A Clean Diet

fish

There’s lots of talk about “clean diets.” If you want to start eating well, but don’t know where to begin, look to the Mediterranean Diet. It’s one of the most universally agreed upon regimens for feeling good:

Key components of the Mediterranean diet*

  • Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
  • Replacing butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
  • Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
  • Enjoying meals with family and friends
  • Drinking red wine in moderation (optional)
  • Getting plenty of exercise

(I would add: limit caffeine, sugar and fried foods).

*From The Mayo Clinic

Fierce

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Fierce – adj., 3. Furiously Eager and Intense

When I was in my early twenties, I lived in San Francisco and wanted to be a writer. To be a good writer, you have to read a lot. I was forever changed when I read Natalie Goldberg’s Wild Mind. In it is a passage about feeling “wild” while you sit calmly, writing. I completely identified with this! I made up my mind to have a Wild Mind from then on.

Being “wild” mentally naturally helps my writing and my creativity. However, I noticed that when I feel sluggish physically, I am pretty dull inside, too. So I force myself to exercise. Believe me, I am never excited about lacing up the work out shoes. But I make it a habit. I get my shoes on, turn Jillian on (the DVD, not her…) and I go to town. It’s hard. I sweat. I look forward to it ending. But I do it. And when I’m done, I feel SO GOOD (not just because it’s over). The endorphins kick in and I feel more energized and positive. I am on top of the world!

On some Sundays, I like to go roller skating. I’m almost as fast as Apolo Ohno. This gives me a great high, too. I feel fierce.

Image result for apolo ohno skating

What makes you feel ferocious? What can you do to make it a habit?

 

 

 

 

7 Benefits to Gratitude

 

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Practicing gratitude improves your life in a multitude of ways.  According to Amy Morin, a psychological business writer for Forbes.com, reflecting on all that you have to be grateful for benefits you in the following ways:

  1. Opens the door to more relationships.
  2. Improves your physical health (fewer aches and pains)!
  3. Improves your psychological health (reduces your emotional toxins)!
  4. Enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
  5. Helps you sleep better.
  6. Improves your self-esteem.
  7. Increases mental strength.

 

Reflecting on gratitude is a form of living in presence.

Happy Thanksgiving, all.

 

 

 

 

The Personals

 

[This is an ad ghost-written by me, on behalf of my husband].

 

MWM Seeks General Practitioner

You:  Good-looking, fit doctor. Non-smoker. Willing to give tough love. Age between 30 and 49 (I don’t want you dying on me). Friendly, passionate, conversationalist (I like to talk), must be funny. Race unimportant. Favors advice of healthy eating and exercise over pill-popping, per my wife.

 

Me: Hilarious white male. 6′ tall, 200-something-lbs. (will discuss when we meet).  Nonsmoker. Honest. Good-looking. Hobbies include football (watching) and baseball (also watching).  Cookie-addict. Seeking painless weight-loss. Call me.

 

 

Story with a Korean Recipe

 

 

Hello dear reader,

I decided to make Saturday posts about Korean food. Even if you don’t particularly like Korean food, maybe you could still find it interesting.

Problem:  I’m not a food expert. My mother cooks the Korean food I eat. Or I go to Hodori. What can I offer my valued readers? Well, I have memories I can share with you and a recipe from a food expert (complete with citation).

The story:

It was a very horrible, no-good, very bad day. I was going to a new school. My mother had just cut my hair. I was wearing Winnie-the-Pooh overalls. I entered the class where my teacher introduced it. I was confused because right before she said my name, all the boys cheered and the girls remained silent. “Please help our new student Caroline feel welcome.” Everyone looked at each other. That’s a girl?!

Everyone pretty much ignored me that day. I ate lunch alone. There were whispers and I heard the word “Chinese” over and over again. I’m not Chinese! I wanted to yell.  I hated school.

When I came home, I was met with the warm, rich smells of mom’s cooking. She hugged me in the kitchen and put a plate of beef chun in front of me. She made some with jalapenos (for dad) and some with out (for the kids).

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Did I tell her about my day? No. I didn’t tell her about it. We didn’t do that in my family. I just ate the beef chun.

This is a high protein, delicious plate.

I love, love, love this website for Korean food. It’s published and run by a very cool Korean chick named Maangchi. She was born in Korea and knows her food. Here is her recipe for “beef pancakes” or beef chun. YUM! I will be posting recipes and stories related to vegetarian dishes, too, never fear.

 

 

Garmin Vivofit Review

After a few months of considering fitness trackers, I finally made my decision. There are so many out there and I wasn’t sure I really *needed* one. I really don’t NEED one. This is a First World issue, let’s be clear. I eat well, I exercise 6x/week…why the desire for a fitness tracker?

I wanted to know my stats. As I age, I’ve become hyper aware of changes metabolically.  What’s my heart rate? Resting pulse? Calories burned?

Ugh. Ego.

Willey purchased this for me for Mother’s Day. Early.  How did he know? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.  I am very happy with it and have had two – no, three – unexpected benefits from it.  Aside from learning my heart rate is at an optimum level for exercise and my age, I can see how much sleep I had the night before. And as I track it, it has become very clear to me that I need 8 hours for an excellent day and that I rarely sleep 8. Let’s get more sleep, people!

Secondly, the red bar across the top warns me when I’ve been sedentary for an hour. This doesn’t happen often, but when I see the red bar, I get Opal and go for a walk. I am definitely more active in general now that it’s on my wrist.

Thirdly, it’s a watch. I used to search my bag for my phone to check the time. Now I check it old school (sort of)!

Cleaning is a must – I wash it with damp, soapy rag and wipe it down with a dry cloth. I also use some alcohol. Here is a great (short) video on the proper way to clean your fitness devices from Live Science: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEylhRZSuOc

Don’t forget to clean your chest strap, too.

“Mom, it’s ugly.”

“I don’t care. It does what I want.” I refuse to spend an extra $100 for aesthetics!

If you’re on the fence about getting one, I think you don’t have to spend a lot and your dog will thank you.