Foods and Health

by Louise

I have become interested in the many people I meet who are careful about what they eat.  Lots of people have reduced or cut out gluten from their diets as well as diary.  Teens now go vegan.

What has been your experience with cutting out certain foods? Do you feel better in your gut, have you lost weight and feel healthier overall?

14 Best and Worst Foods for Digestion

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171 thoughts on “Foods and Health

  1. The only foods I avoid are “lite” foods, gluten-free imitations of things that really should have gluten, soy imitatons of dairy, and things I actively dislike such as spinach, turkey, and White Castle burgers.

  2. A guy at work, I guess he’s about 50, cut gluten out of his diet and he now says he has a lot less joint pain. So I’m kinda trying to avoid gluten where possible, but nothing so drastic as no-bun hamburgers, toast-free egg breakfasts, or looking for an buying anything that’s made to be gluten-free, when it wouldn’t usually be (e.g. pasta). So maybe it’s best to say I’m gluten-aware. No difference in anything except maybe I eat less bread overall.

    I have pretty successfully cut ice cream out of my diet. From having it 5+ times/week and it being a regular shopping list item, I have it maybe once a month since I stopped asking that we stock it in the freezer. Still love it, maybe more than anything except for real (original) Coca-Cola, but I don’t miss it. A banana with natural PB has become my pre-bedtime snack to get me thru the night.

  3. I think if you have a problem with gluten or dairy that is more a symptom than the root of the problem. You do usually lose weight when you go low carb or gluten free but I think that’s because you are eliminating a lot of foods rather than there being something magical about gluten.

    Anyway, I have done the Paleo thing, done a Whole 30 and now my only food rules are no diet soda (but do indulge in a Mexican coke once or twice per week) and avoid vegetable oils and soy as much as possible (without being annoying when in the company with other people). I eat ice cream a few times per week as a snack rather than dessert and just try to eat a lot of different things.

  4. Still doing the gregan thing. It’s a pain sometimes but I have a *ton* more energy and attribute it to the diet, so there’s that. Also, I haven’t been sick since I started this–not even a cold. I usually get knocked out by something each winter–until this year.

    Since I’m not vegan for moral reasons, I’ll cheat when sticking to vegan would be a bother, like when we’re at friends’ places for dinner, etc. Being able to do that makes it far less of a pain than it could be. And I’d hate to be a high-maintenance guest.

    I didn’t have weight loss in mind when I started this but did think it might happen and was surprised to put on a bit of a winter layer. That seems gone now though, either because I’m out of hibernation or because I’ve really ramped up HIIT workouts and heavy weight workouts. Would be nice if the gregan thing alone would do it and I wouldn’t have to work so hard, but this is one of the many injustices of aging.

  5. I eat everything, except stuff I don’t like (heavy mayo sandwiches, etc.). I went through too much restriction in my 20s (only “clean” eating etc.) and am still rebelling against that. :)

  6. Because my gregan thing is really “plant-based” I’ve incidentally cut out most gluten. I eat this bread that’s made from lentils and raisins – it’s actually really good! – and the odd lentil based chip but that’s about it. I’m not sure if that particular aspect has made a difference to me, but DH eats very little gluten and swears it’s been a life changer.

  7. I’ve found that I don’t handle carb based meals (breakfast/lunch) was well as I used to. As a result, I usually have scrambled eggs for breakfast and a salad with some sort of protein (usually chicken) for lunch. Yesterday I had a spinach burrito for lunch – and noticed that my energy levels really crashed in the afternoon. And switching to eggs for breakfast definitely keeps me from getting hungry mid-morning. I’m also more sensitive to sugar than I used to be (my energy will spike and then will really crash – plus if I eat sugar in the morning, then I want it all day long). So I do my best to not have any sugar until after dinner.

  8. “Compared to never drinking artificially sweetened soft drinks, those who drank one a day were almost three times as likely to have an ischemic stroke, caused by blocked blood vessels, the researchers found.
    They also found that those who drank one a day were nearly three times as likely to be diagnosed with dementia.
    Those who drank one to six artificially sweetened beverages a week were 2.6 times as likely to experience an ischemic stroke but were no more likely to develop dementia, Pase said.”

    Wait — what? So one soda a day = 3x as likely to get dementia, but 2-6 sodas = no increase in dementia risk? How does this support the idea of a causal relationship? You’d think that would at least cause you to look past your confirmation bias and figure out if there is another issue, like another factor that you are not sufficiently controlling for. They even specifically say that the link goes down when you control for a number of other factors!

    Articles like this drive me nuts, when you have all these scientists speculating about how soda might be causing these effects, and how this adds to the weight of the evidence about how bad soda is for you, but don’t even mention the apparent elephant in the room. You might as well say the lesson is “if you’re worried about dementia and like diet soda, just drink a lot and you’ll be fine.”

  9. My teen daughter has been vegan for about 1 1/2 years now. Since no one else in the family is vegan, it definitely makes dinner planning more of a challenge. My dad is also vegan and has been for decades. When my daughter went vegan, it brought up my teenage reactions to my dad (ugh – what’s all this weird vegan food I have to eat) – only I realized that although I wanted to react as my teenage self, I instead needed to react as the mature parent. Sigh.

    I think my daughter wanting to follow a vegan diet started out as a weight control thing which I was not happy about (she’s very athletic; does not need to lose weight) – but has morphed into a environmentally sustainable sort of thing. Which I don’t totally agree with – but I feel better about than doing it to manage one’s weight. I try to be as neutral on it as possible since I definitely don’t want her being vegan as a way to rebel against me.

  10. Sorry:

    1. Gregan is grumpy vegan. I went vegan because a “plant based, whole food” diet is better for your bones, as it is not acidic

    2. I didn’t cut out gluten because I only (mostly) eat plants, but because most breads/grains are acidic. Stated that wrong in my last post. You could be vegan and eat gluten. I’m less about “vegan” and more about plant based and alkalinic.

    All of this, for me, is bone driven. Trying to reverse osteoporosis without taking any drugs, and an alkalinic diet made of plant based while food is one of the tricks. And it may or may not work, but since it’s not too terrible and there are some great benefits (like all the energy and not getting sick) I’m going to keep trying it.

    Related – for those who don’t/can’t drink milk, there’s a new protein + nut milk product that has lots of calcium and protein but not dairy or soy. I love the taste but others in my house don’t. Almond Breeze makes it. I can only get it at Meijer, which is a pain because we don’t shop there. There are also new brands at Whole Foods but they don’t have as much protein.

  11. Louise – the grumpy part is because I didnt want to go so extreme but decided I had. O choice. Desperate attempt to avoid the drugs.

    Sorry – not being clear today. Trying to do too many things at once.

  12. LFB – I think the asked people to put themselves in the following categories – <1 diet soda/week, 2-6/week, 1+/day aka 7+/week. The changing of the units makes it seem not dose related. So, 7+/week is worse than 4/week. That makes sense if there is a dose-dependent relationship.

    I resisted condemning diet soda for a long time. I tried to break apart the studies that showed it makes you fat, demented, etc. But I can't find enough wrong with them. Saturated fat makes it into my coffee, but no diet soda on my shopping list (I used to buy 2-3 cases a week when it was just DH and I).

    My big diet intervention for the morbidly obese patient with diabetes diagnosed in the ER today is that "you can't drink anything with calories". In general, patients who get diabetes diagnoses in the ER are not health savvy or reliable with follow up (or they would have been diagnosed in their PCPs office). Taking away a quart of orange juice, a large soda and a monster drink is the simplest (if not easiest) intervention to reduce high blood sugar.

  13. I try to eat low carbish because it is better for my blood sugar and I am convinced that I am headed for diabetes. The only firm rule I have is no soda. But I will eat whatever you serve me if I come to your house. We had weekend guests last weekend. In advance of their arrival, I was sent a long list of things that their kids didn’t like or couldn’t eat. So annoying!

  14. LfB, another flaw with most diet sweetener studies is that they don’t identify a mechanism by which a small volume of artificial sugar being digested into amino acids could cause the particular problem they identify. Artifiicial sugars are just “chemicals” to avoid, not “amino acids after digestion just like most other foods.”

    Similarly, when people were freaked out about formaldehyde and/or ammonia during the pink slime scare, I thought, “I get more formaldehyde and ammonia exposure than that by stirring the rotting stuff in my compost pile.” Pointing out that your compost pile contains formaldehyde and ammonia is Not Done among my class of Oregonians.

  15. Sprained my wrist in bike accident over the weekend so typing is slow and tedious. please forgive typos and choppiness.

    Liked Whole30 but did not notice any reaction when I added back dairy, gluten, grains etc. Except I have plateaued and not lost any more weight. Went completely off for Easter but may give it another go soon. Fruits and veggies do taste better so maybe I did become more sensitive to sugar.

  16. I’ve mentioned before that shortly after my second child was born, I started experiencing some really worrisome neurological issues (I had numbness and weakness in my arms, hands, and fingers). I was tested for everything from lyme disease to MS, but all the tests were negative. I was fearful for my health and my ability to earn a living (since it was hard for me to type for any length of time).

    At the same time, I was also having what I thought were unrelated digestive issues, so on a whim I decided to cut out gluten for a month and see what happened. Well, not only did the digestive issues resolve, but the neurological issues did, too. I experimented a couple of times with introducing small amounts of gluten back into my diet, but my neuro and GI issues would come roaring back, so I am now completely gluten-free, and will be for the rest of my life. I am totally fine with that, since I am just so grateful to be healthy and fully functioning again.

    I think maybe life was giving me a bit of a smackdown with this experience. I used to roll my eyes when people talked about their food intolerances — I thought it was all in their minds. I needed to learn a lesson, and be forced to eat some (gluten free) humble pie.

  17. And don’t forget self reporting. DH, when asked by the gastro how much diet soda he drank, said a glass a day. He went through 2 two lliters a week at home (at least), and two large fountain diet cokes (light ice) at his two meals a week out, and twice a week a can from the vending machine at the bridge game.

  18. I’ve read that part of the problem with diet sodas is the fact that the sweetness stimulates release of insulin, and may affect other hunger/satiety/metabolic hormones. So, you drink a Diet Coke, you release a bunch of insulin, blood sugar plummets, you reach for a bag of Cheetos, and voila, dementia, diabetes and perpetual sadness.

    So, it’s not that it is a “chemical” – rather that the effect of hyper-sweetness has downstream changed on hormonal regulation.

  19. I only avoid foods I’m allergic to – all seafood. After that I’ll try anything.

    The Lady is good for us to try new foods, or food combinations. I am trying to get DH to eat less sweets, but that’s impossible with all the Easter candy around. I did point out that his belly seems a bit bigger than it did around Xmas. He’s not happy about it, but does little to change his habits.

    Ris – my mom should go on your grumpy vegan diet. She’s well on her way to osteoporosis, if she doesn’t already have it. But all the good that the vegan diet does would be wiped out by her soda consumption. My mom keeps Coca Cola in business. Her habit is about 5-7 cans per day. Though I’m not sure how much of those cans she actually consumes. Sometimes a glass will sit all day, she’ll dump it and get fresh. So let’s say 4-6 cans consumed a day.

  20. @NOB – experiences like yours have really changed my opinion on gluten. I used to eye-roll. Enough smart people who are not apparently crazy in other diet and medical ways report similar experiences that I have come to believe that gluten is really bad for some. I would say my colleagues are about 50% on board with this.

    Have you tried sourdough bread? I have read interesting things about the fermentation making it tolerable for people who avoid gluten. This isn’t the best article, but one of many that raise the question. https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/23/sourdough-bread-gluten-intolerance-food-health-celiac-disease

  21. I try various diets and fail because it seems I am compensating elsewhere. Like I will eat a lot of nuts when doing low carb etc. The trail mix gets me every time. So I am trying to be conscious of that . Another source of calories for me is the creamer in my coffee. So I am trying to transition to drinking less coffee and more tea. Let me tell you- it’s super hard for a coffee lover like me. Since I am insulin resistant, loosing weight is super hard for me and the only thing that seems to work is ketogenic diet as long as I restrict nuts. But then with hardly anything left to eat, I feel really depressed.
    The main thing I haven’t been able to get back into, but need to do is exercising regularly and weight training. I have been trying to push myself to exercise and let the chores go. The plan is that once I get into exercise routine, to do a diet plan to shed excess weight and then when goal achieved, go to eating the ancestral way, with weekend concessions to chocolate cake/ pasta or ice cream.

    The key to cooking grains and lentils is to figure out how cultures that traditionally consume it process them before eating. From my reading, lentils and soaked overnight and cooked a certain way along with other vegetables.

  22. I love food, and I love to eat. But I notice a distinct correlation between what I eat and how I feel So I really do try to eat pretty clean (last night’s Jimmy John’s and potato chips at the soccer game notwithstanding).

    I feel the best on a diet that eliminates white flour (but not all carbs – keep the oats and the potatoes), minimizes cheese and bread, maximizes seafood, veggies, and lean meats. When I eat like that, a typical day is:
    B – eggs w/whole wheat toast
    Snack after run – apple w/peanut butter
    L – Greek salad with grilled chicken (that has baby new potatoes in it, I need some carbs at lunch or I don’t have energy for the afternoon)
    D – Grilled pork chop & sweet potato, or seared tuna, rice, asparagus

    When I eat like that, I feel awesome. My weight stays down, I have tons of energy. When I get busy, particularly with work, and eat more sandwiches/chips etc I really do feel it.

  23. There is interesting reasearch out there re guy bacteria or lack of correct gut bacteria and its effects on our bodies, including the various allergies and intolerances.

  24. Dell- For Whole 30 I had to cut out milk in my coffee – truly the hardest part of the whole thing. I used an almond /coconut milk substitute, but I eventually simply switched to black. I got used to it. And, it’s still better than tea.

  25. I do try to eat pretty clean but I go in spurts and I have this horrible habit of eating what the kids have not eaten for breakfast lately instead of planning my own. For breakfast I usually rotate between eggs, oatmeal and yogurt with fruit. Lunch varies but I prefer to make a big pot of soup on Sunday and eat that for lunch. Dinner tends to be lower carb than breakfast or lunch which seems to help my sleep. I try to eat progressively smaller meals throughout the day. We make our own sourdough bread which has been a fun hobby for my husband. The biggest boosts to my health this year seem to be more outside time and less screen time (I say as I’m typing this) and I’ve also felt a lot better since we put in a big water filtration system in the house (and I’m getting a lot of new hair growth).

  26. I actually switched to coffee last year from tea and love it. I kept reading about black tea having a ton of fluoride in it and so now I drink coffee with cream and sugar and really look forward to that in the a.m.

  27. Also – I do not buy, ever, food with artificial food coloring in it. It completely grosses me out. And it’s in more stuff than you would think.

  28. I have cut back on sugar from three sources – used to have it my tea (never used artificial sweeteners), soda consumption now is zero and chocolate eating is negligible.
    We are still working on diet for one family member. My strong suspicion is that it will be similar to Risley’s diet in the end. Plant based with very little meat, no gluten and to a large extent dairy free but the key will be a plant based diet.

  29. “I’ve also felt a lot better since we put in a big water filtration system in the house (and I’m getting a lot of new hair growth).”

    What is that about?

    I don’t roll my eyes but I’m skeptical of so many claims about diet. However, drinking a few cans of diet or regular soda a day just intuitively seems bad for your body. The point Ada made about artificial sweetener stimulating your appetite is worrisome and now the dementia link comes along.

    I happen to be one of those fortunate people who don’t have negative reactions to almost any food. (At least as far as I know!) The only one I can think of is if I have a heavy meal like pancakes and/or liquor early in the day I am tired out for the rest of the day. So typical weekend brunches can be problematic,

  30. I admire everyone with the strength to stick to these diets. I struggle with healthy eating.

  31. I’ve read that part of the problem with diet sodas is the fact that the sweetness stimulates release of insulin, and may affect other hunger/satiety/metabolic hormones.

    The research doesn’t bear that out, though. I’ve looked into it. I think Jason Fung is the one that started that idea but there’s no evidence to back it up.

  32. CoC – it removes the fluoride, chlorine, etc. This is the filter we have or as my husband calls it, our personal water treatment plant:

    https://www.pelicanwater.com/whole-house-water-filter.php

    Completely anecdotal but our skin is a lot softer and I do have more hair all of a sudden (which could be for other reasons as well who knows?). I’ve read enough things about fluoridated water being bad for your health that I figured removing it from our water really didn’t have a downside.

  33. I don’t have issues but my DH and his family do. I had no idea of the impact of eating certain foods until I saw the effects up close.
    A while ago, DH ate a meaty lunch followed by pizza for dinner. He had such severe heartburn, he thought he was having a heart attack. They took him to an area for early detection of heart attack separate from the rest of the ER. We stayed there almost the whole night. DH greatly reformed himself after that.

  34. I don’t recall if I mentioned this here already but my family has gone on an anti-kale crusade. We had a family Easter brunch potluck and a common sentiment expressed was “no kale dishes”. I do think I and others have gone overboard on kale. When I looked at the salad recipes I’ve used for family dinners over the past few years, I noticed there were many kale-based dishes.

  35. I spent a few days at the house of a friend who is scrupulously gluten-free (tested positive for celiac back when it wasn’t trendy). Eating all that gluten-free food, including gluten-free pizza made from some obscure grain, gave me the WORST indigestion of my life. By the third day, I couldn’t eat anything. Gluten-free and me, we don’t agree.

  36. Since I am insulin resistant, losing weight is super hard for me and the only thing that seems to work is ketogenic diet as long as I restrict nuts. But then with hardly anything left to eat, I feel really depressed.

    Sistah.

  37. I am very skeptical of diets that eliminate lots of foods, because I am old enough to have seen many of them come and go. The placebo effect is very, very strong.

  38. @Mooshi – proportion is very important but it is very hard to do that. That’s why people just cut it out so that they never buy it and it’s not sitting in their pantry or fridge tempting them

  39. Dell and RMS – have you guys ever thought about taking metformin? My husband thinks that I should consider it even though my A1c is in the normal range.

  40. I struggle with healthy eating.

    Because you don’t like it, or because it’s not as convenient?

    I definitely prefer a lovely salad with grilled chicken to a sandwich and chips, but oh it’s so much more trouble. That’s my downfall at lunch.

  41. Kate, metformin made my life miserable. I literally could not go out due to the gas.
    I am going to try Ayurvedic treatment soon. In the meanwhile, I have ordered berbere which is supposed to be like metformin without the terrible side effects.

  42. Lark: My problem is snacking. My meals are usually healthy. I’m thinking about brushing my teeth between meals to force myself to not snack.

    How do others manage snacking?

  43. The biggest reason, IMO, to stop drinking soda is the acidity. We use it to unclog feeding tubes. I shudder to think what it does to our stomachs.

  44. Dell – oh no! Hope it works for you! I should probably do something about my blood sugar problems but I hate to take anything.

  45. “We use it to unclog feeding tubes.” *shudder*

    “How do others manage snacking?”

    I’m not an authority at all, but I could see how brushing your teeth could help. Here’s what I’ll do sometimes. Drink a big glass of water. Wait. Drink a satisfying cup of coffee, maybe with Splenda or one cookie. Wait. Chew gum. Wait. If still craving, indulge. ;)

  46. You may recall that I quit eating gluten a few years ago. I got a big boost in figuring out meals from people here. Thanks! My younger sister, who has celiac, thought my symptoms sounded a lot like hers. A check came back negative, but the surgeon said he had seen some inflammation, and I could try cutting back on gluten. I did, and was surprised at the results. It really helped. Oddly though, it didn’t end there. Before too long, corn, fresh or in tortillas, was making me throw up. Then I had to cut out rice. It got pretty tricky to figure out what to eat, especially because I wasn’t into all the craziness that Mooshi mentioned. That’s when I got to know CPK’s quinoa-arugula salad, and all the servers at our outlet, really well. Stranger still, this didn’t last forever. My son continued eating as normal, and at some point I was so tempted by something of his that I ate part. I expected the worst, but it never arrived. I was fine. I tested various items on and off for a few weeks, and then declared the issue “all gone”. I have no idea what it was. I’m back to eating much of what I used to, but have cut back on breads in general. Earlier in life, I went through a couple periods like that with apples and peanuts. These days I’m drinking lactose-free milk. I don’t know why, but my gut seems unable to decide on a malady, so it switches out the thing it reacts to every once in a while. I have no idea why, and I generally don’t bother to think about it much. The gluten-corn-rice incident is the only time when it’s made life at all difficult.

    I also know that a little irritation won’t kill me. I’ve been a vegetarian as long as some people here have been alive (since 86). When we visited old friends at the end of last year, they had chili waiting when we arrived. The husband’s prize-winning chili that was the talk of the town. No way to turn it down. My kid knew what was coming, and was very patient with the odors in our room later that night. We survived unscathed. I realize that there are some food issues that are dire, but some truly are not.

  47. I was diagnosed with celiac a year ago. Eating GF wasn’t that hard to learn. Packaged GF food is generally higher in calories and fat and not fortified. Cross contamination has been the issue for me. It makes eating out tricky and it’s awkward when people cook/bake for me and I’m unsure whether or not to eat it and risk cross contamination.

    Does anyone have experience with celiac and coffee? I am considering trying to change from diet soda to coffee but wonder about cross contamination issues.

  48. Dell, the gut cultures thing is something I was looking into, even considering a fecal transplant, when my sister suggested gluten elimination. The range of things that can be affected (including depression) is amazing!

    Lark, when you say “sandwich”, do you mean take-out, as opposed to making your own salad? That’s the only way I can make sense of a sandwich being easier. I mean, the spread has to go on the bread, everything has to be arranged a certain way, and there’s still all the stuff to cut up, I have a bunch of mason jars that I’m supposed to be using to make salads for the week every weekend. Some of the recipes on line really do look yummy. But that rarely happens.

    Houston, a simple rule from my mom is surprisingly effective: get a bowl! Not only does it make eating feel like more of an event, so you’re less likely to stuff food in without noticing, but it also is portion control. And I’ve been drinking a glass of water before eating anything these days. Spending a few months on a 1200-calorie diet really made me restrict my eating to things that I enjoy eating. I don’t count every day now–if I do log my food, it’s likely to be to check macros, but I still am much less willing to continue eating something that tastes “eh, ok, I guess”.

    NoB, that is amazing! How fortunate that you happened to try just the right diet.

    I realized a few years ago that I was drinking a lot more pop than I used to, around 2 -3 drinks per day. Cutting it back to 1-2 per week really helped my belly go down.

  49. @Ada – When I saw that Whole30 was anti-legumes, I thought that was crazy. I just can’t imagine beans, peanuts, peas, lentils, etc not being part of a healthy diet.

    I don’t really avoid anything except fake versions of foods like MM. I do eat soy in the form of edamame and tofu – I love the former in salads and the latter in stir fry. Every so often we will eat vegetarian for a week, and I honestly feel the healthiest and most energetic that week even though I’m still eating pasta and dairy.

    I think carbs sometimes make my stomach upset & make me tired just because it’s easier for me to overdo the portion size on pasta or bread than it is on other foods. But I’ve never noticed any benefit of cutting them out or any ill effects of eating them in reasonable portions. Portion size is my main enemy, especially as I deal with the reality of getting older & having my metabolism slow and my appetite shrink.

  50. Up North, I think my sister has continued to drink coffee since her celiac diagnosis about 5 years ago with no issues. How would there be a cross-contamination issue?

    I meant to say in my last post that even though it sounds like I’m slacking off (and I am to a certain extent), I’m still losing, just at a slower rate (2.5 lbs last month vs. 1 lb/wk earlier). I am glad that my waist is now reliably under 30″, want to get it to 28″. That means more exercise. Now that I’m close to my goals, I’m trying to ease into maintenance. A few years ago I lost ten pounds, then gained it back, and ten more. I don’t want to repeat that.

  51. Ivy and Mooshi, I stay off the fake foods bandwagon too, except for Lactaid. No milk at all just sounds too harsh! I drink it for a couple months, then go back to 1 or 2% when the coast’s clear. But I eat plain pasta, soy and real cheese, and the only veggie burgers I eat declare themselves to be just that, instead of masquerading as meat.

  52. @NOB – That sounds very similar to an old boss of mine. He kept trying to figure it out with his doctor, and then he tested positive for celiac. This was over 10 years ago, so it was much more difficult to find gluten-free foods or even flours to bake for himself. It was pretty scary with the neurological symptoms as well.

  53. Ivy, doing the spicy garlic edamame for pupu is really easy (now that you can get the frozen edamame everywhere) and good too. Do you get the Costco bag of all the little individual frozen packs of edamame that you can just snip the corner of and steam in bag? The sauce you toss them in for the spicy garlic version is this general idea http://www.cookinghawaiianstyle.com/component/recipe/recipes/detail/347/pupu-edamame-immature-soy-beans but you can freely experiment and substitute. Of course you’re not eating the pods, but since you scrape the pods with your teeth to pop the beans out you pick up the flavor as you do that.

  54. The only thing I avoid for digestive reasons is milk. I guess I go light on things like ice cream and mascarpone and cream cheese and sour cream too, and if I do end up consuming more dairy fat than is comfortable I take extra acidophilus (I’ve routinely taken that for years, like since college, to help with digesting dairy).

    We have been eating more kimchee lately, but that’s due to #1 son’s Korean food kick rather than to a health initiative.

  55. Fred – the irony is not lost on me… And I’ve been allergic since I was a kid, so I really don’t know what I’m missing.

    DD – soda may be disgustingly acidic, but a nice coca-cola (original) over ice is my feel good cure for a tough day. Makes me feel better than a nice cup of tea or indulging in favorite treats. Then again, my max consumption is 4 12 oz cans a week. Usually I stick to water or iced tea.

    When I got pregnant the first time, I became very concerned about caffeine. I did enough research to realize how little caffeine I take in. The most is a cup of black tea and a can of soda across a day. If I had 2 cups of tea, I avoided soda. I also realized that DH is caffeine free for the most part – no coffee, tea, or soda in his diet.

  56. And I’ve been allergic since I was a kid, so I really don’t know what I’m missing.

    Have you been to an allergist about it? I have a friend who was allergic as a kid but found out as an adult that it had resolved itself. I’ve also heard that being pregnant can cause allergies to suddenly appear or disappear.

  57. HM, what kind of kimchee, and where do you get it? I love kimchee, but just haven’t gotten into the habit of having any in the fridge.

  58. “Have you been to an allergist about it? I have a friend who was allergic as a kid but found out as an adult that it had resolved itself. I’ve also heard that being pregnant can cause allergies to suddenly appear or disappear.”

    Not in a while, but I’ve tested the waters (as it were) and found that I still have a reaction. I do want to visit an allergist, but haven’t really looked for a reputable one in a while.

  59. Finn, (1) most typically whatever the cheap brand of won bok kimchee is at our nearest grocery store, in smallish jars (I’ve gotten the bags but they leak and are more prone to stink up the whole fridge) (same issue with takuan in bags); (2) cubed daikon kimchee from Ono Kimchee that took forever to go through; (3) currently a medium-to-big jar of won bok kimchee from Palama Market because the boy has a bag of Korean pancake mix and has ambitions to use it; (4) also currently a bag of green onion kimchee because the boy wants to experiment.

    I would recommend getting the smallish jar from the supermarket for the purpose of just having kimchee on hand when you want it. But if you want to see a vast variety hit Ono Kimchee (on Keeaumoku just makai of the freeway, next to Itchy Butt), and if you want to try a little bit of several things hit the kimchee-and-sides bar at Palama Market. They also have raw crab in kimchee sauce there if that appeals.

  60. Ivy, I definitely eat tofu and soy sauce too. In fact, I am kind of addicted to tofu. I love silken tofu with a mix of hot chile oil/soy/ginger/garlic drizzled over top. Also mapo tofu, very spicy please, is my go-to comfort food when I am feeling a little sniffly.

  61. MM, do you use the little stamps?

    Though I guess you said silken tofu, not firm, so that might not work.

  62. Dang it MM, you have me hungry for your tofu with sauce now! What proportions do you use for it?

  63. mapo tofu, very spicy please, is my go-to comfort food when I am feeling a little sniffly.

    That’s when I break out the red miso soup. Ahh!

  64. I used to drink A LOT of diet coke, but I rarely even have one soda per month unless there is soda at a holiday gathering. I’ve been drinking more water, tea and coffee. I am trying to cut back on Splenda so I’ve been substituting a small amount of sugar. I don’t like milk or cheese, so I don’t miss these products in most of my meals.

    We had a tough time trying to get DD to add more veggies and salad to her diet. I was getting no where with her, but finally peer pressure is my friend with this problem. A Chopt salad place opened nearby and many of DD’s friends have started to go there for meals. She wants to be with her friends, so she told me that she is willing to try salad again!!

  65. “I have lost weight but I don’t think it’s the result of the reduction in diet soda consumption.”

    Back in our DINK days, DW drank a lot of Diet Coke, and I sometimes drank diet sodas because of their ready availability. We noticed that diet sodas did seem to stimulate our appetites, for whatever reason.

    Anecdata, but it suggests that cutting back on diet soda could help lose weight.

  66. “She wants to be with her friends, so she told me that she is willing to try salad again!!”

    Yet another criterion to consider in trying to find good peer groups for our kids.

  67. I didn’t experience any changes after cutting gluten but I find that cutting sugar (mostly) and dairy (completely) improves my moods and my skin tenfold. I notice myself feeling really depressed or get covered in acne when I eat any dairy or too much sugar!

  68. At one of those work wellness fairs it showed my sugar being close to prediabetic levels. I was totally spooked out by that. I started to cut back on my soda drinking, using sugar in my tea and chocolate eating.
    I haven’t rechecked my levels. I am afraid of blood being drawn and get light headed.

  69. I worry about the effects of diet soda on my teeth. My stomach is already plenty acidic.

    I forget that dairy is not a “stomach settling food” for everyone. After a family bout of stomach flu this winter, we all eased into eating regular food by drinking more milk than usual, because it settles our stomachs, and went through over a gallon/day.

    With regard to artificial sweeteners, I am curious what researchers would find if they compared people who love sugar and use artificial sweeteners to replace it vs. people who eat lots of sugar and also use artificial sweeteners. I take after the diabetic side of the family and we all love sugar. I’m observing the craving lessen a bit with age but none of the conventional wisdom (you’ll lose your taste for sugar if you avoid it for awhile, etc.) is true for me. Mr WCE and my boys don’t crave sugar in the same way- they love fat/salt.

    I drink lots of caffeine, including during pregnancy, and genetic testing told me I am a “fast” caffeine metabolizer, which is perhaps why I see few effects.

  70. “I worry about the effects of diet soda on my teeth.”

    Does your fab use phosphoric acid to etch aluminum?

  71. Finn, no, but I had a manager who was previously a tech and in the pre-clean room days, she gave a dull operator who kept wanting to put her hand in a wet etch tank an object lesson with a resident dead mouse at the end of the bath life. The operator watched the mouse decompose and finally understood the importance of personal protective equipment.

  72. On the snacking, two things I’ve found to help:

    1. Allow yourself to snack on whatever you want, but with the rule that you don’t do anything else while you are eating, just sit at the table and eat. This makes you aware of what you are actually eating, and ends the mindless eating when you are reading or watching the TV or whatever.

    2. Cheerios. When I lost a lot of weight about 10 years ago, I used Cheerios as my “mindless snack food.” I have trouble to sticking to #1, but I found that grabbing a handful of Cheerios rather than junk food satisfied the craving and it’s much healthier.

  73. “‘Since I am insulin resistant, losing weight is super hard for me and the only thing that seems to work is ketogenic diet as long as I restrict nuts. But then with hardly anything left to eat, I feel really depressed.’

    Sistah.”

    Yeah. That. Not insulin resistant, but exact same result.

    You know when I feel good? When I’m $%%#!$!# thin. I have all this energy to exercise, exercise makes me feel and sleep better, which means I have more energy and want to exercise more (or: dread it less), rinse and repeat. Of course, that requires being hungry all. the. time. Oh well, at least there’s Crossfit; I may be too heavy and not be able to run any more, but at least I can get my heartrate up, see definable progress in how much I can lift, and even see an actual muscle peeking out here or there.

    I am also in the category of not actually feeling “good” on specific diets, but noticing things that make me feel bad. E.g., when I eat a lot of bread and pasta for like a week, my innards go off all of a sudden. I have had some version of IBS for as long as I can remember, but it seems to clear up when I am doing more low-carb stuff, and then come raring back when DD starts making challah (which is completely delicious and irresistable). OTOH, no issues at all with milk; in fact, if I don’t drink it for a while, I totally crave it.

  74. Why do you think insulin resistance makes it hard to lose weight? If anything, having mildly elevated blood sugar should make fasting (and by fasting, I mean not eating every 30 minutes) a little easier.

    [genuinely curious – not trying to attack]

  75. @HM – Thanks! That sounds delicious! Is there a difference between Aloha Shoyu and regular soy sauce? I do buy the packs of edamame at Costco.

  76. Ivy, just use whatever your normal brand of shoyu is (aka soy sauce). Aloha Shoyu is just a local brand.

  77. LfB – if you think you have some version of IBS cut out the gluten. Lactose is another big issue for many IBS sufferers.

  78. Ivy, the different brands of shoyu taste different; I suggest you try some and pick the one(s) you like best.

    When I worked at a fast food place back in HS, the recipe for teri beef was pretty specific about which brands of shoyu to use (half Aloha and half Fuji). Substituting Kikkoman resulted in a noticeably different taste.

  79. BTW, I’m guessing that if Ivy is using Kikkoman shoyu, it’s coming from Wisconsin.

  80. Finn, there is a whole book dedicated to the history of soy sauce. I once got to tour the Yamasa soy sauce plant in Salem, which is located there in part because our climate is compatible with the bacterial requirements of Yamasa’s proprietary fermentation blend. (Oregon is at the same latitude as Japan.) I also learned why soy sauce must be so salty- the salt controls the fermentation process and which bacteria can breed, so all soy sauce must be manufactured with lots of salt and then the salt can be removed later to create low-salt soy sauce.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=-M5t2nXIXi4C&pg=PA2118&lpg=PA2118&dq=salem+oregon+soy+sauce+manufacturing&source=bl&ots=7IAfQbhpkf&sig=GsJL5RxglGl24_uzv8hEbXBttek&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiL_qODv8DTAhUr64MKHVcxCrAQ6AEITDAH#v=onepage&q=salem%20oregon%20soy%20sauce%20manufacturing&f=false

  81. “avoid vegetable oils and soy as much as possible”

    Why? I’m curious.

    We often take soybeans (e.g., the spicy garlic edamame HM mentioned, or more frequently just sprinkled with garlic salt because that’s so easy) or boiled peanuts to events when we need to bring something for the refreshment table. I think they are more healthful than most of the other food there, which is typically mostly baked goods, while still being appealing to many people.

  82. “for those who don’t/can’t drink milk, there’s a new protein + nut milk product that has lots of calcium and protein but not dairy or soy. I love the taste but others in my house don’t. Almond Breeze makes it. I can only get it at Meijer, which is a pain because we don’t shop there.”

    Have you checked if Amazon sells it?

    We used to buy whole-grain pasta from Amazon because it was hard to find locally. But recently, Longs Drugs (local CVS brand) is not only carrying whole-grain spaghetti, but regularly having it on sale, so I get it there.

  83. I usually get the San-J brand with the sun logo, but I have never really experimented much with soy sauce. It comes in a nice big bottle, and it tastes okay to me. Maybe I should do a taste test.

    That just reminds me that I can’t wait for the H Mart to open.

  84. You could probably analogize shoyu to standard American BBQ sauce as far as how much the brand matters. There are differences in taste from brand to brand, and people have preferred brands. If you’re wanting to use a quarter cup in a recipe, you’re fine using the brand you have on hand because the differences in taste across brands aren’t going to substantially change the result in broad terms. But if you’re trying to come up with something that tastes just like a particular restaurant’s food (or if you’re working in that restaurant!) you’d want to use the specific brand they use. And if a recipe calls for a different variant of the sauce (like Indonesian kecap manis instead of shoyu, or Carolina-style BBQ sauce) substituting will more significantly change the final result.

  85. OBTW, for anyone visiting here, if you go to Longs Drugs, they are CVS stores, so your CVS card will get you the standard discounts and credit toward freebies.

  86. Teriyaki beef is one dish in which the shoyu is the primary flavoring for the beef, and thus the choice of shoyu is a bigger deal than for other recipes.

    Hm, sugar is the other main ingredient in teriyaki sauce (in some recipes, the only other ingredient), so I wonder if changing sugar would change the taste. My employer always used CH sugar.

  87. “Indonesian kecap manis”

    I was just looking for this over the weekend to make the NY Times Cooking’s version of Pad Kee Maw, but I couldn’t find it at the regular grocery. I did not make a run to Chinatown because I was pressed for time. Again – I was wishing for H Mart to be open. (supposedly July) I used soy + brown sugar. It was fine, but not as good as my favorite Thai place.

  88. Ada – I am almost never hungry. I drink coffee in the am and dinner. Yet, I am just normal sized, not skinny. So, while I think having slightly elevated blood sugar prevents me from being hungry, I think it does nothing to help me lose weight. I think my A1c is only normal because I don’t eat a lot so I don’t have a lot of big spikes in blood sugar.

  89. Finn, I usually use turbinado sugar when I need a little sugar in a savory recipe, and I’m sure that does affect the taste. I don’t know that a different brand of white sugar would matter, though. Even beet sugar vs cane sugar are both mostly just the same molecule, right?.

  90. Ivy when h mart opens, one of the first new things you can add to your larder is Indonesian sweet soy sauce or kecap manis, as was just mentioned. You dont even need a recipe you will find uses in marinades or to flavor other dishes, , but I got it to make Thai duck broth. I also buy galangal root and kaffir lime leaves when available for cheap and freeze them.

  91. I am almost never hungry

    OMG. I am always, always hungry. I also have a fasting glucose of 52, so pretty sure I don’t have high blood sugar.

  92. I don’t feel hungry often enough. It isn’t unusual for me to realize I’m light-headed and tired is that I’ve gone too long between eating, but I can almost always eat. It is nearly impossible for me to toast waffles for my kid or hand him an ice cream bar without taking a bite. We call it a delivery fee.

  93. I know some people who report getting busy and forgetting to eat and then realizing that they are light headed, etc. I am not like that. I just rarely feel hungry. I was hospitalized for over a month when I was pregnant with my oldest and one of my nurses turned me in because I would never order/eat breakfast, which she found to be the worst thing ever. Maybe I have a tumor or something that makes me feel full. It would concern me more if I hadn’t been like this my entire life. I should be super skinny, though. And I am not. I exercise, too!

  94. The always-hungries – have you ever tried a ketogenic diet? Atkins or something similar? I think that’s one of the magic things about getting off of the carbohydrate/insulin/blood sugar roller coaster. It really takes away your hunger. Obviously, you should consult your personal physician. However, I think it’s good for almost everyone to feel what it’s like to be in ketosis once in a while.

  95. I get hungry too. I don’t eat too many carbs, but I love my coffee with sugar and creamer. Lots of good suggestions. What does it feel like to be in ketosis?

  96. @Ada — that is the only one that works for me. I just find it almost impossible to stick to long-term (especially when DD is in a baking frenzy). Basically, it replaces “always hungry” with “pretty good most of the time + overwhelming cravings at the smell of freshly-baked bread or movie popcorn.”

    I have also recently gone on an SSRI (apparently, I’m not just getting crotchety in my old age, I’m depressed). I’ve heard those can cut cravings, so we’ll see.

  97. LfB, I didn’t find SSRIs to be helpful with weight, but I definitely felt better. It stopped the waking up at 2am and obsessing about all the stupid things I said in 4th grade, and that time I embarrassed myself in gym class in 8th grade, and that time I was thoughtlessly cruel to some poor kid, and so on. That was worth every penny for the meds.

  98. For the always hungry folks, have you tried eating more protein? Another byproduct of my bone-health-focused diet is that, because it includes more protein (protein being an often overlooked requirement for bone building), I am never hungry between meals anymore. I used to have a midmorning snack and a midafternoon one and a midevening one — no more.

    I think this is another reason I don’t have a midafternoon brain slump anymore, after about 2 decades of having them every day: more protein + less crap = so much more energy.

  99. Any suggestions on convincing a loved one to try an Atkins-style diet? DH is hungry 24/7. It’s taken me years to convince him to drink more during the day. I keep suggesting high protein diets, but he thinks I’m nuts. The thing is I know he could lose the weight he wants with that style of diet. But he won’t give up carbs and simple sugars. At all. Not a one.

  100. Definitely more protein and fewer carbs (and only complex carbs) helps my hunger. I really can’t do no carb and still run – the few times I’ve tried it, I’ve vomited during my runs, and nothing is worth giving up a run for.

    Also, at this point in my life, the always hungry is like the always cold. It’s just a state of being. I’m not always starving, or stomach-growling hungry, but always low level I-could-easily-eat-lunch-at-11am hungry.

  101. Important hijack.

    We have talked about laundry, and we have talked about the funky smell of boys. Have we talked about the 2 together?

    I can. not. get the smell out of their sports/athletic clothes. I use Costco brand detergent and oxiclean. I’ve tried hot water, cold water, presoaking. What am I doing wrong and what’s the secret?

  102. Re: protein: yes. Lots. I also avoid most sugar and simple carbs, and I have to be careful about complex ones (e.g., even oatmeal breakfast can leave me shaking hungry by 11, so it’s eggs in the morning for me).

    Re: boy laundry: OMG. The feet. The stank. I use copious amounts of bleach and hot hot water.

  103. OMG. The feet.

    I wanted to mention this before. As an adult you might have dozens of shoes and it could be a while between wearings. A growing boy might only have 2-3 pairs that are always being worn. An adult who was wearing a pair of shoes that often would have the same stink problem. The solution might be more shoes.

  104. Combining topics, one of my go-to protein snacks is a hard boiled egg — satisfying and quick. But sometimes the sulfur smell makes anyone around me hold their nose.

  105. That’s a great point about the shoes. One of our kids has grown 4 shoe sizes in 7 months this year. I am not even exaggerating a little bit. In the worst growth spurt, I bought him new running shoes and 6 WEEKS LATER had to get him another pair. My soul (sole? hahaha) dies inside every time they walk down the stairs and are noticeably taller because I know those toes stretched alongside the legs.

    Keens are the worst culprits for the stink.

  106. “But he won’t give up carbs and simple sugars. At all. Not a one.”

    A friend passed along these words of wisdom that he uses with employees, kids, and his challenging spouse: “I can’t want this more than you do.”
    If you are in charge of meal planning, shopping, and cooking, you have some influence over what your DH eats, but ultimately he has to understand that losing weight (or getting more sleep, or feeling better overall, or whatever) requires changing some habits, and has to be willing to try those changes. “Convincing” is often perceived as nagging, and doesn’t usually end well.

  107. Lark, if your boys are stuffing their clothing into a grotty athletic bag, that might be a factor.

    Some workout clothes are made of synthetic materials that seem to retain odors more than old-fashioned cotton ones. Something about their moisture-wicking ability.

    But vinegar and baking soda are worth a shot. They often work well on mildewy towels, and they’re cheap.

  108. An adult who was wearing a pair of shoes that often would have the same stink problem. The solution might be more shoes.

    I basically wear only one pair of shoes and they don’t stink. Rotating shoes might help a little, but it’s a teenager issue.

    On the growing, it appears DD’s feet habe stopped growing at 13. She’s been wearing the same softball clears for three seasons now.

  109. I try to follow the Diana Schwarzbein model of eating and just try to balance my meals and snacks. Most people need carbohydrates (like Ada said I’m sure ketogenic diets can be therapeutic for some) so if you have oatmeal for breakfast just balance it with some fat and protein – like add an egg or a slice of cheese and some cream in the oatmeal. Snacks should be the same way so cheese and fruit or if you eat gluten you could do ezekial bread with butter and some carrot sticks. I usually only need a snack in the afternoon but if you’re hungry you should eat. And if you want some ice cream I find it better just to get it over with rather than trying to eat something else.

  110. but if you’re hungry you should eat

    Hah! Not if you’re looking to lose weight.

  111. I think oatmeal should be considered a food with a high glycemic index. Maybe it is. When I was pregnant, I had gestational diabetes. I also had an egg aversion. I tried so hard to figure out how to eat oatmeal for breakfast without screwing my blood sugar. I would eat very small portions with fat and protein. It never worked. My sugar was always skyhigh an hour after meals. At least for me, I have to except it oatmeal is a comfort food and is not healthful.

    Rhode- I agree about your husband needing to make his own decisions. It’s hard to do a ketogenic diet, it especially in the first week. If you don’t really believe in sticking with it, I don’t know how you would. I am the kind of person who is convinced by good books. If your husband is similar, perhaps you guys can agree to read a few books about health and wellness together for discussion purposes.

  112. Rhett she claims people are thinking about weight loss in the wrong way. They think that you lose weight to become healthy but you really have to become healthy in order to lose the weight – meaning you need to fix your metabolism before your body is healthy enough to be able to lose the weight.

  113. Rhett, I’m totally aware of not smelling your own house thing. When I came back after my first semester away at college, I couldn’t believe how much our house stunk because I was deacclimated to it. But you don’t smell your shoes all day like you smell your house – they’re in a closet when I’m not wearing them which should make the odor worse.

  114. AM,

    Here is the thing. If you’re hungry at 4:30 and dinner is at 6:30 you, in theory, could have a snack and then adjust your dinner down to reflect the snack. But, that’s almost impossible. People almost always have the snack and then eat whatever is on their plate.

  115. I am what I would call “slow to get hungry”, so if I eat breakfast, I really can’t face lunch. That is why I rarely eat lunch. I am pretty skinny though and as I have gotten older, I find I struggle to keep weight on.

  116. For me, I honestly would eat way more if I was really hungry and I like a lighter dinner I’ll have a 4:00 snack and then that tides me over until dinner time.

  117. RMS – I thought I was the only one who had those kinds of thoughts! Mine extend into all of the mistakes I made in college – worse than kid stuff because I was older and should have known better. I know I am supposed to “let it go” but I am unable to.

    On topic – we have given up Diet Coke pretty much, but every once in a while we will get one with tacos or hamburgers when we are out. It tastes really good. DH got a Coke Zero by mistake and I tried it; I wasn’t sure what the difference between it and Diet Coke is, but I was reminded of the taste of Tab. That is old school!!

    I know I am eating more healthy stuff since being on WW – I now feel “off” if I don’t eat vegetables every day. I have various minor health issues that have led me to try eliminating wheat from my diet, but it didn’t do any good. I also have stomach acid issues so I am supposed to avoid things like carbonated beverages (since I’m not drinking soda that means Perrier type drinks and champagne!), as well as tomatoes and citrus. Unfortunately, tomatoes and citrus are foods I love and they are good for me.

  118. RMS – I thought I was the only one who had those kinds of thoughts! Mine extend into all of the mistakes I made in college – worse than kid stuff because I was older and should have known better. I know I am supposed to “let it go” but I am unable to.

    The SSRIs were like magic for that, and it worked for DH, too. He had the same syndrome.

    I also have stomach acid issues so I am supposed to avoid things like carbonated beverages

    Last month at my annual exam with my nurse-practitioner:

    NP: How’s your heartburn?
    Me: Omnipresent.
    NP: The gastroenterologists would tell you to stop drinking coffee.
    Me: The gastroenterologists can suck it.

    This is why I like my NP; she puts up with me.

  119. I do think getting a snack is ingrained in the culture. It was not so in the home country. You had breakfast, lunch, tea/milk (with a small snack) and dinner on a usual day. If you went out for heavy street snacks that took the place of lunch or dinner. Very few snacks were stocked at home. But breakfast, lunch and dinner were served at a set time. If you wanted to eat you had to wait for the next mealtime.

  120. but I definitely felt better. It stopped the waking up at 2am and obsessing about all the stupid things I said in 4th grade, and that time I embarrassed myself in gym class in 8th grade,

    I do that! I even do it about things that could have happened but didn’t.

  121. Lark: We use the baking soda / vinegar mix that Rocky mentioned. It totally works. And you don’t have to soak it for a long time–10 minutes is fine.

  122. When I wake up at 2am it is about recent stresses – stuff going on work, family, etc. It is not a major problem for me but it happens a couple times a month that I wake up & have trouble getting back to sleep. It happens most when I am going through a stressful time at work more than anything.

    I am not a regular snacker, although I find it hard to resist if something is put in my face (like in a meeting). Neither is DS. I do have trail mix on hand that I will eat at 4pm if I am hungry, which happens occasionally if I have a lighter lunch. It’s portion-controlled, so that helps me. But when we are with others, especially those with small children, I am often surprised by the constant grazing – especially by the little kids. And then the parents complain that their kids don’t eat meals! Well of course she doesn’t eat lunch – you gave her a snack at 9am, 10am and 11am! When DS was in preschool, the teachers at first were concerned that he wasn’t eating morning snack. I was frustrated trying to explain that he does not usually get hungry around 10am and why was this a problem as the reports were that he was heartily eating lunch everyday. *sigh* (FWIW, I still need to lose weight – it doesn’t seem to help me because I just make up for it by eating bigger meals.)

  123. “‘An adult who was wearing a pair of shoes that often would have the same stink problem. The solution might be more shoes.’

    I basically wear only one pair of shoes and they don’t stink. Rotating shoes might help a little, but it’s a teenager issue.”

    I only wish. DH has massively stinky feet, and he was kind enough to pass it down to our kids. It is horrible, especially in summer (and *no one* will wear sandals). We have lots of powders and inserts and stuff. And lots of bleach for the socks.

  124. Rocky, you will not be surprised to hear I do that too and have my whole life. It was only listening to my brother (the one in treatment for depression and anxiety) talk about how he did this, and how his meds and therapy were helping, that I thought, “wait, you mean that’s not normal? Everyone doesn’t do that?”

    Oh, and I almost never snack, except when there is some office treat that I can’t resist. And the only thing I drink is unsweetened tea. I only wish I had some “justs” to cut (e.g., if you just cut out your twelve sodas a day, the weight would fly away).

  125. “It’s taken me years to convince him to drink more during the day.”

    I wish I were married to you, Rhode.

  126. To follow PTM’s lead: Does anyone else find that red wine cuts your appetite? I think I should write a new diet book! It will be a NYT best seller for sure!

  127. PTM and ssk – good catch!

    And yes, day drinking for all! The sugar will kill you but you won’t feel it.

  128. You have one learn the difference between hunger and appetite. If you’re hungry at 4:30, eat. I try to eat every few hours, to keep my blood sugar up. Waiting until I’m tired means it has gotten too low. In general, I’m hungrier in the morning. I need a little food in the late afternoon/evening, but that’s when I’m risk of mindless munching out of boredom or appetite.

  129. RMS et al. I do the same rumination thing, too. I even went to a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist about it – not the thoughts per se, but the fact that I had developed a habit when alone of saying a phrase aloud to banish them and I was finding that it was coming out even when not alone. He helped figure out how to substitute some other behavior – I sniff twice quickly now. He also suggested letting the thoughts run their course to remove their power. That was also helpful.

    As for the health stuff, I am happy that people take care of themselves overall, and that adjusting food intake makes people feel better (not talking about required diets for life threatening diseases of course). Presumably adults can weigh the results versus unit of effort. However, I do worry about slavishly chasing specific test numbers. More and more it is becoming clear that medication may reduce a number that at high levels has been statistically linked to a greater likelihood of poor outcomes, but that actual mortality or even morbidity is not significantly reduced when you go from slightly elevated (or you might be elevated in five ten years if you don’t change something) to perfect – according to the latest data for 45 year old men. When someone says he is worrying about A1C – is he talking 6.3? 5.5? 4.5? Same with BMI, basic cholesterol measures, BP, absolute weight.

  130. Vinegar and baking soda together look impressive, but they are just neutralizing each other. You could do one after the other.

    Rhode, are you in charge of cooking now that you’re back at work? I bet a few unannounced days ignore high-protein foods would change his mind, once he noticed that he was less hungry. If you’re baking (because you have plenty of time, right?) you can substitute Greek yogurt for butter and whey protein powder for up to half the flour. DS loves banana bread made that way, and it is high in protein, low in fat. The usual way it’s a protein bomb.

    http://www.thekitchn.com/10-foods-that-are-higher-in-protein-than-you-think-243495?

  131. Does anyone else find that red wine cuts your appetite?

    Sometime ago, I started having a glass of red wine during dinner prep. About the same time, I stopped eating ice cream after dinner. At this point, it just isn’t worth the effort to scoop ice cream into a bowl. It always was before.

  132. Anecdotal but we have a friend who gave up wine for lent and he said that he just ended up eating way more dessert during that period.

  133. Wine usually erodes my self-control and I end up eating more.

    Now beer, on the other hand — something about the carbonation can make me feel uncomfortably full and stop eating. Of course, if I make it to the second beer, see wine, supra.

  134. I had developed a habit when alone of saying a phrase aloud to banish them and I was finding that it was coming out even when not alone.

    Oh my God, my mother did that constantly and I inherited it. Drives DH crazy, and I totally understand because I was driven crazy by Mom. And she didn’t just say phrases — she shouted them. Jesus. I must try the substitution trick.

  135. The usual way it’s a protein bomb.

    Arg! No. The usual way of making banana bread is a fat bomb.

  136. “the same rumination thing”

    I used to do this a lot as a kid, replaying things in my mind and trying to figure out better ways to respond than what I’d done IRL. I always thought of it as an educational process.

    I was also able to come up with some really snappy comeback lines after a lot of rumination. If those exact situations had ever replayed themselves IRL, I was prepared.

  137. More and more it is becoming clear that medication may reduce a number that at high levels has been statistically linked to a greater likelihood of poor outcomes, but that actual mortality or even morbidity is not significantly reduced when you go from slightly elevated (or you might be elevated in five ten years if you don’t change something) to perfect – according to the latest data for 45 year old men.

    I mentioned this in the thread last week. Research is showing that it’s not the numbers themselves that are the problem, it’s what causes the poor numbers, and improving the numbers with meds doesn’t fix it.

    On BMI, research came out a few years ago that people with overweight BMIs (not obese) have lower mortality rates than people with BMIs in the normal range.

  138. “Vinegar and baking soda together look impressive, but they are just neutralizing each other. You could do one after the other.”

    I thought it might be the acid-base reaction that kills the odors, but you might be right. Baking soda is often recommended to kill odors, including in the Sears link RMS posted, and I’ve seen recommendations to use vinegar in laundry rinse cycles.

    The Sears link also recommended sun drying, and IME that also works. I like the smell of sun-dried clothes.

    For sweaty clothes, I’ve found that the longer they are left to ferment, the stinkier they get and the harder it is to get rid of the stinkiness. So I try to let them dry as soon and as quickly as possible. I will drape sweaty clothes on the side of our hamper rather than just throw them in, as they dry more quickly that way, then put them in once they dry. Mesh pockets in workout bags also help.

    When I get home from the gym with my clothes and towel sopping wet, I’ll do a quick rinse before draping them over a towel rack in our laundry room; that seems to help more than just letting them hang sopping wet.

    But even better is washing clothes right after use, especially after a quick rinse to get a lot of the sweat out.

  139. RMS, I don’t have omnipresent heartburn, but I do get it from time to time.

    I’ve found a couple things that help minimize the heartburn once I feel it coming on:

    -Drink some water.

    -Suck on some soft melty chocolate. I’ve only done this a couple times, the first because I was on a phonecon and didn’t have water, but happened to have a piece of such chocolate, so out of desperation I stuck it in my mouth and let it melt down into my throat, and it provided better, faster relief than water.

    I need to experiment with this more, and keep some on hand at my desk and at home. The big problem with this, of course, is that it’s hard to keep some on hand when on the go.

  140. Finn, chewing sugarless gum helps too. And I do resort to PPIs and H2 blockers on occasion.

  141. “5 Items You Should Buy From the Men’s Section”

    I buy a lot more than 5 items from the men’s section.

  142. CoC, I think you may be overcooking your hard-boiled eggs if they smell noticeably sulfurous.

  143. I think we all get those occasional intrusive thoughts about something stupid and arrogant we said as a know-it-all teen, or some embarrassing situation from 5th grade, or what have you. Perhaps depression plays a role in making them more prominent and harder to dismiss?

  144. @HM: Right. I think the difference is that I will have nights that I am lying awake at 2 AM, ruminating about something that happened in 8th grade [or something similarly useless], and I can’t. make. my. brain. shut. up. Last night I had stupid Bejeweled in my head — every time I would close my eyes, my brain would turn words or mental pictures or those little floaters you get in your eyes into jewels that needed to line up to disappear. I mean every time — I must have woken up 15 times last night, and I’d turn over and go back to sleep and the stupid jewels would reappear in my brain

    When I was a kid, I was afraid of the dark, and I would lie awake at night planning how I was going to get away from the burglar/vampire/werewolf/[insert bogeyman here]. It made me feel better to have a plan vs. just staring into the dark feeling vulnerable. I have since learned that that is, umm, shall we say, not normal.

  145. Ah, yes, like having dreams that are all bright water and rocking motion after sailing all day, or dreams that are all variations on the exciting book you reluctantly put down at bedtime. Better cut down on the evening Bejeweled! ^_^

  146. Fretting is an effective way to deal with potential problems. Just think of all the things you’ve fretted over that never happened!

    Laura, that childhood strategy of dealing with dark was sounds like my kid! He doesn’t do exactly that, but close enough. ;)

  147. We haven’t gotten to super-stinky clothes yet; Method laundry soap is all I need. For the shoes, though, we use deodorizing sole inserts. My thought was that they could be replaced when stinky, but that hasn’t happened yet.

  148. LfB, we may have finally found someone who can help–the school psychologist! It’s hard not to get my hopes up too much.
    It’s about time, too. Last night I convinced DS to talk to his grandparents on the phone. It was an extremely quick call, with both sides using speaker phone. Afterwards, he was irritated that I hadn’t given him a script. He thought he sounded stupid. To his grandparents. How does one avoid an eyeroll in response to that?

  149. These two were world champions in 2010. Cervelo made an advertising poster with this picture & copy proclaiming that they didn’t make women’s bikes any differently than men’s. (If Dutch bikes are Cadillac, then Cervelos are Lamborghini). Their point was that the components used in women’s bikes were just as high quality as the men’s. I can’t find the ad online, but do find some hints that Cervelo has dropped this advertising campaign, and maybe changed their philosophy. Not sure about that second part. Still a cool picture, imo.
    http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/cycling-feature-hushovd-pooley-road-world-champion-men-elite-2010-picture-id533302526?s=594×594

  150. SM, I’ve not heard of bike companies using different componentry for women’s vs. men’s bikes, except for saddles. The difference was primarily in geometry, to account for things like women typically having proportionately longer arms and legs than men.

    But it looks like that’s pretty much gone away, as the trend has been toward less customization of frame size and geometry, and more customization based on componentry sizing (e.g., seat posts, stems), as well as toward smaller (and thus lighter), stiffer frames.

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