Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sarah Palin Would You Please Just Shut the F*ck Up!

I'm not too fond of Sarah Palin. In fact, I think that if she gets anywhere near the presidency again, it will be a sure sign that our country is beyond redemption, and we're just in one big slow decline.

I'm sorry, but I think that as a minimum floor requirement, political leaders should believe that the theory of evolution is not debatable, that science trumps mythology.

But what really gets me burning these days is the pure oppositional positions that many on the right seem to take for no other reason than to be oppositional (reality check here--I'm a registered Republican and worked at one point on political campaigns for Republicans).

Take Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign. It seems that Sarah Palin has a problem with it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/24/palin-slams-michelle-obam_n_788200.html

Here's what Sarah had to say:
"Take her anti-obesity thing that she is on. She is on this kick, right. What she is telling us is she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat. And I know I'm going to be again criticized for bringing this up, but instead of a government thinking that they need to take over and make decisions for us according to some politician or politician's wife priorities, just leave us alone, get off our back, and allow us as individuals to exercise our own God-given rights to make our own decisions and then our country gets back on the right track."

Sarah, I hate to tell you that the government already tells us what to eat through it's subsidy programs (which both parties support), and what they're telling us to eat is mostly ultra-processed crap. You ever hear of the school lunch program???????

And, Sarah, did you know that rates of obesity are skyrocketing among kids and that kids are increasingly having problems with chronic diseases like diabetes????

My guess is that you don't Sarah. All you can do is oppose any program supported by a Democrat because, in all honesty, you just are not the sharpest tool in the shed and don't have the intellectual capacity to do anything else. What if Michelle Obama chose the exact same issue that Laura Bush did--that of illiteracy??? Would you be going on Glenn Beck and other right wing shows to argue that every parent has a right to keep their kids illiterate? (but then looking at your kids, I'm guessing that they're not big readers).

So Sarah, just shut up about Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign. In fact, just shut up period.

Why I Practice Yoga

Old yogis are awesome: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101129/lf_nm_life/us_fitness_yoga?bouchon=501,ny

Monday, November 29, 2010

Eat Less Refined Carbs to lose weight

So says new research from Denmark: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101124/hl_nm/us_protein_carbs

"Refined carbs" means, of course, mass-manufactured crap. If it's mass-produced in a factory from refined grains, like white bread or white rice, chances are that eating it will do nothing more for you then pack on additional pounds. Stick to fresher, locally produced breads and products made with whole grains.

The research also says to eat more protein, but again, I would look into the kind of protein. Simply grilled fish or chicken, is no doubt better for you then a pre-packaged, frozen source of protein.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Surviving Thanksgiving and Beyond Guide

Tomorrow is, of course, Thanksgiving. The start of the annual more than a month-long, glutton-fest called the Holidays. It's a time of year were no matter how good you are, you still inevitably gain weight.

Over the years, I've developed some survival techniques to minimize the damage from this period. Notice I say "minimize." I've accepted the fact that now is not the time of year to try to lose weight, and pretty much the most I can do is just keep the weight gain to under 3 or 4 pounds.

My plan is pretty simple. I realize that food is part of the festivities. I don't deny myself anything that I really and truly love that's pretty much only available this time of year. I do, of course, limit myself. So when my girl-friend Diane gives me my annual bag of her incredible home-made, white chocolate peppermint bark, I allow myself a few pieces and give the rest away prior to yielding to the temptation to finish off the whole bag.

Gift baskets are quickly deconstructed with any fresh fruits and vegetables going into the fridge, and any chocolates, cookies and other high calorie treats taken immediately to the local food pantry.

With big meals, like Thanksgiving, I keep my portions small, and realize there's always leftovers. I really don't need to eat stuffing, mashed potatoes and candied sweet potatoes all at once, when there's always tomorrow. I also pass up anything that primarily came from a can or a box in favor of made from scratch foods (they usually taste better anyway).

I focus on eating mostly vegetables at every meal!!!

I try to fit in one or two mid-week mild cleanses in December.

Whenever I have the time, I try to fit in a little extra exercise.

I cook very light dinners during the week in December. A simple grilled salmon with a salad on the side and lemon vinaigrette is a typical meal.

Thanksgiving Facts Redux

I actually posted this last year at this time, but thought it was worth posting again:

"Believe it or not, according to the American Council on Exercise, the typical Thanksgiving meal is approximately 3,000 calories. And, that's just one main course plate, any seconds, extra snacks, desserts, etc. add even more calories to your caloric "load." If you also eat big breakfast that morning, you can easily eat enough calories on that one day to gain at least a pound.

With that thought in mind, here are a few facts to keep in mind:

-Turkey skin is the most caloric dense part of the turkey, has the most fat and the least protein. The skin contains 482 calories and 44 grams of fat. A whole turkey with the skin has 231% more fat, 59% more calories, and 23% more cholesterol than a turkey with no skin.

-Breast meat without the skin is the healthiest part of the turkey. Breast meat without skin has only 161 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving.

-Two tablespoons of cranberry sauce will give over 1/3 of the sugar you need forthe day. And most processed (not homemade) cranberry sauces contain high fructose corn syrup.
-Two tablespoons of processed gravy products give you over 1/3 of the sodium you need for the day, and some contain trans fats."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

When Fantasy Girls Aren't Fantastic Enough

When fantasy girls aren't fantastic enough there's always Photo-Shop: http://jezebel.com/5693656/how-your-playboy-centerfold-sausage-is-made-nsfw

OK, I assume that if you make the cut as a Playboy Center-fold, you've got a fantastic body. But apparently, no woman, according to the Playboy editors, is good enough. Did you know that nipples could be "too perky?" That a woman with huge breasts needs more curve in her butt? Did you know that a centerfold body still needs to have her stomach flattened more?

Photo-Shop may be a new technology, but men have always idealized women's bodies past the realm of reality. Ever see those Indian statues of goddesses with huge melon sized breasts, flat stomachs and tiny rear ends? Even in Western art, women were idealized to the standards of the time. Rubin's' huge rounded women or blond haired,blue eyed Madonnas.

And, it's the artifice that leads women to believe that our bodies are not good enough. It's the artifice that leads many women into dangerous dieting habits, plastic surgery, etc., to try to attain unnatural proportions. Rosie O'Donnell says it best in this old movie clip:

Eating well and exercising will help us to achieve a healthy, thinner body, but being "thin" with huge knockers is not the natural body of most women. There are those chosen few who have the genetic fortune to be built that way, but even Marilyn Monroe had a huge butt and pretty thick thighs (go watch Some Like it Hot, when Marilyn Monroe walks past Tony Curtis and the camera focuses in on her ass, it's bigger then anything you'd see on the screen today that depicted as sexually appealing).

So forget the artifice, and stick with reality. You'll be happier and healthier.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Difference Between Weight Loss and Sustainable Weight Loss

Yo-Yo Dieting. We've all heard the term. It's when you go on some crazy, crash diet, lose weight, go back to your old eating habits and gain weight, then go on another crazy, crash diet, etc. etc. etc.

I thought I'd bring it up because of some of the comments to both my Rush Limbaugh posts and some of my other recent posts.

Yes, if you severely restrict your caloric intake you will lose weight. But just losing weight in the short term is meaningless. What matters is losing weight for good and not gaining it back. It matters not just for your self-image but for your health.

I quoted a doctor in this post who I think describes the real reality of weight loss well: http://losingweightafter45isabitch.blogspot.com/2010/11/proving-that-rush-limbaugh-really-is.html

As a refresher, here is just part of what the Doctor said:

The two-month timeline here is important for another reason. Over the long term, controlling calories means either going hungry, or finding a way to feel full and satisfied on fewer calories. Here's where the quality of calories certainly does matter. Foods of high nutritional quality include, among their many virtues, the capacity to produce fullness on fewer calories. Eating until full and yet being lean is having your cake and eating it too -- but snack cakes will never get you there!

That's the nut. You can lose weight on Twinkies, but you won't lose the weight for good. Restricting calories on Twinkies is not sustainable. You'll feel hungry, and won't have the energy you need to complete your day. It's merely the crazy, crash diet of the Yo-Yo cycle.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off you have to make permanent, life-time changes to the way you eat. Eating unprocessed foods, and focusing on eating fresh fruits and vegetables will leave you filling full, satisfied and able to complete your day.

And, that ain't no Yo-Yo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

And the Best Way to Curb Obesity is . . . .

taxing junk food and limiting advertisements: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101111/hl_nm/us_obesity_prevention

Here's the deal:

LONDON (Reuters) – Taxing junk food, limiting food adverts and making labels clearer could be the best way to curb rising obesity levels in countries like India and China, where increasing prosperity is creating ever heavier consumers.

The average annual cost of tackling obesity with these measures could be less than $1 per head, and global experts said in a study on Thursday that emerging economies should take immediate action to reverse rising obesity rates before the problem reaches levels seen in the industrialized world.

Researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) studied possible strategies to combat obesity in six emerging economies and also in England.

They found that combining prevention steps into a co-ordinated strategy would have a significant health impact.

"A multiple intervention strategy would achieve substantially larger health gains than individual programs, with better cost-effectiveness," said Michele Cecchini, an OECD health policy analyst and one of the authors of the study.
This study was targeted at developing economies, but I think its something the US should be taking seriously as well. I'm all for taxing ultra-processed junk foods and sugary drinks.

For one thing, they're like alcohol and cigarettes, not good for us, so if we insist on indulging, we should be paying taxes to offset the social costs (i.e., higher health care costs).

Second, let's face it, the government needs the money to pay off the debts we have. The day coming when this country wakes up and realizes "no new taxes" is a fantasy (probably the day China decides our credit is no longer any good). Like Greece and Ireland we're going to have our own national finacial crisis that will make the last few years seem like a cake-walk.

It's simply delusional to think we can pay off the mounting debts we have from government programs no one wants to cut or wars we feel we can't end without raising taxes somewhere. I'm against raising income taxes, and I'm somewhat opposed to a national sales tax (unless there's a corresponding reduction in the income tax), but soda and junk food taxes? I'm all over that.

Of course, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the rest of the Fox News Universe is going to scream that it's unpatriotic to tax Ho Hos and Coke. They'll scream over the airwaves and through the boob tube that somehow we're interfering with what's truly "American" by taxing food creating by huge food conglomerates which advertise on their programs (I guess the only "true Americans" are lethargic, obese couch potatoes who sit on sofas, eating Doritos and listening to the bullshit they spew).

But then again, his highness of rotundness, Rush Limbaugh, thinks you can lose weight and be healthy simply be restricting your calories and eating Twinkies. LOL!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Economy of an Aging Sex Kitten

I wasn't sure what to make of this article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-11-15/how-cher-and-sharon-stone-keep-their-careers-alive/

The nut of the article is here:

With the exception of enduring stars like Meryl Streep and Diane Keaton, it's no secret that as actresses grow older, the roles start drying up. It's incredibly sexist, certainly, but no one hides it. As PR veteran Michael Levine, who has represented Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson, told The Daily Beast, "There is a very painful joke amongst elites in the entertainment industry, which says that as actors get older, they look like Sean Connery. The problem is that as women get older, they also tend to look like Sean Connery.

"It's very painful," Levine continued, "but you either have to make peace with it or continue to fight it for the rest of your life. It's a brutal fact and it places pressure on you to act differently, if you want to remain relevant both economically and socially."

So what are 52-year-olds like, say, Sharon Stone and Michelle Pfeiffer to do? According to one publicist, the answer lies in branching out into a "horizontally integrated economic model." In other words, rather than relying on one revenue stream (i.e., fees from starring in movies and TV shows), having a much broader portfolio that is based on several different income sources. There's the cosmetics line. There's the festival circuit, in which, in exchange for showing up at, say, the Singapore Sun Festival (where Stone is a featured guest this month, a star's travel and accommodation expenses are covered. There are the speaking engagements and personal appearances that rack up thousands of dollars for a few hours' work. There are the cruises. There are books.

As a woman, should I be insulted about this article, or just shrug my shoulders and acknowledge it as the truth. What was really sad to me was that when you look at the photos of these aging "sex kittens" they all look pretty damn good.

But I guess it is the sad reality of Hollywood society is that as women get older they are devalued simply because they got older. We see women of all ages in our daily lives, but apparently we don't want to see them in our movies, or at least that's the thinking in Hollywood (I guess that's the reason why Nancy Meyer's movies are such complete flops).

So, focusing on being a "sex kitten" when you're younger is probably not a good idea since no matter what you do to look good, you just become too old, too quickly. At least in the eyes of Hollywood executives that is.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Proving that Rush Limbaugh Really Is a Big Giant Gas-Bag

Last week I blogged about Rush Limbaugh's stupidity in touting the "Twinkie Diet." In case you've forgotten, some professor managed to lose weight by limiting his calorie intake for two months but ate processed foods such as Twinkies. Rush blabbered to his guileless audience that eating healthy foods has no impact on weight loss or health, and that people should go on eating ultra-processed crap.

This is not the dumbest claim I ever heard Rush make (although its up there), but it does go to show just how deep in the pocket of corporate interests he is. Rush and his ilk have been pushing back against the non-processed food movement and the whole idea of eating a more plant-based diet (could someone please explain to me why eating healthy is liberal and un-American while eating processed crap and red meat makes you a patriot?)

The "Twinke diet" has gotten a lot of press beyond just Rush Gas-Bag, however, and people with actual knowledge of health and weight loss have begun commenting. Here is one explanation as to why the "Twinkie Diet" is, excuse my French, complete and utter bullshit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-katz-md/chewing-on-the-twinkie-di_b_782678.html

Here's what this good doctor has to say:

"A deficit of roughly 3,500 kcal is required to lose one pound of body fat. A restriction of 800 kcal per day for 70 days represents a calorie deficit of 56,000 kcal. That would be enough to account for a loss of 16 pounds of body fat. It takes smaller calorie deficits to lose other body tissues -- such as muscle -- and none at all to lose body water, which tends to happen with dieting. Calorie restriction produced the professor's weight loss, and was not particularly helped -- and certainly not hindered -- by the fact that these were mostly "bad" calories.

As for the changes seen in the lipid panel, these are likely by-products of weight loss per se. An excess of body fat is associated with increased inflammatory responses, and often, increased levels of insulin. Both inflammation and hormonal imbalances in turn affect cholesterol and other blood lipids. When body fat is lost, these effects are reversed -- and improvements in blood lipids are likely.

The mistake is to think this means better health. For one thing, health is a composite of far more than BMI and LDL. For another, its relevant time horizon is far more distant than two months.

Severe illness of all kinds is associated with sudden drops in total cholesterol. Drug addiction, chemotherapy, cholera and advanced HIV are all associated with weight loss. Cancer rather predictably leads to declines in both weight and lipids as it advances. These associations are more than sufficient to show that health cannot be summed up by weight and lipids. An overwhelming body of research shows what dietary patterns do produce lasting good health -- all emphasize wholesome, mostly plant foods direct from nature. None emphasizes Ho Hos.

The two-month timeline here is important for another reason. Over the long term, controlling calories means either going hungry, or finding a way to feel full and satisfied on fewer calories. Here's where the quality of calories certainly does matter. Foods of high nutritional quality include, among their many virtues, the capacity to produce fullness on fewer calories. Eating until full and yet being lean is having your cake and eating it too -- but snack cakes will never get you there!

Chewing on implications of the Twinkie diet for health in the context of either science or sense reveals that calorie control for weight loss always was a good idea, and still is; chewing on Twinkies never was, and still isn't."

Bottom line, if you actually want to be healthy and lose weight for good you have to change your eating patterns and exercise more. You have to give up eating ultra-processed foods, have the majority of your diet be plant based, and refined white breads and rices, etc., have to become nothing more than an occasional treat.

Proving that, not only is Rush Limbaugh a fool, but that anyone who listens to him and takes him seriously really is an idiot. And anyone who believes this rotund, radio whore is qualified to give weight loss advice is simply delusional. Keep it up Rush, both you and your listeners will all be adding to the country's spiraling health care costs.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Absolute Worst Thing You Can See at a Gym

Free Krispy Kreme Donuts. I guess that's one way to keep your Gym Membership up. Hand out free donuts so that people have to come back the next day to work them off!! LOL!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Freezing the Fat Away

The other night, I and a few girl-friends attended a cosmetic surgery party. For those of you who don't know what this is, plastic surgeons host a party with free food and booze to give wealthy women spiels as to how young they could look (or what kind of better body you can have) if they just invest in some surgical or non-surgical procedures. After the spiel you get to leave with a goody bag of high priced anti-aging lotions and potions and coupons for discounts on various services.

I usually go to these parties mostly to hang out with my friends. There's usually a period of time prior to the spiel where you can hang out drinking Champagne with your friends as the doctors, their assistants and various cosmetologians etc., mingle. Plus it's always fun to hear about the latest and greatest ways you can supposedly look younger or thinner if you're willing to part with some of your money.

Now, I have to say, I've always been very suspect of anything that sounds too easy or too good to be true. Injecting some foreign substance into your face now may make you look a little more "refreshed" but twenty or thirty years from now what negative consequences will we discover can arise from these "simple non-surgical" procedures?

I've also been suspect of liposuction being the cure all for being overweight, and I have to say that most of the surgeons I've dealt with will say point blank it isn't. All it's supposed to do is spot remove stubborn pockets of fat that don't respond to diet or exercise.

Being that I have the post-pregnancy, post menopausal "muffin top" going on, I have to admit I've always had a little liposuction fantasy going on for a couple of years now. I dream of suctioning the muffin top away.

But the expense, downtime and fear of complications as always stopped me from making my fantasy a reality.

However, at the "party" I heard of a new "fat burning" technique for those muffin tops. It's called "cryolypolysis" and goes by the trade name Zeltiq. Essentially, what they do is "freeze" the fat cells which die and then you lose approximately 20% of the fat in a given area. There's no surgery, and you can resume your normal activities immediately. Essentially, you can drive in, do the freeze, then drive away and resume your normal chores.

Of course, this sounded too good to be true, so I did a little Googling, and thus far haven't seen anything suggesting any major negative side effects. Here's the Wikipedia article on it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryolipolysis. Another good article is here: http://www.healthiertalk.com/cryolipolysis-freezing-away-fat-2624.

But, it is a relatively new procedure, so I would say "wait and see" is still prudent. The data only goes back months, and I don't think that's a significant period of time.

It's not a substitute for getting off processed foods, and exercising, but when you reach a certain age and can't get rid of your "pooch," it certainly does appeal.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Unexpectedly Unhealthy Kids' Foods

For anyone trying to get their kids to eat right: http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/5-unexpectedly-unhealthy-kids-foods-2406386/

The Vegan Challenge Day 3

I'm three days into my self-imposed "vegan challenge" and, frankly, I'm not missing the meat, fish, dairy or eggs at all. Mind you, I wouldn't make being a vegan a permanent life-style choice, but for a short cleanse, it works well.

My husband hasn't even noticed that I'm cooking vegan for dinner. Last night I made black-bean veggie burgers with guacamole--a recipe I've been working on for a couple of months--and he loved them so much, he took a "burger" for lunch and asked that I make them again soon.

The plus side for me is that I feel great. As I wrote the other day, I was feeling the Winter doldrums early this year, and thought a simple cleanse prior to the holidays was a good idea. No sugar, no refined carbs and no meat, fish, dairy or eggs. Just lots of fresh veggies, fruit and whole grains.

Three days in and I feel marvelous. So great, I think I'll go vegan again next week.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rush Limbaugh is a Big Giant Gas Bag

Why, oh why do people insist on giving this idiot time on the airways??

First there was global warning denial, now it looks like we're going to have processed foods denial.

Here's what Rush had to say on a recent program:

"What have I told you about diet and exercise? Exercise is irrelevant. What matters in losing weight is what you eat, pure and simple, and how much, nothing more than that. And everybody tries to tell me I'm wrong, that I don't know what I'm talking about. And every time a story comes out on this I am validated, and nobody has ever said, "Rush, you know, you were right about this." This is CNN, their Web page: "For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too." This is a nutrition professor. "His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most -- not the nutritional value of the food. The premise held up: On his 'convenience store diet' --" now, remember, this is what Michelle (My Butt) -- uh, that's the second time I've done that and I apologize."

I'd like to find out Rush's ad revenues from Twinkies and Doritos, and which big food companies subsidized this professor's "research" (if you could even call it research since it in no way meets scientific standards).

Also, Rush finds ONE professor who lost weight by limiting his caloric intake to 1,800 calories a day eating Doritos and Twinkies. There's no indication that the weight loss was long term. Of course if a man restricts his calories to 1,800 a day he'll lose weight. Most men need 2,200 calories a day or more to retain their weight. And, of course this guy's cholesterol etc., went down because he lost weight.

The truth is that there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of research studies showing that eating highly processed food is bad for both your weight and your health. So one professor does a highly unscientific experiment on himself, and, according to Rush Limbaugh, this means that you should just continue to eat junk food (and not exercise) because all that matters is calories.

Yes, calories matter, but having a healthy, sustainable diet is the key to long term weight loss, and having a healthy, sustainable diet means, for the most part, getting super processed foods out of your diet.

So Rush, you're nothing but a big, fat, pompous gas bag that really doesn't know anything about how to lose weight and keep it off. It you were anything else, you wouldn't have to have all your photos airbrushed so that you'd look thinner then your actual rotund self.

We're Getting Fatter

According to current trends, by 2050 42% of Americans will be obese: http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20101106/hl_hsn/usobesityratemayhit42by2050

Note, almost half the population will be OBESE, not a little pudgy or needing to lose 5 or 10 pounds. That means that the rates of diabetes, heart disease and other health issues will increase exponentially, so that health care costs in this country will soar to unheard of heights.

Having that many people seriously overweight will also have implications on our ability to defend ourselves. The military is already having problems recruiting because so many potential recruits are now just overweight. What are they going to do when 42% of potential recruits are obese (and probably another 20 to 25% very overweight)?

This country has got to confront it's eating, drinking and exercise habits. Big food purveyors and food companies have got to take ownership of this issue and stop hiding behind the "it's what the consumer wants" BS.

Our government is essentially allowing capitalism to kill its citizens. The obesity rate in this country is partly of function of capitalism run amok. Capitalism is good, but it still needs controls. Junk food and drinks have to be taxed, and the money used to make healthier foods more affordable.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Vegan Challenge

I don't know if its the change of seasons, my diet, or just what's left over from the bronchitis I had in mid-October, but I've been feeling very listless for the last couple of weeks.

I have to admit that I've been bad. I've been eating alot of refined grains, I ate a bunch of my kids' Halloween candy, and I've been eating more meat then usual.

Usually when I feel kinda "blah" it does somehow appear to be tied to what I'm putting in my body food-wise. The "cure" is normally a cleanse of some sort.

So, this week, I'm going vegan. I'm resolving to eat no meat, fish, dairy or eggs for the next five days. If it was summer, I'd go raw vegan, but it's getting a little late in the season for that. Since I'm not going raw, going vegan allows me to have grains, so any grains I have will be whole grains. I'm also swearing off all refined sugars.

Tonight for breakfast, I'll make beans and greens over whole wheat pasta. Tomorrow I'll make black bean burgers with guacamole on whole wheat buns, and Wednesday I'll plan on a baked falafel salad with lemon tahini dressing. After that, I'll have to plan further.

Breakfasts for the next five days will be fresh fruit, or oatmeal made with almond milk and fresh fruit. Lunch will be a raw salad.

If it goes well, I may extend the cleanse into next week as well. With the Holidays coming up, it will probably be beneficial to "clean" out the body a bit.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Well Duh!!

If you make healthy food look appealing, kids will eat it: http://crispyontheoutside.com/2010/10/27/a-cheap-easy-and-healthy-way-to-fix-school-lunches/

I however, disagree with the author's suggestion that we don't remove the unhealthy foods from the lunch room. As I've said before, if the only food options kids have are healthy, they'll eat healthy. If any option is unhealthy, then even if the vast majority of what they have available to them is healthy, they'll eat unhealthy.

That said, the school lunch room can't operate in a vacuum. If kids know they just have to hold out until they get home to eat crap, well they're not going to eat healthy at school. Parents have to also make sure that they provide healthy, good food to their kids.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Diet and exercise can have more of an impact on weight loss and maintaining weight loss then procedures such as gastric bypass surgery: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101026/hl_afp/healthusobesitydiet

Actually, for me, that's no surprise. As I repeatedly stated, to lose weight and keep it off you have to:

1. Eat less,
2. Eat better, and
3. Move more.

And, you have to keep up all three things for the rest of your life. You can't "eat better" for a month, lose a few pounds and then go back to your old eating habits.

No, you have to make lifetime changes. Losing weight and keeping it off is not a short term endeavor.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

There's Processed and then There's "Ultra-Processed"

Marion Nestle has a good post on the different levels of processed foods. You can read it here: http://www.foodpolitics.com/2010/11/the-food-movement%e2%80%99s-new-frontier-ultra-processing/

I've heard the argument before that pretty much all food is processed. If you take some locally grown vegetables and cook with them, you've processed them.

So, telling people not to eat processed foods is probably incorrect. What you should be avoiding, if you want to be healthy and slim, is ultra-processed foods.

I found Marion Nestle's post interesting because I was just having a discussion with someone about processed foods today. I was hiking with my girlfriend in the local nature preserve when she asked me "Don't you ever shop at Trader Joes?"

Now, if you're not familiar with Trader Joes, it's a food purveyor that markets all kinds of packaged, processed, convenience foods, albeit under a "natural" "healthy" label.

I explained to my friend that I don't eat or feed my family processed foods (that is ultra-processed foods). Instead, I buy fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, dairy, fish, etc and make meals from scratch. I don't do anything "semi-homemade." If I do make desserts, whether it's a cake, brownies, or cookies, nothing comes from a box, can or jar. I measure out the dry ingredients, and even my frosting is whipped up from as close to natural as I can get ingredients.

Yes, it takes a little more time to do things this way, but by doing so, my family eats far fewer questionable additives and ingredients that are usually in processed products.

The other good thing is that because it is more time consuming to eat this way, we eat less. When food is not so easy to make, you naturally make and eat less, and when the only "ready to eat" foods in the house are raw fruits and vegetables or dried fruits and nuts, that's what you eat when you do get peckish between meals.

Eating less,of course, translates into losing weight or maintaining a lower weight easier. And, if the only quick snack available is a banana, that's far fewer calories consumed then a box of Thin Mints.