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My Fabulous Disease

HIV Nutrition (and Proper Pooping) With Nelson Vergel, Food Detective

A Video Blog

By Mark S. King

January 4, 2011

Nelson Vergel is not impressed with my fridge. Sure, it has double doors and a freezer drawer, but he's criticizing almost every damn thing inside it. Most of the items say "low fat" or "sugar free," but he claims it's all a terrible lie. Oh, and the producers of the "weight control" oatmeal packets in my cupboard are making a fool of me.

Letting the HIV fitness and nutrition expert take over my kitchen seemed like a good idea at the time. I turned 50 over the holidays (after living with HIV for over half my life, I'm ancient in AIDS years), and my body is ... changing. That's where I figured Nelson could help out.

Episode 27: HIV Nutrition (and Proper Pooping) With Nelson Vergel, Food Detective

If I'm going to be sticking around, I better pull myself together. I did quit smoking a year ago -- perhaps my greatest health achievement, aside from getting clean and sober -- but while resting on my laurels, my laurels got hungry. Today, I'm hauling at least 20 extra pounds.

In this video episode of My Fabulous Disease, watch Nelson ransack my refrigerator and explain why my eating habits aren't doing me much good. He offers some really simple tips for developing a healthy diet, and I'm putting them to use already.

In my upcoming video episode, Nelson and I hit the gym for a workout and then the grocery store for a lesson on shopping properly (did you know about "staying around the edges"?). I assure you, if I can try keeping up with this guy, so can you.

I was lucky to get some time with Nelson, considering he's been busy with his own Web site about fitness and supplements, as well as promoting his new book, Testosterone: A Man's Guide (Nelson's written several other books on these topics as well). But after I cozied up to him during the recent HIV Cruise Retreat in the Caribbean (I was the MC on the cruise and he was a guest lecturer), he promised to visit my kitchen and help jump-start my fitness overhaul.

Wish me luck! I promise to take Nelson's advice to heart, by eating better and making my grand comeback to the gym -- although this time, I'll watch the weight lifters from afar and stick to the cardio machines for a while.

And how are your resolutions coming? Do you diet to lose weight or take it off slowly through exercise? Isn't it a gas (and a miracle) that people with HIV/AIDS like me are working to stay in shape for the long run? Irony is awfully popular these days.

As always, my friends, please be well.


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See Also
An Introduction to Dietary Supplements for People Living With HIV/AIDS
Ask a Question About Diet or Nutrition at's "Ask the Experts" Forums
More Viewpoints on Diet, Nutrition and HIV/AIDS


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My Fabulous Disease

Mark S. King has been an active AIDS activist, writer and community organization leader since the early 1980s in Los Angeles. He has been an outspoken advocate for prevention education and for issues important to those living with HIV.

Diagnosed in 1985, Mark has held positions with the Los Angeles Shanti Foundation, AID Atlanta and AIDS Survival Project, and is an award-winning writer. He continues his volunteer work as an AIDS educator and speaker for conferences and events.

Speaking engagements: Mark King is available to speak to groups. Contact Mark about speaking at your organization or event!

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Mark King Looks Back at the AIDS Epidemic's Darkest Hour in the U.S. (May 14, 2008)

This Month in HIV: Crystal Methamphetamine and HIV (August 2007)

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