they had to use those very same techniques in shooting their Sous Vide infomercials. And IN those videos they are highlighting 6WC! Why did they not do the cure once again before this shoot if it worked such wonders back for the cooking show?

It just struck me as so very strange indeed seeing those videos now. And it's all the more bizarre since they wrote a book with Fred Hahn that promotes how you can be fit and trim with LC and under 30 min/week of the "right" kind of exercise. Are they not even able to commit to that? Or ... does it NOT work either?

Eades blames poor sales of that book on some bad reviews. I think it was more word of mouth that it was full of gimmicks and very poorly written. It was almost like they did a Google scholar search for anything that even remotely had been shown to have any impact on visceral fat and threw it together. Donate your toxins ... er, blood ... after the first two weeks. Nonsense like that.

The timing really is everything here and I think this is ultimately why that book tanked. It produced some short term results in some but even Jimmy Moore regained a pound or so in the "meat weeks". But why they didn't do their own "crash diet" before a video hawking their book is beyond me!
TCO348 said…
Low carb just doesn't work that well after a while. One thing it does is control hunger pretty well but it doesn't make you stop wanting yummy things and if you just find low carb foods that you love you'll eat too much just the same. (Maybe through raised setpoint maybe not).
Anonymous said…
I can poke fun at diet doctors and never get tired of it. However, I do think that the camera makes people look fatter and bigger than they look in the flesh. I used to go to celebrity appearances (celebrities hawking books, fashion, perfume, etc.) on my lunch hour from work. Bette Midler is (or was, at the time) tiny, very slender. Sophia Lauren is a stick figure. On camera, they look much larger.

I don't believe the Eades invented the sous vide. They're just hawking their brand. It's a nice gadget, it seems, because the cooking is so controlled (Top Chef fan here!) but you can do the same with a pan of hot water, some ziploc bags, a thermometer, and practice at an electric stove. Or (my personal favorite), poach in a flavorful broth and then broil.

Add the sous vide to Metabosol, the restaurant franchise they bought (for their offspring); it's a product. Like the books.

I don't care if Eades wears Spanx (him or her). I'm the one in the WW meeting who thinks even the group leader should take off another 20 lbs to look better. No matter how great they look!
Anonymous said…
Sophia Loren (DOH!).
Anonymous said…
You can duplicate the functionality of the eades' version of the machine with a laboratory water bath (cost, approx 100$, somewhat less if you really score on ebay). It's not complicated or hard to use if you already have a vacuum sealer. You set the temp, seal the meat, drop it in, and come back 1-3 days later to completely safe, super tender, delicious dinner. And once you've set the temp, it's just seal and go on the meat after that. Very very simple and convenient.

By keeping the juices all in one place, you can use less or no seasoning and you can get tenderness via this method that not even a crock pot can manage. Sous vide is an old cooking method, the eades just popularized it. I really think it has a lot of utility for providing simple food prepared simply, because that's been our experience with it.

Our sous vide suppers are generally our more sating meals, I would say second to bone broth based stews. So yeah, I like sous vide cooking in a discount laboratory bath!
CarbSane said…
I remember seeing Rosie O'Donnell in a Best Buy back when she had the talk show - maybe second year. She must have come from filming and changed but not taken off the makeup b/c she was still all "done up" from the neck up but she was wearing black spandex pants and a loose T-shirt. She looked much smaller in person than on TV.

But Eades claimed that back when, they only used the tricks in the pilot and 6 weeks later voila! they were looking thin and trim on camera w/o "help". So they should have been able to repeat that feat for this infomercial, and one would think there was special motivation to do so given they were hawking the 6WC book as well!

It occurs to me I could sous vide in my oven in my large stainless steel pot. I don't think they claimed to invent it, they were just trying to change the world by making one available for the home. Apparently restaurant quality units are super expensive. Hee hee. I've always found their money making schemes odd too. Low carbers investing in a Mexican fast food franchise?
Tonus said…
I'm more amused at the thought that after being told by countless people that they looked trim and healthy, they took the word of a TELEVISION PRODUCER and decided they needed to go on a crash diet.
CarbSane said…
Hi Tonus, I guess a rather interesting admission in there is that they weren't quite so trim after all, but they disguised it well in the clothing they wear. I've never been to one of their book signings, but if the book covers are any indication they really love wearing those doctor coats. Those can hide a multitude of sins, and most women with any extra padding whatsoever wear some sort of support undergarments for more important functions of this nature (control top pantyhose?).

@Princess, the thought occurred to me that I still didn't finger what really bugged me about this. Then it came to me in what you said that nobody expects folks of a certain age to be model/fitness guru fit and slim .... EXCEPT if you give them the impression that you are! And there's the rub with that book and those videos b/c here they were hawking that book while hiding their less than svelte middles. I don't think either looks fat, or even particularly overweight ... just not like they've been recent beneficiaries of the wonders of their own belly cure. And it makes those recent Eades blog posts I've highlighted here all the more distasteful. Get butter dripping down your arms and wallow in lard and you'll eventually get to slim nirvana.
Diana said…
Right, it's the claim that low carb will make a middle-aged person belly fat free irks. I think Mary Dan is a good-looking middle-aged woman. I can't be objective about Michael because I hate his guts, but he doesn't look so bad to me. It's like Jimmy Moore and his "sensationally skinny" claims. Jimmy ain't sensationally skinny, nothing close.

The only sensationally skinny people I know are ballet dancers. Well, I do not know them but I see them a lot because of where I live. They also work brutally hard and the women have to watch their diets. (The guys not so much.) Pretty much everyone else is fighting the battle of the bulge, even my normal weight friends.
Muata said…
Good points about the camera adding weight because I've met Jillian Michaels in person, and WOW the first thought I had is that she really needs to eat! Her physique was far from muscular or "toned"; she was simply tiny. As a result, whenever I see a woman on TV whom I consider thin, I know she probably looks emaciated in person.
Tonus said…
I was just being snarky. One thing that did come to mind is that based on the producer's advice and the Eades' reaction, I guess that HAES is a pretty tough sell on the infomercial market, heh.
Sue said…
It does show that low-carb is not magical as a lot like to make you believe. The Eades needed to shed some fat as on TV it makes you look even fatter. I think they did okay with maintaining their weight with only a little fat gain.
CarbSane said…
I agree Sue! I do think it was a telling admission in the blog post that MD had "gained some weight since PP" because this is not the impression you get from any of the LC advocates. I thought it was the carbs that made us fat. And even if it was the 10-15 lbs that seem to naturally creep on with age, we can't give LC a pass and blame the low fat diet for making everyone else fat! In 6WC he talks of MD's struggles to shed the fat or not gain it all to no avail, but their 6WC fixed all that. It is especially annoying to me that the last 2 weeks of that plan are (jokingly?) entitled Maintenance!

I've taken a lot of flack for my avatar pic -- I chose it b/c I think it reflects how I look in real life and my personality comes through. (Am I the only one who thinks that Eades avatar on his blog looks very different from how he appears in just about every other picture I've ever seen of him? And Dana Carpender's for that matter?) Rather than a restrained smile, or hand under chin or lighting/tilt/pose/etc. to minimize any look of neck fat. Interestingly when I lose a little weight, my neck starts to look more like MD's. When I gain it, I get pudge but look younger and less shriveled. Catch 22 indeed!

I think these two look fine on camera here. I don't think "healthy" cooking needs be promoted by stick figures. Many of Food Network chefs are hardly such (and I'm not talking Paula here) but key in on health all the time.
Diana said…
Slightly off-topic, but when Julia Child was young, she was skinny as a rail. (Height: 6'2"!!)

I can remember the earliest French Chef shows. She was 51 or 52 when they first started. Still a thin woman. (Sorry, I don't think Meryl Streep really looked like her in the movie; way heavier and shorter.)

She gained a bit of weight later on. According to her biographer she and her husband tried low carb dieting, which supposedly fit in with lifestyle because it allowed butter, meat, cheese, etc.
Result: Total failure and she struggled with her weight.

When I read this story I was still in my low carb swoon, so I thought, "Julia! You didn't do it right!"

Of course I now know why: she and Paul were probably scarfing down butter, lard, high fat cheese and meats...whatever, thank God they ditched the low-carb and went back to enjoying life.

In any case, she was never really fat, she just gained a bit of weight as she aged.

(Julia was also attacked mercilessly by the anti-fat jihadists, but she stuck to her butter-filled pastry bag gun bravely.)
Anonymous said…
One of her favorite dishes when she was 90: a baked potato with butter. She also didn't hesitate to eat at McD's, Burger King, and the In-and-Out Burger.
CarbSane said…
Welcome Taylor! I agree. So I would advise: Try it, enjoy the ride while it lasts, then prepare for change or mediocrity (or worse).
CarbSane said…
You know when that movie came out folks on Jimmy's forum were touting how she was LC. Always found that sort of odd. If someone cooks/eats high fat lowER carb they're still role models of sorts in the LC community (Jimmy tried to pass Alton Brown off as a low carber too) ... but if a study fails to show superiority for low carb the old "well the carbs weren't really low enough" speech gets dragged out.
I don't know if you guys followed the book release on the LC boards, but the 6WC was a failure for virtually everyone who chose to talk about it on the message boards. There were a lot of Eades partisans there, so I'm sure if it worked for someone, they would have been posting about it!

I do wonder why Jimmy Moore doesn't see what's staring him right in the face - low-carb is simply not working for him any more.

Oh, and if anyone is interested, here's a takedown of "Slow Burn":
You see a chubby longtime LCer, you're seeing someone who likes their treats and/or their booze. Eating meat and salad with (homemade) Italian dressing ain't gonna make you fat, but eating a ton of spaghetti squash, sweet potato fries and salads covered in commercial ranch dressing supplemented by Atkins bars, dark chocolate and pizza toppings will (for the record the foods listed are from Jimmy Moore's most recent menu posting. Yeah, that looks really healthy and low carb, Jimmy--NOT). The Doctors Eades readily admit to liking their booze and note that when they cut it out they lose weight. When Jimmy gets off the frankenfoods he loses weight too, but he's addicted to them and will use any excuse to get them back into his diet ... then wonder why he gains weight. It's when you add in the LC cheesecakes and brownies and Quest bars and cauliflower/cheese pizza crusts that LC starts failing. 6WC fails because carbs are added--hell, they okay BREAD in the last couple of weeks! LC does work when you stick with meats, eggs, fats and non-starchy veggies. The people listed above don't stick to that because they have to have their wine and their Atkins bars.
CarbSane said…
Welcome LRA! I agree with what you say there, and part of this is being mired in the notion of carbs being the determinant. A glass of wine a day may only be 3-5g carb but it's also 100 cal. Jimmy knows calories count somewhere in that head of his but he can't seem to deal with that. Some days he was eating 6 oz s.f. dark chocolate. That doesn't sound like much - especially when he broke it to 2oz servings - but that's more than a full bag of my fave treat, Lindor truffles.

That said, there's a difference between what you can get fat on vs. what will make you thin. If someone only eats meat and non-starchy veggies it would probably be difficult to gain unless they are really dousing things with extra fat. But if one eats fattier meats, dairy fat or eggie sauces it's possible. On the flip side, VLC no longer works for weight loss for me -- although since it has been a while I'm going to give it another try for a bit. I suppose if I ate just salad and tuna with oil&vinegar dressing I could lose more, but there's no compelling reason for that at the moment.

I participated in a group doing the 6WC over on Jimmy's forum. Oddly enough, many folks reported gaining back losses from the shake weeks. This caused many who tried to stick to it to go back to shakes and others not to even do the meat weeks based on reports of others.
Thanks for the welcome! It's been my experience that fat or fatty meat consumption regulates itself. When doing VLC I couldn't eat more than 2500 calories a day if you put a gun to my head. Like the Doctors Eades my big downfall is booze. However, my liver as of late has been like OH HELL NO, interprets the booze as sugar and fattens me like a Xmas goose, also reminding me that I am long past the age of being able to party like a college student--or, as the t-shirt in my icon says, to drink like a Roethlisberger. A nice side effect of VLC for me is that it kills my booze craving--I read once that alcoholism is a thwarted sweet tooth and I believe there's truth to that. I've never had much of a sweet tooth to begin with, the occasional tres leches donut from New York's Doughnut Plant notwithstanding, which makes me more resistant to "treats."

I'm just not crazy about people pointing to others like Jimmy Moore or Dana Carpender the Eadeses as proof that low-carb doesn't work or stopped working. Here is a perfect example of someone, Dana Carpender in this instance, who indulged in low-carb treats and gained weight. This is the norm, not the exception. I see it all the time. Like the man says, keep it simple, stupid. People won't, and that's where trouble comes in.
Sanjeev said…
"works for me" could mean: I finally had enough of being obese and had the motivation to gain control . Just so happens, I started a low carb diet at that time. So now no one will convince me low carb doesn't work.

"worked for me" just means that; one time one person had a good result AND AT THE SAME TIME they were following diet "x"

It does not mean "diet x works in the general sense" That's what science (especially the ability to design and run controlled studies), statistics, and a skeptical mindset are for.

It's like cancer: there have always been the occasional people who recovered fully. But if one of them tried a quack cure just before recovery, WATCH OUT --- you've now got a cancer survivor quack salesman who canNOT be convinced it doesn't work.

I've read many, many times from low carb promoters that If low fat is too hard to follow for lots of folks, it DOESN't WORK. End of Story.

"all high carb failures are the diet's failure, all low carb failures are the DIETER's failure" is an untenable, unscientific, double-standard position.

AND just plain unfair.

Can't stay on it?


Works for you? Good for you. Let's get back to discussing science.
Aaron said…
Sous vide with a microwave...