Cooking School

Photo from The Kitchn

Photo from The Kitchn

I know that we are already into the second half of the month, and I am a little late posting this.  The Kitchn website is hosting a daily, online Cooking School since Oct 6.  Each day they are teaching you how to cook.  Yesterday’s was on herbs and spices.

Now I know how to cook, but every day there has been a tip or two that I learned.  So go check it out.  You can still sign up, or you can just check out the past lessons.  I know that the better I am getting at cooking, the more we are enjoying our meals.

We are never too old to learn something new.


The Power of Habits


Lately I have been reading books on habits as well as on health and fitness.  One of the books on habits I enjoyed was The Power of Habits: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg.  I would recommend reading this book if you are interested in understanding your habits and how to change habits.

Today I found a brief video online by Mr. Duhigg called How to Break Habits.  It is just over 3 minutes and well worth the watch.

Finally if you want to test this theory out, you may want to check out the website, Tiny Habits.  Mr BJ Fogg has created a way for you to try forming a new habit by paying attention to a cue, an action, and a reward.  About a month ago I tried one of his mini sessions.  One of the habits I created was to do push ups after I go to the bathroom.  It worked. I can no longer go to the bathroom without doing a couple of push ups before I leave the bathroom. (Is that more than you want to know?). At first my reward was a “Yeah I did it.” while looking in the mirror.  Yes, I felt a little stupid, but kept at it.  I now do between 15 and 24 push ups a day, when I couldn’t even do one push up that wasn’t on my knees.  And now…now my reward is muscles developing in my biceps and upper back.  Pretty cool.

I am in the process of trying to figure out what other healthy habit I want to create.  I know I want to eat slower, but I can’t figure out a cue or a reward yet.  So trying to break it down to a small routine.  If I get it, I will let you know.

If you try it, I would love to hear what habit you want to break or to form.

Reducing Sugar Intact

SugarSomeday I will have to blog about my journey with my health over the past 3 years, but today I want to tell you about sugar.  Sugar is bad for you.  We all know that, but do we really know how bad it is for you.

Check out this post, “You’ll Stop Eating Sugar after Reading this Post” that lists 25 reasons sugar is bad for you. Or if you want a quicker list of 75 ways it can harm your health read, “Counting the Many Ways Sugar Harms Your Health.”  Sugar really is deadly.  There are even studies that show that sugar lights up the same brain areas as cocaine does.  It is definitely addictive.  If you don’t believe me, go 24 hours without any sugar and you will have withdrawals symptoms.

The sad thing is we don’t realize how much sugar we eat each year.  Sugar is in everything.  I used to love eating Yoplait Thick and Creamy Yogurt for breakfast.  Yogurt, it must be healthy for me, but that little 6 ounces had 28 grams of sugar.  That is the pile of sugar on the left, about 7 teaspoons worth. My stomach hurts just looking at how much sugar that really is.

For more than a year now I have eaten Fage Greek Yogurt, it has 6.5 grams of sugar per 6 ounces or 1.5 teaspoons of sugar.  That is the picture on the right.  Think about it, I would eat a yogurt each day, that means I was consuming 10,192 grams or 2,548 teaspoons a year with just my Yoplait yogurt. Just by making that change for the past year I have reduced my sugar intake to 2,366 grams or 592 teaspoons per year.  That is huge, people.  I am telling you…HUGE.

I have not stopped eating sugar.  I still like candy, but eat less of it.  I no longer drink Coke. You know I loved my afternoon Coke. That had even more sugar in it.  I have changed to a Stevia or Erythritol sweetener for my tea and I am trying to reduce that as well.

Americans eat way too much processed food, and almost all of it has sugar in one form or another in it.  I have a long way to go to eliminate my processed sugar cravings, but I have made progress.  I am trying hard to eat at least half my plate as vegetables, a fourth protein and a fourth fats/carbs, as well as chose health, low sugar snacks. My health has improved, but I still am working on it.

Do you pay attention to your sugar intake?