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Diet/Exercise/Health/Wellness Support Thread


Replies to: Diet/Exercise/Health/Wellness Support Thread

  • hmom5hmom5 - 10799 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Another Pollan fan. He hugely influenced how we now eat.

    I have to admit when I started my health journey, I was living in an area with daily farmer's markets, organic farms and lots of fresh wild fish. I was able to spend a lot of time shopping and cooking.

    Many recipes I use come from the NYT Well Section, others I used Google to find once I chose the ingredients I wanted to use. I combed stores like Whole foods' bins and introduced myself to previously unknown things like flax seed and oat bran. I learned about legumes as I cut out most meat. What meat we did eat became things with under 4% fat and portions became 4 ounces.

    To satisfy everyone's sweet tooth, I learned to bake with unsweetened applesauce, canned pumpkin, brans and fruit. Amazing what you can make.

    DD who doesn't mind additives but likes to stay thin swears by the Hungry Girl cookbook for recipes.

    There's also a book currently popular called something like The End Of Overeating. It was written by the former head of the FDA. One of the things he talks about that I think is helpful is the brain chemistry of overeating. It's an addiction, and it takes some time for your body to break the addiction--the craving of foods with fat and sugar. It explains why so many diets fail. You have to be determined to fight your way through the period of breaking the addiction to allow your brain chemistry to change and the cravings to stop.

    I found this particularly true with my cravings for meat. A former steak lover, I have not had one for months and they now look completely unattractive as I pass them in the store.

    For heart health, first step is to buy a heart monitor. I like the Brookstone one that's a ring. Many people think they are helping their hearts through walks and other exercise when they aren't. Unless you get your heart to yout target rate and keep it there, a walk is not doing much.
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 41472 replies480 threads Senior Member
    Best "diet advice" I've ever heard was something that our physiology prof told us - stop eating when your stomach feels about 3/4th full, which means you've already had enough, but your hunger pathways have not yet had a chance to react and signal to your brain to stop shoveling food into your mouth. She was right; apparently, that's what people in Japan do.

    Actually, cooking from scratch is not that complicated or time-consuming. I can make a healthy dinner after our nightly run in less than 30 minutes. Some soups require more time, but you can make them in advance and eat a couple of nights in a row, just add a slightly different salad for variety.
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  • FallGirlFallGirl 8514 replies28 threads Senior Member
    I agree with bunsen, I think cooking is less time consuming than going out. It does require some planning though.

    One thing we will be doing more of is preparing meals at one of those meal prep places (FWIW I go to Let's Dish). With just 3 of us at home the split meals are the right portion size.
    The dinners are generally healthy with no preservatives.
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  • LergnomLergnom 7737 replies189 threads Senior Member
    A piece of exercise advice. I see many people cover up the indicators on the machines. Don't do that. You need to repeat a routine and those indicators, as ridiculous as they may be for indicating effort (and calories burned), can tell you a lot. Take the extra 20 seconds to input your weight and age - because the calculators are set for a 150 lb male of an age I forget. Then when you do a routine repeatedly you can at least judge your effort. For example, let's say I use a machine for 45 minutes. If the final number is 570, I worked at the top end of the range, while 560 is in the middle and 550 is easy. I can divide that up and judge as I'm going. This may sound silly but consider that you shouldn't work exactly the same each day and a day at the hard end for you should be followed by something slower. This prevents injury and keeps your will up.

    A dieting trick or two:

    1. Learn basic calorie measures by heart. For example, an ounce of wheat is 100 calories, so a slice of bread is usually 100 calories. That means the rolls you eat before dinner at a restaurant can be 400 calories you don't really count in your head.
    2. Take away a piece of bread. I like sandwiches, but a mile of running is little more in calories than a slice of bread, so I will eat open-faced sandwiches. A half of a hamburger roll is 90 to 140 calories so leaving off half has a big impact.

    BTW, an actually free way of burning calories is ice water. You have to heat the water in your body - and raising the temperature of water defines a calorie. Drink a lot of ice water in a day and you can burn 75 to 100 calories. Add that up over a week and then a month and you see that can be the difference between adding and losing weight.
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  • mousegraymousegray 1621 replies21 threads Senior Member
    Counting calories may work for some but it never did the trick for me. Maybe because I'm not a math person ;). The problem was that I was still just as hungry whether I knew how many calories I'd had or not.

    Even though I don't really have a weight problem, I do crave all the wrong foods and snack all night long. I have a very high cholesterol level. I KNOW exactly what I should eat, and I have plenty of access to good food. But I am addicted to fat, salt and sugar, preferably in combination and I can't seem to kick this habit. AArgh!

    anyway, this thread is inspiring me to make more of an effort.

    re iPods for exercising. I load podcasts on mine -- This American Life, Radiolab, even foreign language lesson podcasts that I get free online. I alternate between these and music so I don't get bored.
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  • Cardinal FangCardinal Fang 19952 replies164 threads Senior Member
    I'm dubious about this plan of drinking ice water to burn excess calories. I'm pretty sure your body has enough excess heat that it doesn't have to generate any to warm up the water to body temperature.

    But hey, if that method works, wouldn't turning down the thermostat in your house work even better?
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  • CBBBlinkerCBBBlinker 3455 replies35 threads Senior Member
    I can see this is going to be another one of those threads I'll have to read regularly or the post count will get too high for me to catch up if I miss a day or two! Just scanned the last 3+ pages of posts and saw all the talk about "clean food." Here's a link to a great cookbook written by a woman from my town. She gave a presentation last year to a group I belong to. At that point she was self-publishing the book, but apparently has now found a publisher, and it's available from Amazon.

    Amazon.com: Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source with More Than 200 Recipes for a Healthy and Sustainable You (9781402768149): Terry Walters: Books

    I'm pretty good about exercising, but H is not -- in fact he gets NO exercise what-so-ever. He needs to lose 30+ pounds, but refuses to cut back on his eating. I don't what will be the ultimate motivation -- heart attack? D is a certified personal trainer and set up a program for him, but he simply won't do it. I'm out of ideas. I know the motivation has to come from him, but I'm afraid it never will. :(
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  • sabaraysabaray 7299 replies80 threads Senior Member
    Thanks for that book suggestion, CBBB. When I got home last night and looked in the refrigerator and pantry to assess what I was already buying, for the most part it looked pretty good. Already buying organic as much as possible (explains our very high grocery bill) but realized my freezer is pretty much stocked for having two teenagers at home. So cleaning that out will be a weekend project. I am feeling positive about 2010 and being "well" by the end of the year.
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  • bblfraserbblfraser 230 replies0 threads Junior Member
    I have an ipod, but it only has 8G. One of these days I'll put some playlists together, but in the meantime, I have it loaded up with free podcasts. Many of these programs are about an hour long, which is great. I'll keep walking because I want to hear the end of the interview/short story/whatever. That said, I my collection of podcasts is outpacing my listening and deleting of them. My current excuse is that I have shin splints from 2 days ago when I did try to get back on the horse. Grrr. It was just walking and not one of my particularly long routes. I'm just that out of shape apparently.
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  • bblfraserbblfraser 230 replies0 threads Junior Member
    mousegray, language lessons?? cool -- I just went and downloaded a bunch right now. I'm hooked on NPR shows. I also enjoy New Yorker fiction and The Moth.
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  • NorthMinnesotaNorthMinnesota 6598 replies70 threads Senior Member
    I have always loved books on tape when we travel by car...maybe I should try books on my ipod! Love espionage/thriller/mysteries. I bet this would keep me me motivated more than music. Thanks for the reminder!!! hmmmm...Wonder if there are any good free mysteries???
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  • sabaraysabaray 7299 replies80 threads Senior Member
    I find when reading or watching television I do not work out with the same intensity. Music definitely makes a big difference for me. I took a quick look at my iPod last night and found that I usually listened to (and no laughing, please) Duran Duran, Blondie, Prince and Lady GaGa while exercising. I can't imagine I'd have the same enthusiasm for exercise listening to The Help! Or NPR which I enjoy under normal circumstances. I do not consider exercise to be a normal circumstance. Hopefully that will change over the course of the year.
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  • hmom5hmom5 - 10799 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Mousegray, this book was written for you:

    Amazon.com: The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (9781605297859): David Kessler: Books

    It explains scientifically why so many are addicted to the combination you describe. No great revalation about how to stop, but it does explain that brain chemistry will change, and thus cravings will stop if you can keep off the stuff for a period.
    I'm dubious about this plan of drinking ice water to burn excess calories.

    Me too. I read this years ago and every expert I asked said it was bunk.
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  • mom60mom60 8446 replies516 threads Senior Member
    I need this thread. In HS and college I was called the 100 lb weakling. I was stick thin with no muscle. I never exercised and could eat anything I wanted. My friends were so frustrated with me. Fast forward 30 yrs and I am no where near 100 lbs. The lbs have crept up slowly but I could use to lose close to 30 lbs to be at a nice healthy weight. I have never been one to exercise. I last belonged to a gym almost 20 yrs ago. I play a bit of tennis but not enough to just use that for my exercise. I am really starting from scratch.
    My overall eating habits aren't bad. Mainly lean chicken with beef once or twice a week. I don't eat enough vegetables. My main problem is I love carbs. Bread, pasta, potatoes, tortillas and rice. In the past when I have lost some weight it was a result of eliminating the white carbs from my diet.
    Another problem I have is I sometimes wait to long to eat and get starved and eat something unhealthy or overeat.
    I have reached the point that I am uncomfortable doing some activities and know for long term health I need to make changes. With the New Year I definitely want to start fresh and make changes for long term health not just weight loss.
    For those of you who have made changes what were some of the simple first steps you took?
    Grocery items to add to our list?
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  • missypiemissypie 17982 replies503 threads Senior Member
    My main problem is I love carbs. Bread, pasta, potatoes, tortillas and rice.

    I can't figure out how to feel full without carbs.

    Last month we had a firm meeting at a nice hotel. The lunch buffet was beautiful...lovely salads, nice meat...but zero carbs...no potatoes, no pasta, no grains. I did what everyone else did - had two desserts. The guy sitting next to me had five desserts.
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 41472 replies480 threads Senior Member
    I love carbs as well, and humans need carbs to function. For us, the trick was to cut down the size of a "serving" and eat only multi-grain carbs without added sugar or any artificial sweeteners, and no white bread at all! Everything is good in moderation. Artisan breads are yummy. Barley, buckwheat, oats, wild rice - these are all carbs, and they are yummy as well. Potatoes are not that high in calories, it is the butter and the rest of the toppings that make them calorie-laden bombs.
    I remember reading in C&EN about a couple who practiced "caloric restriction diet". I thought, "Man, that's gotta be depressing - starving yourself!" Then I saw that the "restriction" was actually 2000 calories or so per day for a 5'9'', 135-lb woman. I might be off somewhat with the numbers, but you get the picture - it is not a starvation diet, and the lady did not look like a gulag prisoner! They definitely did not eat Costco muffins for breakfast :) but did not deprive themselves of food.
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  • hmom5hmom5 - 10799 replies83 threads Senior Member
    Mom60, I was exactly like you, stick thin with little muscle. I actually weigh more now than I did when I started my fitness program because I've gained so much muscle. In my case a good thing, I was too thin. I'm much happier about how I look at feel with the added muscle and it was very easy to develop in 3 45 minute sessions/wk. I hate gyms and do it at home, sometimes with a trainer and others on my own.

    As for shopping lists--read labels, you'll be shocked. Trader Joes has a brown rice pasta I assumed with be lower carb and higher fiber than regular pasta until I got it home and read the labels side by side.

    Bread is the same story. What is truly whole grain--very few that have the name on their label.

    I think carbs are not the enemy--calories are. Studies have pretty much shown that. You especially need carbs before working out to get a good work out, and you need protein within 15 minutes of a weights work out to maximize muscle development.
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  • ModadunnModadunn 6178 replies85 threads Senior Member
    Jeez o man... I did not want to face all of this until Jan 1, but I'm already 7 pages behind? What the....?

    As I've "confessed" elsewhere, I need to lose a good chunk of weight (50 lbs to be exact). I have never had to diet in my life, taught aerobics in my late 20's and basically could keep a pretty even keel throughout the year. So now.. this seems huge to me. BUT.. I start tomorrow and I think a food diary will be huge. At that point, all Christmas crap that was in this house will be gone (son is making sure of it!). SIL brought this incredibly yummy candied nuts that were soaked in sweet with a hit of Cayenne -- amazing. Hopefully H will polish those off tonight.

    We've eaten Chinese food on New Years eve for the past 20-some years and so this will be my last gluttonous meal. 2010 has a goal and while I am not huge on New Year's Resolutions, I've got some places to go this year that I want to have clothes to wear and since Ive been refusing to buy much more than the necessities for the past year, I really need to get back a few sizes or I will have nothing to wear - literally!
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  • 1ofeach1ofeach 391 replies31 threads Member
    I'm another in the "used to be a stick" group. Now, I look more like a sturdy trunk! Would like to lose 30 lbs. Just requested two of Reno's clean eating books from the library. I find that philosophy of only eating 'real" food very appealing. Also, my gym just moved and is installing brand new equipment tomorrow. That should make the gym experience brand new fun (at least I'll tell myself it's fun for as long as I can get away with it) But tonight- it's champagne and other goodies. I can be clean starting tomorrow :) Happy New Year everyone! Here's to our healthy, shrinking selves.
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  • worknprogressworknprogress 1523 replies13 threads Senior Member
    So, it is New Year's Eve and I am on CC - how bad is that? Actually, I am quite content. Went out for a great Thai meal - Pad Nut Puck (vegetarian) and came home with DH. DD is downstairs with her boyfriend watching Twilight Zone marathon. They had other plans, but another couple cancelled, so here we are all.

    I am a believer in a food/exercise diary - nothing fancy, actually I just print out a calendar each month and jot down what I did and whether my diet was good (or not). Just taking those notes really help me stay focused and help me from loosing track of when I exercised or when I had a really pig out day.
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