Saturday, March 31, 2007

Study: Atkins diet better for weight loss, health

Ah, all those people who hate the Atkins diet are going to hate this study, proving once again that Atkins is a healthy long term diet and is better for weight loss than the other plans studied. Four plans were studied - Atkins, Learn, the Zone, and Ornish. It breaks down thus:

ATKINS (20g carbs daily for 2-3 months, 50g daily thereafter)
ZONE (40-30-30 ratio of carbs to protein to fat)
LEARN (55-60% carb intake, less than 10% saturated fat)
ORNISH (No more than 10% calories from fat)

After one year, some of the participats had fallen off their plans. Atkins had the highest retention rate:

ATKINS - 88 percent
ZONE - 77 percent
LEARN - 76 percent
ORNISH - 78 percent

...and lost more weight than the other three groups.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), March 2007:

Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women

A .pdf of the full study can be found here.

Here's the layman's explanation of the "medical-ese" in the above linked study:

The body mass index of the ATKINS group at the end of the study had been reduced by more than three times as much as the ZONE group and twice as much as the ORNISH group. At the same time, the body fat percentage loss for the ATKINS group after 12 months was three times higher than the LEARN and ZONE groups as twice as high as the ORNISH group. This echoes what previous research found regarding body fat loss on a low-carb diet.

As for cholesterol, LDL remained relatively stable among all groups except for the ORNISH group which saw a noticable drop, but it was the HDL and triglycerides numbers (which this recent study confirms is a better marker for measuring heart health anyway) that were dramatically different.

The ORNISH group saw HDL remain exactly the same after 12-months while the ZONE and LEARN groups saw equally modest increases in HDL. But it was the ATKINS group's rise in HDL that was more than double that of ZONE and LEARN while their triglycerides dipped twice as much as ORNISH and LEARN groups and seven times as much as the ZONE group.

While the waist-to-hip ratio and blood glucose levels were not statistically different among all groups (although the ATKINS group again saw a greater drop in insulin levels), blood pressure among the ATKINS group was significantly lower than all the other groups, including nearly four times lower than the ORNISH group.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Atkins anniversary!

Calories eaten yesterday: 1256
Fat: 29g (21%)
Carbs: 96g (32%)
Protein: 102g (34%)

Weight this morning: 142
Calories burned in exercise today: 266

142. Coolness. A new low for me since starting NutriSystem, and my original goal weight. Hopefully I'll show some kind of loss for my official weigh-in on Sunday.

Today is my three year Atkins anniversary! It's kind of funny that I'm not on Atkins right now, lol! But I mention it because 1) I do plan to go back, and 2) it was a watershed moment in my life as far as eating healthier - no more junk food, detoxing from sugar and other carbs. I know I will never go back to how I used to eat. Eating healthy is now second nature.

Today was paycheck #3 this month, something that happens only a couple times a year. This is one of those rare paychecks that I don't have to pay rent out of. :) I jumped online and got caught up on all my bills, except for NutriSystem, which I did pay another $100 towards. I now owe about $120 on the first month's food and my second month ($250) will be charged to that account soon. I also bought the Flowbar, a piece of fitness equipment I have had my eye on for awhile.

I called NutriSystem today since my order ships tomorrow to make sure I'd get my bear (I may not have officially lost 10 pounds yet, but unofficially I have). The customer service rep said I should. I also checked to make sure that I'd get another free week and again she said I should. So hopefully everything will work out fine and by the time I show less than a 10 pound loss on Sunday the box will already be on its way. :) Heck, if I'm lucky I'll show a 10 pounds loss Sunday!

I got a compliment from a co-worker today. It was Al. He always says, "Hi, Slim" when he sees me, but today he asked how much I weighed and I said 142. He said I looked like I weighed in the 120s! I don't even wish for that. With my build the 120s would not be healthy. Every chart and method I have looked at says I need to be in the 130s. But anyway, it was nice to be called "slim" and that I look like I weigh less than I do. :)

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie dessert - Soft and yummy. I love oatmeal cookies. I don't usually like raisins - unless they are in cookies. I ordered a few more on my next order.

I was thinking of putting a lot of cookies on my next order, but logic finally won out and I ordered fewer cookies and more of the chocolate cake and chocolate pudding - items lower in sugar and higher in protein.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More NutriSystem insanity

Would you believe they are STILL at it on the NutriSystem board? Yep. Just one post after another bashing Atkins. About half are from the same (usual) person of course. The girl is 48 but she acts 14. As I said, there is none so blind as those who will not see.

Ignorance I can abide. After all, ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge, and a lack of knowledge can be remedied. Willful ignorance is just inexcusable, though, and these people are willfully ignorant. That is the saddest part of the human condition is those who stick their fingers in their ears and refuse to have an open mind about anything. The grain and corn lobbies have done a great job indoctrinating people over the last 30 years. It's very sad, and the American people have paid the sad consequences of that indoctrination in skyrocking obesity and diabetes rates.

I think these NS people just can't handle any truth that differs from the "truth" the grain and corn lobbies have fed them their whole life.

And most of them who did Atkins wrong still think they did it right. I wonder how many actually read the book and ate all the veggies recommended? I'd wager not many.

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Week 4, Day 4

Calories eaten yesterday: 1287
Fat: 33g (24%)
Carbs: 102g (34%)
Protein: 94g (31%)

Weight this morning: 143
Calories burned in exercise today: 89

Woohoo! Only one pound away from the highest weight where I feel good and look sexy (142). Granted, it's not an official weight, but the first step to getting it as an official weight is to first get it as an unofficial weight. So very good. And my jeans are getting looser. :)

I was right about getting attacked on the NutriSystem board. Sure enough, the usual person who goes after me attacked me, calling me names and questioning my motives for being there. She said I was trolling for blog topics, as if I don't already have enough to write about. Um, check the archives. *sigh*

Anyway, on to more important stuff.

I've been putting the finishing touches on my second NutriSystem order since it ships Friday. As I did that I noticed that my $30 coupon that had been applied to that order was no longer there! I called NS and told them that they forgot to apply it last month, and up until yesterday it had been applied to this month. Could they please reapply it? They not only did that, but they gave me an extra $20 off for my trouble! Right on! So my next order will be only $250. :)

I went grocery shopping today and found Diet Coke with Splenda again! Jimmy Moore had this to say on his blog about why people such as I have still been able to find it:

Speaking of Splenda, I asked (Coca-Cola North America spokeswoman Susan) McDermott specifically about Diet Coke with Splenda and what the availability of this product was like in 2007 since it was set to be discontinued last year. She said the product tends to sell great in certain regions and not at all in others, but it is still available for purchase. With so many different Coke products available today, local stores will only stock what they think they can sell. So if you want it and it isn't available in your area, then let the manager of your favorite grocery or retail store know. I was assured it IS available!

So hopefully I'll be able to continue to buy it. I pick up a 12 pack whenever I see it.

I haven't been able to get to the gym since Sunday. Hopefully I can go tomorrow. My walks to work burn less than 100 calories.

Brad is going out to dinner with his friend Britany on Friday, but he says he scheduled a later dinner so we'll have enough time to walk a couple times around the lake first. Yippee! I have really come to count on our Friday walks to help me make my step goal.

Saturday we are having drinks at Garibaldi's. Brad got into a tiff with Lisa and I awhile back and said his apology would be to take us out to drinks there. It's too expensive to eat there, so after drinks we will go to Applebee's for dinner. I'm going to get the Quesadilla Burger that I got last time and just sub out the fries for broccoli. It was yummy! Lisa has been busy and Brad and I were going to do it without her, but both her and Davina may be available this weekend so we may be able to get all four of us together. :)

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Double Chocolate Almond Cookie dessert - I wonder if the peanut butter cookie was a bit dry because the package had been open for a few hours before I ate it. I opened the chocolate almond cookie just before eating it. It was a tiny bit dry (but only a tiny bit) but oh so good! Yummy. I have several on my next order. :)

Here's a random kitty photo of Xena. She's so cute.

Xena with her paw sticking out

And a random photo of the toothbrush holder I bought at WalMart. They also had shower curtain hooks available in the same motif that I may get later.

my new toothbrush holder

Click either picture to enlarge it.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Week 4, Day 3

Calories eaten yesterday: 1456
Fat: 27g (17%)
Carbs: 137g (39%)
Protein: 115g (33%)

Weight this morning: 143.8
Calories burned in exercise today: 92

The scale is slowly creeping down, but it's depressing. This is ground I have covered before. I am so impatient to lose this weight and not only get back to where I was before I gained the 15 back, but to see that magic 137 on the scale. I came close to that weight, but carbing up for the glucose tolerance test was my undoing. (I gained 10 pounds in 5 days and it didn't come off.)

At any rate, I hope I can take some lessons from NutriSystem back to Atkins with me. Mostly I know I just eat too much. I know I can control my weight if I just eat less, even though that means being hungry all the time.

Dr. AtkinsWell, they are at it again on the Nutrisystem board. This time they are devoting a whole thread (free sign-up required) to bashing Atkins. [rolls eyes] There were a couple reasoned responses from the usual level-headed person, but most people just bashed it - the fat is unhealthy, they did it and lost and gained back more - yadda yadda. Good grief! And of course the latest study proving Atkins is better (how the thread started) is ignored. There is none so blind as those who will not see...

If the thread stays up, I assume I will soon be attacked. We'll see.

Ok, rant over.

Speaking of Atkins and low-fat, I've noticed an increase in my anxiety levels the past couple weeks. I wonder if the fat in Atkins wasn't helping with that and now without that I'm experiencing more. The Celexa is certainly covering most of it, but there is definitely more than I had before starting NutriSystem. I'm also noticing an increase in acne. I had three pimples when I started. They have not gone away and are trying to bring friends. I know for a fact that my acne is directly tied to sugar. Whether it's tied to all carbs in general or sugar only I don't know, but NS is higher in sugar (and much higher in carbs) than Atkins, even though I'm subbing some of the carbs for protein.

More NutriSystem food reviews:
New Orleans Style Rice with Chicken Breast lunch - Spicy. Smelled bad so I added a slice of fat-free cheese and a tablespoon of salsa. After that it tasted okay so I will reorder it. The linked photo is before the additions.

Peanut Butter Cookie dessert - A little dry and crumbly. Otherwise it tasted okay. I think I will order more puddings and fewer cookies than I was planning.

Vegetable Fajita dinner - Pretty tasty, but a bit messy and high in calories. It's 240 calories and you have to add your own tortilla. One large tortilla is 80 extra calories; two small ones are even more. I'll put just one on my reorder.

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Photo courtesy of Mr. Breakfast.

Monday, March 26, 2007


Calories eaten yesterday: 1410
Fat: 35g (23%)
Carbs: 86g (25%)
Protein: 140g (41%)

Weight this morning: 145.2
Calories burned in exercise today: 0

Fun fun. Brad had "something come up" and decided last night that he couldn't work today. Jon (boss) is off today, so that left Lisa and I to cover. Normally, Lisa and I would just do 12 hour shifts, 11 to 11, but she had to take her Mom to the doctor this morning so she couldn't stay until 11 a.m. So she picked me up at 7:45 this morning (needless to say I didn't get much sleep) and I'm working 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and then she will come in at 8 p.m. and work until 7 a.m. tomorrow morning, assuming Brad does come back tomorrow. The good side to this is I can use the overtime and she drove me here this morning and said she will drive me home tonight.

Hey, at least I'll get home much earlier than usual and be able to enjoy some of the evening TV programs I usually miss. :) I'll also have more time to inflate the exercise ball I bought yesterday. I was barely able to start it last night. After being asked to come in early I got ready for bed in a hurry!

Anyway, due to the overtime and getting driven to work I won't get any exercise today. Today was supposed to be my bi-monthly run into San Francisco, but I'll do it tomorrow. Then grocery shopping Wednesday and I'll hit the gym again on Thursday.

I got a compliment at church on Saturday. Hedda (I'm not sure how to spell it) reminded me of a few weeks ago at Brent's house when we saw "One Night With the King" on video. I had missed church that day due to illness, but felt well enough to show up for the movie that evening. Hedda said I was wearing a tank top and that her daughter Joy, talking about me, said to her, "Wow Mommy, she has muscles." Hedda told Joy, "That's because she works out."

I'm not sure when Joy made that comment - if I flexed my muscles or if Joy just noticed I was toned without me flexing, but I thought it was cool either way. :)

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Hot Cocoa dessert - Pretty good. At 80 calories and 12g of protein it's healthier than any other commercial mix (even the no sugar added ones) and tasted just as good. However, due to the high protein content, it does have more calories than the no sugar added mixes.

Tuna Salad lunch - As I stated in yesterday's entry, I can't tell the difference between the tuna and chicken salads and since I need to eat fish and the tuna has 1g less carbs and 1g more protein, I'd just as soon go with that.

My next order is shipping soon and I still have some foods to try. Keep looking for more reviews with links to photos!

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Week 3 Weigh-In

First, my weigh-in numbers.
Start: 154
Week 1: 150 (-4) - Week 2: 148.6 (-1.4)
Week 3: 146 (-2.6)
Total loss: 8 lbs.

Catch up on my stats:
Calories eaten Thursday: 1388
Fat: 32g (21%)
Carbs: 90g (27%)
Protein: 107g (32%)
Weight Thursday morning: 143.4
Calories burned in exercise Thursday: 252

Calories eaten Friday: 1280
Fat: 25g (18%)
Carbs: 89g (29%)
Protein: 91g (29%)
Weight Friday morning: 142.2
Calories burned in exercise Friday: 271

Weight Saturday morning: 143
Calories burned in exercise Saturday: 0

Weight Sunday morning: 146
Calories burned in exercise Sunday: 254

Yay! I have now lost 8 pounds even though I was off plan yesterday! Yesterday I had more peanuts than I should have, way more low-carb ice cream than I should have, and two large riceless, beanless burritos (burritos with just meat, tomato, avocado, salsa, and sour cream) with Brad. I meant to put on some cheese, but forgot to take it out of the fridge. No rice or beans allowed in my house. :) Also had a small sugar-free non-fat vanilla latte with no whip or sprinkles at Starbucks.

Anyway, a 2.6 pound loss this week. Way better than I expected. After yesterday I didn't know if I would lose. I hope week 4 will be another great week and I'll lose some more unneeded weight!

True confession time - as sick as it is, can you believe that I wanted to throw-up after I ate those burritos? Not because they made me sick, but because I felt that all those calories would make me gain. Don't jump on me. I haven't done it and I know it's not healthy. Sometimes I just want to lose weight so bad. So I'm confessing the desire. Confession is good for the soul, right?

exercise ballMy 65cm exercise ball is way too big for me. When fully inflated I can not sit on it confortably, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy the 55cm ball today - the one made for people 5'2" to 5'8" (I'm 5'7"). I got it at my health club and the 55cm ball is blue. Now all I need is a chair to go with it, lol. Seriously though, there are many benefits to sitting on an exercise ball rather than a regular chair.

Brad and I went walking Friday. We were running too late to make it to Lafayette and still get in a good walk before they closed, so I asked him about places in Alameda County and he took me to a good place to walk in Oakland. It was dirt trails, but fairly flat. We walked one hour down the trail, which took us to a steep downgrade that I had no desire to go down. I wanted to walk two hours so we turned around there and headed back. Here's some photos from our walk. Click to enlarge any of them.

a caterpillar on the trail
a catterpillar on the trail

the view from the Western Trail
view from the Western Trail

me - you can't see it, but Mt. Diablo is behind me
me on a walk/hike

After Brad and I came home I fixed him a blue raspberry martini:
blue raspberry martini

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Chicken Salad lunch - I can't tell a difference between this and the tuna salad. I put it over a regular salad and then put Walden Farms dressing on it. It's not bad at all, but I think I will order more of the tuna since it has 1g less carbs, 1g more protein, and fish is just more healthy than chicken.

Flame Broiled Beef Patty dinner - The linked photo is dressed up. I forgot to take a picture of the plain patty with its fake grill marks. I liked this entree and will buy more when I reorder. Better than the chicken patty.

Apple Cinnamon Soy Chips dessert - I like them. Sweet and yummy. They're a keeper.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Study: Should we watch our salt intake?

A lot of respected people - doctors and nutritionist, for example, say we should watch our salt intake. And many of us listen because we trust these people to know what they are talking about.

As most of you probably know by now, I don't believe something just because somebody with some letters after their name said it. I prefer to do my own research, including finding the more recent studies. Well, I came across this one on salt and it confirms what I've known for the last three years - salt intake it not dangerous to most people. There are a very few people (about 5% of the population) who are "salt sensitive" and see their blood pressure go up when they eat too much, but they are few and far between. Quite frankly, the most salt will do to most of us is make us retain a little water. Yep, that's it.

Where's my proof? Glad you asked. I recently came across this study from May 2000:
The dietary guideline for sodium: should we shake it up? Yes!

This is from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) and is in "medical-ese." For a layman's interpretation of the data, click here.

So for those people who push what I say aside because it challanges conventional dogma, here's the first in what I hope will be a series of studies that show that I might actually know what I'm talking about. ;)


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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Week 3, Day 5

Calories eaten yesterday: 1533
Fat: 36g (22%)
Carbs: 97g (26%)
Protein: 152g (41%)

Weight this morning: 143.4
Calories burned in exercise today: 252

Before I talk about today, I need to respond to the person who said I was stressing my liver with wine when I said I don't like to stress my pancreas with carbs. The answer: Yes, I am. This isn't a perfect world and you have to pick your poison. If carbs are your poison, fine. Mine is wine. Just about everything these days stresses our bodies and organs in ways they weren't meant to be stressed - pollution in the air, preservatives in food, pesticides on our produce.

If this were a perfect world I would have the money to buy grass fed beef and organic vegetables, as well as the time and inclination to prepare wonderful tasty dinners instead of eating NutriSystem meals and frozen entrees full of preservatives. In a perfect world I would have no vices and eat nothing but a healthy low-carb diet with only the highest quality, organic, locally-grown products, and drink nothing but filtered water and green tea. Additionally, I'd be thoroughly happy eating this way.

But this isn't a perfect world. A quality life is as important to me as quantity, so I pick my vices carefully and try to eat healthy. I prefer to eat less carbs and let my liver finely balance my blood sugar rather than using the blunt instrument control of the pancreas. But hey, if the blunt instrument method works for you, have at it. At least sweet fruits aren't as bad as sugar and will give you a few vitamins. Just don't criticise me for my choice to eat only vegetables and non-sweet fruits.

There are worse vices than fruits, and there are worse vices than wine. They both have some benefits that help to offset their bad side. Can we agree on that?

Ok, onward and upward.

Calories will be a bit higher today because 1) I went to the gym and had my 290 calorie protein shake after, and 2) I'll be up late doing laundry so I have a little extra wine and sometimes some extra sugar free Jello. I'll still eat less than I burn, at least going by FitDay. I have tweaked my activity level there to read "Sedentary (bed-bound)" since it said I was burning more than I was when I set my activity level for "Seated work," which is what I really do. I try to eat less every day than my "Sedentary" status plus whatever exercise I do. More correctly, I try to eat less than my "Sedentary" status period.

Yes, I did make it to the gym today for a total of three times this week. Did one hour of weights and 30 minutes of cardio on the exercise bike. I was able to put it on level 6 and sustain that. Yay! I put my pedometer in my sock so it would count "steps." :)

I also learned a new move today, the "Arnold Press." It was most likely invented by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (governor of this great state). I saw it in the woman's muscle mag I read and decided to try it.

One of the muscle bound guys I see there all the time saw me doing it not quite perfectly and showed me the correct form. I love it when the guys at the gym pay attention to me! :)

This low-fat diet seems to be having its first deleterious effect - hangnails. I used to get them occasionally, but I have had a lot over the last week or so. Now it could be due to my use of Purell, but I don't think I use it enough to dry out my hand. I use the Purell maybe a couple times a day because I can't afford to get sick again. So I really think this sudden rash of hangnails is due to going from a diet with a healthy amount of fat to one lacking in fat. Geez. When will people get over their fat phobia?

It looks like I will just have to deal with this for the duration of the diet.

I also seem to be getting more pimples - a sign of eating too much sugar. I'll have to see if it keeps getting worse, or if this is just one of those things I get sometimes.

Got my reimbursement from my employer today for their portion of my dental bills. I hope this combined with the money from Dad will be enough to cover the rent.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Week 3, Day 4

Calories eaten yesterday: 1331
Fat: 30g (20%)
Carbs: 88g (27%)
Protein: 136g (41%)

Weight this morning: 144.4
Calories burned in exercise today: 268

Yesterday was the first day of Spring (5:07 pm PDT). That means the days are finally longer than the nights! Yippee! Where did winter go? :)

I have taken my food journal down temporarily. I'm still using it, but the link there won't currently work. I got some criticism from - no surprise - NS folks, so I've temporarily made it private. I'm still posting the macronutrient breakdown each day, though.

I took one of those "Rocket Shot" energy drinks right before my workout today. It seemed to really help me find my groove a whole lot faster. I find my muscles are always a bit weak for my first exercise until I warm up and get a good pump going. Now if these things weren't so expensive I could have one before every workout...

As the linked review states, it doesn't taste very good, but it's only 1.8 ounces, so I had it downed in just two mouthfuls. I think the 7g of sugar was a big part of the instant energy - just enough to get me going, but not enough to seriously mess with my blood sugar.

Did one hour of weights and the time just flew by. Then I did 30 minutes on the elliptical.

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Chicken Breast Patty dinner - Bland when plain. I added a slice of fat free cheese and a tablespoon of salsa and that helped.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Week 3, Day 3

Calories eaten yesterday: 1435
Fat: 34g (22%)
Carbs: 97g (27%)
Protein: 149g (42%)

Weight this morning: 147.4
Calories burned in exercise today: 102

Today was grocery day. I thought my grocery bill would do down when I started NutriSystem, but so far it's running about $100 per week. Also, I can see I'm going to run out of lunches way before I run out of dinners so I bought some of the lower carb Smart Ones frozen meals today.

There is no room in my freezer! There's Atkins meals in there (meat and veggies in Tupperware), various bags of frozen veggies, some ancient frozen low-carb Lean Pockets, a huge bag of cooked and frozen chicken breasts, one package of low-carb ice cream, and now as many Smart Ones dinners as I could stuff in. I had to take the ground beef out and put it in the fridge. Oh well. Brad and I will have tacos on Saturday and use up the rest then.

I did find more Splenda-sweetened Diet Coke today. I could really only carry one case home even though they had more, so I bought the one and it's in my fridge now. :) I am a diet soda addict and love it when I can find Diet Coke with Splenda. Diet Coke is my favorite drink. They discontinued the type with Splenda so it's getting harder and harder to find.

No time for the gym because of the grocery shopping. I just walked from the train station to work. It was threatening to rain but didn't so I made it to work dry. Calories burned: 102.

The money from Dad came today. As soon as my employer reimburses me for their portion of my recent dental stuff I might be able to cover the rent.

I'll be having the NutriSystem chicken breast tonight and review it tomorrow. I'm going to doctor it up with one slice of fat free cheese and a tablespoon or two of salsa.

I tested my blood sugar after eating a mini bag of popcorn today. Net carbs eaten - 19g. Blood sugar before - 103. Blood sugar 50 minutes after - 136. That's a rise of 33 points. Not great. :-p

Ah well. Life - and food - aren't perfect. America is a country of carb addicts, and most people don't even realize they're addicted, or that grains trigger the pleasure center in the brain, the same center that is triggered by illegal drugs. No wonder we find it so hard to give up carbs!

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Monday, March 19, 2007

Week 3, Day 2

Calories eaten yesterday: 1389
Fat: 39g (26%)
Carbs: 79g (23%)
Protein: 136g (40%)

Weight this morning: 147.4
Calories burned in exercise today: 105

First, two things I forgot to mention yesterday. One, with the completion of Friday's dental work I am all done! That's everything. A deep cleaning, two oral surgeries, whitening, and four fillings. I'm done! :-D Now I just have to go back for regular cleanings. I turned in my recipe for the fillings and am now waiting for reimbursement for my employer's portion.

Two, I had to wait an hour for a bus yesterday, so that made me an hour late to the gym. I did what I could - 50 minutes of weights. To make up for the lack of cardio I walked from the train station to work. I tried to stop at WalMart for cat litter deoderizer and those little hard sugar-free candies I like to carry in my purse, but they were overrun with people so I had to leave and get to work. Maybe tomorrow.

It's taking me longer to find my groove at the gym. I wonder if it's the larger number of carbs I'm eating. The Daylight Saving time is past now, and last night I got enough sleep. I still had a hard time getting into my routine. I'll have to observe more and see if my tiredness is tied to anything - lack of/too much sleep, day of the week, number of carbs, etc.

Didn't make it to the gym today. I decided to sleep in. I walked the last bit to work from the train station, though, so I got some exercise. I stopped at WalMart and got cat litter deodorizer, orange Crystal Light, and several packages of Ice Breakers Sours (sugar free candy).

I'm SO hungry. I think that is the worst part of this program. But then again, my medication is part of the problem. It would take 2500 calories a day for me to feel full, and I'd obviously gain on that amount.

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Pot Roast - Gravy over Beef, Potatoes, and Carrots - Pretty good, and very high in protein. I was able to get the carbs down a bit by picking the potato pieces out. I'll order one more of these.

Sliced Ham - Tastes okay, but WAY too small to build a main course around. I will NOT be reordering this. A tiny piece of sliced ham is just so wrong on so many levels I can't begin to explain. I had the ham and some baby carrots as my snack and had a can of tuna with salsa and cheese for lunch.

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Gratuitous cat pictures

Gratuitous cat pictures. Click any of these photos to enlarge them.

A rare sight - Abby cleaning Xena
Abby cleans Xena

Xena in the window
Xena in window

Xena crosses her paws
Xena's paws

Abby hogs the tuna water and keeps Xena away
Abby hogs the tuna water and keeps Xena away

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dentist Day take 11, and my weekend

First, my weigh-in numbers.
Start: 154
Week 1: 150 (-4) - Week 2: 148.6 (-1.4)
Total loss: 5.4 lbs.

Calories eaten Thursday: 1503
Fat: 34g (21%)
Carbs: 92g (25%)
Protein: 131g (36%)

Calories eaten Friday: 1321
Fat: 30g (21%)
Carbs: 75g (23%)
Protein: 115g (36%)
Weight Friday morning: 142.6
Calories burned in exercise Friday: 0

Weight Saturday morning: 144.4
Calories burned in exercise Saturday: about 483 (2 hours of hiking)

Weight this morning: 148.6
Calories burned in exercise today: 203

I didn't blog about my tenth visit to the dentist, but Friday was the 11th. The 10th visit was just a basic cleaning which went much smoother than the last one.

Friday they filled four cavities, cavities I've had for at least the past 10 years. They kept me in the waiting room for an hour. When they finally called me back they kept me waiting another good 30 minutes. And when they finally started on me they were so fast that I think they had everything numbed, drilled, and filled in 30 minutes flat. The only painful part was the four quick lidocaine shots the doctor gave me. Once those took effect he gave me two more long shots but I was pretty numb by then.

Brad picked me up and took me home. He wasn't hungry; I ate my NutriSystem meal.

Church on Saturday was strange. We had a prayer service, interspersed with hymns. It was kind of a nice change. After the service and before Sabbath School Brent played a little 10 minute Veggie Tales video about St. Patrick, since it was St. Patrick's Day.

When I got home from church Brad picked me up and we went out to the Lafayette Reservoir to do what I thought was some walking. It was more like hiking, especially when we left the paved path and took off into the mountains around the reservoir. The hills were so steep that we had to sometimes go downhill sideways so as not to slip. When we came to a cutoff leading down to the paved trail I opted to go that ways rather than keep climbing the mountains.

My pedometer racked up 6 miles, though it was less because of the steep hills and short steps. I told him next time we are sticking the the paved path, even if that means going around twice to get enough miles. There is enough up and down there; we don't need the mountains.

Then we went to Applebees for dinner. I had a glass of Riesling (dry white wine - very good!), black coffee (I was tired), and for my main course an Angus burger with cheese and diced tomato on a pita. I figured that would have less carbs than a regular bun, but still give me a break from the steak, which is what I always order. It came with fries, but I asked the waiter for broccoli instead. Including the tip, my dinner came to $25.

Then Brad and I went over to Safeway. He's been promising to get me a "6 pack" wine carrier ever since I cleared out my house of all the fatty foods to prepare for NutriSystem. We selected four bottles of Riesling and two bottles of Merlot. I won't be needing to buy wine for a looooong time.

Then we went back to my house for dessert - low-sugar ice cream. He left early because he had church today and I was dead tired so after a little more snacking I hit the sack.

Here's the pictures I took yesterday. You can click to enlarge them, but I had the settings wrong and all but one came out a bit blurry so you might not want to see the larger photo. I need a new camera! Argh!

a snake slithers across the pavement
a snake on my Lafayette Reservoir hike

part of the trail after we left the pavement
Lafayette Reservoir hike

Mt. Diablo as seen from the trail
Mt. Diablo as seen from my Lafayette Reservoir hike

The Reservoir. Click on this - there is a note showing the tiny white speck where we started. The parking lot where we left the car is behind the tiny speck.
Lafayette Reservoir

a sign listing the backcountry regulations
a sign on my Lafayette Reservoir hike

The only non-blurry photo - click on it for a larger size
Lafayette Reservoir hike

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Florentine Sauce with Chicken Fettuccine - I liked this very much and it has as much carbs as protein (23g each). I will have to order more of these.

Scrambled Eggs with Cheddar Cheese - About as good as powdered, reconstituted eggs can be. But they are healthier than the non-egg breakfasts so I'll keep eating them.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

What if it's all been a big, fat lie?

What if Atkins were - as I believe - right all along? What if carbohydrates and high insulin levels make us fat? What if fat really is harmless, even healthful? Don't we owe it to ourselves to eat the most healthy, nutrient dense diet we can? I propose that diet is not a low-fat diet, but a low-carb diet. Here's an article from an investigative reporter that challenges convention "wisdom."

If the members of the American medical establishment were to have a collective find-yourself-standing-naked-in-Times-Square-type nightmare, this might be it. They spend 30 years ridiculing Robert Atkins, author of the phenomenally-best-selling "Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution" and "Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution," accusing the Manhattan doctor of quackery and fraud, only to discover that the unrepentant Atkins was right all along. Or maybe it's this: they find that their very own dietary recommendations -- eat less fat and more carbohydrates -- are the cause of the rampaging epidemic of obesity in America. Or, just possibly this: they find out both of the above are true.

When Atkins first published his "Diet Revolution" in 1972, Americans were just coming to terms with the proposition that fat -- particularly the saturated fat of meat and dairy products -- was the primary nutritional evil in the American diet. Atkins managed to sell millions of copies of a book promising that we would lose weight eating steak, eggs and butter to our heart's desire, because it was the carbohydrates, the pasta, rice, bagels and sugar, that caused obesity and even heart disease. Fat, he said, was harmless.

Full article here. It is well worth the read - unless you are afraid.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Atkins beats other diet plans in study, take 2

A friend sent me a couple more news stories about Atkins beating other plans. I posted a link to the AP article several days ago, but wanted to include these two links as well. :)

From Science Daily:
Science Daily — ...Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have completed the largest and longest-ever comparison of four popular diets, and the lowest-carbohydrate Atkins diet came out on top.

At the end of a year, the 77 women assigned to the Atkins group had lost an average of 10.4 pounds. Those assigned to LEARN lost 5.7 pounds, the Ornish followers lost 4.8 pounds and women on the Zone lost 3.5 pounds, on average.

After 12 months, women following the Atkins diet, relative to at least one of the other groups, had larger decreases in body mass index, triglycerides and blood pressure; their high-density lipoprotein, the good kind of cholesterol, increased more than the women on the other diets.

Full story here.

From KTRE TV, an ABC affiliate:

The beleaguered Atkins diet may get a breath of life from a new study that suggests the high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet regime leads to more effective weight loss with fewer negative health effects than three other weight loss strategies.

The study, which pits the Atkins diet against the Zone, Ornish and LEARN diets, appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Full story here.

A doctor's blog entry about it:
MEDICAL RESEARCH SHOCKER: ATKINS DIET WORKS!!! (Yes, you are detecting sarcasm.)

And another doctor also weighs in:
Low-carb diet wins, losers cry foul

So let's see. We have an approach that helps you lose weight, lowers triglicerides, raises HDL cholesterol, and has "fewer negative health effects" than the other approaches studied. The study is even published in JAMA. So what's wrong with it? It flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Too bad so many people can't see the obvious.

If you want to see the actual study, a .pdf of it can be found here.

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Week 2, Day 5

NutriSystem scrambled eggsCalories eaten yesterday: 1248
Fat: 27g (20%)
Carbs: 114g (37%)
Protein: 92g (30%)

I never got around to drinking the NutriSystem chocolate shake dessert yesterday. That helped get my calories down. I'll have it today. Today's calories are higher. It's my long day with a workout in the morning, work, and then laundry at night. At least I don't have any cooking to do. All I have to do is prep my salad for tomorrow.

Weight this morning: 143.8
Calories burned in exercise today: 267

I'm jazzed. Looking over my calendar (bet some of you never noticed the calendar link to the right), it looks like next week is pretty free of appointments and errands so I should be able to make it to the gym more often.

I'm bushed today. Two nights in a row of not enough sleep made my workout a struggle. It took a while to find my groove, but once I did, I seemed to do my weights fine. One hour of weight and 30 minutes cardio on the elliptical. I needed an energy drink afterwords (sugar free of course).

Today's my late night doing laundry. I just hope I can get to bed at a reasonable enough time to get enough sleep tonight. My dental appointment is at three, but there is some other stuff I have to do before I go.

My Atkins anniversary is coming up in just a couple weeks! I can't believe it's been almost three years since I started this journey to better health through proper diet.'s my Friday. TGIF! I am looking forward to walking with Brad on a location other than the lake! LOL! I am so sick of walking around the lake. I'll bring a snack with me because we go for loooong walks. Six miles is about our average. I'm also looking forward to dinner at Applebees.

But first I have to get through four fillings tomorrow. Eek! I hope I get a good dentist who knows what he's doing and that they don't keep me waiting forever. Brad might come over later, but I'll have to take the bus home.

I'll hold onto the rent check for a while so I have a chance to turn in my receipt and get my money back. Hopefully it will be fast enough to get me through until my next payday. I'm not buying anything unnecessary out of my next paycheck except for one thing I have had my eye on for a long time: the Flowbar. It's $40, would be a way to add to my fitness equipment at home, and is small enough to easily fit into my studio apartment. It also comes recommended from someone on the Muscular Development Forums. :)

It would also be a huge help if Dad would sent me the March check. It still hasn't come.

On the NS boards, I've now been called a "bay area whack job." And yes, the person didn't capitalize "Bay Area" as they should have. In fact, they didn't capitalize anything. So let's see, I'm supposed to take someone seriously who doesn't know the most basic rules of writing? Yeah, right. I tell you, low-carbers are so much more stable than those who follow a low-fat diet. Low-carbers have supported me in this diet; NutriSystem folks have not. I wonder why that is. No, actually, I don't. I've already speculated about the reasons here. Jimmy Moore and the Low-Carb Christians Support Board have both been very welcoming.

I'd link to the name-calling post, but I reported it so I expect it will be nuked by a moderator shortly. Ah yes, name-calling - the last bastion of those who don't have any facts. Because of this they resort to name-calling to call people's attention away from the fact that they have no valid argument. It's one of the logical fallacies of debate we studied in college.

This person also criticized me for being "self-taught." If only more people were self-taught maybe this country wouldn't have the obesity epidemic we have today! I do all my own research - I don't go on a low-fat diet just because "my doctor told me so." I find out the facts and pros and cons. Why did he recommend that diet? Where's the studies to back it up? I believe in taking charge of my own health.

The problem is most people hand over their health to a doctor or other health professional and trust them completely. (I've seen where this has gotten my Dad and I ain't going there!) I prefer to read and read some more and get opinions from many people - not just one doctor or one nutritionist or one personal trainer, but all of the above.

My health is MY responsibility, not my doctor's. I have to live in this body every day; my doctor doesn't.

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Scrambled Eggs with Veggie Sausage Crumble - Edible, but not great. It's powdered eggs you add water to. It's also the only NS breakfast that fits a lower-carb lifestyle, so I'll be eating a lot of it. It did fill me up better than the other breakfasts I've tried. Must be the low carbs and high protein. :) I wasn't hungry at the gym at all.

Turkey Hot Dogs - I've tasted better, but I used a slice of low-carb whole wheat bread and a tablespoon of salsa and that helped cover the taste. I'll reorder one package (which is three servings).

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Week 2, Day 4

NutiSystem blueberry muffinsCalories eaten yesterday: 1403
Fat: 35g (23%)
Carbs: 110g (32%)
Protein: 117g (34%)

Weight this morning: 145
Calories burned in exercise today: 104

I have to admit - the hunger is getting to me. Even with the add-ons I am hungry constantly. And unlike most people who can adjust to the program, my medication makes it so I never will. I can either be fat, happy, and full, or normal weight, happy, and starving (or a normal weight, unhappy, and full).

I found the 100 calorie bags of microwave popcorn at WalMart today and bought a box. I cooked one up when I got to work and I'm pleasantly surprised at the amount of popcorn I get for 100 calories and 19 carbs. Good way to control portions. I'll keep some at home and some at work.

Good news on the dental front. I checked with Lupe and have over $900 of dental insurance left for the year. I called Western Dental and asked them how much the fillings were and they said all four together are $517 if I pay in full at the time of service, and yes, I could get all four done at once if I want.

I'm still floating the rent check and this will be right after payday, so I could get all four done at once and then hope for a fast turn around time on my reimbursement. My portion is $103 (that won't be reimbursed). It will make things tight, but this is a good time to do it because I get three paychecks this month.

I already have an appointment for Friday so I will just get all of them done at that time instead of the two I planned on, and get the whole thing over with. This will be my tenth trip to the dentist since last September. It will also hopefully be my last visit for the next several months until I need another cleaning. I'm allergic to pain so I will take a couple Vicodin (left over from my oral surgery) along with some OTC pain meds. That should help dull the pain a bit.

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pudding - Yummy! Definitely a keeper. The trick to the puddings is making it well ahead of time and placing it in the fridge to solidify a bit. Also, add a little less water than what they say. Very good, and the chips really make this what it is! And there are a LOT of chips. :) This is also very high in protein and relatively low in carbs.

Lemon Butter Sauce with Chicken and Noodles - Not bad, and very high in protein. A keeper I will order again.

Blueberry Muffins - Very small and unsatisfying, otherwise okay, but nothing to write home about. I'll reorder one and have them as a treat, but they are high in carbs and low in protein. I heated them up and ate them with a fork. I'll order just one next time around.

Chicken Salad - I put the chicken salad on top of a regular lettuce salad and used Walden Farms zero calorie dressing. It was yummy, and healthier than spreading it on Melba toast. Definitely a keeper.

On the topic of food, I went grocery shopping today and picked up some strawberries. When I got home I set them on the counter so I could rinse and cut them, then walked into the living room. Since it's a studio apartment, I can see the entire kitchen from the living room. I began messing around on the computer when I started hearing strange sounds coming from the kitchen. I looked over, expecting to find Xena getting into some sort of trouble. Nope - it was Abby trying to get at the strawberries! I yelled at her of course and she jumped down and ran under the bed. First cauliflower and now strawberries. There was a bowl of cat food sitting out at the time so it's not like she was hungry. Ferals are very weird cats. She's probably had to eat fruits and veggies in the past when routing through garbage cans.

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Repost of my post on gallstones and low-fat diets

NutriSystem is very low-fat and I don't believe a low-fat diet is healthy in the long run. For example, it is a major cause of gallstones. The bile isn't used, so it just sits around in the gallbladder and forms stones:

The liver makes bile continuously and stores it in the gall bladder until such time as it is needed. However, if a low-fat diet is eaten, that bile remains in the gall bladder. Gallstones are formed when the gall bladder is not emptied on a regular basis. In people who continually resort to low-fat diets, bile is stored for long periods in the gall bladder – and it stagnates. In time – and it is really quite a short time – a 'sludge' begins to form. This then coagulates to form small stones which then become bigger.

To avoid this on NutriSystem I will eat more fat on Saturday - probably peanuts on the snack table at church since that is one of my favorite things.

Sparky's Girl made this comment on my earlier post. I feel it should be seen by more people, so I'm posting it here:

I'm not sure how I missed this post, but it's a great one. I am one of those people who unknowingly killed my own gallbladder. I ate fat free everything for several years. While in the last couple of months of my first pregnancy I started having these uncomfortable pains behind my ribs. I attributed it to the baby's feet (or hands, elbows.. whatever) and tried to get by. After my son was born the pain worsened. I would literally lie on the floor holding my chest and cry. I frequently felt I would throw up. 3 months later I was diagnosed with gallstones - approx. 40 of the little buggers. I had to have emergency surgery to remove not only the stones, but my gallbladder as well. It was beyond repair. To think I could have prevented it all had I known about low-carb 11 years ago.

What I really find interesting is my doctor told me afterwards, off the record, that he believed the gallbladder was meant to be used, and when it's not, it quits working. He believed low-fat diets were the cause.

The moral of the story: Fat is healthy and good for you. :)

[Editing this post to add something I stumbled across:
But the diet-gallbladder link, if indeed there is one, is far from clear. Consider a class action suit being filed against a popular dietary plan. "Last spring, according to newspaper reports, 19 people filed suit against NutriSystem for developing gallbladder disease after the diet," says Carol Heppe, a consumer safety officer at the Food and Drug Administration. But would they have become ill anyway? There is no ready answer.


[Second edit: Don't miss this view from a doctor on the topic of gallstones.]

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Week 2, Day 3

Calories eaten yesterday: 1236
Fat: 23g (17%)
Carbs: 114g (38%)
Protein: 101g (34%)

Weight this morning: 147
Calories burned in exercise today: 93

Woohoo! Had my last appointment with the counselor today. :) That will free up one day a month and $25. Will be weird not seeing her anymore.

Pretty normal day. Had my appointment, took the bus to BART, and walked to work from there. Tomorrow is grocery day, and then I hope to hit the gym again on Thursday.

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Beef and Mushroom Gravy with Pasta - This is certainly a "gravy" dish as the name suggests. Way too much gravy and hardly any meat, mushrooms, or pasta. Too bad I ordered so many. But it could be worse. I'll reorder just one.

NutriFrosted Crunch cereal - Tastes like frosted flakes, but unhealthy. Sugar is the second ingredient, AND it has high fructose corn syrup. I ordered it just to try it and won't get it again. The powdered eggs may taste bad, but they're a whole lot healthier.

Beans and Ham Soup - More of a beans stew than a soup, very thick. I liked it but it's pretty high in carbs. This was an item from my "free" week. I think I will get one when I reorder.

And a couple pictures that have nothing to do with anything. Click any of them to enlarge.

Xena in the window
Xena in window

me at 150 pounds showing off my muscles
me at 150 lbs.

Sunset from my apartment building
Northern California (Bay Area) sunset

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Week 2, Day 2

Calories eaten yesterday: 1502
Fat: 36g (22%)
Carbs: 122g (33%)
Protein: 130g (35%)

Weight this morning: 149.8
Calories burned in exercise today: 97

Bought Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution: The Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars by Richard K. Bernstein while in San Francisco today. I have been waiting two months for the new edition to come out and it's finally here! :) It is a 500 page tome chock full of information.

It's getting hot here so I pulled out a bunch of summer shirts last night, and today I got to wear the shrug Brad gave me for the first time! :) It looks nice and I like it.

My last appointment with Helen is tomorrow. She wanted to see me one last time and I need to return some books I borrowed so it's okay. She said she wouldn't charge me for this last session anyway. This will free up one day a month and save me $25 to boot.

I have an appointment for two of my fillings this coming Friday. I doubt I have enough insurance to cover all four that I need, but I want to at least get this out of the way. Needless to say, Brad and I won't be walking that day. But he wants to take me out to Lafayette Reservoir to walk on Saturday after church. It's in a rich area so things are really nice there. Then we will go out to dinner at Applebees.

More NutriSystem food reviews:
NutriCinnamon Squares cereal - Tasty and sweet, but too high in sugar (the second ingredient) and too high in overall carbs. I only ordered it to try it and won't reorder it. I put a 1/2 cup of Soy Slender soymilk on it since it's lower in sugar than the fat free milk they recommend.

Chili with Beans - Thumbs up. Tastes good and not too high in carbs. This was part of my free week, but it's a keeper. 230 calories, 18g net carbs, and 19g protein.

NutriFlakes Cereal - Way too sweet. Sugar is both the third and fourth ingredient and it has almost no protein. It became soggy very quickly. This was another food from my free week and I will NOT be ordering it.

Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables - Bland, and too high in carbs for my liking. I ordered one to try it and have taken it off next month's order.

I've decided that testing my blood sugar while taking starch blocking pills doesn't tell me what the food really does, so I'll starting doing some testing with the various foods once I run out of pills.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Week 1 Weigh-In

Start: 154
Week 1: 150 (-4)

Calories eaten Thursday: 1564
Fat: 36g (21%)
Carbs: 119g (30%)
Protein: 120g (31%)

Calories eaten Friday: 1314
Fat: 26g (19%)
Carbs: 106g (34%)
Protein: 78g (25%)
Weight Friday morning: 144.4
Calories burned in exercise Friday: 283

Weight Saturday morning: 144 (10 pounds lost!)
Calories burned in exercise Saturday: 0

Weight this morning: 150 (back up again)
Calories burned in exercise today: 227

Don't forget to not just set your clocks back today, but also the clocks few people think of - like the one on your digital camera.

The weekend was okay. Brad and I went walking Friday and then hung out at my house. He came over Saturday afternoon, too, but when I asked him to set my VCR back to where it was before we fiddled with the DVD he couldn't do it. He worked at it for hours before finally getting it. Kind of ruined the whole evening. :-p

I was a bad girl Saturday. After getting all the way down to 144 on Saturday morning I was back up to 150 today - yep...a six pound gain in one day. The whoosh fairy came and visited and then left again. :( I hope she comes back this week. I'm just going to change my ticker on Sunday since that is my highest weight of the week.

I ate three homemade tacos last night on high fiber tortillas. Bad idea - way more fiber than I can handle (with the predictable effects today) ;), not to mention the calories.

Made it to the gym today, but I am wiped out. Hopefully it's just the time change messing with me.

To address a couple questions:
Will NutriSystem be a long-term diet for me? No. One, I can't afford it (I'm going into debt just to do the two months I decided on, and two, I don't believe an ultra-low-fat diet is healthy long term.

Is this a lifestyle change for me? No, it's just a diet. I'm sure I can learn things from it that I can incorporate into my maintenance plan (more low-GI carbs, less fat, portion control), but NutriSystem is a diet to me. Maintenance will be closer to Atkins maintenance. I have learned too much about fat and carbs the last three years to ever make such a low-fat diet a lifestyle. Carbs aren't necessary; fat is.

I'm taking pictures of some of my NutriSystem food. I'm linking it in reviews if there's a picture. Here's the Flickr set.

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Hearty Beef Stew - A little small for a dinner, but very filling for its size. This will be a keeper for me.

Chocolate Crunch Bar - Tasty, but way too much sugar. If I ate this everyday I would break out. This was a "free" item I won't get again.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes - Very good with a few extra sugar-free chocolate chips tossed on top. Delicious, but a bit high in carbs. I will not order it again, though. My fasting blood sugar was 78 and about 45 minutes after eating the pancakes (about 22g carbs) I was up to 119. That's a jump of 41 points. Not good. I won't order this again.

Honey Mustard Pretzels - I don't like pretzels, but I liked these. Something I will buy again.

Tuna Casserole - Nasty. Bland and way too much gravy. Very little tuna, noodles, and vegetables. I will not buy this one again. Yucky!

Chocolate Shake (dessert) - I had this for breakfast and it was okay. It works as a dessert, but the similar one marketed as a lunch isn't enough food for a lunch. It mixed well. I may order one with my second order. Not sure.

Here's a cool way you can help out shelters in your area. I just found this through Snopes, and Seventh Generation is a good company.

donate sanitary products to shelters in your area

Think about it. Women in shelters need sanitary products just as much as any other woman.

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Mentioned on "Calorie Lab"!

- Diet blogs: The journey to carb control is not soft spoken

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Friday, March 09, 2007

The Inuit Paradox

This is an article from Discover magazine entitled The Inuit Paradox, and asks how people on an almost all animal diet could be so healthy. It's subtitled, "How can people who gorge on fat and rarely see a vegetable be healthier than we are?" Indeed, how can they?

Hunter-gatherer diets like those eaten by these northern groups and other traditional diets based on nomadic herding or subsistence farming are among the older approaches to human eating...No people, though, may have been forced to push the nutritional envelope further than those living at Earth’s frozen extremes.


...(A)ll fats are not created equal. This lies at the heart of a paradox—the Inuit paradox, if you will. In the Nunavik villages in northern Quebec, adults over 40 get almost half their calories from native foods, says Dewailly, and they don't die of heart attacks at nearly the same rates as other Canadians or Americans. Their cardiac death rate is about half of ours, he says.

Want to find out how these people were so healthy? Read the whole interesting article here!

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Body fat test

Calories eaten Wednesday: 1450
Fat: 36g (23%)
Carbs: 113g (32%)
Protein: 125g (36%)

Weight this morning: 144.6 (Wowsers! Down 9.4 pounds in just 5 days!)
Calories burned in exercise today: 268

Ok, measurements and body fat test results, as promised.
Measurements (in inches):
Neck: 12.3
Chest (above breasts): 33.3
Breasts: 35.25
Biceps: 11
Forearm: 9.25
Waist: 29.25
Hips: 37.5
Thigh: 21.25
Calf: 14.9

Body fat percent: 27%
Fat mass: 36.45 lbs.
Lean mass: 99.3 lbs.

Since starting to diet (in 2004) I have lost a foot off my hips! Yep - 12 inches! At my first measure my hips were 48 1/2 inches. My body fat that first day was 37.8. :)

I plan to have another evaluation done when I stop NutriSystem so I can see how I've done on the program.

The trainer who did the measurements said I looked good, and told me to train more often (most weeks I only make it twice). He was impressed by the "cut" that can be seen in my biceps. :)

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Beef Tacos dinner - Good stuff! You get three small tortillas (I got four in my first box, though), and the sauce is a dried mix you add water too. I can't believe something so decadent is so low in carbs and high in protein. This is a winner that I will be buying again.

Microwavable Chocolate Cake dessert - Like the Apple Cake it's not overly sweet, but this is a good thing. No need to feed the sweets demon in me. Lots of protein in this treat, so that's good. It doesn't cook right to a "cakey" consistency. I've heard others have similar problems with this product. It's a "soy sponge," but it is chocolate, so I'll get it again.

Balsamic Vinaigrette with Turkey Breast Meat lunch - Not good at all. You are suppossed to put it over a salad, but the Balsamic Vinaigrette is more like gravy than dressing. I'm not picky so I'm okay with it, but it is not a good entree in terms of taste. I won't buy it again.

Chicken Ala King with Noodles lunch - Kind of bland, but otherwise good.

I finally got all my water drunk yesterday. In part because I made myself drink my 1.5 liter bottle of plain water before I could have my soda, and in part because things are cooling down finally on the NutriSystem board.

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