Visual Weight Loss Tools

I was recently flipping through a magazine of mine called Today’s Diet & Nutrition when I came across an ad for The Portion Plate.

I remembered seeing this plate a few years back while watching a morning news program and thought that it was a clever idea to put portion control right where you can see it – smack on your plate.

The website has the melamine plate for sale for $11.95 plus $5.95 shipping/handling, but I ended up not buying it. I have the visuals. I know the size of a deck of cards equals the size of the chicken breast I’m supposed to eat. But it’s a great gift idea for someone you know who is trying to lose weight or simply be more cognizant of what they are eating at meal time.

I did a little bit more reflection on motivators to help me lose weight. Remember when Oprah wheeled out her red wagon of fat that represented all the weight she lost? I recalled seeing a replica of one pound of fat that you could buy for yourself. I didn’t know that one pound of fat requires an additional mile of blood vessels. Who knew? I decided this would be more motivating for me to put this on my nightstand or next to the table in the living room where I usually overeat to remind me to take it easy. Hell, I could even stuff it in my purse so that when I found myself roaming the candy aisle at the local CVS all I would have to do is unzip my purse to remind me that those sour skittles aren’t worth it.

However, owning a one pound or five pound replica of fat is kind of expensive. The one pound model sells for $26.95 and the five pound model is $83.95. I wish it didn’t cost so much. It’s just a big ole glob of rubberized fat.

If you’re looking for tools to help you stay focused with your weight loss program, you may want to consider the portion control plate or the one pound fat replica if you need some visual motivators to keep you on the track to weight loss success.

I discovered that I’m not quite prepared to spend money to buy either, but I have added that pound of flesh to my Amazon.com wish list.

Animal Bike Seat Covers

Why is all the cool stuff over in Europe?I don’t own a bike, but if I did I would want one of these bike seat covers. I’ll choose the doggy seat cover available to purchase from Vincon which has stores in Barcelona and Madrid.

Don’t you just love the smirk on the dog’s face? The bear and the goat seem pretty relaxed and non-judgemental, but it’s that dog’s expression that seems to say, “C’mon, you’re cool enough to sit on me and ignore the stares of people on the street.”

KitchenAid Artisan Mixer

The KitchenAid Artisan-series mixer has just been introduced in a myriad of colors. It retails for $349.99.

Yea, I’ve always wanted one of these ever since working at Lechmere as a small appliances sales clerk. I can still recall the aisle we featured them in and the boxes were hefty. You could only fit two of them per shelf and there weren’t as many colors to choose from. I seem to recall white and black back in those days.

But now you can buy these delightful hogs in any color imaginable…well, within reason. They’ve got my favorite color Yellow available although when I selected their ‘majestic yellow’ it resembled more of a sunflower hue than a smiley face so I’ll pass on that one. I’ve chosen ‘ice’ as my favorite color should you want to buy me one.

Imagine what a domestic goddess I would be were I to have this 325 watt mixer. I’d be baking homemade cookies. I’d be mixing stuff. Well, I don’t know quite what the hell I would do with this monster other than mix cookie batter because that’s about the only thing I’ve ever seen this thing do in person. (Shout out to my pal Stephanie who demonstrated the cookie mixing!) But I could become a baker.

Screw that. I just want this ice-colored KitchenAid mixer because it’s a super unique color and would be fab in my kitchen. Visitors would be under the impression that I was a cook and that’s about all I’d be striving for other than their jealousy over the retro color.

Halo Vacuum

The Halo UVX Ultraviolet Vacuum cleaner boasts the ability to vaporize the DNA structure of all those nasty mico-organisms nesting in my carpeting with the press of a single button.

The button activates a UV-C bulb that will desimate dust mites, viruses, bacteria, fleas, lice and mold in my carpet and flooring.

It’s a pretty cool concept, but I’m not that wigged out (yet) about things that I can’t see in my carpet. But since it’s an expensive vacuum-retailing for $399-it qualified as a wastrel purchase and I certainly wouldn’t turn one away were it to be given to me as a gift to improve my household cleanliness.

The Handler

The Handler is an inexpensive little device that does your dirty work for you.Don’t want to touch the handle on a toilet to flush? Get skeeved out opening doors with your bare hands or pressing buttons on a very public ATM machine?

The Handler is made of rubber and plastic and infused with “nano silver particles which effectively kills 98% of all single-celled organisms (bacteria, viruses and fungi) on contact.” To activate it, you click on button and that nice little hook (pictured) deploys to save you from other’s nastiness. It’s even strong enough to open heavy doors.It was available on Amazon.com for $10.95, but presently it’s unavailable. But you can still get one for $11 by visiting Uncrate.

Keep this little device in mind for Christmas 2007. It would make a great stocking stuffer and I can think of at least five people on my shopping list who would love it.

Dyson’s Hand Dryer

I know EVERYONE is checking their calendars and clocks waiting for June 29th at 6pm because that’s when the iPhone goes on sale. But for me, something more exciting has already launched this past Tuesday and I’m wondering why nobody cares?

Perhaps that’s a bit too harsh, but let me tell you about the Dyson Hand Dryer.

Forget those annoying hand blowers that are in bathrooms in place of the automatic paper dispensers that always jam up. Mr. Dyson has created a new gadget for us to love.

It’s simple. You wash your hands and then insert them into the hand dryer which is mounted on a wall waist high. There are infa-red sensors built into the dryer that starts up these jets of air that travel 400 mph which draws the water away from your hands in the blink of 12 seconds. The air isn’t heated so it saves about 80% in electricity, too. Worried about what happens to the air after your hands are dried? The Dyson Hand Dryer in pulled back in and filtered to remove bacteria and then it comes out the bottom.

What will this genius think of next?

I am fortunate to own the Dyson Root 6 vacuum. It was pretty expensive for a hand-held vacuum, but overall I’m disappointed because the rechargeable battery takes too long to charge and can’t hold a charge long enough to sustain its powerful suction. But I still own one Dyson product. Of course, I want the yellow vacuum regardless and I hope to someday own one.

But knowing how particularly annoying those blowing machines are in the corporate bathroom, I would love for our office to have this Dyson Hand Dryer. It’s not going to happen, but I just couldn’t wait to tell you about another gadget this week that should be getting as much attention as the iPhone.

(I first read about this new device in Business Week. You can click here to read the very same article if you want to know more details.)

Limited Editions

I love Limited Edition candy. I like to think that I was way ahead of the whole Dark Chocolate trend because I bought bags and bags of Dark Chocolate M and M’s all the way back to May 2005 with the premiere of Star Wars: Phantom Menace when they were still in their limited edition phase.

But where does it end? When do the candy makers just give up because they’ve invented every combination possible? For example: I’m a huge Skittles fan and have tried every concoction they’ve dished out, but Mars went a little too far with the Carnival flavor.

So when I came across this blog post from Cotton and Sand bemoaning the very same thing, I just had to share their invented images of limited edition candy concepts. Believe me when I say that all you need to do is print out these pictures, pin them up in your cubicle and you’ll curb your desire for a quick energy pick-me-up at 3pm in the afternoon.

It’s all Apples and Oranges for me now: