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Posts Tagged ‘American’

See and I thought it was because I love junk food and don’t exercise enough. But after reading this article which presents a compelling argument that the traditional eat less/move more  theory does always play out when chemical are in play. Although I don’t like hearing these types of studies because I think they release blame from people’s actions. On the other hand, we all have to be aware of the dangerous implications of the food we are eating.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35315651/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition//

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Hi I am Dena’s friend who has gone along  with her perfect madness and will be posting for the next week. As some of the material is sensitive, I would prefer to just be named as shadow woman

I’m what you might call obese. And not overly energetic. I used to be skinny – Maybe not the twig of today’s standards, but I was comfortable in my body and I liked how I looked. Over the last 15 years, I‘ve become twice the woman I used to be. It needs to change. I want to see my kid grow up. I want to hold my grandkids. I don’t want to be housebound because my bones no longer support me and my heart barely stands the strain of going to the bathroom. And you know what – my husband may think I’m sexy and desirable – but I just don’t. I want to feel beautiful again. I have to do something. NOW.

And that’s where energetic, excitable friends come in (ie. Dena). I have one who’s got me hyped to do this ‘perfect eating week’. She found this article in Prevention’s online mag and – I think I can do it. I know me, I need scheduling, but not too much. I have to feel satisfied and see results right away or I won’t stick. That’s what this is. An hour-by-hour eating regimen designed to help the pounds come off and the energy stay up. So, we’re trying it together. And this is my story.

Day 1:

I was supposed to go to bed by 10:30 so I could be out by 11. Blew that. I got up only 15 minutes late. I will say even though I’m tired, but I don’t have that dragging, burning behind the eyes feeling. I forced myself outside for a walk. We have a walker, but it’s more of a clothes rack now. Changing that tonight, because I have to exercise again.

6:15-6:30 – Wake up time – ok. So I don’t jump out of bed. It took all my willpower and the knowledge I was doing this with a friend to get my tired bones out of bed. Yep, the buddy system works – if only for the guilt.

6:35 – Water and Lemon – this is supposed to rehydrate and the lemon helps rebalance your digestive tract. Since this is about eating right – rebalancing the digestive tract sounds like a good thing –even if I don’t understand it so much.

6:45 – Walk – Ugh. I want to use the walker – but it was folded up and being used as a coat rack. So instead, It’s get dressed and outside for a twenty minute walk. Honestly – I felt good when I finished, but the whole 20 minutes I had a list running in my head of things I wasn’t taking care of at home. Maybe that list is just another way of self-sabotage? Too early in the morning to think about it. Just walk.

7:30 – oatmeal and milk – I don’t eat breakfast. But for this to work, I must. My son was kind of shocked when I sat down with him. My goodness, what was I teaching him? Certainly not the importance of a healthy breakfast for everyone!

9:15 – water – Drink a glass of water and walk a bit to stretch the muscles. And yes – it’s keeping the mind focused.

10:00 – take a walk – had to stop my work – but the walk around the office helped stretch muscles and focus the mind

10:45 – cottage cheese and tomato. I’m usually on my 5th cookie by now – but this snack was more filling and tastier. Also too light on the calories. I can bump it up a bit tomorrow.

11:45 – more water and a multivitamin – Oops – forgot the vitamin. Drank the water anyways.

12:45 – tired but not dragging

1:15: lunch – a salad with olive oil dressing and an egg, plus a sour dough bun. OK, OK , tomorrow , no bun.

2:10 – A glass of water and a walk around the building. Felt good to get outside. But I feel like I am wasting time at work with all this walking.

3:45 – afternoon snack – I am so unprepared for this. Must go shopping. Off to the kitchen for some more cottage cheese, this time with cucumber – I like it, but a yogurt and nuts does sound more satisfying. Feel like I’m eating all the time.

4:15 – nodding off. I guess I really need to go to sleep on time.

6-7 – my next landmark calls for exercising at this hour – but this is my commute home. I walked for 20 minutes before taking a bus the rest of the way home. My knees and hips are on fire. It’s the weight I know- so I either work through it and get better or stop and get worse. If the pain continues and is more than aspirin can handle, I will go see my doctor.-

Dinner – I had a good dinner, steak, rice, big salad and 2 slices of home-made whole-wheat bread. But this time, I drank water until I was full and didn’t go back for seconds, thirds, fourths…I was satisfied. I know it was a high on the cal count, but I want to make a living diet – the next day should be smaller as my husband – the cook – gets more into it. he wants me healthy too.

Dessert/Snack – I have sweet tooth, and there was one slice of cake left. Not a big slice, but not a sliver. I ate it. This time, I didn’t look for something else to go with it. My cal count was low in the day and high at night. But I don’t think I overdid it too much.

Bedtime – Went to bed at 10:45.

On another note, because of my excessive weight and inactivity, my knees and right hip have introduced me to the meaning of ‘dull ache’. I hope a good night’s sleep helps.

So, until tomorrow…

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Be Awesome

Lately I have been feeling like I’m slipping, both in food control and exercise, so I decided to raise the stakes. Sometimes competition with yourself gives you the edge to keep to your resolutions.  I found this really interesting article in prevention magazine about the perfect day of eating. After reading it, I got excited. It seemed to plan out a reasonable balance of food, water and exercise.  And I thought to myself, what if I did this for a whole week.  To cement this resolution, I enlisted another one of my friends to do it with me.  So for the next week I will be following this plan of action as best as possible and I will be writing every day this week.

So tune in for daily updates

And if you want to join just look over the article and if you have any trouble just comments below I will glad help.

Lets do this together!

PS. I anticipate that the food won’t be as much trouble as waking up at 6:30.

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After last week of talking about what poop is and is not, people starting talking to me about their poop problems. Now I am by no means an expert in poopology (is that even a word), but I have learned a bit about achieving the perfect poop.

These are the two most common complaints that I have heard

Constipation

A friend I know called me up to ask what to do about constipation. Constipation is defined as having a bowel movement fewer than three times per week.  According to WebMD Constipation, it is a common problem  can give some very uncomfortable symptoms, such as stools are usually hard, dry, small in size, and difficult to eliminate.  My friend was having about one a week, which is not good. He was looking for a Doctor who could prescribe him a ongoing laxative to help him poop. I was shocked, why would anyone want to talk medication when they haven’t tried a common sense approach is beyond me. But some people believe in better living through chemicals.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea describes bowel movements (stools) that are loose and watery. It is very common and many people will have diarrhea once or twice each year. The most common cause of diarrhea is a virus that infects the digestive system. The infection usually lasts for two days and is sometimes called “intestinal flu” or “stomach flu.”  Others have diarrhea often as once a week, and is usually related to the diet.  Fat, carbohydrate or sugar malabsorption is the most common reason for loose or watery poops.

The magic word is fiber

The most common cause of all stomach problems is not enough fiber and water.  Much of our processed food removes the fiber, leaving it with just sugars, carbohydrates and fats. Our colon is a muscle that needs to be worked just like any other muscle: arms, legs or even our brain.  The colon works with a peristaltic action – like the way a worm moves. If we aren’t using this muscle to its fullest potential it will  becomes slack. By adding bulk the colon is able to grip on to the poop and process it better and faster. Fiber and water helps to bulk up the stool, collecting excess waste, hormones, bile and cholesterol and eliminate it efficiently, and ideally, regularly.

Now how can fiber help diarrhea. Eating fiber-rich foods helps regulate the stools so that it’s not too hard or too loose. Fiber in the body works by either pulling more water from the colon to loosen stools (for constipation) or by absorbing water into the colon to firm up stools (for diarrhea). Basically all around it’s a good thing

How do we integrate Fiber in our diet?

  • Eat more whole grains (if not possible switch your breakfast to oatmeal or a high fiber cereal)
  • Eat 5 fruits or vegetables (see my post of what is a serving of vegetables)
  • Eat less fat (it fills you up and exacerbates bowel problem)
  • Dried fruit

Two other thing that can help poop!

Drinking enough water: staying hydrated helps our digestive track work more effectively and routinely

Exercise: helps your body work the food through your body, plus its moves the blood around collecting toxins for waste disposal

According to the mayo clinic

“While there is little scientific evidence to support or refute the benefits of colon cleansing, critics say it’s generally unnecessary and at times may even be harmful. Although doctors prescribe colon cleansing as preparation for medical procedures such as colonoscopy, most don’t recommend it for detoxification. Their reasoning is simple: The digestive system and bowel naturally eliminate waste material and bacteria — your body doesn’t need enemas or special diets or pills to do this.”

In other words, if you want to solve your problems on the flip side examine what you or eating on the top side.

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When people mention cauliflower, they usually think of boiled down sulfuric mush. Well I am here to champion the cause of cauliflower because I simple think it is delicious and really super easy to make. I just made this recipe last night and I’m still thinking about it, (I don’t know very many cauliflower recipes that I drool over)

Garlicky cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower

1 TBLS of oil

Three garlic cloves

Dash of salt to taste (I prefer kosher)

Slice the cauliflower really thin, heat oil in a pot and throw in cauliflower.

Stir for about 5 minutes until cauliflower is softened.

Chop garlic and throw it in and cook for less than 2 minutes.

Season and serve.

Makes 4 servings

This recipes is only 3 Weight Watchers points total

Did I mention that the recipes is so easy?

Or the fact that everyone wanted seconds but it was too late? Yes – cooks have the best access.

For those who want to know more about cauliflower: Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale (no it not related to the curse in harry potter) and is chock full of vitamin and nutrients. We now know that cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that increase the liver’s ability to neutralize potentially toxic substances. (Worlds healthiest food)  I guess that mean I can have some more wine with my cauliflower

Cauliflower is best between December and March.

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standing_in_the_rain_1

Yes Americans are getting fatter,  Yes Americans do not eat fresh food, Yes Americans do not exercise enough…. Roger Cohen’s  list goes on and on, how Americans have divorced themselves from real food and cooking while substituting it with plastic.  His article in the NY Times “Advantage France” describes how the French people have an amazing connection with their food and derive immense health benefits as a result. At the same time he chastises Americans for their lack of connection and what he calls our “fear” of food. But what Mr. Cohen is seeing are only the by products of the American culture and not looking at the source of these problems. I feel like he is standing in the rain yelling that the floor is wet and people are going to slip, DUH. We need to examine and fix the root causes not just the end byproducts. He rails against the use of pre packaged food but never mentions once how many hours the average american works, or how many single mothers, or two working parent households, or even how many vacation days. Americans work harder than any other country in the world. (end of statement)  Its not so difficult to find time to shop for fresh food with a mandatory 35 hr work week, and 6 weeks of vacation. How are can we expected Americans to work more than 40 hrs a week, be with their families and home cook every meal. I agree Americans can start to change their eating habits because the mind is more powerful than the gut, but be a little more sympathetic to the average American,, who works hard and needs a little comfort.

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