W.O.W. TRENDING TUESDAY 09/08/15

“Trending” – Every time we turn around there is some other diet that will give us our dream body, some food we simply MUST avoid, or some piece of equipment we MUST buy… stay on top of what’s trending and get tips for thinking critically about marketing ploys.

__________________________________________________________

It’s time for college football!

Well, I suppose it’s time for NFL as well…but I don’t care for the NFL, and this is my blog, so … 🙂

Listen, whether you like to sink you dollars into the terribly corrupt non-profit known as the NFL, or whether you prefer to invest your Alma Mater spirit in the  [likely corrupt, but who is counting] good-natured-still-playing-for the-sake-of-playing game of pigskin heralded by those hopeful collegiate players, is really neither here nor there.

I’m not here to change your mind about  football, what I am here to do is make sure you are aware that whether YOUR TEAM wins or loses, you will be getting hosed if you buy into the marketing ploys surrounding this beloved time of year.

And which marketing ploys are those?

You know the ones…

“Buy one pizza, get one for a nickel!”

What a deal! That’s like getting an extra 1000 calories and gaining weight without trying! Jackpot!

“Buy a bucket of chicken and get two 2-liters of soda for free!” 

Hang on, a ‘bucket’ – anything that comes in Size: ‘Bucket’ should be a clue it may be more suited for farm animals than the svelte self we are aiming for, no? And let me assure you that there is nothing “Free” about soda. Unless of course you are trying to save money on cleaning supplies. And also trying to keep your dentist in business and waste your money at the gym…

There’s a better way.

Whether you are a guest or a host, spend some extra time with your friends making some amazing dishes.  You can cook while you are watching Game Day and build some great memories in the meantime. Oh- and- losers do dishes.

Need some ideas on what to make? There are almost 30 amazing recipes to choose from HERE. Everything from simple Guacamole to Poblano-Turkey Sausage Chili, to Creole Deviled Eggs. There’s a little something for everyone.

And of course, free or not, soda is not even the true drink of choice during football season – BEER reigns supreme!

And so does the marketing.

Per serving, even the lightest beer has more calories [and usually more carbs] than it’s alcohol equivalent in liquor or wine.

Obviously, the key word there is, “per serving”.

And also “alcohol equivalent”.

Just as a quick reference, a serving is as follows:

1 beer [12 oz]

1 glass of wine [5 oz]

1 drink of liquor [1. 5 oz]

Both wine and standard liquors/spirits [i.e. Vodka, Run, Whiskey, Tequila, and Gin] have about 100 calories per serving and unless you are drinking very sweet white wine or cotton candy Vodka, you can keep your sugars low.

Beer is a whole other game. Check out the pyramid below to see where your favorite brand stacks up!

Print

Now, I know what you are thinking …some of the beers near the top of pyramid show as having less than 100 calories. Yes… but look at the corresponding percentages… 2.3% ? Here is where that notion of alcoholic equivalence [new vocabulary word!] comes into play:

You would have to drink at LEAST 2-3 of those >100 calories beers in order to feel as good as a glass of wine. At which point you have surpassed the calories in the wine.

For the record, I am as equally biased towards wine as I am towards college football.

Nonetheless, I am also biased towards getting you towards your health goals and not giving up everything you love!

Until next time,

Stay Well and Root for the Clemson Tigers,

Miss Fit

 

 

beer pyramid c/o thehealthydrinker.com

When More is Less: Understanding Our Roots

As you may have picked up on in my last poetic entry, I am a fan of slowing down a bit and evaluating sweeping culture movements before joining the bandwagon.Unless of course big hair and overalls really do may a comeback. Then consider my Soul SOLD.

Seriously though, more and more, we are hearing evidence to support that we have championed Convenience in the name of quality and ultimately done our cocky millennial Selfies a wee bit of a disservice.

Maybe just maybe, we ought to make time to remember where we come from – our Roots, as it were;  in this case, the roots of those fruits and veggies you are eating…

An interesting thing happens when you start to pay attention to where your food comes from – you realize you really are what you eat.

Us humans… we are part of an ecosystem, you know.

care of pachamama.org

care of pachamama.org

I know, I know – “but we have opposable thumbs and I’m pretty sure cloned someone and the government just isn’t telling us…Doesn’t that mean we are at the top of the food chain?”

Yes.

Possibly.

And Um… Probably not the best time to answer that last one.

At the risk of going on a hugely taboo tangent, let’s get one thing strait:

We homo sapien sapiens are just part of the lifecycle – an incredible, beautiful, capable, yet woefully fragile lifecycle.

But listen, I’m going to level with you.

Life a profit-hungry farmer levels some more trees for space to grow cheap corn and feed our livestock – I am going to level with you:

Our fruits and veggies are not as nutrient-dense as they were 50 years ago.

And while there may be a few non-human related environmental factors contributing to that. There are a lot of human contributions as well – and let’s face it – those are the only ones we can do much about.

Let’s take broccoli for example.

care of myjudythefoodie.com

care of myjudythefoodie.com

Everyone LOVES BROCCOLI – am I right?

MMMMM that delightfully crunchy, green cruciferous vegetable that makes your breathe smell slightly foul and sheds what I am convinced are thousands of “broccoli balls” when cut and cleaned…what’s not to love?

We all know we should eat more broccoli.

After all it IS jammed packed with potassium, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and dietary fiber, while remaining epically low in calories, sodium, and fat [unless you pour Velveeta all over it NOT RECOMMENDED]

What if I told you that you actually have to eat twice as much broccoli as you thought you did to reap the benefits of broccoli heads harvested back in 1963?

What??

Those Flower Children got WOODSTOCK, the BEATLES, and nutrient-dense broccoli???

Tragedy.

Truly.

Ok, allow me to explain, because I know all the vegans out there are having a meltdown at the thought of their sole food source – plants – being bastardized at the hand of SUPPOSEDLY organic farmers. Hell, I’m not vegan and I’m, shall we say, perturbed.

Allow me one more, brief metaphor before I get into the nitty, gritty details:

Let’s start with a nice, neutral global imperative: People ruin everything cool.

I mean, there’s that place – you know the one – it’s cool, it’s quaint, it’s got killer food and great views, and leaves you with a tab that won’t break the bank.

And then Oprah© finds out about it or that crazy foodie with 9, 456 friends on YELP © Shares, and Pins, and Likes it all over social media and suddenly everyone and their mother knows about your little gem, people go in droves, food quality goes down and prices goes up all in perfect unison with that little Econ 101 catch phrase: Supply and Demand. Which also happens to be a title of a song by the remarkable artist Amos Lee [some of you will appreciate this reference]

Now, let’s see how this applies to our food.

As many of us know, our livestock and poultry are pumped full of antibiotics and steroids to grow bigger and faster and ward off infection, right?

care of motherearthnews.com

care of motherearthnews.com

But why is this?

Well, it’s because the faster the meat source can grow, and the fleshier it can be, the quicker ol’ Bessie can be DOA at the closest butcher shop and the quicker she can turn into a ROI for the farmer.

Is this the farmer’s fault? Well I suppose, but he is only catering to his “Gimme Gimme” customers – afterall, don’t we all love our big, meaty, IN-EXPENSIVE, meat? We must. Or Walmart © would not be the behemoth that it is.

We are a people who demand quality at the most inexpensive prices.

But there is another side to that coin – the producers, and they also want to keep money in their pockets, same as you. The difference is that they can control the quality. Most unsuspecting consumers remain just that – unsuspecting.

Well start suspecting.

We all want brilliantly green apples and perfectly rounded and shiny red tomatoes, right?

Sadly, those perfections are often engineered. Think of it like the airbrushed models in beauty magazines. Don’t get me wrong, Nature is perfect, but generally not in the symmetrical, replicated sense. Look for produce that looks real.

Yes, it might even have some dirt on it. That’s why god gave us water. And a little lemon juice and salt. Rinse those suckers right off.

Also, if your fruits and veggies do not ripen almost completely within the first few days of purchasing them, chances are they could be high in chemicals and low in nutrition.

What exactly is happening that is rendering these poor plants so stripped of their natural goodness?

Among other things – Tilling.

care of commons.wikimedia.org

care of commons.wikimedia.org

The detriments of Tilling have been calculated in numerous studies – all concluding some variation of what Daniel Marano, food writer of Ann Arbor Michigan, reports, “Tilling soil is equivalent to stripping your gut of good bacteria by depriving it of fiber-rich whole foods and [simultaneously] overusing antibiotics”.

With each annual tilling, disking, and plowing, the integrity of the soil is chipped away at.

Remember, soil houses its own ecosystem – millions of fungi, bacteria, and other microscopic critters that break down nutrients and increase availability of said nutrients to plants, a process known as Bioavailability.

Anything that impedes the process of bioavailability, is going to impact the consumer’s nutritional intake. Simply put, if the nutrients are either missing or eroded from the soil due to over-tilling and chemical fertilizers, they simply aren’t going to be available to feed the root system of the plants and, consequently, the fruit the plant yields will have markedly less.

This can even be the case in your organic fruits and veggies.

The reason being is that, while it is getting a bit better over time, the rules and regulations for how and when a segment of farmland can start declaring “Organic” produce is still somewhat lax. Just because a farmer STARTS “going” organic with soil management techniques doesn’t mean that he or she is doing so on freshly renewed soil. Yesterday they were using pesticides, today they aren’t – ok great – but those pesticides and the chemicals that comprise them stay within the soil deep down and will leech in to new crops for an unknown period of time.

The ideal situation is that farmers simply won’t till their land, but will allow their crops to die off on their own accord; this decomposition process actually acts as a protective barrier over the soil, helping it retain vital carbon, water, and nutrients. With this protective shield, the soil can start regaining its integrity right away. And even just a 1% increase in integrity has been shown to correlate to the soil’s increasing capability to retain H2O– up to 20, 000 gallons per acre. So not only can you reduce carbon emits by having it reabsorbed into the soil, but you can increase nutritional content of the plants you produce, and save the Whales some water.

Win-Win-Win.

Okay.

I’m sure that all seems fascinating, but hugely overwhelming at the same time.

How in the Hell are you supposed to know what level of tilling your produce has undergone?

We as the consumers don’t know unless we ask.

The folks who are growing your food and harvesting it DO know the answer. All the more reason to buy local and at farmer’s markets, where those folks are readily available to talk to you.

Keep in mind too, even with their diminished nutritional content, those leafy greens and crispy apples and peaches are still a better choice than the processed cookies and pies.

care of dietmotion.com

care of dietmotion.com

 

Lastly, it’s worth noting that there is a reason that Cheap and Inexpensive are synonyms.

Make sure you are aren’t compromising for more than you bargained.

So to speak.

 

Until Next time,

Stay Well,

Miss Fit

 

That Day You Missed in Psych 101

Sigmund Freud

Ivan Pavlov

B.F. Skinner

Jean Piaget

Carl Rogers

Erik Erikson

 

Some of these names look familiar? If you are one of the millions of people that have ever sat through a Psych 101 course, a few of these names should jump out.

Whether you soaked up every mind-behavior connection morsel like a sponge, avoided the inner workings of the brain like the plague, or operated on some kind of general apathy continuum towards the “Soft Sciences” – I promise you all missed a day.

It’s a shame too…because that was the day where they told you the secret to meeting your health goals and maintaining lifelong weight control.

[?!?!?!!?!?!??!?!?!!?!??!?!!?!?]

Too bad.

Oh Miss Fit, how you tease…

Surely you jest…

Do I?

Well I certainly talk in third-person every now and again so I suppose that’s possible.

But really. You seriously missed an important day.

Lucky for you, I hunted down the information and am prepared to give it to you right here on the internet [thank you, Al Gore] in the comfort of your own home or mobile device.

Which means the following items will hopefully NOT be needed:

1. A time machine

2. A book bag

3. Scented spray

[because somehow you always end up next to the smelly kid in class; honestly this problem should have ended in 3rd grade MAX, how it still happens into college is truly mind-boggling…Freudian? Perhaps that was the day *I* missed inI Psych 101…]

4. Sunglasses

[to hide your Hangover; feel free to read this hung over in your birthday suit for all I care]

 

Additionally, feel free to eat noisily, play music, take a Selfie, and text while reading this article.

Ok, ground rules established – Moving right along then.

 

Lewis Goldberg circa 1980.

Lewis and a few of his cronies are the ones credited with developing the Factor Five Model, often better known as the Big Five – specifically The Big Five Personality Test.

The Factor Five Model is the best accepted and most commonly used model of personality in academic human psychology. It focuses on five measures of human personality – Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, Openness, and Extraversion [sometimes the acronym CANOE is used] and uses test question responses to place people on a continuum for each of these measures and paint an overall picture of natural disposition.

What does all this have to do with weight loss?

Hang in there. Take another Selfie. Get a few Facebook Likes in and stick with me.

Let’s chat for a quick minute about CANOE.

Or I suppose you could use OCEAN.

Probably just don’t take your canoe into the ocean… Miss Fit is not responsible for any items or persons damaged in the attempt to test that theory.

Conscientiousness: reflects how careful and orderly an individual is. Conscientious individuals are generally hard working and reliable. When taken to an extreme, they may also be “workaholics”, perfectionists, and compulsive in their behavior. People who score low on conscientiousness tend to be more laid back, less goal-oriented, and less driven by success; they also are more likely to engage in antisocial and criminal behavior.

Agreeableness: reflects how much you like and try to please others. People who score high on this dimension tend to believe that most people are honest, decent, and trustworthy. People scoring low are generally less concerned with others’ well-being and report having less empathy. Therefore, these individuals are less likely to go out of their way to help others. Low agreeableness is often characterized by skepticism about other people’s motives, resulting in suspicion and unfriendliness. People very low on agreeableness have a tendency to be manipulative in social relationships and more likely to compete than to cooperate.

Neuroticism: the tendency to experience negative emotions. Individuals who score high on neuroticism are more likely than the average to experience such feelings as anxiety, anger, envy, guilt, and depressed mood. They respond more poorly to stressors, and are more likely to interpret ordinary situations as threatening, and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult. They are often self-conscious and shy, and they may have trouble controlling urges and delaying gratification [aka impulsivity]. Neuroticism is a risk factor for the “internalizing” mental disorders such as phobia, depression, panic disorder, and other anxiety disorders, all of which are traditionally called “neuroses”.

Openness: simply, reflects how much you seek out new experiences

Extraversion: reflects how much you are oriented towards things outside yourself and derive satisfaction from interacting with other people. High scorers are said to be “extroverts” while low scorers are said to be “introverts”. Introverts will tend to become tired out by socialization, while Extroverts will be energized by it. Introverts value down time while Extroverts value stimulation.

Please note, the above are merely brief explanations. They are by no means a complete analysis of a personality type and most certainly not to be used for diagnosing your friend, family, and significant others…or is it…

Ok well that is for you to decide. But in the meantime, let’s carry on.

I want to share two studies with you that I came across recently.

The first article was from Dr Jokela and colleagues featured in the Obesity Review journal in April 2013. The article captured some hard truths and shared them openly:

Generally, obesity treatments have poor long-term maintenance. To date, relatively little is known about factors that explain individual differences in long-term obesity risk or the likelihood of relapse in weight [gain]. Psychological dispositions, indicated by measures of personality, have been implicated in obesity risk…”

The study utilized 80,000 participants across the USA, UK, Germany, and Australia and assessed for CANOE traits using the Factor Five testing method. The data collected revealed that the Conscientiousness trait was closely linked to the persistence of obesity. Their findings read:

“Individuals with High Conscientiousness are described as self-disciplined, task-oriented and well organized, whereas Low Conscientiousness is characterized by poor self-control, impulsivity and lack of long-term planning…Compared to individuals with Low Conscientiousness, individuals with High Conscientiousness have almost 40 percent lower odds of being obese. Evaluating degree of conscientiousness may help in individualized obesity prevention and treatment strategies”.

The second was an article written describing the work at the National Institute of Aging led by Neuroscientist Angelina Sutin.

Not to be confused with Angelina Jolie. One is a Neuroscientist and one is currently at the Box Office masquerading as Malficent.

Dr Sutin and her colleagues also found heavy correlations between CANOE scores and weight loss success/maintenance. The most dramatic finding of theirs was twofold: [1] Scoring in the top 10% [or the “90% percentile”] for Neuroticism and [2] Scoring low [bottom 30%] for Conscientiousness was correlated to an average of 22lbs of excess weight in the person over his/her lifetime.

Additionally, those high in Neuroticism and Low in Conscientiousness [must present with both for their findings to be valid] tended to be the most frequent participants in the Yo-Yo dieting cycle.

Why might this be?

Yo-Yo-Diet

property of bradfitzpatrick.com

If you look back at the definitions above it can begin to take shape… High in Neuroticism tends to mean Impulsivity…someone who is Impulsive often has trouble planning ahead [food prep, etc] and resisting temptations [swing by fast food, eat the office donuts, etc] but also someone who can practice very strict, controlled behaviors at times. This matrix of self-discipline and the consequent lack thereof is the hallmark of Yo-Yo dieting.

The other part of the equation – Low on Conscientiousness – makes sense as well. Again, referring to the above definition, it tends to be the more laid back, less goal-oriented folks at baseline, so sticking to a plan and seeing it through hard times requires a lot more effort and consistent hard work than they may be willing [or able] to exert. This then makes it additionally frustrating for the individual to meet goals they may speak of but lack the due diligence to carry out, creating a gap between the life they say they want and the life they have. Which then can jump start the feelings of Neuroses…and the cycle starts all over again.

Gah!

stop-yo-yo-dieting

property of healthyhabitsolutions.com

So is there any hope?

There is.

But you have to be willing to consider fitness solutions outside of the standard “programs” [ I wont mention any names here…but um.. no the Shake Weights are probably not going to be the answer…]

Dr Sutin sums it up well when she says,

“Weight Loss programs ought to be designed around personality types”… “Buying healthy groceries, having set mealtimes, and planning ahead all help significantly with weight management but these are the exact kinds of tasks [Impulsive] people struggle with”.

 

She’s right!

And THAT misfits is what Fit4Life is all about.

It’s not just about an exercise program or a gluten-free bagel. It’s about understanding the whole picture and learning what your unique set of strengths and barriers is. I know we focused on the personality types that may struggle additionally with weight management, but there are personality traits that actually work much towards your advantage. It’s about capitalizing on the strengths and working through the weaknesses.

Curious to see where you fall in the CANOE?

Comment below or contact direct at write.with.ms@gmail.com and I would be happy to get you connected with a test and work through the results with you.

OH- and in case you were wondering…Yes… I’ve taken the test… and the results may surprise you …