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This post brought to you by Scotts®. All opinions are 100% mine.

As you guys know while I live in town it’s still semi country around here. That’s why it’s not unusual for us to have a garden most years. This year we started early so to protect our veggies we made and covered them with a cold frame. It looks like a mini hot house if you aren’t familiar with the term (I wasn’t).

EnG Product Shot.png

If you or anyone in your household has a green thumb you’ve probably heard of Miracle-Gro in the past. Their new breakthrough product is the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Potting Mix. This stuff is said to grow up to three times as many veggies and flowers when mixed with water than using normal soil alone. Plus it feeds your plants for up to six months. The natural fibers of Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n Gro Concentrated Potting Mix hold 50% more water than a basic potting soil. All of those benefits and it’s easy to use to boot.

I’d definitely be stoked to try it on my garden. Do you want to see the Miracle-Gro difference?

I’m being sent a small sample bag of  Expand ‘n Gro™  to give away to one lucky reader. To win simply leave a comment letting me know what you will be growing this year. Whether you grow your flowers or produce in pots or in your yard I bet they’d love to try some Expand ‘n Gro. This contest will run through 7AM ET this Friday, April 13, 2012. I am only accepting entries from US gardening enthusiasts. I’ll announce the winner this Saturday, April 14, 2012 in a Style File post featuring our garden.



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Updated 04/22/12-The winner of the giveaway is Kathy of Family Savings Center.

As promised here is a pic of our neat garden. I didn't do an OOTD to accompany it as I haven't been wearing anything interesting lately.


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This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of NMEDA for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

This May is National Mobility Awareness Month. The objective of National Mobility Awareness Month is to show that people with disabilities can accomplish things despite less mobility. Over 18 million US and Canadian citizens have issues with mobility. Of those, 6 million are veterans.

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National Mobility Awareness Month is sponsored by The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. Partners of the NMEDA include Toyota, Chrysler, Bruno Independent Living Aids, BraunAbility, VMI/Vantage Mobility International  and the SanTan Honda Superstore in Chandler, AZ.

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Yes, the smartest woman in the world has disordered eating and is slightly underweight.


If you are a regular reader of Parade Magazine (it’s that fauxish magazine that accompanies the Sunday paper) then you may be familiar with Marilyn Vos Savant. She has a question and answer column in the paper entitled Ask Marilyn. Savant is noted as being the woman with the highest IQ in the world (190 or 228, depending on the source). Thus her column doesn’t just answer Dear Abby type questions. She routinely settles disputes that readers send in regarding logic, math, science and many other topics.

Truthfully science and math go over my head so sometimes I only skim the column. I never really thought much about her one way or another. That is until 2004 when a reader asked the following:

“I notice that you always appear to be thin in your photos. How do you do it?”

“Here’s the “Ask Marilyn Daily Diet”:
I have a very light breakfast (low-fat yogurt or fruit or cereal)
and a very small lunch (a bit of cheese and crackers).
During the day, I drink water and a few cups of tea (sometimes with caffeine).
For dinner, however, I have just about anything I want, including bread and a little butter or olive oil, most kinds of entrees and vegetables, plus a dessert. The biggest exception is that I try to limit saturated fats, so I seldom have foods like burgers and fries. I also skip fatty meats and gravies and soups with cream.

I think this maintenance diet is successful for me because it’s hard to overeat when I have only ONE SIGNIFICANT MEAL A DAY. If my weight creeps upward a few pounds, which sometimes happens, I eliminate the bread and dessert until it returns to normal.I also have strict rules that I seldom break, except during vacations and holidays.”Marilyn

I had never seen a photo of Mrs. Savant aside from her head shot at the time so had never thought of this. As you may imagine, after reading that I lost all respect for this woman. If you just glanced at that you may think, big whoop, she eats healthy. No, she eats an incredibly rigid, highly regimented meal plan seemingly with the sole intention of not gaining weight.


So, of course, I had to investigate. Surely I wasn’t the only one who found it odd that “the smartest woman alive” didn’t seem to eat for health (the logical choice, as you’d think that intelligence begets logic). This led me to a long discourse of her diet on her site. The following is an excerpt from her “strict rules” that she sometimes breaks until she feels fat which is when she goes uber diet all over her ass:

“No snack food at home: only mealtime food. This means zero cookies, chips, nuts, and other treats. When it’s time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you should find everything you need. But when you want something between meals just for fun, the cupboard should look bare.

No eating between meals. This includes “healthful” food such as fruit or juice. For your health, they’re better than “junk” food. But for keeping trim, they are just added calories. Instead, try a no-calorie beverage or a cup of tea with sweetener.

One of the best things about my routine is that I always look forward to dinner, when I can have most anything I want, what a treat! Plus, food tastes much better when you’re hungry and not eating simply because mealtime has arrived.

Yes any food always taste delicious when you are starving yourself!

…Warm drinks and room-temperature drinks are more flavorful than cold ones, so I don’t add ice. I order beverages without ice in restaurants, too. Plus, melting ice makes a beverage watery, and that diminishes the flavor even more. Even in summer, iceless drinks don’t seem warm. Body temperature is almost 100°F, and so 72°F water tastes plenty cool enough. And in winter, why have an icy drink at all?

I’ve never even heard of someone so insane that they deprive themselves of ice

…Do take forever to eat dinner. The simple pleasure of dining with family or friends is underrated in our hurried lives. So is dining alone while reading a newspaper or simply enjoying good food. One of my favorite activities is going out to dinner by myself when my husband is away. I usually take a couple of questions to ponder and linger for the evening. It’s blissful!

I have no idea how anyone could eat in the presence of this woman, no wonder she loves eating alone and instead of eating it would appear that she’s actually sitting at a dinner table working.

Do savor each bite. If you love food, why not enjoy the taste as long as you can? Plus, thorough chewing

Gee I wonder if she also practices the Dolly Parton diet where you chew your food and then spit it back out?

makes for less tummy trouble… This is one reason I avoid drinks with calories. They disappear in a flash!

Don’t change your dining habits on the weekends. Weekends are already delightful, and you can have most anything you like for dinner every day, anyway. Adding foodfests like brunch is just plain overindulgence. Use that time to take a walk in a hilly park, bicycle with the kids, or shoot baskets at a playground. You’ll feel much better afterward.

=it’s stupid to eat on the weekend, just exercise some more instead

Don’t underestimate the calories you consume. When I say “a very light breakfast” and “a very small lunch,” I really mean it: maybe 250 calories for both together.

Gee 125 calories per meal, I’d be such a glutton

People often underestimate the calories of “healthful” food and overestimate the calories of foods that are frequent targets of dieters, such as one of the scariest foods of all: butter. Yet an average apple has the same number of calories as two pats of butter!

I think this means that she’s against apples.

Don’t eat food that you don’t really enjoy. This is an important part of my daily diet, whether I’m maintaining my weight or losing a couple of pounds. I won’t eat anything that I don’t think tastes great, even if I’m at a restaurant.

I once practiced this as a half cocked diet idea, having nothing to do with her & guess what, if you don’t have anything fantastic around you just won’t eat, hello borderline anorexia, waving!

…I have a limited number of days in my life, and time is precious. In a similar way, I have a limited number of calories to enjoy in my life. I want to “spend” them in the best way I can. So I refuse to waste precious calories on stale bread, spaghetti that’s too soft, or a giant cookie that didn’t taste as good as it looked. One bite, and it’s all over!”Marilyn

Guys, I just found out that we only get so many calories, shit, how do I find out how many I have left!?! Better ask Eddie Murphy!

Naively I assumed that he comments section would be full of people who also found this um, let’s say odd, not so, many commended her (as Americans are apt to do to any thin person) and even asked for more tips. Gee, let’s just start a Pro-Ana forum. One, disgustingly was a dietitian, a shitty, shitty dietitian. When asked about exercise Marilyn also mentions that she runs up to 6 miles per day. Hey, who needs food for that?

more choice quotes:
“Whenever I’m tempted, I remind myself that being interested in food is not the same as hunger.”

No, no, it’s not, but ask anyone with disordered eating, if you avoid activities or have to plan your entire day’s activities/food consumption around that one time you might go to the circus and eat cotton candy (also from the comments, I’m guessing that’s in place of her dinner) then you’re a little fucked in the head.

commenter:“…How tall are you?…”

“I’m 5 feet 8 inches tall, and I weigh 125 pounds.
(Note: I have a small frame, so my weight is low for my height. I would happily weigh ten pounds more if they would distribute themselves pleasingly all over. But my extra pounds behave like rich people in the winter: They head south.)”

=fuck my health, I just wanna be skinny

Don’t believe me?

For a height of 5’8″ the ideal healthy weight is 147 pounds. The recommended weight range is between 131 and 164 pounds. (source, source)

Here’s one commenter who’s actually a voice of reason:

“250 calories for both meals together and then starve all day waiting for the dinner? that’s insane! Why not eat a bit less on the evenings and a bit more at lunch and breakfast? Plus, calories are not burnt while you’re asleep…I’d rather enjoy myself a bit more and be less skinny!…”

with husband Robert Jarvik, creator of the Jarvik artificial heart

(source, there’s also a bit of a bio on her here)

I did search the net because I thought I can’t be alone in this boat. Unfortunately the only real criticism of Savant was covered by Jezebel (ugh, you know that I hate linking to them, but the actual report is available only through a pay paper online). Apparently instead of using her genius to be an inventor or something useful to humanity she’s more of a married socialite with her column as a hobby. That doesn’t bother me as I feel that you should be free to live your life in the style that you desire. I just wish that she wouldn’t push harmful ideas on people.

However it does make this a bit more interesting (from the horse’s mouth)

Now, why do I have such a big problem with this whole situation? I neither know Marilyn Vos Savant nor care what she does in her personal life. What I care about is that a large number of already confused and self hating Americans (and possibly people all over the world since this is online now) read things like this and think, hey if the smartest chick in the world thinks disordered eating is the bomb diggity she must be correct.

Am I saying that everyone should eat junk food all of the time (as someone semi “hinted” to me recently)? No, of course not. I am saying that I’m sure that if you added up what this woman ate on a daily basis it would most likely be under 1000 calories per day. Anyone who has obsessively studied diets, dieting, etc (unfortunately like I used to) can tell you that’s dangerous.

Then the even bigger issue, “food issues” are not just categorized (or at least shouldn’t be) by someone’s weight or even all of the types of foods that they eat. A big part of the problem is the mindset. It’s the “never good enough, never thin enough” mindset. It’s the absolutes mindset. It’s the “I plan my entire life around depriving myself and then “rewarding” myself mindset”. What it happens to be is an entirely unhealthy relationship with food.

That is why I don’t read her column anymore. I feel that if she does that fine, it’s not my life, but advocating that shit, it’s putrid.

Block quotes are, obviously, me being a smart ass.

It should be noted that I am against women attacking other women but I don’t believe this is an attack so much as important info that you should be aware of. But yeah, I sort of hate her, what can I say?

Update: March 2016
It is now almost impossible to view the original links to Marilyn’s diet. I think she knows it’s messed up. My link and others online directly to Parade’s site just take you to a bunch of her articles. This link is actually a discussion of said diet on her own site by fans. It’s interesting.

I just found this 2010 follow up to her original diet answer. A reader asked how she keeps healthy on such a “small diet”. She even asks about vitamins and supplements. Marilyn counters that it’s not “a small diet”, but that she only eats about “three hundred (or so) calories for breakfast and lunch combined”, damn, that’s scary.

Related Posts:
NEDA Week: Personal Stories of Exercise Bulimia
NEDA Week: Types of Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating
On Health
That Woman Behind You Is Better Than You, No Not That One, Look Harder


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(photo by The Homeless Poet)


Today for NEDA Week I’m going to share a personal story from Poisoned Rivers about her experience with binge eating and exercise bulimia. Please be aware that she is not recovered and this could be potentially triggering to someone who is going through something similar.

“I have had an eating disorder as long as I can remember. It started out as binge eating, but then I got fat. I figured that if I could burn off what I ate, then it “wouldn’t count.” My weight continues to fluctuate by as much as 30 lbs in a few months and I am constantly ill.

Food is the only thing that feels good, the only thing that causes me pleasure without pain, and yet at the same time, if I ever got as fat as I used to be, I would kill myself. But it’s so good! All the flavors, the sensations, the sweet and the salt. It’s the best high in the world.

The exercise in and of itself is a high. Your blood is gushing around your body, the endorphins are pouring out and you feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s so much better than purging, especially since I have a phobia about vomiting.

And yet, and yet, and yet,

I still feel like shit. I still feel fat, even though I’m at a normal weight. I still feel like a failure.”

Poisoned Rivers

I also recommend watching this video from CBS News about a personal trainer who was an exercise bulimic.

Related Posts:
NEDA Week: Types of Eating Disorders & Disordered Eating
NEDA Week: On Marilyn Vos Savant or why the word’s smartest woman isn’t that smart


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This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. I know that is a pop culture blog so I will discuss movies, books and music that relate to eating disorders this week. However I will also be writing about issues as well since this is very important to me.

This week is also Body Image Warrior Week on many great blogs that I read including Medicinal Marzipan and Already Pretty. There are already a bunch of great posts up and I recommend keeping up with those this week.

Today I’m going to list some types of eating disorders and disordered eating. Disordered eating is when you don’t have a clinical eating disorder but definitely have issues with food and body image. Some people aren’t even aware that they have disordered eating. When I was younger I thought that I was just a really good dieter. An example of disordered eating is the following yogurt ad that was pulled from TV:

Individuals with eating disorders or disordered eating may engage in these behaviors to lose weight (because they fear being fat) or just as a way to control something in their life.

I feel that it’s way too common and irresponsible that it’s assumed that someone doesn’t have an eating disorder because they are not underweight. I believe that to clinically be diagnosed with one you have to be underweight. However there are many people of average weight or who are overweight who do the following things and they need help too.

Anorexia (Anorexia nervosa-clinical term)
Anorexia is basically when someone restricts their eating. They may not eat at all or just a very small amount.

Bingeing (Binge eating disorder-clinical term)
Binge eating is feeling out of control and eating a lot of food quickly. About 15 million Americans struggle with binge eating. I recommend checking out Binge Eating: You Know You Need Help, So Now What? on Medicinal Marzipan for more info and help with bingeing.

Bulimia (Bulimia nervosa-clinical term)
Bulimia is vomiting back up what you eat after binge eating.

Purging disorder
Purging disorder is when you vomit after eating but don’t binge eat. So someone with purging disorder may carefully regulate what they eat and then also puke it back up.

Exercise Bulimia
Exercise bulimia is exercising an excessive amount to work off what you’ve eaten. Exercise bulimia is sometimes just categorized under bulimia. Some people don’t even think it’s a real problem or haven’t heard of it. I was recently talking to a doctor who hadn’t heard of it and then dismissed it when I mentioned it. That is disturbing.

This was (is) my issue. I don’t usually do this type of thing anymore (not because I’m happy and fully fixed or whatever) but mainly because I have bad arthritis in my knees. I used to keep myself on a very regimented amount of calories per day and then exercise a lot on top of it. I would exercise 3-4 hours per day (minimum) at home and then often takes walks or do other things outside as well. This can be just as controlling to yourself mentally as something like anorexia. It’s also embarrassing. Once out of curiosity a friend asked me what I did all day since I wasn’t working. I made a joke because I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him that I exercised for hours per day. I found it particularly sickening since even when I did that I was just a healthy weight. I was never able to become thin. Even after I let up on regimenting my calories so much I still over exercised for years (despite my arthritis).

Orthorexia (Orthorexia nervosa)
I’ve recognized this behavior as being destructive when I’ve read or heard people talking like this but I didn’t know the term until recently. Orthorexia is characterized by an obsession with healthy eating. This is the type of person who will tell you that they can’t eat whatever food because it’s bad for them. Some vegans and vegetarians suffer from this. For more info I recommend reading Orthorexia Nervosa: the new eating disorder on Chocolate-Covered Katie.

Diabulimia is when someone with Type 1 diabetes takes less insulin than required so they will lose weight. This is very dangerous.

If I’ve missed anything or there’s anything that you want to add about these please leave a comment.

Related Posts:
NEDA Week: On Marilyn Vos Savant or why the word’s smartest woman isn’t that smart
NEDA Week: Personal Stories of Exercise Bulimia

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