Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Biggest Loser - Health?

An interesting article from the NYT on the "dark side" of the show and some of their techniques:

Business / Media & Advertising
On ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Health Can Take Back Seat
Published: November 25, 2009
Some contestants of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” say that dangerous weight-loss techniques are common.

Side note: Is anyone else a little skeezed out by the huge merchandise machine TBL has become?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Exercise Thing - I Need goals

So I've put my foot off the pedal when it comes to exercise. I haven't gone off the wagon but I have definitely cut back. Now I am running three times a week for at least 5 miles per workout with the occasional 7 mile run when I feel like it. Much less than the four items a week with the 7 mile run. And I definitely cut back on the strength training from at least twice a week to once a week if I'm lucky.

I think I need a bit of a rededication. So first of all, I am running a 10K the Sunday after Thanksgiving. The goal is to run it in a 9 1/2 minute/mile pace. The next goal is to do the Presido 10 but this time run the 10 miler as opposed to the 10k. If any of you are distance runners, how do you make the time to do an actual ten mile training run? That's over an hour and a half and if you're old and creaky like me, that is about 2 1/2 hours of working out when you include the stretching a cool down. And yes, next year I will do Bay to Breakers in costume. Any suggestions?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Media Literacy - Get Edumacated

Dealing with a chronic disease you get a lot of information throw at you. Most of it bad. With diabetes, I've certainly had to sift through a huge amount of misinformation. Or I should say misinformation about what works for me. For example, going to the American Diabetes Association message boards, you would think we were all confined to lives on the Atkins diet. That is effective for some people. Not good for me. I got plenty of bad misinformation from my primary care doctor who told me to reduce my morning blood sugar level, I should eat less carbs. As it turns out (and a piece of info I got from my dietician Aunt), my blood sugar level went down when I had a snack just before going to sleep.

It's particularly depressing when you try any journalism piece, whether written on televised, about health. They are, for the most part, utter crap. You see, the news media defines news and something that's new and different. That mostly means letting us know when things aren't working. It's not news when something that is designed to work actually does work. Let's look at sex. There's tons and tons of stories about teens going nuts on the oral sex and the sexting and the pregnancies. But the actual research shows that sex ed and contraception works and that teen pregnancy rates have gone down over the last 20 years. Check it But hey, let's not let the facts get in the way of a good story.

In regards to reporting on health, it's suckers harder than a dyson vacuum. Seriously, a completely untested bra that purports to prevent breast cancer is news? As someone who is an avid media consumer (because I BLOG!), I got all happy inside to stumble on this site. They are a group of smarty mcsmartersons who review articles on health for accuracy and quality of reporting. I could spend all day on it if my work would let me. But reading through the reviews, you begin to get skills about what to look for in a health article. I'd highly recommend it.

For example, here's a list of seven words that shouldn't be used in medical news:

Years ago, the publisher of this site wrote an essay with the above title. The words were:
• Cure
• Miracle
• Breakthrough
• Promising
• Dramatic
• Hope
• Victim

BTW, they decided to stop reviewing television health stories because they blow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Special Delivery

I'm really happy with my Washington's Green Grocer deliveries. I just got my 2nd delivery of the "small organic box" of produce - for only $36.50, delivered to my door. It's so worth it! Tonight I got a head of red butter lettuce, spinach, 2 giant yams, Granny Smith apples, pears, bananas, red grapes, green beans, 2 carnival squash, and a whole golden pineapple.

So what does home delivery of organic produce mean?

It means that I'm learning a lot and trying new things. In the last 2 weeks, I've seen, peeled, roasted, and cooked my first parsnips. I made homemade apple sauce. I learned how to peel and dice a butternut squash. I have made and frozen THREE homemade soups.

My kitchen looks totally different than it did a year ago. I now have a big bowl of fresh fruit on the counter, next to squash and an actual pineapple. My fridge is filled with bright green, red, and yellow things. My freezer is filled with bags of veggies and containers of soups and sauces. And everything tastes GOOD.


Monday, November 9, 2009

Torta in a jar

One of the great things about co-blogging is that you get inspiration from your co-blogger. I've been long making Stef's muffin tin fritattas because they are easy and good. This past Saturday, J and I went to our local Italian deli for one of their overstuffed sandwiches and saw their artichoke torta. Given that the lowfat fritatta is a consistent hit, could I make a torta version? The answer is hells yeah! On the plus side, it's ridiculously easy. Like cake from a mix easy. Here's how I did it:

1 16oz can of artichoke hearts
1 16 oz jar of roasted peppers
1 8 oz jar of sliced olives
8 beaten eggs (or the egg beater equivalent thereof)
1 cup of lowfat shredded cheese (really it can be anything but cheddar or feta work great)
1/2 cup of milk or milk substitute (I used almond milk and it turned out excellent)
1/4 cup of flour
Pepper to taste (no need for salt)

Stick the artichokes, peppers and olives in a mixing bowl and use kitchen shears or scissors you don't care about to chop them up into bite sized pieces. Dump in the remaining ingredients and mix well. We made it like a crustless quiche and baked it in a pie plate at 350 degrees for an hour. If you want to do it in mini muffin tins it would probably take about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Check it - This is what healthy living looks like

One of the great things about living in the bay areas is the plethora of outdoor activities that are within 15 minutes of our urban centers. In the East Bay we're lucky enough to have the Oakland a Berkeley hills and skyline drive that follows them. It was a gorgeous Sunday and I wanted to give Kaya some exercise. As it turned out we both got a lot of exercise along with breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay. It was nice to do a strenuous hike where our wonder dog could climb steep hills and jump over fallen logs. And she was an angel Sunday night.