Friday, November 29, 2013

Guide to Weight Loss. Portion Control. Thanksgiving Dinner. Avoid the Obesity Epidemic. Sand Creek Massacre. Coffee Rationed.


For "Foodie Friday":

Carbohydrate Density: A Better Guide to Weight Loss

"On its surface, the cause of the Western world's obesity epidemic seems simple: People are eating too many calories and getting too little calorie-burning exercise; the imbalance manifests as excess fat.

But this explanation is too simple. Even low-calorie diets and vigorous exercise fail to work in the long term for at least some people.

Here's why: Exercise, while vital to good health, is a poor exclusive means of weight control. Excess exercise tends to be counterbalanced by excess hunger, exemplified by the phrase "working up an appetite." A few people with extraordinary willpower can resist such hunger day after day, but for the vast majority, weight loss through exercise is a flawed option.

Meanwhile, simply cutting back on total calories is fraught with peril as well. An excellent study by Harvard University researchers confirms that the kinds of foods one eats -- rather than total calories per se -- is the most important indicator of whether a given eating pattern leads to weight gain or loss.

So what's the best way of eating to manage weight? Fortunately, some answers are emerging.

Increasingly, chronic, inappropriate inflammation is widely recognized as a driver of obesity. Inflammation in the body is a normal and healthy response to injury or attack by germs. We can see it, feel it and measure it on the surface as local heat, redness, swelling, and pain. This is the body's way of getting more nourishment and more immune activity into an area that needs to fend off infection or heal. But whole-body, elevated inflammation -- as evidenced by increased levels of certain protein markers in the blood -- has actually been shown to predict future weight gain in a study of non-diabetic healthy men. Inflammation, in short, helps make you fat.

Obesity, in turn, promotes chronically elevated inflammation. As this Harvard review article puts it, "A chronic, subacute state of inflammation often accompanies the accumulation of excess lipid in adipose tissue and liver (hepatic steatosis), evidenced by changes in both inflammatory cells and biochemical markers of inflammation."

In other words, obesity and inflammation feed each other in a destructive cycle. This may help explain why weight, once gained, can be so difficult to lose."  More at:

"The obesity solution is straightforward. I'll discuss that, and list specific high- and low-density carbohydrate foods, in "Using the Carbohydrate Density Index." More at:


Portion Control

"Focus on eating more slowly to give yourself time to tune in to your body’s hunger and satiety. It takes 20 minutes to half an hour for your brain to receive the message that your stomach is full, so take your time.

When you are no longer feeling hungry but still want to eat, think about why. Are you bored? Find something else to keep you busy. Are you upset? Call a friend and vent. Are you stressed or anxious? Turn on some music or go for a brisk walk to relax and de-stress. Don’t try to fix your problems with food.

Keep your portions down by following these basic tips:

  • image Use a smaller plate. As simple as this sounds, it works. Studies have shown that people eat more when there’s more on their plate, regardless of how hungry they feel. So put less on your plate but trick your eyes into thinking you’re eating more by using a smaller plate. One cup of food on a small plate looks like more than the same cup of food on a large plate.
  • Never eat directly from a container, bag, or box. It’s so hard to keep track of how much you're eating when you’re just reaching in and stuffing food in your mouth. Before you know it, the bag is gone. Instead, serve yourself one portion on a plate or in a bowl, put away the rest, and only then sit down to eat.
  • Measure, measure, measure! Keep that measuring cup or spoon handy, and measure out your cereal into a bowl, your rice onto your plate, your tuna salad, your potato chips, your strawberries — everything." 

More at:


Thanksgiving Dinner

"Everyone knows Thanksgiving dinner is loaded with carbs, calories, and fat. But how much sugar is on your plate? Pumpkin pie and candied yams are obvious culprits, but you'd be surprised where else sugar shows up.

Thanksgiving Meal



Turkey Breast, 4 oz.


Sweet Potato Casserole

Dinner Roll

1/2 Tbsp Butter

Cranberry Sauce (canned)

Green Beans

Mashed Potatoes

Pumpkin Pie  w/ Whipped Cream

105g   (Calories from sugar:  420)"

More at:


The Obesity Epidemic: Fight Back Today with God's Help!

Bathroom scalles

"Obesity.  Every time I see this in the news, I think "What an ugly word!"  For anyone who is overweight or has reached the state of obesity, that state is nothing but uncomfortable. Nobody likes it. The condition often carries a social stigma. 

Why am I interested in this and writing about it? I have personally experienced the challenge of gaining weight and then struggling to lose it for much of my life. With God's help, I have dropped 50 pounds sensibly—but this time I have maintained this loss for the better part of a year. For me, it's presently a great feeling of relief and freedom!

But I know firsthand what it feels like when you're trying to lose weight and it's not working. It hurts. It's an emotional burden. It's discouraging. What can I say to readers who know someone who is overweight or are themselves facing this major challenge?

Consider this: to achieve healthy weight loss and sustain it, it's going to take a commitment. And to be truly successful, it's going to take direct help from God Himself. I know that for a fact. I've experienced it. There is hope!

If someone tells you "Just use more will power to lose weight," they don't understand the true nature of the condition."  More at:


How to Avoid the Obesity Epidemic

"An increasing number of Americans are becoming overweight, which can lead to many serious health problems, even premature death. Here's how to escape the epidemic.

As we continue to modernize our lifestyles — riding instead of walking, working in a cubicle instead of in a field, playing iPods instead of sports — more people are becoming overweight and, worse, obese. In fact, there are so many overweight and obese people that some public health officials now call it an epidemic, particularly because of the many resulting health problems.

Obesity: A Worldwide Problem

Around the world, more than one billion adults are overweight and about 300 million of them are obese. In the United States, 66 percent of all adults are overweight and, of those, 32 percent are obese.

Obesity levels in Japan and some African nations are below 5 percent, but they’re rising. Obesity rates in China overall are not high, but in some of that country’s larger cities, rates are up 20 percent.

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions, too. The number of overweight children in the United States has doubled since 1980, and for teens, it's tripled. And the problem with children is now a global issue as well.

Obesity: Why It’s Happening

Although your genes play a role in your body weight, there are other factors involved. In many places around the world, particularly the United States, we have plenty of nutrient-rich food to eat and easy access to fattening fast foods and sweets. Also, because of our modern lifestyles, we are not as active as we once were. The end result: We're eating more calories than we can burn.

Obesity: How It Differs From Being Overweight

Obesity and overweight are terms used to describe a level of excess weight that's considered unhealthy for your body size. One way to determine if you are overweight or obese is to figure out your body mass index (BMI), a calculation you make by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters (kg/m2). Don’t worry — you don't have to do the math; you can find BMI calculators online."  More at:


On This Day:

Colorado militia massacre Cheyenne at Sand Creek, Nov 29, 1864:

"Colonel John Chivington and his Colorado volunteers massacre a peaceful village of Cheyenne camped near Sand Creek in Colorado Territory, setting off a long series of bloody retaliatory attacks by Indians.

Chivington, a former Methodist preacher with ambitions to become a territorial delegate to Congress, saw in the Indian wars an opportunity to gain the esteem he would need to win a government office. Disappointed that the spring of 1864 failed to produce any major battles, Chivington apparently determined to burn villages and kill Cheyenne whenever and wherever he could, making little distinction between peaceful or aggressive bands. Angered by frequent Indian attacks on settlers and the theft of their horses and cattle, many Colorado settlers supported Chivington's methods, and a number of men volunteered to join his forces on hundred-day enlistments, forming the 3rd Colorado Volunteers.

Fearing that U.S. troops might mistakenly identify his band of peaceful Cheyenne as having participated in the attacks on settlers, Chief Black Kettle traveled to Denver under escort of U.S. Army Major Edward Wynkoop to affirm his non-hostile intentions. Chivington and the territorial governor of Colorado clearly did not want peace, yet they could not openly reject the overtures of Black Kettle.

Believing that he had a promise of safety if he brought his people into Fort Lyon, Black Kettle lead the band of Cheyenne to a spot designated by Major Wynkoop near the fort along a small stream known as Sand Creek. The tribe flew an American flag and a white flag at the camp to indicate their alliance with the U.S. and alert all to their generally peaceful intentions.

Determined to have his glorious battle, Chivington refused to recognize that Black Kettle's settlement was peaceful. At daybreak, Chivington and his 700 volunteers, many of them drunk, attacked the sleeping village at Sand Creek. Most of the Cheyenne men were away hunting, so the women, children, and elders were largely defenseless. In the frenzied slaughter that followed, Chivington and his men killed more than 100 women and children and 28 men. Black Kettle escaped the attack. The soldiers scalped and mutilated the corpses, hacking off body parts that included male and female genitals, and then returned to Denver where they displayed the scalps to approving crowds during intermission at a downtown theatre.

Because of Chivington's depraved slaughter, the central plains exploded with retaliatory attacks from Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho Indians. Fortunately, not everyone applauded Chivington's behavior--many Americans, particularly in the east, strongly condemned Chivington's attack and the barbaric mutilations. Subsequent congressional and military investigations denounced Chivington, but claimed they could not punish him because he had resigned from the army and was no longer under military jurisdiction. Nonetheless, Chivington spent the rest of his life trying to escape the stigma of his deplorable behavior at Sand Creek."


Coffee rationing begins, Nov 29, 1942:

"On this day in 1942, coffee joins the list of items rationed in the United States. Despite record coffee production in Latin American countries, the growing demand for the bean from both military and civilian sources, and the demands placed on shipping, which was needed for other purposes, required the limiting of its availability.

Scarcity or shortages were rarely the reason for rationing during the war. Rationing was generally employed for two reasons: (1) to guarantee a fair distribution of resources and foodstuffs to all citizens; and (2) to give priority to military use for certain raw materials, given the present emergency.

At first, limiting the use of certain products was voluntary. For example, President Roosevelt launched "scrap drives" to scare up throwaway rubber-old garden hoses, tires, bathing caps, etc.--in light of the Japanese capture of the Dutch East Indies, a source of rubber for the United States. Collections were then redeemed at gas stations for a penny a pound. Patriotism and the desire to aid the war effort were enough in the early days of the war.

But as U.S. shipping, including oil tankers, became increasingly vulnerable to German U-boat attacks, gas became the first resource to be rationed. Starting in May 1942, in 17 eastern states, car owners were restricted to three gallons of gas a week. By the end of the year, gas rationing extended to the rest of the country, requiring drivers to paste ration stamps onto the windshields of their cars. Butter was another item rationed, as supplies were reserved for military breakfasts.

Along with coffee, the sugar and milk that went with it were also limited. All together, about one-third of all food commonly consumed by civilians was rationed at one time or another during the war. The black market, an underground source of rationed goods at prices higher than the ceilings set by the Office of Price Administration, was a supply source for those Americans with the disposable incomes needed to pay the inflated prices.

Some items came off the rationing list early; coffee was released as early as July 1943, but sugar was rationed until June 1947."



Claudia, Jay, their neighbor, and I, were supposed to go to Claudia's daughter's house for Thanksgiving, but so many people were sick with some kind of crud that it was cancelled.  Claudia was feeling so bad that she could hardly crawl out of bed.  She said that Jay stayed in bed all day, too. 

That gave me time to catch up on some blogs, and laundry.  There, in the dryer, was a forgotten previously dried load of clothes, and it had several tank tops in it, whereas now, I am washing t-shirts, turtlenecks, and sweaters!  It didn't take long for the weather to change.

DSCF0018 Shay and Ray invited me to have Thanksgiving dinner with them.  Her sister, their son, and his friend were there, too.  A good time, and food, was had by all.  I brought a little bit of turkey home for Misty, as I usually let her have a little bit of whatever I eat.

Even though it was cold, the sun was bright.  When it was setting, I was glad we had put that mini-blind on the screen porch to cut out the glare.

It's 29° right now, but expected to be sunny, and go to 61° today.


Dizzy-Dick said...

Glad you got to eat the Thanksgiving meal with friends.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you, DD. It was nice.
I didn't have a family when I was growing up, so family gatherings are strange to me. I can see why they have them now.
I suppose that's why I like the potluck dinners, and the fellowship at the church so much.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny