Pilates Exerciser: Just A Pile Of Strings On A Door Handle

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

I was reading Retrospace and it showed me something I hadn’t seen since I was a kid. It was the Total Body Shaper and my parents had one in the Seventies.

Total Body Shaper

It hung on the door to the crawl space and furnace room for YEARS. My parents used it sometimes, but mostly, it was just an irritating pile of strings on a door handle.

Now, it’s all well and good to laugh at that old exercise product. Weren’t my parents funny back in the Seventies? They didn’t realize how silly that thing was.

Sadly, they STILL sell exercise equipment like this today. This is the Body Exerciser at Amazon.com

Body Exerciser at Amazon.com

Just in case you thought it was a fluke, there are LOTS of these products available. Even Bally Total Fitness makes one: Bally Fitness Pilates Door Knob Rope Excerciser

Bally Fitness Pilates Door Knob Rope Excerciser at Amazon.com

They cost about the same money as they did back in the Seventies, but I don’t think they will give a better workout to you than they did to my poor mom and dad. Don’t let companies take your money with promises. Sure, they’ve changed the name from Total Body Shaper to Pilates Workout, but in the end, they’re still selling the same thing: empty promises.


Pick Up Your Jump Rope And USE It

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

Beautiful Women posted this little info graphic that gives you a bunch of reasons to pick up a jump rope and use it for your next workout.

Jumping Rope Is Good

It reads:

The Benefits of Jumping Rope

In just 15 to 20 minutes, it will give you an unparalleled total body workout.

A lot of muscles are being worked at the same time. This can create muscle tone and definition.

To make workouts more challenging and intense, you can use a weighted jump rope.

It enhances performance in any sport.

It’s also great for eye-hand coordination, lateral movement, foot and hand speed and agility.

It can be used at the beginning of workouts for a warm-up.

Passive rest breaks in between lifts can be substituted with rope-jumping sessions. This can keep your heart rate up and promote more weight loss.

Jump rope workouts can be effective in helping you lose weight and reduce your disease risk.

Via: Healthy is Classy


Sweet Misery Documentary: Is It True or Bogus?

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

I found this video on YouTube called Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World. You can see it in full here:

There are interviews with doctors, but the only proof that they bring to light is anecdotal. They show person after person who blames their problems on aspartame, but they don’t mention any peer reviewed studies.

One of the people being interviewed stated it clearly:

My doctors will NOT come out and absolutely put down in writing that this is caused by aspartame. They will NOT do it. They won’t put it in my record.

He goes on to say that they will give him an “aside” saying, “Thank god you’re off NutraSweet.” The reason why his doctors won’t put it in writing that his symptoms are caused by aspartame is because they don’t have the PROOF of it. Another interviewee stated that there was no real evidence that aspartame caused his brain tumor, but that it was only circumstantial, which might be enough to convict a murderer in a court of law, but science has a higher standard than law.

Their biggest arguments seem to hinge on the fact that the studies proving aspartame’s safety were all funded by Searle (the company who invented it). What these people don’t point out is that’s how ALL testing on new chemicals is funded. It’s the company’s responsibility to prove safety, whether the product is a food additive, drug, a new carpet fiber or a new mixture of gasoline.

When I worked at a research facility, we tested all of these sorts of products for safety and toxicity. The fact that the company funding the research wanted the new products to do well didn’t change the fact that sometimes the new carpet fiber caused horrible skin irritations or the new drug caused tumors. We were required to report all those findings otherwise the FDA or EPA would shut us down. The fact that NutraSweet research was funded by Searle isn’t an indication of wrongdoing. It’s the industry standard.

I’m not saying these people didn’t have an alleviation of symptoms when they stopped eating aspartame. I’m just saying that WE DON’T KNOW. Personally, I try to avoid the flavor of sweet, no matter what sweetener is used because I have a harder time avoiding bingeing when I’ve eaten sweet things, even if they are calorie-free.

Does aspartame cause brain tumors and other horrible neurological symptoms? The research available says no. Does it help you lose weight? The research on that ALSO says no, so the case for using artificial sweeteners isn’t very strong.

When I was a kid, I used to watch cartoons that promised that in the future, food would come to me in the form of a pill. I would be free from food and science would provide for my nutritional needs in one simple processed food patty. The older I get, the more I realize that I don’t WANT that promise. Real food hasn’t been chemically altered to please me as much as processed food, but it seems to fulfill me more. Should I eat food with aspartame in it? Maybe not. But I’m beginning to think that’s the case for ANY processed food.

Video via: ATLCX (Episode 18): The Truth About Sweeteners | Dr. David Getoff « Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Blog


Low Carb Shake Recipe

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

Low Carb ShakeThere is something in the Atkins low carb shakes that hurts my stomach. I have NO idea what it is, but it really doubles me over within an hour of drinking one.

Not to mention the fact that they just taste wrong. Sure, they’re sweet and taste kind of like chocolate (or vanilla or caramel coffee), but they just don’t taste as good as I’d like.

But I like to have a low carb shake to drink in the morning, so I set out to create one. After a little experimentation and a lot of worrying about why cocoa doesn’t mix in with my almond milk, I finally figured it out. (more…)



By Laura Moncur @ 9:32 am — Filed under:

I absolutely adore this motivational poster from Healthy is Classy.

Success Day in Day Out

It reads,

Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in, day out.

It’s true. It doesn’t take much to be fit and thin. It just takes doing it EVERY day instead of one or two days a week.

The next time you’re thinking of skipping out on your workout, remember that it’s not enough to follow your regime some of the time. You must do it EVERY day to see results.


Can You Make Ice Cream With Atkins Shakes?

By Laura Moncur @ 6:20 am — Filed under:

When his wife bought an ice cream maker, the writer at Low Carb Confidential wanted to know, Can You Make Ice Cream With Atkins Shakes?.

Atkins Shake Low Carb Ice Cream

Despite the warning on the shakes, he decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, it ended up a chunky mess.

Atkins Shake Low Carb Ice Cream

Ironically, making low carb ice cream is pretty easy. There are a bunch of recipes on the Low Carb Friends forum. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe


  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup Splenda
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Atkins chocolate syrup
  • dash salt

Mix all thoroughly and put it into your ice cream maker. Turn on and watch for about 25 minutes – it should slow to a halt when it’s thick enough. You can easily double the recipe if you’d like.

Makes 2 servings 4g carbs per serving

French Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe


  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1/4 cup ice cold water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • dash salt

Mix all thoroughly. Cook in a saucepan over low heat. This won’t thicken as much as a sugar-based custard will, but it will thicken so stir regularly. Cook 15-20 minutes until medium thick. Now put it in the fridge to cool down for at least an hour. Put the mix into your ice cream maker. Turn on and watch for about 25 minutes – it should slow to a halt when it’s thick enough.

Makes 2 servings 3g carbs per serving

Strawberry Ice Cream


  • 1 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup strawberry juice/puree
  • 7/8 cup Splenda
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped strawberries

Place a handful of strawberries in a blender or food processor to create the strawberry juice/puree. Mix the first 5 ingredients and add to machine, add the coarse strawberries once the mix has started to firm up.

If the mix is not solidifying, add 1 tsp of water and mix it in well with a rubber spatula, make your own determination of how to safely do this with the type of ice cream maker you have.

Strawberries are 1.8g / 4oz serving, in case you use some for decoration or consumption on the side

Makes 4 servings 3.5g carbs per serving

There are lots more recipes here:

Be careful, though, some of those recipes use ingredients from Atkins products (like low carb peanut butter cups) and the carb measurements might not be accurate because they are using the Net Carbs.


Yesterday, You Said Tomorrow

By Laura Moncur @ 11:08 am — Filed under:

I love this photo from Melissa’s Running Inspiration Pinterest Page.

Yesterday You Said Tomorrow

It reads:

Yesterday, you said tomorrow.

It’s an advertisement for a hated brand of shoes and clothing, so I won’t mention it here, but the sentiment is so motivating that I just HAD to post it here.

The next time you think, “I’ll start my diet and exercise tomorrow,” STOP yourself! Stop right there and start NOW. Do a quick twenty-minute workout. Plan your meals for the next day and even prepare your lunch so you won’t have an excuse later. You can always do something NOW, so quit putting your life on hold until tomorrow.


Be Yourself? Worst Advice EVAR!

By Laura Moncur @ 10:56 am — Filed under:

FINALLY someone else is talking about how bad the advice to “be yourself” is.

Be myself? Right now, I’m overweight. I don’t exercise enough. I struggle with eating food that is poison to my body. I don’t want to be that self.

The advice I need is to be better than myself until I’m so used to being that person that it finally feels like myself.

Via: “Make Yours a Good Self”


Low Carb Big Mac Pie

By Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am — Filed under:

When I’ve been eating low carb for a while, I start missing foods that I used to eat regularly. That’s why I’m really excited about this recipe for Low Carb Big Mac Pie. I can’t eat it in the car while I’m on a long road trip, but it will fulfill my cravings for one of my old favorites.

One thing that he addresses that makes the Big Mac so good is the “Special Sauce.” I had no idea that special sauce was just Thousand Island Dressing, but he has a low carb version. You can watch the video at the end of the post, but the ingredients are here:

Low Carb 1000 Island Dressing

Here are the ingredients for the Big Mac Pie:

Low Carb Big Mac Pie Ingredients

Next time I’m craving a Big Mac, I think I’ll whip this recipe up. It looks delicious and sometimes I really need a way to get past my cravings. (more…)


Why I Exercise

By Laura Moncur @ 7:26 am — Filed under:

When Mike and I were visiting Little Rock, Arkansas, last month, we had a chance to ride bikes across the Big Dam Bridge.

Big Dam Bridge Laura & Mike Moncur

The bridge rose 90 feet up into the air, spanning across the Arkansas River and I REALLY wanted to make it across the whole thing. When I arrived there, however, I realized that this was a bigger feat than I thought it would be.

Big Dam Bridge

90 feet is just a number in my head. It wasn’t until I actually SAW how tall that bridge was that I fully understood how big of a job this ride would be. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to get across it, but I did. I got across and back and the view was totally worth it!

Big Dam Bridge

I’m pretty sure that if the bridge had been at 4,200 feet (like back home in SLC, UT), I wouldn’t have been able to do the whole ride, but being at such a low elevation (335 feet), I felt like superhero! I was so proud of being able to get across the bridge, I bought myself a t-shirt commemorating it!

Big Dam Bridge Tshirt

Whenever I’m exercising at home, I need to remember that THIS is why I’m doing it: so I can see great things like the Big Dam Bridge when I’m traveling.

For more information:


Powered by WordPress
(c) 2004-2017 Starling Fitness / Michael and Laura Moncur