Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Some Randomness: Counting Crackers, RSVP and Smelly Things

I have some things on my mind that I sort of need to get out.  Maybe it's to make room for other things to clutter it up?  In any event, here are some random things you may or may not find useful/helpful:


It has occurred to me over the last few months that prior to changing my eating habits, I don't believe I've ever had a single serving of anything, ever, in my entire life.  What I mean by that is this: on pretty much any box or package of anything, it tells you how much a serving is.  For example, a single serving of Frosted Mini Wheats is 21 biscuits.  Veggie Wheat Thins: 14 crackers.  Ice cream: 1/2 cup. Hummus: 2 tablespoons.  Truth is, I don't even think I've ever known anyone who actually looks at the container the food comes from and actually counts out t w e n t y - o n e Frosted Mini Wheats and then measures the milk they pour on it.  Anyway I never knew anyone (and never did it myself) until a few months ago.  Indeed I do, count out my crackers, my cereal, measure my milk, weigh my cheese, etc.  Once I began to do that I realized I'm actually satisfied with a smaller portion than I thought I would have been.

I realized that I'd never before assumed a "serving" was as small as it is, but that it's actually enough.  I realized that in part, this could be a HUGE reason why so many struggle with weight problems because NO ONE on the planet counts out Frosted Mini Wheats or weighs their cheese.  I know it sounds silly but if you think about it for a minute, it's true.  If no one is dishing themselves up a single serving but instead just helping themselves to however much food they think they want, it's entirely possible they're consuming TWICE as many calories, sugar, bad fats, sodium, etc. in the course of a day than they should be.  Multiply this by every single day of every week of every month for a lifetime and you get... serious weight/health issues.

So here's my challenge to anyone who feels like taking it: starting tomorrow, weigh, measure and count every single thing you eat according to the serving size on the container it came in (fruits and veggies don't count, eat as much as you want, they rock).  Do this every single day for a week.  You might still be hungry at the end of the day, or you might not.  You might be surprised at how little food actually fills you up, and you might even drop a pound or more.  I'd be curious to hear from anyone who wants to take this simple challenge, and note their results after a week of weighing their cheese :-) 


Do you know what that means?  Of course you do, it means "répondez, s'il vous plaît" or in English, it means "please respond".   Anyone who's ever hosted any kind of celebratory event where invitations were required, will almost always insist on an RSVP and here's why:

When you're planning a party (birthday, reception, anniversary, etc.) you need to know numerous details to make sure the party goes well.  How many will be there, how much food & drink to have prepared, in the case of a child's party you'll need to know how many party favors or party gift bags to purchase/prepare, and you need to know how much room you'll need (seating for formal events, etc.) to host all the guests.  Due to the fact that I design custom party events for a living, I know for certain that my clients would immediately begin shopping elsewhere if I began to leave off the text field for them to customize the RSVP information.  It's really a huge part of the event for the host/hostess.

Now you may be wondering why I wrote all that?  Simple: parents, when you or your child receives an invitation with RSVP, please please please, take the time to reply and let the host/hostess know if you will be attending.  If it's a formal event, fill out the RSVP card and drop it in the mail, right away.  If it's a more casual event, a phone call or quick email will do the trick.  And trust me, the host/hostess will be quite grateful that you've responded and helped them in the party planning.


Here's a great idea I came up with after taking apart my bagless dirt-cup thingy on my vacuum cleaner.   Mine looks like this, all taken apart:

It's a pretty standard model so yours may look the same, or similar.  Here's what I do:

Because the little black foam filter sleeve collects SO much dirt even after you empty the dirt cup, I have to take it all apart and clean it thoroughly after a while.  I separate all the pieces, including the foam sleeve off the black filter (but first I take that part outside and tap tap tap it until all the loose dirt comes off and flies away in the wind somewhere).  Then, I lay out a towel beside the sink and begin to rinse each piece in warm water.  I start with the hard plastic pieces first then set them on the towel.  Then I do the black filter and trust me, you're going to be surprised at how much gross dirt is actually still in there even after you tapped it like crazy.  Your water will run a nasty dark color as you rinse it.  Rinse until the water runs clear.  Now here's the grossest part of all: the black foam sleeve filter thingy.  If you thought the dirt collection was nasty in the black filter, hold on to your hat.  This thing is truly disgusting.  Hold it under the water and rinse & squeeze (repeat this as many times as it takes to get the water to run clear).  Once it does, squeeze it as much as you can to get all the water out, then set it on the towel.  Let it dry all day & all night.  Once all the parts are dry, spray a light coating of fabric refresher on both the black filter and the black foam sleeve.  Let that sit for about another 30-60 minutes to dry then put it all back together & stick it all back in the vacuum cleaner.  Now, the next time you vacuum you'll notice two things. 1.  Your vacuum works better because it's filter is clean (clean filters means it sucks up stuff way better) and 2. it smells awesome!  

Eventually you have to replace those little black foam filter sleeve thingies but to extend the life of it, and to keep your machine running well, and to make it smell fabulous while you vacuum, you can try this trick.

Well, that's about all I have for today. :-)