Sunday, August 12, 2012
OK, I don't want to embarrass 4A-HEALTHY-BMI by becoming a one-note cheerleader for her blogs . . . but yeah, I guess that's a possibility.
Because she writes excellent blogs. And is an outstanding leader for the At Goal and Maintaining Team.
Which, IMHO, is a really key team here at SparkPeople.
Because losing the weight to achieve our goal, and then keeping it off and staying healthy is what most SparkPeople aspire to do.
And it's tough to do -- we know that because current research indicates only about 5% of people who take it off, keep it off.
So if we don't learn about maintaining strategies, the hard won "victory" (weight loss) may also be a short won victory.
Commercial weight loss services depend upon recidivism for their business plan.
SP, although supported by advertising, is free: not a "commercial" site.
Which means that SP may be uniquely positioned to become the world leader in researching and teaching weight loss maintenance strategies.
I posted a link to 4A-HEALTHY-BMI's latest blog on the Spark Team Staff page. And I'm hoping you might join me in "liking" her blog and in encouraging SP to increase its efforts in the absolutely crucial area of weight loss MAINtenance!!
Here's that link too:
I'd love to see SP become the world leader in weight loss MAINTENANCE research, skills development, motivation and support.
What do you think? Whether you're at goal now or not, is MAINtenance your MAIN thing too?
Friday, August 10, 2012
Nope, not about fast foods. Or pausing while you eat.
About fasting. Not eating at all.
At two different points in my life, I've fasted for a week. No food. Water only. I used a book called "Fasting Can Change Your Life."
It was an interesting experience, not for weight loss so much as for resting the body physically from the work of digestion, slowing down and "resetting" the appetite, and providing a spiritual focus akin to mediation: "emptying" the mind. Hunger while fasting is not constant: it comes and goes. But fasting in that manner really does require supervision by someone experienced in supervising fasts; and it really does require that the person doing the fasting can withdraw from the usual routines of life and rest and keep warm. Not something to take on casually, or at least that's my opinion.
I haven't fasted for awhile, but there have been a few recent blogs in SP on this topic, riffing on a BBC program (which we can't get here in North America). However, one of the comments pointed me to this link on the Eat Fast Eat approach: namely, eating five days a week, and fasting two (separated) days a week, with a 600 calorie breakfast on the morning of the fast day and then no further food until the following morning's breakfast. The Eat Fast Eat approach also stresses weight training.
There are many religious practices that incorporate fasting, of course, including Ramadan.
And there are plenty of people outside the religious context who do fast (even without the 600 calorie breakfast) one or two days a week quite routinely.
This Eat Fast Eat approach is attractive to me as a more moderate approach which would not require withdrawal from the ordinary routine of work/life.
Has anyone here tried it?
Do you recommend it?
Saturday, August 04, 2012
Local cauliflower looked gorgeous at the grocery store and well priced too: two huge ones for $5.
I chopped them up and simmered them in two cartons of vegetable broth until just tender, then whirred in batches in the food processor with a package of pure coconut cream, a good sized chunk of fresh ginger and a couple generous heaping tablespoonfuls of garam masala.
I stirred in a can of lentils (well drained, well rinsed) and a can of diced tomatoes.
Simple. Fast. And smells delicious!
Not sure whether this would be best cold or hot: I'll try it tomorrow. But curried coconut cauliflower will be my soup this week!
Friday, August 03, 2012
Last Saturday morning very early I heard some raucous and repeated bird calls which were new to me. I searched the sky outside and noticed a pair of hawk-like birds roosting at the top of a tall tree with some bare branches. They are a little smaller than a crow, larger than a bluejay, and fly very rapidly. They have vertically streaked breasts and horizontally barred tails. Their hooked beaks made it clear they are birds of prey, hawk-like, but they do not soar like the buteos (red tail hawks) or turkey vultures I'm familiar with.
I got out the binoculars and the bird book, began searching various websites, and have identified them as a pair of peregrine falcons. I've been observing them all week. They are most active in the early morning and before dusk, apparently catching bats and birds on the wing and calling constantly while on the hunt. On Thursday morning there were no falcons, but a robin was innocently occupying the roost, which has been a favourite of robins, jays and cardinals for years. With a sudden divebombing attack at incredible speed, one of the peregrines ousted the robin which let out an absolutely terrified cry. I don't know if it escaped or not . . . . Nature red in tooth and claw indeed.
This morning I was thrilled to see the two peregrines joined by a third and then a fourth, all jostling with wings outspread on the dead branches. It's clear there is a breeding pair with two adult offspring. I've no idea where the nest was -- perhaps on the flat roof of an adjacent building.
I'm not good at taking pictures, but the National Geographic image in the link looks most like the birds I'm seeing. There are lots of images on the internet and quite a bit of variation in colouring. This National Geographic link has an audio recording too and if you like, you can hear their characteristic call.
Peregrines were rendered just about extinct by DDT by the 1970s, but now DDT is banned they've become a bit of a "cult bird" with their slow resurgence. Webcams are posted in various nesting sites at tall buildings and bridge spans. There is a Canadian Peregrine Foundation, for example, that reports sightings.
I've never seen even one peregrine before, so this has been pretty exciting for me!
Here's another link that shows just how fast they can fly: over 200 miles an hour!
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