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Pour yourself a Tall One

Pour yourself a tall one… glass of water, that is.  And maybe another after that.

Have you seen the movie Idiocracy, where people of the future are confused why their crops are unhealthy and dying? (I won’t spoil the minor plot point for you.)  Today, we are those crops.  We’re confused why we’re not healthy.

Citrus is an easy way to liven up a glass of water. ‘Fruit’ by Chris Marchant, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

After decades of drinking artificially flavoured this and sugary sweetened that, we’re starting to come around to a not-so-new idea:

Water is essential to health and weight-loss. I love it!

Continue reading “Pour yourself a Tall One”

Squash, the complete opposite of Squash

The more I look for sugar in the foods we eat, the more sugar I find.  Here’s an insane recent finding, in the organic babyfood packets that we buy, the Squash babyfood vegetable packet has 19 grams of sugar and less than one gram of fiber!  It’s the candy version of vegetables, the exact opposite of a real Squash.

Sugar everywhere I turn and I can’t seem to get away.  Maybe I don’t want to, which definitely does not help. I’m addicted to sugar!

Truth is, we’re all addicted to sugar, and it’s a real problem for a lot of people. I hear this everywhere and I can see it in my kids. They want the sweet stuff for breakfast!

It’s not your fault that you’re addicted to sugar. Continue reading “Squash, the complete opposite of Squash”

My Water, Whiskey, and Coffee diet

'Coffee related' by trophygeek, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
‘Coffee related’ by trophygeek, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

How many beverages do you drink in a day? I probably overdo it, but I love coffee and water — I bet I drink 12 or more pints per day. Pint glasses… of coffee! And lots of water. As I said, love.

A few short years ago, I realized if I wanted to hydrate this much, I needed to reduce my liquid sugar intake.  This means no mid-morning juice, which has the same amount of sugar as a soda and none of the fiber of a real fruit. No bottled teas, which are generally loaded with sugar. And certainly no sodapop on any frequent basis, neither diet or regular.

That doesn’t leave us with a lot of commercial options. That’s probably ok — look at this trap:

Which is the healthiest option? Leave the store. Photo 'Soda', Mike Mozart, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Which is the healthiest option? To leave the store. Photo ‘Soda’ by Mike Mozart, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

My sugar-free beverage of choice is black coffee, or espresso if I can find one. Zero sugars in coffee, zero calories (we don’t count calories but it’s good to know). I’m not a hipster with a single cup drip thing, but I do like a nice cuppa, made from fresh-ground beans. Fair Trade coffee makes me feel good for the workers, and organic beans makes me feel better for the planet and my body.

If coffee isn’t your gig, maybe one of the million flavors of tea would satisfy you?  Hot, cool, or iced, the variety of flavours of tea is pretty incredible.  Passion Fruit Tea is unlike anything I’ve had before.  Give it a try.

We're made up of like 99% water or something. Photo 'Flowing Icicle' by Andrew Magill, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
The male human body is made up of 69% water, give or take. Photo ‘Flowing Icicle’ by Andrew Magill, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

I dig carbonated water. Cans of La Croix are tasty, and we’ve saved a lot of money using our SodaStream to make carbonated water at home.  I don’t need to flavour it with sugary syrup, the bubbles alone help make it stand out.  Mixing fizzy water with tea or coffee is not delicious, I’m sorry to report.

Flat water is good as well, of course.  This is the standard at our dinner table, plus whole milk for the kids. We were recently congratulated that we had “good water” at our house. Apparently, you can stand a spoon in LA tap water.

A squeeze of citrus such as lemon or orange always adds a nice flavor to water; much of the flavor comes from the citrus oils, a minimal touch from the fruit sugar. It’s an acceptable trade if you’re avoiding soda.

In the evenings I’ll enjoy an adult beverage, but I’ve started to consider the amount of sugars in a beer or wine. I’ve cut back on my drinking, saving it for later in the week when I’m more social. When drinking at home, I try to stick to unmixed hard alcohol to squeeze a bit more buzz bang for my sugary buck.  Straight whiskey, yes please!

What can we do to eat healthier and lose weight?

We all want to feel and look more fit, but we’re not always sure where to start.  Beverages are the easy-to-identify, low-hanging fruit.  Check those labels! Observe the sugars that you’re consuming and search for ways that you can change what you’re drinking.  Build a catalog of zero-sugar beverages you enjoy, and drink from that list. Your catalog might include brewed coffee, brewed tea, carbonated water, or flat water.  Add a squeeze of citrus perhaps?

Cut back on alcohol, which is an easy path to weight-gain and is also a secret drain on your energy (because it leads to a carb crash). Save that energy and carb intake for later in the week!

And like always, focus on eating Real Food, limiting your carb consumption, and avoiding unnecessary sugars. If you’re making your own meals from real ingredients, you’re in control of the fuel in your body.  Fill ‘er up with Premium.

None of this is set in stone.  Life needs to be fluid and we need to celebrate when the occasion calls for it.  But your overall trend should be to consume fewer carbs and eat more unprocessed Real Food.

The main thing is that you’re taking an important step to evaluate what you’re consuming, and working to change it for the better.  Celebrate that, and cheers!

Sunday Morning Tea, Thomas Leuthard, Flickr, CC-By-2.0
Sunday Morning Tea, Thomas Leuthard, Flickr, CC-By-2.0

Feeding the Beast Within

Staff Sgt. Pablo Piedra took third place in the Division I digital darkroom category of the 2010 Army Digital Photography Contest with the self portrait "Beast within Me." Photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo Piedra
“Beast within Me.” Photo by Staff Sgt. Pablo Piedra, Flickr CC By-2.0

A decade ago, my cousin was visiting and we spent the night enjoying the great cheeses and beers he brought.  In the morning, my cousin introduced me to another treat that he brought, a crazy hangover-curing beverage.  I loved it.

He brought cheese, beer, and a hangover cure?  Yes, he was prepared!

Continue reading “Feeding the Beast Within”

How did this couple lose over 50 pounds with dinner?

Stairs Light, Keith Ellwood, Flicker CC-By-2.0
Stairs Light, by Keith Ellwood, Flicker CC-By-2.0

“Now she can walk the stairs again!”

My friend was flabbergasted.  A family he knows had been eating restaurant food and boxed food for as long as he knew them. They’re just like so many of us. After decades of eating the common North American diet, the family was overweight and inflammation was setting in.  The arthritis started in her hands, and over the years it spread to the joints in her hips and knees.  The inflammation became debilitating.

They still had decades of life ahead of them, and they saw their future.  It could be a happy future with their family, or it could be a future with ongoing pain.

Some people know when it’s time to make a change. They feel a certain sensation growing within. This family decided to change the way they eat.

Continue reading “How did this couple lose over 50 pounds with dinner?”

Power of a Positive Food Message

Sushi is truly amazing, is it not? Photo by Flickr user Janine under By-2.0
Sushi is truly amazing, is it not? Flickr, Janine, CC-By-2.0

We went out to celebrate a friend’s birthday not too long ago. We had an excellent dinner, with cold cups of saké and a large platter of sushi.

I quickly learned how much sushi one person can eat when friends cover the birthday tab!

The next week, I told different friends about the delicious, fun, unique restaurant experience.  But my excitement fell on deaf ears!  Instead I was asked,

You ate what?  I can’t imagine eating that.

Continue reading “Power of a Positive Food Message”

Bring something to share

Pesto Pasta Salad, by Whitney, Flickr CC-By-2.0
Pesto Pasta Salad, by Whitney, cropped, Flickr CC-By-2.0

Bring something to share, reads the invitation.  We all know what that means.

You know you’re an adult now, because the parties require food.  It used to be enough to see friends, have some drinks, have some laughs.  Now we need a spread.

Bring something to share.

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Nature’s Candy helps you Lose Weight

Much to the dismay of my wife, Fruit is Nature’s Candy.  (She thinks it should be marshmallows.)  The sugars in fruit are there specifically to entice you to eat that fruit and spread it’s seed, to help propagate the fruit plant.

Yes, fruits have sugar, but that’s not the full story — that fructose draws you in, but the benefits to eating fruit are huge!

Continue reading “Nature’s Candy helps you Lose Weight”

Getting Your Fill

You may remember a few years ago when the dieting company Weight Watchers came out with their new PointsPlus scale.  Points were always bad, but with the introduction of PointsPlus, Weight Watchers was throwing away everything it’s users knew and loved! There was a huge uproar among existing members who resisted the new system.  Anarchy!

Continue reading “Getting Your Fill”