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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In case you haven't heard, SparkPeople has launched a brand new blog-style website called . Instead of adding new blog entries here on my SparkPage, I'll be blogging there from now on, along with our other Coaches and experts!

To learn more about what the dailySpark is all about, check out this article for a full explanation.

Go to anytime to read and comment on the new and interesting posts made daily by all of SparkPeople's experts! There, you can find my bio and blog entries by following this link .

I'll see you at the dailySpark!

Coach Jen

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRENCHIEFILLE 10/9/2013 3:25AM

    Thanks Jen for the heads up. That's really useful info! emoticon emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 9/16/2012 7:46AM


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REEDSKI 10/23/2010 3:24PM

    Can we still access your blogs from SP and earn points?

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PEARL8264 10/10/2010 6:30AM


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CHATTIEGIRL 9/20/2010 4:03PM


Thank you for information and also for being her to help the Spark people accomplish their goals in a healthy fashion. We are really lucky that Spark is here and we can learn just about everything on nutrition, fitness and health for free. Also we have the great blessings of meeting special people from all walks of life and areas to be our friends. God bless all of you and keep you safe always.


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CHRIS3215 12/13/2009 4:42PM

    Thanks so much for the dailySpark, i look forward to them..

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ALLEGROVIVO 11/9/2009 7:28AM


All of your writings are fabulous!! Thank you! Nancy emoticon

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MAFOSTER11 11/7/2009 3:17AM

    How cool is that! Congrats.

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JAZZYDOC 9/13/2009 12:06PM

    I looking forward to reading more of your blogs. Thanks

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MARIA_N_2009 9/7/2009 8:46PM

    I enjoy reading your blogs!

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KATAKITOMOTSIN 5/17/2009 10:42PM

    This is a great blog. What you are saying is so true. I am 66 y/o and have never been happier in my life. I DO have a social life now. When I was younger, I was too busy working, taking care of my daughters, worrying and all the other demands of life. Now that I have retired, I look forward to getting up in the mornings, excited what life holds for me each new day. I look forward to my time with friends, enjoying the theater, going for walks, and just plain relaxing and being me. Thanks Coach Jen, I will be looking forward to more blogs from you.

emoticon emoticon

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CAMERABABE 12/4/2008 1:46PM

    This is great I'm glad yoiu shared it

Have a great day.

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SONIAFERNANDEZ 9/16/2008 10:53PM


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COLEMANSR 8/19/2008 11:44AM

    It is great thanks, Passing it on.

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SHELLPRO 8/19/2008 11:04AM

    Thanks 4 the tip! Had no idea!

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California bans trans fats in restaurants

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

This story has been in the news a lot recently, and I've seen some discussion about it on the Message Boards. So I thought we could get a conversation going about it here!

A few weeks ago, California passed legislation that bans restaurants and other retail food establishments from using oil, margarine and shorting containing trans fats in the foods they sell. Although there are some other cities in the U.S. that have similar laws, this is the first state-wide legislation of its kind.

Although it will be a few years before the law takes effect, many restaurants have already been phasing out trans fats to satisfy their customers.

What are trans fats and why are they such a big deal? Trans fats are oils that have been chemically-altered (through a process called hydrogenation) from their original liquid states, into solid shortening. The process increases the shelf life of the oil and improves the texture of the food to which the oil is added. However, trans fats increase your risk of heart disease, clogging arteries and lowering your good cholesterol. You can read more about them here:

Translating those Trans Fats

So what do you think? Is it the job of individual states to be making these kinds of laws, or should regulations be coming from somewhere like the Food and Drug Administration? Is it the job of government to decide what we should and shouldn't be eating?

Let me know your thoughts!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADRIENALINE 8/17/2014 3:54PM

    I love laws like this. I also love living in California because weare often the first out of the shoot with great ideas like standards for car emissions and other no brainers.

These rules make it easier for people to make the right decisions. Without a law like this I wouldn't even know how much trans fat my restaurant meal has or how to make a better choice. It would be better if this was a federal rule but this way we get to try it out before the whole country has it.

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USEITRLOSEIT 11/17/2011 2:01PM

    WOW ! Coach JEN , this is the first BLOG I have read of yours and I REALLY appreciate the way you worded it and left it open for discussion ! It makes it easier to hear all sides instead of feeling defensive .

It is my opinion that :

The whole point of ppl coming to this country to begin with was to escape oppressive rulers and governments . If you think back a couple of hundred of years ago , it would be silly to think of a pioneer being told what to eat by a newly formed government . They ate what they NEEDED just to give them enough energy to get them through their back braking work . These days most of our work is sedentary and we find ourselves eating MANY more calories than we end up using . Another point in the "time line" is that in that time , most ppl where influenced by their own families and morality was passed down from generation to generation , just as naturally as hair color or height . My point is , that what is BROKEN isn't THE LAW , but PPL GORGING THEMSELVES TO DEATH . And until we turn our focus back on the family unit as the source of our foundation for life , their wont be enough laws to save us from OURSELVES .

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CHATTIEGIRL 8/22/2011 9:08PM

    Hi Jen:

If we could trust people in making food healthy the State or government would not have to do it. But we all realize that is a dream and if Food and Drug and everyone else didn't stand guard who knows what we would be eating . having labels help us but we have to use our intelligence to keep us healthy. I am glad we have Spark people to help us alone the way too. God bless you and keep up the good work.

Smile Joyce

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ALEXANDRA64 4/28/2011 7:23AM

    Well, people are evidently not going to make the right decisions. I am all for free will too so maybe we should just start heavily taxing the stuff that is causing a strain on the health care system and society. I mean fine if you want to eat in a way that results in a shorter life span and a horrible way to die but why should those choices force the rest of us to pay higher taxes to support an already strained health care system and social services for people too ill to work any longer. In my observation people are very willing to play the "free will" card but not so much the "responsibility" card that should go along with it.

I wish they would implement this in NY. It would make going out to eat a lot more enjoyable experience instead of a crap shoot because of how my dining out choice may be prepared. :/

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GRAMMIE1959 3/22/2011 8:24AM


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RADIOMAN55 2/20/2011 8:43PM

  I wonder what McDonalds is going to do. ALL their hamburger meat has trans fat in it!

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SHININGTHRU126 8/19/2009 12:51PM

    Rather than ban trans-fats why not just stop producing them altogether? Didn't this madness start @ 30 years ago or so? We all lived without them before, we can live without them again.

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NAENAE1213 8/19/2009 12:41PM

    I prefer free will. If I choose to eat poor choices...that's MY choice. I don't like anyone telling me what I can and cannot eat. I'm a dietitian. I teach this stuff daily. Yes, trans fats are bad. But, water can be bad if you drink too much of it. People need to take a little responsibility for their own actions rather than looking for someone else to blame.

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KGPOSSIBLE 12/20/2008 11:37AM

    NEVERGIVEUP - You hit the nail on the 20 years the Government or medicine will be publishing something saying oops we made a mistake trans fats are actually healthy for you really think banning trans fat is going to make people change their eating habits? Eating habits come from within. The message I am seeing now is go ahead and eat all the french fries you want because they don't have trans fat! The're healthy!! Is that the right message...a few years ago it was "fat free" and everybody ate twice as much....well we know what government intervention is where our energy should be spent. Anything in moderation is's overeating and lack of exercise that is the problem. Not trans fat! I am a perfect example of that statement!

Comment edited on: 12/20/2008 11:37:40 AM

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MARTYRED4LOVE 8/18/2008 4:59PM

    I may be out of line here, but hasn't the government always dictated what we can and can't consume? Isn't the FDA a part of the government? And is it not their job to make sure we don't consume stuff that is complete cr*p? It would be one thing if they were banning healthy foods and ingredients (I wouldn't doubt if they had/do) but really, does anyone NEED those trans fats? I don't get why people are upset about the idea of the government doing something GOOD for our health.

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MYTHICALANGEL 8/16/2008 11:08PM

    What is there to say you hit the nail on the head...way to go

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GREGOIREDIET 8/16/2008 12:27AM

Hi Jen

to manage the health of a population is so hard, we can't limit our approach at public health messages to the population,
also the influence of the advertising is very strong,
in France most of nutritionnists are jealous of this law against the trans acid fats, we want the same ;-)

I desagree with the opinion which supports that each person has to make his own choice and to be 100% responsible of himself...
This would mean that obeses or patients with high cholesterol rate are responsible of their illness but the largest part of the doctors, the psychology and the sociology... supports that these patients are not really responsible of their illness but are, for a large part of it, victims of the environment.

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NEVERGIVEUP 8/15/2008 5:06PM

    You said it. "Everything in moderation". Agreed. But the government making these foods unavailable!!! Telling me what I can or cannot eat??? Trying to save people from themselves only restricts our freedom more and more. It is about education not more government regulation. I thought this was supposed to be a free country. How far will it go??

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MZSLEEPE1 8/15/2008 12:40PM

    Ignorance is bliss! YOU ON A DIET, Dr. Oz! The book that will explain what lard and hydrogenated fats do to your body! The book is loaded with infomation! People usually are not informed about what they are eating, we live on auto-pilot. If they were really informed they wouldn't put any processed crap in their bodies. They would go organic and try to understand the concept that most people are ignorant when it comes to nutrition. I didn't say dumb. But they just aren't informed. No one is saying that eating a donut made with lard is going to kill you instantly but if you eat stuff like that everyday of your life, well... It's just common sense. Everything in moderation and fresh, whole foods are best. The least amount of ingredients possible. If it has more than 5 things in it, what are they and do you want to feed that to your family? Broccoli, carrots, green beans and so on. You see what I'm saying. Those are really good foods if they aren't sprayed with pesticides! But again, ignorance is bliss... Have a great day and be good to yourself!!

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NEVERGIVEUP 8/15/2008 12:13PM

    California is NUTS! When I was a girl, my grandmother made donuts with LARD. (Best donuts you ever tasted). When the saturated fats became associated with heart disease, we all switched to the hydrogenated vegetable oils (like Crisco) and now these are bad. I also remember when eggs were considered the worst thing on the planet, now they're considered healthy (in reasonable amounts). I don't want the government telling me what I can and cannot eat. I also don't want the government telling a chef to eliminate any ingredient from a food that you might eat once a year! Come on!! Labels fine, the rest of this stuff is nonsense!

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PSC21257 8/14/2008 1:43AM

  South Carolina is doing it to. It is really great!

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BKRISTEN1213 8/9/2008 10:43AM

    I am glad this took place. I admire California laws, they are much more progressive than the rest of the U.S. state and federal laws.

Austin, TX

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NANALOVE1 8/8/2008 7:50AM

    I personally believe it is a good idea,since starting sparks I now want to know how my food is prepared and in what..maybe if the government would step in americans would not be the most obese in the nations..

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YAFINA 8/7/2008 11:25PM

    I'm amazed that people say they are against the government imposing regulations on the food industry to protect our health. That is the primary reason we have government, to protect us from corporations (including the food industry) who would put profit above the health of the people who are their customers, and responsible for their wealth.

Comment edited on: 8/7/2008 11:23:08 PM

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ANDRAXIA 8/7/2008 11:00PM

    I think it's more complicated than people realize. One argument is that restaurants should post that there are transfats in some of the foods but from the time I spent living in San Francisco I know that you can go in a restaurant, be starving and there are trans fats in everything there. Ok, that was a particular restaurant but nobody but me cared about it at the time. I think trans fats being phased out will be a huge step forward in improving the health of the state, and may make a huge impact on health issues that trouble the state such as obesity and heart disease. It really isn't as easy as just posting it, there are people who won't read the posts or fully understand what they mean.

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ZENIOBA1 8/7/2008 10:28PM

  I am against the goverment banning trans fats. I think they need to post that they are in their foods so people know.

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DV0086 8/7/2008 6:25PM

  I don't think it is the government's job to tell us what we can and can not eat. They already infringe way too much on our personal liberties. I do think that fast food restaurants should have the nutrition information printed clearly on the food packaging and sit-down restaurants should have it in the menu. Banning trans fats will not help the obesity problem. Your health is a matter of personal responsibility.

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SHAREDFIELD 8/7/2008 5:45PM

    When it comes to industry-created "foods" that have been designed with their profit in mind - we BETTER have a government that does some regulating!! Bravo California!

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GOAL142 8/7/2008 5:28PM

  I hope FLorida is next!

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JKUMMER 8/7/2008 2:53PM

    I wish more states would do the same thing. It would be one step closer to a healthy america.

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MOMOKO 8/7/2008 12:06PM

    Bravo!!! I first learned about trans fats in the 70's when I read Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe. It has taken thirty years but finally something is being done about it.

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NEWLORNA 8/6/2008 10:28PM

    Control and regulation has to come from somewhere. So it's from the Federal government, that's fine. For consumers to be heard and result in drastic in the food industry, consumers would have to start "eating HOME" more and "eating less in the restaurants to force change. Someone mentioned about the "smoking in public places" ban; I wholeheartedly supported that issue. It is the Federal government's responsibility to effectively regulate what the food industry is doing: isn't that called the Agricultural Department. As consumers, we should be prudent in our choices, but we sometimes allow our taste buds to overrule our common sense. We are (should be) our first line of defense; but what is wrong with a second and a third line of defense, even if it is provided by State or Federal governments??????? Trans Fat is BAD news, why quibble about the MEANS when the end is JUSTIFIED?

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PFDIVA1 8/6/2008 10:17PM

    Trans fats have not always been used in foods and the retail food establishments didn't bother to ask the public how we felt about them adding trans fats, although they knew it was not in the best interest of the public. Without regulation of some sort, the restaurant industry is free to add substances without making the public aware that it's being used much less the consequences.

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COLEMANSR 8/6/2008 8:12PM

    I'm against the government having control over telling us what to eat. They have to much control over everything else. I like the idea of food service places changing fron Trans fat. I dodge it like the plague. I 'm finally on right the track,now.

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JOHNBABJR 8/6/2008 7:55PM

    I think it's absolutely horrible that the government is now legislating what restaurants can cook with. What's next?

I don't eat trans fats and avoid them like the plague, but I would like a lot LESS government in my life, not more. This is a bad precedent. Consumers should be making that decision, not the government.

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PATRICIAAK 8/6/2008 3:52PM

    I am against the making of laws for our good. I am for restaurants changing their practices because of public demand.

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SHELLPRO 8/6/2008 1:31PM

    I felt a bad vibe coming on when we allowed legislation to go so far as to restrict where smoking was allowed- not that the habit isn't bad- but that we allowed Government to dictate where you could do it. It was the 1st step toward controling all our personal choices- next will be who can actually eat in what resturant- in MS there is legeslation being considered regulating who can eat at All U can eat Buffetts- a hostes will be armed with a scale- if you do not meet the BMI? you will not be allowed to eat there.
It's already gone into Health Insurance- once smokers were forced to made to pay more for the privelege of Health Coverage- guess who'll be next to pay more?

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    I think it's rather frightening that we trust our politicians and government to make better decisions for us than we can make for ourselves. I think it's great that restaurants are choosing to phase out trans fats due to consumer pressure, but I think getting politicians to make health decisions for us is even more dangerous than the occasional bad fat.

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CARLI_MAE 8/6/2008 12:11PM

    I think it would be great if the FDA or USDA would issue nation-wide regs on things like transfats -- shown to be harmful to our health.

The first question that comes to my mind though, is, how are they going to enforce it? As it is, they only test a fraction of a percent of foods getting to our stomachs; the incidence of food poisonings seems to be on the rise; where is the $$ going to come from; don't you think alot of food mfgr's will skirt the laws anyway; etc????

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2BPHYSICAL 8/6/2008 12:10PM

  I think the FDA should be an active part in legislation. I don't think it should depend on what state you live in! It might be interesting to see epidemiology studies regarding CAD in those states that have taken an active role in banning transfats in restaurants. But, at the end of the day, it is our own responsiblity to make good choices.

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NEEN20 8/6/2008 10:18AM

    I think it is absolutely fine to have the government block trans fats. We as consumers have no idea what we are putting into our mouths. I know it is our responsibility to find out, but sometimes in today's society we are pressed for time. This gives us the opporunity to see that our government does care about us in some ways. There are some things the government tries to step in and block our rights, but as far as trans fats... I can't imagine anyone wanting these trans fats in their diet. I don't have a lot of positives with the government today, but this one I have to say Thumbs Up! emoticon

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NUPATH 8/6/2008 8:48AM

    I think it is fine to ban transfats. I'd like to see the nutritional value of the menu listed in the resturants, so, it would be easy to make a good choice! It seems to me, that I think I make a good choice in a non chain resturant, get home, figure out my nutrition and find that I've had all my calories for the day in 1 meal! Is there a resturant challenged team out there? emoticon

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DDOORN 8/6/2008 8:32AM

    It is terrific to see organized resistance at such high levels seeking to fight what I refer to as "corporate control over our bodies!"

I've been blogging about this off and on...if fruits and veggies had the ad revenue of McDonald's they would be the coolest, most passionately desired snack of ALL!

Late at night, the munchies strike...? If fruits and veggies could be promoted the way McDonald's and all the other fast food, unhealthy foods are promoted across all forms of media, we would be salivating for a stalk of fresh brocolli, an orange or cauliflower floret to quell those late night munchies!

Here in the *land of the free* you would be astonished to learn how greatly all those zillions of advertising dollars spent SEVERELY INFLUENCES our supposed *FREEDOM OF CHOICE!*

These corporations are NOT in the habit of throwing that kind of money around without it yielding SIGNIFICANT return on their investment! In other words this money is spent because it has a direct and proportionate influence on the food choices made by consumers.

The consequence of consumers getting fatter and fatter is either inconsequential to the corporate bottom line, or, to take it yet another step further our national obesity ADDS to the corporate bottom line because, guess what? Corporations can sell ZILLIONS of dollars of products and services to obese Americans!

For true freedom of choice, it is essential for us to be as informed as possible and to be as critical of the media with which we are bombarded as possible. It is a vital fight for our taste buds to question ourselves when we think high sugar, high fat, chocolate product tastes "good." How did we learn that...? What influences are at work here...?

Don Doornbos, Co-Leader of All Health Professionals SparkTeam

Comment edited on: 8/6/2008 8:41:57 AM

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KITT52 8/6/2008 8:19AM

    I don't think government should tell us what to eat. It should be up to us. When I see that has happen over the last 20 years or so I'm no longer sure. Our country is getting fatter and fatter. I wonder when they will do something about all the high fructose corn syrups too.
So I say read those label's if you don't know what it is don't eat it.


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Fitness protects brain in Alzheimer's patients

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Need yet another reason to be physically active? Here's one: A new study shows that people in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease who are more physically fit, had less shrinkage in areas of the brain that are important for memory.

Previous studies have shown that exercise slows age-related changes in the brain for healthy people. But this study shows that even people who are already in the early stages of Alzheimer's can still benefit from regular exercise. It's never too late to start!

This study is the first to show that specifically, changes occur in the memory region of the brain when someone becomes more fit.

Here's another study that reinforces the benefits of exercise for your mind:

Exercise Keeps Your Mind Sharp

You'll also find a lot more information about overall senior health in our Senior Health Lifestyle Center .

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSFORTE 9/9/2013 5:55PM

    WOW! thanks

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MARGARITTM 2/16/2011 4:17PM

    Such a cruel disease - anything we can do to prevent it or delay it is what I am all about.

My mother suffers from this disease - hence we all suffer from this disease. So Sad

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PAYDAY10 6/24/2010 5:49AM

  Encouraging blog

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LAL667 7/30/2009 2:57AM

  Thank you everyone for the encouraging posts. Fear of Alz. is something I can claim...but I don't want it to lose the good years I'm having now to fear. Lal667

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SWILLIAM621 9/4/2008 12:44PM

    I was so glad to see this on your page! Great motivation for me to keep moving. My mother has Alzheimer's and so did her mother, scares me to death every time I forget something. My doctor assured me not to worry but I do anyway, early diagnosis seems to be the key before you really start losing your wits.

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    This is such a great post - thank you. My grandmother is suffering with Alzheimer's and it is a motivation for me to keep pressing on - not for a drop in the scale but rather so I can live the best possible life I can.

Thank you very much for this and all you do with Spark. This site has changed my life forever.

Comment edited on: 8/6/2008 12:24:01 PM

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CALA2008 8/5/2008 4:19PM

    Yet another reminder to keep us moving. Thanks for that.

Hugs and blessings, Celeste emoticon

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SHOOTIN4STARS 7/31/2008 11:41AM

    Since I started exercising, I have noticed a huge difference in my level of alertness. I used to feel legthargic all the time. Now I have so much energy. No one has to convince me to keep exercising! emoticon

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JOHNBABJR 7/30/2008 8:41PM

    I'll keep running!

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TZH4145 7/30/2008 8:31PM

    This article gives me more incentive to keep doing my exercises. emoticon emoticon

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SHELLPRO 7/30/2008 1:39PM

    I'd seen this articel & actually started to do one of the recommendations for memory- stop using the same route all the time when walking/running! Reverse it occassionally. Much like driving to & from work all the time- you start to run on auto pilot, not really using your vision & muscles the way you did when you started!
It was amazing the things I had stopped noticing!

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RSTATHIS 7/30/2008 10:21AM

    I'm a believer in exercise and this gives me one more reason to keep the faith!

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MOJO-REAL 7/30/2008 9:06AM

    This was certainly true in my family. Every day my father had exercise was a better day -- for everyone. My aunt (his sister), who's probably the most physically fit woman I know, has had Alzheimer's for a number of years, but only now -- at age 90 -- is she showing the classic signs. And even so, she remains a lot more connected than many with this disease. Between my family history and your blog, I feel very motivated to get moving today.

Comment edited on: 7/30/2008 9:05:54 AM

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KITT52 7/30/2008 8:26AM

    Great article. I'm taking a copy to work. I work on a Alzheimer's unit. I think they will be very interested. Thanks again.


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COLEMANSR 7/30/2008 7:52AM

    Thanks for the article. Checking my e-mail while in the hotel. Great article. My Mother-in-law is in the stages of Alzheimer's disease but have been there for a few years.

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Curbing food waste

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I'm sure we're all guilty of it from time to time: buying items at the supermarket that we never end up using and eventually end up in the trash. I know I'm to blame. Usually I have the best intentions, thinking I'll use something as an ingredient in a recipe I never end up making, or buy a snack that looks good at the time but I never end up eating. Whenever I do go through my periodic "purge" of the refrigerator and cabinets, I always feel guilt over the foods I end up throwing away.

U.S. research estimates that at least 14% of the foods we purchase end up in the garbage (about 96 BILLION pounds of food a year). I think it's safe to say that in many other countries, that number is a LOT lower. I remember a friend telling me about a mission trip she took to Mexico. She was helping prepare meals in a very poor community, and she couldn't believe how little they threw away. They used every part of every piece of food they possibly could, throwing away almost nothing. In the U.S., food waste makes up about 12% of landfill material. As organic materials like vegetables and grains decompose in landfills, they release the greenhouse gas methane into the environment.

So what are some of the reasons we throw away so much? One is that we tend to buy more food than we need to, especially when we shop without a grocery list or become tempted by sales and "buy one get one free" specials. I know that the majority of my food waste comes when I start to deviate from the list I've brought with me. So maybe before you start grabbing items, think twice about whether or not you're going to be able to use it before it spoils, and whether or not you really need it. You'll reduce waste and save money at the same time. Making a list before you head to the store really helps with that.

If you constantly find yourself with leftovers that you never end up eating, you have a few options. One is to make less food. Scale back your recipe to serve 2 instead of 10- that way you'll have less to worry about finishing later. Another option is to freeze the leftovers for later use, or plan to use them in another dish this week. For example, you could use your leftover chicken in a soup or on top of a salad.

Reducing food waste is better for the environment and your wallet, so think before you shop! Do you feel like you keep food waste to a minimum in your household? If you're not from the U.S., are things different in your country?

Here are some articles on SP you might find interesting:

8 Ways to Green Your Kitchen

How to Keep Your Fruits and Veggies Fresh

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEXASFILLY 9/9/2009 3:54PM

    Thanks for the tips!

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MYTHICALANGEL 8/16/2008 11:09PM

    Love it, I personally go every couple of days for fruits and veggies

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ANGEDEE 8/15/2008 7:19PM

    If your veggies are getting a bit old but aren't bad yet - cut them up and put them in a pot with come chicken broth and seasoning. Puree the batch, and you'll have a great soup. Save on waste, and eat A LOT of veggies all at once.

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ANGEDEE 8/14/2008 5:45PM

    Threw out food today. It usually happens to you said.

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DRINA1984 8/10/2008 4:14PM

    I know I add to that number because I will buy fresh produce and let it spoil. I always say to myself "I'll cook it tomorrow" but tomorrow never comes. I have chicken in my fridge now that I have to waste because I didn't cook it in due time. I think I'll stick to frozen foods!!! emoticon

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ANNAMARIA6 8/2/2008 11:50AM

    I am from central europe and I was also tought not to waste food. When I was little my family would tell me to think about all those people who dont have anything to eat when I am about to throw food away. Therefore I feel so bad when I have to throw food. My boyfriend's parents do the shopping for us and they buy so many things that at the end of the week most fruits and veg are spoiled. I always give lefover meat to the dog or I freeze it for later to give it to the dog.

Comment edited on: 8/2/2008 11:49:46 AM

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NTXFEM 8/1/2008 8:39AM

  We try very hard not to waste alot here but occasionally things used to get pushed to the back of the fridge or freezer find myself browsing fridge and freezer more often and the waste and spoilage have been cut down quite a bit not entirely but much better than before-- now when i find something close to its lack of usefulness we either cook it up or freeze or both thanks for the reminder emoticon

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LILYLUNA 8/1/2008 5:20AM

    In Poland our mothers learn kids that wasting food is very bad.
They build in their kids a kind of sense of guilt, similar to the guilt feeling used in potty training.
But as far from WW2 and People's Republic of Poland times, when not wasting food was crucial, because there were very little food on the market, less of them learn that and we are more and more like you (USA).
Mayby this problem is so big in USA because you didn't have or don't remember times when you go to a store and there is nothing else on the shelfs but dust.
PS. Sorry for Grammar and Spelling errors - I'm still learnig English. emoticon

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WAKEUP60 7/29/2008 9:05AM

    you are so right and I am one to fit this category but hopefully will change the habit soon emoticon

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SALTYCHOCOLATE 7/25/2008 12:04PM

    Coach_Nicole, thanks for the clarification about decomposing food vs. composting food. I was surprised to read that when organic matter (fruits, veggies, etc.) goes into landfills it creates greenhouse gases. However, you clarified that the organic matter needs oxygen, which it doesn't get in the landfill, in order for it to turn into compost. We have a compost bin, but I don't always use it because throwing out food is easier and faster. I have to work on not being so lazy. Thanks!

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GLOW8211 7/24/2008 3:44PM

    Thank your for sharing. I was just looking in my cupboard today and saw things that had expired and needed to be thrown away. emoticon

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GENIADR 7/24/2008 11:47AM

    Thanks for the info, it is always the celery that gets thrown away but then I continue to buy it over and over again. emoticon

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RUSSELLORAMA 7/24/2008 10:39AM

    Food waste is definitely at a minimum in my house. My husband jokes that I can make soup or stew out of anything! If we have leftovers that I can use, I try to recycle them into another meal. With food costs climbing, it just makes sense for the budget.

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HDPNLYNN 7/23/2008 8:28PM

    Thanks for the info,I'm defiantely one who wates food! Lynn

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CARLI_MAE 7/23/2008 4:27PM

    Another interesting thing that's happened is how foods are sold now. I remember stopping in individual stores as a child with my mother on the way home from school. When you bought a chicken, you knew it was as fresh as could be (they were live), and the butcher would do his thing, and wrap it along with all the various parts. Mom used everything ... neck, gizzard, liver, kidneys, heart. And fish - we used to prepare the fish head, tail, and all. The head was considered a delicasy. Now the food industry (at least here in the U.S.) removes all these parts from things -- a few being sold separately, but most ending up wasted.

I've gotten much better about the food that goes to waste since I've been on Sparks. My one downfall is sometimes buying produce with the intention of doing a lot of big batch cooking and freezing in portions, and then getting sidetracked and having things spoil on me for lack of time. And you bet, I can almost see the $10 bills going into the trash can! Ugh!

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JOHNBABJR 7/23/2008 3:16PM

    We're working on preparing less. Not only is throwing out food wasteful, but it also gets expensive.

We are watching this much more closely. We're getting better.

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APPLEPIEDREAMS 7/23/2008 12:56PM

    Thanks for the blog entry. I know I used to do this a lot more. When I was a kid I would go grocery shopping with my mom who was buying for a family of five. I had a tough time transitioning to not overbuying and realizing that just because I was used to pulling the gallon jugs off the shelf when I was with my mom, it didn't mean I should be buying a gallon when I am just shopping for myself.

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ILOVEAARDVARKS 7/23/2008 12:02PM

    I know I am going to start today reducing my food waste. I was just thinking about this the other night. I am going to try picking up a couple of needed items every couple of days and not 'stock up'. For me, I tend to buy 2 or 3 of something just in case I will need it. Thanks for the reminder that not only is it a waste of money and good food that someone else can eat, but it sits in the landfills!

Good for you for raising awareness! emoticon

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HATCHETTJOB 7/23/2008 10:02AM

    Thanks for this! When I clean out my fridge, I feel like I am throwing money away.

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RSTATHIS 7/23/2008 9:45AM

    Your idea to "stick to the list" makes great sense. I'm going to redouble my efforts to do just that! Thanks.

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COACH_NICOLE 7/23/2008 8:45AM

    "As organic materials like vegetables and grains decompose in landfills, they release the greenhouse gas methane into the environment."

That is one of the major reasons why I have a compost bin in my backyard. Landfills are also so packed, that the oxygen needed to break down food isn't available, so they are unable to break down like they would in nature. I highly suggest composting your kitchen waste (fruit, vegetable scraps) and yard waste (grass, plants, branches, etc.) to cut down on landfill waste and greenhouse gases.

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SXS26NEW 7/23/2008 8:29AM


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COLEMANSR 7/23/2008 8:23AM

    I've learned to scale back. Now the Grand kids are visiting what leftovers.(LOL). Great article Coach. It will help spread the word about the waste of food.

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KITT52 7/23/2008 8:19AM

    I'm guilty too. I do try to make some sort of soup or stew with left over but at times I just plain buy to much fresh fruits and veggies and you can't eat them when they are rotten. I'll try and be come more aware of this as its just throwing money away.


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PAMELA984 7/23/2008 8:18AM

    Just saw a piece on this on The Early Show - seems to be a problem everywhere. I hate that I have to use so much gas to go to the store so often (I live 30 miles from a decent grocery) to buy fresh produce like papayas, but I never waste good food. Have learned how to freeze things if we aren't going to eat them in time.

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LALUNN-65 7/23/2008 7:27AM


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Turn off TV during meals or kids may get fat

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

You've probably heard this suggestion on our site before, but here's a new study that reinforces the idea: Watching TV during mealtime can lead to overeating. This study demonstrates that it not only applies to adults, but to our kids as well.

A study from the University of Toronto found that kids who watched TV while eating lunch took in 228 calories more than those who ate without the television on.

Why would this be? One theory is that eating while watching TV overrides our ability to know when to stop eating. Think about it- you get engrossed in your favorite show, and by the end of the hour you realize you've eaten a whole bag of chips when you meant to eat only a handful. TV distracts us from paying attention to how much we've consumed and when we're full.

So turn the TV off during meals- for you and your kids! Spend this time catching up on the day's events, sharing stories and finding out what's going on in your families lives. If you live alone, it's a great time to quietly unwind after a busy day.

Here are some articles related to this topic:

Tune-In to a Healthier You

Help Your Loved Ones Stay Healthy

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MICKYMAR 7/31/2008 11:23PM

    This also is my downfall. I run a business at home, and due to my weight, i dont walk anymore(soon to change)
I agree, we come home from work we sit we are tired and watch tv and eat.

Agreed, bad habit!
Michele emoticon

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DEZFAITHLADY 7/29/2008 9:53PM

  Unfortunately I had gotten into a bad habit of watching television while eating, and I noticed that I never seemed to get full. I always had room for more. I agree with the article 100%. It's a dangerous habit to get into. emoticon

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LUVTHISLEO 7/29/2008 6:22PM

    Wow...I did not know this. My little boy is kindy of on the chubby side and he is addicted to Disney Hanna Matanna. Well no more eating while watching tv. Thanks.

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MISTYMANDI 7/17/2008 8:48AM

    it is interesting to know that and it very helpfull thanks for the info

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LADYBUGVIV 7/16/2008 8:09PM

    I very moment...prying...the ..clicker..out ..of . my ..DH's grasping ...hand. Boy is he ever strong. I have wanted the TV off during meals ever since I was subjected to the Vietnam war at dinnertime as a kid. Thanks for the input. luv emoticonviv

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SHELLPRO 7/16/2008 12:34PM

    Yes, I really wasn't too surprise at how little time is spent really playing or exercising kids do- I mean look at the adults! Between work & TV, almost none do anything else. Unless their a little sport crazy!
Watching the TV during meals has become pretty much the all time 'baby sitter' No wonder it influences meal choices so much!

Comment edited on: 7/16/2008 12:33:13 PM

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CLONDILLY 7/16/2008 11:52AM

    I dont let my kids eat dinner infront of the tv ever, we do however watch tv once a month during lunch as a treat.

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KASSANDRASMOM 7/16/2008 11:11AM

    I'm also turning ours off starting today! Thank you so much for this information. It really makes sense!

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JOHNBABJR 7/16/2008 10:21AM

    It's already a rule in our house. Dinner is our together time. We also have a rule that the tv doesn't go on until everyone's homework is completely finished.

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KITT52 7/16/2008 8:21AM

    I'm turning it off starting today.

Thanks again for the info.


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