Notes from Stowe, Vermont

Monday, July 27, 2009

This is the first time I've checked my email since my vacation started. My resort doesn't have Wi-Fi, so I had to wait until the Public Library was open to get a connection.

I have been eating very healthfully, but I have been getting a little less exercise than usual and feeling a lack of energy. After all the training I've been doing for road running, I think my body is trying to tell me that it's time for a rest, so I'm trying to respect that. I'm just hoping that in a day or two, I'll be up to all the things I wanted to do.

I got my long-awaited massage and spa visit this morning. This is something I look forward to doing at the beginning of every summer vacation: a deep tissue massage, and some leisure time spent enjoying the waterworks at the spa. It really helps me because I store tension in my shoulders and back, and once my muscles are in a knot, it's very hard to do anything with them.

So today was my day to go to Stoweflake Spa, which is my favorite of the half dozen or so I've been to. It has an airy solarium with large windows looking out over the mountains. On one side is a Hungarian mineral bath, and on the other, a hydrotherapy waterfall. You can sit under it and let 102 degree water pound your shoulders and back as it falls into the pool below. It's GREAT!

I've been looking forward to coming back to Stowe because of it (and, well okay, the mountains, the fresh air, the food, and a few other things too) for the last 4 years, and it completely lived up to my expectations. I'm now more relaxed and ready to enjoy the rest of what this week has to offer.

I have been reading "An End to Overeating" by David Kessler, and it has been a real eye-opener. It's talk about how a lot of processed food is intentionally manipulated to improve its "palatability" by adding untold amounts of salt, fat and sugar, and how this stimulates the desire for more salt, fat, and sugar, to the point where many people (myself included) will override their satiety cues to keep eating more salt, fat, and sugar. In effect, it's like an addiction to junk food. According to Dr. Kessler, this type of manipulation of foods (for the benefit of the food industry) really took off in the 1980s. Not coincidentally, this is when a growing number of Americans started to become obese.

Since starting the book, I have been noticing the truth of what Dr. Kessler says everywhere I look . For example, my family ate lunch at a Friendly's conveniently situated near the highway on our way up here. They were perfectly happy with ordering one of the standard salt, fat and sugar on salt, fat, and sugar dishes, but it was hard for me to find anything healthy to eat there. Everything was breaded, fried, or loaded with cheese, bacon, and french fries (salt, fat, and sugar). I finally ordered a salad that had some greens with taco bits in it, substituted grilled chicken for the breaded stuff it comes with, and ordered dressing on the side, which I barely touched. My family started teasing me about this ("Mom: wouldn't you like to have cheese and bacon with that? How about some fries?). They joke, but I'm serious.

I haven't actually finished the book yet, but being more conscious of how food is processed has made me a more careful eater. Knowing what I know, I am now confident that I will be able to pick up where I left off and achieve my weight goals.

If you've been wondering why you can't stop eating junk food, read this book. I recommend it highly based on the half I've read so far. It's very practical. Still ahead for me is the section on what to do about overeating. There is a whole section on "Food Rehab." If you do a Google search, or look on, you can read reviews that will give you a pretty good idea of what it's about.

I have to go now, but I'll try to check back in later this week.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    i have not read the book, I have been very aware of the fat, sugar, salt. I would LOVE to visit that spa. Glad you are enjoying and relaxing.
    4189 days ago
    What a pity I'm on the wrong continent. That spa sounds wonderful, no wonder you were looking forward to it for so long. Hope it's not so long till your next visit.
    4192 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2112467
    I am totally looking for that book!

    I am so so so jealous! The spa sounds so great and so does the rest of the trip. Take in the air and the mountains and enjoy!
    4192 days ago
    I'll have to look up that spa! Sounds wonderful. I'm also going to see if my local library has the book. I have a hard time finding good eats out and about as well and if I don't know the nutritional information (or can't figure it out easily), I refuse to eat it! Needless to say I've been doing a LOT more cooking and eating at home because of it.

    Enjoy your vacationa and best of luck on your journey,

    4192 days ago
  • no profile photo CD318156
    Hey Janet,

    So glad you are getting some much deserved R&R! Your massage sounds divine!

    Friendlys sure isn't friendly for most people. We ate there a few times when we were in Massachusetts a few summers ago...It is VERY hard to find anything remotely healthy on the menu.

    After starting Dr. Kessler's book are you not surprised that many people haven't heard of this book. I am sure the food industry has a strong arm on the whole promotion on talk shows and programs.

    I am sooo GLAD you are having a GREAT time, my friend! Enjoy!!!

    4192 days ago
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