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Musings about the 80/20 rule - what matters?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

For those of you who are not familiar with it the 80/20 rule goes something like this:
Try to spend 80% of your time doing the 20% that is most important to you. This rule is a great way to prioritize when life gets too busy and when we are tempted to make wrong choices leading us down wrong paths in the future. I think of it often during my daily time of prayer and meditation. It reminds us of what's important: to take enough time with our family, to pay the bills on time, to get enough sleep, to eat our vegetables, to acknowledge our loved ones on the way out the door in the morning, to flush the toilet every time, to exercise, to leave in time to make it to work or a doctor's appointment on time (knowing that we can fit in a little breakfast on the way or at work). - I know that at this point some people were starting to argue with what I said in their head, because we all have to do the other 80% as well, and with only 20% of the time left that can create it's own pressures if not correctly managed. There are a lot of variables here depending on individual needs.
My dogs do it like this: Find a soft, warm spot:

Sleep ALWAYS comes first. That's at least 9 hours right there, plus 2 more for napping. I strive for this because every time I get too little sleep I eat an extra meal.
For dogs what comes next is relationship building/maintaining friendship, something that dogs do through touch and vocalizations, but primarily through sending and receiving scent messages, their very sophisticated form of instant messaging that allows detailed communication about all aspects of their environment and their emotions, worth a whole blog by itself. Building and maintaining relationships is critical to our survival and well-being. We all need to rely on many other people to function in life and the people in our community are the ones we depend on in time of crisis and to live sustainable lives.
Then comes exercise and food. The last two often go together and are called hunting. Not kidding, my dogs enjoy nothing more than to run in the fields and catch mice. I do think that the connection of exercise and eating in their lives is what many humans are missing. It can take the form of hunting/gathering or the form of gardening, but if it only takes the form of grocery shopping we are mssing out on a lot. We need the often missing link frequently of where food comes from and this should be taught in elementary schools and by parents to young children everywhere. Here's a little encouragement emoticon

Now to the other 80% that doesn't make it to the top of the list as often as it should:
In my house that is the laundry piling up, raw fruits and veggies that need processed before they go bad, the dust everywhere (that comes back every day because our roads are not paved), the dishes in the sink, cleaning out the closets and taking stuff to the dump and the thrift store, cleaning my desk so my computer has room, finishing harvesting plums and building the duck barn before a hard frost, record keeping for homeschooling and finances, steam-cleaning the carpets (again), working a few more hours for money, reading and researching more about nutrition, for instance which minerals I really need to supplement.

And then there are things that I've completely given up on for now: ironing, fixing small corners of dry wall that my dogs have chewed on, washing windows (that's what the rain is for right?) etc.
Back to the low-carb lifestyle:
My weight is holding steady at 129.4 lbs. . To apply the 80/20 rule, I need to decide how much effort I should put in to get to the ideal of health, body composition. I suspect that I'm still pretty far away from getting diminishing returns for my effort, given my recent H A1c level of 5.9 but only time will tell.
Exercise is what I need to make time for. So I will get it by moving lots of laundry around, picking plums, walking dogs and working on the duck barn. If the chores all get done I might stop at the pool for a little swim late this afternoon.
Time for breakfast. I think I'm going back to bacon and eggs and veggies today knowing that will keep me full much longer than any combo of berries, yogurt, cream and nuts. Those will have to be a special treat until I'm ready for weight maintenance again. Since I have not had enough time to read up on minerals I added some that I'll take just twice a week until I have time for further research: some selenium, some zinc, some iodine, some chromium in addition to the magnesium, fish oil and Vitamin D that I take every day. And PLEASE nobody copy what I do, just read up on these things on your own, these are minerals that my body needs as discussed with my doctor, it is only the amount that is in question.
Time to get off the computer and start cooking breakfast.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINASP 10/22/2012 1:48PM

    A nice blog post to read. I enjoy the picture of your dogs, it's a perfect illustration of what you wrote about!
I too have been thinking, recently, about how most people don't spend enough timie with their food, getting and preparing it (not even mentioning growing it, being a town woman). I think we'd eat more mindfully if we realized more just how much work goes into getting that food in front of us. And just thinking about it never was enough for me. It's now that I spend much more time washing, cutting, cooking vegetables that this type of appreciation is growing.

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ERIN1957 10/22/2012 9:24AM

    Love this blog!

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HISTORYRUNNER 10/22/2012 1:30AM

    Great blog and I love the lessons from the dogs! emoticon

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ROBYNLN 10/21/2012 3:36PM

    Great blog! You made a lot of good points. I love the pic of you w/the dogs. There is nothing so comforting as seeing a dog peacefully sleeping.

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HEALTHY4ME 10/21/2012 2:01PM

    Now I know where the duck eggs are from. I kept thinking duck eggs, wonder where she buys them lol
I have to learn more on what supplements I need and my mico nutrients. I do take vit d, cod liver oil pill, omega 3 fish pill and a b complex. I wonder if I need more magnesium but my leg cramps have gone for the most part. And interesting enough I haven't been eating many bananas yet they say eat that for leg cramps.
Sure do have a lot more to learn I can't remember it all!
Take care enjoy your day!

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RUSSELL_40 10/21/2012 1:10PM

    Life is about choices. Make sure that you get the 20% done right, and you will find time for the other 80%.

My brother had a great example of this at school the other day. Some kid drinks a 2 liter of Mountain Dew every day, so he has energy, and can make it through classes, since he also works full time. He probably cuts his sleep to watch TV, and in 30 years will have major health issues. So even though he is going to college to improve his life, he is doing the opposite with his health. Simply by watching less TV, and sleeping, working, and doing schoolwork till he gets his degree, he could cut out the Mountain Dew. Then he could get a better job, work less hours, and since he wouldn't be in school anymore, he could watch TV, if he chose to, and still maintain good health.

We tend to make choices quickly, instead of thinking of multiple solutions. We now use caffeine to offset sleepiness, instead of sleep...lmao. When you stop and think about it, it sounds incredibly stupid, but it makes sense, if you just latch onto the first solution. The reason you need 80% of the time to do the important 20%, is planning. You have to stop and think. That takes time.

With the other 80%, you can multi-task, since it is mindless, repetitive chores. I try to do dishes, dust, and prepare food while laundry is going. Amazing how much you can accomplish in 90 minutes, if you make a list first.

Glad to hear that low carb is working okay for you. I am more of an omelette person myself. I had a red pepper, and onion one today, and have sliced black olives for this week. I can't eat yogurt without weight gain. They flavor it a lot of the time with fructose. If you still want the berries, just have them in a bowl, with a bit of cream. I like BIG breakfasts. It seems to be the meal that sticks with me the longest. After that, just meat and veggies, with a snack of cheese. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day though.

Naps are great, aren't they. Why did we ever stop doing that?

Loved this blog.

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PARKERB2 10/21/2012 12:43PM

    Good blog. I need to work on the friendship, relations with neighbors, as well as family relations, etc.

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Curing binge eating and bulimia

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Please read this blog post from Oct.20, 2012 by William Davis about the healing power of eliminating wheat from our diet:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINASP 10/22/2012 1:51PM

    I read the article. I personally don't like it hen authors use words like 'bastardizing'. Apart from that everything that Paige wrote, could also point to her having emotional overeating problems if you ask me. So I wouldn't say that cutting out wheat is per se THE cure for binge eating. I do think it might help some, or many, individuals. But I believe that there is much more factors involved if a person has this type of problems.
Who knows Paige will report back after a few years to let us know if she tried cutting out wheat and if it helped.

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-LINDA_S 10/21/2012 8:42PM

    Thanks! Have a great week!

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JANETELIZABETH1 10/21/2012 11:47AM

    Very true...I wish my family would give that stuff up!!

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1CRAZYDOG 10/21/2012 11:31AM


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ADZY86 10/21/2012 9:00AM

    I wish I could stand at the edge of the earth with loud hailer and shout out loud that everyone should either read Wheat Belly or Gary Taubes' 'Why we Get Fat...'. Literally changed my life. I find it so sad to watch people struggling to lose weight and with cravings all the time, but don't want to give this way of eating a go because of all the bad press. I'm hoping to just live my example, because for me this is the only thing that has ever worked. NOT just for weight loss, but for improving my life all round

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ERIN1957 10/21/2012 8:05AM

    Thank you for sharing this information.
I wish everyone would get this message, read it and believe it!

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Day 7 of ultra-low carb

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My weight was 129.4 today.
I started the day with a cup of coffee and cream, a half cup of berries with 2 oz. yogurt and more cream and a few brazil nuts.
We had an early lunch with a friend at noon and I ate a big plate of leafy greens, radishes, celery, onion, peppers, walnuts, chicken, gorgonzola cheese, bacon and vinaigrette with lots of olive oil. I enjoyed 2 or 3 small pieces of dark chocolate and a cup of decaf for dessert.
Dinner was around 8 pm, a kale - duck egg scramble with hot sauce cooked in coconut oil with sesame oil. I love sesame oil for flavoring.
I still did not have much time for exercise except walking dogs so today was pretty much a rest day.
I further reduced my caffeine intake today and it did not bother me at all.
It's hard to believe that one week is already over. It will be interesting to see if weight loss will continue at any significant rate. I guess adding more exercise would really help at this point. My guess is that I will lose about another 2-3 pounds in the next 10 days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIN1957 10/21/2012 8:00AM

    You are doing so good. I am upping my game starting tomorrow adding more fat to my diet and see what it will do.
Have a great day!

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RUSSELL_40 10/20/2012 11:09PM

    Glad to hear it is going well. Walking dogs is exercise.

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Day 6 of ultra low-carb

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Today I decided to start the day off with a little fruit. Breakfast was 1/2 cup of blackberries, 2 oz. yogurt and some heavy cream. I also had one cup of regular coffee with cream.
Throughout the next 6 hours I had a few small snacks of cheese and a few nuts and then a small lunch of 2 chicken drumsticks. In the early afternoon I had a second cup of coffee that was half decaf.
We had an early dinner around 6 pm. I was hungry and had a big salad with mixed lettuce and spinach, a few cherry tomatoes, lots of chicken breast and cheese, and olive oil vinaigrette.
After that I decided to have a cup of decaf with cream before we went to a concert.
When I got home tonight I had a small bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream. I'm really too tired to bother with counting carbs tonight but it must have been around 30 grams again.
Tomorrow we are going out to brunch, not sure where yet. I'm probably going to have an omelett, my easy go-to breakfast these days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-LINDA_S 10/20/2012 8:14AM

    Sounds like you're still doing great! Have a nice weekend. Omelets are my go-to brunch item also.

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ERIN1957 10/20/2012 5:47AM

    Sounds like you are doing good.
Have you ever tried chicory coffee?
We had some awhile back and it was pretty good with cream. I am thinking about drinking it again.
Have an awesome week end and enjoy!

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CHRISTINASP 10/20/2012 3:25AM

    I continue to find your reports interesting! Thanks for sharing.

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SAFETYSUE 10/20/2012 2:42AM

    Great job!

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Everything in moderation - why or why not?

Friday, October 19, 2012

This topic comes up on Spark from time to time and I wanted to discuss it in response to some of the comments on my last blog:
I understand the sentiment of everything in moderation, it sounds so normal and - well, moderate. I'd like it very much to be true. But EVERYTHING? Really? How about HFCS, trans fats, chewing tobacco? The question to me seems to be whether something is addictive and or damaging in small quantities for everybody. Some things are only toxic to the body in large amounts, some in very small amounts. The level of sensitivity may be different for each individual based on genetics and early formative habits that affect gene expression. For me sugar is most definitely addictive, for my husband it definitely is not, although he may be negatively affected by eating lots of it, too. I am convinced at this point that modern wheat is damaging to everyone, just like nicotine, even for people who don't have visible symptoms and for whom it is not addictive.
Alcohol seems to be addictive to a significant percentage of the population but not to everyone, judging by the fact that many people can drink in moderation without the slightest difficulty.
I assume that almost everyone consumes something that would turn out to be less than ideal for their health if we had the perfect screening tools. We need to find out which foods are the most dangerous/destructive to our body and be committed to eliminating them.
The argument that everything is ok in moderation could be based on someone's experience that they are not negatively affected by any food, at least not knowingly, a lack of information about nutrition or the justification of an addiction that has not been dealt with.
I guess we all need to decide for ourselves what the answer is.
Or is there another, better reason to say everything in moderation is ok that I have missed? Please feel free to comment or to blog about it and link your blog here so we can all learn more. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOPINTOS 10/22/2012 8:51AM

    Enjoyed this!!


Smile and Enjoy the Rest of Your Day!
Melinda (gopintos)
Country Living Team

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EJOY-EVELYN 10/20/2012 3:56PM

    Everything is a lot like a couple other "buzz" words -- always and never -- that can lead to great angst at times. Glad when it becomes a positive learning experience.

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EJOY-EVELYN 10/20/2012 3:50PM

    I will continue to enjoy the energy boost in starting my day with a little coffee. I sometimes move into the day with a little green tea, and white, herbal tea in the evening. I do believe there is definitely room for me to cut back on some of my poorer caffeine choices. Good to keep up on the current research. Thanks.

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HOUNDLOVER1 10/20/2012 12:54PM

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this discussion. I'm excited to see how many people have thought this through. Now we just have to reach the millions who are still shopping the middle of the grocery store isles. emoticon
Or maybe it's time for another post about this on the spark message boards.


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ONEKIDSMOM 10/20/2012 7:19AM

    Totally agree that we all have to figure it out! And then if we really want a healthy forever, we have to have the personal commitment to do "whatever it takes" for us as individuals. Good treatise on the topic!

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JSTETSER 10/20/2012 5:47AM

    You're right. I had to get extreme when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I gained the motto: "If I can't eat it, I won't cook it." It has saved me thousands of sugar filled calories.
Thanks for the post.

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KALIOPPE 10/20/2012 5:20AM

    In my pre Spark days, I heartily believed the 'everything in moderation' mantra, except of course i was indulging heavily in bad foods and a terribly sedentary lifestyle that made me fat and sick.

Now when I hear it - especially when someone is referring to my low-carb diet, which btw has done wonders for my spirit, body, constitution and weight, it makes me angry. Some of those foods I used to eat were so toxic. Why in the world would I EVER go back?? No way. Not me. I don't need them. I don't miss them. When I do think about occasionally eating something not in my current diet, it is ice cream, dark chocolate, rice, sweet corn (especially in summer), glass of white wine, maybe even the occasional potato or two.

Would I ever consider smoking or putting drugs in my body in moderation? Heck no. So why would I ruin it with terrible foods that are just as damaging? Can that junk even be called food?

I'm thinking about modifying the saying (which despite all the controversy is still a good one) to Everything GOOD in moderation. That way, I can have fruit but not so much that it makes me sick. emoticon Sorry diet coke, transfatty frenchfries and Doritos. You are not included in my future eating plans.

Comment edited on: 10/20/2012 5:21:32 AM

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CHRISTINASP 10/20/2012 3:55AM

    I agree with you about wheat being a problem for everyone also if they don't notice it (yet).
The only reason I can think of to have 'everything in moderation' (and I'm not talking about chewing tobacco here, lol) is if cutting things out clashes with the person's personality. If one's personality is so that they feel so 'deprived' when they decide to cut foods out that it will backfire and they will overeat the stuff, or get other problems and irregularities in their eating pattern, then 'moderation' is probably the best way to be as healthy as possible.
I haven't yet decided for myself if I have that type of personality or not.

I recently blogged about the topic here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_p

and here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_p

and here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_p

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SAFETYSUE 10/20/2012 2:47AM

    Great post!

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KAPELAKIN 10/19/2012 10:43PM

    Great post! The "everything in moderation" mantra has started to drive me batty. There are many "foods" out there being manufactured that no one should eat, ever. If we all have a little bit of this and that and the other "in moderation" it squeezes out the room for all the good stuff that we should be eating, and we end up with a highly varied diet of junk food, all lacking in any nutrition save calories. I'm lucky to not really get addicted to stuff, so I can manage a little bit of sugar, and a little bit of wheat and dairy without going into a spiral, but I know I'd be better off not eating it at all, and know that there is no earthly reason why I need to have it "in moderation."

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    Certain things in moderation really do not work for me. Great post! Moderation a great concept, and worth always keeping in mind, but it will not work for everything. I tried less-than-moderate amounts of nuts recently, and it became a decidedly TMI moment about an hour later.

Pastries and other sugary Continental breakfasts -- no NOTHING from that spread! That one I get seriously uselessly dizzy over. When threatened with one, I eat hard boiled eggs in advance, and stick with the coffee. I KNOW better.

I may not be addicted to sugar, but I know what happens to me when that is what I'm faced with eating. Thanks.

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HEALTHY4ME 10/19/2012 7:22PM

    I agree For me sugar is just so addictive, so was/is bread, the slash is cos when I am doing well and being primal compliant I dont' miss it or care. Once I have a few no nos for me, then out comes the wanting for bread, but nothing as strong as it used to be.
Alcohol has no bearing on me, I can have one drink every fri or none for years. Doesn't matter at all. I know someone that can go to the bar sat eve, smoke and drink then not do it again for ages... no it isn't good for her but it is moderation. lol
So me I would say that sugar is truly not a item I can say moderation for me. It is truly an addictive substance for me. Which makes me sanely think stay away from it DUH!!! LOL
thanks for more to think about and I am making headway to healthy again. Yes it is an excuse but super stress right now , way behind renos, and moving dad in end month no matter if they are done or not. hubby is working as long and hard as he can.

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CNTRYGL1 10/19/2012 7:00PM

    Absolutely agree with you!

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GOTTAPLAN4U 10/19/2012 6:05PM

  Only My Opinion: anyone who thinks they are 'entitled' to eat any thing that some TV ad, corporation, grocery store, friend, restaurant, vendor, or rancher calls 'food' is following someone else's agenda for their health.

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GORIANA 10/19/2012 5:51PM

    Other things to consider are enjoyment and fequency.

The ocean is full of the wastes of 'sea creatures', yet it is vast. Mostly it's salt water, and I'll still go in and swim with 'fish poo'

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-LINDA_S 10/19/2012 5:36PM

    I think most of us have triggers that could seem moderate, but lead to immoderate actions. Like today I met a friend for lunch and a movie and we ate at a Thai restaurant. I stayed hungry throughout the movie and afterward, which led me to eat things later that I knew I shouldn't. I need more protein and probably fat and fewer carbs than I could get at this place, which is why I need to be more discriminating about where I eat, even if it makes me annoying to my friends on occasion. So no, for me and many others, everything in moderation is not viable.

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ERIN1957 10/19/2012 5:17PM

    There are some things I will not eat and haven't for over 3 years; sugar brown or white, powder too. White bread or white flour products. Junk pastries, like boxes of Little Debbies, Twinkies and so on. Packages pastries, cakes , cookies and so on. No way, not even a nibble. HFCS/sugar beverages. I am not even tempted.
I continue to clean up my act and demand quality....I deserve it !! emoticon

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SCRAPPINPOLLY 10/19/2012 4:51PM

    Wonderful post today! Thanks!

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