Saturday, November 17, 2012
Because of Spark People, I have been developing healthy habits which I will continue long after I have reached my goal weight.
1. increased my fiber to over 40 grams most days. This has resulted in my intestinal difficulties (which I blamed on my colotomy) disappearing. I feel hope for a healthy future.
2. added anti-angiogenic foods to all my meals and snacks, which gives me something I can do proactively to possibly keep cancer from returning a third time, and to also kill off the blood supply to my fat cells.
3. learned about Fly Lady, who helped me see that I had a bit of depression bubbling under the surface which kept me from being who I really am.
4. come to terms with my sweets addiction.
5. felt free to discover what I WANTED and the BEST WAYS to MAKE THAT HAPPEN, despite all of the ads articles of information, and everyone offering differing opinions.
6. learned the futility of following low calorie diets.
7. learned the value of whole foods close to the source.
8. started a fall veggie garden for the first time in my life to get excited about vegetables
9. learned the value of eating LOTS of fruits and vegetables
10. noticed that as my quest turned up a question that I had no answer for, the topic would probably be discussed within the week on a friend's blog to team forum.
11. learned to look for exercise which I considered to be fun
12. learned to ask the question somewhere on SP, and someone knowledgeable on the subject would stop by and help me out.
13. learned I work well with small, quickly attainable goals.
14. lost 31 pounds in 4 months.
For all of these things, I am truly thankful.
Did you notice the absence of the other side of the journey? The lack of appreciation for my habits which I've formed for exercising? All I can say is, they are probably forming but I'm not thankful for them yet.
Do you know the story of Peter Marshall, when he lifts the lid on the casserole at the dinner table, and asks his wife to say grace because he couldn't find it in himself to be thankful for the contents? He knew he was going to eat it. He knew he should offer thanks, but it wouldn't be sincere.
But there IS hope for me. Yesterday and today, the new orthotics didn't hurt. My feet did, but nowhere near what it was like pre-orthotics. So perhaps the walking and biking and playing pick-up-the-hula hoop will be more enjoyment and less chore soon. I AM thankful for podiatrists.
Friday, November 16, 2012
Today, I am thankful for doctors who do research to find the truth and then don't mind putting themselves out there on the front lines in the face of big business and government to improve our health.
I am thankful for Dr. William Li and others working with him to identify anti angiogenic foods which can starve cancer tumor cells AND fat cells to stop those diseases, and also a host of other diseases.
I am thankful to Dr. Dean Ornish who has somehow made our fast food chains to be aware of healthy nutrition and to improve their menus so that they aren't doing such a great job of promoting the American killer diet.
I am thankful to Dr. Fuhrman for researching and developing the Eat to Live Plan. While the plan is so foreign to my 65 years of eating an unhealthy American diet, I am confident that his plan is healthy for me.
This list is admittedly exclusive of many others, not because they don't meet my lofty standards, but because I am not aware of them.
Frankly I am suspicious or questioning at the very least of any new claims for things to do to be healthy. I grew up when we were told it was healthy to smoke cigarettes. I grew up when we were told the germ was being taken out of whole grains and replaced by a package of chemicals for our health. And then we were told that that packet of nutrients was so wonderful that it should enrich other foods. And then we were told that it was vital to our health to add many chemicals to our food to make it look pretty and preserve it for years.
And then began the oil wars all embroiled in the ignorance of principles of chemistry and biological processes.
I grew up in a time when more and more women worked outside of the home and looked for manufactured foods to feed their families. I grew up in a time when most gave up all personal knowledge of a loaf of bread baking or how to raise nutritious fruits and vegetables in the backyard, or when to harvest the garlic, or whether you could or should eat the leaves of that weed growing in your yard.
I have seen people switch from walking to the corner store to arranging delivery from the comfort of their recliner. I have seen children switch from playing outside to sitting in front of the screen.
All with the idea that "they" wouldn't do anything that would harm us, therefore, it must be a healthy practice.
I respect Michele O'Bama for getting on the band wagon to promote the Plate Diet, where we visualize 1/4 protein, 1/4 carb, 1/2 vegetables with a serving of fruit and dairy. But where is the research that supports that that is what we need. I grew up during the time when government promoted eating servings of dairy to promote the dairy industry with no research done to actually know if any of us needed to drink dairy.
I grew up during the time when fast food chains were invented. I had a sense that the "fast food" at carnivals and state fairs wasn't particularly healthy and should probably be a treat reserved for a once-a-year trip.
But when McDonald's opened, I felt safe and secure eating my two-all-beef-patties-special sauce-onion-on-a-sesame-seed bun. Surely they wouldn't feed me unhealthy food??
And now I can't find a restaurant to eat where I do feel safe in what I can choose to eat. Some I even worry about the safety of the food from a contamination standpoint, but that's a different story.
So, how will we ever know, understand, agree about what practices are very basic to our health and well-being. And if we ever agree on that before it is too late to do anything about it, how can be bring about the monumental changes?
Could we develop Tweets or sexy slide shows that would go viral and promote eating whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, and and active lifestyle?
Picture a time when you post your breakfast for the morning, and instead of an ad that makes you want to swear off of blotchy brown bananas, you suddenly have an ad from Columbia with a farmer deciding if his clump of bananas was ripe, who then tells you all the benefits of eating a banana?
Picture a time when you have been watching a reality TV show, but then receive a Tweet: Time to go for a walk. And you actually go for a walk with your family and talk about the day and stop by my fall garden to see the baby acorn squash and ooh and aah over it and your kids sample sugar snap pea "ydnac" until you all wish you had your own garden with peas and carrots and salad and squash and tomatoes and beans and quinoa and strawberries and other marvels. And you all spend the winter learning about growing vegetables and you order seeds and start them under the cabinet lights and start your own garden in the spring.
How amazing would that be? Can you even fathom all the changes that would happen in the chain reaction that would result from that one tweet??
Thursday, November 15, 2012
I have been so busy yesterday and today with responsibilities for a support group that I haven't had time–reflective time with the blogs an teams which I visit.
And I'm empty of inspiration for a topic to write about. Usually a comment, a phrase here or there sparks my brain and I'm off on a tangent. Sometimes I wonder how I got wherever I went with an idea.
So, I want you to KNOW how important your words are to me, to everyone who actually reads them.
I cannot say the same for the new technology we are faced with that trolls everything we write, buy, read, do not only on the internet but also in our lives.
Consider the ad on my blog about the problems of cooking with alcohol. I truly take offense at having an add for a Bartender school. Using a words in our written material doesn't not necessarily imply like, dislike, disapproval, or approval.
I don't know the answer. But I am tired of paying internet provider fees for the privilege of being advertised on every page I visit and in hundreds of e-mails daily, or being bombarded with ads for things which are my triggers like m an m ydnac and bartender school. Really?
So, I too might be going the way of another SP Friend who has decided to go private with her blogs. I haven't had the negative experiences she has recently, but besides the tech stressors over which I seem to have no control, I will have more time to work on exercising, planning nutritious menus.
Must go sleep on it and see if I feel better about everything in the morning.
Perhaps I need to go eat a banana and go to bed.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Not long ago I was not allowed to talk about sh*ttake mushrooms on SP, and I assumed it was because of the word beginning with a slang word. Weird since the word has nothing to do with the slang word. Earlier today I saw someone else solve this problem with a different word by substituting a "*" for the vowel to get around the SP filter.
I promise all of you who read this blog that I am not encouraging anyone to start drinking, or even cooking with alcoholic beverages!!
This evening I was startled to read on another site that claims to be a site dedicated to health, an article suggesting we prepare a number of healthy options for the holiday which used beer as the liquid in cooked and uncooked recipes.
Well, I've been in suspicious mode lately with anything that says it's healthy or good for me. I always do my thinking and research to see where that product or idea fits into my current knowledge and many opinions, however misguided they might be.
So in my knowledge, I know that alcohol evaporates off when heated. And there my knowledge ends and the questions begin. I tried to ask on a SP Nutrition board but they wouldn't let me post with my words in the post.
I'm trying again here. Even if we don't come up with definitive answers, perhaps someone will think twice before preparing a food recipe with an alcoholic beverage.
So like I said, I know alcohol evaporates when heated.
1. Are recovering alcoholics still affected when eating a recipe cooked with beer, wine, or liqueur, or liquor?
2. Are recovering alcoholics still affected when eating a recipe prepared with those beverages, but not cooked? say like a dessert or dip?
I know that red and white wine have anti-angiogenic properties (Dr. William Li in his video "Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?" and that's a good thing. I don't know if that's enough to include red or white wine in a recipe as a healthy inclusion.
3. Do the anti-angiogenic benefits of red and white wine remain if cooked in a food?
My opinion is that we could probably add a lot more nutrition to a recipe by adding a fresh-juiced fruit or vegetable to our recipe. But that opinion is based on no factual information, so
4. Is nutrient info like calories/carbs/fats/proteins and beyond available for alcoholic beverages which we might use in our recipes?
5. Was any thought about these issues put into the recipes on SP that include alcoholic beverages?
I feel these issues are important to be knowledgeable of before we cook for our holiday parties. A person making a choice to have a drink is much different from a person unknowingly eating something that was prepared with alcohol. I personally feel we ARE our brothers' keeper when in comes to the food we serve at home or at other holiday functions.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Today, I was thankful for my refrigerator that
1. saves my fresh produce from ruin before I can cook or eat it
2. saves the dishes I automatically cook for at least 4 diners, when it's only me
3. cough up my healthy pre-made meals ready to eat when I don't feel like cooking or having to clean up the kitchen
4. somehow manages to keep those little forgotten containers that hide behind the big yogurt containers and grow little black fuzz until I finish the yogurt.
5. Freezes fresh bananas, raspberries, and raspberries for healthy smoothies.
6. runs on electricity so I don't have to deal with blocks of ice.
7. enables me to have a wide variety of whole fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and nuts in quite fresh colorful condition.
8. provides chopped ice and lime wedges for my water.
9. keeps some medicines viable.
10. is related to all the other applications of refrigeration like cargo containers, trucks, food manufacturing, and the morgue.
Why don't we hear more about the inventor of the refrigerator? Thomas Jefferson used to stock up his ice house with 60 wagonloads of ice from the river. Aren't you thankful you dodged that bullet??
Our modern refrigerator was designed by Oliver Evans in 1805. Jacob Perkins developed that design into something that would work, though with some degree of danger. His model worked with ammonia and ether. He received the patent for it in 1834. And many others have contributed to the development of the refrigerator to it's current state. I think it could only be improved upon by having it be solar powered. Though a door a la Harry Potter, which would show you what was close to expiring, and would also let you reach right through it if you wanted something healthy would be super.
So I'm proposing a national holiday in August when we have no other national holidays, to celebrate inventions like the refrigerator which enable us to live healthier, fitter lives.
Families could get out in the neighborhoods with hula hoops, pogo sticks, bikes, or simply pedometers. Employers could offer bonuses for employees who show up at a gym on that holiday.
PBS could feature those inventions and also those which have developed a nation of obese citizens.I think the day has possibilities to trim the fat and fight our obesity battle. Of course a case could be made on both sides for the refrigerator, depending upon what we store in them, and the choices we make when getting something to eat out of it. Would I be healthier without it and the sugary snacks I used to keep in it? I think I'd probably be dead if I had to preserve all my food without benefit of refrigeration.
What other inventions would you include in the celebrations?
And have you signed up for a turkey trot yet?
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