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Old 11-22-2010, 06:22 PM   #1
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Default Man, I have it so easy!

I didn't realize how easy I had it until I went back to visit my family for Thanksgiving! I grew up in the midwest and am just shocked at what I saw at the grocery store. It was just aisles and aisles of junk food. DH and I really had to search to find products that didn't have sugar added (we can't cook at the moment because we only have a microwave since we're staying in a hotel so it's salads and microwaveable meals!).

I know it's in part a regional thing. We live in the Northeast and don't have a car so we need to walk everywhere. The stores are really small and most people just buy for a day or two at a time so the ratio of fresh produce/prepacked meals is much higher. But, wow, we really had to look to find the produce section at the grocery store.

I know it wasn't as bad when I was growing up there either. I used to work at the same grocery store (different location but it's a chain) in high school and the produce area was huge then. But things seem to have gotten so much worse. It seems like all I saw were fast food restaurants. Add into all that my mom who is the source of all my emotional eating (she even purposely fed my sister and I pop and chocolate in mass amounts so we'd be hyper and clean the house!!!) and I think if I lived there I'd be wwwwaaaayyy bigger! Even now, even though she KNOWS that I've given up sugar she keeps offering it. We went out to lunch today and she kept asking about taking us to dairy queen afterwards or wanted to know if I wanted dessert there (they did have a sugar free option but I wasn't interested and she was really disappointed). Basically my whole point of this is that I wanted to send out a big kudos to those losing close to family members that are the source of their problems (source is probably not the right words since everyone still has a choice about what food they put in their mouth but I think you can understand my point) and also in regions that are just stocked with junk food. I really wonder if I would've had the same will-power to start this journey there. Especially since I seemed small in comparison to many people I've seen so far! Where we live now I FEEL obese. I'm the biggest of my non-pregnant friends so that's some real motivation there. On the other hand, if I was the smallest... well, I can't really say what I would do! I'm glad I don't have to find out because I really need to be losing for my health too!!!!!!
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:55 PM   #2
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I know how you feel. I live in San Diego where healthy is really the cool thing to be, however, I am from North Carolina where they fry the ham and butter the biscuit before adding the cheese and calling it a snack. I'm lucky I made it out with my arteries forget about a waist line.
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:13 PM   #3
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I can attest to how much it sucks here in South Dakota. We moved here a little over a year ago from Minneapolis where we had Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. The grocery stores here suck! If I want anything remotely healthy, I have to drive 45 minutes to the next large town. And then they wonder why everyone is overweight. Cuz all you can buy is crap!
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Old 11-22-2010, 07:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sal27253 View Post
I know how you feel. I live in San Diego where healthy is really the cool thing to be, however, I am from North Carolina where they fry the ham and butter the biscuit before adding the cheese and calling it a snack. I'm lucky I made it out with my arteries forget about a waist line.
Yes! I really wonder how I didn't end up more overweight growing up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HadEnough View Post
I can attest to how much it sucks here in South Dakota. We moved here a little over a year ago from Minneapolis where we had Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. The grocery stores here suck! If I want anything remotely healthy, I have to drive 45 minutes to the next large town. And then they wonder why everyone is overweight. Cuz all you can buy is crap!
LOL! I was, in fact, talking about South Dakota!!!

Yep, and back home we shop almost exclusively at Whole Foods/Trader Joe's (mostly Trader Joe's)! Seriously. It's scary what options are available here.
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Starting Measurements (B/W/H): about 51/40/46, 240 lbs Goal Reached Pre-Pregnancy: 39/29.5/38, 156lbs Current: about 43/34/42
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Started at 240
Onederland 199 (Jan 6, 2010, exactly 2 years after my previous due date!)
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Called Goal 156

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Old 11-22-2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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I grew up and still live in central Illinois and our grocery stores are all about the high fat, highly processed, high carb comfort foods. Especially this time of year when everyone starts storing up for the winter like we're all going to go into hibernation for the next 6 months.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:39 PM   #6
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In New Orleans, we have a lot of very healthy options. Local produce is fairly cheap, plentiful, and delicious (right now the satsumas are everywhere, yum!). The bigger problem is that in order to find the "skinny" food, you have to pass by some of the best chow in the country--po'boy shops here, pralines at checkout counters there, and the ineluctable allure of beignets. I mean, who goes to the French Quarter and does NOT go to Cafe du Monde!?

I'm convinced that some parts of the country have it much tougher when it comes to weight loss and/or eating more healthful foods.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:44 PM   #7
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I'm in Nebraska and they're building a Trader Joe's and I'm SO EXCITED! But on the whole, selections are not great here. We have a very small co-op health food store but the prices are ridiculous. It's tough to eat healthy on a budget!
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:21 PM   #8
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Ha! Sal27453: I'm also from North Carolina and couldn't imagine a weekend without a stop (or two) at Bojangles. Add that to the ever-present temptation of BBQ AND the Southern custom that it is ALWAYS rude to refuse food when it is offered...SIGH.
Moving to LA, and then to NYC has been eye opening. So many different food choices-- some of the same, terrible ones, but so many healthier ways to live also.
Its amazing how tastes and the definition of "normal" grocery shopping, eating out, etc change from place to place!
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Old 11-22-2010, 11:17 PM   #9
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I feel like I have it a lot easier living in Oz! We don't have superstores like Whole Foods or Trader Joes, but I really feel like on the whole, Australia isn't too bad with food. That's been my experience at least.

The worst thing available at my schools was Coke in secondary college. The only foods available for lunches in the early 90s were salad boxes, sandwiches, and occasionally pastries. But the pastries were minis and it was unheard of to order more than two. We also had a limit on icypoles and you were only allowed a small.

I think the supermarkets are pretty good here, too. There's a lot of packaged and processed food, but I don't think our versions are as bad as they could be.

With my tendency toward addiction to very fatty, salty, sugared, processed food... I think I would have a lot of problems if I'd lived in parts of the States and had access to them.

This is pieced together from TV and my American friends, though. Are processed/addictive foods as much of an issue as I'm told?
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:06 AM   #10
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One of my biggest friends told me about a website in the UK that imports all the junk foods from the US that are not available here. My lord you have some stuff there! About 6 flavours of M&Ms, fifteen flavours of Pop Tarts (think we have 2, maybe 3) a giant jar of marshmallow to spread on toast... it's an eye-opener for sure. We have some junk, but not as much as that.

I think poor areas have it tougher here, though. Before our new grocery store opened down the road all we had locally was a grotty little supermarket that sold a couple of sad looking apples and carrots then an array of "shove in the micro and scoff" meals of appalling content due to low pricing, and an alcohol section that would take your breath away! Typical shopping basket: bags of chips, candy, microwave pizza, six-pack of beer, bottle of wine, packet of ciggies, jar of baby food and bumper pack of diapers. Then you pick up a bag of chips (in this case fries, but thick, soggy and greasy!) from the "chippy" to have with your micro pizza. The new store has 6 different choices just of apples, but it's still a bus ride away from the poorest people, and the bus is 1.20 per adult and 60p per child each way and you can only take home what you can carry, so everyone carries on going to the other shop.

They do have some projects, though, all kids 5-7 in state (public) schools in Scotland get free fruit every day and the poorest get free milk. There is a charitable shop where you can go and buy the fruit and veg that the big supermarkets rejected (because it's an inconsistent size and shape, not because there's anything wrong) and you can buy a giant box of it for about 2, but you get what you get in it, the idea being you try to use whatever is in there even if it's unfamiliar. Those stores are in the actual tenements where most of the poorest people live, just wish more people took advantage. Most of their advertising is in newspapers and few who would benefit most choose to read even if they can do so.

This big friend of ours also rarely shops for anything to eat at home, he thinks it's completely normal to eat out from a different fast food place every night. Believe me that is VERY not normal in the UK, once a week is more average in Scotland, North-West, parts of North-East and Essex, far less often in other parts. It's not cheap here to do this, not at all, I empathise with parts of the US where a drive-thru is cheaper than home cooking, but he spends at least 5 each night on his dinner and complains (get this!) that he is not paid enough because it doesn't cover his dinners. He doesn't work, he gets unemployment allowance, and apparently it's not acceptable that it should not pay for him to eat out 7 nights a week. Hmmmm.
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Old 11-23-2010, 05:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sunday View Post
This is pieced together from TV and my American friends, though. Are processed/addictive foods as much of an issue as I'm told?
It's not just that there are so many of them, it's that they are so cheap. From what I've pieced together talking to people, staples are about the same price or even a little cheaper overseas, but junk food is much, much cheaper. I can buy a box of jumbo pastries (Little Debbies. Do you all have them?) that has 8000 calories in it for $2.50 (a tad more in Australian dollars). This is part of the reason obesity has become associated with poverty: if your entertainment budget is $10/week, you can go see one movie, or you can eat something really delicious every single night.
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nola Celeste View Post
In New Orleans, we have a lot of very healthy options. Local produce is fairly cheap, plentiful, and delicious (right now the satsumas are everywhere, yum!). The bigger problem is that in order to find the "skinny" food, you have to pass by some of the best chow in the country--po'boy shops here, pralines at checkout counters there, and the ineluctable allure of beignets. I mean, who goes to the French Quarter and does NOT go to Cafe du Monde!?

I'm convinced that some parts of the country have it much tougher when it comes to weight loss and/or eating more healthful foods.
My uncle was a zookeeper at the Audubon Zoo for several years before Katrina, and I visited him there many times. It was an all-out food fest! Your fair city is one of my favorite places on Earth, but I would actually be afraid to go there right now! Strolling the Quarter with a 3 ft tall margarita, a roast beef po' boy with gravy AND mayo, then a plate of hot beignets to top it off. I give you a lot of credit!
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:52 AM   #13
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That was interesting (and sad), thanks Rose & Shmead.
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Old 11-23-2010, 08:04 AM   #14
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just a random side note- i was watching some show on the food network and Cafe du Monde was on there... and, man, did it look AMAZING!
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:47 AM   #15
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I'm from California where fresh produce is king, but my mom's entire family is from the midwest. When we go back to visit I undestand exactly why no one in my family circle likes vegetables- they're all cooked to death out there! I ordered a salad and forgot to ask for dressing on the side. Big mistake. I couldn't see my lettuce. The waitress's response? "let me know if you need more dressing!" Really? My grandmother had never eaten a cantaloupe until she visited my mom in CA when I was born. Talk about missing out!
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