Delving into the world of diets and the dark side of the moon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 24, 2019

Well, the diet of 2019 is still on, but it seems I have more questions than answers as we wade through the maze of available information. You know, things like — is butter better than margarine, is there really much difference between whole-wheat bread and white bread, what kinds of yogurt are best, what are the healthiest and most tasty sweeteners for coffee, etc.

Back in December, I introduced the idea in this space of my wife and I joining the rest of the resolution crowd in the new year by finding a way to shed a few pounds. We have realized there’s so much out there regarding food and diets that it’s virtually impossible to conclusively figure it all out, especially when you consider overall health. Everyone has a different opinion, it seems.

Here’s an example. We liked some parts of the popular Keto diet, which is very low in carbs, but then there is the high-fat component, and how can that be heart-healthy and good for cholesterol?

I know, as stubborn do-it-yourselfers, we could have made things a lot easier on our ourselves by finding a dietician or expert in nutrition to help, doing Weight Watchers or just following a regimented specific diet where everything is laid out for you.

No, not us. We had to figure it out ourselves — or at least try to.

When it came time to start our diet, we tried to pull from a number of sources and use some plain common sense. But when the day arrived, we still weren’t ready for what was ahead.

On Day 1, we spent a good part of our day in two different grocery stores looking at lots of things, including enough nutrition labels on foods to make us dizzy. We’re still working through the details.

In a nutshell, in adding to getting more exercise, our goal remains to eat more protein, including lean meats and lots of vegetables, but don’t totally cut out the carbs — just everything in moderation, reduce the portions on the plate, cut out late-night snacks and sweets, and drink more water.

One thing we have done is quit drinking sweet teas and sodas, along with sweets — at least for now.

Actually, I figure I’m cutting out several hundred calories a day replacing sweet tea with water. My research indicates at 300 calories a day over a year, that would be 109,500 calories. Heck, instead of going through this all-consuming process, maybe that itself might be enough of a diet.

Hmm …

• • • • •

Whatever you want to call it, the total lunar eclipse late Sunday night was way too cool.

I was aware of what has been referred to as the “Super Blood Wolf Moon,” when planet Earth slides between the sun and the moon, and made a mental note to make sure to step outside and check it out when the time came.

That was around 10:30 p.m. when the big and bright moon, which was clearly visible on this frosty night, started to change as darkness started creeping up the moon’s lower left part. It only took about an hour for the moon to enter totality and turn an orangish-red color. It was an amazing sight and well worth the wait.

With temperatures hovering in the mid-20s and a breeze blowing, I didn’t stay outside throughout the transition. I had to take multiple breaks to escape the elements and stay warm.

I was thinking how crazy it must look to see a grown man standing outside on the sidewalk gazing at the sky on a freezing January night, but every time I looked around, I didn’t seem to have any company in my neighborhood.

The good thing about this one is you could watch it from anywhere, weather permitting, without any elaborate equipment.

I remember the last eclipse that caught my attention was the epic solar eclipse in August 2017, dubbed the “Great American Eclipse.” There were viewing parties, and everyone was scrambling to find viewing glasses.

For many, it was a great event, but from where I was that day in Greensboro, some clouds arrived right before the start of the sky show and didn’t leave until the eclipse was over.

That wasn’t a very good memory for me, but this one sure was.

• • • • •

The first Clemmons Village Council meeting of the new year was light on business items, so some of the attention was diverted to good-natured trash-talking and challenges to neighboring Lewisville during the marketing/communications report.

Both centered on a pair of upcoming events — the Lewisville-Clemmons Dodgeball Tournament on Feb. 15 at the Jerry Long YMCA and the March Madness Lip Sync Battle on March 1. Clemmons plans to participate in both.

Village Manager Scott Buffkin said: “FYI, I have issued a challenge to the Town of Lewisville for both the dodgeball tournament as well as the lip sync challenge and will be letting you know if you have any competition from the north side.”

Councilman Chris Wrights offered: “My understanding is Lewisville is working on a dodgeball team, but it will not be council members because they’re all too old.”

Buffkin then replied: “Do they have enough staff to make up a team?”

Stay tuned.