That's right. Mario Lopez. As in: A.C. Slater. The darling host of Extra with perfect teeth and memorable dimples.
In addition to all the other stuff he does these days (and it's a lot), he not only manages to keep himself in unimaginably good shape, but he's also the unlikely champion of the home-cooked meal.
Laugh if you will--we did at first--but you gotta love a guy who may not be a chef, but loves food and thinks more people should cook it themselves.
He doesn't pretend to be a nutrition expert or a culinary genius, he told me on my radio show "Whole Living." He just loves food--and thinks if you eat well, you lose weight.
His new book is Extra Lean: The Fat-Burning Plan that Changes the Way You Eat for Life, and it's full of recipes that really anyone could do.
Is it the healthiest or finest cuisine in the whole world? Is it breakthrough stuff? Not really. I can't say I learned anything I didn't already kind of know (I'm sure you've thought of eating part-skim string cheese and a handful of cashews as a snack), but I like his honest, straightforward take on the whole thing. Eat good food. Eat a combination of proteins, fats, and carbs. Eat often. And watch your portions.
No duh, you might say, but the fact is, if we all did that, we might be better off as a nation--and Mario himself says there's lots of obesity in his family, and that growing up in Mexican culture, he saw quite a bit of it. He broke himself of some habits, and made new ones.
Not bad for a guy who glamorized the mullet.
My favorite part? When I asked him if, with all the different jobs and roles he's taken on, he even knows who he really is when he lays down at night.
Being the polished TV professional, he didn't bat an eye.
"I'm my mother's son," he said. "I'm all about family."