Sunday, January 24, 2010

How to Lose About 5lbs in a Week

Update: Please read the follow up post to this (above) so you can see how unrealistic a low carb diet is for healthy weight loss.

Note: Please remember that we are all different, our bodies store fat and metabolize differently so we will all lose fat and metabolize food differently. So if you see your results in weight loss not going as quickly as you like don't get down on yourself. Be proud of what you can achieve and keep working to achieve more. End note :)

Ok, that being said over the fall I hit a major plateau with my weight loss. I was still dropping inches from all my work outs, but the scale was staying the same and the fat wasn't coming off as fast as I wanted to. So I got fed up and decided to give up sugar and get really strict with my diet Jan 1. I did that for a week an half while I stuck to my low calorie diet and STILL the scale didn't go anywhere even eating 1500 calories a day. Normally I probably should have lost about 2lbs or more a week.

So I set up a meeting with my boot camp trainer to discuss my diet and he put it in pretty simple terms for me. My body was too used to my diet and my metabolism slowed down. I need to make a big change in what I was eating in order to shock my system and jump start my weight loss.

His solution: A weekly rotation of Low Carb, Low Glycemic, and Low Calorie/higher carb diets.

When I heard the words low carb I wanted to freak out! Low Carbs! I'm part German and Italian!

Give me my potatoes and wheat beer and my spaghetti, Italian bread and wine and I'm a happy girl!! I was raised on spaghetti and meatballs!

I'm also a firm believer that the Low Carb diet does not work. I don't need to be an expert to say this, I've seen it first hand happen to my father. He did the Atkins diet for months lost the weight really fast, went off the diet and gained it all back. Slow and steady wins the race and all things in moderation is my motto.

Needless to say I was actually a little afraid to try the low carb because of this, but what did I have to lose? I wasn't losing anything currently with my diet the way it was that's for sure, so I had to give this a try. What gave me the motivation to give this a try was that the diet rotated weekly. So essentially my body wouldn't adjust too much to the low carb's. When I switched my diet up after a week I wouldn't gain all the weight back right away and I wouldn't go crazy from not having some oatmeal or spaghetti :) WIN!

So far I've only done week 1: Low Carb. Yesterday was my last day and I'm happy to report I survived the week. Today I start low glycemic index, so I'll be posting about that next week.

Instead of focusing on what I couldn't have I was happy with the list of foods I was allowed:

-meats/dairy: beef, chicken, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, cheese, shellfish.

-unlimited veggies including asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, onion, lettuce, mushroom, pepper, snow peas, radish, spinach, tomato and zucchini. no carrots or green beans.

Mmmm... unlimited vegeeees!
(oh, but no fruit allowed for low carb week... sorry delicious apple!)

-allowable fats: cream/milk, canola and olive oil, nuts (almonds, brazil, peanuts, pecans, walnuts), avacado/guacamole, all natural peanut butter.

I was very happy that I could eat handfulls of nuts for a snack... if you recall I love nuts!

My daily goal was to eat 1600 Calories, 40g of Carbs, 89g of Fat, 160g of Protein

Here's an example of meals that I ate.


Breakfast - 3 egg omelet w/ salsa & cheese

Lunch - grilled chicken Caesar salad, no croutons

dinner - pork chop & salad


Breakfast - two hardboiled eggs, 1 cup cottage cheese

snack - mixed nuts, dry roasted 1 oz.

Lunch - grilled chicken breast, salad w/ balsamic dressing, 4 celery sticks w/ peanut butter

snack - mixed nuts

dinner - 5oz Tilapia, asparagus

The Con's of this diet:

1. I don't recommend this diet to anyone who is just starting out with making a change in their lifestyle. It has a LOT of restrictions as to what you can and can't eat and you need to plan every meal. If I did this as a Newbie dieter I probably would have given up and that would have gotten me no where. If I had to follow a diet that said NO you can't eat this and NO you can't eat that then I would have had a very hard time because it would have been giving up too much too soon for me and I would have gotten overwhelmed.

I believe it's important to learn how to make healthy choices on your own with out restrictions first. Learn what foods (from all food groups) are healthy for you and learn how to properly portion your food before trying something like this. This is what teaches you. I had no restrictions on my diet starting out, technically I could have eaten what ever the hell I wanted to. But what I learned very quickly was well, I can't eat what ever I want beauce I won't see results. I had to learn on my own what healthy foods would fill me up instead of wasting my calories on an empty snack that would leave me hungry.

Now that I've learned all this, it was the right time for me to analyze my diet again and cut more out. Which is why I tried this low carb/low glycemic/low calorie rotation.

2. Removing carbs from your diet causes a HUGE DROP in energy. Carbs were my main source of energy before I gave them up. I would eat a cereal bar before working out and at 5am it really gave me that boost I needed to get through bootcamp. Eating protein for breakfast doesn't enter my system as quickly, so I found myself tired through my work outs, tired in the middle of the day, crashing at the end of the day and taking long naps.

3. I had to eat protein shakes some days to make sure I got enough protein. Can we say... blech!

The Pro's of this diet:

1. I learned that it wasn't so terrible to cut carbs from my life. I survived the week, granted I was tired a lot, but I did it. I've also realized that when I reach my weight loss goal and go off of this rotation diet, I don't need to depend on having carbs in my daily diet. I can go a day or several days with out toast, oatmeal, or pasta. And I figured out a scoop or two of peanut butter with a cup of milk will give me enough energy to get through my work outs.

2. I saved money, learned to plan ahead and ate better. At the grocery store I only bought chicken breast, fish, vegetables, nuts, cheese, cottage cheese, eggs and milk. I didn't eat a single processed, over salted frozen meal, and I didn't go out every day and buy a salad for lunch. I am a self proclaimed microwave queen and I usually buy salads for lunch or even frozen organic meals like Amy's brand. This week I prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself and I learned to experiment more with some seasoning and I cooked a mean dish of tilapia! YUM.

3. I SAW RESULTS!!! After months of the scale not budging in either direction I FINALLY saw it go down again and it felt AMAZING!! I was so excited that after only a few days I saw the scale drop. After a week, my new jeans are already fitting me better! And people at bootcamp told me they saw a difference already!

But it's not just about the diet ladies!!

You got get up, get out there and exercise as well!

This was my work out schedule this week:

Monday: Spinning 1hr, Yoga 1hr

Tuesday: Bootcamp, 1hr (no soccer this week *sadface*)

Wednesday: rest (got a massage ;))

Thursday: Bootcamp, 1hr

Friday: Bootcamp, 1hr

Saturday: Run/walk (run for 4 min, walk 1), 6 miles and lots of hills!

Sunday: Run, 3 miles (not much hills)

Best part about my Saturday run was that I got a compliment for doing a good job from a cute stranger runner guy....who happened to pass me once when I was going down hill (enjoyed the view though) and when I was near the end he was already running back up hill (enjoyed that view too...I'm bad). But he was cute and said I was doing a good job so I forgive him for putting me to shame.

Monday, January 18, 2010

No Sugar: Week 3

Just want to give you all a little update on how I'm surviving the sugar cravings as I go into week three of my goal to stay away from sugary sweets for 45 days...

Yesterday, JE, my bloggy-mate/co-worker, brought Berger cookies into the office. If you're wondering what a Berger cookie is...

Yep, that's a big ol' slab of chocolate on top there.
I think there's about twice as much chocolate as there is cookie.

These are locally made here in Bawlmer (Baltimore to you non-local folk)... don't be fooled they're not that fabulous, unless you really are trying to achieve death by chocolate. In my opinion these cookies are over the top sweet. On top of the Berger cookies another co-worker brought in...

Erm, wasn't Christmas almost a month ago?

There's also two bags full of miniature chocolates lying around. At any given moment there are 4 different areas of temptation in my office: File drawer near my desk, supply closet, kitchen, co-workers ledge.

But wait there's more...... Every month a cake is brought into the office to celebrate just happens to be here today...

Best birthday cake ever!

Anyway, so with all that temptation at my finger tips... have I caved???


I haven't been tempted to touch a single bite... it's kinda like being a married woman... I'm married to my new diet. I can look but I can't touch ;)

Let me put this into visuals you, my fellow fangirls, can all understand...

repeat with me now ladies.... you can LOOK at that delicious tasty treat:

Look at this GQ motha-trucker

But don't TOUCH...
Naughty, naughty!

Just once more ladies so that you don't forget.... Look

at the sexual white chocolate

at the goodies

But don't TOUCH!!

Even if it's so very tempting... especially when the goodies look like they want you to take them to bed (chocolate + bed = messy sheets... and you really don't want to ruin your 500 thread counts, do ya?)

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Skinny on Sugar

Sugar... do do do do do do Oh Honey Honey do do do do do do... You are my Candy Girl...

I somehow don't think this game would be as popular if it was called "vegeland"...

So I've got a sweet tooth, I've always had a sweet tooth (I wonder if it's candyland's fault for brain washing me as a small child ;))...I'm sure most of us are in the same boat... but as I've announced in my 2010 Goals, I've given up sugary sweets for 45 days.

My reason for this are not only because the holidays season and all its delicious cookies killed me, but also because I've been reading a nutrition book that's helping me look at the foods I've put in my body in a different way.

Once I read about sugar I had to consider either being more watchful about my intake or cutting it out of my diet completely. I chose the later obviously for the time being. I am a firm believer in all things in moderation, but I've hit a plateau and I am hoping that cutting sugar from my diet will help me break through that.

I've been reading this really informative book called "You Are What You Eat" by Dr. Gillian McKeith

Here's what the book says about Sugar Cravings:

You will crave sugar if your blood sugar levels are constantly out of balance; if you have nutrient deficiencies, yeast overgrowths; if you eat a diet high in refined, processed carbs and junkie foods. Sugar cravings are a sign that you may suffer from a condition known as hypoglycemia, causing you to crave even more sugar.

You end up becoming the victim of a seesaw effect of soaring and plummeting sugar levels. This is why if you start to eat just one chocolate bar, you are bound to crave more. The sugar gives you the rush, but this drop is never far behind. The best way to to beat the sugar fix is to go cold turkey: no sugary foods or sweets for a month. The herb astragulus can give you a natural energy lift (500mg daily). ...

Certain foods help regulate blood sugar levels and tame sugar cravings. Whole grains and fresh veggies are great choices. Yams, sweet potatoes and squash help to curb a sweet tooth too and they don't elevate blood sugar levels in the way that sugary sweets do.

Food Cravings:
Sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods and sweets raise the level of the feel-good chemicals in your body (these are the endorphins serotonin and norepinephrine). The trouble with eating high sugar foods is that sugar enters your bloodstream very quickly and causes a rush of insulin along with a rush of serotonin. If there is a sudden rise in sugar levels, the insulin breaks it down very quickly, leading to a drop in both sugar and endorphins. this leaves you feeling worse than before and you may reach for more sugary foods to boost your mood, setting up a cycle of food cravings, weight gain, fatigue and mood swings which is hard to break.

Don't deny it we all know once you get started on one little sweet it turns into a lot of little sweets. That's why I had to go cold turkey! The book breaks it down even further to talk about insulin levels and how the body deals with all the excess sugar...this is where it gets really interesting... I had one of those *light bulb* moments after reading this section of the book:

Insulin Imbalances:

When you eat food, glucose from the digestive breakdown of the food is absorbed into your gut and blood. The body takes what is requires and then produces insulin to lower glucose levels back to normal, converting the excess glucose into a compound called glycogen which is stored by the liver.

On a healthy diet this process works perfectly, but excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, particularly sugary foods, upsets the balance and everything starts to go haywire. Your body has to produce increasing amounts of insulin to break down the sugars. Eventually you become resistant to the insulin, and instead of converting excess glucose into glycogen, it turns into fat. You are then caught in a vicious cycle where the more unstable your blood sugar levels, the more prone you will be to craving sweets and unrefined carbohydrates like bread.

An imbalance of the hormone insulin can often be the root cause of overweight. Too much sugar causes glucose intolerance in the body, and when you are overweight you break down sugar less effectively. It's a Catch-22 situation.

I couldn't believe this was happening in my body when I eat sugary foods but there was the explanation plain as day. It completely made sense as to why it was difficult for me to eat just a little bit of chocolate bar instead of the whole damn thing. Now, I'm not saying I'm not to blame in as well, I know better and should have the will power to resist...hell we should all know better than to gorge on sweet foods, but it's easy to see how the reaction to sugar in our blood stream makes it harder to say no.

Whats that you say, you only use sugar substitutes?

Just in case you might think your body was off the hook because you only eat foods with artificial/no-calorie sweeteners think again. Have you ever wondered why our grocery store shelves are filled with diet products, non-fat, low-fat, low-carb, no calorie, sugar free products and yet our society is still just as overweight as ever? Those sugar substitutes aren't helping you in fact they might make you gain weight.

Artificial sweeteners trick the body into thinking you're going to get a rush of energy from calories. Don't think of the word "calories" as necessarily a bad thing. Calorie is the term used to measure food energy. We need this energy to survive. It's where you get your calories from that make all the difference. Anyway! So Artificial sweeteners enter the blood stream your body thinks its going to get a natural rush of energy from calories, but then there are no calories. Long story short, studies show you might be more likely to eat more food through out the day to make up for tricking your body...

When it comes to dieting, most of us are willing to resort to a trick or two to help us curb our appetite and eat less — drinking water to fill up when we're hungry, for example, or opting for artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to get the same satisfying sweetness without the offending calories. But new research suggests that the body is not so easily fooled, and that sugar substitutes are no key to weight loss — perhaps helping to explain why, despite a plethora of low-calorie food and drink, Americans are heavier than ever.
In a series of experiments, scientists at Purdue University compared weight gain and eating habits in rats whose diets were supplemented with sweetened food containing either zero-calorie saccharin or sugar. The report, published in Behavioral Neuroscience, presents some counter-intuitive findings: Animals fed with artificially sweetened yogurt over a two-week period consumed more calories and gained more weight — mostly in the form of fat — than animals eating yogurt flavored with glucose, a natural, high-calorie sweetener. It's a continuation of work the Purdue group began in 2004, when they reported that animals consuming saccharin-sweetened liquids and snacks tended to eat more than animals fed high-calorie, sweetened foods. The new study, say the scientists, offers stronger evidence that how we eat may depend on automatic, conditioned responses to food that are beyond our control.
Read the full article on

If this research isn't a deterrent from fake sugar, I'm just going to remind you that these sweeteners are CHEMICALS.

Read this... Aspartame Controversy:

Aspartame was discovered in 1965 by James M. Schlatter at the G.D. Searle company (later purchased by Monsanto). He was working on an anti-ulcer drug and spilled some aspartame on his hand by accident. When he licked his finger, he noticed that it had a sweet taste.
So let me get this right, someone is researching for an anti-ulcer drug and discovers this chemical was sweet and then somehow we decide it's ok for human consumption? Sure opinons are going to vary on the safety of Artificial Sweeteners depending on what research report you read, but personally, I don't want these un-natural chemicals in my body.

Hopefully it will make you think twice before you decide to grab a diet soda.

In fact it seems with all soda's you're in a bad situation. Regular soda's are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. And diet sodas are loaded with bad fake sugars.

When I started my weight loss I switched to drinking sparkling water instead of sodas. Even today a regular coke is a rare treat. Last time I had one was on Christmas eve. I found that what I really missed about soda wasn't the sugar it was the carbonation so I don't miss it at all. I'm a sparkling water junkie (watch out for the sparkling waters that add fake sugar to them though!).

Are there ANY healthy, natural no-calorie sugar substitutes??

I haven't tried this personally but I have heard of this product. Dr. Gillian recommends Stevia as a natural alternative to sugar.

Stevia: Craving Curber

You are going to fall in love with this incredible green-leafed plant belonging to the chrysanthemum family. Stevia is a sweet herbal plant that is much sweeter than sugar. But unlike sugar Stevia has the ability to regular blood sugar levels, suppress sweet cravings and lesson hunger pangs. It's helpful for diabetics and hypoglycemics and contains protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates and vitamins.

To top it all off, Stevia has no calories. The glycosides are note metabolized in the body and are thus eliminated with out any calories being absorbed. Load of credible research supports the use of Stevia. I use it with patients who have a real sweet tooth. in almost every case, the patient reports a significant decrease or the complete eradication of sugar cravings. It is available in powder or liquid extract.

Agave Nectar is another natural alternative to sugar. I've also had liquorice root in tea as a sweetener.

And here's one more thing I wanted to touch on because I was slightly confused about the term I've been seeing on a lot of nutritional labels especially on products from the health food store: Evaporated Cane Juice... don't be fooled it's just a fancy term for sugar!

Here's an article on with more deets:
If you're an avid ingredient label reader like me, you've probably seen "evaporated cane juice" on a million different food products lately. It's everywhere! So, I wondered, what the heck is it, really, and is it any better for you than sugar? Here's what one expert had to say...
It's easy to see the absence of "sugar" on an ingredient label and think that you're scoring yourself some health points. But is evaporated cane juice really any better for you? Here's what nutrition expert Melina Jampolis, M.D. had to say:
"Evaporated cane juice is pretty much just sugar," she says. "It is less processed so it retains trace vitamins and minerals but has the same amount of calories as sugar. It is a little sweeter so you might get away with using less sugar which is always good."

I hope this post helped you look at your sugar intake in a different light. Maybe you might even consider cutting it in half, or eliminating it like I did.

P.s. So I was thinking if it's true we are what we eat.....that would make me....

A Trader Joes.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What's Your Excuse for Not Going to the Gym?

Too tired, not enough money to join, too self-conscious, traumatic childhood experiences in gym class...drank too much cheep wine the night before...I'm looking at you Charles Shaw...

There are literally a million excuses one could come up with for not going to the gym... Here's some excuses a certain prissy friend gave to me... and Oh, yes... I am judging you missy...hardcore! lol

Bad hair day? Wear a hat or just chop it off like I did, it'll always look funky fun.
Socks don't match? Seriously who cares, wear a pair of pants.
Shoes don't match? How in the world is that even possible??! You lost a shoe??
Clothes don't match shoes? Ok, Seriously! Stop being such a girl you're going to a place where you sweat like a pig not the cotillion.

Truthfully there are no excuses for being lazy and not making it to the gym! Even if you're having a bad hair day or don't have enough money to join a gym, live to0 far from a gym or are too self conscience to work out in front of other people... a lot of exercises can be done at home with out worrying about whether or not people are staring at your pony tail or spending a dime on exercise equipment.

Here's something I never thought to use as a piece for work out equipment...

A paper plate... no i'm not kidding.

Paper plates can be used on carpeted surfaces to reduce the friction/resistance and as a result you'll be using a lot more muscle to hold yourself stable. You can use paper plates to work out hips/thighs/legs and arms here's an example from

A push up can be modified with plates by simply placing both hands on the plates and as you lower your body push one hand straight up away from you, then on the next push up do the same with the opposite hand.

A plain old chair can be used for tricep dips:

What about cardio?
Simple exercises like high knees (or running in place but the goal is to get your knee up to hip level), jumping jacks (you can also add a squat to this when you jump your legs out lower your body to a squat), mountain climbers (these can also be done with paper plates to make it a bit harder ;)), squats, lunges etc.

What about your core? There's a whole variety of sit up exercises that can be done to target every area of your abs... here's a 15 minute Abs work out from! One of my favorite is circle crunches or "around the world" crunches. You will feel these working every corner of your abs! Team Six Pack here I come!

If you want to spend a little bit on some exercise equipment here's what I have lying around my house and what I used this evening to get my work out in because a certain someone was Ms. Lazy Bones all morning and afternoon:

Some El Cheapo dumbells.... most retailers sell a light weight set for about $12.00. I even saw them for sale at target so you can pick a set up anywhere.

With these I did chest flies, Russian Twists, lunges (both letting the free weights hang and using them to twist and work my abs.), and Push ups with a row.

Resistance bands, again these are also El Cheapo... about $12-13.00

with these I did standing chest flies and rows, I also used them the help stretch my hamstrings at the end of my work out.

Indoor bike trainer... these can be pricey... first you need a regular old bike to hook up to it, second the trainers are about $130-400.00 or more depending on the model. Fortunately this one didn't cost me a penny because my sister aka the twi-hater is obsessed with bikes and owns several and she got one of these for x-mas a few years ago :)

However don't let the cost deter you. These are great because in the cold months you can turn any bike into a stationary bike and work out in your house then fold it up and put the trainer away and the bike back down the basement, unlike that treadmill laying around your house that is now used as fancy laundry storage system. I spent about 45 minutes on this bad boy tonight.

So even my typical excuses this time of year for not working out because it's cold outside and I don't have a shuffle anymore for work out music aren't valid. As I said there are no excuses because A) I can (and you can) work out at home with little or no equipment and B) I stole the sisters ipod mini for music...shh don't tell ;)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy 2010: My Goals for the New Year

Dear Readers, Happy 2010! I'm a little late updating my blog because I was out of town visiting family. So I am just now getting to ring in the New Year on my blog! I've made a series of goal that I want to accomplish this year most are fitness related, others are sort of "wellness" goals, but here's my list for 2010....

Fitness Goals:

1. No Sugary Sweets for 45 days

Captain's Log: Day Seven. I have turned my nose up at the chocolate drizzled cheese cake laying out at BREAKFAST TIME in the office kitchen. Seriously! There's a cheese cake sitting out at breakfast time! What is wrong with you people! Breakfast: 1/2 a bagel, light light smear of reduced fat garden vege cream cheese, orange, and low fat string cheese with a cup of tea & 1 tsp of sugar. Calorie totals: 489

I've started a new diet challenge. On January 1st I gave up sugary sweets. I'm doing it a little longer than a month because of #2 below...more on that later. So for 45 days that means...

No Candy
No Sugary Latte-frappa-mocha-chinos or whatever
No Cake/cupcakes
No Chocolate
No Ice cream
No Muffins
No Cookies
No Desserts
No Soda
No Juices

NO NO NO! To basically anything where the main ingredient is refined sugar, or high fructose corn syrup.

I'm only allowing myself a little bit of sugar or honey in tea.

2. Win the biggest loser contest at the office

Before Christmas we started a biggest loser contest at the office. Now I know what you're thinking that's impossible to do at the holidays! But I managed to maintain my weight since thanksgiving. Now I really want to see some numbers drop on the scale. So far I've only lost about a pound, and my evil co-worker came up to me yesterday to rub in my face about how she's lost 5! If she keeps at it there's a chance she could lose up to 10lbs by the end of the contest. I've got some catching up to do. So to help me gain an advantage in the contest as I stated in #1, no sweets, I'm joining an indoor soccer team starting next week to get another opportunity to work out added to my routine. I also have to make sure that I get to the gym or outside for a run (weather permitting) 1 -2 extra days a week. I'm also trying to be strict with watching my calories.

There's $120 riding on this so I don't want to lose! Plus I lost last year to a man who gave up soda and lost 11lbs in a month (I swear men are freaks of nature when it comes to weight loss). I know in my heart that I AM the office biggest loser because I've lost the most consistently over almost a 2 year period, but I'd love to be able to claim the title and win that money! Momma needs a new pair of shoes baby!

Shoe Whore recommends....

cute plaid shoes!!

3. Reach my weight loss goal

This is my long term goal for the year. April 2010 will be my two year anniversary since I made a life style change. I want 2010 to be the year I reach my goal! I feel like at this point I need to lose about 30lbs to reach my goal, but we'll see what happens as I get closer to that number. I'm not fixated on a number on the scale, what I really want to achieve is an athletic body. To make sure I stay on track I'm going to keep work-work-working out 5 days a week or more and I'm going to keep introducing new diet challenges through out the year to my diet to try new things and see what works for me. One thing I'm thinking of doing besides giving up sweets is limiting or removing dairy from my diet. I'm currently reading a lot about nutrition so I can try new things or remove things from my diet.

In the spring soccer season will be back in full swing (yes!!) and I'm also thinking of training for a half marathon.

4. Do something creative

Music and art has been a part of my entire life. I played music since I was in 3rd grade and my college degree is a BFA so yea I'm pretty much an artsy fartsy type. But life after college hasn't been so much fun and I've had less and less time for the things I enjoy most. So this year I want to make sure I set aside a little time each month to do something creative.

Most of all I really miss playing music so I'm going to take a few piano lessons again to brush up...lack of piano has made me very very rusty!

5. Go back to school

It's been five years since I graduated college. Where the hell did the time go? I feel like I'm in an intellectual slump right now and I also hate my job so it's time to work towards a career change...I want to take a class or two hopefully by the summer to see if this little idea I have in my head might be something I enjoy or could feasibly major in's a bit science based and that's so far removed from anything I've ever studied before.

So that's my list, please share yours!!