Time to Eat

weightlossLike most women, my most persistent life struggles have been in and around my weight. That struggle is what prompted my interest in nutrition. As a teenager and young woman I went on many, many diets. Lost weight and promptly regained it all and then some. In my mid-30’s I found the ways to eat and exercise that finally resulted in a stable weight. Between 35 and 50 my weight never varied more than a couple of pounds one way or the other. As I aged and went through menopause all bets were off. I struggled again as I had to find a new balance. Pounds would magically appear and they were much more difficult to lose.

What I learned was that I had to be more conscious of my overall habits. I need to re-evaluate my portion sizes and return to some of the things I had learned over much earlier in life. For example, when I was a teenager I figured out that if I didn’t eat at night I lost more weight if I didn’t eat at night. The calorie count could stay the same, but the timing mattered. Along with that it became apparent that lack of sleep was a real problem. I began to notice that if I didn’t sleep enough I was not only tired and crabby, but seem to magically add a pound or two. I have always assumed that it was just how my body worked. Continue reading

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Organic Produce vs Conventionally Grown

organic
When shopping for fresh produce, I really, really want to buy organic. I believe it is healthier and I am careful about what I put in my body.

But for all my good intentions there are time when I can’t/won’t buy organic: can’t find the organic produce I want. Either it is unavailable in the store, the price is astronomical or I want a specific item that is hard to find. At times like that I stand in the store wondering if it really matters all that much if the food is organic or not.

I found some info what makes the choice a little easier. Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) annual Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides in Produce is a treasure trove of useful information. Continue reading

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New Recommendations: Eat Less Sugar; Fat not so bad . . .

sugar
Seems that what we have been told for the last 25 years is really not to great advice.  A new report says that cholesterol and fat are not the enemy after all. Turns out the real enemies are sugar, salt and maybe saturated fat.

This comes from the The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and is significant because this group shapes our national dietary policy. The guidelines influence FDA policy which ultimately effects  school lunch, SNAP and WIC programs. Continue reading

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One of those days . . .Stress Management

overwhelmedToday is one of those days – everything I touch turns to crap! I woke up a year older, my treadmill decided to break, breakfast burned, the bank locked me out of my online banking and so it goes!

I have valiantly tried to take it all in stride. And failing that tried to remember and practice some stress management techniques:

  • Staying solution oriented: telling myself that there are no problems only opportunities. . .
  • Letting it go: this worked fine at first but as things started to accumulate I started to sink
  • Exercise: See part about the treadmill
  • Expecting good things to happen: evidently expectations aren’t always a good predictor of what is going to happen
  • Breathing: took myself to my chair, closed my eyes and tried to breath (peace in and stress out). I am happy to report that this worked for the few minutes I sat in the chair. All of the sudden the fire alarm started beeping (needs a new battery)
  • Stretching: Gave me some short term relief
  • Music: relaxing music got on my nerves, but Eric Clapton playing the blues at very high volume got me moving (even dancing) and within minutes I was feeling better

The point of all this is about having a stress management toolbox and persistence. If the first few tools don’t work just keep trying something else.

If you are wondering about a toolbox, there is a great site that may help you out—The Center for Stress Management. I keep a link to the site on my computer and on my iPad. I have found over the years that when I start the spiral of stress I tend to forget everything I know. A quick look at this site reminds me that there are tools and what some of them are.

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Calcium without Dairy

calciumWe have all heard “milk does a body good.”
If you bother to examine the facts about milk, however, you may not be so convinced that the slogan is right.

If you are lactose-intolerant you figured out a long time ago that milk definitely doesn’t’ do your body good.

If you are vegan, you have already given up milk because it is an animal product and don’t believe that dairy does any body good.

I am willing to bet that after the question about how to get enough protein the next question you are asked is “How do you get enough calcium?’ Continue reading

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Childhood Obesity

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Started a new semester at Tulane last week. My most interesting class (to me) this semester is on childhood obesity.

There is a lot of concern about childhood obesity these days! Depending on whose statistics you read/believe, 18% of the children in the US are obese. This is a concern because obesity is a risk factor for a cascade of medical problems including type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, orthopedic injuries and sleep apnea.

There are those who believe that obese children turn into obese adults. They site a variety of statistics to fortify this claim. One researcher even declared that due to obesity the current generation of children will be the first to die sooner than their parents. Very scary stuff!

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2015: A Fresh Start

ballons in the skyHappy New Year!

We’ve been in New Orleans for a year and a half and finally feel like this is home. We’ve been very busy!

Our house (project) has been vastly improved – we have a kitchen, heating, air conditioning, fencing, paint and much more.

I decided to back to school and work towards and Masters degree. After a year of being a student I feel like I almost have it down. Going to school after a 30+ year absence has been an adventure in culture shock! When I was in college last we did not have many things: personal computers, power point, word processing or the internet. Trust me it’s a whole new world these days!

I am finally settled down enough to realize that I miss blogging. I get a lot of writing practice – the very boring academic kind – but not a lot of creative outlets. So I have decided to reactivate this blog and start posting again.

I’m not big on the idea of New Year’s resolutions. They seem like a not so clever way to set myself up for failure.  And yet, I want to make a statement about my intentions for 2015; I plan to start posting regularly again.

Check back a see how I’m doing. . .

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Winter Storm Warning

WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM CST WEDNESDAY…A WINTRY MIX OF PRECIPITATION IS ONGOING ACROSS MUCH OF THE AREA AND WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD SOUTH AND EAST THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY.
ICE ACCUMULATIONS OF ONE QUARTER OF AN INCH WILL BE POSSIBLE IN ALL LOCATIONS WITH ACCUMULATIONS POSSIBLY NEARING ONE HALF INCH SOUTH OF LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN AND IN THE METROPOLITAN NEW ORLEANS AREA.

Here’s a twist – I’m 64 years old and experiencing something totally new! A day when school is closed due to wintery weather!

David says it is about time I experienced it. I am pretty sure I could we quite happy never having the pleasure!

I recall that we left Prescott to get away from snow and ice! Good idea, except this is the coldest winter in New Orleans is decades – I heard somewhere that its been over 50 years. What’s wrong with this picture!!

Using the day to study and dream of tropical islands.

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Food, Inc.: The Documentary

I re-watched Food, Inc last night and was struck again with how incredibly emotionally difficult this documentary to watch. I am not sure what I found most compelling, thought-provoking and/or upsetting:

  • The calloused cruelty of the factory farms for cattle, pigs and chickens which literally made me sick to my stomach. Continue reading
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The Kitchen

kitchen compare

The kitchen when we moved in                     The kitchen now (sort of)

People think I am kidding when I say we didn’t buy a house, we bought a project.  Really, I’m not!  We moved into the house with no kitchen. As you can see there is a pipe dangling out of the wall and a lot of rubble on the floor.

The picture of the finished kitchen was taken before the base board was installed, but it give you a good idea of what we did. You can’t see the part off to the right of the picture with another cabinet on top and a dishwasher under the counter on the bottom.  The fridge and ovens aren’t shown either. Getting a really good picture is beyond my photographic skill level. But you get the idea.

There are no words to explain how exciting it is to have a real kitchen. To be able to prepare meals and store food.  But the single most exciting thing is having a dishwasher!  I had forgotten how much easier it makes life!

So now we are ready to have company. . . and yes, that is an invitation to New Orleans.

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