Do: Read, Process, Discuss

This morning I woke up to find a round up of links on No More Dirty Looks about carbs, milk, brain aging, and exercise.  The round up is a bunch of things that I think people should be talking about and things that I have an interest in, so I’m going to discuss those things briefly here and encourage you to go and read the original post and the links over at No More Dirty Looks.  The quotes below are all from the original post.

  1. “Refined carbohydrates may trigger overeating.” I would argue that it’s not just the “refined carbs” of white bread and pasta that are the problem, but also things like rice, whole wheat items, and other less refined/unrefined grain sources of carbohydrates.  While I have been heavier than I want to be at times in my life, I’ve never had a big issue with my weight.  However, I have noticed that when I ate grains back in the day, I would almost always inevitably keep eating until I was over full.  I used to think maybe it was an issue of mindfulness (and I’m sure that is part of the equation), but I think that where your carbs are coming from makes a big difference in how much you end up eating.  I prefer to make it easy on myself when I eat and just avoid grains.  I don’t have to worry about overeating and my weight stays more stable.
  2. “Hobbies like reading and writing make for a stronger brain later in life.”  Well, no problems in that department here, but reading this made me think of my grandfather.  He worked into his 90s and was always reading and practicing golf.  Not only is he a well regarded intellectual and scholar, but he is also very fit physically and could out hike my aunts and uncles.  I’m pretty sure that his deliberate way of living is why he is still alive today.  I have a suspicion that he’s healthier than I am.
  3. “Skim milk not healthier than whole milk.”  This is really no longer an issue for me since I’ve stopped drinking milk altogether.  However, I did drink milk growing up and had to drink a glass with dinner every night.  I believe we drink 2% milk until I was in high school and started drinking skim milk.  At the time, I thought I was being healthy drinking skim milk, but I have seen over and over again recently that altered foods are far from healthy.  I still eat cheese and yogurt from time to time, but I get these from local vendors at the farmer’s market and they are all of a full fat, whole food variety.
  4. “Mystery solved: How exercise calms anxiety.”  All I know is that I feel better when I have a mental break everyday to walk or run or rollerblade or lift weights.  I used to belong to a small gym that I could go to early in the morning and workout in peace and quiet.  I loved it.  Now, I belong to a chain gym that has great hours, but even at 5 am is blasting obnoxious pop music.  So much less enjoyable.  I’ve been trying to get a walk in before work, but so far that’s proved challenging.  I used to walk after work a lot with a friend or two and that was a great way to get a walk in and get some social time in.

All right folks, I hope you’ll go and read the interesting post and the links found on No More Dirty Looks.  I’d love to hear your reactions to the topics at hand and what you think about my reactions.

Have a wonderful Sunday!


The Blahs

I’m having a bad case of the blahs.  I blame the suddenly 50 degree temperatures that started right after it was 80 degrees, I blame the shorter and shorter days, and I blame the fact that I haven’t gotten my blah self cooking nutritious foods or going to the gym.  I did go rollerblading on Sunday when it was freakily 70 degrees outside, but other than that and a short stint at the gym 1.5 weeks ago, I haven’t done much.  This all from the girl who burned herself out a couple years ago going to the gym 2 – 3 times a day in an effort to be “healthy.”  Yup, I’m a woman of extremes.

I’m writing this post to declare my war on the blahs.  I’ve got to do something before I end up staying in bed all day and feeling sorrier and sorrier for myself.  The blahs will do that to a person.

  1. Pick something to do in the morning that I want to do.  This has been my go to strategy when I dread getting out of bed in the mornings…right now, that’s where I’m at.  It takes me the better part of an hour to convince myself to get out of bed and then I move slowly and have to rush to work.  Not cool.  There isn’t much to do at 5 am, but the gym I belong to right now is 24 hours during the week, so that’s where I’m heading when I get up in the morning.  Now I just have to remember that I actually do like going to the gym.  The blahs can really hit you hard sometimes.
  2. Sit in front of my happy lamp.  A  couple of years ago, I was really depressed during the winter.  The cold snowy north does me no favors when combined with my long hours and indoors all day work.  The goal is to do this in the morning so I don’t end up being unable to sleep at night.
  3. Pay attention to my feelings.  I tend to be the kind of person who doesn’t want to feel my feelings, more so when I’m having the blahs.  So, some journaling (preferably in front of the happy lamp) to get those feelings out instead of bottled up would be nice.
  4. Get outside.  When I’m having the blahs, I don’t want to go outside.  Throw in some 50 degree weather and you’ll find me sitting at home in my sweats watching online TV while stuffing myself with yet more eggs because I don’t feel like cooking.
  5. Actually cook meals.  Speaking of cooking, I need to cook.  I need to stop the carb-ing with the white rice, which I’ve been doing for far too long now, and get back to eating lots of vegetables.  Right now I’m feeling veggie averse even though I know I feel much better when I eat a lot of vegetables.  It just seems like a lot of effort right now to cook and eat lots of vegetables.  Don’t ask me about the reasoning behind that one.
  6. Connect with people.  Right now, I’m feeling pretty disconnected.  My best friends are far away and have been for some time now.  It’s been harder lately to catch up with them regularly because we’re all running around with crazy schedules.  Throw in a time difference and we’re barely making time to catch up once a month.  I also have an awesome pen pal that I’ve been neglecting, so I need to get on writing some letters to her.  Maybe it’s also time to throw a housewarming party.

I’m sure there are a million other things that I could/should be doing to battle the blahs, but let’s start with these, shall we?

What do other people do to battle the blahs?

Stress, Tired, and Other Random Thoughts

I’m pretty sure it’s all the stress and the lack of enough sleep lately, but I’m just tired and cranky and some of the fun of this new eating plan has worn off.  Now, don’t let this sway you from trying paleo or primal if you are considering it, I still recommend it.  I’m just documenting this part of my journey.

The first two, two and half weeks of paleo/primal eating were wonderful.  Going to the farmer’s market, cooking breakfast every morning, feeling satisfied and not overly full.  I’m one of those people that loves novelty.  And the novelty of paleo was exciting.

I was also on a pretty good schedule.  Daily walks, eating at set times.  It was all very lovely.  I was working on my sleep, but other than that things were feeling pretty good.

Now, with the onset of stress, things are feeling a bit off kilter.  I’m not drinking enough water or sleeping enough.  The focus is a bit off.  So we’re going to try again.  We’re going to try to get back on this bandwagon and even things out a bit.

First off, sleep.  Again, need better sleep habits and sleep hygiene.  Anyone have any good ideas on how to calm things down??  I think worried stress has me tossing and turning and not sleeping too well.

Next, water.  Drink lots of it.  I never was very good at drinking water and I think it’s more important than ever for me to drink water.  Not only because of how I’m eating, but also because it’s immensely hot and sticky out here lately and I probably need the hydration.

Third, get a hold of my stress.  This one is going to be tough.  I tend to be very sensitive to stress and so calming this one down is going to take some work.  I’m open to any ideas if people have any.  I think that getting the exercising bit back on track will help things immensely.  I’m also hoping that maybe I can get a short meditation in on a daily basis.  I think I need that.  Need the scheduled silence.

So how do people get themselves back on track when life and stress throws you for a loop??