VHALKYRIE   16,233
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Lunch Time!

Monday, July 30, 2012

In our last episode, I 'quit' the role of nutritionist for the hubs because of what we shall refer to as 'the frozen yogurt incident'. Originally he asked me to tell him exactly what to eat, but I knew that would eventually end up where it did. But on top of that I didn't really like 'the job'. Mainly because, well, I'm lazy.


It was a lot of effort to do meal planning like that for the both of us!

Today he was on his own for lunch again. When he came home, he went back to his usual routine raiding the refrigerator while I'm trying to finish dinner. He's stark raving mad with hunger, asking when dinner is going to be ready, and I say never if he keeps blocking my access to the cutting board!


I asked him what he had for lunch. He had a can of Progresso soup. I said, "Not very filling, eh?" He nods in agreement.

Hehe...no, I haven't given up! Still trying to point out how certain foods makes him feel. He's getting it.


After dinner, I offer if he'd like me to pack his lunch for tomorrow. He agrees that my lunches left him less hungry (and better tasting!).

Leftover dill sockeye salmon from dinner, salad with cucumbers and bell peppers, piece of cheese, handful of cherries and mixed nuts. He hates the tuna kit, but there's just a few left.

He's not crazy about the breakfast bars I bought either, but he ate one this morning. Probably doesn't like it because it's not very sugary.


I made another batch of protein bars last night, trying to improve the recipe. I baked them gently this time so they were a little more solid at room temp. The macro components went a little crazy though, way off from what I intended. This is why I'm not really a fan of baking. It's like chemistry, and chemistry was my least favorite science in school! Despite the bazillion recipes online, I haven't found one I like 'off the shelf' either.

Speaking of which, I had a few people ask about my cooking blog. I intend to update it soon. When I originally started it, I wasn't doing low carb. I'm slowly adding new content with my updated cooking style. I have lots of pictures taken, just have to get around to writing them up.

I gave the "Loseit" app a try, but I've decided to go back to "DailyBurn". It calculates the totals closer to the way I expect. And it has food labels in grams, which I prefer. I'm finishing out my tracking with the Spark totals for this month, then switching to "DailyBurn". I'll try to keep Spark updated with my food too, in case anyone finds it useful or interesting to see what I'm eating.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLJEAN64 7/31/2012 4:05PM

    I still want you as my personal chef!!!

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GETSTRONGRRR 7/31/2012 3:42PM

    Hey so you can tell DH, straight from my lips, that going low carb can be a virtual Man-feast.

This past week, I ate more bacon, more prime rib (with the fatty bits), more Caesar salads (minus croutons), had roast chicken breasts (with the crunchy skin on it), spare ribs & short ribs, and even had the gall to tell the chef to "slice me off a piece skin" from the roast suckling pig at dinner.

Yeah every now and then the breads and desserts looked tempting, but I went through the day without ever feeling hungry and ate my fill at every meal without gaining an ounce.

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CTTAGENT 7/31/2012 12:38PM

    Sounds like he will come around, in time. Keep doing what you can, if nothing else by example.

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VHALKYRIE 7/31/2012 12:15PM

    MYLADY4: My DH said almost word for word the same: "but sugar gives me energy"!!!

Yeah sure, the "frozen yogurt incident" gave him 30 minutes of energy, after which he started yawning all the way back home. Which was another hour in the drive. After which, he napped on the couch while I made us dinner.

Great energy. :P

Comment edited on: 7/31/2012 12:15:58 PM

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MYLADY4 7/31/2012 11:22AM

    I think he will eventually get it.

Trying real hard with mine too. I asked him to STOP buying the red yoplait cause it has way to much sugar in it. His response last night "so sugar is worse for you then fat" I almost wanted to scream YES!!!!!!!! He said but I like sugar, it gives me energy as to which I said, that is wrong then that you are relying on sugar to give you energy.

Baby steps, baby steps.

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BILL60 7/31/2012 8:53AM

    Hang tough and slap him upside the head once in a while. We really need that.

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MYTURN11 7/31/2012 7:01AM

    Now that is healthy fare ~ I hope he enjoys it and is grateful emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 7/30/2012 11:39PM

    Does the DailyBurn tracker work offline with an iPod or iPhone, as well as sync up with a website when it does have a connection?

And I can't figure out whether DailyBurn is free or just a free trial, etc.

Comments? Suggestions? LOL

Comment edited on: 7/30/2012 11:47:57 PM

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NAYPOOIE 7/30/2012 11:07PM

    Well, if you can get him to eat a decent lunch, that's a start.

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WOUBBIE 7/30/2012 10:39PM

    Slow and steady wins the race, right?

My DH baked up some bacon tonight (first day in weeks that it wasn't torture to get the oven going). That's probably his best choice for breakfast in the car. Portable, easy to eat even when you're not really hungry, and it's one of his favorite foods.

Comment edited on: 7/31/2012 8:27:17 AM

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Exercise on Sugar or Fat Burning Fuel

Monday, July 30, 2012

Those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s are familiar with the conventional wisdom advice that we need carbohydrates for energy. Without carbohydrates, we'll run out of energy during exercise and performance will suffer.

I am not a high performance athlete. I have no intention of running a marathon. I know many Sparklers who aspire to this challenge, and I applaud them. That feat of aerobic exercise is a major accomplishment for many who started from couch potato-ville.

I don't enjoy running. I never have. In high school/college, I played soccer, which was mostly sprinting and agility. As I got older and fatter, I disliked running even more as it put stress on my knees, shins and feet.

Even though I don't run, I am pretty active. I enjoy hiking, cycling, kayaking, long walks on beaches, snorkeling and diving.

This has not changed with my lower carbohydrate diet.

A brief simplified explanation on how our bodies turns food into energy.

GLUCOSE - Carbs and sucrose are broken down to get at the glucose molecules. Starches (potatoes and rice) require no breakdown and are used immediately as glucose. Insulin is released in order to provide cells with energy. Excess glucose is stored in fat cells. High blood sugar is toxic, so glucose is given priority for 'use it or store it' to maintain a neutral blood sugar range.

FRUCTOSE - Unlike glucose, it is broken down and metabolized primarily in the liver. Fructose decreases insulin and leptin, which are responsible for decreasing appetite, and increases ghrelin, which increases appetite. You get hungrier eating high levels of fructose. Unused fructose is stored in the liver and other organs. High fructose consumption, either from syrups or excessive fruit consumption, can lead to non alcoholic fatty liver disease and visceral fat. High fructose consumption can also lead to a type of IBS called fructose malabsorption through promoting overgrowth of bad gut bacteria and fungus.

GLYCOGEN - The quantity of calorie rich carbs didn't come about until the advent of agriculture. Our species evolved to use or store carbs when available. Glycogen is stored muscle energy. Whenever we need a quick burst of energy, like when sprinting or picking up something very heavy, glycogen is fired to provide muscle energy quickly. The more muscle endurance you train, the better your glycogen store. Glycogen replenishment is the highest priority destination for carbs. Depleted glycogen will always be replenished first, before it is stored as fat, thus is it highly desirable. However, if you don't exercise, you never deplete glycogen, and it is more likely to be stored as fat. This is one reason why people who are very active have better carb tolerance. More glycogen storage means a beneficial place for those carbs to go.

There is a downside, though. Total glycogen depletion will cause a massive energy drop. Runners know this as "the wall". Burn out all your glycogen, and your muscles can't move.

TRIGLYCERIDES - They have a bad rap due to the low-fat theory claiming fat increases risk of cardiovascular disease. The higher your triglycerides, the increased risk of metabolic syndrome and heart disease. This is all true. Fat consumption does create triglycerides. But...there is a missing piece of information. It is a fuel source. And high T's are a symptom, not a cause. With healthy metabolic function, our bodies turn dietary fat into triglycerides to burn as fuel. The problem is with elevated insulin levels in an unhealthy metabolic body, we cannot use triglycerides. Dominate insulin hormone over glucagon hormone prevents fat burn. If you have no insulin resistance or eat low carbs, then dietary fat turned into triglycerides in the liver will be burned as fuel, not floating around at excessive levels in the blood stream.

KETONES - When there is excess glucose and glycogen stores are full, insulin stuffs it into fat cells. In a healthy functioning metabolism, when there is a lack of glucose in the bloodstream, this stored energy is retrieved from fat cells and broken into ketones. It is a byproduct of burning stored fat. I'll spare the details and just say that it is broken into 3 different pieces - 2 of which are used for energy and the 3rd is discarded. Look up Ketones on wikipedia if you're interested in the whys and hows.

Contrary to misinformation, burning ketones is not dangerous. Not unless you are a Type I diabetic who lacks insulin production to prevent excess ketone buildup. The rest of us discard unused ketones through urine. Burning ketones is a very natural state. Every single one of us goes into ketosis when we sleep and wake up. If we didn't, we would never be able to sleep because we'd have to constantly eat food. Ketosis is how people who are fasting or starving survive lack of food. It is a crucial survival mechanism.

PROTEIN - Not typically used as a fuel source. Our bodies prefer to use it as building blocks. Since protein consumption was precious back in our early paleo-neolithic days, protein would not be squandered as a fuel source. Our bodies prefer to burn either carbs or fat for fuel. In extreme carb deprivation (or protein over consumption), our livers are capable of turning up to 60% of protein into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. This process is how Inuit Eskimos and Mongolians are able to survive on an almost exclusive protein/fat diet. Our livers can create all the glucose we need to survive. There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. Eskimos and Mongolians would never have survived their environments otherwise.

In terms of exercise performance, you can either be a sugar burner, using primarily glucose,fructose and glycogen for fuel, or a fat burner, using triglycerides and ketones for fuel, or a combo of both.

I'm not going to discuss how this is accomplished for now as I want to focus on exercise performance as a mostly 'fat burner'.

As someone attempting to lose bodyfat, obviously burning more stored fat through ketosis is desirable.

Once I shifted from sugar burn, how did my exercise performance fare on fat burn?

There was an adjustment period. My exercise performance initially declined. It seemed a lot harder to move my muscles and keep them going. If I stopped there, then I probably would have said low-carb sucks for exercise.

However, after I got over the hump, it was like replacing a gasoline engine with diesel. Little sluggish on the accelerator, but excellent fuel economy over the long haul.

Again, I am not a high performance marathon runner. Most of the exercises I enjoy doing don't push my heart rate beyond 70% max. I rarely dip into the "sprint" zone of 90%+ where mostly glycogen is burned. Because I am using a high percentage of bodyfat (of which I have 28% of my mass stored), I have what seems to be a near inexhaustible source of fuel for long distance activities. I have gone for hours hiking, cycling, snorkeling and diving without feeling hungry or needing to eat.

Read those last two again. Snorkeling and diving. If I ran out of energy doing these, it would be pretty dangerous, right?

No problems with a fat-energy storage tank in the caboose. :P

Here are the long distance activities I enjoy on a regular basis. I do all of these without the normal advice of carb-loading before hand. I eat a breakfast of about 25%carbs/50% fat/25% protein.



Climbing Mayan Ruins:


These are my typical weekend/vacation activities.

On weekdays, I workout at my apartment gym for 30-45 minutes 4x per week.

I work out fasted in the morning - no breakfast. I don't experience an energy crash during or after my workout - remember, I'm fat-burn adapted. I'm burning my fat and glycogen reserves.

And no, I'm not burning lean mass. When properly fat adapted, that would only happen if glycogen is exhausted.

One hour after my workout, I eat breakfast with protein and fat (usually eggs and yogurt or cheese), and a small piece of fruit to replenish my partially depleted glycogen reserves.

I perform cardio, weight training, and HIIT all while fasted. Something the exercise experts say not to do because I'll experience an energy crash. If I was a sugar burner, yes, this would happen. High carb sugar burning exercisers should not workout fasted. If you aren't efficiently burning fat, then you won't make it through a workout this way. Your body can't burn triglycerides and ketones as efficiently as glucose without being conditioned.

I have heard from people who run regularly or participate in marathons/triathlons that low carb diets gives them poor performance. I don't doubt their experience. If they say that's true, then I believe them. Again, I don't perform at that level. Most of my activities run in the range of about 50-80% heart rate max, and not often more than 2-3 hours. If you engage in more intense activities, I don't have any good advice for you. I've never run a marathon, so I don't know how to eat for one.

However, to say that people can't exercise on low carb due to low energy is not true. It depends on whether you burn primarily sugar or fat for fuel.

I wrote this blog with the intention of being an anecdotal account. Your mileage may vary. If you want a very good detailed, scientific account of how high carb to low carb exercise performance fared, read this blog post from EatingAcademy.com:


(Thanks to SalonKitty for the suggestion to write this blog!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARLENE_MOVES 7/31/2012 9:10AM

    Awesome blog -- I 'liked' it but I'm sure it won't be picked by sparkpeople... I get same results as you. I can go do my aqua aerobics without eating breakfast and have no issues. Love low carb and the eatingacademy website!!!

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NAYPOOIE 7/30/2012 11:05PM

    Love your blogs. Always informative, and your tracking of so many variables is an inspiration.

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MRS.CARLY 7/30/2012 9:04PM

    How low are your carbs during the day? I may need to start counting carbs again and monitoring that intake.

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ACTIVE_AT_60 7/30/2012 9:02PM

    IN-credibly well written blog!!! Thank you for posting it. Five stars!!!!

We can live without carbs but not without lipids and protein.

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DDOORN 7/30/2012 8:51PM

    Wow! You've really nailed it in your write up! Such detail! Going to hang onto this for the low-carb detractors!


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CATLADY52 7/30/2012 6:12PM

    Very interesting blogs you have. emoticon

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GOPINTOS 7/30/2012 1:07PM

    Loved this! Thank you for sharing so much detail!

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BEARCLAW6 7/30/2012 11:36AM

    Egailtaire, I agree.

Definitely now that I am not eating lots of carbs, I don't 'bonk' like I used to. I guess this is fat adaptation! Now I just get more and more tired and slower rather than actually hitting a wall.

In my younger and carbier days I would routinely go for 6-8 hour bike rides that absolutely required sugary drinks and energy bars or I would find myself sitting under a tree after 4 hours feeling nauseous and barely knowing who I was. That does not happen now.

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EGALITAIRE 7/30/2012 11:19AM

    + 1 to Bearclaw and Houndlover - 3 - 4 times over the bike riding season I do 3 and 4 hour off-road rides, which include some flat, but mostly lots of ups and downs, which means my heart-rate can go back and forth from 55% of max to 85% multiple times in an hour.

In theory I should need to be burning both fat and glycogen. Since starting a primal eating regimen last winter and becoming what I believe to be "fat-adapted" I have done a 3 hour ride while fasted and no carb-loading.

I did not experience an energy crash, either during or after the ride - although I was hungry when I was done. In comparison, in previous years, when I did anything approaching two hours, I would have to eat and/or experience an energy crash. A few years ago I had to stop a ride just before the 3 hour mark because I was exhausted and didn't know if I would even get home - I hadn't carb loaded before the ride and didn't eat enough on the ride.

I don't think about food related to riding anymore - I just go ride and eat when I get back - when I stop to think about it I find it amazing the difference in my body's response - wouldn't believe it if I wasn't experiencing it - which may be why it is so hard for others to believe it is possible.

I plan on doing a 4 hour trail ride in the next couple of weeks - will let you know how that goes.

Stay Strong

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HOUNDLOVER1 7/30/2012 11:02AM

    Nice blog, I have made the same experience as you and Bearclaw. I can run for about 3-4 hours without having to eat before my glycogen runs out. The trick is to keep my heartrate at a modest 135 bpm (about 75% of max.)
I use Phil Maffetone's book The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing as a guide and highly recommend it.

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BEARCLAW6 7/30/2012 10:26AM

    Great blog!

I think the fuel source really comes down to duration of exercise for me. Most of us (including low carbers like me) burn calories faster while exercising than we can generate by burning fat. But.....we don't 'run out' of quickly available fuel until we have been active for 3+ hours. So, if I am going for a 4-hour bike ride or mountain hike, I will take something carby with me like one of those protein bars that actually have more sugar in them than protein or I stop and have some chocolate milk or ice cream. This is extremely rare lately. But, for anything less than 3 hours I just eat my normal low-carb stuff.

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What Would You Be Willing to Give Up for Your Health?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

When I first read "Why We Get Fat (and What to do about it)", one of the defining moments for me was the statement (paraphrased):

"Obesity is a disorder of excessive fat accumulation. Not excessive calorie consumption."

At that point, I felt a heavy burden lift off my shoulders.

I wasn't unable to lose weight because of a personal failing. I wasn't a glutton or weak willed. I was eating something that caused me to store excessive fat.

The glutton argument that excessive calorie consumption caused weight gain was absurd when I was eating 1300 calories on average. Why did I maintain/gain weight on the bare minimum of calories?

For me, it was grains.

I'm not going to doubt some people may do just fine losing weight on grains. I am not on a crusade to burn all toast across the country to save people from the evils of bread.

However, I would appreciate if, in kind, people would stop telling me that I am somehow harming my healthy by eliminating a 'food group'.

People in 3rd world countries die of protein and fat deficiencies. There is no such thing as a wheat deficiency. If you enjoy wheat, by all means, partake. But the notion wheat is an essential food group is wrong.

What kind of message is that sending to people who have gluten intolerances or allergies? Surely people aren't meaning to suggest these conditions are inherently less healthy?

I had a friend in college who was deathly allergic to peanuts. A roommate opened a jar of peanut butter, and just the smell of it made her sick. If she ever accidentally ingested a peanut, it would kill her.

I had a boyfriend who was allergic to berries. It wouldn't kill him, but it would make him very sick.

I have a friend who is allergic to shrimp.

I know a woman who is gluten intolerant.

To imply that any one of these people is less healthy than anyone else is insensitive and rude. They just have to eat other foods and avoid these.

So what is wrong if someone voluntarily eats less of it, as I have chosen to do with grains?

I have never been diagnosed as gluten intolerant. However, grains did have some adverse effect on me. As that was the main thing I changed about my diet, I feel pretty confident it was a contributor.

To demonstrate what effect it had, here's a photo comparison I took last year after one month on a lower-grain diet. All I did was stop following the advice to eat 3 whole grain servings per day.

Belly bulge decreased.

Fortunately, I've had a lot of years to be confident with who I am. I don't care if I don't have the flattest abs on Spark. The only person I'm competing against is myself.

I have never said that people need to give up grains to be healthy. However, to imply that it is somehow 'less healthy' is a deterrent to people who may be helped by it.

In order for me to successfully lose weight and make changes, I had to accept a few things:

- I was overweight and obese.
- I damaged my metabolism and health with poor choices.
- Changes don't happen with wishes.

At one time I, too, thought I would never be able to give up bread, pasta, white potatoes, rice, and pastries.

And I haven't. I just eat a lot less of it. Once per day when I want to maintain weight. Once per WEEK when I want to lose weight.

Once I discovered that was the roadblock between me and my personal goals, I found it easy to put aside.

Once I discovered the negative ways 3 daily servings that breads, pasta, potatoes, and rice had on my body, I found it very easy to say I can do without.

Once I put aside those very calorie dense foods, I had more room in my diet for healthy foods I eschewed in favor of grains: avocados and nuts.

Once I discovered the wonderful ways avocados and nuts improved my health and look of my body, I voluntarily preferred to eat these over breads, pasta, potatoes and rice.

What would you be willing to give up for your health?

Would you only give it up after you have already become sick with metabolic syndrome or heart disease?

Would you be willing to give it up before it came to that point?

If you are blaming your genetics because you can't lose weight, you are partially right.

There are very few people who have the genetics to lose weight on an all pasta diet.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHERRY28269 7/30/2012 9:50AM

    Great blog! I agree that you have to find what formula works for you for weight loss!

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BRAVENEWGRL 7/29/2012 11:16PM

    I'm a big believer now of you've gotta do what works for you! If it works, you do it. If it doesn't work, find another alternative with no apologies!

I'm glad I stumbled across your blogs today! I'm looking forward to reading more! And congrats on being a Spark motivator!

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CAROLJEAN64 7/29/2012 7:51PM

    Slowly but surely I believe health "experts" are coming to the conclusion that weight management is not a one size fits all.

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VHALKYRIE 7/29/2012 6:08PM

    RJNICHOLS: emoticon

ANGRITTER: Good for you for knowing how to work with it!

SALONKITTY: The before photos are very motivating. I recommend taking some, even if you chose to keep them private (most of mine are).

As I just got back from a 2 hour bike ride, I think that is a great idea for a topic! I hope you don't mind me taking you up on that!

EATNBOOGERS: And you too!

MRS.CARLY: Ouch! :( That's an awful big jump - hope it's just a water weight change.

SKIRNIR: As you say, to each their own. I sincerely hope that you never get gluten intolerance or fructose malabsorption (both of which can cause poor digestion of fats), or less portion size of breads and fruits won't be much of a choice. For me, my IBS symptoms were one of the conditions that went away after eating lower grains. I had no idea it was related, until it was gone.

FATBASTICH: emoticon

LYNDALOVES2HIKE: I love those things too, but as you say, my life isn't diminished without them. I love the fit of my clothes. I don't feel deprived in the least.

Comment edited on: 7/29/2012 6:55:47 PM

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 7/29/2012 5:07PM

    I think my body works a lot like yours and I have no regrets about giving up bread, pasta, potatoes and other grain foods - of course, I've never been very fond of pasta and didn't grow up eating potatoes or rice so those were pretty easy to give up. I've loved a lot of bread-or-cereal-type products but have noticed my life doesn't seem even slightly diminished without them and I've also noticed that the scale is moving after a long, long, LONG period of little or no movement. At this point, I don't really care what others think - they can love it, hate it, think I'm being unhealthy or whatever. But oddly enough, nobody's commented on it so far and if they do, it's not going to bother me one bit - to each his own!

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FATBASTICH 7/29/2012 3:50PM

    "Changes don't happen with wishes."

Amen to that.

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SKIRNIR 7/29/2012 1:52PM

    I guess to each their own. But am I willing to give up breads? Heck no. I think for me breads are healthy. Why? Because I have to eat low fat, or my IBS gives me difficulties and I won't eat higher protein than I do now. What am I willing to give up for my health? Nothing, except larger portions. IE I have nothing on my ban list, just limit serving sizes. And to say that spark says all calories are equal, is a misrepresentation of spark. (That was in a comment.) Spark doesn't advocate a low carb diet, true. But they do advocate getting your nutrients and such too, which means not all calories are equal.

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MRS.CARLY 7/29/2012 1:21PM

    You SHOULD be given a motivator award. You put in a lot of time and effort into your blogs that are so so educational and so informative.

I agree with you, I spent the last week eating too many treats and I'm up 7 pounds. REALLY?!!? 7 pounds?!!? is that necessary for my point to be made?!!?

Apparently it is.

Thanks for the post!

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EATNBOOGERS 7/29/2012 12:47PM

    Gotta do what works for you!

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SALONKITTY 7/29/2012 11:48AM

    Love this post! I see posts all the time on the main boards with frustrated people wondering WHY they can't lose weight when they're eating a bagel and banana for breakfast, sweetened yogurt for a snack, pasta at dinner, low fat/low cal weird fake baked goods, etc. What can you say when you have the SP experts repeating the calories in/calories out line, and the all calories are equal thing?

I just say what my experience was, and it was very much like yours and many others--I could not get the weight off as long as I continued to avoid fat and eat high carb processed foods, and that includes grains for me.

I wish I'd taken before photos at the beginning of this month, because the changes I've seen in my body in just a little under a month of no sugar, no grains has been pretty dramatic. I've lost nearly 10 lbs, but it LOOKS and FEELS like about 20, probably due to the bloating and such.

Your photos here show the same sort of change.

I also agree wholeheartedly about the notion that those who forego grains are somehow unhealthy! Great point about nobody ever suffering from "wheat deficiency", haha!

Another topic I hope you'll tackle at some point is the notion that low carb diets can't support an active lifestyle. I saw a post from one of the SP fitness experts saying so, which I of course had to reply to, saying that it was not my experience AT ALL, and that I actually have more energy and a better attitude eating this way.

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ANGRITTER 7/29/2012 11:01AM

    I also try to avoid grains. I will eat tuna sandwiches and those 2 pieces of Nature's Own bread are enough for me! i try to avoid pasta, but sometimes eat it with chicken and veggies, but more chicken and veggies than pasta, I can promise you.

You are right, some of do not process these dense calorie foods well and our bodies don't burn it off with exercise. I have IBS and too many grains will set it off and then I am in total misery for DAYS.

So glad you said this and I hope many read it and understand.

Take care of yourself and keep moving forward.

Comment edited on: 7/29/2012 11:01:55 AM

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RJNICHOLS 7/29/2012 10:54AM

    What a dramatic example in the photos. Good points and something to keep in mind.

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I'm a Motivator! Thank You!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I thought for sure my blog post picking on Yoplait yogurt would earn me hate mail. Instead, I woke up this morning to find I've been voted a Spark Motivator!

I'm glad that some of you have found sharing what I've learned informative and interesting. I really appreciate the thought!

I can't think of anything else to say, so I'll just keep this short, sweet and say:


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLJEAN64 7/30/2012 2:19PM

    I do appreciate all your posts and find them thoughtful, information and honest. What could be more motivating!

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THROOPER62 7/30/2012 5:15AM


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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 7/29/2012 5:00PM

    No question in my mind that you DESERVE THIS HONOR - congrats and thanks for sharing your motivating blogs with us!

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EATNBOOGERS 7/29/2012 12:48PM


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WOUBBIE 7/29/2012 12:43PM

    About time, too!

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LADYJAKE1 7/29/2012 11:50AM

    Congrats to you!!!!

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SALONKITTY 7/29/2012 11:50AM

    It's about time! You are definitely a motivator! Congratulations.... emoticon

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DDOORN 7/29/2012 11:38AM

    Couldn't have picked a more well-deserving person! Woo hoo!


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CHRISTINASP 7/29/2012 10:43AM

    Seems to me you've earned the title...!

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-LINDA_S 7/29/2012 9:55AM

    Congrats! I need to read that post...I hate yogurts like that!

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RIDLEYRIDER 7/29/2012 8:05AM

  No, thank YOU

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First Step in a Thousand Miles

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I'm feeling guilty that my grousing about the DH might be giving an inaccurate representation of our relationship.

So before I enter in the next chapter, let me briefly explain why I fell in love and chose him.

He is from the UK originally and move to Seattle shortly after I did. He has never once failed to call his parents on the weekend. I don't even call my family every weekend! But then, I'm not separated by an ocean with them. It was one of the things that impressed me about his character.

One time while we were dating, we went to a food court for a meal. While we were eating, a woman sat down at a table near us. Nothing unusual about it. There was a lot of food, and we didn't finish. When we got up to leave, the woman came over to us and said very politely, "I'm sorry, I noticed that you didn't finish your meal. I'd hate for food to go to waste. Would you mind if I took it?" It was then that we realized the woman was homeless. She sat next to us and patiently waited for us to finish so she could ask for the food. We said of course, and gave her our boxes that we were going to throw away. DH said, "Wait here, I'll be right back". He went off to one of the food court restaurants, bought a Coke and a pastry, then gave it to the woman. Her look of surprise and gratitude was genuine. She and I were both about to cry.

When we moved from Seattle to Savannah, it was a huge leap of faith. I gave up a job, friends, and a place that I loved to move with him across country. A place I had never been, and no one I knew. It was awfully risky to put that much faith in a person I wasn't married to, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I had some fear about it. I was in a very vulnerable position if things didn't work out. We had been together 4 years at that point. This was one of the decisions I made with my heart.

We decided to make it part vacation and take the opportunity to drive down the west coast down to California. I have done this drive before, but my husband hasn't. We drove the scenic 101 through Canon Beach Oregon, California Redwoods, Monterray Bay, Morrow Bay, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, and finally to my parents' house in Colorado. We were originally supposed to make a stop in Yosemite, but bad weather changed our direction.

During this time, I'll admit that I was probably not the best traveling companion. We would only drive for an hour at a time before he'd stop to take pictures of rather strange things. Like a taskmaster, I'd freak out about how all these stop would affect our time table for getting to our next camp site. There was a lot of grousing.

When we got to Monterray Bay, we stopped to take a break. We sat on a bench on the sea side overlooking a very interesting rock formation that was carved by the waves.

And there he proposed to me! I was genuinely stunned. I didn't see it coming. I hoped he might propose sometime after we got to our new place. I didn't expect it during the trip! Of course I accepted.

After that, I became a much quieter, happier traveling companion, I suppose! I joked that I couldn't believe he still wanted to marry me after all my complaining! He said if I was willing to move with him, then of course he was going to marry me.

(He later told me he intended to propose in Yosemite, but had to come up with a new plan when we changed course. Monterray Bay was a spontaneous choice! I remarked how beautiful it was, and he decided that was the right time and place.)

When we first met, he wasn't overweight. In fact, he was too skinny. He started putting the weight on after we started dating. Which is kinda weird. He weighs more than when we first met; I weight less.

If there's anything I am, it is tenacious. With all my crazy spreadsheets and determination to get this weight loss thing all figured out, you know that! So no, I have not given up on DH.

As many of you have pointed out to me, I did not get from zero to where I am now overnight. I can't expect that from DH. It was a process, and it took a lot of trial and error to figure out. So thank you all for gently reminding me about this.


DH never had a weight problem before, and he's a bit lost on what to do. Despite yesterday's setback, he is still trying. He had to go into work this weekend, and he made his own lunch this morning. He came over to show me what he made. Some sort of meat chili from leftover hamburger (I don't know what it was!), mixed nuts, blueberries, and a 100 calorie slice of bread. Maybe he won't have a glucose problem with the bread like I do, so we'll see how this goes.

This morning we had a disagreement again about breakfast. In honor of the London Olypmics, I've been making a number of British meals for fun. My favorite British breakfast is "Runny Eggs with Soldiers". Partially because I find the name hilarious! Who in the world came up with that name? For my American friends who might not know, "Runny Eggs with Soldiers" is a soft boiled egg and sticks of toast. You cut off the top of the egg, then dip the toast in the runny egg. It's a weekend, so I was going to enjoy the toast this morning. He said that he didn't want to eat breakfast because he wasn't hungry. I explained to him that I eat breakfast not because I'm hungry (as I described in my previous blog), but so that I have energy throughout the morning. He gave pause and seemed to consider it.

This afternoon I went out to the local grocery to pick up a few small items we didn't get yesterday. I bought pasteurized eggs so I can make homemade mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce this week. While I was there, I noticed breakfast bars were on sale.

I sighed. You all know that I don't like these. I wouldn't eat them myself. I'm still working on perfecting my homemade protein breakfast bars so that it's more 'portable'. My last attempt 'melted' too quickly.

So I bought a few different varieties thinking I could stash them in his lunchbox. I picked ones with less than 5g of sugar in them. I hope that he'll consider eating it once he gets settled at work with his coffee.

First step in a thousand miles. There was a time when I didn't eat breakfast regularly. I started there, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETSTRONGRRR 7/29/2012 2:56PM

    Marriage is the biggest adventure of all! Sounds like you two make a great pair

I've found that SWMBO is much more appreciative of the indirect approach....attraction rather than promotion.

Since I've gone low carb, she has done her own research into curbing her sugar intake. I of course took this as a signal to develop her a complete low carb eating plan.

I (not too) quickly realized my mistake, and had to back off and let her adapt at her own pace, in her own way, waiting for her to ask questions. She marches to her own drummer, which has a quite different tempo than mine....but we march in the same direction, so that's good enough!

Good luck!

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EATNBOOGERS 7/29/2012 12:52PM

    This is such a sweet post. Really. Don't worry... never doubted you. ;-)

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KELPIE57 7/29/2012 6:34AM

    My twopence worth, since I'm a Brit too, is that there's a huge difference between someone asking for help, and it being imposed on them.
And the Best of British luck with your combined journey!

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SALONKITTY 7/29/2012 2:31AM

    Aww, he sounds like a lovely guy! I knew he'd keep trying with the diet. That's pretty great that he made his own healthy lunch! More than a baby step, I'd say...

What have you made besides the Runny Eggs with Soldiers?

Breakfast is my favourite meal these days!

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VHALKYRIE 7/28/2012 10:16PM

    Oh, I know I'm not going to change him. And I don't want to. That was why I backed out of the plan to begin with. I'm not a person who likes a 'gatekeeper' role. As I mentioned in my other blog, I didn't like the 'dietary police' situation. It's not my nature, and I don't want it.

I know he's a keeper, as I've had more than my fair share of bad ones! That's why when I found a good one, I latched onto him! :) He certainly DOES have his quirks - but don't we all! :D

Our normal routine is I am the laid back one and he is the rigid planner. He's someone that likes routine, and I'm more free spirited. I tell him he was drawn to me because I bring "color" and unpredictability. Where he is usually the one more grounded. It's a yin-yang that works out pretty well. When our opposites balances out, it works out. But sometimes opposites brings conflict. It's something we've learned to make work for us most of the time.

On our road trip, though, I was the one that was trying to keep us on track and he wanted to stop and photograph every rock and tree from Seattle to San Diego!! He'd never been on a road trip like that before, and didn't realize how tight our schedule was. Also being a native Brit, I don't think he realized how LONG the west coast is! We didn't plan it out with enough breaks. Usually on road trips I go from A to B with maybe a restroom break in between. I wasn't expecting that he wanted to hit every scenic pullout between Seattle and SoCal. ;) So that was why I got a bit crazy when he took a lot more stops then we planned!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 7/28/2012 9:54PM

    Your husband sounds like an extremely kind, considerate, thoughtful, loving, sweet, romantic person - reminds me of my own husband! We are both very lucky to have men like these in our lives and it sounds like the two of you make a fantastic team!
I'm a LOT older than you so I'm going to play the 'grandmotherly advice' card and point out that you aren't going to change him [or anybody else] so I think it's best to just let him do what he's going to do and just continue to set a good example with what you are doing. He sounds like a 'keeper' and when I start to get irritated with my DH over silly things, I try to ask myself whether I'd rather deal with THAT trait or someone who cheats on me, gambles, drinks too much, doesn't work, is hateful.....fill in the blank! When 'the big complaint' is taking too much time to enjoy the scenery [or in my case, DH likes to spend tons of time at historical sites, including some that aren't really all that interesting], it's a clue that we are incredibly blessed to have this person in our life!

I love the thoughtful way you approached the breakfast bars - and the way you are preparing good healthy homemade foods! If he's a reader, give him a copy of Taubes book or the New Atkins book - if he's not much of a reader, you might invite him to watch one of the YouTube videos or download audio podcasts from iTunes - if nothing else, it will help him understand more about what you're eating and why.

Either way, thank you so much for sharing your story - as someone else pointed out, life is short and it's a lot happier when we enjoy each moment as we have it.

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WOUBBIE 7/28/2012 7:21PM

    Sweet! You're obviously two halves of a wonderful couple!

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DRB13_1 7/28/2012 5:44PM

    How romantic! So glad the two of you found each other.
When you described the trip, it was a peek into what probably makes the two of you a good team. Someone needs to be conscious of time and able to prioritize, but what would life be if we also didn't MAKE time to smell the roses and admire all that is around us? It's not that one has the skills and the other doesn't, but we often yield to the one who either has the greater interest, skill, or to whom the issue matters the most.

It's a known fact that people who are in happy relationships sometimes gain weight - although they are not cousciously "letting themselves go." So take that as a compliment.

Also, living with someone else automatically means an adjustment in daily routines, which happens with marriage, childbirth, and other life transitions.
Sometimes a couple can establish routines (like taking a walk after dinner) that they can do together; other times, one or both partners need to get their exercise time separately.

So as the two of you navigate a happy medium, remember everyone loves to be admired and complimented, and we do best when we get at least 3 positive statements to any 1 criticism.

In the end, life is short and can take unexpected turns, so appreciate each other and forgive the little irritants.

Live, laugh, love...


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CATLADY52 7/28/2012 5:15PM

    I had quit eating breakfast several years ago, so when I started SparkPeople I had to relearn the components of a decent meal. Now, if I don't eat a full breakfast, I can feel it later. emoticon

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