Tag Archives: eating with family

Inconsistent mealtimes linked to heart risks – AHA

Eat less; move more; live longer. Also, the American Heart Association (AHA) says to stay healthy, don’t just watch what you eat – watch when you eat it.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

New research is driving that point home by looking at the impact of changes in meal timing from day-to-day and from weekday-to-weekend. Those changes were associated with several important heart health risk factors, including changes in waist circumference, body fat, blood pressure and blood sugar, said lead researcher Nour Makarem, an associate research scientist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York.

Her own previous work had shown that eating more in the evening can increase a person’s risk for heart disease. “But here, we show that it’s not just about eating timing – it’s also about the day-to-day regularity and the weekend-weekday regularity in our food intake,” Makarem said.

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What About Maintaining My Weight While Traveling?

I think it takes a special focus to be successful eating while traveling and not pack on any pounds.

I am currently in Las Vegas. I would be on vacation if I were stlll working, but I am retired, so I guess this qualifies as just traveling. My girlfriend still works, however, so it is a vacation for her.

In any event, I had to write this having just experienced an amazing breakfast. We are staying at Caesars Palace. Serendipity 3 is one of the hotel restaurants. The food is good, but the servings are brobdingnagian. I love that word. If you aren’t familiar with it, it comes from Gulliver’s Travels and refers to anything colossal in size. That’s what our breakfasts today were.

The cup dwarfed the spoon

The cup dwarfed the spoon

I hope the photos I shot with my iPhone get the point across. The coffee cup held at least 12 ounces, maybe 16. You can see how it dwarfs the spoon. But the main culprit was the main course. I ordered two eggs over easy with pork sausages and dry rye toast. I consider this a nice healthy meal. The plate was a good 13 inches in diameter. So, it held a LOT of food. The sausages were probably an inch in diameter. Even the toast was about 1-1/2 times normal size and thickness.

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I mention this because while traveling, sitting down to eat meals is kind of a celebration and I think you need to defend yourself against getting carried away in the moment.

I managed to finish the eggs, but left one whole sausage. I had some strawberry jam on a half slice of toast, but ended up leaving one entire slice, also. Nonetheless, I really felt full to bursting when we finished. I think even though I didn’t finish I had managed an assault on my digestive system.

The point of all this is that I felt I had to discipline myself not to ‘clean my plate.’ I always hate to waste food, especially in a restaurant where I am paying premium prices, but I concluded it would have been more damaging to me to finish that huge serving. I really didn’t want to waist the food either.

Tomorrow, we will be eating a more modest breakfast.


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How Much Weight Will I Gain on A Vacation?

I was asking myself how much weight I would gain on a recent whirlwind three-day weekend vacation to attend a niece’s college graduation in Colorado. In the past, I have routinely gained a pound a day on such get-aways but the thought of doing that this time concerned me.

My dinner salmon, corn and brown rice.

I’ve been fighting back from a bad year in 2011 when I gained 15 pounds after two years of losing weight. With new resolve this year, I’ve lost about nine pounds and didn’t want to give up a third of that in one weekend. Continue reading

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Do We Need Processed Foods? One Professor Says Yes

Processed foods, basically anything in a package or a form that doesn’t occur in nature (think Oreos), has come under attack from many who argue that it is not healthy and could be contributing to health problems.

The movement of eating more fresh foods is dovetailing with the movement to eat more locally grown foods to produce disdain for processed foods in the United States, at least among those who have the financial wherewithal to buy either organic or less-processed products.

So, given that atmosphere, it was interesting to see an article recently arguing that the world will need more processed food to feed its growing population. Continue reading

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How Can You Eat Healthy at Holiday Parties?

Eating healthy at holiday parties is a constant challenge, so I was glad to see a story in USA Today discussing which typical party foods are nutritious and relatively low-calorie.

Opting for the veggies on the holiday buffet table seems an obvious choice, of course, but shrimp can be a good choice too, the story notes. It even says chocolate-covered strawberries are not such a bad choice.

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Family and Food, and Why They’re Linked

Reading over my post from yesterday, I was wondering why I said I would be dragged to family events while we’re here in Reno.

Last night, for example, there were nine of my wife’s family sitting around her aunt’s table having a big Italian dinner, just the sort of thing I did regularly when I was growing up, and it was a really enjoyable evening, so I certainly didn’t feel dragged there.

Gnocchi at an aunt's

But I think at some level gatherings like that hurt me because they remind me that days of doing that with my family are long over. After my maternal grandmother died in 1967, my mother’s large family (she was one of eight children) drifted apart. Giant celebrations like we had each New Year’s Eve at my grandmother’s house became a thing of the past.

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Vacations and Salads

We’ve been on a weekend get-away, visiting cousins in Virginia. Vacations, whatever the length, always are food challenges for me because I equate vacation time with eating time. I normally gain three to five pounds on a vacation, even a short, three-day one like this.

So this trip I’ve been trying to have small lunches to balance out some of the dinners we’ve gone to.

A cousin here in Richmond suggested the salad bar at Martin’s, one of the supermarket chains here.
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Four Tips to Get Through Holidays, Eat Wisely

I’ve just made it through the July 4th weekend with only minimal weight gain, and that attributable solely to the final day of the weekend when I ate much too much movie popcorn when my wife and I saw tree films in one afternoon at a local multiplex.

I went to two cookouts during the three-day weekend but selected wisely at those and so also came up with some quick guidelines for you the next time you find yourself at a big barbeque this summer:

1.A little meat goes a long way. Be moderate, if there are several meat main courses, pick the one you enjoy the most and take only a modest amount.

2.Search out the veggies before dinner. If there are chips and dips everywhere, search for the veggie tray or, if you don’t think there will be one, bring some mini-carrots of your own to munch.

3.Avoid the mayo et al. Summer brings out bad salads, things drenched in mayo, oil or other unhealthy dressings. Look for unadorned lettuce and veggie dishes like simple corn.

4.Contribute a dish of your making. I brought roasted peppers to one cookout so I knew there would be a simple sidedish I could eat guilt-free. Try making or buying something healthy and bringing it to an event, you’ll be a gracious guest and a thin one.

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Filed under healthy eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, portion size

A Week Later – 3.6 Pounds Gone; What’s Ahead?

It’s been a week since my son’s wedding weekend, a weekend during which I gained 4.6 pounds. My usual routine went out the window that weekend. I ate pizza, giant burgers, lots of Greek food, lots of chocolate. And even though I tried to exercise, it wasn’t enough. The result was a 4.6-pound gain in four days.

So what’s happened since? Well, to add on a bit more stress, I started a new job last Tuesday, the day after we returned from the wedding. I’d been working the past two years for a truly horrendous boss who had sent my stress levels soaring and made it all the more difficult not to turn to food for relief.


On the flipside, though, the team that worked for me at that job was one of the most professional I’d ever worked with and it was extremely difficult to leave them.

Now I’m working for a boss who seems to be on the same wave length as me. My new team is untested under me as yet and I’m planning lots of changes, so it will be interesting to see where we go. I also took a sizable pay cut to change jobs, that’s how unbearable work had become, but now I have to make do with the lower salary, another point of some stress.
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Can you Celebrate Without Eating?

I’ve been doing pretty good at not over-indulging on this New York vacation – until Saturday. This was the day to show my wife some of my Brooklyn roots – read great pizza and pastry spots – and to have dinner on Staten Island with five cousins and a family friend at an Italian restaurant.

We all talked about how we’re trying to eat better and several of us tried to order healthier fare – one cousin had tilapia with clams, mussels and other seafood, my wife had stuffed sole; I had a seafood assortment – clams, mussels, shrimp and scallops over linguini with a simple red tomato sauce – and left more than half of the giant serving (a cousin took it home).

Not bad you say? Maybe but we also had fried zucchini for an appetizer, along with red peppers covered with cheese and several other hot appetizers. When time for dessert came, my wife and I split a chocolate mousse.

All this after we had New York Sicilian-style pizza for lunch, stopped for Italian butter cookies in a Brooklyn neighborhood where my cousins once lived, and bought a shopping bag-full of Drake’s cakes and Wise potato chips to bring home for family and friends.

Is all this the beginning of the end of my food resolve? No, I had known this would be a big food day and allowed myself one for this vacation. Today, it’s home and back to a more usual routine. The battle continues then, Saturday, food won.

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