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Fitness stud Nelson Vergel raids my fridge.

Nelson Vergel is not impressed with my refridgerator. 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.

NelsonGrab 3 - CopyLetting the HIV fitness and nutrition expert take over my kitchen seemed like a good idea at the time. I turned fifty over the holidays (after living with HIV for over half my life, I’m ancient in AIDS years), and my body is… changing.

I need to 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 twenty 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.

TESTOSTERONE mans guide grab - CopyI 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. But after I cozied up to him during the recent HIV Cruise Retreat in the Caribbean (I was the MC 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.

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. xo

Can you read the weight scale at the beginning of the video? It reads “216.4” Ouch. But I want this documented, because I hope to change, if not my weight, then my shape. Stay tuned. And I hope you’ll “share” this post using my nifty new feature below! — Mark



By | 2011-11-04T07:20:34+00:00 January 11th, 2011|Living with HIV/AIDS, My Fabulous Disease, News|15 Comments


  1. SMITTY January 11, 2011 at 8:17 am


  2. John January 11, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Love the video, love Nelson, love to see your kitchen is like mine/ours. However, I’m an insulin dependent, type 2 diabetic now because of certain body betrayals & HIV & HIV meds. I’ve been diabetic now for 12 yrs. I’d like to see what Nelson has to say in regards to the sugar substitutes that help me thru each day? I’ve been Poz since the early 90’s & graduated to AIDS in ’96. Every nutritionist for diabetes I know, doesn’t have the disease themselves & really has only textbooks to rely on. As a nurse (30 yrs) I find dieticians & nutritionists very degrading. They always approach my eating habits like an old school priest or nun. They have no idea how to make you feel good let alone feel good about yourself. Nelson’s approach seems rather helpful & I look forward to seeing & hearing more from him & you. Thanks!

    Nelson hosts an “Ask the Experts” forum on diet and nutrition on http://www.TheBody.com. You may find your question archived there, or you can pose a question of your choice to him! Go to: http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Nutrition/index.html — Mark

  3. Steven Honzik January 11, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Keep that man away from my refrigerator. Thank you Mark, that was very informative and I can’t wait for part two. As always I learn so much from you and now i must go clean out my refrigerator.

  4. Mike January 11, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Was sooooo good to see you boyz gabbing in the kitchen. Nelson never ceases to amaze me with his knowledge(and his muscles!) 🙂 And Mark, you make it all soooo interesting and fun. Ending the video with your frontal assault on a supermarket was quite the cliffhanger. I am waiting on eggshells for Part 2. And Mark, not even close to infamous Demi Moore/Vanity Fair cover. She was in full bloom….you are more 1st trimester! 🙂 You look Mah-velous!!

  5. Pattywack January 11, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Great videos Mark! We can all learn new things about eating and nutrition. Keep up the work at the gym and can’t wait to see part 2.


  6. Joe Palmer January 11, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Like John who posted above, I’m type 2 diabetic and have had consults with dietitians with disappointing results. If not for artificial sugar, Splenda mainly, I think my A1C labs would be above 7 rather than consistently around 5, sometimes up to 6.

    Nelson hosts an “Ask the Experts” forum on diet and nutrition on http://www.TheBody.com. You may find your question archived there, or you can pose a question of your choice to him! Go to: http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/Nutrition/index.html — Mark

  7. Subversive Librarian January 11, 2011 at 10:39 am

    I love your blog because it’s so accessible to the community at large. Thanks for that. And you’re adorable.

  8. 1/11/11 January 11, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I can’t wait for part 2! Very informative.

  9. Chris Bartlett January 11, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I loved this informative video Mark. Nelson was great and fun and non-judgmental. I look forward to Part II! Chris

  10. Gary Speasl January 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I LOVE THIS!!!! INFORMATIVE WITH FUN COMMENTARY. Cereal Nelson? Get rid of the cereal? I love my fiber 1.
    The information provided was valuable to me, esp. the salmon and omega 3.
    So cute with the carts at the grocery store. “Just leave it,” says Nelson

  11. Sue January 11, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    No cereal or boxed oatmeal—I’ll starve.

  12. Michael Emanuel Rajner January 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Mark, are you sure you weren’t standing on my scale and looking at my belly? I recognized both and think I need Vergel to invade my kitchen!
    Great job on this… very timely for me while I’m porking out at around the same weight myself.

  13. TuskPDX January 12, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Dear Mark,

    I am not eating cucumbers at your house ever again. Final answer.

  14. David Guilmet March 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I truly think you are amazing! You give such a positive energy in every video. I feel your work has saved many people and given hope thousands. You are an example to all of us on how we can be better people.
    Wow Thank you very much. I’m going to show your comment to my Mom. — Mark

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