Rants & Raves – 06/09/12

Oh, the webbernet! It gets me all riled up with dire news and mainstream idiocy, then blammo! it hits me with something so awesome, it must be shared. Beautiful people, welcome to this week’s collection of Rants & Raves.


I’m light on the bad news today – mostly this stuff is silly and annoying, but not too grim. Except for the Weight Watchers thing, which makes me ranty and stabby and forced me to bash my had against my desk.

Weight Watchers. Sigh.
Long-time readers know that I was a Weight Watchers devotee for a long, long time. I think that WW gets many of the psychological aspects of weight loss and long-term weight management right. I learned a lot from my meeting leader… good stuff like realizing that if I was sad or anxious or angry, and I ate something delicious but on the “no” list, I would experience brief jolt of pleasure, followed by that initial sadness, anxiety, or anger plus eater’s remorse. She also taught us that if we took a bite of something and it wasn’t the best of that something we ever ate, we shouldn’t take another bite just to make sure. It seems like “no duh” unless you have a life-long weight issues and big-time emotional eating challenges. But I eventually had to part ways with WW because I could not abide the almost encouragement to eat Frankenfood: fat-free cheese, fat-free milk, fat-free Cool-Whip, not to mention the WW packaged food. It made me sad, but I had to leave my beloved Saturday morning meeting.

And this ad, to me, is an abomination.

My issues with it, in no particular order, are:

1. “I could never give up bread.”
I strongly dislike that WW is pandering to many peoples’ notions that eating well is too hard. Never is a powerful word, and it has no place here.

2. “I’m a sandwich guy.”
I also strongly dislike the tacit message that a sandwich is a healthy food. I know it’s somewhat revolutionary to cut bread from an American diet, but (a) the whole-grain bread WW recommends is junk and (b) this is, again, pure pandering to what people want to hear, rather than giving them what they need.

3. “Nothing is off limits.”
In the grown up world where we want to be lean, fit, and healthy, some things are off limits. Not forever, not every day, but most of the time. I know this is a small ad, but I resent that WW makes it seem like a person can, effectively, have their cake and eat it, too. It’s disingenuous and irresponsible.

OK… moving on to the amusingly annoying…

Cuckoo For Locos

Taco Bell has sold more than 100 million of their new Locos Tacos, the brilliant terrible concoction of taco fillings stuffed into a shell made from Nacho Cheese Doritos. The salty-fatty finger food has only been on the market for 10 weeks — compared to the 18 years it too for McDonald’s to sell 100 million burgers back in the day. Seems like a sad commentary on our American eating habits, rather than a “Taco Bell kicks McD’s ass” kind of statement, but maybe that’s just me. And coming soon: Cool Ranch and Spicy flavore. (And as an aside, the WW program has no problem with members eating the Locos Taco, so long as they count the points. According to this web site, it’s only 5 points for one Locos Taco, so let’s dig in!]

Seriously. This. is. not. food. It might be wickedly delicious, but it’s not food.

(Another aside: As a former Doritos lover, I am painfully aware of my hypocrisy because I want to try a Locos Taco. Badly. But I haven’t. And I probably won’t. And I apologize that I want to. And if I do, I will totally confess it here, and you can all stone me.)

Sugar Makes You Dumb. Really Dumb.

Dorothy followed the yellow brick road to OZ, and in Costa Mesa, the cops followed a trail of cookie and chip wrappers to Ding Dong Land. Done in by Cheetos!

But I do kinda like the funny-flavored potato chips in the U.K.

I applaud and pity the blogger behind the site Shite Food. I mean, would you be brave enough to eat and review Tulip Bacon Grill (a sort of meat pudding, Spam-like product meant to substitute for bacon) or Mr. Brain’s Pork Faggots?! The “food” on this blog is like a train wreck — I want to look away, but I can’t. I can’t! I also need to mention that I f*cking adore the Rules page of the site. Brilliant.


Whew! That romp through the wilds of junk food made me thirsty. Let’s quench our desire for good news, yes?

The Best Lamb You’ll Ever Eat
As I said in my review of Lava Lake Lamb, they really do produce the best lamb I’ve ever eaten. And now you have a chance to try it for yourself. Lave Lake is sponsoring a big ol’ giveaway of a Summer Grilling Package! To enter, visit the Giveaway page on Facebook, then “like” them and cough up your email address. Deadline is June 15, so don’t wait! (And if you’re looking for crazy-good lamb recipes, you might like these… mmmm… Merguez Meatalls!)

Hooray! But Will They Make Them Call It “Poison”?!

Sweet! The FDA ruled that high-fructose corn syrup cannot be renamed “corn sugar” by the Corn Refiners Association (CRA). The CRA petitioned the FDA to allow the change because “consumers have a bad impression of high-fructose corn syrup because of it’s complicated name.” Oh, yeah. It’s the name that’s the problem. Read the entire (short) piece at NPR here; tasty stuff

The Murph brings me to my knees in more ways than one.

The New York Times with a nice piece on the Memorial Day Murph and the amazing success of CrossFitNYC: “That was an hour of pure torture,” said Peter Hoppmann, 50, a seventh-grade history teacher, who was drenched in sweat after completing three-quarters of the Murph in 55 minutes and 36 seconds. But he was smiling as he said it.” (Tip: Subscribe to the CrossFitNYC blog posts to get a kickass collection of link recommendations every day.)

[Images from CrossFitNYC.com]

And they all translate to superhero-ness!
(superhero-osity? superhero-ism?)
Love this piece from Men’s Fitness on Mastering the Top 10 Athletic Movements. The drills and explanations take the movements out of the context of individual sports, and make them applicable to lots of activities. From sprinting and throwing, to the different kinds of jumping (up! out! down!), pushing, reaching, extending, and squatting, it’s like a training manual for superheroes or zombie fighters.

I’m blushing.
I’m delighted to find myself in such good company — Krista from Stumptuous, Melissa Hartwig of Whole9, and Liz Wolfe of Cave Girl Eats — in this post on Paleo Girl Crushes, written by my blond doppleganger Summer from the blog Haute Life (and, formerly, Cosmopolitan Primal Girl). Whew! That is a lot of kickass women, right there! And congratulations to Summer who recently launched Haute Life to provide nutrition support, meal plans, coaching, and the support people need to have a totally… um, haute life.

I got a lot of compliments on my 44th birthday self-portrait and felt like I had to confess much of the credit goes to Instagram and my makeup kit. Now there’s a new service called Sticky9, that turns your Instagram pics into magnets.

Two final cool things…


It Starts With Food, the kickass book from Whole9, is officially released on Tuesday, June 12. Read what I’ve got to say about it here, learn more about the Meal Map and photos Dave and I contributed to the book, or check out this review at StupidEasyPaleo or this one at MyAthleticLife or this one at EasyPaleo. (Spoiler: they like my Meal Map!) Pre-order your copy now!


How utterly delightful are these clouds made by an artist inside an art gallery?! Totally magical, am I right?

See more photos here and a learn more about Dutch artist Berdnaut Smilde, including video, and how he makes the magic happen.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I’m off to write a piece for our Word Nerd writing group tonight, and tomorrow is our much-needed secular sabbath. Be good to yourselves while I’m unplugged — see you back here Monday.

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  • I used to be a big time Doritos lover. When I saw the taco bell commercial for these I felt as though it was torture. I will always stay away from that because it probably is a slippery slope!

  • The FDA gets something right! Let’s hear it for the temporary blockage in the dumbing down of America! (Corn sugar. Yeah, that’s better.)

  • Andrea says:

    I bet that guy could give up bread if he was diagnosed with Celiac’s Disease! Well, maybe not…sadly.
    OK…the Doritos taco…I’ve never been a fan of Nacho Cheese Doritos (they smell like vomit) so this was definitely not a temptation for me but…my husband is currently working in Afghanistan and IS a huge Doritos fan and when he saw the Taco Bell commercial when he was home on R&R in May…I thought he might faint. Needless to say he made a beeline for Taco Bell…Now, he would totally agree that it is NOT real food but I would be lying if he didn’t say they were every bit as awesome as he anticipated!

    • Mel says:

      The last time I ate Doritos was after my half marathon in 2009. They were SO yummy. They don’t really taste like food-food, but man! They are tasty anyway.

  • Summer says:

    Hey Doppleganger!! Thanks for the shout-out and all your kind words!
    Much Love!!
    PS: Our Girlz Well Fed potluck party is tonight….I made the Rogan Josh (mmmmmmmmm). We shall do a toast in your honour.

  • aseafish says:

    Delightful. I was feeling a little wistful about the Doritos/Taco Bell concoction (please don’t tell anyone) until I saw the lamb and was reminded I don’t need to miss crap when amazing real food at my disposal. And I completely agree with you. Lava Lake Lamb is the best I’ve ever tasted. I usually remove every speck of visible fat from lamb, like my Lebanese grandmother taught me. She insisted it made lamb taste like mutton. With Lava Lake, I leave the fat alone. It’s wonderful.

  • Laura says:

    Couldnt agree more with you on weight watchers! I think it’s terrible at promoting fat free “food”.

  • Kelly says:

    I will lay all my sins at your feet (well at least one) I too, am a recovering Doritoholic….and I did succumb to the Taco Loco. And I was in the bathroom *literally* 15 minutes later. Not a pretty comment, I know. But truthful. Did it taste good? Well, yeah it did but in the way that while I was inhaling it I knew it was absolute crap. So, not so enjoyable. Then, the repercussion…….moral? Non food after eating primarily healthy real food = bodily rebellion. Haven’t looked back since…..

  • Rebeca says:

    I am SO with you on that stinking taco.


    Points aside, HOW is that real food to nourish your body. Nonfood is off limits in my opinion!

  • Linda Sand says:

    I play “You know how you could do that?” at my Weight Watcher’s meetings. For instance, I now have a bunch of people making their meatloaves with water chestnuts instead of bread/crackers.

  • Amie says:

    I succumbed to the Doritos Locos Taco and thought it *sucked* The shell was stale, like when you leave open a bag of Doritos overnight and the next day they are all soft and non-crunchy. The lettuce was limp and gross, and the meat…well, I remembered why I hated Taco Bell tacos.

    I resolved then and there that if I am going to do something.like that, I will make a plan, get good meat and good lettuce and good cheese (since I do eat well-sourced dairy), and a little single serving of Doritos and give myself permission to enjoy it, eat it,.and then keep moving.

    That’s a fair amount of work though, so it might be awhile before I do it 🙂

  • Tricia says:

    Well before I found Paleo, I left weight watchers for the same reason. It didn’t make sense that they kept pushing fat free and processed crap.

  • Amy says:

    The Shite Food site reminds me of the So You Don’t Have to videos one member would post to the Livejournal food_porn group. His reactions are the best!:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/benchilada (they are mixed in with his other videos).

    And, now I want to go to Taco Hell.

  • Allison says:

    This comment is for your prior post on thw Women’s magazine with Paleo. I bought it this weekend to support them for being so forward looking but was dismayed to see they say you can have unlimited fruit at every meal! I worry that people will try it, eat tons of fruit, not lose weight and then throw away the paleo. SIGH! They will definitely be healthier but I’m guessing the vast majority will try it for weight loss.

  • Allison says:

    This comment is for your prior post on thw Women’s magazine with Paleo. I bought it this weekend to support them for being so forward looking but was dismayed to see they say you can have unlimited fruit at every meal! I worry that people will try it, eat tons of fruit, not lose weight and then throw away the paleo. SIGH! They will definitely be healthier but I’m guessing the vast majority will try it for weight loss.

    P.S. I never liked WW – I have so many friends who have “been on it for years” and are still heavy! DUH – doesnt’ that tell you something?

  • Maggie says:

    I finally, finally feel vindicated! I have joined/quit/joined/quit Weight Watchers so many times over the years, and never lost more than maybe 5 lbs. I always thought it was a flaw in MY character, in MY will power, that I couldn’t work this program to lose weight and get healthy. Then I found Real Food. Veggies that taste more delicious than I ever knew they could. Who knew spaghetti squash was sweet? Or that olives satisfy my salty craving even better than Fat Free Potato Chips ever could. I am in my second week of eating Paleo, and have dropped 5 lbs. Without trying. By EATING. Who knew?

  • correction on the Times article says:

    That NYC article showed Murph at Crossfit South Brooklyn, not NYC, and all the photos were from SBK. Peter Hopperman, whose quote you highlighted, is a member at SBK, not NYC. The glowing culture reviewed in the article was all SBK.

    So yeah, I think the article was about something different than what you thought it was about 🙂

  • Alec says:

    I don’t know if you have seen this as I know you have published Guardian articles before, but this is a fantastic article on the food industries introduction of corn syrup to our diet and the impact on obesity.


  • Steph says:

    I will make a solemn pact with you. I, too, have been tempted by the Doritos taco. For all my healthy eating, my lizard brain just loves Doritos. So much so that I told myself that, for my birthday, I can have one.

    But if you don’t eat one, I won’t either.

  • Hope says:

    Re: HFCS

    If you want to REALLY rant, go to http://www.sweetsurprise.com/

    It’s scary. And disgusting. But… they’re putting a LOT of effort into trying to create a positive spin on “corn sugar,” so that must mean the truth is FINALLY getting out and they’re running scared, right?

  • Sarah says:

    The site which REALLY grills my bacon is 30 Bananas A Day. For those unacquainted with it – and I’m sure Mel is – it’s, basically, a support group for Froot Loops (aka fruitarians). It’s run by a couple from Adelaide and Durianrider is notorious for signing up to Palaeo/LC fora and trolling. 

    They believe that eating nothing but fruit is the only way to “realign your karma and discover you true place in the cosmos” or some such BS. Some of the members’ profiles (there’s a book everyone is obliged to read by some macrobiotic raw vegan nutter) are fecking hilarious! 

    On a more serious note, however, DR and his girlfriend have a dog. This is what makes me pissed. It is the height of sadism to acquire a carnivorous animal as a pet and feed it on nothing but mushed up bananas, nut/grain ‘milk’ and grapes (at least that’s all I’ve seen her ‘eating’ in the photos they’ve uploaded). The poor thing looks emaciated – unsurprisingly – and she probably doesn’t have a tooth in her head! 
    In several photos she was shown “loving” a banana and almond milk smoothie! The comments were moronic – one f**kwit even remarked how “full of vibrant energy” she was! No, she looked half-starved; you could count every single rib and her vertebra were clearly visible. 

    Makes me wish I was in Australia, and not the UK, so I could report them to the ASPCA!!! 

    But, if you think about it, it’s unsurprising, really, cos we all know what an – almost – zero fat diet does to braincells, don’t we…? 

  • Tony Y says:

    “You are what you eat” – that’s how I try to remind myself when I feel like eaing junk food….