Tag Archives: Weight loss

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)

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)

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)

Truly Addictive Foods and Voting Results

The winner (by a narrow margin) is cartoon ending B! Thank you to everyone who voted!processed-food-packaging

The scientific study that led to the “Cheese is Crack” headlines did not prove that dairy’s like dope, but it did come to an important conclusion that was mostly ignored by the media. The study had 500 people rate foods from least addictive to most addictive and yes, cheese ranked high on the list, but the top of the list was dominated by processed foods. The more processed the food, the more fat added to that food, the more addictive it felt.  See why they went with “Cheese is Crack”? “Manufactured Munchies are Meth” is a mouthful.

processed food 2The addictiveness of processed foods is what should have made headlines! (Or the felt addictiveness; remember, no one was probed, prodded, or even fed during the study; they were asked for their opinion.) Companies know that processed foods are addictive and even test their products for “cravability” (ie addictiveness). If they can get us to eat a little, they know we’ll want more.

This is important for weight loss. If you’re trying to eat less, avoid highly processed foods as best you can. The more processed the food, the more addictive it is, so do yourself a favor and stop buying the worst of them. You might crave them for the first few days, but they’re not crack cocaine: you can resist and you can handle any withdrawal symptoms (like irritability, nostalgia, or desperately cleaning out the back corners of the cabinets) at home.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cheese-is-not-addictive-like-crack_562ad63de4b0443bb5641eb1

http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-cheese-crack-science-20151023-story.html

Images courtesy of: www.shadylabib.com (processed foods), trinityriverfitness.com (quote)

 

 

 

What Nutritionists Eat When They Want to Slim Down

2014 Aug angry birds 016There was in interesting article on Fox News.com last week called “What Nutritionists Eat When They Want to Slim Down”. There are three important takeaways I’d like to pull from this article and the first one comes from the title.

Even experts get off track. The title itself implies that nutritionists aren’t 100% slim 100% of the time. Gasp! You mean that even people who spend years studying food and the human body and KNOW what they should and should not eat – even they get off track sometimes? They’re…they’re human? Gasp again! So if I get off track every once in a while, I’m human too? And I should stop beating myself up and start fresh today doing what I need to do to be on track again? How many rhetorical questions can a blogger type in a row before everyone groans? Two? Really? Okay, I’ll stop. Sorry about that.

P1050153More vegetables and protein. Almost every nutritionist said that they increase their intake of plants and proteins and limit carbs and sugar. More good stuff, less bad stuff. One lady said she puts a little cheese on her steamed vegetables.  That’s what I’m talking about! They eat real food – good for you real food – but limit the portion sizes.

They agree with me! It’s like the nutritionists have been reading my blog. The two tips they gave that didn’t boil down to “more veggies and protein” were to eat soup (because it’s full of vegetables, water, and fills you up with fewer calories) and to get more sleep.  Ta da! Sex, Soup, and Two Fisted Eating! I feel like an expert now. “10 out of 10 random nutritionists from some random article agree that Katie knows what she’s talking about.”

March 2014 005If you’re off track, listen to the experts: take a walk, go to bed early, and eat a spinach omelet for breakfast. If you’re not off track, you should take a walk, go to bed early, and eat a spinach omelet for breakfast. It’s a plan we can all love!