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When you are "overcoming middle-age"you are entitled to rest on your laurels, eat them or even redecorate them. The point is when we reach "a certain age" we have earned the right to "kick back" a little and we should remember to do that for ourselves.

What were all those things which seemed important, significant or just plan inevitable when we were younger? Chests, confusion, competition, calendars and so forth. So, they may still be lurking around but we probably don't EVER NEED them now actually.

Visitors to the CARYL page are invited to "reflect, relax, laugh and give ourselves some applause!" Each essay at this location will hopefully offer that "thoughtful perspective" we have now earned and present us with an opportunity to laugh a bit.

It you or any neat women you know are interested in guest authoring an essay for this page, please send EVE an E-mail. If there is a particular topic you'd like to find here, let EVE know. Sit back, put your feet up and find a subject you'd like to "mull over" as you're "overcoming middle-age."


If it looks like a calorie, sounds like a calorie, tastes like a calorie and quacks like a calorie—you can bet it's a calorie! Many people worry about calories, count calories and blame calories for life's problems.

Three blonde men had just bought a can of Pepsi One-Calorie and were anxious to try it for the first time. So the first blonde man opened the can and then the second blonde man poured it into three glasses. The third blonde man eyed the three glasses suspiciously and said, "I wonder which one has the calorie?" (OK—we did a little editing, but why should all blonde jokes be about women??)

As if there were not enough other issues to struggle with pertaining to food, we now have to think about carbs, fat content, and a vast array of potential threats—processed vs. unprocessed, vegan vs. other options, and where the food originated, as if we could keep up with all that!

There is certainly no shortage of diet information and food gurus are prolific in writing books on the subject of which calories we should shun and those we can embrace comfortably. Obesity has become the topic de jour (please pardon the food type pun). Restaurants and fast food eateries often offer "super size" portions, which are a quick route to the plus section of our favorite clothing store. One expert advises us to eat as much fat as we like as long as no carbohydrates make their way into our mouths. A study shows that we can consume carbs and still lose weight. The bottom line ultimately seems to be we should "pick our poison" and live with the consequences. Of course, another alternative is to be patient because next year may bring a whole new set of recommendations which will be easier to live with—maybe.

A great way to lose weight is to eat naked in front of a mirror. Restaurants will almost always throw you out before you can eat too much... One of the most often suggested strategies for containing the impact of calories on our waistlines is to exercise—a lot. It took some searching but we actually located totally painless workouts for that purpose. Calories can be burned in huge quantities simply by engaging in activities that don't actually require physical exertion. Here are a few examples.

Passing the buck 25
Hitting the nail on the head 50
Swallowing your pride 50
Bending over backwards 75
Beating around the bush 75
Jumping to conclusions 100
Dragging your heels 125
Pulling out the stops 150
Climbing the walls 150
Jumping on the bandwagon 175
Eating crow 200
Pushing your luck 220
Putting your foot in your mouth 250
Pulling your foot out of your mouth 275
Throwing your weight around (depending on your weight) 50 - 300
Making mountains out of molehills 400
Picking up the pieces 500

"How long does getting thin take?" Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

If you are looking for a "magic bullet," you will not find it on a calorie chart! The funny thing about a calorie (obviously, we are looking for the laughs rather than the pounds) is that the Mirriam-Webster dictionary online defines it thusly:

"Etymology: French calorie, from Latin calor heat, from calEre to be warm 1 a: the amount of heat required at a pressure of one atmosphere to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius b: the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree Celsius 2 a: a unit equivalent to the large calorie expressing heat-producing or energy-producing value in food when oxidized in the body b: an amount of food having an energy-producing value of one large calorie"

Calories are about heat—is that why "comfort food" makes us feel all warm and fuzzy? It is also related to an increase of energy—but, only if it has not increased our weight to the point that it saps our energy. YIKES! This is much more complicated than it should be! Let's have a look at something easy to understand:

"I've been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I've lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet." Erma Bombeck

Calories that Don't Count

The following food and situations have no calories to speak of ... OTHER PEOPLE'S FOOD: A chocolate mousse that you did not order has no calories. Therefore, have your companion order dessert and you taste half of it. INGREDIENTS IN COOKING: Chocolate chips are fattening, about 50 calories a tablespoon. So are chocolate chip cookies! However, chocolate chips eaten while making chocolate chip cookies have no calories whatsoever. Therefore make chocolate chip cookies often but don't eat them. FOOD ON FOOT: All food eaten while standing has no calories. Exactly why is not clear, but the current theory relates to gravity. The calories apparently bypass the stomach flowing directly down the legs and through the soles of the feet into the floor, like electricity. Walking seems to accelerate this process, so that a frozen custard or hot dog eaten at a carnival actually has a calorie deficit. CHILDREN'S FOOD: Anything produced, purchased or intended for minors is calorie-free when eaten by adults. This category covers a wide range, beginning with a spoonful of baby tapioca -- consumed for demonstration purposes -- up to and including cookies baked and sent to college. UNEVEN EDGES: Pies and cakes should be cut neatly, in even wedges or slices. If not, the responsibility falls on the person putting them away to "straighten up the edges" by slicing away the offending irregularities, which have no calories when eaten. If pie or cake is neatly cut, but the remainder is not easily divisible into equal servings, it's also permissible to even things up ... without calorie consequence. TV FOOD: Anything eaten in front of the TV has no calories. This may have something to do with radiation leakage, which negates not only the calories in the food but also all recollection of having eaten it. Entire no-calorie dinners are now manufactured and frozen for this purpose. FOOD THAT DOESN'T TASTE GOOD: doesn't count. This is an enormous category covering a diverse range including airline food, cafeteria meals, and dinner at your sister-in-law's. Also dinners manufactured to be eaten in front of the TV. ANYTHING SMALLER THAN ONE INCH: contains no calories to speak of. For example: chocolate kisses, maraschino cherries, cubes of cheese. LEFT-HANDED FOOD: If you have a drink in your right hand, anything eaten with the other hand has no calories. Several principles are at work here. First of all, you're probably standing up at a cocktail party (see "Food on Foot"). Then there's the electronic field: a wet glass in one hand forms a negative charge to reverse the polarity of the calories attracted to the other hand. I'm not exactly sure how it works, but it's reversible if you're left-handed. CHARITABLE FOODS: Girl Scout cookies, bake sale cookies, ice cream socials and church strawberry festivals all have a religious dispensation from calories. It's in the Bible. CAKES WITH WRITING ON THEM: Primarily fat, starch and sugar, all cakes are horrendously fattening. However, the calories can be eliminated simply by inscribing "Happy Birthday, Charlie" or "Good Luck, Alice" in colored icing. Not only is it unnecessary to decline, it's impolite. FOOD ON TOOTHPICKS: Sausages, cocktail franks, cheese and the like are all fattening unless impaled on frilled toothpicks. The insertion of a sharp object allows the calories to leak out the bottom. LEFTOVERS: An extra pork chop, the crust of bread, half a Twinkie, anything intended for the garbage has no calories regardless of what happens to it in the kitchen. FOOD EATEN QUICKLY: If you are rushed through a meal, the entire meal doesn't count. Conversely, if you have ordered something fattening and now regret it, you can minimize its calories by gulping it down. CUSTOM MADE FOOD: Anything somebody made "just for you" must be eaten regardless of the calories because to do otherwise would be uncaring and insensitive. Your kind intentions will not go unrewarded. (See "Charitable Foods.")

STRESSED is just DESSERTS spelled backward

We do not want to leave you with the impression that calories do not matter and are nothing more than joke material. There are too many health implications that are important considerations. So, we offer a number of sites where you may find user friendly help in dealing with calories—bottom line—they do count!

Truestar Calorie Counter World's most comprehensive calorie counter and 1000's of meal plans From: www.truestarhealth.com
The Calorie Control Council - Information on cutting calories and
Information on cutting calories and fat in your diet, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, and your favorite low-calorie, reduced fat-foods...From: www.caloriecontrol.org
Interactive Fast Food Finder
Search database for fast foods fitting your description. From: www.olen.com/food
Dietitian - Healthy Body Calculator
Try the Healthy Weights Healthy Calories Calculator to determine your body weight, body mass index (BMI), body frame size, waist to hip ratio and...From:
MSNBC Calorie Calculator
Burning off the fat Are you a bionic calorie burner or do you slink along at a slug's pace? From: www.msnbc.com/modules/quizzes/caloriecalc.asp
Free Calorie Counter, Weight Loss Calculator, Weight Loss Program
Calculate weight loss by time, daily calorie loss or total weight loss.From: www.caloriesperhour.com
Enhanced Calorie Calculator - Calorie Counter and Fat Calculator To
Online calorie calculator - Information on counting calories and calculating fat grams in your diet. From: www.caloriescount.com

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