Memorial Day

“Say a prayer for peace, for every fallen son.
Set my spirit free, let me lay down my gun.
Sweet Mother Mary, I’m so tired.
But I can’t come home till the last shot’s fired.”

-Trace Adkins: Till the last shot’s fired

Happy Memorial Day and a big THANK YOU to all current and former military men and women.  We enjoy our freedoms because of you.

Home of the Free, BECAUSE of the Brave.

Avoid Diet Traps – Womens Health

I found this article on, but it’s from Women’s Health.  Here is the link for it.

As someone who works in the food industry, these kinds of articles really drive me bonkers.  It’s not the information, which is indeed all factual, it’s the way it’s presented.  The tagline for the article is that it will “blow the lid” off the food industry and reveal all the “secrets”.  The intent is to sow distrust of the food industry, who believe me is NOT trying to kill you.  If you read the article, every piece of information they cite came right off the nutrition facts label.. well now that’s not very secret is it?

For example, the first paragraph “For instance, you might notice a label on a package of cookies that proclaims “fat-free!” But what you don’t see (at least not until you examine the tiny print on the Nutrition Facts panel) is that those cookies are loaded with sugar and additives.”  This is not that hidden.. in fact it’s so obvious that I noticed it and wrote a blog about it.  Low sugar items are high in fat and fat free items are high in sugar.

Read how this paragraph is phrased called “Numbers are deceiving”:
“On the front of a box of reduced-fat Keebler Club Crackers — in big yellow letters, no less — you’ll find the following claim: “33 percent Less Fat Than Original Club Crackers.” The math is accurate: The original product does contain three grams of fat per serving, while the reduced-fat version has two grams. It is a 33 percent difference — but we’re only talking about one gram of fat here!”  The claim here is that 1 gram of fat is not a big reduction, even though the 33% math is correct.. but wait.. why not dwell on the fact that this product is already low fat with only 3 grams of fat per serving, and the reduced fat version even more so.  You should be praising this company, not vilifying them.

Obviously, a food company’s goal is to get you to buy their products, so this comment comes as no surprise: “Thing is, those claims? They’re not exactly what they seem. They’re a marketing ploy, pure and simple.” Wait.. who wrote this article? Eat This, Not That… the purpose of the article is to sell a book… it’s a marketing PLOY.. touche`… that sword cuts both ways doesn’t it?

The bottom line is this.. We all make our own choices.. if you don’t like something by all means don’t buy it and don’t eat it.  The labels are there for a reason, read them.  Such as the chips I reviewed recently that boasted a 33% fat reduction, I also listed that the RF was 6.7 grams per serving vs 10 for the normal.  Is that still too high for some people? Probably.. but that’s why the numbers are on there.

Nothing in a food product will hurt you. I promise.  Everything on the planet in too high a quantity is poisonous, even water and sunshine.  Our bodies even require very very minute quantities of  elements like Mercury and Arsenic that are extremely toxic, but our body uses them in microscopic amounts to function.

If the food industry was trying to kill you we would very soon run out of customers would we not?

Barefoot Running – Mens Journal

So I had an epiphany this morning, or so I thought.. turns out not so much.

This morning I read an article in the most recent issue of Men’s Journal about whether or not it was really better to run barefoot.  I have yet to master running in shoes, so this is way out of my league, but something in the article did catch my attention.  They described how the stride technique is much different for barefoot running versus with shoes.  You don’t land on your heels, but rather the balls of your feet, you take shorter strides and it’s a lot less impact.  Seeing as how I have almost no cartilage left in my left knee, lower impact is a good thing.

So I got to thinking at work today, maybe I’m running wrong and that’s why I’m having such a problem.  The author of the article recommended that stride technique even with shoes.  So I decided when I got home I would try it.  So I did a quick lap around the neighborhood (0.58 miles in 8 minutes) and tried it out.  My first jog lasted a little over two minutes before I got tired and stopped to walk, and then on my second jog I switched back and forth kicking out my heel or landing on the front, and on the front I could tell it was lower impact from the lack of a jolt to my lower back, but besides that it wasn’t a huge difference.

I’m not sure what I was expecting especially as a novice runner, but I think I sweet talked myself at work and had it in my head that it would be so much easier and less painful and I wouldn’t get tired and I’d be jogging like 10 minutes without stopping. Well, obviously that didn’t happen.  I was so convinced I was doing something wrong and that changing something up would suddenly lift the veil and be like “Oh so THAT’S what I was SUPPOSED to be doing…. ”  Now I’m just confused.

Pepitos Whole Wheat Tortillas and Reduced Fat Utz Chips

Pepito Whole Wheat Tortillas:

So far on the blog I’ve written about things that I liked and wanted to share.  For once, one of the new things I’ve tried didn’t turn out so well.  Trying to get more whole grains in my diet I decided to try Pepito’s Whole Wheat flour tortillas to make my tacos with.  Flavor wise they are fine, but texture wise they just didn’t hold up.  They are very thin and they fall apart.  Every time I tried to wrap them around something they would burst open in the middle and spill out the filling, and sometimes they would tear just picking them up.  They were very fragile and not very good for making tacos with.  I’d love to try some other whole wheat tortillas but not this brand.  Also, I’m not sure how tortillas are supposed to compare, but one tortilla had as many calories as 2 slices of bread (around 110).

Utz Reduced Fat Chips:

These chips advertise a 33% reduction in fat compared to other chips (6.7g per serving vs 10g per).  They aren’t as low fat as Baked Lays, which I have reviewed before, but they are also not nearly as expensive.  Baked Lays are 3.49-3.89 a bag and never go on sale, these Utz chips were 2.00$ on sale.  The other great thing about these chips is they don’t contain any fat replacers like Olestra.  They have about the cleanest label you’re gonna find outside of a 1 ingredient food.  Sliced potatoes, cottonseed oil, salt.  That’s it.  So the fat reduction must be in the processing rather than the ingredients.  They do taste different than Lays, which I would attribute to pure cottonseed oil vs a blend of oils and they taste like real chips.  Baked lays to me taste strange, but not nearly as bad as the other “shaped” false-chips like Pringles.  I like Baked Lays, don’t get me wrong, but I like them on their own merit, not because they taste like real potato chips, which they don’t.  The Utz chips also have a much better fat profile, thanks to the cottonseed oil, only 1.5 grams of saturated fat and the rest is poly or mono-unsaturated, which are not as bad for you.  For honest chip flavor with a not so fattening punch, I would certainly recommend these.

The Biggest Loser

This week is the finale of this season biggest loser.. Season 9? I don’t remember.  I remember when the show first came out I thought it was stupid, lose weight for a game show?

I haven’t been able to keep up this season, but I’ve been watching them on DVR about 3 weeks behind. I’ve almost caught up.  I just watched the Makeover week show and I think I have 2 more shows to watch before this weeks live finale.  I had watched a few episodes here and there, but last season was the first time I watched from beginning to end and saw the whole transformation.  I’ve forgotten their names, but the guy from brown team who lost 2 other whole people and looked completely different, and the guy from orange team who was the fastest to lose 100 pounds, until that record got shattered again this season.  It’s amazing to see these guys and gals drop 75.. 100.. 150.. pounds.  Mike (white team) from this season is like 4 pounds away from losing 200 and will be the first to do it.  I’m sure the next episode I watch on DVR he will hit it.

I don’t care for the gameplay aspect.. Purple team last season.. red team this season.. gain weight one week to try to lose more the following week, which I’m sure never works.. Taking it easy on weeks you have immunity and then try to hit a big number the next, which seems to always bite those who try it.  Granted those contestants are gone now and didn’t win, so that shows you where that got them.  Those that are after the fame or the money fall by the wayside.. those that are there for the right reasons move on.. so maybe it’s a good thing after all that they let those people play games, but then shoot themselves in the foot.

I don’t care who wins or who goes home.. I sometimes root for certain people, but that’s not why I watch it.  If you’re someone trying to lose weight and Biggest Loser doesn’t inspire you then you have no heart.  I’ve lost 60 pounds and I still have a long way to go.. so what better to see then a guy like Mike, who started at 500+ pounds and has lost like 193, and is still in the 300s with a long way to go and he doesn’t talk about wanting to be on the ranch.. he talks about NEEDING to be on the ranch.. I don’t like his attitude, and in the beginning I thought he was a jerk, but he has grabbed his life by the throat and is making HUGE changes (no pun intended).

Nearly every episode is emotional and I don’t care how big and tough and strong you think you are, when you are struggling with what they are struggling with and fighting the same fight they are fighting it will bring you to tears to watch them see their families for the first time after they’ve lost 150 pounds and they don’t even look like themselves anymore.  And ya know what? That’s ok.. cry.. feel the emotions.. that’s the point.. it’s inspiring.  I watched an episode, and then went out and did my run for the day.  Now as I relax I will probably watch another episode so I can catch up with how far I am behind.

Even if your like me and you think the game is stupid and there doesn’t need to be winners and losers and you hate the cheating, lying and backstabbing.. still watch it.  Watch for the ideas, the recipes, the training tips and the inspiration.  They are normal people just like all of us and if they can do it, we can do it.. we can all do it.

Official Race Results

The Twin City Track club has posted the official results from my last two races.

Lillie’s Friends Got Friends 5K – 49:25 15:55/mile pace 358th/424
This is one second slower than the time I put down of 49:24, but that’s pretty close.

Greek Festival 5K – 44:55 14:28/mile pace 247th/264
They shaved a full 20 seconds off my time.. I listed myself as 45:15.  A sub 45 minute 5K? Do I look at what was on the clock or the official time? I guess I should go with the official time, since it’s well… official. LOL  I guess I can update my PR time on the races page.

TV Graveyard II

It’s season finale time and that means the shows that didn’t cut the mustard are being canceled and boy are they dropping like flies.  There’s a few surprises on the list but not too many shockers.

In my first TV Graveyard post I mentioned Trauma on NBC, which was reported canceled and then reportedly picked up for another 13 episodes.  Halfway through the return (episode 18) it has mysteriously dropped off the air.  There hasn’t been a new episode in two weeks, and this week is the two hour finale of Chuck, so I have a feeling this one’s not coming back.

FlashForward – ABC – One Season: This one upsets me.  This was a great show, with a fantastic cast, what went wrong? Anchored by Courtney B. Vance (Law and Order CI, The Tuskegee Airmen) and Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love, Enemy at the Gates) and flanked by Bryan F O’Byrne (Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean 1,2, and 3).  This action packed mystery thriller was guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.  I read that the finale (which I think is tonight) was hastily and heavily edited to try to give some closure, which just means it’s going to ruin a good series with a clunky half done finale.  Nice.  Thanks ABC, first Defying Gravity now FlashForward.  Where’s the Sci-Fi love?

24 – Fox – 8 seasons: I haven’t watched this show, although I do think it’s a neat concept. 1 hour of real time equals one hour of TV time.  This show has had a pretty long run, but based on the reaction from journalists and bloggers, this cancellation is a bit of a surprise.  It’s been a long 8 days for Jack Bauer.  Maybe he needed some time off? That’s a hell of a week saving the world twice an hour.

Heroes – NBC : This one is a mercy killing.  I was hooked in the first season and the second season the show totally jumped the shark.  The writers strike put the second season on indefinite hold and it got messy, multiple characters were killed off, storylines were finished abruptly and the whole show went off kilter.  I quit watching it, and I’m surprised it limped along for 2 more years.  After 4 years this one is being put down finally.

A couple of long running shows are coming to an end like Lost and the original Law and Order.

Stays of Execution: Surprisingly some shows I like are actually coming back!

Human Target: Fox – This action show about a bodyguard who literally becomes a human target, as he finds out who the danger is and has them attack him instead of the intended target, is a really interesting show.  It’s listed on both the midseason and primetime fall lineups on Fox, so I know it is coming back, but I’m not sure when.  Look forward to this coming back.

Thursday night mainstays Bones and Fringe also continue for Fox.

White Collar – USA – Saw a commercial for this show and it is coming back on in June or July.  Good summer show to fill the void, can’t wait to see what more fun the FBI/Conman team can get into.

Sons of Anarchy – FX – Returning sometime in the fall, possibly September or October.  Not sure when it comes back, but I’ve seen the commercials and can’t wait for it to come back on.  Ron Perlman (Hellboy) is great as well as his wife (the mom from Married with Children) and his son Jax.  Can’t wait for this one either.

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.