#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Moderation, moderation, moderation

This week, doing my modified Paleo, I lost two pounds.  (I still attend Weight Watchers faithfully, even though I’ve gone rogue where what I eat is concerned.)  Naturally, I’m pleased–but I feel compelled to stress the word ‘modified’ here.  In my opinion, 100 percent Paleo–or almost anything else–is not only impossible, but not necessarily something to aspire to, either.  Carbohydrates, at least, the complex ones, are part of a healthy eating style–and even simple carbs have their place in some instances.  As an example, I try to avoid refined sugar, but I have coconut sugar in my coffee and tea–not Paleo.  In moderation (today’s keyword), I think even raw organic sugar-sugar is okay–certainly better than artificial sweeteners.  Just yesterday, in fact, I had a serious craving (I almost never get them, since increasing my consumption of healthy fats and good veggies) for soft vanilla ice cream–and I had a waffle cone, with great enjoyment and zero guilt.  When I was young, and naturally thin I might add, I ate this way–when I really wanted something, I ate it–if it was available.  :)  (Soft ice cream was a rarity in Northport back then, and even if it had been on sale, I probably wouldn’t have had the money.)

The more I study health, the more convinced I become that I, like so many people, have lost touch with my own body.  When I stop and pay real attention, I usually know what’s needed–often, it’s a fifteen minute lie-down, or a cup of herbal tea, a hot bubble bath or a quiet prayer. 

I’ve had good experiences with activated charcoal tooth-brushing, and with oil pulling, too, but one or both of these techniques could be all wrong for you.  I like to share my discoveries and experiments, but I sure wouldn’t want to come off as an authority, because I’m not.  Nor do I want to disparage doctors or other health practitioners–alternative medicine is great for prevention, etc., but when you have a serious medical problem, such as a grave illness or a broken bone or anything else that qualifies as a crisis, Western medicine is the way to go.

Too, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there, and some of it is flat-out crackpot crazy.  One authority touts the benefits of consuming mega-ounces of water, another disputes that–turns out over-hydration can kill you.  One camp swears by green leafy vegetables, while another decries their high content of certain minerals.  It goes on and on, and with the plethora of information out there on the web, a reasonably intelligent person could make a case for or against just about anything.  Confusing?  You bet.  And all the more reason to consult your health care practitioner if you have any doubts whatsoever.  Herbal supplements, for instance, are unregulated, and are generally assumed to be totally safe and beneficial–but a little research will prove than this is not so.  St. John’s Wort, for instance, is sometimes used to treat depression, but it is potent stuff, and can be deadly in combination with prescribed medications–in fact, it is SO potent that, in Germany, it can be dispensed ONLY by prescription.  All that said, while I like to experiment, I also like living, and hope to go on doing so for a good long time.  My message is simply, use your noggin, and err on the side of caution–just because someone has written a book, put up a website, or has fifty gajillion people on their mailing list does not mean you should entrust your most precious possession, your health, to what all too often amounts to plain ole ordinary hokum.  Keep in mind, a number of these people have (or claim) fancy degrees, including M.D.s, and that STILL doesn’t mean their word is gospel.  Your own doctor, frustrated and overworked though he or she may be, knows your body.  He/she sees you, face to face, and hopefully listens to what you say, and that personal contact is invaluable.  

If you’re wondering what prompted this diatribe, here’s the answer–I got to thinking (usually a good thing, but not always) that some of you might mistake my enthusiasm for true knowledge, and be harmed in some way as a result.  I would never forgive myself if a single one of you suffered on account of something I said.  I know, to a certain degree, what’s good for me, but that’s the end of it.  Only you–and your doctor–should determine what is good for YOU.



39 comments to “Moderation, moderation, moderation”

  1. Renae Kinsey
      · January 5th, 2017 at 6:45 pm · Link

    Hey I love ice cream too I never buy it so when I want it I usually go to the ice cream store. Congratulations on the weight loss and thanks for sharing yourself with us. So I was seriously craving collards and I asked my mom to make them and they were the best I ever had! She did this yesterday and had a pot full of pot liquor juice! Ha ha I do have to say (getting back to the ice cream) I had pumpkin ice cream that is a seasonal thing. I think that’s about the best I ever had. Yum!!! I love coffee ice cream too. But most of all , I love u!

  2. Patrice
      · January 5th, 2017 at 6:56 pm · Link

    Hey sounds like you are on a good plan for you. I have been eating more veggies and a sort of modified Mediterranean diet for the last 7 months and have lost 4 or 5 pounds, even over the holidays! So it is all about healthy non-processed food imho. :) And if i want a cookie for a treat i have one! Soft ice cream sounds good, too.

  3. Gloria Herring
      · January 5th, 2017 at 7:12 pm · Link

    That is some good information, and good advice, Linda!

    Take care! And, congratulations on the weight loss. But, if you should want it back…I found it.

  4. Marian
      · January 5th, 2017 at 7:13 pm · Link

    I find that when someone is telling others what is great or working for them I need to study about it and see how that might fit in my life style. As a diabetic I can not just jump into some things.

  5. Diane Sallans
      · January 5th, 2017 at 7:34 pm · Link

    you’re making feel very guilty – I just had a chocolate brownie with some vanilla ice cream (but it was yummy & I needed a treat) :oops:

  6. Elaine Key
      · January 5th, 2017 at 7:39 pm · Link

    Thank you Linda for sharing your experiences. I agree with you on all the information or misinformation out there. You definitely have to be careful.

  7. Dixie Hadley65th
      · January 5th, 2017 at 7:39 pm · Link

    Thanks gor the good information. Thoroughly enkoyed it.

  8. Linda
      · January 5th, 2017 at 7:56 pm · Link

    I was just thinking about what you said on your blog.
    I have been home sick this week and finally decided to go the clinic because I was running a temperature (a high one), I found out I had a sinus infection. Of course they gave me a prescription and then I started reading everything on the sheet that came with the pills and decided I didn’t want to take them.
    I read the sheets the doctor gave me and I’m like I should have been doing this all week. Taking showers everyday, she told me to take two. The other thing on the paper was a hot towel and put this on your face for three to four minutes.

    I was telling my sister about oil pulling and she said what is that, so I am going to send her the info. All 3 of them.

    Back when I was told to eat less sodium I started eating more veggies, but after a while I got tried of eating them. I would like to do it again, but now I’m working and can’t have them for lunch I could just bring fresh one.

  9. Pat
      · January 5th, 2017 at 7:58 pm · Link

    My parents were raised eating foods that had a lot of fat and carbohydrates. Neither were exposed to snack and convenient foods when they were growing up. They had home cooked meals and rarely snacked. My dad lived to be 85 and my mother is now 87. Two of my mother’s siblings lived into their 80’s and one into her 90’s. I do think the key is moderation and eating whole foods.

    • linda
        · January 10th, 2017 at 3:10 pm · Link

      I could not agree more!

  10. Ruby Norwood
      · January 5th, 2017 at 8:04 pm · Link

    Thanks for all the great info, but I do agree with you, everyone has to do what they think is best for them. I enjoyed the blog, and I saw that picture of you enjoying that ice cream..

  11. Leanna
      · January 5th, 2017 at 8:38 pm · Link

    Sometimes what works for one person does not work for someone else. My sister used to really believe in the blood type diet. I was in the hospital and she asked my nurse what my blood type was.

  12. Virginia Horton
      · January 5th, 2017 at 8:39 pm · Link

    I agree with you that a person should do what they think is best for them. It seems like I have been sick ever since Christmas. It started out with me throughing my back out. Before I was over that I got really sick at my stomac and now I have some kind of coughing crud that has been going on for the past week. I am blaming it all on the stress of Christmas and everything else going on around here.

  13. julie Watson
      · January 5th, 2017 at 8:40 pm · Link

    really appreciated your post recommending moderation and a common sense approach to looking after ones health. its a reminder we all need from time to time.

  14. Teresa F
      · January 5th, 2017 at 8:47 pm · Link

    again using our own noggins for what is the best for us

  15. Deborah Nelson
      · January 5th, 2017 at 9:35 pm · Link

    Moderation. That’s what my mama always told me. It’s true!

  16. Debbie Bleege
      · January 5th, 2017 at 9:44 pm · Link

    Congrats on your weight loss. Keep up the good work and for sharing all the things you try.

  17. Evelyn Baldwin
      · January 5th, 2017 at 10:32 pm · Link

    Thank you Linda! My Doctor put me on Red Rice Yeast duebto high chloresterol! I cannot take stations due to muscle disorder! I take coq10 with it! Hope it works! Cinnamon worked great for my blood sugar! You at a very nice person! Outstanding Author! God Bless, Evelyn

  18. Debbie Petrouske
      · January 5th, 2017 at 10:53 pm · Link

    God bless you for your candidate response.

  19. Sue McCormick
      · January 5th, 2017 at 11:48 pm · Link

    I am so glad you sent out this message! I too believe in moderation, moderation, moderation.

    I read all your food posts with great interest, but little idea of trying out your diet plans. (I WAS interested in your soups, because I like soups, but am not sure they’d fit my own body needs.)

    I have long been aware that my body is fairly different from the norm. So, over the years, I’ve experimented with this and that, to find what fits. When I find it, I keep it, unless my body changes. (Also my age is probably a factor — I’m pretty healthy at 89, but it IS 89 [and 1/3 of the way to 90], so I do need to watch carefully.)

    This makes me even MORE sure that moderation is the key.

  20. Ann Bartholomew
      · January 6th, 2017 at 12:28 am · Link

    Wise words concerning moderation. I believe that King Solomon recommended that too in Proverbs. I have a hard time with moderation when I start a good book and keep turning the pages late into the night!

  21. Caryn Horn
      · January 6th, 2017 at 12:40 am · Link

    In my case this wasn’t necessary but THANK YOU for watching out for people who believe everything anyone else says!

  22. Patti
      · January 6th, 2017 at 6:08 am · Link

    Have you read any thing by Geneen Roth? She talks about eating and listing to your body’s wisdom.

  23. DONNA
      · January 6th, 2017 at 8:18 am · Link

    I love your blogs – so informative. I could stand to loose a few pounds. Keep your books coming – I love them too!

  24. April Mc Vey
      · January 6th, 2017 at 9:01 am · Link

    Truly agree that no diet is te be all of all healthy eating habits. But I firmly believe that today’s diet is far from the basic natural diet if our youth. So much has veared into more chemicals that are unknown results to our health. The good balance between diet and exercise has decreased to almost a point of nonexistent. As with life moderation needs to be the key! You may not be an authority but you are an example of our concern to maintain a better lifestyle. So thank you for your leadership :wink:

  25. Lorelei Sawtelle
      · January 6th, 2017 at 10:22 am · Link

    Great advice again. I do appreciate your willingness to share the information you find with us!

    Blessings to you and yours.

  26. Pamela Devereux
      · January 6th, 2017 at 10:42 am · Link

    Amen to that Linda. I have a rare disease and that makes listening to so many out there, a waste of my time. I listen to my doctor. He/she has been keeping me alive all these years. I do love listening to all the things that you discover. Some I will write down to ask my doctor about.

  27. Christina
      · January 6th, 2017 at 11:09 am · Link

    This is so awesome Linda. I love that you share what you are trying but I’m glad that you ask us to take it with a grain of salt. I’ve tried brushing with charcoal powder and I like it, other than the mess. My only worry is the lack of fluoride which has been ingrained in me and the rest of the country as something we need. Then you see reports that it’s so awful for us followed up by reports that we must have it. I guess there’s always a report to back up any choice we make LOL

  28. Barbara Anne Murcray
      · January 6th, 2017 at 11:21 am · Link

    I have Parkinson’s and I listen to my doctor on what is best for me. I do a lot of reading about Parkinson’s and what we can do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. One of the best ways for me is all organic foods. Pesticides can trigger and episode that last for hours which makes eating out impossible. It also makes going to someone house that uses them really hard. With a healthy diet and knowing my environment around me I can control the disease and slow down the effects it causes to my body.

  29. Hope
      · January 6th, 2017 at 12:03 pm · Link

    Good call, Linda. I especially like your comment about listening to our own bodies. We are so bombarded with information that it’s difficult to figure out what’s good and what’s not.


  30. Rita Crofoot
      · January 6th, 2017 at 12:28 pm · Link

    Good disclaimer,wise one.

  31. Lois Rotella
      · January 6th, 2017 at 1:39 pm · Link

    I have always believe that it is all about moderation . I prefer veggies and fruit but I do want some meat on occasion . I am not a big bread eater but give me a warm homebread and I am butter and I am in heaven. With that said I want to wish you warm, safe weekend.

  32. Linda Blenkiron
      · January 6th, 2017 at 2:44 pm · Link

    I’m with you. Moderation in all things…what is that Paul says…all things are lawful but not all is beneficial… I enjoy reading of your adventures into the food and health realm I myself am endeavouring to eliminate sugar from my food as much as possible. That for me is a health necessity. Keep up the good work and be well and blessed in 2017

  33. Linda Blenkiron
      · January 6th, 2017 at 2:44 pm · Link

    I’m with you. Moderation in all things…what is that Paul says…all things are lawful but not all is beneficial… I enjoy reading of your adventures into the food and health realm I myself am endeavouring to eliminate sugar from my food as much as possible. That for me is a health necessity. Keep up the good work and be well and blessed in 2017

  34. Janet Hurt
      · January 6th, 2017 at 9:30 pm · Link

    I couldn’t agree more!

  35. Vicki
      · January 7th, 2017 at 12:20 pm · Link

    Yes, for me moderation is very important. I’m trying to navigate the use of some scary medications for an auto-immune disease and modifying my diet a little at a time going towards a manageable clean diet. Also looking at some essential oils and becoming more consistent with exercise. But in the middle of this, we all need the occasional treat, and sometimes that is an ice cream cone and sometimes it is new fabric to try out a new sewing technique and sometimes it is a new, good book.

  36. Louise McCourt
      · January 7th, 2017 at 2:40 pm · Link

    I am with you on handing out weight loss advice. What works for one person may not be the best way for others. I started out about 6 years ago at 254 pounds. My doctor advised me to give up one bad thing at a time. I started with anything white. Bread, potatoes, potato chips, etc. I dropped the first 60 pounds. Today I weigh 145. My goal is 140 which is what I weighed when I got married 51 years ago. Will have to say any form of exercise will speed up the weight loss, but it can be done without it.

    • linda
        · January 10th, 2017 at 3:14 pm · Link

      Now HERE, my friends, is a success story! I am filled with admiration and so grateful that you shared.

      • Lorelei Sawtelle
          · January 13th, 2017 at 6:31 pm · Link

        I’ve lost 14 pounds since June, but was mentally kicking my own tail for not losing more. I guess I should be grateful it was 14 pounds DOWN.

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