Rants & Raves 1/12/13

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. Welcome to this week’s collection of Rants & Raves!


Even though I love the title “Rants & Raves,” I’ve been thinking about making these posts pure inspiration, avoiding negativity to focus on the positive. But then I tripped over this Rant-worthy abomination, and my good intentions were replaced by a sputtering of disgust and sorrow. Since misery loves company, I’m sharing with you.

The AspireAssist, a.k.a., the personal stomach pump.
I can’t even be snarky about this; it’s just too sad. The inventor of the Segway (a.k.a., the vehicle that immediately obliterates the sex appeal of the person riding it), has now unleashed on the world a personal stomach pump that allows people to pump their own stomachs to remove food. “Twenty minutes after eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the patient attaches a handheld device to the Skin Port and empties 30 percent of the contents of his or her stomach into the toilet.” I. cannot. with. this.

I get it. I do. I understand the feelings of helplessness and despair that can go along with fighting your body. I’ve been obese and overweight, and on a deep level, I understand the emotional and health reasons people are desperate. I really, really, really want to be leaner, too. But not at the risk of my health and happiness. To me, this invention is merely a mechanical variation on bulimia, and it does nothing to address the physical and mental health challenges associated with obesity. It’s sad and wrong. And I wish it was criminal. Read more at The Week.


And now some good stuff… whew!

Does the nose know?
This is a fascinating piece on whether or not it’s true that we can smell fear. Turns out, our sweat conveys more than the proof that we worked out today. “Like other animals, we might also use chemical signals embedded in our sweat, and maybe elsewhere, to let each other know about our emotional states.” Read more at Mental Floss.

Eat! Mangé! Dig in!

Take a big bite of this really delightful photo collection called “Delicatessen with love.” Photographer Gabriel Galimberti has captured evocative images of grandmothers with the food they cooked — with bonus recipes if you click on the “more info” link. I really want to eat with all of these grandmas and have them tell me how they made the dishes. See all the photos at Gabriel Galimberti.

armeniaArmenia | Gabriel Galimberti

Smart thinking for the new year — or anytime.
I love this post from photographer Rory Gordon. It’s kind of about body image and kind of about how to be the best version of ourselves and just very, very awesome. This is the quote that kinda smacked me in the forehead because it’s very easy for me to think if I’m having fun, I’m not “working” — and if I’m working, it should feel hard and exhausting. “Suffering is not a benchmark of hard work. Misery is not an indicator of importance.  Anxiety does not bequeath great discovery.” Read more at Rory Gordon.

F*ck kipping pullups.

I’m being a smartass; I would be very happy to accomplish an unassisted kipping pullup one day, and I got very close to both a deadhang and kipping pullup before my health and right shoulder starting making decisions on their own. I was haunted by my inability to conquer the kipping pullup, which is really too bad, because (1) pulling exercises are really important for balanced fitness and (2) there are exercises we can do that aren’t kipping pullups that are still badass. Thankfully, Stumptuous has a shit-ton (that’s the technical term) of ideas for these non-pullup, but still effective exercises. Read all about it at Stumptous. (And while we’re at it, I call bullshit on the title of this article from the NYTimes; decent info, terrible title: “Why Women Can’t Do Pullups.”)


I didn’t know there was going to be math involved.

Do you ever look at a workout scheme and wonder if it’s a foreign language? Sets, reps, 3X5, tempo, clusters… WTF?! CrossFit NYC has a handy post about what it all means. Educate yourself at CrossFit NYC.

Better Eating Through Mindfulness

There are lots of good practical tips and research in this piece on how being mindful can not only increase our enjoyment of food, but help with anxiety and obesity. “Results showed that the more mindfulness the women practiced, the greater their anxiety, chronic stress, and deep belly fat decreased.” Read more at Yes! Magazine.

Jewelry for the feet!

I’ve never really been that into the idea of Vibram FiveFingers because even the “cute” styles look painfully dorky to me. But these chainmail shoes? These I could definitely be into. Learn more about the Paleo®DELINDA.

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 12.30.52 PM

A Final Thought…

From Beauty Has No BMI



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  • Kathleen says:

    Ah, I’m so thrilled that you included Rory’s New Year’s manifesto! She’s such a brilliant photographer, videographer, colorist (she does the post-production color on TV shows in Hollywood!), and writer. I think everyone would benefit from reading her manifesto.

    And that stomach pump… GROSS.

  • Tammra says:

    A stomach pump!! Really?! This is so infuriating to me! It IS just a mechanical version of bulemia. They need to address the psychological issues behind the overeating as well. Nevermind the fact that their bodies will not absorb some important nutrients that then will trigger a whole chain of problems. I know I am basically reiterating what you said Melissa but I agree this should not even be allowed. Grrrr…. On a happier note, I love the final thought at the end 🙂

  • suzy says:

    I could never get a kipping pullup although I had proportionately greater upper body strength than most women. Then, my efforts eventually resulted in a ripped shoulder. I have since learned (and believe some boxes require) that one should be able to complete at least 5 dead hang pullups before trying to kip. Seems wise to me. By kipping too soon, we’re focusing on the appearance of strength instead of the real deal.

    And that stomach pump is sick.

    Continue to love the site and your cookbook Well Fed. Thanks for all your good work.

    • Mel says:

      Today was my first day to work on deadhang pullups (again!). There was a time when I could do one deadhang, but no more… so every time I go to the craptastic, I’m taking my band and doing 2 sets of 5 until I can do more.

      Call me “Slow and Steady.”

  • Marisa H says:

    Would love some of that foot jewelry in the US!

  • revkt says:

    Unless I am mistaken, ONLY the grandmother from Utah made a dessert type item. I think that says something about the American diet and how we believe we show love and care through food.

  • seread says:

    The Segway “immediately obliterates the sex appeal of the person riding it.” LOL This stomach pump from hell thing has got to be destroyed by fire before it lays eggs. How sick is that inventor and anyone willing to give the tiniest credence to that horrific contraption? Let’s all of us donate to charities for people who don’t have enough to eat. Right now.

  • Piper says:

    OK, so you’ve read the Reacher series….are you annoyed that the blue eyed, brown haired, short guy is playing Jack??!

    • Sara says:

      Every time I see that commercial, I get either really angry/stompy or really whiny. I sort of hope the movie tanks, then in five years we can try again with someone who actually embodies Reacher. Gahh!!

      (Also angry/stompy: stomach pump. That sounds like a great way to introduce bacterial sepsis to the general population.)

      • Piper says:

        Cruise=bacterial sepsis-I like where your mind is going! Ha!

      • Mel says:

        I saw Jack Reacher and it was… OK?

        I really am not a fan of Tom Cruise, but he wasn’t a bad Reacher (except for being short). But the script was not so good. I love the internal monologue of Jack Reacher in the books, and there wasn’t a good replication of that in the movie.

        I feel like in the books, the best parts are the THINKING parts when Reacher is figuring things out. The best parts of the movie are the fight scenes. And they were damn good!

  • Katie says:

    Ok, I can’t get on to that grandmothers website, and it’s driving me crazy! I need to see all of the family/cooking/ethnic goodness so that I can demand to know why my own grandmother isn’t in that gallery!

  • NJ Paleo says:

    The sad thing is that people will buy that stomach pump thing and think they’re doing a good thing.

    My gym posted that article about “Why Women Can’t Do Pullups” and wrote in big red letters, “at this gym we don’t believe this!” And then my almost-13-year-old daughter saw the article and proceeded to do 3 unassisted pullups just to prove the article wrong. Technically she isn’t a woman, but still….

    I might need to get some foot-jewelry!

  • Meghann says:

    Haha! I just ordered my first pair of FiveFingers and they’re hot pink and orange. I figured if I was gonna look stupid, I’d at least be wearing colours that make me sooo happy! I’d been wearing cheap water shoes but they wore through too fast. not made for 10km a day of walking.