Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Finally yet ANOTHER nutrition myth debunked!!! Yes Sparkers, 2010 has been a good year in the area of nutrition and fitness information (as opposed to much mis-information of the past).
The short story: There is nothing wrong with eating unprocessed meat (red meat or otherwise), period. More specifically, eating *unprocessed* meat does NOT increase a person's risk of cardiovascular diseases and/or diabetes, not to mention colon cancer, in-grown toenails, hair loss, etc. All this according to Harvard School of Public Health (not exactly a fly-by-night operation)
Now, you might be wondering ... what exactly is *unprocessed* meat? It's the normal chicken, pork, steak, lamb, etc that you find in the butcher section of the store. Including my RibEye steaks, yumm yumm !!!
Seafood was not included in the Harvard study, but I dare say that my salmon, lobster tails, and shrimp all pass a similar test of healthiness.
On the other hand, the PROCESSED stuff, like bacon, salami, sausages, hot dogs or processed deli or luncheon meats......yeah, it's THAT stuff that's causing all the problems, look out Subway!!! Long knowing that they were loaded with SODIUM (among other things), I've always just said NO to processed meats.
Read all about it, if you like:
Now, next time you see me in a restaurant enjoying my thick juicy 18 oz Bone-in Ribeye steak with a large order of broccoli and a small side salad, you can truly see it as the picture of healthy and CLEAN eating, da ha!
No wonder my body has been running so wonderfully on this stuff, I knew I was doing something right in spite of all the naysayers!
And yes, I do know that "Meat is Murder" people.........tasty, tasty, juicy murder at that!!!
Monday, June 07, 2010
Yes, as they say, kids say the darnedest things sometimes, ya know.
They always remind me how kids learn habits, good or bad, from what they see their parents doing. I’m always proud to see them picking up little nuggets of nutritional sense that will benefit them later in life, but it makes for “classic” moments when they turn my own words of wisdom back on me.
In celebration of school being out, I decided to celebrate the event having dinner out at, of all places, IHOP. Now my kids have gotten used to seeing me order the steak&eggs or pork chops&eggs, turning down the pancakes, of course----while they "carb out" (as my 10 yr old calls it) each of them ordering a tall stack of pancakes and a side order of hash browns, washing it all down with apple juice and a glass of milk, respectively. Definitely a "carb bonanza" for them!!!
Yes, I've educated them to know that, right now, they don't need to worry about eating like me --- or rather, I can't eat like them and still have "huge muscles" (as they both say). They're still growing "up" so they get a pass on eating different --- I do remind them that once they stop growing "up", then that's when they will start to growing "out" if they don't change up their eating habits. But anyway, back to IHOP.
So there we were and my kids were trying to figure out what to order. Previously excited to be going to IHOP, their mood had changed while looking at the menu.
Of course, both of them wanted the pancakes, but they were commenting that they hadn't done anything all day to "burn energy". They had planned on riding their bikes, playing outside or spending the whole day at the pool, but had slumped into a TV induced coma for the whole day. Now my youngest daughter was looking at all the "energy food" (that's what carbs are, true?) they were getting ready to order.
My oldest daughter had that same concern, but another one even more pressing. If she ate the pancakes, hash browns and apple juice (yikes, how much sugar is all that?) for dinner THEN......she knew (without a doubt) that she was gonna be starving, starving, STARVING in the morning for breakfast when she woke up Apparently this was a problem because she likes to vegge out for about an hour when she first wakes up, stretching and rolling around in the bed with the TV on, rather than being immediately bothered by nutritional concerns and a growling stomach.
As the server walked up to take our order, they continued their debate amongst themselves, with my 10 yr old trying to get her sister to commit to an ambitious activity plan for the following day, to make up for the dinner carbs.
So, I placed my order: The tall stack of pancakes, the T-Bone steak and a large glass of milk. Hearing this, both my kids fell silent and looked at me, pausing, then looked at each other. I and the server were both patiently awaiting their order.
My 12 yr old started, "Ahhhh dad.........what are you doing?" "Ahhhh.........what *AM* I doing?", I asked back.
My 10 yr old jumped in, "You're ordering PAN-CAKES?!?!?" "Yeah, so what???", I asked her.
My 12 yr old came right back, "Pancakes with milk, dad. Seriously??? Seriously???" Feeling a little bit put on the spot, "Yes seriously, pancakes with milk. What's the problem?", I came right back at her.
My 10 yr old then asked me was I sure that I wanted to be dealing with the subsequent "gastrointestinal problems" that were surely to follow from me eating all that bread? My 12 yr old confirmed that I wanted to deal with being lazy the next morning, not having any energy, not wanting to get out of bed and definitely not feeling like going to the gym the next evening? Generally feeling crappy until all that mess was flushed out of my system?
I have to admit that I was quite impressed at my two young ladies as they conveyed their sage-like warnings to their ole man.
Everything they mentioned was true, yes. Nonetheless, I told them that I would be alright. I reminded them once AGAIN, they while it's true, they hardly never, never, ever, ever see me eat such foods, I *AM* quite capable of eating it, and actually (maybe surprisingly to them) IHOP pancakes do taste so good, even to me!
They were unimpressed to say the least, and my 12 yr old all but threatened me that I better still go to the gym the next evening, no excuses!! So, as was the plan, we ended up having us a good ole carb binge at IHOP.
Now later that night around 9pm, I found myself .... *strangely* .... suddenly .... having an *unexplainable* craving for some Chips Ahoy cookies. My kids being home, meaning, there's junk food in the house, oh well.
So I went to the kitchen and got 3 Chips Ahoy cookies on a small plate, along with a glass of ice cold milk. Sitting back on the couch, I told my 10 yr old (owner of the cookies) that I had taken 3 of her stash.
They only get one junk food item per week to make last for 7 days, so I didn't want my 3 cookies to throw off her rationing plan for the week. As she was in the middle of a very important clay molding project, she really wasn't paying any attention to me when I told her about my “borrowing” some of her cookies. She didn't even look up from what she was doing, she just answered "Yeah...ok...whatever..."
Biting into the first cookie, I let out a long sigh ..... "Mmmmmmmmmhhh, these cookies are good". Sitting on the floor, she turned to me, just as I took a long swig of milk. She had the most stunned look on her face I sat there smiling like the cat that ate the rat.
She sprang to her feet and ran to get her sister, "Come quick! Daddy's eating cookies! Daddy's eating cookies!" .... I'm sitting there on the couch thinking, "What the hell???", I even had a little swarm of butterflies fly through my stomach…..
They both bolted back into the room and screeched to a halt, stopping on a dime, eyes wide open....standing right in front of the tv, mind you. Finishing my first cookie with another big chomp, asked them both “What?!?!?”
My 12 yr old asked, very slowly, "Dad? What .... are .... you .... doing?" I replied, just as slowly, "Eating .... cookies ....???"
Raising her hand to her hip, she then asked "And WHY are you eating cookies?!?!"
I popped another whole cookie into my mouth and then mumbled to her, "Can you please move, you're blocking the TV, thank you!"
During their following rants and raves, I tuned out to whatever it was they were actually saying, thinking instead to myself about how much good nutritional information they already have as a baseline. Even on the fitness side, they've got the right idea. Always funny seeing them striking their little bodybuilder poses and checking out their bulging muscles (not!) in the mirror --- and them wondering "when, when, WHEN" will they finally be old enough to start working out with me at the gym???
I finally ended the conversation about the cookies, telling both my kids, "Hey!!! For real, are 3 cookies really that bad, seriously???"
My 10 yr old answered it best, " Well dad, you always say --- If you wanna be 'fluffy', eat a bunch of 'fluffy stuff' ......so you been working on 'extra EXTRA fluffy' all day today, huh? "
With a smirk, they both left the room --- they didn't get to see my pitch my last cookie in the trash
Friday, May 28, 2010
Yes, time to add another question to my Top Ten Listing:
Q: How do I get more willpower? How can I resist that box of Pop Tarts calling to me from the cupboard? Or that gallon of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream whispering sweet nothings to me every time I open my freezer? The Ring Ding’s, Ho Ho’s and Doritos, all calling to me in perfect three part harmony, how do I keep from eating all that stuff when I get a bad craving?
Say what? Really Really? You can’t seriously be serious, can you…asking a question like that?
Because when I heard those questions, I think --- the same thing that the others of us that truly “get it” think --- I think to myself , “What the hell is all that junk doing in your house in the first place??? Did someone break into your house and drop off a load of junk food when you were away at work???"
Discipline and Willpower (for me) starts at the grocery store! Strange thought, huh? Yes, all my “food” shopping occurs only on the edges of the grocery store --- fresh veggies, fresh produce and fresh fruits first. Then the dairy section for eggs, bacon, cheese, soy milk, etc. Finally the fresh meats section, fish, shrimp, chicken, pork, and beef. Maybe swing through the frozen veggies section for a few items, frozen peas, frozen corn, frozen lima beans? And that’s it for food, I’m done yippie!
I often look at the aisles and aisles of non-food stuff in the middle of the store, wondering really, what is that stuff even there for? The entire baking aisle with cake mixes, pancake mixes, waffle mixes, the cold cereals and breakfast bars aisle (they need a whole aisle for that mess?), the prepackaged foods like hamburger helper and suddenly salad, the snacks aisle with the cookies, chips, donuts (plus more of the same in the bakery section, but that stuff is at least ‘fresh’,huh?) and candy, even the rice, processed potatoes and pasta section…..I wonder to myself, who in the world is eating all this stuff?
Of course, I get to the check-out counter and see shopping basket after shopping basket, all that look drastically different than mine --- oh well, each to their own.
Yes, there are many a night that I might sit on my couch watching TV, thinking to myself that a great snack would be 3-4 Hostess Cupcakes and a tall ice cold glass of milk. Or better yet, two King sized Baby Ruth candy bars, again with the tumbler (or two) of ice cold milk on the side. But guess what, none of this garbage is anywhere to be found in my kitchen! And it ain’t never that serious enough of a craving to make a special trip out to Quick Trip at 9pm just for some junk.
What do I find instead to satisfy my sweet tooth? Oranges, honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon galore --- cause I’m fully stocked on those at all times.
I don’t think any of us are in the business of throwing money away, so realize, if you buy something from the store --- that family size bag of Oreo’s --- you’re buying it because you plan on eating it … someday, one day … it’s premeditated, plain and simple. No amount of willpower will save you.
So it’s really not willpower and dedication at all that keeps me on track when the craving for junk hits at 8pm --- I’m just stuck eating what’s already in arms reach, lol.
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Finally some sanity about dietary cholesterol, i.e. cholesterol in the foods that we eat vs. blood cholesterol. Yes, I've been enjoying my Eggs, Ribeye steaks, and definitely skin on my chicken all along, now the masses can join me !!!
They're still coming out of left field on the sugar though, they tried to defend the "sugar is good" nonsense. Note though, they limited the "sugar" consumption to 'no more than 200 calories (or less) per day', yeah, it must be real healthy then, right?
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” - Lao Tzu
“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still” - Lao Tzu
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Well, I reached my threshold for getting this question posed to me from fellow Sparkers:
Q1: Don’t those “zero calorie” artificial sweetners, like Spenda, actually make you fat?
WOW! That’s gotta be like the biggest “Wow” question I’ve ever gotten here on Spark, seriously!
The other related questions:
“I heard they’re bad for you because they mess up your metabolism?”
“Don’t they trigger an insulin rush?”
“They’re not safe for you to eat anyway, real sugar is better cause there is nothing wrong with real sugar”
“Don’t they make you crave more carbs?”
But before I begin with an answer, first, most definitely I am NOT the FDA nor do I oversee their activities. That being said, it’s THEIR job to determine if there is enough scientific evidence to conclude if something, natural or otherwise, is SAFE for us to eat (or unsafe).
Second, if there are some people out there that can’t handle sweet stuff on the tongue without having a craving for MORE sweet tasting stuff later…then yes, regular coke or coke zero, it’s gonna be the same thing in your head, cause yeah, they do taste the same.
Third, yes God made ‘real sugar’…God also made marijuana. So they are thus healthy choices? To that I say, it all depends on what your GOALS are.
Last, well yes, *if* your body tries to treat anything that you are putting into your mouth as "a meal" then yes, I suppose sitting around all day drinking Diet Cokes may have some other effects, but that's a big *IF* in my book. Plus since I don't do it, I don't have a clue about it. I usually do have at least "something food" even with my protein shakes (a piece of fruit, etc) for this among other reasons.
But, back to the “Is it the zero calorie stuff that’s making me fat???”. My answer, I’m not sure how in the heck your body could be able to make something out of nothing, plain and simple.
Now, it all reminds me of a previous co-worker of mine who at a time was complaining to me about having trouble losing weight. Me being the office health food nut/gym rat (of course), he thought that I might have some ideas. Him being a particularly stout fellow (5’8” and 300+lbs), I initially asked only one question, “Well, how often do you eat bread, rice, pasta or potatoes?” He laughed a big laugh and responded, “Hell, everyday, every meal dude!!! What else is there to eat???” So, I told him that I wasn’t sure exactly what his problem was, that I would have to think about it a little bit more.
Now, shortly after that, I had the chance to go to lunch with my friend, he chose Wendy’s that day, ugh. Getting up to the counter, I placed my order: Grilled chicken sandwich combo (yes with the dreaded bread) BUT could I please substitute the fries for a fruit cup (this was the time before doing that was fashionable, you had to pay extra) and water to drink.
My friend placed his order after me: Two Wendy’s Triples (hold the tomato), a ‘Biggie’ Fry and a ‘Great Biggie’ Diet Coke (Yes, that’s how long ago it was, we still had the “biggie” options at the Wendy’s counter). I had to speak up of course, “Dude?!? You’re gonna eat all that??? What the hell?? You’re supposed to be on a diet??”. He responded, “Yeah, yeah, yeah…but I’m having a Diet Coke with it”, and on that point, I dropped it. But, while we were eating our lunch he proceeded to tell me that he was trying to start off his diet ‘slowly’, by first giving up regular soda/pop for diet versions, in order to cut calories. A noble effort, but I was nonetheless unimpressed.
Now probably two months after that my friend again came to my office, this time with news about his diet. He was actually gonna have to stop drinking all those diet drinks because he had started gaining weight when he started drinking Diet Coke all the time, so he had read somewhere that those artificial sweeteners actually are bad for you because they trick your body into getting fat. Say what???
I then responded “jokingly” that maybe we could solve the world’s hunger problems that way……start shipping Diet Coke around the world. People would at least put on weight and be fat (while still malnourished of course) just from drinking more Diet Coke? He gave me a curious look, like he was thinking “Now why does it sound so damn stupid ‘that drinking Diet Coke (alone) can make you fat’ when you put it that way?”, and he walked away.
But it got me to thinking….what the heck is going on with this idea. I had to explore it more, and that’s just what I did. So, in a nutshell, here’s what actually happened. There were lots of studies but most of them followed this general outline.
Some white lab coat science people took a bunch of rats and divided them up into groups. They then fed one set of these rats some (actually a ton) of these zero-calorie artificial sweeteners, presumably by itself or maybe dissolved in water, who knows….in any case, it had to be pretty controlled that it was ALL they were getting. At the same time, they fed the other group of rats some (another ton) “regular sugar”. They then waited for awhile, and the waiting WAS important you see. After the waiting period, they turned both groups of rats loose on their normal “food” (which was high in fat mind you) to see what they would do. Then after a pre-determined “feeding time”, they then took the food away from both groups of rats.
Now, a funny thing happened (well it was funny to them): Seems that the rats that were juiced up on the zero-calorie stuff prior to their real meal, strangely they ended up eating more of their actual “food” food when it was presented to them (shocking, right?). And by eating more of their “food” food, they consumed more calories and gained more weight, compared to the other “regular sugar” rats that is.
The white coat guys then loosely concluded that maybe the zero-calorie stuff was playing tricks on the rats brains, maybe somehow throwing off the metabolism of the rats, in some way messing with their insulin production/receptors, yadda yadda yadda they used a bunch of big words……but they definitely knew that for some reason the “zero calorie rats” ended up being more hungry and eating more actual food. But, of course, more study was obviously needed to determine exactly why, what mechanism is at work.
Now to me, this is a more than just a little bit silly….my momma always told me that “book smarts” will get you a long way through life, but “street smarts” will keep you from getting your pocket picked along the way.
I have kids and I know for a fact….if I let them both have a sleeve of Oreo’s for their “snack”….say 45-60 minutes BEFORE dinner-time, then at dinner-time, they’re not gonna be the least bit interested in their actual food. Why? Cause the sugar they ate ruined their appetite, duh!
But I also know, it’s all a matter of “timing”. The good thing about appetite is that right behind the first one that was ruined, there’s another one coming (even stronger off a sugar rush). So, those same kids that turned their nose up at dinner (“I’m not hungry!!!), are gonna be “starving” again like 90-120 minutes AFTER finishing the Oreo’s, of course by now dinner has been cleared from the table and the kitchen “cleaned and closed” for the night, feel me?
Now, yes the same thing holds true for drinks. I know for a fact that if I let ONE of my kids have a ‘great biggie’ glass of apple juice before dinner (which she loves to do), while the OTHER one drinks 0 calorie Life Water……….then the one that had the apple juice is gonna be less interested in actual food when dinner is actually served, whereas the one that had the Life Water is gonna still be hungry for dinner. Mind you, the “apple juice kid” is gonna be starving like crazy just as the dishwasher kicks in on the dirty dishes. Yes, I’ve got my own little test lab at home…but no animals were harmed.
So back to the lab rats, the zero calorie rats ate more food because their appetite for food was not ruined with actual sugar….maybe, huh?
And back to my Wendy’s friend, I eventually had to ask him about his assessment that Diet Coke was making him fat, as opposed to the TWO Wendy’s Triple’s and the Biggie Fry he was eating? His answer: He was previously only having one of those Wendy’s Triples, the Biggie Fry and the regular Coke (with refills of course). He noticed that when he switched to Diet Coke, he was hungrier later in the day. I told him, yes, he would be hungrier later in the day because yes, he had eaten 1200+ less calories at lunch time without the 4-5 Coke refills. Funny thing, at that time he was actually losing weight, and to lose weight, yes we have to walk around a little bit hungry. But because he was hungrier, he thought ‘something was wrong’, so he started having the TWO Triples to hold himself over until dinner time.
So I pointed out to him that when he started just drinking the Diet Coke, he was losing weight. When he then added more food, the extra sandwich, he started gaining weight. Maybe it was the extra sandwich that was the issue, not the Diet Coke?
He then had the thought out loud, “Well I wonder why drinking Diet Coke would make me more hungry then???”
"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading." - Lao Tzu
"He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still" - Lao Tzu
You didn't mention if you possibly have a thyroid problem?
You referenced 22lbs of weight gain "over the holidays", which I would think would mean 2-3 weeks maybe? That type of weight gain, definitely there is something drastic going on with your metabolism that is not normal. Maybe it's triggered or made worse by Splenda, yes that I don't know. But it sounds to me like 22 lbs of weight gain due to a metabolic imbalance has to be attributed to another underlying medical condition that should be diagnosed, and not just chalked up to "zero calorie" sweetners. True, you shouldn't use them if that's their affect on you, but also, ask yourself...what is making your body react to them in such a profound way.
Generally they just don't have that "weight gain" affect on the general public of people with normal metabolisms and normal hormone profiles/responses, at least according to the FDA.
Get An Email Alert Each Time SNIKWAD Posts