Saturday, January 19, 2008


So what you are saying is that I have to actually write something for you to be engaged over here.

Hmm... okay... I'm putting a poll up on my sidebar.

Last week's joke post started me thinking. Then after talking with a friend it appears that everyone wants to know one thing about everyone else. So check out the poll. It's anonymous so feel free to submit your truthful answers.... ONE time only please... don't go skewing the answers. The poll is now a two part poll... on the second poll please check all answers that apply to yourself and your family.
I will be very interested in the results.

It's Weight Loss Saturday

Mrs F talks about food rewards

Mrs F talks about her treadmill routine... on the treadmill!

and if you haven't seen this yet...
Mrs F Motivates... her weight loss story

Friday, January 18, 2008

Keeping It Real

Mrs F's Green Cleaning Tips

Hey just because I don't like to clean doesn't mean I don't know how!

For all of you who are trying to switch to "Green" Cleaners here are my recommendations. We've tried them all so you don't have to! These products work just as well if not better than their toxic counterparts. I promise!

Toilet Bowl: Earth Friendly Products™ Toilet Kleener (what?!...that is how they spell it)

Dish Soap (I use this to clean the stove too): Planet Ultra Dishwashing Liquid, or Method™

Dishwashing Detergent (hands down best we've ever used Green or not!!): Ecover™

Tile Floor: Method™ All Floor Cleaner, I don't use their special mop... not necessary

Wood Floors/Furniture: Method™ Wood For Good, I just use the spray even on the floors and wipe it with a rag

Scrubbing Powder (skins, bathtub, counters): Bon Ami™ Cleaning Powder

Daily Shower Spray: Method™

(Yes I am a big fan of the Method™ products they smell great and they really do you can get them at Target!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Something's Gotta Give... Right?

So today's post about cleaning has really gotten me thinking. It is so interesting how different everyone's take on my plight is. From empathetic allegiance to... I'm sure... frustrated "how many times does she have to go through this!?!" disbelief. But here is the thing. I'll go through it 100 more times, 1000, one freaking million. Because... because.... I don't want to change. Not because our chaotic house doesn't stress me at times. Believe me it does. But because something has got to give. Having a clean house isn't more important than the choices I make inside this house on a daily basis. My mess, Kid's mess, Mr F's mess, and even little Baby's mess signifies how important our other choices are to us. Sometimes I lose sight of this.

But today, right now, I see it clearly and I am SO proud of us, of our strengths, and our convictions, and by God our cluttered shit hole of a living room. Because that pile of books and Kleenexes that are falling of the side table are from the HOURS that Kid sits in that chair and reads to herself and is read to. And the dirty dishes and pans covering our counters and table by the end of the day are because I cook thoughtful healthy meals three times a day... EVERY day. The toys all over the playroom and dragged throughout the house are because the kids were having FUN and entertaining themselves so I could blog about it. The laundry sits clean it it's basket because I only have one hour to myself and I choose to exercise and that means I can clean it but I don't have time to put it away. The bathrooms and kitchen and good God the basement hardly see a bottle of cleaner because on the weekends we are a FAMILY and we choose to spend time together eating Mr F's favorite apple pancakes, and making an even bigger mess, and dancing to inappropriate music.

So those of you who don't understand why we don't just pick up after ourselves... it is because we choose not to. And honestly we will always choose not to. Because one crazy stressful day is a small price to pay for what we get on all those other days filled with meaningful choices. I choose not to let my kids watch TV (for real), and to exercise, and to pay our bills in full on time (not easy), and plan healthy meals and prepare them, and to laugh, and to share it with you. And something has to give. I cannot do all that and be a neat tidy organized person. And if I was.... I wouldn't be me. And Mr F wouldn't be Mr F. And Kid wouldn't be Kid. And even that little crazy baby wouldn't be Baby. But that's not gonna stop me from complaining about it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


So you may all recall that I had a lot of cleaning on tap for this week in preparation of my father's arrival TOMORROW. This is where I am at with all of that:
Playroom DisasterGuest room... yeah not exactly presentable... YETClean laundry... from LAST WEEKKid's Tornado AftermathBasement aka TV viewing room... um... I'm speechlessJunkie Basment Landing... unchanged worse than usual
At least I have managed to keep my desk cleared off. That counts for somthing right?... RIGHT?!?!

For those of you who can't get enough Mrs F reality TV...

The Evidence

Someone asked how my long cardio sessions toned my stomach. Here is me now:

If you want to know what I looked like before you can look at this:

This was taken in July at the start of my cardio training. I weighed 21 pounds more and was 31% body fat. And NO I am not sucking-in in the top picture.

Here is my progression shot montage if you missed this one before:
Go HERE to read the accompanying post. These shots track a four month weight loss.

Mrs F talks Cardio

Cardio The Mrs F Way
Some of this is based in science some comes from trial and error and some is just plain common sense. This is what I do. I'm not saying you need to do it or that this is the only way to do it. All I'm saying is that this is what has been working for me. If you are already working out more than this or harder than this... well.... use your head and keep doing what you are doing.There is some background information about why I am doing this workout in the video and you all can watch that to get the full scoop.

This is what I'm doing now (this is not where I started so keep that in mind):
I am WALKING on the treadmill for 60-80 minutes in one stretch.
I am walking at what I consider to be a purposeful pace, as in I've got to get to an appointment and if I get going I'll be on time... not I'm late and I need to jog!. For me this is 3 mph (I'm serious). Keep in mind I am short so this maybe slower than a purposeful pace for you. I chose this speed because it is about .75 mph SLOWER than if I was at my top walking speed. I want to be at a comfortable but PURPOSEFUL pace so I can focus on my incline.

While walking 3 mph I do incline intervals. On my treadmill I can go up to a 12% grade incline. Right now I'm doing short intervals (about 1.5 minutes) alternating between 0% incline and 8% incline. If I am doing a shorter workout I alternate a double interval at 0% with a single interval at 12%... believe me I need more of a recovery after the 12% incline. When I'm working out I feel like I'm working at about an 8 out of 10 exertion level. Could I work harder?.... yes.... but could I work harder and keep doing it for 60 minutes?.... no. You will burn more calories by uping your incline rather than your speed (fact). Also when doing intervals it is my understanding that you want to change it fairly dramatically so that your body has to work harder since it can't acclimate to the workout. This means 0% to 8% not 7% to 8%... this is one instance where overachieving might actually hold you back.

This is not my first go round at working out. I have done lots of different things in the past, but this has gotten me thinner than I have ever been. My thighs are literally thinner than when I was a TEENAGER! I am absolutely positive that working out at a slower pace while walking "hills" has allowed me to tone my legs and butt in a way that no previous cardio ever has (not even my pilates training!). Also I think keeping at a slower pace for a longer duration allows you to reach fat burning mode and stay there for a longer time. I started doing this workout (I change the incline % periodically) in July when I had hit a weight loss plateau. At that time I was 31% body fat. I started doing this cardio workout 5-6 times a week (consistently) and in 4 months I had lost 10% body fat. I am thinner than I have EVER been as an adult... probably even as a child! I truly believe this can help anyone burn fat faster than shorter more *intense* workouts. I'd love to find out. If you do give this a try PLEASE let me know how it has worked out.

And... People... the endorphins you get from the long cardio make it all worth while! Trust me.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's Business Time

"Do you think there are any married couples who have sex less frequently then we do" Mrs F ponders
Mr F thinks for a moment and then responds "Paralyzed people."

Oh we had a good laugh at that one!

On a related note....
If you haven't ever seen THIS do it RIGHT NOW.

Mrs F tackles Portion Control

Okay this is going to be the first in a series of "In The Kitchen With Mrs Furious" video posts. These videos are a little longer so keep that in mind. I am really looking forward to doing more cooking and cooking related videos so keep your eyes open for those.
For those of you at "the office" who can't watch this right now I will paraphrase my rules below.

In The Kitchen With Mrs Furious: Portion Control

I was talking about portion control with my mom the other day and it got me thinking about the ways in which I have built this into the Furious Family diet. I'm no longer calorie counting but I haven't thrown everything out the window. I still carefully monitor our portions.
Here are some of the ways that I do that:

#1 I make enough food for the meal. In our house that typically means cooking three portions. That's it. No leftovers, no seconds, just enough. And it is enough.

#2 I don't weigh everything anymore... but I always weigh our pasta. A "G.I." (gylcemic index) portion of pasta is 1.5 ounces. That is what I serve each of us. Pasta is calorie dense and should be a side dish. This really didn't take that long to get used to. It helps keep our dinners under 500 calories. No one goes hungry... and no one is getting fat either!

#3 I eat a half a sandwich. That's right ONE piece of bread. This is a hold over from the diet. There is just no way to have a whole sandwich and not be going over 300 calories for lunch. This is an easy way to keep your lunch in control. Now I've gotten a few comments about this one. I will clarify that yes it is humanly possible to eat two pieces of bread with some small amount of filling and come in UNDER 300 calories. The point I am making is that more often than not you won't... and even if you do MOST of your calories will be from the bread... aka... carbs. I'm suggesting that one piece of bread is a proper carb portion and that you can have nearly a whole sandwiches worth of filling on it and shave off 100 calories from your lunch.

#4 I measure rice. 2/3c of COOKED rice is a serving. I generally serve a 1/2 c of cooked rice. To make this step really easy I use a 1/2 c measuring cup as my spoon when I serve the plates out of the pot. Again grains are calorie dense. 1/2 c of cooked rice is 100 calories.

#5 Use serving bowls or glasswear that help you control your portions. If I am having ice cream I eat it out of a small juice glass which perfectly holds 1/2 c of ice cream. If I have cereal I use the bowls that fit one serving. You get the idea. This really does help and it is easy to do.

A basic Furious Family dinner for us is 3-4 ounces of protein, 1/2 c rice (1.5 oz pasta), and 1.5-2 c veggies. This is almost always around 400 calories and looks something like 1/2 plate of vegetables, 1/2-2/3 protein, 1/3 -1/2 starch.

Monday, January 14, 2008

This Week The Plan

Last week went pretty well considering my mental state and over all exhaustion. I mostly kept to my menu and cleaning projects. I did not do all that crazy working out... I was just plain too tired and something had to go. Triumphantly I did keep my desk cleared off ALL week.
This week is going to be a little crazy. My Dad is coming in town for the weekend and I'm going to have to do a more thorough cleaning before then! I'm going *easy* on the food prep this week to compensate and using more freezer and pantry staples to offset the additional expense of entertaining this weekend.

Here we go...


Monday - Spaghetti & Meatballs, steamed broccoli & carrots

Tuesday - Cornflake Crusted Tilapia (from freezer), sweet potato fries & green beans

Wednesday - Kid's Date Night

Thursday - Salmon Noodle Casserole, "fried" apples

Friday - Pizza Night

Saturday - Potato & Leek Soup, homemade bread, salad

Sunday - Vegetable soup, leftover bread


Sweet Jesus... what do I not have to clean?!?!

Monday - make Guest room presentable (ie no storage bins everywhere!), vacuum

Tuesday - vacuum upstairs

Wednesday - clean stove & Kitchen floors

Thursday - vacuum, make basement presentable

Friday - clean bathroom & kitchen


Anyone up for a serious cardio challenge?!? Heather and Robin are in and are going to try and workout the Mrs F way. I've been slacking off with the holidays and then Baby's crazy late night torture sessions.... but it is time for me to kick it back up.
This week I'm going to do 6 cardio sessions of 60 minutes (or MORE). If you all want to know how I dropped 10% body fat in 4 months this is how I did it. Seriously people I have ONE hour in the day to myself.... ONE!!!... and I use it to workout. It isn't what I WANT to do but more days then not it is what I do. You can find one hour to do this. I'll write more on this coming up this week. I'm not saying strength training isn't important ... it is... but if you've got fat to lose you are going to lose it MUCH faster with LONG cardio sessions. You can always add strength on top of that or add it back in place of some cardio training when you start seeing the fat loss results you are looking for. This is just my opinion folks and what worked for me!

Okay so I'm pumping out 6 days of cardio this week. I'm doing it! Check my sidebar for proof.

Special Cleaning Challenge:

#1 keep desk cleared off all week

#2 empty out "cubby of shame"


This is one of the best mornings I've had in a long time. I am so freaking excited and elated! Seriously.
Here is the deal(for those of you who don't want to watch the videos)all this time I've been taking my videos with my little Canon PowerShot digital camera. This meant that the files were HUGE... I mean like 300MB. So when I went to upload them to YouTube it would take 15-20 hours (FOR REAL). This was obviously quite frustrating and often times I'd lose my connection at some point and have to start all over. Well last night Mr F figured out how to drag them into iMovie and convert them to smaller files. The result? I just uploaded these files in... get this... ONE SECOND!!! I can't believe it. If only I had known about this last week I could have saved myself a lot of grief!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mrs F and Heather the video recap

Thanks To Heather...

Not that I"m obsessing on my new haircut or anything....
But this is my hair today after using a little styling product Heather brought me. And drying it with a diffuser...and... pin curling the left side (your left that is). Oh and trimming that long left piece a bit (again YOUR left)

It Was A Meeting Of The Minds...

So yesterday I met Heather, live and in the flesh, right here in Michigan. It was everything I hoped it would be. #1 Heather looks exactly like her pictures... no bait and switch... and her hair is as perfectly coifed as you imagine it to be. Mine, sadly, was not.#2 Heather's personality is just like her blog persona so there was absolutely no awkwardness... which of course there is always the potential for when meeting someone for the first time. Heather will have to weigh in here but I think we are both a lot like what you imagine us to be. We had a great time and you would never have guessed that we didn't *really* know each other.

It so happens that Heather was staying in my hometown. This was a fairly good turn of events because I was worried about picking a restaurant to meet at if she was staying somewhere I wasn't too familiar with. Anyway fear not I knew where to go and we had a great lunch. Now what was really funny is that we happened into having one of the most talkative waiters I have ever encountered. As soon as he seated us I had a feeling about him. There was something in the way he quickly and confidently commented on our conversation (I don't like to think of this as eavesdropping per se... but you could call it that) that reminded me of someone... I know... me!... and so he was immediately endeared to me.

Now there are somethings I should note. I have two ways of dealing with social situations #1 be a total wallflower #2 be slightly kooky. When I was a waitress I relied mostly on #2... because people love a little kook and lets face it... it brings in more tips. So when our waiter, Justin, chimed right in on our conversation about postpartum hair loss (he's 24) I knew he was a kindred spirit. This kind of brought out what I like to call the over-the-top kook in me and I started asking him extremely personal questions and telling him my psychic impressions about him. Oh God it was hilarious (for me... maybe slightly annoying for Heather... and at times maybe uncomfortable for Justin). So here are the things that we learned about Justin during lunch: his birthday (yes!!! I guessed the right month and was only one year off... see?!?! I am psychic!), how many siblings he has (NINE!!!! WTF?!?!), where he grew up, went to college, currently lives, all about his ex-girlfriend who is clearly toying with him (trust me Justin), his East coast/West coast preferences, his hair texture, and MORE... much, much, MORE!!

So at some point Heather and I want to talk to each other... and not about Justin... but what to do? I mean he was practically pulling a chair up to our table... and really it wasn't his own fault. So kind of awkwardly we just had to shut him out about half way through and I fear it may have been a bit of a slap in the face... I mean I was practically mapping out his next 5 year plan only moments before. You all do this... right?!? RIGHT?!?! It's not just me?!?! Oh even thinking about it makes me laugh. If I lived there I would totally go hang out with him while he was working lunch and take him under my kooky wing... he could be like my kook protege! Before you know it he'd be starring in a whole bunch of my YouTube videos... turns out he has break dancing experience! Okay anyway back to the stuff at hand....

Heather and I had a great time.... really. I mean it was just as if we had known each other for years. We went shopping and found her a dress we both loved, sadly it had a tear in the sleeve... but no matter... the crazy-skinny-anorexic-salesperson knew what to do and within minutes the on-site tailor had it mended and ready to go! We talked about ADD, hair, weight loss, and chakra tuning (of course... who doesn't talk about that?). Heather learned that it really is true... I have *expert* knowledge (or at least think I do) in every facet of life!!! The only downside is that I completely forgot to take a picture or video with her (damn it!!!... I even had my camera in my purse!!).
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