Tag Archives: sugar addiction

Father’s Day Weekend

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We had a lovely weekend weather-wise. Friday night we went to a Summer Tracks concert. Originally, we were going to the movies to see Men In Black III but dinner went late so we went to the concert instead. While we only saw the headliner, The StereoFidelics they kicked butt and it was a most excellent show plus we caught up with a number of friends. But it was serendipitous because we ran into one couple we’d not seen for a few months. He’s an excellent musician and I told him of a song my guitarist & I are working on, Anna Nalick’s Breathe and we made plans to get together with the gang for a jam.

I’m so glad we saw him, so full of joy and enjoying the fine music at the concert, because I just learned today that he passed away on Sunday. How fickle is life, only 58, in good (supposedly) health and very much in love with life and his wife. No one yet knows the reason. If dinner hadn’t been late, we’d have gone to the movies and not the concert and I wouldn’t have seen him…

Saturday we went tubing and canoeing on the Green River and then finally went to see MIB III at the theater in town.

Father’s Day started out with my only-on-special-occasions Dutch Apple Pancake for breakfast. Then we went to a local indoor flea market where I found a really cool tablecloth & 6 napkins in dark blue with a gold foil Egyptian motif. I got the cloth for a covering for my work desk in the home office, so teh napkins were a very pleasant extra. Dinner was a chicken and vegetable stew over  potatoes mashed with sour cream & cream cheese with homemade artisan bread. I’d recorded the first Sherlock Homes movie with Robert Downey Jr. and we watched that with some homemade coffee ice cream.

All-in-all a perfect weekend, except for learning about my friend today.

I’m looking at some photos I took over the weekend and am sharing them here. I’m looking at the ice cream, bread and Dutch Apple Pancake and I’m looking at these lovely veggies and fruits coming on in our garden and I’m thinking it might be a good time to fore go the bread-y and sugar-y stuff and jump back on a juice-fest!

The soybeans are from organic seed. Studies with GMO soybeans are flat out scary! So, since I love edamame, I found a source, Wannamakers for organic seed and they are just one state over in South Carolina.

The beautiful shiny orange mushroom is from the Ganoderma family,and is also known as reishi a highly respected medicinal mushroom. Some say Reishi can cure cancer, HIV and a whole host of other dire illnesses. Most of these claims come from people selling reishi pills. In my opinion, these mushrooms, dried and taken in tea form somewhat consistently, will significantly benefit the immune system and support other aspects of the body to effectively keep itself in good health. Again, just my opinion.

Picked beets, kale and green beans to have in my juice tomorrow morning.

Do me a favor – Tell all your family and friends how much you love and appreciate them, right now. Life is fickle and all we have is right now. I’m going to get off the computer and pick up a harmonica, then I’m gonna get the dog and go hiking. I’m going to live in a way I’ll have no regrets.

 

 

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The #1 Weight Loss Secret – Drop your SSBs!

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There is only one food that studies have consistently shown to be directly linked to obesity and to Type II Diabetes … sugar sweetened beverages.  Sugar sweetened beverages have become so bandied about in the global health world they are now known by the acronym SSB.

According to Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “… sugary soft drinks are the number one source of calories in our diets. We get more calories from sodas and sugary drinks than any other individual food — cake, cookies, pizza, anything.”

Chicago area hospitals are phasing out all SSBs including so called energy drinks.

The dire effect of SSBs on our health has prompted New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to propose limiting the portion size of SSBs to 16 oz. Vendors violating the size restriction could be fined $200 per infraction.

Sugary drink consumption may just be a part of the U.S. obesity epidemic, but the products are the largest single source of sugar in the diet and have a major impact on health, Thomas Farley, New York City’s health commissioner, said.. Reducing obesity by just 10 percent in New York City would save about 500 lives a year, he added. “It’s ridiculous to say we shouldn’t try something that’s only going to solve a portion of the problem,” he said at an event sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a group that has long advocated against junk food.

Bloomberg’s proposal will be submitted June 12 to the New York City Board of Health, which will then vote on it after a three-month comment period. If approved by the board, the ban would take effect early next year.

Don’t think you are doing yourself any favors by choosing sweetened tea over soda. While I am a Southern lady through & through, real southern sweet tea is off my table. Even 100% pure fruit juices, while nutritious, can pack on the calories. Check out this excerpt from their Health Department fact sheet:

I don’t drink sugary beverages, only 100%juice.That’s healthy, right?
Fruit juice is more nutritious than sugar-sweetened fruit drinks, but it’s packed with calories from the natural sugars found in fruit. Limit your intake to no more than six ounces daily, the amount in an old-fashioned juice glass.Or dilute juice with water or seltzer to cut down on calories and sugar. As a rule, it’s better to eat your fruit than drink it.

Why should anyone decide what I can eat or drink?
You can eat and drink what you like—we just want you to have all the facts.The beverage industry spends billions of dollars marketing products to children and adults.Consumers deserve to know that these heavily-advertised beverages are the largest single driver of the obesity epidemic, and that there are healthy alternatives.

Isn’t lack of exercise the real cause of obesity?
Exercise is essential to good health, but calories are the main culprit in weight gain.And controlling your calories is easier than consuming too many and then trying to burn them off.A typical adult needs 27 minutes of brisk walking to burn off the calories in a single 12-ounce can of soda, 46 minutes to burn off a 20-ouncer. So skip the soda and take the same walk.Your body will thank you in more ways than one.

Along with health and government officials looking at ways of limiting SSB consumption, others are looking to tax it, much like tobacco. Municipal leaders in Richmond, Calif.,  where more than 58 percent of Richmond’s residents are obese or overweight, announced a November ballot initiative for a one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.

The EpiAnalysis blog has a very informative article about taxing sugar-sweetened beverages.

So here is the bottom line, ReThink your Drink. Drink water – lots of water.  Jazz up your water by infusing it with fruits like citrus and herbs like ginger and mint. Dilute your fruit juices with club soda or selzer. Rather than store-bought tea drinks, drink herbal teas. They’re tasty and not caffeinated. Herbs, especially mint, are so easy to grow no matter where you live, in either containers or soil, inside or out.

Ultimate Reset – Day 21

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Well, we made it through the Beachbody Ultimate Reset!

Pros:

  • We learned some really tasty new recipes
  • Herb is sleeping better
  • My eyesight improved a bit, can read a lot more stuff without reading glasses!

Cons:

  • Lots of food prep – this regime is not for the person used to quick fix-it type meals or people that eat out a lot. It wasn’t so bad for Herb & I because we are used to prepping fresh veggies.
  • Some recipe items were hard to find and pricey here in rural USA.
  • No noticeable change in inflammation (hip pains)
  • No increase in energy or general feeling of well being.

I thought cutting out dairy (I’m a cheese nut) would have a bigger impact. While I did drop 8.5 pounds I cannot attribute it to just the dairy because we eliminated sugar and meat too,  as well as cheese sauces, gravies, etc. I haven’t noticed any change that to my mind would justify the expense of this regime.

Mostly it was a 21-day diet to get you off diary, meat and sugar. Herb & I both enjoy vegetables, especially fresh our of our garden, and it is not unusual for us to have a big salad or veggie stir fry for dinner.

What was new for us is quinoa (pronounced Keen-wha) which we both liked a lot. There was also tempeh (a differently processed fermented soy product like tofu is a fermented soy product) that neither of us cared for. We’ve had lentil soups but hadn’t had lentils as a side dish and the lentil-lime salad was really good.

I’d have to say my most favorite recipe surprise was  zucchini cashew soup. I’m okay with zucchini, not a favorite, but I wouldn’t flick it off my plate and I don’t care for cashews. Yet put the two together and it was HEAVENLY!

We also ate a lot more fruit, fruit platters most every breakfast, that we enjoyed.

While I respect and value all the Beachbody products and programs that I have knowledge,  I won’t be recommending this one to my clients unless someone is living a really toxic lifestyle and is serious about wanting a change.

7 Ways to Beat the Food Addictions

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Throughout the course of my generation, the US food industry has been as insidious in addicting us to food as the tobacco industry was in the prior generation.

Commercial farming is focused on producing commodities, largely three crops: corn, soy and wheat. All other fruits and vegetable are considered “specialty” crops.

Seed for the greatest percentage of the big three is patented and controlled by Monsanto. They are patented because the seed is genetically modified (GMO) to make the plant almost invulnerable to herbicides  by introducing herbicides into their very DNA. The resulting plant produced is infused with herbicide and then we are paying top dollar to eat it.

Around the globe man existed for thousands of years on wheat and soy – now they are the top allergens in children and adults. The number afflicted with allergies to “staple” foods has  doubled almost yearly since GMO foods were introduced, as has the rise in autism, yet our government agencies see no correlation…

This post by Mike Geary, The CORN, SOY, and WHEAT Monopoly is an excellent read, but I’m focusing on the following (excerpted from his blog):

By “derivatives” of corn, soy, and wheat, this means the food additives such as:

  • high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • corn oil
  • soybean oil (hydrogenated or plain refined)
  • soy protein
  • refined wheat flour
  • hundreds of other food additives such as maltodextrin, corn or wheat starch, soy lecithin, mono and diglycerides, etc, etc

It is these derivatives that are literally killing us. Not only are we constantly eating because our bodies are desperate for nutrition, HFCS and refined flours are literally addictive, as addictive as tobacco or cocaine.

Beating any addiction is hard and these 7 tips I’m going to share have been helpful to me in combating my food addiction.

1. Stop eating at junk food places

There is nothing healthy there, no matter what the commercials are telling you. Even if something is low calorie, it has no substantive nutrition. Salads are contaminated with preservatives, salad dressings are contaminated with the above derivatives. Stop. Don’t taper off, just stop.

2. Stop shopping in the center aisles of the grocery store

Most of the offerings in the center aisles are processed foods, even the canned vegetables and many packaged vegetarian foods. Be a label reader. Avoid any products with more than 7-ingredients and avoid every thing with HFCS, soy or hydrogenated anything. Avoid any product with more than 200 mgs Sodium. Take the time to read a label, it’s much quicker than sitting in the doctor’s office reading a lame out of date magazine or waiting for your prescription at the pharmacy…

3. Be accountable to someone

Find a friend or loved one to go on the journey to beat the addiction of food with you. Everything is more fun with a friend and you’ll be less likely to succumb to the call of the pasta if you are not alone.

4. Exercise

Any exercise is better than no exercise. Endorphins are released when we exercise, and endorphins makes us feel better. When we feel better we are less likely to munch. Again, get a buddy to exercise with – its more fun! My exercise buddy is my dog. If you don’t have a dog, maybe you could offer to walk a neighbor’s pet or better yet, go to your local animal shelter and help walk and socialize their dogs. A socialized and calm dog is much easier adopted!

5. Get a Bag of Tricks

Keep some distractions handy – crossword puzzle, sudoku, drawing or painting supplies, cards with words of inspiration, pictures of fashions you’d like to wear or places you’d like to go. Get you mind off the craving and engaged in something else.

6. Drink a glass of water

Aw, you knew this one was coming! When we are addicted to food, much of that food is high in sodium and dehydrates the body. Drinking a glass of water helps to nip the craving in the bud with the added benefit of helping to flush and hydrate our cells. Think water is boring? Try these recipes for water (yes, recipes…)

7. Become an Expert

The more you understand the what , how and whys of food addiction and the food industry’s involvement, the more ammunition you have to win mastery over the addiction. Read books, watch movies like Forks over Knives, Weight of the Nation, Food Matters. Once you understand the nature (or rather the lack of nature) of what you are eating and craving you just might decide to make a different choice.

Beachbody Ultimate Reset Update on Week One

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Ultimate Reset Week 2 Day 2

The Reset is going great. Herb & I eat very well for the most part so this hasn’t been a very big change. It’s a bit harder on Herb because it mostly eliminates meats, sauces, gravies and BUTTER (Julia Childs has nothing on him when it comes to cooking with butter!). He likes his foods wet/moist/juicy. I am a-okay with no meat, and I prefer my food drier, yet I do miss my cheese (bleu, white Vermont cheddar, Swiss… stop that, brain!)

The supplements prior to eating aren’t any big deal to manage, but the afternoon alkalinize is a constant struggle to remember because neither of us have a set routine to our day.

Week 1 Day 4 lunch – lentil lime salad, quinoa salad and homemade hummus with veggie dippers.

The foods are really tasty. I liken the eating plan to that of a ritzy spa resort’s fare. Most of it is quick & easy to prepare, some is a bit of a pain in the butt. You can definitely tell it was put together in California because some of the items are difficult to find in our rural hideaway. And Herb is no fan of tofu. I’ve used it in some dishes before this and he’s okay if it is mixed in with other things like in a stir fry, but a slab by itself… um, no.

We found Bragg Aminos and nori seaweed sheets for sushi at our local health food store. I was amazed to learn our little Bi-Lo grocery carried the pink Himalayan sea salt (I didn’t even think Himalaya had a sea!)  We still haven’t found miso paste, so we’ve had to substitute for the miso soup (I love miso soup, so we’re going to keep looking, maybe up in Asheville?)

nori seaweed sheet, basmati rice, carrot, tempeh, cucumber & fried shiitake mushroom

It was fun to try my hand at making sushi rolls – I didn’t do too badly, the little mat definitely helps! But it didn’t stay together when I cut it. My friend Susie D swears the secret is to use sticky rice. And our brown rice would have probably been sufficient, but we’d run out of brown rice and had used basmati instead.

One thing very delicious on the rolls was our first bloom (cracked heads) of Snowcap Shiitake mushrooms. I just dry-fried them to crisp them and oh they were so good. The texture was kind of like the canned French fried onions you put on green bean casseroles, but the taste was sort of nutty/woodsy.

Our mushrooms are blooming to beat the band right now, Italian, Golden & Pink oyster mushrooms and now the Snowcap shiitake, too. I added seven new photos to the end of the mushroom page

So, end of Week 1, I’m down 6 pounds and Herb is down 3. I’ve not experienced detox symptoms, per se, a little more lethargic but that’s about it. Herb, too,  has been feeling a little drained but yesterday he said he was full of energy.

Obesity and your Brain

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This just in from the Society for Neuroscience. For many years, throughout my yo-yoing (one friend calls herself Queen of the Weight Lost & Found Dept.) I joked that I was a food-a-holic. Now science is indicating I may not have been wrong!

Yet, I believe that just as any addict can beat their addiction with proper realizations and treatment, anyone can beat their bad food cravings and habits. My 60-day juice fest was my “rehab” and when I was done I had zero desire for refined carbs & sugars.

Check out what the science is saying:

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Health Implications
Stemming an obesity epidemic

fear chart
Fat cells produce a hormone called leptin, which travels through the body’s blood stream and acts on a brain region called the hypothalamus. Leptin helps to regulate appetite and metabolism. A lack of leptin, or its receptor in the brain, can lead to uncontrolled food intake and obesity. Credit: ©1997 Society for Neuroscience, Illustration by Lydia Kibiuk

Thanks to decades of systematic research, scientists now better understand how the brain tightly regulates body weight. Why, then, do obesity rates continue to climb? New research is investigating how complex environments — including the increased availability of highly palatable but nutritionally poor foods in developed countries — affect brain chemistry. The findings indicate the importance of healthy choices in maintaining weight and suggest new avenues of treatment.

Food as an Addiction

Neuroscientists have recently learned that fatty food taps the pleasure centers of the brain, the same areas that are associated with heroin and cocaine habits. For addicted individuals, eating becomes compulsive, regardless of negative health or societal consequences.

Research shows that after extended periods of excessive eating, brain connections are permanently altered on a molecular level. In rats fed a high-fat, high-calorie diet, the brain pleasure centers become less responsive over time, just as they do following drug use. Moreover, when the rats were offered healthy food after weeks of junk food, they were less likely to eat it than rats fed healthy food only. These findings suggest the difficulty in changing established eating habits and highlight the importance of obesity prevention.