VHALKYRIE   16,233
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Farewell to Wine (for Now)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sigh. I knew this day would eventually come.

I'm going to have to cut back my daily glass of wine with dinner. A habit that I enjoyed and developed when I lived in Washington state and was introduced to the wonderful world of living next to wineries. I found I could buy bottles of wine that cost as little as beer. So I tried all kinds of different wine varieties. It gave a distinctively refined touch, like my home meals were in Italy or France. Even if my bottles didn't cost much more than $4-5.

I tried more expensive wines on occasion, and I'm not nearly sophisticated enough to appreciate the nuances. Some of them were very good, and smoother than the table wines I normally bought. Some of them weren't very good at all, and left me feeling ripped off. My mission became to find the very best wines for the least amount of money.

Trader Joe's made this extremely fun, easy, and cheap to experiment with. I wouldn't have become a wine drinker at all without TJ.

I developed a taste for fruity Cabernet Sauvignons and crisp Chardonnays. I enjoyed rieslings for a dessert wine. My absolute favorite dessert wine was a muscat wine that is very difficult to find outside of the PacNW for some reason. It has a floral perfume flavor that is unique. In WA, I could also buy the muscat grapes itself, which was unlike any grape I've eaten before. It was one of the way I broke my sweet tooth from refined sugars. Grapes, glass of wine and a small piece of brie cheese for dessert. So simple, and so good. I imagined that was what the Mediterranean would be like before I ever visited there. No wonder the Italians and French are so healthy!

So I've enjoyed a glass of wine every night all the way through my current weight loss. But now I've reached the point I've dreaded. I'm going to have to cut back. My weight loss has held steady, which means I'm maintaining again, not losing. I've lost as much as I can without more changes.

I know this has to be it because it is the last calorie heavy optional food in my diet. I knew this day would eventually come. So instead of my nightly glass, I'll have to settle for once a week, along with my starches. It seems I can maintain well enough with a glass a night, so maybe I can reintroduce when I want to maintain again.

Sigh.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 9/4/2012 5:41PM

    You'll find that you can cut back and not feel deprived at all. You'll enjoy the vino more in the lolng run. emoticon emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 8/28/2012 10:53AM

    Farewell sweet vino!

When I cut back on wine I got two beautiful cordial glasses at an antique shop. They are so tiny and adorable. Now when I have wine (about once a week) I will use the little glass and have only an ounce or two. Ah, the little games we play...

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MIPALADY23 8/23/2012 7:07AM

    Very sad BUT less but not completely cut it out. Still have to enjoy. Love my tiny class of wine. I have even found that just a couple ounces is enough to just enjoy with dinner.

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FITGIRL15 8/22/2012 1:30PM

    You will find that if you only drink the wine once a week, you actually enjoy it that much more! emoticon

And you'll also LOVE the weight loss benefits of doing that too! emoticon

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CAROLJEAN64 8/19/2012 12:37AM

    Here's to maintenance.

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REEGETSFIT 8/18/2012 10:44PM

    You can do it!! It may be tough to break the habit for the first few weeks, but soon it will be second nature. I stopped drinking for two whole years on a whim, though I'm slowly adding the occasional drink to the menu during social events.

Good luck!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/18/2012 3:02PM

    Sorry, can't help you with this one - I quit drinking wine [and all other alcoholic beverages] a long, long time ago. It's not such a bad way to live and I honestly do not miss it at all so all I can tell you is that you'll get used to it pretty quickly.
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JUSTBIRDY 8/17/2012 4:35PM

    enjoy your weekly treat!

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SCUBAHONEY 8/17/2012 3:50PM

    I've had to cut back on the wine, too. I have a glass two or three times a week now, though I guess I would lose better and faster if I cut it out all together. Just not ready to do that yet!

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MRS.CARLY 8/17/2012 2:15PM

    At least you got to enjoy it up until this point!

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_RAMONA 8/17/2012 12:39PM

    "But now I've reached the point I've dreaded. I'm going to have to cut back. My weight loss has held steady, which means I'm maintaining again, not losing. I've lost as much as I can without more changes."

SIGH. Me, too.
...but I KNOW I've got maintenance all wrappped up with a bow if I can get the weight off!
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Thanks for the on-going inspiration to keep fighting through!

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VHALKYRIE 8/17/2012 9:53AM

    WOUBIE: Well, you know, that is an option. I could water down my wine with club soda, making it more like a wine spritzer or sangria. I drank a few of those while visiting Europe. The French water down wine for their children. It would stretch out my wine budget, too.

I think I'll go cold turkey next week just for a reboot, then consider the possibility.

Comment edited on: 8/17/2012 9:53:47 AM

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HELEN_BRU 8/17/2012 9:49AM

    Yup! We all have to make those changes sooner or later!

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WOUBBIE 8/17/2012 9:48AM

    (((hugs)))

I'll think of you tonight when I (as slowly as possible) sip my watered down near-beer.

Maybe someday I will have repaired my metabolism enough to drink like the French.

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(There's no emoticon for "resigned shrug", is there?)

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SALONKITTY 8/17/2012 9:42AM

    I've cut out the wine every night with dinner, too. I miss it at times, but it's ok. I drink water or jasmine tea instead now.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 8/17/2012 9:34AM

    I am doing the same thing emoticon I am giving up wine and coffee creamer while marathon training. i have gained 10 lbs and these are the two calorie killers for me.

WE can do this!!!

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FATBASTICH 8/17/2012 9:34AM

    Your self-knowledge and determination are inspiring. I'd wish you luck with this, but you don't need it.

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Economical Protein

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One of the biggest mistakes I made for years was undereating protein. The food pyramid guidelines seem designed to give the bare minimum of protein and fat for life support. The new 'food plate' isn't much better. The result for me was lean mass loss and fat gain. The exact opposite of what I wanted.

When I started eating an appropriate protein amount, I gained lean mass and lost fat without changing my routines. I still got the same amount of exercise, but my body composition reorganized.

The amount of protein that I eat is 80-100g per day, or a 4oz serving 3-4x per day. That is about 16oz/1lb per day, 112oz/7lbs per week. My husband should be eating almost double that, but he only eats dinner with me. So we eat about 150oz/9lbs protein per week at home.

Oh my. How do we afford that?

- Eggs. Once maligned for its cholesterol, 30 years of clinical testing has never shown a correlative link between dietary cholesterol and blood serum cholesterol. Eggs are the most primal and basic protein source we can eat. And cheap. Even organic eggs at $4 per dozen is way more economical than the cheapest cut of beef. $4 per dozen might look expensive compared to the supercheap $0.99 cartons, but it's only $0.33 per egg. A large egg has 4.8g protein. Make a 2 egg omelet, and you're still under $1 for breakfast. Forget the transfat McDonalds dollar menu - pick up a carton of real eggs. And eat the whole egg. All the nutrition is in the yolk. Phosphorus, selenium, chromium, choline, folate, B12, Vitamin A/D/E/K - all the good stuff - are contained in the yolk. Egg whites are only good for angel food cakes, in my opinion. If you're skipping the yolk, you're skipping the nutrition. I eat 2-3 eggs per day.

- Chicken. The saying, "A chicken in every pot", was a desire from King Henry IV of France who wanted no one so poor they couldn't have a Sunday chicken. It seems odd to us, but a roast chicken was once a luxury and a sign of prosperity. The 17th century French would consider us all Marie Antoinettes with our giant KFC chicken leg buckets! For best value and health, buy fresh from the grocery. Chicken legs and thighs are usually the cheapest cuts. Chicken breasts are generally more pricey, but still a bargain compared to most cuts of beef. Due to the popularity of Buffalo Wings, chicken wings have become almost as expensive as chicken breasts! The cheapest chicken is to buy the whole chicken and cut it up yourself. I watched vids on YouTube to learn how to cut a whole chicken. I did a horrible job the first time. The meat was torn, it didn't look anything like the butcher cut, and I had way too much meat left on the bone. I got a lot better with practice. Now I can cut up a chicken in less than 5 minutes. Most of the time it still doesn't look nearly as neat and perfect as the butcher cut, but it's more than adequate for my purposes. There's a little meat left on the bone, and that gets thrown in a crockpot with an onion to make homemade chicken broth. I use the broth all week for soups and flavor additions to recipes. A whole $6 chicken lasts me all week. My depression era grandma would be proud.

- Skirt/flank/london broil/chuck roast steaks. These are generally the most economical cuts of beef in my area, averaging about $2-4/lb. Flank steaks have become slightly more expensive due to a certain popular Food Network chef making them in vogue, but they are still a regular in my shopping list. They are tough cuts of meat, so cooking method and cutting across the grain are crucial to make them edible. I prepare them with tex-mex and asian marinades or slow cook at low temp in the oven. My favorite recipes with these cheap cuts are carne asada, fajitas, Thai style steak with lime dressing, Korean kalbi, pot roast, braised beef, and chilis.

- Pork. These days, pork is less fatty and safer to eat than in our grandparents' generation. It's the cheapest cut of meat next to chicken. A pork tenderloin roast generally costs me about $4/lb. A whole loin is too much for 2 people, so I generally cut it into dinner sized portions and freeze the rest. A pork roast is about $2.50/lb. I'll slow cook it in a crockpot with a little water, then shred it for pulled pork with a homemade bbq sauce. I've learned a few tricks about bbq from my time in the South!

- Fish. I am very, very picky about my fish. I couldn't eat salmon until I moved to the PacNW where I bought the freshest of the fresh. Salmon that has a strong fishy taste is bad salmon. Fresh salmon tastes 'creamy' and 'buttery'. I am a bit of a salmon snob, having been spoiled by living in the PacNW for 6 years. My favorite is Copper River Sockeye salmon. Atlantic salmon is more common on the east coast. When buying salmon, only buy wild caught. Farmed salmon does NOT contain high omega-3s. The omega-3 comes from the salmon eating krill. Farmed salmon eat a corn feed. Fresh sockeye salmon is bright red. Farmed salmon is a pale pink (that is enhanced by additives in their feed). There's a big difference. During salmon run season, I buy fresh wild caught sockeye salmon from Costco for $9/lb. It's more pricey than the other cuts I've talked about so far, but it's worth it. Salmon run season is very short, and I take advantage of it while I can. The rest of the year, I buy the frozen wild caught Sockeye salmon from Costco. I buy wild caught tuna and cod frozen, as well. Not only is it more economical, but there also isn't a rush to use it.

- Canned fish. Not my favorite, but I do keep a supply of canned tuna on hand. The only type of canned salmon I can eat is also from Costco. Again, I'm really sensitive to the 'fishy' taste. The canned salmon that doesn't give me a bad 'spit it out' reaction is the wild caught brand in a black can. I don't buy a lot of this, but I do keep it handy. I generally make salmon burgers out of it for a quick lunch. Tuna salads are a staple, and the cat also enjoys an open can!

- Whatever is on sale. I generally buy more expensive cuts like ribeye or top sirloin only when it's on sale.

Protein we don't eat every day:

- Steak. Ribeye at my local grocery store costs about $12/lb. We go to Charleston, SC every other week to shop at Costco where we can buy it for $8/lb. We bring it home, vacuum seal it, and store in the freezer. We have a 'steakhouse' meal at home one night per week.

- Beans. Beans have some protein, but they are more carbohydrate. I generally only use a small quantity in my chili recipes or soups. My husband also has a rather unpleasant reaction to them, and we don't feel it's worth it.

Because we keep a constant supply of protein in our freezer, it's hard for me to estimate what our weekly protein budget is. The only meats that I tend to buy fresh weekly are whole chickens and eggs. The red meat and fish is rotated out of the freezer and bought fresh on an irregular basis.

All of our meals are accompanied with fresh vegetables. Last night we had Thai steak with lettuce leaves for wraps, snap peas, seaweed salad, and a little basmati rice. The flank steak was the most expensive ingredient at $4/lb. I cooked a 10oz portion, which costs roughly ~$2.50. This was divided into a 4oz portion for me, 5oz for DH (about 1oz is lost after cooking). I estimate the cost of our meal at $2.50 per person. We each had a glass of wine, increasing the cost of the meal to $4.50 per person. $9 total with wine for two people, $5 without wine. I don't know of any Thai restaurant that can beat that price.

Eating enough protein to be healthy hasn't been difficult or expensive for me at all. In many cases, I can buy organic and wild caught proteins very economically as well.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTVMADS 8/18/2012 11:08PM

    It's also important to remember that when you STOP buying cereal, bread, pasta, chips, cookies, individual fruit yogurts, jugs of OJ, and other high-carb foods, you will magically have an extra $20 per week to spend on meat.


And don't forget that for an initial investment, you CAN get high-quality, hormone- and antibiotic-free meat for a much lower price than you'll find at the grocery store: purchase a Meat CSA! Here in Chattanooga, I can get a 24lb package of 100% organic ground beef, steaks, beef roasts, pork loins, chops, and sausages for $145 -- the same amount and variety of organic meat at a Whole Foods would easily cost $200.

Now granted, for some folks, finding $150 up front is a bigger challenge, but when your grocery bills are cut in half for the next six weeks, I'd say that's a worthy investment! And heck, if you can afford a veggie CSA as well, then you're spending all of $15 per week for the whole growing season!

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VHALKYRIE 8/17/2012 8:55AM

    I don't think I could meet my daily protein requirements without eggs. I eat them for breakfast and a snack. Nothing keeps my hunger in check as well as eggs.

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BLUEKITTYJAN 8/17/2012 5:50AM

    Everybody thinks I'm nuts because I eat eggs everyday. I wish I could afford all that meat you mention. We eat chicken 6 out of 7 days. We eat a lot of beans, but I have been contemplating going low carb.

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SALONKITTY 8/17/2012 5:38AM

    Great blog! Eggs are my least expensive go-to protein. I also cruise the meat and fish sections of my local supermarket for anything that is significantly reduced because it's nearing it's expiry date. A few times I've been lucky to find lovely organic, grass fed sirloin steaks there for more than 50% off the regular price. Food is generally very expensive here in the UK, but I'm not really sure why that is, as nearly all the eggs, meats, and a large percentage of the produce is local.

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MRS.CARLY 8/16/2012 10:00PM

    I love protein and will be boosting my protein intake while recovering!

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MYOWNHERO 8/16/2012 10:31AM

    Great blog! I've been working on increasing my protein too. I found that beans work better if you increase them gradually into your diet. Now I eat beans every day. They are fantastic for fiber. #beangeek

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KAYOTIC 8/16/2012 10:26AM

    love eggs too, although I'm not eating quite that many...but it's not because I'm worried about cholesterol. Just not my habit.

Nice run down of protein sources, glad you found wild caught salmon! love the stuff!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/15/2012 10:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Big fan of the eggs! Especially because I can hard-boil 'em on the camp stove and put 'em in a ziploc bag and tuck 'em behind the seat in my kayak. They taste even better if I have a little hot sauce packet too.

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GETSTRONGRRR 8/15/2012 8:49PM

    Great info my friend!

Here's a question i ask myself periodically when faced with the dilemma of paying more for stuff. "If someone told you you could drop 20 lbs by spending an extra $100 a month, would you do it?"

Hell ya! I've spent more than that on all sorts of crap that never worked, so why not spend a little extra on quality food. There are times when I'm traveling on the road and instead of dinner, I'll pop into a Whole Foods or other grocery store and grab a rotisserie chicken for $5 and have dinner & lunch the next day.

I have me a 3-egg breakfast every morning (since going low carb) and SWMBO is our grillmeister, cooking chicken, salmon, and our new favorite, tilapia on the barbie, along with tons of zucchinis, onions, jalapenos, and whatever other veggies are looking good.

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 8/15/2012 7:13PM

    This blog has great info; thank you! I did not know that farm-raised salmon were fed corn . . . which makes me wonder why the "organic" restaurant I went to last weekend served salmon that was indeed pale pink. Hmmm. Thanks again! emoticon

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JUSTBIRDY 8/15/2012 6:33PM

    I also shop the clearance section and have scoped out all the local stores for the times and dates for greater success. Organic chicken legs today for 99 a pound, half the price of the regular chicken legs. Ralph's is best on Monday or Tuesday, when the sale items of the week start getting near the expiry date. Last week's salmon was 1.99 a pound, but I could only get one package.

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CAROLJEAN64 8/15/2012 6:25PM

    I know I need more protein and I really appreciate all the information in this blog. One thing, however, makes me sad.... those years at the end of his life after his heart attack when my dad didn't eat eggs.... and he loved them. I am working at making up for him.

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VHALKYRIE 8/15/2012 6:20PM

    Doh! How did I forget to mention the ground beef?

We have less food waste, too.

Comment edited on: 8/15/2012 6:21:57 PM

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_RAMONA 8/15/2012 6:17PM

    "Farmed salmon eat a corn feed."
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Is there anything to which 'they' won't feed corn?!?

...and you would appreciate today's MDA... there's been a recent observational study released in the news implying eggs are as bad for your arteries as are cigarettes:

http://www.marks
dailyapple.com/are-eggs-really-
as-bad-for-your-arteries-as-cig
arettes/#axzz23eMMM25Z


We eat at least three eggs a day each in our house (I have hard-cooked in the fridge all the time for snacks), and to reduce the cost of chicken, we buy skin/bone on/in... more flavourful (have you tried canning your own chicken... it's not hard, and it's so much tastier than store canned fish). We also eat a lot of high quality ground beef (scramble-fry, no filler... I love it for breakfast with my eggs). Tenderloin is GREAT... we fed 40 adults/20 kids with a Paleo tenderloin feast for under $120 for everything... meat and sides (we did them on the BBQ and people were licking their plates thinking us brilliant)... and no one went away hungry.

Honestly, I find we manage our food resources so much better eating low-carb (I'm not even sure why that is.... even with all of the meat we are spending less)... and it seems we eat/waste less.

Great blog!



Comment edited on: 8/15/2012 6:26:11 PM

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NEILITHICMAN 8/15/2012 5:50PM

    Luckily we get free eggs off my sister and fish is cheap if you buy it whole and fillet it yourself (people are so lazy these days) Mackerel $4 a kilo is my favourite, usually a 2 kilo mackerel yields just over a kilo of fillets, making it $8 kilo (or around US$2.90 per pound)

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VHALKYRIE 8/15/2012 5:42PM

    Quick conversion of USD to NZD and pounds to kilo conversion shows:

Chicken Breast: ~$7.25/lb USD
Beef: ~$4.35-$14.50/lb USD
Lamb: ~$9-$10.90/lb USD

That is a bit more than we pay in the States. The cost of lamb blows my mind, though. We buy it from Costco for about $8/lb! I've often wondered how it can be so relatively inexpensive since it's shipped from New Zealand. It makes no sense that you pay more for it in New Zealand!!!

Comment edited on: 8/15/2012 6:12:57 PM

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NEILITHICMAN 8/15/2012 4:42PM

    Things are obviously a lot cheaper in the states. Over here in New Zealand chicken breast is $20-$25 a kilo. Even the cheapest cuts of beef are $12 a kilo up to $40 a kilo for sirloin and lamb is a rediculous $25-$30 a kilo even though we are a country of only 4 million people and 30 million sheep. All our meat gets exported and the poor locals have to fight over the scraps.

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OCEANROSE1 8/15/2012 4:31PM

    Fitness Mag has an interesting article on eggs this month complete with yummy recipes! Basically it states just what you are. Whole eggs are good for you!! SO eat em up everyone.

Seafood is my favorite protein. Low fat and for me free thanks to my fisherman fiancee'!! I really do eat fish twice a week.

I also keep greek yogurt (non fat) in the fridge as a protein staple.

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THINRONNA 8/15/2012 3:41PM

    Great blog! Pricing is a little different here but the idea is the same. Thanks for the inspiration!

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GREENGENES 8/15/2012 3:40PM

    Great information. You stated less interest in beans but how about Tofu or soymilk.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/15/2012 2:40PM

    This may not work everywhere but I've discovered that Vons/Pavillions/Safeway [same company, different names for locations] often put meat in their 'clearance section' that's 30-50% off the 'lowest price,' which is always what the 'members' pay. So what might seem to be $12-$14 per pound could be marked down to $6-$8 per pound for members and then marked down by 50% in the clearance section. I find that by carefully shopping in that section, I can get ribeye steaks for $2-$4 apiece, which I can afford pretty well. Of course, they also mark down chicken, turkey, bacon, roast and many other cuts of meat - but I really LOVE ribeye steaks and this is the only way I can justify the expenditure.
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FATBASTICH 8/15/2012 11:55AM

    Good tips - thanks. It is kind of daunting the first few times you look at that meat case and see the prices. Coupons, sales, these things all help.

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BALLOUZOO 8/15/2012 11:09AM

    Thank you for sharing these helpful tips.

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ARTIELLE 8/15/2012 9:44AM

    WOW very informative and helpful. Thanks for the tip about the video. Iam going to search for it. I really need to learn how to cut up a whole chicken, and I am going to start making my own broth. Again, thank you.

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WOUBBIE 8/15/2012 9:43AM

    Excellent points! So many people bewail how expensive protein is, but, as you point out, even the expensive eggs are still a heck of a bargain!

Anyone switching from processed foods to whole foods will notice the positive difference in just a couple of weeks. The most expensive out of season fruits and veggies are still cheaper than the frankenfoods from the drive-through.

Almost as an afterthought is the bonus you get from not eating as much of anything because your appetite is satisfied from the protein and fat content. You don't NEED to buy carts full of snacks to fill up on, because you're already full from dinner!

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SEPPIESUSAN 8/15/2012 9:34AM

    You win the most informative and helpful blogs on SparkPeople award, hehe. Thank you for sharing! You're inspiring me to eat more protein!

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Fit-Fat or Fit-Slim

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Yesterday I showed you exercise comparisons of a full-housechore day versus a full-couch potato day. I recorded the information with my BodyMedia Fit device.

For further comparison, here is my activity graph of 30 minutes elliptical cardio in the morning, followed by a mostly sedentary day. I picked up activity again around dinner time. This should be fairly representative of a typical office worker day. 30 minutes is the minimum exercise recommended for good health.

Here's how they match up with total calorie burn per day:

Full Couch Potato: 1500

Full Day Housechores: 1900

30 Min Exercise + Sedentary: 1715


Hah! I burned 185 more calories cleaning house than my normal routine. And my housechores are very light compared to homemakers with a large house and a couple of kids. Homemakers, rejoice! You are very likely more active and fit than many 9-5 office workers and chronic cardio goers at the gym!

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We are more sedentary than our grandparents. There's no denying that.

However, as many of us discovered, lack of exercise isn't the whole story on why we are more fat than 60 years ago.

Take for instance this man, Gene Rychlak. He was the first man to bench press 1000lbs.



He has huge muscles...but he also has a huge belly. The man is undoubtedly an athlete...and has rippling muscles under all the bodyfat.

This man is also an athlete. His training schedule includes squats, bench presses, and powerlifting, just like any bodybuilder:



This man was a bodybuilder. At his prime, though, he could "only" bench press half of Gene Rychlak's world record: 500lbs.



All of these men are/were athletes, but with varying levels of bodyfat.

Genetics is part of it, and a big part. Men who don't have the 'bulking' genes won't get the bulging manly-man Arnold muscles.

However, each of these men manipulate their bodyfat with what they eat.

A quick search for "sumo wrestler" diet shows they eat 2 extremely calorie dense meals per day made up of chicken, fish, tofu, vegetables, and high calorie starches. They eat about 10,000 calories per day, skip breakfast to slow their metabolism and increase fat gain, and powerlift with a bodybuilder-like regime 6 days per week. They bench about 400-500lbs on average - it takes a lot of power to grapple other sumo wrestlers! Their life expectancy is shorter than the average Japanese, about 60 years due to complications from diabetes, heart and liver disease, arthritis, and high blood pressure.

A competition bodybuilder diet is ketogenic - high fat, moderate protein, and very, very low carbs. Weight lifting, and moderate cardio. Too much cardio is catabolic - it burns muscle.

Exercise is important for "fitness" and good health. There are thin people who are NOT fit. There are also overweight people who ARE fit.

Nutrition is important for "body shape" and good health. If you want a fit-fat physique, skip breakfast and overeat calories. All the exercise in the gym will just serve to make you more "fit" underneath your fat.

If you want a fit-slim body, eat high quality calories. More protein and vegetables, less grain and starches. Strength train and moderate cardio.

Going back to the question of why people in the 50s were slimmer than today, I think it has more to do with their nutrition than the activities.

Looking at the meal for a 1950's housewife in Britain:

1953
Breakfast: One slice toast and butter and boiled egg 220
Lunch: Corned beef sandwich and butter 430
Snack: Slice Victoria sponge 175
Dinner: Two pork chops, boiled potatoes, swede, cabbage, tinned pears and custard 993
TOTAL: 1818

- The toast was either home baked, or bought from a bakery. No HFCS or other additives.
- Real butter. No artery clogging trans-fats from margarine.
- Home baked Victoria sponge (a sponge cake with jam). No HFCS or other additives.
- Dinner: Protein and whole vegetables. No HFCS in the tinned pears, probably cane sugar. Modest sized dessert.

My depression era German-American grandmother's 'diet' for her sons included limiting their bread, pasta and dessert portions if she thought they were putting on too much fat.

My take? We should be enjoying superior health compared to our grandparents, but we are declining. My generation and the ones after are the first to have lowered life expectancy. This cannot be the legacy our grandparents wanted. According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, our cells have the capability of lasting 115-130 years. More centurians should be possible. 60 years is not enough to blame 'genetics' - it has to be environmental.

I believe this comes from changes in our food supply. This is why I changed my nutrition to whole, unprocessed produce and proteins. It takes time, but my bodyfat comes off far better when I focus on nutrition, rather than calorie burn.

There are benefits to our modern world that our grandparents didn't have, if we chose to take advantage of it. Canned vegetables and fruit were common back in the 1950s because these items were seasonal. The modern world opens up our food supply so that avocados, pears, lettuce, carrots, etc, etc are available year round. We should be enjoying superior nutrition because of this.

If you want fitness AND lower body fat, look at what's in your shopping cart. I only shop on the outer edge - produce, meats, and dairy. I skip everything boxed and plastic wrapped in the center.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 8/15/2012 4:03PM

    Another great blog! We donīt have nearly as much processed or fast food here as there is in America. There is usually only one row of frozen items in the grocery store and a small stand up fridge of TV dinner type foods. Norwegians do tend to eat a lot of bread. They also exercise as part of everyday life...skiing, biking and running o work as well as playing a lot on the weekends. Guess what? It is really unusual to see a fat Norwegian!

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KAYOTIC 8/9/2012 10:32AM

    Great blog, and comments! Well done!

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JUSTBIRDY 8/9/2012 8:44AM

    no boxes here ma'am

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BLUEKITTYJAN 8/9/2012 4:09AM

    I find your information and writing form interesting. Have you thought about writing a book? emoticon

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 8/8/2012 10:16AM

    My food is key to me getting results and many of my low carber friends are helping to grasp the truth of this issue.

I like your take on it because you are a woman and many of the other low carbers that I follow now are men. Also, you being very petite adds to the dynamic and probably makes it more difficult for you...

I'm by no means "petite" and thus I don't even have that excuse!

I think I'm a "fat fit" at that point. I'm hoping with more Spark "counseling" I will become a "slender fit"

Keep the blogs coming!!

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SALONKITTY 8/8/2012 4:02AM

    Interesting! I agree with your conclusions as well. Also, I remember reading somewhere that the sumo guys eat a huge meal and then have a nap after.

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GETSTRONGRRR 8/8/2012 1:51AM

    Good analysis. I think the diets for sumo wrestler and the bodybuilder speak for themselves.....hi calorie starches and 10K calories a day gets the sumo ready for battle. I bet the body builder eats 6K calories a day as well, but mostly fat & protein...add in the HIIT when they're cutting down for competition and next thing you know, they're down to single digit bodyfat readings!

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-LINDA_S 8/7/2012 11:17PM

    Thanks! Interesting stuff.

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BTVMADS 8/7/2012 9:27PM

    And then there are those rare supermen who are huge, muscular, and FAST (and traumatize you when they come barreling towards you, wielding a giant stick, and screaming during a game of floor hockey in college, haha.). Each body is capable of different physical tasks based on our own proportions of fast/slow twitch muscle, limb proportions, heart strength, lung capacity, etc.

But regardless of whether you have the naturally lithe body of a gymnast, the hulking power of a body builder, the sinewy speed of a sprinter, or just the average build of we mortals, one thing is true: You can't out-train a bad diet. Crap in, crap out.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/7/2012 9:17PM

    Very interesting information - thanks so much for posting it!!
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GREENGENES 8/7/2012 8:12PM

    Nice follow-up experiment. I agree that it is what is in the shopping cart more so than what is in the activities we do.

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MIPALADY23 8/7/2012 7:52PM

    Loving the info!!! Thanks!

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FATBASTICH 8/7/2012 7:00PM

    V another fantastic blog. My great grandfather was a farmer. And a farmer up in the bluffs. He worked dusk to dawn and the fat content of his meals would have had today's average joe running for the statins.

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CATLADY52 8/7/2012 6:31PM

    Interesting blog. My son has been watching me cut back on the calories and composition of my diet and started paying more attention to what he was eating. He has so far this summer lost thirty pounds and is feeling fitter now than he has in several years. I just wish he could still eat beef and pork to help stretch the budget a bit. emoticon

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NEILITHICMAN 8/7/2012 4:42PM

    Fitness is increasing but it's the average that brings us down. I saw a programme on obesity in England recently and they had a class of kids complete a fitness test that children in the 1950s had to sit and compared it to the results kids from the 1950s had scored.

The top kids from now performed far better than the top kids in the1950s, however the overall average was worse, why? Because there were less children that did well now than in the 1950s. For every kid that's into sport and fitness there's 3 that just want to sit on the couch and play play-station.

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ARCHIMEDESII 8/7/2012 3:40PM

    And speaking of fit, but really fat athletes... take a good look at the line backers of your favorite football team. These guys are ENORMOUS. One of the Pats linebackers was over 300+ pounds ! Yet, he could still run across the field with a ball.

You do not want to be the guy being tackled by a 300+ pound linebacker running towards you at 90mph ! LOL !!!

Comment edited on: 8/7/2012 3:41:10 PM

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BECKYB73 8/7/2012 2:24PM

    This was a very interesting read.

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VHALKYRIE 8/7/2012 1:40PM

    I tangentially commented on health in the 'sumo wrestler' section. I think Gene Rychlak falls in the same category. Lifting that unnaturally heavy weights undoubtedly causes joint stress problems...even in bodybuilders who aren't overfat.

I think it is an example that:

1) Exercise does not necessarily make you thin.
2) Extreme exercise does not necessarily make you healthy.

He is very strong, but not very 'healthy'.

I didn't mean for 'athlete' to mean healthy. Just a description of physical capability.

Comment edited on: 8/7/2012 1:54:52 PM

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BOB240 8/7/2012 1:24PM

    Incidently I am note sure that Gene Rychlak would be considered "fit"

He has numerous injuries and limitations because of his training techniques. He can bench a lot but on the other hand he does bench because he gets tired standing up! His CV capacity will be compromised - at that level parts of the heart harden badly.

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BOB240 8/7/2012 1:18PM

    coughs...
Actually in the fifties we in Britain were still using ration books. We ate that way because of food shortages and government control As a result two of my grandparents lived to 83 and the other two lived into their ninties (despite one of them smoking 60 a day from the age of 13!)

My grandfather once cycled from London to plymouth in a day (200 miles over very poor roads on a heavy bike). He also beat me at tennis at the age of 67- then had the cheek to retire from the game before the rematch..



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KADYSMOM11 8/7/2012 12:48PM

    Thanks for the info! emoticon emoticon

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ARCHIMEDESII 8/7/2012 12:26PM

    "We are more sedentary than our grandparents".

You can thank the modern conveniences for that. Before the remote control, people had to get up to change the channel. And we only a few channels when I was a kid, not the hundreds there are today.

When I was kid, we had to drive to go to a Jack in the Box or a McDonalds. So, getting to go to McDonalds was a treat. Portions weren't supersized. we had a small burger and fries. today, fast food chains are everywhere.

Our grandparents walked more places. today, there are places in the US where people have to have a car to just get to the nearest Walmart. Some towns aren't pedestrian friendly either. It makes it hard to tell someone to take a walk when there isn't any safe place to walk.

Oh and one personal pet peeve, people made less garbage. these days, our society is disposable. TV broken ? Buy a new flat screen. Computer broken ? Buy a new ipad. Phone busted ? get a new smart phone.

Too much mass consumerism if you ask me.

Wait, were we talking about health ? LOL !!


Comment edited on: 8/7/2012 12:27:14 PM

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SAINTBETH 8/7/2012 11:24AM

    In the '50s families usually only had one car. One spouse walked to the store or the office, so they were fitter. Interesting info.

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EATNBOOGERS 8/7/2012 11:09AM

    Couple comments, illustrating from my own life, as usual...

In my husband's and my comparison of my test results are so good and his are so bad, the routine activity of our days came up. In my adult life, my "occupation" has always been something that has kept me moving.... I've been a scientist (lot of physical activity for me--in the field, etc; lot of time on my feet in the lab), I've taught community college (again, on my feet), I've been a stay at home parent (biking/swimming/hiking with my kids, coaching their teams, dragging them to playgrounds, long walks in the jogging stroller, etc), and I'm transitioning to being a teacher (again, on my feet, moving around, lot of squatting down, etc). My husband has always had a desk job. We never even thought about how this kind of choice of occupation could have an impact on health. This is part of the reason he has a fitbit now... it reminds him to get up and move during his day. He's contemplating asking for a standing desk.

And a related comment (about husbands and what they eat/what to eat)... I was at Costco, doing my usual thing of buying enormous bags of spinach and broccoli, tons of blueberries, nuts, olive oil, tofu, sardines, etc. I had emailed my husband before my errands to ask if there was anything he wanted. He called me, and he asked that I get more of "those multigrain crackers" that he had gotten the last time he was there.

I was a little frustrated... I've tried talking to him about processed foods, simple carbs, etc. I was exasperated, so I was frank. "Crackers are not really something you need to be eating on a regular basis, you know." "But they're whole grain." "Honey, even FLOUR is something that's processed; just by grinding grain up, the carbs are more accessible, and the glycemic index changes. And crackers tend to have more fat and bad fat and more simple carbs, including sweeteners." "They're healthy crackers." "I'll read the label, and then I'll decide."

So... they aren't completely evil, but they do have saturated fat (and not the "good" kind), and the 3rd ingredient is potato starch, which is essentially white carb filler, as far as I'm concerned. I see crackers as a "treat"--essentially like a cookie. Not something to eat on a regular basis.

On the positive side... he's becoming more fit, he's lost 5 lbs, and he's generally eating much better. He has more energy, and his "attitude" is better. But there's more "work" to be done. ;-)

Comment edited on: 8/7/2012 11:10:55 AM

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JECKIE 8/7/2012 10:31AM

    emoticon

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Do Housechores Count as Exercise?

Monday, August 06, 2012

Over the weekend I engaged in a simple little experiment to try and answer a questions:

"Were women in the 50s thinner because they burned more calories with house chores?"

I'm not going to pretend my results are conclusive, but you might find it something to think about, none-the-less.

I used my BodyMedia Fit device to record my activities.

As many of you pointed out, my housechores are a cakewalk compared to some of you, nevermind a homemaker from the 50s! However, I do think my results are typical of normal housechores for my living space.

The chores I completed were as follows:

Made bed
Cat feeding/petting
Replaced cat litter trays
"Gardening" (watering plants and pruning dead leaves)
Handwashed dishes (I ran them through rinse cycle to sanitize, though)
Dishes put away
3 loads of laundry/folding
Bathtub, tiles, and counters scrubbed
Swept floors
Disposed garbage (walk down 3 stair flights + 2 minute walk across complex)
Personal errands plus picking up a few items from the grocery store

There were a few variables in my experiment that altered the result slightly.

1) DH came home early, saw I was cleaning up, and grabbed the vacuum and mop. No, I didn't ask him to. ;) I'm a lucky lady - he helps with the housechores without question!
2) DH explained that he would be working the weekend, so we decided to take a 'date night' and go out for happy hour food and drinks.

Even though I never 'broke a sweat', after an hour I could see why 50's housewives might enjoy a tea and cake break! It wasn't heart pumping cardio, but it was 'long distance endurance' activity. I didn't have tea and cake, but I took an 11am break to finish my coffee.

Despite my lite housechores, the unexpected (and welcome!) helping hand, and the decision to eat out, I still burned almost 1900 calories according to my BodyMedia Fit. My target daily activity range is 1880. A full day of housechores put me right on target.

Here's what my activity graph looked like:



In order to find out how many calories I burn on a low activity day, yesteday I did almost nothing. I didn't do any cardio, or go for a walk. I fed the cats, made breakfast/lunch/dinner, washed dishes and that was it. I played games, surfed the net, and watched a few Olympic games. I burned 1500 calories.

This is my activity graph for a low activity day:



A full day of housechores burned 400 calories more than if I did nothing at all.

Did women in the 50s get more exercise because of their housechores? Washing clothes with a washboard, hanging clothes on lines in the backyard, washing/drying dishes by hand, sweeping/mopping floors, and beating carpets to get the dust out?

My take? You bet.

Was that the reason why they were thinner?

My take? Not necessarily.

My MIL is a full time housewife, always has been. DH says she has always been on the heavier side. While she undoubtedly is much busier keeping her house neat and tidy than I am, she is not thin. She is not a minimalist homemaker either - her house is spotless and completely devoid of clutter.

On the other hand, my mother worked as an hotel housekeeper for 20 years. She cleaned 12-15 rooms per day on average. She has always been thin. Was it because of her heavy manual labor activity level? Not necessarily. Many of her coworkers were overweight, and the heavy activity didn't make them thinner.

Tomorrow I'll show you what my activity graph looks like when I do 30 minutes elliptical cardio in the morning, then mostly sedentary the rest of the day. A fairly typical representation of an office worker day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYOWNHERO 8/16/2012 10:46AM

    This is really interesting! I think I'll be more interested in housework with this in mind.

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THINRONNA 8/15/2012 3:48PM

    I think it is diet too. You did a great job comparing the two days...and heck...I can whomp down 400 extra calories just by eating too much cake sadly evening out a day of cleaning...it really has to be the food part of it. look what has happened to the food the typical person eats since the 50īs.

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FATBASTICH 8/8/2012 11:16AM

    This is exactly the sort of thing I'd be doing with one of those devices! Thanks for posting.

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KAYOTIC 8/8/2012 9:59AM

    Another vote for what getstronger said! Exercise for fitness, diet for weight control, if that is the goal.

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GREENGENES 8/7/2012 12:21PM

    Good experiment. The extra housework certainly helps but I think an interesting investigation would be comparing the grocery store shelves of the 50's to today.

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BILL60 8/7/2012 8:37AM

    Totally agree with my brother from a different mother, Get Stronger

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MIPALADY23 8/6/2012 8:26PM

    Very cool! Keep us posted, love seeing comparisons!

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NEILITHICMAN 8/6/2012 4:22PM

    I seriously doubt that ha 50s husband would come home and pick up the mop and the vacuum cleaner. More like "Are you not done with the housework yet? And why is my dinner not on the table?"

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SEPPIESUSAN 8/6/2012 4:20PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your results of your little experiment - fascinating!!

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SALONKITTY 8/6/2012 3:29PM

    I think it's what GETSTRONGRRR said! Bob's comment is interesting too, and makes a whole lot of sense to me. I'm interested to see the next report!

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EATNBOOGERS 8/6/2012 1:27PM

    Ooh, ooh, what GetStronger said!

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GETSTRONGRRR 8/6/2012 11:34AM

    It's all good.....but I am coming to the conclusion that diet keeps you thin (or heavy) and exercise makes you fit.

While our parents did more around the house that may have helped them burn more calories, they certainly didn't engage in intense cardio and ST like many of us do today.

My dad worked was an electrical engineer most of his life and was sedentary at work most of the day. At night and on weekends, he was an intense handyman around the house and an avid gardener on weekends....still overweight though.

I ran marathons for years....and carbo loaded on rice & pasta & bread thinking I needed the carbs for fuel......yet I always had a bit of a paunch. These days....I'm virtually a flat belly

Bottom line conclusion for me....you can't work off a bad diet.....even with daily household chores

Comment edited on: 8/6/2012 11:36:19 AM

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BOB240 8/6/2012 10:56AM

    This is known as Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).

If you flick back through my blog you'll find a BBC video which shows that if you make a conscious effort to stay on your feet all day (only sit if you must -always take the stairs) then you can easily burn 500 calories more than normal and hardly feel it.


Another useful theory is that when you do ST and cardio exercises, because you are fitter you tend to engage more willingly in NEAT. So you may only burn 200 calories in the gym but after your stamina builds up you are more prepared to walk to the shop - go up the stairs - do more laundry - spend more time in the garden etc. It's the NEAT effect that does the work!

Fitness begets fitness..



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DISMOM11 8/6/2012 10:42AM

    How interesting! I agree that it probably was a combo of their active lifestyles and eating habits! I love that you tried this out!! Great results!

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PATRUCK42 8/6/2012 10:24AM

    I only remember my Mother being thin. My Mother is still alive. We NEVER ate out. There were no restaurants we could afford. We did eat at church potlucks a lot, but no one "took seconds." It wouldn't be polite plus people would take their leftovers for later meal at home.

No disposable diapers, my mother had 36 diapers for my sister. No rubber pants then. Every morning my mother washed diapers & hung them out in the sun. I used to run through the diapers hanging on the lines. Oh, the washer was on the porch, old wringer type.

Mother scrubbed the floors on hands & knees back then. We had enough dishes, one set, that was carefully washed, hot water rinsed, & dried, put away. By the way, water was from a hand pump. I can see why Mama was always thin!!

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WOUBBIE 8/6/2012 10:22AM

    Sounds about right.

It's hard to generalize about the differences because there are so many variables that are different from their time to ours.

One thing I vividly remember from my childhood was pigging out on pop and cake at birthday parties, because they simply weren't on hand at any other time. Pop was dessert. Plain and simple. Birthdays were special occasions, hence one of the only times you'd get that sugary combo of cake and pop at the same time! I remember getting sick from them a couple of times too! Mom wagging her finger at me..... Blech.

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50s Housewife Exercise Plan?

Friday, August 03, 2012

A couple of you took exception to an excerpt my blog yesterday regarding women exercising in the 1950s:

- Lack of exercise isn't why people in the 50s were thinner than today. Women exercising was considered unseemly. The only appropriate exercise for women was gardening.

This was mentioned in the book "Wheat Belly". I thought it an interesting point that 50s women didn't engage in chronic cardio, and yet had lower BMI overall.

A couple of you felt that housework done in the 1950s accounted for the extra calorie burn, and therefore, better fitness. This is a fairly common question I've seen on the message boards. If you do a lot of housework, does it take the place of exercise?

I don't really know the answer to this question. I am going to engage in a totally unscientific experiment today to see how many extra calories housework burns. My house could use a little tidying, so using my BodyMedia Fit device, I'm going to compare my overall daily calorie burn to a day with my usual 30 minute moderate elliptical cardio.

The housework activities to be done today:
- Make bed
- Make breakfast/lunch
- Roast a chicken for dinner
- Feed cats
- Vacuum
- Sweep
- Wipe down bathtub and counters
- Wash dishes (I'll even forgo the dishwasher for a day and do it by hand!)
- Wash clothes (not by hand - I've got my limits)
- Gardening (water the plants and repot my lettuce)
- Take out garbage (requires going down 3 stair flights and a fairly long walk across the property to the garbage bin)

If I can find an almond flour recipe I like, I might even make a cake for dessert tonight! How much more 1950s can you get than that?

I'll get started after my morning shower, and report back tomorrow!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYOWNHERO 8/16/2012 10:42AM

    I agree that "Leave it to Beaver" was not most women's experience in the 50's. The women I knew walked everywhere (no second car), and did pretty strenuous housework all day. We also NEVER ate out. I can count on one hand the times we ate in a restaurant. That was for extremely special occasions. Fast food was uncommon and "a waste of money' as my parents said.
Meals were simple home cooking and "rich food" was unhealthy. My parents eschewed "fancy recipes" that called for jello or other non-food ingredients. We ate a lot of plain vegetables that were grown in our garden or canned by us.
If we kids weren't helping with chores, we were expected to be outside. A kid sitting around indoors was a kid who needed a job to do. I loved to read but if I wanted to do that, I walked about 2.5 miles each way (uphill! in the snow!) to get books and read them there.
So yeah...we were all slim and active. So were all of our friends and neighbors. Thanks for the trip down memory lane :D

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BTVMADS 8/7/2012 9:40PM

    If we're comparing eras and whether housecleaning is exercise, then you have to go WAY further back! In the 50's, women had vacuums and washing machines and electric/ gas heat. Try 1900, when women did all the laundry by hand, pumped water for household use (only upper-middle class women could afford a water tank and heater), kneaded their own bread, walked to the greengrocers daily, and cooked 3 square meals a day. THOSE were hard working times! By the 1950's, things were simplified enough that women could do just a couple of chores each day, instead of toiling from dawn to dusk.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/7/2012 9:18PM

    I'm trying to catch up on the blogs I missed while camping - love what you have to say but won't try to post a comment on 'every single' blog I'm catching up with. Keep up the good work!
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NEILITHICMAN 8/5/2012 9:20PM

    It must have been all the meatloaf and potatoes and stodgy desserts that kept them thin back then.

One of the main factors is portion control. I saw an article one time that compared the average breakfast bowl from the 50s which was about 10cm in diametre and about 5-6cm high and a breakfast bowl from today which can hold up to half a box of cereal.

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KAYOTIC 8/4/2012 5:24PM

    eagerly awaiting the results of this experiment, and thoroughly enjoying the comments too! emoticon

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HOUNDLOVER1 8/4/2012 3:11PM

    Great blog! I can only add that many people in the 50's didn't use a vacuum cleaner but hung their rugs outside to beat the dust out of them. Of course many people who had rugs also had maids to do the job. emoticon
I bet it there were more rich people who were fat.

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MIPALADY23 8/4/2012 1:25PM

    I can't wait, this is a great experiment, I think I'll have to do my own too!

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JUSTBIRDY 8/3/2012 9:08PM

    ...ever see a housework list from that era? I'll bet that women who tried to follow that plan did get lots of exercise. Ps. how is this list different from today's unattainable exercise and beauty-ritual list?

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VHALKYRIE 8/3/2012 9:06PM

    My mom also grew up washing clothes on a scrub board. She was born in the 50's after the Korean War, and everyone was very poor. Being the oldest daughter, she would help my grandma wash clothes for all her brothers and sisters. I remember as a kid she still washed some of our clothes with a scrub board. When my parents bought their house, it came with a dishwasher. She has never used it! She uses it as a cupboard for coffee cups and a few mixing bowls!

Comment edited on: 8/3/2012 9:07:46 PM

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JUSTBIRDY 8/3/2012 9:06PM

    It will only be the 50's if you pull out the beige and black mixmaster.

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ARCHIMEDESII 8/3/2012 5:26PM

    I suspect that the gardening comment came from someone who thought that women from the 1950s were like June Cleaver and wore pearls and pumps while baking cookies for Wally, the Beave and Eddy Haskell.

The commercials back then convinced women that their lives would be easier if they had this particular oven, that particular frig or even a great new vacuum ! We didn't have a vacuum cleaner in our house. My mom (and eventually me) used a carpet sweeper to clean the rugs. I wonder if anyone knows what those were. LOL !

anyway... the 1950s have always been idealized. Women really did engage in more physical labor than they do today. That's because most women couldn't afford that new range, frig or vaccum. Taking care of a house back then was hard work.



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KICK-SS 8/3/2012 3:51PM

    If doing your house for a day or two doesn't give you enough feedback, you can come and start on mine.......LOL!!

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EATNBOOGERS 8/3/2012 2:42PM

    My grandparents were quite poor, and didn't have indoor plumbing. My mother grew up washing clothes by hand (yes, with the scrub board and ringer), and there was definitely a lot of *scrubbing*.

When I count housework as cardio, it's generally only when I *know* I'm doing something requiring a lot of effort. Washing windows, scrubbing, mopping, etc.

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CAROLJEAN64 8/3/2012 1:53PM

    I grew up in the 50's and I remember my mother would be helped twice a year by aunts to do spring cleaning. All the curtain came down, washed, dried, starched and ironed. I also remember seeing a broom wrapped with a dish towel to brush along the ceiling to get any cobwebs. Floors were scrubbed by hand, At the end of the day, the house felt new. I wonder if I would have the energy to do that in a day.

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VHALKYRIE 8/3/2012 10:56AM

    I'm just trying to simulate the experiment with what I've got here, not invent a time machine!!

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Comment edited on: 8/3/2012 12:05:42 PM

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WOUBBIE 8/3/2012 9:48AM

    No scrubbing bubbles; Bon Ami is the way to go!

No paper towels, so plan to do a separate load of just cleaning rags every couple of days

No swiffer

No microwave

Limited TV (those tubes got hot and you didn't want to burn them out!)

Iron all your clothes; there's no permanent press yet

"Despite the high cost of automatic washers, manufacturers had difficulty in meeting the demand. Although there were material shortages during the Korean War, by 1953 automatic washing machine sales in the US exceeded those of wringer-type electric machines." Which means, most households probably still used wringer washers.

Hang your laundry outside - you probably couldn't afford a tumble dryer yet

Thankfully you probably already cook from scratch, so that's about right

Yup. I think you'll be a little whupped by the end of the day.

But, don't forget to pretty yourself up before your husband gets home! Make sure you made all that cleaning look effortless!

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EGALITAIRE 8/3/2012 9:39AM

    Sounds like an interesting assessment - looking forward to hearing the results - might put some gyms out of business if all we have to do is clean our homes - what a concept.

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-POLEDANCEGIRL- 8/3/2012 9:26AM

    Interesting..... I would like to know your results.

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VHALKYRIE 8/3/2012 9:23AM

    I have a 850 square foot apartment, so no, I'm not going to be working as hard! I admit I am not the best cleaner, and I break up my housechores throughout the week so I don't do it all at once. I don't like doing it all at once, but loading it all up today for this 'experiment'.

This is just for fun and curiousity - I'm not intending disrespect to the many lovely homemakers out there.

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Comment edited on: 8/3/2012 9:37:52 AM

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SALONKITTY 8/3/2012 9:19AM

    This will be an interesting experiment....though I don't think that 50s housewives necessarily got so much more exercise than the average woman today. Maybe they did, I don't really know....but I think it's more likely and more important that food changes (like the changes with wheat you were just talking about) and all the additives in our diets have wreaked havoc on our bodies. Nutritional deficiencies have surely played a part as well. It's a huge question to try to unravel, isn't it?

As for your baking, how about an avocado cheesecake? I don't have a recipe down pat just yet, but am going to try it out for my husband's birthday which is coming up next week. emoticon

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MIPALADY23 8/3/2012 9:14AM

    I like this idea BUT I think you were "easy" on exactly what we do when we clean our houses.

I would add:

Change all bed linens and launder and replace/make beds
Scrub bathroom, tub, sink, toilet, mirror and floor.
Vacumm - this includes TWO flights of stairs for me, living room, family room, three bedrooms and one hallway
Laundry - Min 4 loads weekly (remember two flights of stairs to laundry area and back up to bedrooms)
Mopping - kitchen, dining room, foyer and ceramic tile hallway and flights of stairs for mop/bucket and utility sink
Dusting - LOTS of wood furniture in several rooms and the dining room table and chairs, PLUS all the "stuff" on the walls and fixtures
Kitchen - HUGE cleaning SWEATY workout - counters, sink, cuboards, fridge, dishes. (our fridge gets crusty~ yucko!)

See what I mean, when I clean, I flipping clean and IF your doing a full cleaning and moving pretty fast I bet it can really add up! Let me know what you find out, dying of curiousity and I really want to know what you think of the book.

Don't short count everything us ahhhhemm ladies do to keep our lovely homes. We work hard! Good luck!



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