How old would you be, if you had no idea how old you really were?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Loose Weight without "Dieting"

It was really easy to gain weight. Basically my secret was to eat a bowl of ice cream every evening. Put on 10 to 12 pounds in about a year.

So how does one reverse the process. Well, for me, the obvious answer was to 86 the ice cream. And for certain that was a start.

Here are are a couple more specific guidelines for trimming that waistline without really dieting. I really don't have a compulsive bone in my body, so it is hard for me to count calories, or stay with any sort of prescribed program for more than a few days, so these are guidelines that make sense to me. If you resonate with these you might like to track down the books.
  • The first is from the book, What to Eat by Marion Nestle (and reviewed by Maria Duncan at Book Reviews for Real People)
    "The basic principles of good diets are so simple that I can summarize them in just ten words: eat less, move more, eat lots of fruits and vegetables. For additional clarification, a five-word modifier helps: go easy on junk foods."
  • The second is an appetite guage from Nourishing Body and Soul, the Chopra Center Cookbook. The gauge is designed to help us listen to our body's signals of hunger and satiety and then to eat appropriately, which would mean eating at level 2 or 3, and stopping at level 7.
10 Stuffed
9 Uncomfortably Full
8 Rather Full
7 Satisfied
6 Almost Satisfied
5 No Hunger Awareness
4 Could Eat
3 Definitely Hungry
2 Very Hungry
1 Hunger Pains
0 Completely Empty
The key of course is awareness. The amazing truth is that we can probably keep ourselves at very trim weights when we find ways to pay attention to the signals from our bodies.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Blueberries and Sour Cream

This is a classy, easy dish. A great dessert to calm down the palate after a spicy meal. For me it's a more than acceptable substitute for the big bowl of ice cream that was, and maybe still might be, my favorite.

The Recipe
  • 1 Handful of fresh blueberries
  • 4 (More or Less) T no-fat sour cream
That's it. And it's not too hard, as you can see, to create a very attractive presentation. There are only about 50 mg of sodium per serving. Total calories estimated between 80 and 100. No fat.

Maybe, if you are just not too wild about sour cream, you would like a sweeter version. Replace the sour cream with a low, or no-fat aerosol, whipped topping. Lite Cool Whip might be an another alternative.

But hurry, while you can still find fresh blueberries in the market.

Don't tell anyone, but the blueberries in the picture were actually this morning's breakfast.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Black Bean & Sweet Corn Salad - Low Sodium

How about an easy, attractive summer salad, that tastes as good as it looks.

You will need:
  • 1 15 ounce can of low sodium black beans
  • about one cup of frozen sweet corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1 small can diced green chilies
  • 1 T (more or less) olive oil
  • a splash of red wine vinegar
Rinse and drain the black beans. Then gently mix all of the ingredients together. The dressings are optional. In this version I sprinkled the mix with a bit of olive oil, then the red wine vinegar. Sprinkle easy then taste. Need to brightened it up a bit, sprinkle a bit more vinegar.

You might just try the salad (minus the oil and vinegar) with a bit of a medium salsa for a dressing. That works well. If you search you can find salsas with little or no sodium. Mine comes from a farmer's market type store called Sprouts.

Or you might like to experiment with other low sodium, fat free dressings.

If you get six servings, the sodium for the salad (without any dressings) would be about 70 to 80 mg per serving.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Sailing Upwind

There is an old Jim Croce song that say's
You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
That makes good sense to me and maybe gives us a hint about how to live a full life in the face of lifes little (and big) challenges. It's not a good idea to spit into the wind. You can't sail directly into the wind. Under sail you have to tack your way back and forth at an angle to the wind to reach that upwind destination. You have to work a little harder, but sailing upwind is actually the most exciting sailing, with the boat heeled over and the spray coming up over the bow.

Same way on land. If you've got a nasty problem, one that you really can't solve with a direct attack, try an end run. For example, right now I've bunged up my hip, probably by playing too much racquet ball. It really honks me off that now, when I have the time and resources to play, that I can't, or shouldn't. So what am I doing? Swimming. Not quite as much fun. Lonely compared to a foursome of old farts in a racquet ball court. But I am still doing something that helps me stay fit. That wasn't hard.

But what do you do when the doctor tells you that you have slowly progressing sort of cancer. One that will probably get worse. One that could kill you some day. But at the same time a very slow and treatable condition. Not curable but treatable. Well you can dive in and learn all you can about the condition, and try to do whatever to keep the thing in check. But there is a point where it doesn't help to think about it all day long. Time to move on. Live life. And how do you do that?

For starters you say, "How am I feeling right now? Am I in pain? Fatigued? Nauseous?" And if the answers add up to, "Hey, today, not bad at all," then that's what you focus on. What's going on today that's good and makes you smile

Finally, humor and meditation, are a couple of tacks that I know that help me stay focused on what's going on right now, and help to keep things in perspective. More on both in the future. For now check out what happened to a picture of this old salt when he played around on a web site promoting the new Simpson's movie, and Simpsonized himself.

You really can sail upwind, if you are willing to try a new tack.