The Cupcake Time Diet

Cupcake Time Diet Is Here!
At long last, our diet is ready for you to enjoy!  Remember this diet incorporates all of the successes you would enjoy using the Satan Diet but it extends it – and lets you enjoy one sweet treat everyday so you can stick to your diet.  How can this work? You say. Well.  Science News recently published an 8 month study that actually added a sweet to breakfast for the experimental group but those people otherwise followed the same diet as the control group.  Guess what.  At month 4 all dieters had lost pretty much the same amount of weight (33 pounds each) but in the last 4 months of the diet, the control group people gained 22 of those pounds back while the people who ate dessert with breakfast lost another 15 pounds each!

Here are the details of the Cupcake Time Diet:

Daily:

  1. You get one cupcake and one egg each morning. Both must be eaten before 10:30 a.m.  If you miss the time, don’t eat the cupcake.  Save it for tomorrow.
  2. Note the time of day you take your first bite of food. You have 10 hours from that time to eat (this is your Food Day). For example, if you take your first bite of cupcake at 8 a.m., you have until 6 p.m. to eat. After that, it’s just water or tea for you, Missy.

After 10:30 a.m. your diet is different each day.

  • Day 1:  Eat all the fruit you want with the exception of bananas. Do not eat any bananas.  Eating melons will help you lose the most weight since they are mostly water. Note this does not say drink juices – you have to eat the fruit.
  • Day 2:  Eat vegetables all day long.  Avoid peas, corn, and beans. Eat one baked potato today. The vegetables can be raw, cooked, frozen – whatever you desire.
  • Day 3: Eat a combination of the same types of fruits and vegetables you have eaten during the past two days – minus the baked potato.
  • Day 4:  Eat all the fruit you want with the exception of bananas. Do not eat any bananas.  Eating melons will help you lose the most weight since they are mostly water.
  • Day 5:  Eat vegetables all day long.  Avoid peas, corn, and beans. You can have one baked potato today. The vegetables can be raw, cooked, frozen – whatever you desire.
  • Day 6:  Eat a combination of the same fruits and vegetables you have eaten during the past two days – minus the baked potato. At lunchtime eat some red meat – a hamburger, steak, or other meat that will provide you with protein. Eat it before hour 6 of your Food Day.
  • Day 7: Eat a combination of the same fruits and vegetables you have eaten during the past two days – minus the baked potato.
  • Day 8: Eat up to 6 bananas and 6 servings of low fat milk or yogurt. Yes, the yogurt can be flavored. No, the milk cannot be chocolate.  Bananas sliced into a bowl of milk can be a tasty breakfast as long as you don’t add refined sugar.
  • Day 9: Eat all of the chicken and turkey you want today. You can have the chicken roasted, boiled, or fried; just remember the better choices you make will result in more weight loss. You also must eat 6 medium sized tomatoes (this is important). Drink a full glass of water with each tomato to rid your body of uric acid. Eating a tomato with the meat is a great idea.
  • Day 10: Eat up to 6 bananas and 6 servings of low fat milk or yogurt. Yes, the yogurt can be flavored. No, the milk cannot be chocolate. Bananas sliced into a bowl of milk can be a tasty breakfast as long as you don’t add refined sugar.
  • Day 11: Eat all the chicken and turkey you want today.  You can have the chicken roasted, boiled, or fried; just remember the better choices you make will result in more weight loss. You also must eat 6 medium sized tomatoes (this is important). Drink a full glass of water with each tomato to rid your body of uric acid. Eating a tomato with the meat is a great idea.
  • Day 12: Eat chicken, turkey, pork chops, and vegetables all day long to your heart’s content. Avoid potatoes but feel free to eat any other vegetable. The less meat you eat the greater your weight loss.
  • Day 13: Eat Ultimate Soup all day long. Nothing else. This might be hard but after today you’re finished!

 A few tips:

  • If at all possible, buy organic. This will help your body with chelation since this diet is healthy and will also act as a cleansing diet.
  • Be sure you shop at least a day ahead so you have your food for the day.  Nothing kills this diet like not having the right food available when you’re hungry.
  • The ten hour Food Day is to aid your body in producing ghrelin appropriately. You need to get used to actually having an evening fast.
  • If you are up late and feel hungry, go to bed. Do not break your night time fast. Your body is only asking for more energy because you are up past your bedtime.
  • No alcoholic drinks or sodas during this two week period. Period.
  • You can only have the cupcake and the egg before 10:30 a.m. because your body converts food to energy most efficiently during the morning.  If you crave sweets, convince yourself to wait until tomorrow morning. You can do it!
  • You can substitute a muffin for the cupcake if you’d like.  Bran muffins are full of fiber, moist, and tasty. This recipe also make a ton and you can store the batter in the fridge so you can whip out a batch in the middle of the week in the time it takes to cook them.
  • If you are getting shaky or have hypoglycemia, email us. We’ll give you a few ideas on what you can do without ruining your opportunity to lose weight.
  • As much as we love Crumb’s cupcakes we must mention that one crumbs cupcake really counts as two cupcakes, so cut it in half and save some of that deliciousness for tomorrow!  We’d love to eat the whole thing but eating a giant-ass cupcake will give you well….
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Too Much Of A Good Thing

Cupcake Time Diet and Larry Craig's Wide StanceWe are ready to reveal our Cupcake Time Diet!  But before we do that, we need to have a very serious talk with you. So listen up.

This diet works! It’s loosely based on the Satan Diet because we wanted to keep it successful, simple, and sweet. You get a treat every day if you want one so you don’t have to cheat! But there is a drawback to this diet that we want you to be aware of right off the bat.  Well, first a little background.

We were merrily losing weight and eating cupcakes every morning. It was great to lose weight while also not feeling deprived. We talked about adding some exercise (you know, just to mix things up a bit) when suddenly our world went nuts.

We aren’t sure how or why but everything that can go wrong is going wrong in our lives!  OMG when is enough enough? We’ll have to get back to you on that because we are still too busy putting out large fires (not small fires, mind you) on a twice daily basis.  These crises have impacted most aspects of our lives and have kept us hopping (and often staring at ceiling tiles by the end of the day saying, “dah, dah, dah” and finally going to bed).  Take these past couple of days for example.

We headed to New York for Brooke’s birthday brunch and had a tire blow out on the freeway; which was surprising because the tires are quite new. Luckily, Jake and Emma were with us so we got the tire changed and were on our way pretty quickly. (Thank you to the very nice man on the motorcycle who stopped to see if we were all okay. We hope you read this and know who you are.) We stopped at the next town because Sherry didn’t want to be driving that far with that ugly baby spare tire on her car – it’s not super safe and very uncool. The tire company (after a few false starts and a few errors) discovered our poor car had a big big problem.  Our little car had what some Senators are still calling a Wide Stance. However, our car wasn’t forced out of office – the wide stance forced it to run on the inside of the tires so one had blown out and the other rear tire had steel belts coming through the tire on the inside rim. They advised us to purchase a second new tire (which we did) and to keep the car out of the men’s bathroom (if you get our drift). We promise, this solicitation was valid and legal. Haha

We got back on the road and realized it was too late for Emma to keep our brunch date as she had a date with her internship so we zipped her to work (which is actually funnier than our wide stance joke if you’ve ever tried to drive cross-town in New York rush hour) and headed to the Upper West Side for what would now be a belated lunch. Not to be so.

On 57th and 1st Ave the car died. It just died. Dead. No horn, no windows, no nothing.  Kind of like the foreseeable political career of Carlos Danger.  What? How can the battery be dead when it’s a new battery?!? What is going on?  No time to think about that as the entire city of New York was honking at us. No pressure whatsoever.  Jake is a strong guy! He pushed the car out of traffic and to the side of the street while a very nice police lady held the traffic for us.  Again, a nice man came to our aid but this time he had no motorcycle.  With the assistance of AAA, we had the car safely towed (dead alternator and battery and all) for the evening. Have you ever needed a car repair in Manhattan? If you do, let us know – we know the very best shop (and have every single credit card and piggy bank on hand because repairs aren’t inexpensive there).

Our well-planned and much anticipated brunch had become a late dinner. Thai food.  But still a day. Which leads to our warning.

When life keeps handing you lemons and you are sick to death of making lemonade and you are tired of throwing them at everybody, you might seek comfort and solace in food. We were making our own cupcakes – one batch was taking care of roughly a week of eating on the Cupcake Time Diet. So, when life get rough with you, you need to throw those cupcakes in the garbage and stop the diet immediately. Seek comfort in the arms of a loved one, a good book, impotent anger at the world, or That 70s Show but don’t wreck your success at weight loss!  Like. We. Did.    There you are warned.

The next time you hear from us (if we live through the night) it will be to present our newly developed diet plan with you!  We are so excited!!!  And the car? Our local mechanic says it is time to force that resignation after all – which has led to even more lemon stories if you can believe that!

(Don’t Be) Fat Like Me

Hips-to-Waist Measure can help after Satan Diet and Cupcake Time DietOkay, our culture always tells us we’re fat. Or flat. Or something else is wrong with our bodies.  You find yourself calculating your BMI (3 different ways), standing on the scales, and measuring everything. But what does it mean? How do you compare yourself to normal when everybody has a different normal standard?  Maybe you’re fat by one measure but in the okay range by another.  So confusing!

We think everyone should choose a measure and stick with it.  Do you feel that your weight in no way reflects whether you’re looking good or not? Don’t do it!  Calculate your BMI instead. Or, as an alternative, you can do a quick calculation of your hips-to-waist ratio.  A normal woman should have a hip to waist ratio of about .70 and studies show that when a man sees a woman walking down the street, this is the woman he will deem most attractive. But society tells us that’s fat.  When asked what hip-to-waist ratio is desirable, women come up with an answer closer to .50 and men tend to agree if they’re viewing silhouettes of women.  For some reason, women have been lead to believe the optimal .70 ratio is bad for them. In reality, the .70 ratio is what women need to correctly regulate their hormonal cycles.

Runners, gymnasts, dancers, and other unusually active women will often sport the svelte <.50 look – and their cycles will stop. We’re betting you’ve enviously gazed at one of these women at one time or another and wished you were there. Stawwp! Over thin is not healthy.

Let’s do this together.  Take a measuring tape and measure your hips and your waist. Now, using your favorite calculator, enter waist/hips = hip-to-waist ratio. What’s yours?

Brooke’s is good. Sherry’s is too! Thanks to the Satan Diet and our newly developed Cupcake Time Diet she has lost enough weight to put her in the range of this measure!  A healthy female body should be in the range of .65  – .85.  Anything above the .85 is too fat and anything below the .65 is too thin for optimal female health.  Dieting can help bring weight up or down but who wants to diet for their entire lives? Not us!

 Non-Dieting Lifestyle Choices To Maintain a Healthy Weight

 

  • Drink Water. It is amazing to really take stock of what you drink and how it impacts your weight. Many of us drink juices, milk, smoothies, sodas, and alcohol; never even thinking of drinking a glass of water. Figure out how you like yours – hot, warm, cold, with lemon, with cucumbers, or naked – and drink that water!  Water flushes your body of toxins, carries unneeded calories out of your body, and keeps you feeling full. Drinks full of sugar and/or caffeine work against your plans for a healthy, happy body. Alcohol may make you happy but eventually you’ll have to sober up and see what it did you.

 

  • Eat.  And you thought we’d say don’t eat. No way! You need to eat; just be choosy in what you choose to eat. Ditch the refined sugars (again) and load up on fresh vegetables and tasty fruits while watching your portions on breads, meats, and dairy and your body will respond by treating you to good health and (eventually) a body that hits the hip-to-waist ratio goal. Eat three meals a day or six – it’s really up to you as long as you remember to Not eat six meals that are the same size as the three meal deals.

 

  • Use Weights in Your Exercise Routine. Cardio is great for your heart and circulatory systems. Weight training breaks down stored muscle glycogen so it actually helps you to burn carbs faster than the couch potato (who would really be a potato – carbs; get it?)  Make sure you mix it up and get a little of both.

 

  • Don’t Pig Out.  Want a piece of cake? Have one. Just be sure you don’t overdo it. And never ever ever use food to make you feel better.  Anger eating, bored eating, stress eating, and sad eating need to become mere memories. It’s hard. We know it’s hard! And we still slip into stress/bored eating on occasion. But replacing emotional eating with healthier coping skills will make you a better, thinner person in no time.

Once we figured out how to make the Cupcake Time Diet work, we started doing this. Did we still have a few days when the Peanut M&Ms won? You bet. But it’s all part of the learning curve. And although we’ve struggled with having to eat vegetables and reminding ourselves to use our support person (instead of a cake) to make it through a bad day, we are learning! And if we can do it – we are confident you can (because we can be very stubborn when it comes to learning healthy eating habits).

Stand on the scale, calculate your BMI, and compute your hips-to-waist ratio one last time – decide which is the best measure for you – and enjoy the rest of your day!

Junk In Your Trunk?

Where Does Weight Go When You Lose it?So, here is our burning question. When you lose weight where does it go?  The short answer is that the bulk of it is excreted from your body via urine, sweat, and exhaling.  Think about your car to make this easier.

You put gas in your car (making it heavier, though not fatter). The car uses up its food by moving and also loses some of the fuel through the exhaust pipe.  If you keep giving the car gas when it doesn’t need it, it will spill out of the car and onto the ground. The car can’t adapt to the more fuel concept because it has an inflexible system

As flexible humans, we all eat food and inhale; these are our sources of energy. If you continue filling your tank needlessly, your accommodating little body becomes…well…big and then bigger. Nothing spills out (unless you want to get into bulimia or diuretics and we don’t choose to go there, thank you very much) but your body will utilize that fuel when you make it move. You also lose some energy via your exhaust system (i.e., breathing), and will ditch some of your unexpended fuel via , well, you know. You even have an efficient fuel filtering system that extracts useless additives without having to go visit the body shop. Thank you, Mr. Colon.

Exercising, walking, and even aimless wandering count as times that you will use up some of your fuel. As your breathing becomes heavier, you will actually push some of your unneeded energy into the atmosphere. The more you move, the more you will also sweat and go to the bathroom. In fact if you ever want to watch your body become a mean, lean excretory machine, take up running. You will never be able to “hold it” when you need to go #2. Running to the bathroom will become a lifestyle habit. (Speaking of bathrooms, you women need to read this.)

We need to pause right here for a public service announcement. Yes, you technically add calories by inhaling. Do not, we repeat, do not stop inhaling in an effort to lose weight. It doesn’t turn out well; we already tried it for you.

Anyway, you have a couple of choices in your weight loss plan:

  • You can choose to increase your energy expenditure. Remember two things:               1)  freeway miles use more gas so rigorous exercise will do you more favors than that aimless wandering option (with the added benefit of people not wondering if you’re the Town Crazy); and 2) miles per gallon will vary between models – so don’t worry abut losing weight as quickly as your significant other or best friend if you’re trying to lose weight together. (We just called you a model – didn’t that feel good?)
  • You can drink more water. Increasing your water intake will help you excrete more unused energy and also work to keep you feeling fuller throughout the day. Your body converts everything you eat into a sugar and that sugar is your fuel.  If your body doesn’t have have the moisture it needs to excrete leftovers, they get stored and you get fat. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily is an efficient and effective way to ensure you ditch what you don’t need (your car doesn’t even have this option available – not even in the high end models).
  • You can do nothing. This option allows you to continue life as an adorable chubby person who knows how to lose weight but really doesn’t choose to do so at this time.

It really does boil down to choices and then applying knowledge. If you aren’t willing to do anything, don’t. Just buy bigger clothes and move (or don’t move, as the case may be) on. If you’re willing to do one or some of the above options, you’re on the road to weight loss.

Anyway, we are now pondering a new question. If your fat becomes external to your body as you lose weight, does someone else have to pick it up to keep the world balanced?  We’ll  ponder this one during our next aimless wander through the neighborhood.

High Fructose Corn Syrup is Not Your Friend

high-fructose-corn-syrup is bad for youYou’ve had a bad day. You feel pretty terrible and your troubles seem insurmountable. You really need a pick-me-up. You head for the pantry the minute you get home and pull out a treat. It’s sweet, it’s gooey, and it’s most definitely over-processed food. You know it isn’t good for you but you really don’t care. It works. A few minutes later, you’re blissful, ready to get some dinner and happy to finish your evening. Sure, you still have all of those problems but they just don’t seem quite so terrible.

Why did that sweet treat do the trick? The secret is most likely sugar – and, to narrow it down a bit, most likely sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). HFCS is a super sweet concentration derived from corn; it’s cheap to make, easy to use, and (an added bonus) extends the shelf life of foods in which it is used.  Pretty cool, don’t you think?  Manufacturers think so. They know more about it than you do. First, they know it’s highly addictive. Canadian scientists equate the potential addiction to that of cocaine. Ridiculous, you think. We thought so, too. But HFCS has been shown (via MRI studies) to stimulate the pleasure centers in your brain and to elicit behavioral reactions similar to those elicited through cocaine use. No, this doesn’t mean HFCS is the same as cocaine; only that it is highly addictive. For food manufacturers, this equates into increased consumption which, of course, means increased profits.  Second, rats fed a diet of foods high in HFCS become nervous and anxious when the sweet stuff is removed from their diets. Think about your friends who go on No Sugar Diets.  We don’t know about yours, but our friends report headaches, bad moods, and general anxiety as they attempt to succeed at eliminating sugar from their diets. It’s okay to refer to it as an addiction. Professor Bart Hoebel, with the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, has named it so and reports it makes you fat. In fact, he mentions the problems we’ve all experienced if we’ve successfully stifled our sugar addiction – cravings and relapse are part of the process.

What are the potential effects of fructose on your various organs and systems? That’s the bad news. The happy feelings you derive from HFCS foods come at a heavy price. Science News reported the effects of fructose in its June 2013 edition:

Brain: Unlike glucose (i.e., table sugar), fructose does not adequately curb the hunger signals in your brain. So you remain hungry – and you continue eating. Also, pleasure centers in your brain are stimulated – creating a dependency.

Liver: Fructose ends up in your liver when it’s consumed. Its chemical bond is different than that of table sugar – which does not break apart until it is in the intestine.  Fructose breaks apart in the liver and may be packaged short-term as glycogen to provide energy or as fat. This flood of energy overstimulates your mitochondria (i.e., the power plants of your cells) and the excess energy is turned into liver fat; increasing your risk of fatty liver disease (a liver disease that is usually associated with alcoholism and can cause cirrhosis).

Kidney: Fructose that seeps into the liver may increase uric acid increasing your risks of contracting gout, high blood pressure, and kidney disease.

Abdomen: Fructose is responsible for much of the fat that accumulates in your abdomen.

Pancreas:  Fructose increases insulin resistance which increases your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Bloodstream:  Triglycerides circulating in the blood can harm both your heart and your liver.  Additionally, it can cause rashes.

As we move toward our Cupcake Time Diet, we hope you are willing to move away from foods containing high fructose corn syrup. However, this does take somewhat of a commitment since HFCS is found in so many foods:

Bread: Some commercial bakeries use HFCS in their bread. To avoid it, you would need to carefully check labels or take the time to bake your own bread. Amazing that we often have to make our own food if we want to avoid all of the chemical additives.

Salad Dressings: Again, you would need to carefully check labels to avoid HFCS or make your own.

Tuna: Avoid purchasing Sunkist Tuna Lunch To Go as it contains HFCS.

Canned Goods:  HFCS can be found in canned fruits, vegetables, and even baked beans. Again, checking labels (or canning your own) can work to help you avoid it.

Mac & Cheese:  Making your macaroni and cheese from scratch is easy and it tastes better. Give it a try!

Cereal:  Check the labels of your cereal. Be wary of anything listed as a syrup or corn derivitive.

Crackers:  Even though we think of salty when we eat crackers, a quick check of boxes reveals tons of crackers that include HFCS on their labels.

Soup:  Campbell’s condensed vegetable soup contains HFCS. Is there nothing a mom can feed her kids that doesn’t contain this stuff?

Yogurt:  Danon and Yoplait list HFCS on their lists of ingredients. Trader Joe’s French Village yogurt does not.

Ketchup: Heinz ketchup lists both corn syrup and HFCS on the label. Check it out.

In short, read labels to find out the hidden ways HFCS is tucked into your diet. When you identify the products, walk away. Cooking from fresh, finding alternative labels, or avoiding certain foods altogether are ways you can eliminate HFCS from your diet. Don’t replace it with other sugars; work to only eat sugar when you intend to.

The Power of Three

Triads are powerful. Avoid MSG, aspartame, and high fructose corn syrup.Have you noticed that power always seems to travel in threes? Hong Kong has its evil 14K Triad, television has Charmed, American government has its Iron Triangle, and Christians have their Trinity. Even music has a triad (have you ever heard the song by David Crosby about menage a trois called Triad?).  And did you know the triangle is the strongest shape? That’s why it’s so commonly used in bridge building. We don’t know why, but three seems to be the number that contains the power to both heal and hurt.

 

We have one more triad for you to add to you lists of three: high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and aspartame.  This isn’t just for the sake of diet, it’s for the sake of your good health.  You see, each of these chemically developed food additives mess with your metabolism, internal organ health, brain function, and eating. It sounds so dramatic, we know. But we’ve been researching these for the past couple of weeks and it just makes us sick to think of how the food industry makes us sick in an effort to sell more product. Recognizing how these three items can negatively impact your life and refusing to put them into your body will result in better health and a healthier weight. More later; but we wanted to be up front about this so you can work on cutting them out of your diet now rather than after we’ve provided the compelling evidence to do so.

Now go watch your Star Wars trilogy.

Body Tricks

sundial is like your circadian rhythms To those of you who are now following us via email, we did send out the tentative Cupcake Time Diet Plan on Wednesday night. If you didn’t get a copy of it, let us know and we’ll happily forward you one.

We have really learned a lot during our adventures with dieting. Failure is not always a bad thing because it can teach you lessons you never knew you needed to learn, even if it does keep you in your fat pants. This is one thing we did learn: if you eat late at night, you will gain weight.

When the kids were little, Sherry always gave them a Midnight Snack. This was a small snack that was part of their bedtime routine – first they would get into their jammies (bath time some nights but not always), then a snuggle in bed with Sherry while we read a book together (we read everything from Where the Red Fern Grows to The Black Cauldron Trilogy to Anna Karenina), and, lastly, a Midnight Snack before tuck ins.  We laughingly called it Midnight Snack because it always felt so late when  snack time rolled around (usually 9:30 p.m.).  In fact, Sherry played a pretty good April Fool’s joke on Brooke when she was around 6 years old (Brooke claims she is still in need of therapy because of this and says you should not try this at home).  You see, Brooke would often fall asleep early in the evening and wake up just in time for her bedtime routine.  So on the morning of April 1st, Sherry convinced Brooke it was nighttime as she woke her early in the morning. A sleepy little Brooke joined her sisters for a Midnight Snack of brownies and milk.  It was dark (just like it was at night when Brooke would wake up in time for her snack) and Brooke was still a little drowsy (typical) and pretty anxious to return to her warm bed for the night. As they finished the last bits of their brownies, the sun began to rise. Brooke was confused and panicked to think that the sun had forgotten it was night time and she would now be required to stay awake “all night” and wait for another night to show up.  For a long time, she could not be convinced that she had actually slept through the night – she is sure she was somehow cheated out of a full night’s sleep. 

Anyway, Midnight Snack time remains an endearing part of our bedtime routine.  However, during the past few years the midnight snack seems to have grown in direct proportion with our weight. And it no longer is part of our bedtime routine; it seems to have become a part of our stay up routine.  We found ourselves working late into the evening and then actually eating our Midnight Snack, well, at midnight to wake us up so we could stay awake even longer. Soon we were shocked to find our clothes telling us we were fat with every zip and every button. We shook our heads in disbelief because we were gaining weight while, at the same time, generally eating less and trying to lose weight. It wasn’t until we started trying different diets, that we realized that we were eating late at night to create enough energy to stay awake. Late night eating – when your body is ready for bed – increases weight because your body is converting those calories into fat. Just like poor Brooke watching the sun come up, your body can be confused and left to operate at less than optimum capacity when your activities don’t match the time of day.

Your circadian rhythms create a continuous loop wherein your body knows when to store energy (i.e., bedtime) and when to prepare to use it (i.e., breakfast time). Your thyroid gland gives you a great big dose of thyroxin as your feet hit the ground each morning to prepare you to be awake and alert for your day. You need to treat yourself to a good breakfast (even if you hate breakfast) in order to keep your food intake aligned with your circadian rhythms so you enjoy can enjoy optimal health and energy.  Skipping breakfast can make you fat, too.

So, if you want to lose weight, don’t eat at night. Instead, go to bed and get a good night’s rest. Sure there are times when you’ll need to stay up late but if you find yourself staying up past 11:00 p.m. on a regular basis you’re doing yourself a disfavor.  Getting adequate sleep and eating only during the times when you are most likely to expend energy are two of the most important tips for being healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. Doing otherwise will leave you exhausted and weighing more than you want. Who needs that?

Living in the Gap

Blue Bins are the best part of dorm move outThe end of the school year brings finals, stress, fun, and a change of living arrangements for dorm dwellers. All of that change means celebrations and, of course, the inevitable moves. We helped Emma and Jake move out of their dorms and into….well, into nowhere for the moment.

There is this strange phenomenon known only to dorm dwellers called “the dorm gap”. You are expected to pack up and move your belongings out of your dorm room. You participate in this activity while trying to complete all of your final testing – since policy requires you to be out of there within 24 hours of completing your last final or, at the latest, by Saturday – May 19th. College students are super humans. How do they study for tests, write papers, take final exams, say goodbye to friends for the summer, pack up everything they own (which often means inadvertently packing up that book or journal article you really needed for your end-of-year essay), catch up on laundry, wrap up final arrangements for your internship which includes a physical, and sleep all at the same time?

To complicate things a bit, the colleges will typically provide summer housing if needed; but not in the same room you’ve been living in all year and definitely not without a gap. This year, the gap is roughly a week. Emma won’t have summer housing available until the end of May and Jake’s housing is available next Tuesday. This is where life gets creative for an undergrad. Refrigerators, boxes, books, bedding, clothes, food, decorations, etc. have to find a place to dwell during the gap. Solutions are both creative and imaginative and you should be impressed with their mad problem solving skills and tenacious ability to get everything accomplished. Schools should really give credit hours for this.

They found foster homes for some of their belongings in New York, stashed some of their belongings (some temporarily and some permanently) with us, and are now trying to catch up on some sleep.

We spent the last two days moving them. Our lives have been filled with blue bins (used for moving your stuff out of your dorm and for covert rides), Thai food, Swedish Fish, cookies, M&Ms, Thai Food, trail mix (Thanks to Jake’s mom), and gum. No nutritious meals, no chelating (except for when eating Thai food), and no cupcakes! We kept missing Crumbs cupcakes!

Blue Bin Ride during dorm move outFriday, we packed up Jake’s belongings, went for Thai food in New York, headed to Crumbs – and they were closed for the evening. Abject disappointment!!!  We headed to Connecticut, slept for 6 hours, and headed back to New York to do it all again; this time for Emma’s belongings. We went early to avoid the crowds and heat. The room was emptied, the car was trapped by a delivery truck (who double parks in New York? Just. Everyone.), we took a stroll to check out housing locations for both the summer and the next school year, gleefully found ourselves at Crumbs (no accident) – and they were still closed. I had my face pressed against the glass woefully staring at the help who adroitly avoided my mournful gaze. We left – fearing they would call the cops on the cupcake stalkers. We took Jake to New Haven to get a haircut, ate more Thai food in Connecticut, rushed Brooke to meet her friends so they could celebrate the end of Law School Year 1 (Woohoo!!!), and collapsed into bed at an ungodly hour (except Emma, who inadvertently passed out on the couch at 8 p.m.) as consolation. And now we have unpacked most items, laundered several items, and slept the sleep of the dead. We don’t even dare step on our scales to see what damage we have wrought. We can do that tomorrow.

Today? We’re taking it easy. No Thai food since that happened four times last week. We are going to enjoy a home cooked meal, watch Drop Dead Fred, and a few hours of simple laundry and trying to fit everything that has to stay here in inconspicuous places while refilling the car’s trunk with what must inevitably return to New York (no, not the kids – just their stuff) and catching up. Later this evening, we return Jake (and one small bag of his belongings) to New York so he can start his summer job at Sullivan & Cromwell on Monday. He is sleeping on the couch of a friend until his place is available on Tuesday afternoon. We can’t imagine starting a new job at a large firm with our belongings spread between two states and dwelling in the dorm gap. We imagine this will add to the stress of his first day on the job, but are confident he’ll be fine: he’ll be arriving at work with his favorite Crumbs cupcake for lunch.  Ahhh college life.

The Satan Diet Works but We’re Taking It a Step Farther

Devil Diet - Eat OrganicWhen we used the Satan Diet, the pounds magically came off. There is no doubt about that. But why?  How are we losing weight when we’re eating copious quantities of food (albeit food in specific categories).  One reason is that we’re initially eating fruits and vegetables; foods that are primarily composed of water. Another reason is that we really haven’t found fruits in season (since this is early Spring) and we are picky about our fruits. There is one more, very important reason, however, that most people aren’t recognizing. It can be summed up in one simple word; chelation.

Chelation is the process your body uses to remove metal-based contaminants (such as lead, aluminum, cadmium, and mercury) via the bloodstream; then the metals are excreted in your urine (ew).  The levels of pollution in the air you breathe and the food you eat are astounding.  Many people claim these toxins are killing us via increased illness, cancers, and damage to your neurological system.

As toxins build in your body, you become tired, lethargic, more prone to illness, and susceptible to auto-immune disorders. Sherry noticed right away that she was feeling better when we added fruits and vegetables to our diets.  She found she wasn’t hungry as often and we both noticed her arthritis was doing better.  Well, to be honest we did a couple of things about that arthritis; Sherry makes sure she gets 1/2 a tablespoon of cinnamon and some local raw honey every day. We read those two foods could help ameliorate some of the  pain and swelling of arthritis. It seems to have made a little difference but then we added the vegetable thing within 2 months so we can’t say how much of the improvement is from what change – we can just say there has been overall incremental improvement. So much for the scientific method.

Anyway, chelation can be a horrid medical procedure if you have serious metal poisonings (think Lead Poisoning). What most people don’t realize is that our bodies also follow a natural process of chelation that is made possible by the foods we eat (or should be eating in any case).  We don’t even have to think about it. It just happens.  But the next time someone asks you to do something you really don’t want to do, simply say, “I’m sorry, I’ll be busy chelating at that time and won’t be able to do that for you.”  They will walk away truly confused, yet satisfied that you are indeed busy with important work that they won’t dare question and you’ll have time for that book you’ve been trying to get to  (or a nap).

Anyway, chelation is the largest case against junk food.  Eating processed foods all day can fill you up and make you invariably happy but these foods don’t have what it takes to encourage chelation in your body.  The more you fill up on tasty junk food, the more over-burdened your body will be with the buildup of toxins. You need to eat a variety of food to assist your body with chelation.  Here are the foods that matter:

  • Pectin occurs naturally in lots of fruits and vegetables and has been found to chelate heavy metals and other toxins from your body.  Good sources of natural pectin include apples, grapes, beets, carrots, bananas, cabbage, and the pith (that icky white part) of citrus fruits.
  • Cilantro (and the coriander seed it produces) not only perform normal chelation functions but are said to cross the blood-brain barrier and remove metals from the brain. This could be very important to potential Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s sufferers as experts continue to research the link between increased metals in the brain and these two diseases.  Right now experts only state there is some type of protein-metal interaction that takes place to keep us free of these diseases and the jury is still out regarding what is genetic and what is environmental. There is no proof that eating cilantro or avoiding soda pop packaged in aluminum containers will stave off either disease – but isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?
  • Cruciferous Vegetables contain antioxidants that increase the production of detoxifying enzymes in your body. These vegetables include staples such as arugula, horseradish, cabbage, kale, and broccoli and are rumored to also have anti-cancer effects – always a good thing.
  • Sulfer Rich Foods such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onion, garlic, and brussels sprouts work to also remove heavy metals from your body.
  • Amino Acids are also natural chelating agents.  Your body makes 10 of the 20 needed essential amino acids (or proteins) naturally but you must use food to obtain the other 10.  Proteins control virtually all cellular processes so you don’t want to short yourself on them – and your body doesn’t create a store of them so you must get new ones all of the time.  Again, it is the interaction of proteins and metals in the brain that are the focus of research on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases – so this is very important stuff. Amino acids can be obtained by eating meats, dairy products, and/or a rich variety of plants.  Nutritionists used to believe you had to eat a combination of foods to create a complete protein to derive benefit. This is why vegans are often working to ensure they have adequate nutrition – but that combination theory is out the door. You don’t need to combine to benefit (which made Sherry kind of sad because she was always careful to drink milk when eating Peanut M&Ms to ensure she was getting at least one complete protein. All of that work for nothing!).

As you read through this list of foods, you’re probably making an internal inventory and congratulating yourself on eating many of these foods already. Go ahead, be smug. You’ve earned it! And we hope you’ve made the connection between the Satan Diet and chelation.  Following the Satan Diet eliminates the processed foods your body has been enjoying and replaces them with more of the foods that support chelation. As you diet, you are getting rid of excess heavy metals in your body – so you are getting a detox cleanse free of charge.  During this diet you are not just losing weight; you’re getting your body to a healthier state of being.

But there is one rub. (Sherry’s turn to be smug.) Our food supply isn’t what we think it is. We have eaten Farm Bred and Atlantic Salmon without realizing we were also ingesting mercury and other toxins. We all switched from red meats to chicken in an effort to be healthy not realizing farmers are poisoning our chicken with arsenic (in the form of the drug, 3-Nitro) to enhance weight and skin pigmentation…oh, and to control diseases. When the FDA verified this back in 2011, the industry volunteered to conduct a 30-day phase out of its use – and then got caught again just now in February of 2013 when inorganic levels of arsenic was again noticed in chickens and again traced back to the continued use of 3-Nitro. No, my friends, there is no honor among farmers from the looks of things.  Now think about everything we’re learning about Monsanto – genetically engineered produce that harms us and food doused with heavy pesticides that can be absorbed by food.  The question often returns to – what in the world are we eating? Do we know? (Sherry smugly maintains that an Oreo is an Oreo and M&Ms are M&Ms so all that junk food is superior to those vegetables and meats everyone else is eating. Unfortunately, Sherry is chelating any time soon with this attitude.)

So, as a suggestion, if you want to boost the benefits of your Satan Diet, you can purchase  organically grown food during your diet week. This helps because you are actually aiding the chelation process by not adding any extra metals or toxins via the pesticides, arsenic, and growth chemicals used on our food supplies.  This organic food recommendation is indeed going to be part of our upcoming Cupcake Diet (still in the works – but making progress).