Friday, July 30, 2010

This One Time, at Pole Dancing Class...

Shortly after starting The Decade of She, I blogged about being a "Yes, Ma'am"....saying yes to new and different opportunities for the experience, entertainment, and heck of it.  It was under this pretense that I said yes to something completely out of my comfort zone: pole dancing.  

It all started with Groupon.  [If you're not familiar with it, check it out because it's a great way to get discounted dining and entertainment.]  Groupon offered a 50% discount on an introductory pole dancing fitness class at Shelia Kelley S Factor.  After a small nudge from a SHE friend, I bought in (cringing).  

There were 12 of us last night in a dimly fitness studio with 5 poles.  My SHE friend and I were the oldest in the A LOT.  After several minutes of ground rules, which included things like "no judging" and "have fun", we started the warm up.  It was a yoga-pilates combo that involved about a thousand sit ups and back bends...because apparently, pole dancing is all about "the core".  I am quite familiar with "the core" because I lost mine in the delivery room when I had my twins and haven't seen it since.  

After what seemed like an abdominal wall eternity, we were finally introduced to "the pole" and the magical fitness powers that it possesses.  Apparently half the women who live in LA have one in their home and women in NYC are demanding more pole dancing classes because of the awesomeness of the work out.  Who knew?

We were taught "The Firefly", which if I were naming it would be called, "Stilleto Stumble".  Imagine you're walking down the street, wearing chic high heels, advancing faster than you normally might in an effort to keep up with your HE who's wearing sensible shoes, and then you lose your balance by a streetlight, and hold on to the pole while falling around it in a circle. The Firefly is the same thing except you pick both feet up and wrap them around the pole.  It is neither sexy, nor "a workout".  But it is damn funny to do on purpose!  At least to my SHE friend and me. 

A few turns, and then it was over.  One trick, that was it.  They would be happy to teach you more tricks after you sign on for an 8-week series of classes (for $440).  That's not for me...and with three daughters, I'm certainly not installing a pole in my house (they can wait until they're 40 to take a class).  But check out these way cool boots they sell on their website! 

To celebrate our adventure with the pole and soothe our aching abdominal muscles (burning from laughter and the warm up), we did what all "Yes Ma'ams" do....go to a biker first time at such a place.  I fit right in with my temporary Chanel tattoo (not really).  

Twisted Spoke in Chicago

My SHE friend...who fits in at this place much more than me

"Sexy drinks"...seems so out of place on the menu at a biker bar

All in all, a fun and entertaining way to spend an evening with a girlfriend!  I'm ready for the next "yes ma'am" experience...any suggestions?  
BTW...I'm going to try to migrate this blog to a different platform (and drop the "blogspot" in the address). Hopefully, you'll still find me!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

If Only my House Were in a Magazine

Why doesn't my house look like this?

Okay, maybe not those rabbit-covered curtains, but everything else looks comfy, luxurious, and organized.  I still have blankets on my fancy chairs.  

I did replace this table, the one with tape on the legs.

Now it looks like this in there....improvement?

In my mind, it looks like this (again, without the curtains...reminds me too much of an EKG).

The pretty pictures are from one of my favorite design blogs, House of Turquoise

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How Much is Too Much Protein???

Great question yesterday by a reader (and longtime friend).  I just thought I'd post it here versus responding in the comments section. 

How much is too much protein?  Is it hard for the body to process?  Here are the answers:
  • The Institute of Medicine position is that protein can be safely consumed up to 35% of calories for men and women over the age of 19 years.  For a 40 year old male that is around 6 ft tall and 180 pounds, their estimated calorie needs for the day are 2300-2500 (depending on activity level).  As such, 200-220 g/day of protein could be safely consumed at the upper end.  That's like eating a small chicken....just to put it in perspective. 
  • Protein is "processed" or broken down in the kidneys.  For people with normal kidney function, protein up to 35% of calories seems to be easily processed in the kidney.  For people that have compromised kidney function, I certainly would consult with your doctor on how much protein to consume. Very often, people with kidney conditions are placed on a low protein diet under the care of a Registered Dietitian.  
  • There is a debate going on regarding the source of protein...quite a heated debate in fact...Dr. Dorks get all worked up sometimes over these things.  Some feel that vegetable-based proteins (soy, pea, etc.) are more beneficial to health.  There is some evidence that these proteins may be better for bone health and in general, vegetable proteins are leaner and not associated with saturated fat (like animal proteins).  Other studies show that certain animal proteins (e.g., whey) may be better for stimulating muscle growth and satiety and at reasonable intakes, don't have any negative effects.  However, it is not entirely clear at this point.  As such, I abide by the, "a little of this, a little of that" principle and try to get protein by multiple sources.  Food preferences, food allergies, and food intolerances might make one protein source less attractive than others, and that's okay too.    
I've been focusing on protein so much lately that yesterday, I saw a monarch butterfly and actually wondered how much protein it would provide if I ate it.  I even tried to find the answer and then I snapped out of my weird Dr. Dork trance. I did find that there are about 53g of protein in 100g of dried caterpillars.  In case you were wondering.   

Monday, July 26, 2010

Rock Stars Eat Protein Too

I've been meaning to post some examples of what a 100g protein diet might look like after I went on and on about the virtues of protein a while back.  It's been on my to-do list, but then I got distracted with fish oil, tattoos, my full-time job....blah, blah, blah.  Anyway, a rock star friend (yes, I know I rock star...impressed?) asked me about it and that was the kick-in-the-Dr. Dork-rear that I needed to put something down on paper.
So here it is.  Please remember that the particular brand of food makes a difference (for example, bread can be anywhere from 0 to 4g of protein per slice).  The amount of protein in each item is noted in parentheses:

  • 1/2 c cottage cheese (15g)
  • 2 slices whole wheat toast (6g)
  • 1 c milk or soy milk (8g)
  • 1 c fat-free Fage or other Greek yogurt (20g)
  • 1/4 c Peak Protein granola (6g)
  • 1/2 c fruit (0g)
  • Turkey & Swiss sandwich from Starbucks (34g)
  • Vegetable side (2-5g depending on veggies)
  • 1/4 c almonds (8g)
  • Baked or lightly sauteed chicken breast (20g)
  • Baked potato with Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream (7g)
  • 1 c broccoli (4g)
  • Salad (1-5g depending on ingredients)
Total is a yummy, pretty darn healthy 130g protein suitable for a rock star, rock star wannabe, rock star groupie, or other. 

Anyone have a favorite high-protein meal they'd like to share? 

Friday, July 23, 2010

My $75 Fake Tattoo....Wait, I Mean, Chanel Body Art

Some SHEs are obsessed with shoes.  Others with purses.  Some SHEs love jewelry.  Others fancy clothes.  I, on the other hand, am addicted to temporary tattoos.  

I have been known to wait in long lines at children's fairs and sidewalk sales to get a fake tattoo...preferably a peace sign, skull and crossbones or flower.  If they come home with one of my daughters, I take them and wear them...even if I don't really like that particular one.  If there's a booth with those spray-on tattoos, I get really excited.  Those are the pretty ones with all the nifty colors.  You can get something mythical like a unicorn or a Pegasus....these creatures are coming back in style any day now for SHEs in my decade.  Seriously, just wait.  And roach clips.  Those are coming back too. 

Anyway, it's because of this obsession that I absolutely had to have the new temporary tattoos by Chanel!  Yes, that's right, the perfume, expensive-make-up, haute couture fashion conglomerate makes fake tattoos.  But they call them "body art" (said with a pompous French accent).  I read about them on The Succulent Wife blog a few weeks ago and within minutes, I was $75 poorer....yes, they were $75.  But what tattoo-obsessed woman wouldn't pay $75 for "body art" (again, said with a really bad, pompous French accent).    

Aren't they beautiful?  They almost have a 3-dimensional quality to them. Here's a mobile phone picture of The Huntress wearing one (taken by The Huntress herself):

I wore this one to a party.

I felt so chic, so cool, so fashionably French....until several days later when a SHE friend sent me a mobile phone picture of the cover of Seventeen magazine.  Young model (probably barely 14 years old), same tattoo, same place.  

If that isn't bad enough, the headline next to it, "Get your best bikini body" continues to taunt if that's possible after 3 kids (two that came at once) and multiple decades of aging.  The only way that would be applicable to me is if it were on the cover of Tummy Tuck Digest.  Alas, I have no choice but to console myself with more "body art" and French wine...which I can do because I'm NOT seventeen. 

To order your own over-priced "body art", you can visit the Chanel website.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

About those Fish Oil Supplements...

How do you know what fish oil supplement is best and how much to take?    

First, let's be clear that we're talking specifically talking about "fish oil".  Often, the two active components of fish oil (EPA and DHA) are referred to as omega-3s or omega-3 fatty acids.  Both EPA and DHA are omega-3s.  In fact, there are a whole bunch of omega-3 fatty acids out there (for example, one called ALA).  But only EPA and DHA have been scientifically proven in multiple studies to benefit your heart and brain.  Supplements from flaxseed or other oils contain other types of omega-3, which are important, but they do not have the same potency or efficacy as EPA and DHA.  

Depending on your health status, you may want to take more or less fish oil.  Experts recommend that healthy persons consume 1-2 fatty fish meals a week to obtain their fish oil, which is equal to about 200-500 mg/day of EPA and DHA.  If you are at risk for heart disease, experts recommend supplementation of a higher dose (up to 3000 mg/day) under the care of a physician.  There's even a prescription formula of fish oil called Lovaza for people with really high blood fat levels (called triglycerides).  On the other hand, if you're taking blood thinners or have other underlying health issues, you may not want to take a fish oil supplement at all.  So think about all that before you read the stuff below.  

If you don't eat 1-2 servings of fatty fish a week or if you just want to know what supplement to take, here are some considerations to pick the right bottle:

1. The source of fish oil.  If you read the bottle, the ingredients may include things like menhaden (a garbage fish), sardines, anchovy, mackerel, cod, algae or krill (sea monkeys...seriously, sea monkeys).  To the best of my knowledge (based on my review of the scientific literature), there are no meaningful differences between the sources of EPA and DHA when consumed at equivalent amounts (unless you're a vegetarian and would prefer to eat algae over a fishie).

2. The amount of EPA and DHA.  This is where you can find some big differences between supplements.  If you are a normal, healthy person, you may want to follow the advice of some experts and take a supplement with about 300 to 500 mg/day of total omega-3 fatty acids from EPA and DHA.  This number will be clearly indicated on the label.  There will also be a number for the total amount of fish oil...disregard that number and focus on the number listed for EPA and DHA.  For example, I have a fish oil supplement from CVS Pharmacy.  It has 1,200 mg of fish oil but all I care about is that it has 360 mg of total omega-3 fatty acids from DHA and EPA.  I would consider this a "good one".  If you take less this level of fish oil, the risk of "fishy burps" and the unpleasant gastrointestinal effects should be low or none.  If you go much higher, you may want to keep your supplement in the freezer, which will reduce the unpleasantries (thanks to Melissa for this tip).

3. The amount of contaminants like mercury and PCBs.  As I indicated in my last post on fish oil, very often the good stuff (EPA and DHA) comes with some bad stuff (mercury, PCBs, PAHs, etc.).  The proper way to eliminate the bad stuff is through processing of the oil.  In March of 2010, a law suit was filed against several manufacturers of omega-3 oils (mainly cod liver oils and shark oils) because they contained pretty high levels of PCBs (and the suit is still pending)...obviously not processed very well.  However, Consumer Reports looked at different fish oil supplements (mostly from menhaden and other fish) and all were very low in the bad stuff.  My CVS Pharmacy fish oil clearly says that it is mercury free and of high purity, so I feel pretty good about it.  Bottom line is that if purity is not clearly indicated on the label, you may want to pass on that one.

4. The price.  Given all of the above, it should be pretty easy to figure out the price-value equation of different supplements.  Until someone gives me a reason otherwise, I'm sticking with my CVS Pharmacy supplements made from anchovy and sardines for the summer...because they are cheap and contain the good stuff without the bad stuff.  In the winter, I take Nature's Bounty Omega-3 + vitamin D just because I'd rather take fewer pills (and we all know how important vitamin D is for health).  But like any science, things could change in the flap of a fin...will update as the science evolves.

Dr T

(Sources used for the information above include the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Omega 3 Information, Pubmed, and American Heart Association)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Pearlized Candies, High-Fiber Hot Dogs, and Fishy-Fortified Everything

The Institute of Food Technology annual meeting just wrapped up today in Chicago.  This is like any other big Dr. Dork conference except with food.  I ate my way through the exhibits and have the following to report about the future of our nation's food supply:

1. Every single food imaginable will be fortified with fish oil.  I tried the following foods that all had fish oil in them (and they all tasted NOT fishy): rice pilaf, tortilla chip, muffin, yummy chocolate drink, candy-like substance, and a potato chip dip.  

2. Hot dogs will be packed full of fiber...ball parks everywhere must plan ahead for the repercussions of this reformulation.  

3. All candy will be much more fancy by the use of an ingredient that gives a pearled sheen.  See below for the new Chicklet.  Tres chic!

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Little SHE Inspiration to Start the Week

Check out this book by Kobi Yamada: 

My dear friend, Deb...the inspiration for this blog...gave this to me.  I get chills every time I read it.  I'll be forcing my daughters to read it weekly and memorize every word.  Here are my favorite pages:

Wouldn't this make a great birthday gift for a SHE friend?  Or a friend that needs a little motivation to take control of her life?  Or anyone with two X chromosomes?

If you want to order a copy, here's the link to Amazon.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What is Better...Fish or Fish Oil Supplements? Answer is Yes

Fish is so healthy,
For your heart, your brain, and skin,
Eat more fish or die.

I'm just having a little fun with that haiku...but seriously, eating fatty fish is a good thing.  As I mentioned previously, fatty fish and fish oil have been associated with several different health benefits, most notably heart health.  The active ingredients are two compounds with seriously long names.  Most folks just call them EPA and DHA.   

Fishies contain EPA and DHA because they eat microalgae in the ocean that synthesizes both compounds.  Over time, the fishes accumulate more and more of the stuff in their bodies.  It's quite important for the fishes that swim in deep water to have the EPA and DHA because it keeps them from turning into fishsicles when swimming in cold waters. 

Now on to the topic of which is best: whole fish vs. supplements.

My personal philosophy, based on the abundance of research studies on a wide range of topics that compare foods to supplements, is that food is (almost) always better.  I feel the same about fish oil.  Fish contains protein and other stuff that help keep us healthy (see below for the not-so-healthy stuff in fish).

Most experts recommend 1-2 servings of fatty fish a week (a serving is 3 oz or about the size of a deck of cards).  This includes salmon, albacore tuna, herring (blech), mackeral (double blech), sardines (egads, blech), and trout (not so blech, but certainly an acquired taste). If you cannot get your 1-2 servings per week, then a supplement is great.  I'll blog about supplements...the best much to take...strategies to taking week. 

Now about that fish....there are some challenges with eating whole fish as a source of fish oil...cost, availability, contaminants, and sustainability/ environmental concerns:
  1. Atlantic salmon is the highest source of EPA and DHA.  It is also an endangered fish (particularly on the east coast) and therefore availability is low and the price is high.  To meet the demand for Atlantic salmon, a bunch of farms starting raising Atlantic salmon and selling it for far less than wild caught.
  2. Unfortunately, farm-raised salmon contain lots of contaminants (PCBs, dioxins and furans, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead, copper, zinc, fluorine, PAHs).  This is because these farm fishies are usually fed food pellets made from other fishies.  All fish have these contaminants present (these are all present in our oceans), so when fishies are ground up and turned into food pellets, the bad stuff gets concentrated.  Interestingly, farm-raised salmon have the highest level of EPA and DHA of all other fishies (even wild caught), but also the highest level of contaminants. 
  3. Other types of salmon contain EPA and DHA, albeit at lower levels, but many of these types of salmon are also endangered or at risk of becoming over-fished.  The following wild-caught fish are considered "sustainable" and not endangered: Alaskan Coho, Chum, Keta, King, Pink, Red, Silver, Sockeye, Sake.  Sadly, many of these varieties of salmon are not as mild and flakey and delectable as Atlantic.  
  4. Bigger, predatory fish (tuna, shark, swordfish) are not farm-raised, but they are contaminated with mercury.  They accumulate mercury over time by eating lots and lots of smaller fishies (mercury is in our oceans and therefore is naturally present in fish).  Mercury can mess with your nervous system and a bad way.  Shark and swordfish are some of the worst.  Light canned tuna has little mercury.  Yellowfin tuna (the kind seen in a lot of sushi restaurants) has moderate levels. 

So what to do?  If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant or lactating (or a small child)...think twice about eating farm-raised fish or mercury-containing fish (talk to your doctor about this if you're concerned)...definitely eat wild caught salmon, canned light tuna, or take a fish oil supplement (that does not have the contaminants...again, talk to your doctor if you're concerned).  

If you are otherwise healthy, try to find the wild caught salmon (Trader Joe's sells a great frozen Atlantic wild caught salmon for a good price), and enjoy a nice tuna fish sandwich once a week (and the occasional yellowfin tuna sushi). A serving of farm-raised, high EPA and DHA  salmon once a month seems to be okay, according to experts.  It's most likely the kind of salmon that you'd find at a restaurant (unless otherwise noted).   

This is how I like to eat my salmon.  Yummmmm....

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    The End of Men or the Advance of Women???

    I enjoy reading articles about the success of women...most likely because I am woman (duh).  Plus, I have 3 daughters and hope that one day, they will be successful (especially successful enough to have a vacation home where I can live out my last days sipping good champagne and reading People magazine on the really, really successful).  

    Related to the topic of women, I stumbled upon an article yesterday called, The End of Men written by Hanna Rosin. It is way too long for my taste and has a "HE-bashing tone" which I don't think is necessary or healthy (can't we all just get along?).  But some of the information is fascinating.  It certainly would make for interesting dinner conversation to think about the longer term impact of these societal changes.  Here are the highlights:

    • At sperm selection clinics (where you can pick the sex of your baby), requests for girls run at about 75%.
    • "For every two men who will receive a B.A. this year, three women will do the same.  Women now earn 60 percent of master’s degrees, about half of all law and medical degrees, and 42 percent of all M.B.A.s."
    • "In 2006, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development devised the Gender, Institutions and Development Database, which measures the economic and political power of women in 162 countries. With few exceptions, the greater the power of women, the greater the country’s economic success.  Aid agencies have started to recognize this relationship and have pushed to institute political quotas in about 100 countries, essentially forcing women into power in an effort to improve those countries’ fortunes."
    • "Earlier this year, for the first time in American history, the balance of the workforce tipped toward women, who now hold a majority of the nation’s jobs."
    • "According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now hold 51.4 percent of managerial and professional jobs—up from 26.1 percent in 1980. They make up 54 percent of all accountants and hold about half of all banking and insurance jobs. About a third of America’s physicians are now women, as are 45 percent of associates in law firms—and both those percentages are rising fast."
    • "And while female CEOs may be rare in America’s largest companies, they are highly prized: last year, they outearned their male counterparts by 43 percent, on average, and received bigger raises." 

    What do you think of all this? 

    More on fishies tomorrow...

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010

    Fishy Boobs

    Last week, a study was published that showed that in a group 35,000 women (50 to 76 years of age) living outside of Seattle, WA, those that had taken fish oil supplements 4-7 times a week had a 32% reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer.  This is exciting news for breasts every where!  

    However truth be told, this study doesn't really prove that the fish oil caused the reduction in risk.  This was one of those studies where women were asked a bunch of questions about their supplement practices and then the Dr. Dorks correlated that information with diagnoses of breast cancer.  While it could be that the fish oil alone led to a reduction in risk, it could also be that women who took fish oil supplements also did other things that reduced risk for breast cancer.  For example, I take fish oil supplements but I also eat pretty healthy, go to the doctor regularly, minimize stress as much as possible, take a winter vacation (for my vitamin D), choose local and organic produce when possible, plus I breast fed...A LOT, etc.  In fact, most people who take supplements also have other healthy habits that may influence cancer risk.  As such, it remains to be determined whether fish oil is breast, I mean best for reducing breast cancer or if it's something else that was not measured in this particular study.   

    That said, there are a bunch of other reasons why fish oil is a good thing: heart health, anti-inflammatory action, optimizing brain function, maintaining a healthy immune system, and potentially a bunch of other things. 

    So what's the best way to get fish or a supplement?  If it's fish, is farm raised okay or is wild caught always better?  What supplement is best and how much to take?  Why is Mrs/Dr T posing all of these questions and not answering them? 

    Stay tuned....

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    WebPHD on Weekend Hangovers: Symptoms and Treatment

    Weekend Hangover - Overview
    Weekend Hangovers affect almost 100% of SHEs at some time in their lives. 

    It comes in many forms, from absolute fatigue to feelings of regret to various intensities of self-loathing on Monday morning.  

    Common causes include over-scheduled weekends, Sunday night activities, and champagne over-drinking.  

    Many people find relief from symptoms of weekend hangover with metered caffeine intake on Mondays, ibuprofen, and time.  Broad generalizing statements, such as, "I will never go to a 6-hour music festival on a Sunday afternoon ever again" or "I will never have a glass or two of champagne late on a Sunday night because I'm trying to help a SHE friend finish off open booze" may also alleviate feelings of guilt. 

    Weekend Hangover is easily prevented by acting one's chronological age and politely declining Sunday afternoon/evening opportunities outside of the home. 

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Letter to 1st Dibs

    Dear 1st Dibs,

    I am not a designer.  I am just your average Dr. Dork desperately trying to change the decor of my house from "church rummage sale" to "The Decade of She chic".  In between my full-time job, raising my 3 daughters, a burgeoning poetry hobby, and consuming the necessary stimulants and sedatives to keep it all together (aka, coffee and cocktails), I like to buy interior decor on the internet.  As such, I was referred to your website by a SHE friend.

    After visiting your website for the first time, my first thought was that my so-called "friend" was either trying to be funny or SHE thought that I have a secret trust fund.  But after spending some time on your website, I realize that my initial thinking was way off base.      

    You see, I now realize that the source of my confusion is the result of a number of typos on your website.  I am writing to you as a great favor (do you realize how busy I am?) so that you can correct these as soon as possible.  For example, this hanging light:

    Glass Lamp; Nickel Hanging Light
    The stepped, plated ceiling fitting supporting the original twisted silver silk cord from which the frosted glass chevron moulded shade hangs. Stamped Sabino to both metalwork and glass shade

    I believe in this instance, the comma in the price should actually be a period, resulting in the price of $15.80 for this old hanging light that is only in "good" condition.  You should be aware that Ikea is selling a similar hanging light, in brand new condition, that is only $5.00.

    In the next case, I believe someone has made an egregious error in the price of these 2 chairs:

    Pair of Lounge Chairs by Juliana Mafatti
    Pair of lounge chairs in ebonized wood and light grey upholstery. Designed by Juliana Mafatti for Flama, Brazil, 1958.
    Very good condition

    Although these chairs are in "very good condition", I highly doubt that a chair from Brazil is worth $14,000 a piece.  I believe someone in your marketing department is trying to capitalize on the IOC decision to award Brazil the 2016 summer Olympics...fooling consumers into thinking that anything from Brazil is automatically going to be a winner.  I may be slightly bitter that Chicago didn't even make it through the first round, but come on...$28,000 for 2 flimsy chairs?  Again, here is the same chair, more or less, from Ikea for $39.99.

    Finally, I think this following item was placed on your site by mistake or else your site has been hacked by a 12-year old boy.  Your website claims the following, "The most beautiful things on earth", so clearly, this does not belong.

    Yours truly in all things beautiful and priced rationally,

    Mrs/Dr T

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Invention as part of her Reinvention

    A SHE with a plan
    To ease her kids' goggle pain
    Gogglemate is born

    I always start my most favorite blogs with a haiku...for no reason other than I find them so delightful to write!  (Dork!) 

    Bad poetry aside, I am constantly inspired by others in The Decade of SHE.  Whether it's a SHE who went back to work or school after staying home with the kids or a SHE who ran/walked her first marathon or a SHE who planned and executed a fabulous charity benefit for a cause, the energy they exude from their accomplishments is contagious.  
    There is no better example than my SHE friend, Karen.  The beginning of her story is probably a familiar one for many of us...her children were complaining.  In this case, they were complaining about their swim goggles pulling on their hair.  If this were my story, it would stop right here: "Stop complaining or you're going to bed 10 minutes early".

    But Karen took the next step and actually developed a product to fix the problem.  This is an interview with Bob Sirott on WGN radio where Karen tells her own story. 

    What's most inspiring about Karen's story is that she pursued the development and launch of this product with absolutely no educational or career history in this type of thing.  But what she has is raw intelligence, passion, and life experience.  Marry these attributes with a drive for results (and the power of estrogen) and out comes an invention that is truly innovative and functional. 


    They are quite fun.  Not only do they keep the kids' hair from being pulled, but they make the goggles float and clearly sets them apart from the thousands of other pairs of goggles at a pool.  Seriously, if I wrote a haiku for every pair of goggles I've lost in my'd never read this blog again.And there are lots of different colors and patterns to choose from. 

    Here are some other fabulous inventions by women: dishwasher, fire escape, engine muffler (seriously), disposable diaper, Liquid Paper (no one under the age of 35 probably even knows what this is...I used it mostly as nail polish) and chocolate chip cookies (thank you Ruth Wakefield). 

    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    More on Spanx...Called Assets at Target

    My favorite thing about blogs is that they are such an easy way to share (unbiased, hopefully) information.  A few blogs back, I posted about the new Spanx catalog.  Yesterday, I received a comment from Karen at Waisting Time, a cool blog on food and nutrition, saying that the woman who started Spanx sells a cheaper Spanx-like line at Target.  Thank you Karen!

    It's called Assets.  I have not tried it, but I will for two reasons: 1) It looks just the same as Spanx but for much less $$ and 2) A portion of the proceeds benefits the Sara Blakely Foundation, which supports women's initiatives around the globe.  There's a cute little story at the site that talks about how Sara Blakely invented Spanx, then felt she needed to bring them to more people through Target, then something about a hot air balloon and Richard Branson, and that's when I decided to just paste the link above.  I have a short attention span on any day, but even shorter on the 4th of July.  

    This is what I'm going to buy off of amazon, ASSETS® by Sara Blakely® Womens Fantastic Firmers Camisole - Black L.  (I'm all set up there and it's the same price as  It's $20 and looks like it would work under so many different types of tops.  

    If anyone has any Assets, can you offer up an opinion?  Is the quality much different than Spanx?  I will report back once I receive my cami and try it out.  

    Now get off your computers and head outside to enjoy the day!!!

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    Top 3 Reasons You Should Eat Protein-Part III

    If I haven't convinced you yet to re-evaluate the amount of protein in your diet, here's something else to consider:   

    protein can reduce muscle damage and soreness when consumed after exercise. 

    I actually have already blogged about this here as it relates to injuries.  I know so many SHEs that have nagging muscle-related injuries (sore calf, strained hamstring, etc.) and this is something relatively easy to try that might help.  It won't help for everything, but it won't hurt either. 

    You see, dietary protein reverses the breakdown of muscle that occurs during and immediately after exercise.  If you do not eat anything after exercising or just have carbohydrates, muscle continues to breakdown, which can result in soreness.  If you're looking for some light summer reading, here's a science article on the subject written by a few Dr. Dorks. 

    The best way to get the amino acids to your muscle is by combining the protein with carbohydrates.  The carbohydrate helps shuttle the components of protein (the amino acids) into the muscle.  In fact if you like milk, it's been shown to be a great drink following a workout because it has a good ratio of carbohydrate to protein.  

    I prefer to get my protein from a jar, specifically from Fitness Nutrition.  They have a new product, Gold Medal Aminos, that I quite like.  One or two scoops dumped into a sports drink and it's the perfect recovery beverage (in case you're wondering, it also works in beer...speaking from experience here).  It's low in calories, easy to use, and contains all of the important amino acids that are essential for repairing muscle (for example, leucine is likely the most important amino acids for achieving this benefit).  Other protein products will likely elicit the same benefit as this one...this is just my personal favorite.

    Lastly, timing of protein intake is critical!  Studies have shown that protein needs to be consumed either immediately before, during, or immediately after (ideally, within 30 min) exercise to make this happen. 

    So as you head into this long weekend of BBQs, I wish you safe travels, fun times, and carte blanche to consume all sorts of protein!