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Maddy, I don't think there is anything wrong, really, with watching TV while you do stuff like use a stationary bike or treadmill or even a stairmaster kind of contraption. I once had a trainer who tried to "encourage" me by telling me to "envision" myself actually "burning off fat", or visualize myself becoming thinner, etc. etc. But the fact of the matter is, that's fine for a few minutes and then I get bored as hell. And if I'm bored by the exercise, I may never come back.

On the other hand, if I'm watching a good movie or listening to a really interesting podcast, then I'm getting exercise and the pleasure of being mentally engaged too.
I actually feel that I get a much better work out when I am listening to music rather than watching TV. For me it's the beat of the music that keeps me moving FAST! When I watch TV I tend to take my sweet ass time and sweat much less. But that's just me, some people don't need the musical motivation.
I always watch TV when I go to the gym. I'll mix it up by trying different things, like I'll run really fast during the commercial break. It also keeps me going for a longer period of time, because I want to watch the whole show. And sometimes, if a good teaser comes on about what's gonna be on Oprah next, I'll be like "Shoot, now I need to work out for another hour..." I watch real crap at the gym - Family Feud, Dr. Phil, My Super Sweet Sixteen - so it is also a guilty pleasure. My gym has little TVs on each of the treadmills and eliplicals so you can choose what you want to watch from cable. It's pretty good.
i agree that i might work out harder wtih good music, but i think i'll work out longer and more regularly if i can watch tv. although, not that many m achines at my gym have tvs, and like you said,it's limited with what shows you can watch. i'm so jealous of people who have room for a treadmill or whatever. maybe i can get a cheap one on craig's list or something....
Beauty & her Bass
I tried TAL was GREAT! I can totally work out longer listening to it because I don't want to finish until the show's done. I did a whole extra 13 min on my cardio by accident! (those are words I never thought would come out of my mouth. who am I and what have I done with b.?!)

My exciting news was I got to meet a pro football player today! He was on the elliptical right next to me. I thought the thing was going to break because he was soooo huge! It also helped that he was a little cute too. mmmm. more incentive.
I lifted tonight and it feels *awesome*. Now that I'm working with a trainer I'm not as scared of hurting myself by pushing it too far, so I worked really hard and I already have that fantastic sore muscle feeling. Ohhhhh it hurts so good smile.gif

I sort of want to be a body builder like my bad-ass trainer.

Polly, can I recommend "weight training for dummies" to you and your man? It's an awesome book for beginning weight lifters, and it would be esp. good for your fellow because it always offers alternative versions of the exercises for people who need to modify it and make it easier (or harder, if you want to go that way). Also, it's cool because the models in it are just regular people of different ages, sizes, ability, etc. There is a TON of stuff in there he can do: unlimited upper body stuff (which has been keeping me busy for seven months already!), and most lower body stuff too (just do it on one side). If you have specific Qs, let me know and I'll do my best to address 'em!

Weight lifting is really a rush once you get into it! And the feeling you get when you first notice new muscles-- muscles you didn't even realize were in your body--that are getting bigger and stronger... oh, it's a great feeling! Plus, not to mention, lifting prevents all sorts of injuries, from day-to-day activities, weekend warrior type stuff, and the toll that cardio workouts can take (that I'm in a long recovery process from). I highly recommend weight lifting to you, your man, and everyone else! Try it!

(Oh, and if you're into weight loss, simply having muscle mass in your body makes you burn fat faster even when you're just sitting around.)
What is "This American Life"?
And octinoxate, do you mind if I ask what cardio workouts did to you? My inquiring mind wants to know.
This American Life

Click on "Never Heard Us?" on the left for more info.

Now that they're downloadable through iTunes for free, it's a great idea to work out with them!
Thanks for that!
I've got one of the early iPod shuffles and I've been loading that up with TAL every Monday; since there are only so many I can carry on my little machine I want to fit each walk into the 59 minutes of the show. That makes me walk a lot faster than I usually would, listening to the show (I tend to be leisurely, if you know what I mean). I want to cover a fair amount of distance (7 kms, going up and down hills too) in that time because if it takes longer, I'll run out of listening material and have to down load other podcasts (which are okay, but just not the same...even if Wait Wait Don't Tell Me is awfully damn funny).

Yesterday's show was on babysitting. The last segment on the show was just unbelievably funny, but also sad beyond words. I walked and cried right through it (thank goodness there aren't many neighbours around).
chacha is that the one where they're babysitting for the imaginary family? ah..

i've pretty much exhausted all the TAL archives, from listening to them at work. but they're so good.

i managed to make time for breakfast this morning--one egg, scrambled, an orange, whole wheat toast with organic peanut butter, coffee with 2%. aside from exercising regularly i want to start making myself get up early enough to have a leisurely morning and actually eat; instead of rushing out the door and then starving all morning or worse, stopping at a gas station for some processed bar of something or (horrors) a "breakfast sandwich". *shudder*
That's the one. By the time the woman started to describe why it is that she still "visits" her mom even though her mom doesn't know she does this, and explains that she does it for the people who once loved her when her mom was still a little girl, I was weeping. Walking and weeping is messy.

You know they have 10 years of archived material, right? I started listening to them in 1997, and remember specifically the episode on Frank Sinatra's death. But he hadn't died yet. Is it possible you've gone through all 10 years' worth?

It's such a great show. I figured with so many old shows, I should be able to walk every day for an hour for quite a while.
heh, i do. but if you take into consideration the fact that i often go through a few shows a day, several are repeats, and i've been doing this nearly every weekday for the past six months.....

Yeah, I figured you were listening to more than one epi a day. It's a weekly show, and though it looks like the archive is stacked, that doesn't mean you've got enough to last you. I wish there were other shows with that kind of relevant and still interesting history (most NPR shows are pretty good, but their usually more focused on current events which don't create that kind of lasting interest).

There is quite a bit out there in the way of pod casts though, and most of the stuff is new. Who knows what you'll stumble across next?

I've been making breakfast every day now, as a matter of principle. Usually eggs, hardboiled, with a strip of bacon or two and some fresh fruit, like fresh berries (frozen ones too, if I feel like making a smoothie with some yogurt instead). I like the idea of having a variety of things for breakfast--eggs, meat, cheese for protein, oatmeal or Red River cereal for grain, a little bit of fruit; it forces you not to rush (which is good) and actually makes it possible to get through the morning.

I'm missing peanut butter--I've been wanting to have some for a while now, and I just keep forgetting to get some.
i've wanted to join this thread for over a week now. so, tonight i've found some time to introduce myself. i'm planing to do more sports, eat healthier, and lose some pounds (and more, in a long term perspective). it seems to be very necessary after not-so-much caring about my shape and everything for some years.
i am proude that everything went quite good for the last two weeks. i am trying to go to the pool at least once a week, to some yoga at home and i ordered an exercise bike!! i'd like to exercise at home (i think i'm not the gym type), independently from storms and rain, and watch tv... it'll be here on tuesday and i'm already excited!

looking at this thread every day and seeing how you people work sucessfully on getting healthier is so motivating!
Hi, hamburg!!

Wow, chacha! That reminds me of going to see Batman's dad. He is going to be 90 in just a couple weeks and is in the "raving" part of the nursing home. Sometimes he doesn't know who we are, but he still appreciates the attention! My mom's mom was like that too. My mom was all hurt and offended but my hipster aunt just thought it was funny and would still go visit "She thinks I'm just some nice lady that comes and plays cards with her!"

Whole Foods has good quality peanut butter for cheap, now!!

I just made lunch for me and my man. Hardboiled eggs, you can peel the whites off and not eat the yolks! mmm.... with sea salt and black peppercorns from a pepper grinder! Get all the eggy goodness and protein with not as much cholesterol and calories! We had hardboiled egg and fresh green leaf lettuce with lemon juice squeezed on it -- so fresh and delicious!

I'm going and using the elliptical everyday, but it's tough to do it on the weekends. This weekend I am finishing my personal web site -- I'm learning all kinds of stuff about new media and it is so great. So easy once you pick up the knack! I spend a couple hours on this a day, so I have dropped weightlifting for now.

But, I need to get back to it, I did get some nice definition in my arms and legs, and my pants started to hang off of me! I needed to get a new belt! People should do it two or three times a week.

Breakfast we have oatmeal, fruit, peanut butter, black coffee and flavored seltzer, a little orange juice becaue if you take vitamins with orange juice it puts the iron into usable form.

Supper we got buckwheat noodles with hot sauce, and some wild salmon and vegetables.

welcome, hamburg ... what kind of bike did you get? i have an upright, and i love it ... but i have to go easy, due to my hurty knees. i hope to ease myself back into at least 15 minutes, 3x a week soon.

still have yet to make it to curves, even just to see what the dealio is.

and the two yoga dvd's i bought? yeah, not that great. the one i rented from netflix? golden. figures, right? it's very gentle, but thorough - it's an hour long ... lord, i know i'm going to be sore tomorrow!
Good luck, Mando!!

I'm doing Kundalini and I really love it. It's not real athletic, just stretches and increasing inner energy. It's rather sexual and to do with song.

Sounds odd, but it doesn't kill you the way some other yoga does. Just remember you can adapt, if something will harm you just do it halfway and *imagine* doing it the rest, my teacher says you will still get benefit!

Like, if your knees are bugging you, feel free to sit on a cushion instead of cross-legged on the floor, and stuff like that.
mando - what yoga video did you get from netflix? I'm interested in getting back into yoga a bit, but I can never make it through a full hour and a half class - all the downward dogging really makes my wrists ache - I spend way too much time on now.

I really like the Kundalini too, wombat...I just need to work my way back up to it. And I love the idea of imagining your body doing the full stretch! Good tip!

We're starting the South Beach diet here tomorrow for turbomann...his doc is mandating some pretty serious weight loss for him...which makes the nutrition nerd in me thrilled. Its really a pretty simple plan, and not all that different than how I eat normally, but it'll be an adjustment for turbomann - lover of all things starchy or sweet. I've got a full week of meals planned out, and about half of them even prepped, snacks pre-portioned in the fridge and ready to go, so he won't have to think about anything, just follow along. And if I lose a couple pounds along the way, so much the better. I'm all for helping us do anything to be a healthier family.
mando: if upright describes the way you sit on it, mine is also an upright-one. in comparison to others i saw, it's not that expensive (150 euro/193 us $). it isn't an ergometer, cause it doesn't count the power in watt. here's a picture.
turbo-- good luck for turboman and the South Beach diet!. Having both partners committed to eating healthy definitely helps. My guy cooks a lot, but I was dong the cooking yesterday.

Yoga: my particular class doesn't downward dog as much as a Hatha class or some others.

I had my bottom four vertebrae fused together when I was 17 (turbo knows this already, y'all!), so I can't reach my toes when sitting on the floor -- but I can sit straight upright with my legs out, straighten up my toes and picture it and I'm still strengthening the front muscles and loosening the back. I don't feel pain, but I get a little stiff and I would also like to lose the pot belly!

hamburg, yes, that's pretty much what my bike looks like too. i hope you like it. just don't overdo it at first.

wombat, thanks for the safety tips, i appreciate it. i do use a mat, a rolled-up blankie and i now have blocks, too.

turbo, it's called Yoga Zone - Flexibility and Stress Release . there are two demostrators to follow, one is more advanced than the other. and the guy is not annoying. he's actually such a good instructor, i could follow alot of it with eyes closed. the music is also not annoying. there was only one series with downward poses, which made me a little lightheaded, but he explained how to roll up gently, so it was all good. and two specific wrist-stretching poses i didn't even try, and i don't have wrist issues. even tho i am sore today, i can't wait to do it again tonite, which is not like me at all.

i'm going to try more of the yoga zone dvd's, definitely.
thanks, mando - the reviews for that video are excellent - I'll defintiely add it to my netflix queue!!

Wombat, I don't think I've touched my toes from any position - sitting or standing - since I was 4! No matter how much stretching I do (admittedly, not that much these days), I'm just not very flexible. Turbomann, who hasn't seen a gym in 5 years, can touch his toes in an instant, like its no big deal. showoff. tongue.gif
The bf and I just got back from our second judo class and... WOW. It is Freaking Awesome. You don't need a lot of training to start getting into the good stuff and in class today we were doing basic throws and ground grappling. Sparring with Mr. Kayte was HOT. We are both very competitive and weren't being gentle with each other smile.gif You start on your knees and try to get the other person on their back on the ground for a pin. If we weren't so tired and sore from it I'm sure we'd be jumping all over each other!
Thank you, Kayte, for mentioning martial arts in here. I've always wondered if that would be a good idea. I know the exercise work outs can be pretty intense but so many women I know say studying tae kwan do or judo or karate has really changed their lives.

I wish I could get M. Cha Cha to exercise or walk or even think about working out as a partner with me. People don't realise how much closer you feel and how much more interested you are in your partner sexually if there's that competitive edge between you that you have to generate to keep yourselves motivated in the exercise. It's a damn shame!
Yeah you guys!! I am thinking of taking a capoeira class at the Y!! I have been doing elliptical just about everyday and yoga every week. I have kind of given up on weightlifiting for now until I get my web site done. It adds an extra hour to my work out and makes me totally exhausted. I need that time and energy until I can host myself on the web.


Capoeira's Brazilian dance/self-defense/street fighting! I might be in shape enough for it, both muscle and lung wise! This big jolly guy with a lot of shaggy black hair teaches it, there are some traditional high-powered drummers, too!

Beauty & her Bass
wombat, i'm jealous! I wish my Y had capoeira. I have wanted to take a class in that for ever, but the closest studio to me is at least 30 min away, and I know I couldn't get myself to make that drive every week.

I'm pissed right now. I had to miss my cardio class tonight because one of my clients made me late tonight. By the time I actually got home from work, I was honestly just too damn tired to drive through the slush and snow again. I hate Ohio winters. I wish I could just go for a quick jog outside right now, but a jog would require 3 layers and some blinking lights...and boots.

It's definitely a yoga dvd kind of a night.
i'm just done with my first workout on the new exercise bike. setting the thing up was hard, but luckily i had someone helping me. i'd been kind of afraid not being able to pedal long enough. my stamina is really bad. but it went well for 35 minutes and i'd be able to proceed. but as mando said: don't overdo it!
i watched an episode of "house" during my session. it was fun!
*off topic*

HAMBURG! little my!!!!!!

*excited* biggrin.gif
hamburg, 35 minutes first time out is excellent! i can barely do 15 minutes, i'm so out of shape. even when i'm doing it regularly, and can manage 30 minutes, i feel it in my thighs, bigtime, and have to take at least one 'walk-it-out-and-stretch-for-a-minute' break.

i didn't do my yoga dvd last night (worked late), and i am sore-er today than i was after doing it two days in a row. i truly miss it. i can't wait to do it when i get home.

i just ordered the complete beginner's set.

who is this yoga-loving alien and what has she done with lazyass dvd-workout-loathing mandi?!?! unsure.gif
Okay, I haven't been in here in quite a while and it's probably because I spent last semester eating junk food all the freakin time! I am really going to try harder this time so here's what I'm posting about. I have always eaten milk and cookies as a snack. It's kinda my go-to thing when I just want something to keep going. I've tried forgoing the cookies and having fruit but it only seems to keep me going for an extra 10 minutes before I feel completely famished again. So then I thought about cheese and crackers cause those are filling but then I remembered how fattening cheese is. I am sure this sounds totally pathetic but I am at a loss as to what to eat as a healthy snack food. I usually have tons of fruit in my lunch so that's one thing I've changed for the better but honestly, i am hungry all the freakin time!!

How do you girls do it?
cc girl--how about small portions of substantial food? a small amount of grilled chicken, or a scrambled egg or something? yogurt? something with a good amount of protein. peanut butter and crackers!

i also like nuts as a snack; they're high in fat but really good for you, especially if raw, and i find them to be really filling.
Beauty & her Bass
CC girl: Try eating foods that are higher in fiber. I'm a big fan of apples and peanut butter. Jiff makes these awesome little 'to go' containers of peanut butter. It's the perfect between-class grub. I know when I was in college (all of 1/2 a year ago) I used to snack on grapes durring class a lot. They're small, quiet and full of sugar water which keeps you going and fills you up a little more than chips. Oh! and if you're craving a crunch and milk, try skim milk and a low fat granola bar...or one of those oatmeal "cookies". I recomend the nature valley sweet and salty granola bars or bear naked loose granola. Oh, one more thing. Instead of cheese and crackers, try a low-fat or fat-free cream cheese spread on the crackers. Philly has some great flavors to kill any sweet tooth or bitter craving. Try the veggie spread or the strawberry. They're great! I'm hungry...

Oh! 2.8 lbs down! I had my first WW weigh in today. So far, so good. AND two cute guys (TWINS!) joined my WW group. Bonus! (Mr. Bass doesn't need to know what my visual incentives for meetings might be).

Although today I had a run in with Mr. Spandex at my gym. I am convinced every gym has one of these. It's the creepy older guy who just sort of stands around in spandex shorts and/or top staring at everyone with his headphones on. A bulge in my face is the last thing I wanted while I was sitting on the leg press. Yuck.
Mmm, I love cream cheese and crackers!

I've been eating grapes between classes more often, although it seems like they go all gross and wrinkly just two days after buying them.

Anyway, thanks for the ideas. I'm trying to take baby steps. I'm trying to slowly cut out chocolate and pop and limit fast food cause I am addicted to Taco Bell. I swear they put crack in their food or something. I've been sick all week but I'm hoping I'll be able to make it to the gym on Friday.

(((healthy vibes))) to everyone!
CC girl, cheese and fresh fruit are not "fattening". In fact, I think you're feeling hungry so much between meals even with snacks because you need to put more protein in your diet to stablize your blood sugar a little better. If you choose a reasonable portion of a good quality cheese (the very best to choose is raw milk cheese, it's the most healthy and tastes the absolute best) and fresh fruit, you'll find that you have fewer cravings all around. You don't need a lot, and the calorie difference is negligible between full fat real cheese and low fat pseudo cheese. The health benefits, however, are massively different in the real cheese, and sorely lacking in the junk food cheese. You're not just trying to starve here, you're trying to eat more healthy foods and lose weight.

Other great and easy "snacks" are peeled hard boiled eggs (eat the yolks, too--they are loaded with every vitamin your body needs except vitamin C); nuts and seeds eaten with fruit; stuffed olives (you can find the kind that are stuffed with lemon, almonds, or even tuna and salmon or peppers--they're packed in salted water and taste amazing) with a little bit of cheese. Again, you don't have to eat a lot: a handful of nuts (fill your palm with them); a peeled hardboiled egg has 80 calories or thereabouts (same as an apple but a lot less sugar and far more protein and vitamins); about 1/2 a cup of stuffed olives; an ounce and a half or so of cheese. Nut butters are great, too, but it sometimes feels as though you're eating more if you choose to eat the actual nuts and seeds as opposed to the equivalent amount that's been ground into an spread. Sometimes it helps to have the psychological boost of feeling like we're given "enough" to eat while limiting food intake.

Fresh berries (like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) are low in sugar but also nutrient rich and sustaining (foods that have higher water content, such as cheeses and some fruits, will always help you feel satisfied longer). Mix these in with really good quality yogurt (again, get the best you can--raw milk with full fat is the best because it's got all kinds of really helpful live cultures and enzymes that make a huge difference in weight loss) and a serving of about 1/2 a cup yogurt plus 1/2 c. berries is a delicious, quiet snack that's loaded with protein and antioxidants. Not a lot of calories, but it certainly keeps you from eating junkier foods and gets rid of that feeling that you have to find something to eat immediately.

Any one of these kinds of snacks will tide you over until the next meal, and none will make any kind of negative difference in your rate of weight loss. You might even feel you're losing weight more quickly just because you feel more satisfied with these foods and the cravings just aren't there anymore.

Supplementing with Chromium (a trace mineral your body uses to effectively utilize sugar in every cell in the body) will help with blood sugar stabilization; and vitamin C supplements also really help with this problem especially if you tend to be hypoglycemic (blood sugar instability is much more severe in hypoglycemia).
As always, I'm sure you're tired of hearing it but drinking water even during snacks really boosts metabolic efficiency; it really does help you to lose weight more quickly and it keeps you from feeling hungry.
beauty, thanks for the apple and peanut butter idea! that will make a nice snack.

I agree with mouse that nuts are really filling, I've been snacking on cashew nuts (unsalted of course). Also, pumpkin seeds, grapes, yoghurt covered cranberries, raisins and cucumber or pepper slices with reduced fat dip.
Beauty & her Bass
bunnyb: where do you get the yogurt covered cranberries? That sounds so good. I'm having a small fling with cherry-flavored dried cranberries right now. They taste like old-school fruit snacks but aren't quite as bad.
Beauty - I'm sure I've seen yougurt covered every-fruit at Whole Foods in the bulk section...if you have one nearby.

Thanks for the great snackie advice chacha! We've been following the South Beach diet for the last couple of weeks - and while it focuses more on meat proteins than I would naturally prefer, the snacking that is required is wonderful, and has made me more alert and productive too! I usually do nuts for a mid-morning snack, and then some chopped veggies and homeade hummus in the afternoon. And apple and PB have been a favorite of mine since childhood....yum.
Another great low-cal, low-fat, high-fiber, high-protein thing is nutritional yeast. I like to sprinkle it on apple slices or on popcorn. It tastes a little like cheese, and is really good for you! It's also rich in B-complex and folic acid.

I love peanut butter, but I'm trying not to go crazy with it. But, I have been making this for breakfast, and it's so yummy! I call it Bananas Benedict. Toast one banana bread EGGO waffle, add 1 T. peanut butter, top with 1/2 a banana, sliced thinly. It's 255 calories, and really filling.

I just went to the gym yesterday for the first time. I decided to start really slow so I'd like it and want to go back (and I do!). I just stretched, and then did 22 minutes on a stationary bike. It felt great, and I even feel like I have more energy today. I think I'm going to go again after work for the same amount of time, and then next week add an extra five minutes. I have heel spurs so I find it difficult (and painful) to use the treadmills, even though I like them, but this seems like a great compromise and wasn't too hard. Now I don't know why I was so scared to go in the first place!
Nuts and cheese! Mmmm. Just, moderation, ya know.

But definitely nuts cheese and fruit and WATER WATER WATER

will keep the sweets and starches out of ya. Sometimes herbal tea is good too.
I've switched (back) to herbal teas as I have my caffeine with sugar.

beauty, I'm in the UK but turbojenn's probably put you on right path; any good deli/health food shop should stock yoghurt covered blueberries, bananas, cranberries etc.

now I'm hungry!

I've also invested in a yogalates for weight loss dvd and considering the dirty dancing workout dvd.
I still drink coffee. I can drink it black and I like to think it increases my metabolism smile.gif

Ooh, you're brave bunny_b!! I fear any kind of ---- lates!!!
Another protein snack is cottage cheese. I bring breakstone single serving (4-oz) cups of low fat cottage cheese to class. Some people don't like cottage cheese but I loooooooove it. Breakstone is the best kind too.
oooh forgot that's one of my favourite snacks! haven't had it for ages but love cottage cheese with pineapple on ryvita.
A favorite snack of mine when I was still eating dairy was cottage cheese with either shaved chocolate, or good chocolate powder on it...not much sugar, but just enough sweet to satisfy....mmmm.

I'm feeling snacky now....dammit. Nothing here to eat. Oh well...only 2 more hours of office time.

Thanks for the tips everyone!

Just to clarify, chacha, I didn't actually say that fruit was fattening, I was only talking about the cheese. Cause lord knows I love me some cheese! Although, my grandfather is a diabetic and I'm always being warned about the high sugar content of fruit but it's gotta be better than the junk food I've been eating lately.

Does anyone else ever feel like a junk food addict? I'm really trying to change my eating habits because I am sick of my size and I just want to become a healthier person overall.
A topic that's been discussed here before:

The pros and cons of raw milk

Seems like a pretty even-handed article. You may have to click through a brief ad to read it.
Oh, I know, CC but let me clarify: fruit, because of the high sugar and starch content of various types is ALWAYS much more fattening than cheese, no matter what it's fat content is. Our bodies burn up calories from fat first: calories from sugar and starches are burned afterwards (there is a hierarchy biochemically of the kind of energy which is broken down and utilised first in our bodies). What's left of the carbohydrates not used is then converted into fat stores. So, in actuality, eating sugary foods will result in greater fat mass than eating fat foods ever will.

Unless, of course, you're not eating real fats, such as the hydrogenated and rancid fats which make up so much of modern foods, including processed or plasticized cheese. Our bodies try to break those fats down and use them as they would real fats (which would supply nutrients for all kinds of vital processes), and that's where problems with neurological and heart diseases (to name just a couple of different types of tissues in the body which suffer) begin.

That raw milk article's interesting, and it is correct in saying that the "official" word in North America is that it isn't safe to drink.

However, just about 6 weeks ago in Toronto one of the raw milk sources was actually harassed by the RCMP for selling "farmshares" to the numerous amounts of people all over the city (including a rather large number of chefs from 5 star restaurants in the city, who are known for basing their cuisine on the best foods possible).
What was controversial about that? Well: he wasn't actually selling raw milk (it's illegal) but was actually legally selling "shares" of the dairy cows on his farm to individual buyers. The buyers can legally do whatever they wish with the milk from "their" cows, and so for the last 25 years or so, many of picked up weekly supplies of milk and butter in a farmer's market that sets up each Friday in one of Toronto's Waldorf schools. There have never been any concerns about health as many used the raw food to actually become healthier (it's well documented that raw milk does reverse all kinds of diseases, particularly milk "allergies", to name one). No one's ever become "contaminated" from the milk because the processing was always clean (it's really easy to produce uncontaminated, pure raw milk for sale. Not only is the technology already available, it is really cost efficient). The controversy came from the fact that the RCMP spent a huge amount of money harassing this farmer in what happens to be their second big attempt to bankrupt him, but this time, the farmer went to the media.

When the media started to ask questions about the law regarding raw milk, they went to the provincial Minister of Health. And that is when they found out that Mr. Minister of Health and his family were shareholders on the dairy farmer's cows, too! And that Mr. Minister of Health held this share for over 20 years and that it's the only dairy he and his family have ever had. As the minister of health, however, he's in no position to change any law regarding raw milk accessibility (we have a very powerful milk marketing board in Canada and it is their position--and theirs alone--that raw milk is unhealthy, while their pasteurized, defatted, soy laced, hormone and anti-biotic clogged mucus with white dye is legally considered pure and healthy, even though more and more people are allergic to milk now than ever before).

Which lead the media to finally interview the spokesperson for the Milk Marketing board, who spoke glibly about how sanitary and safe milk product agribusiness produces is much, much safer than unpasteurized, raw milk. Finally, one interviewer asked this spokesperson why it was that none of the farmers who produced milk to sell to milk conglomerates to pasteurize ever bothered to pasteurize the milk they kept from their cows for their own use. The spokesperson just repeated that "raw milk is an illegal food product", and evaded answering the actual question.

So, yes, officially (in some parts of North America) raw milk is deemed unsafe (despite evidence proving this). In reality, the farmers selling their milk off to be pasteurized and processed wouldn't feed that stuff to their own families no matter what law exists in the world, and the Minister of Health's not let it past his own family's lips since some time in the last millennium.

You can buy raw milk products legally in many parts of the US and Canada (Quebec, for example, produces and sells the best artisanal cheeses in Canada just because the artisans absolutely insist on using raw milk and nothing but. Raw milk and raw milk foods can be retailed in California, too). The "official" reasoning's not based on what's safe or unsafe, it's based on politics and quite a bit of economic tyranny. Which has nothing to do with "safety" unless your big mighty agribusiness company stands to lose billions because consumers opt to buy real, locally produced foods instead of the processed and chemically laden foods produced by your company.

Oh! More suggestions for variety re: snacks: can you guys get Quark cheese in the states? It's a sweet, fresh cheese (like cottage cheese--not really allowed to cure or mature). It's also naturally high in water content and contains less butterfat naturally (if you're trying to limit that) but it has a smoother and creamier taste than cottage cheese and is often a little bit "tangy". Fresh ricotta cheese is also wonderful as a snack (it's also a fresh young cheese, usually unsalted or "sweet"). It's harder to find though, but worth the effort if you can seek it out.
Morning all!!

The description of "Quark cheese" sounds like what we call "farmer's cheese" round thesee parts.

I like to go for genuine cheddar -- hard cheese are supposed to have less fat than soft ones -- we have Cabot which you can get with garlic, basil, garden veg, different kinds of peppers, horseradish, etc. Deliciosa. The proper PORTION is the size of a pair of dice. I cut it off and put it in a baggie for work. Also, proper portion of Almonds, Macadamia, Peanuts, Cashews or Brazil Nuts is about 8 nuts. Other nuts have more fat and fewer nutrients.

As long as you can stick to the portions -- combine em! nuts, cheese AND fruit and some nice flavor of herbal tea or water -- you get the "sweet" plus the "fat" of chocolate but you get nutrients and fewer calories!

I seriously did this and it truly was satisfying. The only time I still have fast food or sweets is when I am someplace for several hours in a setting where it is not that easy to bring and eat your own food. Someplace that doesn't have a food court or cafeteria and at this point, in the car is too cold.
chacha, you're such a crusader. i admire it.

one of the main things about homogenizing milk is that it processes it a little. raw milk will have a layer of cream on top which either you can shake into the rest of the milk, or spoon off. homogenized milk will never "settle", and as such it's not as easy for your body to absorb the nutrients.

i grew up as part of the community associated with this farm, one of the only dairies in PA licensed to sell raw milk. in addition to the dairy, it's biodynamic farming as well, and they incorporate all parts of the farm--ie, the sheep graze in the orchard instead of mowing. it's kind of amazing.

since moving out of my parents' house six or seven years ago, i've gained over thirty pounds, and not much has changed except that i didn't have access to that kind of food anymore, and i had a lot more access to crap. it's depressing.
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