Friday, December 21, 2007

Sometimes I Go To Extremes

The last few days have been a roller coaster. I felt really bad one day, so I called up my support network. A phone call and a happy hour later, I felt incredible - motivated, confident, ready for action. The next day, rush hour traffic plummeted me back down into Nothing-Good-Can-Come-Of-Anything Land. I'm a Libra, so this is a real problem for me, but it's definitely a pattern of my neurosis. Black and white thinking. I like to say "there's no good-bad, right-wrong," but clearly I believe or at least behave otherwise.

I started making a list of the good and bad of today (and yesterday and this week), but there really isn't a mathematical formula for deciding if the day is good or bad. It's just the feeling. How can you rate a one-way two-hour commute followed by slapping your dog (gasp!), but getting one item done on your to-do list? Well, that's pretty easy: crappy day. But how about fighting and making up with your partner, having a good business meeting in which you felt utterly inadequate and inexperienced, finishing your Christmas shopping and wrapping, but wishing you had done more and clearing off your desk, but knowing the really important item(s) that don't have sticky notes on the desk still didn't get done...? Well, I guess that sounds pretty crappy, too, but because it's filled with positives, I think this day still has hope. Maybe Alvin and the Chipmunks can help?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Missed Opportunities

I'm really worried about missed opportunities. I think I'm on the right track in my life. That is, I'm happy with the way things are going, but I still worry about missing:
  • my nephews growing up
  • my neice, full stop.
  • anything good my dad has to offer
  • the remaining moments of lucidity of my grandmother with Alzheimers
  • the opportunity to help my sick family members
  • my chance to connect with my brothers
  • opportunities to live or work overseas
  • falling in love with a stranger overseas
  • girl time
  • seasonal sales at my favorite store
  • great recipes listed in Food Day
  • using coupons before they expire
  • phone calls from people I haven't talked to in a while
  • great seasonal food specials at yummy restaurants
  • the perfect opportunity to wear ____
  • the right timing for a witty retort
  • the look in someone's eyes that says more than their words
  • a diagnosis
  • an opportunity to get my affairs in order
  • life.

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Story of Food

I just watched this great little video called: The Story of Stuff.

It's in alignment with my values and also with my recent decision to stop buying so I'm all about not buying so much in general, but I've already got that one down pretty well as guided my my non-existent budget. The place where I find myself splurging and spending cash is on food. Well, we need food - we have to eat, right?

Yes. We need to eat. But neither in the quantities that we usually do nor the variety that we usually demand. I don't need to eat prepackaged cookies and puffed rice covered in cheese powder when I can make my own better cookies and a piece of toast with butter and nutritional yeast will do. (I know it sounds weird if you aren't used to eating nutritional or brewers yeast, but it's fantastic! Try it!) And I don't need to eat multiple servings to feel full and satisfied. I just do it because I'm bored.

So, I get all kinds of free food at work and that's going to be my guide. If I get free eggs, I'll make a quiche. Free greens and it's time for salad. Two happy effects of this are 1. it's free! and 2. I'll often get things free that are seasonal. That's a good guide for what are appropriate things to be eating at any time of year - for example, it's not necessarily the best for us to be eating pineapple and raw salads during the middle of winter when our bodies need our vital heat just to keep us warm. (Unless we live in the Caribbean, which is a fine option!)

I am going to buy food, but only food that I plan to use or eat within the current and next day. Generally, whenever possible, my meals should include something that was obtained free at work and I'm going to measure my servings so that I'm not overindulging all the time. This isn't just about weight loss, but I expect that will also be a happy side effect.

If ever I think I'm hungry and I'm not sure if it's real, I'm going to try to drink a glass of water and walk the dog before preparing food that I will sit down at a table and slowly enjoy. Wow, that sounds nice. Let's start with a healthy breakfast right now. :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cancer is THE Dirty Word

I've returned to the classroom a couple time in the last month and it feels good. Graduating in June felt great and I don't wish myself back into a full time education scenario, but I have enjoyed being in an active learning environment again. One of the lectures I attended was all about women's health and hormonal imbalance - the jist is that we interact with our environment and our current environment is full of chemicals that cause hormonal imbalance. This was not just fluffy talk, but backed up by hard science that shows that these chemicals actually interact with our bodies "stronger than expected" including stronger than natural plant lignans and pharmaceutical drugs. This is why we need to do our best to avoid chemical exposure, but also why that's not enough. Detoxification is also vitally important. Without strong detoxification programs, our bodies simply are not able to process the amount of chemicals that we come in contact with.

Now, part of the interest I had in her lecture is that she pointed out that most of the chemicals she was speaking about are NOT carcinogens. Nope, they are not known or even suspected of causing Cancer. That said, they still have major health impact. They cause hormonal imbalance which could be seen is such symptoms as fatigue, PMS, major menopausal symptoms, skin disorders, digestive disturbance and the list goes on and on. Somehow the public doesn't get excited or upset about chemicals until we attach the label "known carcinogen." And even then, at the whim of the FDA, we may not really get to hear that information. But that's a whole other part of the puzzle that needs to be addressed.

Since I'm speaking/writing puzzles, let me add another piece: The Story of Stuff. This video is all about the state of current economic activity. I think it has wide appeal and is appropriate for adults of all ... political persuasions. This video is much more about consumerism and its effect on our happiness, environment, fellow man and more, but it also touches on the existence of toxins in our world. Toxic chemicals into our factories = toxic products into our homes + toxic byproducts into our environment. And the environment, our world, is a CLOSED SYSTEM - we live in a terrarium and the atmosphere is our lid. Cutting a hole in the ozone does NOT have the effect of letting the toxins out.

The good news is, there is something you can do. There are FOODS we can eat to strengthen our body's natural detoxification processes and there are herbs if you need an extra boost. Interestingly, one of the great liver and kidney enhancing herbs (these are major organs of detoxification) is the common dandelion weed. Our bodies and our world needs detoxification and nature is showing us the answer all the time. And we apply more toxic chemicals to our lawns to kill it. Sorry, this was supposed to be the good news. Yes, we can strengthen our body's defenses. And, we can make choices about how we intereract with the consumer system. Buying organic isn't just about getting "better" food, but it's about changing the system. Demand creates supply - as more people are buying organic, farmers and farming industry are changing and responding. And yes, they charge more for it, until there is enough demand that supply increases so there is competition!

So I'm going to get off my soap box now and get on with my day, but the take home message is this: buy or grow organic broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, brussel sprouts and herbs and eat them.