Friday, May 29, 2009

Why Exercise Is Not Child's Play

Tips for a Safer Home Gym

  • Keep equipment out of reach.
  • Talk to your children about exercise dos and don'ts.
  • Don't leave children alone near equipment.
  • Be conscious of open weight stacks.
  • Be aware of loose equipment pieces.
  • Consider purchasing smaller equipment.
  • Avoid heavy exercise equipment.
  • Create a co-op of exercise-loving moms and dads.
  • Separate workout space and play space.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jessica Szohr Eats 'Like a Man'

The quickest way to Gossip Girl actress Jessica Szohr's heart is through her stomach, she says. "When I have a craving for something, I just can't hold myself back," she says in the June issue of Men's Health. One thing the 24-year-old is always glad to see on a menu: burgers. "After 10 years of eating vegetarian, I tried my boyfriend's," she says. "I was overwhelmed. It was orgasmic." And nothing – not even the taunts of her own kin – can make her end her quest for a sated belly. "My family makes fun of me," she says. "They say I eat like a man. But I love food that much."

Is eating 3 well balanced meals a day considered "eating like a man" in Hollywood? Hollywood has gone off the deep end again. Labeling a starlet that eats more then champagne a "man" is crazy.

Melissa Joan Hart Reveals Her Bikini Body

Reclaiming her slim figure took Hart 14 months of hard work. "It didn't happen by magic – it was as hard for me as it would be for anyone else," she says. The fact that it took a little longer doesn't bother her. "I didn't want to take any time away from spending it with my sons," she explains.

I am glad she keeps it real by letting us know it took 14 months. I also glad she says doing it any faster would have taken time away from the kids she had.

My only disappointment is that the Bikini shot had to be the winning outcome.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Over-Eating Equals Rape???

Instead of linking to the original Guardian piece interviewing MeMe Roth, I'm recommending reading Jezebel's take-down of the interview/Roth's radical views.

Roth apparently thinks that she's an anti-obesity advocate rather than a disordered eating advocate, but the evidence she provides for the former moniker rather than the latter is dubious at best.

Here's her exchange with the reporter regarding lunch:

"When Wood asks what she actually ate for lunch, this exchange ensues:

She squirms visibly. "You're taking me where I don't want to go ... What works for me doesn't work for a lot of people."

Well, you've said that, I insist, so taking that into account: lunch? Roth hesitates. "I discovered when I was in college that I work best when I get a workout in and eat after that. Sometimes I'll delay when I eat until I get a workout in. But I don't let a whole day go by without running four miles."

OK, I go on, but supposing you couldn't work out until four o'clock in the afternoon - would you not eat until after that?

"I might."

I look at my watch. It's 3.30pm. Alarm bells start to ring in my head. How about today, I ask. Have you eaten at all today?

Roth is a little quiet.

"No," she says.

There is a pause.

"But I feel great!"

"Roth may not be anorexic, and she may not think of what she does as dieting, but if "what works for her" is not eating anything until after 3:30, she's right that it's not going to work for most people. Nor should it."

Oh, also check out this gem where she compares over-eating to rape:

"The defense has been made in the case of sex criminals that there is pleasure on the part of the victim. The same is true with what we're doing with food. We may abuse our bodies with food, but it's incredibly pleasurable. From a food marketer's point of view, when your quote unquote victim is so willing and enjoying of the process, who's fighting back?"

The fact that a disordered eating advocate gets this amount of press and that HAES advocates (like Kate Harding of Shapely Prose who just came out with a new book) get 90 second spots on the later hours of the Today Show is disconnected to say the least. This lady does not advocate for health at all, but for fat-hatred/shaming and unhealthy relationships with food--not allowing yourself to eat lunch until you've run 4 miles on a daily basis is not healthy and giving her the print-space only reinforces the unreality of "health" reporting when the main focus is weight, not actual health.

Back from NYC!!!

Hey, all! I'm back from New York City visiting with LisaD (she lives there, but decided to have a "New York City" stay-cation checking out the museums & the sites with me). I have tons of pictures (of yummy and "interesting" food) as well as a few views of the city to share. 1st I have to unpack my camera cord :)

A couple things I learned/relearned:

1. I love public transportation (and though I grew up with it, living "in between" the coasts as I do now, its totally inadequate here) and public transportation also helps you keep up your general activity much better than life chained to cars.
2. I don't love city grit (TMI perhaps, but I don't like that particulate matter that you have to blow out of your nose at the end of the day when out and about in big cities).
3. I so need to get into shape (yes, we did a lot of walking at the Botanical Garden, in museums, and in general, but I really have suffered from not exercising on a regular basis due to the schedule from hell last semester and I'm not allowing myself to schedule my way into that deficit again. Of course, I have horrible allergies/perhaps have a cold right now, so I'll just do toning until I can breathe again.)
4. I miss LisaD, she's my best friend and just chatting with her one on one was great!

Look forward to some food-blogging from the trip, including one two part review of Raw Soul, a raw food restaurant in Harlem that we checked out in order to see what the Raw Food Movement has to offer, in addition to all the hype.


Monday, May 25, 2009

3 Life Lessons You Can Learn from 'The Biggest Loser'

1. Nothing Is Impossible 2. You Should Never Ask "Why Me"-Instead, Ask "Why NOT Me?"
3. You Must Choose To Be Happy

I think they are good lessons to be learned. It is true that you biggest obstacle in most life issues is yourself. So if you can stop being your own worst enemy with negative attitudes and self-talk you to can get the life you want even if that life is not as extreme as the things on the biggest loser.

Monday, May 18, 2009



Why does the media always have to push Euro centric Beauty? Cannot Beyonce and Frieda Pinto stand on there own. It is hard to create self love for the body you have when the few people who actually do look like you are airbrushed and lightened to no longer reslemb their natural selves.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Afternoon Snack & Dinner

For an afternoon snack, I was just going to have the toast with the avocado on it (and some pepper), but I had some cut/washed veggies in the fridge and they looked so good, I added them to my plate--with some garlic hummus. This was really good and I'm glad I had it so that I could have dinner at 7:30 p.m. I find that if I eat after 7:00 p.m. I'm less likely to want a late night snack or even dessert. The toast is gluten-free Millet Bread, yum, with a smear of avocado, double yum.

Dinner was (is, I still have some left I might eat later or through out), a Sunshine Garden Veggie Burger (gluten free and very good), over a bed of sauteed shredded cabbage with a bit of Jack, asparagus, and a piece of "Peaches & Cream" corn I bought at a produce stand in Richmond, KY yesterday. A friend at work mentioned how delish this particular variety of corn was, locally grown, so I thought I'd try it--let me tell you, it didn't disappoint. I'll be looking for "Peaches & Cream" again! The asparagus was also from the stand and it was locally grown (and as fresh as can be) as well. I'm so thankful I live in a region of the country where you can support local agriculture fairly easily!

Why soul food is actually good for you.

The term "soul food" first emerged during the black liberation movement as African Americans named and reclaimed their diverse traditional foods. Clearly, the term was meant to celebrate and distinguish African American cooking from general Southern cooking, and not ghettoize it. But in the late 1960s, soul food was "discovered" by the popular media and constructed as the newest exotic cuisine for white consumers to devour. Rather than portray the complexity of this cuisine and its changes throughout the late 19th and 20th century, many writers played up its more exotic aspects (e.g., animal entrails) and simply framed the cuisine as a remnant of poverty-driven antebellum survival food.

Sadly, over the past four decades most of us have forgotten that what many African Americans in the South ate for dinner just two generations ago was diverse, creative, and comprised of a lot of fresh, local, and homegrown nutrient-dense food.

The point I got from this article is that any type of cuisine that is not in moderation and/or overly processed to fit into the fast food market can be bad for you and the media should stop demonizing certain foods and cuisines.


How pretty is that salad? Seriously pretty--oh, and tasty! So, I had a couple ounces of salmon over Olivia's Organic mixed greens/spinach, with snow peas, shredded cabbage, cucumber, a wee bit of avocado, a few dried cranberries, with Newman's Own lite Asian dressing (about 1Tbsp--I don't like too much dressing and I used a plastic container to shake the greens/cabbage to get an even distribution of the dressing, which I think makes it better but does require more clean-up). I had water to drink, which I've filtered and I put some lemon in the pitcher the other day to give it a bit of zing. To help me get back on track, I'm going to try to do some good ole' fashioned food blogging like Jenna at Eat Live Run, Kim at The Kim Challenge, and of course, Kath at Kath Eats Real Food. I've linked each of their sites, if you're interested. All are wonderfully healthy eaters and avid exercisers. I love salads and ideally I'm going to try to eat one everyday--they fill you up, they are chalk full of nutrients, and of course they are made of living/raw foods. I'll be on vacation next week, Tuesday-Sunday (visiting my co-blogger Lisa) in NYC. We'll try to stay on the healthy side of course, but it still is vacation, so my daily salad pledge will be for today (Friday) through Monday--let's see if I can make, as Marth Beck would call it, my four-day win!

Oats in a Smoothie?

The other day over at Kath Eats Real Food, she put raw oats into her smoothie. I was intrigued because I knew that I liked in smoothies some, whats the word, grit? roughage? I know that I like ground flax in my smoothies and occasionally I might put a couple walnuts in the blender as well, but oats? So, I thought I'd try it today. Verdict: delish!

My smoothie:
1/2 banana
2 strawberries (bought fresh, but they were on their way out, so I froze them)
1/3 cup blueberries
1 T ground flax
2 T oats
3 walnut bits
1 teaspoon whey (I know whey can be problematic as a protein source because its fairly acidic; I've tried rice protein, but its awful--though Veggie Girl claims that there is one on the market that isn't chalky, but its $42 and I'm not spending $50 with shipping in order to "try" it anytime soon. Tofu and ground hemp seeds might be good sources to use--I have the tofu in the fridge right now, but I forgot to try it this morning--one experiment at a time folks).

I used to make a smoothie for breakfast everyday for quite a while, but once I went to flex and had to be out the door by 6:20 a.m. there just wasn't time and I switched to Greek Yogurt with Granola. I think what I'll do is Monday-Thursday, do the Greek Yogurt with Granola thing at my desk and Fri-Sun, do the smoothie thing. I may take some ground flax to work to add to the yogurt as well, so that will help with the omega-3's. Sometimes on weekends, I'm tempted to make a big breakfast because I like breakfast foods, but for the near term, I really want to concentrate on max-nutrients with less calories. If I blow 500 calories on breakfast, it leaves less for the rest of the day when I'm likely to be more hungry. If I want breakfast foods, I can have an omlette or poached eggs over greens w/ toast for a lunch or dinner.

So, dear reader, let me know, what do you like in a smoothie?

Amy Goodman interviews Michael Pollan

Over at Alternet they have a very good interview between Amy Goodman and Michael Pollan. I'm currently reading Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma and I plan to give a thorough review when I've finished (I know, I'm late to the game on that one but I figure press a year later still keeps the conversation rolling). They discuss agriculture policy, the school lunch program, healthcare reform, and more. He distills his advice down to this "don't eat anything that's advertised" in other words, broccoli doesn't have a marketing team, but multi-colored ketchip and cheesy poffs do. Again, his mantra is: eat food, mostly plants, not too much.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fat Acceptance Ad FAIL!!!

Okay, this sucks. Jezebel has an article and the video up for a "fat acceptance" ad that pretty much takes the cake in "not getting it" (how to do anti-discrimination work, in other words). The format involves the telling of three horrible jokes hating on 1. Black Women/All black people, 2. Gays, 3. Jews and then finally a fat joke with a tag line after about how discrimination comes in all shapes and sizes. I'm not going to repeat the jokes here, because that's immaterial, but you can go and watch them if you want. What is material is the fact that the producers of this video don't really get that just because they don't feel that they are racist or sexist or sizest or whatever that they can use traditional relics of oppression (the bad joke) in a way to positively instruct the general population. This ad encourages the oppression olympics, which by that I mean people will immediately start talking about who had/has it worse, Black, women, Jews without realizing 1. there are Black female Jews, 2. comparisons and trying to prove "worse" oppression status just works to divide those that should be allies!

Monthly Resolutions

Kim over at The Kim Challenge has a tradition of making monthly resolutions. I like this idea (although its the middle of the month and I have vakay coming up, so we'll skip May) and I think that I'll adopt it starting in June. I think that its helpful to think in terms of this month I'll accomplish this (very specific) thing, like one of her's is to do yoga twice a week and another is to read the trade papers and audition for parts (she's an actor as well as a writer). Often times the way we write New Years Resolutions is vague and meta, like "I will lose weight" or "I will find a better work/life balance this year." Monthly resolutions give you the opportunity to set specific goals for the month, like "I will exercise four times per week" yet they are also broad enough so that you arent locked into "On Monday I will take a spin class, Tuesday yoga, etc" because what if you want to do yoga Monday or spin Thursday? The general rubric of "exercise four times" gives you the freedom to determine how that exercise will suss out according to the mood and circumstances you find yourself in.

So, dear readers, anyone else up for monthly resolutions?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Valerie Bertinelli to Kirstie Alley: "Let Me Mentor You"

"Let me mentor you this time," Bertinelli, 49, says Wednesday in an interview with ABC's Nightline. "I'll hold her hand. Oh, I would just - I'm telling you - I think it would be the greatest thing. There's so many people that come up to me wherever I am, and they say I was on the program a couple of years ago, and then I stopped, and then I see that you've had success, so I'm coming back. It's not a bad thing to stop something and come back to it. You're not a failure. You're never a failure. As long as you keep getting back up."

If they were such good friends why doesn't she call Kirstie Alley up and offer this help. Why do you have to feed into the crazy that is Kirstie Alley "lose 85 lbs " on Nightline. It is one thing to abuse yourself on National TV, it is another to be put on blast by other on TV.

Helen Phillips Drops 140 Lbs. to Win The Biggest Loser

As for how Phillips will celebrate her $250,000 win, she says, “I really, really, really want to take my husband [Russell] to the Bellagio in Las Vegas! I really want to take him there for a nice break because he has been such a support system to me. I want to lay by the pool, go out to lunch, and be able to go work out in the middle of the day and have a nice salad somewhere and relax!”

I guess it is much easier to lose weight when someone waves a $250,000 carrot in front of you.

Biggest Loser is a game show more then anything else. So fellow "everyday people" don't get discouraged if you don't lose 140 lbs in 6 months.

50 Cent/Bette Midler: Public Gardening Project Partners!

I absolutely love this story. Apparently, Bette Midler and 50 Cent have become friends and fellow advocates for a public gardening project in the Bronx (and they might do a song together as well).

The story comes from Mark Malkin at E. Midler belongs to an environmental group dedicated to bringing back green spaces to New York called the New York Restoration Project.

50 Cent collaborated on the development of a public garden in his childhood neighborhood in Jamaica, Queens.
Fiddy immediately jumped on board when Midler came calling. "He never asked how much," she says. "He just said, Where do I sign?" The rapper will be by Midler's side once again May 19 for the Restoration Project's eighth annual spring picnic in New York City's Fort Tryon Park.

I just love how community gardening projects cross so many social boundaries--including music genre! In terms of a potential duet, Midler had this to say:

A duet with Fiddy and Midler could be next. "I was hoping we'd sing songs from the Depression, but he's so young that I don't think he knows any of them," Midler laughs. "I'm going to have to check things out and see what he feels like singing."

Product Review: Galaxy Granola

Generally, I like to keep things on the up-beat, but I gotta say I was not pleased with this product. It tasted burnt and the sweetness had a weird after taste to it although its supposed to be all organic and not have artificial flavors to it, so I don't know what explains the weird taste. Seriously, it could have just been burnt (or part of a batch burnt and although there aren't any pieces that look burnt, that flavor might have carried). I bought it because it was on sale at Whole Foods--I know that I love Bare Naked Granola and even Dorset Cereals (which are very unprocessed). But granola is granola, right? Apparently not. Its got soy milk in it, so I wonder if I can even put it in the compost bin? I'll have to look that up. Anyway, a big general thumbs down to this one folks.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Free Rice

One of my absolute favorite procrastination tools/things to do when you only have a couple minutes is FREERICE.COM

It started out as a vocabulary building tool for the founder's children, but then they expanded it so that sponsors (advertisers) donate grains of rice for every correct question the player submits. It has expanded beyond vocab (though that's mostly what I'll play for a few rounds) and it does other kinds of trivia and even vocab in other languages--so, hey you former Spanish/French/etc. majors, go brush up.

Its an online game, it helps feed the poor, and it helps you build up your brain. So, check it out!

Kimberly Locke

Recent Photos of Kimberly Locke

I am happy to see that a former American Idol/Celebrity Fit Club assistant is consistently maintaining a healthy weight.

Please note that Kimberly Locke did use Jenny Craig while on Celebrity Fit Club, but did not receive the fan fair of Valerie Bertinelli and Kirstie Alley got for losing weight on Jenny Craig.

Quote of the Day

"Self-loathing is not a fucking character-builder. It doesn’t make you stronger. It doesn’t make you better. It’s just an ever-deepening, creepy-ass trap; a trap that is a huge moneymaker for corporations that do not have and never will have good intentions. You’re not disgusting. You’re not freakish. You’re not ugly. And you’re never going to be perfect. And holy shit, that is so okay."

Go read the whole post over at:
Casual Blasphemies

She totally takes down the whole Kristie Alley media frenzy and requisite "self flagellation" required of any denizen of Hollywood who dares not only gain weight, but gain weigh, lose weight, and then gain weight (see: Oprah). This embroidering of the story in some sort of epic of fundamental character is the most disturbing. What you weigh does not make you a good or bad person--this is not about your character, moral fortitude, or virtue. It is about what you weigh. Striving for health is great and if that so happens to result in a weight that works best for your frame, great, but it doesn't make you Mother Theresa, Ghandi, or Joan of Arc.

Traci Anderson: Anyone Can Look Like Madonna

Over at they have an interview with Traci Anderson, the personal trainer of Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. She claims, “Every woman absolutely can look like Madonna.”

She also insists that she's seen similar results with women from "all kinds of economic backgrounds." I'd like to see the proof that she's done such pro-bono work and that her method is able to transcend the barriers that lack of affordable childcare, nutritional support (aka cheap calories with little nutritional value are pushed on the poor through the very programs, I'm looking at you school lunch programs, that are supposed to "help" them--WIC, I got issues with you too!), and lack of safe neighborhoods or affordable gyms in which to work out in.

She also claims: “I had bread last night, I had chocolate souffle and Gwyneth and Madonna do too." Yet, she also says, "We prefer green juice, fresh vegetables, fish, rice and lean proteins.” Which to me implies a sort of thin through virtue approach that once again ignores the economic conditions, time crunch, and myriad of responsibilities that leave billions without the luxories of having three hours a day to "look like Madonna."

In addition, I know, this rant is on a addition, I have to say, why would it be desireable for "anyone" (aka everyone) to look "like Madonna." This isn't a comment steeped in body-snarking--I don't want to come off as one of those people who attack her feminity or her body in general for its high musclature as of late--no, no, that's not my point. I mean that we come in all kinds of shapes, shades, heights, preferences, etc. I want to celebrate that and I want to strive for health in my life, not a particular aesthetic. This "anybody" comment of Anderson's is not only unrealistic, its also a kind of erasure of the tremendous diversity in the human form! Instead of striving for what Madonna has come to desire as the best body for herself (that requires the kind of commitment that for me would make me very unhappy, thus its not right for me, but I'm not hating on her), but I do have to call out her trainer for being limiting and shortsighted in her vision of what it is to be inhabiting a healthy or vital body. Her voice in the fitness sphere is dangerous and it reinforces a kind of obsessive fitness that leads people into two kinds of despair: 1. "I can never achieve that, so why try" despair, and 2. similar obsession that disrupts a balanced life despair.

So, dear reader, what's your take on "Anyone can look like Madonna?"

Monday, May 11, 2009

9 Weight Loss Secrets the Diet Industry Doesn't Want You to Know

Alternet has an interesting piece up called "9 Weight Loss Secrets the Diet Industry Doesn't Want You to Know"

The title is a bit sensationalistic, but some of the tips they offer are quite reality based. Excerpted below:

  1. You have to exercise more than you think.

Example from Article: the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) -- a group of over 5,000 individuals who have lost an average of sixty-six pounds and kept it off for five and a half years -- exercise for about an hour, every day.

  1. A half-hour walk doesn't equal a brownie.

Example from Article: I remember going out to eat with some friends after a bike ride. Someone commented on how we deserved dessert because we had just spent the day exercising; in fact, we had taken a leisurely twenty-minute ride through the park. This probably burned the calories in a slice of our French bread, but definitely not those in the caramel fudge brownie dessert. Bummer.

  1. You have time to exercise.

Example from Article: If you have time to check email, watch a sitcom or two, surf the internet, have drinks/coffee/dinner with friends, go clothes shopping, and on and on, then you have time to exercise.

  1. Eating more of something won't help you lose weight.

Example from Article: A prime example is the widespread claim that eating more dairy products will help you lose weight. However, a recent review of forty-nine clinical trials from 1966 to 2007 showed that "neither dairy nor calcium supplements helped people lose weight."

  1. Calories in = calories out?

Example from Article: One is simply "empty" calories -- those that provide no real nutritional benefit and don't do much to combat hunger. Whether you ascribe to the simple idea of trying to burn more calories than you take in or focus on avoiding certain types of calories, you want to minimize intake of empty calories, and maximize nutrient-dense calories.

  1. Your body is working against you.

Example from Article: Most people have noticed that it's hard to lose weight, but easy to gain it. This is a relic of harder times, when food was not as abundant as it is today. Our genetic taste buds made energy-dense food desirable because it was necessary to pack away calories so we could make it through the thin times. We feasted when we could, in preparation for the famine.

  1. Our cultural environment is also working against you.

Example from Article: According to Linda Bacon, associate professor of nutrition at UC Davis, "We get a tremendous amount of pressure to eat for reasons other than nurturing ourselves, and over time, people lose sensitivity to hunger/fullness/appetite signals meant to keep them healthy and well nourished. It's hard for people to come to a healthy sense of themselves given the cultural climate, and nutritious and pleasurable options for healthy food are not as easily accessible as less nutritious."

  1. Maybe you don't need to lose weight.

Example from Article: Gina Kolata, a New York Times science writer questions the notion that thin is a realistic or necessary objective for most. In her book, Rethinking Thin, she asserts that weight loss is an unachievable goal for many, and that losing weight isn't so much about health as it is about money, trends, and impossible ideals. Recent research also challenges the idea that being overweight is bad. A study in JAMA found that being twenty-five pounds overweight did not increase the risk of heart disease and cancer, and may even help stave off infections.

  1. This is not a diet; this is your life.

Example from Article: The diet industry would have us all think that we can lose weight fast, and that's that. But most people who maintain their weight understand that eating and exercising are not temporary conditions, to be dumped once a pair of jeans fit. Instead, they are lifestyle choices, and ones to be made for the long haul.

I know that I can be guilty of #'s 1, 2, 4, & 9 in particular. Of those, 1 (you must exercise) and 9 (this is not a diet, its your life) are what I will be working on in particular over the next few weeks now that I no longer have the schedule from hell.

Go read the whole thing if you're interested. I read some of the comments and believe it or not they were quite positive; usually when I read articles on Alternet that have to do with Obesity, there's a lot of haters loving to call fat folks pigs. There's an article up today as well about domestic violence and the recession and the comment thread is totally dominated by MRA's screaming about how women are equally abusive and how domestic battery laws impinge on their rights, yada yada yada, so maybe that comment thread kept the a#@&(*#@ busy today.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Celebs in Spanx!

Photos original found here.

I think it is crazy that celebs are always trying to look great to the point that they are abusing their body to become skinny (read Lindsey Lohan) but still have to wear slimming undergarments.
It just proves. Hollywood is filled with smoke and mirrors.

The Right to Bare Arms

The Right to Bare Arms

I don't yet know how to embed video at, but check out Sarah Haskins at the link above its either there or HERE (if that video doesn't work out). She's talking about all the coverage of Michelle Obama's "bare" arms--and thankfully she points out that 49% of Americans don't care whether she "bares" arms or not.

I think that its fairly clear that I'm a big Michelle Obama fan, but this obsession with Michelle Obama's arms is really disturbing and it serves to fetishize the 1st Lady in a way that I think, quite frankly, is racist and as with Hillary, anti-professional woman. She's being reduced to her body parts in a creepy and back-handed compliment/insult kind of way.

If people don't get it yet, remember, she went to Princeton and then Harvard for Law School, then she was Barack's BOSS, an exec at a major Hospital, etc. Now, she's doing many traditional 1st Lady type activities and only slightly challenging that role, yet in a clever way that allows her to keep advocating for things she care about (like school nutrition, gardening, literacy, girls of color and self-esteem...did you not see her visit that all girl school in England? It was so beautiful. Etc. ). Hillary, who I love, tried to do policy and stated as much and she got taken down by the right-wing media (think Hillary Care, which if it had passed would have prevented 50% of all bankruptcy in American households since 1994 to the present--after all 50% of all bankruptcy cases are CAUSED BY MEDICAL BILLS). Anyway, not to slam Hillary, because I'm not, I just think that Michelle is benefitting from the lessons Hillary had to learn as the 1st progressive and professional woman first lady (yes, Elenor Roosevelt was fabulous, but she was a Socialite, not a professional woman, who did good work, but didn't have to work; same for Jackie).

Anyway, reducing Michelle down to her parts, which at first they tried to talk about her posterior, but luckily that didn't last long; then her height, its still around, but not so remarkable; but the Bare Arms thing seems to have staying power (ugh).

Anyway, I guess that this is a lesson in how inane the media can be, but did we really need to learn that lesson again?

Justin's Almond Butter Packets*

Justin's Almond Butter Packets (individualized servings) are pretty much 1000% awesome. They are lightly flavored with maple (Yum), have a bit of salt in them, and they are chalk full of all the glories of Almonds (protein, good fats, anti-inflammatory properties, etc.) My problem with many of the nutter butters out there (and here I'm going against food blogger religion) is that they are a big bother when out and about and even in your home, they tend to be difficult to use due to the natural separation issues. Whenever I've bought almond butter in particular (which is delish), I've had to add a bit of salt and or honey (usually by plopping the whole jar in a blender adding the key ingredients to standard peanut butter because the "alternative" nut butters are usually raw, unsalted, unsweetened, etc. I figure it takes less to add it at one, in small portions than to add it each time I use the stuff) in addition to the seasoning needs, the oils separate and one needs to stir the jar before each use and by the time you get near the bottom, its dry and grainy.

These individualized packets solve many of my problems I've encountered with alternative nut butters (and I hope Justin makes some cashew butter in packet form soonly as well). You can squeeze the packet prior to opening to make sure that the oil/butter bits are mixed, its salted and sweetened (just the right amount), and its easy to take on the go.

check out the supper yummy Flax (gluten free) waffle I had the other day at work with 1/2 a packet of almond butter and 1/2 a banana. Awesome sauce.

See, I couldn't even wait to take a picture of it before I had that first bite :)

*Note: all product reviews come from the writer's own hearts and are not paid for or solicited by product manufacturers, however, we could easily be persuaded to try out products (sent to us for free) and give our honest opinions. So if by some off chance you, dear reader, are a marketer, feel free to contact us!

How to poach an egg

I love to cook, but I had never poached an egg until the other day, which seems like a great deficit in my cooking tool belt. Poached eggs are great because you don't need any fat to cook them (not that you really do anymore with Pam and whatnot for frying eggs, but still...) and they turn into these little perfect egg packages that fit on toast perfectly yet they are yolky (which I love).

All you have to do is fill a soup pan about 1/3 full of water, add a bit of salt, and start it boiling. While the water heats up, crack an egg into a class/cup so that when you do plop it into the water, you won't have to worry about some of the shell taking the plunge as well (and it tends to keep the yolk intact). When the water is boiling, just plop the egg in gently and let it cook. Depending on how yolky or firm you like your egg, you will boil from 4-8 minutes (again, I tend toward the yolky side of the spectrum).

When it looks done for your tastes, you'll need a slotted spoon and a paper towel. use the slotted spoon to get it out of the water and place on paper towel to dry for just a few seconds, you can' dap at the top with the paper towel as well.

Poached eggs are great over toast (gluten-free millet toast show above) or over sauteed greens (spinach, collards, mustards, etc...I like to use a little broth and cumin on the greens).

I'm definitely pursuing the poached egg in future! Particularly now that Farmer's Market season is back on us and I can get farm fresh eggs!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Losing Your Faith...

This is supposed to be a DRESS?

So, Forever21 has recently released a new line of "plus size" women's clothing--going up to size 18/20, oh my! Its called Faith21 and lets just say that losing one's faith in this enterprise ain't hard. The line is a joke, its not really "plus sized" and if a clothing store things its revolutionary to offer 14, 16, 18, 20's, then they are really out of touch. The average American woman is a 14, which means many women, with cash in hand, are over size 20 and they are losing serious revenue due to their limited understanding of the real world marketplace.

Its cool to market "young" and "fashionable" pieces to plus sized women, but Faith21's pieces look ill-fitting, poorly designed, and simply lack understanding in terms of what an over size 14 woman wants. I'll give you three pieces, all of which are marketed as "dresses" but non of which would really qualify as more than a shirt or cover-up at most:

The Kimono Sleaves are kind of cool, but its way too short
(for a plus sized woman or anyone else for that matter)!!!

At best the above is a cover-up or something to pair with leggings!

I'm afraid that with products like these, this line is going to fail and then the executives at Fover21 are going to assume that its "plus sized" clothing that is a revenue sink-hole, not that what they green-lit and marketed are inherently wrong for plus-sized women. Knock-off designers and marketers in New York and LA really don't get the concerns, considerations and desires of plus-sized women, which includes a wide array of fashionable choices that are at the same time flattering and affordable. The clothes are pretty cheap, but the fit and designs are horrible. If you want in on this (to lack a better word) HUGE market share, then do some damn research.

Julia Roberts Shows Off Bikini Body

Julia Roberts, 41, showed off her toned bikini body in Hawaii on Monday while vacationing with her husband, Danny Moder, and their three kids, 3-year-old twins Hazel and Phinnaeus and 1-year-old son, Henry.

I think that people put to much emphasis on the ability to where a bikini. I have a burn mark on my tummy. So even when I get to my goal weight a bikini will still not look good on me. So the bikini and/or the ability to run the NYC marathon can't be the gold standard of health and beauty. I think we need to find more attainable and sustainable goals to measure our success.