Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Joanne--Food for thought and dinner.

My fifteen year old daughter has decided to go on a low-carb diet. I’ve done the research because, after all, she’s only fifteen. What I’ve found is that some doctors say a low-carb diet is good for you, such as Atkins and South Beach, and some doctors say low-carbs are not so good.

My daughter has become extremely health conscious, and spouts daily facts about how bad white bread is for you, how sweets are the enemy, and how one tablespoon of cod liver oil a day is beneficial.

All this nutritional research prompted me to ask: What can writers do to eat healthier?

All of us juggle full or part-time day jobs, as well as home and family responsibilities. I work best at night, after my family is settled for the evening. This means, of course, that I get very little sleep---but I’ll save the topic of sleep-deprivation for another blog.

Writers sit in front of computers several hours each day pounding out our latest manuscript. The occasional chocolate bar (well, OK, not so occasional in my case), and caffeine-laden drinks help many of us to write longer and hopefully better. (Me, for example.)

And, here comes the guilt. Many of us get very little physical exercise---but I’ll save that topic for yet another blog.

Taking all this into account, are we as productive as we can be? Do we make optimal use of our very limited time and feel energized because of our healthy diets?

We all know what we should and should not be eating, how proper nutrition works. Who can’t visualize the infamous food pyramid?

New research shows that high-fiber foods such as vegetables, whole grains, and fresh fruits are beneficial. These foods are filling, and help you to feel satisfied longer.

Is a fat-free diet going to help us become, well, skinny? New research shows that some fats are good, and some are bad. Saturated and trans fats are bad, and olive oil, avocados, and nuts are good.

But what kind of nuts, and how many?

And what about salt and potassium?

A recent article on the internet stated to “skip the fads, and focus on diet and nutrition.” Wise advice for any diet or weight maintenance program.

Food for thought. If blogs are supposed to be informative, I’m afraid I’ve raised more questions than I’ve answered.

And dinner? Tonight my daughter is having salmon and a salad. She’s skipping the low-fat brownie, though, which means there will be more for me.

Share your thoughts. Which healthy and no-so-healthy diets work best for you?


Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Joanne, I like to think moderation is key. Moderate calorie intake. Moderate exercise. Moderate amount of sleep. Sounds good in theory anyway. :-))

Mona Risk said...

Joanne, I have become an expert on healthy diets since I joined Quick Weight Loss last year and lost 30 pounds over a period of six months.

The daily program includes: drinking 10 glasses of water. Eating 2 protein (8 ounces, yes 8, of clean white chicken or veal or fish, all broiled or grilled; 4 green vegetable; 2 starch (low cal bread or no-salt crackers or cereal); one spoon of fat: light margarine or mayo; three fruits. Use only light salt and NO sugar. I was never hungry. My cholesterol dropped 100 points.

Now I am on maintainance. I can eat what I want but have to write down and count calories.

Joanne said...

Moderation is probably the best way to go. That includes moderate portions. Everything is super-sized these days.

Joanne said...

I'm not familiar with the program you describe, but it sounds a lot like Weight Watchers. It also sounds like a well-thought out and sensible diet. Congrats on the 30 lb. weight loss!

Cai said...

Well, I decided to make this my year, and that included living a healthier lifestyle. I joined Jenny Craig and Curves. I "work out" three days a week, follow the JC diet plan, have changed my eating habits and started drinking more water, and have lost 50+ pounds since January. I still have a way to go on the weight loss, but am determined to succeed. Moderation and determination to live healthier are the keys for me. Good luck to your daughter!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Mona & Cai, Congratulations on your weight loss. :)

morgan wyatt said...

I tried the low carb several years ago and dropped 27 pounds fairly easy. The catch was I put it back on because I'm not much of a meat eater. Now, I am watching my weight by eating lots of raw fruits and veggies along with fish. No big drops like the low carb diet, but I manage to stay at a healthy weight.

Does your daughter lecture you on how to eat?


morgan wyatt said...

I tried the low carb several years ago and dropped 27 pounds fairly easy. The catch was I put it back on because I'm not much of a meat eater. Now, I am watching my weight by eating lots of raw fruits and veggies along with fish. No big drops like the low carb diet, but I manage to stay at a healthy weight.

Does your daughter lecture you on how to eat?


Sheila Tenold said...

Joanne, My husband and I use the South Beach Diet in combination with the Schwarzbein Principle Cookbook. My DH’s doctor told him two years ago he had to change his lousy eating habits. I especially like having more menu choices, and they are similar in their stand on a variety of healthy food choices.
We believe in the 80-20 principle. Eighty percent of the time do the right thing so twenty percent of the time you can go a little crazy!

Anonymous said...

The best thing I do for myself is eat 3 meals a day. If I skip lunch then I snack all day. Not bad snacks, but definitely not what my body needs. And exercise is so important. I feel so much better on the days I hit the gym.

Mary Marvella said...

Good advice. My daughter believes in 6 small meals a day or 3 small meals and three snacks. She eats every 3-4 hours so she's never hungry.

I lost weight better when I just cut back than when I tried to eat on schedule.

Joanne said...

That's an amazing amount of weight to lose. Congratulations! I've heard of Jenny Craig, but am not familiar with how the diet/lifestyle works. But lots of my friends go to Curves and love it.

Joanne said...

Hi Morgan,
Actually, I lecture my daughter because I don't think a young girl as active as she is should be on a low-carb diet. She competitively swims every day, and wants to major in dance. She is at the studio for hours at a time.

Joanne said...

I purchased the South Beach diet book for my husband. I skimmed though it, and it makes lots of sense. Low carb, but also much lower in fat than Atkins.

Joanne said...

Jill and Mary,
I think that's one of the main principles behind Weight Watchers--eat steadily so you don't get so hungry that you eat everything in sight.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

We eat healthy foods and I was complimented by my doctor when I broke my arm. He couldn't believe the bone had filled in in just six weeks. My problem is lack of activity. We've had a lot of snow and frost this year in the mountains and arthritis keeps us from going out in the cold. Two days on the stationary bike and I could barely walk for a few months. Like you said, moderation and whatever works for you. We do live in a house with two staircases so that exercise helps. I find that I can concentrate a lot more on writing when I do have decent food to eat and stay away from the treats (but then is life really worth living without chocolate?) :)

Jill James said...

Paisley, there is no life without chocolate. What would be the fun of finishing a chapter or editing 100 pages without that chocolate at the goal line?

Joanne said...

Paisley and Jill,
You're right! I can't imagine life with Hershey kisses. :)

Lisa Dale said...

Eating well is so tough!

when I'm nearing a deadline, I tend to pound food--it's so tempting to keep something to nibble on at my desk!

And yet--must...resist...urge...

thanks for a great post! I can't really comment on the low-carb diet aspect of it because I've not done much research into it.

But I wish your daughter lots of good luck!


Lisa Dale

Joanne said...

Hi Lisa,
I use the reward system when I'm writing. If I write 500 words, then I treat myself to . . . you guessed it . . . Hershey kisses!