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THE EYE IN THE FOOD PYRAMID [Aug. 25th, 2003|10:52 pm]
The American Caliban
I had a great time today. First, there was a binder. And I got a handout. And I got to put the handout in the binder!

There was a food pyramid. A real one, made of clear plastic, with fake plastic food in it. And we got to figure out the volume of fake plastic breakfast cereal. And figure out things like how much salt was in some soy sauce.

I learned about great resources just for people like me on how to make food just like the food you make from the recipes on the back of a cool whip bowl except not with cool whip. Also how to control my portion size so that I can feel like I'm living through the Great Depression, except with more plastic around. Many people, including the "Sugar-Free Fun Brigade" and the National Association of Negro Women are here to present me with excellent recipes and ways to enjoy life.

The other people in my class are all just going to fucking die. Probably next week. I waved goodbye to them. In case any of them ever read this, here's some tips. You can't save up food "exchanges" from one day and use them on the next. Going to two parties in the same day that have two different types of cake is not a good reason to have two large pieces of cake in one day. You cannot eat a diet without vegetables in it, claim that "I need protein in order to have energy", and refuse to learn how to cook. If you have an intestinal problem that means you can't eat fiber or fresh vegetables, and you are diabetic, you should probably shoot yourself now.

But hey. I'm one of the fortunate ones! I can enjoy my 3.5 carbs, 2 veg, 2 protein, and 1 fruit this evening as long as I am very careful not to eat enough that I experience pleasure or become sated. Then, I can stare at the wall!

Did you ever notice that the wall has these really intriguing little bumps on it?

P.S. The dietitian's dogma contradicted itself in at least three places during the class. I feel like I'm in Sunday school.

P.P.S. I cannot understand after this class how anyone who eats Japanese food is still alive. They must have Evil Samurai Magic.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: foo2rama
2003-08-26 12:02 am (UTC)
For what ever it is worth I dropped 20 pounds, over the past 6 months before I started working out. After a week of smaller portions I found that I actually got used to it. My current body fat is 20.1 and I hope to get it lower.
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2003-08-26 12:08 am (UTC)
Food Pyramid, eh? I hope they've kept themselves up to date.

Good luck with it.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2003-08-26 12:11 am (UTC)

actually yes

The instruction was pretty much up-to-date by the American Diabetes Association guidelines, so they did differentiate between types of fat and types of carbohydrate. It wasn't the pyramid I knew as a child, which was entirely paid for by various industries and was nearly genocidally incorrect!

But the ADA's guidelines are controversial too. Two dietitians is three opinions, as they say about economists.
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[User Picture]From: andrewducker
2003-08-26 12:18 am (UTC)

Re: actually yes

Very true. But at least they're keeping up to date.

And you should find that as you get used to the diet you find it easier to enjoy/be sated by the food you're allowed. It took me a few weeks to adjust, but I now happily survive on far less food.
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[User Picture]From: nosrialleon
2003-08-26 10:38 am (UTC)

Brain nugget!

"Have a 3-2-4-4 day!"
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[User Picture]From: jonpants
2003-08-26 01:15 am (UTC)
Those intriguing bumps on the wall are called orange peel.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2003-08-26 01:34 am (UTC)

zest the fruit

I remember this! When the inside of our house was painted a while back, there was a delay until the ORANGE PEEL MAN came to do his magic so that the place wouldn't have "cottage cheese ceilings" any more.

He was a wizard, spoken of only in muted tones.
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[User Picture]From: jonpants
2003-08-26 10:18 am (UTC)

Re: zest the fruit

Cottage cheese. I still don't understand that name.
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[User Picture]From: edm
2003-08-26 04:39 am (UTC)

Food pyramids

When I was about 10 (so about 20 years ago) all the food pyramids (in New Zealand) featured surprisingly large quantities of dairy products. Surprising only if you didn't read the fine print and notice that it was prepared by the dairy marketing board. (Or didn't know that New Zealand is a big dairy producing country.)

Anyway eating lots of dairy products was apparently good for you. Oh and a few vegetables and some meat, and maybe some cereals too. (I forget what the 5th thing in their pyramid was.) And if you didn't eat lots of dairy products you were going to die or something.

Also around 10, I found out that I was allergic to dairy products. And that that (amongst other things) was the thing that meant I had a constant "cold", headaches, and other fun symptoms.

So out with the dairy products. Life is much improved. Except for that little thing about dying if I don't eat lots of dairy products. Oh well, have to die of something.

After 20 years of not being dead, I've concluded that even at the best of times these things are an approximation to the truth. (And that's not including the ones who have an agenda. The various meat marketing board's food pyramids are also a sight to behold, even for a dedicated omnivore such as myself.)

So I'd suggest not taking everything so literally as to completely spoil the pleasure of eating. Weighing things to the gram (or ounce) is probably going too far.

From what I've seen of your diary you can cook and enjoy doing so, so I'd suggest making the most of that, and aiming to make your meals more like what's recommended than they have been, without being too rigid about it. As you've said these lessons are aimed at being a wake up call for those that figure that nothing applies to them.

To echo what someone else said, it's surprising how over only a matter of a week or two you get used to more or less food being the "full" amount. I've noticed it a couple of times going in both directions (to smaller meals, and back to larger meals).

Finding something to do other than staring at the walls may help. Or painting it first. I hear watching paint dry is interesting...

Good luck.

Ewen
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[User Picture]From: nuns
2003-08-26 04:45 am (UTC)
At a few points in my life (mostly driven by The Poverty That Is Gradschool), I have had to reduce the amount of food I ate. It usually only takes me a week or so to get to that stage in the process I call "The Hunger Is My Friend" -- at this point, I am constantly aware of my stomach, but find the sensation sort of fascinating rather than annoying. From there it's only a week or two until I am actually used to eating the much smaller volume of food without noticing.

The big trick, for me, is Never Get Bored. Oh, and Don't Buy Cookies.

Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: marm0t
2003-08-26 06:03 am (UTC)
What's wrong w/japanese food? Doesn't it involve approximately correct proportions of starches, veggies and protein that's high in omega-3?
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[User Picture]From: flipzagging
2003-08-26 09:20 am (UTC)
White rice is currently thought to be Wonder Bread in grain form. And Japanese food is swimming in salt.

See that link posted above, it's the new food pyramid. Not from an official gubmint agency, but it's what Scientific American thinks the balance of current research shows.

I'm a bit skeptical. Entire continents live on white rice and they seem a lot healthier than bread-oriented Europeans and Americans. The article seems to say this might be because they are very active physically.

And personally? I suppose I should listen to Science, but I just don't believe that my body can't handle a little salt... it's one of those primary elements that make up the body. (However, I don't put salt on most things. Once you get into the habit, you need it for things to taste right, it's not a seasoning any more.)

Japanese food is very low in fat so if you live in North America, it's a good break from the constant barrage of high fat stuff. I'd still pick that over almost any other food you can get eating out.
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[User Picture]From: substitute
2003-08-26 02:13 pm (UTC)

white rice

The reason continents live on white rice and don't get diabetes is that they don't get as much of it. It's all good nutritious food, but when you eat huge bowls of it you get sick. The slang term is "affluenza".
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[User Picture]From: turnip
2003-08-26 07:22 am (UTC)
you probably already know this, but I love pretending I live in the Great Depression. That makes eating a lot less a lot easier.
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[User Picture]From: flipzagging
2003-08-26 11:58 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, po' folks food! Who wants some DOUGH fried in LARD?

Or Mock Apple Pie.
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[User Picture]From: nosrialleon
2003-08-26 07:48 am (UTC)

My cat's breath smells like cat food!

. You can't save up food "exchanges" from one day and use them on the next.

No, Ralph. Diebetes is not Weight Watcher's...
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[User Picture]From: odradak
2003-08-26 09:56 am (UTC)
BINDERS ROCK!
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