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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Part of my therapy the past two years has been to focus on food and learning about what entails healthy eating so my body will be ready when my mind finally catches up. As part of that journey I have kept a spreadsheet that has gradually grown into a personal tracker for my macro nutrients (protein, fat, carbs) as well as fiber and sodium in an attempt to restrict the bad things and increase the good ones. I have used several online utilities to collect a listing of common foods so that I can just cut and paste from the main list to my daily tabs. This past year I added a summary tab that feeds from the daily sheets so I could track by week, thinking that a weekly average would be a better assessment of my eating habits. After reading The China Study and Dr. Fuhrman's Eat to Live I also added formulas to calculate the percentages of proteins, fats & carbs so that I could start to lean away from the SAD (standard American diet) and towards a more nutritious way of eating. I don't track my food like this everyday, but wanting to make sure I am making progress I do track a week's worth of food every once in a while to check on my percentages. Why am I writing all of this? Because I came across an anomaly. My weekly percentages were off from my daily ones. And when I looked closer to figure out why, it became apparent that the calories were wrong on most of the foods I had listed. Almost every statistic I had gleaned from either book or online resource listed calories different than what their components indicated. As far as I know only macro nutrients have calories, so when you add up their caloric value it should equal the calories on the nutrition label, no? So, while I hate to use Kashi as an example because they are a healthier choice for what they are, it was convenient to use. Note: The 'errors' were not limited to processed foods; fruits & veggies were just as likely to be off in calories listed. My little sample chart illustrates the apparent discrepancies, and I say apparent because I am not a nutritionist and maybe I am just missing something very basic. As I finish ranting I realize that most of the time I am not counting calories anymore, and I shouldn't let this upset me, but when I do count I want it to be accurate. And how many others out there trying to lose weight by counting calories are adding perhaps hundreds of hidden calories to their diet and wondering why they are not losing weight? After all, the reason so many online resources (food lists, calculators etc) have popped up is because people want to know about what they are eating, more of us are journaling our food and trying to be responsible for what we eat, so shouldn't it be accurate? So while I am usually eating plants and trying not to worry about calories, I want the ones I do worry about to be an honest reflection of what I am eating.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Starting to wrap it up

Re: My son's death on 2/16/06
Where to begin...We spent a week in trial in July, and the first defendant was found guilty of murder in the 1st. Two years ago when first arrested he had given a statement confessing to his part in the deed, and the DA did a great job of presenting the case. Unfortunately he refused to testify against the primary defendant, and there was no physical evidence, so they offered the 2nd guy a deal and he will only do a total of 12 years. The sentences are reversed from what they probably should be, but this is life, not CSI. We have the right to voice our opinion or make a statement at the sentencing hearing, but we decided we had lost enough of our lives to this craziness. They both have mandatory sentences, and it isn't like our words will change anything. I could wish they spend their time feeling our pain, or learning a lesson, or some such thing...but again...real life here; they will have their hands full playing the prison game. In a couple of more weeks when the sentencing is over, well, then what? I know that it isn't just opening a door and all of a sudden everything is in brilliant colour, and I do feel I have been making small steps forging my way through the grief, but sometimes - like today - I feel like it will never be enough. That I will never take enough steps to get to the other side. I had a moment today; I was riding my bike (yay, off the couch) and instead of my usual audio book I was listening to 'Across the Universe' on my ipod. The music was so happy, so gutsy, and the wind felt wonderful, that perfect blend of cool and refreshing on a warm day, and I felt strong on the bike. Standing on the pedals to stretch my calves out and lifting my nose to the breeze I felt good. I felt for just a moment like I was alive again. It was probably the sugar rush from the cookies my SO brought home this afternoon, but still, drug induced or not, I felt different. I caught that glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for a second, and then the mad hit. The anger that I can't seem to let go of once I have taken a step into that alternate reality I use to call normal...maybe it's time for professional help. I need a Guru! I think I might be ready for my teacher....isn't he suppose to come?