Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Now That the Plates Are Spinning, We Just Need to Work in Juggling the Chainsaws

Wisdom gleaned: It turns out that after you take a two-week sabbatical from exercise on account of illness, it is possible to dive back into it without having lost much endurance. Yay! And not only that, but whatever you did to your legs and feet by being overzealous and not wearing proper footwear can be healed in that time.

Which is all to say that I'm getting back into a routine of regular exercise and healthful eating. On the latter, I will pass along to you more wisdom gleaned. A salad can be so dreary, can't it? Iceberg lettuce or something equally bland and uninspiring, topped with some watery tomatoes and maybe a cucumber, all drenched in some salad dressing to give it all some flavor. Today, I discovered the secret to a Laura-Concocted Ultimate Tasty Salad. Take spinach (or whatever else you like that is not iceberg lettuce), then add to it a massive amount of random vegetables and other goodies left in your fridge from other recipes: peppers, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and hard-boiled egg, in today's example. Then add the eensiest bit of the lightest salad dressing you have. Shake the mix up in your tupperware or other container. Sprinkle lots of fresh ground pepper on top. Yum.

The chainsaw we need to add to this life juggling is the writing discipline, which has gone out the window with all of my revision and application fervor. So this is a nice bit of inspiration: writers listing their ten rules for writing fiction. Margaret Atwood demonstrates why she is my favorite writer--living, at any rate.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This Is Helpful

If you want to find local sources for various fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, and other items. Online sources, farms, co-ops, restaurants, and markets are represented.

Also, eggs are good for you; research shows that consumption of eggs isn't related to higher levels of cholesterol and that they may provide other health benefits.

I'm also liking this place for workout tips and videos and nutrition and meal suggestions. The whole concept of nutritional content gets decoupled from calorie content and "bad" elements like fat, so it's nice to get away from the simplistic "hey, here's some diet-friendly low-calorie processed snacks off the shelf" in favor of a more holistic approach. I used to have a pull-out nutrition guide from a magazine, which featured gorgeous photographs of sample meals and portions for a week. It hit all major food groups and proper allotments of them over X span of time. It was great inspiration for nutrient-rich combos to try and also useful for measuring how much I was eating and why. (Appropriate portion of cheese for a protein boost of a meal: the size of your thumb.) And seeing the food look so yummy and lovely fed the virtuous cycle of how good eating well made me feel.

It pisses me off that we live in such an unhealthful food environment and that we blame individuals for what it does to them to eat poor diets. Based on my own experiences, I honestly think that we are so conditioned to crave high-fat, high-sodium, high-calorie processed food that it's like physical withdrawal to get away from it. Every single time I have, for example, potato chips, it's never a one-off deal. I crave and want to eat more every single day, for lunch or what have you. So I buy them and eat them--snarfing, say, half a can of pringles in an afternoon, until my stomach hurts--each time telling myself I'll moderate or stop. Eventually, I have to go cold turkey and not buy the stuff at all. And it's like hell waiting for the cravings to subside.

So I think I'm bucking the system by preparing my own foods and choosing healthful ingredients, raised responsibly. But as a solution, it's only sustainable so long as you have the income to do it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hug 'em if you got 'em. Or boycott, which is perfectly respectable. At the very least, I suggest clearance chocolate after the fact. B and I are celebrating remote cupcakery.

I am also coughing my way through day ten of my creeping illness and prepping outfit scenarios for Oprah. Set your DVR's people. I'll be applauding with great zest.