Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Note to self: stop laughing and write!

Just posting this cuz it made me LOL and I need the kick in the pants motivation:

see more Lol Celebs

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 3:00 am   0 comments

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Overweight is a disadvantage our kids don;t need.

Kudos to the writers of this article on the psychological effects of overweight and obesity in children!

"While some responded to (Michelle Obama during an interview) the First Lady's divulging of her kids' weight problems as insensitive, psychologists say pretending the issue isn't there doesn't help anyone involved."

I agree 100%!  I have said before that the first step in battling obesity is to stop acting as if it is some random act of happenstance. Overweight does not need to be embraced. Nor do the overweight need to be treated as victims.  Like smokers and drinkers, drug addicts and gamblers, they chose this condition and embraced it.  They need help shaking it, not pity.

Childhood obesity in particular.  Unlike overweight adults, our kids don't choose to be fat. Our small children aren't picking up cigs or getting into the liquor cabinet, they aren't into crack or casinos. But our wee children - even in infancy - are being indoctrinated into the Way OF The Fat.  And who is doing it? Us.  Mommy and dada. Would you give your toddler a snort of cocaine?  Then why do you let her drink soda?

To feed your child crap foods, and too much of them, deny that he's overweight, then turn around and tell him that his excess flab is "just who he is" or that it "runs in the family" and send him to school to be picked on and bullied is obscene.

""Overweight kids are more likely to have depression and low self-esteem, to be teased or bullied, and to bully other children," said Catherine Davis, associate professor of pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia. "These can be serious problems for these children." "

Are we setting our own kids up for not only physical illness and infirmity but mental strife as well?  Are we authoring their future misery just because it's sooooo much easier to stop for fast food, let them get the school lunch, or cave in and buy the cold cereal and the soda?

I say, shamefully; yes.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 3:00 am   0 comments

Monday, February 15, 2010

Two diet myths bite the dust

If you've read this blog for any amount of time you are aware of my firm belief that most of the crap preached by 'fitness experts', registered dieticians, and doctors regarding diet and fitness is horseshit.

I think that the FDA food pyramid is the illustration of death, disease, and misery.  I think that the food served in school lunch cafeterias and given out on WIC the opposite of intended: not healthy but poisonous to our children.  I find people who engage in chronic cardio for weight loss really kind of sad.*

So I was pretty chuffed to find a few articles on two of the more pervasive myths: exercise and 'grazing'.

Here is a really nice essay by Frank over at Exuberant Animal on why we shouldn't exercise.

He says that exercise, defined as: "doing abstracted movements in a stereotyped, repetitive pattern." is unnatural and boring (among other things) and I agree entirely. Walking miles on a treadmill or riding an exercise bike all the while zoned out listening to your iPod, or worse, staring at the idiot Box on the wall is NOT how we evolved to move.

"Exercise is commonly promoted as a cure for everything that ails our bodies and our spirits: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression and all the rest. “Just do more exercise” is the common prescription offered by both professionals and lay persons alike.

But if exercise was actually the solution to our public health crisis, wouldn’t we be seeing better results? After all, experts and celebrities have been promoting exercise for decades and the state of the human body continues to deteriorate. In fact, if we looked at the trajectories of lifestyle disease and exercise promotion, we would find that they track pretty closely with one another. If we looked strictly at correlation, we might even come to the conclusion that exercise promotion causes atrophy, obesity and poor health.


In short, exercise has been a spectacular public health failure and an immense waste of human potential. The biggest consequence of exercise promotion is that we have managed to make millions of people feel guilty about their failure to do something that is inherently unpleasant.

How true!  Every single person I know online who does cardio for weight loss / fitness has gotten on Facebook or Twitter and typed one of these lines:

"Man, I don't want to go to the gym, today"

"*sigh* I need to do my workout, but can't make myself"

"I guess I'll go do my cardio now. Ugh"

Or some version thereof. People who do cardio for weight loss / fitness frequently HATE doing it. So why are they?  I do no purposeful cardio: I don't 'exercise' at all. Furthermore, I've lost 155lbs NOT doing it.


I also found this wee snippet by Dr. Steve Parker over on the Advanced Mediterranean Diet Blog on the concept of eating several times a day. How many of us have heard the tonnes of folks insist that eating 6 times a day is a MUST?  More horseshit.

"One of the currently popular dieting gimmicks is to eat every 3-4 hours while awake. The rationale is, “you need the energy.” "

"As long as you’re eating a fair amount of carbohydrates, you can store plenty of energy as glucose in glycogen - in your liver and muscles - to easily live without eating for at least 8-12 hours. So, there’s no “need” to eat every 3-4 hours. If there were, we would have gone extinct years ago. At rest, you’re getting about 60% of your energy supplied by metabolism of fats, not carbohydrates. Most people can live without all food, but not water, for about two months."

(emphasis mine just because it's a cool fact.)

So those dieters who say they just can't last for more than a few hours without eating ("I get so hungry" oh boo-hoo, honey, suck it up. If you'd eat the right foods you wouldn't get hungry every two hours!) are full of it.

Incidentally, I personally eat under 30g carbs per day - most from vegetables - and often eat less than 10g / day for days on end. I can easily go 6-8 hours without being hungry at all AND I'm hypoglycemic!

*Note: I am amused by the folks who do chronic cardio for 'pleasure' but I'm willing to keep my opinions on it to myself (*ahem* for the most part). My father, and several of the readers of this blog either run or bicycle and that's cool so long as they never try to sell me on how 'healthy' it is. Repeatedly overtaxing ones body physically, in a way it was not evolved to be abused, whilst racking up injury after injury ... well, seems a bit disingenius.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:18 am   0 comments

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stupid, stupid, stupid! TV commercials and obesity.

So according to a new study, commercials are the reason for the TV / childhood obesity link.


Here it is again: the overweight as victims. As if they have absolutely no control over themselves.  As if what we need is more flaccid and useless government involvement to save us from ourselves.

ALSO, the whole thing just misses the bloody point:

"television commercials for sweetened cereals, junk food and fast food chains probably had an insidious influence over a child’s food preferences. The more television commercials a child is exposed to, the more likely he or she will be to try those foods and want to continue eating them, which then increases risk for weight gain."

Can you say Epic Parenting FAIL?

None of these children is breaking open his piggy bank and sneaking down to the Piggly Wiggly to buy a box of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs behind mum's back.  The children's PARENTS are buying this crap for them.

The bottom line is this: if you are so slack-twisted as to cave in to your kid's whingey demands for the latest sugary cereal or fast food meal to the detriment of his health, then you aught to be ashamed of yourself.  Period.

Dear US Government: stop throwing money at this problem everywhere but where it counts. The only way to combat childhood obesity is to cut the legs out from under the huge money-making scams of Industrial Agriculture and Big Pharma and target the root of the problem: MOTHERS.

From the moment she concieves, mom has the ultimate influence on her child. She pours HFCS into his veins inutero, she makes only a feeble attempt at breastfeeding and instead shoves a bottle of fake chemical crap into his wee mouth, she lets him stay up too late, watch too much telly, eat what he wants, rather than toeing the line and laying down the rules for his own good.

We need, all of us; bloggers, writers, pediatricians, hospital staff, DHEC, etc, to EDUCATE mothers on their influence and make them see how their decisions can be good ones.  Right now no one knows. Breastfeeding, for example, should be encouraged and flaunted, a joyous triumph of bonding and health rather than a "Oh, I guess I might try it ..." sort of thing.

We all need to aggressively talk about REAL good nutrition on blogs and Twitter, on bulletin boards and Facebook.  Mothers unite!  We could bring about real change.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 3:00 am   2 comments

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Immune system re-boot?

So I'm sick.  Bleh.

This culminates a fortnight in which Boy was puking and had diarrhea for two days, then, Daddy had ditto. Bitty and Bulk and Fiver have been caughing, snotting, and snorking all over, then, as a grand finale, my bub with the best immune system, THCTD fell ill yesterday.

Now I'm sick.

It used to be that this was not a remarkable occurance. Now it is. And that's why I feel compelled to blog about it.

See, I used to be ill all the time. From a small child I had asthma and fell ill with any little respiratory bug that so much as stuck it's germy wee tongue out at me.

As an adult, as recently as two years ago, I would be guaranteed to get very sick three or four times a year.  And I mean the works: stuffed head, sore throat, clogged lungs, coughing, no voice, miserable!

And ... now I don't. What changed?  Was it dropping out of the outside-the-home workforce? Nope, did that 5 years ago.  Was it losing a tonne of weight? I'm sure that helped, but two years ago I had already dropped 100lbs (I've only lost 55 since then).

So what happened?

I gave up grains and sugar, fruit and starches.  I started eating simple, whole foods consisting of animal fat, meat, fish, eggs, real butter, aged cheese, heavy cream, and fresh cruciferous and root vegetables.

It took me about 8 months to realise that I had not been ill in a while.  Now, over year later I've noticed that even if I do get a sniffle, I get over it quickly.  Used to be that even if I didn't get desperately sick with a cold, it would hang on and hang on for weeks.

So for what it's anecdotally (is that a word?) worth, there it is.

I talk all the time about how much I enjoy how I eat now. How wonderful it is to never be hungry, to never crave anything, to look at the bank of candybars at every Wal Mart checkout with bored eyes.  I adore eating huge steaks, fatty pork chops, big fresh brown eggs, steamed cauliflower drenched in butter, jumbo shrimp, and cabbage fried down in bacon grease in the traditional *drool* Southern manner.

I look forward to eating but don't obsess over eating any more. I am free of calorie counting and feeling horrible and guilty.  And best of all, I anticipate living like this to a ripe, crabby, old age!

Is my new good health an indicator that I'll get to see 80 years old as a lucid, active, guarrelous old dame?

I think so!

What do YOU think?  Has your health improved on a Paleo / Primal / Whole foods diet?  Or any other?  Dish it!

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 9:32 am   0 comments

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Portion sizes

I ran accross this blog post today by Amy Alkon over at Advice Goddess about how the FDA and serving sizes and it made me laugh out loud in several places.

(William Neuman in the NY Times) "Consider the humble chip: most potato or corn chip bags today show a one-ounce serving size, containing a tolerable 150 calories, or thereabouts. But only the most disciplined snacker will stop at an ounce. For some brands, like Tostitos Hint of Lime, that can be just six chips."

(Amy Alkon) "Here's a little assistance: If it says "Tostitos" anywhere on the package, it's bad for you."

So the FDA wants to, apparently, put the nutritional information on the package for the sized portion that the average American eats.

Holy fat cells Batman!  The average American fatty eats 1/3 of a BAG of crisps at a time, she cuts a 12 serving cake into only eight pieces (and sometimes eats two), he has three or four breadsticks at lunch, she eats half of the basket of nachos at the Mexican restaurant.

Sound like I'm just being mean?  Nope. I know.  I'm a former Professional Fat Person, remember? We know how to eat. The Professional Fat Person's goal is to eat herself to death and we do it just as hard as we can.

I used to buy candybars (two servings of death, each?) two and three at a time. I could eat an entire bag of Sweet Sixteen powdered sugar doughnuts - easily - in 15 minutes.

I think that the FDA's idea of adjusting the portion sizes is well-meant but will it do any good?  If Fatzilla sees that she just ate over half of the calories that she needs for an entire day out of a Cheezy Poof bag will it deter her?  Nope, IMHO.  She'll rationalize it. "I deserve it after the day I had." or "Oh, one day off the wagon won't hurt. I'll do better tomorrow." or "I didn't eat that much, I only ate half a serving".

Overeating is like alcoholism in many ways. Trust me. You tell yourself anything. You cry and rage and moan go on diet after diet and hate yourself and then keep eating.  You blame your sex, your age, your genetics.  You tell yourself that you "deserve" a treat, that you don't want to be "deprived" of bread and sugar cuz "life is short" and you want to live it!  Here's the one I hate the most: "I don't want to skip desert just so I can live a few more years an addled old fart in a rest home!"

That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard. 

Number one, I don't need dessert. I don't have to derive my pleasure from sugar and bread.  I get pleasure from newborn lambs and the early snow drops around my post box. I get pleasure from my children's drawings sent home from school. I get pleasure from the pinks and oranges in the clouds at sunset, from zoning out listening to my iPod while I sort clothes, and from, yes, eating. Eating an inch-thick steak, a slab of wild caught salmon, a new vegetable (just today I tried parsnips - nom!) steamed and doused in real butter.

Number two, skipping dessert will, I'm confident, help keep me OUT OF an old folks home!  I bloody well plan to be 80 years old and out hoeing my garden and gathering eggs. The sugar addicts who will end up sick, weak, obese, diabetic, and riddled with heart disease can have my bed. Not this kid. I plan on enjoying my grandkids and teaching them a thing or two.

So, overeating is like alcoholism. You lie to yourself, dodge the truth from friends, and keep destroying your health for your own pleasure.  The only way to overcome it is to make up your mind and just give the bad stuff up. Portion size adjustments, nutritional info on menues, etc is going to have very little impact.  We need to be going after the big boys: industrial agriculture; we need to be waging ad wars like they did with cigarettes (show the horrible effects of sugar on the body), and so on.
Most of all we need to STOP treating the overweight as victims. When we acknowledge that fat babies and toddlers are made fat by their mothers, that obese adults are not just people to whom some random misfortune has befallen but authors of their own fates, then we can help them help themselves.
Will we totally eleminate obesity?  Nope. There will always be Pro Fatties, just like there are still plenty of smokers. People can really be blind. But it would help, IMHO.


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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 12:49 pm   0 comments

Friday, February 05, 2010

Loving this new Paleo blog

I am totally loving this blogger whose post was featured here yesterday!  That'd be Doug over at Health Habits.

He is actually a personal trainer who endorses the Paleo style diet(!)  He has written a brilliant post called What Kind Of Paleo Are You? that is a much better version of my Paleo Page (and I'm thinking of just linking to his on my page).

I was impressed that he sussed out most of the permutations of Paleo and I'm really glad to see someone point out that the Paleolithic / primal / neanderthal / caveman / whatever you wanna call it diet can be modified to suit everyone's needs and still be GOOD for you.  You don't HAVE to crouch in the corner of your kitchen and eat raw meat with your hands (have you ever noticed how superior some of those strict paleo folks are?  They love to sneer at the rest of us on forums, have ye noticed? Yeah, I've noticed, too.)

So, let's see, I'm a Paleo, plus dairy, minus nightshades, fruit, and new world veg.  Woot!  Subcategory FTW!


PS: check out the obesity by state graph.

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 8:39 am   0 comments

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Thrifty Cave Mom feel good about food choices! Ugh!

I'm so damned busy (which is no damned excuse, I know, I know) but it occured to me yesterday (or was that Monday?  Was day before yesterday Monday?)

ANYway, it occured to me, erm ... this week, that I DO get to quickly read many many great articles and blog posts via my Twitter Tweeps in the corse of a week and the LEAST I could do was just re-post 'em here. That way, any actual readers who wandered by (heh. as if) would have content and my Tweeps would get some linky love and perhaps the cobwebs wouldn't build up around here so.

So here's today's:

Caveman diet GOOD. (via the Helath Habits blog and @Mark_Sisson)

Check out this cool graph which shows the (shocking) difference in carb intake in 10,000 years:

(Ugh ... is that blurry?  Wanted you to be able to read it)

Anyway, WOW!  59% refined grains?!  18% sugars!

And to think I was feeling a teensy bit wicked about my noon meal of jumbo shrimp, steak, and mashed rutabegas all drenched in real butter.


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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 1:30 pm   0 comments