Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mmmm... you smell like...

My daughter noticed that she wasn't producing quite enough milk for breastfeeding. It seemed to decrease after she took some over-the-counter allergy medicine. Wanting a natural way to increase the milk, she learned about various supplements and decided to try fenugreek.  However, she was surprised when she read that fenugreek sometimes causes a specific odor to come out in the body's sweat.  It's the middle of summer, and she's training for the Kiss Me Dirty 5K, so sweating is pretty much guaranteed.

She warned her husband, "A side effect of fenugreek is that it might make my sweat smell like maple syrup!"

After a moment, he asked, "And the down-side is......?"

It reminded me of a previous post (click here), who needs perfume?

Monday, July 16, 2012

"Give me this mountain!"

Have you ever had images and phrases come to your mind that seem poetic in nature?  That happened to me in early June and since I didn't know how to write poetry, I settled for prose.  I'm sure I learned poetry-writing in high school, but that knowledge fled years ago.

I feel like I'm about to expose my tender underbelly, since I don't usually write like this, but I feel it's time to share this... (what do I call it?)...poetic prose. Here goes...

“Give me this mountain!” I timidly cry out, growing more confident even as I say it.  Inspired by Caleb (Joshua 14:12), I know that with the Lord’s help I can conquer this mountain—this land of giant appetites—this insurmountable problem of overeating.  I can visualize success.  I can see myself on top of the mountain, planting my banner, pleased and proud; uplifted and made conqueror by the hand of the Lord.

So I begin my journey.

Yesterday it was “Give me this mountain!” and I advanced two steps.  But today I cry, “Remove this mountain!”  For I am no longer advancing at a snail’s pace up the side, I realize I am trapped beneath.  Buried.  One minute I am on the side, and the next minute, with one misstep (was it the popcorn?), I find myself beneath.  Surrounded by darkness, crushed and whimpering.  The mountain is planted squarely on top. 

“Someone call IX-I-I!”  I smirk.  I cannot cry out.  I am smothered, alone.  As I lay beneath the mountain, I ponder.  Where did I go wrong?  Where was my misstep?  How did I get beneath instead of on top?  Was it the Kentucky Fried Chicken?  But it was a better choice than Wendy’s or A&W, wasn’t it?  And I only ate one side of green beans and gave the biscuit to coworker Bill.  Oh!  I should have planned better.  I should have foreseen I would go from one job to another and not have time to eat.  Yes.  That’s it.  I should have planned better.

But wait.  Maybe it was the popcorn.  I wanted the popcorn from Low Book Sales.  I just had to have it.  But then maybe it was eating too much Panda Express followed by too much watermelon followed by…

I sob.  What’ the use? 

I lay very still and cry.  I pray.  “Lord, yesterday I faced the mountain and started to climb.  Today I am beneath.  Why?”

Staring into the darkness, I see clearly. “Give me this mountain” indeed.  I am within.  I built it around and over me, first as a shelter, then as a fa├žade—layer by layer of sediment settling more solid year after year.  My relationship with food covers it, like vegetation that grows on the mountainside, where I graze and gorge in comfort, ignoring what lies beneath.

“Give me this mountain.”  Indeed, the mountain is mine, and it must be removed, not climbed.  With my Savior’s help, I can move the mountain…one shovelful at time.  I must sift through the dirt, examine it, acknowledge or discard it, until I am free.  And then I will stake my banner – on solid, level, ground.

“Remove this mountain.”  So it is that shovel turns to pen, mountain turns to paper.  And I write.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Quirky eating habits.

My dad used to recite a little rhyme:

I eat my peas with honey;
I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny, 
But it keeps them on my knife!

I've been thinking about quirky eating habits.  Here's some of mine (and I'll probably think of more later).
I polish my grapes.  I eat one at a time, after rubbing it on a paper towel or napkin.

When eating yogurt or applesauce, I insist on using a plastic spoon.

I like cold-cold-cold milk, so even if my husband gets the milk out, pours a glass, and then sets the carton on the counter, I put it back in the fridge for a while before I get some for myself.

We're all strange little ducks...so fess up...what are your quirky eating habits?

Friday, July 13, 2012

While he was "sleeping..."

While my husband was under anesthesia, having his colonoscopy on Tuesday (see: Health Screenings), I used the waiting time to go for a long walk.  I'm training for the Kiss Me Dirty 5K (see: I must be crazy!) by following a Beginner Training Plan I found on the Internet.  Tuesday I needed to walk 3-5 miles, and since his appointment was during the cooler morning hours, it was an ideal time.

The clinic was located on the east side of the Salt Lake Valley, on the "bench" of the mountains.  I knew there were several businesses around there, and planned to just walk around the parking lots.  However, as I started out, I saw some joggers go past in a partially secluded area.  I decided to follow them.

Lo and behold, they were on a scenic paved path -- The Big Cottonwood Canyon Trail -- made especially for non-motorized traffic (walkers, runners, bicyclists).  What an enchanting discovery, much better than walking around the boring parking lots!

Some of you might remember that I typically don't like walking for exercise.  I like to have someplace to walk to.  (See: What is it with me and walking?)  But I want to do the muddy 5K with my daughter (and a crazy friend from my high school days!), so I'm surrendering to the walking/running regimen.  Discovering this trail made walking a delight, as it led away from the business complex and towards the Big Cotton Wood Canyon.

Here are some pictures I snapped with my iPhone.

Heading East on the paved trail.

Um.  No worries...not tempted.

Nearing the end of my walk.

Suspended bridge leading to the business complex.

I must say, I had a much better time that morning than my husband.  But we plan to return and walk the trail together.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Simple pleasures in eating.

"Learning the simple things that please us make for an artful life." ~Julia Cameron

I used this quote on my other blog (Reel Focus) and then considered how it applies to healthy eating.  When I eat mindfully, I find bursts of flavor in simple foods.
  1. Crisp, juicy cherries
  2. Succulent celery
  3. Fresh raspberries
  4. Sweet ripe watermelon
  5. Fresh peas in the pod
  6. Steamed broccoli
  7. Steamed, crisp, asparagus
  8. Garden tomatoes
  9. Crunchy jicama, bursting with juice
  10. Plain yogurt with chunks of fresh pineapple and walnut pieces
What simple foods please you?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A down side to eating healthy.

There is a down side to eating healthy... I miss the "one stop" shopping.  I used to go to a large supermarket for most of my groceries and household items.

Now I go to Utah Natural Meat for meat and eggs; Sunflower Market for produce, vitamins and herbal supplements; Tony Caputos has the best olive oil, vinegars, and cheese; plus we joined Costco for some of their organic produce and organic canned goods.  Then to top it off, I still need to make a trip to yet a different store for most of our non-grocery items.

It takes some creative maneuvering and planning to make sure I don't waste gas by running hither and yon in my errands.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Health Screenings

Today my husband had a routine health screening: the dreaded colonoscopy.  (You're going to stick what up where??)

Although we exercise and eat healthy, it's important to have health screenings, and I'm glad my husband did not put up a fuss about going in.  He has a history of colon cancer in his family, so he might have inherited the tendency towards that disease; and because of that history, he needs a colonoscopy every three years.  He says, "My parents aren't alive, so I can't slap them."

After the procedure, the doctor came into the recovery room and told Kurt, "You are one of the healthiest eaters I know.  If anyone ever tries to tell you different, you have them see me because I have proof." (Ahem, and I like to take credit for preparing healthy foods.)

Kurt was also praised on his weight loss.  Most important, he has no sign of any cancer and a clean bill of health.

I couldn't find an image for colonoscopy.
Aren't you glad?  We don't need to see
that, right?
Hopefully our healthy lifestyle will keep us around for many, many years, but health screenings give us peace of mind and a chance for early detection if something is amiss.

For more information on what health screenings are recommended according to age and gender, here's a link for the Mayo Clinic:
Health Screening Guidelines

Monday, July 9, 2012

Remember two things.

Yesterday I felt blah, accompanied by the desire to munch.  Then I came across this quote:

"I tell my retreat students that they need to remember two things: to eat what they want when they're hungry and to feel what they feel when they're not."  ~ Geneen Roth

I decided to figure out what I was really feeling, since it was not true hunger.  

Thankfully I am married to my best friend, so I went to Kurt and asked him to be my sounding board.  It turned out I had a grab bag of different emotions all disguised into a lump of blah.  As I dug down to figure out what I was really feeling, I pulled out:

  • jealousy (someone who used to be heavier than me has lost weight and is now skinnier)
  • pride (since the above mentioned person "cheated" by using drastic measures rather than good healthy choices, I must be better than her, right?)
  • low self-worth (comparing myself to others)
  • need for approval and validation
  • discouragement (not attaining some goals I had set)
  • boredom (didn't feel like doing much)

After talking things over, I felt much better, and the desire to eat disappeared.  I didn't feel like eating again until this morning after exercising.

I am wondering though (and hoping someone can give me feedback on this)...I understand that I am supposed to allow myself to feel my feelings rather than stuff them down, but what do I do with those feelings once I acknowledge them?  For instance, if I feel angry, should I do something to get rid of that anger (meditation, write my angry feelings and then shred it, punch a pillow until I feel better), or do I just recognize the anger and then move on or ignore it?  What do I do with the feelings I feel?

Any input on that?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The old reliable.

I've been so busy lately that I haven't had a chance to plan out some menus.  I do so much better preparing meals when I have a plan.  (See: Making a menu plan.)

Tonight I couldn't think of what to fix for supper, so I pulled out the old reliable... sauteed veggies with whole wheat pasta, drizzled with olive oil.  I use whatever veggies I have on hand and this time it was zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and chopped Kalamata olives, sprinkled with sea salt and white pepper.

Successful meal.  I wish everything I whipped together at the last minute would turn out so great!

Friday, July 6, 2012

I must be crazy!

Oh my goodness.  I must be crazy.  I'm actually considering running a 5K with my daughter.  Not just any 5K, but a "Kiss Me Dirty" race... an obstacle course mud run. The actual race looks like a hoot, but  the thought of training to run makes me cringe. I'm usually an indoor aerobic exerciser, not a runner.  Gulp.  But dang the muddy obstacle course really appeals to me! If I can do this, it will be a great "Mudder" and Daughter experience!  (We're also going to round up other crazies to join us.)

Check out the website:  Kiss Me Dirty

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Red, White, and Blue

It's Independence Day.  I thought it would be fun to think of foods I like in the colors of the U.S. Flag:

Red grapes
Red potatoes

Banana (peeled)
Chicken breast
Pears (peeled)
Popped corn
White corn

BLUE: (Very under-represented in the food groups!)
Blue organic tortilla chips

 Blue cheese dressing (okay, I stretching it here...can I count that?)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Can't believe it's not real ice cream!

Here's another wonderful banana treat, so simple... and with healthy ingredients too:

Banana Walnut Ice Cream

2 frozen ripe bananas
1/3 cup vanilla soy, hemp, or almond milk (I use unsweetened almond milk, and usually have to add a bit more to help it mix properly).
2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts

Blend all the ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth and creamy.
(Note: freeze ripe bananas at least 24 hours in advance.  To freeze, peel, cut into thirds, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.)

(From Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman, M.D., p. 283)

The first time I tried this recipe I was absolutely stunned, and thrilled!  It had the same consistency and flavor of real ice cream.  (But keep in mind that I haven't had ice cream for over 10 1/2 years!)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Banana treat.

Here's a simple banana treat:

            1. take a banana (peeled, of course)
            2. roll it in toasted wheat germ
            3. chill
            4. eat
(Also delicious frozen.  Or you can eat it right away without chilling...which I tend to do.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Plastics and BPA

Awhile back, we switched to glass containers to hold leftovers for my husband's lunch. He didn't mind the extra weight of the containers... until he started riding a bicycle to work with a pack on his back.  Now he prefers the light-weight plastic containers again (who wouldn't?).

I worried a bit about BPA, but then I came across this quote about recycling codes:

"Four, five, one and two...
All the rest are bad for you."

I went through our plastic food storage containers and breathed a sigh of relief.  They have a code of five.

Glass is preferable, but I don't worry (quite as much) about the plastic containers killing him off any time soon; now, if I could just rest easy while he pedals to work!  (I ask him to text me every day to let me know he arrived safely: not "smished.")

(For more information on the codes and recycling, click here.)