Berry Delicious

January 31, 2008

Sorry for all the scatter posting! Lunch today won’t be up until around 4:00 because I won’t have time to eat and blog – and I don’t want to ruin the pleasures of eating by typing in-between bites!

My reverse schedule was quite fun – and effective! I did stats from 5:30-7:30 and then a little bit of Chemistry before we went running at 8:30. I think I’ll do this more often on TTH. I certainty don’t think I would have gotten as much done if I’d ran first, Stats second.

Breakfast

At 6:00 I whipped up a batch of oatmeal – and decided to use frozen mixed berries for a change. It was berry delicious, but not nearly as good as the banana oatmeal. I think since berries have a higher water content they water down the oats, whereas banana seems to emulsify in to make them even creamier than starting. I used to have blueberries or raspberries (frozen and fresh) in my breakfast all the time, but I do that more in the summer because my body is craving those seasonal fruits that time of year??

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Topped with toasted almonds, flax, vanilla and a tsp brown sugar:

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Breakfast kcal with liquorice tea ~380

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Run

With Chemistry and Physiology on the brain, all I thought about during my run was electrons, heat and metabolism :) The husband and I discussed ATP and heat, our ski trip this weekend, followed by the potential for a third world war. What varied topics! 5.3 miles ran, ~415 kcal burned.

Post-Run Snack

I always have to eat after my workouts, which is why I love having breakfast after rather than before. Today I had a banana with 1 tsp of almond butter and a few crackers. Along with hot raspberry tea with Stevia, which is a naturally sweet herb I’m trying to use more of instead of splenda in my tea. It’s stronger than splenda and doesn’t have the round taste of sugar, but it’s an excellent substitute if you don’t want to consume artificial sweeteners.

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Snack kcal ~172

Off to get it done!

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Justy2003 January 31, 2008 at 10:58 am

Yay for trying Stevia! I use it all the time now instead of Splenda, and I really don’t notice much difference (at least now I don’t). Hope you like it!
Enjoy your day…it’s almost Friday! :)

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2 arimcg January 31, 2008 at 10:59 am

It always seems like the fresh berries don’t water it down as much – maybe you should try them once they’re in season. It seems like raspberries were all I ate last summer!

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3 VeggieGirl January 31, 2008 at 11:20 am

no need to apologize for scattered posts – you’re doing great, and you’re definitely busy, so don’t worry about it :0)

I love the purple hue of your oatmeal – that happens to my oatmeal as well, when I add blueberries, cherries, strawberries (well, the hue is more rose-colored that purple, with the cherries and strawberries, but you get the idea) – during the winter months, I incorporate bananas and/or dried fruits into oatmeal.

I agree with arimcg – the fresh berries do NOT water down oatmeal like frozen berries do.

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4 Elise January 31, 2008 at 11:21 am

Hi Kath (or anyone else who can answer my question),

You know how some exercise machines have programs that estimate calories burned? Have you found these to be somewhat accurate?

For example, this morning I rode my stationary bike for 95 minutes, and it said I burned about 310 calories. However, if I use an online program, it says I burned about 460 calories. Which one do you think is more accurate? (I’m 5’6″ and about 160 pounds.)

Thanks! :)

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5 PuppyLover January 31, 2008 at 11:26 am

Hey everyone! I know this has been discussed here before, but I HAVE to bring it up again due to Kath’s mention…Splenda.

Honestly, this is my ONLY weakness. I am 22 and I’ve eaten organic and healthy since I was a baby (I didn’t even know what McDonald’s was til middle school!). I’m really happy with my eating habits except for the fact that I love splenda.

I’ve tried Stevia (I feel like it’s not sweet, it’s just a sweet after taste which does not suit me). I cannot wean myself off. I use it in my tea (which I consume mass amounts of ), coffee, and sometimes even FAGE. I cannot stop it. And honestly, if I don’t use it I will splurge on other foods. I’m never satisfied til I have some splenda. :(

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6 NCCarter January 31, 2008 at 11:43 am

Hey Kath (and everyone else),

I just read in a Parents or Parenting magazine this month that a new study has linked Stevia to possible reproductive problems in both male and female mice. That’s why it’s not FDA-approved in the US (or Canada or the EU). Of course, other parts of the world have been using it for years. Just wanted to throw that out there. :-) I guess there are always going to be questions with everything we use!

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7 Brianne January 31, 2008 at 11:50 am

I know Dr. Oz does not like Stevia- I don’t remember why and I already returned the book but I know he said he didn’t like it! I too am trying to kick the splenda habit. I used to always add it to my tea and I often got sugar free lattes from starbucks. Since I quit I actually DO crave sweet food less.. and the more I read about it the more I am reminded that it is not natural and we do not know its full effects. I’m trying to use cane sugar, honey and agave nectar now.. but sometimes I do miss my splenda…

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8 kelly January 31, 2008 at 12:13 pm

To weigh in on the stevia discussion, it’s currently approved as a dietary supplement not a food. This is important to mention because dietary supplements are not required to go through rigorous testing so it seems like the biggest barrier is purely the lack of knowledge. The only complaint I have heard about it personally is that it has a bit of an anise flavor so it doesn’t pair well with anything. My personal stance is that I would prefer to have a little of the real thing and get as unrefined a product as I can and practice moderation.

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9 Justy2003 January 31, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Before I started using Stevia, I did a little research…and it’s all a little inconclusive. There’s a lot of different viewpoints depending on who the resource is. But, as someone said, it’s been used in other parts of the world forever. I think one of the main things is that they use it in moderation…not to excess as we Americans tend to do with sweet/sugary items!
Also, I recently read an article saying that Coke was going to try to start using Stevia as an ingredient in an upcoming “all natural” product, so they’ll be pushing to get Stevia approved by the FDA. Here’s a link to an article about it…though I couldn’t find the exact one I read about it in earlier.
http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/news/ng.asp?n=82280-cargill-coca-cola-rebiana-stevia

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10 ibex January 31, 2008 at 12:31 pm

uh oh puppylover-i’m the same way…even in fage. I’m so embarrassed to admit it..and I’ve recently realized that I may even be addicted. I’m working to slowly wean myself off of it, but I crave it terrible :) let me know if you find naything.

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11 Amy January 31, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Hey Kath — I just have to share that I have also been working on kicking the splenda habit –and I wasn’t even following your lead when I made that decision! (However, regarding most other healthy eating habits, I am SO attempting to follow your lead!)

It’s been surprisingly easy so far for me to forego the splenda, which I usually add to coffee, tea, oatmeal, yogurt, sweet potatoes, and other things, I’m sure! I freaked myself out when I realized how often I would add it to things.
I’m also a constant sugar-free gum chewer and I severely cut down that habit — because of the artificial sweetener and because I just don’t think it’s good to constantly chew gum. I can’t say I’ve kicked the splenda habit for good yet, but it hasn’t been nearly as hard as I thought it would be…AND, I am enjoying the true flavors of my coffee and tea when not overloaded with Splenda.

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12 NCCarter January 31, 2008 at 12:39 pm

All good comments regarding Stevia and artificial sweetners. I use Splenda in my coffee (about 2 normal sized cups of coffee/day) and try not to use it elsewhere. I never used to think twice about it, but now I have a daughter, and I would never give her any of the artificial sweetners, or Stevia. It just makes me think – okay, if I wouldn’t give it to her, why am I going to load up on it?

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13 Katherine Sloan January 31, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Most mornings I make oatmeal with frozen berries – the key is to make the oatmeal first and then put it in a bowl, then separately heat up the berries which takes about 2 minutes on the stove using the same pot the oatmeal was in – the oatmeal does not get watery at all! It looks beautiful when the oats are topped with the berries – the juices sometimes blend in making a nice purple colour like Kath’s did today – but dont water down the oatmeal! So delicious – I love berries!

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14 goalie30 January 31, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Elsie,
300 calories definitely seems low for biking for over an hour unless you were biking rather slow or against very little resistance…if you jump onto a machine and just push “start” without plugging in your age/height/weight, the calories burned is definitely NOT correct. I think the machines are CLOSER to accurate if you do type in that information; however, I’m sure it’s still not 100%. The online programs are ok to use too, but you’re going to get a different number with any program or machine that you use. Rather than worrying about number of calories burned at each workout, enjoy your workout and aim for at least 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 days per week at a moderate intensity which will help to burn off excess calories and keep your cardiovascular system in shape. Keep an eye on total calorie intake as well, and the combination of the two should help with weight maintenance. IF looking to lose weight, increase physical activity to 45-60 minutes 3-5 days a week and cut a snack or extra portion out of one of your daily meals.

For the Splenda and Stevia addicts…
I don’t drink coffees/teas so I don’t use these products on a daily basis. I haven’t heard much about Stevia, but if there are questions about it affecting fertility, I’d probably wait to use the product or keep it to a minimum until more research was completed on it. In terms of Splenda, Nutrasweet, and Equal…these have been tested time and time again and do NOT increase the risk of cancers. I do use Splenda in baking and find it a good alternative to sugar and a way to cut down on some of the calories a bit. Splenda does have sugar in it, but it’s also processed; so again, any of these products should be used in moderation, I would probably recommend only 1-2 servings per day. Using it at every meal would not be ideal, and there probably aren’t any long terms studies out yet, at least on the Splenda, to know other types of problems it can cause. I would also think that using too much of these supplements could cause GI irritation such as nausea, bloating, gas, and even diarrhea…anyone else have problems with this after using too much sugar substitutes?

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15 goalie30 January 31, 2008 at 1:08 pm

I also meant to add that if you’re already eating healthy, whole foods, wouldn’t it would be best to stick with that routine by using the “real thing” such as adding just a little brown sugar or just a little real sugar or some honey or molasses to your oatmeal/cereal/yogurt/coffee/teas that way you know what you’re putting in your body is organic and doesn’t have a bunch of additives and chemicals? That is what I prefer to do, because I think the supplements have kind of a “fake” taste to some of them, and they can definitely cause you crave sugar even more (take diet sodas as an example, they make most people feel even hungrier, because the fake sugars don’t satisfy the body the way the real stuff does)… hope this is helpful :)

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16 Jennifer B. January 31, 2008 at 1:56 pm

I didnt like Stevia when I tried it…it made my stomach upset and I hated the aftertaste! I have also read mixed reports about its safety.

Honestly, I find the BEST thing to do it cut them all out and just use sugar in moderation. I add just 1/2 teaspoon of REAL sugar to my teas (only 7 calories) and it is just a hint of sweetness that keeps me satisfied.

I don’t think it’s worth the health risk!

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17 kelly January 31, 2008 at 1:58 pm

This is an interesting discussion. I also think it’s possible to get used to less sweetness over time. I used to eat food loaded in sugar and salt, but when I was losing weight I started to really pay attention to these things. Now when I eat the sweet or salty things that I did before losing the weight I actually find they are TOO sweet or TOO salty.

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18 Karen L. January 31, 2008 at 2:02 pm

I have the same reaction to high sodium and sugary foods as you, Kelly. I don’t use any sweetner and have no desire for it. I am sure it is hard to ween yourself off of those artificial sweetners, but once you do, I doubt you’ll miss them. (But then again, I have never had a real sweet tooth, so maybe it’s harder for me to relate.)

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19 Kelly January 31, 2008 at 2:24 pm

Hi Kath- non food related…what got you talking about the possibility of a 3rd WW? Just curious, it was a random thing to say, that’s why I asked. :)

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20 NCCarter January 31, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Goalie30 – well said. Somtimes I like my hot tea a little sweeter, so I add about a teaspoon of honey. So good. And I love to lick the honey spoon clean!

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21 Christin January 31, 2008 at 3:12 pm

I’m with Goalie on the real sugar and honey as opposed to artificial sweeteners…I think as long as you don’t go overboard, and keep your discretionary calorie intake throughout the day within the recommended range, I don’t see why the same rule of the least processed the better shouldn’t apply…why risk putting extra chemicals in your body?? Just my thoughts :)

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22 KL January 31, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Help! Does anyone know what thread the topic of favorite teas where on? It was the one that suggested teas for a non-tea drinker. I have looked everywhere and I can’t find it. Thanks!

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23 HealthyEater January 31, 2008 at 3:17 pm

Has anyone seen the Glenny’s 100 calorie brownies? Are these a healthy snack??

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24 goalie30 January 31, 2008 at 3:24 pm

KL it was yesterday but I can’t remember if it was the breakfast/lunch/or dinner post…check those three spots though, i’m sure you’ll find it ;)

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25 Kristin January 31, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Hi!
Does anyone know what kind of oatmeal Kath uses? instant? What’s the best kind to eat?

I just discovered her blog and am loving it!!

Thanks!

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26 Kim January 31, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Try Harney’s Rasberry herbal tea. It is so sweet naturally that no spenda is needed. I must admit I indulge in chai lattes every now and then. Oregon Chai that I pour over ice with skim milk.

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27 kelly January 31, 2008 at 3:56 pm

I’m pretty sure she uses old fashioned oats, but I could be wrong. It personally find the texture to be the best and prefer plain oatmeal over the packets because you can easily control the sugar and mix ins. Plus chances are if you’re mixing in your own favorite fruits and veggies you’re getting more fiber and less artificial colors & flavors.

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28 Jennifer B. January 31, 2008 at 4:17 pm

Kelly- I had the same experience as you. I slashed my sodium intake by probably about 70% and now when I eat foods with even the slightest bit of sodium I cringe at the taste (yuk!). It is amazing how much salt is added to foods these days- most people don’t even know it!

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29 Liz January 31, 2008 at 4:34 pm

I just discovered your blog – it is absolutely incredible! I know you put a lot of effort into it – and it’s SO worth it. I can’t tell you how much you’re motivating me to try different things, and healthier options. Your pictures are fabulous.

I’ve got a lot of weight to lose, and your blog is inspiring me more than you can imagine.

Thanks!

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30 Karen L. January 31, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Hi Kristen – Steel cut oats are the least processed (aside from groats) and hence take longer to cook. Kath stated that she prefers rolled oats – the texture is more mushy and less chewy than steel cut. The grain shape is flattened and the size is bigger due to the processing. If you are pressed for time in the a.m. you could prepare steel cuts the night before and heat in the micro. before serving. Personally, I don’t think rolled oats compare to steel cuts in texture or flavor. Granted it is a subtle difference, but I prefer eating foods close to their natural state in general. Both rolled and steel cuts are more desirable nutritionally speaking than instant oats, and both are much tastier when prepared stove top vs. microwave. (But, of course this is true of all foods!) I prepare my steel cuts by adding the dry oats to boiling milk vs. water. It’s creamier and this method gives me a good start on my daily calcium intake. I add bannana, cin., walnuts directly in the pot at the end of cooking, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The add-in possibilities and adaptions are endless. (I seem to recall Kath having some struggles generating “volume” with steel cuts, but in the end I think she resolved her issues. ) Enjoy!

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31 Sarah C (formerly SC...soon to be just Sarah C) January 31, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Honey is a great natural sweetener, a tsp only has 20 calories, but since the sweetness is much more concentrated, you don’t need to use as much of it. Also, if you buy local honey (as in from local bees in your area–you can usually find this at farmers markets, health food stores, or sometimes even in regular stores) has been proven to help with allergy symptoms. I gave up all artificial sweeteners for my new years resolution…when I was eating them I also found that it gave me headaches/bloating/ etc.

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32 Beth January 31, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Hi everyone,

I am trying to recover from an eating disorder and I can’t get past my habit of eating only 500 calories before dinner. I would like to make my breakfast and lunch higher in calories, but I feel paralyzed. For those of you who have added calories to their meals, how did you do it and what foods did you find were best? Im just not sure where to begin…but I am truly sick of being starving all day long.

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33 Kristin Point January 31, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Kath- Do you know if my oatmeal has flax in it but I can see the little flax “seeds” can my body digest them? Are flax seeds really big? I can’t tell if whats in my oatmeal is the whole seed or ground! Haha.

I know you are supposed to ground them because the body can’t digest them, but the oatmeal boasts having “flax” in it.

Any help you could give me would be great! Thanks!

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34 b January 31, 2008 at 6:09 pm

Beth:

I have recovered from an eating disorder and found the most healthy (and unobtrusive) way to add more calories was through calorie dense foods. Peanut butter became a dietary staple along with beans, and giant bowls of cereal for breakfast (2+ cups).
The trick is to fool yourself that the food you are consuming doesn’t contain any more calories than what you were before. A major part of that (for me) was actually influenced by Eat Like Me, because I began looking at food groups instead of calories and went from a BMI of 15 to 20.

Best of luck; it’s a difficult struggle but living a life unburdened by fear of calories is worth it.

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35 goalie30 January 31, 2008 at 7:06 pm

Beth,
It sounds like you are still struggling with an eating disorder or at least disorderd eating if you are only consuming 500 calories all day until dinner time…a blog is not going to be able to give you all the answers to eating healthily and help you with the mental aspect of the eating disorder. You really should talk to your primary care provider to help get you on the full road to recovery; they will probably recommend a nutrition/dietician referral along with a possible psychologist/psychiatrist referral to help you fully get past and beat this eating disorder for good; it is not something most people can pull out of or just “stop” and start eating normally on their own.

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36 Elise January 31, 2008 at 7:17 pm

Thanks, goalie30, for answering my question about exercise machines and calories burned! I appreciate it! :)

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37 Karen L. January 31, 2008 at 7:31 pm

Goalie is exactly right, Beth. It’s unusual to be able to get through an eating disorder by simply training yourself to eat properly, gaining weight or for that matter through any self-help measures. I am sure you know your food intake is just a symptom, so reach out to a professional to help you with the core issue. Eating well will come.
All the best!

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38 Kath January 31, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Elise,
Goalie’s right on! Thanks so much for your expertise Goalie :)

Re.Stevia and Splenda,
Thanks for such a great discussion today guys! I think the bottom line is whether you’re using splenda, stevia, sugar, honey or whatever else is out there, less sweetener is probably better than more. All the great naturally sweet teas you guys recommend are great for this. I’m going to continue to try to cut back on my sweetener and hopefully one day I’ll like plain tea…

Kelly,
We were talking about the movie Amazing Grace, which we just watched, and how I love the 17th and 18th centuries. Matt commented that he can’t’ believe there were people who lived through the Civil War who saw cars and electricity by the time they died. Same with WWII and now, which got us chatting about war veterans…

Kristin,
Yup, I like rolled oats the best. I like steel cut a lot too, but I don’t always have time to make them in advance and don’t have time in the AM. I wanted to make some this week but never got around to it!! I think rolled are the creamiest, so they’re my favorite :)

Liz,
Glad you like it!!

Kristin P,
Any idea what brand it is?? It’s probably ground. Do they look like sesame seeds? Whole ones look like sesames and ground is more like oat bran/wheat germ “flakes”

Kath

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