Thursday, August 25, 2005

oh crap, i'm a food & nutrition snob...

Injection of natural hormone promotes weight loss

I can’t believe they actually found anyone to volunteer for this, even if they were paid. Subcutaneous injection three times a day for a month? Come on, all you folks out there who are as squeamish as I am about needles, say it with me: EEEEEEEW!!!!

Sure, they’re probably working up towards administering it in a pill form, but still *shudder*. This will likely be a godsend for those who have problems producing the satiety hormone. My concern is that folks who are just plain out-and-out gluttons will try to use it to control their appetite without trying anything else first.

What works for me is simple: eat slowly. I have all of twenty minutes for lunch, and use about every one them to savor each bite. Today’s lunch was ridiculously simple and childlike: deli turkey slices, a few slices of Cabot’s Seriously Cheddar Cheese, a cup of applesauce sweetened with apple juice, and a handful of Chex mix. I am happy to report that it was all on sale today. Was it good? You’re damned straight it was. Freaking yum-MY. And I did manage to avoid buying the Oreos (also on sale.)

A book came out a while back called The Okinawa Program. I never did get to read the whole thing, although the program itself sounded very interesting. Any diet plan that allows sweet potatoes is all right in my humble estimation, although it looks like there’s a sizeable outlay in initial cost, and the food isn’t especially convenient to find if you live in the Sticks. One of their tips was to eat slowly, mindfully, and stop eating after twenty minutes. It takes that long for those feeling-full hormones to get from your stomach to your brain. So if you keep eating after twenty minutes, you will probably feel over-full afterwards, which is always kind of gross to me. Not to mention useless – there’s no point eating a meal that prevents you from running after an active two-year-old.

Going along with eating slowly, for me, is eating often – about every three hours or so. This has recently been touted as the Three-Hour diet. I’ve been doing this for years to help keep blood sugar levels on an even keel. During pregnancy it was a life-saver. This doesn’t mean you eat crap food every three hours – no diet in the world is ever going to make Pop Tarts or jalapeno poppers good for you (damn but they’re yummy, though, aren’t they?) And it doesn't mean you eat large amounts - a typical meal is maybe some oatmeal and a hard-boiled egg, maybe some berries if I find some I like. But it keeps me from eating the stuffing out of the sofa after a long day and a long workout.

I’m not against medication when you absolutely need it. Some other medications actually block the receptors for the satiety hormone, which will really mess with you. I was concerned about that when I first went on Lamictal, but Lamictal has a different relationship with hunger hormones, thankfully. Depakote, though, is a killer for this – it blocks the satiety hormone so that you just keep eating and eating and eating. It’s no surprise that weight gain is a common side effect. I really can understand that some folks might need help in the brain chemistry area. (The irony here is completely unintentional, I promise.)

“An additional agent is very necessary if we are to treat effectively the ever-increasing problem of obesity,” says Dr. Stephen Bloom of Hammersmith Hospital in London. Well, sure. I was also very pleased to see this nugget of sense in an otherwise senseless state – a school has set up a website where kids and parents can see what’s on the school menu for the next day, as well as nutritional details about the food. Very cool, especially for us control freaks.

And I saw another article several months ago about a program that allows parents to log on and see what their kids had for lunch that day, as long as they ate at the school cafeteria. (Article is in the Charlotte Observer and requires registration.) Which seems a little Big Brother unless you consider it practically for meal-planning purposes: if I see that Duckie had a slice of pizza and a big ol’ slice of pie for lunch, I can think light when I decide what’s for dinner. At the moment, according to this article, you can see what your kid had for lunch the day before, which doesn’t help for tonight’s dinner, but it does give you an idea of what your child’s eating habits are. Maybe in the future that will change.

But honestly, if a parent is trying to do their job right, he or she ought to have a good idea of that already. You could always just ask your son or daughter – I don’t like the idea of having to catch my kid in a lie about food.

So there are inroads into the weight problem. But not nearly enough in my neck of the woods.

There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of common-sense information out there at the top of the search lists - or anywhere else. Not a lot of people out here are online, after all. Obesity is rampant – what, are we at 25 or 27 percent of Americans these days who are considered obese? I flatter myself that most people wouldn’t be able to guess my weight. But the fact is I’m considered obese as well. ^$&*#@^^*(

It doesn’t surprise me that the recent obesity studies found southeastern states to have the most problems. There’s a SuperWalMart not five miles from my house that offers very little in the way of low-sugar, low-fat alternatives. And guess what other stores are in the strip? Catherine’s Plus, Cato’s and Fashion Bug (both with half the stores devoted to plus-size clothes.)

I’m a snoop, I admit it. I have no shame when it comes to checking out other people’s groceries. I couldn’t care less if they’re buying condoms, tampons or booze – I’m not that kind of a voyeur. But I check out what food other people are buying. Does that mom think her four kids are going to be calmer and less excitable if she brings home Little Debbies? Damn, look at all that soda… can’t imagine how much caffeine those kids are sucking down. Oh, check that chick out, she’s got it going on - fresh salad greens, chicken breasts, whole wheat pasta, olive oil – no wonder she’s in such good shape. (It’s not all a diatribe, I promise. Some folks I check out because I want to emulate them.)

Eventually I stopped shopping for groceries at WalMart. Diapers, wipes and diaper ointment are about all I get there now, and if I have the choice, I avoid it, for several reasons. But the majority of the buggies I saw there were packed to the brim with sugary cereals, empty carbohydrates, acid sodas and junk. Where’s your protein, people? Do you think you can absorb calcium from popsicles? I know it’s hard to feed kids – they can be incredibly picky. I wish I had never introduced Duckie to the french fry – I’m afraid she’s developing a lifelong habit even at her tender age. (I imagine her snorting them at age forty, blaming Mom for getting her started on the crack.) But still, it’s our job as parents to get educated about this stuff – no one else is going to do it for us.

In my defense, Duckie does also enjoy mounds of salad, apples, bananas and strawberries. I’d love to know what happened to her broccoli fetish, though.

It never fails to surprise me how ignorant people can be about food.

Don’t even get me started about exercise – that’s for a later post when I wax romantic about my love affair with a certain urban environment that shall, for the moment, remain nameless.

Hm. Is it time to eat again yet?


James said...

My weight was fine until I started Risperdal, Trileptal and Seroquel. I'm not fat mind you but I have gained a few. I guess it is good though because my friends and family use to say I was WAYYY too skinny. Now I have a fuller face and they say that's good. I don't know, i'm rambling now so I'll stop.

SB Gypsy said...

Great Post!

The only way to not have "picky" kids is to NEVER give in to their pickiness! That means you have to be in charge, and you have to be consistant. I had three, and when they sat down to dinner, they ate what was on their plates - they knew that they weren't getting anything else until the next meal. If they didn't finish their food, it was scraped into the garbage, and the kitchen was closed - period. I never had a problem with their diets - they almost always ate what they were served, because they were hungry, and knew I wasn't giving them anything else.

Oh, and sugar and candy and soda were banned from the house, and there was always plenty of fruit and cheese snacks available. Just no junk in the house, ever. And they didn't get school food either (we were vegitarians at the time), so no junk there(at least officially, though I found out later that there was some horse trading going on at lunchtime).

I had a sister-in-law that would make a whole new meal if one of her kids didn't like what she served, and guess how junky the new meal would be?? Anything made in 5 min for a demanding child has to be junk!

Anyway - enough of ranting - just hold the line! kids need us to give them that discipline! And I know it's not easy - but the more you hold the line, the easier it gets!

And, on the other hand, I have a great memory of a couple of two year olds, latched on to either side of a huge metal bowl filled with popcorn, just trying to see how much their little stomachs could hold...

oldwhitelady said...

deli turkey slices - Yummmm. Now, I'm hungry after reading your post!

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Your readers might be interested in this article I recently wrote.

Nutrition Guidelines are just a Guide

The USDA recently published their dietary guidelines for Americans and the recommendation leave a bit to be desired. As Americans our health continues to slip. We have the largest and most expensive insurance and health care system in the world. The following recommendation made by the USDA is just recommendations. As we all know advice is only as good as who receives it. Our children seem to be the ones with the most to lose but the USDA has little to say regarding their eating habits. This report highlights the following recommendations for children.

Infants should not eat or drink raw milk or any products made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, raw or undercooked fish or shellfish, unpasteurized juices and raw sprouts.

Young children should keep total fat intake between 30 to 35 percent of calories for children 2 to 3 years of age, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Consume whole-grain products often. At least half the grains should be whole grains. Children 2 to 8 years should consume 2 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products. Young children should not eat or drink raw milk or any products made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, raw or undercooked fish or shellfish, unpasteurized juices and raw sprouts.

Children should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. The USDA also recommends that kids consume whole-grain products often. At least half the grains should be whole grains. Children up to 8 years should consume 2 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products. Children 9 years of age and older should consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products. Parents should help children to keep their total fat intake between 25 to 35 percent of calories for children 4 years of age to adolescence, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
This sounds great, but what can we do as a country when our food supply seems filled with everything that the recommendations advise us against eating? Should the general consumer be expected to pay extra to get the food that we as a country need or should growers, butchers, and producers are required to provide the foods at a lower costs. It seems that doing the right thing in this country is very expensive. No wonder we have obesity and other problems looming over our heads every day. If you are interested in reading more about how to eat well and within you r budget then you can get access to the World's #1 Resource for Raw and Living Food Nutrition! By looking on the internet or visiting your local health food store.

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