Saturday, June 27, 2009

Snip It Saturday

Skinny Bitch
by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

Okay, this book really freaked me out! With a title like, Skinny Bitch, you'd think it was a diet book, right? Wrong! It is a commentary on meat-eating America. The authors are both former models and Kim Barnouin holds a MS in Holistic Nutrition. I can tell they worked tirelessly on gathering the information and boy, did they do their research!

Before my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, I did not eat red meat. I was healthy back then. I don't want to give the impression that I was healthier because I didn't eat red meat, since I also exercised daily -- which I believe is the BEST preventative medicine around. I didn't eat red meat because:

1. I thought it contained too much cholesterol and fat.
2. I truly felt bad about the way animals were raised just to be slaughtered for my eating pleasure.

So, yeah, I did feel pretty emotional about it. Maybe that's why I should not have read this book! There are some really graphic scenes from slaughterhouses and excerpts from another book which contains interviews with slaughterhouse workers. AAKKK! I'm feeling nauseous just thinking about it again . . . . excuse me please . . . ~~deep breath~~

Okay, the snip it I've chosen from this book will not be graphic, but it is eye opening. I'm asking you all to have an open mind about this, because, uh, yeah, there are some pretty "out there" claims you're about to read!

So now you are officially vegan, a person who doesn't eat any animal products. No meat, chicken, pork, fish, eggs, milk, cheese or butter. Feel great about it. Yes, it is challenging to avoid these foods, but you will reap the karmic rewards of being vegan (like being skinny). For starters, you're sparing the lives of at least ninety animals a year. And every environmentalist knows that factory farming is completely destroying the environment. As ridiculous as it sounds, the methane resulting from the burps and farts of 10 billion animals a year is directly responsible for global warning. The urine and feces are polluting and contaminating soil and water all over the country. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, they are the largest polluters of U.S. waterways. Moreover, the amount of land, food, water, and energy used to raise 10 billion animals a year for slaughter could be used to grow food for all the starving people in the world. That's right -- you being vegan is actually a step toward ending world hunger. Now that's some serious skinny karma.

Told 'ya! The authors do include 9 pages of end notes, citing their work. And I do know that land in which dairy farms have used is contaminated for years, but really? Global warming? I'm finding that one a little bit hard to swallow. . . This information is cited with "Factory Farming: Environmental Consequences," from I don't want to get into my take on global warning, but I have to say there are other ways to get people to stop eating red meat. Dr. Oz is a great veggie advocate. He is a well respected, widely known (Oprah!) presence who educates us on the ills of eating meat. He doesn't treat us like morons, he doesn't use scare tactics (okay, maybe when he brings out the diseased body organs he's trying to scare us!) and we find it easy to believe him. He is a cardiac surgeon after all!

In all, I'd have to warn readers to be wary of the chick-lit disguise of the premise of the book. The book's tone and style is meant to reach young, hip women, but in a way that is kind of negative. If you can handle being called a bitch, moron, fat ass, etc, then you can read this book. Believe me, it is NOT for the easily offended! If you're asking for my recommendation of the book, I'd have to say not to spend your money. Check it out from your local library. Also, it seems there are a few other books in the "series" and maybe those have a little more to do with getting skinny?

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
Running Press
c2005 by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

Friday, June 26, 2009

Beach Fashion

Okay, we all know I love bags, purses, totes, etc. Any accessory I can throw over my shoulder and have a little fun with, I love. My house is full of bags -- one of my favorites is titled Book Woman. What is a bag worth if you can't fit a book in it anyway? Sheeps!

I'm not much for the designer label (Ha! Gotcha!) but of course if I can afford it, I buy it. Back in our double income days, I used to buy purses and bags without a second thought. Now, I must be choosy and decide if it is "worthy." One designer I LOVE is Vera Bradley. I do have the large tic-tac tote in the Daisy Daisy pattern, and let me tell you, it's great for the beach, lake or park. It's roomy enough for all your outdoor needs: book, sunblock, visor, glasses, and even a small towel. There are little pockets inside to keep your cell phone, keys and lip balm safe. Here is a picture of the Hope Garden collection, too cute -- but not outrageously expensive at $69. And if you are really into matching (ahem!) you can add some matching beach accessories to your shopping cart: flip-flops, visor, wristlet, towel, to name a few. Imagine that with a red swimsuit, oh-la-la! The best thing about Vera's bags? They are washable. That's right, throw them in the washer, air dry, and viola! Clean, pretty and new again! Vera retires their fabric collections every so often, and there is a sale going on now at Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Writer's Workshop

From Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt #2: How do you stave off boredom?

How do I stave off boredom? Honey, I live for boredom! Boredom means an empty mind, an empty conscious and an empty day planner. But, really, I cannot remember the last time I was bored. Wikipedia claims,"[b]oredom is an emotional state experienced during periods lacking activity or when individuals are uninterested in the activities presented to them." I guess I have the kind of mind that is never bored, I love to learn new things, I am curious beyond belief and will ask a million questions. I simply don't get bored. No, wait, I do. When I'm standing in line or on a long road trip. In that road trip case, I make sure I have something to read. The last time we drove in the dark, I checked out a book on tape (old name, can't recall what they call them now, you actually check out the playing device, too!) but every time I tried to listen, I fell asleep! So, yeah, sleeping is an awesome way to deal with boredom! As for waiting in line for something (or waiting period!) I can get a little bit crazy. Sometimes I do calf raises . . . of course if it's at the grocery store I read all tabloid headlines . . . sometimes I watch the door to see if anyone "interesting" will walk in . . . sometimes I daydream . . . sometimes I choose a person and kind of make-up their story in my head . . . you know, normal stuff! Most of the time I just take long, deep breaths and tell myself, "It will be over soon," or I think of Dorrie and chant "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

As I looked further into the fascinating topic of boredom, I am truly amazed. I -- a reader and educator-- did not know the background and philosophical implications of boredom! I feel like an idiot now (Mama Kat!) but that's okay, because I like to learn new stuff, remember? Anyway, the concept of boredom was first "documented" in Charles Dickens' Bleak House way back in 1852 where the word appears six times. And, there are three types of boredom: when we are prevented from engaging in some stimulating activity; when we are forced to engage in an unwanted activity; or when we just cannot engage or pay attention, for no apparent reason (wikipedia). Teaching seventh graders is the ultimate lesson on boredom! They sit and stare into space while I'm talking about space! I imagine they are daydreaming about their boyfriend/girlfriend or devising ways to sneak off a text while I'm not looking. Seriously, I could not even "engage" them on the topic of the size of the universe, or how fast the speed of light really is! HELLO??? 180,000 miles per SECOND, people!!! Isn't that amazing enough to get you to want to learn more? Typical response, "Ms. Garza, I can run like the speed of light." Yeah, and my hand can give you whiplash faster than that! Think! "Hey, Mrs. Garza, do you think they will make a car that can go as fast of the speed of light?" They did, didn't you see Back to the Future? Huh? Obviously, this is beyond their realm of thinking, I was "forcing" them to engage in an unwanted activity: school.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

My son as a catcher. I can't say enough how much I love to watch him play sports. He is so confident and happy on any field. I've seen him grow from a tiny t-baller to this all-star level! I was so proud of his catching abilities that blossomed this season. It was his FIRST season as a catcher and you would hardly know it! I tell you, he is a natural, love you son!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Some books I'll read this summer . . . .

First off, I am so happy to be back to my blogging world! I was on a long-term sub assignment (7th grade science) plus the end of our Little League season had me working 'round the clock.

Now that I'm able to devote most of my time to reading again I can't wait to get started on these books that have been waiting for me:

Summer on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber
chasing harry winston by Lauren Weisberger
Latte Trouble by Cleo Coyle

I also came across Skinny Bitch. I know I'm behind the trend, but I never had a chance to read it. Every now and again, I try and read an inspirational (ha!) diet/health book to get me in high gear for weightloss. Have you SEEN me lately? Alas, after all these years of living with myself, I've come to one conclusion that I know is a fact about my body: exercise. I cannot lose weight without it. Dieting/healthy eating alone simply does not work for me. My body is a moving body, I think if I ever stopped doing all my volunteer stuff, I'd be the size of my house! I have to move. I'm so serious, I can eat salads every day, 3X a day (and, yes, I know they can have lots of calories, but I make them myself with either no dressing or lowfat) and a pitcher of water and I do not lose an ounce. Here's the thing when I start working out . . . I am so hungry all the time! I need to work out hard, so I run, and then I want to eat all day! As I think back to my thinner days, I realize that I used to work out at night. That way, I would sleep through my hunger. I was so totally exhausted that even hunger pain could not wake me! If I want to get serious about it this summer, I guess I'll be spending my late nights working out . . . which means my early mornings will be filled with reading and writing. I can live with that!

Here are some new releases for today, Tuesday, June 23, 2009 you might enjoy. Happy Reading!

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich
Stalking Susan by Julie Kramer
Sucker for Love: A Dead-End Dating Novel by Kimberly Raye
Taken by Sin by Jaci Burton

Finger Lickin Fifteen by Janet Evanovich
By Invitation Only by Jodi Della Femina & Sheri McInnis
The Fixer Upper by Mary Kay Andrews