Question of the Week: Fall Food

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Each season has its traditional foods. We have just jumped back into Autumn and the days are getting shorter.

When you think of Fall, which foods immediately come to mind? Do you allow yourself to eat them?

Which foods do you usually eat during Autumn?

Are they healthy?

Have you found healthy ways to cook your traditional Fall foods?

Are there new, healthy Autumn foods that you now look forward to every year? What are they?

There are so many healthy foods that are finally coming to fruition right now like pumpkins, acorn squash and spaghetti squash. Now is the time to try something new and re-invent something old!

The Question of the Week is meant to be an Inner Workout for you. Find some time during the week and allow yourself to write the answers to the questions posted. You can write them on paper, on a word processor or here in the comments section. Whatever works for you as long as you do it.

Keep writing until you find out something about yourself that you didn’t know before. I’ve also heard that it works to keep writing until you cry, but that doesn’t really work for me. Whatever works for you. Just keep writing until it feels right.


Fashion Designer Gaultier Realizes That Fat Can Be Beautiful

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Velvet d'AmourJean Paul Gaultier’s 30th Anniversary show was October 3rd and the world is still spinning. Gaultier put American model and actress Velvet d’Amour in his show. She has her head on right as far as physical image is concerned. When asked about other models and whether they are too thin, she replied,

“If you tell me somebody’s too thin, if you tell me somebody’s too fat, you’re still being prejudiced. The point is diversity.”

She’s right. We need to be just as accepting of the super-skinny as we are of the overweight. Sometimes I feel like the entire world is out to make fat people feel as if we don’t exist. When there are fat people in movies or television, they are usually portrayed by stick thin actors/actresses in fat suits. The few fat people shown are usually one-dimensional caricatures that are portrayed as people who are lazy, depressed and out of control.

Reality just isn’t like that. There are energetic and active fat people. There are overeating thin people. And now, thanks to Gaultier, there are overweight fashion models.

Via: Big Fat Blog: Gaultier Uses Fat Model; World Still Turning


Fall Running Is Awesome

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

During the hot months of summer, I retreated to my treadmill. Even though I was excited to run outside, I wasn’t able to get out of the door at 5am, which was the only time of the day that it was tolerable to run outside. I ended up logging a lot of miles on my treadmill.

Then I forgot the outdoors existed.

I don’t know how it happened. It was only a few weeks of indoor exercising, but just the other day, I looked outside and realized that it’s the perfect weather for running outdoors. Utah Autumns are typically quite short and immediately jump into Winter before the calendar tells them to do so. I almost let the small window of Autumn escape.

Tomorrow, I lace up the running shoes and hit the streets again. Fall Running is awesome!


The Thin Pill

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Wired Magazine: The Thin PillThis month’s Wired Magazine has an in-depth article about weight loss medications and the drug companies that are spending millions of dollars trying to convince you that being even slightly overweight is a disease of epidemic proportions.

They are trying to have Metabolic Syndrome classified as a disease so that they can promote their pills to “cure” it. In reality, Metabolic Syndrome is just another name for obesity.

“But some wonder if metabolic syndrome really identifies anything new. Skeptics, which include the American Diabetes Association, suggest that researchers, physicians, and pharmaceutical companies have been so hasty to embrace the disease (each for their own reasons), they’ve overlooked evidence that the science behind the diagnosis is flimsy and conjectural. These critics say that so-called metabolic syndrome lumps together risks we already recognize and monitor – or worse, that it’s just a fancy way to describe obesity. By accepting it, we medicalize a lifestyle condition that we already know how to treat: with diet and exercise.”

Don’t let the pharamaceutical industry take away your will. You have everything you need to become healthy and thin. Eat less and move more. It’s free. If the pharmaceutical companies are willing to spend millions of dollars just to create a disease, then you can just imagine what they will charge for a pill to “cure” it.

You can lose weight on your own without fancy pills or exercise gadgets. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


Review: The Nike Imara Heart Rate Monitor

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Nike Imara HRMI got a Nike Imara Heart Rate Monitor for Christmas last year, but I haven’t done a review for it. Want to know why?

I don’t like to give bad reviews.

I only write one entry a day on Starling Fitness. I’d rather not waste the entry talking about things that don’t live up to my expectations.

Yet, it’s almost a year later and I’m finally writing a review. What changed?

Nothing. The reason why I hate my Nike Imara is the same. It doesn’t work with my treadmill. I can exercise on my bike and have no problems. I can play DDR and have no problems. I can weight train and no problems. I can even run on a treadmill at the gym with no problems, but it constantly runs into interference on my treadmill at home. The treadmill is my favorite exercise device, so when I realized that my brand new spiffy heart rate monitor didn’t work with it, I hated it.

J-Mat Heart RateThat didn’t stop me from wearing it, though. It’s a watch that looks good enough that I can wear it every day. I wore it to CES and used it to measure my heart rate when I tested the exercise toys there. I used it every time I played DDR or rode my bike. I stubbornly even wear it every time I run on my treadmill with the pathetic hope that, “Maybe this time it will work…”

I love how it tracks my calories and how much time I exercise in the low, medium and high ranges. I love that it’s water resistant up to 50M, so if I’m lazy, I don’t even have to take it off when I shower. In fact, I’ve been wearing my Nike Imara almost constantly ever since I got it. That is unheard of for me, since I used to change watches like jewelry.

That’s when I realized that I love my Nike Imara.

It still doesn’t work whenever I run on my treadmill, but it has been a watch that’s a good friend for almost a year now. It’s so rare for me to find a watch that I enjoy that when I finally found one, it took me 10 months to realize that I actually loved it.


  • Time and Date on the same screen – The date shows the day of the week and the date (not the year or month).

  • Dual Time – If I hold down a button, the watch switches to a second time zone.

  • Watch Light – I feel silly for mentioning this, but you would not believe that number of women’s watches that DON’T have a light. Do they think I’m not allowed out after dark? I use my watch to tell time in the middle of the night because I’m so blind I can’t see the clock five inches away from my face. A watch light is essential to me and lack of it is a deal breaker.

  • Chronograph (Stopwatch) – Displays workout time and will show calories, heart rate or heart rate percentage (toggle with the start button).

  • Interval Timer – Also called a countdown timer. I love this feature on other watches, but I hate it on this one because the beep is so quiet that I usually miss it.

  • Data – It will store the data from your last workout until you clear it on the chronograph.

  • Alarm – Works like any other watch, except the beep is so soft that you’ll probably miss it.


Dance Factory Review at The Gadgets Page

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Dance Factory Dance to Any MusicI have talked extensively in the past about active video games like DDR where you can workout and have fun. Here is another video game to add to that category. I reviewed it for general playability on the Gadgets Page and you can see the review here:

The difference between Dance Factory and DDR is that you can dance to ANY CD that you want. This is especially important when you are working out every day. It is really easy to get sick of the DDR songs. Each DDR game might have 60-70 songs, but they are only two minutes a piece. One hour-long workout a day for a week and you’ve heard all those songs at least four times each. With Dance Factory, you can dance every day to a different CD. That’s an essential feature when you are using it for workouts and it’s the reason I bought a Playstation 2. This game isn’t available on Xbox or the PC.

One cautionary note: DO NOT BELIEVE THE CALORIE OR DISTANCE STATS. I said it in the other review, but it’s worth repeating. You might think that it would be very accurate because you can tell the game your weight, but it is not. When I compared the calorie count from the game with my heart rate monitor, they were vastly different. Additionally, during a workout, it stated that I had jogged the distance of over 7K. There’s no way that I worked that hard. I’ve run a 5K. The workout that I did with Dance Factory was nothing compared with that. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor that calculates your calorie expenditure, just gauge your workout based on time and perceived exertion, because the fitness meters are VERY generous.

This brings me to a final note. You should keep track of your calorie expenditure with a good heart rate monitor. They are the most accurate. I will be reviewing the one I use tomorrow to give you an idea of what to look for. I’ll also tell you why I haven’t reviewed this heart rate monitor until now, even though I got the watch for Christmas last year.


You Are Beautiful

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

You Are Beautiful from Starling Fitness

What if your scale said this every day? What if you couldn’t measure how many pounds or kilos or stone you weighed? What if the only gauge of yourself is how you feel about yourself? How would you know if you are beautiful?

Guess what? That’s how life is. That number on the scale means NOTHING!!

Sexy is mostly attitude. Attitude and hygiene, actually. If you take care of yourself and you care about yourself, the sexy comes through no matter how heavy you are on the scale.

The scale is only a tool to measure progess. If you FEEL sexy, you will attract others. Work on your head as much as your body because when you get to goal weight, if you don’t feel sexy, you won’t look sexy, no matter how tight your butt is.


Question of the Week: Halloween Costumes

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

If you are planning on wearing a skimpy and sexy Halloween costume, you have less than a month to get to your goal weight.

With less than a month to wear a sexy Halloween costume, how is that going to affect your decision?

If your body was exactly how you wanted it to be, which Halloween costume would you wear?

What is stopping you from wearing that costume right now?

When you are trying to hide your weight, what costumes do you prefer? Are they self-deprecating?

Don’t let your current weight stop you from wearing the costume of your dreams at the Halloween party this year. You deserve to wear whatever costume you want, despite what commercial costume companies create. If you want to be super sexy this year, create your own costume. If you start now, there is still time.

The Question of the Week is meant to be an Inner Workout for you. Find some time during the week and allow yourself to write the answers to the questions posted. You can write them on paper, on a word processor or here in the comments section. Whatever works for you as long as you do it.

Keep writing until you find out something about yourself that you didn’t know before. I’ve also heard that it works to keep writing until you cry, but that doesn’t really work for me. Whatever works for you. Just keep writing until it feels right.


Dateline NBC Investigates Infomercials

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Infomercials used to be the staple of late-night television, but it seems like I can watch infomercials twenty-four hours a day. With so many channels on television, there is ALWAYS an informercial playing. Most of the time they are selling weight loss pills, equipment or some cream that is supposed to make your cellulite go away. Can you believe them? According to Dateline NBC, don’t waste your money.

What Dateline found is what I’ve suspected all along:

“The Federal Trade Commission has launched an on-going crackdown targeting ads after the FTC found deceptive weight loss ads running ‘rampant’ and more than half of all weight loss ads studied contained at least one false claim.”

If they are willing to have one false claim, how can you trust all their others?

Dateline NBC made pills out of Nestle Quik and tried to see if they could get an infomercial made. They not only did, but the infomercial company even found a dermatologist willing to stand by it for a mere $5000. They also had people on the infomercial giving testimonials, but they were just actors who had been paid $50 each. In the end, no one even noticed that the pills were made out of Nestle Quik during the filming.

Next time you’re tempted to try the new diet pills, remember this Dateline undercover investigation. You could be paying $30 a bottle for Nestle Quik.

Via: Consumer Health Digest, September 26, 2006

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