Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Tuesday Ten

1. Some of the gorgeous sunrise views I've had in the last couple of weeks on my morning run.

2. Mr. Helen and one of his coworkers/friends retired on June 30th.  His other coworkers put on a very nice buffet potluck with an "Aloha" theme.  They made the guys wear grass skirts and coconut/seashell bras.  It was so funny.  They gave them certificates of service and shadow boxes with butcher's knives in them.  A very nice send off.  Mr. Helen worked federal civil service for 32 years with 26 years being at this last place.

3. Speaking of retirement, I might be able to get used to him being retired while I still work.  The Saturday after he retired, I had a training appointment at 8 a.m., followed by having a demo for my part-time job.  I wrote a list of all the housework I wanted to get done that day and while I was at work, he texted me to say he'd done all of it except the dusting - he doesn't like to dust!  Wow!  Plus he has cooked dinner several times over the last 10 days.  The really funny thing though is how chatty he is when I get home.  He talks non-stop, which my ears are not used to.  I finally realized it's because he's now alone most of the day.  Let's just say we are adjusting!

4. Long time readers will remember this guy, even though you might not recognize him.  That's our nephew, who will be a freshman in high school this September!  We had him overnight a couple weeks ago and he and Mr. Helen went fishing.  This past week he flew by himself to Minnesota to meet up with some family to go to a cabin.  I sent this photo to his mom and she said, "that's one happy boy right there - a steak and a root beer, two of his favorite things."

5. We finally got a night on the patio, with the patio being fully set up.  Seems like it took forever this year what with our vacation happening at the beginning of June. My happy place.

6. First Caprese salad of the season.  I make it with homemade pesto rather than plain basil leaves.  I have two pots of basil growing on the patio specifically for pesto. This salad screams summer to me!

7. Another thing that screams summer?  When my day lilies bloom.  This year, one flower bloomed all by itself for a whole day before other flowers joined in.

8. I spent Independence Day alone at the beach because Mr. Helen wouldn't listen to me that we needed to go early.  (We have passes on both our cars and he generally moseys down there whenever he feels like it to meet me.) I left my house at 8:30 for what should have been a 15 minute drive and didn't sit down on the beach until 9:45.  He attempted to come at 10:00 but sat for an hour in traffic without moving so he turned around and went home. Turns out people had arrived and lined up at the beach gates at 5 in the morning and they estimated there were 13,000+ visitors that day - a record-setting crowd.  My whole city only has 28,000 people! Honestly, it really was too busy and I am sure next year we will make other plans.

9. When we were in St. Martin, Mr. Helen bought me a beautiful 25th anniversary ring.  He actually told me I could upgrade the 3-stone ring we bought on our 10th anniversary (I'd never had an engagement ring) but I told him no, it had too much sentimental value for me and that I'd rather choose something else. Unfortunately while there my fingers swelled and I couldn't get my 3-stone ring off.  I ended up using the dental floss trick to get it off and then couldn't wear any rings for over a week because my finger was so traumatized.  Mr. Helen and the jeweler we dealt with were very worried about me getting the ring on but I assured them that my finger would calm down once home and back into a normal routine.  And it did!  I love both these rings (and the memories that go with them) so much.

10. I had my follow up with the trainer/owner of the facility where I've been doing personal training.  I lost 2.5 lbs. of fat and gained 3 lbs. of muscle, which of course means my weight stayed the same.  He asked me what my goals were and I told him honestly that I want to lose weight, or in his lingo, lose fat.  I also said I know strength training people hate when that's said, but that I feel fairly fit - I mean there's always room for improvement - but what I really want is to be smaller.  To my surprise he actually responded positively. He also admitted he was quite surprised that I didn't lose more weight but was beginning to understand how stubborn my metabolism (damaged by hypothyroidism and age) actually is.  But then he stated that as long as I was willing to work with him and try different things, his goal is to get me to my goal and he wanted to continue to check in with me.  So, I've decided to do a one year membership to see if the things he wants to try with me food and exercise wise will get me results.  I also told him that if I'm in the same place in a year, that I am right now, I'd definitely have to re-evaluate my membership.  He agreed that was fair and honestly, I can't ask for more or better customer service than I'm getting!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

It's About Time!

Oh my, I have been a lazy blogger lately.  Or maybe a busy blogger which is why I haven't been writing much.  My free time has been precious and I guess I have chosen to use it in ways other than writing.  I also don't feel like I have much to say, so... Ironically at the same time, this is a long blog.

When I last left you I had completed the Memorial Melt with disappointing results.  But we were getting ready for our long awaited vacation so I said to heck with it and resolved to have a great vacation regardless.  And we did, despite how terrible it has become to travel via air nowadays.  Both going and coming home we had to literally run across airports to make our connections due to delays. And I swear, the seats and aisles and legroom have gotten even smaller than I'd remembered.  Not pleasant at all.

We vacation in St. Martin, French West Indies and stayed at the Grand Case Beach Club in a studio with loft.  This is our favorite place to stay on the island and it's a treat to stay there. As this was our 25th wedding anniversary celebration/trip we decided to stay for 10 nights and waited until June because the Beach Club runs a special where you pay for 4 nights and get the 5th free, which means we had two free nights. Everything was as fabulous as we remembered.  We love sitting on the balcony of our room staring out at the blue, blue water and watching the little village of Grand Case wake up.  We also love watching it go back to sleep with the spectacular sunsets we are able to see.  It was so much fun to reconnect with the staff we have come to know over the years, not just there, but also out and about in town. Mr. Helen's best friend was there (we stayed at their house 3 years ago) and saved us literally hundreds of dollars by very generously taking us out on his boat several times - and the guys even had a fishing expedition one day while I went out shopping.

The weather was darn near perfect and some of the best we've had in several trips. We spent those 11 days sleeping, eating, drinking, resting, beaching, and generally spending time doing things that restored our minds and bodies.  I didn't do any planned exercise the entire time, not even taking walks on the beach.  But I did spend about 2 hours a day snorkeling.  I'm a terrible swimmer but a great floater/snorkeler.  Mr. Helen had to make me get out of the water many times because he was tired but didn't want me out by myself.

It was everything a vacation should be - and more! When I got back to work last week several people said they'd never seen me looking so relaxed, so I guess it served its purpose.

The newest version of the entrance sign.  I should do a collage of all the variations over the years.

A view of our resort (yes it's tiny) from one of the boat trips we went on.  We were in the middle building on the top floor.

I loved sitting on the balcony watching the village wake up.  There is a small local airport and when this plane comes in, you know it's close to 9:00.

I have tens of photos of the sunsets from this trip!

Here's a shot of the sunset looking at the bay instead of out over the ocean

Typical "beach bar" - fancier than in the USA. We sat on the beach all day but took a break and came up to have a nice lunch.

Looking out at our umbrella.  La Playa, Orient Bay

Mr. Helen's fishing expedition.  From our balcony, I could see the boat and watched them leave.

Fidget spinners are everywhere.  One night walking to dinner we saw these kids and they were quite excited to show us their new toys!

Some of the food - we ate in and out and enjoyed it all

An appetizer plate I made us one evening after we came off the beach.  I brought the napkins from home.

A typical "Lolo" plate.  Lolos are the locally owned, locally operated grill joints.  You pick your meat and sides.  This one has ribs with garlic butter, rice and peas, corn on the cob, and a johnny cake. Costs about $8 for all this food.

Mr. Helen's gorgeous Conch Cocktail appetizer, served in a Conch shell.  He looks forward to this each time we go.

Fabulous desserts.  First up is "The Rock" a flourless chocolate and pistachio cake served with house made ice cream.  This is our resort's specialty named for Grand Case Rock aka Creole Rock which is visible from the resort.

A raspberry souffle crepe.  I was full and still ate it all. My last dessert on this trip.

Short Rib appetizer served with salad, coleslaw and creole sauce. One of my favorites on this trip.
 I could have eaten just this and been thrilled!

Another favorite dish I had, believe it or not.  This was grilled vegetables that were marinated and served cold.  Delicious!

A toast to all the great food and a great vacation!

Finally, a shot of Mr. Helen and me - one of the only photos of us together.

... and a shot of me in the dress I wore to Le Cottage which is where we officially celebrated our anniversary on our last night there. I bought this dress a little small and it fit perfectly so maybe the work I did in May paid off a little anyway!

Another memorable trip in the books!

I had about a week from the end of the Memorial Melt until we left for vacation and as the week went on, I felt more and more unhappy about how that program ended.  Finally, while we were in St. Martin, when we had wifi, I emailed the owner of the training facility and asked to meet with him when we got back.

I met up with him a week ago Monday and explained my feelings about how that program ended.  I told him I wasn't asking for anything other than for them to understand that not every person who walks in there is going to have typical results and that I felt brushed off when I turned out to be one of those people.

He was fairly shocked and then mortified, and apologized for how it was handled.  He also said he disagreed with my final numbers. Basically for me to have lost 3 pounds of muscle in that short time is nearly impossible - I would have had to be lying in a bed doing nothing for several months.  He felt strongly that the machine they used to measure me was off for some reason and that I had at least maintained body composition AND lost 3 lbs.  

Now, I'm going to tell you why this guy is so successful in our area, where there is a lot of competition for training services.  Like I said he was mortified and told me he wanted to do whatever it took for me to be happy.  At first, he offered me a full refund and then offered (in lieu of refund) to let him personally take me on for a month AT NO CHARGE. (He doesn't take on any new clients except professional athletes at this point in his career.) He ended up offering me 12 sessions (he would create the training, though I might work with other trainers), he would personally take my measurements, and wanted to set up a 2 week check-in to look at my food diary (he asked if I'd track food) and recheck measurements. He said if nothing had changed he would figure out where to adjust. He'd also  design a workout for me to use on my own whether or not I join. 

I took him up on that offer.  I really do want to look and feel better and healthier and honestly, I couldn't ask for more than that.  I'll let you know if he was right and the machine was wrong - that I was making progress.  I sure hope so!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Memorial Melt: Results Not Typical

On May 1 I started a limited time program at a local training facility.  The idea of the program was to lean my body out by reducing fat and building muscle.  When I went in for the initial assessment, several measurements were taken including weight, body fat percentage, muscle percentage, and visceral fat - that's the one that lays over your abdomen and is the one doctors tend to be most concerned about.

None of my numbers were good.

The program consisted of 8 small group personal training sessions, unlimited use of the facility and the large group conditioning style classes offered, as well as an eating plan and unlimited support from the staff.

When I looked at the eating program and began meal planning, I realized I already eat the way they were asking - whole foods vs. processed - so I knew I'd have no issue with that.  They also wanted us to remove alcohol and as much added sugar as possible. I knew this wouldn't be a problem for me, all except for 2 days - my anniversary and Mr. Helen's birthday which both fell during the program. But, I also knew that if I didn't adapt this a bit for my own real life, there really was no use.  And so, I began.

I really enjoyed the personal training sessions.  Though there could be up to 4 people that the trainer was working with, at least 5 of my sessions, I was the only person! For my personality, having an appointment where someone was waiting was just the thing I needed - in addition to the fact that I could make the appointments to fit my very busy life. That's not always easy with a full time job, a part time job, and a household to run.

They had straps and bands and items that were used to get around the arthritis in my knees and hands and I was able to do some things like deep squats and lunges for the first time in several years.  While there was a bit of actual weight lifting, it was miniscule in comparison to the other types of strength training I was doing.  In short, I loved it and began to look forward to my sessions each week.

I tried every type of class they offered and while they were fine, I wasn't enthralled with them like I was with the small group personal training. I could easily see myself just not going. The times of the classes weren't necessarily convenient either, but I wanted to try everything they had to offer. With everything I did, except maybe Saturday morning, I was working out at my lowest energy point of the day - between 4 and 6 p.m.  When my energy is like that, it's really easy for me to say I don't feel like going to a class, especially if I've already run in the morning.

So for the last 25 days, my schedule consisted of running 5-6 days a week, 2 personal sessions per week, and 1 extra class.

I want to say up front, I wish I had taken actual tape measurements because I definitely feel thinner through my upper abdomen area (i.e. from the bottom of my chest to my waist).  Especially in the last few days, my shirts were feeling looser, and in fact, two people said something to me yesterday about me looking like I was losing a bit of weight.

I was looking forward to seeing the results of my hard work in black and white and yesterday afternoon I went to get them.

Let's just say, for whatever reason, I am an anomaly when it comes to this sort of thing.  My friend joined this program a while back (her program was 21 days) and lost 10 lbs..  She ended up joining for a year because she was so pleased.  I wasn't expecting that sort of weight loss at all (dumb thyroid) but I also wasn't expecting what I got either.

I lost 3 pounds.  I wasn't thrilled as I was hoping for at least 5, but again, with my history 3 pounds is still 3 pounds.  But even the head of training was stunned when he looked at the rest of my numbers. Not only did I NOT lose any body fat, my percentage went up by .7.  Additionally, my muscle mass went down.

This is pretty much the exact opposite of what they want to see.  He was so shocked that he was almost speechless though he did manage to sputter that my diet probably needed adjusting and that I should have been eating more protein and less carbs (they include fruits and vegetables as carbs). Normally I do eat less carbs, i.e. especially fruit, than what they asked so hey - maybe I know my own body better than they do!

They had asked us to keep a food diary - not counting calories or anything, just write it down.  I did that and turned it in.  The nutritionist emailed me early evening and said my food had been spot and and that even on the two "indulgence" days the only thing she would have picked on was the wine I drank and the cake I ate.

This was a money back guarantee program and I have been mulling over writing them and asking for a refund - or additional classes at no charge, because I really did like it and I'm wondering if, with consistency, those stats could change.

I am also mulling over joining.  The program I was on cost twice what I paid and I cannot afford that at all.  Even the next level down with 4 personal training sessions is more than I can swing right now. The least expensive option does include them designing a program for you that you do on your own.  I just need to think hard about if I would actually do it on my own.

Many of the things I learned I would need to have some equipment to do and looking into that I estimate it would cost about $500 to buy the things I would need to be able to continue.  That might be an option but again, I would run into not being able to do anything in the coldest months as there is no room in my house - our garage is our workout area.

Such a conundrum.

At the least, what I have learned or maybe had reinforced is FOR ME, being the anomaly I am, I cannot concentrate on stats, numbers, scales or any of those things.  I have to concentrate on just eating as clean and healthy as possible and to continuing exercise because it makes me feel better.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Memorial Melt

As long time readers of this blog know, I have a terrible time losing weight due to my wonky thyroid, which has once again decided it doesn't want to work properly.  I just had my blood work done again and it is STILL not where it should be after last fall's malfunction.  Honestly, I can't think about it because it literally makes me want to me cry.

But what I can and do and usually think about is just being as healthy and fit as I can. I have always loved exercise and how it makes me feel so really I have no problem at all doing something in the form of movement every day - except that darned strength training which I'm just not motivated to do. Call me the cardio queen.

Around here we have a well-known training group that built a brand new state-of-the-art facility about 18 months ago. Using smart marketing, they have specials that show up in just about everyone I know who exercises Facebook feed. I actually know someone, around my same age and status (50's, menopausal, tries to eat and be healthy and work out but couldn't seem to beat the midlife weight and spread), who did a 21 day program with them.  She enthusiastically goes on and on about how great the program they gave her was.  She loved the facility and the staff so much, she decided to stay on with them for a while using the facility as her gym in addition to group training.

Recently something called the Memorial Melt kept popping up in my news feed - with the catch phrase, LOOK GREAT NAKED IN 25 DAYS - EVEN IF YOU HAVE TRIED AND FAILED IN THE PAST - OR YOUR MONEY BACK!

Normally, that sort of thing would turn me right off, but his is a local, well established business that has a good reputation. Plus I'd like to look better in clothes, never mind naked. Plus a money back guarantee? That was enough to get me to contact my friend to talk with her a bit more about her personal experience.  Then I decided to go ahead and contact them and set up an initial appointment to discuss their processes more.

The program consists of a food plan (if you want to use it) designed by their on-staff nutritionist, a custom training program designed by the head of training, 8 personal training sessions, and unlimited group training and use of the facility for the 25 days. (A locker room with heated floors!)

The experience was all at once disheartening, fascinating, and enlightening.  I had to fill out a large questionnaire, which was discussed with me by the head of training, and then I was put on a machine that measured muscle, body fat, hydration, and calorie burn.  Finally, I was put through a series of moves to determine my ranges of motion, flexibility, and weak areas.

Much of what he found didn't surprise me at all - the left side of my body is a mess and I have been compensating a lot for that foot I fractured in 2012.  In fact, there was one movement I was supposed to do without lifting my heel and I am incapable of doing it even though there is no pain.  He said my brain is simply in overdrive thinking the foot needs protection. Sort of crazy that it's 4 1/2 years later and this is still happening!  He also found my hip rotation wasn't at all as bad as I'd been thinking and even he said I was remarkably loose in the hips for a runner.

Let's not even discuss the body measurements mmmmmkay? Though I wasn't really surprised, seeing everything in a black and white printout was no fun. Well, except the hydration.  I was wonderfully hydrated as I should have been since I drink about a half gallon of water a day while I'm at work not to mention the sparkling water, unsweetened iced tea and more water I drink at home - now infused!

What did upset me was the calorie burn measurements.  Evidently, if I eat more than 1572 calories in a day I will gain weight as that's what I need to just maintain my current weight and state.  Of course this has to do with the current muscle vs. fat composition of my body. This means in addition to metabolism issues being caused by my thyroid, I've also got issues due to poor muscle mass.  Perfect!

When he saw how upset I was getting, he gave me the pep talk that with increase muscled mass the calorie burn will increase which means either more food, or weight loss if I don't eat more food.  I swear at one point I was in a daze and wanted to look at him and say, "blah, blah, blah." Honestly, though intellectually I know this to be true, I don't trust the process -  I feel like the thyroid issues affect everything and give different results, which is why I attempt health and fitness over weight loss.

Interestingly enough, I already eat exactly like they recommend. Even the nutritionist was surprised when she asked me to describe a typical day of food.  Pretty much they recommend eating your carbohydrates (starches and fruits) before mid-afternoon, then dinner should consist of protein and vegetables.  When I glanced at the food lists, I didn't see anything forbidden other than the usual culprits: alcohol and sugar. She said, if anything, she'd like me to try her recommended portions to see what happens.

I decided to sign up simply for the fact that the 8 personal training sessions and custom program are worth more than the price they're asking. He already told me that my program there is not going to have sustained cardio (i.e. no running or elliptical or anything like that) and I should keep doing my run in the morning. I'm hoping in the 25 days I'll get a bit attached to strength training and get myself in the habit of actually doing it.  I'm also hoping for better movement and flexibility.

This also means that between 2 jobs, regular household chores, and family obligations, May will be a crazy month for me.  But if I can manage to "Melt" a bit so that I look better in a bathing suit on my upcoming vacation, and feel better and stronger, I can sacrifice time and almost anything for 25 days. It's only 25 days.

Today is Day One, my first personal training appointment is at 4:00. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Stuff News

I have been an avid Fuel Belt fan since I first learned about them while training for my very first marathon back in 2003.  Every runner has their preference and mine is to not carry anything in my hands, so a belt that let me carry water and/or a hydration drink was the perfect answer.

A couple weeks ago, when we finally had nice enough weather that I didn't need a jacket (therefore had no pockets to stash water in), I grabbed my Fuel Belt and realized it was worn out and I'd need a new one before full on summer set in. Of course, I went to their site and... they've discontinued making the belt I like.  Sigh.

This sent me to Amazon where I searched because I knew a bunch of different styles and brands would come up. I actually found the same belt I have now and put it in my cart as I continued to look. Then, I found a different one at 1/2 the price of the Fuel Belt.  I figured what the heck, I'll order and if I hate it, return and get the Fuel Belt.

I had a chance to use it over the weekend. Made by Adalid, it only has 2 bottles but they are 10 oz. bottles and the pocket on the front is large enough for my phone, plus keys or whatever. It has a clip closure that is adjustable for waists from 27" to 40" (instead of velcro like Fuel Belt). It also came with toggles to attach a race bib to - removable when you're not using them. My verdict is that I love it.  In fact, I like it better than Fuel Belt.

Of course, last Monday morning I ran in shorts and a tee with my old belt and this past Monday, I had to drag my jacket back out as it was only 40 degrees.  Spring in New England. By the way, Adalid has not compensated me in any way, I just really like this product and wanted to share.


Last Saturday, I did something I haven't done in forever:  no laundry, no housekeeping, no grocery shopping, no chores.  Instead I went with my friend to a large mall that's about an hour from my house to shop and have lunch.  She was looking for a dress for her niece's upcoming wedding and I was just going along to have a fun day.  And we did!  Though I didn't go with plans to buy anything, I ended up buying a couple cute tops for the summer and my upcoming vacation:

(Not me, but this is one of the shirts)

We ate lunch at Cheesecake Factory where I had a lunch-sized portion of their Cobb salad.  I love the way they chop their Cobb salad up and since there is no Cheesecake Factory nearby me, this is a real treat.  We both bought a piece of cheesecake to take home - mine was white chocolate raspberry truffle - and that ended up being my dinner. Yummy.

After lunch we decided to go look at the non-clothing areas of the store to walk off our lunch.  As we were headed to the bargain/outlet section I spied a comforter set that I liked.  About a year ago I changed the color scheme in our bedroom linens to navy.  You would not believe how hard it was to find a navy-ish comforter.  I finally found one on Amazon and not even a year later, it was falling apart.

As I went to look at it my friend said she'd been looking for something just like it for her remodel (she did the works - new furniture, paint, etc.) so I told her to take it because I couldn't afford it anyway - it was $360.  She replied that she thought it was on sale for $149, so when I said, "Oh!" she said she'd find a sales person and see if they had another, if I didn't mind us having the same.  Of course I didn't mind, it's not like we're showing up at a party in the same dress, right?  They did have one and we both ended up buying the set - which had 14 pieces, including a set of sheets!

(Stock photo, not my bed)

Best of all?  When we got to the register, it was marked down even more and we paid only $100!!!  I put it on our bed yesterday and I'm just going to say I see why it cost $360.  The quality is amazing and it made the whole room feel rich. It's probably the nicest comforter we've ever had.

There is a local restaurant we love to go to for breakfast or lunch.  It's the type of place where you put your order in at the counter then go sit down somewhere and they bring it to you.  On the counter, they always have a huge dispenser filled with infused water that is complimentary.  It's usually infused with cucumber, lemons, and limes.  It's so refreshing.

I was on Amazon looking for something else and a water bottle with a built in infuser popped up in my recommended items. (I swear, it's like they read your mind).  I bought it and now am enjoying something other than plain water.  Best of all, it has a lifetime warranty and when you register it, they send you a free ebook with infusion recipes.  It's made by Danum if you'd like to search for it. Again, I was not compensated for this, it's just a new thing I'm enjoying.

What's new with you?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Catch Up and Crankiness

Things have simmered down a bit finally.  I have been sort of MIA because four days after Mr. Helen's mother was buried, his uncle died.  That means my FIL lost his wife and brother within about a week of each other.  With his uncle's death, that is 5 deaths of close relatives in the last six months. Grief exhausted might be an understatement.  Really, it's too much in what feels like a short time.

I found this beautiful rose plant that we put at my MIL's grave on Easter.  It made us feel better to see something pretty there.

Our weather has finally gotten nicer so that means semi-opening the patio.  At least we get the table and chairs set back up and move the grill to its regular spot - and more grilling happens.  I've actually been cooking a lot of good food lately!


I called this rotisserie chicken cheat:  heat the rotisserie chicken on the grill while you grill the sides.

The best chicken shawarma I've ever made - I'll never make it any other way.

We feel like spring has really arrived when I make curried chicken burgers with avocado and serve with chop salad.

The recipe I developed of that really expensive Detox Salad I used to buy in the Hamptons.  We like this every bit as much and it's a fraction of the cost.

I had my first shorts and tee run yesterday morning.  Of course this morning it was back to long sleeves and pants, but at least I didn't need a jacket.  And no more headlamp as dawn breaks while I'm out.  I love running this time of year!

And now for the crank you've been waiting for.  

Let me first say that my food processor is the most used appliance in my kitchen.  I'm probably not exaggerating when I say I use it about once a day at least and several times in a day when I'm really cooking.  

For 20 years I had a KitchenAid food processor that I loved.  It had small bowl inside the bigger bowl so if you wanted to chop just 1 onion, you only had that small bowl to clean.  When it finally died a natural death a couple years ago, of course I wanted another.  Needless to say the models had changed a bit but I found one that was similar and Mr. Helen gave it to me as a Christmas gift.  

I HATE IT.  I have been taking photos of the issues with it and plan on telling KitchenAid how disappointed I am in this product.  Also, Ima find me a new food processor because I literally cannot take it.

When I use the small bowl, it whirls stuff up and out into the big bowl, thereby defeating the purpose of the small bowl.  It also catches stuff up in the lid and I constantly have to stop it and scrape it down.  And don't even get me going about how bad it is to grate cheese with gobs of it ending up under the lid.   Here is some of my evidence.

Finally, I can't even express how annoyed I am with my grocery store bakery.  I will confess that I love a good cinnamon twist, and they make a good one.  It's not something I buy often, but it is something I will buy as a treat - generally on a long run day. There are two kinds - one with sugar sprinkle on it and one with glaze over it.  I prefer the glaze.  I actually hadn't had one in a good long time and while I was grocery shopping swung by to see if there were any left.  There weren't but much to my dismay, the entire case was filled with signs like this:

Above you can barely see a sugared twist and below are scones.  But WHYYYYYYYYY?!!!  Every single thing in the pastry and donut case now has a sign like that.  I don't want or need this information in any way, shape, or form. I swear it took everything I had not to rip it down.  As I stood there saying aloud, "Why would they do that?"  A woman next to me said, "Will it really stop you from buying what you want?" As I took this picture, I huffed that I didn't know, it might.  She asked me why I was taking the picture and I replied that I was taking it to send to my cinnamon twist loving friend in Texas so that she could be indignant with me.  (Thanks for sharing my pain Shelley.)