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Food Snubbing: Fruit

Saturday, May 04, 2013

I'm a big believer that eating foods as close to the way God made them is the healthiest way to go. So when people start villainizing fruit I get a little irritated.

The biggest beef I hear people raise about fruit is that it has so many sugars. And of course it does indeed have a natural source of sugar in it, since it tastes sweet. But the key word here is NATURAL. It's sweet in the form sweet is supposed to be: In a food un-tampered and strait from nature. There are fiber and other nutrients in fruits that, when eaten in moderation (more about that later), make their sugars a not-very-big concern. The components of fruit are compatible with each other for maximum benefit to our bodies. God's was kinda smart that way: When He made us and then made fruit as one of the foods for us to eat, He sorta knew what He was doing.

The problem comes in when you take fruit apart and mutilate it. You remove the skin. You smoosh it up and leave the pulp behind. You bathe it in sugar and white flour and shortening and put it in the oven and call it pie. "But hey!", folks reason, "It's got fruit in it! That means it's at least a little good for me, right?" Er...... not really. You just destroyed the integrity of a whole food.

I'm not saying never enjoy a piece of apple pie. Into everyone's life a little dessert must fall. What I am saying is that a piece of apple pie should be a rare treat, and a whole apple should be a regular occurrence.

No one can ever deny that the healthiest way to eat an apple is just bite into it raw- peel and all.

And fructose? Yes, it's fruit sugar, but again, it's been separated from the fruit. By the time it gets processed out it's as poor nutritionally as plain white sugar. So don't think that a food that uses fructose as opposed to sugar is any better for you. It's not.

BUT we must keep in mind that fruit DOES have more dietary sugars than other natural foods and CAN contribute to a stall in weight loss if it is over eaten. It would be hard to get extremely overweight from eating too much fruit (although not impossible). But on the other hand, it would be easy to stall your weight loss if you over-indulge. I've actually seen this happen with the Weight Watchers program, which, last I knew, let folks have unlimited fruits as long as they stop eating when they are satisfied. Hey.... If those people knew how to stop when they were satisfied, they wouldn't need Weight Watchers in the first place! Unlimited non-starchy veggies? It would be really hard to eat enough of those to stop weight loss. But unlimited fruit, which is much more calorie dense? It's very conceivable a stall would happen. (If you want to know more, I blogged about tweaking the Weight Watchers program to get around this and other issues here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5042842
)

One last word: Often when someone wants to "Cut in" or "lean out" a coach will recommend omitting fruit to get those last 2 or 3 pounds off. Keep in mind: This is a TEMPORARY situation. Reduction of every little bit of dietary sugars, even in the most natural forms, WILL help you shed some water weight for something like a photo shoot or figure show. Living the rest of your life without eating fruit (or dairy- another thing that gets cut for situations like this) is unrealistic and denies your body nutrients it needs in their most readily-absorb-able and natural forms.

So limit fruit to one or two pieces a day, and enjoy every last bite without guilt. It won't hurt you, and will deliver nutrients that aren't available in many other foods.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MBSHAZZER 7/23/2013 10:57AM

    OOOH, I am catching up on your most excellent blogs now!!! I LOVE fruit! My BF is cutting out sugar and carbs right now so I am eating the bounty of summer in secret! I suspect that his sugar fast will come to an end shortly as our mango tree is giving off huge quantities of fruit right now!

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GODZDESIGN95 6/17/2013 6:47PM

    When I went to the gym I over heard one of the coaches suggest cutting out some fruits. I thought it was nuts unless diabetes is issue. You hear so much about certain foods it is mind boogling.

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SKATER787 6/14/2013 9:53PM

    Even apple pies can be modified to be decent foods. Just don't follow conventional recipes. Hmm! You got me thinking now.

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ORCHIDLADY56 5/10/2013 9:51PM

    You are my hero! First the wheat blog and now the fruit blog! Fantastic! It has always puzzled me why so many people are anti-fruit - fiber and nutrients in a portable package!
Thank you again for a great and thoughtful blog!

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LISAINMS 5/7/2013 3:08PM

    Another great blog... moderation in all things. And no, pie isn't ok because it has fruit in it.

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OPTIMIST1948 5/6/2013 7:31PM

    Agree with others, this series is GREAT. Common sense to me (but if common sense were only as common as it should be...)
Love fruit. Eat it often. A great way to snack when you are hungry. Delicious pears with juice running down your chin.....

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LEWILL1982 5/6/2013 4:38PM

    As a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, I temporarily fell into the free food fruit trap after they announced it was a "free food". I was already eating the proper amount of fruit per day (when most weren't eating any fruit) and then I added more. I stalled my weight loss and made my own deduction that I was eating too much fruit, even though I couldn't find the research to back it up. I have since cut back and think I'm seeing better results. Thanks for sharing!

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CHANTENAY 5/6/2013 10:47AM

    Fruit is an important part of our diet. Eating it is important to meeting nutrient goals. Most people don't eat enough. If people are worried about sugar, they can take a walk to burn glucose.

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Comment edited on: 5/6/2013 10:49:28 AM

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PSCHIAVONE2 5/6/2013 9:14AM

    I usually eat whole fruit as a dessert.

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MRSBAGLADY 5/6/2013 7:14AM

    I totally agree about the fruit, I have seen such great results eating my fruits and veggies.. Its amazing how great they taste..sometimes I think am cheating, lol
Of course I did not always feel this way, but I went paleo in March and have not missed chocolate or bread.. my blood sugar is leveled and the energy is totally amazing.. One day when I get to my goal I hope to incoporate bread!! but after seeing 29 pounds leave my body it will be really hard having a pizza when I do not even crave it...
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RHONDALYN10 5/5/2013 4:17PM

    As usual - a great blog! And avocados are another fruit that get a bad rap!

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KANSASROSE67 5/5/2013 2:47PM

    I'm loving your series! I'm a big fan of "everything in moderation" and I don't buy into the food fads. "God's was kinda smart that way: When He made us and then made fruit as one of the foods for us to eat, He sorta knew what He was doing. " Love it!

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LIFE-FAITH 5/4/2013 9:57PM

    Love it! Love it! Love it!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Great blog!
Thank you!
Jean



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SCOUTMOM715 5/4/2013 9:00PM

    Love this!! Thanks Nancy!

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NEEDBU66 5/4/2013 8:31PM

    I was always told the best food is that straight from the ground tree or bush. To walk around the outside of the grocery store to buy food, and leave that processed stuff, located in the middle, alone. I don't, usually, but I try to get most of it from around the outside, anyway emoticon .

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ADVENTURESEEKER 5/4/2013 6:45PM

    Love it!
And bananas. Seriously. Bananas get a bad rap. I hear people saying they don't eat bananas because they are full of carbs or sugar or fat. I shake my head at them. Unless they are eating 10 a day, one a day won't hurt 'em.

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ROCKMAN6797 5/4/2013 6:38PM

    Another excellent and informative blog Nancy. Nothing quenches a need for a sweet treat like juicy apple. All you need to do is wash it and enjoy it. What could be easier?

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GRAMMAOF16 5/4/2013 6:35PM

    Good advice! Thanks!

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Food Snubbing: Wheat

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Poor wheat. And fruit. And Corn. And potatoes. And dairy. And red meat. They are all getting an unnecessarily bad rap.

I don't know about you, but I have heard reports speaking against all of the above, even to the extremes of saying many of these shouldn't have been in the human diet in the first place and should be eliminated. I think this is, at least, very inconvenient (and expensive) and, at most, dangerous. My belief is that God put on these foods on earth for our consumption. Eliminating any or all of them from our diets, for reasons other than allergies or intolerance's, leaves our bodies void of many nutrients they need to run at max efficiency.

Food fads come and go. Someone will decide that a food "causes" problems. Remember when they said peanut butter caused cancer? The same thing came around about cauliflower. Now, peanuts are considered a valuable source of healthy fats (A-hem... They always were!), and cruciferous vegetables, to include cauliflower, are considered healthy for their unique blend of nutrients and fiber.

Hey, if you overeat ANY food, even a healthy one in it's most natural form possible, there are going to be negative side effects. The key is to eat a very wide variety all the time.

So, starting with wheat, I plan to do a series of blogs on what I have heard to be the reasons to avoid the above mentioned foods, and my rebuttal to these reasons:

Wheat-

Reason to avoid: It has a high glycemic index, making it mess with blood sugar.

My rebuttal: When wheat isn't stripped of it's wheat bran, bleached free of it's nutrients, smooshed to bits, and then sprayed with vitamins to "fortify it" (in other words, been turned into common white flour), the glycemic index isn't bad at all and it can actually help to stabilize blood sugar, due to the high fiber content. It's the fact that man has jacked with it so much that has screwed it up. If you want to use white flour for a special and rare dessert, be my guest! Whole wheat flour does not a light dessert make. But for your regular, day-to-day use, go with whole wheat: either white (it's actually a type of wheat, still in it's whole form) or regular brown whole wheat flour. King Arthur is my favorite brand of either. Try it once, and you'll see why. Totally worth the extra cost, IMHO



Reason to avoid: The glucose in it is bad for you.

My rebuttal: The glucose in your regular, cheap, processed white wheat is indeed bad for you. The glucose in whole wheat is not. (See above.)



Reason to avoid: It is a high allergen.

My rebuttal: Are you allergic to it? If so, then avoid it. If not, this is a moot point. I am allergic to tree nuts, but I'm not going to tell you to avoid tree nuts if you are not allergic to them. They are good for you, but they are bad for me. You should eat them, I should not. Duh.



Reason to avoid: It makes you bloat ("wheat belly").

My rebuttal: When some people digest wheat their midriffs do indeed temporarily swell. It's the gases produced by the bacteria in the intestinal tract that are digesting the wheat. In other words, it's air. And this is a good thing: It means the body is breaking the wheat down and sending the good stuff into your body to be used as healthy fuel, as well as separating the fiber to keep your elimination system moving regularly and in a healthy manner. It's a temporary, healthy, and necessary process that will go down as soon as the digestion is complete. Additionally, this tendency tends to be worse if you haven't had wheat for a while. As your system adjusts to it, "wheat belly" will usually go away.


Reason to avoid: It has little nutritional value.

My rebuttal: Hogwash! It's an excellent source of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, choline, betaine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, copper, zinc, potassium, not to mention fiber. If that's not a nutrient-rich food, I don't know what is.


Reason to avoid: Celiac Disease

My rebuttal: If you have celiac disease, wheat is going to be a problem for you. So is anything else with gluten in it. But do you know how rare celiac disease is? Last I heard, about 1/2 a percent of all people actually have it, and only 15% of the population are gluten intolerant. How many of the remaining 84 & 1/2% are avoiding gluten because they think it is bad for them? They are missing out on important nutrients, all packaged into one very healthy food, unnecessarily. This is ridiculous. Gluten is what gives wheat it's protein and is rich in iron, among other things. Vegetarians often use it for this reason. Don't go for gluten-free foods unless you have been medically diagnosed as being sensitive to gluten.


Next up: Fruit......

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKATER787 6/14/2013 10:12PM

    Telling people to avoid wheat is a road to riches. People have been eating wheat all their lives and the moment they have to cut it off, many of them will lose weight simply because wheat is the base of Western diet. If you can convince enough people to do that, you'll be rewarded handsomely for their weight loss. That's correct that only a tiny percentage of people have true allergy, but it makes a good excuse to sell your books/methods.


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GODZDESIGN95 6/5/2013 11:52PM

    so much info out there who knows what?

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MYBABYTHEBRIDE 4/28/2013 3:22PM

   

Thank you so much for articulating this so well !!!

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MYBABYTHEBRIDE 4/28/2013 3:21PM

   

Thank you so much for articulating this so well !!!

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LIFE-FAITH 4/28/2013 2:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Great blog!
Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who has not decided to follow the NO-Gluten diet fab. God made it and so I eat it!!!
The man made JUNK they can keep!

I look forward to the next blog!
Jean

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ORCHIDLADY56 4/27/2013 4:47PM

    Thanks for the well thought out blog.
I tried Paleo for a while last year - quit after about six weeks. Besides being difficult to adhere to the program, I found my workouts were suffering, I was bruising easier (what's up with that?!) and had little nagging injuries that just didn't seem to improve. Once I added back in the grains, all that stopped.
Just plain Clean Eating and moderation are the best for me.

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GREGINPROGRESS 4/27/2013 10:43AM

    This gluten-free thing does sound like a fad, and I normally avoid such things, however it suddenly occurred to me that since about early March I really haven't been eating much wheat and it wouldn't be a huge stretch for me to just cut out the few wheat items that I do eat. So I'm going to try a little experiment just out of curiosity and try going without wheat for a while.

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REALRADIANT1 4/26/2013 7:22PM

    I am one of those unfortunate people that has a gluten intolerance. I end up getting my carbs from fruit and legumes.

I have a girlfriend who can not eat wheat because it is a binge trigger food. If she opens up a loaf of Ezekiel bread, the whole loaf is gone in one sitting, so she just can't have it at all.

But it's definitely silly to give it up if you don't have a good reason to. I sure wish I could have some Ezekiel bread. I envy those who can eat wheat without consequences.

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MONGO2TEN 4/26/2013 11:21AM

    emoticon I agree with you as well. I do know of 2 people with Celiac disease that really can't have the gluten. But why someone would willingly go on a gluten free diet without a reason is beyond me. It seems like they are putting themselves in a lot of misery.

Looking forward to reading the rest of your series.

~Nancy

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LISAINMS 4/25/2013 3:24PM

    I absolutely agree with this. "Gluten free" is an unnecessary fad. I went Paleo last year buying into the hype that grains are evil and we should eat more meat. I immediately lost 5 pounds. Whoo-hoo! But then nothing else happened. Except I was struggling with my endurance workouts. And losing lean weight/gaining fat. After 6 months of strict Paleo, I abandoned it. My carbs are back to 50%, my bodyfat is back where it was, my blood pressure has returned to very low and I just had the best race ever. I have been reading more and more about the failed ideals behind "gluten-free" and anti-grain. Important to note that I rarely eat any processed grains. I really enjoy farro as a side dish. Look forward to catching your next blog!

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SUGIRL06 4/25/2013 2:00PM

    Ok so after seeing your status update, I had to come read and I actually read this on your other blog yesterday! Ha!

Now, I agree and disagree. I avoid wheat and all grains (Paleo Diet) and all that jazz. I started following it because a friend suggested I try it. I was feeling lethargic, cranky, sometimes sick to my stomach pretty much regularly. I figured it was just some junk food I ate. Them I read a great book on the paleo diet and thought it was about me. I made the switch and will never look back. I am not celiac and I test negative for gluten intolerance.

So what I am saying is that I think there are a lot more people put there who might benefit from going wheat free. Take ADVENTURESEEKER as an example. She never knew she had a problem until after she cut it out and tried to add it back in. If she had never tried it, she would not be reaping the benefits of being wheat free now.

Finally, I have read a lot of information from reputable sources that gluten is inflammatory to our bodies. I don't have any articles right here (commenting from a mobile device) but there is stuff out there. Basically, I just don't want you to dismiss people who give up wheat too quickly.

As for people who give up foods just to lose weight, we'll then I'm with you! I'd still be eating pasta and bread if I had a choice!
~Ang
PS I also like the question that KATZZABELLA raised. That is discussed thoroughly in the book "Wheat Belly"

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PSCHIAVONE2 4/25/2013 11:52AM

    I eat my whole wheat, but I have really come to love the ancient grains. More tastes and more variety is always the way to better health. I used to make my own whole wheat bread because I was trying to avoid the sugar, but I have found a local baker that uses whole wheat flour, water, yeast , and salt.

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DOUGDC 4/25/2013 11:06AM

    Your viewpoint is realistic and appropriate. People with sensitivities clearly should avoid what they're sensitive to. People who think they might have sensitivities would do well to engage in elimination diets that can demonstrate whether a particular food item is, in fact, a problem. Not easy, but possibly better than eliminating a food unnecessarily. I look forward to reading more.
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PURPLE180 4/25/2013 10:02AM

    emoticon for sharing...looking forward to your nest series.

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LEWILL1982 4/25/2013 10:00AM

    Looking forward to your blogs, I love reading about food and what it can do for our bodies!

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FLYER99 4/25/2013 9:38AM

    I love this blog. Looking forward to the series! Have a wonderful day!

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HISARTIST 4/25/2013 9:23AM

    Great job!! Thank you for laying it out there!!

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ROCKMAN6797 4/25/2013 8:30AM

    Bravo!
I love my whole-wheat products!
I am the edge of my seat waiting for your next blog because I love my fruit, too!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 4/25/2013 8:21AM

    As a big consumer of whole wheat products, descended from a long line of healthy wheat eating peasants, I appreciate this. Imagine my surprise when fish and nuts were the cause of my intestinal problems - the healthy stuff I was suppose to be eating. A low carb day for me is keeping it under 200g. Works for me!

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DEBJAE 4/25/2013 8:08AM

    Excellent! You got my attention in your status today, the sarcasm is what I noticed, ;)

Yes, common sense goes a long way in all the food warnings we hear every day. Sometimes, it helps to point out the obvious...hence the whole if you're not allergic then no need to avoid something that is otherwise good for you in normal, healthy amounts.

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PMRUNNER 4/25/2013 8:07AM

    While there are medical reasons for some people to avoid some foods, the majority of people who avoid certain foods does seem a little ridiculous. My sister and niece have celiac and have adapted to gluten free which has helped them a lot. Short of that, if you don't have a medical reason to avoid/embrace certain foods, then sensible eating is probably a better course of action. Or, as Oscar Wilde is reported as saying, "Everything in moderation, including moderation."

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STRATHSPEYCHIC 4/24/2013 10:27PM

    THANK YOU!
I get so tired of people casting wheat as the devil.
I look forward to the rest of the series.

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/24/2013 9:02PM

    Interesting call. I can only speak for myself, but since cutting my carbs down from 200-300 gms/day to 50-80, I've seen a) a flattening of my belly, b) about a 5 lb weight loss, and c) a "stabilized" appetite....many fewer cravings.

Bread is a tough one. We love King Arthur Flour (made a pilgrimage to their Vermont store when we lived in Boston). We'd spend a whole weekend mixing dough, making a sponge, letting it rise a few times overnight, kneading it, shaping it, baking it, and eating it....we had a blast.

These days, I treat it like a special meal...we'll save up for it, have a feast, then go without for a while.

SWMBO still eats bread regularly, and she's a big fan of Ezekiel brand

Comment edited on: 4/24/2013 9:04:31 PM

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OPTIMIST1948 4/24/2013 8:21PM

    I've reduced the amount of breads and starches in my diet not for any "This Food is EVIL and Must be Eliminated" reasons -- but just because it was the easiest place to start cutting calories. I "discovered" KAF's White Whole Wheat and its what I use on a daily basis. It can replace white flour 100% in most recipes.

Love the blog.

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RHONDALYN10 4/24/2013 7:50PM

    I love your blogs!

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CHANTENAY 4/24/2013 5:23PM

    My friends are trying to eat gluten free. I've found that if I follow the calorie range given by SP and include all the fruits and vegetables we are supposed to, I don't eat much wheat anyway. There are plenty of other grains to try. Wheat doesn't bother me, fortunately, but I do have a friend with Crohn's disease who seems to feel better off of it.

My theory is that people get on these jags to feel better when they don't know what else to do. Truth is, they'd probably feel better if they'd join Spark People and straighten out the big things in their diet, such as lack of fresh produce and too much sugar. I haven't come across a Spark person yet who hasn't felt a lot better addressing the big issues.

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MBSHAZZER 4/24/2013 3:15PM

    LOVE THIS!!! I just had the most frustrating conversation on Sunday with 2 people - one is "skinny fat" and one is just fat - about CARBS! Hello, they are NOT the enemy! I just thought it was funny... I was sitting there with my guns bulging and my 70% carb diet smiling and nodding about how bread and rice and pasta are so horrible. LOL!

Keep 'em coming!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 4/24/2013 3:05PM

    Agreed! I eliminated wheat for sh!ts and grins during Lent, and because I wondered if that was what caused my hives. I ate wheat the other weekend, and realized it in fact is not the cause of my hives. However, I feel soooooooooo much better without it! It caused me to feel sluggish, bloated, lethargic, and my sleep was terrible for about 2 days/nights afterward. Will it cause me to be completely wheat-free in the future? Meh, I may decide the taste is worth the severe downside every now, but not for now. That was a rough 2 days that I won't get back. And I used to feel like that all the time! Now I know why.

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ELIZABETH5268 4/24/2013 2:42PM

    I look forward to your other blogs in this series! Thanks!

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ATSCHOPP3 4/24/2013 1:20PM

    Amen sister!! emoticon

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KATZABELLAMAMA 4/24/2013 1:03PM

    I agree with you that these foods shouldn't be avoided. My questions for you is do you think genetic modification has lead to the inability for the proper break down of these foods in our bodies leading to sensitives?

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The Great Weigh-In Debate

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Do you ever struggle with how often you should weigh yourself? I've seen rather heated discussions on the subject. Everyone seems to have an opinion. It can get confusing.

Personally? I don't think there is one answer for everyone. I think this has more to do with your own personality than anything else. And, to a lesser degree, your goals.

If you are someone who needs constant accountability to keep your head in the game, daily weighing is what I would suggest. Knowing that you have to face the scale every morning might help you to stay on-track during the day.

On the other hand, if you are someone who gets discouraged with the daily (normal) fluctuations in scale weight, a weekly or bi-weekly weigh-in might be better for you.

And some people do better if they just don't get on a scale at all and instead focus on the changes in how clothes fit, measurements, and how they look in the mirror. Which are actually more accurate, albeit slower, gauges, anyhow.

Then there is the factor of goals. Weight loss is a completely different mindset than maintenance. You might decide you need to weigh more or less often, depending on where your head is in your current journey. Personally, I do best during maintenance when I weigh daily. But that's me. Some people are better at letting it go entirely or just jumping on a scale every once in a while to make sure they are still on target.

Now let's consider the goal of muscle gain. When I start with a new client, I ask them to step away from the scale, if at all possible. This is because, for reasons unknown to me, often the scale weight will change very little while the body shape changes fairly rapidly once intense resistance training is introduced. If someone is focusing on the scale it makes it very hard for them to acknowledge the physical changes taking place in their body.

Likewise, if you are working with a trainer who wants you to weigh in at certain intervals, that is what you need to do. Don't jack with their program! (I did a blog by [almost] that title here: itallmakesadifference.blogspot.com/2
012/12/dont-jack-with-your-program.html
)

There is so much more to your fitness than a number on the scale!

And lastly, however often you decide to weigh, strive to do it at the same time of day, in the same amount of dress, having eaten (or not eaten) the same number of meals before hand. The most accurate time to weigh is first thing in the morning, after you have used the restroom and buck naked. But even then, there are fluctuations, so don't let a gain of a pound or two ruin your day. Just make note of it, keep doing the right thing, and weigh at the next scheduled weigh date. The most important thing is that the overall trend is downward.

And don't let someone else's opinion of how often you should weigh guilt you or have you second-guessing what is right for you. We are all individuals. Do what works for you, and respect what others say works for them. It's a big fitness world and there is room for all of our differences.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINAJANE76 4/12/2013 11:36PM

    I personally find daily weigh-ins to be very useful in maintenance because they keep me focused on my long-term goal of not wanting to change all that much. I actually found weekly weigh-ins to be much more stressful from a psychological point of view as I was losing weight because I was never really sure what to expect and would sometimes take extreme measures to ensure my weigh ins were low (you've heard some of the things boxers and wrestlers do to "make weight"--that's what I was like). Daily weigh-ins keep me much more attuned to what's going on with my body and once I wrapped my head around the daily fluctuation thing, I managed to take the emotion out of them. Now I just use them to back up what I'm doing on a day-to-day basis and to look at longer-term trends. If the scale's up for a few days and I know I don't deserve it, no big deal. If it's up after a big meal, I hop on each day after to make sure things keep going back down. If it stays up and continues to go up, I know I'm doing something wrong and it's time to make some changes.

Comment edited on: 4/12/2013 11:36:28 PM

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LIZZYP609 4/12/2013 10:24AM

    I don't have much to lose (5lbs). I do the NSV more than what the scale says. I want to tone more than lose right now (just starting this phase).
I do jump on the scale 3-4 times a week but mainly just out of curiosity than anything else.
I do post weekly weigh-in here on spark.
I was thinking that maybe I would record everyday weigh-ins just to see how much I can fluctuate in a month at this stage of the game.

I myself have not let the scale determine my mood in a very long time. It is just a tool to me, one that keeps me on this road just as my food scale and eating plan do.

Thanks for this blog! Great conversation!

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MRSBAGLADY 4/11/2013 12:52PM

    I have so much to lose!!!! am at the start, so I tend to weigh in daily to check if my changes in clean eating and exercise are really working or is there something physically impairing me to shed the pounds. I try so hard to stay away from the scale, but it calls out my name every morning... I try to gage the changes in my clothes and how I sleep at night...... I have expierenced such horrible effects of being over weight that the pounds do not seem to leave me as fast I wish they would. There have been days when the scale does not move and I tell my self KEEP GOING BECAUSE YOUR HEADED ON THE RIGHT DIRECTION!!!!!! I JUST WORKOUT HARDER.... I need to beat this and thats all that keeps me motivated... I need to be able to walk Disney World and not feel like am about to pass out, I want to fit in the chairs in the plane, I want to run and not get a black eye, I want to be able to get in and out my car without feeling faint, I want to be healthy and fit. My advise to the skinny me one day would be "NEVER STOP TRYING" there will be days that the scale wont move but you keep being focused and you will reach your GOAL" emoticon

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REALRADIANT1 4/11/2013 12:31PM

    Love your blogs.

I like to weigh every day, first thing in the morning. The daily fluctuations don't bother me at all. That's just what human bodies do. I'm patient with my progress when the scale is fluctuating back up, but I love it when it shows a new low. I mark my weight on the calendar and record it in Sparkpeople. I like seeing that my weight is definitely on a downward trend and that I don't lose weight in a straight line. I like seeing the squiggly downward line, that is just reality.

The scale no longer tells me what kind of day I'm going to have. It's just a tool, it's just a reality check. I have healed my relationship with the scale and that feels great.

I often periodically get my bodyfat tested using one of those water dunking tanks.

The last time I had it done, I had gone from 33% body fat to 24% body fat and I had gained 4 pounds of muscle. I'll have that done again in a few months.

You are totally right about weighing yourself being a individual thing. I have several friends that are only comfortable weighing in larger intervals. One doesn't like to weigh herself at all because the scale totally triggers her, no matter what it says. One friend weighs only once a week, and one friend weighs only once a month. It's definitely an individual preference.

I also started using a bodymedia fit tracker and I love it. I track my food in spark people as well. My goal is to have an average of a 1000 calorie deficit each day, which I have been doing pretty easily. Scientifically speaking, that is supposed to give me a weight loss of 2 pounds per week, but I've been losing about 1.1 pounds a week. I've always known that I have a slow metabolism. Now I have proof.

However, I have just accepted that as my reality. It will just take me longer to get to goal weight, but I'm ok with that.

Comment edited on: 4/11/2013 12:35:27 PM

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MONGO2TEN 4/11/2013 5:59AM

    I do weigh daily, but probably should cut that back to once a week. The scale can fluctuate a lot.

Thanks for the blog and insight.

~Nancy

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AMARANTHA120S 4/11/2013 5:26AM

    Great blog. ITA, it is an individual choice. emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 4/11/2013 12:32AM

    Excellent blog....I weigh myself daily in the morning but only rely on one day for my "official" weigh-in day. Fortunately I am not the least bothered by weight fluctuations rather I use these daily weigh-ins to figure out what I can do better in the future and what works.

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VHALKYRIE 4/10/2013 10:20PM

    Great blog! I'm in the process of trying to change my body composition, and my scale numbers go wonky. I am at the point where I can ignore the weight going up because that's going to happen as I swap things around, but I consider this black belt level! It took me a long time to get comfortable with how my body metabolism works.

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GETSTRONGRRR 4/10/2013 9:05PM

    Good blog.

I'm a numbers geek, so i weigh every day, I use a heart rate monitor for cardio and ST, I dig my little bodymedia armband, I track miles with my garmin GPS on the bike, I log every weight for every rep for every set of every lift on my iPhone.

I'm just waiting for someone to invent a wi-fi receiver for my brain to just gonculate all the numbers!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 4/10/2013 6:40PM

    Love this! So true. Thanks for sharing.

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TERRIH8118 4/10/2013 4:47PM

    emoticon emoticon Great blog. Its very true we all have different ways of doing it. Myself, I weigh in once a week any more than that and I feel horrible. However. I do try to focus on the nsv that I see.

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RUSSELL1960 4/10/2013 1:48PM

    I find it helpful to have multiple tracking statistics. I do weigh in daily while also keeping a long-term record on the Spark People weight tracker. I also keep measurements of my waist, neck, arm and thigh. This combination enables me to get the benefit of the daily weigh in but keep strongly motivated by the long-term progress. The advantage of the daily weigh-in for me has been learning about what causes the daily fluctuations. For example, I thought I had found the perfect snack with only 20 calories, Kimchee. But I experienced significant weight gain the next day. I later figured it out that the brand of Kimchee I had bought had nearly 1000mg of salt in the two serving size snack I was enjoying. Thus I learned to watch the salt content more carefully. For me this has been helpful but I agree that each person will find the combination and scheduling of tracking that works best for them.

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PMRUNNER 4/10/2013 12:38PM

    Well said!

Weight is one of many measurements that are used to paint the picture of ones health. The scale is a tool. If you can look at the results objectively as a feedback to how you are progressing, than you can weigh daily or weekly or whatever floats your boat. If your emotional state is tied to the number on the scale, then it is not a safe tool to use on a daily basis. In that case, you should probably stick to a routine where you weigh less often, perhaps weekly or monthly and you weigh in conjunction with other measurements such as BF%, waist, hips, thigh, arm, neck. Then you can get a better assessment of your progress (or lack of progress) than your scale can provide.

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ELIZABETH5268 4/10/2013 12:10PM

    Great blog, some people focus so much on the scale that they miss great milestones along the way!

I was very focused on the scale until I was pretty close to my goal weight. The closer I got the less concerned I was and my focus shifted to the reflection in the mirror, measurements and most importantly the clothes I was fitting abck into. Now that I'm at my goal weight it's pretty much all about my tone that I can visibly see.

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RHONDALYN10 4/10/2013 12:09PM

    Thanks for the reminder!
I weigh myself once a week - same day, first thing in the morning, buck naked. I have learned to understand the fluctuations over time as I would get frustrated with the yo-yo of a couple of lbs. What I have learned is that after a long run on Fri or a HM on a Sat, my weekly weigh in will almost always be up 1-2 lbs. What used to upset me is now a fact of life. And now that I am more focused on ST and changing my body I really don't let the scale get to me at all.
Thanks for the continued great advice.

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TERRIMMIX 4/10/2013 11:00AM

    This blog was right on time for me Nancy. Thanks so much. I've decided to take a break from weighing and focus on tracking and fitness goals instead for a while. I will weigh again June 21st, the summer solstice.

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CATHYHASSPARK 4/10/2013 10:43AM

    its different for everyone, for myself personally , I can only weigh once a week because if I do more than that I become obsessed with the scale , and I know that weight flucates every minute it seems!! I dont think there is any right or wrong way , its all how you handle it.

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 4/10/2013 10:38AM

    Personally, for me, I can't be dictated by the scale. Mentally, it REALLY affects my psyche! I still need to grow so that it doesn't have this kind of effect, but until then, I try only to weigh once a week.

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LJCANNON 4/10/2013 10:32AM

    emoticon "There Is So Much More To Your Fitness Than A Number On The Scale."

That is SO True, and Mentally I Know IT!! And I do Understand Intellectually that Weight Training will probably result in at least a temporary Weight Gain. I have learned to -- Mostly! -- look for Trends and not let the daily fluctuations bother me. I try to only weigh 3 - 4 times a week, NOT Daily.

emoticon However, I think there is a part of me that is afraid that a few Bad Choices, or Not Checking the Scale Frequently will lead to a Total Regain of All That I have lost. I know that is unlikely, and I hope that the Fear fades after I get used to being at This Weight.

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Gym Judgements

Monday, March 11, 2013

I've heard so many people who are not where they want to be in their fitness journey worry about what others in the gym will think about them. I get this- I have been not fit and afraid to go to the gym, not fit and going to the gym, fit going to the gym, and a trainer who works IN the gym. Basically, all sides of the equation.

And so, based on not only my own personal experience but from what I have polled other people of all categories, here is what people of various points in their fitness journeys are thinking when they see a very overweight and out of shape person in the gym:

- The person not fit and afraid to go to the gym sees you walking into the gym and is envious that you have the guts to go in there. As a bonus, you may have unwittingly inspired them to try it, too.

- The person not-fit and going to the gym is thinking the same thing you are, of course. Which is something along the lines of "Oh, look! Someone like me!". You help to make them feel like they belong.

- The fit person going to the gym... well.... no offense, but they aren't thinking about you much at all. They actually are so focused on and/or worn out from their own workout that they don't have the energy to think of you. Their primary thought is "Dear God, please let me survive this workout." But if they do have a fleeting thought about you it is "Good for them! They are just where they need to be!"

- And the Personal Trainers in the gym are thinking several things, depending on their situation. If they are with a client they probably aren't paying any attention to you- They are focused on their client. If they aren't with a client, they are thinking the same thing the fit person working out in the gym is thinking- That you are just where you need to be, although probably with a bit more pride in you being there, since Trainers are schooled in how hard it is for someone who is not in stellar shape to even get themselves through the door.

Another thing the trainer might be thinking is that they wish you would ask them for help if you have a quick question. The fact is that we see people execute a lot of moves incorrectly and so very want to straiten them out, but we don't. This is because we have learned that 9 times out of 10 people don't appreciate it and look at us as judgmental, even though we were truly trying to help. So we learn to bite our tongues and wish that someone would ask "If you have a minute, could you please show me how to do this?". Just don't ask us when we are with a client- They are paying for us to pay 100% attention to them.

It's your workout, it's your business. Do it because it is good for you, not because of what anyone else thinks. Odds are it's not nearly as bad as you are imagining, anyhow.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VISUALLYRICS 4/28/2013 9:11AM

    Lol! You summed it up so well. emoticon Blog! ..::: and emoticon on your own personal progress!

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MRSBAGLADY 4/12/2013 9:14PM

    Wow you are so right... I have avioded the gym so many times because I say "iam to fat for the gym" I have actually tried to lose weight before joining the gym, but all I did was gain more weight sitting on the coach dreaming of how great it would be to get my butt at the gym and lose the weight.. I have watched the biggest loser while eating cookie dough, trust me its true. My husband is in great shape and he always motivates me and tries to help me, but for a long time a did not listen (Not sure why, hope to someday find out why). 4 weeks ago I finaly had the courage to enter the gym and hiding from the mirrors of course I made my way onto the treadmill and wished for the best. Iam on week 4 and 16 pounds lighter and loving it... emoticon

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ORCHIDLADY56 4/6/2013 11:15AM

    I am a little behind reading this, but glad I did. Thanks for putting it all in perspective.

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KARENE10 3/16/2013 11:00AM

    Great blog!

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/14/2013 10:11PM

    Real good blog, encouraging too.

I've been hard at it in the weight room for about 3 years. Most of the regulars are too involved and focused on getting their workouts in to think snide thoughts about others.....unless of course you do barbell curls in the squat rack!

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THECRAZYMANGO 3/14/2013 12:43PM

    LOVE THIS!! I can totally relate to all of these stops in the journey! Nicely worded! emoticon

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CHANTENAY 3/11/2013 10:05PM

    I know when I see people at the gym who are more out of shape than myself, I am secretly proud of them. They are doing the right thing and are where they should be. At the same time, I am embarassed about myself...

It's tough to get over but it can be done - by going ahead and doing it.

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1EMMA2011 3/11/2013 7:04PM

    emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 3/11/2013 4:41PM

    What I love most is seeing that same overweight person coming back day after day and actually getting smaller and, at the same time, stronger before my very eyes! I love watching people succeed!

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NGREGOR 3/11/2013 2:54PM

  NancyAnne, did you know there was once a 8" doll named The Nancy Anne Storybook Doll? Seeing your name reminded me of that long ago time.
Anyway... I agree, nobody cares if you are there or not and no body is all that much greater than mine (although I am 5'4 & 190lbs). At my ctr I see pro football and basketball players sweating up a storm. I see athlete wanna-bes with bulging muscles. I see women in their spandex "work-out" clothes that look model thin. Big deal. Those people are either fanatics who may not be as healthy as they look or they are in a competitive situation and don't want to lose their position be it on a team or with their current significant other. The real people at the gym/fitness ctr are fun to talk to and are there for the same reasons I am: to be healthier, move better, and maybe lose a little wt while they're at it.
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PIXIECUTE 3/11/2013 2:45PM

    This was just what I needed to hear - thanks for the blog!

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Handy Dandy Gadget Blog #3- My Rice Cooker

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I really suck at making brown rice on the stove. White rice? I'm a pro. But Brown rice? The long-cook kind? Just about every time it comes out crunchy.

I knew about rice cookers (Who doesn't know about rice cookers?), but I thought it would wind up being just another appliance that was more trouble than it was worth and after two frustrating attempts it'd wind up in a garage sale. That is, until I posted another whiney status update on Facebook saying that I, once again, broke the brown rice. That prompted someone (may have been Carolyn, who told me to suck it up and get a coffee grinder for my flaxseed: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5260240
) to tell me that rice cookers do a great job at making brown rice the way it should be (non-crunchy), and that they aren't hard to use OR hard to clean, which were my biggest concerns.

So I asked for a rice cooker for my birthday, and my husband gave me one. I told him to please not get me the kind that vacuums the carpets and does taxes. I just wanted the most basic model possible, because I never use the extra stuff on appliances. He was obedient and got me the basic model by Aroma:



It comes with a steamer insert thingy, so that you can cook veggies on top (It has yet to be put into action. See? I don't use extra stuff), and a measuring cup. The inside is non-stick and the inside of the top of the lid pops off for super-easy cleanup:



The process for making rice with this thing couldn't be simpler- Toss the rice and water in there, close the lid down tight, plug it in, and turn it on. It somehow senses when the rice is done and moves it to the "keep warm" setting for several hours. No watching for water to boil, cleaning up of boil-overs on my stove, or scrubbing burnt rice of of the bottom of a pan because I accidentally cooked it too long. Additionally, I can set it off to the side and all my burners are still free for anything else I might be cooking. As an added bonus, it's ready in about half the time it takes to make rice on the stove.

The ratio of water to rice are different for brown rice than white, so I still have to look it up in the manual each time I use it, but let me tell ya something; this thing couldn't be easier to use. And the rice has never once turned out anything other than wonderful! Sometimes I use chicken broth instead of water, for some extra flavor. I almost always cook up more than we need and store the leftover in the fridge to use as a healthy carb over the next few days. (Did you know that cold brown rice makes a wonderful addition to salads?)

As is always the case, though, I started thinking: I usually have oatmeal for breakfast, which I cook in my Micro Steamer (blogged about it here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4305785
). But I've wanted to try steel cut oats. The thing is, they take so blessed long to cook that I only tried them once. I'm just too hungry in the mornings to wait that long to eat, plus I had to keep stirring them because they threatened to burn to the bottom of my pot. Since the cooking method for steel-cut oats is very similar to rice, I started wondering if I could cook them in the rice cooker. I did a quick Google search and, sure enough, you can. One part oats and three parts water, but don't fill the cooker more than half full, because oats like to foam up when they cook. This is REALLY cool, because I can jump out of bed, dump the oats and water in the rice cooker, then run off to the bedroom to make the bed, brush my teeth, and do my normal morning "stuff". When I get to the kitchen, the oats are pretty much done. I just give them a quick stir because there is water on top, then close the lid back down and let it absorb a bit while I get my vitamins together, feed the dog, and make my eggs or mix up a protein shake.

So there 'ya have it- My third and final gadget blog. (To link my first one, click here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5258932
The link to the second one is above in the coffee grinder link.) Useful things I use regularly and make my life a lot easier AND healthier. Let me know what you think! (And tell me what you use YOUR rice cooker for- I'm always looking for new ideas!)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OPTIMIST1948 3/6/2013 8:38PM

    Glad you are enjoying your rice cooker!

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IRP1114 2/25/2013 12:16PM

    Cool : )! Those are good uses for a rice cooker! You know what I like to do with my oats since I use a combo of rolled oats steel cut and red oats for my morning oats, I pre measure and put it in my little pot with the water and leave it on the stove to soak over night so it cooks up really quick in the mornings : )!

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 2/24/2013 8:47AM

    Another helpful blog! I don't have one of these.
I am guessing you are still eating rice after that stuff about it having arsenic in it....something like that anyway. What was your take on that?

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RHONDALYN10 2/23/2013 4:15PM

    OMG - I am LOVING these blogs!! I have been wanting a rice cooker for awhile and now that I know you can do steel cut oats in it as well - I am sold!! I, too, have been wanting to add them to my diet but like you - I don't have the time in the morning.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

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ROCKMAN6797 2/23/2013 2:47PM

    Another wonderful blog about a cool appliance. I love steel cut oatmeal but I don't mind waiting but it is good to know that there is a quicker method if I ever start getting impatient!

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SOTIREDOFTHIS 2/23/2013 2:41PM

  Thank you for this! I just googled aroma and found it at Walmart and Target......this will possibly be my next purchase!

Keep 'em coming!



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