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 http://www.manandmollusc.net/jokes.html.

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

 

http://www.popsci.com/scientists-forced-snails-to-exercise-to-see-if-it-affected-their-decision-making

Images courtesy of: www.popsci.com (snail), http://www.pinterest.com (t-shirt, quote), https://www.facebook.com/thestrongroad/photos (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.”

 

 

*http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/09/08/price-of-healthcare-report-american-heart-association-regular-exercise-save-money-2500-medical-costs-years/89992240/

*http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/want-to-keep-medical-costs-down-hit-the-gym_us_57d2d7b9e4b00642712d23c6

 

 

Images courtesy of: tvtropes.org (Ebenezer), gks2.com (McDuck), imgur.com (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)

Pokemon Go is Genius

imagePokemon Go is genius. Let me give you an example.

It’s 100 degrees in the shade but the whole family is out walking a local trail through the woods. Why are my children willing to stroll for miles and sweat buckets? To catch imaginary creatures and hatch their incubating imaginary eggs.  Genius.

Genius Point 1: Motivating people of all ages to go out and move.

A few Pokemon will show up in your house or office or even your bathroom (admit it, folks, there are a few critters in your Pokedex who had to bring digital air fresheners with them). But if you want a lot of Pokemon, you must walk out into the wide world and look for them. They don’t come to you, you must go to them. You must walk to hatch eggs. Smart phones know if you’re driving. They know if you are sleeping, they know when you’re awake. They know if you’re trying to cheat or not, so go walk for goodness sake.

imageGenius Point 2: Building community.

My boys are stopped in the middle of the trail to catch a Pidgey. A middle aged woman is speed-walking towards us and the boys are too engrossed to respond when I tell them to move aside. Will she be annoyed that we’re blocking her way? Nope. She stops to show them the Pokemon she caught on her walk that morning and gives them a tip on where to find a Drowzee in the park. The game “forces” people to go to public places (schools, post offices, libraries, museums, monuments, etc.) in order to restock on Pokeballs and other items you need to play the game. Once humans congregate in public places, they have a tendency to interact with one another and these interactions are what we call community. Socialization Studies 101.

The game is true to the show, so we should be too. Most Pokemon episodes begin and end with the characters walking. They look where they’re going, they’re courteous, and they’re not trying to drive a car while staring at a smart phone screen. Pokemon Go is genius, so let’s play it like the geniuses we are.

Happy hunting!

 

The lazy do not roast any game, but the diligent feed on the riches of the hunt.

Proverbs 12:27

Sexy Book Release

It's a book cartoonSex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating: Hilarious Weight Loss for Wives officially releases today! Here’s the back cover:

Laugh until you love your body :
Are you ready to lose weight and get healthy, but you hate celery sticks and sweat? This book is for you. Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating is:
*Fun: laugh-a-minute encouragement complete with cartoons, poetry, and enough cheesy puns to make you lactose intolerant.
*Sustainable: for long term results, look no further because the healthy habits you develop will help you stay fit until you die. (See how encouraging this is?)
*Flexible: easily adaptable to fit your needs and preferences like a need for chocolate and a preference to avoid spandex, for example.
*Educational: the science supporting healthy habits is explained in a memorable way, like how REM sleep is like a toilet.

 

Book coverThe ebook has color illustrations and recipe photos and is available at the following locations: Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  iTunes,  Kobo, Google Play .

The paperback has black and white illustrations and recipe photos and is available on Amazon.

Autographed books will be available through SquareUp soon. (The box of books on it’s way to me has been delayed; as soon as I have books in hand, I will start taking orders. I’ll let you know when that happens. If you live near me and want a book signed, I’d be happy to do so in person!)

 

Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered, shared with friends, and got excited with me! If you enjoy the book, please leave a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or wherever you go to find books.

“May we shout for joy over your victory and lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the Lord grant all your requests.” Psalm 20:5

A Sexy, Soupy Book

Book coverSex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating is now a book! The best of the blog in one volume complete with cartoons, poetry, and recipes. Pleasurable reading for fans of the blog, and a great way to share Sex Soup with friends and family who haven’t found their way here to the blog yet.

The book is called Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating: Hilarious Weight Loss for Wives and is releasing August 9th! Ebooks are available for pre-order now (that means you order now and on August 9th it magically appears on your kindle, etc.) and the paperback will be available on the 9th.

The ebook has color illustrations and recipe photos and is available for pre-order at the following locations: Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  iTunes,  Kobo, Google Play .

The paperback has black and white illustrations and recipe photos. I’ll post on the 9th with links.

No pressure, folks, just letting you know so you can share my joy!

 

“Rejoice with those who rejoice…” Romans 12:15a (NIV)

 

The Burpee List (Poem)

Burpee Poem illustrationsBob found a list that was left by his wife

On top of the catalogue Gardening Life.

The list listed planks, and burpees, and crunches,

Box jumps, and twists, and lateral raises.

Bob studied the list. He thought long and hard.

Then he stared out the window at part of the yard.

I’ll make it, thought Bob, I’ll make it today!

She’ll be so surprised, she won’t know what to say.

 

Burpee Poem illustrations_0001Off to the hardware store! There he stood,

Staring at all of the planks of wood.

“She didn’t list a number, but ‘box jumps’ makes it clear.

A box is four sides of lumber. I’ll need four planks from here.”

The list said ‘burpees’—“That one’s easy.

I’ll buy seeds of carrots, peasies.”

Bob grabbed seeds from every bracket,

Filled the cart with Burpee packets.

Next was ‘crunches’, grabbed a bag. “Hey!

Must mean gravel for a walkway.”

 

Burpee Poem illustrations_0002Bob chuckled, he was quite bemused:

“She wrote ‘twists’, but they’re called screws!”

‘Lateral raises’ he took to mean

Lattices for growing beans.

He checked off each item and loaded the van.

“My wife’s going to be so proud of her man!”

 

Burpee Poem illustrations_0003Back to the house to dig in the soil.

Hauling and building, he cheerfully toiled.

His wife came home—“Come look at the yard, Hon!

I found your list and built a box garden!”

His wife took the list. She stared then she smiled

At the new plank box in which dirt was piled.

“I love it, Dear. You’re a wonderful man.

Though the list you found was my workout plan.”