Sunday, January 23, 2011
Just saw an ad on television: Good-looking man with blonde toddler, they're both next to a cornfield. Man talks about wanting what's best for his child, the best and healthiest food; he "researches" corn sugar vs cane sugar and finds out that science claims the human body can't tell the difference. Therefore, he feels "good" about feeding his precious offspring with foods made with high fructose corn syrup.
This ad, and others like it claiming that there is 'no difference' between corn sugar and cane sugar, is misleading in a very dangerous way. The human body reacts quite differently to each type of sugar. Don't believe me? Do the "math".
Make two batches of cookies, one with pure cane sugar (says so on the package) and one with corn syrup as the only sweetener. All other ingredients are identical.
Now, wait until you have an empty stomach, and drink a glass of water. Eat 3 cookies made with cane sugar. In an hour, you shouldn't feel any differently than you did before you ate them.
Okay? Now wait until you have an empty stomach, drink a glass of water, and eat 3 of the corn-syrup sweetened cookies. Within the hour, do you feel differently? I predict that within the hour you'll have a slight headache, and the smallest irritation will set off almost a rage reaction.
You can try the same experiment on your kids. With the cane-sugar sweetened cookies, they won't be different; with the corn-syrup sweetened cookies, they'll bounce off the walls and misbehave with smart-mouth talk.
Sugar is not just sugar. It DOES make a difference what kind you use.
Here's another experiment to try:
Make a pecan pie the traditional way, with sugar and corn syrup. Make another pecan pie using pure cane sugar and honey. Taste a piece of each. I guarantee that the first will have almost a too-sweet, chemical flavor, while the second will be sweet but not overpowering, and you'll actually taste the pecans. Not only that, the first one will make you feel sick and the second one won't.
There's a lot to be said for going back to the traditional and natural ways to cook and eat. The more processed or altered the food, the more harm it does to your body, even if it is fortified with the nutrients that were originally lost in the processing! Not only that, but the less filling that food actually is. How many people can eat an entire box of prepared mac'n'cheese? I certainly can, and I know that one box represents a single serving for the average overweight or compulsive person. However, if you buy the pasta and grate your own cheese and milk and seasonings into it, all of the sudden it's a lot more filling. There's also a lot less sodium involved.
Instead of reconstituting that box of Rice-a-Roni, why not cook a rice medley, forget the 'roni' part, add your own seasonings, finely chopped brocolli and carrot, some olive oil, and call it a day? It takes about ten minutes more to make a rice medley from scratch as it does from the box, and look at the health advantages!
America, wake up and rethink what you're eating! Don't buy that packeted instant oatmeal crap! Buy the big tub of old-fashioned oats, mix in your own dried fruits, unsalted sunflower seed, flax seed, sugar and cinnamon, and call it a day! It cooks up the same in the microwave, and will fill you up a LOT more and sooner than the boxed, packeted kind will, for a lot less $$ and sugar. Or leave it unsweetened and add honey or maple syrup to what you plan to eat.
We The People need to change the way we eat. If we don't, the food-producing corporations won't change either, and that way lies danger.
Friday, January 21, 2011
I've been binging all week. I know this because I have an unnatural craving for chocolate. Instead of seeking ways to deny myself, like in the olden days, I am giving myself permission to eat whatever it is I'm craving. At Costco, the tiramisu looked yummy so I bought one. Then I decided on a jug of chocolate caramel macadamia nuts. Otherwise, I bought regular food - the usual several pounds of fresh veg for roasting, various dried fruit for making my own microwave oatmeal, etc. I also got a 14-pack of organic pink lady apples, a carton of canned mandarins, and meat for the dogs. In the grand scheme of things, I'm doing pretty good.
It feels kind of weird, though, to know I'm binging, and doing nothing to stop it... letting things take their course is a foreign concept when it comes to a behavior I'd always been taught to hide and deny. I know I'm going to gain some weight, and I also know that this isn't forever. I know the source of the triggers, the reasons for my cravings.
As long as I still drink plenty of water, get lots of fresh outdoor air, and move around as much as possible, I'll be alright. I'll get through this.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I've read several blog posts of resolutions. Putting them down in words and answering to others in that way is a tool for success, I think.
My goals for 2011
I will lose 42 lbs in the next twelve months. This is pretty loose, actually, because the body will do what it will do. I'm not stressing out over it. Any weight loss, even if it's another 20 lbs in 12 months, will be cause for celebration.
I will maintain consistent day-to-day living: get up about the same time daily, go to bed about the same time daily, and be active about the same amount daily.
I will continue to eat whole foods and plenty of them. Each week, the local grocery has good discounts on produce. I take advantage to stock up on veg I eat most often, such as carrots and broccoli, and use others to cook up dishes that can be portioned and frozen.
I will continue to cook as much as possible from scratch, including plenty of sweets. When I keep plenty of sweets around the house, like with salty foods I tend to eat more sensibly. Binges happen because of the mental paranoia of something disappearing if I don't eat it all RIGHT NOW. Keeping trigger foods around in plentiful amounts means the fear is gone that the foods will disappear. I don't have to eat them all RIGHT NOW because they'll still be there tomorrow and the next day and next week.
I will visit farmer's markets whenever I can.
In 2011, my professional goal is to be out of the area and into a new job in a new location that is closer to the ocean. It means working a 2nd job to save money for moving and the travel funds to house hunt and so on. Changing jobs and staying where I am is not a solution because everyone knows everyone else, and old enemies have the ability to make trouble in new jobs elsewhere. I know now that nothing will change in my present work environment, because the bullies I work with are not facing any kind of punishments for their actions. As long as the persons in charge will not act on my behalf, I will continue to work against the tide. I haven't the energy or desire to keep fighting, but I'm not going to sit back and continue in this negative environment, either.
I will keep up a running program. I may not enter the Bizz Johnson marathon if I'm no longer in the area, but I will enter a fall marathon. My goal is only to finish.
In 2011 I will keep a knitting box next to the easy chair, and maintain habitual knitting when I'm sitting. I have lots of projects lined up, most of them simple and/or small, for myself, my home, or others.
In 2011 I will work on my home sewing business and get that off the ground instead of letting fear of failure keep me rooted in inaction. This might be the most important resolution of all.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Yesterday, my little dog Dorian hopped up onto the couch. She didn't take a running start, she wasn't excited and not thinking, she just decided she wanted up there and up she went. It was a huge moment for me.
Twice more yesterday, she waited and waited for me to give her a boost, and I waited even longer than she did. Sure enough, twice more she decided she wanted up and up she went.
We all have challenges. We all are faced with sometimes what looks like an insurmountable wall of "can't". A lot of times, it's true, whatever it is we can't, we simply can't.
Sometimes, though, we go around the can't and just do. We have to. We decide we aren't going to wait for that boost, because it isn't coming.
When we do, it's important to know that a moment of triumph sometimes is just a moment, and in the next moment we fall back into the old pattern of thinking, the old list of can't this, can't that. It's okay. Once, we can. After that, we can again, and again.
Cheers to all the did-it-anyway moments. Let's amaze ourselves today. Just once.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Several months ago, the team "Eating Without Compromise" was created and I joined it because I thought it would be about... well, eating without compromise! That is what I have been doing since joining Sparkpeople.com!
Well, it's disappointing to say, but I am leaving that team because it is all about compromising what we eat. All of the posts are about people cutting down, cutting out, substituting this for that, etc. That's what compromise IS, folks.
If you name a team "Eating Without Compromise", then it should be about people eating whatever they are used to eating, and learning to give themselves permission to eat. We often have cravings for junk because junk foods represent what is forbidden, shameful, triggers for losing control. Once the taboo or restriction is lifted, almost immediately the craving either disappears or weakens over time to the point that it no longer is a prelude to a binge.
I keep all kinds of candy and other sweets in my house. I have a large jar full of crackers, and a fridge full of cheese to go with it. If I want chips, I get them and eat whatever amount feels right, with dip if that's what I want. I don't compromise.
Yes, it was scary to change how I think about "forbidden" food. It was scary to start eating "forbidden" food in public, and as much as I felt like eating. Yes, I binged a lot in the early days of refusing to compromise in the true sense of the word.
And then... yes, my mindset did change. The binges are fewer and further between, and sometimes a binge is just a little bit extra, and sometimes a binge is to the bottom of the bag, so to speak. And I don't beat myself up over it. No longer.
I refuse to low-fat this, fat-free that, reduced-calorie the other. I refuse. I refuse to compromise. The Eating Without Compromise team actually encourages compromise, which I think is highly dishonest. It's just another control-your-intake team, which I find useless because of my OCD.
In 2011, I will continue to refuse to compromise, and my goal is to lose 40 lbs in the next 12 months. I might weigh myself once or twice this year, but no more than that, and only to update the weight loss tracker on my sparkpage.
I gave myself permission to eat, and that made all the difference.
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