Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Sometimes, we have issues in regard to safe water here in Brazil. High standards and quality control are not a priority in many places in the world. I´m not sure I could live in a place where water was lacking for what I consider essential: drinking, hygiene, and cleaning. What we have recently faced with the more-than-average rainfall was disconcerting mainly because we were not advised. DH happened-upon a broken watermain being shoddily repaired bringing brown water into the clean water coming into our neighborhood. After a week, the pipes continue to be surrounded by brown water.
Our first response was to stop drinking it and use a reputable brand of bottled water. Next, we found out how much bleach to use in the water and DH put it into our waterboxes. After several days of highly chlorinated water, we are back to drinking the water filtered through our home water filter. We only filter drinking water.
All of this got me thinking about the shortage of potable water in the world. Poor folk simply must drink whatever water is available, clean or not! Many times, we have witnessed people washing vehicles, laundry, animals, and drinking water from the same lake! The main reason that water is not available to the populous in poorer countries is a lack of funds to build and maintain what´s needed. According to Wikipedia, in some countries less than 20% of the population has access to safe drinking water! "The problem has reached such endemic proportions that 2.2 million deaths per annum ocur from unsanitary water - ninety percent of these are children under the age of five."
Having safe water is a blessing that most of the time, we don´t acknowledge. I will gratefully drink my 8+ glasses of water with these things in mind for many days to come.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
My latest successful experiment -
Turkey Inside-Out Sandwich
2 slice reduced-calorie, rye Bread, cubed
3 oz chopped Turkey breast meat
1/2 cup shredded or chopped Zucchini
2 tbsp chopped Sweet red or yellow Bell peppers
1 tbsp Sunflower Seeds, w/out salt, w//out hulls
1 tbsp Hellman's Light Mayonnaise
1 tsp Yellow Mustard
Mix all ingredients except mustard and bread. Place in one-serving salad bowl. Top w/cubed bread and mustard. Enjoy!
Number of Servings: 1
It´s in SparkRecipes - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
Monday, March 31, 2008
March Wellness Goals
1. 3200 Exercise Minutes
2. Walk 4x/week for at least 6.78K (4.21 mi)
3. 1 hr Str Ex 3x/wk
4. Elliptical Trainer 2x/wk 30 min
5. In bed by 10p.m. 5x/wk - 8 hrs´ sleep at least 1x
6. A bath soak 1x/wk
April Wellness Goals
1. 3000 Exercise Minutes
2. Long Walk 4x/week
3. 1 hr Str Ex 3x/wk
4. In bed by 10p.m. most nights - 7-8 hrs´ sleep
6. A bath soak 1x/wk
Something that I´ve been thinking about blogging for several weeks now is kind of personal. Not a secret or embarrassing really. I’m a Perfectionist! Actually, I have made a lot of progress in regard to this. Raising kids gave me lots of reasons to deal with it, so much so, that I now consider myself a Recovering Perfectionist!
When I went back to college to finish my Bachelor’s Degree in 2002-2003, I was confused, for awhile, as to why some of the other members of my team ignored my input. I wanted badly to prove to myself and others (outside of the classroom) that I could still do well in school. Like in most ev´rything else I do, I put forth extra effort, put in extra time, and prepared more than necessary to get-by. Thankfully, not every member of the class ignored my preparation and participation. Thankfully, most of them encouraged the "older woman" student, including my Profs who, BTW, were mostly a lot younger than I!
In one particular class, with the assistance of a very wise professor, I finally discovered what was making some of my classmates reticent. You see, I was there to do more than just the required work. I wanted, to the best of my ability, to excel, excite, enlighten, not only myself but others. I did not excel at some things, like statistics, for example! But I did learn enough to receive higher than average grades. I did well enough to receive my diploma in 9 months when others were doing it in 18 or more. I did prove my ability to do what I set out to do. I am so grateful that we could make this happen for me at the age of 51, something I had always planned to do.
The past several weeks, I’ve been thinking through what I´ve accomplished in my two years as a SparkPerson. No one else could have done this FOR me. I made the choices and stuck with the plans. It would not have happened if I hadn’t worked hard at it. And that’s just why this didn´t happen before now. I really did hafta put forth extra time and effort, sometimes what felt like gigantic effort, to keep going, esp. at the times feelings have not accompanied the program!
So, the reason I´m discussing these things today is that I am glad that I am a perfectionist in regard to doing the best I possibly can to work towards the goals for wellness and well-being. I don´t think it has anything to do with whether or not I deserve anything. It is because I have been given THIS life and I am responsible to give it my best shot!
Friday, March 28, 2008
A few evenings back, we watched Mr. Magorium´s Wonder Emporium. I loved it and laughed considerably!
At the end of the movie, Mr. Magorium and Molly Mahoney were alone in the Emporium saying goodbye. Magorium was going to die, leaving the store to her, his employee. I had to write this down and am amazed at its appropriateness to my blog today!
When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He´s written, "He dies." That´s all. Nothing more. No fanfare. No metaphor. No brilliant, final words.
The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is "He dies." It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with "He dies." And yet, everytime I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with dysphoria and I know it´s only natural to be sad but not because of the words, "He dies," but because of the life we saw prior to the words.
I´ve lived all five of my acts, Mahoney, and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I´m only asking that you turn the page, continue reading, and let the next story begin.
And, if anyone ever asks what became of me, you relate my life and all its wonder and end it with a simple and modest, "He died."
Molly Mahoney: I love you.
Mr. Magorium: I love you, too. Your life is an occasion; rise to it!
Molly Mahoney struggled for a long time after his death. She struggled to find the magic. And one day, she did!
I love that conversation. Ev´ry life is an occasion. Each one has its chapters. Often it´s hard to turn the page and let the next story begin! Sometimes, a loved one is taken from us in death or other difficult circumstances. Or it may be life situations that have been harsh on us and we barely get through them, usually we are scarred and scared of the future. Few of us feel we have bravely weathered the storms, even when we have. The magic of living seems lost, at least it is lost from view and we don´t know how to get it back! Where do we turn to get it back?
I have a strong spiritual side to me that has carried me through many battles and struggles. I have not come through them unscathed. However, in spite of my human weaknesses, periods of self doubt and deep depression, in many ways, I am stronger now than I was in my youth. I had imagined that the "Magical, Mystical Tour" of vibrant, healthy living was gone for good and I just needed to wait for the end to come. I thought I had little for which to look forward except what comes after earthly life. I was worn out and wincing at the pain of what surely would come in my mature years.
I have no doubt that my last breath will be a difficult one. Yet things have changed so much for me that I know there will be days ahead full of wonder and delight! The magic is coming back!
As I do once inawhile, perhaps twice a month or so, I began to reevaluate my Fitness and Nutrition plans today. Ya know, one of the great things about SparkPeople is that we have the opportunity to choose for ourselves how we will do it! I love that! The more I understand my own needs and the hows and whys of healthy living, the more I know I´m making wise choices. The program has become MY program! I also own the failures and the successes!
So what have I changed today? This month I have been doing cardio 4-5 times a week and Strength Exercises 3 times for 90 minutes straight. It´s been great! I am bored with it though, so I´m going to change things a bit. I don´t want to do less. I´ve gone through the Strength Exercises I was doing and picked out four sets of ten exercises - Arms, Back & Shoulders, Abs, and Legs. I will do 2 sets of 25 - 60 of most, and a couple of 2 sets of 100. It´s time to get my next set of heavier weights, but because of an upcoming extended trip, I´m going to wait awhile. This switch to doing more deliberate and intense exercises should do the trick for the time-being.
In regard to Nutrition, I read about the Flat Belly Diet and I am trying to regulate my caloric intake while adding a good fat food (MUFA - monounsaturated fatty acids) to ev´ry main meal, that´s 3 meals a day. So far, it´s been hard to stay within calorie limits, but today I planned all meals in advance. Boy, did that help!
I´ve also been reading about alkaline diets and I continue to lean that direction in my food choices (maybe more like lacto-ovo vegetarian). I´m going to check PH for a few weeks and see if I can understand more about these things. My goal is to avoid illness and increase stamina.
Monday, March 24, 2008
It´s finally here! Exactly two years ago today, I joined Sparkpeople!
I am pleased to say that I have changed! A lot!
~ No more one person cookie parties!
~ No more late night snacking!
~ I saw the outline of my rib cage this week!
~ DH told me I have muscular arms!
~ My fingernails are stronger and longer!
~ I´m sleeping better for more hours.
~ I´ve gone from nearly zero exercise minutes to an average of 600 a week!
~ When I began doing Strength Exercises, I could barely do a couple at a time! I started by doing them in bed before rising. Now I can now do 90 minutes straight of Strength Exercises using various weights up to 9lbs!
~ I´m walking 3 to 7 times a week, usually 6.78K (4.2 miles) plus 8K,10K, and/or 15K at least once a week!
~ Saturday, I finally took in my jean shorts - 2 full inches (10 cm)! WOW! Can´t take them in any more; next time I´ll hafta buy new ones! Yippee!
We´ve been getting some refreshing rains in the past several days. How I love the rain! It just doesn´t rain enough here! The garden looks lovely with lush grass, trees completely filled with leaves, the brick walks covered with blossoming weeds (oh no!), most of the plants trimmed and filling in. We have lots of visiting birds who are building nests in ev´ry conceivable spot including the drain spouts from the roof, which is truly amazing because they wash out with ev´ry downpour! I collected several branches from the trimmed trees and "planted" a bigger, better perch in the large pot in the walk-in birdcage in the backyard. The redheads are working away trying to pluck the branches apart! They are such busybodies!
In regard to my eating, I´ve read a bit about the Flat Belly Diet found on the Prevention.com website. I´m beginning to add more of the suggested foods to my plan. Alhough I keep going over my calorie limit, it makes sense if for no other reason than they are good-for-me foods. I used to eat these often when I was a young woman with no thought of the calories. Once I began to struggle with my weight, they were the first to go. The good oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, olives became a rarity for me, but I hung tenaciously onto my chocolate! Now, I´m slowly reintroducing some of these things back into my eating, but not without a sense of reluctance, BTW. It must be controlled, always controlled. Actually, because these are "luxury" items, I won´t be overdoing on them. I´m well aware that if I´m going to continue to eat well, I must plan my grocery list carefully and wisely.
Is it possible that March is almost over?! So today, March 24, 2008, I begin another year with Sparkpeople! This will be the year that I reach my goal weight! Yes, I know that the scale is not the only measure of success! After all, I´ve been here long enough to move out of most of my bad eating habits, knowledgably form new healthy and positive ones, and interact with SparkCoaches and SparkPeople who have helped me understand the ins and outs of what it means to live a healthy lifestyle. It´s a better way to live!
I´m gonna keep right on going with you guys!
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