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Showing posts from September, 2012

This Just In: Kids Hate Diet Lunches

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The Geneva Convention prohibits the killing of our taste buds. -Hawkeye Pierce, M*A*S*H

School lunches have never been known for being appetizing, but under the new Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, they're so bad that students are organizing protests.



Some critics of the protests say that an 850-calorie limit should be enough, and if the kids don't like it, they should bring their own lunches.

First, the calories. They're poor quality sugar and starch that's like Chinese food without the flavor and texture: it leaves you hungry an hour later--or a minute later for some kids. Google school lunch images: it's a beige sea of bread, breading and potatoes. The new guidelines call for more fruits and vegetables--which the kids have to put on their trays--but (1) fruit is mostly sugar, (2) it's hard to eat certain fruits and veg if you wear braces, (3) fruit and veg aren't filling, and (4) the fruit and veg are going in the trash anyway. Those whole grains that th…

Plans for my Dental Implant

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My fractured arm continues to heal. Tonight, I set out 15 plants in my front yard, then stopped only because it was dark. Tomorrow night, I'll plant five clumps of tall grass in place of the large spruce my neighbors cut down. I'm hoping the grass will shade and cool the wild roses and golden currants to the north of them.
Friday, I met with my oral surgeon. As soon as I can get a temporary tooth made, he'll extract the broken tooth and (if possible) implant the titanium screw where the root is now. Down time should be about two days. The temporary tooth will be attached to my braces. It'll take four months to heal, and then my dentist will put in the permanent tooth.
My insurance doesn't cover braces for anyone over age 19, nor does it cover tooth implants. (The alternative to an implant is bridge work, which destroys the two surrounding teeth.) They might make an exception for my braces through my medical insurance since I have them because of an accid…

Good Teeth: A Confounding Variable in Veg Eaters?

Since injuring my teeth, I haven't been eating as much vegetable food as I used to. (I'd already given up fruit, since it's one of the worst things for giving me acid reflux.) Why? I have a hard time chewing them--just like my mother, who has several bad teeth and a partial. Bad teeth are a sign of bad health and are associated with diabetes and low socioeconomic status. And they make it hard to chew certain foods.

Sure, you can go to the trouble and expense of juicing, but people who do that are outliers who are probably doing several good things for their health. And V-8 is a bit like oatmeal for most people: the only reason they consume it is because they think it's good for them. For most people with bad teeth, it's just easier to eat tuna casserole and mashed potatoes or a hamburger and fries.

Someone who's being funny might look at my case and say, "Aha! She became tired and weak and had several medical appointments around the time she stopped eati…

Getting Back to Normal

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If I haven't posted much lately, it's because I've been resuming a normal life after a month spent getting well and getting by. I've weeded the yard, filed all my papers and amended my state tax return. I took my computer in for repairs and having lost all my data, reloaded my music and found a free home accounting program (mint.com) to replace Microsoft Money. My lindy partners have given my right arm some exercise (dance partners in lindy use one another's weight), my favorite stock screener brought up a promising company to research (Global Payments Network), and fold.it came out with a streptococcus puzzle and a "quick frozen" puzzle that have kept me busy.

  Something that seemed to help push me back into feeling well was resuming my GNC Hair, Skin & Nails vitamins. I always felt good taking those, but got nervous about taking more vitamins than I should. I've also been diligent about taking an iron pill every night. My eye tooth (the …

Banishing Stress

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As much as people complain about stress, they go out of their way to create it. They over-schedule, overspend, under-sleep, and under-nourish themselves. I'm still working on getting enough sleep, but I've found some ways to reduce other sources of stress.

Poor diet will affect your mood. Contrary to what's written by a lot of self-help authors, your mood isn't just a matter of attitude. Your brain is mostly made of fat and cholesterol and requires various nutrients to run properly. It needs glucose, but the glucose needs to be in your bloodstream, not your stomach in the form of carbohydrates. (Your liver can make glucose out of protein.) Drs. Phinney and Volek describe how low-calorie, high-carb diets can affect the brain in The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living. (The short answer: depending on how much you exercise, you can mentally and physically hit the wall.)

If for example you decide to eat 1200 kcal per day, composed of 25% protein (75 grams), 25% fat…