Junk Food Junkies Wednesday, Sep 18 2019 

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Skip the meals and go straight to the munchies. Granola bars, cookies, nuts, potato chips, popcorn, candy, pretzels, ice cream. We’re a snacking society. Not only do we snack all day and night, main meals are often replaced with snacks as well. All these goodies can add up to significantly more calories if we don’t choose our foods wisely.

We make more than 200 decisions about food each day, and most are made unconsciously. Rarely do we choose to eat because we are hungry. Instead, we’re prompted by outer influences—stress, a clock that says that it is meal time, boredom, or a reward.

And we eat more when distracted watching TV, listening to music, playing a game, reading, or worse, the food is just present. Studies show that if offered an unlimited amount of food, particularly when empty plates are continuously cleared away, we will eat 73% more than we would otherwise. Who doesn’t eat at work simply because the food is in front of us? It may not even be items we particularly care for, but there it is, so we fill a plate and mindlessly munch while working.

We can consume fewer calories if we use smaller plates, select from smaller containers, decrease the variety of choices on hand so we don’t sample all that is out, don’t buy in bulk, choose healthy foods only, and keep higher calorie ones in areas that are difficult to retrieve, or better yet, not bring them into the home or office. Although all foods contain calories, choosing grapes, almonds, carrots, cheddar cheese, and dark chocolate offer significantly more nutritional value than potato chips, gummy worms, and crackers.

We also should avoid late-night snacks. Although that is when we are more likely to be drawn to high-calorie foods, studies find that food isn’t as satisfying at night. We can end up eating more and choosing foods that are the least healthy.

We’ll also eat less if we eat slowly. Since we’re influenced by the people we eat with, dining with a slower eater can help us slow down. Taking at least 20-30 minutes to finish a meal allows our body to release hormones that promote feelings of fullness.

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Have you read Walking Away from Alzheimer’s Disease on my other blog?

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Our Favorite Article of Clothing Tuesday, Jan 6 2015 

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My husband once questioned why I buy inexpensive denim jeans, which I wear  nearly every day, yet spend considerably more on a dress for a handful of special occasions.

Jeans must be the most commonly worn article of clothing, at least in the U.S. Nearly every American owns a pair or more. We have dress jeans, everyday jeans, and work jeans in various shades of blue as well as black, white, and other colors. We also have a wide selection of styles including baggy, boot leg, skinny, casual, and dressy. Jeans are our go-to pants and worn everywhere from hiking trails to fine dining restaurants, churches, and the workplace.

Jeans were introduced to Americans in 1853 during the California gold rush when Levi Strauss, a 24-year-old German immigrant, made sturdy overalls from canvas for prospectors. After complaints about the rough fabric, Strauss used a twilled cotton called “serge de Nimes.” The fabric soon became known as denim and the overalls called blue jeans. Strauss received a U.S. patent on blue jeans in 1873.

The word “jeans” most likely comes from the French word for Genoa as serge de Nimes originated in Genoa, Italy and Nimes, France. By the 17th century, the fabric was commonly used in clothing of the working class in Northern Italy.

According to Wikipedia, after actor James Dean wore jeans in the movie, Rebel without a Cause, the pants became a symbol of rebellion and sometimes banned in theaters, restaurants, and schools. I remember as a young child in the 60s resisting my mother’s insistence that I wear my brother’s hand-me-down jeans. I thought then that they were only for boys. But it wasn’t long before they became part of my daily wardrobe.

Jeans popularity has endured due to their durability and longevity. We keep them for years, as they get more comfortable with wear and washing. Ironically, as we search for the best prices, they are our best wardrobe investment.

©2015, Mary K. Doyle

 

Powwow Monday, Aug 20 2012 

Drumming, lively dances, brightly colored costumes, crafts and exhibits, fry bread and corn, and ceremonial prayers, presentations, and recognitions. Native American powwows offer a day of outdoor culture and fun for the whole family. And we have several coming soon in the Midwest.

The Midwest was home to Native American tribes including the Algonquian, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Dakota, Delaware, Erie, Foxes,  Huron, Illinois, Iroquois, Kickapoo, Menominee, Miami, Minnesota, Mohawk, Mound Builders, Ojibwa, Omaha, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Sauk, Shawnee, Sioux, and Winnebago.

Today many of the country’s Native Americans live on reservations, some of which can be found in Midwest states including Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Residents often struggle financially, live in substandard housing, and experience high unemployment, alcoholism, and abuse. Supporting schools such as Red Cloud (http://www.redcloudschool.org/) and St. Joseph Indian School (http://www.stjo.org/site/PageServer?pagename=contact_us) in South Dakota assists young people in regaining pride in their culture and achieving a productive, positive future through education.

Keeping their rich and diverse heritage alive is an important element of not only their history but also the country as a whole, and a fun way to do this is by experiencing the celebration of a powwow. Following are a few upcoming ones from which to choose.

Aug 26-28th

  • Cha Cha Bah Ning 31st Annual Traditional Powwow, 21 miles north of Deer River, MN, Inger, MN

Aug 27-28th

  • Mending the Sacred Hoop Powwow, Adrian, MI
  • Heritage of Healing Summer Gathering & Powwow, Ypsilanti, MI
  • 18th Potawatomi Trails Traditional Powwow, Shiloh Park, Zion, IL
  • Three Fires Homecoming Powwow, New Credit Powwow Grounds, 1st Line Road, Hagersville, ON

September 2, 3

September 22 (11 a.m to 10 p.m.)  and 23 (11 a.m – 5 p.m.)

  • MSF 18th Annual Harvest Powwow, Naper Settlement, 523 Webster Street, Naperville, IL 60540

©2012, Mary K. Doyle

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