Twitter Updates for 2009-04-30

By @ 11:59 pm — Filed under:
  • Whole Foods has a horseradish and chive havarti cheese to DIE for! I had it with a pear for breakfast. Yum! #
  • My sentiments EXACTLY! RT @JuleeEllison Gold’s Gym Cardio Workout for the Wii Rocks!!! Easy interface, and it’ll make you sweat! #

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My Symbiont Part 2 of 3

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

I have always felt like there was something else controlling me when it came to eating. I could always get the motivation to exercise consistently, but eating healthy has been a struggle for me my whole life.

I always chalked it up to lack of self-control, but honestly it was more than that. When I filmed this video back in 2006, I was struggling with a beast:

Click Here To Watch Video Confessional

It was like there was a beast inside of me that wanted to eat as much as I could because Mike was out of the house. To be completely honest, that beast won that war. Not that day, but over the last three years, I have been unable to control it.

Odan SymbiontYesterday, I talked about my digestive tract being a symbiont within me. An animal that lives within my body that controls how much I eat. It might be an incredibly DUMB animal with only one hundred million neurons in its “brain,” but it is a STRONG animal. It can take control of me when I least expect it.

How can I retrain the beast within me? How can I make it understand that I want to be thin? It’s not like I can just sit down and have a little conversation with the animal inside of me. I have to train it like a dog to do what I want instead of what it wants.

Tune in tomorrow for some ideas on how to retrain the beast within all of us.


Twitter Updates for 2009-04-29

By Laura Moncur @ 11:59 pm — Filed under:
  • Going on a walk with @nakedjen and her dogs this morning. They were in Santa Cruz all last week, so I’m happy to have them back! #
  • RT @motivation: “Laughter is by definition healthy.” – Doris Lessing http://tqpage.com/1718 #
  • @steifon To get an iPod cheap, go to a pawn shop. You can get a 1st gen Nano for less than fifty bucks. Makes for a great workout! #
  • RT @tinapearson: Enjoyed a early a.m. Walk/jog… Why do people not say good morning to each other? Say good morning to 5 strangers today! #
  • It took me 1h 23 min to walk 2.86 miles. Sometimes I think I should run after the dogs to chase the ball on these walks. #

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My Symbiont Part 1 of 3

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

Back in February, I had a nasty case of food poisoning. It was like my digestive tract was at war with the rest of my body. I was hungry, but anything I ate was immediately expelled (from both sides). I could feel my entire digestive tract complain in pain from my throat to my colon.

In my fevered state, I imagined my digestive tract to be a completely other being inside of me just like the Trill in Star Trek. This portion of the episode, The Host, explains very quickly about the Trill:

The Trill are a joined species with a host and a symbiont. When Odon’s host body was injured in an attack, Dr. Crusher must implant the symbiont into Commander Riker. The symbiont controls Riker’s body and both consciousnesses live in the body together. Odon makes Riker do things that he normally wouldn’t do, like kiss Beverly Crusher.

Digestive SystemIn my fevered state, I realized that I have a symbiont: my digestive tract.

According to Wikipedia, my digestive system has a huge array of nerves that control it called the enteric nervous plexus. It has as many as 100,000,000 neurons. Now, that’s only a thousandth of the neurons that we have in our brains, but still, that’s a lot of brain matter for stomach.

So, my symbiont is like an animal inside of me. For all I know, long ago, we used to be two animals and now we exist as one, just like the Trill in Star Trek. With only one hundred million neurons, it’s a pretty DUMB animal, though.

After a couple of months of considering myself a joined species, I’ve had a few revelations. Tune in tomorrow to read all about them.


The Weight Loss Testimonial

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

Here is a closeup of an old advertisement for Ayds Weight Loss Candy:

Ayds Ad Jean Hunter: Click to see full size

You can see the full ad here: Ayds Ad Jean Hunter: Click to see full size ad

The ad goes through the same story as every testimonial for any weight loss product I’ve ever read:

  • A before and after photo with derogatory remarks about the before.
  • A profession that the person had ALWAYS been fat.
  • A series of confessions about the pain of being a fat person.
  • More confessions about all the other plans, pills, and products that the person has tried.
  • The incredible shame of being fat, especially in regard to family members: i.e. “My poor husband!”
  • The gratitude of finding the miraculous product that made her slim.
  • The joy of being slimmer than a past rival (sister, brother, friend, etc.).
  • The act of trying on old clothes that used to fit.

It seems like ALL testimonials have most (if not all) of these ingredients. This advertisement is from 1969, but I remember reading testimonial ads like this in Seventeen Magazine when I was a teenager in the 80’s. I’ve even seen similar ads from the 1800’s. This is a formula that has been used to deceive us for a LONG time.

Ad via: Found in Mom’s Basement: Vintage campign for Ayds weight loss candy

You can read the full ad here: (more…)


Consumers Warned of Acai Scams

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

You Wanna Triple-X Throwdown? by JoeRocketh from FlickrAcai berries are in EVERYTHING lately, even Vitamin Water. I get at least fifty spam emails in my box every day for acai and weight loss. Acai berries are supposed to be chock-full of antioxidants, but do they help you lose weight? Not according to the Connecticut Attorney General.

Acai began attracting attention in 2005 on the belief that its juice was especially high in antioxidants. In truth, acai juice has only middling levels of antioxidants less than that of Concord grape, blueberry, and black cherry juices, but more than cranberry, orange, and apple juices. Even so, the extent to which antioxidants by themselves promote health is a matter of some debate. No credible evidence suggests antioxidants promote weight loss.

Here is a list they gave of some of the questionable websites that promote acai:

  • Oprah-best-acai.com
  • OprahsAmazingDiet.com
  • DrOzMiracle.com
  • rachaelray.drozdiet-acaiberry.com

Oprah Winfrey, Mehmet Oz, and Rachael Ray have NOTHING to do with these sites and have all stated that they are not affiliated with them.

Worse still, they say that some of these companies lure you in with a “free” trial, take your credit card number and charge you monthly for pills that you no longer want to receive.

“There are no magical berries from the Brazilian rainforest that cure obesity only painfully real credit card charges and empty weight loss promises,” said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. “Aggressive Acai berry pitches on the Internet entice countless consumers into free trials promising weight loss, energy and detoxification. These claims are based on folklore, traditional remedies and outright fabrications unproven by real scientific evidence. In reality, consumers lose more money than weight after free trials transition into inescapable charges.”

Any company promising weight loss is suspect. Acai berries are no magic solution to lose weight and any company that says they are doesn’t have the medical data to support those claims right now, so stay away from them.


Ask Laura: How To Get In Your Daily Oils

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

How To Get In Your Daily Oils by LauraMoncur from FlickrI found this question in the entry about Weight Watchers:


Does anyone have ideas on how to get daily oils? Not sure how to sneak the oils in…ideas on what foods or supplements to take to get the daily oils?



I talked about some ideas for getting your healthy oils here:

Here are some of the recommendations I’ve heard:

  • Cooking food in the oil
  • Using it on toast instead of butter (canola is good for this one)
  • Adding it to smoothies (I prefer flaxseed oil in my smoothies because of the interesting taste)
  • Choosing oil on your sandwich at Subway (they use olive oil)
  • Eating it straight from a spoon like medicine

I don’t recommend taking a spoonful of oil like medicine. It’s yummy fat! ENJOY it!!

Here are some recipes that I eat regularly where I add one of the healthy oils:

As far as Weight Watchers is concerned, I’ve heard my leader say MANY times that oil supplements are NOT considered a replacement for the healthy oil requirement, so you can’t take a few flaxseed oil capsules and be done with it.

Why would you?

Adding healthy oil to your food makes it TASTE GOOD. Let yourself enjoy an egg fried in canola oil. Let yourself sop up every drop of that oil out of the pan with a piece of whole wheat bread. Let the artichokes bask in the glory of a teaspoon of olive oil. Enjoy the rich creaminess of a teaspoon of flaxseed oil in your smoothie.

Weight Watchers is all about eating healthy food. FOOD, not pills. Let yourself enjoy the additional fat in your diet. Your body needs it and so do your taste buds!


The Weil Reducing Belt

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

The Weil Reducing BeltI found this advertisement from the 1920’s for The Weil Reducing Belt.

It reads:

Fat Men!
This new self-massaging belt not only makes you look thinner INSTANTLY – but quickly takes off rolls of excess fat.

Diet is weakening – drugs are dangerous – strenuous reducing exercises are liable to strain your heart. The only safe method of reducing is massage. This method sets up a vigorous circulation that seems to melt away the surplus fat. The Weil Reducing Belt made of special reducing rubber, produces exactly the same results as a skilled masseur, only quicker and cheaper. Every move you make causes the Weil Belt to gently massage your abdomen. Results are rapid because this belt works for you every second.

Fat Replaced by Normal Tissue

From 4 to 6 inches of flabby fat usually vanish in just a few weeks. Only solid, normal tissue remains. The Weil Reducing Belt is endorsed by physicians because it not only takes off fat, but helps correct stomach disorders, constipation, backache, shortness of breath and puts sagging internal organs back into place.

This ad might seem ludicrous and silly over eighty years later, but there are companies that are still selling this idea to this day:

Just like in 1920, you are unlikely to see any long term effects from a reducing belt, or trimming belt, or abs belt or anything that you put on your body. The only thing that will be lighter is your wallet.

Photo via: Found in Mom’s Basement: 1920s ad for “fat men”


Is Riding Your Bike To Work Bad For The Environment?

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

My Bike by LauraMoncur from FlickrIn what has become a silly extension of the worry about the environment, everyone is asking whether riding your bike to work is better for the environment than driving your car.

The study Nye speaks was written by Karl T. Ulrich of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and it’s titled “The Environment Paradox of Bicycling” (PDF file). In short, the study suggests there is an immediate energy savings by bicycle riding, since a cyclist is up to nine times more energy efficient than a single-occupant car. However, the study suggests cyclists increase their longevity by 10.6 days for every year of cycling. Because of that, they consume more energy over their lifetimes, thus doing more harm to the environment.

Which is more important: human life or the environment? If you really believe that the environment is more important than your own life, then you should commit suicide now. There are none of us with a carbon footprint of zero.

If it’s at all possible for you to ride your bike to work, you should DO it! It will help the environment in the short run and keep you alive in the long run. I’ve written about this in the past:


Win The Battle of the Bulge

By Laura Moncur @ 11:17 am — Filed under:

I found this advertisement for Quaker Puffed Wheat cereal from 1969:

Click to see full sized ad

It reads:

You can win the battle of the bulge.
Eat the 56 calorie cereal.
You don’t have to skip breakfast.
Just calories.
Quaker Puffed Wheat and Puffed Rice have only 56 per bowl. A satisfying yet frugal way to start the day.
From your friends at Quaker.

Quaker Puffed Wheat Nutrition FactsIn the days before nutrition facts, the statement of “56 calories per bowl” could mean almost anything. What size of bowl? Now that we have nutrition facts at our disposal, it’s VERY easy to see that Quaker wasn’t lying to us back in 1969.

You can have 1 and 1/4 cups of Puffed Wheat for only 55 calories, 0.3 g of fat and 1.4 g of fiber. With nutrition facts like that, Quaker Puffed Wheat is one of the better cereals to choose for breakfast.

Of course, The Battle of the Bulge is a war that not many of us are fighting now. I haven’t heard that phrase for a LONG time…

Photo via: Found in Mom’s Basement: 1969 ad for low-cal puffed wheat cereal

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