Five days, 6 pounds, no chewing -- my week on the baby-food diet
The tabloid website's bold, black headline read, "Jennifer Aniston put on baby-food diet." Most guys see that headline and visualize the Friends star in a bikini. I saw that headline and visualized a jar of green mush. Occupational hazard, I suppose.
It was yet another story about the baby-food cleanse, the latest fad diet (see also: Atkins, macrobiotic, South Beach) that allegedly helped Aniston lose 7 pounds. The basic premise: Eat 14 servings of puréed food every day, followed by a normal adult-size dinner.
Being a wealthy TV and movie star, Aniston probably hired Emeril Lagasse to run the Cuisinart. However, the majority of Americans trying this diet will blindly fill their shopping carts with Gerber. That's where I come in. My mission: to go on this diet for a week and report the results. When my personal-trainer wife, Brandy, heard about this genius idea, she said something to the effect of my being a sandwich short of a picnic, which, frankly, was an inconsiderate metaphor considering the circumstances.
The baby-food diet is a bit intense -- try remembering to do anything 14 times a day.
My first order of business was contacting Emily Korns, R.D., spokesperson for Nestlé Infant Nutrition, which develops Gerber's infant edibles. She explained via email that Gerber "is aware of the current 'baby-food diet,' and while consuming puréed fruits and vegetables can contribute toward the recommended [daily] intakes, Gerber does not promote the use of baby foods for weight loss purposes." OK, OK, but can you hook a brother up with some sweet potatoes? Emily was kind enough to give me a box of baby food, even letting it slip that she regularly enjoys the Gerber Graduates Zesty Tomato Lil' Crunchies. (Half the container totals 105 calories.) Adding to this gloop-topia, HappyBaby sent a cooler of its organic baby-food pouches on ice packs.
I kicked off Day One with HappyBaby's salmon with lentils and vegetables. While the consistency of the pink paste took some getting used to, it wasn't half bad. Luckily, the day's menu had other highlights including Gerber's vanilla-flavored Smart Sips (an amazingly tasty toddler smoothie); a Yogurt Blends, which hardly differs from adult yogurt in both flavor and fat content; and HappyBaby's green puffs, two handfuls of which equal approximately 25 calories.