Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Archive for March, 2011

Who Knew Hair Could Be So Controversial?


This is hair, not a scalp or an atrocity

I went online to one of my favorite spinning sites, Ravelry, to find out if anyone has spun human hair, how they did it, how successful it was, etc. Little did I know, I was stepping on a landmine.  I found two forums that had that as a topic. One was locked, due to the sensitive nature of the topic! Ok, how could spinning hair be so sensitive? For some reason this topic on both threads devolve into the holocaust and scalping. We are talking about spinning cut hair that people give you because they want you to spin it. Someone gave me the ponytail that she had cut off when she was a child, to see if I could make anything from it.

That in itself might be interesting or humorous, to see how certain topics trigger thoughts and emotions in other people that never occur to you. What struck me though, was the misinformation that accompanied the opinions. According to some of the writers, white people invented scalping. I was tempted to do some research and write a bit of a rebuttal, but I read on and saw some people had already done so.

This brings me to reading articles on Yahoo. Most articles have room for comments down below. Every time I read the comments, I’m struck by how little they have to do with the topic of the article, how emotionally charged they are, and how little thought goes into them. I was reading an article on the causes of the downfall of Detroit, and suggested possible solutions. The comments were some of the most racist, hateful things I have encountered on the web in a long time. Most of the time, I am mercifully protected from the filth that can spew from the human soul.  The forums and blogs I read are moderated, so someone else is filtering the ick. The Ravelry thread, while emotional and ignorant, was not hateful, if there were comments like that they were expunged.

The lack of facts behind opinions is discouraging.  I’m thinking that maybe that is why I am not delving into political topics. When you stick to topics where the facts are graspable, there is less room for opinionated blathering. Once you get into “the big issues”, all @#$#@ breaks loose, all heat and no light. Can anyone truly discuss the “facts” of the health care bill, when the bill is over 1000 pages, and most of it based on supposition?

I’m not going to spin the hair by the way. The few threads that stayed on topic were very negative on the worth of that, it makes a coarse, scratchy yarn, not really suitable for anything. As bad as the worst guard hairs.  Please comment, but be polite, and check your facts.

And Now One From Left Field

It has been pointed out to me that this blog has become one dimensional, considering all the topics I intended to cover, so now I’ll throw one out from, as the title says, left field.

When I was a kid, there was no such thing as a left turn lane. I don’t remember when I saw my first one, but I thought it was the smartest and safest thing ever. Later, left turn lights just sent me into fits of ecstasy. Ask my family how much I hate making a left without them. To me, left turn lanes are simply bowing to the realities of heavy traffic.

So, can I make a recommendation for the new realities of ever increasing traffic? Can we make a new rule banning lefts out of parking lots onto heavily trafficked roads, especially near intersections. If you have to cross three lanes to make your left, it should be illegal. Why? Do you really need to ask? I travel several of these massively busy intersections, and I’ve seen so many stupid moves, accidents and close calls. I can’t see why they are still allowing businesses to be placed on corners, seeing how crazy they make intersections. Tim Hortons need their own traffic rules, they are so mad. Is coffee and a doughnut worth a life?

Can we make concessions to reality,  and make getting your quarter pounder slightly less convenient, to make that right out of there, and make your left down the road, in one of those nice left turn lanes?


left turn lane


I’m Sharing the Love

showing box of Lactose Defense Formula

This is it.

If you’ve ever watched the “Big Bang Theory”, you know that one of the running jokes is Leonard’s lactose intolerance, and how awful that is, not only for him, but for all those around him. I too, know the agony of praying that no one else could smell what just happened, or the terrible realization that I just ate dairy products without the benefit of Lactaid®. While it is funny when it happens to someone else, no one in my family found it very humorous, at least while it was occurring. Like Leonard, jokes have been made about how such an odor could occur from someone who is still alive and well.

Before I digress completely into bathroom humor, let me get to my point, to share a wonderful  solution I have found. Yes, I am promoting a product, but I am getting nothing from them, and they don’t know I am alive, let alone singing their praises. It is Lactose Defense Formula by Ganeden. Believe it or not, you take it once a day, and it works all day.

Last night I had pizza, and I have stopped drinking lactose free milk. Talk about walking on the wild side! In any case, it worked for that, and does the trick, day in and out. I felt compelled to share, because I believe milk is good for most people, and I hear about people avoiding it from L.I. all the time. You don’t need to avoid it, and you don’t have to carry Lactaid ® all the time.

Thank you, and Good Night.

Grrr- You’d be Better off being Overweight.

I was reading this article By Rebecca Wilcox from the Daily Mail (UK) on Gwyneth Paltrow’s  personal trainer and diet plan. It is a lengthy article, but the gist is that Gwyneth and her personal trainer have marketed their diet plan, which is ridiculously low in calories and nutritional deficient. The trainer’s name is Tracy Anderson. Here is a quote from the article:

“Tracy makes no mention of the amount of calories or fat you are supposed to consume a day so I take my plan to Catherine Collins, principal dietician at St George’s Hospital, London, to get it analysed. The results are shocking.

She told me I had existed on less than 700 calories a day for the past two months  –  no wonder I felt terrible. Catherine was extremely concerned.

‘I see patients suffering with anorexia nervosa and now I’m reading their diet in pamphlet form,’ she says. ‘It’s immunosuppressant due to its lack of calcium, iron, carbohydrates, proteins and salt.

‘If you followed the regimen you would risk developing hyponatremia (low sodium levels in the blood). The diet is also very low in iron, which could lead to anaemia and problems with balance, muscle strength and exhaustion.

‘The lack of absorbable calcium (less than 300mg  –  the body needs 800mg a day) means you risk earlyonset osteoporosis and osteopenia too  –  something that Gwyneth has been diagnosed with.

What’s more, the protein levels are low  –  less than 1.7oz per day, which can be dangerous if prolonged.

‘Even the vitamins that are available cannot be absorbed since there is no fat present in the diet to act as an absorption vehicle, so they will just be excreted from the body.’

The point being, while many people get into fitness for their looks, even the term “fit” should be equivalent to healthy. Any diet that is manifestly unhealthy has no business being promoted. People, as a whole, are ignorant, all they will see is the results. As I said earlier, any diet that restricts calories will work for weight loss, but what else will it do to your body? Most reputable trainers will keep the restriction to 500 calories less than you need, in order to feel satiated, meet your nutrition requirements and have enough energy to train.

What is the worst diet you’ve heard of? Is there any fitness system being promoted that makes you mad?

To Gluten or Not to Gluten, That is The Question.

I found an interesting article today. Healthy eating articles always catch my eye, and so do articles about eating fads, so this one caught me twice, as it’s lead in was  titled “The truth about gluten free diets.”  http://health.yahoo.net/rodale/MH/is-gluten-making-us-fat. ( My link button is not working today). In any case, the important part, to me, is the last two paragraphs:

If you do give up gluten, use your new eating plan as a lens to reexamine your diet—and your life. Cyclist Danielson says, “I don’t know if it was directly tied to the food, but I found that by having to pay more attention to my daily diet, I became more focused on my cycling.”

Avoiding gluten takes constant monitoring— the same attention to detail you need to excel in your workouts. “I became more dedicated and took a more professional approach to my training when I went gluten-free,” Danielson says. “I couldn’t get lazy and down whole pizzas and bowls of pasta. I had to focus on putting better food in my body, and this made me realize how much my eating habits off the bike affected my performance on it.” Mindful eating is key. After all, “you don’t need to go gluten-free to avoid refined processed carbs,” says Thompson.

The part about mindful eating is the key to any diet. Any diet will work if you pay attention and stick to it, and no diet will work if you don’t.

May I recommend…?

I have another site to send your way. Fooducate– I linked it over on the side, I hope!  In any case, it is one I never fail to enjoy reading.  It is informative, short and entertaining. The points they make are always right on target, whether it is shooting down chicken McNuggets or artificial everything. My list of blogs I subscribe to is getting ridiculously long, but Fooducate is one that I will read every time.

If you have any great sites or suggestions, please send them along. You would think I would have enough by now, but I still keep checking out other people’s links, so I guess not.

Truth in Advertising – Real? Plain?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Smart Balance. However, their latest advertising campaign is very disappointing and somewhat offensive. I got started after hearing it on television, “fat free milk with omega-3’s.” Really? How’s that happening? In case you aren’t aware, omega-3’s are fat. So, rather than go off half-cocked (I know, even I can grow), I went to their website to see how they are making that claim.  Below is the result. Maybe a government employee or a lawyer could justify this, but I think it doesn’t pass the common sense test. Either 1 gram of fat doesn’t count as fat, so what benefit are you getting from those omega-3’s, or fat free doesn’t mean fat free, which we already know, as you can have less than one gram of trans fats and claim something is trans fat free.

My next complaint is below the food label, so scroll down.

Real fat free milk (1g total fat from Omega-3 oil blend)

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