Monday, March 7, 2016

The Thyroid Diet

Have you been eating the same way as usual and getting the same level of physical activity as always, but you’re wondering why these past months you have managed to put on a pound or maybe two per week?
It is very common that after this happens, you run directly to your doctor, because clearly something is wrong with you, but he probably will just tell you to stop eating so much and move off the couch, even though you are not doing that, or even give you a diet drug, because writing a prescription gives your doctor something useful and doctor-like to do.

But reality is you could have a thyroid problem, yep, a dysfunction in the small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that is crucial to your metabolism.
For millions of overweight people, thyroid disease is a very real reason for weight problems. That’s why learning about this disease and its symptoms is very important, since it can address the underlying cause of your weight gain, help restore your hope and health, and allow healthy diet and exercise to finally work the way they should. In fact more than 20 million have a thyroid problem and in most cases, undiagnosed and untreated, and it is believed that the number is rapidly on the rise.
The most common symptoms are: unexpected weight gain despite diet and exercise, fatigue and exhaustion, more hair loss than usual, moodiness, and muscle and joint pain. It is very important to clarify that this diet does not involve any miraculous secrets or magic pills that will make pounds melt away, in fact getting treatment for your previously undiagnosed thyroid problem will be all that you need to return to a healthy weight, without a rigorous change in your diet and exercise.
Besides optimal thyroid treatment, you need to ensure that your metabolism works as best as it can, resolving underlying nutritional deficiencies, treating depression and correcting brain chemistry imbalances, reducing stress, combating insulin resistance, treating food allergies and sensitivities, and of course, exercising, all these may be treated with herbs and natural supplements. It is time for you to master your master metabolism gland.
The secret is to eat to live rather than live to eat. Your job is to find the system that is going to work best for you, there is no one on earth that has the same body as you, maybe similar but not the same, so you are the only one that can define the diet that suits you the best.
Read full article here... The Thyroid Diet

Saturday, March 5, 2016

DIY Yarn Bunnies!

So, you all know about my illustrious grandmother who was a professional tailor, right? And how, as a consequence of her instruction and mentoring, all the women in our family in the generation after hers are accomplished garment seamstresses? Now, Grandma lived with us for many years before she moved to a nursing home. I was in elementary school then, and too young to be interested in drafting and tailoring, which was a shame. Fortunately, Grandma also loved crafts of all kinds, some of which were kid-appropriate. Her closets were full of fun craft supplies that I spent many afternoons digging in, just to see what I could find. Sometimes, she would take me to a store called Golden Dragon, which was the Singapore equivalent of Michaels, the craft store we have in the US. And, like Michaels, this store offered classes. The one I remember most vividly was on making pompom animals - you'd buy their pompom tool kit, yarn, glue and scissors and they'd teach you for free. When I was about 8 or 9, Grandma brought me there, sat me down at the tables, made the necessary purchases and we spent that afternoon making a chick and a rabbit. When we left for home, she bought more yarn for me so I could continue the happy making on my own.

Which I did. I made a chick family and a rabbit family, plus felt food befitting the needs of their species. Not very adventurous, I know. But wait - here it gets interesting. The chick family was frighteningly improper. I constructed, by using the same pompom templates in different sizes (what people in fabric circles refer to as "grading"), gigantic chick parents and a bunch of small children chicks. My mother, bless her scientifically-precise brain, gently suggested that the parental form of this particular avian species was the "chicken". Which was not the same as "chick". Her theory was that chickens were anatomically different and that chicks, no matter how volumetrically superior, could never be parents, and would always remain in their juvenile capacity. I pooh-poohed her; everyone knew, I maintained, that the large version of any animal was the parent and the small, the offspring. End of story. My mother eventually surrendered, as I knew she would, and I happily played with my genetically-bizarre chick family.

I am happy to report that, thanks to years of Biology lessons and appropriate children's literature, I am no longer a devotee of the Large Parent Small Child belief. Which is fortunate; otherwise, my Chicken sewing pattern, beloved by my children and blog readers everywhere, would have turned out quite differently. Looking back, I also marvel that my children now subscribe to exactly the same Large Parent Small Child theory that I did as a kid, with the exception that they generalize it to inanimate objects as well e.g. "The big pancake is the mother pancake, and the small one is the baby pancake." The scientist part of me thinks that it is how children make sense of their world and the relationships between the millions of random things around them. The mother part of me, however, just laughs at how crazy-funny it all is, and mourns the day when my kids outgrow their whimsical beliefs and become the dead-boring logical realists that adults are.

Back to rabbits now. The rabbit family I'd made suffered none of the criticism endured by the poor beleaguered chick family. This was because -and my logical mother would be relieved- baby bunnies were exactly the same as their parents, only smaller, and could therefore be safely made with the same templates graded down a couple sizes, without breaking any laws of nature. I remember that story while making the bunnies for Kate's party because they are almost a replica of that rabbit family I made years ago. I modified their faces, inspired by this delightful tutorial, but otherwise, they are the same pompom bunnies from my childhood.

Here's how we made ours. We used the thickest yarn we could find. Thick yarn is best for pompoms because they fill the forms quickly, which is especially important when you are mass-producing dozens of them. 

Read full article and get instructions here... Yarn Bunnies

Wednesday, March 2, 2016



Thyroid problems are a growing mega-trend in America RIGHT NOW. You may have heard that your thyroid controls metabolism and works as the body’s thermostat, but what is it?
It is the thyroid gland, lying in front of the throat below the Adam’s apple and just above the breastbone, which regulates the rate at which the body utilizes oxygen and controls the rate at which various organs function and the speed with which the body utilizes food,” Broda Barnes, M.D. in Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness. 
The following signs and symptoms can indicate your thyroid function may be low:
  • Can’t lose weight
  • Edema
  • Depression
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles
  • Dry skin
  • Sluggish, lack of initiative
  • Chronic constipation
  • Poor digestion
  • SAD Seasonal affectiveness disorder
  • Easily fatigued, sleepy
  • Poor circulation
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Hair loss
  • Waking body temperature of under 97.8 degrees
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • High cholesterol
If this describes you, it might be a good time to THYROID PROOF your diet!


1) An abundance of “whole animal” proteins. Why? The body (especially the liver) needs the amino acid balance that is achieved when we eat the “whole animal.” When we eat only particular proteins from the animal, for instance muscle meats, your body trends toward inflammation!
2) Nutrient rich sources of sugar (aka carbohydrates). If the word “sugar” is scary to you or you have blacklisted it from your diet, you might want read this for some context.
3) Pro-thyroid saturated fats like coconut oil & butter, and the elimination of unsaturated fats (PUFA), as they suppress thyroid function. Coconut oil is very pro-thyroid food.
4) Eat meals that support blood sugar balance. Poor blood sugar handling causes the adrenal glands release stress hormones and signal the liver to break down proteins and fats for energy. This process releases amino acids that are anti-metabolic to our thyroid. “Muscle catabolism also releases a large amount of cysteine, and cysteine, methionine, and tryptophan suppress thyroid function,” Dr. Ray Peat, PhD.
5) Get the undigestible foods out of your diet (especial soy products), and instead focus on easy to digest foods.
6) Adopt a nutrition plan that gives you enough food and calories to support your body’s cellular metabolism and energy production.
7) Reduce stress and get enough SLEEP. If you struggle with insomnia, these tips are for you!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

12 Unique Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs!

There are so many creative ways to decorate eggs for Easter. Here are some that I found that would be fun to try this year with my kids. What are your favorite?
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