Tuesday, April 26, 2016

WtR: Day 4: Detox Salt, Sugar, Fat and Caffeine

Aloha, my eight readers!

I'm back!  I am sorry for the break in posting, but hey - life happens.  There was an incident last weekend that would have fallen on this day.  Completely in synchronicity with the focus of today - cutting out the crap from the diet that doesn't serve my body well.

Last Tuesday, I took a shortcut and decided to get a salad for dinner.  However, I passed said salad place because I was distracted and then it was too late to turn around and still pick up my daughter.  So, I decided to "treat" myself and my mother to a hamburger and fried zucchinis.  My daughter did not partake because she is the smarter one to avoid fast food and stick to her rice cereal, green beans, and eggs...

Anyhow, flash forward to Thursday, we are both in wretched condition.  I was sick as a dog all day, she was sick as well - but much more so.  She required going to the hospital for her nausea and sickness, as well as dehydration.  Three IV bags later and some Zofram and she was on her way back to a better color (no longer green) and prescribed to have some much needed rest.  In fact, we are still recovering a week later!

I felt so damn guilty.  If only I had remembered to stop and get our salads... If only I didn't agree to get hamburgers...

You know, you play that "If only" game after the fact.  I'd like to get ahead of the eight ball and make sure there isn't an "if only" next time.

Here's the deal, I am expert at researching food groups, recommended caloric intake, food combinations, etc. for myself, but the three things that will trip me up are salt, sugar, and fat.  Caffeine?  Not so much, because I know who the culprits are...the other three hide in what we could possibly call "healthy" foods.  But guess what, it isn't - not in the amount that is in some of those foods.


I am not a registered dietitian so I cannot speak to what you or someone else should eat, but I am finding what is working for myself.  I am not advocating for a person to go cold turkey unless you want to and are willing to go through the side effects.  But for me, right now, I am slowly cutting back all of the above and will eventually go straight decaf, only natural sugars, and the proper amount of good fats to help my brain, hair, and nails.
Source: I can't read the artist's signature - so if you know, please share in the comments.

If anything that is helping me not eat so much crap - avoiding the candy dish in HR, making tea at home, not going out to eat (saves money too!), and remembering this quote as I am working my way back to being a triathlete...

"Your health and vigor, at a very basic level, are as good as your last meal." ~ James O'Keefe.

What's your favorite quote to keep you discipline and focused on your target?

Make it a good one!


In case you're wondering what this series is about: 40 Days and Update

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

WtR: Day 3: Sex and more of it...

Aloha!  Welcome to another WtR day with the focus on S.E.X!

 If you are just joining, please check out these posts: 40 Days and Update.  We're actually on Day 3, so you really have not missed much, if at all.  ;)

You may or may not be coming in on the good part (pun may or may not be intended).

So. I have to be a little honest - I didn't want to write this post.  Part of the reluctance is how much do you share? Another part is how much do people really want to know about what's the happenings behind any person's closed doors?  And. the last bit of the resistance is how do I want to approach this topic knowing I have my own struggles?

Here's the deal - in my experience, the discussion regarding sex depends on your upbringing and parents' perspective about sex.  Sex is either a natural act (think livestock and husbandry), or an expected (discussed and talked about) activity, or is nonexistent (prudish or "only when you're married").

Here's another struggle - slut shaming versus "healthy" sex drive.

And yet another, "don't have sex - you'll get pregnant and ruin your life."  Which leads to marriage and then the inevitable question - "When are you going to have children?"  How do you expect a person who has been conditioned to fear sex (pregnancy) and then jump into rabbit rabid sex to procreate?  When can a man or woman slow down and just enjoy the process and practice of procreation if that is the end goal?

So, sorry if this post is jumping around, but that's the process when I start thinking about sex.

Now, don't get me wrong - sex is great for all of the top ten reasons that Men's Health, Glamor,  and whatever the latest studies show.  It's great for sleep, your skin complexion, your mental health, and the health of your relationship (committed/married/F.W.B./whatever your heart LEGALLY and ETHICALLY desires...).

It takes a paradigm shift from being a horny teenager into a committed relationship that craves physical intimacy built from emotional and mental intimacy.  Sometimes people have that innate knowledge and sometimes it takes a few failed relationships and broken hearts to realize that sex does not equal love.

It also takes a while to learn that while sex is powerful, it should not be wielded like a weapon or withheld like a punishment.  It also isn't effective as a band-aid or a balm to an injured relationship.  Sure, it helps skin deep, but it doesn't provide the stitches or the antiseptic to cleanse the wound.

Not sure if I have scratched the back of this topic, but it will have to do for now.  See - my prudish tendencies are showing themselves, but at least I am talking about it.

The next step is to just have fun with the hubby.  ;)

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Cheers to knockin' the socks off your loved one!

Friday, April 15, 2016

WtR: Day 2: Exercise

Aloha!  Welcome to another day with the focus on Exercise.

 If you are just joining, please check out these posts: 40 Days, Update, and WtR Day 1.

Most days, exercise is like this:
Source: Motivation Required
Other days, exercise feels like this:

Source: Best Of...

Either way, it's something that probably shouldn't be looked at as a chore or an inconvenient necessity.

I am currently reading Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy.  Yesterday, it was about "creative movement."  She explained that exercise does not need to be regimented or exhaustive activitiy, i.e. Crossfit, P90x, HardCorp, or Arnold Schwarzenegger "Puhump Yu Up" (say it in his accent, you know you wanna...).  Creative movement is whatever physical activity that imparts joy and a release from all of the crap you are enduring.  Another well-known coach and author, Chalene Johnson, calls this the "soul" workout in her book Push.

My soul workouts are swimming and water polo.  My heart sings when I do either of these activities.  The next best is getting on a bicycle and pedaling over thirty miles.  I am refreshed and freed.  I feel all the pressures release and all is good in my world in the hours after planning and escaping from the drudgery and at least 45 minutes of responsibility to others.

If you love any of the above, great!  If you don't, great!  But, what do you love to do to move? 

What movement do you enjoy?  
What can you see yourself maintaining?  
What do you do to "exercise" or indulge in creative movement?

In peace and exercise!  ;)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

WtR: Day 1: Slow to Anger, Quick to Love

Writing to Refreshment

Day 1: Slow to Anger, Quick to Love

The inspiration for this focus is based on my own reactions to the world and my frustrations at sometimes not being able to make sense of it all.  It is also a reaction to what's being shared in the news, on social media, and interactions with "real live" people.

Here are some of my observations:

  • All of us are either or all of the following: frustrated, anxious, tired, depressed, struggling, and overwhelmed.
  • Most of us are not "in the present." This means being pulled in fifteen different directions all at once physically or in our mind: being able to pay the bills, work situations (co-workers, work load, lack of work, etc.), family (immediate and extended), children, spouse/significant other, friends, social engagement responsibilities, action steps toward a major goal, etc. We are all trying to be everything to everyone at all hours of the day.  The one person that isn't getting his or her way is you.
  • We "hide" ourselves in our smart phones, tablets, computers, and other devices to avoid interaction and to "entertain" ourselves while waiting.  What we don't know is that we are missing that opportunity to smile at another human being, to share a small moment in solidarity, and to acknowledge other humans AS humans and not as an incovenient barrier to your end goal.  For example, take a look the next time you are standing in line at the grocery store, coffee shop, or at the park.  How many opportunities are missed to be a fellow human to another? To give small encouragements by a simple smile or a head tilt? 

How can you remember to be slow to anger and quick to love?  What little opportunities do you take advantage of to share a bit of goodness in the world?  

In patience and love!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Update on 40 days


40 days came and went.  Did I fall down in posting?  Why yes, yes I did.

Did I continue to swap out anger and frustration for peace and progress?  Yes....and no.

Was I successful in completely eliminating issues? No.

Was I successful in being in a more positive head space than not?  Yes.

Am I still having issues?  Who isn't? ;)

Anger, anxiety, and frustration are still present, but not in the consistent manner.  It does happen in spurts which tells me two things, either I am suppressing my feelings or I am managing the outbursts with some effective tools.

I just know this:
  • Life is hard - it's friggin' hard.  Just when you think you have it figured out, it takes a hard left at Albuquerque (Looney Toon fans will love that reference).
  • My self-sabotaging behavior is just as bad as a drug addiction or cutting, I choose to punish myself with food and emotional abuse from myself.
  • I crave and want positive change. I've got a wonderful family and a bright future to look forward to and I will be an active participant in this life I am crafting.
So, here we go again.  Forty (more) days to refine my peace and progress.

Writing to Refreshment Activities (adapted from multiple sources, but ones that I know I will do...)

  1. Remember to be slow to anger, quick to love.
  2. Exercise
  3. Have more sex.  I don't think the hubby will mind.  ;)
  4. Detox: sugar, salt, fat, and caffeine
  5. Nutrition: juices, herbal tea, and balanced nutrition full of energy.
  6. Listen to music.
  7. Avoid Facebook time suck - because, really?  I have better things to do with my time.
  8. Get out into nature and find the four elements: earth, air, water, and fire.
  9. Attend a concert, play, or art show.
  10. Be a source of light: turn up the volume at what I do best - be upbeat and optimistic without the negativity or being "fake", make people laugh and uplift those around me.  PAY IT FORWARD.
  11. Try something new everyday that isn't food associated.
  12. Meditate
  13. Spend a little time in reflection and prayer.
  14. Sleep at least 7 hours a night.
  15. Stay in the present daily.
  16. Journal/blog daily.
  17. Get my vision checked and a dental check up.
  18. Read a book for fun, solve a puzzle, and craft with my mother.
  19. Do a service-oriented activity - volunteer
  20. Clear the clutter from the home, garage, and digital spaces.
  21. Do a creative exploration activity with my daughter weekly.
What else would you suggest as an activity towards refreshment?

Does anyone want to join?  



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CYOA - Catalina!

Aloha Adventurers!

We're heading to Catalina for a day trip and an exploration of land and sea!  I know this is short notice, but it will be worth it, I promise! 

We will be exploring the interior landscape and plunging into the depths to view the sea. The day will start on the Catalina Express from Dana Point, head to Avalon and catch the Catalina Adventures Hummer into the wild. We'll have a pit stop at the DC-3 Grill for breakfast. After returning from the Safari Adventure, we will take a short writing break and lunch.  After our repast, the deep blue will be explored aboard the Nautilus. 

Writing prompts and exercises will be shared along the way amongst the authors. One-on-One writing session will be scheduled within two weeks of the event.

RSVP and Payment DUE 4/8/2016 10am.  Follow this link to paypal.me/travelingpen

Please check out the menu for DC-3 Grill: 

COST: $407

Cost Includes:
Catalina Express Ferry ($74)
Catalina Land and Sea Adventures Tour ($79+34):$113
DC-3 Grill (~20)
Writing Workshop and Consultation ($200)

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Disappointing News

Today I received some pretty disappointing news.  It was news I was expecting, but I was still hopeful.  I will not be able to continue to teach at the local adult high school because I work as a staff member full time and we are in the peak of high value accreditation and grant reporting.  It makes sense and I understand it from a managerial point of view and the effective use of resources, talent, knowledge, and experience.

This is just a temporary hiatus and it hopefully means another door is preparing to open.