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I got the call last week. Can you go to the FAPSC conference next week? Ana can't go, will you go for her? It's an educator's conference where we get together to come up with ways to help our students achieve their success. I do some work as an adjunct for a local school that offers allied health courses.

Since I like new ideas for the classroom, I thought, "Why not? Sure, I'll go."

This conference can go either way on the interesting/boring index. It depends upon who the presenters are and what they are presenting.  Good to know - rocket scientists are a 50/50, GED specialists are 80/50 on the scale - depending upon the presenter's personality and subject matter. More good to know - Titles like "Putting the Fun in Fundamentals" is likely to be more fun than "Finding the Stratification of Your Findings" well, maybe those titles are no brainers. I could choose 4 out of 12 possible breakout sessions and thought I could stay on the interesting side of things.

Another plus was the conference was at one of the best resorts in Aventura, Florida. The brochure said I should give my dietary requirements at registration, which was a plus. I could stay within my caloric means.

heh, that was a joke.

First off, valet parking is a requirement, so there's no extra exercise going to and from the parking lot. I decided to use my pedometer during the event just for curiosity's sake.

One of my current missions is to get corporate meals to fall within good nutritional values. It yanks my chain to read about the obesity epidemic and go to a conference that has a breakout session on obesity, then later be served fettuccine alfredo for the entree with a cherry tomato sliced in half for a garnish followed up with cheesecake for dessert. It's not the hypocrisy so much as it's simple unhealthy eating that is encouraged by professional food preparers.

The registration desk was puzzled when I said that I would like to stay within 800 calories for both breakfast and lunch at the conference. I was told that I would have "no trouble" doing that with the breakfast buffet and that the lunch, too was within that parameter. Great, I thought I'd have no problem.

I entered the ballroom with the exhibits and buffet and immediately saw that the buffet was a fat hazardous waist dump. I saw the fluffiest scrambled eggs imaginable that I knew was full of fat to get them that way. There were breakfast sandwiches made with croissants or biscuits, both filled with either sausage or ham and cheese with more fluffy scrambled eggs. To be honest, there were red and yellow delicious apples on a tray above the egg hazard, which since I'm short, I was likely to get egg all over me in pursuit of the healthy apple. Aha! I had an alternate route! On the other side of the table were mounds of deceptively normal sized muffins in apple, bran, or blueberry flavors and I could get to the apples that way. A friend stopped by and we decided to split a muffin to go with our apples.

The first breakout session was sponsored by a fairly well known edu supply company and some of their stuff applies to adult learners. I deliberately chose an active session that I knew would have me on my feet and moving around - pretty much how I like to run my classroom sessions. The next was on ways to present and solve critical thinking problems. Lots of sitting, figuring out medical related issues disguised as puzzles, but I learned how to insert moving around breaks into critical thinking classroom sessions. It was pretty good also.

Back to the ballroom for lunch, awards and photo session. Lunch was a wedge salad with bacon bits and a cherry tomato sliced in half with blue cheese dressing poured over the top. Compare that to a classic veggie salad before salad dressing. The salad dressing is the main culprit in salad calories and this wedge salad was a joke. Iceberg lettuce offers little nutrition, but decent fiber. The blue cheese salad dressing is 170 calories per serving. I was stuck. I ate the lettuce not smothered in dressing and the cherry tomato and passed on the rest.

The entree was (sure enough) fettuccine alfredo with mushrooms. According to the server, it seems that this entree was healthy because it was a meatless meal. Dessert was a cheesecake tart topped with (count 'em) 2 blueberries, 2 raspberries, 1 gigantor blackberry and 1/2 of a smallish strawberry.

Yeah, it was a good thing that I did an extra 50 minutes on the elliptical yesterday - not that it was going to be enough exercise to compensate for this. What I wanted to know was how on earth did the lady at registration think that I could stay within 400 calories at this meal alone?

The afternoon's breakout sessions were good and I went to see the one presented by one of my mentors and had an enjoyable time. The conference broke and I was faced with an hour wait to get my valet parked car, so my work group pushed us all into the hotel's bar for the wait. Drinking while dieting is always tricky. My best bet? Order the beer or a glass of wine. Or better yet, order a diet anything in a highball glass. So, what was I doing with an apple martini in front of me?

I kept my pedometer on while I was was at the conference and it was good to know that I walked about 3 miles going from one ballroom to another, but it wasn't brisk walking and it wasn't enough exercise and I figured that doing 40 minutes or so on my rowing machine later would help work some of this off.

The calorie totals for the day could have been anywhere from a high of 2,500 with over 100 grams of fat (50 of saturated fat) to a low of 1,250 (50 & 25 respectively) if I averaged to eat 1/2 of everything. No doubt, the day's food offerings were meant to be appealing and to that end they were successful. Had I eaten everything in front of me I would have consumed about 2,200 calories and burned about 1,500 for a surplus of 700 calories in a single day. Had I eaten this stuff I would have been way over in calories, fat, sodium and carbs/sugar. I would have been way too low in Vitamins A, B & C as well as too low in both iron and potassium. Ironically, calcium would've been high. Fiber would be about half of what we should eat.

The problem facing most people is how to deal with tempting foods and tempting situations and conferences at expensive hotels is just one of them. I hate how pundits decry obesity, but don't mention just how awful our food choices are when eating on the company's dime. They go after McDonald's and Burger King with a vengeance but give the Fairmont Turnberry Isle's and Ritz-Carlton's a pass. Food critics pounce on unhealthy bloomin' onion's, but fail to mention chipotle black bean burgers are a tasty step in the right direction. I hate it when the company orders pizza for lunch and hate it more when they think ordering a Caesar salad makes up for it. And I really hate it when corporate leaders blame their workers for being fat while they push them to put in 12 hour days that exclude healthy eating and exercise; then turn around and send them to a conference like this thinking it's a treat. It's a treat all right, combined with a trick.

So what did I do for dinner last night? Water and another salad (that was high in fiber, Vitamins A & C) with a much lower salad dressing followed by a double serving of rower.

Originally posted to JDWolverton on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

    •  try this for a contributory cause: (9+ / 0-)

      New-generation TV screens that stretch the width of the picture to fit the dimensions of the screen.

      Thereby making all the characters look wider, which is to say fatter than they really are.

      And thereby interacting with the social psych factor by which people who are surrounded by fat people tend to believe that oversize is normal-size, and adjust their own behavior accordingly, thereby becoming fatter.

    •  JD all due respect (5+ / 0-)

      It does not sound like you really know how to eat.

      Fat is not the problem, carbs are. Specifically, starchy carbs. So stay away from the muffins and eat the eggs.

      Check out the latest on metabolic syndrome. Cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes II are all related and insulin is central to them all.

      Central to the insulin is starch. The hormones that tell you you have had enough, or are still hungry are related to insulin, if not controlled by it.

      Quit counting calories and stop eating the food that's bad for you.

      •  If you stay away from both (0+ / 0-)

        you end up losing weight, but too much of either will cause problems. 1/2 a muffin isn't that bad. Fettucini Alfredo is heart attack in a bowl. I've done low carb diets and low fat diets, but low food diets seem to work the best.

        •  I've tried numerous "diets" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JDWolverton, brettjay

          and finally took responsibility for my caloric intake into my own hands. Hundreds of hours of reading, not just on how to loose weight, but how to give your body what it needs to do it's job convinced me that the number one criteria for letting food pass your lips is: NUTRITIONAL VALUE. If it has little or none, do not eat it.

          Here is the secret. Your body can work miracles if you give it the right tools to function. Living in this time period of processed food, and convenience food is a nightmare for our bodies. EAT VEGETABLES, EAT FRUIT, EAT BEANS. Make those three central to nearly every meal. they are nutritious, high in fiber, and have numerous micro nutrients not available anywhere else. If you eat enough vegetables it can actually help cure many diseases. Beans are loaded with nutrients are are a good source of low fat, high quality protein. Hummus anyone?That can cure anyone of the worst munchies. I have a gazillion recipes that add beans, they are most satisfying. Even in a pinch I'll make my version of nachos, 15 taco chips, no-fat hummus, black beans, diced tomatoes, jalepeno peppers, and black olives. Yum. Lots of beans and veggies.

          If you mainly stick to vegetables and beans. Treat yourself to dessert, FRUIT. Go ahead, have that watermelon. Even though it has a high sugar content, if you stick to fresh fruit, the weight comes off. Berries are lower in sugar, strawberries, blueberries make a great snack. If your still hungry add cottage cheese to the fruit, lots of protein to fill you up.

          There are many good recipes that have veggies as the main dish, that actually taste good. My favorite is one that uses zucchini instead of crab to make a zucchini cake. I swear you think your eating a crab cake.

          It took a lot of retooling, but I think I've managed to turn the nutritional corner. I was recently on a cruise and thought I might blow all my hard work. I surprised myself by choosing many vegetable dishes (some Asian, some not) along with a couple of things I normally would not eat, just to have fun. For dessert a big bowl of different tropical fruits and a bite of my daughters cookie. I also ate fish, shrimp and scallops for dinner, but always chose a good portion of vegetables. I only gained a pound and a half which quickly came off when I came home (and I had fun w/o deprivation).  

          Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

          by Babsnc on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 06:30:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  neither is the problem... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        only fools think one food category is to blame and the research is unclear as to the exact symbiosis of how food and food combinations effect us.  Nutritionism has taken over common sense.  

        Central to insulin is starch?  That makes no sense.

        I do agree taht this person seems to be lost in how to eat.  Whole foods (i.e. eggs) are by and large better for you than processed (ie muffins).

        •  here's how it makes sense (0+ / 0-)

          starch is nothing but a polymer of glucose. long chains of glucose molecules bound together. the polymer gets broken up in the intestines. The starch reaches the bloodstream as pure unadulterated glucose. You are esentially eating large quantities of sugar when you eat starch. A slice of bread has a higher glycemic index than pure table sugar. That means when equivalent amounts of bread vs. table sugar are eaten, the bread initiates a larger insulin response than the sugar.

          only the ignorant...

    •  read this link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      going to get some sleep now:

      •  I appreciate your intent and enjoyed your (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        What I found for me is that forbidden foods is not the way for me to go. If I wanted to eat those eggs, I would've. I didn't want them. What I did want was an apple an half a bran muffin, which is what I ate. I would have really liked a soy sausage patty to go with it, but that will never happen in a resort kitchen.

        Every time I go on a "diet" I cheat. What I'm doing now is far more successful than any other attempt I've tried - 50 pounds more successful. I eat what I want, when I want it and log it. I keep track of my activities and log it. Every day, I look at my intake and outputs and the nutritional values of what I ate. As time went by, I've improved my nutritional intake and gradually improved my physical activites. I gravitate toward more veggies. I eat more beans and am not afraid of nuts. Housework is a calorie burner to me these days and I no longer look for the closest parking spot. My cholesterol and LDL's are down 50 points without drugs. My glucose levels are good and I'm more energetic than ever.

        I try to eat higher quality fats, which you allude to in your comments. The fact is I don't like scrambled eggs. Never have and don't plan to start liking them in the future either. The flip side is that if I want to eat a steak, I eat the steak (just like I drank an apple martini - it was a tasty 270 or so calories that screwed up my glucose - oh well, I logged it and made different choices the next day).

        Anyway, I did read your link and found it interesting. Thanks for commenting.

        If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

        by JDWolverton on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 04:48:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Waiters and Waitresses, after a meal: (5+ / 0-)
    "Would you like to see the dessert menu now?"

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:46:32 PM PDT

  •  A good resource (6+ / 0-)

    are the Eat This Not That books (you can get one of them as an ebook, and they also have a smartphone app, at least for the iPhone) and website. If you have to eat out a lot, it gives some good alternatives to some of the higher-fat/caloric items on the standard restaurant menu. And with the coming requirements to put calorie counts on the menus (California's had it for some time), it will be easier for people to make educated decisions. And even if I decide I'm going to have that double cheeseburger and fries at McDonald's, I'll know enough to balance it out with a salad with light dressing or some low-fat soup for dinner at home.

    Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

    by Cali Scribe on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:46:55 PM PDT

  •  Was told I should get one of those pedometers (7+ / 0-)

    and try to get above 4 mi a day. I guess there's a lot I should do.

    Spent 4 hours this morning walking around or sitting in 90 degrees sun out on the prairie no water. Don't know how being par boiled helps diet. Son got a root beer pop afterwards, wow that tasted syrupy.

    I blame it all on computers.

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:47:09 PM PDT

    •  New Balance has good ones (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, ban nock

      That's what I'm using. It only took me a week to figure it out. :)

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:53:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have a good one (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I downloaded for my iPhone; supposedly it also uses GPS so I can get a general idea of how far I walk, not just steps. I'm now crocheting a case so I can carry the phone around my neck; not only will that help in using it when I'm wearing something without pockets, I'll be able to listen to my music or talk radio when walking, as I have several radio apps available on the iPhone.

        Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

        by Cali Scribe on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:09:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have two plastic bottles (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of water -- the reusable type, with the built in straw -- that I keep in the refrigerator at all times; when I finish one, I fill it at the tap and put it in the fridge then take out the other one. I find that if I get enough water, that keeps me from feeling really blahed out.

      I need to start a good walking routine in the morning, and I want to join a local gym so I can swim 2-3 days a week (if spouse and I go to NN12, I'm considering registering at the hotel with the indoor pool; it opens at 5:30 am which would mean early morning laps before breakfast).

      Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

      by Cali Scribe on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:19:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Asking for your dietary requirements (13+ / 0-)

    At best they were seeking to meet needs for vegetarians or a kosher meal. I'm sure they figured the fettucini covered the bases for everybody.

    •  Imagine if they gave them (14+ / 0-)

      my dietary requirements. No wheat in any way, shape or form. There's another half dozen things I can't eat for various reasons, but it seems 85% of everything served at meetings, luncheons, company parties, etc, etc, etc, are ALL food items that have wheat in them.

      I went to a lunch symposium last week that served various sandwiches and wraps, pasta salad, and cookies and brownies. That was it. I couldn't eat a thing. This is typical.

      curious portal - to a world of paintings, lyric-poems, art writing, and graphic and web design

      by asterkitty on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 06:40:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Typical (10+ / 0-)

        I have the same issues. They look at you like you have 2 heads when you say you can't eat something that obviously contains wheat. I was glutened toward the beginning of a 3 week trip to Miami, and it was most unpleasant.

        •  Happened to me at an I Hop, after I specifically (11+ / 0-)

          said no gluten, on a trip to the NE with my husband two summers ago.  Very unpleasant for the rest of the week.  I specifically told the waitress no wheat at all, and she suggested the "cracked egg" omelette.  After eating nearly half of it, I tasted pancake batter.  They put pancake batter in them to fluff them up.  I got my meal for free, and a week of hell to go with it.

          The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

          by AnnieR on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:05:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not sure but I think IHOP's (6+ / 0-)

            a little better now; they have some decent light selections, and you could probably get plain scrambled eggs, and substitute fresh fruit for the toast.

            Now that my spouse is 55, I've taken to ordering from the senior menu at many restaurants; not only are the prices better, but the portions are often smaller. When we travel, I like to stay at either Residence Inns or some other chain that has in-room kitchens (Homestead Suites another good option), as then I can either eat in or if we go out I can bring home leftovers for the next day's lunch or dinner.

            Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

            by Cali Scribe on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:14:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Gluten-free at iHop? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PeteZerria, AnnieR, asterkitty

            There's only about 4 restaurants I can eat at in my state, and Denny's and iHop are not among the gluten-free ones.  'Trying' restaurants out is dangerous if you really do need to be gluten-free.

            Since Daily Kos is doing a pissing contest now, here's my track record: replace Harman, (2006) dump Reid as ML, (2007) Edwards is a phony (07), replace David Wu, (2008) the 2009-2011 congress wouldn't act progressively without a strong platform (08).

            by Nulwee on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:22:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Outback Steakhouse (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              does gluten free very well.

            •  Actually I Hop can do gluten free. My server just (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              forgot to tell the cook, is all.  Of course the pancakes are out of bounds.  Most restaurants can do gluten free if you ask.  Awareness has multiplied exponentially, and Gluten has been taken out of most of the spices and salad dressings since I first was disagnosed with celiac more than 15 years ago.  I find that the closer in you go to the large cities (suburban Atlanta here), the more gluten free menus you find.  But one of my favorites is Taco Bell.  Their hard shell tacos have never given me trouble (and neither has the mystery meat filling, thank goodness).  Of course eating there goes against everything the diarist is talking about, but you have to have a guilty pleasure every now and then.

              The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

              by AnnieR on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 08:00:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  maybe IHOP is a place (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            nobody should ever go to.

            •  It certainly doesn't fit into many diets except (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              maybe Atkins, which seems more like a meat and fat feast than anything resembling a diet, but what do I know.  But every once in a while I just have to have a cheese omelette, and I-Hop does them to my liking, when they don't add the pancake batter.

              The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

              by AnnieR on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 08:03:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  asterkitty.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alizard, asterkitty

        I have the same issue. I now carry rice crackers and GF snacks in my bag for these things. Fruits, bottle of tea or water, etc to keep me going.

        If I need to I will bail out of a luncheon thing to 'make some calls' or work and thus not have to make a big deal out of it at the tables.  I hate making a big deal out of it. But that is me.

  •  Oh, and good diary, forgot to say. (6+ / 0-)

    I like wandering around reading things. I found it interesting, non confrontational, fun to read. Thanks.

    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 02:48:18 PM PDT

  •  A Little Story (6+ / 0-)

    I am a 5'4 tall male on a good day. Standing on my toes :).l There was a time in my life where I weighted a 100+ pounds more then I do now. I weight 128.

    I am almost militant in my thinking about food. About weight.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 03:00:44 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the interesting (6+ / 0-)

    story, wolverine.

    Yup = we eat too much.

  •  My dietary orientation is different BUT (13+ / 0-)

    I absolutely agree, the typical food served up at catered events is murder on ANY sane diet - the focus is on refined carbs (white flour and refined sugar) and fat (mostly hidden), with very little clean protein or veg.  Plus the stuff make you (at least: me) go to sleep during the presentations.

    γνωθι σεαυτόν

    by halef on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 03:27:37 PM PDT

    •  Rubber chickens and mystery meat (5+ / 0-)

      I do have some sympathy for those who must plan menus for banquet type events, having had to do a bit of that. You have to work around the people who can't or won't eat fish, quite a few who will not eat red meat, and a growing number who will not eat any meat. At the same time numerous people are going to be very vocally unhappy if there is no meat, unless it's in a "heartier" presentation - like the fat laden fettucini alfredo. Of course, that solution is anathema to both the lo-carb folks, and the gluten free ones.

      Then, any really creative solutions are often impeded by either cost, or the logistics of getting large numbers fed in a short period of time. About the only thing I've seen that worked out to a sort of "compromise" (in the sense of nobody being perfectly pleased) is the concept of the salad "trio". A scoop of chicken salad, a scoop of pasta salad, and pile of mixed fruit. Thus people can eat two out of three scoops and get at least part of a meal out of it.

      •  The issue so often is that (6+ / 0-)

        caterers, hotels, and restaurants think that "sophisticated" food is food whose composition is unidentifiably complex. So I may be forced to buy a ticket to a buffet where nobody who is serving has a clue about how safe the food is for me to eat (and it looks like everything contains wheat).

        How rare and wonderful to go to a buffet that allows you to serve yourself vegetables or meat or seafood that appear to be prepared without mystery sauces or additional ingredients. And don't forget that the buffet is often set up so that one dish mixes in with the next, and everything is cross-contaminated after a few people have passed through the line.

      •  I feel you pain (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        I was in charge of a very fancy (law firm) do in a very fancy location, where among 200 attendees there was 1 (one) vegan - and got a rocket because there was only ONE selection of nibbles that was vegan.

        γνωθι σεαυτόν

        by halef on Mon Aug 08, 2011 at 02:09:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's cheap and easy. Very sad. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JDWolverton, skidrow

      The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

      by AnnieR on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:07:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great Piece (6+ / 0-)

    This was a great piece...I think the same way as far as watching the cal counts..I'm not sure if it is blatant hypocrisy, or just more ignorance on the part of the individuals planning the meals at these types of events.  I used to try to enlighten people, even my own family members, but some people don't want to hear about what they are really putting into their mouths.  Ramble about obesity, but don't try to do anything about it...they seem to live by the mantra "ignorance is bliss", I guess...although they can only stay ignorant for so long with this type of thing, til the health issues or the person in the mirror catches up to them.  Nice piece again.  

  •  The sidebar ads (8+ / 0-)

    that came up with your title were for fatty-looking food and some kind of furniture store showing a huge, round chair thingie.

    Just sayin'.

    And, excellent description: "the buffet was a fat hazardous waist dump"

    I still think the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were and are unnecessary, the whole "war on terror" is just a reaction to self-induced fear. I still think there is a war on women. -- from LaFeminista

    by Mnemosyne on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:12:15 PM PDT

  •  When my husband goes to university events (9+ / 0-)

    that include meals, he always asks ahead for something non-meat, non-dairy (a baked potato and a plain salad would be fine; or even just steamed veggies). They always say, "sure, we can do that!" and when he gets there there's nothing for him to eat. He will sit and chew on a roll or something while everybody else shovels horrifyingly high-fat food down their gullets.

    He's usually one of the people that's important at these events so you'd think they'd pay some consideration, but no.

    Well, we're in our 50's and people younger than us are having heart attacks. It is a very sad situation.

    ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

    by sillia on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 04:31:15 PM PDT

    •  he should (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Arenosa, sillia

      stop eating rolls and potatoes and eat meat and vegatables instead.

      •  Nope. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        He is healthy and thriving on a low fat no-meat, no-dairy, no-oils but high starch (whole potatoes, brown rice), beans, vegetables and fruit. We do rarely eat bread as that's processed food so I agree with you about the rolls, but that was all there was on the table he could have.

        We used to be meat eaters and thought we were following a 'healthy' diet, but his doctor told him he would need to go on statins with his high cholesterol and heart disease in his immediate family. He hated the idea of taking those drugs, so, we changed our diet dramatically instead.

        On this diet he lost 30 pounds and his cholesterol came down nearly 100 points. He is now in the heart-attack proof zone of 150. At 56 he has more energy than most of his colleagues and rarely gets sick (in spite of working at a germ-infested university). He takes no medications.

        Anybody with heart issues ought to take a look at Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

        ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

        by sillia on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 10:32:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  cellulose(wood fiber) in our food as well. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton, AnnieR, Nulwee, sillia

    we cannot digest wood fiber period, from The Street web site.  also whey is not digested by humans.  you add everything we eat including the hormones in all livestock which ingest in america, it is amazing we live as long as we do.  our bodies probably do not decompose quickly after burial with all the preservatives in us.

    •  if everybody were healthy... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sherri in TX, Nulwee

      there would be a lot of people out of jobs.

      food for thought.  

      •  OTOH - Maybe more people would be farmers (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, sillia, crose, oklacoma dem

        For everyone to be healthy I think we're going to have to back off of this hyper-industrialized hyper-pesticided food-growing system that only employs a tiny percentage of the population. If we had more small farms, maybe even large-backyard small farms, that used intensive organic growing methods, we could have a lot more people employed in a healthier food system. The growing urban farming movement is helping us get there, I think.

        The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

        by tmo on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:10:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That cellulose is considered dietary fiber. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And it's actually healthy for you- much like celery, another good source of fiber and often considered to be negative caloric- meaning it takes more energy to process than it gives in return.

      It's not necessarily a bad thing they're filling our ice cream with sawdust to make it creamier, though it does seem disturbing when you first hear about it.

      -this space for rent-

      by EsnRedshirt on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:39:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton, tmo, cai

    It seems like you're keeping excellent track of your intake.

    My best effort is to stop before I'm full. I may want another piece of something, but I sure don't need it.

    Fire Rick Snyder Weathering Michigan's recessions since the '70s.

    by jennifree2bme on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:18:33 PM PDT

  •  Fat's not the culprit (16+ / 0-)

    Google Ancel Keyes fudged data. Also read this Huffpo article by a Yale researcher for some science.

    The reason we're fat is because of ag subsidies for the Big Three: corn (for HF corn syrup), soybeans (for soybean oil), and wheat. All of them spike blood glucose, which floods your cells with insulin, eventually making you insulin resistant, diabetic, and overweight.

    Fat doesn't make you fat. It's high in calories, but it's metabolically benign (doesn't spike insulin), and very filling, making it possible to sustain a low calorie diet and lose weight.

    This article by journalist Gary Taubes is ten years old but still almost completely accurate.

  •  No kidding. I've actually started to take a bit (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton, tmo, ozsea1, skidrow

    of umbrage at the way people single out McDonald's for tsk-tsking.

    Yeah -- you can get plenty of very bad stuff there, but some of the favorites are actually surprisingly moderate  -- even the ham and Egg Egg McMuffin only takes you up to 300 calories.

    Compared to some far pricier venues, I find the arches are often the easiest way to stay withing shouting distance on caloric levels and high protein intake.

    Good thing, too, considering how freakin' wealth I'm not.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:22:31 PM PDT

    •  I'll single out McDonald's for a helluva lot of (5+ / 0-)

      reasons, like the destruction of the Amazon rainforest for cattle ranches.  I don't care about the fat content of their food.

      I did care when they super-heated their coffee hundreds of times past the industry standard and scalded the grandmother.

      Since Daily Kos is doing a pissing contest now, here's my track record: replace Harman, (2006) dump Reid as ML, (2007) Edwards is a phony (07), replace David Wu, (2008) the 2009-2011 congress wouldn't act progressively without a strong platform (08).

      by Nulwee on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:34:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just Let That One Die Already (0+ / 0-)

        An old woman spills coffee on herself and SUES because coffee is hot, that one made Americans look like complete idiots and it makes a case against McDonalds lose credibility when you mention nonsense like that unless you were being sarcastic.

        Take care of all humanity as if they were your brothers and sisters.

        by skidrow on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 12:36:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you should review that case (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hoolia, JDWolverton, Nulwee

          That was not nonsense, that woman won a well deserved settlement. You think it was nonsense but you probably don't know the facts of the case, only what you have heard thirdhand or read what was written by anti-tort winger.

          McDs was serving coffee far too hot to drink, in cups filled to the rim then covered with an opaque cover. It was like paying for a booby trap that was going to go off on you. No question that millions of people bought that coffee, ate their food then threw out the coffee because it was still too hot when they finished eating. And no doubt, thousands were burned by it before the old lady ended up in the ER.

        •   Read up. This was (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JDWolverton, Nulwee, sillia

          a well documented case of harm done to a customer.

          -This "old woman" was in the hospital for around a week

          -She had to have skin grafts

          -The coffee was served lava hot, not Mr. Coffee hot

          -Previous court judgments required McDonalds to lower the temperature of their coffee

          "Success was individual achievement; failure was a social problem." Michael Lewis in The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

          by hoolia on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 06:00:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And other restaurants are better, or just small (0+ / 0-)

        enough that their individual impact is lost in the noise?

        All I know is that I've got to eat and will die if I don't.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 02:22:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Conferences (8+ / 0-)

    are among the worst venues for healthy food choices.  Just try getting a low carb low sodium meal at any of them.  I give up on low carb and go with salad with dressing on the side, steamed veggies, a naked baked potato and fruit.  And people look at me like I'm nuts.  On the other hand, since I am fat, if I ate like everyone else they would probably think "no wonder she looks that way."

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:27:35 PM PDT

  •  While you may be mortified (9+ / 0-)

    by the fat content of the food, keep in mind that there is in fact no data connecting fat intake with obesity or most diseases for which it has been blamed. All the research they have done have come up empty. There is however data showing that both obesity and heart disease correlate with wheat intake. But researchers who publicize results like that don't get research grants.

    •  Exactly (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JDWolverton, Nulwee, PeteZerria, cai, crose

      I suspect that the reason restaurant foods make me bloat up like a toad is all the soybean oil, wheat flour, and trans fat. Especially trans fat.

    •  The point was... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, sillia, cai, jimraff
      Had I eaten everything in front of me I would have consumed about 2,200 calories and burned about 1,500 for a surplus of 700 calories in a single day. Had I eaten this stuff I would have been way over in calories, fat, sodium and carbs/sugar. I would have been way too low in Vitamins A, B & C as well as too low in both iron and potassium. Ironically, calcium would've been high. Fiber would be about half of what we should eat.

      It wasn't one dietary item or another. It was the day as a whole. too little fiber and vitamins A, B and C. It was too little riboflavin. Too little niacin, but way over the top in cholesterol, saturated fat and sugar.

      If we want to continue to blame the victim for obesity, then we need to take on the fat that food  providers pile onto the problem.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:49:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Understood (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, PeteZerria, cai, Arenosa, oklacoma dem

        But as I said, saturated fat is benign. And the calories in/calories out hypothesis is questionable - read Taubes's Good Calories, Bad Calories, or his Why We Get Fat (which is more digestible, if you'll pardon the pun).

        But I agree that conference food, and road food in general, is a nutritional wasteland. I dread road trips because it's so hard to find something to eat.

      •  Obviously (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        eating too many calories is the kiss of death for a dieter, or anyone without an enormously rapid metabolism. But if the food is low-fat or fat-free, it would be even less balanced.

        I've been doing a fair amount of traveling lately, and it usually takes me at least 3 days to find restaurants that provide the kind of food that I need to keep my body happy.

        •  Low fat and high fat can both be a problem. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          crose, JDWolverton

          When I travel or eat out (both rarely), I have to check what I eat for being too fatty more often.

          Not out of dietary purity or long-term health concerns (though I do watch what I eat), but because if I eat too much that is deep fried, it will be unpleasant.

          •  Fryer fat (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cai, loretta

            is soybean and/or canola oil. These are not food oils. Soybeans are not digestable except when fermented. Even the Japanese have trouble digesting edamame. Cold-pressed corn, sunflower, and olive oils come from food. If deep-fried foods give you fits, I suspect it is because they are fried in canola oil, which is a mustard seed oil. That or you have the beginnings of gall bladder disease.

    •  Really, I didn't know that. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      crose, Arenosa, demway

      I would have guessed sugar and its metabolic evil siblings, corn syrup and HFCS.

      Because those do raise blood sugar, which raise insulin, which lowers blood sugar, which causes another sugar craving to follow on the last.  Over the long term, this can lead to insulin resistance, which plays merry havoc with the endocrine system even before it causes prediabetes and then diabetes.

      I hate seeing the heart-healthy symbol or comments about reduced cancer risk on low-fat, high sugar foods.  And I think such foods are counterproductive.  If you're going to have a sugary dessert, at least fat helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, and blunts the insulin spike.

      (Disclaimer: I have no medical or dietician background.  I just read.)

      •  All carb content (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Arenosa, JDWolverton

        turns into sugar in the body.
        I try to listen to my body. If I eat carbs - a sandwich, toast, potato or sweets I will have an insulin downer about an hour later. Nap time! And I am not pre-diabetic - borderline, but not in the danger zone. I can eat bacon and eggs without any insulin surge or decrease. And I have read and believe that carbs are the problem, not fats at all......

    •  it goes way farther than that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Wheat is not the problem. Heart disease, diabetes II, high BP, obesity, not wheat.

      Problem part 1. Starch
      Whether it comes from complex or simple carbs, it is all a polymer of glucose. It is directly converted to glucose in the intestines. That means it hits the blood stream as 100% unadulturated pure glucose. Further, this means an insulin response that first rushes glucose to the muscles that haven't been excercised enough so they learn to ignore it. Yet further, any fat with that glucose is immediately stored. No sense burning it when there's plenty of glucose. Any glucose left oer is also stored as fat.

      Problem part 2: habits and common foods. You want butter and sour cream on that baked potato? Butter on your toast? Sour cream on your bagel? You're kidding, you want a muffin? Every bit of fat mixed with that carbo bomb is destined for storage.

      Problem part 3: perception. You think fat is the problem? wrong again!!!!!!! The starch is the problem. Rice, beans, potatoes, bread and their products are what is making you fat, and sick. Protein and fat are good for you. Eat them! Eat them along with plenty of fresh veggies and fruits to get your fiber, vitamins and minerals.

      Problem part 4: You need plenty of protein too. Food inc. feeds your protein sources with the same grains that you eat too much of. This causes your meat sources to be overloaded with saturated fats and omega 6 fats. Eat lean meats and supplement with omega 3 fats.

      Ypu want more details? Piss me off with an argument.

      I'm 58 yo, still running marathons, still climbing 14teeners.

  •  I'm so lucky I was born with the metabolism of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton, Catte Nappe, cai

    a jackrabbit.  I would have devoured that wedge salad with extra bleu cheese dressing.  At 55, it's slowed a bit, but I never really shy away from anything I enjoy.  I just can't eat two plates full like when I was 20.

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upwardly mobile." Hunter S. Thompson

    by Keith930 on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:39:16 PM PDT

  •  Yeah...thats all pretty bad. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton, cai, sillia

    Well, I mean, for most people. But then we cant just focus on overweight right? Eating disorders of all stripes are a problem..

    I try not to go too much overboard, knowing how much worse others issues in this area are than mine...But when it acts up its hard because I feel like..theres nowhere to go with this issue. Ive even been..hassled before.

    I have overweight friends. I eat terribly and I eat more than them. Im constantly hungry. I dont exercise. Im six feet tall and currently 130 pounds.

    I dont know why, google and the various interweb tubes do not have "Why do I lose weight when i eat like a pro athlete and yet lose weight so fast even when not doing anything?"

    Well I do know why its just completely unhelpful to everyone. I have both a ridiculously fast metabolism, and a mindnumbing panic hell. Apparently this burns off quite a lot of energy. But its a problem because im getting sick. also my throat burns from the "oh god im dying" stomach acid that accompanies such attacks.

    Now, all these thigns are irritating right but they hardly seem worth partially hijacking this thread right?

    Well...When I eat it induces panic attacks.

    So I havent quite gone insane yet but i can certainly see the chaos emerald at the end of the slot machine. If theres one thing id wish from the overweight folks' troubles, itd be your support groups. I dont even have a name for what im doing, except "Crazy" which is generally fine but most people think im being sarcastic. Im actually fairly terrified. Its worrying when you can barely lift five pounds without becoming fatigued.

    It felt like rather a long time, but then long times get longer when you're standing around thinking about them. A curious thing, that. Long roads get longer too, if you're thinking about them, but what about long words? They don't change nearly as much

    by kamrom on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 07:47:05 PM PDT

    •  There's plenty of places to go. (0+ / 0-)

      The fact is, that some people have very slow metabolisms that let them eat far more than I can. Some people have metabolisms far below the charts. I get it. There are people like me that will survive the most severe famines. We need to look their endurance and strength as well.

      The real issue is how to differentiate who fits in what category and how to encourage healthy living without  prejudging people based upon their weight. Those of us who can simply look at brownies and gain a pound are very frustrated by people who don't. We need to focus on healthy ingredients and that means encouraging fast food  venues in providing more veggies and less fat.

      Looking at strength and endurance is another issue. It takes far more food to fuel to shoveling dirt than it takes to type on a keyboard.  A carpenter can eat a McBiscuit while a pink collar customer service agent can't. No doubt fat calories satisfy hunger better than other calories and that's part of the issue.

      What we need to do as a society is find a way to satisfy hunger for your caloric output.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:11:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That does sound like disordered eating to me, (0+ / 0-)

      though I don't know enough to put a name to it.  (And I'm not a medical person.)  Are you getting any treatment for the anxiety?  Do you know why food is a trigger for your panic attacks?

      It does sound like you might need support.  Is there any way you can manage therapy?

    •  solving this (0+ / 0-)

      kamrom, can you get some help with this? Something is not right. I think you need a medical diagnosis and some treatment to help you get better. You're not crazy, you're unwell. Who knows what causes these issues (I am not a doctor) but if you had say, an infection of Helicobacter pylori it could certainly make you this sick, yet it is easily treatable with antibiotics. That is the bacteria that causes ulcers, can also cause GERD (reflux, acid burning).

      Sometimes problems that seem very complex have a simple solution. Start looking for someone who can do some problem-solving for you.

      ~On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Raise her glowing flame!~

      by sillia on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 10:06:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And people will often bypass ways of burning off (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, JDWolverton, cai

    those calories. I blame it on my European upbringing where you can get to places without a car, but I often will walk 30 mins to a place instead of driving for 5. Pending where I'm going I may even opt for an hour long bike ride instead of a 15 minute car ride.

    Of course, all of that is time permitting, but a flexible schedule can let you do that.

    Although, some places can be absolute pains to travel by any other means besides a car...

    •  I've heard people in Europe walk everywhere (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKDAWUSS, cai

      I've heard that at least compared to America, people in Europe are willing to walk more often and are more willing to walk further distances. I think it has to do with Americans' complicated relationship to cars. Cars are very powerful and very convenient; giving those up is giving up being American.

      The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by tmo on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:15:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And add in the fact that in many places, sidewalks (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmo, cai, mslat27, skidrow

        and bike paths are an absolute and pathetic joke...

        Rectifying THAT would be a good investment IMO.

        •  Some CITIES in US don't have sidewalks (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cai, sillia

          I lived in southwest Portland for a year and was stunned to see that some blocks very near my place in residential neighborhoods had no sidewalks. We were inside the city limits mind you, so it wasn't like this was unincorporated county. I didn't even know that was legal. I found out later that lots of cities in the US have residential neighborhoods with no sidewalks. Putting sidewalks in all these neighborhoods is going to be enormously expensive, but IMHO it has to be done.

          The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

          by tmo on Sat Aug 06, 2011 at 08:55:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Only the people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        who live within walking distance of their workplace don't drive. Most Europeans drive, a lot, 24-7. In the big cities it never stops. Have you not heard of the famous Roman traffic, or that of Paris? The autobahns? Europeans may walk a little more than Americans do, but not much. They are more healthy than us because they still cook their own food or they stop by a shop where someone else cooks it. They don't eat nearly as much packaged food as we do.

  •  Supposedly the earliest studies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    showing a connection between diet and heart disease were on taxi drivers: at 10am I have a choice, a bacon cheeseburger or a piroshki. Duh!

  •  Let me get this straight: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, skidrow

    We are fat because we are not allowed to park our own vehicles and are given few lower-calorie choices at educational conferences? It sounds like you yourself are not fat at all, but perhaps a slender elite who can and will work off those nasty calories on your eliptical trainer at the club. You are under no obligation to eat the food offered at conferences. Indeed if those were the only choices offered I would have gone right out and gotten some fruit and vegetables and a small lunch cooler and carried my own food for the rest of the conference. And as far as that healthy choice goes, remember that unless you have baked that muffin yourself, it was made with lots of fat as well--muffins are essentially pancakes in a paper cup with bran and a little fruit added.

    Conferences are not managed for the health of the attendees. They are managed so that the facilty can feed, house and control the movements of the attendees for a profit. Unless the facilty was specifically chosen as a healthy venue where everyone can park their vehicles as far away as they like, all of the food choices are healthy and you can work out between break-out sessions, expect your conferences to be managed this way. To expect anything else is just silly.

    And, the "reasons we are fat" are as legion as the self-help books telling us how not to be. As for the true, biological reason, let's leave it to the people who are really trying to figure out the problem. Obesity is a medical conundrum that cannot be corrected with pronouncements.

  •  On the opposite end of the eating spectrum... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimraff, sillia

    please consider visiting the Blogathon for East Africa, and using the links to donate to Oxfam.

  •  It's not just about the food... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... it's about the lack of self-restraint that is now considered the essential quality of being a true American. This attitude that we should live large, eat fat and sugar, drive everywhere, fly everywhere on a whim, waste energy as a neo-religious experience is the poison that is destroying not only the planet in terms of climate change and massive species die offs but is destroying our health and, most importantly, the spiritual qualities that truly define us as human beings. Self-indulgence and narcissism is very harmful--I'm not immune and I indulge but I don't need society to constantly remind me to indulge, indulge, indulge in any pleasure--except, of course smoking the wrong substances and, in some areas, making the wrong kind of love.

  •  Why Americans are fat (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leslie in KY, JDWolverton, ybruti, sillia

    Take it from someone who has lost 50 pounds in five months. I've gone from obese to normal very quickly.
       How did I do that? I joined the Peace Corps.

     Does that mean there isn't much food around? No, there is plenty of food. The problem is that you have to cook it. There is no ready-made food.
       You want rice? Cook it. You want beans? Cook it. There is nothing that you can just stuff in your mouth. There is almost no pre-packaged food in the stores.

      You'd be surprised how easy it is to say, "F*ck it" when you are only a little bit hungry, and never get around to eating until you are very hungry.

      So that's why Americans are fat: the food is too easy.

    "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want & the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

    by gjohnsit on Sun Aug 07, 2011 at 06:30:46 AM PDT

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