SLENDERELLA61   155,667
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In Praise of Middle Foods

Saturday, April 03, 2010

For years I was either on a diet or I wasn't. When I was on a diet I ate lettuce, celery, carrots, broccoli, green beans, yellow squash, bell pepper, and other low carb/low calorie vegetables. I ate cantaloupe, peaches, and strawberries in carefully measured quantities. I avoided bananas. Apples were an occasional treat. When I wasn't dieting, fruits and veggies were not a big part of my diet at all -- unless you count fries and potato chips as veggies and the fruit in pies, jams, and banana splits.

Back then there was a whole range of foods that weren't diet and weren't feasting that I now call the Middle Foods. I never ate Middle Foods. But now I eat peas, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, water chestnuts, sweet onions, edaname, and all kind of beans and other things that I thought I could not eat to achieve and stay at a healthy weight. I now eat bananas and apples almost daily, and all fruits are welcomed fare. Fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, "diet" and "non-diet," all those Middle Foods now contribute to my healthy intake. I have found many of these Middle Foods are surprisingly satisfying and delicious.

Do you have middle foods? Are there any foods that you used to think you could not eat to lose or even maintain a healthy weight that you have found out are healthy and filling? Are there any fruits, veggies, or legumes that you still avoid? -Marsha





  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 4/3/2010 11:59PM

    Hi Marsha!
I have always eaten what ever I felt like in fruits and veggies, never thought of doing anything else, and strawberries, blueberries and bananas were always my favorite first fruit choices. Broccoli, carrots and cauliflower were my go to veggies. Junk food favorites were cheese puffs, chips and buttery popcorn.. What made me gain though, was my absolute love of cheese. I would scarf down a 900g package a week! I exercised regularly, but wasn't enough. Today, I allow myself one thin slice of cheese (100 calorie slice of cheddar), some shredded cheese on my poached egg whites and that is it. I also allow myself a piece of dark (95% cocoa) chocolate daily. I don't need anything more. I like snap peas in my salad. I got away from canned goods totally. I used to have soup a lot, and also bread, but not into them now. Bread gets freezer burned on me, and cereal goes stale.
I really prefer a simple diet, raw fruits and veggies that don't require any prep except to wash and cut them up. Its easier :)
Linda

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JOHAL52 4/3/2010 8:06PM

    Bananas are a boon for my digestive system. I usually have at least a half a banana per day but never more than one. If you had asked me this question last year I would have said that I am able to maintain while eating all kinds of foods--in moderation. I would eat chocolate daily, bread, etc. This year I am really struggling to lose the 6 pounds I gained over Christmas. I seem to continually bob between 130 to 132. I probably could get down to 126 if I gave up my Middle Foods entirely but I haven't yet got to that point. I am still pondering whether what the scale says matters if my clothes fit.

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KALIGIRL 4/3/2010 7:40PM

    Never thought about 'middle' foods before. I guess mine would be deserts and I still don't partake except for a bite now and then. Oh wait - chocolate, I forgot chocolate - now my 'middle food' is Ghirardelli Midnight Reverie - 85% cocoa, 1/4 ounce.
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PINKSAINT247 4/3/2010 6:41PM

    we just got back from whole foods market in tampa. just a "check it out" type visit to decide if it would be worth it to go when we can shop again. totally. fresh fruits and veggies that are organic at a fraction of the cost of veggies in produce dept with more variety. bulk buy grains and cereals. I'm sure you've already gone. Our favorite thing we found today- goat's milk and brown rice ice cream. looking forward to trying those.
We want to incorporate some raw diet into our normal eating to balance it all out.

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An Admitted Reward Junkie

Friday, April 02, 2010

With this blog I will reach 20,000 SparkPoints and get my next trophy. I've tracked a lot of food, completed a lot of cardio and strength training, been motivated by reading about others' successes and efforts, and learned a lot by reading SparkArticles. I'm definitely glad I found SparkPeople.

It is my intention in April, though, to put more emphasis on getting in the exercise before I rack up the SparkPoints. I think that is the more helpful priority. Although I love watching those points add up, sometimes I sit too much here at the computer. You, too?

A healthy body and a positive outlook are the best rewards. Have a happy, active day, SparkFriends! -Marsha

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 4/5/2010 8:11PM

    SP knows how to motivate us with those points!! And like you, sometimes I just gotta get away from the computer. Like right now!!

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CHOPSART 4/3/2010 1:26PM

    You are amazing and certainly deserve the 20,000 points!

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KALIGIRL 4/2/2010 11:21AM

    ďA healthy body and a positive outlook [ARE] the best rewardsĒ Ė couldnít agree more.

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DONNABRIGHT 4/2/2010 11:09AM

    It's so easy to sit here and chat with everyone and think we're doing what we should be doing. I limit myself to adding the fitness, etc points until they are completed.

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JOHAL52 4/2/2010 10:35AM

    Congrats on the 20,000 Marsha!! And I am a reward junkie too!!

Val

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PERSISTANT123 4/2/2010 10:01AM

    Thanks Marsha. In April, I have set "Spark People hours" so that I go and do the other things that I need to do. I am trying to focus on what really gives me useful information, motivation and joy in my life.

What would be the use of losing the weight, if I didn't go and enjoy my new self?
emoticonKathleen

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SABLE77 4/2/2010 9:08AM

    I too think I spend too much time typing but will probably slack off as the weather warms up, Have a Great Day

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AQUAGIRL08 4/2/2010 9:02AM

    I did exactly what you're doing when I first joined SP. I've learned to limit my time at the computer and get my exercise in, just like you said. I'm also a reward junkie and love those trophies but all things in moderation!

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LAURIE5658 4/2/2010 8:12AM

    Spring has sprung and its time to get out and enjoy it!!! Good for you!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 4/2/2010 7:18AM

    Yes, that is true for me, too! My husband has been getting a little irritated at my computer sitting, and has commented about it. It may mean I can't respond like I'd like to some of my friends' daily blogs, but I have no choice but to have a good balance. Thanks for your blog and a good dose of reality! emoticon emoticon emoticonLori

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MONGO2TEN 4/2/2010 5:10AM

    I've done that. I limit my spark time to only mornings before breakfast. I get on after that usually just to log in my fitness minutes.

~Nancy

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This Is It!?!!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Weight wise I'm entering a new phase. I got on the scale yesterday and it was 126.6. For the first time, more of me thought "too low" than wanted to celebrate the loss. I had a good 1700 healthy calorie day yesterday, burning over 300 calories, and weighed 127.6 this morning. So I'm fluctating. I'm thinking I really want to stay from 127-129.9; maybe 126-129.9. And I'm talking about first thing in the morning naked weigh ins. With clothes and in the evening, I may go up to 133 or so.

But I think I can truly say I am done with weight loss after 16 months. I'm still working on reducing body fat percentage and gaining muscle. I'm still working on improving my nutrition knowledge and practice. I'm still learning flexible restraint, limiting indulgences and off program eating.

It is hard to give up the thrill of the new low on the scale, but it is time for a new phase of this journey. It's not an April Fool's joke. As far as the number on the scale, I have arrived!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POLARBEARSCAT 4/1/2010 4:11PM

    That's terrific! Oh, I so want to be where you are! You gave me a renewed spark! emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 4/1/2010 3:19PM

    Thanks for sharing - you should be proud of yourself.

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PERSISTANT123 4/1/2010 3:11PM

    Congratulations on your arrival! You have done well!!!!
emoticonkathleen

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 4/1/2010 2:45PM

    That is wonderful! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 4/1/2010 1:09PM

    Isn't it great to leave the 'number' behind and move on to new areas of health?
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MONTY68 4/1/2010 12:53PM

    Marsha
Congratulations on your plans and your weight decision. I agree the time as come to maintain that wonderful weight. You are one who really takes this Living healthy serious. Now the fun begins. I joined 2 years ago as I was in the maintenance level. Have kept it off the whole time. It is a different feeling when you are at a good weight and determined that to stay at the new weight forever. You will continue doing all the great things that you do and searching for new ideas on healthy life styles. Your blogs have been a blessing to me and you are an inspiration for all that read your blogs. You are excited about life and it shows in all you do and say.
Just know that this new phase of your journey will be a exciting time.

Monty emoticon emoticon

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TBRANCH2 4/1/2010 11:47AM

    We are so proud of you and you need to be extremely proud of yourself!! You have accomplished a mighty deed and are sending encouraging vibes to the rest of us that we, too, can meet our goals!! Terrific Job!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRENCHYFEVER 4/1/2010 11:18AM

    Congratulations on reaching your goal weight. Wow, I can only imagine the sense of pride and accomplishment you must be feeling! You look really great and inspire me to work harder so I can soon be where you are today! Great work!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NOTSPEEDY 4/1/2010 11:11AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Isn't success wonderful. Do you have a special reward planned?


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SABLE77 4/1/2010 10:53AM

    WooHoo, you look great, keep it up!

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 4/1/2010 10:35AM

    Totally emoticon

Now...if your success would rub off on me somehow! lol

Hugs!!

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JHADZHIA 4/1/2010 10:35AM

    I am happy you are satisfied at where you are! its nice to get a load off that are you or aren't you there yet. I am still undecided where I should be, and I am leaving it up to my family Doctor to tell me when I finally get to see her at the end of this month. She has known me since I was 16, so she should have a good idea where I should be. I have lost weight before, but was still high in body fat, and I am concerned that is my problem now. Here is to trying to bring that down!
Enjoy your first official maintenance day!! Woohoo!!!

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PINKSAINT247 4/1/2010 9:46AM

    awesome. keep up the keeping up you're such an inspiration to others.

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AMANDAJCD 4/1/2010 9:45AM

    That's wonderful -- congratulations! :D

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KIMH239 4/1/2010 9:38AM

    Wow! You look great and a bit younger too!! AND.....so happy! emoticon

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Challenges of Using and Understanding the SP Nutrition Tracker

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Anyone else having difficulty getting all the nutrients without going over? I've been tracking here on SP several months now and see some real trends. For example, I'm often over on iron unless I don't take my multivitamin. If I don't take the multivitamin I'm under on many nutrients including iron. Iron is one that I know will show up on my blood work, so I'll ask my doctor next month at my check up.

I don't worry about going over on Vitamin A because it is from food. I understand that over supplementing can be a problem, but usually food sources are okay. Hope that is correct.

My potassium intake is often over the recommended 3500. I don't know what you would eat to stick to that 3500 and still get enough fruits and veggies.

I'm often over the 25-35 fiber. I even raised my fiber target to 25-40, as it says that problems with malabsorption start at 50.

I'm usually low on magnesium. My multivitamin only has 25% in it and I looked for one with higher amount but did not find it. SP does comment that magnesium deficiencies are rare and that magnesium is not required to be listed on food labels, so I could be getting more than shows up. Copper is another one I'm often low on. Selenium I'm low on more often than over.

I don't understand the difference between folic acid and folate. Somehow they relate to each other. As far as Niacin goes, SP had you select your own goal. I don't think I set it correctly because I'm always over.

I always hit the 100-150 something units calcium range used. I wonder, though, how that relates to the 1000 something units, increasing to 1200 something units recommended for us over 50. I don't know if SP is accounting for that additional need.

At the end of the day, I'm often over or almost over on sodium, over on potassium, over on fiber, but I'm still looking for calories, fat, magnesium, selenium, copper. Wish SP would make suggestions for what else to eat based on what you have eaten already.

I also know that the nutrient amounts given are just estimates. How fresh things are, how they were cooked and stored, how fertile the ground where they grew was, the combination of foods I ate, how good I chewed, and many other factors contribute to how many nutrients are actually absorbed.

Occasionally I have pulled up the SP meal plans and checked everything as if I had eaten it all. When I check my results against their results I see they don't meet everything either. But I haven't done it enough to see if SP meal plans balance out in the long run. Sometimes I wonder if I need to see an RD. Or am I being compulsive? I'm probably in the top 10% of the world's most well fed people. Isn't that a blessing?!!??

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 3/31/2010 8:31PM

    I agree itís confusing, so I sent a week of my tracking to a nutritionist (love that you can download your reports in excel). Iím always over on fiber and wanted her to check that. I also mega dose on Vitamin D Ė 3500 IUs and had my doc take a blood test. Iím not even high, which says something for potency.
. emoticon
When I get my report from the nutritionist
Iíll let you know what she says

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NOTFATCAT 3/31/2010 1:16PM

    I never thought to track all these nutrients. I assumed that if I got a good, balanced meal meeting my calories, carbs, cholesterol, sat and other fat, and protein that all the vitamins and minerals would pretty much fall in line.
You have made me think I should track some of these to see if my assumption has merit.
You should contact SP and give them your dilemma.

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RISSASPIECES 3/31/2010 12:00PM

    Magnesium is supposed to be good for helping with the absorption of calcium, which is why you will off find calcium with vitamin D and magnesium. I used to track everything on here, but mostly I just do e-tools and never think about it, beyond taking some supplements. I am sort of hit or miss, for example, I only take zinc when I am healing and I only take milk thistle when I am taking medication for pain. I do try to eat a balanced diet, full of whole foods and just hope for the best. LOL

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Whitening

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

In the last year I have spent beaucoup -- bowcoo -- boughkoo - however you spell it -- but you get the idea, lots of bucks on my teeth. Two fillings, my first root canal, five crowns, and something else or two I'm forgetting. Seemed like I was at his office weekly. Anyway, my dentist sent me an appreciation "gift" for my support of his practice -- free teeth whitening. I went and had the trays made. The technician advised me to put the whitening tubes in the refrig. They have stayed there now for two weeks. Somehow I just can't seem to get motivated to wear those trays all night.

Well, the thing is, I'm thinking that there is no use whitening unless I want to give up the coffee and tea. Hmmm. Those hot drinks have helped me handle hunger. I'm not sure I can give them up and maintain my weight. It would help me a lot, though, in meeting my goal of reducing the use of artificial sweetener if I quit tea and coffee. I might like those whiter teeth, too.

So, for the month of April, I'm giving up coffee and tea. I am going to wear those trays and go for the whiter teeth. Maintaining the weight is a higher priority, but I think I can do both. We'll see. -Marsha


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTFATCAT 3/31/2010 1:18PM

    Try hot water witha dash of lemon juice or a bag of dried peppermint to ward off the hunger.

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KALIGIRL 3/30/2010 10:08PM

    Be sure and let us know how this turns out.

I too use tea as a weight control device (unsweetened and hot), but I find if I come home and have a cup of tea instead of a glass of wine, I limit my alcohol (hence calorie) intake to one glass (100 calories) with dinner.

I'm not sure I'd be successful with just water, so anxious to hear and maybe see (a photo possible?) the results.
emoticon

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MONTY68 3/30/2010 9:28PM

    Marsha

Decisions, decisions decisions. I know that you will make the right decision for you. A lot of good comments and suggestions.
If you decide to give up coffee and tea and go for it, Knowing you, you will be able to do both.


Monty

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DONNABRIGHT 3/30/2010 4:50PM

    If you don't try it, you'll always wonder if you should have done it so go for it and if it doesn't work for you at least you will know you did your best.

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AQUAGIRL08 3/30/2010 4:22PM

    Chocolate and anything else that is red (strawberries) or dark (blueberries) will do it too. It would be fun to have your teeth whitened and see what difference it made. I did it years ago and don't drink coffee and have only an occasional cup of tea. It lasts a while if you're careful. Eating chocolate and drinking reduced calorie hot chocolate in the winter took it's toll. It does brighten your smile and looks nice. Give it a shot - you might like it!

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PEGGYANNSCH 3/30/2010 4:08PM

    emoticon

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MARIEBART 3/30/2010 2:50PM

    I have whitened my teeth and drink coffee and tea. The kit I got from the dentist included 4- 4 night treatments. My generally look good for three to four months then it's time to re-apply. Just a warning, those whiteners are hard on your gums.

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JOHAL52 3/30/2010 11:42AM

    I don't drink real coffee or tea, just the herbal kind. And I always put soymilk or milk in it. I havr no staining but my teeth are slightly different colors because of all the crowns. My dentist said whitening wouldn't be a good idea because it. would only make the colour differential more noticeable. If I had a million dollars I would get my teeth veneered :)

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BAGGYPANTS5 3/30/2010 11:20AM

    Give me a good cup of tea over white teeth anytime!!
emoticon

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PERSISTANT123 3/30/2010 9:54AM

    I'm not sure I would be willing to give up my coffee for whiter teeth! You go girl! Show us how its done!!!!! emoticon
emoticonKathleen

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 3/30/2010 9:02AM

    I hope the best for you, Marsha! Let us know how this works out, ok? emoticon

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RISSASPIECES 3/30/2010 8:50AM

    I have not whitened in a long time, but years ago, I whitened my teeth to match my crown, which was placed when I was a teenager. I do drink some coffee, but I eat a healthy diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. I get my teeth cleaned twice a year and the hygienist always tells me "you have NO plaque" and she is done super fast. All of that to say, you don't really have to give up coffee and tea to have white teeth. LOL
emoticon

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