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August 2009

Overwhelmed with information

Ever since I got back from vacation, I've been foundering, diet-wise.

I used up the last of my stash of Nutrisystem and promptly took off the couple of pounds I gained on vacation. But now that the Nutrisystem is gone, I'm back to fending for myself in the kitchen. Not a problem, because the pantry and fridge are full of healthy foods and no junk.

Here's what makes my head spin: I write about diet and weight loss here at Shrinking Sisters and at, so I'm constantly flooded with press releases, DVDs, Web sites, gadgets, gizmos, books and magazine articles about the perfect diet.

You would not believe the number of diet books I have in my home office, not to mention the stacks of workout DVDs. Wanna see?

Stacks3 Stacks1 Stacks2

Everything sounds so promising, so I don't know which one to follow.

So I haven't followed anything.

And I lost 2 more pounds.

What I've done over the years is glean nuggets from these books to help me craft the best way to eat to release weight. What am I doing now?'

A balanced diet, with about half my food coming from carbs, 30 percent fat (healthy monounsaturated) and 20 percent lean protein (primarily non-fat dairy, poultry and wild salmon).

Three meals and a couple of snacks a day, with small amounts of protein, carbs and fat at each meal. In the past if I had a carby meal or snack, that'd just send me on a carb bender the rest of the day.

Not sweating the exercise right now. That Time magazine article on exercise not helping weight loss is to blame. But I don't agree with the article. Exercise is extremely important for overweight people -- it helps lower blood sugar levels, strengthens muscles and bones, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol ... the list goes on. I'm going to get back into the groove but I'm not going to beat myself up about it.

What I'm trying to do ultimately is just eat normally, a topic taken up at Take a minute to read the post; I found it fascinating. I've been dieting since I was 10 years old, so it's going to take a long time to unwrap my head around "bad" and "good" eating. But I believe that I will. 

This is why women obsess over their bodies


I was writing about PETA's new campaign for and wanted to explain why showing an illustration of a large woman in a bikini with the words "Save the Whales, Lose the Blubber" might not be the best idea ever.

Self kelly clarkson

I've been kicking around this rant ever since Self magazine put singer Kelly Clarkson on its cover and felt the need to shave down her booty, all the while promoting "TOTAL BODY CONFIDENCE!!!" on the cover.

Audrina Patridge looks tasty in new shots from burger advert

I thought of the TV ad from West Coast burger chain Carls Jr., which features reality "star" Audrina Patridge snarfing down a giant sloppy burger while wearing a gold lame bikini on the beach. You know damn well that all that girl ate that day was half a slice of pineapple that she seductively plucked from the grease bomb.

Reebok EasyTone Footwear Celebration

Then I discovered that in addition to shilling for Carls Jr., she was at the launch party for Reebok EasyTone fitness shoes -- you know, the ones that are supposed to help you burn extra calories.

And then I knew that I had found my poster child. Thank you, Audrina, for being useful for something -- for showing the disconnect between reality and fantasy.

TOTAL BODY CONFIDENCE means plastic surgery via photo editing? Hot chicks in bikinis can eat like frat boys? Said hot chicks use magical sneakers to burn off frat boy burgers? Vegetarian groups think overweight women are all whales? 

Aaack. It's making my head hurt.

Musings on shrimp from my son

Conversation while teaching my son how to peel and devein shrimp:

Son: Why don't the makers sell them with this stuff off?

Me: Makers? You mean God?

Son: No, the fishermen!

Whoo -- the kid needs to eat real food more often.

Cleaneatingmagazine We were making a recipe from the latest issue of Clean Eating magazine, possibly my all-time favorite cooking magazine. And real food is all you're going to get with this fantastic magazine. Shrimp Scampi With Corn & Orzo was Monday's dinner and will be Wednesday's dinner, too. Couldn't find the recipe online but it's basically garlicky shrimp and corn served over orzo.

We've also made a fantastic chicken and lentil dish from the Clean Eating Cookbook, and tonight we had a chicken stirfry from the same cookbook. What I like about the recipes is that they're usually pretty easy, full of clean, whole food and have a reasonable calorie count without going all "teeny tiny diet food" on you.

Taking the slam out of a Denny's Grand Slam

Denny's_Sign Took my son out to breakfast yesterday after my dentist appointment (no cavities, great gums!) and the nearest breakfast joint was Denny's. (There aren't many homey little mom-and-pop breakfast places where I live.)

We both ordered Grand Slams, and I was impressed with how healthy I could make it. While my son had pancakes, bacon and sausage and scrambled eggs (don't worry, he didn't finish it), I ordered egg whites, turkey bacon, chicken sausage and oatmeal.

The oatmeal arrived first, and it was a huge bowl. I only ate half the oatmeal and didn't drink the glass of milk that accompanied it (milk makes me explode). When I got back I tallied up my breakfast on and saw that my Slam was indeed grand -- 281 calories, 7 grams of fat and a satiating 42 grams of protein.

If you'd like to do reconnaissance before you head out to Denny's, the restaurant chain has a thorough nutrition guide, which you can find HERE.