Tuesday, November 27, 2012
After posting daily since Sept 17th (my first ever), I was ready to skip this morning. I’ve just got too much to do. Yesterday I wrote about DH’s great idea to spend 2 weeks on a river cruise in Europe. When you’re retired, you are able to take advantage of the great deal on one of the last cabins, drop everything and go. When searching for the good things about joining the ranks of senior citizens, this one tops the list – the short list. So in 10 days off we go!
DH & I have traveled a lot, but never in winter. This will be different. SP must be on the same wavelength as I am since the daily featured blog is “3 ways to avoid weight gain on vacation.
I’ve been so happy about my 3 years of maintenance that this is obviously a concern of mine. Yet I’m not too happy about their suggestions. They’re the same as I would observe when eating out here at home. But, I won’t be at home. These are different cultures, different foods, new people and places and I need a somewhat different plan.
Starting with the easy stuff
“Do a lot of walking” –
This one is easy. The tours are advertised as requiring a lot of walking. There’s also a “fitness room” onboard. So an extra few miles on the treadmill are doable. I’ll even pack my running clothes. Running along the Rhine will be a nice addition to the bucket list.
“Don’t make every meal a heavy one” –
It’s a CRUISE! Lots of food! At least we’ll be ordering from the menu for 2 meals a day when I can make good choices. Breakfast is buffet. As long as I avoid the bacon & pastry, I should be OK. I rarely eat a lot in the morning.
“Grabbing fresh produce from a market and making a salad in my room” doesn’t fit our situation. I wouldn’t do that even if it did.
“Sample the different flavors but don’t have to finish the meals” –
This one will not work for me. I won’t overstuff myself if there is really too much on the plate, but leaving something just to save the calories is for me a recipe for deprivation depression. This is not the state of mind I want while visiting the Christmas Markets.
Then there’s the title itself “avoid weight gain.”
If that was my only goal, I should stay home. My plan is to avoid excessive weight gain. If I come back a few pounds heavier (up to 4?), that’s OK. There will be a scale in the fitness room, so I can still weigh myself daily to keep things reasonable, just like I do at home. It’s part of my morning routine.
Here is my one unbreakable rule.
Except for the wine at dinner and the champaign at the captain’s reception, I will not drink ANY alcohol. First of all, I have to pay extra for that, usually a lot extra and that doesn’t agree with my thrifty self. If I’m going to get 400 extra calories, I’ll get it from the strudel.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
We know they’re not all the same thing. We have more “facts” available at our fingertips than at any time in history. There are so many facts that we need help to sort them out to gain any real knowledge. So we subscribe to media to help analyze it all. Unfortunately, we also tend to patronize those sources which agree with what we want to believe.
“There are 3 kinds of lies - lies, damn lies and statistics.” This statement was popularized in America by Mark Twain and attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
We all view information through our own lens which sometimes distorts our view of reality. Just look at the competing bumper stickers and commercials during an election year. Half of the population believes each side completely. It takes an extraordinary effort to find the truth and chart our own course.
I’ve written about my grandmother. We called her “Baba.” She was a wise woman. She warned about how our food was changing about 50 years ago. She also had ideas that were false. No Baba, jumping rope and running will not make my insides fall out. In her defense, this was the conventional wisdom at the time and she didn’t have the Internet.
Take the quote I mentioned earlier. As it turns out, it’s unlikely that Disraeli was the author.
Obviously, this commonly accepted fact whether true or false won’t adversely affect anyone’s life. However, it is important that we realize our own preconceptions, investigate competing resources and sift all the facts carefully to arrive at true knowledge. Hopefully this will lead us to the wisdom to lead healthy, meaningful lives.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
I hate whole, 2%, 1%, skim, almond milk, soy milk – all of them. I hate how they taste, how they feel in my mouth and going down my throat. I hate how it feels when it lands in my stomach. Because the “hate” ends at that point in my body, I don’t think I qualify as lactose intolerant. I’m just personally intolerant of milk. The only milk I remember ever enjoying was in the glasses into which I was dipping oreo or chocolate chip cookies.
I need calcium, of course. Fortunately, I like yogurt, even Greek yogurt. Not a fan of extra hormones, so I buy organic exclusively. All types of cheese are a staple too, although I haven’t been able to find an organic brand around here.
Healthy eating is a lifestyle, but I’m so happy there are many ways to accomplish this. I don’t have to feel deprived. I don’t have to force myself into a narrow diet. I have choices. Healthy choices tailored to individual preferences lead to a happy life.
My problem is that I also hate waste. I need to buy milk for certain recipes, like my baked omelet that DH & I eat every day, or my broccoli/corn casserole. Then what do with the rest? (DH isn’t a milk drinker either). I usually use about a quart before it spoils. I buy the half gallon container since the quart size costs almost as much. I like the best value and I don’t want to run out. Our grocery store is 7 miles away – the down side of country living.
Rural wisdom has provided an answer. I learned that a concoction of egg and spoiled milk poured around plants will keep the deer from eating them. I hope the smell won’t keep human visitors away from my house as well.
Friday, November 23, 2012
I used to tell my children not to spend their money on things that weren’t really important to them and then they would have enough to buy the stuff they really cared about.
I’ve been called “Frugal Fannie” (Frugal Fannie’s was a discount clothing store).
I’ve been frugal throughout my life, not cheap, but thrifty.
Obviously, the one place I WILL economize is in clothing for myself. Fortunately, I’ve never worried about having the latest fashions. Comfort, quality and price top my list, plus having something suitable for every occasion. Interchangeable parts are important too. So, the first place I seek out in any store is the clearance rack. I can usually find something there that suits me just fine and often complements something in my closet. I’m a regular at Goodwill also.
My grocery list always begins with whatever is on “special” skipping the junk food, which always seems to be front and center.
Shoes are a different matter.
I watched my mother and her sisters hobble themselves in fashion shoes. It may be genetics, but I know if I force my feet into what I see in magazines, my future will be orthopedic or worse – a cane or a walker.
I wear custom orthotics and there are brands of shoes into which I can fit them comfortably. I pay a premium for these, but I’m worth it.
(Darn Crocs – They bought the company that made my sandals and promptly discontinued them – Grr!)
Running shoes – I choose whatever keeps me moving forward pain/ache free. I truly don’t care what the cost is although I’ve never paid over $100 (I’m not fast enough to need “racing flats”). It’s nice if I can find them on sale, but not necessary. When I need them, I buy them. My favorites even come in black so I can wear those day to day with the same level of comfort as during workouts.
The source is important to me too.
I patronize a local running store, even though I can save some money online. What happened to my thriftiness? Some things just matter more to me. I want this local business with its helpful, knowledgeable employees to stay in business. I want the support they provide the community, encouraging runners/walkers, sponsoring running groups and races and providing employment to the area. Their “discount” this week is for anyone bringing at least 3 items of food for the needy. I bought a new pair of tights. Again, it’s just my personal choice to support this civic minded employer.
“Eat This not That” is a well known advice book.
We each decide to “Buy This not That.”
Organic or not?
Free range or not?
From local farmers/coops/retailers or large businesses with economy of scale?
These are just a few of the choices with which we’re confronted daily. Our decisions are our own as we try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and balance it with reality – our time and resources. We each decide for ourselves.
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