Sunday, August 31, 2014

Try Gwyneth Paltrow's Diet, Get a Rash?

Hello everyone!

Back in 2011, Gwyneth Paltrow released a cookbook called "My Father's Daughter" which has a lot of delicious family-friendly recipes (based on reviews).

She released a new book (that I may have mentioned before) entitled "It's All Good" (Which I have heard is great for allergy sufferers)

I came across an article written by a woman who tried Gwyneth's foods from It's All Good for 10 days and she said she got a rash on her face- but read to the end to find out why.

"Day 1:
Every day on the Gwyneth diet starts with a heaping helping of something called "The Best Green Juice." Like lots of other green juices, it is a mixture of kale, apple, lemon, mint, and ginger. I imagine it would be much easier to make this juice if you have a juicer, but I don't have one of those. Gwyneth says it is equally fine to make with a blender and a "fine mesh strainer" which I also don't think I have. Since I literally cannot spend any more money for a year, I will have to do without. I put the ingredients in the blender and blend them together. It tastes much like regular kale juice except has large pieces of kale still in it. This is breakfast.
After breakfast I decided to do the first DVD of the Tracy Anderson method. It's difficult, actually. Essentially you hold tiny weights in your hand and then flap your arms wildly like a person in a Victorian insane asylum having an epileptic fit. You do this for an hour. At the end, I was so tired I lay on the floor.
After my workout, I decide to eat my morning snack — raw almonds soaked in water. Wet almonds are better than dry almonds because according to old Gwen, regular almonds are "hard to digest.” Wet almonds sound gross but are actually really delicious. The almonds have a kind of vanilla flavor to them once you soak them. I never really liked almonds before this. Is this diet actually going to be okay?
After a hearty lunch of a beet-greens soup (A soup made of the green leaves attached to a beet? This was weirdly delicious even though it sounded gross) and an afternoon smoothie that combined both avocado and cocoa powder (this is sort of like ice cream if ice cream tastes like avocados), I invited my friend over for Gwyneth's version of BBQ chicken. My friend is usually quite skeptical of my diet experiments, but is an incredibly good sport. I once made her eat green risotto, for example, and we are still friends today. This time, however, I shocked her. "This is really good!" she said, almost taken aback. It was true. It was really good chicken. It was juicy and had an interesting flavor from the paprika Gwyneth had me use. I had eaten so healthily the entire day, it was all super-delicious, and I was not even hungry. I was starting to feel slightly superior. "You should soak raw almonds in water," I said to my friend.
Day 2:
Flush off of last night's success, I decide to hold a dinner party at my home and fixed on making Gwyneth's meatballs, which do not have bread, eggs, red meat, or milk in them. My mother makes very good meatballs and those four things are basically the only ingredients in them, so I found this recipe suspect, but I pressed on. I thought wet almonds would be terrible, but I was completely wrong about that. I don't know how to live!
While making the meatballs, however, I can tell something is up. No. 1: They are green (they are made of arugula and turkey). No. 2: I can't put them in tomato sauce because I have eliminated tomatoes from my diet. Instead, I am serving them with a broccoli soup that tastes mostly like water. What is going on? Yesterday was so amazing! When my guests arrive and I feed them the meatballs, I can tell that they hate them. One of them pulls out a huge bag of chips and starts eating them in front of me. Another one leaves to "actually eat dinner." I am about to have a panic attack when I suddenly remember when Gwyneth went to a dinner party in America and someone asked her what kind of jeans she was wearing and she thought to herself, "I have to get back to Europe." America is the worst. I say nothing about anyone's jeans, even though I was literally just going to ask everyone about their jeans.
Day 3 and 4:
This diet is much harder on the weekends. This city is stupid because everyone is obsessed with gluten-filled brunch and what even is it? Just an empty parade! I have to get back to Europe. On Sunday, I get to go to a pancake place that also sells kale juice and I silently watch my friend eat a pancake as I sip on some kale juice. Later, however, I roast a whole fish and serve it with anchovy salsa verde. It's absolutely delicious. "I would like to meet Gwyneth Paltrow," says an unnamed friend, eating the fish with a large spoonful of anchovy sauce. "She sounds really fun." I enthuse: "She's so fun.  She smokes one cigarette a week!"
Day 5:
Deep in the annals of my kitchen, I find something amazing. It is called a fine mesh strainer! I must have bought it when I was in a coma. Now my kale juice tastes just like kale juice. The homemade horchata I make for a mid-morning snack is deeply improved. You really need raw honey for it, actually. It tastes much better and is non-alkaline forming. What has become of me? 
Day 6 and 7:
On the days when you are not waving your arms like a loon, Tracy Anderson has another DVD called Dance Cardio Workout. It’s so incredibly hard that I can only do twenty minutes of it. From what I can gather, it is completely unexplained jumping to the dulcet beeping of late Madonna. You have to jump for a whole hour. I’m so tired afterward I actually have to go to sleep.
For dinner the next night, I make salt-roasted fish. You take a fish, cover it with herbs, and literally pour an entire container of salt on it. It's okay. I think the whole thing would have been better if I really loved Thai chiles, but I don't really like them that much. Sometimes, when I am cooking these recipes, I talk to my Gwyneth book like it is her incarnate. For example, I will say, "That's a lot of salt, Gwyneth," or "Goji berries ARE better when they are soaked in water. Thanks buddy!” 
This was the last day of my detox and I have to say, it was kind of the best! I was never hungry, I loved almost all of the food I cooked, and I was actually much less swollen under my eyes than usual. I even feel slightly more alert, probably because I am not eating any tomatoes. 
Day 8: 
Today, I try out Gwyneth's vegan food. Her vegan sesame pancakes are a delight. They taste like regular sesame pancakes except they have no gluten or dairy. Gwyneth’s  version of veganism is not much different for her detox diet. It just has absolutely no meat or animal stuff. Did you know that Gwyneth had a vegan-themed party for her daughter Apple's birthday? The more you know.
Day 9:
One time Gwyneth told the New York Daily News that she would "rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup." This lead to me ask the question: Would it be fun to eat like a child of Gwyneth? Guess what? It's really fun! For breakfast, I make her "buttermilk" (they are vegan, gluten-free, and have lemon juice and soy milk instead of buttermilk) pancakes. They are actually quite delicious, if slightly gummy. Her tuna salad with Vegenaise and dijon mustard is decent and respectable! It is good, so far, to be Apple and Moses, and not just because they pick avocados all the time and eat wood-grilled pizza.
For dinner, I decide to redeem myself and hold a dinner party again, this time making tacos the main event. Who doesn't like tacos? I also decide to make an eggless and dairyless cake. The tacos are a stunning success. Her recipe for homemade chipotle salsa is as good as what I would eat at the actual Chipotle. I am very proud of Gwyneth and I cannot hide it. When people compliment the tacos, I say things like, "It's Gwyneth!" or "This cookbook is really great. I don’t know how she does it.” I don't ask one person about their jeans. The cake however, is another matter. Its crumbly and tastes like a prune, but this is probably my fault. "I like the tacos," one of my friends says, after I ask about the cake.
Day 10:
I break the diet! I have lost four pounds and have much more defined arms from having hysterical fits everyday. It is definitely fun to eat bread, dairy, and eggs again, but when I finally have all those things for the first time after ten days without them, I wake up with a huge rash down the side of my face, like The Phantom of the Opera. Have I always actually been allergic to these foods? The rash goes away eventually, but I do feel suddenly distrustful of bread.
What have I learned from Gwyneth's diet? It's an awesome way to live! If I wasn't going to go bankrupt to do it, I would follow the Gwyneth diet to the letter every day. The food is healthy, delicious, and filling, the recipes are not particularly complicated, and you avoid a huge rash on your face that you apparently just lived with before. If this is the way the other half lives, I want to live it! Let’s all appreciate that she shares her awesome tips with the world."

I found it very interesting that she suddenly started eating her old foods and got a rash.  The downside is that eating her way can get well, expensive.   I still want the book so that I can review it in more detail than most of the reviews on Amazon. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Want to try BUTI? Here's a video to get you started.

Hello everyone!

A while back, I posted about a new exercise method called BUTI, which is a hybrid of mainly dance and yoga.

Fortunately, there are several videos for free on YouTube to help you get started, or at least watch what a BUTI workout entails.

First, a 10 minute intro, followed by a couple full length workouts.

For more information, visit Bizzie's site (the creator of the method) at

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sports drinks are a waste of money?

Hello everyone~!

According to an article I read, looks like those Gatorades and Powerades and all those other ades are not what people think.

Basically, the study showed that they actually slow weight loss for exercisers looking to lose weight, because they are loaded with sugar.

They have been shown to have no benefit for people working out less than two hours at a time. Longer than that, yes.

Also they may be contributing to childhood obesity (and in my opinion all obesity) because people think they are some kind of healthier alternative to soda which has just as much sugar, so they drink more.

Do you drink a lot of sports drinks?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Working out in hot weather

Hello everyone!

In the northern half of the world, summer is upon us and that means for some people, it's time for it to get hot outside.  Lots of people like to go out and be active in the summer months but they may be unaware that it could be dangerous.

How hot is too hot? What should I do to keep myself safe?

I found a website that has some guidelines. 

  • Under 80 F (27 C). Most can usually be active outside without taking extra precautions. If you are overweight, have health problems, take medication, or drink alcohol, you may be at a higher risk for heat-related illness and should be more cautious. Children and the elderly are also at higher risk.
  • 80 F (27 C) to 85 F (29 C). Find shade, take regular breaks, and drink plenty of fluids.
  • 85 F (29 C) and 91 F (32.8 C).  Be very careful. Stay hydrated.
  • +91 F (32.8 C) Conditions are considered extremely dangerous.
  • WHEN IT’S HUMID: You should be careful even at lower temperatures. Humidity prevents sweat from evaporating from the skin at a quick enough rate, which can cause an increase in body temperature. Dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are more likely to occur when humidity is above 70%, and temperature is above 70 degrees.
This is meant for outdoors, but I think it can apply to indoors too, particularly for those without air conditioning who work out at home.

Are you in danger?  Watch out for the following!

"Signs and symptoms to watch out for include: muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, weakness, headache, dizziness, and confusion.
If you develop any of these symptoms, stop exercising immediately and get out of the heat and sun. If possible, have someone stay with you who can keep an eye on your condition. Drink fluids — water or a sports drink.
Heat Cramps – Painful muscle contractions mainly affecting the calves, quads and abdominals. The area may feel firm to the touch. Stretching may be helpful as treatment. Getting enough potassium and salt will help prevent cramps.
Hyperthermia – Occurs with excessive heat exposure and dehydration when the body absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. Get out of the heat immediately and replenish with fluids. If your body temperature does not stabilize, seek medical attention. Hyperthermia can lead to heat stroke. If you’re caring for someone with hyperthermia and they lose consciousness, do not attempt to give them anything by mouth.
Heat Exhaustion – Your body temperature can stay normal or rise as high as 104 F (40 C). You may experience nausea, vomiting, headache, fainting, weakness and cold, clammy skin. Drink water, fan your body or wet it down with cool water. If you don’t feel better within 30 minutes, contact your doctor. Heat exhaustion can be a precursor to heat stroke if left untreated.
Heat Stroke – Heart rate and temperature will rise higher than 104 F (40 C). Skin will get hot and red, and you will stop sweating; the body stops itself from sweating in attempt to cool itself. Confusion,irritability, and loss of consciousness are possible. Seek immediate medical attention. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. Once you’ve had heat stroke, you are at a higher risk of having heat related illness again. Consult a doctor before returning to exercise."    

I once had an experience with someone with heat stroke. He was very very hot, thought he was cold and wanted blankets on him, and his skin felt like someone cooked him in an oven.. Thankfully he recovered but the incident was very scary.

Also, keep your pets cool too.  Some breeds of dog, for example, overheat way easier than others (like pugs, bulldogs, any dog with black fur).  I actually had to give my miniature poodle (who has thick black hair) a complete shavedown because he started to act much less energetic and a lot more thirsty.  Make sure your pets have a lot of water too, bringing a bowl and a bottle with you if you must take your dog for an outing this summer.

Have a great summer and be safe!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

A fun way to track your workouts!

Hello everyone!

A while back, a friend of mine told me about an interesting way to track workout progress.

It's called Fitocracy, and basically what you do is record your workouts and you "level up" like a video game.  As a gamer myself, I find t his very cool.

I signed up a long time ago but barely used it, but I am going to start again tomorrow.

I have a few workouts recorded from before and still (I guess it is still in beta) cannot find out how to delete those old ones. Grrr.

Well, if anyone else is interested, give it a try!  I'm off to bed, see you all in the morning!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Healthy" Soda in Japan, and Bananas as a Diet Aid?

Hello everyone!

 I saw that Pepsi is coming out with a "healthy" soda in Japan called Pepsi Special.  Here's the commercial.

What the company claims the soda does is block fat from being absorbed.  How it does this is by containing fiber.  Does it work? I can't say, but I do have an opinion.

I think soda like that should be marketed here in the United States moreso than Japan. (The US is a MUCH fatter country on average than Japan by far)

While we are on the subject of Japan, there is a diet that came out in 2008-2009 (I forget) called the Morning Banana Diet. (I think I did write about it before).

The basics- there's details to it but here's the rundown.

1. Eat as many bananas as you like for breakfast with water. (If you do not like bananas, then you can choose a different fruit)
2. Eat what you want for lunch
3. At 3 pm, have a small sweet snack.
4. Eat dinner (same guidelines as lunch) before 8 pm
5. Sleep before midnight and get a good night's rest.
6. Exercise is optional- do the kind of exercise you enjoy if you choose to.

Here's where it gets tricky.  The diet says eat what you want, etc.  However, here is the next, quite possibly the most important rule- Eat mindfully.  Chew food slowly and eat until you feel 80 percent full.  So sure, eat all the bananas you want in the morning, but if you really take the time to slow down and eat, you will get full on less than you think.  Same goes for any meal.  This means basically chew slowly and eat until you are comfortable, not full.

My 2 cents- I do not see this as a "diet" but more of a common sense approach to eating.  It's proven that people who get adequate sleep have a much better time losing the weight and keeping it off (stress causes excess cortisol in the body and that can make your body hold on to fat more).  As for stress, this diet really pushes the avoidance of stress. (Hence the no exercise, if you get stressed by it. Some people do.) I believe that if someone really follows this method to the T, they may really not HAVE to exercise, as your calories would be reduced from the way you used to eat, the better sleep will help, and all the water you drink helps flush you out.  The magic is not in the bananas themselves, however they do contain a good amount of fiber and tend to fill me up more than other fruits.  Eating a couple bananas in the morning is already far lower in calories than most breakfasts. 

I have read that for best results, make that lunch and dinner a healthy meal (the website says Japanese food is best, which makes sense being that Japanese food is often a small bit of rice, vegetables, and some kind of protein and is often lower in calories).  No alcohol and no dairy. The preferred drink of choice is room temperature water (which is how I take my water anyway but some people might be less than eager) but any water could be good. 

So in short- Yes, I believe this diet (I personally think it would be a good plan for life and teaches good eating habits in terms of HOW you eat, as this can affect weight) will work for most people when done properly. 

For more information, visit the official website (in english)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Jane Fonda Workouts

Hello everyone!

I was watching a movie called Barbarella, starring Jane Fonda made back in 1968 and I was pretty amazed with how good her body was back then.

I then talked with a good friend of mine who reminded me that she did come out with workout DVDs in the 1980s, and she actually has done them before.

I was told that her workouts are actually very effective (and are the reason she looks the way she did- she still looks good for a woman in her 70s) so I decided to take a look.

There are some clips of her workouts on Youtube: such as this:

Have any of you done a Jane Fonda workout? How was it?

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Jane Fonda's Workout- Advanced

Hello everyone!

 I talked about Jane Fonda's Workout (the very first one) and showed the beginner section.

Now, here is the advanced workout which is an hour long.


Sadly, this workout is not available on DVD (as are all of her old workouts).  I also found a copy of this workout in book form, which is on its way in the mail and I will review it when I get it and give it a read.

I have not tried the beginner workout yet (tomorrow I will!) but when I do that I will also give it a review.

Have a great Sunday!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another interesting read about grain-freeness

Hello everyone!

I have been doing more reading about grain free eating (in particular how to do it without spending too much money) and I came across something not really related to budgeting but other facts about benefits of being grain free.

I found this on

"why you should go grain-free

1. if you can get it from grain, you can get it elsewhere.

The big heroes of most grains’ nutrient profile are dietary fiber and B vitamins.   Take heed, every grain is different and different grains offer different nutrient profiles.   Yet, one thing remains constant: if you can find the nutrient in grain, you can find the nutrient in better quantities in other foods. For example, 100 grams of whole wheat flour contains 44 mcg of folate; however, a 100-gram portion of lamb liver will give you 400 mcg of folate and a 100-gram portion of yardlong beans will give you a whopping 658 mcg per 100-gram portion.   Similarly with the B Vitamins niacin and thiamin, while a 100-gram whole wheat flour contains 30% of the RDA for niacin and 32% of the RDA for thiamin, you can find these nutrients in higher quantities in other foods – namely flaxseeds and sesame seeds.   Whole grains are often touted as health foods for their fiber content, but you can find dietary fiber in better quantities in other, more nutrient-dense foods.   For example: 100 grams of cooked brown rice offers up 1.8 grams of dietary fiber; by contrast, a 100-gram serving of cooked collard greens offers 2.8 grams; 100 grams of raw fireweed contains a whopping 11 grams of dietary fiber and even green peas contain about 5 grams of fiber per serving.

2. grains aren’t good for your gut.

Intestinal health is critical to your overall health.   If you’re gut isn’t healthy, you can’t absorb nutrients from the foods you eat.   If you can’t absorb nutrients from the foods you eat, your body is malnourished and is more prone to disease.   Grains are associated with a condition called leaky gut syndrome.   Tiny particles of grains, when ingested, can slip through the intestinal walls causing an immune response.   With your immune system excessively taxed by constantly attacking these out-of-place particles of grain, it cannot effectively fight against true threats like pathogens.

3. you’re probably gluten-intolerant.

If you’re white, there’s a good chance that you’re gluten-intolerant to some degree.   Current research estimates that about 1% of the population suffers from celiac disease, an auto-immune condition related to the ingestion of gluten-containing grains like wheat and barley; however, some researchers on celiac disease and gluten intolerance estimate that 30% to 40% of people of European descent are gluten-intolerant to some degree.   That’s a lot of people who are regularly consuming a food that makes them sick. (And, yes, I’m one of them.)

4. grains cause inflammation.

Due to a high starch content, grains are inflammatory foods.   The more refined the grain, the more inflammatory it is.   For example, unbleached white flour is more inflammatory than whole grain flour; however, whole grains are still moderately inflammatory foods and certainly more inflammatory than other foods like fresh vegetables and wholesome fats.   Chronic inflammation is linked to a myriad of degenerative, modern diseases including arthritis, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease, bone loss, emotional imbalance and even cancer.   Unbleached white flour earns an inflammation factor of -421 or strongly inflammatory while whole wheat flour earns an inflammation factor of -247 or moderately inflammatory.   Similarly, whole cooked millet earns an inflammation factor of -150 and cooked brown rice earns an inflammation factor of -143 – also moderately inflammatory.

5. grains are fairly new on the scene.

While still a traditional food, grains are, nonetheless, the new kids on the block.   Prior to the advent of agriculture, humans relied on hunting and gathering for their foods.   They foraged for wild greens, berries, fruits and other plants.   They hunted wild animals.   They fished for wild fish.   They didn’t plant a garden, or grow any amber waves of grain or, for that matter, drink dairy from domesticated animals since there simply wasn’t any domesticated animals.   Humans survived like this from the development of the appearance of the first homo sapiens sapiens about 47,000 years ago to the advent of agriculture some 10 – 12,000 years ago. So, for the better part of human existence grains did not comprise any notable portion of the human diet. In essence, what has become the bulk of our modern diet was missing from the diet of our prehistoric ancestors.

6. grains aren’t good for your joints.

Due to their inflammatory nature, grains – even   whole grains – are linked to joint pain and arthritis.     Grain’s amino acid composition mirrors that of the soft tissue in your joints.   Because both synovial tissue and grains are chemically similar, your body has difficulty differentiating between the two.   So, when your immune cells get all hot and bothered by inflammation caused by grain and begin to attack it as a foreign invader, they also begin to attack the soft tissue in your joint – leading to pain, autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and, of course, more inflammation.

7. poorly prepared grains prevent mineral absorption.

When improperly prepared as they most often are, grains can inhibit vitamin and mineral absorption.   Grains contain substances like phytic acid which binds up minerals and prevents proper absorption.   Essentially, though your diet might be rich in iron, calcium and other vital nutrients if you eat improperly prepared grain, you’re not fully absorbing nutrients from the foods you eat.   However, please note that souring, sprouting and soaking grains neutralizes phytates and renders the nutrients in grain more absorbable.

8. grains are bad for your teeth.

Due to those high levels of phytates in grain, grain is linked to dental decay.   With high levels of mineral-blocking phytic acid coupled with low mineral absorption rates and plenty of starches for bacteria to feed on, grain contributes to dental decay.  Anthropological records of our pre-agricultural ancestors indicates very little to no tooth decay; however, that changed after the dawn of agriculture.   Indeed, some anthropologists use the presence of tooth decay is an indicator of an agricultural society.

9. grains aren’t good for your skin either.

Grains have a very high carbohydrate content, and while the carbohydrates in grain are complex they are still broken down into sugars nonetheless. These sugars instruct your body to produce more insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IFG-1).   Elevated insulin levels lead to a cascading hormonal response and these hormones activate the sebum-producing glands in your skin – encouraging them to produce more oil.   IFG-1 is also linked with the increased production of keratinocytes which also contribute to acne.

10. eating grain makes you crave grain.

You know how the smell of bread creates a longing in you   – a yearning for a slice, slathered with butter and maybe jam.   Or consider a plate of cookies set in front of you – so delicious – and you can’t just have one?   Foods rich in carbohydrates give you quick energy, but that energy wears off just as quickly as it came. Since grains break down into sugar, they create a rise in insulin levels when those levels fall you crave more grains and, thus, the vicious cycle continues."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

FDA Sets Regulation for Gluten Free Foods

Hello everyone!

I saw in the news today that the FDA has finally regulated standards under which a food item can be labeled as Gluten Free.

Why does this matter?

Previously, any product could technically be called Gluten Free even if there was some gluten in the food because there was no such regulation in place.  People who are gluten sensitive/celiac disease (like me) were really taking a gamble by buying these foods.

So, what are the new regulations?  They have a limit of 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten in foods.  This is supposedly a low enough amount that won't even irritate those with celiac.  Also, they do allow some wheat in these products so if you are looking to buy something with the new labeling, READ THE LABEL if you have a wheat allergy.

Full FAQ about the labeling is here.,

Monday, August 18, 2014

Unleash Your Inner Popstar: Tracy Anderson's Newest DVD

Hello everyone!

Long time no see!

Recently, Tracy Anderson has announced that she is going to be coming out with a brand new choreographed dance cardio DVD! *Yay!*

The new DVD is called "Unleash Your Inner Popstar" and is the first choreographed DVD in six years.

I noticed one thing on this cover of the DVD that really piques my interest: "Non Impact Option Included". Now I feel like this is worth my time, I was afraid that this would be like her previous DVDs, which are hard and all full of jumps.  If she can do a choreography with no impact, I am sold!  50 minutes is also a real good time to work up to- and choreographed stuff, honestly, DOES feel different to do.  When I have done it in comparison to her freestyling, I had felt burning in muscles I didn't know I even had!

Here's an example of the workout from GOOP. 

It does not say what the release date is yet, but it is available to pre-order on her site.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The worst summer foods for children

Hello everyone!

Today's article isn't about what we should feed ourselves, but what we feed kids.  

I found an article that says what the worst foods for kids are and why, and healthier alternatives for each.

1. Hot dogs.  They are very high in sodium and may cause children to dehydrate.  Also, they found that kids who ate 12 hot dogs or more per month were more likely to develop leukemia.  Healthy alternative- Chicken apple sausages. They're lower in fat and have bits of apples in them too. 

2. Pepperoni Pizza (one of my favorites...LOL)

Bad because it is very high in calories and salt.   Healthier alternative is homemade veggie pizza on a whole grain crust.  The kids can even help make it.   Lean hamburger meat is a good way to add extra protein if you'd like.

3. Sport Drinks. These do have the electrolytes but they also have a lot of sugar. Healthy alternative- water.  My personal opinion- if you really think your kids need the electrolytes then try G2 Gatorade which is low calorie and low sugar. 

4. Popsicles. Also loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  Have the kids eat frozen fruit or even freeze 100% fruit juice and make homemade popsicles.

5. Ice cream.  For inactive kids (kids usually are more inactive when school is out) and ice cream is high in calories.  A healthy alternative is to freeze peeled bananas, cut them up and run them through a food processor for about 5 minutes until it starts looking like ice cream.

6. Potato chips. LOTS of sodium and fat.  Healthy alternative is corn on the cob- boiled, grilled, otherwise. 

7. Cookies. Obvious why they're not good for you. Also it's easy to overeat them.  Alternative-  bite sized pieces of fruit in the fridge. 

My opinion-  Sometimes these healthy alternatives just aren't practical or convenient. Sure, it would be nice to be able to throw all of those together but some of them do take planning. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Crazy kitchen tools

Hello everyone!

I found an article about some new kitchen tools, and some of these are just crazy. 

Yep.  This is a banana holder.  They call it the "Banana Bunker" but to me it looks like something really different...

A ketchup gun. Making ketchup application cooler. (and messier.)

Weaponized ketchup with vomit mustard. How appetizing!

For more silly kitchen gadgets and where to get them click here

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wheat's effect on the brain

Hello everyone! Long before, I have posted about reading a book called Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and how it gave me a wakeup call about all the stuff modern wheat does to the body. Reading up on his blog reminds me that I really should be giving his book another read. He posted a story about how a woman who read his book was suffering from horrible neurological (nerve) difficulties, pain, inflammation, etc and that she stopped eating wheat and her health greatly improved. Here's her story- taken from the blog.

 "The Wheat Belly book and the wheat-free diet have saved my life, or at least my quality of life. Thank you. I read the book and saw myself and my future. Bleak. I was walking like an MS [multiple sclerosis] patient, step-by-step telling my feet what to do. No connection between my brain and feet. Staggering, no balance. My husband would help me out of bed in the morning, stand me up, and hold me until I regained some balance. Then I would walk slowly to the kitchen, holding furniture and walls. Stand for a minute or two and have to sit down. Terrible nerve pain in my legs and feet. Felt like the pain was right in the bones. I was prescribed Lyrica in higher and higher doses. Just made me feel sick and gain more weight. Then I was left with taking Tylenol and Advil in the maximum doses, worrying about the side effects. But what else to do? My physician sent me to a spinal surgeon. I have degenerating discs in my lower spine. He said I have spinal stenosis and needed fusion and laminectomies. He would fix my nerves while he was in there pulling them away from spine. Scary thought. Then I heard about the Wheat Belly book, read it and went wheat free. Two months later all my inflammation is gone, peripheral nerve pain gone, IBS [irritable bowel syndrome] gone, sleeping in the afternoon gone, feeling like I was developing old lady incontinence gone. I have more energy and my health back. My pain is about 75% relieved. Lost a size in my clothes and can walk again. Very little problem with my back. This is wonderful and I will never eat that poison called “wheat” again. Again Dr. Davis: Thank you." 

 This made me want to read again, last time I read Wheat Belly was a little less than a year ago, but I need to re-scare myself straight, I think.  I also remember how good I felt after going wheat free last year.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bodyweight Exercises

Hello everyone!

Another thing my  brother told me about how he lost the weight that he did was bodyweight exercises. He told me he does a circuit every other day, and at the beginning he was no good at it.

A while later, he can go through several rounds of a circuit and he feels much stronger.  Even better- he hasn't bulked a bit.  

So, if a man doesn't bulk from regular bodyweight work, that makes me feel much better about it.  I found a program on with a bodyweight routine for women meant to give the body more of a dancer-like look.

I gave it a try and I could barely make it through one round, and even then I could not do all of the reps that the program said to.  I also had to modify my pushups to knee pushups. 

Here is a printable PDF of the workout I downloaded and I am going to try to do it every other day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pink Loses 55 Pounds- How?

Hello everyone!

I came across an article about the singer Pink, who apparently lost quite a bit of weight recently after having her new baby~ 55 pounds!

She will be on the cover of Shape magazine but the article I read gave a brief insight as to how she lost weight.  The cliff-notes version (that I keep seeing online, since I do not have the physical magazine) is "strict vegan diet and gym routine". 

I think she looks amazing, especially for having just had a baby.  Have you lost weight on a vegan diet?  Did a vegan diet not work? Comment below~!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Work out- all you need is a wall

Hello everyone!

Need a workout?  Have no equipment or space?  Have a wall? 

I found a neat looking routine on

"You'll need: Yup, just a plain old wall. Don't want scuff marks? Lose the sneaks. There—one less thing to worry about.
Your plan: Do these seven moves three times a week on alternate days and you'll realize that sometimes it can be a good thing when your workout hits the wall. Ha, ha.

Squat with back to wall, right thigh parallel to floor, left ankle on right knee, arms against wall like a goalpost. Keeping arms pressed against wall, slide arms up until slightly bent (as shown). Lower arms for 1 rep. Do 12 reps. Switch crossed legs; repeat.

Start on left side, left forearm on floor, right arm extended to ceiling, left foot pressing into bottom of wall. Lift hips off floor into side plank and raise right leg as high as you can until it is barely touching wall (as shown). Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat.

Start in plank, hands under shoulders, feet in line with hips and pressing into wall. Pull right knee toward chest (as shown), then return foot to wall. Repeat immediately on left side. Continue, quickly alternating legs, for 1 minute.

Stand facing wall about a foot away, arms extended and hands on wall, left knee raised to hip level. Keep elbows in line with shoulders and lean forward until forearms rest on wall as you extend left leg back (as shown). Reverse for 1 rep. Do 10 reps. Switch legs; repeat.

Start in plank, hands under shoulders, feet in line with hips and pressing into wall. Engage abs as you lift hips until body forms a wide inverted V (as shown). Return to start for 1 rep. Do 15 reps.

Lie faceup with head away from wall, right knee bent and foot on floor, left knee bent 90 degrees with foot pressing into wall. Extend right leg toward ceiling and lift hips until body forms a straight line from left knee to shoulders (as shown). Pause, then lower hips for 1 rep. Do 15 reps. Switch legs; repeat.

Start in plank, hands under shoulders, feet in line with hips and pressing into wall (as shown). Hold for 1 minute. Make it easier: Lower legs, place toes on floor with feet pressed against wall.

Do just the previous seven moves and you'll firm up. Add this squat jump for 1 minute between each and you'll also torch serious calories.
Face wall and squat deeply. We're talkin' thighs-parallel-to-floor deep! Then spring up. As you jump, look up and lightly touch the wall as high as you can with both hands. No rest between reps! "