Saturday, February 28, 2009

Today's parenting FAIL!

Prepare to be floored.

I got this via @parenting whom I follow on Twitter (thanks, guys!); check it.

The BBC hires a host for a childrens programme who happens to have been born with only one arm. Stupid, frightened, prejudiced parents write in and flood message boards with hysterical crap. Be sure to watch the vid about half way down.

STEP UP parents!

"How do I explain this to a 3 year old?"

Well, just farkin' explain it, dumbarse.  How do you explain a pregnant woman? A black woman? A woman in a wheelchair?

Here, let me help you:

"Mummy, what happened to that lady's hand?" 
"Nothing, Drusilla, darling. She only has one. She was born that way, just like you were born with blonde hair and the cutest dimples evar!"
"Does it hurt?  It looks funny!"
"Do your dimples hurt, silly? No, it's just an arm.  It does look odd, but so does daddy's hair when he first gets up in the morning, LOL. Now come eat your bickie so we can run down to the shops."

SEE?  Easy peasy. Now quit slinking along the edge of motherhood and step up and do your jobs, Moms.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:35 am   2 comments

Friday, February 20, 2009

The exercise myth?

Great article on whether exercise is nessessary for weight loss.

Do we HAVE to exercise in order to lose wight?  Well, of course, right? That's what all the 'experts' (and my Dad) have told us over and over and over.

But is it true?

" ... The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine published joint guidelines for physical activity and health. They suggested that 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week is necessary to “promote and maintain health.” What they didn’t say, though, was that more physical activity will lead us to lose weight. Indeed, the best they could say about the relationship between fat and exercise was this: “It is reasonable to assume that persons with relatively high daily energy expenditures would be less likely to gain weight over time, compared with those who have low energy expenditures. So far, data to support this hypothesis are not particularly compelling.” In other words, despite half a century of efforts to prove otherwise, scientists still can’t say that exercise will help keep off the pounds."

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:52 am   0 comments

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dieting and Consumerism Brain?

Super good article by my new fave blogger, Dr Michael R Eades, author of Protein Power
and The 30-Day Low-Carb Diet Solution about our brains, dieting, and, interestingly consumerism.

On being exposed to carbs:

"...It is clear that we low-carbers are operating in a high-carb world. We are the low-carb equivalent of the non-smoker in the 1950s. We are considered unusual.

Everywhere we look we are bombarded with carbohydrate temptations. No place is safe. Just like the cigarette ads that were ubiquitous in days gone by, so now are the carbohydrate ads. You can’t pick up a magazine, turn on the TV or even look in a newspaper without your eye falling on an advertisement for carbohydrates. Nutritionists recommend them; dietitians recommend them; doctors recommend them; even the government recommends them."

On falling off the low-carb (or any diet, really) wagon:

"Hey, you only live once. Go for it. You head home after consuming about three day’s worth of carbohydrates. You resolve to do better the next day, but you’ve derailed the smooth running of all the metabolic processes that your low-carb diet had set in motion, and the next day it will be a little harder to get back on track."

And my favourite quote, one that should be put in front of every college student before he/she ruins his/her health:

"Alcohol is the gateway drug for carbs - as a general rule, the more you drink, the more carbs you eat."

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:50 am   0 comments

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Professor, can I talk to you about my grade?

Well, this week seems to be article posting week!

I blame my lovely and intelligent friends on all of my various boards and on Twitter. They are an amazing, interesting, and varied bunch.

Anyway, here's the article on the inflated sense of entitlement in today's college students.

"“Many students come in with the conviction that they’ve worked hard and deserve a higher mark,” Professor [Marshall] Grossman [U of Maryland] said. “Some assert that they have never gotten a grade as low as this before.”

He attributes those complaints to his students’ sense of entitlement.

“I tell my classes that if they just do what they are supposed to do and meet the standard requirements, that they will earn a C,” he said. “That is the default grade. They see the default grade as an A.”"


"James Hogge, associate dean of the Peabody School of Education at Vanderbilt University, said: “Students often confuse the level of effort with the quality of work. There is a mentality in students that ‘if I work hard, I deserve a high grade.’"

And these quotes by students just floored me:

"Jason Greenwood, a senior kinesiology major at the University of Maryland echoed that view.

“I think putting in a lot of effort should merit a high grade,” Mr. Greenwood said. “What else is there really than the effort that you put in?”

“If you put in all the effort you have and get a C, what is the point?” he added. “If someone goes to every class and reads every chapter in the book and does everything the teacher asks of them and more, then they should be getting an A like their effort deserves. If your maximum effort can only be average in a teacher’s mind, then something is wrong.”

Yes, Jason, honey. What's wrong is that you HAVE NOT ACHEIVED ANYTHING. 

Let's say you're stranded on a desert island and there's a cache of food under a large stone.  You go out every day and struggle against that stone - go out 10 times a day and push and groan and really really really make an effort to move that bloody great stone so that you can eat.  But no matter how hard you try, the basic fact is: if you don't move that stone - if you are too small or too weak or whatever other reason - you will not eat.

Just because you pay your money and show up and read the books and attend class doesn't guarantee you an education. You gotta LEARN shit. When you get out in the real world  knowing nothing about kinesiology (what IS that anyway?) you won't be able to tell your boss "Well, I tried really hard!"

Would you like a surgeon operating on you who couldn't recall the basics of gross anatomy but he got good grades cuz he TRIED really hard?!

More student nuggets of wisdom:

"Sarah Kinn, a junior English major at the University of Vermont, agreed, saying, “I feel that if I do all of the readings and attend class regularly that I should be able to achieve a grade of at least a B.”

Yes, Sarah, you should be able to, but you have to show your professor that you actually know something about English not just that you could be arsed to show up for class.

Best quote from article: “Instead of getting an A, they make an A,”

That's right.  We earn what we get.  What a concept.

Parents you are SO falling down on the job. I swear it starts with kindergarten graduations and peewee soccer games where everyone gets a trophy whether they played well or stood on the sidelines whinging. It starts with parents expecting their little perfect miraculous angels to be responsible for their own farking actions.

(PS: yes, I Googled kinesiology.)


Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 1:09 pm   7 comments

And don't forget to supersize that ...

Interesting and startling article on how recipes in cookbooks have increased their portion sizes.

"The study identified the trend in numerous cookbooks, but it focused on American kitchen icon "Joy of Cooking," first published during the '30s and regularly updated with new editions since then, most recently in 2006.

Of the 18 recipes published in all seven editions, 17 increased in calories per serving. That can be attributed partly to a jump in total calories per recipe (about 567 calories), but also to larger portion sizes.

Only the chili con carne recipe remained unchanged through the years. The chicken gumbo, however, went from making 14 servings at 228 calories each in the 1936 edition, to making 10 servings at 576 calories each in the 2006 version.

Most excess calories in the American diet still come from food eaten outside the home, says Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University. But she says the study is yet another illustration of how accustomed people are to eating ever increasing quantities of food.

And changes in "Joy of Cooking" have been going on for a while. Increases in overall calories per recipe have been gradual, but portion sizes tended to jump, first during the '40s, again during the '60s, and with the largest jump in the 2006 edition.

The first significant signs of restaurant portion inflation didn't show up until the late '70s, says Wansink.

Lisa Young, an adjunct nutrition professor at New York University, had similar findings in a 2002 study that compared the book's brownie recipe from the '60s and '70s editions to the recipe from the 1997 edition.

"Same recipe. Same pan. But in the '60s and '70s it yielded 30 brownies," she says. "In the 1997 edition it yielded 15."

What is up with America?  Why do we eat so much?  What started us conditioning our children to eat huge portions?  Do you now that many candy bars, soft drinks, bagged crisps, etc are actually 2 or more servings?  So you read that comforting calorie number but then proceed to down the entire multiple serving item.

Is it America's love of HUGE in general taking over?  Bigger is better?  Ginormous SUVs, Elaborate, enormous, space-wasting houses for families of four who don't even spend much time there?  "Lather rinse repeat" when you only need to wash your hair once, and inch-long globs of toothpaste when you only need a pea-sized dab?


*Blog title is a line from Weird Al Yankovic's Grapefruit Diet from his Running with Scissors

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:00 am   1 comments

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Small clinical study on the Paleo diet

Fascinating results from a small clinical trial of the Paleolithic / neanderthin diet.

"Participants, on average, saw large improvements in nearly every meaningful measure of health in just 10 days on the "paleolithic" diet. Remember, these people were supposedly healthy to begin with. Total cholesterol and LDL dropped, if you care about that. Triglycerides decreased by 35%. Fasting insulin plummeted by 68%. HOMA-IR, a measure of insulin resistance, decreased by 72%. Blood pressure decreased and blood vessel distensibility (a measure of vessel elasticity) increased. It's interesting to note that measures of glucose metabolism improved dramatically despite no change in carbohydrate intake."

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:00 am   0 comments

Monday, February 16, 2009

Paleo Diet ... The Movie!

If you are on a low carb diet or going paleolithic / neanderthin, you will get a kick out of this, Paleo Diet, the movie!:

I especially loved the part where he had the box (was it crackers or pasta?) and is saying "The food pyramid! It was created by the USDA ... it's MYTHOLOGY!"


Here's a great t-shirt for those of us on low carbohydrate diets like Atkins, Protein Power or Paleo:

Low carbohydrate dieter's funny bacon t-shirt
LOL, us low carbers love our meat and we know it's good-for-you food.  Yes, even bacon!

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:17 am   1 comments

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Faking out my fake sugar addiction

I've been trying to cut down my caffeine and my artificial sweetener use lately. 

To that end I have halved the amount of aspertame (fake Equal) that I put in my coffee (which I'm making weaker). I've also vowed to intersperse water with my diet Cokes or iced tea (which I sweeten with fake Splenda) during the day.

Yesterday went well and I noticed that I slept really well last night.  I suffer from insomnia - waking almost every night between 12:30 and 2 and being unable to go back to sleep until it's time for me to get up at 4:00 - but I didn't wake at ALL last night.

Is it the lowered caffeine?  Or was all the 'sugar substitue' to blame?  Or was it just a fluke?

I'll keep you posted!

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:28 am   0 comments

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Eggs vindicated

For those of you out there who still think that eggs are bad for you, forget it. That information is old and just plain wrong.

This study showed once and for all that you can eat as many eggs as you want and it will NOT harm your health.

Eggs are good food. Professor Bruce griffin, one of the reseachers says:

"The ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected. The amount of saturated fat in our diet exerts an effect on blood cholesterol that is several times greater than the relatively small amounts of dietary cholesterol.  The [public does] not need to be limiting the number of eggs they eat - indeed they can be encouraged to include them in a healthy diet as they are one of nature's most nutritionally dense foods."

(emphasis mine)

Let's compare a quickie running-out-the-door breakfast of 1 egg (my choice) to 1 slice of white toast with margarine (typical person's choice).

Nutrition     1 egg          1 slice toast w/ margerine
calories       78               101
fat               5.3g            4.3g
sodium        62mg          180mg
carbs           0.6g           13g
protein         6.3g           2.1g

The sodium alone would give me pause!  But of course the big difference in these two breakfasts is that, unlike the egg, the carbs in the toast would shoot your bloodsugar sky high, then it'd crash and you'd be starving 2 hours later.

So have an egg.  Have two or three!

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:17 am   1 comments

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Penny Pinching Popularity and the Faux Frugal

Brilliant, brilliat post from Midwest Mom (whom I follow on Twitter) regarding the town of Frugal (where I live).  Do you see yourself?  I'm there in several guises: the Halver, the Saver, the Scavenger, and the Scrimper. I am these and shamelessly so.  I might also Cluck.  Just a bit. ;)

But her closing comment about how crowded Frugal was getting is what spurred me to post - I was fixin' to post on this very subject.

How it's now Cool To Be Frugal.

Yeah ... all those folks who sniffed at our tightwad ways, looked down their noses at our dumpster diving, outright laughed at us for wearing thrift store clothing, whose children ask my children why they don't bring Pop Tarts and Lunchables and brand name individual juices every day to school, THOSE people are suddenly into thrift.

And you know what the crazy part is?  Clever marketing types who buy $1200 handbags and only eat the most expensive 'organic free range natural' eggs from happy chickens are the ones slapping up all these money saving websites and writers who aren't even aware that water comes in gallon jugs with *gasp* no flavouring or added minerals and who live off of single serving lo-cal lo-fat snack bags are rolling out articles detailing where to cut corners on your bloody grocery bill!

The old thrifty sites, and us long-time frugal bloggers - I'll bet - are not seeing so much increased traffic.

And why's that?

Well, because Americans, even Americans in a recession, want easy. Fast simple easy. And they are NOT going to give up their wasteful consumerism without a fight. They want you to tell them how to save money (lose weight! find the man of your dreams! get rich quick from home!) right now, and don't make it too complex.

They don't want to give up their triple caramel lattes or their expensive shoes or their *OMGOMGGASP* cable television.

They want to be told that all they have to do is turn off a few lights and maybe buy family packs of meat and they get to keep all the other indulgences.

All the time now I get the phrase: "Gosh, it must be really tough for you!" followed by almost eager expectation. I get the feeling folks want me to vent about how horrible our lives are in this economy what with five kids and the farm and the 10+ year old cars and my wearing the same pair of blue jeans all week.

Well it's not.  It's really no different. Us permanent residents of Frugal - the lower income ones like me, all the way up to millionaires - have trimmed all the waste from our lives already. We live more simply. We have a cupboard full of tinned goods, firewood stacked on the porch, a bit of pin money put away.  When the going gets tough, we tighten our belts a notch and keep on keepin' on in a practiced fashion.

This is not a brag, by the way, it's just how it is. Frugality is a lifestyle choice just like a diet. If you stuff your face every single year over the holidays and put on 10lbs then go on the latest Cashews-and-eggwhite-omlette diet every spring only to agonise over how you're not losing weight, well you have a problem.

To stay physically healthy you have to watch your food intake and exercise a bit all the time.  To stay financially healthy you have to watch your spending habits and curtail waste all the time. This doesn't mean that you can't have a slice of Gramma's Nut Cake Delight at Thanksgiving or that you can't buy that perfect leather bag to keep your work papers and laptop in.  It just means that you have to allow for these small things and watch the rest of your eating / spending.

I sincerely hope that a lot of people are really learning how to be thrifty.  Being thrifty doesn't mean you have to suffer - any more than eating healthy does - but it does arm you against big, bad things like recessions (and Aunt Jo's homemade baklava!)

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 10:46 am   4 comments

Friday, February 06, 2009

Continuing to adjust

Some faithfuls on the Paleo forums have suggested that my diet might be too LOW in fat. Low cals plus low fat tells one's body to hoard every calorie as fat.

To that end - and in keeping with a fortnight-long experiment (hey, I can last that long, right?) - I have made these changes:

1) Allowing myself more calories (1500/day)
2) Up my fat (NO problem as I lurves me some meat, LOL)
3) Lower my carbs down as much as I can - going for 0-10g/day
4) Dump Nightshades

In my quest to lower carbs I began to inspect my diet to find where I could slash some of those suckers.  Well, fark me, but I made some discoveries!

One of my few stupid indulgences was my fake creamer in my morning coffee.  I was diligently recording the cals and carbs and got to thinking perhaps I would live (*gasp*) with less or none (notice I make no mention of dropping my actual coffee or beloved neurotoxin Aspertame. Yeah. That's gonna happen in my lifetime. NOT!)

(ANYway) Hah!  I read the ingredient list and was floored. FIRST INGREDIENT: Corn Syrup Solids!

I don't eat corn!  High Fructose Corn Syrup is the tool of the devilllllll!


So guess who got out of bed this morning and with a disgruntled glance at the TWO almost FULL huge Sam's containers of fake-creamer-devil-corn-syrup and much grumbling made her coffee with none?

Me.  So proud.

I also took a shufti at my beloved BBQ flavoured pork rinds and discovered wheat flour and soy flour.  Yep. They went bye-bye as well. (Can still eat regular ones, just don't like nearly as much. Good. Perhaps I won't eat as bloody many. Addicted ...)

What was I saying?

Oh, so I'm feeling pretty triumphant, and, despite my having nom'd on pork chops, beef ribs, hamburger patties w/ cheese, and chicken with the skin on since Wednesday, I've not gained an ounce.

Talk to me again next week. Hahahahah!

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:36 pm   1 comments

Thursday, February 05, 2009


I have decided to make some adjustments to my diet - I'm losing weight satisfactorily but wanted to see if I could speed things up (yes, I'm an impatient dieter! LOL)

To that end I'm cutting back my carbs to 15 or so a day.  I'm also committed to making some permanent lifestyle changes just for my helath.

I've been browsing bulletin boards and reading discussions by others living the Paleolithic diet lifestyle. It's been fascinating and, of course, there are many variations of Paleo: some eat dairy like I do, many cling to overly processed foods as treats, I noticed a LOT of them ate chocolate.  Some were very strict Paleo and one fellow actually attempted to lose weight by eating 4000 calories and ZERO carbs.  Not sure if he's still alive, lol.

But seriously, it has caused me to evaluate a few things.  I eat too much salt, for example, and plan to cut back.  I also discovered that plants of the Nightshade family (tobacco, nightshade, potatoes, tomatos, peppers, and aubergine) were mostly New World plants (exceptions being nightshade and aubergines [eggplant]) and subsequently not Paleo.  That is, we haven't been eating them for millions of years and so our bodies haven't had time to evolve to be used to them.

I also found several things about how those who gave up the nightshades showed marked improvement in skin conditions and arthritis.  Since I have both, I have decided to do a wee experiment and forgo tomatoes, aubergine, and peppers (don't eat potatoes any more) and see what happens.

I'll keep you updated!

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:29 am   1 comments

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Wii-Fit benefits really are wee

Almost everyone I know online has a Nintendo Wii-Fit.

They all waited in breathless anticipation for them, bought them, bought all the accessories, eagerly used them, and raved, raved, raved about them.

But has the Wii-fit actually helped any of my friends lose weight or get in shape?

Probably not, says a new study:  The truth about Wii-Fit and weight loss is that, like most eagerly purchased exercise equipment, they are lying disused after one month in most people's homes.

I can't prove that the Wii-Fit hasn't helped my friends.  I'm not about to ask them if they still use it regularly.  Most of them would probably heatedly insist that they do (whether they do or not. This is the reaction by most people who have started a diet, begun a fitness programme, etc especially if they dropped a wodge of cash on it.)

But honestly, the ones who mention still using it, only do so (mention it) once a week, tops.  If you sloth about all week and eat what you want then go for a brisk walk on Sunday (or work up a sweat with the Wii-Fit), well, you may feel better about yourself, but you've not put any dent at all in your unhealthy lifestyle.  You must do things - everything - consistantly.

Folks might brag that they did Wii-Fit work-outs twice this week.  Would they brag that they brushed their teeth only twice in that same time?

I'm not ragging on the Wii-Fit in particular BTW.  I have no problem with it.  It could be an eliptical or a treadmill or even walking around the block. 

I'll admit that the thought of buying a video game to get fit struck me as silly.  I mean how much entertainment do you need?  You need to be entertained into exercising?  That's a bit much.  The concept of paying a huge amount of money to exercise also rubs me the wrong way.  I can walk, lift weights, do yoga, use my exercise ball, etc, for free.

My thing is that it's a game NOT a fitness programme. You are NOT getting fit no matter how much you tell yourself so. You are enjoying yourself - and there's nothing wrong with that!  But admit that you do it for fun and don't tell me how you are improving your health by playing an hour of Wii-Golf (or whatever) every week-end.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:37 am   2 comments

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Today's funny

Song Chart Memes
more music charts

ROTFL!  Chartmaker just forgot to include toddler within the 'sticky substance' set.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 4:00 am   1 comments

Monday, February 02, 2009

Diet tip of the week

Do you keep a diet journal?

I don't mean an angst-ridden missive where you curse lettuce and complain about how much your 'fat underpants' dig into your crack when you exercise, lol!  i mean where you write down everything you eat.

If you don't, you should try it. No lie.

Keeping a food journal or diet diary or whatever you call it has been proven to help weight loss. One study of over 1700 people showed that those who wrote down what they ate lost over TWICE as much weight as those who didn't!

Now that makes me sit up and take notice.

I have always kept a food journal when dieting.  I'm OCD and love lists and order and fiddly stuffs like that so it's always been easy for me. i understand it's a pain in the backside for a lot of folks.

But try it. srsly.

Twice as much weight lost!

Go over to our forums and vote on the poll!

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 11:45 am   1 comments

Twitter rawks!

A quick note to thank Randa Clay for the below button (which was free!  Thriftay!) which I hope to have up in the sidebar in a moment.

Blue's Thriftymom and Thrifty dieters Twitter link

Thanks Randa!

(now let's see if this works ...)

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 10:52 am   0 comments

Sunday, February 01, 2009

LOLfan grammar FAIL!

David Hasselhoff
more lol celebs!

My SIX YEAR OLD knows when to use than and when to use then, m'kay?

ZOMG, go read the comments! srsly. Apparently I'm not the only one who cringed at this one.

Is anyone else terribly amused when some loser, who clearly can't master English, attempts LOLspeak?

Remember, Grammar Sheep says:

funny lolanimals grammar sheep Evil Genius Comics

LOL!  I think I'll put that guy on my sidebar.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:47 pm   2 comments