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Archive for the ‘Celebrities’ Category

  • Day 105: Will LA Laker Lamar Odom’s Candy Addiction Hurt Him Tonight in Boston?

    Date: 2010.06.13 | Category: Celebrities | Response: 1

    Tonight, the “Candy Man” of the Los Angeles Lakers, Lamar Odom, and his team face the Boston Celtics in the most crucial game of the 2010 NBA finals. The series is tied 2-2.  Game 5 starts at 8:00 p.m. EDT in Boston.  (Go Celtics!)

    It’s the kind of game where you really need to be… on top of your game. But the Laker forward hasn’t been playing up to standard in the series and he’s been getting hammered in the press and by his coaches.

    And as we’ve mentioned before in A Year Without Candy, Lamar Odom is a world-champion sugar addict.  He’s a brilliant player, but not always consistent. His unbelievable consumption of the most sugary candy available (see last year’s hilarious video about Lamar’s candy obsession here) is sometimes blamed when his skills go south. Lamar’s father Joe was a heroin addict.

    One year ago, Odom’s crazy-ass candy addiction was all over the sports news, and even inspired this essay, titled The Lakers’ Lamar Odom, Sweet Tooth and Erratic Play, by a brain doctor named Dr. Daniel Amen:

    I have been a huge Los Angeles Lakers fan since I was a child. I am really excited about my team being in the NBA Finals for the second year in a row.

    What I’m not as excited about is a video I recently watched on the ESPN website about Lakers star Lamar Odom and his massive addiction… to candy. In it, you can see the 6-foot 10-inch forward gobbling up massive quantities of sugary treats.

    Odom has been a giant source of frustration for Lakers fans. He is unbelievably talented, but often acts like a space cadet during games. Once, when he was taking the ball out on the sidelines, he walked onto the court before he threw the ball in, causing a turnover.   During the Lakers last home game against the Denver Nuggets, Kobe Bryant threw him a pass, but the ball hit him on the shoulder because he had spaced out and was not paying attention.

    On sports talk shows, Odom is constantly criticized because no one knows if he will play well or not. He can play great, and be worth his 14 million-dollar salary, or he can act like he is “missing in action.”

    Odom freely confesses that he just can’t help himself when it comes to the sweet stuff and always keeps a stash on hand of Gummi Bears, Honey Buns, Lifesavers, Hershey’s white chocolate, Snickers bars, cookies, and more. He eats the sugary snacks morning noon and night, and even says he sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night, chows down on some treats, then falls back asleep.

    This is bad news for the Lakers. I’ve been telling my patients for years that sugar acts like a drug in the brain. It causes blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, leaving you feeling tired, irritable, foggy, and stupid. Eating too much sugar impairs cognitive function, which may explain why Odom doesn’t always make the smartest decisions on the court.

    Excessive sugar consumption also promotes inflammation, which can make your joints ache, and that’s definitely a bad thing for a professional athlete. It is also linked to headaches, mood swings, and weight gain. Weight gain isn’t a problem now for Odom, but it is for the average person who isn’t playing full-court basketball for hours each day.

    As a fan and a physician, it concerns me that our professional sports organizations and players are not more concerned about brain health, which includes nutrition. My advice to Odom and to all sugar addicts is to get your sugar consumption under control. You’ll feel so much better and your brain will function better, too. And, maybe the Lakers can get their 15th championship and Odom can get his first.

    Read this article in the Los Angeles Times from June 2009 in response to Dr. Amen’s essay, titled: If Anything, Lamar Odom Isn’t Eating Enough Candy!

    An unrepentant Lamar himself responded to Candygate in the below video in which he pointed out that he had eaten candy for breakfast during some of his best recent games:

    Even the Lakers coach Phil Jackson was forced to weigh in on the scandal (candal?) and sounded very much like an enabler when he downplayed Lamar’s sugar addiction:


    GO CELTICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Day 49: Why “Ugly Betty” Was So Beautiful

    Date: 2010.04.17 | Category: Celebrities | Response: 1

    Regrets?  I have at least one.  My life will always be somewhat wanting because I was not a cast member of “Ugly Betty,” which ended its 4-year run last week. Not only did it look like the most fun job on the planet, the actors were some of the best on TV and the writing was unparalleled.

    You can have “The Wire.”  I’ll take Suarez & Co. –  the show smart enough to make the sidekick the star.

    True, they hardly ever showed a snippet of a sex scene between Betty and some of her improbably hot boyfriends – and it was a little difficult to imagine nerdy Betty, awkward, cheery, mouth full of braces, in bed.

    But she must have been good, right?  I mean, Betty’s suitors just got better every season.

    Never judge a book by its cover, a point brought home by’s resident blond surfer boy, Max Hodges, yesterday on TMZ’s live stream. Hodges, the Jeff Spicoli of TMZ, was talking about Sandra Bullock.  He said what everyone secretly thinks about “America’s Sweetheart,”  who willingly spent five years sleeping with a tattooed, philandering, neo-Nazi pit bull aficionado, but nobody dares say.

    “She’s gotta be a superfreak,” said Hodges. “I’ve known a lot of straight girls like that. You can’t believe what they’re really like when you get them home.”

    But Betty was no Bullock.  Yes she came from Queens, her father was an illegal alien and she showed up for work at Mode magazine on her first day with bangs, beetle brows and a red Guadalajara poncho.  Yes, the whole Vogue-like staff mocked her mercilessly – but it never really got to her.

    Unlike Bullock, Betty had bulletproof self-esteem.  She never hid anything. When she was hurt or humiliated, she felt it and showed it. Then picked herself up and focused her attention back on the prize.  She didn’t have any game going to hide her shame so lucky her, she got past it.  No need for a Jesse James to take on her dark side for her.  She worked it out herself.

    So the four-year “Poncho to Honcho” storyline (for you non-Betty fans, she went from Mode Magazine underling to London editor by the last episode) never seemed far-fetched.  I’ve known some Bettys.  Dolly Parton is one.  They don’t let anything get in their way – without being evil and while being true to themselves.

    I think I saw every episode of “Ugly Betty” but the scene that stood out was this season when Betty’s teenage nephew, Justin, who wasn’t even out yet to himself, never mind his family, suddenly kissed a boy.

    When I watched the scene I thought of two gay male friends of mine in their 50s, both of whom told me how they felt suicidal at times during their adolescence and what a difference it must be to be a gay teenager now and see a scene like that.

    Betty, and the fantastic actress who played her, America Ferrera, are at least 20 pounds heavier than most female leads on TV.  Weight was never an issue for Betty. The only character with a food problem was skinny Amanda and her “stress-eating.”

    As a result, watching “Ugly Betty” felt nourishing.  I noticed the contrast when, a few months ago, I inexplicably started watching the seven-year-old TV series, “Two and a Half Men” for the first time.

    Of course it’s a totally different show aimed at a different audience.  But I was struck by how by how flat, brittle and hollow the actresses come off on the show – especially Jennifer Taylor, who plays Charlie Sheen’s girlfriend Chelsea.  She’s pictured below in a scene with Sheen and another, similar actress.

    Taylor and Marian Hinkle, below, who plays Jon Cryer’s ex-wife on the show, are the kind of women you only see in Southern California – and especially on a certain kind of TV show or movie.

    I live in France where the women are slim, but it looks natural.  If you live in Europe and return to LA after a long time away, as I did last fall, it’s a shock to see these hard, tranny-like looking women with their Botoxed faces and fat-free bodies.

    The contrast between their thin, muscled arms and big tits is so weird and amazing.  Nobody looks like this in France.  Taylor and Hinkle radiate coldness when you watch them.  Their bodies are perfect – or considered perfect in Hollywood, I guess – but it seems as if the strain of making them that way has starved them of all warmth and humor. It’s hard to imagine them having fun. No nourishment here.

    In contrast, during the final episode of “Ugly Betty” last week, there was a scene in which Betty was wearing a sleeveless dress.  Her upper arm was fleshy without much definition.

    Somehow, it looked good!

    Bye Betty, good luck America!

  • Day 46: Sienna, the South of France Assassin

    Date: 2010.04.14 | Category: Celebrities | Response: 0

    Sienna is a majestic French cat who lives with his human just down the street from me.

    He reminds me that everyone has a favorite food – and it’s not always a white chocolate rabbit.

    I’ve been known to tear into a chocolate covered Gummi bear – and even bite Santa Claus’ head off.

    But whenever Sienna’s favorite food, French mice, show up in the hallways of his 400-year old crib, this butterscotch-colored predator shows us all how it’s done.

    P.S. I do my best to stay on Sienna’s good side. He’s never tasted bacon and my plan is for things to stay that way.


  • Day 41: Why I Love Patricia Heaton on “The Middle”

    Date: 2010.04.09 | Category: Celebrities | Response: 1

    What do you do to relieve work-related stress when you live in France?

    Review the subjunctive?

    Re-read “Remembrance of Things Past,” in French of course?

    Tackle Céline’s Journey to the End of Night, in French of course?


    I download episodes of my new favorite TV show, “The Middle,” starring Patricia Heaton from “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

    I wouldn’t even know it existed except my Francophile friend Rick – Reeeeekkk – in San Francisco recommended it.  I think it’s still the first season.

    Anyway, Patricia Heaton rocks it hard as a frazzled mom of three living in flyover country.

    And how thrilled was I when during a recent episode about her vowing to stop yelling at her kids, the guy who plays her husband, Neil Flynn, said scornfully:

    “”I think it’s gonna be like when you quit sugar. One day later I find you on the bathroom floor sucking frosting out of the tube.”

    Sure enough, we see a quick shot of Heaton surreptitiously sucking down some serious-looking frosting when no one is looking.

    How well we understand – and sympathize – with our fictional friends.

    Where’s MY frosting?


  • Day 26: Oh no, Gwyneth Paltrow Talks Ice Cream Sundaes…

    Date: 2010.03.25 | Category: Celebrities | Response: 0

    Does anyone read Gwyneth Paltrow’s much-mocked Goop? Me neither but I read about her filming in Nashville and scoring some chocolate sundae with toffee no less and had to check out the item in Goop. See below.

    P.S. I wanted to post an image of a fantastic hot fudge sundae and I saw some pictures and nearly fainted because I want to remind you I am on Day 26 of no sweets. So I’m not posting a picture but next time I might. I’m weak today and not so sure about this whole damn plan.


    From Goop:

    Mike’s Ice Cream
    208 Broadway
    +615 742 MIKE

    We indulged one afternoon with a remarkably delectable Sundae here at this old-fashioned Ice Cream Shop. It has murals on the wall that remind you of a soda fountain and tall bar chairs with coiled backs. The Sundae was perfect, not too large, made with good vanilla ice cream, drenched in chocolate and peanuts, and with just the right amount of toffee.

  • Day 8: How to be a Hard-Core Candy Addict: Lamar Odom

    Date: 2010.03.07 | Category: Celebrities | Response: 1

    LA Laker star Lamar Odom is known as the “Candy Man” on his team. He’s an open and unrepentant candy addict. No Year Without Candy for him — yet.

    See his new Power Bar (sugar filled) TV commercial on his website.

    Watch hilarious video of Lamar, his teammates and his personal assistant (who has to make sure the boss has a sweet stash available at all times) talk about his massive sweet tooth.

    By the way, Lamar’s father was a heroin addict.

  • Day 4: Jeff Garlin Too? Kicking Sugar Hot New Trend!

    Date: 2010.03.03 | Category: Celebrities | Response: 2

    “Curb Your Enthusiasm’s” Jeff Garlin was on “Regis and Kelly” Wednesday talking about, what else? Quitting sugar!

    Garlin is overweight and a diabetic so he was super-motivated to go on an overall drastic diet – which included cutting out sweets.

    See story and video here

  • Day 4: Why is Ellen DeGeneres Copying ME?

    Date: 2010.03.03 | Category: Celebrities, Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Oops, I guess living in France has its drawbacks. I must be the last to know that Ellen De Generes started a “sugar cleanse” for the entire 2010 TV season. She started on Feb. 2 – which only makes me one month behind U.S. pop culture news.

    Ellen is doing it the hard-core way,giving up everything that has sugar in it which as you know is just about everything. Here’s a clip from her TV show on Feb. 2 talking about giving up sugar. Check out her video diary about her sugar-free journey here and watch the clip from her TV show on Feb. 2, the day she kicked it all off.

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This American candy addict/journalist in France writes about quitting candy – and all desserts – for at least one year beginning Feb. 28, 2010. Follow my progress – or relapses – as I delete candy corn, moelleux au chocolat, peppermint patties, Carambars, tarte tatin, After Eights, crème brûlée, Nutella, tapioca pudding, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Haribo Polkas, M & Ms and more from my life. Learn about the evils of white sugar and its effects on mood and health from my interviews with experts and friends! Let the sugar fog lift!

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