Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Archive for June, 2012

How Far Would you go to get Healthy?

This is a challenge. You know I’ve mentioned, more than once, that a healthy diet is critical to your overall health. I don’t think people are surprised when they hear that. This isn’t a newsflash. However, knowing something and doing something about it are two different things. The importance of your diet has been brought home to me by watching the people around me. And no, if your my friend, don’t get paranoid, I’m not studying you. I just mean, people talk about their health and I see how the average person lives. It isn’t hard to draw a correlation.

You can say “I’d rather die fat and happy, than deprive myself”, I’ve heard it before. Fine, but what quality of life would you like before you die? Do you like painful joints? Diabetes, arthritis, colon cancer, other cancers, and many more health issues are either caused by, helped by or hurt by diet. If you clean up your diet, you will feel better. Are you overweight? By how much? Find something that weight and pick it up. Can you even do it? Imagine your life without carrying all that around right now. You can say to me “I hate physical activity, I don’t care how I look, so why should I care about my diet?”. Ok, do you have your nursing home selected? I know eating right is no guarantee that something else won’t blow on you, but it is one of the things you can control. The last argument I often hear is “It’s in my genes”. I won’t say genes don’t play a large role. But we can’t control those. All we can control is our environment. To sit here and say “I got dealt a bad hand, I can’t do anything about it” is ludicrous. I was born hairy, does that mean I shouldn’t shave my legs? I was born with bad eyesight, should I not wear glasses?

So I ask you, how far will you go? Will you try and find a way to eat greens every day? Get rid of fried food? Educate yourself on the best ways to eat? Learn to like fish? I’ve gone rather extreme. I blend kale in order to add it to other foods. My morning oatmeal is bright green. I’m not asking you to go that far. However, get a bunch of dark green veggies, put them in your food processor and add them to your next tuna salad. Cut back on the mayonnaise and add some oil based dressing, or just oil and vinegar. Use wheat berries instead of pasta. Or Quinoa.

Whatever health problems you deal with, they can be helped by how you eat. Just getting rid of the sugar- or any form of sweetener, the white flour and baked goods, will go a long way to helping you. Most illnesses either cause or are caused by inflammation. The food you eat can increase or decrease the amount of inflammation. The “western diet” with its massive amounts of processed foods is implicated in causing inflammation. Vegetables, for the most part, are anti-inflammatory.

I exercise 3-5 times a week. I couldn’t do what I do if I ate what most people eat. The pain would be unbearable. I have a replaced acl and can do a full squat, with weight. I attribute much of that to my diet. Sure, you can go to the doctor and get pills, and pay for them, and get stronger pills, and more pills, and keep eating junk. Most people do. However, there are alternatives. Even if you still have to take pills, eating greens and veggies, cutting down on processed foods, staying away from sugar, flour, and hydrogenated fats, not frying your foods, and eating less red meat will all help most conditions. Of course there are exceptions to any rule- once you are on massive amounts of blood thinners, leafy greens with their good doses of vitamin k can be counterproductive. But, if you eat those leafy greens ahead of time you might not need those massive doses of blood thinners!

You have three meals, and a snack or two to make decisions about. Ask yourself, “Is this food I’m about to eat doing my body good or harm? Is it worth my health to eat this? Is there a better choice I can live with?” I’m not saying you can never eat junk again. However, once you start eating healthy, the junk gets a lot less appealing. Once you start feeling better, it gets even less appealing. So here’s my challenge- How far will you go? What changes will you make? Can you at least get rid of the worst offenders? Cut them from daily to weekly? Cut amounts in half? If anyone reading this does make changes, keep me posted. I have every confidence that your health will improve, and I’d like to hear if it does.

It Was Only a Matter of Time

I was watching the news this morning, and I saw a story that chilled me, but I knew was coming. Within a year, they will be able to test the parents and find out if the unborn child has certain diseases like Tay Sachs, Downs syndrome or Cystic Fibrosis. The doctors were hailing this first, as a “non invasive test”, and as an opportunity to “treat” these problems in utero. Of course, they went on to say, “we may want to draw the line somewhere”. Why? What would be wrong with finding out ahead of time if your child were deaf? Gay? Blonde? Couldn’t we “treat” those ahead of time as well?

We already “treat” downs syndrome in utero. It’s down by something like 90%. How did we do this miraculous thing? We kill them. There. Problem solved. We won’t have to worry about death panels, any problem you don’t like won’t happen. We can’t cure Cystic Fibrosis in people who exist, how could we treat it in utero? The truth is, we can’t. This “big breakthrough” just means giving people an easy way out by sweeping the affected baby under the rug. Literally.

So why would they want to “draw the line somewhere”? If it is ok to kill a baby because it has an expensive medical issue, why is it not ok to kill them for other reasons? Right now, the criteria is only “I don’t want it”. We know that sex selection, while technically illegal, is occurring everywhere, just not as blatantly as in India and China. If you can argue that a mother has a right to not have a child she doesn’t want, for any reason, then why not give her the informed choice? That is what we are all about, right? Informed choices? It would end the homosexual debate, if we could test for it, since many people would choose “not to make the baby suffer with that”.

I hope everyone reading this realizes I am being extremely sarcastic in this. I want people to think before they act. If you are a parent, look at your child. Would he or she be allowed to live, if you had known what problems he/she would have? Would you? How about your parents? Remember Hitler and his “master race”? He didn’t pull that idea out of thin air. Eugenics, the idea of “breeding” better people was wildly popular. Margaret Sanger, the originator of Planned Parenthood started the organization with the idea of ending poverty by having poor people not have children. With all the birth control available today, you can see how well that worked. In any case, this is leading somewhere we don’t want to go. I guarantee you, if this comes to pass, and it will, we will be mired in an ethical mess for generations to come.

If those generations come. I just realized, we could solve all our problems by not reproducing at all. All the worlds problems solved in 75 years. And don’t think that there aren’t those out there that honestly believe that. Pray for us all.


streambed that movedI was thinking about choices the last two days. It is politically incorrect to talk about sin, they are “bad choices”. Some choices are a blip in the road, like trying to dam a stream with your hand, the water just runs around, back the way it wanted to go. Other choices mover the stream bed to a whole new location, changing the land around it and being changed by the land.

I was thinking about it since I am involved in a lot of activities that resulted from one choice or another, and choices leading to choices, leading me places I never thought I would go. I said yes to one karate class and got hooked. I said I would go to a Women In The Outdoors event, now I’m on the committee. I participated in Relay for Life and ran 5 miles for the first time. I prayed one little prayer, accepting Jesus as my Savior and became a Christian. Now I teach Sunday school and have a very different, far happier life than the one before.

Even those “one little blip” choices add up. I was people watching at Relay, and I was a bit dismayed. While we were walking or running, most of the tents were raising money by selling sweets. Many of the people there were heavy. Most of the heavy people weren’t doing much walking. Eating processed food has been linked to cancer. You don’t get heavy and out of shape in one choice. It takes making choices every day, some of which are hard. Moral choices are the same. Some of these scoundrels on tv didn’t get there in one choice, it was all the little ones that added up.

So what choices are you making today? Are they leading you where you want to go? Is it time to reassess? If you choose to say “I do” it leads to life long commitments and obligations. You don’t know whether that means joy or heartbreak in the long run. Slightly less momentous is where you will work, or what work you will do. When you make these choices, you can’t always foresee where they will take you. However, if you choose the side of right and good, generally you will get right and good results. I don’t know anyone who chose Christ as was sorry they did so.  I don’t know anyone who picked up a pack of smokes that wasn’t sorry. Some things are guesses, some things are fairly certain bets. What are you betting on?

Mindful Eating? How About Mindful Living?

In case people don’t know, the concept of mindful eating means not sticking anything in your mouth without thinking about what you are doing. As in the opposite of “mindless eating”. It is an excellent concept, especially when it comes to snacking. It is so easy to eat huge quantities of chips or popcorn if they are available while watching tv. The lack of mindful eating leads to over consumption, and a consumption of unhealthy foods. This was brought to mind as I was debating how to use the water I had brought in the house.

Our well failed, and we are in the process of getting a new one dug. We have been without running water since Friday, and short on it since Wednesday, so it’s been a week. Fortunately, it rained this weekend, and we bought garbage cans to use as rain barrels. This gave us over 64 gallons. However, we have to bring it in in gallon milk jugs. This has taken all the daily chores out of the realm of mindless habit and into mindful meditation. While I certainly don’t want to live like this, I do appreciate the lesson. It makes me think about those who live like this, and the worldwide problem of accessable water. It’s made me think of how people behave-when things are readily available, we use more. A lot more. It takes 3-4 gallons to flush a toilet. A little over a gallon to wash dishes. How much more would it be if the water was running? What do I NEED to do, and how can I do it, without running water?

I don’t think a year from now I will be thinking about how much water I’m using. It’s human nature to put things in the background, so we can concentrate on other things. But just like you clean your closet once a year, getting rid of the clothes that don’t fit, how about getting out all those habits and cleaning them out? Are there habits in your life that are the equivalent of mindless eating or mindless water usage? For one thing- how much time do you spend on entertainment? Are those activities benefiting your life or spirit? Personally, I hate the idea of sitting there, “vegging out”, watching tv, probably a program you don’t even care about. You only have 70-80 years on average, why waste a minute of it? If you are too tired to do anything, go to sleep! If you want to watch a program, because you enjoy it, fine. But 40 hours a week? What are you not doing while you are watching tv? What goals do you have? Learning a language? Shooting a bow? Hiking in the woods? Learning an instrument? What could you get rid of to find time to do these things? Is there someone you hang out with for no reason?

I’m not saying you can’t spend time playing. Play.  Play a lot. Play hard. Just do it because it fits your life and what you want from it, not because you fell into it and don’t really care about it. Just don’t waste time or pass time. Choose your activities mindfully. Just like I won’t be thinking about water in a year, you and I will slip into habits requiring this housecleaning from time to time. If you tell me you don’t have time for this that or the other thing, ask yourself, “how much time do I spend watching other people live their lives, instead of living my own.”

Carpe Diem

Running Vest, or as I Like to Call it, The New Toy.

I couldn’t post this on my exercise site, so I thought I would do so here. I have been looking for some way to carry stuff while running, especially difficult to carry concealed. In cold weather I can wear my coat or vest and have pockets. When it is hot out, I wear stretchy stuff with no pockets. I even tried my back pack once. Bad idea. So I’ve been looking around and I found this:

My new toy

Room for everything and comfy too.

I took it for it’s shakedown cruise this morning. It was great. I would wish for one more strap at the bottom to keep it from bouncing at all, but it was well within acceptable limits. I could add something later if I want. I was carrying my LCP, pepper spray, my cell phone and keys. Not bad. It is small, lightweight, reasonably attractive, soft and airy. I bought it on Amazon for far less than any other vest I looked at. I love products that work and solve a problem.

The Urge to Post.

So I haven’t posted in awhile, and it is like an urge that builds up. This won’t be a great post, as I forgot to take pictures, and I know we all like pictures. This will be a hodge podge. Much is going on.

First, name two things essential to health. You got it, veggies and water. On the plus side, my garden is growing great! That’s what I should have taken a picture of. We are getting salad greens every day, along with radishes. That is a great feeling. Oh, the asparagus I planted sprouted. On the down side, something is wrong with our water. We have to wait until Monday to get it fixed. It is worse than camping, when you turn the faucet on, there is no telling how much will come out. The water fixing company did come out Friday, it looks like the well itself is ok, but something is very wrong, somewhere. Talk about appreciating what you have after it’s gone!

I have to admit, the water problem has me down. Granted, I can shower at the gym,  I bought a case of water to get us through the weekend, and put barrels under my drain spouts to get water for non drinking purposes. But tonight I got a perspective creator. One of my exchange students is Italian. She lived in Cavezzo, until it was destroyed by earthquakes. Not having easy access to water pales next to not having a home or job.

Keep Italy in your prayers. We don’t always hear what’s going on. I was worried about her because I heard there were earthquakes in Parma, her home town a few days ago. Her home started being destroyed the 20th and was finished off the 29th.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: