Archive for November, 2011

Check 1, 2, Check 1, 2, Time for a Reality Check

November 17th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , ,

Yes sir-ree folks, it’s important from time to time to check in on your reality and have a reality check. I was doing a little bit of reading on a survey about how people think they will support themselves during retirement. You know, pay the bills. While 4% are resting on their selfish laurels thinking an inheritance will cover expenses an astounding 21% are waiting for their ship to come in via winning the lottery. Yes you read that right, the lottery…..

When I read that tidbit I did a double take around the room, thinking I just dozed off while reading my Biz mag. Then I double checked the cover in case I was reading an old Mad Magazine. I was actually reading this in a real business magazine – good grief.

Well those 1 in 5 surveyed who’re spending time, energy, dreams and moula on quick picks and such oughta stock up on the cat food that’s on sale with a spare can opener. For the odds of winning the lottery are a bit skewed, say ~14 million to 1. Well earth to the cuckoo-bara, time to check in to the here and now!! Why not spend your time, energy and money on your day job and live in the moment, because La La Land doesn’t exist.

You don’t need a Suze Orman smack down to get your head out of the oriphis on your backside. Might be a good time to extract it on your own.

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Swim to Slim

November 16th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , ,

I read about a study that reported people who worked out 2-times weekly by attending aqua-fit classes dropped both body fat and waist size without restricting calories in their diet.

I had dinner with a friend who told me how much she loved her group pool workout. No wonder she was looking so great!! What a super way to shake up your exercise routine by adding a splash of  variety, fun and interest.

The study reported a dampened appetite with improvements in fitness, self-esteem, confidence and quality of life. Some were even motivated to eat better and cut back to lose weight.

There’s nothing like making a paradigm shift to get your diet-mojo ramped up to a better you. Dive into that!!

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Kids & Eating – Restriction Contradiction

November 15th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

For the love of forbidden food – another one of our seeming logical approaches with parents, kids and food, to only backfire and get the opposite results. I don’t know who coined the term “out of sight, out of mind”, but when applied to foods we don’t want our kids to gorge on, certainly the opposite is true.

We already know kids are smart as whips and so perceptive to us adults. But here’s the scenario, we’ve just “saved a bundle” at the jumbo pack store and bought pillow sacks of junk food that we will eat “once in a while”, stashed away in an out of the way place in the house. Well you just opened yourself up to a game of Hide ‘n Seek and Hide ‘n Sneak.

Studies have been done on this misled strategy with food and kids. What the researchers found was when kids finally got to eat this “forbidden fruit” they ate 3 times more. Well how do you like that? Not very much…. They also found kids raised in “food restricted” households were more likely to binge on these foods when they got their hands on them.

I have written before about making sure our approach is schools by removing all junk food and fast food from their midst might create a generation of kids who are food bingers. Not exactly what the policy makers had in mind when they set out with a pure intention to help kids eat better.

This makes me think of the early days and the forbidden fruit – hey Eve and that apple?? It’s a good thing God didn’t forbid Eve from eating cookies or she would have had food jag on her hands in no time….

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Rapid Weight Loss UN-surprising Findings

November 14th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , ,

I’m getting a little cranky after reading various articles about the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on weight regain after a fast weight loss, in various newspapers by now. STOP THE MADNESS.

The researchers put study participants on an extremely low calorie diet that resulted in ~ a 10% weight loss or ~30 pounds while on an extremely low calorie diet. It is NOT recommended for women to eat fewer than 1200 calories per day and men to have less that 1800 calories per day. These subjects were on a skimpy 500 calories per day. What gives??

What were the results: well the subjects were REALLY REALLY hungry for a very LONG time after losing this weight, despite counselling well after the uber-restricted diet was over. That’s no surprise. “The findings suggest that dieters who have regained weight are not just slipping back into old habits, but are struggling against a persistent biological urge.” No kidding Einstein…..

Right out of the gate the study is flawed because of this. ANYONE who has been on one of these starvation diets turns into a ravenous grizzly bear to try to reestablish some sort of biological equilibrium. I was on one of these many moons ago to lose that “last 10 pounds” and I craved food glorious food – from nuts to peanut butter to fat anything with a side serving of a brontosaurus meat. I ended up losing ~15 pounds in a short time then my weight climbed and climbed and it took a long time to get back on track. YES, I landed on a snake in the diet game of Snakes and Ladders.

What makes me most angry are the headlines hitting the media airwaves on this. Any innocent consumer who scan’s the headlines without questioning the fine details of the study might decide NOT to start any regimen in the first place if indeed they were intending to, feeling “why bother?” I blame the scientists on this one because responsible clinicians shouldn’t put anyone on such a restricted regimen.

Why not spend good research dollars studying subjects who are on an acceptable weight loss regimen over a longer period of time?? I would wager a guess they would change behaviour slowly over time which get integrated into their daily repertoire in a controlled fashion.

My conclusion for any consumer out there planning to start a weight loss regimen – slow and steady WINS the race.

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Cara’s Food Revolution – Fennel Salad

November 10th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , ,

I was treated to a yummy lunch at my friend Cara’s house. I love catching up with long time friends and compadres, especially when they’re such fab hostesses!! I bonded with her 8-month old who is cuter than a koala bear. My visit filled me up in more ways than one.


1 fennel, washed, pared and sliced
1 bosc pear, washed, pared, cored and sliced
handful of dried cranberries
spinkle of sunflower seeds
dab of olive oil
rice vinegar

Prepare ingredients and put in your serving bowl. Combine and serve.

I get so stuck on the usual types of green salads. I’m so happy Cara made this for me, so that I can work it into my repertoire. A fabulous salad change up that tastes delish!

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Thumb’s Down on the UPcloud

November 9th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , ,

Oh boy, what will they think of next?? I’m sitting in the Frankfurt Airport lounge reading the Washington Post about a new web-cam to help you buy better fitted clothes when shopping on-line. Hmmmmmm. Sounds suspect right out of the gate, no pun intended!!

What you do is let it all hang out in front of your web-cam wearing tightly fitted clothes with the camera doing the “navel gazing”. We all know that “awareness is bliss”, except this is caught on tape. Nay nay I say! The system takes it from there processing your property, so to speak, working out your relative dimensions. It then builds a size profile to help you when ordering to ensure you get the right size…..supposedly…..

Well, well, well, this idea must have been created by a man I would guess. A single one at that, perhaps a fellow not blessed with a gaggle of sisters. Maybe he’s married to Barbie.

Has he thought about how this system changes during “that time of the month” when your “size profile” might be slightly eschew? Is there a warning to ensure you’re not wearing your Spanks which can suck the blubber in miraculously?? How does his system deal with “gravity issues” for us over 50 crowd?? Not to mention being in one of those “slow plumbing” weeks and what that does to a gal’s mid-drift……

I don’t know about you but I was just doing a little shopping in Marseille recently. I have a difficult enough time with the sizes when my actual body is available to try things on. Although my weight has been relatively stable for some time, my size, especially for trousers are a crap shoot depending on the cut, the cost, the make and target age intended for the dang garment. I found myself in the Lafayette Department Store in the Karen Millen section – oh fashion love, for my heart skipped a beat for a brief moment….very brief….. I was having a hot flash and nearly popped a blood vessel in my forehead trying on what I assumed were my size jeans as they barely were able to rise up higher than my knees. Oh boy, no joy on this fine day, that’s for sure. I would need at least 2 more sizes to hoist these puppies up and by now I’m sweating profusely.

Something just doesn’t seem right streaming web-cam footage of my dimensions for the UPcloud team, don’t you think? I wouldn’t want my footage entered in America’s Funnies Videos that’s for sure!!

Check out the photo. Now there’s one vestal virgin who could use a makeover……

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Kids & Eating – Do As You DO, Not As You Say

November 8th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , , , , ,

I must admit I’m a bit of a broken record using the saying “actions speak louder than words” ad nauseam. The older I get the less I focus on the spoken word and the more I focus on people’s actions. Partially because my hearing’s not as good as it used to be – EH??!!

Truly though, kids are even more in tune with parents actions, especially where dieting is concerned. If you are concerned about your child’s eating and weight, the first place to review is with what you and your hubby are doing, in this case at the family table. Talk about taking a page out of your book, kids do it in spades. How else are the little beggars going to learn how to eat properly?? If you try every new diet on the market, your kids, especially your daughters may lead a life of doing the same. Talk about a life of diet slavery.

You might feel you’re up to this “on again off again” diet regimen as an adult. What you’re doing is setting your kids up for the same roller coaster ride that you’re on at the UN-Fun Park of Life. Break this chain for good by committing to embracing a healthy lifestyle. Work on that food relationship. It is one true love life.

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Carbohydrate Conundrum

November 7th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , ,

Dear T & T,
Hey, I have started following your blog daily. Well done; lots of great info and fun to read. Me & my blogging counterpart have given up on ours, neither of us are into it anymore, it was fun while it lasted. What is your take on the Atkin’s Diet? The MacIntosh-Apple-of-My-Eye is a blood type O and seems to have a very low tolerance for carbs. He has tried several diets over the years and the low carb diet plans seem to work best for him. What are your thoughts?
Apple-of-His-Eye :)

Dear Apple-of-His-Eye,
Thanks for the note, I’m glad you enjoy reading my Through T & T Blog!! I enjoy the writing therapy and staying on my toes in the nutrition and life departments. There are times I find myself grasping at straws for ideas and other times the ideas just flow. Your question has rescued me from today’s search. Thanks very much!

Ok – what do I think about the Atkin’s Diet?? Hmmmmmm, I have known some people who have lost weight on this plan and kept it off, while others who have not found such success on it. As I always advise people who want to try a rigid regimen to do some navel gazing around any diet’s fit for them. It sounds like The-Apple-of-Your-Eye has a legitimate reason to be on a lower carb regimen. I say good for him for being open to his personal needs and taking measures to improve his health, bravo!!

I have tried this diet when I was seeking desperate measures while in my “fat days”. I am a carb LOVER. Although I lost a slew of weight right out of the gate, I wasn’t willing to sustain living on such low carbs for good. If you have ever tasted my Mom’s pasta, you’ll understand why. My case study was fairly typical whereby I lost a load of water weight early on. The weight came right back on after falling off the carb wagon. So I’ve been there done that and bought the proverbial postcard, as they say, for weight loss reasons …. Nothing like learning the hard way….

Personally, I don’t like any regimen where a certain food or food group is forbidden. This simply plays head games with the follower. It’s already a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world why give it any more reason to be. Years ago when I started to sort out my weight issues I stopped dieting and allowed all foods to fit, after which time I worked out the wonky approach.

I have admitted a few times; however, how I did a major overhaul of my diet in my 40′s. For me the big change was cutting back on carbs, not cutting them out. I ensured I included my 5-10 a day of fruits and veggies and was meeting my requirements for dairy products. This overhaul did a world of good for me personally. I don’t; however, feel everyone needs to make that change unless warranted.

I have read that wheat in our food supply has been bioengineered to contain a higher amount of gluten as compared to wheat produced years ago. It could be that people who are borderline gluten intolerant have been negatively affected by this change. This is purely anecdotal, though.

I like to caution people to make sure they’re getting the vitamins and minerals from the grains and cereals food group if they cut this back considerably. Never cut out a food group using a willy-nilly approach because each provides a unique nutritional profile. This food group is rich in fibre and B vitamins, for example. If a multivitamin is needed to fill that nutritional gap, then round out any shortage with a supplement. Avoid mega-dosing of any vitamin, though. You can get fibre from other food choices as well.

Now about the blood type comment – double Hmmmmm. I am not an advocate of following special diets for people with various blood types. Having taken biology and physiology all people need all of the macro and micro nutrients regardless of their blood type. It doesn’t really make sense to me from a scientific perspective.

So I hope this helps answer your question. Keep well!!

Nutritionally yours,

Through Thick & Thin

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The Public Proclamation Diet

November 6th, 2011 No Comments Tags: , , ,

I just read an article in the New York Times about a reporter, Brian Stelter who lost weight using Twitter. Day by day, meal by meal, pound by pound, by spilling the beans….mostly. That’s a handy use of the 140 character tweet!

Sounds like Brian changed things gradually over time and didn’t go the “all or nothing” route, allowing all foods to fit. Over time his tastes changed, admitting after an UnHappy Meal: Monday, started w/McD’s, cinnamon melts and hash brown, 600 cals/44% of day’s fat — awful, and made me feel ill.

There’s something about a public proclamation that spurs our pride into overdrive to succeed. Over time he amassed a following who cheered him on while others dieted along with him. Talk about the benefits of the social side of social media!! He has lost ~60 pounds over a prolonged period of time. As I say, slow and steady wins the race. Way to go!!

So the next time you have an important goal you want to achieve, shout it from the rooftop, literally or figuratively. As for me using this approach, I’ve edited 5 chapters of the book I’m publishing….”read all about it” and I WILL keep you posted on further progress :-)

What do I have to say to Brian? Very tweet!!

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Food Revolution – Speecy Spicy Chili

November 3rd, 2011 No Comments Tags: ,

Oh boy, the winds of change blew in with rain and clouds and yes, chilly temperatures. Got me feeling like having some hot and spicy chilli for dinner. MmmmMmmMM mammacita it sure tastes great on a cool autumn night. A bowl of this goes great with a crusty toasted whole wheat bun…..

1 medium shallot peeled and sliced
1 medium onion peeled and sliced
2-3 crushed garlic
8-10 mushrooms washed and sliced
24 oz can diced tomatoes
16 oz can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chipotle powder
1/3 tsp habenero chile powder
1 whole red habenero (deveined, deseeded and chopped)
2 jalepenos (deveined, deseeded and chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound extra lean ground beef

In a medium saucepan add a few teaspoons of canola oil and heat to medium. Add the prepared onion, shallot and garlic to the oil and soften. Then add the prepared mushrooms. Stir occasionally until they become tender. Crumble the ground beef in the mixture and cook fully ensuring the meat is browned. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for 30-45 minutes until the chilli thickens, stirring occasionally. Serve piping hot with a toasted, crusty whole wheat bun.

I love how some dishes warm the cockles of your heart while filling up your tummy and your senses all at once. There are plenty of chili-spice mixes that’ll suffice in place of the spices if you don’t have all of these on hand. This dish tastes even better the day after. I always make extra and freeze a container for another dinner when I’m in a pinch and scrounging for leftovers. This never disappoints and is good for you. Yes a nearly perfect food.

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