Thursday, 10 March 2011

Eating fruit and veg means eating fruit and veg

So, this month on Health Month I've decided to really step it up. First off, I've bumped up my rules from 3 to 7. (7!) And, I've expanded them away from my basic eating and drinking rules. I still have the basics: drink a ton of water, take a vitamin. I've modified my basic "eat greens" to "eat seven servings of fruit and veg a day" in order to encourage more variety. I also still have my food journaling rule. But, I've added a flossing rule, a list of grateful things rule, and an exercising rule. This is only week two, but I feel like I'm doing pretty well. I've not lost any life points so far.

But, I'd forgotten that when you target a certain number of fruits and veg in a day, you pretty much spend all your meal times (and meal prep times) trying to get those fruits and veg in. I've started drinking v8 again (which I love, by the way). I bought a big bottle simply because I knew that the serving size wasn't that big and that would be a nice way to get a serving in without having to think about it in the morning. And, I've eaten a ton of fruit. All of the snacks I've eaten in the past ten days have involved a fruit or a veg. And, finally, I've been really strategic with what I've been cooking. Over the weekend, I made a Persian stew that is almost entirely vegetables and fruit. (It also had a small amount of meat in it.)

This past week, the last week that there is a visiting scholar in my house, has been really busy (and a little stressful) so getting I'm really proud of myself for hitting these targets. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep it up!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Looking at the Rules

So, I know that February isn't quite over, and I shouldn't count my chickens before they hatch, but I think if I learned anything this month it is to just keep at it. First off, I only missed 2 of my rules this month once each. That is pretty good for someone who has had all kinds of craziness (car problems, house guest, computer problems, health problems, weird official gov't bs problems and new this weekend phone problems) I think that's pretty good. It is nice to know that even when it seems like everything is falling apart around me I can still push forward and do things that are good for me.

I think I've also learned, building on the same thing I learned last month, that variety is the spice of life. I have branched out into different green vegetables this month, but I want to branch even further. It is nice to eat vegetables every day, for the most part I feel awesome (possibly just placebo-effect awesome, but I'll take it) after each instance of veggie eating, but I think I'd like to try more things. So, next month, I'm concentrating on getting servings of fruits and veg so that I can branch out.

And, something that I probably could have used this month but I'm absolutely up for next month is that next month I am going to be keeping an ongoing list of stuff I'm grateful for. The world is full of all of these little things that make living easier, and I'd like to recognize them.

This isn't a full sit-down and reflect on your month, but I think it is a start. I can't believe that I'm at the end of my second month on Health Month! and I am so excited about starting a new month and trying my hand at some new rules!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

It's just a pie to the face, is all.

I'm thrilled that February is almost over because I have to tell you, little campers, this month has been really hard on me. I got my computer back on Tuesday and then it stopped working again briefly on Thursday. This was sort of the straw that broke the camel's back. I kind of lost it. I had a few beers. I hardly got any work done. It was just too much.

And, then I get to the computer shop on Friday night (couldn't go earlier because there was snow and it took us an hour to drive a distance that normally takes 20 minutes!) I go to show them the new problem and it is suddenly gone. So, I'm standing there, in the computer shop (20 minutes before close) feeling like a complete tool. To quote Dan and Casey from Sports Night:

Dan: Sometimes, it's worth it, all the pies in the face. Sometimes you come out feeling pretty good.

Casey: And, sometimes you just stand there, hip deep in pie.

I feel like this month has been like that. Me, standing here, hip deep in pie. Well, maybe more sternum deep in pie because I keep getting hit with more pies in the face.

But, the thing I've realized about all of this, the silver lining of this month has been that it truly could have been so much worse. My country isn't run by a dictator hell bent on keeping his grasp on the reins of the country. Nor did my city get hit with a major earthquake. And, I've managed to get within two days of the end of the month on Health Month and I've still got 8 life points left. So, I must be doing something right. Ya, this month has been rough. Ya, I'm hurting a little. But, no bigs because I'm still here and I'm still full of fight.

That being said, I hope that there's something in store for me in March that isn't pies in the face.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011


Recently, I've had suffered a series of unfortunate events. My computer died. My car died. There are some not-delightful things going on with my lungs. And, I'm the sort of person who tries to deal with things as rationally as possible. For me, X happens. I come up with a series of steps to deal with X. And, that's just how it goes.

That being said, I'm still an incredibly emotional human being and while I may do my best to rein my emotions in, it does not always work. and, whether or not my "try to deal with things as rationally as possible" is a healthy strategy or not, it is my strategy and I tend to do a pretty good job of it.

Except, when many things break at once. Like right now. Times like these, I'm much more likely to punch a b*$%# in the face (see, even my language goes). Or, I just get really snippy. In particular, I get snippy with people who keep asking me how things are going. For example:

Colleague: So, your car still in the shop?
Me: It sure is. Since you're the one who has been giving me a ride to work, don't you think you'd be one of the first people I'd tell when it isn't?
Colleague: I was just asking.

And, then I apologize. I know people are just asking but I also know that part of me is working really hard to not explode or cry or punch someone to deal with the massive amounts of frustration and having the things I'd relegated to the "can't work on until X is resolved" brought back up just adds to my frustration.

Maybe I need a new strategy. :/ Or, maybe I really should make meditation one of my health month rules next month.

Friday, 18 February 2011


In a previous post I mentioned that it may be a good idea to note in my food journal not just what I've eaten, but how I feel half an hour after I eat. I made it a rule on Health Month to food journal because for the past two years I've bought a daily planner so that I could do this and then I've only done it sporadically. My object in the daily exercise is to just bring more awareness to what I do. But, it is one thing to be aware of what you are eating, it is another thing to be aware of the effect food can have on you.

So, I've been trying to add that in to my entries. And, I've noticed a few things. First off, lean meats and vegetables make me feel calm half an hour after I've eaten. And, it has been really nice to observe this sense of evenness a couple of times a day. The second thing I've noticed is that if I have a bunch of carbohydrates, I feel so sleepy half an hour later. This makes me think that one of two things is happening: Either I'm eating the wrong kind of carbohydrates (to be fair, there have been a few spicy thai kettle chips in the mix this week) or that I'm eating too much of them.

I'm not really one for portion control. This isn't because I don't think its important, it is more because when I really focus on it I find myself in terrible cycles of going over the allotted size and then seriously punishing myself for it, sort of in a sneaky hate spiral kind of way. And, I'm trying to avoid that sort of behavior from myself. That being said, I think I'm going to investigate this over the weekend (the plan is to make my favorite dish: home made mac and cheese!) and see if smaller servings cut into the sleepiness.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Things just keep getting better and better

I totally missed one of my health month goals this week. I was about 15 glasses short on water. I'd say that I feel a little dehydrated, but I've had a cold for a month that has turned into a nasty chest cough and so all I really feel is that nasty, itchy, I want to cough feeling. Oh, I also feel tired from all of the extra effort I'm having to put in to breathe (which sounds weird when I put it like that, but weird sadly doesn't mean untrue.)

I went to the doctor this morning and told her about the cold and she had me hop up onto the table to give my lungs a listen. Then we had the following conversation:

Doctor: Do you have asthma?
Me: No.
Doctor: Not even when you were little?
Me: No.
Doctor *pauses to give me an unbelieving look* Well, your lower lungs sound clear. You clearly have some sort of upper respiratory infection and a lot of inflammation in your lungs. I'm going to give you an inhaler.

So, I have a cough that is mimicking asthma in its spare time. Meanwhile, in my "spare" time, I've been napping. You know something is wrong when you come home at 5, sleep until 7.30, get up and do some work and are back in bed by 11 for a full eight hours (well, minus the coughing interruptions) of sleep. I hope I get better soon because this last month has just been miserable.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011


So, A little over a year ago I bought a new laptop from HP. My previous laptop was four years old and had this glitch where it liked to turn itself off sometimes. It is hard to get work done when you have to save after every sentence for fear of losing stuff.

At the time, I was thinking of spending a little more money and making the switch from PC to Mac. It was such a mistake not to. Yesterday, for the second time in a year, I had to take my laptop in to have repairs done on it. The top is pulling up, the DVD player is broken and, worst of all, it won't connect to the internal monitor. (By the way, this has all happened since Friday.)

Thankfully, there are computer labs on campus so that I can get work done, blog and continue to check on Health Month, but this means that likely for the next two weeks I'm just going to be living in my office. Which sucks. Because I actually like working at home. I have a special space set aside for it and everything. Actually, I have two special spaces set aside for getting work done.

But, now I find myself in this position of once again wondering if I should retire this HP laptop to desktop status and make the switch to Mac. This is a very serious consideration for me, despite the fact that it is not in this year's budget. I have probably another 3 years of research and classes left on my PhD and the thought of having a two week mandatory period of being chained to the on campus computer labs (even though I have access to a private one) does not please me. This "job" is hard enough without your technology failing you twice a year.