• 03 Sep 2008 /  Moving Forward No Comments

    Because this blog is new, please read each linked page above (Background, The Start, et al) to get you familiar with my story.


    I got home yesterday evening and took a shower … and somewhere along the way misplaced my Pedometer.  I didn’t realize it until I reached for it this morning…

    Not that I make the 10,000 steps these days, or get that close to it as I had been prior to the leg explosion, but I like to keep an eye on how physical active I am.

    Egads!  I have to laugh though.  Monday. Labor Day. I didn’t even do 1,000 steps.  It was a holiday after all…

    Now that Tony is back to work, I can get back on track with my diet better still.  It was wonderful to come home and find him cooking up dinner, and they were healthy, but heavier than what I like to have for my dinners.  Not only is it better for you, but I prefer my heavier meals to be my breakfasts and lunches.  Not only does it provide you with better opportunity to burn off those calories you consumed, but for me, a lighter evening meal means a better sleep.

    I never made it to the gym over the long holiday weekend, due to the fact that Tony started a project of painting the apartment while he was home on his vacation, and we used that holiday weekend to finish it. 

    But, I did make it to the pool last week, and discovered that the women who complained that the water was cold must have no blood in them at all (the water was perfect), and … the pool is not overly chlorinated.  According to them, the water rots your bathing suit right off of you.  Granted, it has more chlorine than I would put into my pool back when I had a house with a private pool, but that’s just it; it was a private pool.  When you have several people with varying levels of hygiene, damn skippy I want that water a bit more chlorinated…  It was fine; it didn’t burn my eyes and my hair didn’t turn insta-green.  My swim suit is still intact, too.  Perhaps they don’t realize that you should … uh … RINSE out your suit well after swimming?  Regardless?

    There was a HUGE platter of nice, plump, delicious bagels offered at the office today.  I was so good; I amazed myself.  I love bagels and I miss them, but oddly, I don’t crave them.  Rather than a bagel, I got out my container of Yoplait Orange Whip! yogurt, which was more satisying and healthy, and a whole lot less calories and fat…

    In my research, I found several great articles on obesity and treatments. 

    Two main things in our foods are causing us to get fat and unhealthy – and both of them are man made.

    • High Fructose Corn Syrup
    • Hydrogenated Oils

    It doesn’t matter what kind of hydrogenated oil it is or if it is partially hydrogenated or any level of hydrogenation. 

    The reason they’re bad for us, is because we were not meant to eat them! 

    The basics of what we eat are carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and our bodies’ basic system of energy is based on sugar. The real kind found in fruits and vegetables. Most of the foods Americans enjoy, even the so-called “healthy” foods, have high fructose corn syrups and or hydrogenated oils. Our bodies turn hydrogenated oils into Trans Fats.

    Do NOT believe those labels that say NO TRANS FATS!!!   Turn the package over and read the ingredient list. If there is ANY hydrogenated oil in any form (partially, et al) in the ingredient list, there ARE  trans fats!

    The hormones in our bodies are largely based on fats; the good kind which come from natural foods: mono and poly unsaturated fats. We need fats in order to make hormones. Saturated fats (the bad fats) are found in most meats, therefore, the leaner the meat, the less bad fat.

    Americans have the highest instances of obesity than any other country in the world, and it may be due to the bacteria in our intestines. 

    Treatment of obesity may very well one day include altering your intestinal bacteria!

    Ever notice how some people can eat anything and not gain weight, while others eat small amounts and still gain?   Studies show that it may have to do with their intestinal microorganisms; good and bad.  Scientists are seeing how bacteria can alter carbohydrate metabolism and how that impacts how calories are absorbed. No wonder yogurt is always thought of as a good diet food!

    A good number of people don’t realize that not all yogurt is good.  You want a yogurt that contains live bacteria; you’ve probably heard the term: probiotic ici.

    Frozen yogurt is high in sugars and doesn’t have nearly the nutritional benefits of good old plain organic yogurt. Ounce for ounce, non-fat plain yogurt has more calcium, protein, and B vitamins like folic acid, niacin, and riboflavin than frozen yogurt. Plain yogurt is also easier to digest for people who are lactose intolerant. I grew up on plain yogurt and even today, it’s the best tasting of all.

    The most important reason I like plain yogurt is because it’s a probiotic food.

    Approximately 400-500 species of bacteria live in your intestines; some of the bacteria are good, and some of the bacteria are super big-time troublemakers, which sets the stage of your intestines as a battle ground between the two.  (Anyone suffer IBS?  Good old stomach-ache-food-didn’t-settle sort of thing?)  The good and pathogenic bacteria compete with each other for nutrients and living space on the colon wall and vagina. In a normal, healthy person, the good bacteria predominate. But oral antibiotics can kill the good bacteria, and expose your stomach to invasion by dangerous bacteria, such as Salmonella and E.coli. 

    Probiotics are live bacteria which when ingested can help the good bacteria in the colon thrive, therefore improving the bacterial balance in the intestinal flora. The most common example found in food is the lactobacilli in yogurt. Microorganisms Lactobacillus bulgaricus are added to milk to make it ferment into yogurt. Lactic acid bacteria, such as lactobacilli, break down certain carbohydrates and produce lactic acid and short chain fatty acids. These acids cause the environment in your colon and vagina to have a low pH, in which it is difficult for pathogenic bacteria to grow. Beneficial bacteria also produce hydrogen peroxide and other compounds with “antibiotic” effects which can prevent the proliferation of invading bacteria and yeast infections. There is also evidence that having good bacteria balance in the intestines can promote a stronger immune response in the presence of bacterial invaders in people who regularly consume lactic acid bacteria.

    Your natural bacteria not only protect you from bad bacteria, they also synthesize nutrients like vitamins K, B12, and biotin, as well as short chain fatty acids. Short chain fatty acids, which are used as energy by the intestinal cells, are produced when the good bacteria metabolize certain carbohydrates, called prebiotics.

    Our bodies cannot digest prebiotics, but the lactic acid bacteria do digest them for energy. Once digested, these products are used to support the intestinal walls as well as the growth of beneficial bacteria. Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are prebiotics widely available in plant foods. Good sources include broccoli, kale, green cabbage, onions, garlic, bananas, oranges, whole wheat, oats, barley, rye, and chicory root.

    If you have a good wheat bran along with a yogurt for breakfast, you are providing those bacteria some good nourishment to better work!

    While it is true that all yogurts are made using lactobacilli for fermentation, not all yogurts still have live cultures in them by the time it gets to you, even if it’s in the ingredients list. The bacteria may have been added at some point, but after pasteurization, there is no bacteria left. Many brands add live cultures after pasteurization, so there is enough to do some good. The way to tell which yogurts do have live cultures is to go to the ingredients list. There will be a list of ingredients separated by commas, and then a period at the end of the list. If the bacteria were added after processing, the bacteria will be listed after the first period. If the bacteria were added during processing, the bacteria will be listed before the period. Recently, many brands have been listing the ingredients in one place and then adding a label to read “with live active cultures” followed by a list of the bacteria that were added after pasteurization. They don’t have to tell you if the bacteria have probiotic effects or not, so you have to look for them yourself. Good ones to look for include Lactobacillus acidophilus and the Bifidobacterium species (but you don’t necessarily want too many species in the same yogurt because they may compete with each other instead of with the bad guys!).

    Additionally, the longer you keep the yogurt, the fewer bacteria will remain alive, because oxygen breaks it down. So don’t wait too long after purchasing to eat it!

    In some cultures, plain yogurt is a staple. Being where I live, those cultures are prevalent, and so it’s easy for me to obtain good plain organic yogurt. 

    Plain yogurt is a great substitute in any recipe that calls for sour cream. It can also be used as a topping in burritos and baked potatoes, and eaten with spicy dishes like in Indian cuisine. Plain yogurt mixed with real fruit and natural granola makes a great breakfast, snack, or even dessert.

    For less fat and lactose and more calcium, protein, and vitamins, choose nonfat or lowfat yogurt over whole milk yogurt. And for less risk of hormone contamination, choose organic yogurts whenever possible.

    What Probiotics can do for you!

    • help the good bacteria thrive in your tummy
    • maintain an acidic pH environment
    • produce hydrogen peroxide which is tough on bad bacteria and yeasts
    • produce compounds with “antibiotic” effects to also protect you from bacterial invaders
    • help feed the stomach cells
    • stimulate the immune system

    Another FYI, Stonybrook Farms is one of the few yogurts that uses the good sugars…

    I just know that my IBS is past-tense; history.  I haven’t had a problem with any gastrointestinal issues since I’ve started faithfully eating my probiotic yogurts! 

    Enjoy life and live!

    Posted by Char @ 3:20 pm

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