Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Exercise doesn't cure obesity

I said it before, and I'll say it again, you must change your diet to successfully lose weight. Here's  more proof that exercise alone is not instrumental in helping lose weight.

"Physical fitness programs in schools improve many aspects of children's health, but they don't appear to combat obesity"

Thank you!  Sadly, the authors of this article and the doctors interviewed continue to cling to the idea that exercise has some impact.

"The failure to reduce BMI scores might have been because the programs did not offer enough vigorous activity [snip] the authors suggested.

[snip]

Louise Baur, from the University of Sydney in Australia, [snip] writes that reversing trends in childhood obesity requires a broader, long-term approach -- from healthier school meals to changes in how cities are developed so that they encourage more physical activity."


No, no, NO! Childhood obesity cures start IN THE HOME! (Sorry for shouting) Changing school meals helps and I am absolutely for PE because exercise improves one's all over health, but if we are battling FAT, and we are;

"The rate of childhood obesity in the United States has tripled in the past 40 years and similar increases are occurring in Canada and most of Europe"

then that fight begins at HOME. With momma and how she eats, her dietary habits, her food choices. It's simple, people!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:03 pm   2 comments

No, THIS is why you're fat

I love, love, love the website This Is Why You're Fat. It's funny and a clever idea. But I am constantly floored by what folks think is UNhealthy.

Weekly you get the horrible carb bombs of breaded starches deep fried in death-by-soybean oil, weird conglomerations of sugary snacks and sweets, interspersed with the occasional monster food - a regular food, like a burger, supersized to the max. But the weird part is how people just cannot let go of the outdated concept that fat is bad for you.

Folks sitting in front of their computers of a morning shovelling in Cookie Crisp (for the virtuous:  whole wheat bagel with fat free 'cream cheese') are writhing with delighted revulsion at things like the Bacon Bomb and congratulating themselve for not eating such dangerous and fattening foods.

When are we going to UNlearn that fat and meat are bad for you?  How many people are going to have to die of carbohydrate-induced diseases before we get a clue?  Truth in advertising:

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Epic WIN!

Alternately, we could just claim that we are not fat as Paul Campos seems to do in this article.  On the subject of 'bribing' scientists to support the views of an industry (in this case pharmaceuticals) - which I absolutely believe happens, BTW - wanders into the weird here with the so-called opinions of a fellow guest (supposedly a scientist):

"In this case, the program is to keep repeating the word "obesity" over and over again, like some sort of pseudo-scientific mantra, even though, as my dinner companion points out, there's hardly any evidence that the increasing weight of the population is actually a health problem"

WHAT? No evidence that increasing weight is a health problem? Hang on, let me clean my computer screen, here.  Did I accidently drink bourbon instead of coffee again this morning?!

From the CDC on diabetes alone:

"Diabetes affects at least 18 million people in the U.S., a number that has been growing more

rapidly than the general population since 1990. The rapid growth has occurred among those who
have the non-insulin dependent Type 2 variety of the disease (formerly known as adult onset
diabetes),"

[snip]
 
"The decade-plus growth trend

in prevalence, and its apparent acceleration starting at the end of the 1990s—which by all
accounts has continued into the 2000s—has led many observers to conclude that the U.S. is
experiencing a diabetes epidemic (Gorman 2003)."

[snip]
 
"Concern about growing diabetes prevalence is also based on observed growth in the prevalence

of obesity, a leading risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, and several other chronic diseases
(NIDDK 2004b)."

[snip]
 
"Figure 2 shows how the obese fraction of

the adult U.S. population, which grew only slightly from about 13% to 15% during the 1960s
and 1970s, rose increasingly fast during the 1980s and 1990s, and now stands at over 30% (CDC
2004b).
 
From the JAMA:
 
"There has been a marked increase in overweight and obesity in the United States over the past 25 years, with the prevalence of obesity among adults aged 20 to 74 years rising from 13% to 31%.1-3 This increase in prevalence of obesity has occurred among both men and women and across all racial/ethnic and age groups. Prospective cohort studies as well as national surveys have shown that obese individuals have an increased risk of several adverse health outcomes, notably hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), arthritis, disability, and mortality.4-8"
 
More gems from Campos's article:
 
""Do you realize," she (this is the 'well-known scientist', remember) asks me, "that in the United States somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of everyone in their 50s, in every ethnic group, is supposedly overweight?" I do realize this, but I'm enjoying hearing somebody besides myself rant about the absurdity of such things for a change.

"What sort of sense does it make to classify a normal physical characteristic of an entire population as a disease?" she asks."


Now, perhaps I am totally misunderstanding Mr Campos's point here. The article is, after all, about the buying off of the scientific community by industry, something that I wholeheartledly agree happens. But it seems to me that Mr Compos and his 'well-known scientist dinner companion' are both out of their minds or, hey, maybe it's an April Fools joke.

America is eating itself to death, a trend that began when we slashed meat and fat in our diets and began loading everything we put in our mouths with carbohydrates/sugars.  Saying that it's not a problem will NOT make it go away. If you don't think it's a problem I challenge you to walk into your local Wal Mart and stand in one place for a few minutes, watching.

THESE are average Americans.

And they are ILL.

And here's the thing: a bit of body fat is no big deal. I do NOT think the BMI is accurate; it's a tenuous guess, at best. Anyone with higher than average muscle mass would throw a "false obese" number.
Nor do I think that one's 'ideal weight' is correct for everyone.  Bodyfat is not the main issue.  Fitness is.  We graze on carbs all day, our blood sugar stays high, we get no exercise, we get no sunshine, and an increasing number of us are unhealthily overweight.

It's the truth and it's a problem.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:17 am   1 comments

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Smoke? Fat? Don't exercise? No prob. Eat meat? DIE!

More on the "meat will kill you!" witch hunt.

Mark Sisson over at Mark's Daily Apple blogged the subject as well, enumerating several points quite clearly. He also posted a quote from the conclusion of the study that left me gobsmacked:

"“Subjects who consumed more red meat tended to be married, more likely of non-Hispanic white ethnicity, more likely a current smoker, have a higher body mass index, and have a higher daily intake of energy, total fat, and saturated fat, and they tended to have lower education and physical activity levels and lower fruit, vegetable, fiber, and vitamin supplement intakes.”"

Uhh ... whut? More of the folks who croaked had higher BMI, lower fruit and veg intake, and were more likely smokers?  And I'd bet my last dollar consumed mass quantities of carbs and sugars daily (this is NOT the profile of a health food nut, folks). BUT IT WAS THAT DAMNED RED MEAT THAT KILLED 'EM!

This study just went from useless to stupid. The authors invalidated their own study in that one paragraph.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 10:52 am   1 comments

Daddy calls him the Scarlet Pimpernel

(This is a long one, I apologise in advance)

So ...

Wednesday morning, I'm making breakfast, Boy wanders in, and hear those 4 words guaranteed to chill an otherwise upbeat mother to the bone: "Momma ... I threw up."

Crap.

So I run him to the couch, nest him in a mass of pillows, blankets, and many many towels to cover all, tuck a puke rubbish bin next to his head, and sail back in to finish breakfast and get everyone else off to work/school.

He threw up all day and by evening was just retching painfully into the bin.  The next morning he was feverish, dehydrated. I tried a bit of ginger ale. Nope. Right back up.

By noon he was able to sip a bit of liquids but his fever was sky high.  In the afternoon I noticed the rash.  It was a fine bright red rash over the tops of his cheeks and the bridge of his nose.  I'd never seen anything like it.

I Tweeted my Twitterlings and got back "Fifth Disease"*  I had thought of that first but, damnit, the rash just looked wrong. It was a malar rash, a 'butterfly' rash. Fifth Disease produced a rash on the cheeks, like they've been slapped. It just wasn't right.

Here's a pic of Boy's rash:


Well, by mid afternoon it had spread downward and I gave up and decided Fifth Disease. I emailed his teacher, who is pregnant, and rang my husband.

In the meantime, Boy's fever raged on. I gave him Tylenol and that helped a good bit.  He was drinking pretty well, so I decided to see how things went.

Then, late afternoon, the breakthrough came. Boy had been sleeping pretty much all day. He woke up and, to my delight, his fever had broken.  I asked him if he wanted something to drink and asked him if anything hurt. He said: "only my throte".

"Your throte hurts?"

(nod)

"Let me see your tongue!"

(He shows me a tongue, bright red, with the classic white coating.) I quickly searched under his shirt and sure enough the fine lacy rash was everywhere. Scarlet Fever!

More phone calls and emails, one to the doctor for an appointment, and the mystery was resolved. But our own Hell Week wasn't over. Friday turned out to be a DAY.

Ever had one of those days where Every. Farkin. Wee. Thing seems to go wrong?  That was my Friday.

I had been sleeping badly since Boy was ill. He was sleeping on the couch and I'd get up 10 times in the night to check on him. So Friday morning I was groggy and bumping along in low gear.  I was trying to catch up on my tweets/emails when I realised that it was 20 minutes after Bodog should have been up. I dashed upstairs to find him having a low blood sugar episode.

(If you've never experienced this, it's disconcerting. He can't control his muscles so he can't sit up in bed or stand or walk. He'll look at me but can't respond. Once I get his blood sugar back up he's shakey and confused for a half hour afterwards.)

I finally got Bodog going and he'd made it into the shower so I could start breakfast and make lunches. I got the rest of The Brood up and managed to burn breakfast trying to run down the hall and tend to Boy. Finally I got all the schoolies fed breakfast #2 and dressed and  then basically shoved my husband and daughters out the door (they were terribly late by that point).  *whew*

Then I dressed the baby, helped Boy get dressed (He was so weak. He hadn't eaten in 2 days.), and the boys and I jumped in V for Vandetta and headed for Columbia.

Two hours later (waiting in rush hour traffic, waiting in the doctor's office, all on top of a 45 min drive), the doctor confirms that it's Scarlet Fever. Whee.

Now here's the catch. I live between two tiny towns on a big lake. Go around the lake one way and you get to our local 'City', Columbia SC.  Go the other direction from my house, toward the upstate, and you get to our local 'big town', Newberry SC.  Opposite directions.  AND the only way to get from one to the other is to track back, basically through both tiny towns and almost right past my house. You can't shoot straight in between because the lake is in the way.

So, I'm in Columbia, but my pharmacy is in Newberry. PLUS I needed to get more children's Tylenol and gingerale for Boy and we needed feed.

So off we go, back the way me came, and onward into Newberry.

An hour later we're there. 20 min after that we're in the Wal Mart. I'm thinking I might have to carry my 7 year old Boy. He's exhausted and dragging along behind us.

Then came the clincher: It would take an HOUR to fill our scripts.

So we wanderd around the store. Boy refused to either be carried or ride in the cart.  I bought waaaay too many garden plants. I examined dairy products at great length that I couldn't eat because of the sugar content. I watched with undisguised awe some of the grotesquely overweight, wheezing, limping denizens of Newberry county**, buy chips, frozen convenience foods, snack cakes, and loads and loads of sodas.

I wandered back by the pharmacy. "20 more minutes," they said. We chose to just sit. Boy was as limp and pale as uncooked bacon with that bright red rash standing out on each cheek.  The small boys, Bulk and Fiver were bored and wound up and being gleefully bad. My Blackberry battery was dead.

Finally I stood up and went purposefully over to the clerk.  Resisting the urge to grab him by the throte and drag him closer, I leaned in and said, quietly, in my best Dark Knight Joker voice: "Y'know, I understand that it's only fair to fill scripts in the order they came in, but if you're filling a script for someone who won't be picking it up for 3 days and I'm standing here with my sick, contagious child ... well, that just doesn't make sense, does it?"

It'd have been great to have some dynamite strapped to my ribs, y'know, to use for emphasis, but it did the trick anyway (I was wearing my Evil Genius logo t-shirt which has a bomb on it, LOL). Miraculously, mine were the next 2 scripts filled.

So that was my crap week.  I didn't mention almost running out of petrol (twice!), dropping my CD player AND the camera, and spilling my coffee (twice, again!), but this post is just too long as it is. 

I hope your week went better than mine!  Here's a comparison pic of a Scarlet Fever rash, advanced down the face and mimicking Fifth Disease:



*For the record people, It's FIFTH disease not Fifth'S. Just like it's DOWN syndrome not Down'S.
**This is by no means unique to my own county. You see it everywhere. Go to the Lexington SC Wal Mart. Dear god. The horror.

PS: Fifth, parvovirus b19, is not generally harmful to infected kids (it IS dangerous for pregnant women, though). It runs it's course uneventfully in most kids. If, however, you suspect your child has Scarlet fever, which is a group A strep (a bacterial infection), you should take said child to the doctor for antibiotics.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:10 am   7 comments

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"I wish I had your motivation!"

Here's a great post by Lynn, over at the Hungry Little Catapillar, on motivation - (via Rebecca at Skinny Dreaming.)

I love her insight on motivation in dieting!

The reason I posted this here instead of over on my Thrifty Dieters Blog, is that this whole concept applies to every part of our lives - not just our diet.

Lynn writes:

"Motivation isn't like an energy shot. You don't drink a tiny bottle of expensive, foul-flavored liquid and suddenly feel inspired. Hells bells, I don't feel inspired most of the time either."

"Where do I get the motivation to walk nine miles?


I don't. I just go. If I sat around waiting to feel enthusiastic about exercise or waited until I really wanted that dry-chicken salad... I'd still be sitting around."

Amen!  You can't overthink it or it will never get done. Best quote:

"How many of you leap out of bed in the morning and say, "God, I really am looking forward to taking out the trash!" "I just can't wait for my 10am meeting!" "Oh, I totally adore my hour and a half commute time, sitting in traffic! And I just bet someone will cut me off at the light, won't that be great!""

And that's the (humorously put) point. As I said in her comments, dieting is HARD. Sometimes it just blows.  But so does parenting, or farming, or home ownership.  So does being self employed.  Or unemployed in a tough economy.

Life is hard. But we do what we have to do and don;t spend too much time mulling it over, waiting for inpiration or motivation to strike.

I have to get up from the computer at 5 a.m. (where I've been working since 4 a.m.) every morning and cook my family breakfast. It's a huge chore, but one that I feel is SO important that I do it without (too much) thought or grumbling every single morning.

I have to feed a whole farmfull of animals every day. I can't blow them off. It's dirty, time-consuming, and hard. But I took on the obligation of careing for them and so I must do it. Even if I'm tired. Even if I'm busy. Even if I've had a bad day.

I breastfed 5 children to at least 6 months of age and I had them all in 6 years. Often I would be breastfeeding a newborn, fending off a baby, and watching a toddler all at the same time whilst trying to keep up with my house, my business, my husband, and my farm.

If I had waited for motivation, I would have thrown in the towel, as many do. But I wanted it badly enough to endure the pain, the discomfort, the inconvenience, and the clingy next-oldest baby, because I felt it was best for my child.

The point is, do you want to lose weight and get healthy or don't you?  Either you do or you don't. Since there's no magic pill, if you do, then you're gonna have to hunker down and get to it.


As Lynn says:

"What's going to get you where you want to be isn't motivation. It's not inspiration. It's not willpower. It's not even determination.

It's simple drudgery. You do it because it has to be done, and if you don't do it, no one's going to do it for you."

I did and 140lbs+ later am still losing weight.  Lynn did (over 70 lbs so far), Rebecca did (over 80lbs so far).

And you can too.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:07 am   1 comments

Science or news?

If you take the new report - on how red meat will kill you - to heart (lol!), you really need to read Dr Michael Eades's post over on his blog.

He debunks the study itself and offers up two different studies, that came out at the same time, that gave opposite results.

Just a teensy quote that says it all:

"The point of this post is that you shouldn’t get wound up about a study that gets reported throughout the media because there are more than likely other studies that are just as well done and just as important showing exactly the opposite findings that the press chooses to ignore. You’re not seeing the science as it is, you’re seeing the science as the press wants you to see it, which, typically, is the way that confirms the bias of members of the press."

(emphasis mine)

And if you're saying to yourself; "Oh, Blue, you're just farked off because it said something bad about meat!"; yes, I am, lol, but that's not it.

I am at heart a scientist and I just can't take seriously a study that gets a load of 50+ folks to record their diets (from memory) then carries on without noting what else the people are eating (most likely the crap Standard American Diet).  There wasn't a control group, either.  Heck, it doesn't even distinguish between whether the "red meat" is a fresh steak or a 1/4 lb of Spam.  Was the "white meat" a chicken breast broiled skin-on or 4 slices of FrankenTurkey luncheon meat ("chopped and formed"!) loaded down with sugars and salt?

Not enough data = useless study.  Sorry.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:13 am   0 comments

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lacto-Paleo Burgers!

Yeah, I know, you're saying, "Wait, hamburgers are pure meat, so they automatically are Paleo, right?"

True, true, and I love hamburger (but not as much as pork, lol), in it's natural state but I came across this delicious sounding recipe from marc over at Feel Good Eating.  I happened to have a half-pound of minced beef in my fridge and decided to make these babies today.  Well, NOM!

Here's my version of the recipe:

1/2lb minced beef (full fat ground beef)
salt/pepper/garlic/whatever turns you on!
1 small egg
minced onion
1oz cheese of choice


I'm keeping my carbs as close to zero as possible right now so I only used 1 slice of a medium onion.  I also omitted the cheese but only on accident - I tried to re-create the recipe from memory. D'oh! I will definately use the cheese next time!  Here's my 1/4lb patties:


Yep, I took my meat outside to take this snap. What? The light was better, lol.  I kept a sharp eye out for the cats.

Mine is not grass-fed beef (alas), and obviously, I minced my onions a lot smaller, and mine would be a lot eggy-er (they were, I had to take care making them into patties and transferring them into the pan, but it was pretty easy).

I also fried mine as well. If you want to grill my version, you'll need to lay foil on your open grill. My George Foreman Grill should handle my softer version just fine.

Anyway, here's the loving application of bacon grease to my big skillet:


Mmm ... bacon.  Y'know, these would ROCK with several slices of bacon on them. I'll try that next time.

And here's the finished burgers. Take Marc's advice and don't overcook. I got a bit zealous with mine and cooked them a bit too done.

You can see where I piled up all the little goodies from the bottom of the skillet on top of the burgers.
And they were deLISH!  Even without the cheese, they rocked.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:55 am   0 comments

Springing!

I know, I know, a post is long overdue! Sorry. I've been really busy building a new website and it's kinda consumed me.

Here's a quick update for ya.  It's getting to be SPRING! Squee!



Those are my collards flowering, in case you were wondering what the heck that was.  Here's my new walk and gate.  I finally got around to fixing ONE of the arbours that got crunched by the storm / tree limb.

And my Wellsummers have started to lay!  Yay!  See how lovely and dark brown the eggs are? Nice thick shells, too. They grind up well to feed back to the birds for calcium. That's a black sexlink's egg lower left and a mixed hen's egg lower right.
Here's a shot of a Wellsummer egg and one of my gamehen's eggs. The game egg is actually off-white. The Wellsummers makes it look bright white, doesn't it?!
And I tried my hand at making my own mayonnaise. Trying to do away with nasty soy products and corn syrup in my family's diet. It was easy and turned out perfectly:
It even got Bodog's seal of approval!  Yes, it has a yellowish tinge - it's made of egg yolks!  I don't know what chemical they put in commercial mayo to bleach it out. Yuck!
Our first Tulip of the season:

I promise much more!  As it gets warm, I'll be working on several projects that don't involve my arse in this computer chair, LOL!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:07 am   0 comments

Monday, March 23, 2009

Good food called bad, bad food called good?

One word: NOM!



I resent, however, the "heart problem" comments. See how the twisted mainstream of thought has influenced americans? "X amt of calories, and x amount of fat" No mention of carbs at all.

That's a shame.

It's actually a deadly shame. Americans have been duped into thinking that if they toss out the fatty sausage and eat the carb-bomb of a bisquit that they are being more healthy. They mollify themselves that they are 'lowering their cholesterol', all the while getting fatter and fatter and continuing to die of hert disease in droves!

And speaking of America's skewed perceptions of foods, check out this article on how sugar is now replacing High Fructose Corn Syrup in some foods. 25 years ago, HFCS replaced the sugar, now they're switching back because the public now view sugar as 'natural' and healthy.

The sad part is that they are BOTH horribly bad for us and our children. America is in the death grip of it's SWEET obsession and switching to sugar is NOT gonna slim us down, people!

"Dr. Robert H. Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco Children’s Hospital, said: “The argument about which is better for you, sucrose or HFCS, is garbage. Both are equally bad for your health.” "


Americans are addicted to sweet. Hooked to the point where it appears in even savoury foods. And we wonder why we are fat? Check out a katsup label. Between the loads of carbs our children shovel in, and the sweets, AND the hidden sugars ... well, gee, obese kids? No mystery there.

Scientists have this reaction to the new sugar craze:

"To researchers and nutritionists who study obesity and the effects of sugar on the body, the resurrection of sugar is maddening.

Pat Crawford of the Center for Weight and Health at the University of California, Berkeley, remembers when sugar was such a loaded word that cereal makers changed the name of products like Sugar Pops to Corn Pops.

Even though overall consumption of caloric sweeteners is starting to drop, Dr. Crawford says an empty calorie is still an empty calorie. And it does not matter whether people think sugar is somehow “retro,” a word used to promote new, sugar-based versions of Pepsi and Mountain Dew called Throwback.

If people really want to go back to where we were, that means not putting sugar in everything,” she said. “It means keeping it to desserts.”"



Thank you! (Emphasis above is mine.)

Now, don't get me wrong, here. I am absolutely against HFCS. It's higher in fructose which adversely affects the liver, it may contain mercury, and, insidiously, it's in every farkin thing we eat! Why does salad dressing and mayonnaise have sweetener of ANY kind in?

I would choose sugar over HFCS any day, but the point is that I don't eat sugar of any kind, and I strictly limit the sugars I allow my kids and my diabetic husband to eat.  The saddest part is that I have to scour labels all day every day to look for HFCS, sugar, and that devil, soy, so that my family won't be eating that deadly crap.

It's exhausting and it makes me angry and it's all the brainchild of these producers of corn, soy, and sugar who manipulate the masses into thinking these poisons are ok.

Do YOU try to limit sugars and carbs to keep your family healthy?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:56 am   3 comments

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Frugal / thrifty, and healthy? Yep!

One of my fave diet bloggers, Mark Sisson over at Mark's Daily Apple, blogged this post that warmed my frugal wee heart: his Depression Diet - 6 ways to eat healthy on a strict budget.

Ahh, thrift and dieting, two subjects with which I am intimately familiar!

I especially like number one, and echo it. Keep it simple. I'm Paleo, so simple is my middle name. My fave meal is a huge hunk of meat, dry seasoned and fried or broiled, and raw or steamed veg. Nom!  Like my Dear Husband, Bodog: it's cheap, easy, and goooooood. LOL!

So here are my Big Three suggestions for eating healthily, or even to lose weight, whilst pinching pennies:

1) Grow your own.

Srsly. If you live in a tiny apartment 6 stories up, you probably have a balcony, right?  Even if you don't, I'll bet you have windows, lol! You can grow many veg and most herbs in containers quite easily. Lots of them will thrive on the sill of a sunny window.

If you have any land at all you can tuck a wee garden into any spot that gets adequate sunlight or just do container gardening on your patio. Watch for new construction or neighbours putting trees in and ask for those huge black plastic planters that trees come in. Or make your own out of 5 gallon buckets (almost any restaurant has oodles they throw away) or cut down rubbish bins or, if you're handy, make wooden planters and line them with thick plastic sheeting.

The added bonus is that a lot of your kitchen waste can be composted to make rich soil for your new plants. Super thrifty recycling person, you!

If you live away from town, check local ordinances and see if you can keep chickens or rabbits. Obviously there's the not-a-pet factor to be considered - you can't name them and love them, sorry - and the gotta-kill-them thing as well. I have no problem killing chickens but couldn't bring myself to kill our rabbits. You have to go with what you're comfy with.

If you want to do stock-keeping with out the death part, then you can keep chickens for eggs. They will be happy to provide excellent fertilizer for that new garden as well.

2) Buy in bulk.

Yes it's a royal pain in the arse to take that huge wodge of ground beef and divide it up into 1/4lb patties. Especially when the stores have those cute, already formed, patties (of, usually lower fat (nooo!!!) ground chuck) and, really, who has time? It's not that much more expensive and I've still got to pick up John's dry cleaning and take Noah and Trinyti to soccer and then there's the car making that weird noise ...

Snap out of it!  I'm busy as all hell, too, but it only takes 15 minutes to divide up those big packs of chops, chicken, or whatever into meal-sized portions, wrap, and toss in the freezer.  I do it whilst waiting for my coffee to brew in the mornings or waiting for my two youngest to finish their snacks.  The savings are substantial.

3) Make your own.

Mark has an excellent page on making your own condiments.  I myself just made my first batch of fresh, homemade mayonnaise. If you like soup for work, ditch that crap on-the-go Frankensoup and buy a Thermos like mine, make your own delicious variety, and take it with you. Freeze the excess so that you don't end up taking the same flavour 10 days in a row.

Take a week-end morning to cook several casseroles (my oven will hold 4) all at once, cool and freeze for hurry-up meals. Better yet, come in that afternoon and divide up the cooled casseroles into individual portions, wrap, and freeze. This works great for folks with only a tiny freezer. You can also put together one-dish meals and freeze them uncooked, for days when you're rushed but have the time to cook - but not prepare - supper.

Use that crock pot! I found mine (it's a 5-quart Rival Crock-Pot like this one) 20 years ago in a thrift store and it's been chugging along ever since. I've aquired 2 more the same way. You can toss a whole, frozen chicken in a crock pot in the morning and it will be a tender, succulent meal by suppertime. Nothing gets easier than that!

So those are my big three suggestions to go along with Mark's on how to save money on your groceries whilst staying healthy and even whilst losing weight. What do YOU do on a tight budget to keep healthy food on the table?  I'd especially love to hear from dieters!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:03 am   2 comments

Friday, March 20, 2009

"Veganism is eco-friendly" gets spanked

Brilliant brilliant post by Monica over at FA/RM on carnivory -vs- veganism and the impact on the environment.

"First, the assertion that humans evolved as vegetarians, or that their most recent common ancestor was vegetarian, has been blown out of the water. [snip] should people have the right to eat the diet they are designed evolutionarily to eat, the diet that is in their own best interest? Or should they eat a vegan diet to "save the planet"? [snip] If you believe a vegan diet is optimal, that's fine for you, but there are serious issues with the scientific basis of such an argument from an evolutionary and nutritional standpoint. And certainly such a diet shouldn't be foisted on humans everywhere for political reasons"

(Emphasis mine) Hear, hear! Its bad enough that our own government actually presents an absurdity like the food pyramid as fact (and foolish people eat it up, literally, and grow fatter and more unhealthy each day) without them wanting to legislate how we eat.

"How does the caloric intake differ between vegans and carnivores or even vegans and meat-heavy omnivores? If Good Calories, Bad Calories is any indication, those with carb-heavy (read: plant-heavy) diets are driven to ingest more calories. I've certainly found this to be true in my own experience. A meat-heavy diet, at least as far as my own personal experience, results in spontaneously reduced caloric intake of as much as 800 calories daily. That's something that is never accounted for in the "carbon footprint" calculations. And honestly, what quantity of greenhouse gases are produced by grain- and legume-fed vegetarians? Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot. Seriously, eating high-carb plant foods causes the production of more intestinal gas. I'm not sure what the chemical composition of that gas is, but the presence of the gas is something everyone who has switched from a high carb to a low carb diet, or spends a lot of time around bean-eating vegetarians, can amply attest to."
 
And what about the millions of beloved pet dogs and cats - once top predators - who now eat diets composed primarily of grains? Are they not all contributing to methane production now?
 
"Another problem is the simplistic assumption about modern-day vs. ancient production of CO2 and methane from cattle. Actually, I'm not even sure the vegan "climate change" activists or their followers want to consider this. There are currently about 100 million head of cattle in the United States. Most of our cattle are grain-fed for at least part of their lives and grain-fed cattle produce about twice as much methane as grass-fed cows. However, they are not grain-fed their entire lives. My best estimate is that at any given point, around 25 million head are being fed this way. Estimates of the number of bison present in pre-settlement times is also as high as 100 million head, with bison being about twice as big as cows. [snip] I'm not sure how many head of bison were turned over yearly to predation or hunting. Today, approximately 1/4 of the national herd of cattle makes its way into the food chain yearly. But assuming that grass-fed bison produce similar amounts of methane to grass-fed cows, and that there could have been twice as much bison biomass as current cattle biomass, that means there were probably very similar amounts of methane being produced all along and that this hasn't changed much historically. This pretty much blows away the argument that we should consider cattle per se a significant problem when it comes to global warming."
 
And that's just the United States and just considering buffalo, not any other large herbivores that used to be abundant.
 
But her best points were about Soybeans and how much mechanation is required to process them into food products. I guess all those huge machines are eco-friendly?  NOT.
 
The best point is this: "Soy is often shipped up from South America, grown on land where rainforests once grew." I wonder how many veg-heads who constantly sneer at us meat-eaters know this? Acres and acres of primal forest are being cut down every day to grow the soybeans (which contain phytoestrogens, antinutrients, and toxins) that make up their fake so-I-can-feel-like-I'm-eating-a-REAL-burger faux Frankencrap.



Thanks to Richard Nikoley over at his Free The Animal blog for the link!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:52 am   0 comments

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Paleo is not magic, just sensible.

Love this post by Skylar Tanner on the realities of a paleolithic / caveman / primal diet.

"why do I generally follow a paleo diet and encourage my clients to do the same? For my clients, it is for the reasons I listed above: increased protein and fat lead to a spontaneous reduction in caloric intake. On top of this, most people are eating a shit-tastic western diet to begin with, so any move toward preparing food themselves whilst eating more fresh fruit and veggies is a step in the right direction. Once they’re prepping their food, a person learns what real portion sizing is, reducing their crappy food chemical consumption, and, sometimes, learn to like different foods they never considered. A nice side effect is that people seem to unlearn the notion of “clean your plate”and stop eating when satisfied."

(*snort* "most people are eating a shit-tastic western diet to begin with")

"There’s nothing magic about paleo diets: increased fats and protein mean increased satity. Increased fresh ingrediants, better food prep, less processed crap."

Good points, (and I concur) though I agree more with Dr. Dan over At Darwin's Table:

"The controversial point he makes that I know will ruffle some feathers is that weight is all a matter of calories in vs calories out. I have written a post on this which can be found here. Speaking of simplistic arguments I think that this is definitely one that needs to be reconsidered by scientists. Obviously, energy and calories are important and saying that they are not is a little extreme. But we are not robots we are biological entities and therefore there is far more complex systems at work that can’t be explained by such a simple equation. "

I agree. Gary Taubes in his book Good Calories, Bad Calories talks about the importance of FAT and how you can eat an 1800 calorie diet of fat-full foods and lose weight but stall out on an 800 calorie diet packed with carbs. How can this be if it's just calories in / calories out?



"As for learning about portion controls. I still have huge meals and yet now I am losing weight. I have eaten limited calories in the past and not lost weight but on paleo it IS easier. What I have learn’t is to eat the right foods - but these are probably lower in calories."

Ditto this from my own personal experience. I also eat enormous meals. I eat only when I'm hungry and I'm like a snake who's eaten a rat most of the day - stuffed. I think it's not that Paleo foods are nesessarily lower in calories, but that what you eat satisfies you so you eat less per day.





Having said all that I actually really enjoyed his post. Its challenging


"

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:25 am   1 comments

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Too fat to work?

Here's a facer for ya:

Family who is "too fat to work" seek more money for food from government.

Philip Chawner, 53, and his 57-year-old wife Audrey weigh 24st (336 lbs). Their daughter Emma, 19, weighs 17st (238 lbs), while her older sister Samantha, 21, weighs 18st (252 lbs).
The family from Blackburn claim £22,508 (over $31,000) a year in benefits, equivalent to the take-home pay from a £30,000 salary.
the Chawners, haven't worked in 11 years, claim their weight is a hereditary condition and the money they receive is insufficient to live on.
Mr Chawner said: "What we get barely covers the bills and puts food on the table. It's not our fault we can't work. We deserve more.""

Setting aside the utterly ridiculous notion of a government that would completely support a family who claimed they were "too fat to work" and that it was 'hereditary", let's examine their diet, shall we?

"The family claim to spend £50 a week on food and consume 3,000 calories each a day. The recommended maximum intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men."

Uh, OK, there's a red flag, there, folks.

""We have cereal for breakfast, bacon butties for lunch and microwave pies with mashed potato or chips for dinner," Mrs Chawner told Closer magazine."

DING! DING! DING!


"All that healthy food, like fruit and veg, is too expensive. We're fat because it's in our genes. Our whole family is overweight," she added."

No, you're fat because your diet is 70% carbohydrates.  Simple solution: quit whinging, cut out all cereal, bread, piecrust, and potatoes, add some leafy or cruciferus green veg and more cheap, fatty cuts of meat with the money that's freed up. Voila!  Cured! 

Emma, said: "I'm a student and don't have time to exercise" she said "We all want to lose weight to stop the abuse we get in the street, but we don't know how."

You don't have to exercise.  Just put the fork down.  Reduce your portion sizes, dump those carbs which are making you hungry, eat more fat and protein, and stop blaming everyone but yourself.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:11 am   1 comments

What the HELL?

Alternate title: Government Epic FAIL!

I am so not making this up and it's totally TWIGI.  Totally.

Family "too fat to work" seek more benefits.

OK, no.  I'll adress the food issue on my Diet Blog, but just generally ... NO.

"Philip Chawner, 53, and his 57-year-old wife Audrey weigh 24st. Their daughter Emma, 19, weighs 17st, while her older sister Samantha, 21, weighs 18st.



The family from Blackburn claim £22,508 a year in benefits, equivalent to the take-home pay from a £30,000 salary.


The Chawners, haven't worked in 11 years, claim their weight is a hereditary condition and the money they receive is insufficient to live on.


Mr Chawner said: "What we get barely covers the bills and puts food on the table. It's not our fault we can't work. We deserve more."


The family claim to spend £50 a week on food and consume 3,000 calories each a day. The recommended maximum intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.


"We have cereal for breakfast, bacon butties for lunch and microwave pies with mashed potato or chips for dinner," Mrs Chawner told Closer magazine.


"All that healthy food, like fruit and veg, is too expensive. We're fat because it's in our genes. Our whole family is overweight," she added.


Each week, Mr and Mrs Chawner, who have been married for 23 years, receive £177 in income support and incapacity benefit. Mrs Chawner is paid an extra £330-a-month disability allowance for epilepsy and asthma, both a result of being overweight.


Mr Chawner gets £71 a month after developing Type 2 diabetes because of his size. He was on a waiting list for a gastric band last year, but a heart condition made the operation unsuitable. Their daughter Samantha receives £84 in Jobseekers' Allowance each fortnight while Emma, who is training to be a hairdresser, gets £58 every two weeks under a hardship fund for low-income students.


Emma, said: "I'm a student and don't have time to exercise" she said "We all want to lose weight to stop the abuse we get in the street, but we don't know how." "

That's over $31,300 per year, people. This is OUR income.  I feed my husband, myself, 5 children, 6 dogs, 4 cats, and a farm full of animals on this!  $69 per week for groceries?  Outrageous.

That's less than $4000/year. What are they spending the rest of that dosh on?

Did I say: What the HELL?

Now, leaving the thrift part alone, what's up with the British government? I know it's a welfare state and all, but this is insane. You get paid if you have diabetes?  Bodog has Type 1 diabetes and is not only regular sized and in shape, but goes to work 5 days a week. Paid for epilepsy and asthma?  I have a seizure disorder and asthma. I managed to lose 140+ lbs and spend each day busy working and taking care of my farm and family!

My favourite jaw-dropping quote: "What we get barely covers the bills and puts food on the table. It's not our fault we can't work. We deserve more."


I say take away about 10k of income. I'll bet you'd be shocked at how quickly their "hereditary" fat melted off.

(Here's the accompanying post on the subject on the Thrifty Dieter's Blog if you need a bit more snark, lol.)

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:53 am   1 comments

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thrifty, easy Apple Brown Betty

OK, I'm posting my first ever recipe just for my Tweeps on Twitter.

This recipe is neither low carb nor Paleo but is v. v. thrifty, so I'm posting it here (rather than on my diet blog). It's also v. easy and is a slow cooker recipe (I have an old Rival 5-Quart Crock-Pot that I found in a thrift store, way back in the way back time, when I first set up housekeeping, and it's been going strong ever since.)

This recipe is perfect for when you have apples or hard type pears going bad on you and you don't want to waste them. I suspect that you could experiment with other 'baking' fruits like apricots, cherries, etc with excellent results. It's also good for using up any bread that's getting stale. If I have a loaf of bread that's just getting a bit too stiff to foist off on my family (I don't eat bread), then I'll toss it into the freezer to use as breadcrumbs or in recipes like this Apple Brown Betty.

Right.  Here we go. Oh, this recipe is so easy that you could follow it in print, but being the bad cook that I am and a visual person, I love pics in with recipes, so I shot ya a bunch of pics.

Blue's Thrifty Crock-Pot Apple Brown Betty

5-6 apples or hard pears abt the size of your fist (not those jumbo kind!)
1 1/2 slices bread per apple
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
abt 5 tsp butter or oleo

Peel, core, and slice your apples and butter your crock pot.  I used 6 pears in these pics and oleo because I need to use it all up (trying to get rid of all the hydrogenated soy oil in my children's diets. Switching to butter.) Break up your bread slices pretty small - fingertip sized. I used 9 slices of whole wheat bread with the crusts on (don't feed my kids that bleached flour crap white 'bread' - not that I'm opinionated about it, LOL!)
Now comes the fun part. If you're like me, you have a drawer full of bread bags. If not, then go fish that bread bag out of the rubbish bin. If you're one of those posh money-burners who buys zippered bags ("Burn her!  Burn the witch!"*) then I guess you can use one of those, lol.
Anyway, roll down the top of your bread bag, set the bottom on the table and carefully pour your apple slices into the bag.  You have to keep track of the edges and keep 'em tight on the sides.  Spoon them in if it makes you really nervous.
Here's our bread bag o' pears:
Now keep the bag rolled down (it should sit, open on the table, now that the fruit is in it) and add your salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
When all the sugar and spices are in, twirl the bag closed at the top, trapping the air inside - like the guys at the WalMart do when they bag a goldfish for your kid. You should have a pillow of spicey goodness:
Hang onto the twisted part with one hand and use the other to gently lift, knead, tumble and generally massage the ingredients together. It's the super easy and quick way to blend everything WELL without getting another bowl and spoon dirty - works for apple pies as well!  Here's the results:
Now just upend the breadbag into the bowl with the breadpieces in and mix well:
Dump into the crockpot, lavishly dot the top w/ teaspoonfuls of butter:
(I'm holding the pot so awkwardly because I almost scooted it off the table!)
Put your crock in your crock-pot, cover, and cook on LOW for 3 hours.  Finished Apple Brown Betty:
NOM!  The pear version gets the girl seal of approval from Bitty and THCTD (who had already taken a huge bite):
And that opinion was shared by Boy and Bulk (Fiver refused to taste it until he'd finished his milk, so no pic of him).
And this is the crock 15 minutes later:
So give it a try, if you'd like. It's insanely popular here at The Burrow and a fast, cheap alternative to apple pie.  Oh, and it makes a FAB breakfast!
*Xtra points for getting this reference w/out Googling!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:43 pm   3 comments

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hee, hee, hee!

I have this 3 year old in my house:

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 3:56 am   0 comments

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Poor child health and parents' choices

Lazy parenting and our poor food choices for our kids is putting them on the road to poor health.

Vitamin D lacking in many American teens.

"Teens in the study with the lowest vitamin D levels were more than twice as likely to have high blood pressure and high blood sugar. They were also four times more likely to have metabolic syndrome, defined as have three of more conditions that contribute to heart disease and diabetes — including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, big waists and high cholesterol."

And WHY are our kids not getting enough vitamin D?  When our own bodies make it from good ol' sunshine?

"Dr. Randal Thomas, director of the cardiovascular health clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said that it's likely that vitamin D deficiencies in teens stem from unhealthy diets and lack of exercise outdoors.

"If their diet includes chips and soft drinks, they're probably not getting enough vitamin D," said Thomas."

Ignoring the food factor (!!)( for now), it's tragic that something as simple as taking away the gameboy, the ipod, and the cellphone; turning off the computer, the Wii, and the television could help keep our kids from being predisposed to diabetes and heart disease!  All because some of today's parents can't be arsed to actually parent and have been parking Brisynne and Colt in front of some electronic device "just for a minute while I (fill in the blank)" since they were toddlers?

Shut it off, mom.  Take it away. Kennydeigh Skyee will NOT die if she can't text her friends for a half hour and Ian Noah Tristan won't perish from lack of his iPod shuffle.  Shove 'em outside. Better yet, get up from in front of that computer yourself and take everyone for a little walk - down the street, in a park, at the zoo - something.

Pack a healthy lunch (stopping for fast food gets you negative karma) and eat on a bench in the shade. 

You'll get to actually converse with your child (no earbuds or button-pushing!) and you'll feel better, too.

Moms of kids between 18 months and 4: no fair powerwalking your own arse fat off whilst pushing that Mountain Buggy Urban Elite.  Take Reivynne ("pronounced 'Raven'") OUT of the stroller and walk along at a toddler's pace for once. Let her look at bugs and put rocks in her pockets. Relax. It's kinda cool.

And yes, I practice what I preach, and I've got five. Yes, it sucks sometimes when you are as busy as we all are. But it's good for my babies and what's good for my babies take precedence over everything else in my life.

Yours too, I'll wager.

C'mon. I challenge ya. Give it a try.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:24 am   0 comments

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Article win, blog fail

Brilliant article about an epileptic girl whose life has changed since beginning a high-fat diet. Via Mark Sisson's Daily Apple blog, one of my fave straightforward health blogs.

And on a snarky note, if you're feeling brave, my food-related vent over on the Thrifty Mom blog.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 6:37 am   0 comments

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Healthy food choices for kids, FAIL, really

I found this fascinating article: finding healthy choices in fast food. *ahem*

Ok, isn't that a bit of an oxymoron?

Yeah, well, we'll get to that later.  First off, I was stunned that she's reporting the calorie and FAT content of fast food.  Fat?  Does anyone still believe that fat matters so much?  She doesn't even acknowledge carbohydrate contents.

Her whipping boy is McDonalds and she asks us to guess which has the lowest calories and fat. Her list comprises the Filet o' Fish, the hamburger, the 4 piece chicken nuggets (with sweet n sour sauce) and, choice number 4 (let me quote): "I don't care because I wouldn't get caught dead eating fast food or letting my kids eat fast food."

(Don't get excited, I'm coming back to this. Trust me.)

Her healthy fast food choice conclusion? C. The four-piece chicken nugget.

Hmm. Let's break this down, shall we?

Nuggets / sauce -240 calories -12 g fat - 23 carbs -10g sugars - 10g protein - 0 calcium - 4 iron
Cheeseburger    -300 calories -12 g fat  -33 carbs - 6g sugars -  12g protein -20 calcium -15 iron
Filet o' Fish       -380 calories -18 g fat  -38 carbs - 5g sugars -  15g protein -15 clacium -10 iron

Now, remember that this article is about making good choices for your kids. Not unhealthy, overweight adults.

The filet o fish is obviously a food bomb, but the cheeseburger to me is the sane(er) choice. Just look at the sugars in the nuggets!  This comes from the sauce which, I'm pretty sure, is mostly corn syrup and contains soy and, most likely, lots of lovely chemicals to give it that colour and preserve it.

Yep, I would, and do, choose the cheeseburger when we go to Micky Ds.

"Wait ... what?" you gasp, "Blue gives her kids fast food?!  The horror!"

And this brings me to the other thing I wanted to say about this article: Uhm, would you like some snark with that? 

I mean, really. Ignoring the snooty "I generally prefer my burgers flame-broiled" , (cuz we all know that more carcinogens would be ideal), there's the whole "choice D" thing and the nasty little aside: "As for those who pick D? Well, let's just say this posting's not for you. Or maybe you just don't know it yet."

Uhm, I'm 45 years old and have 5 kids, the oldest of whom just turned 7. I'm fairly settled in to my mommying routine, thnx.

The expert whom she quotes (who has some good ideas buried in there BTW), Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian with Baylor College of Medicine and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, goes so far as to say: "to say you'll never go to a fast food or quick-service restaurant doesn't make much sense."

No? Why not?  I can say that I will never smoke cigarettes. I can say that, barring some condition or medication causing it, I will never be obese again.  I can say that I will never voluntarily go to France. (OK, I pulled that last one out of my backside.)  My point is that if one feels that fast food is really bad for one's family the one can choose never never never to go there.

"She (Ms Anding) wants to help parents know how to make better choices within the context of their hectic lives."

Soooo ... is the American blamecasting again? "I can't make good choices for my family's meals because ... my life is busy and McDonalds exists?" What?

I can say, with absolute sincerity, that I have never taken my children to a fast food restaurant for any other reason than a treat.  We go about every 3-6 months.  The last time my kids ate fast food was in November when their father was in hospital.

Am I casting stones from up on my high horse? (How was that for a mixed metaphore, lol?)

Nope. Just being truthful. srsly.
I mean, really. Why write this article? To placate the scores of women who claim to have so little time that they cannot feed their kids healthy stuffs?  I'm calling bullshit. If you are doing so much in a day that you cannot manage to make healthier choices for your kids food multiple times a week, well, then you need to bloody well cut out some activities.

 Do you think I'm not busy?  Do you think I'm sitting around on my cavewoman arse (it's not THAT hairy) eating bacon and watching my guineas?

Sorry!  I've got a bunch of young kids, an old house that requires constant repair (and I don't mean by "calling a guy out"), scads of 20+ year old vehicles, I farm, and I'm self employed.  Great gravy, I can hardly find time to shower every few days!

But we don't eat fast food but every few months because I feel it's not healthy (or a good message!) for my kids.

How do I do it? By planning ahead and saying "no" to my children.  I pack snacks and refillable Rubbermaid juice boxes; even a whole, quick lunch of sandwiches and fruit if we need it.  I acknowledge the fact that my toddler might get hungry if we've been out too long, but also know that he won't die of hunger on the 30 min drive home.  Yeah, sometimes I have to listen to whining and sobs if it's been a long, hectic day, but again, nowhere on earth is a minivan by the side of the motorway, full of wee skeletons - ghost pirate ship-like - who perished on the half hour ride home because they didn't get to stop at McDonalds.

My whole point is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with grabbing some fast foods for your kids every once in a while.  Mine consider it a wildly exciting deal.  Throw in playing in the playplace with rude, spoiled kids whilst mommy yaps loudly and vacuously on her Bluetooth* and it's heaven on earth according to them. But it shouldn't be "two out of a week's 21 meals" or more.

*Yeah, OK, that was a teensy bit snarky.  But, really**, honey, we don't wanna hear your stupid convo.

** I think I said "really" (oh, fur shur!) at least 3-4 times in this post.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:52 pm   2 comments

Butter vindicated and a solemn vow

I've sung the praises of eggs and how they've gotten a bad rap, and now I've found a great article on the wonders of a truely delicious natural food: Butter.

(lol, before you Paleolithic purists jump on me, let me remind you that I'm a Lacto-Paleo type person. I do feast on both butter and cheese.  Mmmm ... cheese.)

Anyway, there are several intersting point and a sobering conclusion that talks about the death of the family farm (such as the one on which I live and raise my family) and how nice it was to have the natural foods like milk and eggs and veg readily available and free of pesticides and hormones.

Point number one: Butter does NOT cause heart disease, duh.

"Heart disease was rare in America at the turn of the century. Between 1920 and 1960, the incidence of heart disease rose precipitously to become America's number one killer. During the same period butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four. It doesn't take a Ph.D. in statistics to conclude that butter is not a cause."

"A Medical Research Council survey showed that men eating butter ran half the risk of developing heart disease as those using margarine."

Wowzer.  Those highly processed, hydrogenated grain/legume oils - especially soy - are killing us.

But the most sobering thing to me was this:

"Who benefits from the propaganda blitz against butter? The list is a long one and includes orthodox medicine, hospitals, the drug companies and food processors. But the chief beneficiary is the large corporate farm and the cartels that buy their products--chiefly cotton, corn and soy--America's three main crops, which are usually grown as monocultures on large farms, requiring extensive use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides. All three--soy, cotton and corn--can be used to make both margarine and the new designer spreads. In order to make these products acceptable to the up-scale consumer, food processors and agribusiness see to it that they are promoted as health foods. We are fools to believe them."

Amen, sisters.

I don't eat corn, soy, or ... erm, cotton *imagines sucking on a cottonball* so I don't get any of that nasty over-processed fake butter stuffs.  But, for the sake of thrift, my family does.  Does yours?

I vow here and now to replace my family's oleo with butter (once the current tub runs out, natch). I'm also experimenting with making our own mayonnaise.  I'll have to juggle a few things to justify the cost of the butter.  Hey, perhaps the savings from making the mayo will help, LOL!

Hmm ... perhaps it's time to finally get a milk cow.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:34 am   0 comments

Slash costs! Dump wasteful stuffs!

Excellent article on saving money by cutting out crap you don't need and axing fees for services.

These articles normally don't impress me, but this one is well thought out. None apply to us hard core frugals, of course, lol, but are worth the read.

The writer suggests DYI snacks, bottled water, coffee, and fruits and veg. All sound advice, especially the produce tip. I am often stunned at how much more people will pay for pre-cut, pre-washed, tiny packaged, foods.  Does it realy save you THAT much time?  It takes me about 3 minutes to prepare a salad from scratch. srsly.

Credit card and ATM fees. These are no brainers, to me. Just don't do it. Pay off that plastic (if you MUST have one), every month. If you can't, then you need to cut those suckers up.


S/he extolls the virtues of buying MPG online (rather than the whole CD) and Netflixing films. Wonderful thoughts!  Especially the Netflix. No lie, Netflix rawks. You can get ALL the films you can consume in a month for 9 bucks? Heaven for a movie freak!  Not to mention great Brit comedy, telly shows, nature films, etc. No driving.  No running that DVD back to the store. NO late fees. Plus you get to try it out for two weeks totally free.

The last two are fresh flowers and mail/fax services. Again, a no-brainer for me. Why would you even use a mail service? Send 'em yourself. I adore fresh flowers but content myself with a birthday bouquet and my lovely garden which is blooming right now with daffs, hyacynth and tulips(soon). In the summer it's an oasis of colour. All for free or the cost of a few seeds.

All in all a great article for us tightwads, LOL.  Which tip is your fave?  Any others you'd like to contribute?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 3:18 am   2 comments

Monday, March 09, 2009

Cake!

So the Birthdays have begun.

Boy had his in mid-February:


My big 7 year old.

He asked for a snake cake and I did my best:



I originally wanted to do the snake in icing but the cake was pretty small and he had wanted all those words on it - I think he just loves eating the candy letters, lol.

Bitty Girl had hers in early March:


And the newly 5 year old asked, nay, demanded a girly frou-frou white-and-pink-with-hearts confabulation. Yuck. Well, again, I did my best.

She chose a chocolate fudge cake:



My oven is aproximately my age and heats v. unevenly (and I suspect the temps are not accurate). Subsequently all cakes come out a bit uneven. I decided to level this one a bit.



Here's the base white icing leaving the main heart shape blank:


And here's the finished frilly-hearty-pinky-ribbony thingy:



The big heart is done in pink strawberry icing and, yes, those are supposed to be ribbons. Bitty literally squealed with delight when she saw it.

Several of my online friends are bakers and skilled cake makers, like BarbD:

Cool Lightning McQueen cake by BarbD of whit-n-whimsy dot com

Extra cool!


One even has her own cake website stuffed with great cakes, cooking and decorating tips, and more.  here's her version of the Other Mother cake from Coraline:

Coraline other mother cake from Hurry Up Cakes dot com
How awesome is THAT?  Obviously, I'm seriously outclassed here.
But I got to thinking, and the cake website above (http://www.hurryupcakes.com/) really inspired me, that perhaps I might invest in some cool cake decorating tools. I mean I'm using spoons and knives here.  The cool turntable thingy that spins the cake springs to mind.

What do you think? Not worth the expense since I only do 5 cakes a year? (Remember Bodog and I don't eat cake.) Or totally worth it?

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:20 pm   4 comments

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Perserverence, let me show u itz

A moving, triumphant blog post on playing the cards you are delt without whinging, an perhaps even winning the hand.

As a commenter said: "excuse me while I go and take on the world'.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 2:03 pm   0 comments

Monday, March 02, 2009

Live the Diet

I was visiting one of my diet forums and mulling over the folks who had "fallen off the wagon" (many over the holidays - my vent on overeating over the holidays here) and were back to try to re-lose their weight.  Many of them had done this many times.  Side by side with them are the post along the lines of "I know this isn't a quick fix, but do u think I can loose 30lbs by June?  i want 2 B ready for swimsuit season!"

In addition to the bad grammar, these folks are just a little sad.  They are kidding themselves and won't admit it. They are addicts just as if they smoked or drank.

I've said it before and I'll say it a million times: there is no magic pill. No diet on earth will allow you to lose weight, get in shape, and then go back to eating like you used to.

Some people can't seem to grasp that and hurl themselve fruitlessly into diet after diet (or like these ladies, the same diet over and over).

Read my lips: your diet is a permanent change in lifestyle. Find a way to eat that is healthy and makes you happy, move your body a bit, drink some water, and stick with it. Live the diet. It will become routine and you will be healthy. Aristotle put it better than I ever could:

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

 I worry that, with some, it takes a catestrophic event to nudge them into the needed lifestyle change.  My husband, Bodog is an excellent example. A type 1 diabetic, he loved and ate all the high carb death foods: boxed rice sides, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and loads of bread, buns, crackers and heavily breaded meats (when he ate them), almost no fruit and veg, sugary snacks and candy, bunches of frozen crap when I didn't cook.

Basically, the typical SAD (Standard American Diet).
He had a heart attack at age 34 (last year) and they put 2 stents in his heart.

I immediately put him on a version of my diet, slashed his carbs to under 80/day, increased his protein and fats, and today his cholesterol and blood pressure are normal, his heart echo looks great, and he feels 100% better. He also lost 25lbs.

I am NOT taking credit BTW, or even touting my Paleolithic / Low Carb lifestyle (though I do think it's healthier).  All the credit goes to him.  The person who had the wherewithal to start eating healthy and to stick with it. He has a wife and 5 small children who love and irritate him and he apparently would like us to keep doing that for a while.

Is there anyone who would be devestated it YOU had a heart attack right now? I'll bet there are a bunch. Think about that.  Think about them.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 7:54 am   2 comments