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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On My Eating Habits

adapted from May 22, 2017 Email 

When people ask if my weight loss over the past couple of years is a sign of health or otherwise, at best I have been able to mumble: “Yes I feel very healthy, and, while I'm not 'on a diet', my best guess is that diet is a key factor.” My excuse for writing is a New York Times article, “Weight Loss Flavonoids.” The article reinforces my current pattern of eating which, after evolving over a decade or so, has settled into a boring-but-much-enjoyed breakfast and lunch routine. Also important, of course, Marney's dinner menu (anything but boring) continues to evolve well in terms of the foods mentioned in the article. Exercise has held pretty constant so far in the 21st century. It complements the diet, but I can't cite it as a likely tipping-factor with weight.

Breakfast is light,
two or one piece of toast with ample olive oil, and, more often than not, a banana.

Lunch is heavy,
ample portions of: oats (usually uncooked oatmeal, sometimes cheerios), sunflower seeds, walnuts or pecans, fruit (blueberries, other berry, or dried raisins, or ...), and generic yogurt. Of late I have experimented with every once in a while tossing in some left-over-greens-or-salad. To my surprise, I like it; the flavor is usually more enhanced than harmed.

Snacks still require some discipline. Lately to our surprise, Marney and I have begun to enjoy the popping of delicious cherry tomatoes. We usually have at hand grapes, tangerines, oranges. I have a bit of trouble snacking on apples except for a couple of months in the fall. Then, there are the questionable peanuts or sometimes peanut butter, crackers and their ilk. These have decreased enough in quantity and frequency from years past to be enjoyed almost-but-not-quite free of guilt. Deserts and sweets have always had a similar status as an occasional post-dinner snack.

I find it fun to think about two factors not in the article:

Coffee.I wonder if the large quantity of coffee we drink may be a factor on one or both sides of the equation.
"The Celery Phenomenon."
Celery got brief fame as a harmless-maybe-good food that brings the body fewer calories than the body needs to digest it. Intuition tells me my body expends a lot of calories to digest my lunch. This might lessen the effect of the large number calories I take in at lunch.

I find comfort that the good parts of the boring parts of my diet (according to the article) are the parts I most enjoy and which require neither dedication nor discipline. For example, I enjoy my home-lunch so much that even if I eat a sensible midday meal somewhere else but home, I might, against my better judgement, sneak a lighter version of my home-lunch as an afternoon snack.

Good science about good diet have, indeed, influenced me. However, unfettered by rigid regimen and formulae of a named diet, I still enjoy "watching" both food science and my food habits evolve. Whether my weight creeps back up (as it could) or continues slowly down (as it might), I'll have more to think about and taste.

(c) from date of posting, by Bob Komives, Fort Collins 

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