Shaking Up the Sugar, Salt, and Fat

I have been reading this really great book called The End of Overeating, which is written by David Kessler. He is an MD who was the FDA Commissioner from 1990 to 1997. He was instrumental in regulating Nutrition Facts labels, and was active in attempting to regulate  cigarettes.

He has since written this book which delves into how food companies manipulate the salt, sugar, and fat in processed foods as a means of getting us to crave certain foods. He talks about how you can describe to the tiniest detail eating something that is your favorite food — how it smells, crunches, feels in your mouth, lasts in your mouth, etc.  And, it is the combination of fat, sugar, and salt which impact our desire for certain foods. These favorite foods become habit forming for us. They become habits by impacting our brain neurons, and actually alter our brain function.


Here is an example of a candy bar that someone might crave….


So back to what I decided to do to Shake It Up — I have been trying today to figure out what foods I eat that have added sugar or fat, and I realize that there is not really a lot that I crave. The only food that I really crave is salmon, and that seems too healthy to give up. 🙂

Baked Salmon


I am going to Shake It Up this week by trying to figure out if the processed items that I like contain added sugar or fat or salt as a way of making the food taste more enjoyable, thus increasing the amount I crave them. I will be closely reading ingredient labels this week with this in mind. So even though I did not really do much differently today, it was the start of what should be an interesting week.


Sometimes you can Shake It Up too much…..

So if you remember, I was told on Thursday, December 31 of last year that I needed to brush my teeth for 2 minutes twice daily. That seemed very manageable, plus a great idea for the new year. I was very meticulous about making sure that I was paying attention to all parts of my mouth, and dividing up my mouth into 8 sections — you know top/bottom, right/left, inside/outside — so that all parts got equal time. I found out from several coworkers that you can buy a very special electric toothbrush that will let you know when 30 seconds is up, and you can move onto the next section. I also went to the local home/bath type store, to find that for $179 you can buy an electric toothbrush that you can use with bluetooth if you want to print out reports and graphs etc for your brushing data. That seemed like a crazy amount of money for a toothbrush, plus I don’t need anything else to track in my life. Instead I decided to just keep using my electric toothbrush, and use the second hand of my watch to be sure I was brushing adequately. Turns out that I was brushing too hard — go figure. I ended up with sores in my inner mouth at the gum line, tearing up the skin inside my mouth. Bummer. I wanted to just eat ice cream to make my mouth feel better, but that didn’t seem like a good solution.


So what did I do to Shake It Up on Thursday? I decided that I had better cut back on how I was brushing! Too bad! Here I thought I was doing just great by starting a new habit, and it turns out that I was overly zealous about it. So OK, I had to modify my toothbrushing.

I also decided to wear a different outfit on Thursday. Last week, on Wednesday I wore a new pair of boots to work, and I was told by a fellow worker that I should have done that on a Thursday instead of a Wednesday! So last week I told her that I was shaking things up by doing something different on a Wednesday instead, but that didn’t seem like the right answer to her, so I wore them again this week.


These are not what my boots look like, but they sure are cute!!



We ended the evening by going to a new restaurant, and I ordered something really different — something I had not seem on a menu before. It was a salmon dish, so it wasn’t all that extraordinarily different for me, but it was prepared totally differently. Turned out to be a really yummy choice.

Did you do something different to Shake Up your routine this past week? Let us know!






Shaking It Up by being less sedentary…….

Do you ever feel like you are more sedentary than you used to be? Remember when being more active physically was just normal, like riding a bike just for fun or carrying small children around? Now it seems like I need to seek out activity such as going to the health club in order to be physically active. When I woke up Thursday, I decided that I was going to Shake It Up by being less sedentary. Here is what I did differently:

  • I parked a little further away at the grocery store in the morning, so I had to take a few extra steps.
  • We have a meeting every morning at work, which we call “stand up.” However, instead of standing, everyone sits….. I decided to stand instead.
  • I had already set up an area in my office where I can conveniently stand and have access to everything I need without sitting down. I can set up my work laptop on a portable computer stand or on a 4-shelf bookshelf, and do most everything I need from standing instead of sitting. So I spent most of the day standing instead of sitting.
  • At lunch, instead of sitting around just eating, we took a walk afterward for 20 minutes.
  • Even though I often try to wear something different on Thursdays, I wore my regular gym shoes so that I would be comfortable doing a lot of walking. So no cute shoes for work on Thursday.    😦

It did feel good trying to be more active at work. Ironically, there were not more steps used over the course of the day (my fitbit does not lie), but it certainly felt like more!

And, by the way, I did decide to buy a kind of fruit which I have not had in a really long time — a fresh apricot — and it was delicious!

Apricots with leaves on a white background.

My afternoon snack.

It would be fun to hear if you have done anything differently to shake up your routine!





Shaking It Up x 2

I didn’t post for New Year’s Eve, mainly because things were pretty busy and hectic. So for the last day of 2015, once again I didn’t know how I would Shake It Up……. until I went to the dentist that morning. I was told that I needed to brush my teeth longer. Everyone knows that they are supposed to brush their teeth at least twice a day. But, did you know that you are supposed to brush your teeth for an entire 2 minutes each time? Who knew? Well, I was very excited to hear that piece of information. I told the dentist and the dental hygienist about my blog, and that brushing my teeth for 2 minutes each time would be how I would Shake It Up that day! What an important new habit to form. The irony is that I did not actually do anything differently on that day — New Year’s Eve– because I didn’t get ready for bed until after midnight!! But it was a great new habit to start on January 1st.

For this week, I didn’t have any great plans for shaking it up. Since nothing as earth shattering as brushing my teeth differently didn’t cross my path, I decided to do a couple of small things instead. I decided to wear a top that I had sewn a couple of years ago. I don’t usually wear it to work, because I have been saving it…… Saving it for what, I do not know! So I decided to wear it today.

I tried to insert a photo of the top I wore, but I can’t figure out how to do that yet.  So just imagine a really cute top.   🙂

The other thing that I did differently was to have a new kind of fruit — something I had never had before. I had a Minneola, which is apparently a type of tangerine. My internet sources say it is a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. All I know is that to my unsophisticated tastebuds, it tastes like an orange.

Happy 2016, and here is to Shake It Up Thursday!!