Alton Brown decided to go on a diet with his dog. He then proceeded to consume her food.
Sure, you adore your canine companion. Do you, on the other hand, adore your dog as much as Alton Brown does? Is it too much to expect for her to taste-test her food, for example?
Brown isn't one of them. After all, this is a man who previously disclosed that his favorite ice cream is made with gin, Welch's grape juice, prunes, and gummy bears (except the green ones, which ruin everything). The renowned chef and Food Network personality is well-known for putting his desire for adventure ahead of... other preferences.
Brown's life, however, is currently devoid of alcohol and sugar. That's because he's on a diet, and the reason is the same one that plagues us all, especially at this time of year, when curling up with a bowl of comfort food looks all too attractive.
Brown, 59, told TODAY by phone that he has always generously rewarded himself. And I have the stretchy pants to show it from time to time.
So, what are your options? Many experts advise having a weight-loss partner to help you stay on track. Brown's four-legged companion, on the other hand, isn't exactly a model of self-control: She eats his food without asking and has poor table manners. When Brown and his wife, Elizabeth, adopted her three years ago, she was suffering from mange. However, she still bears the name Scabigail, which they gave to their new puppy at that awful moment.
Brown said, She was a rescue that had been badly neglected; she weighed just 7 pounds and was covered in scabs. She was starving and would eat everything – little rocks, insects. Because she was so emaciated, the vets were unable to determine her age because everything was so underdeveloped. But there's a catch: nutrition alters everything. Nothing is totally correct if they are not adequately fed as puppies.
Scabigail hit the jackpot for a hungry puppy. Being saved by a famous chef has its rewards, and she isn't afraid to take advantage of them.
There was a turkey leg on a table on the set of 'Good Eats,' and Scabs leaped up on the banquette, jumped up to the table, and was gone out the back door. Brown marveled at the stunt, "The only way we knew what occurred was because there was a grease spot left on the table where the turkey leg used to be."
Such appetites had caught up with them both by this winter. Brown explained, "I put myself on a diet and she put herself on a diet at the same time." I'm going to fail miserably at my diet. I'm not good at self-control, especially when I get home and really want a cocktail, but I'm just having them on weekends. It's difficult to break patterns; we also reward ourselves - I had a tough day and didn't yell at anyone.' But I'm a human, and I can make decisions and convince myself that these pants don't fit right.
Scabigail's signs were a little more subtle. Brown was aware that she was "curvy," as his wife describes it, but it was her heavy snoring that jolted him awake. They found a tool on the Hill's Pet Nutrition website that helped them crunch some figures throughout their investigation. According to Hill's, 90% of pet owners are unaware that their pet is overweight.
"There are a number of resources on their site — the body assessment tool in particular is very useful — but you can't forget about your veterinarian," Brown said. I believe in veterinarians; the rest of us assume we are experts when we are not.
Scabigail was overweight, as the stark math indicated. Brown asked the vet how much weight she needed to shed to reach her ideal weight, and he gave her a figure — which he politely declined to disclose with TODAY. As a result, man and man's best friend embarked on a weight-loss adventure together.
Brown, who has worked with Hill's Pet Nutrition, a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive, stated, As someone who is as into food as I am, I had not given a lot of attention to what a dog/pet requires; there are very particular things to enhance their metabolism and overall health and keep their weight down. It is just as vital for animals as it is for humans to maintain a healthy weight. Investing in your dog's health is the same as investing in the correct diet.
Alton Brown did try the dog food. The first step was to change Scabigail's diet. Brown, on the other hand, takes a hands-on approach to quality control as a chef. He did, in fact, eat the dog food. I never give my dog anything I haven't tried myself. I couldn't stop myself from eating both the kibble and the canned food. I'm curious as to how it tastes. I took a huge spoonful.
I guess if I was going to live off canned food, I'd definitely heat it up, he added, jokingly.
The new diet was approved by both humans and dogs. Hill's puts a lot of effort into improving the nutrients in the food, and they also realize that if the animal doesn't want to eat it, it won't matter, Brown added.
I never give my dog anything I haven't tried myself. I couldn't stop myself from eating both the kibble and the canned food. I'm curious as to how it tastes.
Brown, like many passionate pet owners and star chefs, has dabbled with homemade dog food and treats in the past (and they tasted very good! ), but eventually chose to leave the nutritional decisions to the professionals. I can cook sweet potatoes and chicken, but at the end of the day, keeping an animal in peak health and getting a dog's digestive tract to absorb nutrition effectively is a hard task.
We can't offer the probiotics that a dog or a cat require, he noted, so it's well-intentioned and pleasant to think we can prepare special food for our pets, but I don't believe we can."
After figuring out Scabigail's diet, there were still obstacles to overcome, such as Brown's habit of bringing his dogs to work with him every day. We have a quite large test kitchen, and Scabs knows his way about it. She's really cute; she has a blue and a brown eye, and she has a few favorite hangout areas. Brown claims that she knows who is most likely to drop something off the counter. Scabs has a lot of food that falls to the ground. She gets enough calories for an entire meal from a 1-ounce slice of cheese, but not much nourishment.
Scabs is sticking to her diet despite the hijinks in the test kitchen. "It's only been a few weeks, but she's already shed weight and appears to be more active." It feels nice to make a commitment to dieting with your dog, and it feels good to see your dog want something and give it to them — it's an endorphin high, but Brown advises that snuggles or play should take precedence over goodies. We've stepped up our game. She used to wear out after five minutes of tug of war; now it takes her 15 minutes. She's the one who's wearing me down now!
The benefit of keeping pets healthy, as most pet parents know, is that more movement is good for us as well. It makes me take a break from my day and reminds me to play." "Dogs are worthless if they aren't present, Brown explained.
Scabigail's manners have improved as a result of the new routine, and she enjoys the food. Because it has more fiber, it keeps her fuller for longer and reduces her asking. She was a terrible beggar who often jumped up on me. I believe the fiber is keeping her happier.
Brown's final piece of advice for pet owners is one that many parents of little children will recognize: don't let them pit one parent against the other. Dogs play both hands along the middle, so if Mommy doesn't give me rewards, I'll try to obtain them from Daddy. Dogs pick up on systems and develop habits. They anticipate Daddy to reach into that drawer and give me a treat at 3 p.m. if that's how it's always been. But that's a good thing since we can utilize it to our benefit, as well as theirs.
That now involves portioning snacks from Scabigail's daily food allowance at the start of the day and agreeing that when they're gone, they're gone in the Brown home.We offer goodies because we enjoy doing so, and then people remark things like, My dog is growing old; they don't play as much as they used to, or They sleep all the time anymore, according to Brown.