Monday, October 29, 2007

A sad day in South Carolina

I just learned of this horrible thing.

(A) home erupted into a storm of fire and smoke Sunday morning in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. Six of the seven students killed attended the University of South Carolina; the other attended Clemson University. Six other South Carolina students in the house survived.

Please keep the families of these South Carolina kids in your thoughts. As a former University of South Carolina student and the daughter and daughter-in-law of USC graduates, I am particularly saddened.

Go hug your babies right now, folks.


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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:10 am   2 comments

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Blue's penultimate diet post

Alternate title: "I did come here to lose!"

(Ohhh ... that would make a great t-shirt*.)

I just wanted to pop in and report something great!

Many of you know that I have been dieting since March 14th (my last baby was born March 5th). Well, as of this morning I am two teensy pounds away from my target weight!

I have lost exactly 100lbs.

NOW I just need to get in gear and lose another 30lbs down to my goal weight. *whew*


This is actually the second time I've lost a large amount of weight. I lost 180 lbs in 18 months after I got rid of my ex-arsehole.

Afterwards, I had no trouble maintaining my weight - I kept it steady without much thought for a couple of years - then I got pregnant and set off on a personal quest to keep the local chinese takeaways and Krispy Kreme in business, lol!

Anyway, over the years many people have asked me for the details on my diet. I'd like to do a webpage on it one day, but for right now here's the quick and dirty version:


I call it the Denis Leary Diet after his bit where he says: "Big boned? You're big assed, OK? Dinosaurs are big boned ... put the fork down!"

Lol, anyway, the whole point is that you have to do it. You have to put the fork down. If you cheat on any diet it just fails to work. There are no magic beans. In order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume. Full stop.

If you whinge on about 'feeling deprived' or 'feeling hungry' or having 'no willpower', don't bother with this diet. It's bloody tough. It is NOT fun or easy. It is definitely not for everyone. But it works. :)


The rules:

1) No fast food of any size shape or description. None. Not even a chip nicked from your kid's happy meal. Don't even drive through the drive-through for a diet coke. Seriously. All that grease in the air can probably be absorbed by osmosis, LOL.

2) No fried foods of any size, shape or description. No fried okra, no chips (f. fries), crisps (potato chips, doritos, cheetos, et al). Breading or no doesn't matter. No fried turkey at thanksgiving. Nothing that is deep fried or fried in oil. If it takes more than a squirt of no-stick spray to pan-fry then it is a no-no.

3) No sugared soft drinks or sports drinks. Either switch entirely to artificial sweeteners, or go to water. This means juice must go as well. Don't forget your tea and coffee, too.

4) No mayonnaise and no butter. This seems small but is quite difficult! Replace the mayo on all sandwiches with mustard (this got me because I eat certain sarnies with ONLY mayo), no frying with butter, no butter on toast, grilled cheese are out *big sad face*. I discovered that the low cal powder designed to go on popcorn is not only good for that, but works for jacket potatoes, steam veg like broccoli and cauliflower, etc. I also found out that many recipes that call for a Tbs or two of butter, tasted just fine with none at all.

5) No added oils and no peanut butter. I avoided any greasy foods like chili (LOVE) and BBQ (love, love, LOVE).

6) No sweets. Duh. No sweet drinks; no candy bars; no ice cream; no cakes, pies, puddings; no candy of any sort. Many folks have told me that this is the deal-breaker for them. "I just have to have chocolate!" Well, then this diet won't work for you. To me, personally, I had no trouble giving up sweets. I mean, you don't need sweets. It's like television (and you all know how I feel about that, LOL). Most of it is just crap. It's something one indulges in that one doesn't require. My thing was: do I want to lose weight or what? Can I live without Maurice's BBQ or Snickers bars for the time it takes me to do it? Answer: yup. Because I want it that badly.

7) Drink eight 8 oz glasses of water per day. I have no idea if this helps you or not but it kept me hydrated, regular, and made me feel more full. *shrug*

8) Exercise. The no brainer. If you are able, get out and do something intense every week-day. Run, cycle, go to the gym, row. If you are like me and not willing/able/don't bloody have time/lazy, then try just walking every week-day. Walk around the block 3 times at lunch. Walk down your street to some landmark and back. If you're like I am NOW and virtually cloistered in your home then get some hand weights and do exercises. Set a certain time (at 10:30 when the kids go down for naps) and make yourself do X amount of reps of 10 different exercises.
The point is NOT to make you buff - the goal is to burn calories and build muscle which will burn calories for you.

I had two friends who just did the above things and otherwise ate normally and both lost 20lbs (their goals) easily. One girl said she felt so much better not eating fast food that she never at it again.

There's a full spectrum of obsession possible with this diet. You can just follow The Rules and otherwise not worry about stuff (as my friends did), or you can write down everything you eat and carefully plan when to take meals and drink your water (done it!). Adapt it to your own use. Just follow The Rules. If you start saying: "well, I'll just stop at Burger King and get a plain hamburger and a salad," then you're on a slippery slope (the burger has almost 300 calories and a plain salad with croutons and dressing ONLY has almost as much as the burger! If you're on a 1400 cal per day diet you just ate almost HALF of what you get for the DAY).


1) Eat breakfast. Better yet, eat 5 or six small meals per day. I have done this diet eating only one meal per day (I'm not a breakfast person and it was just more convenient), but eventually my metabolism slows down to the point where I'm starving myself and still not losing weight. (You regular readers have had to listen to me whinge about this, lol.)

2) Avoid refined sugars and flours. Buy whole wheat bread and buns and pasta. Refined flour (as in white bread) converts straight into sugars in your digestive system. Whole grains are also just better for you, your digestion, and have more nutrients.

3) Eat more veg. No, not potatoes, and corn. They don't count, lol! Steam (or order steamed) broccoli, cauliflower, squash, carrots, etc. Eat 'em raw. Keep them plus celery and cukes in the fridge for munching. Get some light salad dressing, cut it with water, and dip 'em if you don't like them plain.
If you must eat corn and potatoes try to keep them as simple as possible: jacket potatoes with a squirt of no stick spray and a dash of fake butter powder sounds icky but doesn't taste half bad. Try your 'tater with that light, watered down, salad dressing I mentioned. Boil corn on the cob and eat with just salt rather than whipping up a corn casserole.

4) Go 'light'. Get light creamer; light salad dressing; lo-fat milk; light yoghurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, and cream cheese and so on. Ruthlessly trim every scrap of fat off of beef and pork, strip the skin off of chicken and fish, and remove all visible fat (from the chicken). Every little bit counts!

5) Avoid snacky/crackery foods. You've purged cookies and candy and crisps, what about crackers? Fiddle Faddle, chex mix, ritz bitz, cheezits, trail mixes, etc need to go as well. Full of fat, calories and refined everything. I also dumped nuts. They really are good for you, but they have TONNES of calories and are too easy to eat in passing.

6) Go easy on cheese. It's made from the fat of milk and has gobs of fat and calories. I just tried to avoid it altogether. I took it off my sandwiches and salads, for example.

7) Plan your eating. Don't just leave for work thinking: "Oh, I'll just pick something up for lunch." Pack a lovely turkey with mustard and lettuce sarnie and thermos of light chicken noodle soup. Pack yourself some raw carrots, celery, etc. Don't forget to check and see if your office has diet soda if you're going that route and artificial sweetener for the coffee!
Don't just wander into the grocery store and stroll around. Decide what you are looking for. Make a list - even if it's just suggestions. Don't shop hungry. Don't even go down the crisps/cookies/candy aisle!

So after all this you're asking: "So what the heck do you eat on this oh-so-fab diet, Blue?"

-Steamed veg
-Raw veg
-Broiled or baked fish, chicken, pork, or beef with every trace of fat and skin removed
-Whole wheat bread and crackers
-Raw fruit
-Microwaved jacket potatoes (butter powder, or fat free sour cream on)

So I might have a small potato, a broiled chicken breast, and steamed broccoli for supper.

I adapted my usual things, too. I still ate burgers made at home on my George Forman, but cut it back to one with about 10 oven baked chips, lost the cheese, lost the mayo, still pile on mustard, lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes.

I continued to make my beloved tuna salad sandwiches. I use 1 serving water-packed tuna (I'm the only one who eats 'em), 1 boiled egg, celery,dill cubes, and i replace the mayo with light ranch dressing. Warning; this is an acquired taste! All this on whole wheat bread, natch.

If you normally make a roast with oven-baked potatoes, broccoli and cheese, crusty bread with butter, then make a well-trimmed roast, leave the butter off the 'taters, separate your portion of broccoli out and eat with just salt and butter powder, and skip the bread or have a slice of whole wheat with no butter to soak up the juices. Easy peasy.

If you love tuna casserole, use light cheese, halve the amount of cheese, leave out any butter (I never used any), use whole wheat noodles and light cream soups.

You get the idea.

Bear in mind that some of my suggestions are for extreme weight loss. If you want to start slow or only have 20lbs to lose then eat your normal stuff ... just follow The Rules and The Tips.


NOTE: This diet is much more difficult if you have a family. Especially if you are like me and cook their meals. It's tough. What I did was adapt all of my regular meals as much as i could without EGH noticing (half of the cheese, for example, or light soups and whole wheat pasta in recipes), then I will separate out certain things for myself (steamed broccoli before the cheesy sauce goes on), or cook his differently (I leave the skin on his broiled chicken), and so on.

The hardest part is saying "NO!" when offered food, candy, sweets, more helpings, etc. The holidays are really tough for some. I just adopt a slightly superior air when I repeatedly refuse food from married-into-the-family persons who are, I suspect, a bit jealous and hound me. *ahem* I just repeat to myself: "Put the fork down! Put the fork down!"

Eating after children is particularly tough for me. I cannot abide waste, as well you know, and it was affecting my waist. I would pick at each of my 5 children's plates without thinking as I conveyed them (the plates, lol) to the sink. Watch yourself. I used to stop for petrol and buy a candy bar and eat it without even realising I was doing so.

Anyone who can lose weight while cooking every day for folks who are NOT dieting is definately One Tough Mother.

I hope all this helps someone. I know it's a bit extreme (and I'm sure I'll attract some extreme comments) and I'd never publish it except it's worked so well for me twice.

Good luck!


Fast food is defined as: burger joints (Mc Ds, Wendy's etc), chicken joints (KFC, Zaxby's,chick-fil-a), Italian including any pizza, Arby's, any chinese, etc. If it exists in drive through form, it's fast food. I do NOT count the sandwich chains like Sub Station II which rocks IMHO. You can get a good dinner of , say, a turkey half sub with mustard and vinegar, pickles, olives, peppers, lettuce, tomato (so no mayo or oil) on whole wheat.

*obligatory pimpage of my store although I'm seriously considering having a whole section on weight loss, for real. That would be cool!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:30 am   10 comments

Monday, October 08, 2007

The times they are a-changin'

Quick update!

Fiver has two wee teeth! He can eat a soda cracker by himself! He can caterpillar along on the deck (unbeknowst to me) and scare me witless by almost falling down the steps! He's been sleeping in his crib downstairs in his room (as opposed to upstairs in the pack-n-play next to our bed) for several weeks now!

Yep, it's amazing to me how big he's getting. Why don't I remember the others growing so fast?

Just yesterday he hiked himself up on his hands and knees and swayed there for a half a second before flopping back down again.



Boy loves school. So far he hasn't conflicted with any of his classmates (although a few of them are pretty naughty and disruptive, apparently). He adores his teachers. Their schoolwork goes like this: each week they work on learning a letter of the alphabet. Lessons on familiarisation with the letter go home as homework, they colour a pic of the 'letter person', they practice writing the letter.

Meanwhile, at home, Boy is writing and illustration a book about dinosaurs entirely on his own. He's up to over 70 pages.

Their math work consists of learning to count to 50. Boy can do simple addition and subtraction including a bit with double digits and a limited amount of multiplication.

To say that he's not captivated by the current schoolwork would be an understatement.

Fortunately, he's totally absorbed socially, and probably will be for the rest of the year, learning things he needs to know; how to deal with people and the wide world.


I have already observed a few behaviour changes - both in Boy and THCTD.

As I predicted, the Queen of Crash quickly and eagerly took up the reins of Bossy-ness as soon as Boy was out of the house during the day. She now spends the entire day telling everyone what to do (including me: "Momma, (wee fists on hips) Fiver needs his bottle! You should give Fiver his bottle now!").

Then he returns home, hyped up, bursting to tell about his day, ready to be the centre of attention, and you have ... The Perfect Storm.

Every day.

I quickly instituted the same method of discipline that Boy's teacher uses; three 'tickets' (she has them shaped like crayons) one green, one yellow, one red. First infraction, you lose the green ticket and are 'on yellow' and thus at the warning stage. Second infraction, you lose the yellow and are 'on red' and lose such privileges as treats after supper, or getting to play outside, etc.

It works well because Boy knows it from school and the rest of the brood are awed by anything relating to school right now.

I also put up a chore chart and a 'going' chart (everyone gets to go with me, singley, for some alone-time-with-momma, any time I run an errand after EGH gets home.)


On a related note, I have also noticed that *I* am more organised and tidy now. I keep my calendar marked, I get up early and fix lunches, I clean more consistantly, and so on.

Me, cleaning. What's the world coming to?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:25 am   3 comments

Monday, October 01, 2007

Grand Mom

How frickin' cool is this?

Mom givs birth to her own grandbubs after her daughter - an only child - was unsuccessful at carrying to term. That just rocks.

Rosinete Palmeira Serrao, a government health worker, gave birth to twin boys by Caesarean section on Thursday at the Santa Joana Hospital in the city of Recife, the hospital said in a statement on its Web site.
Serrao decided to serve as a surrogate mother after four years of failed attempts at pregnancy by her 27-year-old daughter, Claudia Michelle de Brito.

Brazilian law stipulates that only close relatives can serve as surrogate mothers. De Brito is an only child and none of her cousins volunteered, so Serrao agreed to receive four embryos from her daughter.


Would you do that for your daughter? I totally would. What about your sister, SIL, cousin?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:46 am   1 comments