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Foodie Friday: A Happy Ending to Happy Meals

happymealThe San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted on Tuesday to ban the distribution of toys with fast food meals that have a calorie count of more than 600. Fast food chains and other restaurants are allowed to include toys with meals as long as they do not exceed 600 calories and include fruits or vegetables. The ban will go into effect in December 2011.

I, for one, applaud San Francisco.

Having once worked on a public health-driven task force with the SF Board of Supervisors, I wasn’t surprised about the ban. The health of San Francisco’s residents, especially among children, is a big issue among city officials. With childhood obesity on the rise and the growing number of Type II diabetes cases among children, I agree that it’s important to put an end to enticing children with a fun item for an unhealthy product.  I liken the use of toys to promote and sell Happy Meals to the use of cartoon images to sell alcohol or cigarettes. The death of Joe Camel was a good move among advertisers and I believe that an end to the inclusion of toys with unhealthy meals for children will be a good thing as well.

Some people are up in arms about the ban because they don’t want government telling them what their families can and cannot eat (doesn’t the FDA do that already?). This ban does nothing of the sort. This ban is ultimately about marketing and advertising unhealthy products towards children. As a parent, it’s also about rewards. I want to see our society go back to a healthier era when it comes to the consumption of food. Children used to be rewarded with a treat if they ate their healthy dinner. However, in the past few decades, we’ve been rewarding children with toys when they eat an unhealthy fast food meal.  If parents and fast food chains want to really reward a child, put a toy in a bag of carrots. Give a small portion of a dessert after a child eats green beans with dinner. To me, that sounds like the happiest meal of all.

What do you think about the ban? Would love to hear from you.

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Foodie Friday: Eat Your Heart Out, San Francisco

San Francisco

From this view, there is a whole world of wonderful restaurants and delicious food.

It’s been two years since I moved away from San Francisco, a place I called home for about 12 years. I miss many aspects of that city, but I mostly miss the food. For any foodie that has lived in or visited San Francisco, you know that it’s food heaven.

Each San Francisco neighborhood is unique with its own flavor and food culture. From fine dining in Nob Hill and picnic-ing in the Embarcadero to tamales in the Mission and brunch in the Castro to spicy Indian food in South of Market (SOMA) and Ethiopian food in Western Addition, San Francisco has everything. This list of where to eat is my own personal food diary of the places that helped refine my palate.

So, in homage of the fabulous Foggy City and the various neighborhoods and eateries that I frequented, I want to share all my secret and not-so secret places to eat great food and shop for delectable treats.

Note: Not all San Francisco Districts are listed. Neighborhoods are listed in alphabetical order. This list is subject to change. (continues…)

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No Shoes? Come On In

You are now entering a shoe-free zone

You are now entering a shoe-free zone

If you’re a friend or family member of mine, then you know the routine by now:

Take your shoes off at the door, please.

Yes, I am one of those people.

I could blame my need to be shoe-free on my OCD tendencies. I’m certain they are largely responsible. But you could also blame it on a trip to Japan some years back or the influence of my shoe-free sister who has lived throughout Asia for many years. Or you could blame it on the fact that I used to live in one of the dirtiest cities in America. If you have ever stepped foot in San Francisco, you know what I’m talkin’ about. The streets of San Francisco might be beautifully breathtaking but if you ever look down (no, don’t look!) you will find yourself walking in a cesspool of trash and human waste. So when I was living in a downtown SF apartment with WHITE WOOL CARPET (I know, what the hell was our landlord thinking?!?), I finally put my foot down to wearing shoes indoors.

It’s not easy being shoe-free but I do try to make it easy for my guests. When we moved to our new house last year, I made a nice take-off-your-shoes area. I have a leather bench in my entrance hall where people can sit comfortably and remove their shoes. I also have a basket of clean socks and slippers for people to use, and I clean my hardwood floors daily (please don’t say it). I even have over-the-shoe booties for workers or for people that choose not to remove the shoes. Yes, I really am that crazy.

Still, some people complain about it, most notably *ahem* certain husbands. The Dude is definitely not happy about the rule, only because he claims that it’s hard to put his shoes on every morning in the garage. I get that that. We have a shelf for all the shoes near the garage door, but no place to sit. It’s easier for me since I don’t usually wear shoes with laces. I’m sure that the Monkey will complain about it, too (as well as all his friends) but to all of them I say this: when you clean my house to my ridiculously high OCD expectations that no housekeeper has ever lived up to and why I clean the whole house by myself, then you get to make the rules. Until then, Mama rules this shoe-free roost.

Do you have have a no-shoe policy, too, or are you like The Dude who thinks it’s ridiculous? I’d love to hear from you.

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Introducing Aimee

My Two Guys

My Two Special Guys - the Dude and the Monkey

Hello! Welcome to Ain’t Yo Mama’s Blog (AYMB). My name is Aimee.

I am a SoCal native, born and raised, but fled to San Francisco when I was 20 years old. I lived there for about 12 years before moving back to the land of Housewives and Hummers. During my time in SF I met a really smart, funny, and all-around cool Dude*…despite the fact that he’s a lawyer. I married him and we have a little boy who is 3 years old. We nicknamed him “Monkey” when he was first born (original, I know) but he really has turned into one.  He grunts, likes to climb stuff, loves bananas, and has opposable toes.

I have a BA in Sociology, a Masters in Public Administration, and a Masters in Counseling Psychology. You might wonder what I actually do with those degrees. After many years working in low-income government housing management, I am now a registered pre-licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFTi).  Once the Monkey came along, I put aside my career in counseling to be a stay-at-home-mom. I started this blog in August 2009, which has led to some great opportunities. Aside from writing about topics that I love, working with great companies and agencies that I respect, and hosting the occasional fabulous giveaway, I also write parenting articles for the wonderful Tight Bod With a Pod website and have been featured in a few other publications, including the StrollerDerby Blog via In addition to this blog and the occasional freelance writing opportunity, I also sit on the Board of Directors for a non-profit philanthropic organization.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions or comments.


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PR Policy: My blog is PR friendly, with some exceptions. Not all products will be approved for a review. Please also note that I will not review or endorse a product unless a give-away item is included. All reviews and opinions are based on my own honest experience with the product and will not be influenced by free product or compensation.

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*Why is my husband called The Dude? Two reasons: I actually do call him that (among more embarrassing nicknames) and I am a HUGE Big Lebowski fan.  But, unlike the original Dude, my own Dude does not call himself The Dude nor does he particularly care for White Russians. He is, however, an excellent bowler.

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