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Bar those Bars! Nutrition Bars, Energy Bars, Power Bars

Friday, January 15, 2010

I am suspicious of things called nubrition bars.

Ever since I joined SP Iíve been working on ways to eat healthy delicious food. Ever since January I have eaten only food or not-food. Iíve eaten fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses, milk and whole wheat bread and I have also eaten candy. But I knew it was not-food Ė it was candy. Nothing ersatz Ė nothing called a food product Ė and nothing that refers to itself as nutrition. As I read somewhere on SP Ė if my grandmother (who was a pretty savvy chick, btw) wouldnít have known what it was, I havenít eaten it.

Till today that is. You know the story. Early morning appointment. No time for breakfast. 10 minutes to dash into either a MacDonaldís or a grocery store but not both. I chose the grocery store and bought a packaged nutrition bar.

Iíll admit Ė I picked the one that looked the most like a gooey snickers bar. There wasnít a lot of choice Ė evidently the granola type bars were on a different aisle. And Iíll admit it was tasty. And its caloric content was okay though I didnít think about how high fat it might be. I really bought it by the photo. It looked like candy and it tasted like candy.. sort of.

But it didnít taste like food. Hereís a picture of its nutrition label and honestly Ė the first thing on it Ė which means the biggest component of this nutrition bar is something called poly dextrose.

Iím no chemist but I know poly means many and dextrose is sugar and I regret that I didnít have a slice of my own home made bread instead.

This is the first thing Iíve eaten since January 1 that I didnít take both pleasure and satisfaction in. Oh the chocolaty gooey taste was a momentary pleasure on my tongue. But the satisfaction of eating Food that I cooked myself or selected from a menu in a restaurant that cooked Food just wasnít there.

Lesson learned?

I donít like nutrition bars or energy bars or even oatmeal in a bar bars. They donít bring the kind of pleasure and satisfaction Iím looking for in my meals. If I am going to have hurried mornings Ė which even I, with the worldís most accommodating schedule, will have Ė I need to come up with some quick, on-the-go breakfasts made of real food. Because eating is too important to me, too precious Ė too much fun!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELLENB10 1/16/2010 2:57PM

    I'm with you - Keep it simple. I like the saying about your grandmother, too! I'll have to remember that. If I am ever in a jam and need to buy a protein bar, I will read the label first, but I'd just as soon grab a banana or apple and head to work.

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DAYHIKER 1/15/2010 6:31PM

    I do keep the Kashi Trail Mix bars in my "goes everywhere I do" small cooler bag but otherwise I don't buy them though some of them look good. I am a real food person, too. It satisfies more! emoticon

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MSLZZY 1/15/2010 5:33PM

    I don't buy these bars, as a general rule. I do have one box in the pickup in my winter survival kit. But after this blog, I sure hope I don't need to eat them.
Maybe I can donate them to a good cause. Any suggestions? LOL!

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LAFEMMEDELALUNE 1/15/2010 5:24PM

    Those kinds of bars are scary, aren't they? Who comes up with these ideas about putting creepy things into people's mouths?
Sometimes I see people at the checkout with whole carts full of non-food. :-/

I must say that I am very thankful for Larabars and Nectar bars, as they are just fruit and nuts. They've saved me from non-food when I travel and:
A) a cooler/larger bag was not a possibility,
B) company or circumstances won't allow me to choose the eating venue, or
C) a sign says "outside food" is not allowed.


Keep it up with the real food! emoticon

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JAKEANDNELLIE 1/15/2010 5:23PM

    I think it just comes down to reading labels and being selective. It's the same with the 100-calorie snacks that are everywhere in the stores - most of them are empty calories with minimal (if any) nutritional value.
I try to keep 100-cal. packs of almonds in my car to tide me over until I get home. If I know I'm going to be out for a while, I also toss an apple or pear in.
Sheila

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LEONALIONESS 1/15/2010 5:08PM

    I'm with JLITT, there are some bars that are definitely real food. Lara bars are a great example. They are just raw fruit and nuts, no added oils or sweeteners. Most flavors have less than five ingredients. My favorite is the cherry pie- it's just dates, dried cherries, almonds. Bam. That's it.

I will eat something more candyish if I'm craving chocolate AND need a protein boost. The Clif Builders fulfill my sweet tooth while giving me a nice big chunk of protein. I figure if I'm going to eat something sweet I'd rather get some calcium, iron and protein at the same time rather than eat candy.

Usually I make my own stuff, I'm vegan so that's sort of par for the course ;), but I will grab one of the bars we sell at Whole Foods on occasion. I'd rather eat my homemade almond milk/coconut milk ice cream or a gooey homemade lowfat, lower sugar brownie for my sweets, though! We definitely agree there.

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JLITT62 1/15/2010 4:57PM

    I actually do like some bars, but nothing like what you ended up with this time. And I keep them on hand -- they can be real life savers.

I like Larabars, Clif Nectar Bars, Pure Bars. Those have very few ingredients -- and what is in them is real food.

I also enjoy some of the Raw Organic Bars. If I'm really craving something sweet, I might go for a Luna Bar, but I eat them less & less these days.

I think it's all about having the right stuff in place before you run out of time. And smoothies (if you make them ahead of time) can be a great breakfast. Which is why I enjoy my blender bottle -- I can just shake them up in the morning without waking up DH.

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JEANK206 1/15/2010 4:53PM

    I have found a protein bar I really like. My weight management doctor got me on them. They have about 270 calories, but 30 grams of protein, and best part....... they taste good, there is double chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, and yogurt peanut butter.
It is called Premier Protein and they are sold at Costco

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BESSHAILE 1/15/2010 4:36PM

    no it's not that I can't find nutrition in a bar - I don't find pleasure and satisfaction in them. They're just not the sort of thing I want to eat anymore.

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MARIEBART 1/15/2010 4:21PM

    I think if you are selective you can find fairly healthy bars. They can come in handy when your option is to eat on the run or skip a meal.

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Don't wanna take a Day Off!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

So. I know that when you are working out you should take a "Day Off" and I have scheduled that for Thursdays during this bootcamp month. The offical bootcamp instructions are to do 30 minutes of cardio / 5 days a week. I know it's okay to do more than that and many folk here do!

I'm ... well, not quite a newbie, but certainly I'm a young-bie...an advanced beginner-bie. I do think my body is being pushed harder than it has in many years. I am definitely NOT interested in an injury - think how THAT would stall my fitness efforts! And I know the purpose of the day off is to give all the stretched (which means slightly torn) muscles to heal and strengthen. I know that a day off is just as important to fitness as all those days on.

so why does the idea of taking a day off frustrate me. My body has that edgy jumpy feeling that it just wants to jump up and start moving! It reminds me of those kindergardeners I was talking about the other day.... hard to pin them down.

More than that. I am salivating at the opportunity to lift heavier weights more times next Tuesday! I am chomping at the bit for it.

There's just this hunger to use my body and I must give the bootcamp process credit for engendering that in me. I have to tell you - more than any other change I could be experiencing, this is the most welcome. It is all part and parcel of a communication between body and brain that is long overdue.

I can think of nothing more natural than for those two B's to work as a team, giving me a healthy productive happy life. Body tells Brain "I'm hungry" and Brain asks body "What do you need?" and Body says "calcium" and Brain goes down the list of calcicum rich foods and finds a match with what's in my refrigerator.

Oh Dear. that last paragraph reveals to you how really weird I am - splitting myself into a trinity of self, body and brain. ahh well. I guess I've spent too many years breaking big tasks into small action steps.

Ha! And I've spent entirely too much time meandering around with this blog post too. So, pulling myself back to the original theme - I am going to take a walk today, and to do the Thursday bootcamp workout, but it will be the easy gentle walk, not the pump it up walk of my Days On.

Happy Friday Eve to you all!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 1/14/2010 9:03AM

    I love you guys. I was going to go in to the gym anyway and burn calories but you ARE right. Those muscles deserve agentle stroll - not a busting bustle.

Heart you heart you heart you

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MSLZZY 1/14/2010 8:28AM

    Sounds like you've got an excellent plan in mind! Go for it and have a Sparktacular Day!

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CANDICANE32 1/14/2010 8:09AM

    Take your day of rest. If you must do something, a leisurely walk is best. Make it a long leisurely walk. I have been where you are with exercise and was terribly afraid to take a day off but I did it and my body released more weight when I did it. I love your attitude though (and the way you split yourself into 3). Have a wonderful day!

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I had to be the grownup

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Yesterday was the first time since Christmas that I have knowingly gone over my calorie limit- by only 200 calories, mind you, but still - over. The big ticket items are unknowns ... my own home made half/half whole wheat bread ... I will have to punch that recipe into the tracker so I can be more accurate, and the hamburger I had last night for dinner. cooked at home the pacakge says 250 calories per 1/4 of the package. I didn't weigh it out but I know I ate more like 1/3 of the pacakge . Oh. And the peanut butter at lunch. Lean meat might have rung up a bit fewer calories there.

And it was all mighty good. I am really pushing myself... nudging might be a better expression but increasing either the minutes I'm active or the weights I'm using and that makes me hungry for protein. And most of the time, when I was hungry I'd find myself thinking "what nutrition is my body asking for right now?" which is a very very good thing. I truly do believe I made the right choice to eat a little more. I stopped when I was full which was when dinner was over and felt simply wonderful.

Then something happened that I have to find a place for in my mind.

After an hour or so I began to want to eat something deserty - pudding, maybe, or even one of those really delicious oranges we have. I wasn't really hungry - not the way I was earlier in the day when I was fueling instead of snacking. I was slightly bored. I was not quite warm enough. It was getting close to bedtime but not there yet. I couldn't seem to settle to any craft or book or hobby. And it was then the snacking bug bit me. And it nibbled away for a good while. I finally had to sit down and tell myself "Bess you are going to HAVE to give this one up and go to bed without satisfying an urge. It's not a need because you truly aren't hungry. So this time, the answer is No."

In short. I had to be the grownup. And my inner brat was sulky but she didn't throw a tantrum - she obeyed.

Because she trusts her inner parent? Because she wants to be a good girl? Because she wants to grow up to be pretty and slender? Probaby that one most of all. But the trust thing is there too - and rather than calling her a good girl, I would say she wants to Do What's Right.

I have never been attracted to Bad Boys or badness even, though a little naughty hint now and then, accompanied by a twinkling eye and a kind heart, is okay. But rebellion for rebellion's sake or to prove that nobody can push me around really isn't much a part of my personality - wasn't much even when I was a teen. This is where I really AM a Virgo and in fact, I'm glad of that.

So, doing the right thing usually feels good enough to cancel any embarassement or frustration or anger. Usually - I am no saint by a long shot nor even a goody two shoes. But for the most part I like to be glad of my choices and I'll admit it. I am glad of last night's choice to Not Snack.

I hope this doesn't happen too much though. It is much easier writing about it than having to do it. I hope I can either eat enough nutrition in few enough calories that there's room at the end of the day for a worthless but tasty treat. And I hope that I don't really want a worthless tasty treat too often. I can do some denial but I might get cranky or quit if I feel I have to do too much of it.

so - that's the progress report from Bess - that and on the exercise front I increased my weights yesterday with the upper body workout AND did the whole routine correctly. Last week I was bumbling around on that ball. this week I have an idea how it works. And how much I have to stabalise my innards if I'm going to stay on the thing. And I have a short term goal of getting to 8 lb weights (from 3 lb) over the next month or two.

I am discovering with the free weights that they are actually easier than the machines. What a surprise. but I can make fine adjustments to the positions of arms and wrists and shoulders with free weights that help with little personal quirks and old injuries.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJ-SHE-BEAST 1/13/2010 8:48PM

    Funny, positive attitudes like yours is exactly what I am looking for. Thank you for sharing your "inner brat" with us!

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NIXIE27 1/13/2010 9:19AM

    LOL, I am having a really good laugh right now, and I really needed that. TY. "My inner brat" is exactly how I feel!
You also started me down the raod to some heavy thinking. I expect my children to behave, follow the rules, not be "brats" basically, and to work at their goals and dreams. So how come I can't seem to expect my inner child to do the same? She is a spoiled rotten brat, and I think....no, I know it is time to get some control over her! (and myself)
My self loathing pity party has now cost me all of my losses. I did a check up weigh in this morning, and I have re-gained the weight I had lost. That is a hard blow, but one I am used to.
No more. She can sulk all she wants, she will thank me for it later.
And thank YOU again for helping me realize that! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 1/13/2010 8:11AM

    Funny, the other day I was really hungry -- like, an apple would be satisfying -- only I didn't want an apple. I'd already had plenty of fruit. I don't remember what I ended up eating.

It's a big accomplishment to be able to determine when you're truly hungry & when you're satisfying a craving. Most of the time I get it. But sometimes it's still a mystery.

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LARSIL 1/13/2010 7:58AM

    Good for you, Bess!

My "inner child" has magificent arguments with my "inner parent" more times than I'd care to admit. (OK, so I'm over 50, and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.)

Good job, and great writing! That post was an inspiration for the rest of us!

---LarSil
emoticon

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MSLZZY 1/13/2010 7:41AM

    That poor inner child will just have to sulk on occasion LOL! You did the right thing but stopping the snack attack before eating mindlessly. If I really am feeling snacky, I eat a low fat yogurt with or without fruit. A little sweet that won't break the bank but it has protein and helps keep me from reaching for more. emoticon

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I don't believe it! No Wait! I do! I do! I do!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some beliefs are easy and convenient. Others require conscious, constant renewal. We can't though, use this as a basis for deciding that one belief is more likely to be true than another. Indeed, we can't reliably employ any technique to assess the validity of a belief. We just have to believe what we believe - and then believe whatever we want to believe about whatever anyone else believes! You are now being encouraged to think twice about something that seems beyond belief, no matter how believable others may find it!

If that sounds like a horoscope, well, it is. emoticon From one of my favorite horoscope writer - a favorite because he isn't always trashing Virgo's for being precise and having opinions and standards. (or being picky and judgemental - you pick emoticon)

And no - I don't think 1/12 of the world will all have the same day. I just think they're fun and if one says something positive and hopeful I welcome that into my life. They're like the Spider Solitaire game here on my computer. If I don't like what I'm offered I click away.

but believing has been on my mind a lot this week so I thought this particular horoscope was a good one to ponder.

So. Do I believe I will live the rest of my life as a fit strong healthy woman. As I said yesterday - it's sometimes hard to believe that. But at other times I look around and think ... well - she has... He does... they aren't really different from me. Especially when I add in things like - sometimes I eat food that doesn't even TASTE good because A) It's good for me or B) I'm looking for something else or C) It's dinner time

so people who are slim don't really do that. They may do other pointless or contrary things - but not about food.

And what about my oft claimed belief that, as an ENFP, I take no pleasure in completion? Well now - there may be a wee bit of truth in that. Once I got to my lifetime goal using Weight Watchers I found it very difficult to stay there because the process had ended. The incentives and rewards weren't as clearly visible. The trip was over.

But the sensation of pleasure at achievement was real and I am holding on to that memory right now, as a travel again, over the same steps. So do I really believe I will get no pleasure in success - that I'll be more comfortable staying on weight loss mode for the rest of my life? Ick! that doesn't sound like fun.

In a way that is why I'm breaking up with Mr.Scale. And believe me! That is very hard. How badly I wanted to step up close to him this morning. I didn't. but I thought about it hard. But he's so much a part of the numbers racket - the I-am-good-when-he-says-I-am game and I am so not wanting to play that game. At the last minute I thought that I would measure progress when those khaki trousers zip up smoothly. And that won't be long now.

So what do I believe? I believe that my body tells me what it wants and needs all the time. I just have to shut up - to stop listening to Other Things - and listen to my body. To make this a lifetime thing and not just another hard struggle down the weight chart I have to have a different sort of information process. I believe we were meant to be guided by our healthy bodies. Even tools that are as useful as the nutrition tracker are external to what mother nature designed us for. I use it regularly so that I will know how and where to find the foods that provide me with all the nutrition I need. Eventually I will need it only to check up on things - not to rule my day.

I believe that movement is essential to all this - movement in daily life and movement through vigorous exercise - movement anywhere I can find it. A lot of movement. Childlike movement - which is constant and difficult to stop. I think of a first grade class and how hard it is for the teachers to make the kids sit still all day. Why? Because their bodies crave movement. And most of the time first graders are pretty durn fit. When did I stop believing in that?

Beliefs. What I truly know is that if I believe it I act as if I do and it pretty much becomes true. Ha! Evidently even the stars want me to believe that I am on my way - acting like the fit healthy person I believe I am.

Who would believe it?!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOMORESTALLING 1/12/2010 11:47AM

    I too read my daily Horoscope not religiously but just to see how close them come to what my day is actually going ot be or turn out to be. Sometimes they are right on other times they are way off!

You're right there is no magic genie that is going to magically apppear and keep us on track or give us that healthy curvy body we all want so badly at any age! It's work in progress 24/7 and it's attitude, choice consequence and dedication. So keep that positive attitude flowing and everything else will fall into place!

You go girl! emoticon I'll be cheering you on!

Comment edited on: 1/12/2010 11:48:39 AM

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MOTHERBEAR4 1/12/2010 9:16AM

    Wow - read this Tuesday morning - now I have something to ponder! Great post!

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MSLZZY 1/12/2010 8:07AM

    The main point is that YOU believe! My opinion is mine and I chose to believe what works for me. Rewards, tracking nutrition, water and exercise all work for me because I believe this helps me on my journey to getting healthier! Yes, I believe!

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AMYRWATSON 1/12/2010 7:54AM

    Just Believe and it will happen.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 1/12/2010 6:57AM

    Clarity! I love it....

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MYJUNIEMOON 1/12/2010 6:34AM

    Cute post! I enjoyed reading... Believing is everything!

emoticon

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Striding into the future, toting the best little bit of my past

Monday, January 11, 2010

Here's a bit more backstory to That Dress and an explanation of why I'm bringing it with me as I move ahead.

I come from a large family of plump-to-fat ladies and in some ways I have always believed I would be one too. I fought weight gain in my teens and by the time I hit 20 I had a handle on it plus on fairly healthy eating and a much more vigorous daily life. Alas, in the early 1990's I began to eat my way into what I thought of as my heritage. It took a particularly awful photo my darling husband snapped of me - when I was wearing my "skinny" sweater (or Iíd never have let him take the picture) to bring me to my senses. When he brought it to me from the developers - I looked like a purple beach ball. With tears in my eyes I asked him if I really looked like that - and with all the love in the world glowing from his face (like he was giving me a diamond neclace!) he said "Yes. That's exactly what you look like!"

And when my tears spilled over, he made it worse by saying "But, but Honey! Look at your MOTHER!!"

Yes. I think it's a miracle he's still alive too!

I've since then done some fairly serious work on my good health, including my weight. I'm considerably smaller than that purple beach ball. But I'm not where I want to be AND that wicked bad Belief that - from fat I came and to fat I will return - is my biggest hurdle, my heaviest ball and chain and the most important thing to stop believing in.

I really needed something to supplant that wrong belief and it was while thinking back over my life that I realized there were more than 20 years when I was NOT fat. I did the things a healthy fit person does, made the choices a fit person makes. And during those 20 years when I lived a healthy life I wore That Dress. I wore lots of other nice clothes too, but that was my favorite and the only one I kept - the only one that isn't too decidedly 1980's Dynasty Retro. And that is why it deserves to come with me as I stride into the future; fit, healthy, AND slim.

So fear not, my friends, that I am clinging to the past. I am merely bringing a fine antique into a new setting.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WEDDWT 1/11/2010 5:51PM

    "Vintage" clothes have a story. If only they could talk!

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BESSHAILE 1/11/2010 2:37PM

    emoticon
But you must remember - he said it with such adoring love! - not like Mr. Scale would have. He, that Big Darling, is another part of my problem with weight. He likes me big or small and big is so much easier to be.
emoticon
emoticon

I, otoh, like me emoticon

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JLITT62 1/11/2010 2:22PM

    I have gotten rid of a ton of clothes on my journey -- but not all, and for that I am glad. Some clothes I have held onto for literally decades, but I'm so happy to finally fit back into them.

I think the trick is to know which ones really are flattering to you, and which ones you're holding onto for sentimental reasons. Sounds like you've got a good handle on it. And yes, it is pretty surprising that your DH is still alive & kickin'.

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