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I ate some bread yesterday

Sunday, May 06, 2012

This was not the kind of bread that most people eat in this country. And it did not contain any wheat. This bread was a sourdough bread made from only rye, sourdough and salt. Some of the rye was ground, some was steel-cut or even a few whole berries. It was not flavored with caraway seed as almost all rye bread is in the US or colored to make it look darker, but all-natural. I found this loaf which I had bought quite a while ago at a local bakery at the bottom of my freezer and did not want to throw it out since I myself don't seem to be gluten-intolerant. I ate 3 slices yesterday, in part because there wasn't much food in the house and I needed something to have with cheese.
A couple of interesting observations: Rye does not trigger the same types of cravings for me at all as wheat. It also does not taste good enough to really overeat on it, either. In fact in retrospect I would have preferred the cheese slices by themselves.
I did notice that I was hungry only about 2 hours later again and ended up eating a lot more all day, an experience that I had not had in several months since going low-carb except on a few days when I ate some sugar that pushed my carbs over 100 grams for the day.
Overall I have no desire to go back to eating bread. I guess I would eat bread that does not contain wheat when there is no other food available but certainly not because I particularly enjoy the taste.
I may experiment occasionally with flatbreads or pizza that is made from nut meals or coconut flour but even those are too much trouble to bother with on any regular basis. There are so many other wondeful foods to eat: a large variety of fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, dairy, meat and fish that I don't feel the need for grain products at all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOUNDLOVER1 5/8/2012 6:30PM

I suspect your spark page is set to private as I can not send you a message there. So I hope you get it here.
It seems to be quite common to have carb withdrawal for about a week and in some cases for several weeks. I know there is info on several of the low-carb groups on spark so you may want to look around there. Maybe you can post the question on the wheatbelly blog as well if you don't find enough answers here.
Best wishes,

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OMAHAMAMA 5/8/2012 2:18PM

    I've read a few of your blogs now and wanted to say thanks for turning me onto Gary Taubes. I wish I could remember how I stumbled across your post but it had links to his YouTube videos.

At first I was skeptical. I mean, this is basically a prescription for the Atkins Diet and didn't Atkins himself die of heart disease? Never the less I kept finding myself drawn back to Gary's blog and videos. The science was compelling. It also didn't hurt that I'd completely plateaued on the Sparkpeople program and was working out harder but getting nowhere. Last week I finally decided to go for it and purchased "Why We Get Fat". I'm just in the beginning stages of radically cutting back on carbs but I already notice some differences, mainly (and most enjoyably) in my hunger. I was regularly eating a bowl of cereal with a banana and milk for breakfast. And I was also just as regularly hungry within 1 to 2 hours after eating it.

I also purchased "Wheat Belly". Much of the same science is presented in it as well. I'd pretty much given up bread anyway because on any program, bread has a lot of empty calories. But I believe I'm in the unlucky group that will have to go very low carb to lose weight. I'm going to give it the rest of May, see how far I get and then try slowly adding back in fruit and veggies. Hopefully I can even splurge and enjoy some corn tortillas again - they have been my go to since getting off of bread. But for now, it's meat, eggs, cheese, and greens until I can get the weight loss kick started again.

I do have one question if anyone can answer it. I know it is to each his own but I do find myself feeling rather lethargic after eating these high fat low carb meals. I don't know if it's just my body adjusting or if I need to modify what I'm eating. I do have hypoglycemia but not severe at all. For breakfast I'm eating 2 eggs, 2 strips of uncured bacon, and 2 oz of "natural" sausage (no preservatives). Lunch is a salad topped with meat, cheese, etc. Snack time is cheese. It is noted in the book that this can happen at the outset but I'm wondering how long I can expect this reaction? Thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks again for this blog, I'm happy to find other Sparkers giving this plan a go. emoticon

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HOUNDLOVER1 5/7/2012 12:35PM

    No problem, fixed it. emoticon

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CHEBBA 5/7/2012 12:29PM

    I no idea why this printed twice, other than the fact that when I sent it nothing seemed to happen. Apologies to all.


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CHEBBA 5/7/2012 12:24PM

    The fascinating thing about your blog and the different responses is that it, and they, all point to one thing - and that is that the entire business of relationships with food or particular ingredients is unique to each and every one of us. The old adage 'One man's meat is another one's poison' is so true and so, here in SP, we learn by reading other people's blogs tips and wrinkles which may work for us, not work for us - or we are educated about different foods, possible effects. Sometimes we get an answer to a mystery which has long eluded us.

The most important thing about all of this interaction is that we are able to cherry-pick the bits which apply to us or that we want to apply to us. We also learn that it's alright to have different responses to certain foods because we are all unique. That reassurance alone helps to give us the strength to accept our foibles and food weaknesses. Now, I am old enough and ugly enough to know that my relationship with bread is dangerous - even writing about it, especially warm and fresh-baked, is to dance with Satan himself! Reading your earlier blog, iiquorice is vile (an apt anagram of the word evil!) for me, but I am happy that many don't feel the same. Tomatoes are the Food of the Devil and many years ago I learned why black coffee makes me ill: it's because the flora of each individual's mouth is different and either a preponderence or scarcity (I can't recall which) of a particular chemical, actually induces nausea!

So, what does this all mean? For me, it means that if all I had in my larder was black coffee, liquorice and tomatoes I'd be very slender and have no need for SP!!! Seriously, though, it means that the usefulness of reading other people's blogs is beyond question. Throughout this journey we help each other to 'know thyself' and come to terms with what works, what doesn't, what are 'red light' foods and how to come to terms with it all.

Thank you and bless you!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ARLENE_MOVES 5/7/2012 7:27AM

    Bread - in fact, any wheat product doesn't bother me when I see it. Don't crave it either. Plus, no desire to partake at all. I think, however, if I started in on it, I wouldn't stop!

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BEAGLEMAMA2 5/7/2012 6:18AM

    I don't know what kind of wheat they use...I know that its Certified Organic Grains. Ezekiel 4:9 is All natural-no preservatives. It claims to be the original flourless sprouted grain bread.
The website is www.ppnr.org. This is what is says on the package:

"The miracles of the sprouts...
Different frommost breads today, this unique bread is made from freshly sprouted LIVE grains and contains absolutely no flour. WE believe in sprouting the grains we use in our breads because sprouting is the best way to release all the vital nutrients stored in whole grains*

To unlock this dormant food energy, maximize nutrition and flovor, we add just the right amount of water to healthy whole organically grown grains which are already bursting with nutrients. Beneficial enzymes are activated which cause the grains to sprout and become a living food. OUr exclusive sprouting process not only significantly increases vitamins, but also causes a natural change that allows the protein and carbohydrates to be assimilated by the body more efficiently. And even better still,our exclusive baking process preserves these valuable nutrients and rretains the important natural fiber and bran.

You can see, taste, and smell the LIVE GRAIN DIFFERENCE! of Food For Life breads. As nutritutious as they are delicious, Food For LIfe breads are the substance of a meal-not just something that holds a sandwich together. See the difference fresh sprouts really make.

So when you're looking for nutrition in bread, reach for the sprouted grain breads from Food For Life and partake of the miracle. Your body and taste buds will know the difference!"

*source: price-pottenger nutrition foundation

I copied that off the back of the bread package.

If you look for it it is in the frozen food isle with the other frozen bread!

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GRACEMCDOG 5/6/2012 10:41PM

    At the moment I think there is no good reason to experiment with eating grains. I am reading Rob Wolf's book 'The Paleo Solution' and he goes into great detail about how and what grains do to destroy our bodies. My perspective at 61 is, of course, going to be different from yours as you are decades younger. I often wonder how different my life would have been if I'd had this information when I was 20. Maybe I'd have been like every other young person and decided to ignore it because, as we all know when we're young, we're invincible!!! I am here to attest from the downhill side of lifespan that we are not.


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SHERYLDS 5/6/2012 7:13PM

    right now I'm ultra strict....
but I am SCARED of going near processed starches...period.
I guess it's my carboholic mentality
It took me a while to get to this point...I don't want to regress

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BEAGLEMAMA2 5/6/2012 2:44PM

    Since i read the Wheat Belly book I found out I have a wheat intolerance. I gave up bread but one day I really wanted a sandwich. So off to the health food store I went. I discovered Food For Life" wraps made out of brown rice...very good and I also found "Food For Life" Ezekiel 4:9 bread. They have two kinds...I personally like the sesame one. The Ezekiel bread does have 100& whole wheat in it BUT it does not bother me at all. I'm not hungry after eating this bread. I only have once in awhile and that is when I want a sandwich.

The wraps made out of the brown rice I use to make my pizza. They are really good.

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WOUBBIE 5/6/2012 1:25PM

    :) My grandmother used to talk about how, growing up, rye bread was for poor folks, because only the wealthy could afford the fancy and expensive "white flour" bread. Oh, how the tables have turned! The poor these days can't get AWAY from white flour products.

Interesting experiment. I haven't touched more than a mouthful of bread since last July and, judging by peoples' comments here, I'm almost afraid to!

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SUPERMOUSE35 5/6/2012 11:42AM

    It sounds like an interesting experiment, thanks for posting the results. I do this once in a while too, and always remember immediately why I stopped eating bread in the first place.

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HELEN_BRU 5/6/2012 11:35AM

    Thanks for relating your experience! I still love a cheese sandwich with lettuce that crunches in my mouth but not when it settles in my stomach. Oh, well - one of these days!

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REJ7777 5/6/2012 10:43AM

    It helps to have a "reminder" once in awhile of why we aren't eating wheat anymore.

You seem to have mastered the *art* of not eating wheat. I still find it very difficult to go without. Sometimes I just don't know what to eat. I feel like having crackers and cheese, or toast and cheese. I keep opening and closing cupboard and freezer doors looking for the bread or Triscuits I don't have anymore. Habits are hard to break, and I still crave bread. I need to master this new way of eating!

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EGALITAIRE 5/6/2012 10:04AM

    Always useful to experiment and continue the journey of finding out what works and what doesn't. And what even tastes good anymore.

I used to love the Hawaiian pizza from a local store (ham, bacon and pineapple), but only had it about once a month because even pre-primal I knew it didn't sit well in my gut.

Now, I could have a piece sitting right in front of me and not even think about eating it. Chocolate torte on the other hand - not over that yet.

Be Healthy

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The times they are a-changin' in the medical field

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Take a look at this article that appeared in the New York Times. Lots of interesting things hidden in this article, definitely a hopeful sign:

Enjoy, emoticon


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIDMIS 5/1/2012 11:08PM

    My doctor who was always on me about losing weight would not take the challenge I put out. I said ok, we will both lose weight and see who wins. He didn't want to. He is heavy also.
I lost weight, he lost some but put it back on.
He was impressed enough with Spark he took a card and put it on the bulletin board as some of his nurses are heavy also.

Comment edited on: 5/1/2012 11:09:26 PM

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PAPAMIKIE 4/30/2012 4:05PM

    Gramie Leanna is diabtic and so Carb counting is a bit old school for her, however, we have been doing a fair bit of research on carbs, protiens and fat in the diet and the remarkable amount of spin that the science on these things get. The "Spin" frankly makes my head spin.

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JTAYLOR2011 4/30/2012 11:42AM

    Excellent! Thanks for sharing :)

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MARTHASPARKS 4/30/2012 11:11AM

    Hi Birgit,
As I heal from that 7 hour surgery that took out 2 discs, a lot of bone debris and bone spurs and untangled my spinal cord before carefully encasing it in a ton of metal, I have gone wheat free. I can't say I miss it yet and I hope that stays. Your articles, research and insight have been so helpful to me. I just wanted to thank you!

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BOBBIENORTHERN1 4/30/2012 8:16AM

  You are right, this really is a very interesting article that really just tickled my fancy and gave me a new perspective on doctors. thanks for sharing this.

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BEAGLEMAMA2 4/30/2012 6:12AM

    Thanks for sharing...you are always full of interesting information! :)

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HOUNDLOVER1 4/30/2012 1:10AM

    I agree, it would be nice if the education about grains and fat were next. Fortunately there is a growing number of good blogs by physicians available on those topics. At least something that we can pass on to physicians who are willing to learn about nutrition.

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EXOTEC 4/29/2012 11:54PM

    I do love it that they're finally focusing on diet in a positive frame, instead of all the "don't-dos". However, I am still disappointed to see the "healthy grains" and derogatory butter (fats) remark. Perhaps they'll start to research diets as a result of this though, and find the research that might change their preconceptions. It's a start.

And it may be just my old-fart-eyesight ... but were those little *sliders* in mushroom caps?!?!? oh boy. If they weren't, they certainly are going to be here! I could get way carried away with that!

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GLC2009 4/29/2012 8:06PM

    the cooking class sounds great. but, i noticed that steak and butter are bad and more healthy grains are good in this article.

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DARA52 4/29/2012 5:59PM

    Thanks. It does sound like a postive step.

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WOUBBIE 4/29/2012 3:01PM

    My doctor, though a real sweetheart and not much of a pill-pusher, is quite chubby. I should send him this article!

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GRACEMCDOG 4/29/2012 2:34PM

    Well, a step in the right direction. Now they all need to go back to school and study nutritional bio chemistry and endocrinology to learn about insulin, leptin, ghrelin, cortisol and how eating high amounts of carbohydrates is poisoning humans. They might also ask themselves why Julia Childs ate all that butter and cream and meat and lived to be 93.
Sounds like Dr. Principle of Chicago may be on the right track.

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TAMPATINK67 4/29/2012 12:45PM

    I work in support of the medical profession, and this is the first thing I've seen in years that has been truly inspiring related to serious changes!!!!

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REDSHOES2011 4/29/2012 12:31PM

    Good article..

Comment edited on: 4/29/2012 12:31:28 PM

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Watch out: SERMON coming - but pictures added

Saturday, April 28, 2012

This is the first post I'm writing in about 3 weeks. There are lots of things that have happened that I want to write about: We have had new ducklings hatch, I've read a number of good books that I want to share, I've changed some things in my exercise routine...
but today I want to talk about something else. I call it a sermon because it is adressed primarily to my fellow Christians (I don't actually like this term but that's another story). But it is the term most commonly used to refer to followers of Jesus Christ, of which I am one.

The reason it is addressed mostly to Christians is because the issue I am planning to address is one that mostly Christians misunderstand. In fact I believe most people know that what I am about to say is true and relevant but it is in the background of their minds with disastrous consequences for this world.
It is this: Most Christians in the industrialized world act as if God were in church either all or most of the time. That's where they focus most of their attention when it comes to their spiritual life.
But consider this:
God made the World in all its natural beauty and intricate design, People built Churches

Jesus came into the World, not into the Churches

God so loved the World, that he gave His only begotten Son...

God is absolutely delighted with his Creation which includes Man, in spite of the fact that neither are perfect any more, the way he originally designed them.
Those that want to follow Jesus and consider themselves God's children along with Jesus should start acting more like his family by going into the world where they will find Him at work everywhere and can join him in what He is doing, in all venues, in all people groups, on the internet including on Spark, in schools, in businesses, in politics, in nature, in neighborhoods. In fact God is working wherever good things are happening, whether we are aware of it or not. It is a matter of personal listening to that quiet voice of truth in our hearts to know where we are called to join and the answer is different for everyone.
Just stop focusing on looking for God in churches.
I know that the word church can have two meanings: The one is that of a building. Buildings are useful to have at times but they are merely a tool. The other meaning of the word church is that of God's family, the community of believers that is in spiritual unity under the leadership of Christ, regardless of affiliation, denomination or location. It is world-wide and extremely powerful because it is lead by the Almighty. The organization of churches into denominations, dioceses, congregations and any other groups is primarily man-made and limited in its reach. It has its limited usefulness but should not be the primary way to for us to join Jesus in what He is doing.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."John 1: 1-5

Life and light for the world is what Jesus is about, also faith, hope and love, described so beautifully in 1. Cor. chapter 13. Let us join Jesus in the world and add joy, hope, love and faith where we can and watch them multiply. The result will be more peace in our hearts and around us.

And here is a little of the joy that I have experienced in the last week that I want to share with you:

Peace, Birgit

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WANNAREAD 4/30/2012 7:56AM

    Churches remind us that God is everywhere! Churches remind us that God is important! Remembering to worship God publicly at least once a week is so crucial to our life of faith. Many people (certainly not all) who start missing Church on Sunday just start forgetting that God even exists or that their actions have eternal consequences.
We need to live our faith 24/7 both inside and outside of church!

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GLC2009 4/29/2012 7:50PM

    love the duckies!!!

one of my favorite sayings -- i'd rather be sitting on my horse thinking about god, than sitting in church thinking about my horse.

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REJ7777 4/29/2012 10:59AM

    Sometimes Jesus was teaching in the synagogue, sometimes he was teaching on a mountain top. He stopped to raise a dead son while walking to get somewhere. I think that we should be doing good wherever and whenever we can.

You write: "The organization of churches into denominations, dioceses, congregations and any other groups is primarily man-made and limited in its reach." I would remove the word *primarily* from that sentence. I think that all divisions in Christ's church are man-made.

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JSTETSER 4/29/2012 6:12AM

    I am also a Christian, and am headed to a beautiful cathederal-Mt. Monadnock. Jesus and Moses both went to the mountains. They gained strength there. In fact, Jesus had most of his problems when he went in to the temple.
Imagine that.

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HEALTHY4ME 4/28/2012 9:58PM

    MY husband was brought up Catholic and taught that only catholics were christians. He lived in a very small town and was taught by nuns. HE started doubting his church when he was told he would die and go to hell if he didnt go to church every sunday all the time. He didn't go one sunday and wow he didn't die, didn't go to hell, and started wondering about other things in his religion. Go forward a few years and he met me, a United church person ( not sure if you have that in US we are from Canada and is the united church of Canada but is a combo of a few protestant religions) so we were talking and he mentioned christians and I wasn't such and OH MY I said where did you ever hear that? so we talked more and he said wow that was drilled into our heads.
Okay we were married, and he changed to United cos by then he was really disallusioned with the Catholic church, his mother still feels we are not truly married ( be 35 years this july!). So we had kids took them to sunday school, became very involved both taught sunday school, he became superintendant of sunday school I was secretary for the church meetings.
Then we moved ( military family) and again joined a church. Military churches are family churches cos you make friends cos you are away from your family for the most part. So he retires at 38 and we join a reg. church still united. Well right away it was hi, how can you help us, oh you taught sunday school, oh you have secretarial abilities. so after awhile we stopped going ... went to a diff one same thing.
Hubby is now pretty well athiest cos he says I still believe in God, Jesus, and the teachings but not the way churches are....

as Russel said "It is a very simple thing to be a Christian.. love your fellow man, and be a good person, help others if you can, comfort them if you can't. In short, try to emulate the teachings of Christ. If I ever find a church that does this, I'll join. "

Well I too and pretty sure hubby too would join. I do miss our military church family and wish we could find one that is similar here.
and btw sadly both my kids son 34, and dd 31are agnostic. they are both married by JP and both ironically married catholics. but esp. my son doesn't believe at all, and really believes in Darwins theroy. Not sure what made these changes but he wasn't taught like that at all and as he says he is as "Christian" as the next, in doing good for his fellow man and helping others that need it....

HUGS interesting blog and replies

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JENN03275 4/28/2012 8:04PM

    To start, the ducklings are adorable. Truly Springs blessing.

I am a Christian and consider myself a good Christian even though I don't go to church and I don't pray. I work in a catholic facility where we care for priests, sisters the rich and the poor. Many of other secular backgrounds. I feel that I follow my value and morals through my work and my day to day life. I also pass this on to my children.

I have never, until recently, asked questions about Christianity that I did not understand until I met one of my very special patients. He is my spiritual guide and hope at some point he can teach me some things that I should have learned when I was younger.

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HOUNDLOVER1 4/28/2012 6:18PM

    Thanks Russell and Grace for sharing your thoughts. I enjoyed reading them. emoticon
I'm always a little apprehensive when sharing spiritual thoughts in my blog because it seems that talking about religion and faith is often considered a taboo issue in our society, only to be topped by discussing politics.
But it is so much part of life, for me anyhow, and when the Spirit prompts I'll share.

thank you for your kind words but of course we are all a work in progress, a long way away from having reached our potential at many levels.
I'll have to admit sometimes I think you are pretty close to the truth in your view of church. On the other hand, I have seen churches that seem to function by Jesus standards and are doing a lot of good in their communities, but that is a minority unfortunately at least where I live.
I have reason to believe that churches in other parts of the world often function very differently and are true spiritual families that support each other and their communities. So I'm sometimes wondering how much of the problem is due to the fact that wealth and worldly posessions that most of us take for granted in the Western world destroy character and the joy of living.
I can so much relate to the beauty and wholeness you see and experience in nature. I don't know if it is just the beauty or also the seeming innocence that attract me.
Thank you for reading

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RUSSELL_40 4/28/2012 5:00PM

    Yes, we all know that churches are not the best places to find decent people. A great place to find people who believe they are superior Christians though..lol. I doubt God requires us to go to a building on Sunday, and be taught what is in a book, by someone. I understood this, when most of the people were illiterate, but totally unnecessary now. Also God can hear us just fine at home. Of course, if we need to let people know how superior we are as Christian, we could get dressed up in our finery, and parade down to said building.

I personally don't believe in hell, or punishment. The need to be worshipped, or revenge are human traits. I believe that we are on this Earth to help our fellow man, and be good people, but that is also the reward. The punishment is not having relationships, and being a bitter person. It is not vengeful though.

If you see the beauty of this world, and of people we live around, that is wonderful. I think not seeing, or ignoring it, is a huge punishment. I wonder why people think we are here together. It sure isn't so we can work, and buy things, or go to some church.

I love that I live by the river, and can go see the ducks, and geese. The beauty in nature, and the relationships with each other are the only true riches we have on Earth.
Makes you wonder , why does the Vatican have more wealth (gold ) than anyone else, while people starve over the world. If they are true Christians, why do they hoard wealth, while Jesus had very little money. I think the term Christian has been hijacked. It is a very simple thing to be a Christian.. love your fellow man, and be a good person, help others if you can, comfort them if you can't. In short, try to emulate the teachings of Christ. If I ever find a church that does this, I'll join.

We have one church that is open to feed the poor here.. ?? I was also surprised to hear that they are closed 5 days a week. The idea of a church that they show in movies, is very different than what they really do. I guess they just show up, click on the lights, and pass the bowl around. As a child we belonged to an Assembly of God, non-denominational church. We collected donations, and the church was open 7 days a week. It was a church in the second sense of the word. One big family, and we did a lot of charity, but never bragged about it. I can't remember the verse and chapter today, but we were always told that if a fuss was made over what we did, that was our reward, and we would not get a reward in Heaven, because we had already recieved it.

I see people talking about all the good they do, and wonder.. If you are such fine Christians, did you just not understand the Bible. Actions speak louder than words.

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GRACEMCDOG 4/28/2012 3:19PM

    Though I've never met you, Birgit, I have such a strong sense of you being truly what a follower of Christ's teachings should be: kind, compassionate, dedicated, empathetic, loving and true to what you believe. You make some excellent points in your thoughts here. I would have to disagree with

"The organization of churches into denominations, dioceses, congregations and any other groups is primarily man-made and limited in its reach. It has its limited usefulness but should not be the primary way to for us to join Jesus in what He is doing. "

I don't believe it has any usefulness and has only served to create spiritual, emotional and cultural dissonance among mankind. I try to live by the teachings of our great spiritual leaders such as Christ, the Buddha, Ghandhi--those who show us how to be truly good and lead worthwhile lives.

Your ducklings are lovely. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the photos.

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Everything in moderation - really?

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Everything in moderation can mean two very different things:
Everything is bad in excess. This is often what many people mean and this is usually true. But another meaning has crept in:
Everything is ok, as long as it is in moderation. This is another piece of conventional wisdom that I find in many places on Spark and I think it can be right or it can be dead wrong (pun intended) and is worth exploring in some detail.
I agree that moderation in the second sense can be a good thing in many cases. But there are clearly many exceptions as well. Nobody nowadays would recommend smoking in moderation, not even smokers who are not ready to quit. Nobody would say crack in moderation is a good thing, either.
Then there are all the things that seem to be good (or at least neutral) regarding our health when consumed in moderation: coffee, many pain pills, alcohol, thyroid medication, vitamin and mineral supplements, salt, even sugar... we could add many things here.
There are also many things that might be better in moderation than in excess but they may still be better to avoid completely.
The real question is how to judge if a substance, food or even an acitivity contributes to our physical, mental and emotional health by helping our body to be in balance.

Have you ever heard the sentence: I couldn't live without... (a person, a food, a drug, a habit, a hobby, a sport)
This, again can have several meanings.
It could mean " I can't do without this and survive or at least be reasonably functional", like "I couldn't live without my dentures" or "I can't live without less than 5 hours of sleep a night". This one is about physical necessities.
It could also mean "not having this in my life would be really difficult, inconvenient, or simply would put a crimp in my style, like" I couldn't live without running water, convenience foods, my car. This one is about comfort and convenience and often time-saving.
Then there is another category and this one has to do with our emotions. Things like "I get really unsettled, emotional, stressed, panicked, tense, worried, tired, depressed, wired, desperate, out of control, angry, irritated, jittery or illogical when I have to do without this. What "this" is depends on the person.
I used to think that food addictions are in one sense harder to break than many other addictions. We have to eat to survive. I don't think this any more. There are lots of foods that nobody has ever gotten addicted to. Natural foods are not addictive, even natural sugars are not by themselves. If you don't believe me try to eat a cup of honey and see how that works for you. Sometimes we crave natural foods that are similar to foods we have become addicted to, like very sweet fruit for sugar addicts, and we have to abstain from them at least for a while. My drugs of choice were definitely sugar and wheat and possibly other grains that are not very natural any more. There is a threshhold below which I can consume sugar and probably grains and it is very low, maybe a teaspoon of sugar a day, maybe a teaspoon of wheat flour a day, I'm not sure where it is. I'm not allergic to either. But there is no more reason to find out than there is a reason to find out how much Tylenol I can take before getting liver damage.

At this point I'm going to stop because everyone can write their own ending. What would you say if someone asked you: What can you not live without? And even more important: Are you sure what type of "not being able to live without it" it really is?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANNEBARN 6/6/2012 8:51PM

    Birgit, exactly on the mark!

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DRAWNTHISWAY 4/9/2012 10:21PM

1. the quality of being moderate; restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance.
2. the act of moderating.

adjectiveR>1. kept or keeping within reasonable or proper limits; not extreme, excessive, or intense: a moderate price.
2. of medium quantity, extent, or amount: a moderate income.
3. mediocre or fair: moderate talent.
4. calm or mild, as of the weather.
verb (used with object)
5. to reduce the excessiveness of; make less violent, severe, intense, or rigorous: to moderate the sharpness of one's words.
6. to preside over or at (a public forum, meeting, discussion, etc.).

Where does moderation fit with being healthy? Well I can see how when one moderates their diet (definition #1 moderate) You are capable of acquiring the healthy benefits you desire. I know I have read on your blog numerous times now about how you moderate your (in this instance definition #6) diet. In fact I have to argue that in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle one *must moderate (#5&6)* their consumption.. Why without moderation in a diet one can easily fall prey to gluttony.... So "moderation in all things"... Well, depending on the definition you are using, and the specific activity you are addressing.. It could be a very accurate phrase. The importance here is to know how one is defining it. ( I admit to not reading the article on this site, many times I walk away shaking my head thinking "Either they really have this wrong or I do." )

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EGALITAIRE 4/9/2012 8:23PM

    Thinking about how to do moderation in moderation?

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ARLENE_MOVES 4/8/2012 5:34PM

    A lot to think about here - and see if I can come up with an answer for me.

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CONRADBURK 4/8/2012 5:26PM

    I enjoy the philosophy of Aristotle who said, "Moderation in all things." I read the Cliff Notes on Nichomachean Ethics, which gives a summary of his philosophy. He stated that a virtue is the Golden Mean between two opposite extremes. For example, courage is the Golden Mean between cowardice and reckless abandon. The Golden mean is not necessarily in the middle between the two. It may be closer to one extreme than the other. In this example, courage would be closer to reckless abandon than cowardice.

I totally agree that there are things to be completely avoided and that is the virtuous path. The Cliff Notes also say that there is an exception to "Moderation in all things," and that is virtue, which should be pursued completely. So it is "Moderation in all things--except virtue."
emoticon emoticon

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GRACEMCDOG 4/8/2012 11:43AM

    Good stuff, Birgit, and thoughts I have also pondered. I keep thinking how lucky your daughter is to have you as her teacher.

What could I not live without? Nourishment. Clean air and water. Two things I'd struggle living without are love/companionship/friendship from fellow humans and the company of dogs. Creativity and artistic/intellectual expression would be next. Music.

I remember reading in a book by Joseph Campbell about a retreat where they did an exercise. They were asked to meditate upon and then decide what five things were most important to them in life. Then, for five days, as they entered a room, they would symbolically surrender one of those five important or cherished 'things' until, on the last day, they finally gave up the thing most important to them. He said this exercise was enormously powerful, emotional and difficult for him, much more so than he had anticipated. My health would be the last thing I would be willing to surrender. Would I give up my life before I gave up my health? What a conundrum.

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MAGGIE101857 4/8/2012 7:03AM

    Your thoughts certainly got me thinking today!!! Thanks for sharing - putting it in this perspective can help in so many ways - starting with my decluttering process - "love it but don't use it", "can't live without it (why??)" or "someone else will love it more"!!!

Happy Easter!!

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FEB_SHOWERS16 4/8/2012 12:05AM

    Great blog!

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YICHE12 4/7/2012 11:17PM

    Great blog! I enjoy your analytical mind. emoticon

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SUPERDUPER26 4/7/2012 9:40PM

    I love the analysis of the different types of "I'd die without..." I tend to take things very literally, and it blows me away when people say things like "I can't live without my 64oz Diet Coke from the gas station every morning." Really, thats all it would take to kill you? Shut off the Diet Coke supply?
Anyhow, thanks for sharing, you said all of that much more clearly than I had been thinking it! emoticon

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GOPINTOS 4/7/2012 6:20PM

    Enjoyed this! Thanks for taking the time to share!

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RUSSELL_40 4/7/2012 6:19PM

    I agree with everything except the part where you say " even sugar ".. I would say , ESPECIALLY sugar.

I think as a society we want things easy, but easy isn't always healthy, or obvious. It isn't easy to break carb, and sugar addictions, but after that, it is easy to stay on plan, since you don't have cravings. If we avoid everything that is a little bit tough, we usually end up unhealthy.

People love to hear they can have chocolate once a week, or bread on holidays. Sometimes, you can never have a certain food ever again, rare, but people just are afraid to say this. So instead they write a diet book, and make millions, and hope a majority don't develop diabetes, gout,cancer. heart disease, or alzheimers. As in baseball.. a 30% success rate puts them in the hall of fame..lol. Plus no one thinks they are mean.. loved and famous!.. who cares if you may be killing people?

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Controlling cravings - not how I thought it would work for a long time

Saturday, April 07, 2012

I only had two meals today. Breakfast was around 10 am, and then I was busy until about 7pm because my husband and daughter are out of town so I was doing all their animal chores (and we have a LOT of animals, dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks and a horse. I also was trying to do at least a little clean-up for Easter. In any case, my last project of the day was to go shopping at our co-op for an Easter meal and at the same time to eat dinner at the deli there.
On the way there, around 6:30pm I saw that my daughter had left some gluten-free licorice on the seat of the car. The stuff is yummy but very high in carbs and full of sugar. But I decided to have one piece to hold me over until I could have dinner about 1/2 hour later. I enjoyed it a lot and let it melt in my mouth. There was really no temptation to have another piece, maybe in part because licorice has such a strong flavor. When I got to the co-op there were many temptations waiting, most of them organic or natural foods, but many pastries, candies, dried fruits and then all the entrees, salads and desserts in the deli. I loaded up on the salad bar with lots of raw veggies, some chicken, nuts, cheese, and vinaigrette and olive oil. I was looking forward to eating but still not feeling starved. To my surprise I found myself eating slowly, enjoying every bite, contemplating half-way through if there was any reason to have dessert afterwards but finding that I really was not hungry for it.
I used to have to use my whole bag of tricks to stick with the healthy food every time I went in there. I'd always seen my cravings as partly a sugar addiction, but that I had overcome "or so I thought" quite a while ago.
I thought most of what was hard to change was emotional eating, patterns of unhelpful behaviors, habits like eating too fast, never putting the fork down, telling myself that I "deserved" a treat, eating instead of drinking, eating because I'm cold or tired, eating because I feel bored, discouraged etc.. I was often frustrated with myself for being so slow in making progress on these issues. I knew this had nothing to do with will power, but being very familiar with principles of behavior modification I knew exactly what to do. I just did not succeed in doing it, because my impulse to eat usually won out, not to the point of gaining much weight other than seasonal changes of about 10 lbs., but enough to where I was always "managing" my eating behaviors.
So today I realized that I did not need behavioral and cognitive techniques any more, well, maybe I should say I hardly needed them any more. Eating slowly, tasting my food, not overeating, not thinking about the next meal all came naturally. It was so obvious to me today that eating would not work to fix the problem when I'm really tired or bored. I could only feel amazed that I ever looked to food for the answer to these situations before.
Being able to eat only two meals a day without getting hungry is great, too, on days when I'm short on time.
So much of what I thought was emotional eating patterns turned out to be physiological, the drive to eat or at least think about food every few hours. I have to assume increasing insulin levels from eating carbs were the primary cause. In any case, I like not having to control/manage/stay on top of cravings. For me if this means to go without grains and beans and sugar for the rest of my life that's worth it because I will be able to enjoy food when it's there but can stop thinking about it the rest of the time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EXOTEC 4/28/2012 5:51PM

    Great for you!
Isn't it an amazing thing to no longer be a victim of food!?! Nearly everyone who sticks with it long enough to make the initial conversion reports the same relief. Food starts to be a pleasure, and manageable ... no longer a controlling force. I feel really guilty when people tell me how strong I am for resisting all these "temptations", because, honestly .... I'm just not really tempted. There's no "strength" to it at all!

I hear the same things from the wheat-free folks. Although, if you think about it, wheat (and ANY grains) are carbs, too. So they've gone low-carb, just in a slightly different manner. Like many of US go "wheat-free", but in a different manner. :-)

Those who are on the Primal or Paleo versions don't necessarily limit carbs (or grains) the way we do, but they (and "we", since many of us follow that healthier lifestyle, too) do rely more on meat and fats and lots of good veggies - which, similarly, reduces the carbs and grains. I just can't understand why all this various evidentiary information doesn't trickle down better into the nutritional info base. I still get dire warnings every day from my feedback tracker about how dangerous my diet is, based upon my carbs. Amazing. The myths continue to be perpretated.

I also feel such sadness for those who are struggling. If they only knew. I try to gently reach the ones who seem open - mostly out in the "real world". I still see the doubt and wariness in their expressions as soon as the phrase "low-carb" comes up. But some of them continue to listen, and hopefully will research it a bit more on their own. It's a start.

I'm so glad it's working for you, and that you're hearing your body talk to you, and are talking back! Life is good, and getting better all the time!

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BEAGLEMAMA2 4/10/2012 3:03PM

    Your self control is great! I am getting there...I know I have a ways to go though! Thank you for the encouragement!

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PAPAMIKIE 4/9/2012 12:21PM

    Gramie has been exploring this (Type 1 Diabities) and I am beginning to explort it. It might be nice for us to eat reasonabely similar diets for having common meals.

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ARLENE_MOVES 4/7/2012 9:35PM

    Good for you! That is such a wonderful feeling, isn't it! I haven't had any wheat, knowingly, since the end of February and I feel so much better. I think I'm going to try the sugar next as I'm still using artificial sweetner and it may be causing me problems.

Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your experience. I definitely enjoyed reading it!

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  Your blog and all the comments are going to take me time to meditate and see what this all means to me personally because all of these words just resonate in my spirit and soul.

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CONRADBURK 4/7/2012 4:51PM

    emoticonSounds like you have made some good progress with the low carb diet. Congratulations on your new way of thinking about food!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRACEMCDOG 4/7/2012 11:56AM

    As always, your writing is a joy to read.

I suppose I may gain more insights along this low carb pathway, but so far, I think for me it was definitely the elements of appetite stimulant and addiction in wheat that kept me battling the cravings and the inability to feel sated as well as the constant thoughts of food. (I've never been a sweet-oriented person--salty crunchy is my downfall) I'd already gone fairly low carb when I cut out the wheat and suddenly, magically, the cravings, feelings of hunger, dwelling on food were gone. At the same time food began tasting wonderful to me and a small serving left me feeling satisfied for many hours. Of course that serving has to contain enough protein and fats or the process falls apart. I'm listening to my body and can tell now when I need to make small adjustments. I walked 10 K yesterday and only needed to up the berries in my breakfast from 4 to 10, add 6 cashews and I felt no tiredness or hunger during or after the walk. The Trouble Trinity for me, in this order is: 1.Wheat 2, High GI carbs of any kind 3. Overly Salty or Sweet All those things will trigger the desire to overeat again, even dairy unless it is full fat. Cutting out the wheat made such a drastic and immediate change in me that I am never tempted to backslide. I honestly feel such sadness and pity for people who are still trapped in the low fat/high carb/grains mindset because I know how they have to struggle. I also know that, although it's possible to lose weight that way, it is not sustainable so their lives are going to be a battle with food that leads, eventually to all the illnesses of a low fat diet. It doesn't stop me from trying to get the message across, though. It's frustrating because, of course people are going to believe what their doctor tells them over what I tell them. The information, the science and testimonials by the tens of thousands are out there but you have to get people to take the time to read, research and have an open mind. I'm so looking forward to reaching my ideal weight so that I can have an accurate blood work panel done. Then I'll have something concrete to show people, something irrefutable.

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MOTIV8TEDMOM23 4/7/2012 9:38AM

    Isn't it amazing how slowing down and tasting/savoring your food can curb those cravings? I've found that now my cravings are for those healthy foods rather than the cake or cookies or candy that I always thought I craved. I was given a chocolate mint at a restaurant recently after we paid for our meal. It was the first candy I'd had since the New Year began. I began nibbling it as I started walking out of the restaurant and was still enjoying it as I buckled my seat belt in the car. It tasted great and I enjoyed it, but had no desire for another one or for any other junk over the weekend following.

Keep up the great work!

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HEALTHY4ME 4/7/2012 8:50AM

    WOW you write so much better than I, and you do 110% better at managing ( read my blog today) on how I didn't manage to stop the physcological hunger and really don't know what made me eat this week.
I think I am still having problems eating properly on primal and not sure why. I am making it harder than it should be. This week was the snacking argh. good food but why and how come I can't get that connection to just not need it. Anyway back to making greenish smoothies cos seemed more satisfied then and as hubby said, make one that still tastes good in fridge and then when you get really munchy have a half glass. So guess trying to figure what I am missing that is making me hungry either mentally or real stomach hunger.
Glad you had a great week and off I go to a busy Sat.
hugs happy Easter.

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KANOE10 4/7/2012 8:47AM

    Excellent blog. I have found that my cravings also have decreased since I am eating low carb and no sugar. I agree with you..if it means going without sugar, high carbs for the rest of my life..I will do it.

Inspiring blog. I am glad you are doing so well and have made so many good changes in your life.

I am not turning towards food either for emotional problems anymore.

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RKJ1969 4/7/2012 7:22AM

    Excellent! That is a great demonstration of self-awareness!

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FREELADY 4/7/2012 6:21AM

    This is so encouraging. I rejoice with you!

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RUSSELL_40 4/7/2012 5:00AM

    It amazes me that this is not the goal of all dieter's.. CONTROL. Ho do people stick to a diet when they are craving certain foods, or just food in general? I know I didn't.

If we just didn't control ourselves, we have to think of ourselves as weak-willed, and that is why we beat ourselves up.

I prefer to think of the billions of people who eat when they want, and are at a healthy weight. They don't work at it, and instead of being envious, I wonder .. WHY? Sometimes it is best to copy success, than struggle to find a new way, but we sit here in America, half of us overweight, and never ask why. In my mind we are fat because we have unnatural cravings, and we just need to fix what is causing them

If you get past the cravings by eating a diet that will do this for you, then it is just as easy for you as for the others who aren't even thinking about how to stay thin. Seems like you figured that out.

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