Sleep and Weight Loss


sleepWhen you sleep seven to eight hours at night, your body has the time and rest it needs to mentally process your day, repair cellular damage, hunt down and remove toxins, and wake up with energy for a new day. When you’re deprived of sleep—even short a few hours a night—your body can only partially recoup. You’re left feeling run down because you are run down and we tend to try to fix ourselves with sweets, junk food, or caffeine for an energy boost.

Sleep does so much more for your body than making you feel awake. “Sleep is the key to being rewarded for your diet and fitness efforts”( We start our health journey with sleep because sleep is going to make all of our other healthy decisions easier to make and more effective. What is the key to weight loss? Eat less and move more, right? Maybe not.

sleeping-babyEating: Studies have shown that sleeping less than 7 hours per night makes you crave high calorie foods, buy more food, and take larger portions than a rested person. Lack of sleep increases cortisol, the stress-related hormone, that ends up making you feel hungry all the time, even when your stomach is full. Fatigue affects your brain, activating the pleasure seeking cerebral section (donut, anyone?) and slowing down the good decision making (inhibition) center making your donut desire seem like a good idea. And if one donut is a good idea, two must be a really good idea!

sleep-icon-wojt55pMoving: Regular sleep helps you burn more calories even when you’re not moving. Sleep is when your body builds and repairs muscle making any exercise you do more effective. Sleep helps your body regulate hormones like insulin and gives them time to do their job. The result is that sleepers burn more fat than non sleepers, even if their calorie intake is the same.

Sleep to lose weight? That seems too easy. Many of us think weight loss has to involve hours of sweaty torture at a gym, but the secret turns out to be snuggling under the covers in blissful repose. Now that is my kind of weight loss plan.


When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24 (NIV)

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV) Six Ways Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight

* Why Sleep is the No. 1 Most Important Thing For a Better Body

Images courtesy of: Julie Says So (sleeping baby), Happyologist (quote), ClipartBay sleep icon

Apple Sandwiches

Fall is the time of year when apples rule and my new favorite way to eat them is Apple Sandwiches. The sandwiches are moist, crunchy, easy to make, and a fun way eat your apple-a-day.


Apple Sandwich

1 apple – Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, or eater’s choice

1-2 ounces Cheddar cheese, sliced

1 slice lunch meat




Start on one side and slice the apple into quarter inch slices. These first few slices will look like circles. When you near the core, rotate the apple 90 degrees and slice again. These slices will look like half circles. Repeat this twice more until your core is a rectangle and your final slices are too.

Build your sandwich using apple slices instead of bread.


Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 17:8 NIV)


Is This Funny?

I need your opinion.

My book makes a great gift, but how to you gift a weight loss book without sending the wrong message?

My thought is to enclose a disclaimer card with the gift. My question to you is: Is it funny? Please leave a comment letting me know if it’s funny, not funny, useful, ridiculous, too wordy, not wordy enough, and so forth.





(I can make one with a man inside for male gifters.)


Escargot Go Go!

snail-tshirtRight or left? Chicken or fish? Stairs or elevator? Sneak a piece of chocolate now when your kids might catch you and you’ll have to share or later when they’re asleep but you’ll probably end up eating the whole bag?

Decision making is part of life and a new study could shed light on how exercise helps us make decisions more quickly. I say could because the results might take a while: scientists are studying snails to try to pinpoint the link between exercise and decisiveness. That’s right, folks, snails. You know, the first animal you think of when you hear the word “exercise”.

snail-exercisingThe scientists put the snails into uncomfortably shallow water,  “forcing” the shell-haulers to walk around the tank looking for deeper digs. Then they put the snails on dry land to see how long it takes them to make a decision (right or left? stairs or elevator?) and act on it. Apparently, snails who have been walking for a couple hours decide faster than snails who’ve been been soaking in deep water for hours. Why study Speedy Gon-mullusks? Their nervous systems are simple and straightforward so scientists can draw conclusions quickly.

snail-quoteThe thought of snails with sweatbands and Spandex shell coverings is funny, but do you have a better reason than that for bringing this up, Katie? Barely. I mean, yes! And here it is: if exercise can improve the mental capacity of a snail, then imagine what it can do for us! Exercise-even walking at a snail’s pace-not only strengthens bones and muscles, helps fight heart disease and a host of other medical woes, improves sleep, and boosts energy, it also  increases blood flow to the brain which helps the brain work better and-as the snails will testify-faster. Some of us feel like snails when we exercise, but this escargot study is showing that it’s not the speed that counts, it’s the fact that you’re moving. If you don’t want to exercise for your body, do it for your neurons.

One more cool thing and then I’ll share a snail joke.

strong-road-radio-hostI learned about this snail study on a radio show called The Strong Road (think Car Talk but about the Bible). I was a guest on the show on Sunday September 18th (you’ll need to know this when you look up my interview in their archives). The snail story was part of their (tongue in cheek) Biggest News Story of the Week. You can listen to the show anytime on the APH Radio app (download, look for The Strong Road, then choose 9-18-2016) and more info is available on The Strong Road Facebook page.

We talked about my Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating book and how the Bible plays into weight loss. I come in around minute 16, but they discuss the book earlier than that as well. They seemed to get distracted after reading the first word of the title: “We have a special guest coming up on the show today. She’s written a book called Sex….I love it already, who cares what the rest of the title is.” Funny guys. I have a new favorite radio show to listen to while I cook!

And now for the joke, courtesy of

A guy goes to a Halloween party with a girl on his back.
The host asks him, “And what are you?”
The guy says, ” I’m a snail.”
The host says “And who’s that on your back?”
“That’s Michelle!”


The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Psalm 145:8

Images courtesy of: (snail), (t-shirt, quote), (The Strong Road radio host)

A Tale of Two Scrooges

scrooge_5212Ebenezer Scrooge strolled briskly down the sidewalk. His cane tapped out a satisfying rhythm with the coins clinking in his pocket. Odd sounding footsteps approached him from behind—more of a webbed toe flap than a step. He knew that sound. He turned to greet his colleague, but didn’t slow his pace.

“Scrooge McDuck! What brings you out this fine morning?”

Scrooge grinned and narrowed his eyes. “Wouldn’t you like to know, laddie?”

Ebenezer allowed Scrooge to catch up and walk alongside him. He studied the duck out of the corner of his eyes. Two wealthy men out for a stroll the morning after that study was released? Hardly a coincidence. “How’s your heart, Scrooge?”

McDuck flapped his wings once and gave a little hop. To a passerby it would look like a well dressed duck ruffling his feathers, but Ebenezer knew he’d startled his fowl friend. He’d guessed correctly and by the scowl on McDuck’s face, McDuck knew it too.

“How’s your own heart, Ebenezer? Still cold as gold in an iceberg?”

Ebenezer laughed. “You’ve lost, McDuck!”

mcduckScrooge pumped his wings and walked faster. “You eat low fat, cholesterol free gruel every day. Your arteries are as clean as a newly minted coin.”

Ebenezer lengthened his strides. “And you chase all over the earth with those three nephews of yours hunting for treasure. You swim in gold doubloons every day. I, on the other hand, sit at my desk all day counting money! This is the first exercise I’ve had in years!”

The two millionaires glared at one another and increased their pace. Sweat glistened on their foreheads and Ebenezer’s top hat tilted to one side.

They were so intent on one another that they didn’t see a young woman roller skating down the sidewalk toward them. McDuck managed to fly up into the air at the last moment, but Ebenezer power walked into her and sent them both sprawling into the grass. Ebenezer pushed himself onto his knees.

“My apologies, Madame! Are you hurt?”

The woman sat up and inspected her elbow where a fresh scrape was oozing red. “Why weren’t you watching where you were going?”

Ebenezer pointed at McDuck who was just landing on the grass beside them. “This scoundrel was trying to save more money than me!”

The woman’s eyebrows reached for the clouds. “Excuse me?”

Scrooge pulled a Band-Aid from a pocket in his vest and handed it to the woman. “The Journal of the American Heart Association just released a study showing that people who exercise save more money on health care each year than people who don’t. This old crank thinks his heart is in worse shape than mine.”

The woman pulled open the Band-Aid. “I don’t understand. What does his heart have to do with it?”

mcduck-swimmingEbenezer picked up his cane and stood. “The study focused on heart disease because many other studies have already shown that exercise is directly linked to heart health. If exercisers with heart disease save money and non-exercisers with heart disease don’t, we can draw a straight line between exercise and saving money. It’s an A=B, B=C, therefore A=C scenario.”

Scrooge’s eyes twinkled like silver in sunlight. “Those scientists saved themselves a kilt-load of cash by building on the work of their predecessors.”

Ebenezer nodded. “Indeed.”

The woman laid the Band-Aid across her scrape and pressed it into place. “And you want your heart to be bad because…”

Ebenezer held out his hand and helped the woman to her feet. “Because exercisers without heart disease saved about 500 dollars per year, but exercisers with heart disease saved up to 2500 dollars!”

“And they used less prescription medication and had fewer visits to the hospital,” added Scrooge.

“So if you exercise, you save money. The unhealthier you are when you start exercising, the more money you save,” said the woman. The millionaires nodded. “But the more you exercise, the healthier your heart will be and the less money you’ll save next year.”

Ebenezer scratched his head and frowned.

Scrooge lifted a feathered finger. “You’re forgetting the most important thing, lass. If we exercise, we not only save that 500 dollars every year, but we’ll live longer to enjoy it!”

The woman laughed and skated off down the sidewalk. Scrooge and Ebenezer watched her go.

“Maybe we should try roller staking,” said Scrooge.

“Don’t be ridiculous, McDuck, skates cost money.”

Scrooge winked up at his friend. “I can borrow them from my nephews.”







Images courtesy of: (Ebenezer), (McDuck), (McDuck swimming)

Autographed Books and Two Fisted Eating

Autographed copies of Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating: Hilarious Weight Loss for Wives are now available through SquareUp!

And here’s a classic post on Two Fisted Eating:

Grab a brownie with one hand and a slab of pecan pie with the other…now stuff them in your mouth!  That’s what you pictured in your head, right?   We’re going to keep the joy of eating that you’re imagining, but lose the mess.

foodballYour stomach is the size of your fist…or maybe two fists; depends on who you ask.  Yes, it’s that small, and yes, it can stretch out a LOT! (Do you know how much food I’ve managed to squeeze in there?  I always thought my stomach was the size of a football!)

Your stomach can expand to hold 1.5 quarts (okay, so I wasn’t too far off with the football idea).  One quart = four cups and my fist is about the size of one cup, so I can cram 6 fists into my football, er, stomach.  (Still with me, math majors?)

So what do I do with this information?  Cut a football in half and use it as a plate?  (We can call it the “Foodball”!  What do you think, marketing people?  Weight loss gimmick for men?  Only $19.99 if you call now!)

So, Two Fisted Eating.  At each meal, your goal is to put 4 “fists” on your plate.  TWO fist sized portions of “real food” (as I like to call it) and TWO fists worth of vegetables.

Let me give you an example; this is the Turkey Curry recipe.

P1010173P1010175The plate on the left is what my plate looked like a year ago.  Notice that the green section looks more like a decoration – an afterthought – than a part of the meal.  The picture on the right is what I ate for dinner this week.  TWO fists of “real” food (rice and Turkey Curry) and TWO fists of veggies.

Now, THIS IS IMPORTANT: RED ALERT! RED ALERT!  Ready?  When your plate is empty, you stop eating.  It’s that simple and it’s that hard.  Drink some water, drink some tea, start the dishes, lick the plate and cry… whatever works for you, just don’t get seconds (unless it’s vegetable soup, then you can go back for thirds for all I care).

The math majors have all noticed by now that I said our stomachs can fit 6 fists and we only put 4 on our plate.  We have room for two more!  Yes, yes we do.  But just because we can, doesn’t mean we should. (For example, I can post a daily photo of my poodle….)

We’re re-training our brains, not our stomachs.  For years, my brain equated “full” with my stomach being stretched to capacity: 1.5 quarts or 6 fists.  That turned out well for me, didn’t it?  So, now I’m training my brain to say “full” when my stomach has 1 quart or 4 fists in it.  It takes a while for this to happen (like months), but it will happen.  (By the way, a better goal is to stop eating when you feel “not empty” rather than waiting for “full”; still working on that goal.)

2014 Aug 2 006

I’m so excited about kale, you can see my dental work!

Years ago I had my neighbor over for dinner and she said she felt “stuffed” after her second piece of pizza.  Stuffed?  I was doing my best to limit myself to three slices!  I could fit four or five before I felt “stuffed”.  Now I feel “good” full after two slices of pizza and bad “stuffed” if I take a third.  (I normally stop at two.)  Her brain and my brain were trained to say “full” at different stomach capacities.  (And yes, she’s a petite blond bombshell.)

When you look at the food on your plate, especially if it’s less than the amount you’re used to eating, what problem comes to mind?  I’m going to be hungry in two hours! (News flash! I feel hungry two hours later no matter how much or how little I eat!)  Don’t fear the hunger; you know it’s coming, so be ready.  Eat TWO fists of fruits or veggies as a snack.

By the way, I push vegetables rather than fruit simply because fruit has more sugar and therefore more calories.  Fruit is good.  Very very good.  Eat fruit when you crave something sweet, but vegetables are our new best friend.  Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?  My definition is this: if you wouldn’t bake it into a pie, it’s a veggie.

So, a meal is TWO fists of regular food and TWO fists of veggies.  A snack is ONE or TWO fists of produce.  Slow down as you eat and enjoy what’s on your plate.  (More on that later.)

Okay, math majors!  When does TWO plus TWO not equal four?

When they add up to negative numbers on the scale!

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” (Philippians 4:12, NIV)