Z Trim Sets Off My Paranoia

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

Z Trim just sets off my paranoia.Maybe it’s because I was fed too much sorbitol as a child and dealt with the painful side-effects at the age of five. Maybe it’s because we have been promised weight loss for over fifty years with artificial sweeteners with only obesity rates rising. Whatever the reason, the minute I read this article from Slashfood, my hackles raised up.

Z Trim is being marketed as a fat replacement. It is made of oat fiber that is ground so fine that when it is reconstituted with water, it feels like creamy fat. Oat fiber, that’s a good thing, so I don’t think Z Trim is going to poison me or give me cancer, but something about it just sets off my paranoia.

Maybe it’s because they replaced the fat in the ranch dressing in Pittsburgh schools, testing it on underage children without telling them. Maybe it’s because it is being marketed in pills labeled “appetite control.” Maybe it’s because it is all being sold as a supplement, which requires less testing than a food additive would. Maybe it’s because the Z Trim website is so greenwashed that you can’t help but notice the huge shafts of wheat and the white-washed farm in the background. It all smacks of deception to me.

Whatever the reason, I’m not buying it. I was told too many times that if I drank sacchrine-laced soda, I would get thinner. I’m not about to believe that any fake fat is going to make me thinner. The only thing that ever made me thinner was eating whole, fresh food every two hours. I’ve had it with fake food.


New Walking DVD: Moab Walk

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

I have finally finished the editing for the Scott Matheson Wetlands Preserve Walk in Moab, Utah. I’m so excited! This is a different kind of exercise video for use on the treadmill. This is film of a walk around a wetlands preserve. All you have are the sounds of footsteps, birds singing and maybe even a little water (although the Utah desert is not really known for water).

Here is a glimpse of what the video is like:

Click here to see the video

I have released two similar DVDs to this in the past: Swami’s Beach and Sugarhouse Walk. The Moab Walk uses the same camera as the Sugarhouse Walk, so there are no vibration problems that might make you motion sick. One of my readers mentioned that whenever I turn the camera to one side or another, it makes her walk funny on the treadmill. She’s right, I find myself doing the same thing and grabbing the handrails to steady myself. This video does a lot of looking to the side (mostly to avoid viewing other walkers on the trail and to see the pretty wildflowers). If that is a problem for you, this video does it a lot!

Estimated Distance: 2.0 Miles
Estimated Speed: 2.3 mph
Time: 52:00 Minutes

I’m offering this workout DVD for $5 plus shipping.

Order Starling Fitness Walking Videos Here

You can see the route I walked here. The video goes around the loop twice. I tried to be crafty when I was filming it so you wouldn’t notice, but just now I realized that I have to tell you that I walked the circuit twice, so that you would know the accurate mileage.

Click here to see the walk on Google Maps

Video Description:

It was a hot day and the signs all over Moab said, “Did you remember your water?” I brought a bottle of water, but I was filming, so I couldn’t just take a swig of it. Halfway through the walk I could hear every swish it made in my backpack, wishing I could take a drink. The dry heat seemed to suck all the moisture out of my body, but the Scott Matheson Wetland Preserve was shady.

The trees protected me from the blistering sun. As I walked along the trail, I filmed wildflowers and I could even hear birds. I wanted to hide in the shade of the house at the end of the trail and watch the birds from its quiet solitude, but I was intent on walking. Investigating the little-known paths was a bonus because I found my way to Kane Creek. I turned around and walked it all over again. When I was finished, I enjoyed the red rocks and watched the off-roaders drive by.

Then I turned off my camera and gulped down all my water in one fail swoop. Should have brought two bottles…

Order Starling Fitness Walking Videos Here

For More Information about the wetlands preserve:
The Nature Conservancy in Utah – Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve


Question of the Week: What is your first fat memory?

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

For some of us, we can’t go back into our memory far enough to remember the first time we realized we were fat. We just always had been told we were fat. For others, weight gain is a recent thing. They grew up thin with no weight problems and the weight just crept on over the years.

What is your first fat memory?

Did you notice your body and realize you were overweight or did someone else point it out to you?

What did you think?

How did it all make you feel?

I vividly remember the first day that I realized I was fat. I was about four years old watching television in the living room at my grandma’s house. My grandma and my mom were in the kitchen talking. I heard my name and started listening to what they were saying. My grandma started the conversation,

“I noticed that she has another roll on her stomach. We really need to do something about her.”

My mom came to my defense,

“I’m not going to bug her about losing weight. She’s only four years old.”

Laura Lund 1973The one thing that was obvious is that both my mom and my grandma thought I was fat. That was the day that I decided I was fat. After looking at the pictures from my childhood, I have come to realize that I wasn’t fat. My grandma was obsessed with weight: both her own and the people around her.

What if that is true about you? What if that person who pointed at you and called you fat was just lying and trying to hurt your feelings? We are all beautiful. Take some time today and try to remember the first time anyone called you fat. Write down how you felt and try to research to see if it was true or not. The first step toward getting the body you want is being truthful with yourself. Knowing the evolution of your health is the only way you’re going to know the truth.


Limiting Your Diet Can Lead To Binges

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

Colleen WainwrightColleen Wainwright has Crohn’s Disease. To control it, she followed the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), which severly limits which foods you can and cannot eat. It’s not like she follows the diet to stay thin. It was the only way of eating that kept her out of pain. I understand this. When I was dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), I tried a number of changes to my diet. None of them really kept me out of pain, but I clung on to hope more than anything. When I discovered acidophilus and suddenly found myself without pain no matter what I ate, I had to deal with all the cravings over the last five years.

Colleen is in a similar situation. She had been faithfully following SCD for years, but she obviously feels better and the temptation of “illegal” foods has hit her hard.

The description of her inner voices in this entry sounds exactly what I dealt with after I found my “cure” for IBS. I said the exact same thing in my Video Confessional. I wanted to binge just to make up for those five years of deprivation. I love her description here:

I’m not even especially fond of Butterfingers.

I’m still sorting it out, but I think the kernel of understanding lodged somewhere in the back molar of my consciousness looks something like “You are not the boss of me!” Or, as I put it to my pal, Heathervescent, between bites of generously buttered, 100% forbidden rye toast at breakfast this morning, “F*CK YOU, MOTHERF**KER! You are not the boss of me!”

So many years of sucking it up, coloring within the lines, being a good girl, stuffing it down. So much rage. So much fear. It’s going to find voice one way or t’other. And “F*ck you, motherf**ker! You are not the boss of me!” is pretty eloquent, if you ask me.

After five years of staying away from forbidden foods, I had that voice inside of me, too. I am healthiest when I allow myself small quantities of anything I want. Making a list of forbidden foods, unhealthy foods or illegal foods is just my first step to a major binge down the road.

Update: Colleen has had a breakthrough with her binges and describes it here:


Nature’s Stairmaster

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

Nature's Stairmaster via Jon Huang at FlickrI love this photo of the Eureka Dunes from Jon Huang. Here is his description:

“Walking up a steep sand dune feels like being on a stairmaster. Every step upwards you take, it sets you back half a step. To prevent yourself from slipping back you need to make faster steps. The Eureka dunes are over 600 ft high from base to peak, probably the tallest dunes in N. America. Hiking up was quite a workout — especially with camera gear and tripod!”

Whenever I feel a little bored on the treadmill, I try to remember WHY I exercise. I walk on the treadmill and ride the exercise bike in the winter so I can hike and mountain bike in the spring, summer and fall. I want to be fit enough to see beautiful sites like this every day.

Via: Two-Heel Drive: January 2007 Archives


Flavor Diet Spray

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

I really don’t know how to classify this entry. Is Flavor Diet Spray a gadget? Is it a diet supplement? Is it something we should be wary of? I have no idea. This product was featured in Time Magazines Amazing Inventions of 2005. I never heard of it, but it’s still available today via their website.

A big problem I have with the way I’m tempted to eat when I’m in the dieting mentality is my attraction to fake food. Because I don’t allow myself real food when I’m dieting, even in small portions, I tend to resort to fake foods. I think I would classify this Flavor Diet Spray in the fake food category.

Watch out. If this product looks appealing to you, it’s because you have limited your diet too much. Whichever spray sounded good to you, allow yourself a small portion of the REAL thing this week. Don’t settle for fake food. Find a way to work the real thing into your lifestyle without damaging yourself.


The Wii Sport Experiment

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

The Wii Sports Experiment

When I played Wii Sports, it was a fun diversion, but my heart rate rarely got higher than when I was sitting on the couch. I thought it would be fun to play, a good way to be a little more active, but not really an option for losing weight. It looks like I’ve been proven wrong. Read about the Wii Sports Experiment here:

His plan was simple:

Six weeks ago, I began what has become a huge obsession of mine. It is called the “Wii Sports Experiment” (Read my original announcement of this from Early December ‘06). I outlined a 6 week game plan for myself, the idea being that I would continue ALL normal activity and eating habits, and simply add 30 minutes of Wii Sports to my day. For the past month and a half, I’ve stuck to these guidelines very strictly.

What were the results? Shocking! In six weeks, he has lost nine pounds, his BMI went from 25.2 to 24.0, and he is noticeably thinner. He tested his calorie expenditure while playing and here is a list of the sports in order of expenditure:

  • Boxing: Highest calorie burner
  • Tennis
  • Bowling: Lowest calorie burner

He didn’t test baseball and didn’t even mention golf. It’s quite obvious when you’re playing that Boxing is the highest calorie burner. It was the only activity that got my heart rate up into the cardio zone.

So, I’m wrong. If you play Wii Sport religiously for 30 minutes every day, you could lose weight. Now, you just need to get your hands on a Nintendo Wii.

Via: Lose weight by playing Wii Sports (kottke.org)


CES 2007: Qmotions Game Controllers

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

Qmotions has been on my radar for a couple of years now, but I’ve never written anything about them. When I looked at their website, the products just looked like easily breakable gadgets that wouldn’t really work. Especially the Xboard. I think the problem is the picture that they used for it on their website.

Xboard Advert PhotoThis photo, in particular, made me think that it wasn’t worth 90 bucks. There was no way that I was going to spend ninety dollars on a piece of snowboard shaped plastic connected to a controller.

Of course, that was before I tried it at their booth.

I am avid fan of SSX3. It’s a snowboarding game that I play on my Xbox. I did ONE run with the Xboard and suddenly a game that I was so good at that I was pretty much sick of it became brand new to me. I finished the run in twice the time it would have taken me with the hand controller, which should have been discouraging. Instead, it was invigorating. Suddenly, I felt like I was really snowboarding down that hill!

Playing with the XboardAdd to it that you can now find the Xboard on Amazon.com for about 60 bucks, suddenly, I was SOLD!

I got my Xboard in the mail two days ago. I had to buy SSX3 for the Playstation 2 because they didn’t have a controller that worked with Xbox. I was able to find the game used for about $7, so I didn’t feel too bad about buying it again. Additionally, it was kind of nice starting my character from scratch instead of trying to beat my old hand controller scores.

The verdict: Playing SSX3 with the Xboard is HELLA fun, but it isn’t aerobic exercise. It’s more of a core workout, because you balance on the board and try to move by moving the board. The highest my heart rate has ever gotten on the board is 114 bpm, which is in the medium intensity range, but not high intensity.

The muscles that will kill you the next day (in order of pain intensity): calf muscles, shin muscles, the arch of your foot and your abs. Mostly just your calves, though.

Qmotions makes golf simulators, baseball simulators and something called Fun Fitness, which connects to your exercise bike and works with racing games. They are also coming out with a new product that straps to your ankle. You can play while riding your bike, walking on the treadmill or even just running in place. They were demonstrating it at CES, but it’s not available yet. For now, I’m happy with my Xboard!


Nike+iPod Starling Fitness Challenges

By Laura Moncur @ 10:44 pm — Filed under:

I have decided to host runs at Levels 1-4. If you would like to join up, here are the guidelines:

  • Level 1: 1-10 miles a week
  • Level 2: 10-20 miles a week
  • Level 3: 20-30 miles a week
  • Level 4: 30-40 miles a week

I only have a few rules, one is if you join a level that is below your weekly mileage, I will move you up to the appropriate level when I invite you to the next challenge. It’s not really fair to join a Level 1 challenge if you KNOW you’re running 20 miles a week. You might win one trophy that way, but I’ll immediately move you to a higher level.

The second rule is no trash talk. I know that Nike+ has a “trash talk” button on their challenge page, but only positive talk is allowed there. I will warn you once if you are disrespectful to the other runners, but if you continue to trash talk, you will not be invited to the next challenge.

If you have a Nike+iPod, you can sign up for the weekly challenges here:

Telll me what level you would like to start at when you sign up and come run with us!

CES 2007: Bluetake Walkman Beanies

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

Bluetake Walkman Beanies

There are so many things at CES that you just can’t get yet. These Bluetake Walkman Beanies are a good example. Aside from the unfashionable name, these hats would be great for exercising this winter, but they aren’t available this winter. At least not on their website:

The idea of having my headphones and my hat all in one package is appealing to me because when I try to wear my headphones with my winter hat, things get all wonky. The hat moves the headphone away from my ear. The hat isn’t quite big enough to cover my head with headphones. This sounds like a good product.

The advertising for it is a little interesting, though:

Quoting from them makes the words feel like gravel in my mouth:

“Feel like a Rock & Roll Hip Hop professional as soon as you wear this newly designed beanie.”

“Even on campus, the ordinary color design keeps a low profile but still fashionable.”

“With a simple shape, double-ring totem and invisible earphone, this simple style beanie makes you graceful.”

How does it make me graceful? I’m pretty damn clumsy. If anything can make me graceful, I’m all for it.

You might not be able to purchase Walkman Beanies right now, but the idea is something that might help you. No matter how cold it is outside, there is a way to work around it and still be comfortable. Humans have lived in the elements for centuries. Don’t hide away from your exercise routine just because it’s cold outside. Make yourself a Walkman Beanie and get out there!

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