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Small problem with The Spark - still love SparkPeople and the Spark Program!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Small problem with The Spark - still love SparkPeople and the Spark Program!

On page 39 The Spark declares "we don't focus on the ten foods you can never eat again"
but on page 102 there is a listing of foods to be "Avoided (special occasions only)."

What happened to "all foods in moderation?" What happened to each of us having our own "trigger" foods?

Am I the only one to have a problem with this rather long listing of foods to be avoided? I not only worked many of these into my program, but I lost 90 lbs in 16 months by incorporating "forbidden" foods into my meal plans. I have to tell you, I don't remember seeing this listing when I started The Spark Program in 2008.

I am just wondering how other feel about this. This is one of those few times that I am asking for your opinions - not about my writing this blog, only about how you feel about what seems to me to be controversy in the program. (I don't know how to better phrase this sentence, but if I used the incorrect word - please forgive my old and aging brain.)

**edit: Thank you for the opinions! I guess what bothers me the most is "special occasions only" since I incorporate pork-loin, sausage and ribs when I have room for them. I am more concerned with the sodium with ribs and hot-dogs than calories or fat. Once in a while going over on my Sodium isn't that terrible.

I use dark meat chicken because I prefer it even though it contains more calories per ounce/gram. But it is also half the price so moderation is the key word here and I do remove the skin.

I like getting these opinions - some of the "forbidden foods" are healthier for me with my allergies - like I discovered quite by accident that 1 tsp heavy whipping cream in my coffee doesn't upset my stomach like milk or the non-dairy creamers for about 1/3 the calories. And I am allergic to all Soy so I use butter when I feel the need instead of margarine - all margarines are now made with Soy Oil.

I don't like brown rice or whole wheat flour so I use the white - for me this is not a trigger. The worst trigger for me is cookies and they are on my "never" list.

It just seemed to be conflicting information from page 39 to page 102 due to the wording.

Thanks emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great blog. Very thought-provoking. I haven't gotten that far yet, but did see you mentioned!!!
    2962 days ago
    I agree and disagree. Telling me to avoid a food, signals the words "DO NOT EAT ME!" However if we are merely avoiding, that does not mean NEVER, EVER either.

    I eat a lot of this in moderation and in fact several of the items listed like butter, cream cheese, and sour cream sometimes get suggested when I am low in fat for my day to day values. I think the big difference is that they are trying to show healthier versions of the foods listed. I saw it as if you can choose this over that you will be healthier.

    I dunno.
    2964 days ago
    I'm sure we're all going to find things in The Spark that rub us the wrong way ... and different things that inspire us. I've found a bit of both. The trouble is, The real Spark isn't a book containing a set of rules. It's a living, breathing community of people who are analyzing their own experiences to build their own success, using a set of excellent tools and the support and advice of a whole community. There really isn't a way you can capture that on paper.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking blog! It's good to know there are critical thinkers out there, and now I don't feel so alone in having questions about some passages in the book.

    emoticon emoticon
    2965 days ago
    That's interesting, Linda. I don't really have any "forbidden foods," but if I get a better bang for the buck from one choice as opposed to another, I'll opt for the better deal. - Susan
    2965 days ago
    I think as long as it worked for you and you are maintaining, go for it! Don't worry about what it says to do! Obviously whatever you are doing is working for YOU. THAT is what matters.

    My two cents.
    2965 days ago
    Well Linda. HHHMMMMM I'm not at that point yet in the book but as you say each of us is different. For me chocolate is a trigger food and I DO have to aviod it but for the most part I eat all foods. I suupose that I sort of have my own list in my head, like I don't use butter, don't like it, too much saturated fat, I don't use heavy whipping cream, same reasons. I don't eat most cereal from the store, not enough fibre or too much sugar, WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR. I' have been compiling my list over a long time. I don't eat bananas, they spike my blood sugar but that's just me. Seems odd that there is any sort of written nono list. I'm quite intrigued. Follow this through, as I know you will and let us all know.

    Gini emoticon
    2965 days ago
    Interesting - I haven't got that far in the book yet, but it strikes me from what you say that it brings SP in line with the myriad of other "DIETS" that are out there!!
    As you say - its supposed to be different - a lifestyle program!!
    But havng said that I honestly think - in fact I am sure, that we are all different and what works for one may not work for everyone - so I recon we just keep on doing what works for us!!
    2965 days ago
    It's a bit of a strange anomaly and well-spotted but it seems sensible to keep on doing what's worked so very well for you up til now. Your 90lb loss is proof that what you have done so far is effective and it's very inspiring to other people.
    2965 days ago
    Congratulations on a great journey with Sparkpeople! I am reading my book and I am enjoying taking time (off the computer) to mull over the offerings of goal setting and positive measures for improvement (Not that Tony Robins doesn't offer similar info) I never considered the wording you mention... but, hmmmm Avoid does not mean "never eat again"... it means if you have another choice, make it a higher % of the time... I love having a list of "trigger" foods that might set me up for monster cravings! I have lost 60 pounds over the last 9 months by both incorporating and "avoiding" certain foods. What I do love is that Spark DOES want you to LEARN how to make good choices 90% of the time... I did not get fat by making bad choices 10% of the time!

    I love that we have this site, where we can express our ideas and frustrations and joys of the program and now I have my copy of The Spark to highlite and refer back to over and over again.

    I am enjoying the "me" time of sitting and reading and absorbing, whether it be with The Spark or Healthy for Life... "me" time is important, and my old self did not want to spend the time reading...just eating... big difference!

    Good luck as you continue your healthy journey, and thank you for another perspective to re-read and review!

    Marjorie emoticon
    2965 days ago
    I am not at that page yet but well done for picking up the inconcistansie, i will ues that word can't think of the right one. Since I too have allergies and many in food, I use moderation in the foods I eat. I thinks that work best for me. You have to work the plan into yourlife stlye and health issues that are the best for you.
    2965 days ago
    I think the key is the word "guidlines" We have to take what we can use and do what is best for us in the other instances.
    2965 days ago
    I should have taken a moment to read the pages you pointed out before commenting....

    First: I didn't know you were in the book...how exciting!!! CONGRATS!!!

    Second: I can understand what they are saying...it fits with what I have been doing.... there are certain foods that we should not eat daily because they aren't best for us, they aren't saying never eat them, just reserve them for special occasions. Whereas the healthier foods are better choices for us on a daily basis.

    Also....I think this list is a way for beginners to get a firm handle on their nutrition, etc. As you grow with the program you can begin to substitute in ways that work for you but may have been too confusing in the beginning!

    Just my thoughts. Hope this helps some!
    Mary Ann emoticon
    2965 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/11/2010 11:57:42 AM
    You are so right! I think that they should have hired you to do the editing girl! Well done!

    2965 days ago
    Huh...yes, it was also my understanding that there were no "forbidden" foods...we just have to plan carefully so they fit into our calorie count for the day. Hmmmm... I wonder if this is a new part of the program - but then that would make it more like every other diet out there rather than a life change!
    I hope someone has an answer for this. emoticon
    2965 days ago
    for me moderation doesn't work I have too many trigger foods if I even get a whiff of them I'm a goner .
    you all made some great points .
    Thats why I love spark people as a team we all help each other.
    2965 days ago
    Hmmm...really? You'd think an editor would have picked that one up. I'm debating on reading "THE SPARK" - I kinda figured it was just going to be a rehash of what is on here, so I wasn't going to bother. I know, I know, nice attitude..but really, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    I'm sure the book is a great intro into the Sparkpeople program if you have no prior knowledge of it. The website is going to see an influx of newbies for sure during/after they read the book. Even on here, not everybody is using the Sparkdiet (although it is the best out there IMO)

    Gee Linda...you've piqued my interest...might have to get a copy now to read for myself.

    My 2 cents - eat with moderation in ANY diet you are doing. Denial of foods is just going to harbor bad food feelings, and that is not a healthy way to live.
    2965 days ago
    emoticon I read this pages too, and wondered about all those late snack 1/2 almond cookies I have been having lately. I have been craving a bit of sweets, and will go for an almond cookie, or at least half. I would think that is moderation. But I ques to some people this would lead to more then just one cookie, like maybe two or three cookies. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon I wonder if this is why they did not add eating in moderation to the book? Not sure? I did try moderation eating 11 years ago, and did emoticon It just took longer to lose the weight, but it worked. My husband, and I would share a meal when going out to eat. I had lost 60 pounds in two years. After having my daughter I started over eating again. emoticon But moderation eating does work well. emoticon
    Love your blog! emoticon emoticon
    2965 days ago
    I would have never thought to write about it BUT just last night my eyes did observe the word "coconut" in that very same list. Darn!! I have been having coconut on my oatmeal for almost a year now. I did try it without the coconut with success this morning, though, and maybe that 35 calorie difference would make it easier for me to maintain. Who knows. emoticon mo

    btw, Raylin, congrats on being included in the Spark. I'm enjoying that book totally.
    2965 days ago
    I eat foods in moderation, portion control and have lost some. I also read the foods to avoid, I don't eat lots of them anyways. I think the book is more to help those that don't know as much about the program as we do and if they join Spark People they will learn their triggers and healthy choices. I hope that Spark people is lisening to your concerrns
    2965 days ago
    I am not avoiding certain foods. I am successful in my lifestyle (now) with portion control and exercise. If I had to avoid certain foods, I would not be able to incorporate that into my lifestyle.

    2965 days ago
    Most things in moderation. Sometimes a good word for moderation is occasional or once in a awhile. Some foods are better for us and some are to be avoided. Making a list of these foods is a good Idea for those who have no idea how to eat healthy.
    2965 days ago
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