Monday Morning Musings – Healthy Eating

How was your weekend? Mine was quiet on Sunday, but Saturday was busy at the Winnsboro Center for the Arts. First I had my guitar student in the morning. It is so neat to see how she is progressing, but like many beginning guitar students she get bored at the repetition of practicing chord changes. I always think of how I disliked that part of learning to play guitar, and I’m glad I persevered.

guitar_Saturday evening I got to hear Harpeth Rising in concert. Wow! When I first heard about them and the mix of instruments – violin, cello and banjo – I really thought the latter had to be a mistake. Really? A banjo? Who would pair a banjo with classical instruments?

Well, Harpeth Rising did and the effect is wonderful.


The trio play a mix of folk, rock and classical, and the concerts feature primarily original music. They are all classically trained musicians, and they bring that dedication and discipline to the performances. It was wonderful to listen and to watch, as they do love the music.

This was their first time to play in Winnsboro, and we do hope they will come back.

As somewhat of a follow-up to Friday’s post about obesity – The Skinny on Weight Loss – I found an interesting article on Truthout by Jeff Ritterman, M.D. about the misinformation that many of us have received regarding fat and sugar in our diets.

Dr. Ritterman points out that the recommendation by the to cut most of the saturated fat from our diets was wrong advice and not based on good science.

No study showed that a low-fat diet was superior to a diet higher in fat content in any measure of health outcome. In fact, in the one study that compared a 10 percent saturated fat intake to a diet with unrestricted saturated fat, the low-fat subjects had a higher death rate from all causes, including heart disease.

When the food manufacturers started removing the fat from our food, the taste went with the fat. The answer: Add sugar and lots of it. This worked well economically as the introduction of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) made cheap sugar plentiful.

It didn’t work so well metabolically. The huge increases in our sugar intake have exceeded our physiologic limits. The result is the pathophysiology that we see all around us.

Many diets today include way too much sugar and our bodies cannot handle it all. Studies show that we consume 30 times more sugar each day than people did three and four generations ago. That excess sugar leads to liver overload, which causes the liver to produce more fat and the pancreas to produce more and more insulin, until the pancreas just quits. Enter type 2 diabetes.

Ritterman urges people to modify their diets away from sugar, especially the added sugar in processed foods and in soda. Begin by avoiding all added sugars, especially liquid sugar like soda. The huge dose of fructose we get by drinking a soda, overloads our liver’s ability to handle the sugar in a healthy way.

Another suggestion was to eat our fruits, don’t juice them. Juicing concentrates the sugar and removes the beneficial fiber.

The Strong Woman I celebrate today is Madame Simone Renaud, known as the “Mother of Normandy” for her dedication to tending the graves of American troops buried there.  She was the wife of the mayor of Ste. Mere-Eglise, the first town liberated by American soldiers on D-Day, and while the assault was terrible, with many paratroopers killed by the Germans, when it was over, the town belonged to the Americans and the French were thankful.

It was gratitude that prompted Simone to tend to the graves of the liberators, and when what she was doing became known, she received hundreds of letters from American families, asking if she would tend to graves of their soldiers. She answered every letter from the families, and with the help of other townspeople, she tended to the three cemeteries where 15,000 American soldiers were buried.

In 1948, the bodies were moved to the American cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach, but Renaud continued to visit the graves, place flowers, and send letters and photos to the families. Surviving veterans loved to visit her, and she organized D-Day anniversary events until her death in 1988.

2 thoughts on “Monday Morning Musings – Healthy Eating”

  1. Thank you for the story about Madame Renaud. I didn’t know her story until you shared it in your blog. I’m also going to check for Harpeth Rising music online. Strings are my favorite. I’m very curious to hear a banjo included with the classical instruments.

    1. Glad you enjoyed meeting new folks on my blog today, Linda. You will not be disappointed with the music from Harpeth Rising. They tour Texas a lot, so they might come to a place near you. The banjo player is a classically trained musician, along with the other two, but I don’t remember what she said her instrument was in college. She said she tried banjo, “just because.” And I thought that was an interesting comment. Sometimes we need to try something just because. (smile)

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