Tag Archives: healthy living

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)

 

Mindless Diet Drones: Become One Today!

Diet DroneCan’t seem to stay on track with your fitness and healthy eating goals? Diet Drones™ can help! When you become a mindless Diet Drone™, you’ll stop thinking and start doing.

Deciding whether or not to exercise can be time consuming and leave you feeling like a failure. Don’t suffer through agonizing indecision again! With Diet Drone™, you decide the frequency and intensity of your exercise, press the Activate Drone button, and you can stop thinking about it. Your Diet Drone™ self will exercise whether she feels like it or not.

Diet Drones™ stick to a pre-determined exercise schedule. When life happens and that schedule is interrupted by sick children, snow storms, or dentist appointments, Diet Drones™ adjust to the day and simply return to their pre-determined schedule after the interruption.

Give a Diet Drone™ a shopping list and she’ll stick to it, buying only what is needed. Diet Drones™ are pre-programmed to avoid the ice cream and cookie aisles and come equipped with automatic blinders that pop up when passing a bakery or racks of candy.

The secret to Diet Drone’s™ success is its patented Second Thoughts Blocker™. Once you’ve made a healthy decision, you’ll never talk yourself out of it again!

Becoming a Diet Drone™ is as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Decide on your health goal: weight loss, fiber increase, touch your toes, etc.
  2. Choose a plan of action to reach your health goal. Select exercise activities and frequency, bedtimes, beverages, even menu items and portion size.
  3. Push the Activate Drone button and let your brain take a back seat. Your Diet Drone™ self will mindlessly follow your chosen action plan.

Diet Drones™ don’t stop for hormones. They don’t get bogged down in guilt. They don’t agonize over certain body parts and declare them hopeless. They march toward their goal because that goal is important because you are important.

Stop playing mind games and join our mindless ranks today! Diet Drones™: the way “someday” becomes today.

 

Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.” Exodus 24:7 (NIV)

Plan Your Produce

imageCooking meals at home helps your family eat healthy and save money, but if you don’t shop with a plan, you can end up throwing expensive produce away. It’s happened to most of us at some point. You head to the grocery store with good intentions, buy a lot of random produce,—because with ten pounds of broccoli in the house, you can’t fail to lose weight, right?—and then half of that produce spends the next two weeks being nudged closer and closer to the back of the fridge before it’s finally tossed in the trash. It’s frustrating and discouraging. For you and for the produce.

2014 June 003The solution to this problem is to plan your produce. Here’s how.

  1. Choose one day a week to sit down and plan your meals for the week. If you’re new to cooking at home, pick one or two meals. Baby steps, baby spinach, baby bellas, baby got back on track. Try to choose menu items that share common vegetables. For example, a bag of spinach can make a spinach salad and a mushroom spinach omelet, or one head of cabbage can make Mu Shu Vegetables and Fried Cabbage. As you plan, make a shopping list of what you need to cook the recipes you’ve selected.

 

  1. 2014 March 007Take your list to the store and don’t stray from it. There are going to be produce items that you always keep on hand like garlic and onions, and items that you only buy when you need them like bell peppers and broccoli. It all depends on your family and your preferences. For example, I always have carrots in the house. My boys like to snack on them (when given the choice of carrots or nothing), I like to mindlessly crunch them in front of the TV, they’re cheap, and they’re useful in a plethora of recipes. It’s a staple. Cauliflower, on the other hand, only comes home with me when I have a plan for it. It’s like the out of town relative you enjoy having over, but feel like you have to entertain.

 

  1. End the week with either a batch of homemade vegetable soup or veggie stir fry. Take your leftover bits and stems and combine them into something wonderful. Now your fridge is reset for the week to come and nothing goes to waste.

 

Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. Genesis 25:29 (NIV)

Don’t Pop Your Tires

(This is a repeat, but a good reminder!)

I don’t remember which weight loss blog I read this on, but I’ll never forget the quote: “When you get a flat tire, you change it and keep driving; you don’t pop the other three tires”. Fabulous, right?

We all have times when we fall off the health wagon. Why did I eat that? Why did I eat ALL of that? Why did I stay up so late? Lifting sofa cushions to find the remote counts as exercise, right?

UntitledThere are weeks when my butt is firmly seated in the health wagon and I’m buckled up and facing front. There are also weeks when I’m more like a little kid who’s hanging over the side trying to hit the wheel with a stick. I’m still in the wagon, but I’m being stupid. I reach a little too far and suddenly I’m eating dirt. (Low in calories, but not recommended. It tastes awful, even covered in chocolate… I mean broccoli.)

What do you do when you fall off the health wagon? You get back on. Make better choices starting now, but don’t beat yourself up about the ones you already made. If beating yourself up counted as exercise, I’d say “Knock yourself out!” But it’s not, and that was a great pun, wouldn’t you agree?

picking-yourself-upIn ten years it won’t matter that you fell, it’ll matter that you didn’t stay down in the dirt. Is falling off the wagon frustrating? You bet. Painful? Sometimes. Embarrassing? Sure. But you still have three good tires. Each day is a new day and each morning you wake up on the wagon. And next time that little kid won’t lean out quite so far to hit the wheel with a stick. Perfection is not realistic, so we’re not aiming for perfect here, we’re aiming for not-stupid.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

How have you handled a fall from the health wagon? What helps you get back on or stay on?

Tortoise Wins With Substitutions

tortoise-hareMost of us want to eat healthier than we do now and in general there are two ways to go about it: the Tortoise and the Hare. The Hare jumps in with both feet: throw out the junk food, learn to cook tofu, and say goodbye to bread, dairy, sugar, fat, and caffeine. The Hare is quick and passionate and her way works well unless you really want to eat bread, dairy, sugar, fat, and caffeine. It’s hard to say goodbye forever. I prefer to say “I need some space! But we can still be friends so don’t leave town.”

The second way to eat healthier is the way of the Tortoise. You take one step at a time towards healthier eating, plodding along with good decision after good decision until one day you look back and see that you’ve moved leaps and bounds. I’m not going to call them baby steps because they can be big steps, just taken one at a time.

Food substitutions are one of those big steps you can take toward better health. Simply substitute a healthy food for an unhealthy food in your diet. Here are some examples to get you going:

 

-Pure maple syrup for fake syrup: Most pancake syrups are high fructose corn syrup with some flavoring added. Pure maple syrup is just as sweet, but has the added benefits of antioxidants, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Pure maple syrup is a concentrated form of the sap of maple trees. That sap is the tree’s food so sap—and therefore syrup—has all the good stuff a tree needs to grow.

maple-syrup-pouring-spoon-white-background-34723030The taste of real syrup is a little different than the fake stuff. If your kids balk at change, try mixing the real and fake maple syrups. I started with a 50:50 ratio mixed in a squeeze bottle. Each time the mixture bottle ran out of syrup, I filled it with a slightly higher ratio of pure syrup to fake: 60:40, 70:20, etc. until I eventually set out that same bottle with pure maple syrup and my kids didn’t notice. Pure maple syrup is more expensive, but your kids will be pouring minerals and antioxidants on their pancakes; totally worth it. To use less syrup, give each kid a small bowl of syrup and have them dip each bite of pancake into the bowl. No more cries of “my syrup is gone! I need more!” as it soaks into the pancake.

 

– Whole wheat flour for white flour: white or all purpose flour has most of wheat’s goodness sucked out of it. Add that goodness back into your baked goods by substituting half of the white flour in a recipe with whole wheat flour.

 

– Lettuce, chard, or steamed cabbage leaves for tortillas: tortillas are yummy, but they’re also surprisingly high in calories; a medium tortilla has the same calories as two slices of bread. If you’re trying to figure out how to cut a few hundred extra calories per day, tortillas are a good place to experiment.

 

– Avocado for cheese: I love the texture of gooey cheese on a sandwich or in a salad. Avocado gives me that creamy happy-mouth feeling but with healthy fats.

 

2014 Aug angry birds 015-Veggies for noodles: noodles are delicious, but most of the time they’re smothered in some sort of sauce and we can’t taste them, so why not smother vegetables instead? Layer sliced eggplant in your lasagna, grate zucchini into your ziti, and sauté some thinly sliced cabbage for spaghetti sauce and meatballs.

 

-Cauliflower for rice: Food process raw cauliflower until it looks like rice grains and then sauté it for a few minutes. Serve it the same way you serve rice. You can ease your family into the idea by making regular rice and mixing the two. “The rice tastes funny tonight, Mom.” Yes, it does, son. It’s muscle building rice. When you eat it, your muscles grow.

 

The Hare and the Tortoise both made it to the finish line and that’s important. Don’t despair if you’re not a Hare; Tortoises take longer to get healthy, but we get there nonetheless. Slow and steady wins the race.

 

“The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.” Isaiah 9:10 (NIV)

 

Please leave a comment below if you have a substitution idea. I want to learn what’s worked for you!

 

http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2014/11/02/pour-it-on-maple-syrup-is-good-for-you/

 

Images courtesy of: www.tmcnet.com (tortoise and hare), www.dreamstime.com (syrup)

Buttocks Reveal All Natural Botox (Part 2)

Last week we learned that exercise helps our buttock skin to look perkier under the microscopes of research scientists. This week we’re talking about why exercise benefits skin. The biggest benefit of exercise is blood flow.

blood flow skin healthWhen you get your heart pumping faster with exercise, your blood flows faster, which allows the blood to take more laps around your body per minute—30% more laps per minute. So instead of delivering blood with its load of oxygen and nutrients 60-100 times in one minute like it usually does, that ventricle visitation increases to 95-150 times in one minute. Tiny arteries in the skin open up and the nutrient-oxygen payload is delivered everywhere.

Why is this important? Your cells need a certain amount of nutrients and oxygen (let’s call it Nutr-O2) to live. When they get extra Nutr-O2, they can use the bounty to do things like repair damage to the skin from the sun and pollutants. They can increase the skin’s collagen production (in this case the collagen production of Les Misérables Wrinkles, a musical about a French collagen student, Jean They’regone, who smooths fine lines and reduces wrinkles). Fibroblasts are the theater geek cells in the skin responsible for collagen production. As they age, these fibroblasts acquire mortgages and dependents which require them to quit the theater and get real jobs. This results in fewer, lazier fibroblasts remaining in the campus theater troupe… I mean skin. The extra Nutr-O2s are a surprise inheritance that funds the fibroblasts and gets them back into production.

Les Misérables Wrinkles

Les Misérables Wrinkles

Don’t forget the veins! Extra Nutr-O2s are delivered, but the blood doesn’t return to the heart empty-membraned: blood carries waste away from the skin. Instead of removing free radicals and pollutants 60 times per minute, it takes out the trash 95 times per minute: that’s a lot of trash. Exercise benefits every organ of the body, including the largest one—the skin— so get your body moving. Your buttock will thank you.

Note: Theater majors are wonderful people. The phrase “collagen production” was simply too good to pass up. If I’ve offended any theater people, I encourage them to respond with a one act play.

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. —Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)

 

Buttocks Reveal All Natural Botox (Part 1)

facialWhen we think about skin care, most of us picture lotions, sunscreen, or someone sporting a goopy green face peel and cucumber eyelids. Turns out we should add exercise to that list of mental pictures. In 2014 researchers at McMasters University in Ontario found that exercise produced remarkable changes in the skin of people over age 40. (If you’re not over 40 yet, you will be before you know it, so pay attention anyway.)

-mice-old-young-experiment-story-topMcMaster University had already studied old mice and found that mice who exercised “maintained healthy brains, hearts, muscles, reproductive organs, and fur far longer than their sedentary labmates”.  Mice who were denied access to running wheels quickly grew frail, ill, gray, and demented. Admit it: not only are you picturing a few humans you know right now, but you’re trying to remember if they exercise.

When we’re young, our body can cover up for many poor health choices. Twenty year olds can eat mostly junk, never leave the couch, and still appear healthy, but as our bodies approach middle age, we start visibly reaping what our habits have sown.

The researchers at McMaster U. turned from mice to human volunteers and biopsied skin from the one area of the body that (hopefully) had never seen the sun: the buttock. The volunteers were habitually sedentary and aged 65 or older at the start of the study, and all had normal skin for their age.

Difference-that-comes-in-skin-layers-with-ageAs normal skin ages, the topmost layer of the epidermis (the part you can see and touch) becomes thicker which makes the skin feel dry, flakey, and dense. The dermis, the layer of skin under the epidermis, becomes thinner, which makes the skin look saggy and translucent. That was the state of the volunteer buttocks: thicker outer layer and thinner inner layer. Mm-mmm, green face peels and dry saggy butt skin. If we continue with these mental images, this is going to be a post about weight loss, not skin!

The volunteers exercised twice a week for three months and had a butt biopsy again. (Lucky researchers.) The post-exercise skin layers looked very different; similar to the skin of 20-40 year olds. Wrinkles were not affected by the exercise, but those wrinkles were now enjoying a thinner epidermis and a nice thick dermis.

funny-sweatWhy does exercise benefit our skin? One reason is sweat, my least favorite aspect of exercise. When our bodies get warmed up, our pores dilate. As the sweat pours forth, it carries dirt and oil with it, like a warm, salty, inside out mini shower. Speaking of showers, if you won’t be bathing soon after you sweat, it’s a good idea to at least wash your face. If you don’t rinse them off, the dirt and oil can be sucked back into your pores as you cool off. Yup, this is definitely a weight loss post.

Exercise also reduces stress and body wide inflammation, two things the medical community in general agrees we’re better off without. When we’re stressed, our glands produce less oil in our skin which causes things like acne and eczema to flare up.

Next week we’ll look at the biggest benefit of exercise for the skin: blood flow.

 

Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. Proverbs 10:17 (NIV)

 

Images courtesy of: www.cnn.com (old and young mice), www.fitandhappy.org (skin layers), http://toppixgallery.com/ (sweat), www.care2.com (facial)

Southwest Salad Recipe

imageSouthwest Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups lettuce, chopped

1 cup chopped or sliced vegetables of your choice: carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, mushroom, broccoli, etc.

1/4 cup black beans

1/4 cup turkey or chicken

1 oz. cheddar cheese, grated

3 tortilla chips, crushed

3 Tb salad dressing – Ranch Southwest OR mix your own using 3 Tb any Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing and a few drops of hot sauce