Yes, people manage diabetes, and some really disciplined people wean themselves off medication with a regimen of diet and exercise, but that's a long, long way from what most of us consider "moderation," which usually involves saying no to a second slice of cake. Besides, a diabetic never gets a day off.
The life of a diabetic is somewhat less than swell — but Novo Nordisk is selling swell, alongside drug companies that promise to medicate away depression, gas, incontinence, clogged arteries and fibromyalgia. According to the Congressional Budget Office, pharmaceutical companies spent $4.7 billion on direct-to-consumer advertising in 2008; the United States has the dubious distinction of being one of only two countries in the world to allow such advertising, New Zealand being the other.
Support and encouragement is one thing, but what we're being sold is magical thinking. In the battle between healthcare reality and fantasy, Paula Deen is small potatoes (steamed, skins on, no butter), but what she represents matters: another attempt to market immortality to a culture that's particularly in love with misbehaving, followed by an easy fix.
Lots of photos of homes under 500 square feet. While not practical for many, it does give ideas for living with less space. Having something small enough to not worry about much (or any) of a mortgage may be liberating for many people as homes may not be the best investment in the world any more. Lots of possibilites for guest and vacation homes too...
There are some more unconventional living spaces - tree houses, boats, and a variety of homes on wheels (campers, vans and buses)...
It would be a very interesting project to work through with an architect.
And to spur a bit of thinking sometimes it is useful to explore the slightly (or even seriously) impractical. Salon has an interview with Derek Diedricksen on his new book on microhomes. His blog looks entertaining.
Several people have asked what I've been doing to stabilize my weight after a weight loss program. This turns out to be much more difficult for most people (myself included) and is the reason why very few people are successful on the long term. It turns out the body evolved to regulate weight as well take in high energy density foods when they are available. It also assumes a certain amount of physical work will take place in a day. It seems once a higher weight "set point" has been established it is extremely difficult to prevent that body from moving back to that point - you need to read Tara Parker-Pope's piece in the NY Times Magazine if you haven't done so already.
I've been successful so far, but I've only been in this phase for about four months now and it has been an effort. In addition to my normal exercise (an hour or so of daily rowing, lunch walks and staying away from the car for local shopping) I am still journaling everything I eat along with the exercise I do. I calculate an effective average metabolic rate - what I am using without the additional exercise - and try to make sure I'm at that level averaged over a week. Given cravings to snack and overeat, I'm certain the journaling of food is centrally important if I have any hope for long term success.
To make life a bit more interesting I've been trying to prepare and eat better and more satisfying food. As a lacto-vegetarian it is very important for me to get good protein and I've come to enjoy greek yogurts and skyr. Fage is an excellent greek yogurt - a great breakfast is a cup of plain Fage with some berries, maple syrup and pecans mixed in.
You probably haven't heard of skyr ... It is an Icelandic cultured dairy product that has roughly the consistency of greek yogurt and has a very high protein content. Some sources note it is a very soft cheese. In any event Siggi's skyr is excellent. Their orange-ginger is almost like a dessert and their plain is an excellent base for some maple syrup, fruit and nuts. All things being equal I prefer skyr to greek yogurt. If you haven't tried Siggi's, search around and give some a try.
I've found the combination of greek yogurt or skyr, pecans, maple syrup and berries gives me a much longer satiation than almost any other kind of food I've tried. The mixture also offers good nutrition (no fat from the yogurt or skyr if it is 0% and the fat from the nuts is unsaturated).
The other piece of the puzzle is allowing for treats. Ice cream with Bjarne (although the commute is a bit difficult these days) was one of them, but daily chocolate too. Not a lot of it - maybe an ounce or two a day, but then you can afford to justify very good and expensive chocolate. I note that mixing in a bit of quality dark chocolate with nuts and fruit in skyr or greek yogurt makes and extra-tasty snack or breakfast.
Stitched together from images taken during four orbits of the Suomi NPP spacecraft. The instrument used to acquire the images has multiple uses for looking at our planet and its climate, but putting together a stunning image must have been fun. It is far from the largest and most detailed image of the planet made, but it happens to be stunning.