This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in July of 2017.
For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6fcMML8-6Q&t=659s
Bob: We’ve got a guest here today.
Craig: Yep, hi Craig again and I’m here today to talk about calorie density.
Bob: So, we’re going to talk about how this is a good way to diet basically and lose weight. I think we are going to have some great visual demonstrations here of how to eat and why to eat certain foods.
Brad: And doing it in a healthy way.
Bob: Alright, let’s talk about Craig, Craig why don’t you give us your introduction. Let us know who you are.
Craig: My name is Craig Martin. I’m currently a graduate student at UW La Crosse, mastering in community health education with an emphasis on diet, nutrition, and disease reversal through a whole foods plant-based diet.
Bob: And Craig, can you tell us just a little bit about your personal story because you’ve said you had some weight loss and the asthma story, I think is interesting too.
Craig: Yeah, so it’s interesting, I live in Wisconsin. I was lactose intolerant and I worked at a cheese factory.
Bob: It’s a requirement when you live in Wisconsin.
Craig: Haha, yeah actually that’s what got me interested in diet. I was already interested in diet when I became lactose intolerant. But what I found more interesting is when I started working in the cheese industry, we would shut down the cheese production for lunch, and we would start up again and then we’d shut down at the end of the day. This goes along with heart disease too, what I found was inside the pipes were coated with cheese. When we would take those pipes apart at the end of the day, we would have to scrape out hard cheese. Sometimes these cheese pipes would be so occluded you could barely get anything through there. That made me realize what I was eating had an impact, not only on my weight but also on my health. I stopped eating cheese after I started working at a cheese factory because I just thought, “Oh my gosh, what was it doing.” Well not only that but cheese is very calorically dense. A one-ounce cube of cheese, which is about the size of two dice has 100 calories in it. When you think about that, that’s a small amount of cheese, that’s about the size of that one apple there probably has 100 calories. But if that was cheese that would probably be about 600 calories. So, when you look at food that way and you start to realize where your calories are coming from, it really can help to visualize how much food you can eat and still lose weight.
Bob: Craig, how much weight have you lost?
Craig: Well, I started following a whole foods plant-based diet after I saw the devastating effects of cheese and I lost about 40 pounds. So, at my heaviest I was about 166, now I’m about 128-130.
Bob: When I look at you, you look like a naturally thin person, I mean, you do, you don’t look like someone that was ever overweight. Interestingly enough, I thought you were one of those lucky people.
Brad: Eat anything you want and never gain weight.
Craig: Well, now I eat everything I want, and I never gain weight. But before I used to eat everything I wanted, and I gained weight.
Bob: Tell them your age too because I think that you look younger than you are.
Craig: I’m 36 years old. I get a lot of people telling me that I look like I’m in my early 20’s.
Bob: Right, and you do.
Bob: So, you are a walking testimony to plant-based diet.
Brad: Didn’t you say your asthma had a change with this diet.
Craig: Yes, when I cut the dairy out of my diet. I had asthma for 30 years and as soon as I cut the dairy out, it was funny. I would run a half-marathon in Green Bay because I always wanted to run a half-marathon. I’d done that and my parents were like, “Craig, where’s your inhaler? Where are your asthma symptoms, like what’s going on here?” I was like, oh yeah, I don’t have asthma anymore. It had been a gradual transition, the longer I went without the animal products in my diet, the greater the benefits were and from that point on I ran the half marathon, and I said I can run a marathon. And then I did, and I was 14 minutes’ shy of qualifying for Boston, my first marathon ever. I had never run before because I couldn’t.
Bob: So, we have some visualization.
Brad: So, what’s all this about?
Craig: So, what I have here, this is very interesting. This right here is five pounds of lettuce. This is also 500 calories. If you feel this, this is pretty heavy. I don’t want to knock you out of your chair. And here, this is 500 calories of cauliflower, broccoli and carrots look like.
Bob: So, still quite large, not as big as the lettuce.
Craig: We eat about 2000 calories a day so you could eat four bowls of lettuce or salad and you get 2000 calories. So there you go, you’d probably fill up before you’d ever finish this. If you had to eat that all day, you’d lose weight because you wouldn’t be able to eat enough calories in a given day. So that there in itself is a testament as to what 500 calories looks like. How it will fill your stomach because honestly this small bowl right here, is about the size of our stomachs.
Brad: And what do we have here?
Craig: There’s a bunch of little W’s on these, ha-ha, peanut M&M’s. Yeah and this is 500 calories of peanut M&M’s. When you compare that to the lettuce's 500 caleries, you want to lift that up?
Bob: This is my weakness right here, peanut M&M’s.
Craig: I mean; this is amazing. Which one do you think would fill your stomach, which one would fill you up? That’s why we snack on M&M's all day and we never get full. If we were to eat the lettuce, we would get full. Now, granted I would never just eat this alone. I would probably use a balsamic vinegar on that, something to replace the olive oil because this olive oil if that were used to coat this, that would make the lettuce, 1000 calories.
Bob: So, the olive oil is 500 calories on its own.
Craig: Yeah, this is 500 calories in this little jar. When you look at it, that’s what 500 calories looks like next to each other.
Brad: And I’m thinking, it’s okay because olive oil is healthy and that’s all like good calories.