Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Books, books, and more books

Note: All links to books in this post are Amazon affiliate links, mostly so you can find out more about them if you are interested. If you choose to buy something from one of my links, thank you.

I decided to make the switch to Wednesday weigh-ins, so look for that post tomorrow. I was relieved this morning to be back under 180 -- my weight has been up since our Pelee trip -- I really let myself get off-track by not logging my food, and it has taken me a while to get back into the groove of logging every day, and then I definitely had some travel/hormonal things going on with water retention. I'm hoping things are settled down more by tomorrow. I missed a couple of days of daily checklists but will put them at the end of this post.

I have been doing some homework of sorts, sort of like my old summer reading projects. I heard about The Schwarzbein Principle (Amazon affiliate link) on a podcast recommended by Nacho Mama on her podcast. (I have been listening to Margo's podcast archives and I feel like I know her -- can't wait to meet her at Fitbloggin', where we are co-facilitating a small-group discussion.)

Though the dieticians on the podcast she recommended are a little one-sized-fits-all for my taste (everyone in the world is apparently gluten-sensitive and lactose intolerant), I bought The Schwarzbein Principle (Amazon affiliate link) and The Schwarzbein Principle II (another affiliate link) for a penny each, plus $3.99 shipping, and really like the approach.  Dr. Schwarzbein is an endocrinologist, so her books are all about the hormonal effects of foods, especially insulin. That's not news anymore -- there are lots of books that emphasize insulin on the shelves right now -- but I like her balanced approach.  She doesn't recommend no- or low-carb, but a diet that balances carbs, fats, and proteins and focuses on whole foods.  The sample diet plans remind me of what I learned in health class in the 1970s before we all became fat-phobic -- four food groups and balanced meals. The protein amounts aren't huge -- 2-3 ounces per meal and 1-3 ounces per snack. She doesn't cut out whole food groups like some other plans I have seen.  I like the emphasis on whole, real foods.  I think I could make this work with my life. The only problem is that she is anti-coffee. I keep my coffee intake reasonable, I don't drink it all day long, just in the mornings. I am going to start working some of her principles into my day and see if I can ease back on the coffee a bit.

I have been doing a lot of other reading too. On my plane trip I finished two novels, The Next Best Thing (affiliate link) and John Steinbeck's East of Eden, which I bought in the Asilomar gift shop. Steinbeck is one of my favorite writers and I had been wanting to read his masterpiece for a long time, and I liked reading it after I had visited his home country.

As you can tell, I'm an eclectic reader. I love classics but I also enjoy lighter beach reads. I read self-development and nonfiction, especially stuff about science. I read almost every weight-loss-related book that comes out.  I need another big, engrossing book to read on the way to Fitbloggin' -- I just bought a bunch of young adult fiction for light summer reading at one of our local used bookstores, but I need something more substantial for a long plane ride. Any recommendations?  During the school year I almost never read fiction because I get too caught up in it, but this summer I am going back to the kid who would lose herself in book after book.  I just recently finished Beautiful Ruins on audiobook, which I loved, especially since part of it was set in Italy and had a little bit of Italian sprinkled in.

The only thing I'm not in the mood for is the kind of book that Oprah used to feature in her book club -- the anguish-filled stories of child abuse and pain that don't seem to offer anything except misery. The epitome of this genre is Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone (affiliate link), which is probably my all-time most-hated book, unless it's Songs in Ordinary Time (also an affiliate link), another Oprah selection that I hated so much that I purposely left in a hotel room so I wouldn't make myself finish it. Any other recommendations, though, would be appreciated!

Daily checklist for Sunday:

  • At least 30 minutes of exercise per day: No real exercise, I was very tired and chose to take the day off
  • Do my physical therapy exercises: Did some of them in the swimming pool 
  • Log all food in Lose It! and stay in the "green zone": Logged all my food but was way over.
  • Take my supplements: Taken
  • At least 3 servings of veggies and 2 fruits: Banana, strawberries, carrot, celery, baby spinach, a few blueberries and raspberries
  • Get at least 35 grams of fiber: A little under
  • At least 90 ounces of fluids: Didn't keep track as well as I should have, might have been under

Daily checklist for Monday:

  • At least 30 minutes of exercise per day: 30 minutes of swimming plus 1 1/2 hour bike ride
  • Do my physical therapy exercises: Did not do them -- I have to make this a priority
  • Log all food in Lose It! and stay in the "green zone": Quite a bit under because of all the exercise, right around where I want to be.
  • Take my supplements: Taken
  • At least 3 servings of veggies and 2 fruits: Banana, romaine, spinach, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, asparagus, carrots, celery
  • Get at least 35 grams of fiber: About 30
  • At least 90 ounces of fluids: About 100


  1. I also quickly became tired of Oprah's choice of books, featuring the darker side of human nature. The Schwarzbein Principal sounds like a very reasonable philosophy on healthy eating, and I may have to read it. No matter what, I still think that balance is they key to good health and maintaining a normal weight.

    1. East of Eden had dark moments too, but they meant something. I didn't get that from She's Come Undone.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07