January 31, 2009

Four Food Groups

Four Food Groups

bread, ham, cheese, and lettuce

We were taught in school, many, many years ago, that to remain healthy you needed to eat so many servings from the four basic food groups.

They were breads and grains, meats and beans, fruits and vegetables, and dairy.

In 1994, when my children were in school, they were taught, that to stay healthy, you needed to eat so many servings from the "Food Pyramid".

The government had changed the original four groups into six groups.

The foods on the bottom of the pyramid were the ones you were supposed to eat the most of, and the ones on the top should be consumed sparingly.

Not surprisingly, the breads and grains are at the base - which means we should eat more servings of them than any of the others.

I can go along with that - bread, pasta, rice - I love them all - but when dieting, they are the ones that have the most carbs. And watching how many and what kind of carbs you consume plays a big role in loosing weight.

Ok - on to the next level - it is split between the vegetables and the fruits.

They each get their own recommended servings with the veggies making up a bigger part of the intake.

The third layer is also divided between the meats, beans, and nuts and the milk, cheese, and yogurt group. They each get an equal part in the daily intake.

The very top of the pyramid contains the fats, oils, and sweets.

This is the new part that we didn't learn about back in school all those years ago.

They were never figured into the daily consumption, and they were used with a heavy hand.

Everything had butter in it and dessert was a part of every lunch and dinner.

And another thing, obesity across America was not a problem as it is today.

Heart disease and cancer are at all time highs also.

Making the right choices in our food consumption is not an easy thing. I think using the government guidelines is a step, but not necessarily the answer.

Using common sense and doing what works for each individual is the best step towards a more healthy lifestyle.

January 30, 2009

Deep Breathing is an Exercise

Breathing deep delivers many of the same benefits of exercise - including loosing weight.

What? How can that be?

Well, it can be compared to aerobic exercise - which causes one to breathe deeply to keep supplying the blood and muscles with oxygen, which in turn, burns fat for energy. This is how weight is lost.

Breathing deeply also supplies the blood with fresh oxygen which encourages fat to be burned, even when we are doing activities that don't require much physical activity.

Now, this is not a substitute for exercises, but it does enhance the cardiovascular system and it's capacities - especially in those who are just beginning an exercise plan. Like conditioning of sorts.

Most of us do not breath deeply - it is something that we need to teach ourselves so it becomes second nature.

Practicing it a bit each day will enhance many areas of health:

  • it is a natural stress reliever
  • helps with depression and anxiety
  • feel less fatigued
  • less metal fog
  • enhances body tissue functions
The shallow breathing that most of us do - especially those with desk or low activity jobs, does not deliver the necessary oxygen to the lungs and heart. And it does not clear the body of the old, used carbon dioxide wastes that we produce when we breath.

This causes the lung tissues to constrict over time and it even has an effect on the lymphatic system, which helps to cleanse the body of toxins.

As the toxins build up over time, we have muscle loss, we gain weight, we develop high blood pressure, and we are more easily fatigued.

Taking control over breathing by practicing deep belly breaths will enhance many functions in the body.

And it can be thought of as an exercise that can be easily accomplished right in an office chair or while watching tv.

No costs or extra time involved - just a few minutes spent thinking about it several times over the course of the day - and doing it until it becomes second nature.

January 29, 2009

The Beginning

Cal Fat Sat Chl Sod Crb Fib Sug Pro

11 servingDannon Activa Blueberry Yogurt11021565190175
1Serving - 2.2 GLIPTON - TEA BAGS - GREEN TEA 20 CT BOX000000000
0.52 Tbsp 32g Smucker's® - Natural Peanut Butter, Creamy100810604114
1serving packetSugars, granulated1100003030
11 Slice9 Grain Bread10020016019425




* Water Tracker - Add / Delete

Food Totals321


0.25hour(s)home activities - wash dishes - standing or in general (not broken into stand/walk components-49

6hour(s)miscellaneous - sitting - writing, desk work, typing-928

Activity Totals-977

Today it begins.

I will track what I eat for the next 3 days, and on 2/1/09, I will officially begin to "diet".

I use a website called My Calorie Counter to track everything.

I add the food I eat and the all the activities I do - including washing the dishes and taking a shower.

It calculates the calories in the food and all the calories burned while doing any and everything.

It also calculates the fats, sugars, proteins, carbs, and fiber intakes for each food.

After tracking what I am eating over the next couple days, I will adjust what I want to have for calorie intake so I can start to stay within the limits.

I have used this site before when I was dieting, and it really does help you to watch everything you are doing.

Being honest is necessary otherwise it will never work. Sometimes it's hard to admit the goodies consumed on the side, but they must be counted.

Goodies are alright sometimes, but I really need to watch the overdoing. Chocolate is the worst for me - it's always beaconing and tempting me. I will answer it's call only occassionally. Deprivation never works in the end.

I have included a copy and paste version above of what the site gives you for information as you enter your data.

There are also many other pages with charts and visuals to track your progress.

It is really a very useful site and very easy to use.

And best of all - there is no charge to use it!

January 28, 2009


There are some really great tools and utilities that have found online for tracking weight loss, counting calories, fats, and all the other nutrients in food.

I will be using some of them. There are a couple I have come across that I thought would be of good use to my readers, and have added them to the sidebars.

They are very interactive and I encourage you to give them a try. The vitamin tool has some really useful info about each one.

I am trying to pull in helpful aids and info so it can all be in one place once I ready to begin this process of changing my lifestyle.

I am learning and hope I can provide some useful info to others too.

January 27, 2009

Still Under Construction

I had hoped to have this blog up and running by now, but it has taken me longer to set it up that I thought it would.

I have changed the template many times until I settled on this one - and now I need to get the sidebars and links all properly working,

It will continue to be a work in progress, and I hope to launch it within the next week or two.

And then the hard work begins - getting down to loosing those pounds!