A.N.A Does NOT Mean “A New Approach”

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

A.N.A Does NOT Mean Something has gone terribly wrong at JCPenney. They have started a new clothing line called A.N.A.

Their signage says that A.N.A means, “A New Approach,” but either they are consciously trying to get the pro-ana girls to buy their clothing or they are COMPLETELY out of touch with teens.

The pro-ana movement is a group who believe that women with anorexic bodies are beautiful. They don’t believe anorexia is a disorder. They aren’t necessarily an organized group, but there are MANY pro-ana sites on the Internet that glamorize the anorexic form. Wikipedia has a good article about it:

In fact, JCPenney’s advertisements could be used on a pro-ana site for “thinspiration.”

A.N.A. Does NOT Mean

I don’t believe that JCPenney could be evil, so I have to deduce that they are just clueless about the pro-ana movement. They need to think of a new approach in naming their clothing lines from now on.


Clementine Season Is Here Again

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

Clementines are easy to peelYou can only buy Clementines during this time of the year, and lately, you can only buy them in a HUGE bag. I’ve talked about Clementines before:

My favorite aspect of clementines is how easy they are to peel and the fact that they have no seeds. I DON’T like that I have to buy a huge container of them instead of being able to just buy a couple at a time. The big box of clementines inevitably goes bad before I can finish them all.


This year, Mike had a great idea. We took half of the clementines, peeled them and put them in plastic bags to freeze them.

Frozen Clementines

“I don’t think you can freeze citrus,” I told Mike. “They’re going to go bad anyway, so let’s just try it,” he replied, “Maybe they’ll be like frozen grapes.”

Just last week, I tried using the frozen clementines in a smoothie and they worked PERFECTLY!

Clementine Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen clementine sections
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tsps of healthy oil (I like to sneak it into treats so I don’t notice it)
  • 1 packet of Stevia (or Splenda) – optional (most of the time the clementines are sweet enough)

Put all the ingredients into the blender and mix on high until smooth.

1 serving – Approximately 250 calories – 5 WW Points – 2 fruit, 2 oil and 1 milk serving.

The smoothie tasted like a healthy dreamsicle, and I LOVE that I get to check off so many boxes on my food journal.

Clementines are only available for a short time each year, so make sure you grab a bag of them and enjoy them both fresh AND frozen.


Frozen Grapes: Healthy Diet Staple

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

I had never heard of freezing grapes until about five years ago. We had just moved into our present house and the back yard had grape vines. We had so many grapes that there was no possible way for us to eat them all. A friend of mine recommended that we freeze them.

Frozen Grapes

You don’t have to do anything special, you just wash them, pull them off the vine and freeze them in a ziploc bag. You can take them out later, defrost them to eat. You can eat them frozen (my favorite after a hot workout). You can put them in smoothies to make delicious grape shakes. Here is my recipe for that:

Grape Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen grapes
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tsps of healthy oil (I like to sneak it into treats so I don’t notice it)
  • 1 packet of Stevia (or Splenda) – optional (most of the time the grapes are sweet enough)

Put all the ingredients into the blender and mix on high until smooth.

1 serving – Approximately 250 calories – 5 WW Points – 2 fruit, 2 oil and 1 milk serving.

Without frozen grapes, eating healthy would be much more difficult for me. If you are having a hard time getting all your fruit servings in, get a bunch of grapes today and freeze them in one cup bags today. Then all you need to do each day is take out one bag and you knock out two servings in one punch.


Lightning Strikes Twice on The Biggest Loser

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

For the second time in a row, a woman has won The Biggest Loser.

Biggest Loser 2008

Michelle, who was actually tempted to just leave the campus when things got really tough, stuck it out and ended up being 2008’s Biggest Loser. Here is her when she made it to the Final Three:

Here is a horrible quality video of her win:

Both she and last year’s winner, Alli, were coached by Jillian. She has her own website where you can get a daily email and other great information:

I have a love/hate relationship with The Biggest Loser. The contest aspect of the show really pushes the contestants to lose weight quickly. Some of the people keep the weight off, but there are many contestants that we never hear from again, who just DON’T maintain their losses. Additionally, watching the show can be inspiring because you see these people working so hard, but it’s also de-motivating because when I compare my weekly weight loss with theirs, I am suddenly unhappy with my “measly” one pound a week.

As far as reality television goes, The Biggest Loser is the only one I can stand to watch. As far as REALITY goes, however, The Biggest Loser leaves a lot to be desired.


Easy Meals: Refried Beans

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

I have been racking my brain trying to think of easy things to cook just like the Mexi-Beans and the Italian Beans. This week, I came up with this one.

Refried Beans – 5 Points – Serves 3

IngredientsEasy Meals: Refried Beans by LauraMoncur from Flickr

  • 1 can of fat-free refried beans
  • 1 small can of corn
  • 1 bottle of salsa
  • 3/4 cup of shredded cheese
  • 3 tsp of Mexican seasoning
  • 3 Glad or Ziploc bowls


  • Open the can of refried beans and divide among the three bowls.
  • Drain the can of corn and divide among the three bowls.
  • Open the bottle of salsa and divide between the three bowls. This is ALOT of salsa, so if you’re sensitive to spiciness, make sure you choose the mild.
  • Add 1 tsp of Mexican seasoning to each bowl. You can also spice it up with Tabasco sauce, taco sauce packets from Taco Bell, etc.
  • Add 1/4 cup shredded cheese to each bowl.
  • Cover the bowls and put them in the fridge.

When it’s time to eat, pull out a bowl from the fridge, crack the lid and cook in the microwave for 2 minutes. This recipe makes three meals and it’s EASY!

Easy Meals: Refried Beans by LauraMoncur from Flickr

I usually heat one up immediately (only takes one minute when everything is at room temperature) and then store the other two for later. I count this as one protein, one dairy and two veggies. It’s a little more points than Mexi-Beans, but it’s a nice change of pace so I don’t get bored eating the same thing all the time.


Have a Healthy Christmas

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

Have a Sexy ChristmasIt’s the middle of December. If you’re reading this, you are trying your darndest to stay on your program during the holidays. Right now, you’re tempted to just give up for a couple of weeks so you can enjoy the holidays. Of course, that implies that it’s impossible to enjoy the holidays and eat healthy, and logically you know that’s not true, but you’re still tempted.

You’re tempted to put your weight loss dreams off until “someday.” Zen Habits has the answer for you. They have a great article about how to cure Someday Syndrome.

Here’s how their cures can help you have a Healthy Christmas:

  1. Be you: Firstly, you have to make sure that the goal you’ve set for yourself really works for you. BMI might be the end all for health insurance companies, but instinctively you know if you are at a healthy weight. Is where you are now where you want to be?
  2. Clear out the junk: We have a lot of junk in our lives: negative thoughts, cluttered homes, and junk food. Clearing them all out gives you space to have positive thoughts, room to workout and a cupboard full of healthy food.
  3. Know what you want: I know this sounds kind of silly, but WHY do you want to lose weight, eat healthy and get strong? That sounds like such an easy answer, but if the answer was easy, DOING it would be easy. WRITE DOWN WHY you want to stay on your program. Draw pictures or talk to yourself.
  4. Make a grand plan: Look at your BIG goal. Make a plan to get there in the next year or so. You would be doing this on January First, so get a two week head start on yourself. Plan out where you want to be in a year.
  5. Take one step at a time: Next, plan what you need to do over the next two weeks to get through the holidays. Every party, every office treat, every neighbor gift, ALL OF IT. Plan out what you’re going to do and what you’re going to say so you can keep on program.
  6. Ignore the rest: This is their best suggestion. After planning for the big picture, ignore it. FOCUS on what you have to do TODAY.
  7. Get help: This is HARD. If it were easy, everyone would look like a supermodel. Get help from somewhere. It doesn’t really matter where. I always recommend Weight Watchers because they worked for me, but others have had success with Overeaters Anonymous, Jenny Craig, and even simple community programs at their local schools. Friends and family are another resource that you can ask for help.
  8. Don’t compare: This one is particularly bad if you attend a weight loss meeting of some sort. It’s very easy to compare ourselves to others. That can be good because we might aspire to being better, but it can also be very discouraging. Our bodies are different and they are going to react differently.
  9. Be uncomfortable: It’s okay if this is hard. When you start a new eating program, you’re going to be eating different foods that might affect your digestion. Stick with them. When you start a new exercise program, your muscles are going to ache a little. That’s a sign that you’re stretching. If you’re completely comfortable, you’re doing it wrong.
  10. Celebrate the process as well as the end: Never underestimate the power of shiny stickers. Every day that you’re able to follow your program perfectly should be rewarded. Print out a calendar for the rest of the month and give yourself a sticker for every day you follow your program.
  11. Don’t stop at the easy point: Most lists have ten items, but this one has eleven. It’s a reminder to push yourself. When you’re working out, remember to go a little further. When you’re choosing your food, remember to go with the healthy and filling foods rather than the decadent treats. Just a little extra push every day over the next two weeks will get you further than a huge push on January First.

The difference between the people who succeed and the people who don’t are these next two weeks. If you can stay on your program during these two weeks, you have a jump on yourself. You fall into the category of those who succeed and it’s just one step at a time until you reach your goal.


You Can’t Hide Your Diet

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

This funny photo from Lolcats says everything:

LOLCats: Diet Fish

It reads:

Diet: Fish (on the thin cat)
Diet: Birds (on the thin cat)
Diet: Yorkshire Terriers (on the medium sized cat)
Diet: Cheezburgers (on the fat cat)

Sometimes I like to believe that no one can tell what I have been eating. If they didn’t see me eat it, they can’t tell, right?


They can tell EXACTLY how I eat just by LOOKING at me. My body reveals my diet far more readily than I like to believe.


Be A Somebody With A Body

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

Before Andy Warhol became a famous Pop Artist, he was just an ordinary graphic artist. One of his lesser known creations: Be A Somebody With A Body is one of those works:

Be A Somebody With A Body by Andy Warhol

Just like the Charles Atlas ads that graced the back of comic books for years, this little piece of art was meant to sell something.

It does give a glimpse into the mind of Andy Warhol, though: You’re not somebody unless you have THAT body.

Is it true? Are only the perfect men and women worth any notice? Evolutionarily, that’s how it has gone, but with the advent of the technological age, shouldn’t the intelligent and witty be the new alpha males? Sadly, no, if you are basing things on first impressions. Sure, the funny guys can win over a girl eventually, but a physically fit guy with a great personality will beat just funny every time.

Disgusting Body BuilderOf course, it is possible to go too far with this idea. Physically fit is NOT the same as bulked up. In fact, I’ve never seen a physically fit male on the cover of any body builder magazine. They are all mutants.

Am I a somebody if I don’t have a perfect body? Yeah, sure I am, but physical fitness makes me even MORE so. Working toward a perfect body is a worthwhile goal and it’s not all about vanity.


Carnivore, Omnivore, Herbivore

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

This funny photo from Lolcats made me laugh:

LOLCats: Carnivore

It reads:

What part of CARNIVORE confuses you?

Cats ARE carnivores, which means they only eat meat. Cows are herbivores, which means they only eat vegetable matter. If you’re a human herbivore, you tend to call yourself Vegan, but the human animal is an omnivore.

Which means we can eat EVERYTHING.

We can eat meat. We can eat grains. We can eat garbage. We can eat anything. That’s great news in a famine and it’s probably the reason why we’re at the top of the food chain, but when we are overweight, it’s time to realize that we are NOT in a famine. We are NOT starving.

Just because we can eat everything, doesn’t mean we should.

There are foods that will help us be healthier. Concentrating on those foods and letting the things that pass for food pass us by is the first lesson we need to learn in a healthier life.

If you need a refresher course on what is food and what is not, here is something to get you started:

  • Vegetables and Fruits
  • Whole Wheat Pasta, Brown Rice, Potatoes and Grains
  • Lean Meats, Poultry, Fish, Legumes and Eggs
  • Fat-Free Dairy Products
  • Healthy Oils

It’s kind of a simple list when you stick to it. Twinkies? Not food. We CAN eat it because we’re omnivores, but it’s not something a caveman would recognize as food.

Your body is crying out for this food every time you feel hungry. Feed yourself well and you won’t have to worry about health or weight gain.

Here’s a kitten who LIKES his greens:

Maybe he’s too young to know he’s a carnivore. 🙂


Nutrition53: Britney Spears, Angelina Jolie & Sarah Palin Use It?

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

How They Got Thin Fast by LauraMoncur from FlickrThe most recent Life & Style Magazine has an article about Nutrition53. The founder said that his weight loss shakes are used by Angelina Jolie, Sarah Palin and Britney Spears, taking credit for their latest losses. I find that hard to believe considering what Britney said to Fox News not too long ago:

“My diet has a lot to do with my getting into shape. I have no sugar. I don’t eat fruit or even fruit juice because of the sugar. I eat chicken and salmon and rice. I eat avocados. I’ll have egg whites for breakfast and sometimes turkey burgers for lunch. I try to do just 1,200 calories a day. It may sound like it’s not much, but it’s actually a lot of food if you eat the right things,” she tells the magazine.

Angelina Jolie? According to sources her diet is organic and surprisingly shake free:

Angelina’s menu includes “organic salmon with tomatoes, brown bread and herbs for breakfast, while mackerel or grilled fresh tuna with watercress, spinach tomatoes is typical for lunch or dinner.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, not even Sarah Palin drinks his shakes:

“My family and I eat a healthy diet heavy in wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit,” she says. “I guess my biggest pitfall is breakfast. I know it’s the most important meal of the day but I still haven’t bought into it. I hate to admit it, but a skinny white-chocolate mocha is my staple in the morning.”

Skinny white-chocolate mocha ISN’T one of the shake flavors for Nutrition53. In fact, the entire Life & Style article looks like a paid advertisement to me. I had to check the top and bottom of the pages to make sure it wasn’t.

Next time you’re waiting in line at the checkout counters and the magazines promise you that weight loss is easy with a miracle product, just pass them by.

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