Saturday, March 31, 2007

I'm still here...

Yikes, I haven't blogged, but no, even though some of you are wondering, I haven't overdosed on fiber! Life's been busy, Lindsay and Ryan were here for a couple of days, we've had Oreo all week, John was in Mexico, Tonia was flying, and the kennels were full for spring break. So we brought home the Granddog (cocker spaniel) after our visit with them last week in Nashville. The furkids all got along, actually, HOWEVER, Oreo taught Mags how to bark. FOR REAL, BARK!!

Maggie had been moseying along in life, giving the occasional woof, and then came Oreo, the barking wonderdog! Now Maggie thinks it's cute to bark. She barks at me, at her water bowl, at her food, she even barked at my beloved NPR when I turned on the radio. I don't think she quite has the hang of it, actually.

Of course it IS adorable, but I don't want a barky little dog. I already have Munchkin who goes ballistic whenever the doorbell rings. Maggie didn't seem to pattern Munchie, just Oreo!

And that's it, it's too pretty of a day to sit on the computer, I'm so outta here....

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Anyone want to jump on the fiber bandwagon with me -

I read the following article this morning - It's very enlightening -

A lowfat vs. a high-fiber diet: for losing weight, should I pay more attention to the fat or the fiber content of the foods I eat?

Q My favorite cereal (Cheerios) has only 3 grams of fiber per serving, and the breads I buy have only 1 gram per slice. How many fiber grams do I need per day to help with weight loss, and how many should I look for in my breads and cereals?

A The National Academy of Sciences recommends that women under 50 years old consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day for good health. Research hasn't established a precise amount of fiber that aids in weight loss, but nutritionists believe that if most people met the 25-gram-per-day recommendation, national obesity rates would probably drop. (Some studies suggest that consuming an extra 14 grams of fiber per day may cause you to eat 10 percent fewer calories and lose about 4 pounds over four months.) High-fiber diets seem to be more effective for weight loss than lowfat diets, and a review of the published studies shows that people on a diet that is both low in fat and high in fiber lose three times as much weight as those on a lowfat diet alone.

This is likely because fiber makes you feel full, so you eat less. Also, foods that are high in fiber--such as beans, vegetables and fruits--tend to be low in calories, so you can eat a greater volume of food. Think about how much more satisfying it is to eat an apple (3 grams of fiber; 80 calories) than to drink an 8-ounce glass of apple juice (no fiber; 110 calories).

The average woman consumes only about half the recommended fiber intake, so it does take vigilance to get those 25 grams. As you've found, "you really have to become a label reader," says Kathleen Zelman, R.D., a nutritionist in private practice in Atlanta. Start your day with a cereal that contains at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. "There's nothing wrong with Cheerios, but if you're trying to meet the fiber recommendation, beef it up by topping it with fresh fruit." You also could mix Cheerios with a cereal that's higher in fiber, such as Kellogg's Raisin Bran or Multi-Bran Chex (which have 7 and 8 fiber grams per serving, respectively).

Look for breads that contain at least 2 grams of fiber per slice and are labeled "whole wheat" rather than just "wheat." Many wheat breads are simply white breads dressed up with a few sprinkles of whole grains and caramel coloring. For instance, Oroweat 12 Grain Bread, which, according to the package "combines ground whole wheat, corn, rye, oats, barley and brown rice" contains just 1 gram of fiber per slice--the same as Wonder Bread.

Okay, now for my 2 cents worth -

First of all if you aren't used to fiber, the key is to introduce it GRADUALLY and drink a LOT of water. If you don't, it will turn to concrete in your intestines and you will be incredibly bloated. Trust me, it isn't pleasant. Secondly, it takes about 3-4 hours for it to pass into your intestines, so if it is going to give you gas plan your activities accordingly. Know what I mean, Vern?

Oh, one of the most horrible days of my life was the day, when not being used to fiber, I ate beans, sweet potatoes and cabbage all at one meal. OMG, I was so bloated, I thought I would die - I called Ryan (pharmacist son) and after he recovered from a fit of hysterical laughing, he told me, "Mom, you've got to go get Gas-X." Well, I hotfooted it down to the drugstore, swallowed those tablets on the way home, and the repercussions from the Gas-X were almost as bad as eating all that fiber in the first place. I have NEVER been more miserable in my entire life. Have you ever heard the song -

Beans, beans, the musical fruit.

The more you eat, the more you toot.

Truer words were never spoken, trust me... Okay, enough of that...

I'm a big fan, thanks to Ry, Lindsay and Nisha, too, of La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat Tortillas. These things are BIG - 10 inches, and give you only 80 calories and a whopping 14 grams of fiber per tortilla. I find them in the low carb section at my local Schnucks. I use them for wraps at lunchtime, sometimes put scrambled eggs and salsa in them for breakfast, and Ang gave me a great idea. Smear one with just a bit of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey, roll it envelope style, turning up the bottom edge before you start to roll, wave it for 10-15 seconds, it's really satisfying with a hot drink. Be sure and flip up the end, because that honey oozes when it gets warm, and you will have a mess! In my Weight Watcher days I used to toast these in the oven until they were crisp, top them with fat free pudding and cool whip, and eat the entire thing - great faux pie. I also used to make pizzas using them as crust, or cut in wedges and toast for chips.

I also love Fiber One Cereal - 1/2 cup serving is 59 calories and another 14 grams of fiber. If you're not a Fiber One fan, try this - sprinkle some on your salad, or mix it with your favorite cereal, or eat it my favorite way, mixed with frozen blueberries, Splenda and Vanilla Soy Milk. Those two foods alone exceed my whole daily recommended fiber intake, but I don't stop there, I also eat black beans or pinto beans daily, nuts, fruit and my beloved oatmeal I'm averaging between 40 and 50 grams a day.. Egads, I should be a twig! *sigh* middle age metabolism....

I did walk almost 2 miles this morning at Burdette Park, my favorite place in Heavensville. Oh it was glorious ladies, the ground was wet from an overnight rain, the pine trees were so fragrant, ducks were quacking, the woodpeckers were rat-a-tat-tatting the trees, the frogs were ribbeting, and the geese were swimming. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Hubby and I were walking this morning, enjoying the 70+ weather, and I'm thinking about how our lives have changed. We live in a world of well landscaped, manicured lawns, already chemically treated for weeds and dandelions, paved streets and sidewalks, so unlike the springs of my childhood.

The springs I remember were a debris laden yard, full of branches and twigs from winter storms, soggy earth, full of daffodils and uneven grasses growing in clumps, puddles of water standing about, birds singing in the cherry trees, and my beloved ditch framed with blooming dogwood and redbud trees. The bright yellow forsythia would be a riot of color on it's banks, and the dead grasses that lined it would not yet be covered with summer's leafing vines.

The fields that surrounded us would be green now with winter wheat, and Mother's garden would have winter onions almost ready to eat. The lettuce and radish seeds would long ago have sprouted, having been thrown on the snow in February, because she knew from years of experience to put them down early for leaf lettuce ready to eat by Easter. And I'm also thinking that I much prefer the old way, the way spring was intended to be, with our rough, uncultured yard full of nature's bounty.

I'm just being nostalgic, I know, but the long ago country smells of spring, and the harsh visual remembrances of it are are really intense, this early spring morning in Heavensville...

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