How to talk to little girls

I want to share an article with you today, written by Lisa Bloom, author of Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed Down World. It explains in a very enlightening way how we subconsciously help creating gender stereotypes while communicating with kids, even though our intentions of course are nothing but the best.

How to talk to little girls

“I went to a dinner party at a friend’s home last weekend, and met her five-year-old daughter for the first time.

Little Maya was all curly brown hair, doe-like dark eyes, and adorable in her shiny pink nightgown. I wanted to squeal, “Maya, you’re so cute! Look at you! Turn around and model that pretty ruffled gown, you gorgeous thing!”

But I didn’t. I squelched myself. As I always bite my tongue when I meet little girls, restraining myself from my first impulse, which is to tell them how darn cute/ pretty/ beautiful/ well-dressed/ well-manicured/ well-coiffed they are.

What’s wrong with that? It’s our culture’s standard talking-to-little-girls icebreaker, isn’t it? And why not give them a sincere compliment to boost their self-esteem? Because they are so darling I just want to burst when I meet them, honestly.

Hold that thought for just a moment.

This week ABC News reported that nearly half of all three- to six-year-old girls worry about being fat. In my book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, I reveal that 15 to 18 percent of girls under 12 now wear mascara, eyeliner and lipstick regularly; eating disorders are up and self-esteem is down; and 25 percent of young American women would rather win America’s Next Top Model than the Nobel Peace Prize. Even bright, successful college women say they’d rather be hot than smart. A Miami mom just died from cosmetic surgery, leaving behind two teenagers. This keeps happening, and it breaks my heart.

Teaching girls that their appearance is the first thing you notice tells them that looks are more important than anything. It sets them up for dieting at age 5 and foundation at age 11 and boob jobs at 17 and Botox at 23. As our cultural imperative for girls to be hot 24/7 has become the new normal, American women have become increasingly unhappy. What’s missing? A life of meaning, a life of ideas and reading books and being valued for our thoughts and accomplishments.”

Image borrowed from TLC

“That’s why I force myself to talk to little girls as follows.

“Maya,” I said, crouching down at her level, looking into her eyes, “very nice to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you too,” she said, in that trained, polite, talking-to-adults good girl voice.

“Hey, what are you reading?” I asked, a twinkle in my eyes. I love books. I’m nuts for them. I let that show.

Her eyes got bigger, and the practiced, polite facial expression gave way to genuine excitement over this topic. She paused, though, a little shy of me, a stranger.

“I LOVE books,” I said. “Do you?”

Most kids do.

“YES,” she said. “And I can read them all by myself now!”

“Wow, amazing!” I said. And it is, for a five-year-old. You go on with your bad self, Maya.

“What’s your favorite book?” I asked.

“I’ll go get it! Can I read it to you?”

Purplicious was Maya’s pick and a new one to me, as Maya snuggled next to me on the sofa and proudly read aloud every word, about our heroine who loves pink but is tormented by a group of girls at school who only wear black. Alas, it was about girls and what they wore, and how their wardrobe choices defined their identities. But after Maya closed the final page, I steered the conversation to the deeper issues in the book: mean girls and peer pressure and not going along with the group. I told her my favorite color in the world is green, because I love nature, and she was down with that.

Not once did we discuss clothes or hair or bodies or who was pretty. It’s surprising how hard it is to stay away from those topics with little girls, but I’m stubborn.

I told her that I’d just written a book, and that I hoped she’d write one too one day. She was fairly psyched about that idea. We were both sad when Maya had to go to bed, but I told her next time to choose another book and we’d read it and talk about it. Oops. That got her too amped up to sleep, and she came down from her bedroom a few times, all jazzed up.”

“So, one tiny bit of opposition to a culture that sends all the wrong messages to our girls. One tiny nudge towards valuing female brains. One brief moment of intentional role modeling. Will my few minutes with Maya change our multibillion dollar beauty industry, reality shows that demean women, our celebrity-manic culture? No. But I did change Maya’s perspective for at least that evening.

Try this the next time you meet a little girl. She may be surprised and unsure at first, because few ask her about her mind, but be patient and stick with it. Ask her what she’s reading. What does she like and dislike, and why? There are no wrong answers. You’re just generating an intelligent conversation that respects her brain. For older girls, ask her about current events issues: pollution, wars, school budgets slashed. What bothers her out there in the world? How would she fix it if she had a magic wand? You may get some intriguing answers. Tell her about your ideas and accomplishments and your favorite books. Model for her what a thinking woman says and does.”

Lisa Bloom for Huffington Post


Fat phobia

Another medical article has been published showing that the fear of saturated fats is highly exaggerated, and the over consumption of carbohydrates is what we really need to worry about. This general misconception of fat being bad for you is based on a poorly made study from the 1960´s conducted by Ancel Keys, where he claimed the results showed saturated fats were connected to cardiovascular diseases. Modern science and more importantly; basic knowledge of physiology claims the opposite though, fat is essential for our cells to function properly and carbohydrates, well they just taste good, without really bringing anything of value to our bodies. However this fat myth is being kept alive by several institutions still as most countries economy depends on selling agricultural products, and if people cut down on the starch, bread, potatoes, pasta, they would obviously loose a lot of money. It´s a sad fact but money rules the world.

To read the whole article, click here:

The Netherlands Journal of Medicine: Saturated fat, carbohydrates and cardiovascular disease


10 documented facts on Low Carb High Fat Diets

I´ve put together a list, no I didn´t actually put together a list, this guy did, however I did translate it from norwegian into english for you. Anyway, these are conclusions drawn from 34 different clinical studies made on Low carb High fat diets. Enjoy!

A Low Carb diet leads to weight loss in overweight people (1-16).

A Low Carb diet regulates your appetite and over time reduces your food intake. (10)

A Low Carb diet reduces sugar cravings. (17)

A Low carb diet increases your level of HDL cholesterol and lowers the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood (16,18-25), these changes are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular deseases. (26)

A Low carb diet gives a remarkable change for the better for people with type 2 diabetes. (27-32)

A Low carb diet reverses the steatoses process causing FLD (fatty liver desease). (1)

A Low carb diet can lead to reversing atherosclerosis. (33)

A Low carb diet does not increase the amount of saturated fat in your blood, not even when tripleing the intake of saturated fat in your food. (22)

A Low carb diet does not lead to decreased capacity and tolerance during exercise.(5)

A Low carb diet can lead to an increase in burning fat during exercise. (34)

List of references:

1. Browning JD, Baker JA, Rogers T, Davis J, Satapati S, Burgess SC. Short-term weight loss and hepatic triglyceride reduction: evidence of a metabolic advantage with dietary carbohydrate restriction. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011 May;93(5):1048–1052.

2. Brinkworth GD, Buckley JD, Noakes M, Clifton PM. Renal function following long-term weight loss in individuals with abdominal obesity on a very-low-carbohydrate diet vs high-carbohydrate diet. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Apr.;110(4):633–638.

3. Lim SS, Noakes M, Keogh JB, Clifton PM. Long-term effects of a low carbohydrate, low fat or high unsaturated fat diet compared to a no-intervention control. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2010 Oct.;20(8):599–607.

4. Hession M, Rolland C, Kulkarni U, Wise A, Broom J. Systematic review of randomized controlled trials of low-carbohydrate vs. low-fat/low-calorie diets in the management of obesity and its comorbidities. Obes Rev. 2009 Jan.;10(1):36–50.

5. Brinkworth GD, Noakes M, Clifton PM, Buckley JD. Effects of a low carbohydrate weight loss diet on exercise capacity and tolerance in obese subjects. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2009 Oct.;17(10):1916–1923.

6. Wycherley TP, Brinkworth GD, Keogh JB, Noakes M, Buckley JD, Clifton PM. Long-term effects of weight loss with a very low carbohydrate and low fat diet on vascular function in overweight and obese patients. J. Intern. Med. 2010 May;267(5):452–461.

7. Gardner CD, Kiazand A, Alhassan S, Kim S, Stafford RS, Balise RR, et al. Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and LEARN diets for change in weight and related risk factors among overweight premenopausal women: the A TO Z Weight Loss Study: a randomized trial. JAMA. 2007 Mar. 7;297(9):969–977.

8. Morgan LM, Griffin BA, Millward DJ, DeLooy A, Fox KR, Baic S, et al. Comparison of the effects of four commercially available weight-loss programmes on lipid-based cardiovascular risk factors. Public Health Nutr. 2009 Jun. 1;12(6):799–807.

9. Nordmann AJ, Nordmann A, Briel M, Keller U, Yancy WS, Brehm BJ, et al. Effects of low-carbohydrate vs low-fat diets on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Feb. 13;166(3):285–293.

10. Shai I, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, Shahar DR, Witkow S, Greenberg I, et al. Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet. N Engl J Med. 2008 Jul. 17;359(3):229–241.

11. Foster GD, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, McGuckin BG, Brill C, Mohammed BS, et al. A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. N Engl J Med. 2003 May 22;348(21):2082–2090.

12. Brehm BJ, Seeley RJ, Daniels SR, D’Alessio DA. A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Apr. 1;88(4):1617–1623.

13. Foster GD, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, Makris AP, Rosenbaum DL, Brill C, et al. Weight and metabolic outcomes after 2 years on a low-carbohydrate versus low-fat diet: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Aug. 3;153(3):147–157.

14. Brinkworth GD, Noakes M, Buckley JD, Keogh JB, Clifton PM. Long-term effects of a very-low-carbohydrate weight loss diet compared with an isocaloric low-fat diet after 12 mo. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009 Jul. 1;90(1):23–32.

15. Volek JS, Sharman MJ, Love DM, Avery NG, Gómez AL, Scheett TP, et al. Body composition and hormonal responses to a carbohydrate-restricted diet. Metab Clin Exp. 2002 Jul. 1;51(7):864–870.

16. Krauss RM, Blanche PJ, Rawlings RS, Fernstrom HS, Williams PT. Separate effects of reduced carbohydrate intake and weight loss on atherogenic dyslipidemia. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 May 1;83(5):1025–31; quiz 1205.

17. Martin CK, Rosenbaum D, Han H, Geiselman PJ, Wyatt HR, Hill JO, et al. Change in Food Cravings, Food Preferences, and Appetite During a Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diet. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Apr. 14;

18. Stoernell CK, Tangney CC, Rockway SW. Short-term changes in lipoprotein subclasses and C-reactive protein levels of hypertriglyceridemic adults on low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets. Nutr Res. 2008 Jul.;28(7):443–449.

19. Guay V, Lamarche B, Charest A, Tremblay AJ, Couture P. Effect of short-term low- and high-fat diets on low-density lipoprotein particle size in normolipidemic subjects. Metab Clin Exp. 2011 Aug. 2;

20. Faghihnia N, Tsimikas S, Miller ER, Witztum JL, Krauss RM. Changes in lipoprotein(a), oxidized phospholipids, and LDL subclasses with a low-fat high-carbohydrate diet. J Lipid Res. 2010 Nov.;51(11):3324–3330.

21. Volek JS, Fernandez ML, Feinman RD, Phinney SD. Dietary carbohydrate restriction induces a unique metabolic state positively affecting atherogenic dyslipidemia, fatty acid partitioning, and metabolic syndrome. Prog. Lipid Res. 2008 Sep.;47(5):307–318.

22. Forsythe CE, Phinney SD, Feinman RD, Volk BM, Freidenreich D, Quann E, et al. Limited effect of dietary saturated fat on plasma saturated fat in the context of a low carbohydrate diet. Lipids. 2010 Oct.;45(10):947–962.

23. Sharman MJ, Gómez AL, Kraemer WJ, Volek JS. Very low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets affect fasting lipids and postprandial lipemia differently in overweight men. J Nutr. 2004 Apr. 1;134(4):880–885.

24. Volek JS, Sharman MJ, Forsythe CE. Modification of lipoproteins by very low-carbohydrate diets. J Nutr. 2005 Jun. 1;135(6):1339–1342.

25. Sharman MJ, Kraemer WJ, Love DM, Avery NG, Gómez AL, Scheett TP, et al. A ketogenic diet favorably affects serum biomarkers for cardiovascular disease in normal-weight men. J Nutr. 2002 Jul. 1;132(7):1879–1885.

26. Lamarche B, Tchernof A, Moorjani S, Cantin B, Dagenais GR, Lupien PJ, et al. Small, dense low-density lipoprotein particles as a predictor of the risk of ischemic heart disease in men. Prospective results from the Québec Cardiovascular Study. Circulation. 1997 Jan. 7;95(1):69–75.

27. Tae Sasakabe HHHUKW. Effects of a moderate low-carbohydrate diet on preferential abdominal fat loss and cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy. 2011;4:167.

28. Yancy WS, Foy M, Chalecki AM, Vernon MC, Westman EC. A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2005;2:34.

29. Westman EC, Yancy WS, Mavropoulos JC, Marquart M, McDuffie JR. The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008;5:36.

30. Feinman RD, Volek JS. Carbohydrate restriction as the default treatment for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Scand. Cardiovasc. J. 2008 Aug.;42(4):256–263.

31. de Koning L, Fung TT, Liao X, Chiuve SE, Rimm EB, Willett WC, et al. Low-carbohydrate diet scores and risk of type 2 diabetes in men. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2011 Apr.;93(4):844–850.

32. Accurso A, Bernstein RK, Dahlqvist A, Draznin B, Feinman RD, Fine EJ, et al. Dietary carbohydrate restriction in type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome: time for a critical appraisal. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008;5:9.

33. Shai I, Spence JD, Schwarzfuchs D, Henkin Y, Parraga G, Rudich A, et al. Dietary intervention to reverse carotid atherosclerosis. Circulation. 2010 Mar. 16;121(10):1200–1208.

34. Patterson R, Potteiger JA. A comparison of normal versus low dietary carbohydrate intake on substrate oxidation during and after moderate intensity exercise in women. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011 Apr. 9;

Short term friends

I make a habit out of not becoming too personal in this blog which is why I never write about my private life, posting photos of what I had for lunch or when I´m out wining and dining with friends. 🙂 However this is a website about my passions in life and one of those is definitely spirituality, so I will share some of my thoughts with you. I recently read an excerpt from a swedish book called Ljusfolket by Benny Rosenkvist, which is a book about spirituality and soul mates. This particular part was about relationships (both amorous and platonic ones) and about letting people go, and I thought it was so insightful I just had to translate it into english and share it with you guys. (I´m also publishing the original swedish version below.)

Try to feel in your heart what this person means to you. What is the reason you´re staying in this relationship? If it´s longing then it´s something that´s worth sticking around for, but if it´s guilt then you should let it go. Cause fact is we´re not supposed to keep everybody around for the rest of our lives. People come and go, some of them you have for only a short period of time and some of them a little longer. Do not neglect the short term friends, you have knowledge to pass on to each other, but it doesn´t necessarily need to take that long. When you are done you can part ways, and move on with your lives. Don´t be afraid to let go. True friends and lovers will find their way back to each other if it´s really meant to be. The other ones you should never feel guilty about. It can actually feel pretty good to get rid of some of those people that you are through with.

One thing you should never do though is look back at old relationships with bitterness. From each and one of them you have learned something and that is never a waste of time. You were meant to spend those years with that person and in that relationship, now you just need to figure out what you were supposed to learn from it.

Försök känna efter i ditt hjärta vad den här människan betyder för dig. Är det skuld eller längtan som håller dig kvar? Är det längtan så är det något att bygga vidare på, är det skuld ska du släppa det. Och det är faktiskt inte meningen att vi ska hänga ihop med alla livet ut, människor kommer och går, vissa har man bara en kort period, vissa stannar längre. Förringa inte det kortspringande vännerna, ni har kunskaper att ge varandra som inte behöver ta så lång tid. Sedan kan ni gå vidare åt varsit håll. Våga släppa taget. Verkliga vänner och kärlekar hittar tillbaka till varandra om det är meningen. De andra ska man inte ha dåligt samvete för. Det är faktiskt skönt att bli av med en del personer som man är färdig med.
Däremot ska man aldrig se tillbaka med bitterhet på gamla relationer. Man lär sig något av alla relationer och det är aldrig bortkastad tid. Det var helt enkelt meningen att du skulle ägna de åren åt den mannen/kvinnan och den relationen och det gäller bara att förstå vad du skulle lära dig av det.

21 reasons why sugar ruins your health

Sugar can suppress your immune system.

Sugar can damage the pancreas. (Which is the gland active in glucose and insulin responses.)

Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, inability to concentrate and crankiness in children.

Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.

Sugar can cause metabolic syndrome.

Sugar reduces high-density lipoproteins (HDL).

Sugar raises the level of neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance – some hormones become underactive and others become overactive.

Sugar can make the skin wrinkle by changing the structure of collagen.

Sugar can cause tooth decay.

Sugar can lead to obesity

Sugar increases the risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Sugar can cause heart disease.

Sugar can cause dyspepsia (indigestion).

Sugar can be intoxicating, similar to alcohol.

Sugar can aggravate premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

Sugar can worsen the symptoms of children with attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Sugar promotes excessive food intake in obese people.

Sugar plays a role in the cause and the continuation of acne.

Sugar can cause fatigue, moodiness, nervousness, and depression.

Sugar can ruin the sex life of both men and women by turning off the gene that controls the sex hormones.

For a 122 more reasons (and a bibliography, if you don´t just take my word for it. ;)): click here.

Confessions of a sugar addict

I´m not an easy person to shock but yesterday I found myself staring into thin air with my mouth open for several minutes. The book Maggie goes on a diet (yes, it´s a real book, a children´s book! Age range; 6-12) is about 14 year old Maggie who is overweight and for that reason bullied in school. So she goes on a diet and starts exercising, becomes thin and therefor, of course, popular and happy. Some quotes from the book:
“Losing the weight was not only good for Maggie’s health, Maggie was so much happier and was also very proud of herself.”
“More and more people were beginning to know Maggie by name. Playing soccer gave Maggie popularity and fame.”

I´m aware of the fact that obesity is a problem in society, not only among grown ups but also children. And it´s important to educate these people on nutrition and make them want to choose a healthier more active life style. However that responsibility should never be put on a child. It´s the parents that need to be educated on what they do to their children (and themselves) by stuffing them with sugary starchy food every day, not only obesity but type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc.

The word diet makes me cringe, it´s something our mothers did in the 80´s, the era of the low fat (high carb) products. To me it means starving yourself for a certain amount of time to loose weight, and then get back to eating “normally” again, usually resulting in gaining all the weight back, just to go on a another diet to loose it all again. Don´t even get me started on soulless cults like Weight Watchers and Cambridge, making money out of selling their sugary starchy products, feeding their customers sugar addiction, just to make sure that they will keep coming back, after they fall off the starvation wagon. But no, Weight Watchers is great, it works every time! Really, every time huh?

Sugar and starvation is a lethal combination, you´re set to fail from the very first day. Bouncing blood sugar levels, lack of energy, the endorphin/serotonin receptors in your brain screaming for their next sugar fix. It´s only a matter of time before you cave.

Choosing a healthy life style is not about denying yourself what you like, it´s about learning what eating crap does to your body, and there for willingly choosing a healthier option. Unfortunately sugar is a powerful demon and not a lot of people are willing to give it up. Believe me, I know, I have fallen off my carb free wagon a number of times (my love of bread and chocolate is borderline sickly), but in the end I have to compare how my body responds to eating carbs as opposed to not eating them which makes it easier and easier to choose to not go down that road today. Now I know not everybody out there has this problem with sugar, there´s a lot of people out there who can eat carbohydrates every day with being triggered into over eating, I´m not writing this for them, I´m writing for the people who has a sugar sensitivity/addiction and treats food like a drug. I can promise you the majority of the obese people out there has this chemical imbalance in their brain, it´s not lack of character as a lot of the non-sugar-sensitive people enjoys calling it. People are different, just like some people can drink alcohol without becoming addicted while others can not. For a quick and simple lesson in the bio-chemistry of your brain; click here.

Ok so this turned into a lot of sugar is the devil propaganda. But I do think it´s an important issue, and it makes me sad to see people mistreat their bodies in such terrible ways, especially when it also affects their children.

For more info check out my Nutrition page for some videos from one of my favorite movies Fat Head.
And for those of you out there who are struggling with a sugar addiction and would like help, this is another good website, Radiant Recovery.

Disney equality

I completely stole this from Lady Dahmer, but I think it needs to be spread. The gender roles that we feed our children, very often unconsciously, is an important issue, and I think the only way to progress in the struggle for equality between the sexes is to make people aware of it. Usually we are so used to treating a child in a specific way, girls are pretty little princesses and boys are tough and likes to play with cars and action figures, that we don´t even consider there to be something wrong with it. But fact is in one way or another we are all products of our childhood and, judging from personal experience, having been a child and all, sometimes these personality traits are so edged into your brain they will most likely haunt you for the rest of your life.