the diet detective

Muffin maker offers pizza with just 190 calories

syndicated ColumnistNovember 29, 2012 

Here are my latest Calorie Bargain finds — healthy living at a good value.

Calorie Bargain: VitaPizza

Why: Vitalicious, famous for those low-calorie muffins, has done it again. Its team has been working hard for two years perfecting a low-calorie, single-serving frozen pizza. Available in cheese and tomato and Meatless Pepperoni Supreme, it's 190 calories for the entire pizza. Wow!

Price: $59.99 for 12 (Coupon for free pizza:

Where to find: local markets or

Calorie Bargain: Cooking Light cooking class: fundamental techniques

Why: Master the basics of cooking healthy with the famous healthy cooking magazine Cooking Light. Learn how to braise, sauté, steam, grill and marinate, and get healthy recipes, too. Also, check out their online videos at

Price: Free

Where to find: fundamental-techniquesi-ndex-main-00400000032930

Calorie Bargain: National Institutes of Health email updates

Why: The National Institutes of Health is the nation's most prestigious medical research agency. They offer newsletters on many subjects, including the latest medical research on diabetes, exercise for seniors, exercise/physical fitness, gastroesophageal reflux/hiatal hernia, heart disease, high blood pressure, nutrition and obesity, among many other subjects.

Price: Free

Where to find:

Calorie Bargain: Nutrition, Health and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights (free online course from Coursera)

Why: A free basic nutrition course from a top university — need I say more?

About the course: "This seven-week course will explore nutrition concepts that take center stage in mainstream media outlets and become conversation topics among consumers interested in food choice as it relates to optimal health and physical performance."

About the instructor: Jamie Pope has been with Vanderbilt University since 1986, working in the areas of obesity research, weight management, health promotion and heart disease prevention.

University: Vanderbilt

Price: Free

Where to find:

When: April

Calorie Bargain: Fundamentals of Human Nutrition (free online course from Coursera)

Why: If you want to really learn about nutrition, this is the real deal. You would take this course if you were a nutrition major in college.

About the course: "This introductory course provides an overview of the principles of nutritional science. Subject matter includes description and functions of nutrients, digestion and absorption, effects of nutrient deficiencies and toxicities, requirements, food sources, nutrient interactions, dietary guidelines, and the role of nutrition in health and disease."

About the instructor: Kristina von Castel-Roberts, focuses on basic nutrition, oral health nutrition for dentistry and nutrition in health care and public health.

Price: Free

Where to find:

When: To be announced

Calorie Bargain: Economic Issues Food & You (free online course from Coursera)

Why: Are you interested in food policy? How food and economics intersect? If so, this course is for you. Anyone who is a foodie should take it.

About the course: "This course emphasizes the role of economics regarding its influence on food prices, the environment and government policies."

University: University of Florida

Instructor: Jennifer Clark earned bachelor and master of science degrees from the food and resource economics department at the University of Florida after spending time involved in research and development in private industry.

Price: Free

Where to find:

When: To be announced

Calorie Bargain: An Introduction to the U.S. Food System: Perspectives from Public Health (free online course from Coursera)

Why: Do you want to know why we eat what we eat? It's not just because we're hungry and crave a particular food. Everything we eat is part of our food system. Learn how it works from two professors from Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health.

About the course: "In this course, we will provide a brief introduction to the U.S. food system and how food production practices and what we choose to eat impacts the world in which we live. Through several case studies, we will discuss some key historical and political factors that have helped shape the current food system and consider alternative approaches from farm to fork."

Instructors: Robert S. Lawrence is a professor of health policy and international health in the department of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Keeve Nachman is an assistant scientist with a primary appointment in the department of environmental health sciences and a joint appointment in the department of health policy and management.

Price: Free

Where to find:

When: January

Charles Platkin is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of

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