Thursday, January 06, 2011
(Most of you who are familiar with me have heard me wax on about these things before, but I thought I'd share for the benefit of the many newbies who've come on board and also for my OWN benefit as I mention at the end.)
There is no magic out there.
Everytime someone comes along and claims a certain product or a certain new diet is the be-all, end-all my first response is to be HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS and SKEPTICAL:
Um...if this works so well, don't you suppose the media would be blasting away from every radio station, magazine, tv show, etc about the WONDERS of this product? Wouldn't EVERYONE be doing this and MOST OF ALL:
Wouldn't obesity disappear off the face of the PLANET?!? There is NOBODY who would *volunteer* to be obese! Stigma against obesity is so great that people would rather be mentally ill or a criminal than to be obese!
There also is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to building a healthy lifestyle. We all have to find a path that works for ourself.
There are some general guidelines that work, in my opinion, for all. My go-to food guru is Michael Pollan and his Food Rules. EVERYTHING he's written is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, but Food Rules is the most consise, to the point, plain English, common sense approach to eating ANYWHERE!
Here is a great article which describes the approach, which is basically:
Eat food, mostly plants, not too much.
Can you get any simpler? :-)
Some other corrolaries? Avoid highly processed foods. Avoid foods that come in a box. Avoid foods that have more than 5 ingredients or ingredients with names you cannot pronounce. Avoid foods that have been advertised. Avoid foods that your grandmother would not recognize as foods.
In other words get back to basics. Prepare your own food. Avoid commercially prepared ANYTHING.
The other important aspect of food? Quantity! We can be making the HIGHEST QUALITY food choices...but if we eat too much? You won't lose weight and might yet gain as well! How do we monitor quanitity?
Use the SparkPeople Food Tracker!
I was slow to come around to the power of this tool (or other forms of logging / tracking my food), and am guilty of having fallen off the wagon this past holiday season and am paying the consequences now! Today, for the first time, I was OBSESSING with the food tracker in preparing for a meal I was having out with others at Red Lobster tonight. I cut way back on my food earlier in the day. Looked up Red Lobster recipes shared in the food tracker to get an idea how much "damage" they would contain. I knew enough to avoid those cheesey biscuits...highly processed carbie foods wake up my inner voracious carbie tiger that can NEVER be satisfied! I also knew I would not choose any deep fried or oopy-goopy cheesey main course. I settled on Seafood Stuffed Flounder, broccoli, tossed salad with balsamic vinaigrette and water with a lemon wedge. Later tonight I had a bowl of my 15 bean soup. All for a total of 737 calories! It was the first time I tracked a meal before I ate it! Makes it REAL TOUGH to backpedal and change one's mind once you've logged it into the tracker! AND it was delicious and I felt nicely "full" and satisfied afterward.
Another point, for those of us "food addicts:"
Learn your trigger foods. You know, the foods that are "radioactive" such that having one throws all restraint out the window and opens that bottomless pit inside that can NEVER be satisfied?
Be very mindful of these foods, respect their danger and take appropriate preventative steps. Initially I highly recommend removing them from your life. Why sabotage yourself? Over time we can attempt to build psychological muscle which can allow us to gradually reintroduce our trigger foods in a very careful, controlled manner. However I will say that is a risky proposition and I will also admit that I have not been successful in doing this. I have known others who have succeeded in their pursuits and my hat's off to them for being able to do this. I am not there yet and don't know if I can EVER allow my trigger foods into my life in a moderate way.
But who knows?
Sorry to go on and on...but I'm finding it helpful to ME TOO by reviewing for myself "what works" as a form of re-dedication to myself and living a SPARKED LIFE!
Friday, December 24, 2010
Heartfelt appreciation and gratitude going out to ALL of our SparkFamily and sincerest wishes for Peace On Earth as sung so well on one of my very favorite songs of the season! I just LOVE this father / daughter dual effort!
Someone presented this music SO well here at YouTube:
Updated: A tad behind schedule for my blog, but perfect timing for Christmas: this appeared in my inbox this morning. A wonderful message from the Dali Lama: A Human Approach to World Peace:
Thursday, December 23, 2010
From one of my favorite techie e-mails: Windows Secrets ( windowssecrets.com )
"We're not sure what to make of this, but the Wacky column is a Windows Secrets subscriber favorite — measured by the number of hits it receives — proving that our readers have a fine sense of humor.
So to end 2010 with a smile, we've put together a special Wacky — the five most popular of the year. We'll start, however, with one of our all-time favorite videos. And at the end, we've tossed in two more of our particular favorites. Enjoy!"
Some GOOD ones here folks...!
Everyone have a WONDERFUL holiday season and whatever you do...
Keep the SPARK!
Bigtime appreciation going out to all of my SparkFamily for all your support, enthusiasm, kindness, understanding and caring kicks-in-the-butt!
Friday, December 10, 2010
My private practice appts. lately have been spreading between Weds., Thurs. and Fri. so I've been working in an hour of Nordic Walking on each of those days by leaving my car parked at my day job and pulling out the poles to walk to my office and afterward back. Save a smidgen of gas and get my cardio wedged in on those busy days!
Yesterday presented a nippy challenge as it was around 17 or so degrees, but after 10-15 mins. I'm pretty warmed up, although my legs still felt the chill some. And THEN after getting back to my car to drop off the poles I needed to get BACK downtown for the Celtic Thunder concert and catch up with DW. I *knew* parking would be tough and probably a waste of time, ending up parking almost as far away as I already was. So...off I go again!
No poles this time, but jogging instead, keeping a nice 4-5 mph pace down those nearly-deserted streets.
Tonight the challenge was the lightly falling snow which made the sidewalks slippery...couldn't "grab" with my poles' rubber tips so I didn't get the benefit of the poles as much...just lightly pushing as they would slide along. EXCEPT on my return trip I spotted a side street that was just wet, no snow...light enough with only an occasional car so I stayed on the street where I could "dig in" with the poles...yes!
But back on the main street again I dealt with the slippery snow cover by deciding that "someone" was trying to tell me to give up on the poles and just jog along, which I did for the last 1/2 of the trip.
The jogging felt good. Not *great*, but at least it was good!
Been picking a lotta brains (aka: fellow cycling club members...lol!) on possible cross country skiing venues and came up with a couple up north a little way, which means the odds of them having more and lasting snow would be greater this winter.
For the benefit of those in / around upstate New York here they are:
Lime Hollow Nature Center (near Cortland, NY):
Highland Forest Park (near Syracuse, NY)
Another unexpected treat came out of the blue tonight and an online friend sent me two Paul Winter albums. These are two from back around 1968-69 that I once owned in vinyl but lost to a flood in our basement ages ago:
I have looked EVERYWHERE for these long out-of-print albums! Christmas arrives early! Woo hoo!
These were very formative albums of his which led to Winter's later success in pulling together what would be one of the most unique and expressive music and musicians known as Oregon:
I had the pleasure of seeing them on the cheap (FREE: as I was an usher for our university jazz club...YES!) performing 3 times back in 1976-78 while attending Michigan State University...also around the time Magic Johnson / Gregory Kelser led the Spartans to win the championship and the town was literally torn up with bar chairs set afire in the median strip of Grand Avenue! Ah memories...lol!
If your musical tastes lean toward New Age, World music with an unorthodox, highly unique spin of its own I cannot recommend either the Paul Winter Consort or Oregon highly enough...truly magical, inspired music for the body and soul!
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
I've come across a very thought-provoking article written by a formerly obese person who dubs herself as "The Thinnest Fat Woman in the World." She was once a proponent of the Fat Acceptance movement and although she has made radical shifts away from this, she offers some insights which she has taken from this experience:
Caught Between Fat and Thin: The Pounds Come Off, But the Label Stays
The level of acceptance and balance she has achieved I think offers an important angle for those looking to make their new, healthy and well lifestyle a permanent change.
I'm curious to hear everyone's thoughts, reactions!
Also, another article along the "Buy Nothing - Value Everything" thinking:
Downsize Nation: Welcome to the New, Smaller American Dream
Have a great day everyone!
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