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Talk About Mindless Eating

Friday, June 04, 2010

I made it three whole days with absolutely no artificial sweetener. (I have been a Splenda-Equal-SweetnLow-saccharine "addict" for more than 35 years.)

Today my hubby did the grocery shopping as usual. He came home with sugar free chocolate mousse and handed me one, 60 calories. I ate it without even thinking. Honestly, I enjoyed it. It had absolutely no redeeming nutritional attribute. It was pure chemical junk. Yum.

That's okay. I'm giving up all or nothing thinking. I'm not throwing in the towel on my goal. Three days was a good start. I intend to have only that one sweetened treat this week. Then I'll focus on 4 or fewer packets (or equivalents) per day, which is SparkPeople's recommendation. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETHANYBOO 6/5/2010 4:01PM

    I struggle with artificial sweeteners too. I can go without them for the most part, but I do put them in tea/coffee. I can't enjoy my caffeine fix without it!

Congrats on 3 days without it. I was thinking about trying just one day without added sugars or sweeteners but it'd be hard!

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JHADZHIA 6/5/2010 1:32AM

    I can't see one little treat as a blown diet promise. I agree with the others that all or nothing was too extreme to start with when you have used them for so many years. Sparks is all about moderation, not deprivation.
There is room in our diets for a little splurge. Have to keep the inner food demon at peace and at bay by throwing him the odd little happy scrap!
Keep up the great work! You are doing so amazing!!

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MONTY68 6/4/2010 10:54PM

    Hi Marsha

You are one who looks at things and to have a goal of 4 or fewer packets is a good goal. What I am doing now is starting to read about other nutrients that I may be missing. certain vitamins and minerals. Problem with most labels don't address all of them. At my age if I just change some things I will be doing better. The real solution is going raw and I am not ready for that idea.
I know for you that you will succeed in what ever you choose to look at.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 6/4/2010 9:01PM

    I think moderation is the key here Marsha and that's what you're going to do. You have been doing a great job. It is very difficult to give up something that you have depended upon in your diet for 35 years. It all starts with baby steps. Soon it will get easier. Keep up the good work!

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ONEKIDSMOM 6/4/2010 7:44PM

    Totally agree about the all or nothing. In fact, it was a "no more than one a day"... that led to weekends soda-free, and eventually to my current streak: 159 days free. What woman has done, woman can do... by gradual steps.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EDUCGRAD 6/4/2010 7:31PM

    you have done well,but maybe cold-turkey was a bit too much too soon.I agree just taper yourself off gradually

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WATERMELLEN 6/4/2010 6:13PM

    Moderation in all things! My go-to is fat free sugar free (but not Splenda-free) yogourt: major calcium source, way fewer calories, convenient at work -- there it is!!

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WALKINGANNIE 6/4/2010 5:18PM

    That "yum" is important! You enjoyed it and ate in moderation.

You're so focused and controlled for most of the time and are dealing with a big change in habits. In the scheme of things 60 calories is just 60 calories.

As others have said recently this is about progress, not perfection - although it seems that you're very close to perfection!!

Your progress is truly motivational.


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Read the Label

Thursday, June 03, 2010

I know you should read labels and I thought I did. But on two occasions recently I found surprises, not of the good kind.

Pillsbury Grands Fat Reduced Whole Wheat biscuits that come in a refrigerated can are what I tried to get my husband to buy for some time. He likes good southern white biscuits, but mine aren't as good as his mothers. And I prefer whole wheat. And reduced fat. Finally he learned to like the Pillsbury Grands Fat Reduced Whole Wheat. And then I looked at the label carefully --- oh, no, trans fat. I usually eat 1/2 a biscuit, but my hubby usually eats 2 or 3. One biscuit is 170 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams total fat, with 1 gram saturated fat which isn't good, but then 2.5 grams of trans fat, which is terrible. Here I thought I was pushing a healthier option. Darn. He won't want to change again.

I looked carefully at the canned Del Monte Diced Tomatoes No Salt Added. The ingredients are tomatoes, tomato juice, calcium chloride, and citric acid. Not bad. One half cup serving is 25 calories. It has 300 mg of potassium, 2 grams fiber, and 4 grams of sugar. Then I looked at the Del Monte Diced Tomatoes Basil, Garlic, and Oregano No Salt Added: tomatoes, tomato juice, high fructose corn syrup, garlic powder, spices, onion powder, calcium chloride, citric acid, and natural flavor. One half cup is 50 calories, twice the amount of the unflavored variety. It has 1 gram fiber (half) and 8 grams sugar (twice). It has 125 mg potassium (less than half). I have been using the flavored tomatoes to mix half and half with spaghetti sauce to reduce my sodium. I will now use the unspiced variety and add my own spices. I had just assumed that the spiced variety was the same, only with spices.

Even when you think you know, be sure to read the label. Have a happy, healthy day, SparkFriends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 6/4/2010 1:03PM

    Amen - the less processed the better!

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JHADZHIA 6/3/2010 11:35PM

    My Mom can't get my close scrutiny of labels. I had loved these whole wheat mini bagels, low cal, low fat, everything natural. Unfortunately, they are very hard to get. I have been trying to find alternatives with out much luck. I saw a new thing on a label: enriched white wheat flour?? White whole grain buns?? Not what they usually say. Is this the same thing as white flour with some grains added so they can call it whole grain or whole wheat??
They were low calorie and seemed not to have any bad things in them but really.
I am glad I don't use processed foods. My raw vegetarian diet doesn't leave me guessing. I am only trying to add grains for the fiber. I am not a cereal or bread fan.
Better luck with your food and labels..

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WALKINGANNIE 6/3/2010 6:16PM

    Thanks Marsha. This is a good reminder that we have to alert at all times and not make assumptions, even if they are quite reasonable.

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WILD4STARS 6/3/2010 5:03PM

    Could be that when you first bought the biscuits there was NO trans fat and then they changed the recipe. I have had that happen. I find something I like, it has no high fructose corn syrup and I get into the habit of buying it, then one day I look at the ingredients, maybe looking for something else and there it is. Even stuff you buy all the time you have to occasionally re-check that label.

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JBINAUSTIN 6/3/2010 4:22PM

    You said it! You have to read the labels all the time. And I find it particularly annoying when a brand uses a healthy food as a lure to get you to buy its less healthy options. Like your lower-salt tomatoes where the plain is OK but the flavored variety has more sugar and fewer nutrients.

My own hot button these days is Chocolate Cheerios. They market them in the same ads as regular Cheerios to imply that they have the same amount of heart healthy oats. They do not.

Keep reading!

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    Great Blog!

Thanks for the warning!

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Raisins in My Oatmeal

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I am celebrating a big accomplishment! A streak of one day may not be particularly impressive to most people, but I think this one may be significant. I did something yesterday that I haven't done for at least 35 years. I went the entire day without any artificial sweetener. No diet soda, no Crystal Light, no packets of yellow or blue or pink, no diet pancake syrup, no sugar free pudding, no sugar free Klondike bar, etc.

In December of 2009 I started counting my artificial sweetener. It felt like just paying attention to it may have reduced my use, but I used about 12 colored packets (Splenda, Equal, Sweet n Low) per day plus other artifically sweetened products. I tried to gradually cut down. I had some success. But it was harder than starting strength training, harder than my cardio exercise streak, even harder than managing the number on the scale, and definitely harder than drinking 8 glasses of water. I got down to about 8 packets per day and then stalled.

So I decided to go cold turkey. Yesterday I succeeded. I'm going to try to keep the streak going at least a week. Long range I am aiming for 4 or less packets or equivalent per day, the recommendation of SparkPeople.

Every positive streak starts with a first day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    keep it up marsha!

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WILD4STARS 6/2/2010 5:46PM

    I cook my oatmeal in fat free vanilla soy milk. It does have some sugar in it, not much. Gives it just that little bit of sweet that I like. I also use raisins and some cinnamon. Congratulations on day 1 of a long and healthy streak!
emoticon emoticon
Happy Sparking,

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AQUAGIRL08 6/2/2010 2:54PM

    Raisins in oatmeal are very sweet! I occasionally drink a diet coke but somewhere along the line I pretty much stopped (except for an occasional exception) using artificial sweeteners. I'm not even sure when it happened but reading your blog made me realize that about one and a half years ago (shortly after I started on SP) I suddenly stopped. Since water is my main drink, I usually have little use for any kind of sweetener. Perhaps that's why I stopped using artificial sweeteners.

Kudos to you for going a whole day without. I know that is a big milestone for you and that it's hard. You are making so much progress Marsha. You should be proud of yourself. I know that I'm proud of you! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EILEENV3 6/2/2010 1:35PM

Except for Diet Coke, I like Stevia if I sweeten teas.
I also like raisens in oatmeal. For me, they are enough.
I had a thought as I read your post. I use unflavored yogurt (I have sugar issues). Sometimes I add sugar free choc. pudding (however-that does use the artifical sweetner) AND sometimes I add nut butters (almond, tahini, or peanut butter) to the yogurt. I wonder if the nut butters would work in yogurt.
Anyway, keep up the good work. emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 6/2/2010 1:14PM

    Well done on this accomplishment Marsha!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 6/2/2010 1:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FREELADY 6/2/2010 10:45AM

    This is fantastic! A very courageous step! Now I am reminded to be strong myself!!

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PHEBESS 6/2/2010 10:18AM

    Good job! And a little cinnamon in the oatmeal makes it sweet without artificial sweeteners!

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SLIMMERJESSE 6/2/2010 9:09AM

    Congrats! If you can continue this streak, you will be absolutely amazed at how much better you feel. Best wishes for continued success.

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DONNABRIGHT 6/2/2010 9:03AM

    I love raisins in oatmeal - dried apricots are also wonderful. Juat a few make such a difference.

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JOHAL52 6/2/2010 8:30AM

    That's terrific Marsha! The only artificial sweetener I "use" is my daily can of Diet Coke. I am trying to cut that out as well and now that school has finished I am going to go every other day and then to once a week.

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WATERMELLEN 6/2/2010 8:14AM

    Yay raisins! I don't use much artifical sweetenr (certainly fewer than 4 packets a day) or products (a can or two of diet soda, maybe) but have to applaud your determination to go cold turkey . . . Well done!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 6/2/2010 7:52AM

    You know what? It's YOUR accomplishment... by no one else's standards but your own! I'm celebrating with you!! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 6/2/2010 7:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I think that is great!! Good for you Marsha!! I have never used artificial sweeteners or sugar at all. Its not something I can fathom using. I just like all my tastes to be natural. When I first started drinking herbal teas, I had them black. Its all I drink other than water and one cup of unsweetened, unflavored soy milk. After what happened with that one sweetener, I don't know if I would trust any of them!
Here is to living a natural, healthy lifestyle!


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KOMA0603 6/2/2010 7:50AM

    great job keep up the great work.

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Don't Burn the Beans

Monday, May 31, 2010

The good news is I got 9 hours of sleep, awaking without an alarm, feeling very energetic. The bad news is that I forgot about my beans cooking in the crockpot - no salt added pintos. Instead of cooking 6 hours, they were on high for 15 hours. Yuck.

Hope you remember the big things and the little things this Memorial Day! -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 6/1/2010 12:52PM

    Don't sweat the small stuff.
emoticon for the reminder.

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JAY75REY 5/31/2010 11:17PM

    Oh yes, my mom with her 10 kids was occasionally guilty of burning the beans too which she cooked on the stovetop in a big pot. Also, don't burn the rice either!

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MEXGAL1 5/31/2010 10:03PM

    Glad you got a good night's sleep....too bad about your beans.

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JHADZHIA 5/31/2010 9:37PM

    Sorry about the beans:( Wow NINE hours sleep!! I can't imagine what that would be like! Lucky you!!
Enjoy your evening!

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SLIMMERJESSE 5/31/2010 4:38PM

    Oh well about the beans! But great about a good night's sleep. Have a wonderful day.

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WALKINGANNIE 5/31/2010 3:56PM

    Well I gues that you were full of beans one way or the other!

Glad you had a sound sleep and hope that you enjoyed the rest of the day. emoticon

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MERALO 5/31/2010 3:26PM

    I hate that smell when you leave something on all wakes you up in the middle of the night, wondering what on earth just died in the kitchen!

Glad you had a good night's rest, hope you have a great day!

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MONTY68 5/31/2010 12:21PM

    Hi Marsha
I guess the true way of knowing if we have had enough sleep is waking up without a alarm. That is wonderful. I have a question, I don't have a crockpot, Do they not have a timer that would shut something off? If, they don't it would be a good idea. Sorry about the beans.

Enjoy your Day, the weather is sunny but of course expecting the afternoon showers. but that shouldn't interfere with a good day.
We really do need to remember why we celebrate this day, to many just take for granted what we have.


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Hungry Week

Sunday, May 30, 2010

All last week I was hungry -- extra hungry. I actually went over my calorie range 4 times -- 3 times just a little and I balanced it with extra activity; one day I overate at least 400 calories. Yesterday, though, the extra hunger wasn't there. I don't know what was different. Today my hunger seems normal again.

Perhaps the lesson is to remember when I'm extra hungry to do the best I can and it will pass.

Perhaps there is something I am eating that triggers the extra hunger.

Perhaps it is emotional.

One mistake I made last week was in tracking. I tended to quit tracking when I was out of calories. I think if I would track everything, it might help me figure out what triggers the extra hunger. I could analyze just what I ate. I might need to note other stressors as well. I think it would be worth the effort.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONTY68 5/30/2010 9:56PM

    Hi Marsha
I didn't realize that you weren't tracking everything. I have experienced that feeling of hunger from time to time but fortunately I have calories that I can use. There have been times within a short period after eating that I feel hungary and shouldn't be. Annie suggested looking at the chart and see f like she said carbs were off. I can't go back because I don't remember now when they were but can go forward.
Thanks for sharing your feelings of hunger.


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 5/30/2010 7:31PM

    It's the excess carbs thing for me too which triggers hunger: gotta get enough protein (without getting too much fat).

Yay Nutrition Tracker for helping me realize where to "spend" the last calories of the day most wisely . . .

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DONNABRIGHT 5/30/2010 4:49PM

    I always thought if you didn't track the food you could pretend it had no calories!!!!!! emoticon

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THERAPIST2 5/30/2010 2:21PM

    Great job taking a good look at your week and figuring out some steps to take!

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WALKINGANNIE 5/30/2010 1:37PM

    I'm so glad that you're back on track Marsha. It's good that you blog, track and update your status as you will be able to check back on what you did if you develop any theories later on about why you were extra hungry.

I think I've worked out that I get hungrier if carbs dominate too much on any day. I seem OK if I eat carbs within the recommended carbs / fat / protein balance but if I go over - even within the overall calorie range - I feel hungrier.

I don't know whether this resonates with you or not.

It's very helpful that we're looking for answers and experimenting within this supportive group.

Hope you have a more satisfying week this week!

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JHADZHIA 5/30/2010 1:34PM

    Glad things are back to normal for you! That is the same thing I do too. Eat more exercise more, don't bother counting either of them. I know if I exercise more, I need to eat more and vice versa. I am just a little tired of the time it takes to record every little thing, its taking up too much time. My sister never records anything and she is doing great (and looking great too!)
Keep up the good work!

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AQUAGIRL08 5/30/2010 1:06PM

    I do the same thing. When I do track, I tend to skip the extra calories. I'm glad you're back on track. Good job!

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