Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Whole 30

I was going to write about the rioting in Baltimore or the Religious Bigotry, I mean Freedom Act, but I started the Whole 30 yesterday and a friend said she hoped I would blog about it. So here I am. I heard about the Whole 30 from a friend last week. She had not done it specifically, but done some Paleo eating and said she had never felt better in her life, plus she looked like she probably dropped some weight.

She used to suffer from Fibromyalgia. She said that after eating Paleo for a while, her fatigue went away and her aches and pains. She said it also helps with many other ailments, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrom (CFS) and other things we just may not like about ourselves.  If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you know that recently I was diagnosed with CFS. You also know that it took a couple years to diagnose and that I absolutely hate it. When my doctor told me I just had to live with it and learn how to love myself this way, I was like "Hell no!" So when my friend told me how it helped her, I thought I would give it a shot.

Let me say this first and foremost: The Whole 30 is not a "diet." Yes, it will probably help you lose weight, but it's more about your body, mind, and soul. This is a lifestyle change.  This is supposed to improve everything about you and make you realize that you don't need all the extras you eat and make you NOT want to go back to the way you were eating.

Now, I'm just starting, so I have no proof about this, but here is a list of only some of the things the plan can do for you according to the Whole 30:

Inner physical rewards:
  1.  Fewer blemishes
  2. Glowing skin
  3. No more circles under your eyes
  4. Stronger nails
  5. Thicker hair
  6. Fresher breath 
  7. Flatter stomach
  8. Defined muscle tone
  9. Looking younger
Outward physical rewards:
  1. Less stiff and painful joints
  2. Fewer PMS symptoms
  3. Increased libido *cough*
  4. Less gas, bloating, heartburn, acid reflux and all the other nasty stuff that comes with a bad stomach
  5. Fewer illnesses
  6. Fewer allergies
  7.  Less chronic fatigue (YAY!!)
  8. Less chronic pain
  9. Improved blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar
Emotional rewards:

  1. Happier
  2. More patient
  3. Less anxious
  4. Less stressed
  5. Fewer mood swings
  6. Improved depression
  7. Fewer sugar and carb cravings
  8. Better body image
  9. More self esteem
 Brain function improvement:
  1. Improved attention span
  2. Improved work or school performance
  3. Improved memory
  4. Faster reaction time
  5. Fewer ADHD symptoms
  6. Clearer thinking
I'm going to stop there because they tout SO MANY more benefits. Basically on top of all the above, you'll sleep better, have more  energy for EVERYTHING!! You will exercise more, harder and better. You will have a better relationship with food and rid yourself of cravings, emotional eating, using food as a reward, etc.

In a nutshell, you will be awesome.

For me, the physical, emotional and brain rewards are where it's at. If I can improve my energy, lessen my fatigue and allergies, and get a clearer head, I'm good to go.

So, what's involved? I will talk more about that tomorrow because this blog is getting really long. I want to tell you how my first day went.

It went fine except I didn't do proper shopping (which I highly recommend you do. Print out their shopping list and go to town) so I got a little hunger at night, but not until 8 or 9. Here's what I ate:

Palm sized pork sausage patty
I'm pretty sure I had something else, but I can't think of what it might have been.

Chicken thigh (I bought the kind with the bone because I'm going to make some stock out of it which you can use for the program)
Green salad with topped with hot sauce


Grass fed Angus patty
Bed of lettuce, onion, tomato and Avocado
Pineapple (I had to finish the pineapple because it was very close to being bad).

I was fine through dinner. Not hungry at all. Then, like I said...I'm sure it's because I didn't eat any real hearty vegetables. So I'm going to pick some more up today.

I'm not really good at eating veggies. Mostly because by the time I eat I'm starving and I'm not in the mood to clip, cut, wash, etc. Probably why I've been eating popcorn the last few months for dinner. So, to help me fix that, I made these veggie packs for snacks in case I get hungry, or if I do a fail at a meal and still need my veggies. They contain radishes, mushroom, snap peas, carrots and grape tomatoes.

I will say this about yesterday, I was surprised I wasn't more hungry and I felt well rested when I woke up today. Which for me, is very good because I never sleep well, including last night. I tossed and turned a bit, but still felt really good this morning. Woke up at 6 am and stayed up. That hardly ever happens anymore.

Tomorrow I'll talk more about the program, if you want more info before them, you can always visit the Whole 30 online.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Let's talk about Adam Sandler

©  Franz Richter 2009
So, by now everyone knows that Native Americans walked off the set of Adam Sandler's made for Netflix movie, The Ridiculous Six. It's because of the way Native American women are depicted in the western spoof of  The Magnificent Seven. They have ridiculous names, are dressed stereotypically and not authentically, etc, etc.

I think I'm kind of in the murky middle of the what's right and what's wrong about this situation. Don't get me wrong, I think that Native Americans have got a bad rap and taken a lot of crap for many years. And yes, I agree the stereotypes are tired and should probably just go away.

But here's the thing. They're not going to go away. Stereotypes have been and still are used all the time in film and TV. Women, the gay community, blacks, Asians, Hispanics -  they are all still heavily stereotyped, as well as many other cultural groups. From Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind and The Mask of Fu Manchu to 16 Candles, The Simpsons, and every Disney movie on the face of the planet, stereotypes have always been there and will always be there.  Does this make it right? Absolutely not. However, I think there is difference between stereotyping in the real world and stereotyping in the entertainment business, especially when it comes to comedy.

This is what brings me to Adam Sandler. This movie, The Ridiculous Six is not drama, is not a documentary, it's satire. This film is in essence, making fun of the old westerns AND the stereotypes they depicted. This is why I'm not really angry with Sandler. He's making fun of how those westerns used to be and how stereotypical they were. I mean, we're talking about Adam Sandler, here. He's made ridiculous, foul, crude movies since he started. Why are we suddenly expecting more out of him?

I personally am a fan of Sandlers, however, I've not liked every movie he's ever made. And this one doesn't sound good to me at all. By now, everyone should know what to expect from Sandler. Now we all know what to expect from this movie. Just like any fim, if it doesn't appeal to you, don't watch it.

This isn't the first movie made with awful stereotypes, and it surely will not be the last. Like, I said, I don't think it makes it right, but it seems like a futile battle. Let's fight the real racism - gender discrimination, bigotry against the LGBT community and all the minorities who are oppressed. Let's end racial profiling. That is where we should be exhausting our impassioned energy. That's where our outrage should lie, not over some silly movie.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Modern feminism and the anti-feminist movement

So, there is so much hub bub about feminism and anti-feminism and Women Against Feminism I figured I'd better address it because, well, I'm a woman, and I consider myself a feminist.

Why do I consider myself a feminist? Because women
should be given the same consideration as men in all aspects of life. Because I believe a woman should not be told what she can do with her body by the government or religion or anyone else. Because women all over the world should be able to go to school or not cover her face or do whatever she wants to do without horrible consequences. Because we are amazing, beautiful, brilliant, and talented, and we should know it and not let ANYONE make us feel less.

Here's what I don't believe:
This is What Feminism Looks Like
  • Feminism is not a movement that wants women to be superior to men. We just want to be equal. For example, many women still don't make the same money as their male counterparts for doing the same job.
  • Feminism does not equate to misandry. I LOVE men. I could not live without men. Sure, there are probably some men haters in the feminist movement. You can't judge an entire movement by one of it's subcultures.
  • That all feminist ideologies are the same. Maybe some of us push more for equality in the workplace, while others believe and promote a women's right to deciding what's best for her body. Not every feminist is going to have the same ideals, values, or belief system. Why? Because we're human and we're unique and we're not cookie cutter images of each other.
 This is What Feminism Looks Like

© Garry Knight 2011
All this said, I think there is some ignorance involved when women say they are anti, or against feminism. Have you heard of Women Against Feminism? It's  a group of women who post selfies of themselves with handwritten notes stating why they don't need feminism. These sentiments range from actual feminist statements (I don’t need feminism because I believe in equality, not entitlements and supremacy.) to asinine (I don't need feminism because I love masculine men like Christian Grey.)

These women DO need feminism. They just don't KNOW they do. The images of feminism have been skewed and transformed over the years. We are not loud butchy hairy women who are all lesbians and hate men. We are all different, some of us our feminine, strong, big, small, gay, straight, black, white, hispanic...we are not a caricature.

I think we need to stop for a moment and remember why the Suffrage Movement started in the first place.

  • Women were not equal to men.
  • Women did not have access to higher education.
  • Women were excluded from professional occupations.
  • Women could not file legal suits.
  • Women could not manage her own money.
  • Women could not use birth control.
  • Women could not divorce.
  • When women got the right to divorce, they could not have custody of their children.
  • Women could not own property.
  • They were not allowed into political conventions and meetings.
  • Women were not allowed to vote.
  • Women were not allowed to hold public office.
  • There was an ideology called "The Cult of True Womanhood" which stated that a "true" woman was a pious, submissive wife and mother concerned exclusively with home and family.
  •  This is What Feminism Looks Like

    © Warren Leffler 1972
  • Through the 14th Amendment, our constitution extended protection to all citizens. Then defined “citizens” as “male.”

Even through the 80s women didn't have certain rights.
  • Women could not have credit cards.
  • Women could not report sexual harassment at work.
  • Women could not refuse sex to their husband.
The suffragists had subcultures just like today's feminist movement. There were those who had peaceful assemblies and there were others who were more radical and picketed the White House and held hunger strikes. And I'm sure there was a differing degree of reasons why they were fighting for rights and which rights were more important.

 This is What Feminism Looks Like
Yes, we've come a long way, but the plight of women is not over. As long as we are not paid equally for equal work, and as long as religion and government want to tell us what we can and cannot do with our bodies, and as long as women all over the world are still treated like property,  violated, mutilated and hurt, our work is not done.

This is What Feminism Looks Like
© Fibonacci Blue
I don't want to judge the Women Against Feminism. I get it. You don't want to be
lumped in with a group of men hating radicals. That is not the face of feminism. And let me clarify that I use the word "ignorant," not as a stab. I use it because there is a lack of information, understanding and knowledge where feminism is concerned.

Whatever these Women Against Feminism believe, that's fine. That is there prerogative. Like Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti said on Twitter, "#WomenAgainstFeminism shouldn't worry: Even if they don't believe in us, we'll keep on fighting for them."

On a lighter note, this site is hilarious. And it has cats.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

#WorldBookDay: Review an Author

Yes, that hashtag is trending on Twitter because...it's WORLD BOOK DAY!!!  I'm not going to tell you to read a book. If you read my blog, I'm going to assume you are a book reader. Instead, I'm going to appeal to you as a B List writer with a very quiet book. Not only for me, but for all the B Listers out there.

If you like a book, review it on Amazon. That's it. That's my plea. I'm not asking much. You may think, but I don't know HOW to write a book review. You're not a professional critic writing for a prolific rag. You're a consumer, a fan, and other consumers will go to your review for advice no matter who you are. And your review doesn't have to be Pulitzer Prize worthy. It doesn't have to be long. You don't have to sound like the smartest person in the world. It just has to be honest. Heartfelt. It only needs to be a paragraph, or even 2 sentences. I think the minimum amount of words is 20. You know how long 20 words is? Less than the first two sentences of this blog.

People find consumer reviews credible and relevant. They trust people who have already read the book. In Amazon's own words, "Good reviews on Amazon are particularly crucial for books by new authors and for niche books." And I will add again, small B list authors like myself.

These reviews help book sales, not only at Amazon, but everywhere. People go to Amazon for the reviews then buy the book at a local brick and mortar bookstore. 

Let's do a comparison, shall we? My novel, Never Eighteen came out at the same time as The Fault in Our Stars. Both are books about teenagers with cancer. Both are what people call "sick lit" or "weepies." I've had fans tell me they preferred mine to TFIOS (yes, I'm not lying). Never Eighteen has 83 reviews. TFIOS has over 35,000. Yes, I know, but it's John Green. That's the point. John Green doesn't need 35,000 reviews or even 1 review to sell books, but I could use a few more to get the word out about mine.

Take my 2nd book, Dissected. It has 15 reviews. Now, this is partially my fault it has such a low review count because when I released it life stuff kept me from marketing much. But, not the point. So a YA book similar with the same subject matter, cutting, by bigger names have anywhere from 220-400ish reviews. These are by Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson, etc. Don't get me wrong, I am in NO WAY comparing myself to these truly talented ladies. However, I think neither of them probably needs Amazon reviews to sell books.

So what I'm saying, if you truly love a book, or even like it, and it's probable that many people have not heard of it yet, give it a short review. Word of mouth is still the  most powerful form of publicity for writers and by writing a good review, you are essentially telling people, "read this book."

If you don't like a book, go ahead and review it as well if you want.  Authors should be used to bad reviews because everyone gets one and not everyone is going to like your book. Plus, as we say in the biz, no publicity is bad publicity. *cough* When I see a bad review, I like to compare. I like to look at what else the reviewer has read and see if we have the same tastes. For instance, if someone hated Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why, I could go look at their other reviews and see what else they gave 1 or 2 stars. If it were more books that I loved, chances are, I wouldn't find their review relevant to my tastes (BTW, I LOVED 13 Reasons Why, and it was the 1st book I ever reviewed because I found it so amazing). Asher has 2,593 And I hope my review helped a little  I think I was one of the first 100 or so reviews.  This is what I wrote...

"I found out about this book on myspace. I read the synopsis, was intrigued by the premise, so I immediately went out and bought it. I couldn't put it down, finishing it in a day. This haunting and tragic tale about beautiful Hannah and her reasons to end her life will be a must read for teens for a very long time. Thanks Jay."
 HAHA...Myspace. See? Not hard. So seriously, do your favorite authors a favor a give them a review. They will appreciate you for it...

Oh, and just this moment, I decided that in honor of World Book Day, I'm offering Dissected free on Kindle tomorrow and Saturday on Amazon.com. Remember, if you download it for free, think about writing it a review. <3 br="">

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

You're weird, planet earth: 20 strange and interesting facts

Seriously,there be strange happenings on our lovely planet. In honor of Earth Day, I will share some with you.

  1. The earth isn't round. Centrifugal  force (and other science crap) gives the earth a "spare tire" at the equator. So even our earth is obese.
  2. If you're standing on the equator, you're spinning through space at 1,000 miles an hour. If you're at either pole, you're standing still.
  3. The earth also works its way around the sun at 67K miles per hour. It's a wonder we're not all puking all the time with all the spinning and hurtling going on.
  4. The largest earthquake to shake our globe occurred in Chili, May 22, 1960. It rocked the world at a magnitude of 9.5.
  5.  El Azizia, Libya, experienced some seriously Hell on Earth. The highest recorded temperature was 136 degrees Fahrenheit on September 12, 1922. Ouch.
  6. On the flip side, the lowest temperature ever recorded on Earth came from
    Russia's Vostok Station. The temp was a numbing -128.6 degrees Fahrenheit. That's the day I would have moved my ass out of Antarctica. No thanks. I'd like my limbs not to freeze and crack off.
  7. You think Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world? Wrong. The actual tallest mountain is Mauna Kea. Everest may be taller above sea level, but Mauna Kea is taller base to summit measuring in at 56,000 feet.
  8. Back in the day, we possibly had a 2nd moon. That is, until it crashed into our other moon and blew the hell up.  #survivalofthefittestmoon
  9. Apparently again, we have a 2nd moon. But, it's never the same rock, so it's
    more like random acts of orbiting moons. Our earth's pull of gravity traps traveling asteroids in its magnetic field. They stick around for about 3 rotations, or nine months, before going on their merry way where they more than likely meet an untimely demise of being burned up by the sun. (I made that last part up)
  10. I bet you didn't know the world's longest mountain chain is 40,389 miles long.  That's right. It's called the mid-ocean ridge and is comprised of lava spewing from the seafloor.
  11. The world has three deadly lakes, in Cameroon, Rwanda, and the Congo.  Carbon dioxide is releases into the lakes, which can be released into the air in explosions, asphyxiating anyone walking by.
  12. The earth used to be purple. There are some scientific facts as to why, which I don't get, but it has to do with chlorophyll and retinal and crap like that.
  13. A stroke of lightning can heat the air to 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm surprised
    we haven't heard about people melting.
  14. 95% of the planets seas have not been seen or explored. Seriously? WTF?
  15. Every day 100 tons of space dust  sprinkles down onto the earth. It is released from comets vaporizing near the sun. I have nothing more to say about this except "space dust" is a cool term.
  16. The world's most active volcano is the Stromboli Volcano in southern Italy. It has been erupting almost continually for the last 2,000 years.
  17.  The largest volcanic eruption on record took place on April 1815, on Mount Tambora. It ranked 7 out of 8, which makes is a super-colossal blow, on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. It was so loud it was heard more than 1,200 miles away on Sumatra Island. Death toll: 71K. 
  18. We used to have a twin. Her name was Theia and she was about the size of
    About 4.5 billion years ago, Theia crashed into the Earth and was mostly absorbed. The rest, combined with materials from Earth, created our moon.
  19. If you took all the salt from our oceans and spread it over the earth, you would have a 500 foot layer of salt covering everything.
  20. Our atmosphere consists of many layers, but the one that keeps us alive, the troposphere, is the thinnest at 10 miles high. Let's keep that tropo healthy!! I do not want to die a horrible hot and airless death.
Other cool Earth shit.
Strangest Sites on Google Earth
See how strange our earth really is...

Okay, now go plant a tree or something.

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