Posts tagged ‘diet’

September 20, 2011

Why I’m not “low-carb”

I know low-carbohydrate diets work for some people (even though most gain weight as soon as they re-introduce carbs to their diets), but for various reasons, it just doesn’t work so well for me.  Here are my non-nutritionist/non-dietitian thoughts…

Bread n' Wine

Olive Oil Tasting in Tuscany (mmm... bread)

  1. I crave what I can’t have. I’m like a 4 year-old.  When something’s off-limits, I want it more than ever.  I tried the South Beach Diet back in the day.  I think I made it 4 of the first 14 days of the plan.  Fail.
  2. It is expensive.  Did anyone else notice how low-carb diets fizzled when the recession hit?  Steaks, fresh veggies, and plain Greek yogurt are not cheap.  Brown rice, lentils, and sweet potatoes are budget friendly!
  3. Long-term low-carb diets *might* harm organs.  I read this somewhere and cannot find the source to back up my claims.  Nevertheless, I can see how organs would feel the strain after time.  I think the biggest hit are the kidneys and brain, but many sources claim low-carb diets are totally healthy.  This Mayo Clinic nutritionist says the diet is for short-term use only.
  4. Carbs have fiber and a little protein. – Prime examples include tempeh, oats, and beans.  These can help you feel satisfied and keep you full.
  5. I like carbohydrates.  Weight loss (or maintenance) shouldn’t be torture; it should be manageable and sustainable.  If you just loooooove chocolate and ice cream, don’t give up sweets.  If you loooooove salty foods, make healthy alternatives.  When you nix the things you really enjoy, you’re setting yourself up for failure.  I don’t like failing, so I don’t give up carbs.

To prove my carb love, here is a picture of last night’s dinner.

Sweet Potato

(with a spoon of pb - not pictured)

I prefer more balanced meals, but given my current kitchen constraints, this is all I attempted.  [We’ve had no water in the kitchen (including dishwasher) since Thursday.  The installation of the new counter tops this past Friday required us to cut off the water until we can get a plumber out here.]

What do you think of low-carb diets?  Do they work for you?  Have you tried other diet crazes?

On a side note… ’twas the last day for nude pumps, which is sad.  Methinks it’s time for boot season though, which is glorious!

nude pumps

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August 5, 2011

Calci-yum

Hello!  I have the day off from work, but I’ll still be pretty productive.  I have 3 doctor appointments today.  (Well, technically 1 is a dentist appointment.)  Today I get to see the podiatrist.  Hopefully I’ll get all my foot issues fixed.  Cross your fingers for me!

Now it’s time for the topic of the day, calci-yum.  I threw the “yum” in there because 1) I’m a dork and 2) getting calcium can be delicious.  In my One Hot Mess of a post, I mentioned that one of my goals is to actually take my calcium supplements instead of habitually ignoring the bottle on my vanity.  Some of you mentioned that you wouldn’t mind a special calcium-devoted post, so here it is.

milk n' almond milk

According to WebMD, our bodies need calcium because it helps to strengthen bones and prevent certain cancers.  In addition, Prevention magazine states that calcium and vitamin D can also help ward off type-2 diabetes.  The National Institute of Health (NIH) suggests that calcium can also help with weight maintenance; WebMD explains how.  Here’s the NIH table of calcium requirements:

calcium

We know we need it, here are a few examples from the Milk Matters campaign explaining how to get it.

  • 1 cup of milk = 300 mg and calories vary depending on type
  • 1 cup plain, fat-free yogurt = 425 mg (note: most yogurt doesn’t come in 1-cup containers) and 127 calories
  • 1 cup cooked soybeans = 285 mg and 175 calories
  • 1 medium stalk of broccoli = 180 mg and 106 calories
  • 1/2 cup spinach (cooked from frozen) = 139 mg and 27 calories

milk v almond milk

Keep in mind that the body can only take in about 500 mg of calcium at once, so don’t spend get it all in one place.

Of course, you can always pop a pill.  One WebMD article says that the type of calcium you take does not matter, so you can just opt for the cheaper one.  Getting one with vitamin D is often helpful though, since vitamin D helps calcium absorption.  (Most doctors recommend taking supplement with food to promote absorption, but the Dairy Council says veggies and grains can inhibit absorption… hmmmm???)  My doctor recommended Citracal, so that’s what I take.  Luckily, they have coupons on their website right now.

There’s more to it than popping a pill or eating yogurt.  For extra bone health, bone-up on your vitamin D, and include weight bearing exercises in your fitness routine.  (Woohoo!  All my years of playing soccer helped my bones!)  WebMD also gives us the less fun info: limit sodas, antacids, caffeine, excessive alcohol, excessive sodium, and excessive red meat.

******

Oh, and by the way, I was going to swim some laps today at the gym, but I’m just not feeling it.  I stayed up too late, and although I’m up early now, I think I’d rather just go tomorrow.  I’ll probably do some pilates later before lunch instead.

So why was I up late???  IPA Day of course!  Here’s what I did: beer shop with drinks and dinner, then a friend’s house to celebrate the occasion.

montage of beer

Do you take a calcium supplement?  Did you celebrate IPA Day?

June 27, 2011

Gravy Train to Healthy Train

Diet schmiet, who needs it?  Apparently I do, and after this weekend, it’s time to buckle-down on some better habits.  If you thought I lead a healthy example of good nutrition and regular workouts, you are wrong (and you’re probably not an avid reader of this blog).  I’m used to a few splurges on the weekend, but this weekend with the in-laws takes the cake.  Cake?  Did someone say cake???  Ha – that’s been me lately, so after I recap my weekend via pictures, you’ll see why I’ll be back on the calorie-counting train for a while.

I already blogged about Thursday’s splurge, and after that meal, I had plans to be more mindful of nutrition on my weekend trip.  Well… this was Friday’s dinner…

bbq

Not Many Healthy Options on That Menu...

It was good Southern food.  The okra wasn’t as good as my mommy’s, but it was still tasty.  Those little things to the left are hush puppies.  I love those little buggars!  The beer was not impressive, but at $1 per draft, I couldn’t turn it down.

I tried to run on Saturday.  To my dismay, Kevin’s parents’ live in an area that is not safe for runners (no shoulder or sidewalk but lots of turns and hills), so I drove up to a local school’s track.  I was pumped to do some speed training, but this is what I found.

no run

No Run 4 You

My motivation took a nose dive, and I gave up.  Run = Fail

We had more Southern cookin’ for lunch and dinner Saturday.  No exercise and lots of food makes Tiff an uncomfy girl.  Lunch included a hearty chicken salad sandwich and blueberry n’ peach cobbler.  I know cupcakes are in vogue right now, but they don’t even touch the greatness of pies and cobblers!  They’re two of my (many) weaknesses.

Dinner was… interesting…

We went to an Italian restaurant.  Never have I seen fried pickles and jalapeno poppers on an Italian restaurant’s menu.

Menu

Italiamerican Food?

The food was edible.  Don’t let the cheese fool you; the sauce and noodles were not so yummy.  In fact, I was kicking myself for not ordering a side salad and baked sweet potato for my meal.  You guys know how much I love sweet potatoes!

ziti

Cheese = Good ~ Ziti n' Sauce = Meh

Sooooo… Sunday I spent allllll day in the kitchen.  Don’t worry, recipes are soon to come.  It’s time to get back on the healthy train!  I could use your support and bikini-body tips, so if you’ve got any, send them my way!  Luckily, I got a great workout in first thing this morning.

What was the best thing you did this weekend?

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