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Snack Food Satisfaction vs. Junk Food Joy

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm thinking about junk food today because though I stayed within my calorie range yesterday I also had a bag of my bete noire, cheetos. Prompted by THEMINT2's blog post about healthy habits, (
) it seemed I ought to think a bit about what it is I'm looking for when I eat them - and other types of junk food.

Please understand, I am talking about cookies, candy bars, chips, cheese curls and cheese crackers. Not celery sticks with peanut butter on them or Fuji apples. I don't usually buy junk food to keep around the house. I almost only ever buy it when I'm driving around somewhere and stop at a convenience store (which means I am with my DH who is also a snacker), waiting in a check-out line somewhere or if I have a sudden craving at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and there's nothing healthy in the lunchroom at work. Or, as I found out yesterday - if I change my routine unexpectedly. Evidently I don't handle even the slightest change in routine without a little junk food craving. MissSerendipity I am obviously NOT.

so. What am I looking for when I eat junk food? I am sure those food processors put cocaine on their stuff because honestly it is irresistible at first taste. Yum. and Hmmm sweet. and Ooooo Salty cheesy goodness. But... have YOU ever just taken one potatochip and slowly nibbled it's potato saltiness one tiny bite at a time?


Me neither.

Junk food tends to get stuffed, bite after bite, into my mouth. There's often even some guilt involved, as if, now that I am eating the stuff I have to gobble it up fast before the Fat Fairies notice and come pile on some more pounds. (they do that anyway)

And then there's the tiny pinch of shame that I've gobbled something ... which ANY southern gal knows is Bad Ton because Ladies just don't gobble. (thanks, mom)

And the aftermath is also fairly crummy. I feel bloated - but I will probably go ahead and fix dinner and EAT it, because I live in a family situation and part of my job is meals and there is MORE to dinner than food! So then I feel really bloated.

And frustrated because eating junk food can push me over my calorie limit and if it doesn't, I know I probably didn't get enough healthy stuff in my body that day.

So what is the joy I'm expecting? Hmmm. Instant pleasure. well. I have to say. it does give me instant pleasure. but Lasting Joy?

No. Yesterday's cheetoes bloated me before dinner, cost me 300 calories, (blush. yes. I ate the whole bag ) made me feel ashamed of myself and gave pleasure to my tongue at the expense of the whole rest of my body. Doesn't seem fair, now, does it?

So. I know I need emergency snacks tucked somewhere because obviously, even something as mildly stressful as changing my daily routine just a teensy weensy bit can trigger munchie madness. This means in my purse, too, because, I live in the country. If I keep food in the car - mice will get in there and make a nest in the wiring. (Ask me about it)

I think a zip lock bag of smoked almonds might do the trick. 14 of them only equals 100 calories. They are both salty and sweet. I can buy them and bag them at home and just slip one or two or, even three of them in my purse. If I'd eaten 300 calories of almonds yesterday I would be feeling a lot better about myself than I am now after eating 300 calories worth of cheetos.

But you know ... in heaven I bet the cheetos ARE healthy snacks, don't you?

Happy snacking.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDYJAS 3/10/2010 8:34PM

    Ahh, I totally understand why you ate the whole bag. Hide the evidence! My sisters and I are all bingers, and I remember when my sister was first married at the tender age of 22, she went to the store to buy a new cake, and cut two slices out of it so her husband wouldn't know that she devoured the first cake all by her Size 5 self. When I had my binge last week, I really wanted to finish the whole container of ice cream, but I finally did get bored with it and threw it out. I knew if I kept it in the house I would be obligated to finish it.

I have done well with keeping almonds in the house. Plain, raw, almonds.

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/10/2010 8:53AM

    What great insights! I need these reminders, thanks.


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JKTENTATIVE 3/10/2010 8:43AM

    Great Blog!! You have pin-pointed for me the mind-body disconnect. I believe that your efforts to analyze your actions and your thinking are taking you in the direction of making that stronger connection for yourself. (It is certainly helping me to confront it - thanks). Instead of expecting yourself not to snack, I believe you are on the right track if you expect to snack, and then plan for it. There are many healthy options that can be satisfying to the tongue without the guilt and bloat. Yes - go in that direction! -- Also - I think your sense of humor is terrific! Thanks for sharing this.

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THEMINT2 3/10/2010 8:21AM

    Awesome example of playing a tape all the way through! - Thanks!

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JLITT62 3/10/2010 8:21AM

    I love the insight of instant pleasure vs lasting joy. I might have to write that down somewhere.

I think many of my problems stem from wanting that instant gratification, and I'm not just talking about food, either. Seems us Americans just feel we should be able to have anything we want whenever we want it.

I always carry food in my purse. Always. There's always some plain almonds in there (altho these days I'm much more into nut butters than nuts -- of course, nuts are healthier but there you go). There's usually a protein bar or granola bar in there too. I actually am satisfied with those things.

But just today I read on a blog about some vegan candy bars -- not protein or granola bars -- candy bars. And I want one. Now. There's even a store (and I even know where it is) that sells them here. Thankfully not really close to us. But somewhere I go to occasionally. I'm gonna have to budget for it, I suppose.

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Balancing Act - another yoga breakthrough plus an epiphany

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Woo woo.

I've been swapping out a little Other Exercise with my yoga lately but today I did an early morning practice. Since I am always a little stiff on the ankles when I first sit on my heels, I thought I'd just do the standing quadricep stretch before I tried to put any weight on them.

And that's when the break through hit me! whoa! I can do that stretch without holding on to something to keep my balance. Instead, I feel all the grounding in the four corners of my foot! Whoopee!

that lack of balance has bothered me no end, as I've gotten older and creakier. But regular yoga practice is helping me center myself, balance myself, and strengthen my legs to hold me up better!!

and that's when the epiphany came - because ... I hadn't FELT that balance - or at least hadn't noticed it - because I was doing yoga every day. Taking a break for a day or two made it possible for me to see my progress. Now, I will not be the first person to mention to you today that swapping things up and switching things out a bit is good for you - but I bet I'm the most delighted person to do so.

May you end up as thrilled as I am today on your quest for a healthier YOU! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/9/2010 10:10PM

    emoticon That's the best news I've heard today! Good for you!

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IPATRICIA 3/9/2010 5:37PM

    I just love those Ahha moments! emoticon YOGA...I wish

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CRAVE_FREE 3/9/2010 1:02PM

    YAY for balance, center and switching things up! emoticon

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JLITT62 3/9/2010 12:57PM

    What a great insight!

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TRACIWRIGHT79 3/9/2010 10:35AM


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JKTENTATIVE 3/9/2010 9:31AM

    Woo Hoo! Keep up this terrific progress...and it really is time for me to find a yoga class and get started. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Pollo Mole recipe from Weight Watcher's Cookbook

Monday, March 08, 2010

The first slip from the Surprise Jar was to go through my cookbooks and pick a new recipe to try. In Weight Watchers Cook it Quick! I found a recipe for Turkeky Mole that made my mouth water. Now I didn't have any turkey breasts but I don't really like breast meat anyway - I used bonless skinless chicken thighs cut into bitesized pieces. I also added a LOT more water to the sauce - it calls for 1 cup which you cook down for 20 minutes. I used 2 cups and sort of stewed my chicken pieces in the sauce after I'd pureed it in the blender.

The WW recipe comes in at 229 calories but I figured it at about 50 calories more since I used fattier meat. but I have enough sauce left over to make this meal all over again! Yippee.

Served over rice with steamed broccoli on the side. Yum. It WAS a little sweet, which I can only surmise comes from the raisins and cinnamon. You might want to add a touch more salt. I added hot pepper flakes to it for a little more zip.

this is the 2002 edition of WWs book and I see on Amazon that there are Other Editions. So - here's a link to bookfinder dot com's listings:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACIWRIGHT79 3/9/2010 10:36AM

    Yummy! emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/8/2010 10:38PM

    Sounds deliciou-thanks for sharing! I still need to make my Surprise jar!

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JLITT62 3/8/2010 2:26PM

    I'm not sure if I have the same edition, but I do have that cookbook -- and like it a lot.

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The Surprise Me Jar - because this is supposed to be fun

Sunday, March 07, 2010

My weigh-in this morning was not a happy number, but then, I didn't figure it would be. It's been a tough 10 days of straying, stressing and stuffing my mouth. Eh. Bummer.

But I'm tired of that and ready for something new, something inspiring and by golly, something FUN! Something that shifts my focus and gets me back on track in a joyful way and Friday morning, driving in to work, I hit on the perfect thing!

It's an adaptation of an adaptation of a super duper idea I found in a magazine years ago. I am calling it The Surprise Me Jar. On colorful strips of paper I have written down 25 fun things to do to celebrate my journey to a healthy body - one for each day for the rest of the month. I've rolled them into spirals and put them in a glass jar I'm keeping on the buffet. Every day I will pull one out and do whatever is on that strip of paper. It's okay if I put that spiral back, just in case I don't want to do it for some reason, but I have to pull out another one and do that.

It was hard to think of 25 fun things to do but I managed and here's a list of them:

1 Give a smile to 10 people today
2 Eat a tropical fruit
3 Look in the mirror - preferably in the buff. Identify my least favorite body part. Make a promise to it that I'll eat and exercise to make it beautiful
4 Eat a dark leafy green I've never had before ( or haven't had in a long time)
5 Use a champagne glass to sip a glass of water
6 Add something different to my salad today
7 Search a cookbook of low fat recipes, select something new and shop for the ingredients. It's okay to cook it on a different day
8 At 3 p.m. today do 10 minutes of seated yoga stretches
9 Cook something different tonight
10 Make myself a BIG omlette with eggbeaters and mushrooms and onions. Use Parmesan cheese which adds a lot of flavor for few calories ... 1 TBS = 21
11 Massage lotion into my feet - 5 minutes for each foot
12 Eat a red, green, yellow and orange vegetable today
13 Cook a pear or apple, sprinkle it with cinnamon and drizzle fat free half and half on it
14 Look in the mirror and say "I love you, you beautiful woman."
15 Indulge in my favorite seafood today. Shrimp scampi? Baked salmon? Indulge!
16 Write myself a letter praising 10 specific things I've done for my health since January first. MAIL IT!
17 Have a cup of fat free hot chocolate
18 Ask your best friend to tell you her favorite 3 things about you - offer to do the same for her
19 Take a walk and come back with Signs of Spring
20 Slip away from work one hour early and go to the gym
21 Share Spark People with someone you love
22 Pull out spring clothes and try them on - Keep only the ones I love. Get rid of the rest. Make a list of what I need to fill out my wardrobe (this is a weekend thing)
23 Take a candlelit champagne bubble bath before I go to bed. (What doesn't everyone keep a bottle of champagne handy?)
24 Indulge in one ounce of high end cheese - at 120 calories - just weigh it first. Fontina? French Corbier? Stilton? Eat it slowly and truly I N D U L G E
25 Take a walk around town - guaranteed 1 mile at least - and take my camera to photograph interesting sights

I've done this before with suggestions to stimulate my creativity and I also gave this away as a Christmas gift one year with 52 questions and a pretty journal for people to write down their memories. The fun thing about this is that just the act of thinking up Fun Things To Do to for ME helped put me in a happier frame of mind and got me back on track again. I've already poured over my Weight Watcher's cook book and planned out this week's meals using new recipes.

So. It is a new week, all sparkley and crips and full of possibilities. I'm read to pull magic out of a hat - or a surprise out of a jar.

Just so you get the idea of what it looks like, here's a picture of my Creativity Jar with comments from my BirdsWithOpinions.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 3/8/2010 5:49AM

    But you didn't share with us what you pulled out!

But thank you for sharing all the fun things . . . such food for thought!

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TRACIWRIGHT79 3/8/2010 12:16AM

    What a fun idea! This list is great, I am totally going to steal it from you! emoticon

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IPATRICIA 3/7/2010 5:58PM

    This is a brilliant idea, must do that next week. Thank you so much.

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SHEILA1505 3/7/2010 3:02PM

    Clever Lady!
I have a Job Jar for projects around the house - and some of those strips have "take the day off" on them or "veg in the garden"

But I am definitely going to "steal" this one &send it to my BFF and my Energy Buddy, too


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OPAL50 3/7/2010 12:27PM

    Wonderful idea to jump start a stalled program. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOOOOW 3/7/2010 11:36AM

    Great idea, maybe when Spring break comes up in two weeks I'll have time to play with this idea.

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PATHUMPHRIES 3/7/2010 8:37AM

    What a great idea. Thank you for sharing!

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STARDUST53 3/7/2010 8:29AM

    emoticon A brilliant idea!

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/7/2010 8:16AM

    This is truly motivating. I love the surprise me jar. Great little tips and tricks. Thanks.


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DOITAGAININ2010 3/7/2010 7:38AM

    This is a great idea and thanks for including your ideas for 25 fun things. Since this is a life-long journey, we have to make sure we have some fun along the way, and this is a great way to do it! Your birds are right on with their comments.


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LIZ-GS 3/7/2010 7:31AM

    Way Cool! I LOVE the Jar idea, it's far more concrete than my '48 in 48' birthday idea (spend one week focusing on one idea for 48 weeks while I'm 48). Thanks for sharing!
emoticon Spark on!

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PUDLECRAZY 3/7/2010 7:31AM

    I love your surprise me jar! What a great idea!

Wishing you many happy surprises, including ones your hadn't even thought of.



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MSLZZY 3/7/2010 7:29AM

    I am going to give this a try-great idea! Later I'll find a jar and start with my surprise jar strips.
Such a positive thing to do! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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NWLIFESRC 3/7/2010 7:23AM

    Cool anything to spruce life up good luck

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Finding my footing again

Friday, March 05, 2010

I have a non-epileptic health condition that is rare, benign (so they say - "they" should experience this), with no known cause and no treatment other than "Live with it". It is a neurological thing that has visible symptoms that seem to be triggered by exertion and/or stress. These identified triggers mean that there are probably ways of preventing more episodes and I also believe that there are ways of creating a structure so that should another episode occur, I will be safe.

the first neurologist I went to said "It never happens, when it does it never happens again. go home live long and prosper hey cool man"

so when it DID happen again it never crossed my mind to call him about it. I called my GP who is pretty good, but very young and though he didn't say so, in his voice (Hey, I'm a mom, I know a "voice" when I hear it) I could discern a panic-like hint of "How should I know? that's why I sent you to a specialist." The upshot was that I went to a new neurologist who at least seemed to take me seriously, although the diagnosis and treatment plan are still very much the same.

It is funny to listen to medical people find ways of telling you "we haven't got a clue what this is, what causes it or how to prevent it or how to treat it" without giving up their god like status. Or rather - it is funny in hindsight to remember that's what they were saying.

I have often been grateful that I was born in the post penicillin age when medicine could do serious good. This was especially so after I became a mother. When I think of all the cuts, dirt, germs out there just waiting to suck your children under - and a glance back at mortality statistics will tell you this is not just my imagination - I am particularly glad I live now. But the downside to this is that we expect medicine to have all the answers all the time. It may be that (some) doctors have become a tad arrogant because they do hit bullseye so often, but that's hardly unexpected.

Our bodies can throw up all sorts of surprises and medicine still has many unexplored frontiers. In a way I feel somewhat medieval as I find my footing on the path to dealing with my own condition so thank goodness I am the type who has always sort of forged my own path anyway. From religion to school to marriage to even running a library - I have always had my own approach - my own way of doing things, seeing things, understanding things. Now that I've been told to ... figure it out myself but get enough sleep and don't quit exercising, just go slow - well - I suppose there's nothing for it but to ... figure it out myself while getting enough sleep and going slowly.

so of I go - with a new day and a new path.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAVE_FREE 3/5/2010 9:51AM

    I agree with TIDEFAN911; you have a great attitude and you are inspiring. I hope you find some answers.

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HARPERLADY 3/5/2010 9:39AM

    never head of it, do you sieze? if stress can cause it to happen do they put you on anything for nerves? you definitly have the right attitude because in the long run you have yo figure it out for yourself anyway at least figure out what works best for you, say a prayer for you

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SHEILA1505 3/5/2010 6:56AM

    Yes, well - it's the same old story isn't it - if it doesn't fit their own field of "expertise"

go to a pharmacy with a headache, they'll give you headache remedies
go to a GP - you'll be told it's stress - take a rest
go to a neuro surgeon, they'll give you a CAT Scan &you'll worry about brain tumours
go to a chiropractor, they'll either tweak your neck or do kinesiology (which I love BTW)
go to an optometrist, they'll test your eyes and sell you new spectacles

Glad that you are doing your own research and look forward to your findings


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TIDEFAN911 3/5/2010 6:44AM

    This is inspiring - GOOD LUCK!! Keep up the great attitude!

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