IVORY1825   39,117
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Saturday, April 05, 2008

As part of my new goal to slow down, I am using Spark mini-goals to help me out. One of these is blog my progress (good news to all my interested readers out there in Sparkland). The other is to occasionally examine my priorities. So, here is my initial priorities list, with some explanation:

1. My health. Nothing else happens without my health being intact. If I am over-fatigued or in too much pain or having digestive issues, nothing else is possible, so keeping my health at baseline is most important.

2. My relationship with my husband. I'm actually surprised that this is 2nd, but I thought of other things, and this one kept floating to the top. I think this is because so much of the rest of my life is dependent on the partnership me and my husband have, including the next one, my mental/spiritual well-being. When me and my DH are in a serious fight, no amount of distraction helps as much as the two of us dealing with whatever it is. Fortunately, we make a good pair, and have done so for 7 years (although we only got married in July), so, this is nearly built in to my life.

3. My mental/spiritual well-being. I have to be in a good place to do anything else. When I am not in a good, happy, together, focused place, I procrastinate, I get bored and apathetic, and I break the diet. All bad. Some of this is personal time, some of it is church time (proud Unitarian Universalist!), and some of it needs work. I think that's part of slowing down. Once I slow down, I can adjust my mindset, figure out what is going on in my head, and take obvious steps to improve things.

4. My friends and family. I have a number of very close friends who I would do anything for and certain family members that would fall under that. Me and my DH are not overly close with our families, but we do keep in communication often, and make plans to see them whenever possible. I also maintain contact with many friends, especially thanks to the wonders of the internet!

5. My career. I am a biologist, currently a post-doc, wanting to be a tenture-track professor. I love what I do. It is, however, the main source of income for my family, so it is important to me in multiple ways, like, funding my ability to live. Since I love what I do, it isn't hard to put the work into it, but it can be stressful since I sometimes live in a publish or perish world.

I think that's where I will stop for now. That includes most of my life, and I will be re-evaluating it in about a month anyway!


Slowing Down

Friday, April 04, 2008

I think I need to battle the hurdle of eating too quickly. I know I eat fast, I have for as long as I can remember. There are a number of contributing factors:

1. My family communicated quickly and loudly while eating. You essentially have to shovel down your food to get involved in the conversation. It's really quite an experience, but I learned bad habits from it.

2. My father is a super speed eater (and a serious over-eater) so to keep up with the food, you had to match him. Sometimes, I would eat snacks with him, and try to eat more so he would eat less (he has always been scarily overweight), which, of course, added to my bad habits. It's also quite a psychologically interesting thought that I would eat to keep my father from eating too much.

3. I'm from Jersey. The east coast is a fast-moving zone. People don't slow down there for anything. It is truly a mentality, we move fast, think fast, drive fast, eat fast. I've been moving mid-western for a while, but I'm still a Jersey girl at heart, so it can be hard for me to slow down.

Therefore, I need to add a new goal to my life (and probably my goals section!) to learn to slow down, in eating, and in general. If I make it an overall life goal, it is more likely to stick.

I believe this will help me defeat some of my over-eating tendencies by allowing me to savor and enjoy my food, rather than trying to continue the sensation by shoveling more of it in. I know that often I eat to enjoy the sensation of good food, so, this allows me the sensation longer while decreasing the quantity.

Can you tell I'm a scientist?

Onward! .... slowly . . .

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAMBORINE 4/5/2008 10:01AM

  This sound like a great goal for you and I bet you can do it!

Here are some suggestions:

1. Count how many times you chew before swallowing and set a number to try to chew each bite. (I've heard people try to choose 10 times but in my opinion 7 or 8 is a little easier).

2. Take time out to eat. Force yourself to take a lunch break at work if you can. Sitting down and savoring your meal rather than eating on the go can help you slow down.

3. Savor the flavor. As you chew think about the flavor and texture of what you are eating. Eat to enjoy the meal, not just fuel your hunger.

Good luck! You sound motivated to be successful.

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New Eating Plan

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ok. New plan for eating. 1) eat whole and natural foods for the next week (starting Mon.) and see if it affects how I feel. If no change, then I'll change the plan after that.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAMBORINE 4/5/2008 10:03AM

  I did something similar recently and noticed a BIG difference. I cut out sugar, limited myself to only one diet soda a day and limited white flour. I'm focusing on whole foods and healthy choices.

As a result I lost weight, felt better and I started ovulating again! My doctor says to keep it up because it's working.

Good luck! I hope you enjoy similar results. I suggest you try for a bit longer than a week though. It took about three weeks for me to see radical results, although I did start to feel better sooner than that.

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Checking ingredients ...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thanks to LOVINGHIM555, I've learned that I should read the ingredients even more carefully, so I'm going through my usuals and listing the interesting items, and then figuring out if I should replace them. I am only blogging chemicals and probable allergens, not normal stuff. (BTW - I'm a biologist, so I use chemical notation)

Bacon: sugar, salt, sodium lactate, canola oil, smoke flavor, Na diacetate, Na PO4, Na Erythorbate (made from sugar), Na NO3, flavor

Cheese: whey, whey protein concentrate, Na citrate, Ca PO4, salt, Na PO4, sorbic acid, enzymes, artificial color, vitamin a palmitate

Milk: K citrate, carrageenan

Smart Balance: palm fruit, soybean, canola, flax seed, and olive oils, salt, vegetable monoglycerides and sorbitan esters or fatty acids, flavor, soybean lecithin, K sorbate, Ca Na2 EDTA, TBHQ and lactic acid, Vit E, Vit A, beta-carotene color

Smart dogs: soy protein isolate, wheat gluten, evaporated cane juice, salt, yeast extract, soy sauce (soybeans, wheat, salt), carrageenan, vegetable gum, KCl, No MSG.

Morningstar farms sausages: wheat gluten, soy protein concentrate, soyprotein isolate, corn oil, Na caseinate, soybean oil, hydrolyzed vegetable protein (wheat fluten, corn gluten, soy protein), autolyzed yeast extract, Na PO4-s, salt, Na2 inosinate, cellulose gum, whey poswer, modified corn starch, maltodextrin, KCl, dextrose, Na2 guanylate, brewers yeasr, torula yeast, soy lecithin

Whipped Cream: sugar, mono and di glycerides, carrageenan, sorbitol

Wow. There is a lot of junk in what I eat. Hmmm. I should work on that. This is long, more later.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SANDYKMAC 4/3/2008 11:49PM

    It can be a real eyeopener when I start reading labels. It's really bad when you start reading labels on food that you buy your children. I quit buying a lot of things before I realized what I was buying. Now when I look back, I wonder what I was thinking.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

So, this week I was meant to eliminate MSG from my diet. So, I went label reading and hunting for MSG, and you know what, I already have eliminated it from my diet. I was pretty amazed. I think it helps that I eat mostly real food now, fruits, veggies, meat, dairy, you know. Either that, or organic replacements. Amazing. Well, I suppose that is good for me anyway to avoid it, and if I was sensitive to it, good for me. Strangely enough though, I can't seem to control my sodium intake. Mostly it's from all the dairy I eat, 30-40% of it (i calculated). But it's just plain old salt they add to that. It is hard to find dairy without salt, so I guess in that way I'm just stuck. Today, most of my sodium is coming from sauerkraut. Oh well.

Anyway, next week, I eliminate corn. I've nearly eliminated all high fructose corn syrup, except in a few salad dressings. So, therefore, this should be reasonable. Starting Monday, bye bye corn!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVINGHIM555 4/3/2008 4:51PM

    Good for you! Do want you to know that I found a list yesterday of "other" names for msg -- ingredient names that sound innocent but are really msg. I'm going to post the list later. BUt in the meantime you can go to truthinlabeling.org.

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