Food and Friends

Today is June 18th

What I have learned from my friend, Ann

Ann: “If you are going to be naughty, you must exercise!”

Lesson: If you are going to eat excess calories, you must be more active.

Ann, oh Ann. We’ve had a myriad of philosophical discussions, but oh what a FUN friend. Ann has taught me that you can have fun, but still run a tight ship. Her outbursts of singing, wit, humor and thoughtfulness has made a difference in my life. She has also taught me to be discrete in giving as well as a cheerful giver. I barely knew Ann when one day I found her cross necklace that I admired the previous day, adorned on my office door clip. Ann is a special person and many people may not know what I know, because I saw with my own eyes … her selflessness.

Tip or quote of the day:

“Just whistle while you work (whistle)

Put on that grin and start right in

to whistle loud and long

Just hum a merry tune (hum)

Just do your best and take a rest

and sing yourself a song”

                                   -Frank Churchill

Take Action Today:

  • Think of happy tunes at work or home today.
  • Move more if you eat more than usual today.
  • Be a cheerful giver
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Critical Thinking

Today is Saturday, May 24th

The Topic of Today is:

Critical Thinking

We ought to realize that recommendations for diet and exercise are not for everyone. Each human being is unique and has different needs. I keep hearing blanket statements of what a person needs to do and eat to stay healthy. I received a pamphlet in the mail yesterday from a University that prides itself in their nutrition program. The recommendations were almost comical for most of us and I imagine, of the 313.9 million people living in the United States, not very many can eat as the brochure suggested every day.  Most of us have good intentions, but eating perfectly everyday is not going to be a reality. I think each of us ought to examine how we feel after eating and exercising, and not worry so much about living to 100. There are some things we just have to accept.  If you feel good after a walk, by all means walk. But, if your feet or back painfully hurt, walking may not be a good idea. Be smart and think things through.

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal from a British journal called Heart that discussed two studies saying, “extreme amounts of exercise may be detrimental to your health.” Did we really need to conduct a study to learn that? Are we not all “thinkers” and realize anything we do in excess is probably harmful? I often think back to my older relatives, my Aunts (Mil, Dorothy, Elaine, Joyce, Toots, and Mert) my Uncles (Chuck, Frank, Joe, Keith, Gay, and Henry) who all lived vibrant lives. The only “exercise” I saw them doing was taking care of their lawn and keeping the house (laundry, floors, cleaning, etc). I doubt they ever got their heart rates up to their VO2 max. Like I said, they all lived vibrant, long lives.

Quote of the Day”

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” – Reinhold Niebuhr

Take Action Today:

  • Think back to your relatives growing up, and reflect on their activities of daily living.
  • Once again, keep a list of the things you eat and do that make you feel good.
  • Reflect on the Serenity Prayer. (We will come back to this on Monday)

 

 

It’s gotta be fun!

 Today is Wednesday, May 21st

The topic or question of the day:

Exercise

     This past week I ran into a friend of mine I don’t get to see very much anymore.  She amazes me every time I run into her because she went from not exercising, to walking a 5 K and next thing I knew, it was a 10 K, then coaching others, and now plans on the Tulsa Run this year.  She is smiling from ear to ear and her face is glowing, not to mention her calves are on many people’s “wanted” list!  She absolutely loves it!  That is what makes exercise fun.  After seeing her, it encouraged me to drag out what I find gives me a great work out and makes me smile.  My balance beam.  I put on my favorite CD and practiced all the old mounts, leaps and turns while building core strength.  I even worked up a sweat and of course fell a “ca-zillion” times.  When physically active, and blood is pumping, there is a genuine feeling of strength.  For many people dancing is fun and if that is your fun, I  encourage you to put on some music and dance the night away.  

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     One of my main problems is that once I worked hard, I do get hungry and have to be careful not to over-rationalize and say…”I exercised, therefore….I can have”.   Most people do this to some degree.  The trick is to eat those 3 bites of something to take the edge off and stop.  Intelligent eating!

Quote or tip of the day:  

It is much more fun to exercise with other people.

Take Action Today:  

1. Ask someone to go on a walk with you instead of going to lunch or the coffeeshop. 

2. Look into some different types of exercise and remember, mowing the lawn and weeding gardens is also movement therapy.

 

“Free Fall” Weekends

Today is Saturday, May 10th

The Topic or Question of the Day:

Do you typically “Free Fall” on the weekends?

     I often find that many people trying to drop a few pounds are very organized during the week.  People may drink a protein shake or eat a small bowl of yogurt with cereal for breakfast.  Lunches are planned and packed, or a TV type dinner is brought to work for a quick heat in the microwave. Snacks are portioned and planned and then Friday arrives!  All control departs and mega calories are consumed over the weekend. These extra calories will upsurp all the good choices made during the week and most people will only maintain their weight at best and never lose.  This is one reason I found that people give up because they refuse to change their “Free Fall” Weekends and they “over celebrate” weekends.

     I urge anyone trying to lose weight to plan your weekends a little better and make a commitment to go on a very long walk if possible.  I once read if a person walked 2.5 hours on a Saturday, it could positively affect your health in many areas.  Time is a problem for most people, but like my friend Bill says, you’ll find time if you want to.  I also heard about a new book called Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung.  I have not read it yet, but plan to soon.  I find myself saying and hear others saying, “I am so busy”. It is sad when the “world” gets too busy for real people.

Tip or quote of the day:

Let’s not get too busy. People are important and we all need each other in this world.

Take action today:

Review your schedule. What can you adjust to make room for someone needing your friendship or help? When can you go for a long walk? For quiet time? Can you have someone to dinner instead of going to a restaurant that serves too much food anyway?

Re-evaluate your busy-ness.  

Mega Protein

Today is Wednesday, March 5th

The question of the day is:

How much protein is too much?

There is no upper limit set for protein intake by the dietary reference intake standards, however, I believe we need to use our God given eyes, ears and brains once again.  Any food in abundance can be harmful (see previous blogs).  Many people forget, that any excess calories that are not utilized in the body will be stored as glycogen or body fat.  A big mistake I often see are with women trying to lose weight is when they drink a protein shake or chocolate milk after a “workout,” and the”workout” is usually less than 1.5 hours, thus not requiring excess protein or calories.  Why?  Because usually they are just running or on an elliptical machine or something similar and did not ‘exhaust’ their bodies.  Most burn at least 200-400 calories working out (depending on their weight and intensity) which is great, but then they put calories right back into their bodies with the drinks.  I also find many of the gadgets over-estimate calories burned so be careful.  If you are working out, using protein supplements, and not losing a good amount of weight, you may want to consider dumping the supplement.

Protein metabolism yields nitrogen and nitrogen is not stored in the body, and is excreted through our kidneys.  For those with compromised kidneys, high levels of nitrogen are not good and protein intake should be moderated.  Even though my kidneys are not compromised, why would I want to stress them out daily by overeating protein?

I have said before, we are all as different as our fingerprints so no one way of eating is best for everyone.  Some people’s bodies metabolize fats and proteins better than carbohydrates (diabetes) and some people are what I call ‘carbo burners’.  What makes this especially difficult is when one person in the family burns carbohydrates well and the other burns proteins and fats better.

Quote of the day:

“Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise, will sooner or later find time for illness.” – Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby (1826-1893), The Conduct of Life address at Liverpool College December 20, 1873.

Take Action Today:

Use your eyes and brains today. Watch how much protein you are eating, how much fat along with that protein and if you think it is enough or too much.  How did you feel 1-2 hours later?  Does exercise make you feel better? Get that journal out we discussed at the 1st post of this blog, and practice intelligent eating and add some exercise.

Monday Morning Quarterback

Today is Monday, February 3rd

The topic or question of the day is:

Monday Morning Quarterback

     An enormous amount of food was consumed at Super Bowl parties last night.  Brian Wansink of Mindless Eating states: “The size of serving bowls, scoops, and plates influences how much an intelligent, informed person eats.”  The bigger the bowl, the more Chex mix a person will take and eat.  Consequently, the bigger and wider the glasses, the more liquid will be dispensed.  With taller glasses, people actually pour less and thus consume less.

     I tried this myself when serving a large group in the past.  By placing the mashed potatoes in a smaller bowl with a tablespoon instead of a big serving spoon, people actually served themselves less.  When I used a huge bowl and huge serving spoon, people definitely plopped more on their plates, thus ate more.  Variety also leads to excess intake because our senses want to try everything.  Awareness of this knowledge is important, especially for Super Bowl, tailgating or birthday parties.  Always remember, the first 3 bites taste the best!

     Another interesting experiment Brian conducted had to do with chicken legs.  He served chicken legs to a room of people.  While they were eating, he instructed the waitresses/waiters to pick up the bones immediately on some tables while leaving the bones on other tables.  What do you think happened?  The people who saw all the bones piled up on their tables ate less than the people who ate at the tables where the bones were picked up and out of sight.  

Tip of the day:

We eat more than we think.  Watch those chicken bones.

Think and eat intelligently!

Take Action Today:

Be mindful of convenience foods, like boneless chicken legs and peanuts.

Shop garage sales for tall, fluted glasses, and use smaller dishes and utensils

Walk all week to burn excess calories consumed yesterday.

 
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Smaller plates and utensils