Archive for the ‘Eating Vortex’ Category

As the saying goes, “The whole is greater than the sum…”

October 23rd, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We have all heard the saying “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” This saying came to mind recently when the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s press release exclaimed “Cut the crap!” They revisited their nutritional recommendations for a healthy heart and slightly shifted their position suggesting we eat more whole foods and less highly processed, low nutrient junk food, AKA “crap”! How wise is that? Very!

Well, well, well, what a breath of fresh air these well thought out, new recommendations are for everyone! Over the past decades the masses have complicated matters of the heart and the diet, transforming the innocent act of eating into such a complicated affair. We got to focusing too much on micronutrients, while losing the essence and joy of food and eating somehow. It’s time to put “the bread” back into “breaking bread together”!

I am not proclaiming that nutrients in the food don’t matter. Our masterful machines – our bodacious bodies need all nutrients to function optimally. Changing our focus to one overarching goal – to consume mostly whole foods in a balanced fashion, is sage advise. Aiming to cook these whole foods at home more often can be life changing and for some life saving.

Instead of needing to remember a wide array of complicated food and nutrition rules – “…more of this, less of that, this percentage of the other… ” you simply have to ask yourself, “Is this a whole food or not?” When you look in your fridge, freezer, pantry and grocery list you can easily see if you are on the right track. Make small changes to move in the direction of eating whole foods more often in balanced proportions.

A few weeks back I made a vat of tomato eggplant sauce and froze it in smaller containers. Last week I made a lasagne with ground beef & mushrooms, spinach & ricotta and noodles using that trusty tomato sauce. This week I assembled this cinchy dinner of smoked salmon & brie, whole grain bread with a side salad. Next week I plan to create some calzones and dip them into my tomato sauce. Trust me, I am no Julia Childs and approach this to make food prep as easy and enjoyable as possible.

It’s helpful to take stock of your whole food enjoyment right now. If you have been falling short during this harvest season get a move on to your grocery store or market and load up.

Because it’s true, the whole IS greater than the sum of its parts. Eating more home-prepared, whole foods is better for you than consuming your nutrients from a bottle or elixir and following a plethora of illogical food rules, don’t you think?

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Weight Loss Through the Years & What YOU Can Do

October 7th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Perhaps you read some of the headlines recently on why losing weight today is harder to do than 30 years ago. Hmmm, I thought, just what people need, are more reasons to give up on their journey from Fat City to Slim Town, what gives? I must say I read those articles with dismay, not really agreeing with all of their rationale. I feel there are other reasons why we may be having a more challenging time trying to lose weight. So here’s my take on what I feel the more relevant issues are and what YOU can do about it:

Mindless Eating – We are a people who multitask in a rush rush rush culture. Eating and drinking or consuming no longer only happen at the kitchen table with family, don’t you wish. A lot of consuming happens with distractions – while driving, while working, while watching TV. We now have cup holders in our vehicles that can hold a mega sized slurp-ee or specialty coffee that was never conceived back in the ’80′s. When scientists study what people actually consume – those tasty morsels that are consumed mindlessly don’t get recorded. Our bodies haven’t evolved into a mystery system I suspect. We just can’t remember those dang items consumed while doing other things and they really add up.
What can you do? Work on eating and drinking mindfully without distractions. Make a pact to eat, drink and be merry with your undivided attention. You’ll probably enjoy it more when you do. Awareness certainly is bliss!

Size Matters – This axiom has many applications… In the world of food and eating over the years we know that serving sizes have mushroomed to much larger portions – from cans of pop, to muffins, bagels, combo meals, to mega sized family packs of food – so much comes super sized you almost feel like you’re on the set of “Honey I shrunk the kids” in those big box Club stores! Kitchen cupboards are built differently to hold all of this super sized stuff. Over the decades of consuming the same items that are now 30% larger, it is no surprise if you’ve tipped the scale by the same percent.
What can you do? Start by choosing to consume most of your food off of smaller “salad sized” plates sitting down. While you’re at it, slow down your eating pace and experience yourself feeling satisfied. Get in the habit of making half your plate veggies and fruit throughout the day which is one of my many healthy and stealthy strategies in my ebook.

Easy Button Overload & Life’s Conveniences – On the other side of the energy equation, our lives have morphed into being able to press the “easy button” for everything. There are so many cozy conveniences from electric garage door openers, to moving sidewalks, to drive through’s, to the channel changer for the idiot box. You can say we now live on Easy Street which isn’t a word of a lie! Pair that up with our sitting epidemic and we have become so efficient we’re burning up less calories because of all of these conveniences. Good grief.
What can you do? Work on ways of moving more: take the stairs when you can, park further away, use active transport when you are planning activities close to home, work in 15 minute intervals of movement consciously and aim for an hour a day everyday.

Taste is King, Adds Caloric Sting!Food scientists have revolutionized taste perfection helping food companies find your bliss point in a vast array of ultra-processed food products. Who doesn’t want food to taste great? No one, that’s who! Let’s get real though, read the package labels and menu choices on-line to find out what’s in your food. Yes it might taste deadly, but it might just be addictive with all of the sugar, salt and fat added to it. I suggest you take my Eating Satisfaction Test and you may find that some of your favourite foods fall off your fave list.
What can you do? Get back to nature and eat more whole foods. The less packaged and ultra processed foods you and your family consume, the better. While you’re at it take my Eating Satisfaction Test!

Immediate Gratification – We the people have become so used to rewarding ourselves for every little thing we do with immediate gratification. We want everything NOW already. Yesterday is even better! And when it comes to taking the time to lose that 10 pounds we gained during the summer we want it to happen in a week. Stop the madness! If it took you 3 months to let 10 pounds sneak up on your back side it will likely take that amount of time to lose it. If you want to follow simple human biological principles, losing weight permanently FAST is next to impossible. Give a realistic game plan consideration.
What can you do? Get real and understand losing weight will be slow, but with small changes that stick, you can keep it off. Work in a reasonable system of rewards that are not food or drink related. Build a repertoire of behaviour that keep you motivated without needing to spend a slew of dough or eating some for that matter!

Final Word – Just because some experts tell you losing weight is harder to do these days doesn’t mean you need to throw up your hands and throw in the towel. Don’t give up and work on small changes that add up. In the process learn to enjoy your food and activity more. Tune out the negative nellies and know that you can do better when you’re aware of these modern day barriers. Kick them to the curb! So go on, take your lifestyle by the horns this fall in a positive direction!

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Who can you trust in this mad mad mad world of misinformation?

September 30th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , ,

I have written in my book that it can be a Mad Mad Mad Mad Mad World when it comes to the smelly heap of food and nutrition misinformation these days. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to believe. Sadly, many innocent consumers don’t only waste their hard earned money on crack-pot, unnecessary products but also harm themselves physically by trying some of these schemes.

I recently recounted a story I heard in my blog post “Clean Up on Aisle 3“. I heard about a woman who tried a cleanse, limiting her to only drink a high-priced, special elixir to help her find her fountain of youth. After a month on this bevy blaster her hair started falling out. That wasn’t exactly the special side effect she was seeking, good grief. That’s what happens when you don’t deliver all the nutrients your body needs consistently – it eventually breaks down.

Unfortunately the wisdom of eating a balanced diet and regular food can seem so unsexy and highly underrated when indeed this nugget is truly the Holy Grail… The moral of that story – don’t mess with the machine – your bodacious body, as I have written many times and explain in my ebook, Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books.

Dietitians of Canada has some pointers to help Canadians sort through the noise to find the best available nutrition information.

Here are five tips to spot misinformation:

  • Is the person or product promising a quick fix like fast weight-loss or a miracle cure? If it sounds too good to be true, then it likely is! Making changes to your health means a commitment to eating well and exercising regularly. Check out the ‘Your Health’ section at dietitians.ca
  • Are they trying to sell you products such as special foods or supplements instead of teaching you how to make better food choices at home, at play, at work or while eating out?
  • Do they provide information based on personal stories rather than on facts? Although it’s nice to hear about a success story from a celebrity, it’s not proof that something works or is true. Nutrition advice should be based on the best available scientific research. Dietitians are university trained, regulated health professionals who use tools such as PEN® to make sure they are basing their advice on the best available information.
  • Is their claim based on a single study or a few research studies? Were the studies with animals or humans? Are you similar to the humans that were studied (age, gender etc.)? The stronger the study design, and the more studies available that draw the same conclusions, the stronger the evidence that something it true.
  • What are the person’s qualifications? Think about it: You wouldn’t ask a celebrity how to build a safe bridge, you’d ask a professional engineer. You also wouldn’t ask a celebrity to fill your cavity, you’d ask a dentist. The same thinking should apply for nutrition advice. Dig a little deeper and ask for credentials. The title dietitian is protected by law, just like a nurse, dentist or pharmacist. Look for the initials “RD or PDt” to identify a registered dietitian.

Awash yourself with wisdom people. Trust an RD!

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To Snack or Not to Snack? Managing your Hunger Games

September 18th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I recently received this message from a book reader of mine. She gave me permission to blog about it to help others who might have similar issues managing hunger.

Dear T & T,
I just finished your book, Skinny on Slim, The Little Black Dress of Diet Books and thought it had a lot of great tips. I have started journalling and have set some 3×3 goals for myself. I have a question about how to strike a balance between only eating when I’m hungry and eating to ensure I won’t be too hungry at a later time (to ensure no pig outs happen when serious hunger hits). For example, I tend to workout after work but before dinner. So I will have a snack around 4pm to give me plenty of energy for a solid workout and I’m not dying for dinner right after. But sometimes I am not really hungry when it’s snack time. One of my goals, is to focus on what actual hunger is, and I worry that snacking like this may impede that. Any thoughts?

Dear PO,

You bring up an excellent point about managing hunger with a busy routine. First of all major props to you for working out, keep up the good work on that! Being active is beneficial for you on sooooo many levels. Learning about your own hunger and fullness cues takes time and is a huge balancing act AND certainly worth the effort to work on.

If you’re not hungry at 4pm I suggest you forgo having a snack. It is, however, totally trial and error. Keep yourself equipped with fruit for afterward – a perfect post-workout and pre-dinner snack so you’re not ravenous when you get home. I think marketing ingrains in our heads that we need a pre and/or post workout snack even though we’re not elite athletes. Follow your cues and act accordingly.

Also I find different times of the month like when I’m PMS’ing I feel more hungry. If that’s the case I’ll have a snack. Fruit is my go-to option or a handful of unsalted nuts if I need more staying power. Boredom can do the same thing with playing funny mind tricks disguised as hunger when it isn’t! Reviewing the 3 R’s (review, reflect, reframe) from your journal and observing the patterns will help you figure out true hunger. Plus it will help you with to how better you manage hunger. I find when I’m ravenous it’s too easy to automatically overeat so my personal trick is to avoid getting to that point. Easier said than done, but an ongoing goal. It’s a true balancing act and takes time to figure out and manage.

It’s a worthwhile effort to discern what actual hunger is for you as well. There are times when my tummy plays gypsy music disguised as hunger, esp post vacation and what I actually need to do is to get back on track, ensure I drink my fluids (water at my workstation), eat more fruits and veggies, choose a balanced diet including enough protein at each meal while I retrain those stomach stretch receptors to snap back to normal. As I like to say: Awareness is bliss! Keep me posted on your progress and let me know if you have further questions.

Nutritionally yours,
T & T

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Back to School; Want to Make Food Fun?

September 1st, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

Everything is so “back to school” these days. I have seen my share of ads, articles, tweets and blog posts about making food fun from sandwiches to breakfasts to snacks. Call me crazy, but are we that hedonistic that every dang thing we do needs to be fun, what gives?!

When it comes to food for kids (young and less young), here’s how to infuse fun inherently, listen up!

Grow It - I don’t know anyone who doesn’t feel a sense of pride from eating something they’ve grown at home whether it’s tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon or herbs. Grow something; grow anything and you’ll create joy. Continue the growing season by bringing some herbs indoors as fall approaches.

Plan It – Round everyone up at home to decide what meals and snacks will be made and purchased each week. Use a team approach allowing everyone to have a say, while Mom and Dad lay the ground rules. Team-work makes everything more fun!

Prep It – Encourage everyone in the household to take part in preparing meals and snacks when age appropriate – whether it’s adding to the grocery list, grocery shopping, setting the table, measuring ingredients, chopping, cooking and cleaning up. Get kids to prepare their own lunch. Also, set a goal that your kids build a repertoire of making 6-12 family recipes to take with them when they fly from the nest. Here are some fast, easy recipes I love: Peppers & Eggs, Pasta Fagioli, Nan’s Veal Stew, Sugo! Crazy for Bolognese! Pasta Salad, Tomato Salad and Lettuce Salad – enjoy!

Share It – Breaking bread is a truly beautiful thing. Just like you book meetings at work, make meeting time at home over meals a priority that can’t be missed.

Savour It - As we live our lives in the fast lane aim to dial down the speed when you eat. Stop, find a quite place without distractions, slow down and eat your food savouring the taste to the MAX. If everyone did this, we wouldn’t need to seek out other stimuli to turn our crank. Savour the flavour people!

Enjoy It – With all of the “how to” info around food and eating, it seems something so very natural “the act of eating” has become so pre-scripted and unnecessarily complicated – eat this, don’t eat that – Ahhhh! Let’s lose the guilt around food and eating and enjoy food to the MAX!

So folks, when you infuse all of this into your eating repertoire you can forgo purchasing fluorescent coloured food or creating fruit-origami on your 3-year old’s plate to create fun when you don’t really need it.

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Heir Condition – Food Labels & Kids’ Food

August 18th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , ,

Well folks, this will be my final instalment about food product labels for a while. By now you are well aware that the deadline to submit your comments about Health Canada’s latest proposal for food labels is August 26, 2015. I trust you will weigh in with your valued feedback given how rare this opportunity is. I weighed in about my initial thoughts a while back then again a few weeks ago discussing the need for clear information for added sugar and rethinking their portion size plan, ending my post encouraging you to “…weigh in for the betterment of our health and for generations to come.”

I have done more thinking on this from the perspective of new parents purchasing food for infants, toddlers and children. You may know I used to be a paediatric dietitian at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. You don’t yet know I’m about to become a great aunt. I had the opportunity to catch up at a family gathering recently with my nephew and his wife Surf and Nature Girl. They have a bun in the oven due as they celebrate 5 years of marriage. This little fireball will be part Irish, part Scottish and part Italian, codename Pancetta(o). This gives me a new reason to view this topic from a new and very important perspective with our baby on my mind, hmmmmm.

I took another look at Health Canada’s food label proposal and realized that toddler foods do not have to list industrial trans fat. We know unequivocally that industrial trans fat is bad for every Canadian especially kids. In addition, I stand by my comments about needing added sugar to be on its own line of the Nutrition Facts table. While grocery shopping this past weekend, I decided to do some label sleuthing with my trusty iPhone camera of some of the infant and toddler foods.

I found some interesting sounding products from “Mother Hen”, “Love Child Organics”, “Baby Gourmet” and that trusty “Heinz” that I was raised on before being fed my Mom’s famous meatballs.

Brooding Over Baby Food
I assumed the most benign product would have been the Heinz Peaches meant for babies. Sadly I was dead wrong. In a 4.5 ounce bottle, those peaches were 100 calories with 25 grams of sugar. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. Because the added sugar does not have its own line on the panel (nor will it, if this Health Canada proposal goes through). I was left wondering why these numbers were so high for such a simple food.

I then sleuthed the internet for the nutritional info for a fresh peach of a similar size and volume. I found that 1 medium peach (150 grams) has 59 calories with 13 grams of natural sugar. This must mean that 3 teaspoons of added sugar was in that jar of peaches. This folks, is meant for babies. Keep in mind the benchmark recommendation of added sugar for MEN is 6-12 teaspoons/day. Good grief….

Toddler Hack Snacks
I did more meandering around the grocery store and found some “First Food Organics” yogurt yums for kids 12 months or older. “Organic sugar” was the 4th ingredient on the ingredient list. The noted serving size was 7 grams with the total sugar being 4 grams/serving. This might seem low, but over 50% of each serving is sugar. How much added sugar is in this product? It’s impossible to know. Again parents would benefit from seeing an added sugar line on the label, don’t you think?

The Happy Meal is Making Me Sad
Once I got home and put my groceries away I decided to do more nutritional number sleuthing. This time I surfed on the McDonald’s website looking at their meal for kids, namely the Happy Meal. But you might be asking, isn’t this blog post on food product labels for packaged foods? And my answer would be YES. Yes, but I like to remind consumers that only half of our food supply is mandated to have the nutritional information available for consumers which includes packaged goods. Food sold at fast food outlets are NOT mandated to have this information readily available. So may I remind you as a consumer that we should be demanding this information for ALL of the food we consume – packaged goods AND fast food.

Nothing makes me more sad than tallying up this Happy Meal combo. This included a cheeseburger, small fries, root beer and strawberry yogurt tube your little McNugget will consume 670 calories, 23 grams fat, 930mg sodium and 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons). Younger kids who consume this food far surpass what they should be eating of negative nutrients.

This cheap meal is targeted at kids yet provides a gut buster full of negative nutrients that parents can’t readily find out about. If parents knew better they would do better. Like I always say “awareness is bliss.” I’m sure by now this Happy Meal is no longer making you smile.

What to do? What to do? What to do?
There’s still time to weigh in to the Gazette 1 process, as the deadline looms closer – August 26, 2015. If you agree with me, tell Health Canada you want to know how much added sugar is in products you’re considering purchasing. Tell Health Canada you demand to know the deadly industrial trans fat in your food especially those made for your toddler. And for all of our sake tell Health Canada you want to know the same information of what’s in packaged foods as fast food. Exercise your right to speak up. Our new baby and all kids deserve better!

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Snap Back to Normal Post Vacation

August 13th, 2015 2 Comments Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Who doesn’t love a vacation? The readjustment once you return home isn’t for the faint of heart though. After you’ve clicked the heels of your proverbial ruby slippers it’s time to hit the ground running after being in la la land – don’t you think? Gone are the breakfast buffets, lunch choices galore and over flowing glasses of wine. You can still hear Billy Joel sing “..bottle of white, bottle of red..” Time to change the tune; we will overcome!

Vamoose Your Caboose – My most important rule of thumb is to vamoose yourself back into your pre-vacay eating and activity routine and FAST. Porridge anyone? Though get thee to the grocery store to stock up on a multitude of healthy choices STAT. Bye bye truffles on your pillow, a fond and tasty farewell.

Ignore the Gypsy Music – It is also imperative to be mindful of the grumbling games your stomach will be making. Don’t confuse this gypsy music as hunger, but from overeating day after day. Yes folks reality bites! I usually find it takes a few days to get my tummy stretch receptors back to normal by eating smaller amounts. Ensure half your plate is fruits and veggies at every meal and stick with water as your go-to beverage. Be patient and tune out the grumbling.

Bend, Stretch & Move – It’s also time to to blow the dust off your mat and weights and resume your full array of exercises with GUSTO. I’ll confess that sometimes when I’m away the only sit up I’ve done is rolling out of bed in the morning. Time to feel the burn by reigniting your routine.

Is a Cleanse On your Mind? – Some people wonder if a GI cleanse is in order. Hmmmm good question. The only maneuver like that I’d recommend is booking your colonoscopy if you haven’t scheduled it. Other than that your own liver and kidneys will do the job for you while you load up on fresh produce, home cooking and water.

Here’s a little rhyme on the topic….

A mound of laundry
A pile of mail
My porridge bowl
And bread gone stale

A grocery list
In need of stuff
The long flight home
Now enough is enough!

A dinner offering
Not paired with wine
Back to my walk
When the morning sun shines

Time-change adjustment
Need a fast switch
My mat and weights
I’m feeling the itch

It’s great to travel
Love a change of scene
But snap back to normal
With your trusty routine!

Really though, there’s no place like home…..

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Tabling the Food Label, Time to Weigh In

August 5th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Anyone who has followed me on T & T and read my book has heard me proclaim “awareness is bliss” many times. Having a deeper knowledge of what’s in your food whether it be packaged goods or restaurant food is essential when you’re trying to eat better or get a handle on your handles. In fact in Chapter 7 of Skinny on Slim I suggest fab 4 (not 44) changes to make with your diet. Getting in the habit of reading food labels is one of the fab 4 suggestions.

A mammoth study was conducted at Washington University looking at people’s label-reading habits and their impact on weight loss and weight control. They found that subjects who lost the greatest amount of weight habitually read the Nutrition Facts table on food products. This shows us that knowledge is power – we do better when we know better.

You may recall that Health Canada surveyed Canadians about food label proposed changes last year that I generally agreed with. However this year they revised what they proposed on the food label. This will go to Gazette 1 with a comment period by August 26, 2015. I was rather blunt with my feedback on these latest suggested changes in my post entitled “Proposed Food Label Changes: Good from Far but Far from Good!” It is rare for Health Canada to make such sweeping changes to the label, you’d think there was an election coming… Food labels can be consumers best friend by providing an array of important nutritional information, so I take this opportunity to weigh in very seriously and I hope you do too.

In short I do not agree with two aspects of their proposal:

Getting Wise with the Serving Size?
Health Canada is proposing to standardize the serving size on the label. When it comes to comparing nutritional information of similar products, this makes things a lot easier for consumers – I agree with that aspect of their proposal. What I am concerned about is that they’re basing servings on usual intakes. Usual intakes of whom you ask, well that would be usual intakes of men. I have 2 problems with this maneuver. The first is the fact that in general (aside from teenage boys and athletes) men’s requirements are higher than the rest of the population. This would miscue more than half of the population of Canadians, a majority of whom are already overweight or obese. Next, more than 60% of Canadians are either overweight or obese so it is my assumption that they’re eating more than they should, so making this change would display usual intakes of men, a majority of whom are eating too much. This makes no sense to me whatsoever.

I feel dismayed at times that we already have an obesity epidemic and diabetes epidemic on our hands and I become very concerned what this change of serving size (if it goes through) would do for public health. What is your interpretation of what a proposed standardized serving size mean to you? Consumer perception is key. Other experts I know feel these usual intake estimations are too large and worry as well. It’s vital we all weigh in during this process, make your voice heard and take part!

Proposal of Sugar Hits a Sour Note
One of the suggestions was around added sugar so consumers could ascertain how much is in a product. You probably already heard that many notable health organizations such as the WHO and Heart & Stroke Foundation have made public recommendations to encourage consumers to eat less added sugar. The old adage “a sugar is a sugar is a sugar” no longer applies due to the alarm bells sounding on added sugar.

This iteration of Health Canada’s label proposal did NOT include displaying added sugar on a separate line on the label, when last year they suggested it. This one change would make it easy for consumers to know this info. When so many highly respected groups are cautioning us to reduce this, why would Health Canada not be taking the guess work out by simply listing it? Their current recommended change on the label makes it even more confusing to figure out how much added sugar is in a product. What’s your take on it?

It Takes A Village…
So folks DO take the time to weigh in prior to the August 26, 2015 deadline of what YOU think of this iteration of what is being proposed on food product labels. It can take a village or a country to weigh in for the betterment of our health and for generations to come.
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Twitter Taddler: Crash diet? Don’t try it!

May 27th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , , ,

You know that it’s spring not only when the blossoms have bloomed but also when the crash diet industry’s false promises are on the airwaves. While on Twitter recently, I noticed a barrage of attention grabbing “before and after” photos with promises to get you skinny in a jiffy, good grief. When I looked closely some “after” shots didn’t even look like the same person. What gives?! Whatever you do, don’t fall for it. And yes Dr. Oz, one of those tweets was yours!

I made a conscience decision to begin this year posting a series to help you to jump start your regimen to propel you into a slow and steady behaviour modification “change project” to a healthier you. What’s the rush? If you are now ready to make some changes, press the “start” button and consider some basics first. Avoid getting sucked in to those claims with empty promises that seem too good to be true.

Take a look at my ebook to support you in your quest: Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books Here are a few of the posts to help you get started:

Save your money, like magic – Do you believe in magic? The child in me would like to. But my adult brain knows full well about illusions. Many plans, pills, procedures and products promise mystical results. That’s what desperate dieters want: fast, easy, magical solutions to solve their weight problem. Don’t fall for them!

Super starvation nation – I divulged the ultra-low-calorie diet blunder that twisted my eating into a tailspin for years in my ebook so I understand the allure of “quick fix” promises. The physiological truth is when anyone goes on an ultra-low cal diet, they will lose weight, and fast, especially the first time they try it. The inconvenient truth is that we humans are biological beings with a penchant for survival. Once you go on a fast like that, guess what? The next opportunity you get to eat freely you won’t be able to stop until a week next Sunday —of next year, probably longer. Yes those food floodgates will surely fly open.

Super low-cal regimens can have long-lasting negative effects on many levels. I learned the hard way and I don’t want you to do the same. Some people try these scary schemes over and over again and tank their metabolism and self-esteem. Each rebound results in a greater amount of weight gain. Each time you try again, the weight loss is harder and harder to achieve. Do you know why? Our masterful machine is protecting itself by becoming more efficient. Your metabolism will slow down which is exactly what you don’t want when you try to lose weight.

Experts say that the lowest daily energy we should ever fall to is 1,200 calories for women and 1,600 for men, a far cry from this delinquent dietary quota.

You may lose weight because of the ultra-low calories prescribed. You will not, however, keep the weight off because you will eventually revert to your previous ways. From now on when you hear the word “fast” in the name of a diet you’re enamoured with, that’s the speed you should travel in the opposite direction away from it!

So folks, take your time and make small changes. You will eventually succeed. Your physical, mental, emotional health and wellbeing depend on it. Spot the snake in life’s game of Snakes and Ladders and move on.

A bigger part of me – grab some flab – Let’s have a reality check, shall we? Take a moment and grab your tummy roll or flabby thigh or arm flap – look at it, pinch it, realize it. This extra fat is part of your very body. It is integrated throughout your complex systems with your circulation flowing through it in every appendage, all over your torso, your neck and head, everywhere.

Losing this excess fat like that junk in your trunk isn’t like emptying a pot of tea (“turn the handle and pour me out”). Don’t you wish? It’s much more complicated than that and needs time. Your self-image is affected in part by this excess fat too. So losing weight affects you deeply both physically and mentally. It takes time to lose it safely without compromising your temple. Be kind to your “body as temple” and as I like to say “Don’t mess with the machine, your bodacious body!”

Yes spring has sprung folks and if you were slow out of the gate to build your beach body in the New Year, relax and take stalk. Slow and steady is the name of the game to successful weight loss taking the trek to Slim Town if you want to make one last trip and stay there!

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Blizzard to cool off? These findings will chill you…

May 13th, 2015 No Comments Tags: , , , ,

Ahhh the sights, sounds and smells of summer are here. The magnolias are blossoming, birds chirping while the coif of fresh cut grass abounds, ahhh. Nothing can be finer, truly. I shared a tweet with my better half of a picture of the cartoon Snoopy enjoying an iced cream cone treat, mmmmm. It got me contemplating a visit to MooLix in Kelowna for a scoop and an evening stroll beside Lake Okanagan sometime soon. I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen my share of DQ and Blizzard commercials, haven’t you? I decided to check out their promos like I did last year in my Summertime Scoop post to see how special these specials really are…. Awareness is bliss when discovering the nutritional value of those seasonal treats to cool off by!

Want a Blizzard? Let Hell Freeze Over First!
My fingers did the walking through the cesspool of nutritional data finding delectable choices such as Peanut Butter and Brownie Cookie Dough, Cotton Candy and Salted Carmel Truffle aka the PMS Buster. Hmmm, my dietitian antenna go up with anything served in a super duper sized cup with a spoon that stands on end. Put these benchmark nutritional requirements for an average male/day in your bonnet to compare what I found: 2,100 calories, 13gm saturated fat, 6-12 tsp sugar and 2,400mg sodium.

I sleuthed through the numbers for the large portion of the selections, so play along with me won’t you with some examples:

Brownie Cookie Dough Blizzard – 1510 calories; 63gm fat (14 tsp); 138gm sugar (35 cubes)

Note that the so called PMS Buster has 750mg sodium, so if you were retaining fluid before you gobbled this goblet of goo down you won’t be able to remove your rings until a week Sunday. Awareness is bliss alright and menu labelling would probably stop you in your tracks if you saw these numbers BEFORE you purchased. DQ is doubling down and promoting their buy one get one free to boot, good grief. Save yourself the sugar rush and think this through. With the winter we experienced who even wants to think about blizzards? If you’re looking to cool off take a jump in the lake instead!

The “Not So Special”, Special – Walk 20 Miles to Burn it Off
My attention turned to their summer “not so special”, lunchtime special, hmmm. This combo of doom includes a bacon cheeseburger, fries, 21oz drink and a sundae that can be swapped for a small Blizzard for a buck extra, oh joy. My calculations included a regular soda pop plus the dessert swap:

1,990 calories; 75gm fat (17 tsp); 198gm sugar (50 cubes); 2,090mg sodium

Oh my achy breaky heart! You can build the Wall of China with all of those sugar cubes. How much money are you saving on this “not so special”, special? The numbers hit the stratosphere when compared to those benchmarks for daily intake noted above. If you wanted to burn this lunchtime letdown off you’d need to take a 20 mile walk which is a 7 hour stroll. Now I need some air…

Sink With this Drink!
Then I surfed through the Julius bevys with fruity and refreshing sounding names of Triple Berry to Strawberry Kiwi or Pina Colada. What can be wrong with any of these? Well, everything, that’s what! In one large serving of the Pina Colada here’s what you get:

760 calories; 151gm sugar (38 cubes)

That big gulp will put a lump in your throat among other places. I can hear the honey bees buzzing over now to get at this one with their honey bee noses smudged up against the DQ window! These numbers are far from refreshing so save your money. What began as a humorous little exercise is no longer funny.

Test, Test, Time to Do the Eating Satisfaction Test
I refer to myself as a “non finger waging dietitian” folks and suggest you make decisions for yourself. Begin with my Awareness is Bliss exercise that I describe in my ebook Skinny on Slim the Little Black Dress of Diet Books and gain a better understanding of what’s in your food by knowing what the nutritional numbers are before you choose. You will do better when you know better. That $5 lunch special provided more than my nutritional requirements for energy in 1 day and is “not so special” after all. Take my Eating Satisfaction Test described after Halloween where you hone in on how your food choice made you feel 1 hour after consuming it. I’d wager that after that Blizzard choice you’d be reaching for Tums and a soft comfy cushion to nap like Dilbert feeling the afternoon slump in spades not to mention indigestion. You are not experiencing joy from eating, but misery. Find joy people.

When I say all foods fit I mean a snack sized morsel, once in a while, such as 1-2 small treats each week – sit, savour and enjoy then forget about it. There are many summertime joys and savouring a simple ice cream cone can be one of them. Remember, there’s more to life than stuffing your face!

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