Monday, June 30, 2008

A Serving of Weight Loss, Topped with a Dollop of Cynacism

There are four points listed at to help us lose weight. Here they are along with my take on why it just ain't that easy for us moms.

1. Take time to chew your food. There are only two ways this will work for us. One, if you factor in chewing while walking as extra gravitational chewing force, then the five trips you take from the table to grab a papertowel might help you lose weight. Secondly, if you count the food you eat that has already been chewed up by one of your kids, well, then that might help you lose weight, too. Otherwise, there is no way we're scoring on this one.

2. Avoid stress while eating. Ha! Even those of us with the most well thought-out plans for dinner have no way to anticipate the sibling food fight, the spilled milk that a little sister thinks is funny so she dumps hers out, too, or the tot who didn't listen when you told him he had eaten enough, but gorged anyway, and experienced a 'reversal of fortune,' so to speak.

3. Listen to your body. This could not only keep us moms from losing weight, but send us into a downward spiral of peppermint patties and Starbucks Java Chip ice cream. Oh, that sounds so good right now. In fact, listening to our bodies might make us abandon our children altogether, and drain the college fund for a trip to an all-inclusive spa resort.

4. Eat early, eat often. The 'eat early' part is often sacrificed to keep the kids from whining, er, going hungry themselves. As for 'eat often,' well, here's where I'll abandon my cynacism for a moment (why am I in this mood today?) and offer a healthy eating tip for moms.

Eating small, healthy snacks/meals throughout your day will keep your metabolism going strong and give you the energy you need to perform your superwoman duties. If you are feeling particularly sluggish, have a high-protein snack, along with fiber. The protein will give you an energy boost, and the fiber will make the protein work more efficiently in your body.

I like turkey and cheese roll-ups with whole wheat crackers OR yogurt with fruit and granola.

Oh, and put down that diet coke! Caffeine is the worst thing for keeping your metabolism at a steady, beneficial rate.

I had promised a long, long time ago that I would share pictures from the CMA Awards in Vegas, and here the few that turned out okay. Seems that waving a picture phone around in a crowd of rowdy country music fans is not the best scenario for taking a quality picture.

Here is Taylor Swift at the pre-awards show party. As you can see, we bullied our way to the stage. If you're one of the unfortunate souls we trampled, I really am sorry.

Kellie Pickler

My friend Joanne, my sister (in-law) Frankie, and me, just before the Saturday pre-award show party. Sunday was the big show, and the highlight for me was seeing Reba. Of course, the best pictures I got of her were on the big screen (for some reason they wouldn't seat me by the stage, next to Nicole Kidman, as I requested).

Paranoid, anyone?

Okay, an exercise for you, sweet readers.

Think for a few moments about Bruce Springsteen's song, Born in the USA. Now, read the actual lyrics.

Was anyone else snowed, as I was, all those years ago, into thinking this song was lovingly patriotic? Think of all the sporting events and movies that played this song at a moment of triumph and glory!

One of my favorite college professors opened the first day of class with this little exercise. The course was 'Capitalism and the Third World', and Mr. R. instilled in me a serious sense of paranoia.

In fact, I would describe myself as painfully susceptible to conspiracy theories and paranoia. My TDH is full-blooded Greek, and I never knew the power of superstition until I discovered Greek superstition. (One Christmas, my mother-in-law set a chair at the table for the dog, to make 14 chairs, in order to avoid 13). It's serious business, folks!

My point?

If you're like me, you probably feel the same sense of helplessness when you read a forwarded email about foods that cause cancer, food containers that cause cancer, cooking methods that cause cancer... only to realize you've been eating/using/cooking that way your entire life, thanks for nothing.

The most recent forward I received claimed to be from John Hopkins University, it's not, and in all capital letters warned me that using plastic containers will put me and my family on the fast track to cancer.

Even though plastic container hysteria follows a certain train of logic, I'm choosing not to get hyped up about it.

Why not?

Because I'm too busy wholeheartedly believing in another theory, one that states eating a well-balanced diet, heavy on the fruits and veggies, is my family's best defense against any disease, cancer included. In fact, it's not really a 'theory' at all, proven from all the big ones out there, i.e. American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, etc.

In this age of 'I'm So Freakin' Busy, I Can't See Straight,' let's focus on basic, good nutrition and raise a hand, (or a finger, if you're less ladylike), to the latest fads and paranoias.

In the meantime, I will be researching to see if a vitamin exists to help decrease susceptibility to paranoia :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Teach Kids to Eat Healthy Now, Prevent Drug Use Later

Here's the scenario.

Little Red hates corn.

But my rule at the dinner table is everybody tastes everything in order to get their cookie.

I don't serve corn very often, and when I do, I sympathize with Red's dilemma and I will even add butter to make it more enticing. Biscuit and Blondie love corn, so I keep it coming, hoping one day Red will give in and eat it.

Tonight, however, at the dinner table, Red would not eat his corn. We all tried different tactics... I went with gentle persuasion, Biscuit dramatically demonstrated how he eats corn, TDH tried hypnosis with a cookie, and Blondie yelled, Eat it! Eat it! Eat it!

He would not give in, however, and we all ate our cookies in front of him. He sat, motionless, expressionless, and if his grandmothers had been present, they would have cried their eyes out.

Even though my cold, mean mommy heart had melted into my shoes, I had a wonderful glimpse into his future and I felt much better.

I am prepping him for peer pressure.

So, I'm sharing this thought with all the mean mommies and daddies, who feel like the scum of the earth when you deny sweets.

In fact, GREAT JOB! Not only are you giving your kids a leg up on their growth and development by pushing the healthy stuff, you are fine-tuning their resistance skills.

Now, on a personal note, I would like to introduce you to my little neice and goddaughter, who was born yesterday. (And, if you remember, the first picture in this blog!)

She's our beautiful, healthy little girl... we are truly blessed. Welcome, little one!

Here I am with my nephew. He's holding his little sister for the first time.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dusting Off Teacher Britches

Yawn, stretch... good morning. I am currently struggling to wake up from an overly restful night. I turned in early last evening due to extreme sleep deprivation...

Tuesday night, my friend Joanne came over for dinner, and she brought the most delicious cheesecake. I devoured an entire piece, and unfortunately, the sugar rush lasted through 3 am. (Joanne, do not let this deter you from bringing more cheesecake next time!)

Anyway, this setback on top of my already sleep-deprived life was enough to make me ask my mommy to come over this morning. She does so on a regular basis, because she's the best mom in the world and she believes in me and my new business. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that she adores her grandchildren.

Ok, everybody, yesterday, in spite of my sleepy brain, I had an idea for SuperNoots workshops. I have been trying so hard to come up with the perfect 'recipe' for this thing, and by golly, I think I've figured it out!

Instead of doing a parent-only workshop, I'm going to ask parents to bring their kids, then teach parents fun ways to get their kids to eat healthy by modeling it myself. Today I will put together an info packet and work on songs, activities, etc. A nice break from the relentless pursuit of customers!

For those of you who don't know, I taught fifth grade in my pre-kids, pre-entrepreneur life... now I will get to dust off those teacher britches!

It all sounds like a great idea now, but I'm wondering if after the first workshop, after the kids have revolted and hurled carrots at my head, that this idea will seem less attractive than the parent-only workshop. I guess we'll find out!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

In the bathroom?!?

I just have to share this funny with you...

Before I tell you, you need a little background information.

I love Zone bars.

And thanks to one misguided judgment to let Biscuit, Blondie and Red try them, they love Zone bars, too.

The problem is, they're not cheap, nor are they particularly healthy. SO, while I will subject my own body to the harmful effects of Chocolate Mint, I am selfish, er, caring enough to spare my children the same fate.

The other problem is that my kids ain't dummies, and not only are their ears fine-tuned to the sound of a Zone bar wrapper, but they easily recognize the guilty face their mother makes when she tries to sneak one.

SO, the following are the shameless steps I took today to sneak a Zone bar. And after reading them, you won't even have to say it, I'll already know what you're thinking.

Step 1: Turned on and turned up Food Network.
Step 2: Under the cover of Guy's Big Bite, snatched bar from pantry when kids were not looking.
Step 3: Before wrapper could be completely opened, Red became suspicious and entered kitchen.
Step 4: Left bar in kitchen sink for 10 minutes until Red became distracted.
Step 5: Placed bar on plate in sink and began to cut bite-sized pieces (taking bites off whole bar too risky, and breaking bites off bar creates chocolate-coated fingers)
Step 6: Turned away from kids to chew, pretended to be busy rearranging towels in towel drawer.
Step 7: Half-way through bar, Biscuit appeared unexpectedly.
Step 8: Wadded rest of bar up with a papertowel, and moved shameless face-stuffing into the bathroom, yes, the bathroom. Don't say you haven't done it.

In the frequently asked questions section of the SuperNoots website, I talk about healthy eating mentality. Maybe I should add the FAQ, what if I want to sneak a treat?, and then post this scenario. What do you think?

Monday, June 16, 2008

SuperNoots, Mommy Bloggers, and a Little Girl Named, Hmmm....

Thanks, Rachel Mickelson, of, for a great product review of SuperNoots. I love reading all the comments... they're like little warm fuzzies. You are doing a great job with your site and I can't wait to see who wins the big contest :) Check out Rachel's review and all the sweet comments (84 to date!) here.

I also have to give a shout out to Stacy Julian and Lisa Cohen, both of which supported Victoria and me in a huge way. Stacy, I still remember the day Victoria and I were just getting started, and all of a sudden, we had like 150 hits on our site and loads of orders. We had no idea what had happened! We finally tracked down the traffic to you and your awesome blog, so thank you, thank you, and thank you! Find Stacy's blog here. And Lisa, your blog readers were so inspired by your SuperNoots testimony, you wouldn't believe the love that came my way thanks to you... and what can I say about a fellow Coldplay fan, but ROCK ON!! Find Lisa's blog and SuperNoots ravings here and here.

As for me, I am anxiously awaiting the birth of my neice and Goddaughter, uh, nameless at the moment, but nonetheless already loved more than she'll ever comprehend. I expect any moment to get the phone call (hopefully before her June 30th due date), then I will mercilessly drop my three kiddos at my mom's doorstep and drive to Atlanta. I might remember to pick up TDH along the way, hopefully he can jump through the window of a moving minivan, er, car.

You probably noticed I've just now learned how to link. Yes, I am the world's biggest tech dummy. I have decided that my first posted picture will be of the newest family member, so get ready. I realize that a photo along with my blog will seem strange, but I'm confident we'll make it through together. L

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The 'I Don't Care' Routine

As parents, we've all been there.

You want your kid to get into the bathtub, so you mockingly put your hands on your hips, tilt your head to the side and say, "Whatever you do, don't get into that bathtub!" And then, 9 times out of 10, your kids, the independent stinkers that they are, will dive right in.

So it goes with food.

If your kid is wise to the "Whatever you do, don't..." routine, take note of this tactic. I title it, the I-Don't-Care routine. In my opinion, it's even more powerful.

Take note.

Kid: I'm not going to eat my peas.
You: Good, because I was hoping you wouldn't. (It is important to NOT make eye contact, keep your voice monotone, and throw in a good shoulder shrug)

In my experience, kids are totally bewildered by this statement. The same kid who can stand his ground against the "Whatever you do, don't..." routine will be confused by this complete lack of sensitivity. He won't really know how to take it, and in effort to figure you out will repeat his obstinate decree...

Kid: I SAID I'm not going to eat my peas.
You: At this point, dragging the back of your hand across your forehead with a giant sigh of relief is very effective.

What will eventually happen? The first few times, nothing. No peas will be eaten. What you've done, though, is mystified the peas. The wheels in those little heads will not rest until they've figured out WHY you don't want them to eat the peas. When they ask, when they show interest in why, that's when you lower the bomb. Again, take note.

Kid: Why don't you want me to eat my peas?
You: Because they make you run faster and quite frankly, I like it better when I can catch up to you.

You've accomplished two impossibles here. More than likely, he will teach you a lesson and eat those darn peas, and also he now knows that peas make him strong.

He'll also get to move a veggie magnet on his SuperNoots chart, and with that visual serving as a reminder, he will start the process of thinking he's a veggie eater.

Now, of course this will not work for every kid. There are those stinkers out there who have mastered the "Whatever you do, don't" routine, the "I don't care" routine, and have even moved on to the "All your friends are doing it, why don't you?" routine (I don't really endorse this one).

For those of you still on levels 1 and 2 of parental persuasion tactics, give this one a try and let me know how it goes! L

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Proud or Embarrassed?

When Biscuit was born almost five years ago, a massive influx of batteries began to make their way into my home. I can still remember the size and quantity of batteries his favorite toys required, mostly because I changed them a zillion times.

I pride myself on being an organizer (even thought of doing it professionally once upon a time), and true to form if you open my pantry door you will find the 'battery basket,' complete with all kinds of batteries and various screwdrivers.

My point? Well, since the birth of the 'battery basket,' I can't begin to tell you the number of times I have reached in for a battery and stabbed myself with the tiny little screwdrivers. Practically every time. And also every time, I say the same little bad words... in my head, under my breath, or out loud, depending on who's in the room.

Well, today, my friends, I experienced one of those moments where the angels start singing and you feel like God is smiling on you. And as I placed the screwdrivers, point-side down into a little cup, and then put the cup in the basket, I felt like the most brilliant person in the world.

So, should I be proud or just really embarrassed for not thinking of it the first time I stabbed myself? I'm going with proud, because let's face it, those little 'brilliant' moments are few and far between!

(Okay, here's my food transition, so get ready...)

The 'battery basket' isn't the only thing in my pantry. Some of my favorite pantry foods are (remember, I have a 4-year old and 2-year old twins)
  • mandarin oranges in their own juice
  • Barbara's Fruit and Yogurt bars (the lesser of all evil cereal bars that are available at my regular grocery store)
  • Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (whole grain brown, 0 sugars!)
  • tuna (in water)
  • Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes (for my spaghetti sauce)
  • whole grain pasta (any brand with 0 or 1 sugar)

Try this snack for the kids: Mix crunchy peanut butter and toasted what germ, then roll to create bite-sized balls. Roll the balls in coconut or crushed peanuts for a sweet or salty covering. The wheat germ is wonderfully good for kids, no sodium and low in sugar. Wheat germ is also packed with protein, so this is a great way for kids to move their protein SuperNoots magnet! -L

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Flat-Out Wraps / My Kids Won't Watch TV, rats

I'd like to say it's because I have hundreds of creative and engaging activites up my sleeve to keep the kids happily away from the TV all day, but sadly, no, not the case.

I just don't understand why anyone would rather stare at me and whine than to zone out to Sesame Street. Call it a blessing, call it a curse... the hour before dinnertime, I call it the culmination of all my past sins come back to haunt me.

The cute snack food I mentioned in the previous post will only go so far before food will no longer pacify their thirst to see Mommy make the famous face that years from now, when they're 30, will be the humorous subject around the dinner table. Hey, Mom, make that face you used to make when you were mad at us! It's sooooo funny!

Well, as of a week or so ago, I came up with a plan, and so far, it's working. (If I could write that sentence in a whisper, I would, so as not to tempt fate.) The plan... make the half hour before dinner time 'TV time,' even if it killed me.

I picked Biscuit's favorite cartoon, 'Wow Wow Wubzy,' and announced in a thrilled-beyond-belief tone, It's Wow Wow Wubzy Time! Biscuit was willing, but Blondie and Red were not buying into it.

I sat little Red down on the sofa, telling him, you get to watch TV! I sat little Blondie down beside him, and it was as if the sofa were made of needles or hot coals, and her body ricocheted off like a bouncing rubber ball.

I was prepared for that.

I immediately sat down on the sofa myself, and feigned an intense interest in Wubzy. I joked with Biscuit, I can't believe Widget did that! all the while totally ignoring the twins.

Red gave in, even snuggling beside me, eyes wide to what all the fuss was about. Blondie, however, kept her distance and proceeded to tip back the recliner... occupied by her big brother. Minor setback, but still I dug in.

I frowned at her and told her, your brother is trying to watch Wow Wow Wubzy! As if she had interrupted him taking his SAT's.

After several days of this same routine, Blondie finally gave up her attack on her brother and sprawled on the floor, singing to herself. To this day I maintain the sacred half hour of Wow Wow Wubzy, treating the time as a necessity, along with breathing, food... you get it.

What does this have to do with healthy eating? Not much. I DO have a favorite tip for you, though.


If you haven't discovered flatout wraps, then you are missing out. If you live in Knoxville, grocery stores carry several varieties, but Wal-Mart is the only one I've found to sell the 'light' flatout wrap, which has 0 sugars. This is the best, by far, and for breakfast...

I sprinkle grated cheese and turkey on one of these and stick it under the broiler for a minute or so. TDH and I have been starting our day with these for over a year. SO good and filling, the combo of protein and fiber will really keep you going.

I'll keep you posted on how TV time is going, and for those of you disappointed in me for resorting to TV, remember, I could be forcing them to watch TV while I bubble-bathed or downed a glass of wine... hmmmm, now there's a thought :) Lori