August 30, 2012

Heading Home

What better way to wind up a fantastic Scottish adventure than by enjoying a rendezvous with Shauna Reid, her lovely husband Gareth, and... an armoire full of tasty desserts??

Shauna, as many of you know, not only wrote the must-read book Amazing Diet Girl, but also keeps her great blog Diet Girl humming along, has another wonderful blog What's New Pussycat, has done informative and entertaining podcasts with the awesome MizFit as part of Two Fit Chicks and a Microphone, and she's part of an inspiring online program Up and Running that helps women just starting out become happy healthy runners. WHEW!

As I expected, Shauna and Gareth (the mad cyclist) were totally delightful. (I have a cute picture of the two of them as well, but you will just have to imagine it. It's not really polite to go around snapping innocent blogger's family members and broadcasting their images all over the web where any random crazy googler can find them! But trust me, Gareth is adorable).

Unfortunately though, whilst I was in the middle of consuming a vast and delicious slice of chocolate cake at Lovecrumbs, Sneaky Shauna mentioned the upcoming Fitbloggin' 2012 conference, damn her. Now I'm totally jealous and want to go. All the cool people will be there! I could put together an impromptu lecture on how to leverage a grumpy personality and a complete lack of work ethic into a health blogging empire, can't you just envision it?  Sigh.

So I'm cursing myself that somehow it totally slipped off my radar. Being a cheap crab and contemplating last minute plane or train fares, booked-up hotel rooms etc, this is alas, not looking too likely, but what the hell, I'll put it out to the universe. Perhaps there is a sponsor of some lovely product, service, website or whatever that also didn't think ahead about the conference either and needs a lazy fitness blogger be their ambassador! I could spread the word to my 6 twitter followers, 3 Facebook fans and legions of "1 rule for flat stomach" and "fitness porn" googlers! Or maybe someone's best blogging pal who was going to be their roomate got plague or... wait, that's too mean, let's say they got appointed to a cabinet post or won a round-the-world-cruise, and so there's an extra room or bed or spot in a Partridge-Family style bus going from Boston to Baltimore or... well, obviously the possibilities are endless.

C'mon Get Happy at Fitbloggin '12! I'll bring snacks!
Photo: Telstar

Oh, and in other news, the lovely folks at Blisstree (which is a great health website with an actual sense of humor) ran an interview of Crabby McSlacker! Read all about the care and feeding of a crabby health blogger and learn her shocking and amazing motivational secrets.

So we start the journey home in a few hours, which will take a couple of days and involve various planes and ferries and automobiles. Once the huge duffle bags full of smelly laundry are done, I'm hoping to get back to blogging about actual health and fitness issues.  Although hmm, there are still a few vacation photos left...

Thanks so much all of you who stopped by while I was traveling, I really appreciated it!

August 27, 2012

Time Management Secrets for Self-Employed Slackers

Cartoon by: Natalie Dee

OK, so it may seem ironic that someone who has done nothing on her blog for the last month other than to explain why she is not posting would presume to give advice on time management.   But hang in there, that's actually Secret Number 7.

And hey, did I call this post "Time Management Secrets for World-Dominating Super-Achievers?" No I did not. Super-Achievers do not need time management tips, other than the usual "stop and smell the roses for f--ck sake, you accomplishment-obsessed workaholic chore-whore. "

Wait, that's not how you're supposed to help super-achievers? Oh well, sorry go-getters, all 2 of you who hang out at Cranky Fitness.

Note: you may, however, read this post if you are not self-employed. No alarm bells will go off or anything.  It's just that several of these tips presume some sort of flexibility in how you plan your day, which could be extremely annoying to people who have bosses (or spouses, pets and children) who do not permit such liberties.

So what are the secrets already? 

August 23, 2012

Are Low Fat Foods Making Us Fat?

Hey kids, it's Crabby!  Who is once again not posting while on vacation. So yes, this is a guest post, as you can tell by the fact that there is actual nutrition research involved. If I'd written it, there'd just be a bit of nagging about not trusting slick advertising campaigns, followed by some whining about the lack of healthy convenience foods for lazy people, and then perhaps some gratuitous pictures swiped from icanhascheezburger.

(Photo credit:

Whoops, sorry--not sure how THAT got in there!

So thank goodness this post is by Brendan Wilde, who is a health and wellbeing writer over at and the UK National Register of Personal Trainers (where you can learn more about personal trainer courses if you're so inclined). While he does the hard work of explaining the metabolic implications of various dietary variables and particularly the impact on insulin resistance and weight gain, the Crab and Lobster will be kicking back enjoying their final days in Scotland.  Which, as it turns out, has a more incredible scenery than any human can absorb without exploding, plus many delightful ways to screw up your metabolism six ways from Sunday.  Um, unless beer and shortbread cookies have been declared health foods in my absence?

Anyway, I'll shut up now.  Take it away, Brendan! 

Is the low fat food fad all it is cracked up to be?

Do reduced-fat foods help us lose weight? Or could they actually be contributing the rise in obesity?

Processed foods may well be low in fat, but we all know that does not mean they are low in calories.

In fact many low fat foods have just as many calories as their full fat counterparts. And furthermore, many low fat foods are ‘adulterated’ with additional, high glycaemic carbohydrates, to improve the taste. Especially popular and troublesome is the controversial sweetener high fructose corn syrup.

August 19, 2012

"Travel is Broadening"

I am not the first person to note that this cliche can be true both figuratively and literally. My mind, and waist-line, are expanding as we speak!

Gosh, I wonder what's up with my mysteriously shrinking jeans?

So we're about two thirds of the way through the Great House Swapping Adventure of 2012, and, as I feared, I still seem to have no ability to blog away from home.

There are some good reasons for this (internet access issues, having too much fun doing things) but also I've been struck by my usual travel-induced web paralysis. Strangely enough, this condition does not prevent me from surfing aimlessly or reading email. Yet I can't seem to get it together to respond to anything, or even find my Twitter and Facebook passwords. And as to blogging? Yikes, suddenly it's way too hard! Too much to say, but none of it seems to cohere into any sort of theme, let alone one related to health and fitness.

However, since many of you... er, several of you... um, well ok, two of you have said "at least post some pictures fer chrissakes you lazy crab" (not an exact quote), it seemed time to suck it up and throw some crap up here. Also, there's a guest post coming up and I wanted to at least pop in once before turning over the reins again.

So what follows are some highlights and lowlights of our adventures, complete with obligatory photos.

Because gosh, viewing other people's travel photos is as fascinating as hearing them describe their medical ailments! Or that funny dream they had last night with the Russian mafia and Lady GaGa and the stolen Mercedes that kept changing into a pink tricycle. So, um, enjoy!

August 12, 2012

Hate to Exercise? You Got Company.

(This is not actually Munchberry demonstrating the proper use of a treadmill--Photo by normanack)

Hi everyone, Crabby here!  But only for 2 paragraphs, which trust me, is a good thing. I'm still at the "hey, we're having an awesome time, wanna see 18,000 photos of us standing in front of a bunch of old European shit?" stage of our journey.  That plus a few miscellaneous observations about cross-cultural differences in public lavatories** is about all my tiny brain is up for.  So instead, how about a great guest post by the awesome Munchberry of I'm Just Puffy?

**In Berlin and vicinity, we discovered you have to pay to use the restroom everywhere, even if you are in a fancy shopping mall. And at the train station, a trip to the toilet costs $1.50! In Edinburgh, the WC's we've encountered have been free, but despite using thousands of gallons of water per flush, they are powerless against a couple of squares of toilet paper...OK, so now see why I'm psyched to have a great guest post?)

Hello Cranky Fitnessites!

Munchberry here at the helm today while The Boss is plowing through haggis and doing squats over the Blarney Stone. OK, not the Blarney Stone – unless she is really long-legged and ultra bendy (as she claims to be). [Crab note: Oh yeah, that's definitely me, long-legged & bendy... I also have abs of steel, massive guns, a bootylicious posterior, an IQ of 743, and some prime real estate on the moon you may be interested in purchasing.] And no, I guess I am not at the helm, but more broadcasting to you from the crustacean basement where they have me chained to their treadmill.

Why, you ask, am I chained to their treadmill? Because Cranky knows that the only way to get me to exercise is to lock me in the room with the equipment and force reconcilliation or at least detante. For I am the only person on earth that hates to exercise. What? You too? Pfft. The things I do in order to avoid exercising! OY.

Instead of exercise I will read my old organic chemistry book from 25 years ago. I will clean toilets and possibly even dog barf. I will clean my oven. I have been known to go down to my own home workout room that is filled with every manner of exercisy things, flip on a Jillian Michaels DVD and then LAY on the weight bench and twiddle my thumbs for 45 minutes while Jillian screams and I fake grunt (sounds very much like a fake orgasm but with less happy excitement). I then will spritz my face with the fern mister, toss water under my arms and trudge upstairs and LIE to my husband about how Jillian has it out for me. That is how I conducted myself for a while until my husband heard one too many fake gruntings, came down and caught me in the act. I was assuming my regular reclined position on the bench, plugged into my I-Pod and was singing away and grunting for a LONG while before I noticed him watching me with such a look of disgust that I had… HAD to change my ways.

So how do I manage to exercise without falling into a major depression?