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"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." ~Aristotle

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Throwback Tuesday: a post from 2005

A Treatise on the Weather: I love the rain. And I prefer non-sunny days to sunny ones. Really the darker the better, but I'll take overcast over sunny. When I tell people this, they usually don't believe me, or think it's weird, but that's okay. I usually say, "if no one was happy on this kind of day, EVERYONE would be in a bad mood!" I am actually happier all day when it's gloomy outside (I call it an Eeyore day). But why? When did this happen?

Reason 1: I don't like to squint, or wear sunglasses.

Reason 2: I don't like to see all the dust in my house and in the air. Sunlight exposes every speck of the stuff. Bleh. It makes me sneeze just thinking about it.

Reason 3: I like the way rain looks on things - windows, pavement, leaves on the ground and in the trees, grass when it's gotten the chance to turn a bit green...

Reason 4: I like the way rain smells. The combination of everything wetted down, with the rare exception in some locations of, say, trash or something, is heavenly to my nostrils. I take a much bigger damp breath than a dry, sunny one.

Reason 5: I get to decide how bright to make it in the house - turn on lights or not, light a candle or not...

Reason 6: Some of my favorite songs are either about rain, or it plays a feature role in the story.  These are just a few off the top of my head!:

Rainy Day People (Gordon Lightfoot)
The Rainy Season (Marc Cohn)
Looking at the Rain (Gordon Lightfoot)
Storms (Fleetwood Mac)
Rain (Madonna)
Blame it on the Rain (Milli Vanilli)
Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head (BJ Thomas)
Singin' in the Rain (the musical)
Good Rain (Chris and Johnny/Storyhill)
Love a Rainy Night (Eddie Rabbit)
Driving My Life Away (Eddie Rabbit)
Bobby McGee (Janis or Gordon Lightfoot)
Ironic (Alanis Morrisset)
Rain Down (Phil Collins)
Tom's Diner (Suzanne Vega)
Early Morning Rain (Gordon Lightfoot)
Fire and Rain (James Taylor)

Seriously - that is just off the top of my head; I'm sure there are others?!

Umbrellas and raincoats make me laugh.  "Oh no!  I will get covered with something that will soon evaporate..."  I mean, it's not PUDDING for crying out loud!  Of course, I've never been an "oh no, my hair" type person, so I suppose if I'd spent even a few minutes stylin' and sprayin' in the am I wouldn't want that to be compromised.  Still, I laugh when I see people, with nothing to protect but their bodies, wearing raincoats or sportin' umbrellas.

*I think there is a distinct difference between love of rain and love of grey days.  I mixed the two.  I like my grey days without rain, too.  I suppose it goes: Rain, Grey, Partially Sunny, Sunny.  Fave to least.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ultimate Reset: Day 19: Random Thoughts


  • I roasted the veggies without burning them tonight. Success! (and I love roasted root veggies. beets! sweet potato! onion! carrots!  nom.) The kids ate them without complaint! Woot!
  • you, too, can eat half an avocado every single day and still lose/keep off weight. Healthy fats, people!  Also: nom.

  • My "cheats": 
  1. Dunno what day it was, but I did have a "that-time-of-the-month"-related chocolate diversion; a square of Lindt dark, 85%? chocolate. I savored it and don't regret the decision.
  2. I've had Caffix on a few occasions. 
  3. Today I totally broke and had a scone. It was a calculated break, I made the conscious decision to go to the kitchen and get the thing. It COULD have had something to do with watching a steady stream of Master Chef and Kitchen Nightmares for the past few days, or it could be that I just wanted a damned scone. In any case, it was an unsanctioned snack.
  • TMI ALERT: One would think that a diet consisting nearly 100% of fruits and vegetables would ... ahem ... MOVE things along, even for a tough case like me. Alas, either by way of the supplements, or my incredibly SLOW digestive tract, the Ultimate Reset did little to nothing to REGULATE. I'm disappointed, but not surprised. I'm actually relieved (ha!) that increasing my fiber and water intake alone will not solve my intestinal issues ... that means that other experimentation is necessary but I have a baseline of healthy eating to use.
  • Despite more frequent night-time trips to pee, I think I'm sleeping better. Bonus! Which of course means I am more awake during the day. The increased water and lack of sugars/carbs I'm guessing accentuates that day-time awake-ness. I wouldn't go so far as to say I have more ENERGY (pingpingping woohoo! bouncebounce look at me! I have energy!!), but I DO notice I'm not lethargic, aching for a nap, etc.
Only 2 more days. What happens next? To my husband's dismay, we're supposed to ease back into dairy, meat, etc, if at all. I really don't think it will be that much of an issue. I'm thinking about all the things I'd like to make soon, and some of them require cream in the sauce, that type of thing, so we'll have to ease into all of that (fall! chili! ground beef!). But for the most part, I don't think it will be difficult to get back to "normal" - as our normal wasn't that bad to start. 

I really miss coffee. And I don't really miss the caffeine. So that's nice. I know that even a decaf at Starbucks will have some caffeine, so I do need to be careful there, but ... I do look forward to coffee dates. And sometimes, a scone. :) 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ultimate Reset Day 11: Misc. Thoughts

Howdy!


  • Cumin is still my favorite seasoning. Yum. 
  • Avocado with a spoon. Also yum.
  • I wouldn't want to do the Reset in the winter. Have I mentioned this? The gorgeous freshness of the farmer's market so far surpasses paltry grocery store produce ... I can't imagine eating all these tomato dishes and salads with pasty, rock-hard "tomatoes."  Blick.
  • I wouldn't want to do the Reset in the winter. I would have a hard time not having tea/warm beverages in the morning and throughout the day. The soups would be nice but the salads (quinoa-based, lettuce based, cucumber based) would also not be as pleasant on a cold day.
  • I'm content to purchase my miso soup at a restaurant. 
  • I am still looking forward to crackers. But not so much that I'd break the plan to have one. 
  • Also: I do not miss cleaning CHEESE (cooked, baked) off of things.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Ultimate Reset Day 6: Random Thoughts


  • Extreme orthostatic hypotension and resulting vasovagal syncope this morning; increasing my salt intake to hopefully combat this. (note: this is a pre-existing condition of mine, I don't blame the diet, other than to say in "normal diet mode" I must get "hidden" salt from items in my diet .. perhaps the crackers I've mentioned? because I don't add it at the table and rarely use it much in cooking. Pondering what I eat and what I SHOULD eat to balance this phenomenon.
  • Roasted vegetables make the house smell glorious... even if they've charred into black crunchy things.
  • I still have a lot to learn in seasoning my own food without a recipe; watching Master Chef does not an intuitive cook make. 
  • my kids are troopers in the new foods department. They even ate the burned beet chunks.
  • My daughter loves salmon. (and lamb, and scallops, and lobster. She's an expensive date.)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ultimate Reset: Day 5 General Thoughts


  • Miso soup fail tonight! I blame the ingredients. Truly! disappointing flavor. Bummer.
  • Looking forward to some new seasonings ... The veggies and grains have been great and plentiful, but I'm getting bored of the flavorings suggested. cilantro is not a favorite, mint is not an Ian favorite, basil is tasty and plentiful ... but I could do without as much sesame/soy/seaweed/sesame oil ... Would love some curry, red pepper, chili powder, paprika, cumin ... If it doesn't show up soon I may be forced to go "off book" a bit.
  • There are a few puree soups coming up I'm excited to try.
  • Tonight is the first time I'm hungry. It's 9pm though, so I find going to bed solves that dilemma :) I'm not tempted to go raid the fridge, but my stomach does have a bit of that burn feeling to it. Maybe it's all the miso?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Ultimate Reset: Day 4

Random thoughts on the Reset:

  • If you don't like cucumbers, you would not do well on this particular regimen (although you can certainly swap out meals, a LARGE portion of the recipes contain cucumbers).
  • I've seen 150 on the scale this week. I don't weigh myself every day, but that was exciting!
  • I do NOT feel hungry "You mean it's time to eat AGAIN?!" is a thought I've had. Truth. (This could be because I've been preparing all the meals which require a lot of peeling, chopping and washing.)
  • I do not feel deprived ... much. We eat a pretty healthy diet at home - we all love fruit and vegetables and I have never bothered with meat at every dinner. We haven't been to a restaurant since we started, naturally, but we also haven't been to a potluck or family meal to be tempted by Gramma's Famous Whatnot. What happens when Ian goes back to school and smells the delicious (no, really!) cafeteria food? What happens when I'm home alone all day with Nut-Thins
  • I don't have cravings unless I'm watching Cake Boss with the family ... which is funny because I don't like cake. But it does make me want a giant chocolate chip cookie from our local bakery.
  • We have mostly healthy foods in the house, so avoiding bad-for-us items has not been difficult. For me the issue is crunch and carbs ... a bag of crackers and a bowl of pasta. But I do like quinoa and brown rice ... they'll have to do for now!
  • I. Love. Lentils. (still).
  • I need to remember to READ AHEAD... some things can be prepped in advance ... or NEED to be prepped in advance. Doh!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ultimate Reset: Day 1

Day 1 is complete. Just a few random thoughts:

  • the food is plentiful. In fact, I found it very difficult to finish all of my meals. I can only surmise this is because the program wants to provide folks who eat WAY more than I do with a gradual decrease in pure food mass. (If you feel like you're starving yourself on day one, you're gonna get a headache, cheat, give up, or all of the above.) I should have taken pictures of my meals, but you'll have to take my word (s) for it- colorful and huge.
  • the food is good. eggs and toast for breakfast (with spinach), giant salad plus miso soup for lunch, salmon, asparagus and potatoes for dinner. Lots of snack options (we happened to skip that course today).
  • the most difficult part is scheduling ... staying ahead of the game enough to have food prepared and take supplements at prescribed times (designed to be taken 30 min before or 2 hours AFTER meals - so it's flexible but there is some clock-watching involved)
  • there is a "scary green goo" drink which has been much maligned by other participants; we both found it to be like drinking the water left over from steaming spinach. No biggie. *whew*
  • in order to construct the prescribed salad, we need bigger dishes. Not bowls -- dishes; today's salad exceeded our dinner plates.
  • drinking a gallon of water a day does what you think it would do - sends you to the bathroom more frequently. The good news is, apparently I've already been drinking quite a bit of water, because this amount didn't put me in there too many more times than a normal day.
  • I don't "feel different;" I don't have a headache. I am a bit tired, but I also woke at 4am to the amazing downpour we had (and listened to My Hero snore for about an hour, but I digress). I'm looking forward to tomorrow's meals - oatmeal, chicken salad, tacos ... yum.