Friday, March 28, 2014

Swearing off the White Death

I have not written about sugar since my last rant, because not being able to “do” moderation is a really aggravating topic for me. But I think I’m ready now, or maybe it’s just that the last of it is out of my system.

So immediately after I posted about swearing off sugar, M.H. walked into my office and asked if he could take any of the Valentine’s Day candy off my hands. (His exact words were, “Have any grenades I could fall on for you?”) Not because he had already read the post, but because he was experiencing a Category IV sugar disaster and didn’t have any candy of his own.

I thrust the heart-shaped box at him and asked him to get it out of my life forever. Then I tried to figure out a very, very, very strict rule that I could still live with but would keep me from ever again getting so far gone. What I came up with was that I can eat small amounts of honey or 100% maple syrup in things I make at home—but no other sugar. That means that if I’m really craving something sweet I can have it, but I have to make it first, which is a pretty big obstacle.

I don’t know if it will work forever, but it’s working so far.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


This is a measure of how we’ve turned our diets around, around here.

In the old days, vegetables generally sat in the fridge until they got thrown away, if we bothered to buy fresh produce at all. I wouldn’t have dreamed of buying fresh vegetables from Costco, because we’d have wasted three-quarters of every giant bag. (Flour tortillas and frozen taquitos, no problem.)

So now here’s our current vegetable inventory:
  • Three Costco bags of Brussels sprouts
  • Three Costco bags of cauliflower
  • One Costco bag of broccoli
  • One Costco bag of asparagus
  • Most of a 10-pound bag of carrots
  • A small bag of broccoli slaw
  • A small bag of cabbage
  • Six red peppers
  • Most of a Costco container of mushrooms
  • Half a Costco container of baby spinach
  • A full 20-pound bag of potatoes, plus a few more
  • Four or five sweet potatoes
  • A Costco container of plum tomatoes
  • An avocado
  • Half a 10-pound bag of onions
  • Half a bag of Costco garlic
  • A handful of green onions I’m regrowing in water on the counter
None of this will go to waste—well, maybe a couple of the garlic bulbs will go squishy before we get to them, but that’s it. Our family went from almost no vegetables to almost nothing but vegetables so gradually that I kind of shocked myself just making this list.

It’s also shocking how much I truly like eating this way. This stuff is cheap and, now that I know what to do with it all, delicious.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Stress and the cure

My new job with Sneezy has been averaging 20 hours a week—most of it in 30-minute chunks occurring throughout the day, night, weekends—basically whenever there’s breaking Flappy Bird news that needs urgent attention. I’m not really expected to be available to edit 24/7, and yet no one has indicated a preference for what hours I do work, and I get the sense that Sneezy would be greatly convenienced if I could either read minds or just stay on call, so it’s all kind of uncertain and stressful.

In fact, I’ve noticed that I’ve become extremely stressed lately—more than the situation would warrant, really. I decided that it’s probably because I’ve been staying away from yoga in the hopes of letting my chronic shoulder pain heal up.

Unfortunately, the shoulder pain missed its deadline for being cured, but for now I’ve opted to continue doing my physical therapy on my own, rather than having DanTPT do some stretching thing that could supposedly accelerate matters. I figure I’ve lived with the injury this long; what’s a few extra weeks if I can save hundreds of dollars in PT? Plus, because it’s more fun to use the equipment at the gym to do all my therapy—rather than the rainbow of stretchy bands I have at home—it actually gets me over there every day, where I am sometimes wont to also jump on the treadmill or go to a yoga class.

Turns out that totally armless yoga is a lot better than no yoga, at least for my mental health.

Monday, March 10, 2014

History repeats itself

I was gearing up to write about how amazing my 13-year-old, Mik, is, and I kept thinking about something I wrote a long time ago—about how, when he was 5, even though he really didn't know how to swim yet, he passed the 50-yard swimming test he had to complete to go down the waterslide at our pool. He did it with sheer perseverance and determination and a refusal to get tired or discouraged, which is exactly how he met his goal of swimming a sectionals qualifying time this weekend.

I'm an extreme optimist, but I NEVER thought he'd actually be able to make sectionals this year, just like I thought it would be impossible for that little kid to make it all the way across the pool. Shows you what I know.

Anyway, I couldn't find that post—it probably got deleted with my old blog—but I ran across something even better. Back when I was training for my first marathon, I let the kids earn some extra computer time by writing these little essays on what they thought of marathoning:
Mik, age 8: I thingk it is fun. It is a very good sport! I like running to. It is the 2nd best sport! I lik it and you do to.
Dex, age 11: Cons: My opinion on marathons is, why do people do them? The thing is you don't have to. Why pay money to run a long way? You have to train for months, you get really sore, and all you're training for is to run some more. Over the months you trained you probably ran twice the way you would have run on the marathon.
Pros: Once you have run a long way you feel you have ocomplished somthing. On the race you have lots of people chearing for you. When you pay to do it you get bottled watter allong the way. My Mom likes marathons. I love my mom.
If I asked them today, they'd each have EXACTLY the same opinions. I know people can change, but my kids never seem to. Which is fine by me.