Weighing in with Noom

I’m starting Week 3 of my Noom program, and it’s going great. I’m exercising more. I’m watching what I eat from a holistic perspective, rather than singling out some foods as “bad” (even if my writing and attitude may sometimes lean that way).

I’m enjoying myself!

But one thing I don’t like is weighing in daily.

I know from my many past experiences with weight loss programs that weight fluctuates daily based on a lot of factors, including food consumption, level of hydration, and, by the gods, whether or not I’ve emptied my bowels.

Noom says that daily weigh-ins are motivational. I’ll bet they are for a majority of people, but, as we know, if we think scientifically, it is folly to apply generalizations to individuals.

We know that smoking causes lung cancer. 80-90% of all lung cancer cases are a direct result of smoking!

Did you also know that only 10-15% of smokers ever develop lung cancer?

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My relationship with ice cream

I love ice cream.

I don’t think that puts me in the minority of humans. What’s not to love about ice cream? It’s creamy. It’s sweet. It’s delicious!

I’m including gelato under the “ice cream” label, even though I like it more than ice cream. It’s smoother, and usually not as sweet, which I would imagine is true because it’s retaining its European roots, and it seems to me that Americans prefer their foods too sweet.

My father was in the US Air Force, so I spent more than half of my school years living in Europe. England when I was very young, for first and second grades, and Germany when I was older, junior high (what’s usually called “middle school” now) and high school.

Because of all the time I spent in Europe as a youth, I developed less of a sweet tooth than other people I know, because, when I was a kid, anyway, Europeans made their sweet pastries with a lot less sugar than Americans do. A German cake, for example, was very enjoyable to me, because ingredients other than sugar shone through.

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The Noom app and logging meals

Well, I’ve blown this already!

I’m kidding, but while I was busy logging my meals into my Google Sheet the past couple days, my brilliant friend Tara brought the app to my attention.

My Coach, er, um, I mean Goal Specialist, whose name is Kyle, had contacted me through the app. Maybe I should be logging meals into that?

Duh.

And, wow, there is so much more in there, like daily reading and quizzes about health, food, diet. Logging in steps, exercise, blood pressure. And, yeah, meals.

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Tracking my food intake and my steps

To go along with my Noom program, I’m tracking all my food intake. Now, I’m not getting crazy here. Not yet, anyway. I’m only tracking the food and the number of calories.

In the past I’d create an Excel spreadsheet with calories along with a breakdown of grams of fat, protein, and carb, plus fiber. Not this time!

I’m tracking everything at Google Sheets, which, in case you don’t know, is like Excel on the web.

Tracking my food is one of the great ways to keep myself from eating junk. If I have to enter it into a spreadsheet, I am far less likely to consume it.

The potato chips I ate last night seem to belie this. Maybe I’m kidding myself. But at least I’m tracking!

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Dandelion root tea instead of coffee?

Traditional Medicinal Roasted Dandelion Root TeaTraditional Medicinals.

It’s a brand name, but it’s also a cool phrase to describe drinking health-inducing tea, because, yes, our diet should be the first place we look when we suffer from a chronic illness.

Let’s face it. Our medical professionals do a great job when dealing with acute trauma, like a broken arm or an accidental knife through the hand (don’t ask…).

However, when it comes to treating us for things like high cholesterol or hypertension or type 2 diabetes, well, doctors tend to reach for a drug from one of their¬†pharmaceutical partners and be done with it. Sure, they may pay some lip service to “you should really eat better and get some exercise”, but then they write the scrip, and the patient’s human nature takes over.

That thesis is pretty much the overarching theme of this website. We must take control of our own health and fitness, and we should start with our diet.

So, I’m not going to harp much more on that here.

What I really want to say is that I have recently rediscovered roasted dandelion root tea. I say “rediscovered” because I’d bought it last year and tried it a couple times in the evening. I didn’t really care for it.

Recently, though, I did this cleanse thing, and it prescribed a cup of this tea in the morning. In that context, I found roasted dandelion root tea very enjoyable.

I suppose I could focus on the health benefits of the tea.¬†Livestrong¬†tells us how dandelion root tea can help keep the kidneys and bladder flushed and healthy, and also how it may help increase healthy digestive tract bacteria. The box says something about healthy liver function, but I don’t know anything about that.

Here’s what I do know about Roasted Dandelion Root tea: It is a suitable substitute for coffee.

BLASPHEMY!

Well, that’s what I would have said to anyone who dared offer up something as a suitable substitute for coffee. After all, coffee is one of my food groups. It’s a necessary nutrient in my diet.

And I’m not talking about that adulterated junk some drink and call “coffee”. Coffee with anything added to it is no longer coffee. It’s a completely different beverage.

Black, unsweet coffee, which is what I drink, is the nectar of the gods, so for me to proffer something as a substitute for coffee, well, that’s a pretty big step. But I’m taking it.

I still love coffee. What I don’t love is caffeine headaches when I don’t get it, and that is what prompted me to try alternatives.

You may ask, “Why don’t you drink decaf, Steve?” While I have found a decaf or two that taste pretty good, nothing really matches the flavor of real coffee for me. Plus, drinking decaf does nothing to deter the desire for real coffee, right? Kinda like fake sweeteners do nothing to deter the desire for real sugar. But that’s another discussion for another time….

Also, let me make this perfectly clear: roasted dandelion root tea does not taste like coffee. I am not saying it does, because it doesn’t.

However, once I realized that drinking it took away my desire for coffee, I explored its flavors. There’s is obviously a roasted element there, and dandelion root tea also has the slightly bitter hint that is always present in a great cup of coffee. I don’t know if the flavor profile is the reason dandelion root tea satisfies me, but that seems like a logical conclusion.

Anyway, if you are looking for a way to break the coffee habit, maybe try roasted dandelion root tea. Works for me.

And, please, let me clarify: I am not giving up coffee. I love the stuff. But a single-shot americano once a day — maximum — is an amount that works for me. Supplement that with some tea, and I’m good to go!