Hi and welcome...
I'm sorry I didn't see your question sooner... We're all here to support each other. What type of support would you like to have and do you have a particular area of expertise, such as diet, exercise, etc?
You can tell us something about yourself as an introduction and we can go from there...
Hi! (both to Barb and the poster!). I'm on my never ending quest to lose a little and keep it off for the sake of my health. I'm not a spring chicken and have blood pressure that wants to creep up. I lost several pounds a couple of years ago and kept some off but gained some back. Early fall I started working out regularly and this does seem to really help. But it's good to have people you talk to and bounce ideas off with so count me in if we are doing that here! :>)
Hi Specialmom, long time, no see and welcome back... bouncing things off each other is exactly what we're doing here...
I'm always on a quest to lose weight, but it's more than "a few" pounds and I've been at it for the past 10 yrs... Neither am I spring chicken - I'm really an old hen, compared to most...lol but I don't give up, because I don't think age has a lot to do with it, since I got way all the way through my 50's and long past menopause before I gained weight. I think I'd have been okay, if my thyroid hadn't stopped working. Once that happened, it's been a downhill battle because of poor treatment and other medical issues that have arisen since then - insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome...
My journey has been a long, frustrating one, so I'll spare the details (lol), but lack of support always ends up being a big factor for me, so motivation ends up going by the wayside.
My naturopathic doctor wants me on a gluten, dairy, soy and sugar free diet... I started it back in July and did relatively well for several months. Unfortunately, I didn't lose any weight, but it did bring my cholesterol and triglyceride levels back into normal ranges again, so that's a good thing...
I don't like the term "diet", because your diet is simply what you eat, whether it's good, bad or indifferent. That said, of all the eating plans I've ever tried, I lost the most weight by adding more fresh/frozen veggies and healthy fats, such as olive and coconut oils, butter, full fat dairy, fresh meats, etc. I did that 2 yrs ago, when I had adequate thyroid hormone levels and managed to lose 26 lbs. I'm getting about ready to transition back to that plan again.
Ah, thanks for the welcome back. I know, I've been MIA. Here but in my own bubble. Missed ya.
Okay, so I wrote about this on the exercise forum (because I post there some times)--- I listened to a program that was really interesting. They brought up a concept that is a new spin on an old idea. You know the old "don't eat after 7" stuff? Well, the doctor called this -- intermittent fasting--. More purposeful holding off of food with several studies supporting good results. Things like if you are diabetic or on the diabetic bubble, numbers improving with fasting at least 12 hours a day (so from 8 pm to 8 am, for example). It gives the pancreas a break. And for those who need more of a bump, they go to up to 16 hours. The doctor said that people have an easier time because much of it happens when they are sleeping and the longer they go without eating, the bigger medical benefit. I know I can get low blood sugar and feel nauseated and wake up this way, so I'd have to start my time earlier on the front end rather than waiting long periods after I get up. But they talked about weight loss and control with this. That it is simply more difficult to consume calories in 8 hours than in the usual 12 plus that people usually have in their eating window. The smaller eating window is an advantage to changes and control in weight. This doctor said she had more patient compliance with the intermittent fasting approach than diets. Sharing ideas. :>)
I know, it's always a struggle. And one little thing happens and we are out for things like exercise. I hurt my calf . . . I was trying to go for a walk limping. And as I get older, the injuries start to rack up. I know you have foot pain/issues which can impact things.
I also have read from several sources that 30 minutes a day, most days is impactful and it doesn't have to be done at once. 10 minutes each time at a minimum though. And any activity counts as long as your heart rate increases. We don't have to kill ourselves with doing back flips trying to exercise.
Anyway, I'm glad to be part of the discussion here!
Just want to say, friends are people you are physically present with. On the internet we are somewhat acquainted, but can't ever truly be friends because we spend no actual time together. We can help one another and share ideas so we get different opinions than the ones we are sometimes stuck with through inertia, but if you want friends, you need to meet people where you live and actually be with them. These will be true friends and when you're feeling low or need motivation you can actually see them in person. I can attest to the difference, because I'm someone who moved across the country and developed an anxiety disorder far from my true friends and family, and no amount of internet chatter will ever replace what I lost. As for the help we can give here, I'll give an example. Barb tells us coconut oil, butter, and whole milk are "healthy" fats, but that's actually not true according to nutritionists. It is true according to the people who sell products containing those things. Because all of those are extremely high in saturated fat, and because dairy is very hard to digest for any animal past weaning, these should only be consumed in small amounts. The coconut fad comes from people misunderstanding the studies -- at one time coconut was a huge no-no, but then became not a big no-no because it contains a very large amount of beneficial antioxidants which counteracts some of the negative effects of consuming it. However, it's still really really high in saturated fat and hard to digest calories because of that. The same misunderstanding happened with butter -- a study came out that found it wasn't as bad for you as prior studies showed, but the authors of that study were forced to appear on every program they could and do interviews to counter the misleading headlines that came out saying it's okay to eat a lot of butter again. Wasn't what they found -- they only found it wasn't as bad as people said, but the authors in their study cautioned that it should only be eaten in very small quantities on occasion because it was still too high in harmful saturated animal fat. Extra virgin olive oil is a better choice, and they also encourage canola oil, though you have to be careful to use organic canola as the rest is genetically modified. Some do not like canola, so everyone can make their own choices. So you see, Barb and I have now offered completely contrary opinions, and that allows both of us to think about what we thought we knew. That's how we help on here, but it's not the same as having a friend. I will also say that age is a big factor -- injuries pile up over the years until you just can't do anything you used to do without risking injury. What nobody tells you when you're young is that heavy exercise leads to strain on the joints and muscles over the years, that testosterone levels drop, etc. It's important when young to learn how to exercise properly and not to overdo it unless you're getting paid huge sums of money to do so as pro athletes are. Otherwise, you will feel it as you age, and then you either just do it anyway and endure the pain or change how you exercise so it's more gentle, in which case you don't get the same burn. See? More differences that we can think about and make up our own minds about. This is the internet, but again, it isn't what we get from friends.
I try not to be controversial, as well, but I have to agree with Specialmom about the friends thing. As she said, we've been together, here, on MH for many years and we've shared a lot personal information. I consider her a friend and I'm honored to know that she feels the same about me, even though we've never met.
As she said, I've met people on MH that I have genuine affection for and I've even gone out of my way to travel across the country to meet some of them and some of them have been here to meet me. If I get a chance to have lunch or dinner with Specialmom, I'll jump at it... :-)
That said, it's nice to have friends close by that you can meet for lunch, go walking/exercising with or whatever, you're going to do, but since I retired from my job, I don't get out like I used to, so I really don't have a lot of friends and I'm thousands of miles from my family, so I enjoy and rely on the friendships I've made here... I have one "walking partner" that's here for part of the year and she helps keep me motivated, but when she's not here, I'm on my own and the motivation just isn't always there because my husband tends to make things sort of difficult when it comes to sticking with an eating and exercise plan, so it would be nice to have people here to help out.
I, too, like to talk and write and I like to see a variety of opinions. We all have them and what works for one, might not work for someone else. This is our way learning from, and connecting with, each other. After I see a few posts from one person, I come feel that I'm getting to know them a little bit and begin to feel an association...
For every study one person posts showing that something is healthy and works for weight loss, someone else can find a study saying it's unhealthy and doesn't work. Even something that worked for me last year might not work this year, because our bodies are constantly changing, as is our metabolism.
I don't really think an explanation is necessary, for those of us, here, but I'll do it for any new comers that might read this. When I say olive, coconut oil, butter, full fat dairy are "healthier" fats, I mean they are healthier than the transfats and hydrogenated or vegetable oils that are in most processed foods. Full fat dairy is "healthier" than low/no fat dairy, because when they take out the fat, they add sugar to make up for the flavor they take away when they remove the fat. If they didn't, you'd be drinking white water and nobody would buy it; skim milk isn't much better than that, as it is. When you consume the full fat products, it's more filling, so you don't have to eat as much, it stays with you longer so you don't get hungry as quickly, plus you're not increasing blood glucose levels nearly as much as when you eat the low/no fat versions that are chock full of sugar... That's, basically, how I lost 26 lbs over a short period of time - because, even though I was eating more fat, I was eating fewer calories over the course of the day...
None of us are doctors, here, and we have our own experiences, along with those of the people we've known to go by, plus research we do. We know that every article we read is going to tell us something different and what one site said today, may change tomorrow, because studies have found conflicting evidence. We, also, know that certain medical conditions will affect our metabolism and make losing weight much more difficult, if not impossible, as will things that affect our ability to exercise.
I've never claimed to be an expert; all we can do is put out things we've read about or tried, what's worked or hasn't and make suggestions. I want to know what others try, what works, why this might or not work or why this works better than that, etc.
Here's an excerpt from article about fat vs sugar in milk from 2015:
"Several prominent nutrition researchers, including Walter Willett, who is known for his ongoing, long term health studies, and David Ludwig, who like Willett teaches at the Harvard School of Public Health, have been questioning dietary guidelines that promote low-fat and skim milk over whole milk. Often, flavorings such as chocolate and strawberry and sugars are added to low-fat and skim milk to make up for the loss of taste when the fat is removed. In those cases, the sugar content can increase by as much as 14g per cup. Studies are increasingly indicating that sugar can lead to heart disease and other health problems, even in individuals who are not overweight."
Note: "flavorings such as chocolate and strawberry or sugars are added to low-fat and skim milk to make up for the loss of taste when the fat is removed..."
By the way, I was raised on a farm, where we milked our own cows and separated our cream from the milk. The cream was used to make butter (which we did ourselves) or whipped cream or in place of milk on our cereal, etc. But before the days of automatic separators, we had to do the separation by hand and it was impossible to get all the cream, so there was plenty of fat left in the milk to it flavor. The milk we didn't need for our own use was taken in milk cans to the nearest processor and sold. The milk was neither homogenized, nor pasteurized; none of us ever had weight or health problems from consuming the raw, full fat milk/cream or the products, such as butter, cottage cheese, etc that we produced from it.
I'm aware that trans fats are "supposed" to be banned, however, there are still plenty of products in which they can be found, such as cakes, cookies, breads, crackers, etc.
Studies have shown that saturated fats aren't the villains they've been made out, for years, to be.
According to Harvard Health: "But what's interesting about coconut oil is that it also gives "good" HDL cholesterol a boost. Fat in the diet, whether it's saturated or unsaturated, tends to nudge HDL levels up, but coconut oil seems to be especially potent at doing so.
Saturated fat is divided into various types, based on the number of carbon atoms in the molecule, and about half of the saturated fat in coconut oil is the 12-carbon variety, called lauric acid. That is a higher percentage than in most other oils, and is probably responsible for the unusual HDL effects of coconut oil. But plant-based oils are more than just fats. They contain many antioxidants and other substances, so their overall effects on health can't be predicted just by the changes in LDL and HDL."
As you say Paxiled, "Just goes to show, you always have to dig in to learn anything, and even then you usually end up in a medical and nutrition world with tons of information and almost no consensus on what's true." You're so right... We have to dig and dig and as has already been noted - for every article I find saying something is healthy, you can find one saying it isn't... there is no agreement, because none of us fits into the same little box and every study comes up with conflicting evidenc. All we can do is share what we believe to be right and true and/or what worked for us. I've even had my doctor(s) put me on diets that made me worse off than I was when I started, so even they don't know...
A high fat diet may not be right (or advisable) for everyone and I'd certainly suggest talking to your doctor before trying it. Of course, most doctors, including mine, would advise against it, but there are definitely health issues that could be worsened by adding too much fat to the diet...
Wow - I'm not sure you read what I wrote. I have no idea how you figure that I confirmed everything you said, but if you want to believe that, that's fine...
""flavorings such as chocolate and strawberry OR SUGARS are added to low-fat and skim milk to make up for the loss of taste when the fat is removed..."
I'd also like to point out that I did not grow up on "a dairy farm", so this is not an "emotional issue" for me... I grew up on a farm and we happened to have cattle from which we extracted milk that we used to make other products. We also raised their calves, raised beef cattle (different from dairy cattle) from which we did not extract milk (we only raised them for the meat). We, also, raised hogs and chickens, sometimes geese, along with corn, soybeans, oats, wheat and of course a large garden that included tomatoes, potatoes (both white and sweet), beans of various types, onions, turnips, rutabagas, melons, cucumbers and other veggies. This was back in the 50's and 60's before confinement feeding and widespread use of chemicals, so food was actually healthier than it is today. We, literally, "ate the rainbow", as they say we should do. We picked asparagus that grew wild in the road ditches, plums that grew along the edges of fields, we had a couple of apple trees... etc
You're certainly right that this forum is for everyone and everyone must decide how to feed themselves. All we do is present information as we see it - and yes, there is an abundance of evidence that changes, almost on a daily basis. Whatever one chooses to eat, should, most likely be done on a moderate basis, since anything that's overdone can be bad for us.
"the 50's and 60's were the absolute height of harmful chemicals being used in agriculture, not a low point." Not where I came from... Nor did we have "Salespeople used to come to the farms and drink the stuff to show how "safe" these chemicals were". Some people used DDT, which we all know was banned in the 70's. I don't remember my dad using it, but he very well may have.
Nor did we have confinement centers in our part of the country in the 50's, for sure; in the area I grew up, there weren't confinement operations until the 70's. Where my husband grew up, there were a few getting started in the late 60's, but they were small operations and most people were against them. Even then, they weren't true "confinement" operations; they were "feed lots" in which cattle or hogs were kept. They weren't kept in the confinement buildings until later - like late 70's/80's and that was mostly hogs, which is still done today. When chickens got started in the area, it was horrible, because they packed them into the buildings like sardines in a can. We didn't have any of those in our area until the late 80's and people really didn't like those (myself included). I don't buy meat/chicken that I know was raised in confinement, fed grains, etc that is full of chemicals.
I'm sorry about your mother. That's very difficult. My own mother died young, but not from cancer.
I understand that you've been in the health food business most of your life and don't believe that anyone would put sugar in milk to make it taste better. I've personally, never seen it happen, but I've read several articles, saying it does, so I can only assume that in some cases it might. I totally agree that if people are drinking milk, they really need to read labels and make sure they know, both, the sugar and fat content of the milk they're buying. Personally, I'd opt for some extra fat over the sugar, since studies have shown that saturated fat isn't the villain it was once thought, but that's just me.
Of course, as already noted, moderation is the key... we'd not expect anyone to make milk, coconut oil, etc the center of their meals. I think we can agree that vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds would be center of a healthy meal, though I, personally, limit my fruits because of the fructose (sugar) content.
It's probably important to note that what you might have been doing on a research basis wasn't actually taking place in every day life, all over the country, and California was ahead of other parts of the country in a number of things. Aside from growing up on a farm, my husband I also operated a farm for a number of years, after we were married. During "that" time, chemicals were much more prevalent than they had been when I was growing up. I was quite leery of them, as my father-in-law was burned quite badly, at one time, by a chemical spill on the farm.
I did work in the Environmental sector for more than 20 yrs, and I do realize that EPA was established during the Nixon era. The Clean Water Act wasn't even passed until 1972, but has been expanded on several times. Now, I fear that it will be set back and some areas will no longer have clean water.
I agree that cow's milk is best, when it's fresh and preferably ice cold, though I've drank it many times straight from the cow, as a child.
I don't do soy of any kind... I grew up being taught that soy is hog feed and I've never acquired a taste for it, even though it's touted as "good for us". It's also considered a goitrogen and as a thyroid patient is on my list of "do not eat" foods. It's one of the few things I'm adamant about not eating, though I will eat other goitrogens because I feel that their dietary value outweighs the harm they might do, since my thyroid no longer works anyway, as long as they aren't eaten in excess.
At this particular time, my naturopathic doctor has me on a diet that's as wheat, dairy, sugar and soy free as I can get. Of course, the soy is not an issue, as noted above; the others are a bit more difficult, as I'm sure you can imagine. I've also recently been handed a special diet to help control kidney stones, which eliminates a lot of vegetables, so I'm learning to eat all over again...
I've never tried goat's milk and it's not readily available in my area, though goat cheese is. For milk, when I feel I need it, I'm experimenting with almond milk, but that doesn't go well in some foods. I do use some coconut milk, but again, we have that "fat factor" so I don't use a lot of it, since I use some coconut oil, as well.
I don't think we disagree on the basic principles... :-)
I'm not crazy about almond milk, either, but so far it's better than the others I've tried. I'll use coconut milk in a smoothie or something, but there's just something about that coconut taste in my scalloped potatoes that turns me off... :-) Both almond milk and coconut milk work well in hot chocolate, which is now supposed to be off my list of things to drink, since chocolate is now a no-no. Again, though, coconut flavored hot chocolate just doesn't really do it for me... lol
Thank you... you're right - kidney stones are the least fun of any of the medical issues I've ever had so far. If you've heard that passing a kidney stone is more painful than giving birth, believe it. I've done both and I'd prefer to give birth any day... :-) The kidney diet is the hardest to adhere to because it removes a lot of the veggies we hear that we really need to eat because they're the healthiest like beets, spinach, kale, chard, celery, summer squash, nuts and a whole lot more, including soy. That makes soy, not only a goitrogen, but also high in oxalates.
Oddly, the kidney diet leaves things like potatoes, macaroni, rice, noodles, mayonaise, salad dressing, sugar/sweeteners, etc... all the things that aren't good for us!! Of course, it also leaves a few fruits and some veggies like avocado, cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, peas, radishes and of course, meat, eggs, dairy, etc.
Hi there! Many of us are friends here. If someone doesn't believe in the friends concept here, they truly don't understand that MH might be only interaction a person might have. Barb and Special Mom are the best people to have answered you. Welcome!