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  • 20 Habits That Make You Fat (for the record)

    Posted on August 9th, 2011 Sean Add comments
    1. Eating “low-fat”
      Typically, they save you only a few calories and, in doing so, they replace harmless fats with low-performing carbohydrates that digest quickly—causing a sugar rush and, immediately afterward, rebound hunger.
    2. Not seeking nutrition advice
      When Canadian researchers sent diet and exercise advice to more than 1,000 people, they found that the recipients began eating smarter and working more physical activity into their daily routines.
    3. Sleeping too little or too much
      According to Wake Forest researchers, dieters who sleep five hours or less put on 2½ times more belly fat, while those who sleep more than eight hours pack on only slightly less than that. Shoot for an average of six to seven hours of sleep per night—the optimal amount for weight control.
    4. Eating free restaurant foods
      Every time you eat one of Olive Garden’s free breadsticks or Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits, you’re adding an additional 150 calories to your meal. Eat three over the course of dinner and that’s 450 calories. That’s also roughly the number of calories you can expect for every basket of tortilla chips you get at your local Mexican restaurant.
    5. Drinking soda—even diet
      Because a 2005 study found that drinking one to two sodas per day increases your chances of being overweight or obese by nearly 33 percent. And diet soda is no better.
    6. Skipping meals
      The problem is, skipping meals actually increases your odds of obesity, especially when it comes to breakfast. Skipping meals slows your metabolism and boosts your hunger. That puts your body in prime fat-storage mode and increases your odds of overeating at the next meal.
    7. Eating too quickly
      A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that slow eaters took in 66 fewer calories per meal, but compared to their fast-eating peers, they felt like they had eaten more.
    8. Watching too much TV
      A University of Vermont study found that overweight participants who reduced their TV time by just 50 percent burned an additional 119 calories a day on average. That’s an automatic 12-pound annual loss!
    9. Ordering the combo meal
      Because when you order items bundled together, you’re likely to buy more food than you want. You’re better off ordering your food piecemeal. That way you won’t be influenced by pricing schemes designed to hustle a few more cents out of your pocket.
    10. Facing the buffet
      Cornell researchers found that when eating at a buffet-style restaurant, obese diners were 15 percent more likely to choose seats with a clear view of the food.
    11. Eating off larger plates
      One study found that when given an option, a whopping 98.6 percent of obese individuals opt for larger plates. Translation: More food, more calories, and more body fat.
    12. Putting serving dishes on the table
      A study in the journal Obesity found that when food is served from the dinner table, people consume 35 percent more over the course of the meal. When an additional helping requires leaving the table, people hesitate to go back for more.
    13. Choosing white bread
      A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that when obese subjects incorporated whole grains into their diets, they lost more abdominal fat over the course of 12 weeks.
    14. Taking big bites
      The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who took large bites of food consumed 52 percent more calories in one sitting than those who took small bites and chewed longer. By cutting food into smaller pieces, you can increase satiety and enjoy your food more thoroughly.
    15. Not drinking enough water
      In one University of Utah study, dieting participants who were instructed to drink two cups of water before each meal lost 30 percent more weight than their thirsty peers. And you can magnify the effect by adding ice. German researchers found that six cups of cold water a day could prompt a metabolic boost that incinerates 50 daily calories.
    16. Having overweight friends
      Research from the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that when a friend becomes obese, it ups your chance of obesity by 57 percent.
    17. Eating too late
      A new study in the journal Obesity looked at the sleeping and eating habits of 52 people over seven days, and it found that those who ate after 8 p.m. took in the most daily calories and had the highest BMIs.
    18. Not using a scale
      When University of Minnesota researchers observed dieters who weighed themselves daily, they discovered that the routine of stepping on a scale helped those people lose twice as much weight as those who weighed themselves less frequently.
    19. Drinking fruity beverages
      As a general rule, the more garnishes a drink has hanging from its rim, the worse it is for your waistline.
    20. Eating when emotional
      A study from the University of Alabama found that emotional eaters—those who admitted eating in response to emotional stress—were 13 times more likely to be overweight or obese.
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  • Ice Cream in the Bay Area (for the record)

    Posted on June 23rd, 2011 Sean Add comments

    San Francisco

    • Mitchell’s Ice Cream
      688 San Jose Ave., open every day from 11:00 am — 11:00 pm.
      This long-established Mission favorite has been serving delicious specialty ice cream, sorbet, and sundaes for over 50 years. There’s some indoor seating.
      Price: Inexpensive
    • Bi-Rite Creamery and Bakeshop
      3692 18th St., open Sunday thru Thursday 11:00 am — 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00 am — 11:00 pm.
      The ever-popular Bi-Rite Creamery uses mostly organic, local milk products to make its sweet treats. They serve popsicles, sorbet, sundaes, and ice cream sandwiches, as well as cupcakes and cookies. They recently added a soft serve window to the store.
      Price: Inexpensive
    • Swensen’s Ice Cream
      1999 Hyde St., open Tuesday thru Thursday and Sunday noon to 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday noon to 11:00 pm.
      This tiny retro-style store in Russian Hill is known for its rich, creamy, flavorful ice cream. The sticky chewy chocolate is one of their best sellers. Counter service only. Parking is tricky, so plan accordingly. Give the kids an extra thrill and hop on the 45 from Union St. and let the bus carry you to the top of the hill.
      Price: Inexpensive
    • Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous
      699 22nd St., open Tuesday thru Saturday 11:30 am — 6:00 pm, and Sunday 11:30 am to 5:00 pm.
      This newcomer to the cream scene popped up in Dogpatch a couple of years ago. It gets our nod for inventive flavors in big scoops, as well as an industrial-chic decor that makes standing in line less of a chore.
      Price: Moderate
      Website: Read our review from when it first opened.
    • Smitten
      432 Octavia St.
      This newcomer is a high-tech wonder—proprietor Robyn Sue Goldman developed the Kelvinator, which uses liquid nitrogen to make ice cream in 60 seconds. That means kids can watch it go from a liquid to a solid while they wait for their scoop of fresh strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, whatever they please.
      Price: Moderate

    East Bay

    • Fenton’s Creamery
      4226 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, open Monday thru Thursday 11:00 am — 11:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 9:00 am to midnight, Sunday 9:00 am to 11:00 pm.
      With over 30 flavors of ice cream and sherbet, you’ll be spoilt for choice at this super-popular (it was even featured in Pixar’s Up) sit-down ice cream parlor. Try one of their yummy mix-and-match sundaes.
      Price: Moderate
    • Gelateria Naia
      2106 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, open Sunday thru Thursday noon to 11:00 pm, Friday and Saturday noon to midnight.
      You’ll love the vast array of scrumptious hand-made all-natural Italian gelati and sorbetti served here. The gelati is made only with rBGH-free milk, and the sorbetti with fresh, ripe, local, seasonal fruit.
      Price: Moderate
    • Ici
      2948 College Ave., Berkeley, open Monday 2:00 pm — 9:30 pm, Tuesday — Thursday noon — 9:30 pm, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday noon — 10:00 pm.
      Ici is owned by none other than Chez Panisse’s former pastry chef Mary Canales. Needless to say their ice cream, sorbet, and sherbet are all fit for a prince (or princess!). Ingredients are all organic, local, and sustainably-raised, plus everything is either compostable or recyclable.
      Price: Moderate
    • Scream Sorbet
      5030 Telegraph Ave., Oakland. Open until 11:00 pm on weekends.
      Bakesale Betty’s new neighbor keeps up the culinary tradition establishing this part of Temescal along Telegraph as “gourmet ghetto south.” The seasonal flavors change weekly, but pineapple-guava and anything with coconut are sure winners.
      Price: Moderate
    • IScream
      1819 Solano Ave., Berkeley Although it just opened last month, Solano Avenue’s new scoop shop has been getting raves for its chocolate and mocha almond ice cream flavors, as well as its lemon sorbet.
      Price: Inexpensive
      Website: Not yet!
    • Tucker’s Supercreamed Ice Cream
      1349 Park St., Alameda, open Tuesday thru Thursday 11:00 am — 9:30pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00 am — 11:00 pm, and Sundays and holidays noon to 9:30 pm.
      Tucker’s set up shop in 1941 and has been here ever since. They serve over 33 flavors of ice cream, sorbet, and sherbet. Their ‘Tornado Machine’ will custom-blend frozen yogurt flavors — try one in a freshly-baked waffle cone.
      Price: Inexpensive

    Contra Costa

    • Loard’s Ice Cream
      3080 El Cerrito Plaza, El Cerrito, open Monday thru Thursday and Sunday noon — 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday noon — 9:30 pm, and in Orinda at 230 Brookwood Rd, open Sunday thru Thursday from 11:00 am — 9:00 pm and Friday and Saturday 11:00 am — 10:00 pm.
      Loard’s ice cream parlors have been a Bay Area favorite since the first one opened in 1950. They’re a small chain but feel more like a mom-and-pop store, and serve over 40 flavors of rich and creamy ice cream, as well as sorbet, sherbet, and a ‘lite’ version of their ice cream. Check out their website for a full listing of northern California stores, with a few now open in the Peninsula.
      Price: Moderate


    • Romolo’s Cannoli and Spumoni Factory
      81 37th Ave., San Mateo, open Wednesday thru Saturday 11:00 am — 6:30 pm, Sunday 11:00 am — 4:30 pm.
      If you love all-natural, authentic Italian desserts, this is the place. Try their famous ice-cream-filled cannoli, or opt for a fresh fruit sorbet or granita with a couple of cucidati (sugar cookies).
      Price: Inexpensive
    • Rick’s Rather Rich Ice Cream
      3946 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto, open Monday thru Thursday 11:30 am — 9:00 pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 am — 9:30 pm.
      This gourmet micro-creamery offers no less than 48 flavors of hand-made ice cream, as well as their version of a popsicle, called ‘frozen ice.’ Their newest creation is the Whoopie Ice Cream Sandwich. Try a white chocolate ginger or fudge marble cone. They also make yummy sorbet, floats, and sundaes.
      Price: Moderate
    • Preston’s Candy and Ice Cream
      1170 Broadway, Burlingame. Open Monday 11:00 am — 6:00 pm, Tuesday-Thursday 11:00 am — 8:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00 am — 9:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 pm — 6:00 pm.
      Love to support local old-timey businesses? Then Preston’s is the place for you! They organize annual contests like “guess how many jelly beans in the cookie jar” with cool prizes, and are always a hit with kids.
      Price: Inexpensive
    • Powell’s Sweet Shoppe
      1166 Howard Ave., Burlingame
      Yes, it’s a bit gimmicky, but your kids will explore the place with wide-eyed wonder at the candy piled to the ceiling. Grab a scoop of gelato and hit the row of movie seats to view some of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. P.S. There are Powell’s locations in Los Gatos, Novato, Berkeley, and Lafayette.
      Price: Moderate


    • Three Twins Ice Cream
      641 Del Ganado Road, Terra Linda, north San Rafael, open Monday thru Thursday 1:00 pm — 9:00 pm, Friday and Saturday noon — 9:30 pm, Sunday noon — 9:00 pm.
      You can’t go wrong no matter what you order here — it’s all absolutely delish. Everything is organic, and their cups and spoons are compostable. Sit inside, or out on the patio on warm days, or order a pint of ice-cream or sorbet to go.

      NOTE: Three Twins Ice Cream has opened a little store in San Francisco at 254 Fillmore St. It’s open Monday thru Thursday noon — 10:00 pm, Friday and Saturday 11:00 am — 11:00 pm, and Sunday 11:00 am — 10:00 pm.
      Price: Moderate

    • Fairfax Scoop
      63 Broadway Boulevard, Fairfax; open every day from noon to 10:00 pm, Cash only.
      This tiny place always seems to have a line outside. It serves scrumptious, all-organic ice cream, soy ice cream, and sorbet, and makes its own waffle cones.
      Price: Inexpensive
      Website: Not yet!
    • Noci
      17 E. Blithdale Ave., Mill Valley. Open everyday 11:30 am — 10:00 pm.
      OK, we know it’s gelato, but it’s so rich, delectable, and creamy (love the chocolate) that we had to include this artisanal scoop shop. They cater to people with nut and gluten allergies, too!
      Price: Moderate
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