Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chips and Cookies, and a Powerful Solution

I just get the little bag, on the way home from the grocery store.  It's a compromse, a body con, a thing to get me through the emotions of the day, until I get home, cook, eat, watch a movie.  So I was curious why, with all the activity, my weight is holding pretty stable.  I'm pretty conservative with the junk food.

The empty bag from last night's little cheese doodle fix is tucked under the driver's seat of my car.  The bag says they are 160 calories.  Per serving.  There are 3.5 servings in the bag.  The cookie wrapper from yesterday says the cookie in the single wrapper has 250 calories.  Per serving.  And it says the cookie is two servings (which, as far as I am concerned is a lot like saying, during sex, "that's okay, I'll have an orgasm next time.")

This "servings per bag" nonsense is deliberate cruelty and flim-flam, perpetrated by evil corporations.  No wonder I'm as active as a teenager and still twenty pounds overweight.  If I eat the cookie and the chips in one day, just one cookie, and just the little bag of chips, that's 1,060 calories!  More than half of what I should be eating in a day.

Who knew?  Probably everyone but me, to be honest.  But I also have a solution.  Because my engineer mind never really went away, I can't stop doing math.  And math brain gave me a powerful solution to this problem.

Craving savory or salty?  Toast a piece of whole wheat bread and slather it with healthy spread.  It's about the same bulk as the bag of chips, and it's ....
250 calories.  Plus, you just ate no sugar, and no white flour and no icky fats.

Craving sweet?  Toast a piece of whole wheat bread and put some honey on it.
About the same size as a cookie, just as filling, just as sweet, whole grain, no sugar
250 calories.

So I can have my body con, my emotional food fix, for half the calories, and way more nutrients.   Maybe this is a news flash only for me, but just in case there are others out there who never stopped to do the math.  Here it is.  From now on, I'm keeping a loaf of whole wheat bread and a squeeze bottle of honey at the office.  When cookie-craving time rolls around...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


It can be so perfectly simple.  Last night, dinner was a bowl of soup, just simple vegetable broth with carrots, cauliflower and mushrooms, onions and shallots.  And two slices of whole wheat bread with peanut butter.  Took about fifteen minutes to make.  No special equipment, no complicated recipies.  And the left over soup will be lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Walk it away

Monday ended on a stressful note at the office.  So good to go to the car, change into my hiking boots, and shoulder my little pack.  I have about fifteen pounds of climbing hardware in it, just to give me some weight to pull, add to the workout a little bit.

Daylight was fading as I headed up over Skinner butte and down toward the river.  The evening was so mild, I stopped and took off my puffy jacket.  Bicyclists passed me in pelotons, ringing their bells and singing "on your left" as they buzzed past.  A friend went running by the other way, turned around and walked with me for a while.  I told her of my plans to hike the crest again in a couple years.  She is planning a move to Hawaii.

The river is brown and frothy, jumping over itself to get down the hill.  It shines in the dim light of the street lights, and sings it's song to me as I walk.  At 30 minutes I turn around, very hungry now, and by the time I've unwound the distance back over the butte, food sounds really, really good.  A beer, some good company at the pub, and suddenly my day seems not so bad after all.

I slept soundly all night.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Summer Day on Spencer's Butte!

What a spectacular day on the Butte!  Brittney and I were planning on a slow-ish trip up, as young Corbin, her 4 year old son was with us.  Want a great workout?  Follow a 4 year old up a mountain!  He was on fire for it, running to the crest of each hill, savoring every tall tree.  Kind of made the rest of us see it all through fresh eyes.

That is the real journey after all.  To see with new eyes.  We spend a half hour at the summt, meeting people and sunning oursevlves in unseasonable sixty degree weather.  Got a great phot of Brit and me juggling on top of the world.

Special welcome to Jaime, who is getting her very first taste of Eugene.  Welcome!  You couldn't have a better tour guide than Brittney...

Thanks to all who went, and sweetened my day...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hand operated coffee grinder

My little hand-operated coffee grinder has been so much fun.  I grind just enough coffee for a morning cup, enjoyed by the little window in my living room.  And I don't have to endure the piercing scream of a plug in grinder.  After that noise, I need a valium to calm me down, not coffee to wake me up!

This morning, I grind some coffee, then start my nice chewy Scottish oatmeal boiling.  And it ocurrs to me:  I have fresh flax seed in the spice cabinet.  I wonder if I can use my little grinder to make freshly ground flax seed?

And sure enough, the grinder comes apart easily, for a quick washing.  Back together, flax into the machine, a few cranks, and I have beautiful, aromatic, nutty flaxmeal.  This sprinkles on top of the oatmeal, along with a teaspoon of olive oil.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Hello and Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my new blog!

I am passionate about good, whole food, joyful physical activity, and the promise of feeling vital at all ages.  I've had made tremendous improvements in my health and vitality in the last six years, thanks to eating plant-based, whole foods.  Starting at 47, I have been getting younger not older!  My energy level is up, the arthritis in my hands is gone, and I've taken up rock climbing.

Along the way, I discovered a very simple yet astounding truth: whole food tastes really, really good!  It only takes a few weeks for tastes to change, and before you know it, you're craving whole food, instead of manufactured, adulterated substances that barely deserve the name "food."

The other open secret in all of this is that you do not have to exercise.  You only have to do things you really enjoy.  Whatever absorbs you, whatever makes you feel like a kid again, will call to you.  You will do it because you want to, and the rewards follow naturally.

The process is synergistic: the more you eat good things, the more energy you have.  And if you just do things you enjoy, you get more energetic still.  It's been an incredibly rewarding process, one that I am now ready to share with any and all.

I invite you!  Return to this page to find out about upcoming events:
Fitness walks in Eugene
Vegetarian and Vegan potlucks
Book Groups
Five Rites get-togethers
And who knows what else...