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Food and Eating and the State of the World ….

Hoo-KAY — God knows that after the 2008 election season I should be used to the robo-troll phenomena.  But, their appearance in my Sugar, Sugar post took me by surprise. So just to make it clear: The Eat4Today posts are thought pieces about issues revolving around Eating.  Which, for me are pretty much ALL issues.

And I don’t advocate ANYTHING for anyone.  What I DO advocate is that IF food is an issue for you, that you think about what you eat and when. I’m no ones nanny.  And I’m certainly not going to tell anyone that they should give up all sugar – or anything else. What you eat is your business. And, if you want to talk about it, I’d LOVE to hear from you. 

IF food isn’t an issue for you, then feel free to skip these posts.

Everyday is a new day
Eat 4 Today

Eat 4 Today

The thing about my Eat4Today plan is that yesterday doesn’t count. This is a good thing when my eating habits have been weird or out of control.  But, it can be exhausting and intimidating too. I’m not working on averages here: I can’t say, “I’ll have this toast and cheese now and make up for it tomorrow”.  I can’t say, “I’ve been so goodfor a whole month now — I’m going to have toast and cheese for breakfast as a treat!” …

Nope.  Everyday, I wake up – all too often craving that toast and cheese deliciousness.

But today, I had a cup of coffee, shook out my brain and had some oatmeal. This may seem like a small victory to you.  There might not even be a very big difference in nutrients or calories between the two choices. The difference is in what it does to the rest of my day:  The oatmeal puts me in control — the cheese starts me off with a defeat. I’m guessing that for me, the ritual of fixing & eating oatmeal is a power booster.

And for me, that’s important. This is an open thread: What’s important to you?

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61 Responses

  1. what or who are the robo-trolls targeting now?

    • This is really weird — I never pressed the PUBLISH button until just now … I’m sorry I didn’t reply to your question before this, but I was still writing the post!

  2. PS, I’m a snot factory today so, I might not be long for this chair.

  3. Hey, did you know that on the paleo diet you can have bacon and eggs for breakfast? Er, but no oatmeal.
    I’m going to try it. Last night we had roast turkey and salad with dried fruits and nuts. This morning, I had one of my last yogurts (gotta eat what’s left) but after they’re gone, I’m having fruits, almonds, maybe a slice of lean meat. It’s all the stuff I love anyway.

  4. I find sugar and sugar from dairy and gluten make me just crave it more. I have to cut it out completely. Cutting it out completely is hard the first couple days but it gets easier and easier and I find that things like fruit taste much sweeter and pungent as a result. Calories aren’t a concern for me, people think they eat too much I think they eat too little -lots of fresh vegatables, lean meats and healthy fats from olive oil and avocado works for me.

    • Funny you say this, one of my current personal experiments is to monitor the effect of Dairy. I’m alternating putting it on my oatmeal (and or) coffee to see if it affects my appetite or sweet tooth.

  5. Oh KB… I love cheese on toast! I almost never give into it but when I was pregnant, it was one of the few breakfasts did not give me extreme nausea all morning.

    I settled for peanut butter today though – breakfast needs to last because I am loaded up with things to do.

    That is my trick, try to pick things that keep me from feeling hungry at the wrong times. Oh, and I keep a “cookie jar” with almonds, sunflower seeds and chowmein noodles in the kitchen.

    Just for today: I am going to get a big bottle of water and keep it with me to be sure I drink it while I run around!

    • !! I love the idea of peanut butter and cheese…. (hmm)

      Oh, and I forgot mine:

      Just 4 Today, I’ll walk 3 miles, drink 2 liters of water and avoid all extra sugars.

  6. I am a regular lurker but food and diet is one of my life long interests so I gotta jump in.

    Everyone is different. We are not all the same metabolically. Fad diets, doctor’s recommendations, nutritional pyramids and the like are fairly meaningless. Personal exploration and trial and error is the key.

    That said here are my opinions.

    Don’t diet. Learn different eating habits. There is a difference. Dieting is like a temporary punishment. Learning how to eat is a way of life.

    High fructose corn syrup is evil! Any product that has that in it is cheaply made junk food. And I mean anything.

    Read labels like a hawk! It takes diligence. If you are honest about it you will discover 90% of what is sold on the store shelves is off limits because of additives, preservatives, thickeners, flavorings, chemical sweeteners, colorings.

    Because something is sold at Whole Foods does not make it OK.

    Eat veggies! Lots of them. Seriously lots of them. Don’t think of them as a little side dish. Go crazy. Eat pounds of kale, cups of raw carrots, bunches of beets, sweet potatoes, seaweed (if no preservatives)

    Most people are overeating but actually undernourishing themselves.

    Drink plenty of water.

    I am currently wrestling with a kind of “aural migraine” a stuffiness, fluttering and sound in my left side of my head. (read “Heal Your Headache” – David Buchholz !!). I have brought it under control by :

    1. avoiding anything processed or prepared. Label reading is imperative. Almost everything has some kind of “spices” (MSG), autolyzed soy protein (MSG again), fillers, thickeners such as guar gum, gum arabic, gelatin etc.

    Nothing is spared my scrutiny. Most store bought yogurt, cottage cheese all are full of additives. Vegetarian meat substitutes are some of the worse products invented.

    2. caffeine — even my much loved green tea. But I am back to mixing my own herb tea which I love and can drink pots of with no worries.

    3. chocolate — I was a chocoholic for years. I went cold turkey last Fall

    4. aged cheese. In fact, I have cut down dairy considerably.

    5. meat is fine only if it is fresh and un-processed — no deli meats, ham, smoked, prepared etc.

    as you can see I can go on and on ;-)

    • I hate beets and refuse to eat them. They should be banned by the Geneva Convention.

      I don’t believe fructose is evil. It’s in fruit fergodsakes. What is evil is eating too much of it. And while it helps to read labels, most people already know what to avoid. They just choose not to.
      Life would be very, very boring if we never drank a coke or had a cup of Chobani lemon yogurt. Moderation is the key.

      I swear, if I hear one more person tell other people to read a label like their god’s gift of nutrition advice to the rest of us, I’m going to get really pissed off.

      No offense.

      You do what’s right for *your* body. I doubt that anyone is going to be writing the “Processed Food and Sugar Diet: your secret to svelte living” any time soon but you never know.

      • “Moderation is the key.”

        You mean like Half and Half….junk to good stuff?

        Of course one can have a rare Holiday splurge into anything edible, why not?
        That is not wisdom that is simply human reality.

        However if you think you can just sorta pay some attention to the chem balance inside your own body in moderation………Okay, have it your way.

        The way most Americans eat is not moderation.
        It is mainly processed Corp Agri concoctions packaged and propagandized on TV.
        You think the “BMI Obesity” stuff (and photos from the 50′s and 60′s is moderation?
        Incidence of Type Two in children skyrocketing?
        Non Fat diet with increasing death by Coronary Artery Disease?

        Ok.

        Breton

    • By the way, chocolate has been found to help with blood pressure and can help you lose weight. Of course, there’s probably a study out there that counters those two. Still, unless you have migraine sensitivity to chocolate, there’s probably no reason to give it up.
      So, for the rest of us, pass the Hershey’s

    • “….as you can see I can go on and on ”

      Please do.
      Many tried and true (and supportable ) things right up above.

      If you miss a chance at a Blood Profile-tested Paleo type eating regime using mainly fresh, homemade, truly-as-organic-as possible, pastured or wild fish and meat etc., etc. (do your own research), you simply will not know what you are (literally) missing.

      And see this:

      http://xrl.us/bm3fbt

      The info is around
      The Docs know
      Help your self.

      Breton

    • Interesting. I’m a moderation sort of person myself so I’m not going to blow off your list entirely (although I’m tempted to blow off anything that starts with the word “don’t”). It’s intimidating in it’s complexity, however.

      • Some of this is a moderation thing. I know plenty of people who can not eat one piece of chocolate or one cracker if they know the whole box is still there. It is like the thing calls them to keep going…

        I can do that and then forget about it. It requires no discipline for me. I try to remember that when it comes to eating and dieting for other people.

        • (nodding) That’s how I am with those candy jars on office desks. I don’t get those people who can keep them there …. with candy actually in them!!

  7. Well I kind of feel about the moderation meme like several of you feel about the label reading thing that is, we have heard it all before.

    Are they valid points?

    For me, personally, moderation does not work in the case of certain foods. They wreak havoc on my organism. My wishing it were different won’t make it so. Many have found this with processed sweeteners, HFCS, artificial sweeteners etc. It is like they mix up the hunger/fullness meter in one’s body.

    As for conversation versus lecture. I was articulating out loud, sharing with you all the words I tell myself in regards to nutrition. This is a way to let you know about me. Seems kind of silly to put an In My Opinion before every blog post. Certainly we are all adults and can make up our own minds.

    Yes, Breton. I am leaning in the Paleo direction. The more whole and unadulterated seems to work FOR ME. NB I am not telling anyone else what she or he ought to do :-)

    As for the Americas eating habits. I can only observe what has happened in the last 30 or so years – it is not pretty IMO — and steer a healthier course for MYSELF.

    http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html

    • I’m still getting the hang of moderating these E4T threads…. but, I’m really thinking more about Moderation of TONE than what you’re advocating. Rather than lecture to each other, I’d rather have a “This is what works for me” or “This is what doesn’t work for me” or “I read this interesting bit of information”

      Long lists of absolute statements are kind of boring to me.

      • What worked for me was buying whole foods and cooking them myself.

        Avoiding processed foods was the key to my 40 pound weight loss.

        Yes, I had to exercise as well, but I’ve done that on and off for 10 years with no success. Once I changed my eating habits (as the posted said above, a lifestyle change, not a “diet”) exercise worked and weight stayed off.

        Was it a hard change? Sure. Am I “rich and privileged?” No. It’s something my fiance and I really had to work at. But it was completely worth it. We’re both busy professionals but we chose to make it priority. I have too many genetic health issues at 35 to risk my health.

        Once I got “off” of processed foods my palate changed. Sugar is still fine. Cookies are still fine, in moderation. But stuff made of flour and real sugar, not Hostess or anything else like that. I’m not a food nanny because we should not outlaw these things but instead vote with our pocketbooks. There are better choices out there that are even tastier and still every bit as decadent.

        But better yet, now I actually enjoy vegetables because, partially because I know how to prepare them now and partially because my palate changed. When I eat sweets (the right ones) they’re actually satisfying.

        So many people started asking us about this lifestyle shift and how we do it, that we started a website to help people learn the things we taught ourselves.

        I hope this isn’t considered preachy or trolling. I’m just saying what worked for me, and what I have seen work for others. I don’t know why some people feel the need to attack others for sharing their views and experience, but for got sakes, this is a post about this very subject. It’s not like it’s being airdropped into a post about Hillary.

        • Sounds sensible to me. What is te name of your blog?

          • http://www.eatlocal365.com

            Yes, there’s a farmer’s market / local food angle to it, but the truth is we found that buying directly from the farmer and/or having a CSA / 20 week farmer’s share is the most reliable way to do it.

            The food is the freshest and actually is more flavorful because as it sits on a truck coming from California nutrients and flavor compounds begin to break down (we’re on the east coast). It’s also a more affordable way to do it. Organic produce can get really pricey if you buy stuff that’s out of season at places like Whole Foods. Either you need to learn a lot and/or be a price hawk or you can go to a place where all that’s available is what’s in season.

            The other part that I forgot to mention about my eating habits is that we shifted to eating less meat than we used to. When we do cook it we “invert the portions” so that the vegetables are the main and meat is the side. Some meals are vegetarian. We do avoid supermarket meat for health reasons, and the meat we buy is pricey, so we equalize that by eating it less often and eating smaller portions of it. That happens to coincide with the healthy choice, though!

            We don’t deny ourselves meat, sweets, bread, coffee, or anything else. When we cook at home 5-6 nights per week we can still have cheeseburgers and beer when we go out (but not from McDonalds).

    • The thing about that “we’re all adults” line is that this ISN’T a medical site and it really is all personal experience and opinion and casual conversation. So there does have to be some indication – at least now and then – of that fact.

      The other thing … you presumably want people to read your stuff. So, I’d find a way to draw them in.

      Maybe by talking about some of the ways those things personally affected you? I am interested. It’s just that I’m also a little intimidated.

      • Not sure I understand what about my post caused you to think I was offerring anything other than my own opinions.

        That said, yes, I have absolute opinions. For example, I NEVER eat arsenic or lead. :-)

        But no worries. I rarely post, preferring lurking to tussling with folks.

        I enjoy the Confluence very much and enjoy all the thoughtful writing and opinions!

        • You said it was your opinion, so I took it as such. There is at least one other person here acting like the food police, it’s not you.

    • You are so right, there is no such thing as safe moderation. People are afraid to give up their sweets they’re addicted to so it makes them feel secure when they hear they can eat junk in moderation.

      There are numerous studies suggesting that a majority of the population cannot digest dairy or at least the pastuerized hormone laden dairy in common supermarkets.

      Most Americans stomache flora is imbalanced because of sugar and processed foods. I encourage people to try an experiment of not eating a drop of sugar or processed foods try it for two weeks, you will probably look better and feel better.

      • there is no such thing as safe moderation? Of course there is, depending on the person and the food in question. Some people are sugar addicts and some are not. Some people can have a piece of pie after dinner and be perfectly fine and other people, like me, sneak back to the kitchen later and eat the rest of the pie in the middle of the night.
        On the other hand I love love love prime rib, baked potatoes and broccoli but I am perfectly capable of eating them in moderation. I eat red meat about twice a month and all the good stuff that goes on baked potatoes , even less often.

      • Of course there is safe moderation. I just stopped eating the wasabi soy almonds I bought. Will save the rest for tomorrow.

  8. Breton, madazhell and myself have similar opinions on this topic. I think KB and RD think we might be patronizing but we’re only giving testimonials on how eating life giving foods has benefitted us.

    KB, you said you are having congestion problems? From my experience and the experience I’ve heard from others I would suggest cutting dairy from your diet. If you do try it I would love to hear your progress.

    • Huggy, I think it’s a physical reaction to pollen (not an allergy exactly) … it’s so think around here, the cars are covered with a visible layer of green everyday. It can’t be good for breathing. … Or it’s a cold. Or like I said, acid reflux, but I think that’s less likely. Dairy is possible but, aside from a slice of cheese for lunch and once or twice a week a dollop of half & half in my coffee, I don’t get much dairy. I’m willing to work on cutting it out but, I’m focused on the sugar thing right now.

      Once change at a time. At least for me.

  9. All things in moderation, including moderation. I used to be thin once. Then I got fat. If I ever get thin again, I will let people know how I diddit. Unless/till tnen, I have little to say, except in theory. And certainly not from this sad little public library mini-computerette which won’t let me offer any links at all.

    • :( I want to hear what yo’ve got to say!

      • When I was young and handsome, I weighed about 155 pounds. Now that I am middle aged and distinguished, I weigh 238 or so pounds. That is down from a highest-high of 255 pounds. I have a fistfull of perfectly good reasons for having fattened up so much. And now? Well, I’d like to BE thin without having to GET thin. And that’s a problem right there.

        IF! I can get permanently down to 180 pounds or less, then I will have lots and lots to say. In the meantime, the only thing I can say is that the very slight fat loss I have achieved so far may be due to drinking far less sugar than before, and eating rather less candy and starches than before, and more vegetables and more meat and a high-reasonable amount of fats and oils, mainly olive. And my job entails moderate excercise. On those days when I am “runner” or “secondary” runner, I walk about 4 miles in the course of a shift. I generally bike to work and bike back, or bus to work and walk back. And with garden season starting, I will be doing more physical work in the garden. The goal is gardening and the physical work is a side-effect of the gardening.

        In the meantime, some good words and phrases to search-engine might be paleo diet ( as Riverdaughter has noted) and Frank Taubes (if I remember that name right) with his books on How We Get Fat And What We Can Do About It and other titles. Robb Wolf is a good name and he may have a website. Right now I am on vacation from work and the wonderful workplace computers, but when I am back at work I will try remembering and offering some other plausible links if an appropriate thread is presented for doing so.

        • And now? Well, I’d like to BE thin without having to GET thin. And that’s a problem right there.

          (nodding) That about sums it up for me to.

          I think that if it wasn’t for the diabetes issue I’d have given up on my weight by now. But, I’m reaching the age where it’s killed people in my family.

          • Not good. People-by-marriage in our family have diabetes problems. If you are not yet insulin injection dependent, then you might want to explore concepts to do with glycemic index and glycemic load. If (as I suspect) you already know all about that in detail, then it comes back to the problem of doing what you already know.

            Weight and carbo-loading may be 2 semi-separate problems. I don’t know if they are, but here’s hoping. If so, perhaps carbo-loading and sugar-shock can be addressed first by eating more low glycemic index/glycemic load food and less (and eventually approaching zero) high glycemic index/ glycemic load food. New understanding of body chemistry indexes is leading to the term “Syndrome X” which is also called “metabolic syndrome”. Perhaps googling those terms might turn up useful information. Also, some people have tried coining the word “diabesity”, but I don’t know if that has made the google yet. Perhaps solving the carbo-driven metabolism issues will set the weight issue free to solve itself to an extent.

            But again, till I have lost some major weight and am posting better bloodwork numbers, I feel a very limited sense of personal authority-credibility for giving much advice. If I go under 180 and stay there, I may start talking and talking till you-all have to say something like: “do please shut up now, there’s a good commenter.” But its a long time if ever till that happens.

    • r u, you make me smile. You have a really unique way of expressing yourself. Do you perhaps write for a living? If not, have you ever considered it?

      • Thank you both for the kind words. After college I was too busy trying to survive to be able to think about anything but surviving. Now that I finally feel like I finally have some survival security ( if I don’t get precaritized by forces beyond my control), perhaps I should think about that very thing.

        The first step would be buying a real computer of my very own and a little computer command-center for it in my dwelling unit. But first I have to clean my unit out from a third-of-a-lifetime’s worth of hoarded possessions. I am working on that right now. Once I have my very own computer I might sometime after that start my very own blog. If I discover that a lot of people over time find it worth reading, I might start trying to write little things to be sold.

        I suspect a lot of whatever writing ability I have now comes partly from the huge amount of reading I used to do and the lesser amount I still do. One source for very inspirational use of language is some of the books and stuff put out by The Church of the Subgenius. (No, I am not a member. I only read it for fun). The Book of the Subgenius and Subgenius Pamphlet Number One are very interesting demonstrations of new-word design-engineering, among other things.

        • We used to get some very serious people in the library wanting to place holds on that book! I haven’t thought about it in years.

          • I got my copy 15 years ago on remainder at the Overstocks and Remainders bookstore, for $4.95 or something. I believe that SubGenius Pamphlet Number One is still findable online for free.

    • Yes I agree you have a very interesting almost poetic writing style, r u reddy. Reminds me of Bukowski a little. Always like reading your comments. I second the suggestion to consider writing if you don’t already.

      • Look what the Hullabaloonies lost when Digby stealth-banned me in sneaky secret.

  10. thanks for this thread. I just threw out the choc chip cookies I had started to enjoy – right before I leave for the fitness center (in a few minutes). LOL. No kidding, I really threw them out and I am truly sayikng thank you w/out snark. So, my sugarless days are beginning right now. Because I cannot eat sugared food in moderation. I simply cannot. :(

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