Whole Foods Lifestyle - Artificial Stuff

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05-14-2007, 09:28 AM
I'm not sure why but the artificial contents of my intake seem to be creeping. I always said that my acceptions to whole, natural foods were diet coke and ff italian drsg however ... Now there's crystal lite, sugar free chocolate syrup, some alcohol, splenda ...

I think I'm torn between making it good food and making it low cal food. And in the mean time I'm a bit sluggish and my BP is a little higher than I'd like.

05-14-2007, 05:22 PM
Hi Susan,

I know what you mean. I had a similar experience. I think i get infuenced by the people around me. I mean, most of my fam. and friends eat processed foods and artificial sweeteners, and they don't seem to have any problem.
so i let myself eat some too, and it became more and more until my diet now has trouble looking like a whole foods diet!

I think the trend towards so many people wanting organic food stems from our natural intuition that these fake foods are not good for us. I think our bodies know, and they are trying to tell us. That is why in spite of FDA approval for artificial ingredients, somewhere in our minds we just don't buy it, we just don't feel it is right.

My gut tells me you should stick to a whole foods diet. There are so many low cal foods out there that just are not good for us.

that's my 2cents, whole wins over low cal.


05-14-2007, 09:18 PM
I have never used Splenda, and I recently stopped buying diet soda (I use flavored no-cal seltzer; love the mandarin orange and peach flavors). Once or twice I made ff sf chocolate pudding, basically ate the whole thing that same day, and of course felt like drek by the end of the day.

For dinner, I had leftover brown rice, BBQ'd tempeh, braised bok choy (with a dash of sesame oil) and turnip greens (microwaved from freezer). I am full, but not stuffed, and feel great. I'm sure I'll continue to feel good into tomorrow--gotta love those green leafies!

I also stick with plain ff yogurt--no sweetened yogurt of any kind.

05-15-2007, 08:32 AM
Hi Susan,

When I first started losing weight, it was all about calories for me, and if I needed diet soda or a high-salt canned soup to do it, well, so be it. The truth is that they are easy, convenient, and yes, tasty.

At some point, I started to be careful of the nutritional content of my food, and tried to move more towards a whole foods diet. And I waited for the testimonials of an awful lot of people to come true--that I would no longer crave sugary, salty, processed food and a simple apple would be just heavenly. Well, for me, that didn't happen, and a lot of the people that felt that way are no longer here (some are of course) and I still am. So I pretty much think that for me, and a lot of people, that wonderful, nature woman state is more wishful thinking than truth. I LOVE a good apple, but the siren call of cheetos still haunts me.

Anyway, I still think eating real foods is best, but I've come back to moderation. I eat about 8-10 servings of fruits and veggies a day. Most of my grains sources are whole grains. I try to get nuts and legumes and fish into my diet. I do most of my own cooking. But to fight the demons, or in a pinch, I do drink a diet coke a couple times a week for a sweet fix, or have a 100 cal pack of HFCS-loaded cookies. And I'm pretty much guilt-free about the whole thing.

Again, this is me, and different things work for different people. For example, Susan, I pay no attention to salt intake whatsoever, mostly because I have really healthy blood pressure and I do a lot of heavy exercise in the heat where my sweat (and salt) losses are high. But if I had any inkling at all my blood pressure was creeping up, I'd be off the salt fast! I've seen what high-blood pressure can do.

Sluggish is also a personal thing. For me, if I get enough sleep, get enough calories, and keep the stress to a minimum I'm great. My running is never so great as when I've eating a few too many cookies the night before, and calorie restriction always means I'm slow and cranky. But I'm one of the lucky ones that doesn't have a problem with higher glycemic load foods causing the insulin spike and subsequent is blood sugar. Maybe this is happening? I find caffeine helpful, but in moderation--when I start drinking too much I get jumpy and don't sleep well, and at that point it is counter-productive.

So do what is right for you, Susan, but my vote (as if I get one) is to make it good food most of the time, but if you want a crystal light, or some sugar-free chocolate syrup, have some. I wouldn't make it another food group, but I'm not a believer in perfection either.


05-15-2007, 09:16 AM
Wow, thanks everyone!
I was cleaner yesterday. I'd had the chocolate syrup before I posted but today I have fruit ready for my shake.
I'm not sure what the crystal lite is about. I can drink water and I enjoy green tea.
Inspired by a post of Anne's from a long time ago, I've been following weight variations over a shift at work. I've found that I have fluid on board in the morning. To the tune of 3 or 4 lbs! I researched salt recommendations a bit and found that I'm slightly over the recommended and I don't put diet coke in fitday. Bad, bad!
I have lab work on Thursday for a dr's appt next week. In light of the salt thing, I don't think I'm ready for a diuretic. I'll try diet first.
I didn't take my BP but I will this afternoon to see if it corresponds to the lower weight.
Thanks again.

05-15-2007, 12:22 PM
I didn't take my BP but I will this afternoon to see if it corresponds to the lower weight.

SusanB, if you'd care to share, I'd be very interested to know if the BP follows the water retention. While I'm doing great now, HBP typically hits the women in my family hard after menopause, and that isn't all that far away in the grand scheme of things.


05-15-2007, 12:30 PM
Sure Anne ... to the best of my recollection ... on Saturday I dropped from 133.3 to 131.8 in the course of a 4 hr shift. Spent half the morning in the BR!
I only took one pressure and it was 131/80.

I'll do a weight and BP this afternoon when I get there and get back to you.

05-15-2007, 01:50 PM
While I'm doing great now, HBP typically hits the women in my family hard after menopause, and that isn't all that far away in the grand scheme of things.

Anne, my BP has recently been creeping up - with no drastic change of diet or exercise levels, or anything I can pinpoint except age (I'm 62 now). :shrug: Of course, the standards for "healthy" BP have been lowered over the past few years too. :) In any case, my internist feels that eventually everyone's BP gets higher, and it's a matter of how high. She didn't feel mine was high enough to medicate, just to watch. Of course, if I could lose some more weight, it might go down. My cholesteral did the opposite - the lower fat I took my diet, the higher it went. I think my body is just perverse! :lol:

05-15-2007, 05:21 PM
I wish I had a happier report but I don't. Although I'm sitting at 130.7 lbs my BP is 130/94.

05-15-2007, 08:38 PM
My cholesteral did the opposite - the lower fat I took my diet, the higher it went. I think my body is just perverse! :lol:

Pat, I think this just goes to show that body composition is a risk factor for these things, one that should be taken seriously of course, but not the be-all-end-all indicator.

SusanB, thanks for sharing. Here's hoping all the numbers you want to go down, go down.

Tying back to your thread, I think I'm going to go have a Crystal Lite!! ;)


05-15-2007, 08:42 PM
Susan B I feel ya!

I personally never eat artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners etc. and the end results include the sad fact that all low-calorie options I have available to me are basically raw veggies and nothing else!

05-15-2007, 09:22 PM
Wow. I've been on whole natural foods for about a month and have dropped 5 lbs. but just finished reading the thin commandments book and it's good solid advice for the mental stratagies but the diet at the end is all about fake sugar and no or very low fat. I tried it for one day (today) and feel horrible...weak and hungry...I think it's the splenda and no fats????


05-16-2007, 10:02 AM
My husband gave me a talkin' to last night. Now first of all you have to understand that he's one of those fella's who hardly ever says three words strung together ...
I decided to come clean about all this BP and fluid retention stuff. A true ego bruise because I'm supposed to be fit ya know?
Oh so you decided to take your blood pressure right now???? and it's high??? imagine that!
Here's what's going on ... my brother is newly diagnosed diabetic ... metformin.
I'm three weeks into a new full-time job.
We're in the middle of funeral stuff for a fellow in our church.
I've been estranged from my father for many years. I get a phone call on Monday and by Tuesday afternoon, I'm up to my neck in his after hip repair plans.

But I'm pretty sure all that kind of thing is why I've been in a bit of denial about my BP. There's always some reason it could be up.

Enough psycho babble ... I'm running into a mental block about cutting sodium. Anybody want to have a look at my fitday and make suggestions?

05-16-2007, 01:10 PM
Well, your life events are certainly a contributor! Sorry you are having so many stressful events at once :(

I glanced at your Fitday for yesterday and identified a few things that are high in sodium: cottage cheese, canned salmon and bloody Mary mix.

Do you read labels too? I think most people (even us seasoned dieters) can be surprised from time to time with the sodium content of things we commonly eat.

05-16-2007, 03:01 PM
Oh dear! My beloved cottage cheese!
The bloody mary was a one-off ... I assure you ... yuck!
My initial response was about cost ... the cost of buying low sodium this and that but ... they've got to be cheaper than medications! Right?

05-16-2007, 05:13 PM
I think it is better in the long run to spend more on food now vs. spending money on medicine and health care later in life. I always thought that healthy eating was going to be more expensive, but I've found that it is actually much less (partially because DH and I are eating less~but still.) I try to view it as an investment in my health.

05-18-2007, 07:02 AM
My cholesteral did the opposite - the lower fat I took my diet, the higher it went. I think my body is just perverse! :lol:

Pat, mine did that too. Any ideas why?

05-18-2007, 09:41 AM
Pat, mine did that too. Any ideas why?

Were you also eating a lot of processed or high refined carb foods? I have read there is a connection there.

05-19-2007, 10:32 AM
On the subject of high cholestrol, my DH spent years keeping his sat fats low with little to no effect on his cholestrol, even after he had trained for and run a marathon. Finally, last year he began seeing a naturopath who told hime to get rid of refined carbs and HFCS. The amount of fat in his diet actually went up - tho' he was eating monos and omega 3s as opposed to the bad fats. His serum cholestrol has dropped 100 points since he started this.. Now it was combined with added exercise and supplements, but I do think the diet changes contributed.

I do think it is worth pursuing the connection...

05-19-2007, 11:04 AM
Yes, RosieKate, I have read the same information the Naturopath shared with you and known others who have had similar results :)

05-20-2007, 03:00 PM
Thanks, SoulBliss and RosieKate. No, I haven't eaten refined stuff for years and years, and I've never eaten junk food. My 'good fats' have always been pretty good, too. (What an angel I am! :angel: but :?: )

My GP has just quietly dropped the idea of testing cholesterol now (I live in the UK where testing is not so routine).

05-20-2007, 03:13 PM
Silverbirch, the other thing to consider is that sometimes people's cholesterol raises as they burn fat and lose weight, as more is circulating through the system as fat metabolizes during that time. Who knows? Maybe it's heredity that is causing this in you. Either way, great job on the weight loss and an understanding GP :)

05-20-2007, 08:26 PM
Silverbirch - Hi! :wave: I'm sure my cholesterol problems are hereditary. Even at my highest level, I still had the lowest readings in my family! My sister had cholesterol levels that are out of sight (but now corrected with meds). My mom also had high levels, but she was in a nursing home with Alzheimer's so I'm not sure whether she got meds for it or not. And like you, I pretty much cut out refined stuff a few years back. So :shrug: who knows?

05-21-2007, 02:50 PM
Thanks again, everyone. Just one of those mysteries, I suppose. You can't pin down everything about the human body. :)

05-23-2007, 06:08 PM
OK ... I've been for my physical and everything was terrific!
What a high! I am ecstatic!
The nurse practitioner does not think my BP is perilously high. She wants me to track it as I have been. She had lots of suggestions, the usuals and keeping an even tighter rein on salt ... AND... minding my ibuprofen intake, getting enough sleep. She did not dismiss my notion about artificial stuff. Hmmm.

She told me I had a heart rate like an athlete. :D

06-01-2007, 01:41 PM
Hey that's fantastic! Congrats for the clean bill of health!

I found that after I lost my weight I am very sodium sensitive now and will swell up like a ball park frank if I eat too much sodium.
I try to keep my sodium in between 2000 and 3000.
99% of the time I am succesful.
It really is hard though. Everything is sooooo much easier if it comes from a box or a can.
I have 7 kids and a hubby who want to eat "good" food as opposed to my food so I have to cook 2 meals at dinner really.
But mine taste way better than theirs in my opinion.
I make my own poultry gravy and chicken broth and base most of my meals with that when I want soup or chicken with gravy.

Lest you think I eat only natural foods, let me assure you that with limited time sometimes I have to rely on lazy-girl short cut foods. I just have to be careful the rest of the day.
One of my fav is Lean Cuisine Pockets I have a couple of times a week for lunch. I have students over 2x a week and am too rushed to have lunch ready beforehand.
Also Hebrew National 97 fat free (1 billion sodium!) franks.
I had them last night cause it was so hot here and the kids wanted hot dogs.
I boiled then chopped my 2 franks, added 2 plum tomatos, and 1/4 white onion, dumped it all over a plain backed potato.....YUM & Easy!

Here is my stat report for the last month.