Tag Archives: food

Only Child weighs in on eating to lose weight

Eat fresh foods where possible to lose weight http://www.arthursclipart.org/vegetables/veggiescol1.htm

Eat fresh foods where possible to lose weight

I’ve never been obese…yet, even as a child. The most I’ve ever weighed was when pregnant. In high school I came close to that pregnancy weight. After gaining five pounds over this past winter, I decided to do something about it.

“Thou shalt not” doesn’t sit too well on my stomach and when your tummy is your main problem due to a digestive disorder (that’s me), maybe looking at what you eat would help. So I trolled through the articles on http://www.besthealthmag.ca and found something really interesting – a slide show (not video) on Top 20 Flat Tummy Foods at http://www.besthealthmag.ca/swap-and-drop/top-20-flat-tummy-foods?slide=1.

Some of the foods and beverages included surprised me. Although one of my favourites, ice cream, didn’t make the list, dark chocolate did. Also included are green tea, olive oil, onions, lemon, cinnamon, cucumber, low fat yogurt, legumes, chicken, turmeric, quinoa, pears, berries, salmon, miso, eggs and greens (especially spinach). At some time or other, I eat or drink all but the olive oil, turmeric and quinoa (although I have the latter and when I figure out what to do with it, I’ll try it). This list has got me motivated to drink or eat more of the other items.

Comments for each slide go into the benefits of each food item – for your tummy and other benefits such as antioxidant (berries, for example). Green tea may take the cake (which is not on the list) because it has a great effect on your metabolism – drinking it often can increase weight loss (as well as bathroom visits, no doubt) but it also slows down fat absorption and is an antioxidant. My green tea supply has disappeared but this three-prong piece of information may get me going to replenish the supply and drink it.

Another article tells you how to beat belly fat http://www.besthealthmag.ca/get-healthy/prevention/7-ways-to-beat-belly-bloat?slide=1. This one goes into some of the belly fat problems such as gas, bloating, etc. and references IBS. Suggestions include cut down on the salt, drink more water, peppermint tea and a baking soda-water combo (and live in the bathroom – it doesn’t say that).

For those who are focusing on the belly, you might also want to read Five Reasons Your Stomach  Hurts http://www.besthealthmag.ca/get-healthy/health/5-reasons-your-stomach-hurts – it covers acid indigestion, IBS and hits on the gut-killer – too much stress. Pointers include to cut the stress, calm your nerves and slow because we are always in a chronic state of stress.

That last point says it all. You can try to slow down all you want but will that get rid of the stressors? Getting rid of the stressors has always been my idea of reducing the stress level. However, that is not always easy, especially if, like me, you are alone in the world and have to do and organize everything yourself. Sure, you can try to cut back on what you do (and I’ve blogged about that before), but in reality the stressor may be something you have to do (for example, a painful treatment for a disease, which some people have to go through). And what if the stressor is a person in your life? You can’t go around killing your stressors.

But…I am a writer and journaling about it, putting the “stressor” (disguised and fictionalized, of course) into a short story or novel, works wonders. A relative who really irked me was the inspiration for a bad person in one of my short stories.

And I can pay more attention to what I eat and drink from those 20 food suggestions. I’ll get over ice cream not making the list but…isn’t it written somewhere that we can cheat one day a week? Or eat our favourite food in moderation?

Ice cream does contain milk.

Happy eating.


Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes


Filed under antioxidants, Digestive disorder, Health, Only child, Overeating, Stress, Water

Only Child weighs in with super-size kitchens

My childhood kitchen - my uncle, godmother and Mom

My childhood kitchen – my uncle, godmother and Mom

How large is your kitchen? In a New York Times article http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/24/opinion/sunday/is-your-kitchen-a-health-hazard.html?_r=1& paediatrician Neil Isenberg thinks today’s trend towards supersize kitchens is contributing to our supersize bodies. The founder of KidsHealth.org lists all the extras from wi-fi to two fridges to separate freezers to pizza-makers to breadmakers as big contributors. So is our penchant for making our home the centre of entertainment and socializing. It’s all this proximity to food in our daily lives that may do us in.

My kitchen is small – about the same size as the kitchen in my childhood home – the latter a World War II built- bungalow. My current home is post-war (by four years) but the style is similar. Unlike many people, I don’t want a big kitchen – when I moved here 13 years ago I downsized in kitchen space. Visitors still hang out in my kitchen – whether for a party, snack break for my writers’ group gathering, or to eat lunch or dinner. And there are walls between kitchen and living room – no open spaces here. I like my rooms separate.

I have one fridge with freezer on top, stove with smooth top, room for a table and chairs, some counter space, double sink – few extras unless you count the rice steamer, crockpot and drip coffeemaker. No dishwasher (unless you count me) and yes, I have a breadmaker but I have to store it in the linen closet down the short hallway because it doesn’t fit in any kitchen cupboard. I don’t mind that – it’s having to climb up on a chair to get to the second and third cupboard shelves that irks me – but that’s not design – that’s because “the Lord” made me so short (to paraphrase what my late aunt used to say; she was shorter than me).

I like my kitchen; I like my house and its design – despite my complaints about always needing house repairs – but all houses, even new, need repairs. Sure, it’s a throwback to my growing-up years but lately I’ve been leaning back to a lot of things from earlier eras, even before I was born – at least pre-1975 because the more I live the more I see that I don’t like (Note: I do like some current things such as computers, e-readers and wireless phones – when they behave).

But for the most part, hurry-hurry-too-much information- too-much-to-do days do not sit well on my stomach.

And that may be the core of much of society’s obesity. We have too much to deal with, too much coming at us and we eat food for comfort and convenience.

Dr. Izenberg has one thing right. Proximity to food gets us eating more but that doesn’t apply only to super-size kitchens. I don’t have a dining-room per se, as I converted it into my office. However, it is two steps in from my kitchen and I like to snack. I try to do so on healthy foods, but when chocolate is around I get carried away.

My name is Sharon and I am a chocaholic.

So, I try to balance it all by walking and gardening (the latter if spring ever arrives to stay) before I become overweight.

What says you? Does kitchen size equal body size? Or?

Note of interest: At the end of another article at http://www.theloop.ca/opinion/family/article/-/a/2192453/New-study-suggests-that-our-kitchens-could-be-making-us-fat you can vote on kitchen size. I just did and guess what? So far most of those voting have a small kitchen.

Happy, but moderate eating.


Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes


Filed under Family, Health, Kitchen Size, Life demands, Mother, Obesity, Only child, Overeating, Sharon A. Crawford, Uncategorized

Only Child saves sanity through creativity

Edge of Only Child’s fall garden facing the street.

After my take on irresponsibility and sleep-walking through most of last week, I finally “woke up” Friday. The last residues of it all got blown away in the wind when I hit the gardening ground running this weekend. Then I took it inside to the kitchen.

We had a warm Sunday and first part of Monday, so I raked and swept leaves, cut off  the messy dead leaves from some perennials going into winter dormancy – hostas, day lilies and peonies, brought in some flowers – yes a few of those still around– pansies, chrysanthemums, lamium, and leaves with berries from the euonymus shrubs. Then I took it indoors – floral arrangements for the front hallway, kitchen table and kitchen windowsill. I also planted seeds indoors in pots for cinnamon and lime basil. I have some potted plants that you don’t usually bring indoors, but I did a few weeks ago – a tomato plant and pepper plant – both are still getting blossoms turning into cherry tomatoes and peppers, a lobelia  (annual) still flowering, and a dianthus (perennial). I carried on this indoor gardening into today and along with what was already there (coleus, African violet, Christmas cactus which believes Christmas is in November for flowering, jade, aloe vera, etc.) my indoor garden “centres” in the livingroom and bedrooms are growing (pun intended).

Sure, I had to pitch a few dead plants outside , but they taught me – when something is dead, bury it and move on. So, I’m trying to do that with friends’ betrayals, irresponsibility, etc.

My creativity continued with cooking (even dessert – I seldom make dessert from scratch, but this time did a rhubarb crisp from garden rhubarb frozen). And I did a few twists on some main courses. Today, I’m making soup for supper.

Doing all this creative stuff calmed me and filled me with hope for the future. It also cleared my mind. So did hibernating somewhat this weekend – only one phone call and a few emails, with the only “trips” away from home to get groceries or go for a walk – sometimes combined.

I don’t recommend being a permanent recluse – but the occasional getting away from the madding crowd can put things in perspective and kick-start you.

Now, I’m revved up for rewriting more in my novel, promoting my short story collection Beyond the Tripping Point and editing clients’ manuscripts.

That doesn’t mean I forget about cooking and gardening and even cleaning the house. It means putting what you do in balance, including figuring out what is important. Obviously, some of the stuff I blogged about last week isn’t at the top of my list anymore.


Sharon A. Crawford

Only Child Writes

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Filed under Balance, Gardening, Gardening health benefits, Healing through gardening, Home and Garden, Indoor Gardening, Only child, Rhubarb, Sharon A. Crawford