Thursday, January 31, 2013

Writing on writing.

I need to be sure to write more often.  I like to write and I'm pretty sure I have a decent voice and stuff to say.

So why don't I?

I am a bit afraid that no one will read the minutia of my mind.  However, if I don't put it out there, how will I know?  So here's what's on my mind today.

1.  There will be no CURE for cancer.  There will be personalized medicine and better approaches for sure but there is no cure and I am very bothered by all of the small organizations that "campaign" on this "WE WANT A CURE" platform.

2.  I think that scientific research is broken.  "The system" is set up to reward a small subset of people and accomlishments that aren't necessarily winning the battle against anything...and we have lost basic pure research (for no other reason than to figure out "life") in favor of translation to the clinic.  Not that translational research is a bad thing, but the days of the "-omics" are generating information at ludicrous speed and we don't know what to do with it.  At all.

3.  If everyone was in a little less of a hurry and more kind to one another, there would be less negativity in this world.  By that I mean what has happened to our sense of community as human beings?  I would love to talk to some evolutionary biologists and some anthropologists on this.  If you are one, hit me up.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Are potatoes bad?

With all of the talk of obesity, glycemic index, paleo, cholesterol, blood sugar and diabetes on this blog, you might start to get the impression that potatoes are a "never" food.

I disagree.

A nice round whole potato is not a bad thing once in a while.  If it keeps me from eating a processed bag of nonsense from the grocery store, a potato is a whole and natural alternative.

The glycemic index (GI) of a "serving" of baked russet potato is 111.  To put that in context, an average "serving" of baked sweet potato has a GI of 74 (odd huh?  We will get to that later).  For more context, the GI of a serving of hummus - containing those "bad" peas called chickpeas - has a GI of 6.  Finally, a serving of boiled spaghetti (white) has a GI of 46.

So yeah, potatoes are "bad" for blood sugar and glycemic load.  In fact, if you look at this list of GIs from a Harvard U website, they are the "worst" GI food on the list.  Shocking, no?

It's all about starch and russet potatoes are the starchiest.

So I think, in my honest opinion, regular starchy white potatoes are a "sometimes" food.  Once a week wont kill ya.  I'm pretty certain that if a caveman happened upon a white potato that he dug up, he wouldn't have said:  OH NO WAY AM I EATING THAT.  :)  Then again, he wouldn't have come across one probably, well, ever.

Sweet potatoes are an odd bird - they are lower in GI and yet taste sweet?  What gives?

What's really interesting are that aside from GI, sweet and white potatoes are virtually identical in "stats:"
     Sweet potato:  90 calories, 21 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein
     White potato:  92 calories, 21 grams of carbs, 2.3 grams of dietary fiber, 2.3 g of protein


I tried to dig deeper to see why white potatoes are taboo and sweet potatoes are "in."  Aside from the soluble fiber in sweet potato and glycemic index, they are not that different.  And the fact is that research hasn't determined whether sweet potatoes are better for us in the long run since they have come into "food vogue" quite recently.  It is certainly true that sweet pots have more antioxidants and vits/minerals.  I don't argue that.  And if you're watching your blood sugar, definitely reach for the sweet potato.    But if you're an average Joe with no health issues who is not following a prescribed diet - and if you realize that eating ANYTHING deep fried is not healthy because it increases the saturated fat and caloric density of your food - a white potato now and again is not gonna kill ya!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Balance. Stress. Organization.

These are my hopeful themes of 2013.

Step 1 - slowly reclaim my space.  I have help.  There are some great websites - most notably my ever encouraging and patient friend at GetAGrip.  I also like UFYH (which is actually a really bad name for business because who wants to go around swearing the "Eff" word when mentioning a place of business??).  Finally, good ole Flylady has some great ideas.

I took some time to declutter a few areas BEFORE putting away the new holiday stuff including my stockpile of shower stuff (shower gel I'm allergic to?  WHY am I saving that???), my drawers and hanging clothes in the closet and my daughter's huge piles of too-small clothing.  I have a mega stack to give to Goodwill and a box - one that even made it to my CAR - to ship to a friend for her daughter.

Each night I will tackle one - albeit likely very small - task designed to make my life less stressy.

What steps are you taking to find balance and destress your 2013?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On using the scale.

Do you weigh yourself regularly?  How do you measure your health if not by the scale?

It's 2013 and I refuse to begin the daily obsession with weighing myself daily.  I will weigh once a month at best.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

So its 2013.  How was your year?  I know a lot of you were with me in discovering what we can tolerate and what our food sensitivities are.  Many of us were stunned to realize that the so-called food pyramid that was taught to us in school is, in fact, not the healthiest way to eat. 

For me - its gluten and sugar.  Those two things cause inflammation, ear ringing, joint pain, and sometimes, rashes. 

What's your trigger and how will you managed your dietary restrictions this year?  Leave me a comment!