Hey Lisa, I'm a Ph.D. student in astrophysics, halfway through my second year. I'll be done with classes at the end of this year, at which point I'll be able to concentrate almost wholly on research. So I've got some end of semester projects coming up. The proposal is for a high-energy astrophysics class I'm taking, and we have to write a proposal to use a real satellite telescope (Chandra X-ray Observatory, if you're interested!) to do some kind of science. The other project involves original research I've been doing on star-forming galaxies. I have to have a report done by the end of semester, and hopefully next semester I can actually get it published in an astronomy journal.
Welcome Brandy!!! I like the take the stairs goal - I have a goal that if I grab something off the food counter at work I must go up and down several flights of stairs to justify the indulgence. It gets a little quiet around here on the weekends, but Monday starts a new thread and the fam all gathers for a new week of goal setting and progress!
Welcome, Twinkle. I tend to talk A LOT, and your post was not very long. Taking the stairs is a good goal!
Wow, Cassie and Ama! Your posts are concerning me about what I'm feeding my family. I don't know what BHT's and GMO's are, but they don't sound good. (genetically modified something or other?) I really commend you on doing so much with natural foods.
Sara wrote me a little email this morning about how we have so much junk food in our house, and other snacks have to be cooked or prepared, and it's hard for her to make good choices with the LACK of choices she has. So I was on a quest today to find some snack treats that aren't too horrible. We discovered flavored rice cakes (she is loving the caramel), and we got pretzels and dipped them in a little bit of melted chocolate just on one edge. We've discussed what "a serving" is of these snacks so she's going to count and measure. But now I'm thinking I need to go read the labels and see what kind of bad stuff is in there.
Oh, well now that I'm looking at the label for the rice cakes, it doesn't look too terrible...rice flour, salt, sugar, corn, natural apple & cinnamon flavors, cinnamon, sunflower, safflower and/or canola oil and soy lecithin. It's more than a handful of ingredients, but at least I can pronounce them all, right?
I'd like to get educated more on what you guys are talking about, but I need beginner basics. I'm a stay at home mom, so I should be able to do more home made whole foods and things time-wise. I'm just concerned about the costs. I get $200/wk to buy groceries and gas. I spend $165-$175 on groceries, and it doesn't even seem like I get that much. That only leaves me a few $$$ for gas, and I am the kid taxi in our house. Point being, my budget is tight. Or I just need to learn to do things differently. I have cut out quite a lot of packaged products, but I admit I do still buy lunch meat from the deli. What are other options? I should learn to do things like mix up my own waffle mix instead of buying Bisquick and stuff like that.
Lisa, please don't worry about what you feed your family! I definitely don't want to be fear-mongering here. And everyone has to do what is right and practical for their families. I didn't used to think about all of this stuff at all, but I am coming up on three years of being more aware of food, exercise, health, etc., and I certainly had no clue about it before. It's just been part of that process.
What makes it difficult is that there really is no ultimate word on what's good and what's bad. You can find anything on the internet to support any position. If you look up GMO (genetically modified organisms) you will find websites that say they are completely safe, and websites demonizing them. Some things are GMO just because they've been hybrid or bred for drought resistance...but some are because they've been infused with pesticides. And they aren't labeled as such, so it's hard to tell. So the best thing is to just educate yourself and draw your own conclusions. We can't do it all right all the time, and my motto is choose the hills you're willing to die on. If I'm "good" 80% of the time, then eating my frozen yogurt with 20 ingredients, aka a chemistry experiment (albeit a delicious one) is a trade off I can feel okay about making. I know diet soda's got to be bad, but every once in a while I drink it. And a lot of things like that...but where I can make a swap, I do.
In many cases, homemade stuff is much cheaper. I don't know how much a box of pancake mix costs, but I have a big bucket of homemade mix sitting in the pantry, and when I want a batch, I scoop a cup of that and mix with egg and milk and done. I have a recipe for granola bars that takes literally less than 10 minutes and just uses stuff you already have in the pantry. I don't know if you have access to farms/orchards, but we visited an orchard a few weeks ago and came home with fresh apples (not seconds, not bruised) for about .50/lb. They are 1.49/lb in our store right now. Canned soups can be pricey, so I take a chicken or turkey carcass, make stock, make huge pots of soup, and freeze in Mason jars; basically, when I make soup for dinner, I make a huge amount of it and then it's there. It's a great way to use leftovers as well...one of my pet peeves is throwing food out.
The lunch meat thing is new for me...I always did buy it before. Except one day I stood in the deli and looked at the lunch meat at 7.99/lb and it occurred to me that frozen turkeys are .89/lb (yes, I know, bones, skin, etc), but still...So Wednesday night I cooked a turkey, cut it up, packaged it, plopped it in the freezer, and boom. I can pull a package out when we want sandwiches. I do not know how long this will last, but I've done it often with leftovers and with ham also, so I think if I plan ahead and get stuff in there when I have time, it might work. My son loves meat. He will snack on meat. In my book, meat beats Doritos. I am also a pretty obsessive shopper with coupons and store sales and if something is buy one get one I stock up like crazy, especially if I have coupons also. Once you get into it and learn the rhythms, it does tend to be very gratifying. As you can tell, since I've gone on and on about it so much today.
As far as learning, just think about what you're interested in. I learned most of my stuff from the internet. I look at stuff in the store and go home and search the web for a way to make it. Sometimes it turns out great. Sometimes it's not a winner. Sometimes I'm late getting home and I drive through Chick Fil A for my son. Sometimes I just want to eat stuff with no nutritional value and I do, including plowing through chips and margaritas at the Mexican restaurant, and sometimes I try natural things and think, that's just too damn much work. But bit by bit, I'm adding a lot more good, healthy things into my repertoire. I think I chose the wrong career; I'm really just a frustrated dietician and/or chef, I guess, but the more I learn, the more fascinated I am with it and you will probably be the same way . It is all about being willing to learn and personalizing it for you as you go along, and I think you will do great at it and have fun with it also.
I am going to settle down now and apologize again for hijacking the thread. I'll go search the Foods thread for the one I think I remember and then bump that up and maybe we can continue swapping ideas over there!
"If you drop an egg, you don't say, 'Oh, shoot' and drop the other 11, do you?"
-Source unknown, but obviously brilliant
Reached goal 4/16/2010...but kind of afraid to look these days
Cassie, what a great idea about slicing up turkey. At least you know there aren't any preservatives and no salt.
Before I was told by my Dr that I had to cut back on salt I never read the labels. It's amazing how much salt is in EVERYTHING that we buy. A plain Harvey's hamburger has 980mg of sodium--half of an average person's daily total.
I'm hoping this site will help with motivation. I put a book on hold at the library and since my Mom was going anyways I thought she could pick it up for me. She says "it's not another cookbook, is it??". It's written by a nutrionist on how what we eat affects our bodies. It's free so what have I got to lose? It's very hard feeling like I'm up against a brick wall. I'm doing this because I want to be healthy but it's also because my Dr's told me. I have friends that believe in me but I have to believe in myself.
Cassie, thanks so much for that! No, you are not fear-mongering. I'm just becoming more aware a little at a time. I only just started this healthy thing in February, so I've got a long way to go and a lot to learn. I'd like to give my family healthier things than packaged, boxed, processed foods. I hope you can find an appropriate thread in the Food group to continue the conversation. I'd love to hear more from you on this. I will definitely start looking things up. I'm a "researcher" and learn most of what I know from the internet. My first project is going to be to make home made Bisquick If I have any questions on anything I read, now I know who to ask. You may not be an expert, but I bet you know more than most!
Ama- let me hunt down my bread recipe for you. Its a good one for sandwiches. Lisa- that 3 p.m. weigh in that i sometimes do, as well, is always an "OH MY" time. Usually I am much lighter than the first thing in the morning weigh in, and it motivates me to continue to eat well the rest of the day. Hope-I am praying for miraculous healing for you. Why not! Let's just pray that this horrible debilitating disease becomes healed. And thanks for the compliment on the mindful eating, that is my hardest thing to do, eat and be aware, not just shovel it in. Cassie- a man who cooks is a gift. Lucky lady!
My week is going really well, despite the curves, I am coming out all right.
1. Ingest 64 oz water minimum.M,W, Th,
2. Log food.M,W, TH, F
3. Slow down and be mindful when eating.M!T,W, Th, F
4. Walk dogs M-T-W-Th- (then walk dog F, S, Sun) (one dog is going duck hunting f-sun)M!T,Th, F,
I need to concentrate on my water intake, that should be the easiest thing. Why do I make it so difficult?
1 pound to goal...
Don't worry I am setting new goal once I get this little pound off!
Cassie- I am totally on your page when it comes to lunch meat! I buy chicken breasts when they are on sale for 1.99 a pound and then portion them out to 3 ounce pieces, butterfly them and pound them out, freeze them individually in plastic wrap, and it takes literally 3 minutes to cook one and top a sandwich. Last week for 8 dollars I made 26 portions of chicken! I do the same with rump roasts or eye of round, for pork, I buy a pork loin roast and roast it and slice it thin for sandwiches. I don't know if your store sells them but I have a Honeysuckle white boneless turkey !?! yes, in my freezer right now, weighs about 3 pounds, Got it for 9 dollars and change. They are really good! I also buy from my pig guy, ground pork and make my own breakfast sausage.
Lisa- for casseroles and things I make my "own" cream of something soup. Very low salt and affordable! I'm going to try to start making my own mayonnaise, 4 dollars a jar is getting ridiculous! It's basically just eggs and oil! Bananas are usually the best deal in the store. I get about 12 for under 1.20. Eggs are a low cost food too. I buy dried beans and soak and cook 3 pounds at a time, unseasoned, then portion it out in the pint size freezer bags and I'm set for a few weeks for side dishes. I also buy the huge bags of frozen vegetables. They are about 5 dollars.
Ama- Here's my recipe for white bread, glad you asked for it, now I feel the need to bake.
1 pack of Rapid Rise yeast
1 cup of warm water
1/3 cup of milk powder
1 Tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
1 Teaspoon of sugar
1 Teaspoon of salt (add less if you like)
3-4 cups of flour (I like the better for bread style but all purpose works well too)
Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Let sit about 5 minutes until frothy. Stir in powdered milk, sugar, butter and salt. Work in flour a cup at a time, for the first two cups, then gradually add the 3-4 cups. You might not need all 4, so work it till it is smooth. Knead it about 10-12 minutes, Great biceps, triceps and pecs workout! Let rise 1 hour covered in a very lightly oiled bowl (I just use a drop or two of olive oil and spread it around with my hands) (I put it in my garage in the summer, in the winter I put on the oven light and stick it in there with the door cracked.) Punch down and put it in a greased loaf pan and let it rise about 30 minutes or until it looks high enough in the pan to your liking for sandwiches. During this rising time let it sit on the counter near the oven covered with a towel while you preheat your oven thoroughly to 400 degrees. Bake 20-25 minutes. Let cool a little, about 10 minutes, then remove from pan.
1 pound to goal...
Don't worry I am setting new goal once I get this little pound off!
Last edited by frenchhen3; 11-10-2012 at 01:23 PM.
1. Aim for 1600 calories/day.
close-1750. going the wrong way-1805. getting further from goal. 1513 I did it! Holy cow...1000!!!
2. Take meds 2x day.
yes. yes. yes. 5 hours late tonight, but yes. only a.m.
3. Do some sort of exercise 3x this week with Sara for at least 20 minutes each time.
no. no. yes.no. no
4. Log everything everyday.
yes. yes. yep. yes. yes.
Not that I want to do 1000 every day, but wow for me! I did it without even being hungry, and it sure does make up for at least one or two days when I went over my goal. Not doing so hot with that exercise thing.
Past couple of weeks the weekends have been absolutely horrible for me and I pretty much blow my whole week of effort on these two days. Going to try super hard to get through the next 48 hours while staying at least close to on track.
On the happy side, I've re-lost 5.6 lbs of my "off-track gain" in the past 3 weeks, so half way to getting to where I was.