Tag Archives: diet

Hysterical commentary on “healthy” eating

Nobody makes me cry my own tears! Nobody! But the lovely lady from Northwest Edible Life did just that with her post “The terrible tragedy of a healthy eater.” Eating-Paleo-Meme

As an avid believer of the paleo diet, I found many of the references completely hysterical. But you don’t need to be a health nut to get the many puns and predicaments the writer pokes fun at. I think it’s see to say, anyone who’s done a Google search on healthy eating will identify with the humor.

Seriously read it all.

All you want to do is eat a little healthier. Really. Maybe get some of that Activa probiotic yogurt or something. So you look around and start researching what “healthier” means.

That really skinny old scientist dude says anything from an animal will give you cancer. But a super-ripped 60 year old with a best-selling diet book says eat more butter with your crispy T-Bone and you’ll be just fine as long as you stay away from grains. Great abs beat out the PhD so you end up hanging out on a forum where everyone eats green apples and red meat and talks about how functional and badass parkour is.

You learn that basically, if you ignore civilization and Mark Knopfler music, the last 10,000 years of human development has been one big societal and nutritional cock-up and wheat is entirely to blame. What we all need to do is eat like cave-people.

You’re hardcore now, so you go way past way cave-person. You go all the way to The Inuit Diet™.

Some people say it’s a little fringe, but you are committed to live a healthy lifestyle. “Okay,” you say, “let’s do this shit,” as you fry your caribou steak and seal liver in rendered whale blubber. You lose some weight which is good, but it costs $147.99 a pound for frozen seal liver out of the back of an unmarked van at the Canadian border.


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Abercrombie’s plus-sized risk: Clothes not for large people

These shoppers have the right look. (October 24, 2012 - Source: Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images Europe)

These shoppers have the right look.
(October 24, 2012 – Source: Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images Europe)

Abercrombie brings another definition to who the “cool kids” are. In 2004, the company was sued for giving positions to white applicants versus minorities. Now, the “lifestyle concept” shop is at it again, this time attacking weight.

According to business expert Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail, CEO Mike Jeffries “doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people.”

This comes as no shock. The retailer is widely known for its exclusivity, toting “casual luxury” as a wearable way of life.

Jeffries told Salon in a 2006 interview, “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t carry women’s sizes over large. But for men, they do stock XL and XLL  (to appeal to the “cool jocks” perhaps).

With scantily clad employees and naked models with bods of gods at the entrance of metropolitan stores, there’s no doubt A & F makes a certain statement.

In the Salon interview Jeffries goes on to explain “that’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”

A & F targets the all-American girl-next-door or prom king. Targeting teenagers with their brand, is A & F falling behind in the times? In the past 30 years, obesity in adolescence has tripled. One-third of adolescence and children are obese.

Their prime target market isn’t far behind the older cliental. 37.5 percent of adults are obese with  25.1 percent of white adult Americans being obese.

So is it a smart branding decision? Or is A & F alientating a large chunk of his customer base? After all, a sizable 67 percent of the apparel-purchasing population fit the “plus-size” label.

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American foods that are strange to foreigners

Raw meat, sea cucumbers and chocolate drizzled chicken; I love trying new and bizarre foods. In fact, just yesterday I munched on some squid. It wasn’t the first time I had calamari, just the first time it was whole and not fried. The sight of it was more intimidating than the taste. The head was in a classic oblong oval shape while its suction cup dotted tentacles curled up like the wicked witch of the west’s feet after a house fell on her. But the little guys tasted delicious despite their looks.

I ate squid at an Asian restaurant where it is common to eat different types of seafood. To this specific culture, it probably seemed like no big deal to devour these squishy ocean critters. And that got me thinking. What types of American food do different cultures find disgusting, repulsive, strange?

One Australian on a yahoo answers message board had four different foods they found strange; pumpkin pie, clam chowder, sloppy joes and their number one, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

And this Aussie isn’t the only one that thinks PB&J is nasty. Natacha from Chile says peanut butter is “weird” in a Houston Press blog post. And Iris from Germany thinks our regular sandwich bread is “squishy.”

Other foods on the blog list are mayonnaise, biscuits and gravy, eggs and bacon, grits, pepper and pasta. And these are some of the basic staples of American cuisine.

Do you think certain American foods are strange? Let me know in the comments.


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Bridezilla; How far will you go to fit in your dress?

Brides-to-be often follow this old wedding custom:

Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

Nowhere in that rhyme was there a mention of rapid weight loss. But brides tend to buy dresses too small to motivate them to lose weight (another custom I don’t understand). With the stress of planning a wedding, because it really is stressful to spend your parents’ and fiancée’s money for a giant party glorifying yourself, brides often don’t shed the pounds to fit into their beautiful ball gowns.

A 2007 Cornell University study by Lori Neighbors and Jeffery Sobal found that 70 percent of 272 engaged women said they wanted to lose weight, typically 20 pounds. Crash diets, liquid diets and just not eating for 72 hours before your big day have all been tactics deployed to help the brides zip up. But now the K-E Diet is starting to take off in the U.S.

Think it’s your typical diet? Think again.

The diet involves having a nasogastric tube, feeding tube, inserted through the nose and down into the esophagus for up to 10 days. A slow drip of protein and fat mixed with water, totaling 800 calories per day with no carbohydrates is your only subsidence. This solution is put in a bag and allows you to carry it around in your purse. For those undergoing the diet, no hospitalization is needed. The diet is said to leave you feeling full.

Invented by Gianfranco Cappello of the La Sapienza Hospital at the University of Rome, the diet works in cycles to control hunger. Despite its method of starvation, the K-E Diet does not result in the loss of muscle.

Some still think it is a dangerous technique.”If you lose the weight too quickly your mind is not going to be able to catch up with a newer, skinnier you,” psychoanalyst Bethany Marshall of Beverly Hills, Calif. said in a yahoo article.

Is this $1,500 diet too extreme or will it become just another common wedding tradition added to the budget?

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Take your power back

For all those trying to lose weight, get in the gym and get healthier, keep at it. You’ll never reach your goals if you keep having to start over.

This quote stuck out at me. In my blog I try and promote healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle. With 1 in 3 Americans being obese…not overweight, not chubby, OBESE…America is loosing its ability to move.  Some people can’t run. Some people have trouble breathing after just walking. Some fight for front row parking at the supermarket. Some ride in motor-chairs. Some can’t play outside with their kids. Heck, they’re kids probably don’t even play outside due to video games and electronic devices.

That must be the most powerless feeling-to not be able to move freely or with ease. Take your power back America! Take it!


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Sugar makes up 16 percent of kids’ diets

If you find that your kid is having bouts of hyperactivity followed by lulls of cranky tiredness, it’s probably because sugars make up 16 percent of their diet. That’s about 362 calories from added sugars for boys and about 282 calories for girls. In the teen years it increases to 442 calories for ages 12 through 19.

That’s not all the study, done by the CDC, found out.

  • Non-Hispanic white children and adolescents consume a larger percent of their calories from added sugars than do Mexican-American children and adolescents.
  • There was no difference in consumption of added sugars by income among children and adolescents

This is an important finding, at least in my opinion, because many people blame unhealthy eating on income; that those with lower income tend to eat fatty, sugary foods. And those with lower income are often minorities. These findings show that income might not have as big of a role in eating healthy as we thought. Although it is more expensive to buy organic, perhaps there are still other factors at play that affect the types of foods people eat.

In the middle ages, the rich often at sugary foods and no vegetables. The rich today still likes it just as sweet.

Other findings:

  • More added sugars calories came from foods rather than beverages.
  • More added sugars calories were consumed at home rather than away from home.

The fact that more added sugars are coming from the home is also disturbing to me. Home should be a haven for children. Parents should be protecting their children and providing for their children, and that includes providing them healthy, nutritional meals and snacks.

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So what’s up with dietary supplements


Flagler students speak out on dietary supplements


Flagler students speak out on dietary supplements

By Amber James | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Three martial art styles, numerous Cross-Fit routines and one broken foot later, Carly Lupo is a fighter.

The psychology major trains mixed martial arts five days a week, constantly in and out of Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing and open mat sessions at the Combat Club in St Augustine. In July she broke her foot, but still worked on her boxing and sparring skills while healing. She also lifts weights at Planet Fitness and does a Cross-Fit routine includes box jumps, farmer’s walk, medicine ball, wall ball, push-ups, burpees, four-count sit ups, kettle bell swings and push press.

So what keeps this well oiled machine working?

“Every morning with food I take GNC Women’s Ultra Mega Multivitamins plus Iron. I also take glucosamine every morning to help support my joint function,” Lupo said.

Dietary supplements, which include vitamins, minerals, botanicals, sports nutrition supplements, weight management products and specialty supplements, are part of a $26.9 billion industry, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

Many of these dietary supplements have a label on their packaging: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.”

GNC Women’s Ultra Mega Multivitamins and Equate’s glucosamine chondrotinin MSM are among those supplements with the warning label.

“The label does make me wonder about the overall safety of the product, but in moderation, it’s not a health concern,” Bryn Thomas, also a psychology major, said.

Although this label may seem threatening, more than 150 million Americans, like Thomas and Lupo, take dietary supplements annually.

The label means that the dietary supplement industry is unregulated. Dietary supplements are regulated as food and not as drugs.

Drugs must get pre-market approval from the FDA, unlike foods and dietary supplements.

Instead, foods and dietary supplements get must give a pre-market notification. This means that a manufacturer must supply the FDA at least 75 days before marketing a new dietary ingredient with information that provides “reasonable assurance that the ingredient does not present a significant or unreasonable risk of illness or injury,” according to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994.

DSHEA mandates that a dietary supplement label must list the name and quantity of each active ingredient and that supplements must be in compliance with current good manufacturing practices.

The DSHEA also requires adverse event reporting.

But sometimes there are cases of side effects.

Lupo and Thomas both said they felt a tingly sensations and prickling of the skin when they took Jack3d, a pre-workout supplement.

This is because the beta-alanine in Jack3d. Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid. It helps increase muscular strength, delay muscle fatigue, increase muscle mass and causes the tingling effect for reasons unknown.

In this case, a bit of tingling isn’t considered a reason for “adverse event reporting.”

“The only concern I ever had with [Jack3d] was that it made me feel invincible sometimes so it worried me that I might over work my muscles and end up doing damage in the long run,” Lupo said.

Flagler sociology major Celeste McGrogan said when people misuse dietary supplements, danger can sometimes occur. Sometimes results don’t occur, she said.

“Women normally return products because they do not see immediate results or they do not diet and exercise along with the pill or shake,” McGrogan, who used to work at GNC, said.

Lauren Taistra, a communication major, said she had friends in high school who abused diet pills by swallowing more than the recommended amount and then eating unhealthy foods like French fries, which ended in weight gain.

“After blaming [their weight gain] on birth control, they decided to do weekly laxative binges,” Taistra said.

Lupo used to take a pre-workout supplement.

“Personally, I loved Jack3d,” she said. “Jack3d definitely made my workouts twice as long and more intense.”

Although dietary supplements can help increase muscle function, focus and intensity, still some chose to do without.

Lupo’s trainer, professional MMA fighter, John Mahlow, who owns the Combat Club, is against any kind of supplement, according to Lupo.

“His view is that the body is like a racecar; if you fill a racecar, the body, with regular unleaded fuel, chemically produced supplements or junk food, it is going to run like hell, but if you fill the racecar up with racing fuel, organic or clean foods and plenty of water, the racecar is going to run like a dream,” Lupo said.

Lupo said she has adopted his theory.

“My coach completely changed my opinion on supplement taking and made me realize that I simply need a clear mind and body to be a successful fighter,” she said. “Right now, I feel like training without a pre-workout supplement has been difficult, but that is what being a fighter is all about, being able to get through extremely tough situations with no outside help. I believe that training without energy boosting supplements has made me a stronger person and a better fighter.”

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