PostSecret: Pizza’s Here

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

This postcard from PostSecret on MySpace reminded me of my own secret.

PostSecret: Pizza\'s Here

When I used to go to Krispy Kreme on a regular basis, I used to bring in a paper with all the donuts that I wanted listed on it. Then when I went in, I would read them off as if I was picking up the donuts for a whole office of people instead of just for me. Of course, I did this because I wasn’t willing to go in EVERY day and order two donuts for myself.

Ironically, if I watch my points, I can work in two donuts a day and STILL lose weight.

Even worse, sometimes I’d end up eating more than just one or two donuts a day because the box full was siting there.

If I could somehow extract all the shame from my eating habits, I think I’d be a thinner person.

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.


Starling Fitness Challenges on NIKE+

By Laura Moncur @ 12:44 pm — Filed under:

Starling Fitness Challenges on Nike+

I haven’t written about it for a long time, but I am still hosting challenges on the NIKE+ Website. The reason I don’t post much about it here is because I can’t link to the actual challenges and you have to sign up to even see how people are progressing. Additionally you have to have a Nike+ iPod or Nike+ SportsBand to even log your runs. If you have a Garmin or just run the old fashioned way, you can’t participate.

With all of those limitations, mentioning the challenges here every week might be kind of irritating to all of those people who haven’t sold their soul to Apple and Nike. For the rest of us, however, I just thought I’d drop a quick note letting you know that I’m still hosting the challenges on Nike+.

What about Runner+?

I used to host challenges on Runner+. With Runner+, EVERYONE can run. You don’t need a Nike+ to log your runs. If you have one, it’s great, but if you don’t, you can enter your run data by hand. Unfortunately, there was the constant problem of people signing up for challenges that were below their level just to win. I didn’t have the ability to kick people out of my own challenges, so it was a fight every week. In the end, it was actually better to go back to the Nike+ website.

I’ll keep watching the Runner+ website to see if any additions are made to the usability, but until then, the challenges are available on Nike+.

Get Started with NIKE+


Girdle Ads For Women Who Don’t Need Them

By Laura Moncur @ 9:34 am — Filed under:

1971 Girdle AdI remember my grandma wearing girdles like these. I’ll never forget how she described them, “I feel like a sausage.” I imagined what a sausage would feel like and to this day, her description has warned me against wearing girdles.

It’s easy to forget what a sausage feels like when I look at advertising, though. They never show girdles being worn by women who need them in advertisements. If they did, we would never buy one because I haven’t noticed that they do much more than make me feel like a sausage.

No matter what I wear, I can’t hide that I’m fat. The ONLY way to look better is to lose weight. No amount of money spent on undergarments will ever make me look as good as when I am thin.

Photo via: Found in Mom’s Basement: 1971 ad for Lovable girdles


Why Cook?

By Laura Moncur @ 1:16 pm — Filed under:

This old commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken got me thinking:

The premise of the commercial is, “When there is great chicken like this, why cook?”

Why indeed? Not only is there chicken, but I can find any kind of food that I would want almost any time of the day. Why should I ever cook? I thought about it and here are a couple of reasons cooking is still a good idea:

When I cook, I choose the ingredients

I know EXACTLY what is going into that fried chicken when I cook it myself. There are no mysterious blends of 11 herbs and spices. I have COMPLETE knowledge. Instead of my choices being taken away, I can choose to cook with healthy oil, whole wheat flour and free-range chicken. I can be eating the SAME food, but know it is healthier.

I feel more connected

There is a sense of accomplishment with cooking and I feel more connected to my meal when I cook it. Even if it is a grilled sandwich, it is better when I’ve made it for myself than when I’ve grabbed one through the drive-thru window. There is something to be said for the pride of cooking.

It doesn’t take that long

I always imagine getting fast food to be so much more faster than just whipping something up at home, but when I time it, cooking usually wins. If I have all the ingredients in my cupboards, fridge and freezer, I can beat the drive-thru window every time. It’s easy to forget how time consuming just getting into the car and going to the restaurant can take. With traffic, long lines at the window and the drive back, I can usually have a meal made at home in just as much time.

It’s not that hard

As good as the Food Network has been to inspire people to cook, I think it has done just as much harm. Meals don’t have to be something like Martha Stewart would serve. They can be simple, easy to make and ugly. Making food pretty is important in a restaurant or a photo-shoot, but when your are making food at home, it doesn’t have to look gorgeous. Frankly, when you get food at a fast food restaurant, it NEVER looks like those commercials, so you really don’t have much to compete with.

After all this thought, the words still linger in my head. “Why cook?” The real question should be, “Why not?”

Late Night Eating

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

Friday night, I was up late. Not just normal late, but LATE late. I had eaten dinner at 7pm, so by 2am I felt like I was STARVING. No wonder, since it had been SEVEN hours since I had last eaten. I was out of points for the day.

What should I have done?

What I did do was go to Del Taco, one of the few places still open at two in the morning, and had a four point taco. I counted it on my eating journal as breakfast for Saturday morning. I went to bed a half hour later, woke up so late that I missed breakfast and my next meal was lunch. I technically didn’t lie on my journal, but I felt like I cheated. I was out of points, so I counted those points toward the next day.

But it WAS the next day!

My watch said it was August 2nd. At midnight, Cinderella’s finery turns back into the bland and I can count that taco as breakfast, right?

Now before you go all “late night eating is BAD for you” on me, do a Google Search for “Diet Myth Eat After 7” and plenty of experts will tell you that your metabolism doesn’t just shut down at 7:01 pm. They say that in the end, what counts is energy in and energy out. I don’t know if I believe that, but I DON’T believe that eating after 7pm will make me fat, because I have lost a lot of weight not heeding that advice.

This is an issue of score-keeping. When I run out of points for one day, is it acceptable to start working on the points target for the next day? Why do I feel like I have to sleep eight hours before I am allowed to start eating for the next day? What if I didn’t sleep at all? Should I starve until I am allowed slumber?

In the case of last Friday night, it worked out because I was just having my breakfast before I slept, but if I run out of points at 3pm, I really don’t think counting the full meal at 7pm as breakfast for the next day is the way to go. Where do I draw the line? Is it really the midnight hour?

What about you? How do deal with situations like these?


Nakedjen Urges Us To Eat Locally

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

Utah Blogger/Geek Dinner: July 2008 by LauraMoncur from FlickrOne of the benefits of living in Salt Lake City is that it’s the kind of place that attracts people like nakedjen. She moved here last January and after seven months in the town, she knows it better than I do now. I was enjoying the joy of her company at the Geek Dinner last Thursday when she told me about eating locally. She posted her entry about her thoughts here:

This is the crux of her challenge to us all:

I want each of us to really think about the food on our plates. To be mindful of the food that we’re eating. To forge a relationship with it. To understand where it has come from, how far it traveled, the energy it took for it to get from the farm to our belly. Do you know that if each and every one of us ate just one local meal a week, just one, a meal that is purchased and prepared from foods found in season and locally, we would save, as a country, 1.1 million barrels of oil per week?

Could I do it? Could I eat locally grown food for just ONE meal a week? Sure, I could! That one meal a week would cost me a fraction more than it would have at the grocery store, but isn’t that worth saving THAT much in oil?

How would I do it? Well, in the summer, it’s easy. Our city had a local farmers’ market every Saturday where I could get locally grown food. In the winter, however, I would have to rely on Liberty Market, a small store that specializes in local and organic food. Depending on your town’s size, this may or may not be an option for you. Of course, the more rural you are, the more likely you’ll have access to people who grow food for a living.

Can you do it? Can you eat one locally grown meal a week?


Copenhageners Ride Bikes To Work

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

Yesterday, I posted a detailed list on how to ride your bike to work. Today, I found this excellent video about just that subject:

Each and every day 550,000 thousand Copenhageners ride their bike to work or school. Here are some of them.

This video is brought to us by this weblog:

Go there to look for more inspiration about riding your bike instead of driving. You’ll be healthier and you’ll save money.


How To Ride Your Bike To Work

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

Back in 2005, I happened to work at a place that was close enough to my home that I could ride my bike to work. I learned a lot from that experience and I thought I had shared it here, but it looks like I never wrote that entry. Now that gasoline is SO expensive, I am sharing what I learned so that you can save money AND get fit.

Schwinn Windwood Men's 26-Inch Cruiser at Amazon.com

  • Get A Cruiser Bike: Racing bikes might prevent wind resistance, but they are a poor excuse for riding in the city. You need to be upright so you can see what is around you. A mountain bike with less bumpy tires might be a good alternative, but I was happiest with my crusier bike.

  • Shower Before You Ride To Work: Since most employers won’t have a place for you to shower after your bike ride, you will have to shower at home beforehand. Even though you’ll get sweaty on the ride, you will feel better if you shower first. If your company DOES have a shower at work, then EVERYTHING is easier.

ShowerPill Athletic Body Wipes at Amazon.com

  • Don’t Wear Your Work Clothes: After your shower, you’ll have to sweat it out on the ride and try to freshen up before your work day. Pack your work clothes in your backpack including an extra set of underwear. After my ride to work, I was sweaty, so I brought athletic body wipes to freshen up along with deodorant/antiperspirant and perfume. I saved my sweaty workout clothes for the ride home as well.

  • Give Yourself PLENTY Of Time: When you’re driving to work and encounter a detour, it will add maybe a couple of minutes to your commute. When you’re riding your bike, however, a minor detour can add FAR more time. On my route to work, I had to cross a train track, which was usually abandoned, but one day, there was a train PARKED on the tracks, blocking my access. I had to detour, which took me an extra 20 minutes. There was hardly enough time for me to change that day. After that, I ALWAYS gave myself an extra 15 minutes to bike to work.

Bell EZGuard Combination Cable Bike Lock at Amazon.com

  • Lock It Up: Just because you are at work doesn’t mean that your bike is safe in the stairwell without a lock. It is best to lock up your bike at an approved bike rack, but if none is available, make sure you find a secure place and lock it up, running the cable through your wheels AND the frame. I used this Bell Cable Bike Lock, which is not the best lock, but it packs up small and is enough to keep someone from walking off with your ride home.

  • Ride Safely: There were so many times when I was cut off by cars who didn’t see me. I was never injured because I was so aware of all the ways a car could accidentally hit me. Here is a link to the website that helped me be more aware: Bicycle Safety: How NOT to get hit by cars.

Rain Poncho at Amazon.com

  • Prepare for Weather: Sometimes a beautiful morning ends with a wet and soggy ride home. I found that camping supplies really helped me prepare with this emergency poncho. It was cheap and packed up SMALL in my bike bag, but would cover me and my backpack on the ride home.

  • Have A Backup Plan: If the weather becomes completely impassable or if there is a personal emergency, you need someone you can call to get you and your bike home safely. Whether it’s a spouse, family member or close friend, you should set up a plan so you can call them and get home quickly if you need to. I had this set up with Mike, my husband. I only had to use it twice that year that I rode my bike to work, but knowing that he could come get me if I needed eased my mind quite a bit.

Riding my bike to work that summer was the best thing for me. I lost an additional ten pounds that summer and I saved enough money in gas to pay for the bike (and that was before the gas prices exploded). If you have been considering taking an alternative method of transportation to work in an effort to save money or burn calories, biking to work is a wonderful choice. With just a little planning you can bike to work with ease and joy.

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