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THEFIRESPIRAL's Recent Blog Entries

TK: Fresh Corn & Herb Pasta

Thursday, June 20, 2013

This recipe was fantastic - incredibly flavorful and likely to get more so as the season progresses and stuff is fresh. I'd love to have all the ingredients from the farmer's market. My meat-eating family loved it as well - and it was super easy to make.

Thug Kitchen FTW!

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    This looks good thank you for sharing!!

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Experiment: Day One

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I entered this thing much like I did the running thing; without giving myself an opportunity to overthink it and come up with 50 reasons why not. I'm not going to check in every day because that would be tedious, but I will review from time-to-time.

As I mentioned yesterday, possibly in a comment to someone, I've never spent much time watching my sugar intake. I don't have much diabetes in my family (none, that I'm aware of) and it's never been an issue. So that's new, and man, that (censored by SP) is sneaky! I feel like I may build some serious awareness and reduce what I've been taking in, but it seems nigh impossible to totally eliminate it from prepared food, even the healthy kind. Reducing alcohol and trans-fat is a lot easier for me, probably because I already know where to look and what to avoid. And actually, I'm eliminating alcohol, that's the easiest of all.

On that topic, some of you know I spent 6 months in a very active pursuit of sobriety. It's probably a story for a different post, but I do want to record that I'm somewhat skeptical of that claim in regards to my own body. I didn't lose much weight when I stopped drinking alcohol. This has me wondering, since alcohol is essentially a collection of sugars, is this advice - lower/reduce sugars & alcohol - really applicable to someone who doesn't have insulin issues? I guess we'll see. If nothing else, I DO know I feel a helluva lot more like running when I abstain.

Vegan is relatively easy in Portland. Easier still when Miss Nina is visiting Grandma for the next three weeks and won't complain. Like I needed another reason to love Portland, but it really has expanded what Jeff and Gab are willing to try and enjoy. Doing the natural temperature thing isn't hard either, since it's rarely extreme here.

Sleep was... problematic last night. Not sure what's up, but I have been having kuh-RAY-zee dreams the past week or so. At first I thought it was finishing up my comps. Then I thought it was all the movie-watching with mom. But those things have passed, and still with the crazy dreams. So I don't know. Last night's entry was a full-blown zombie story. Insects have also been prevalent lately. The primary effect is that I wake a lot during the night. Maybe that will settle a bit. I do drink coffee, but rarely after noon, so I don't think that's the problem.

So yeah... so far so good. Last night's run felt a bit heavy, but that's mostly related to the healing hip thing. I wish one of the larger nature trails was within easier walk distance so I could continue to baby it on dirt trails, but that's not an option right now. I'm being uber aware of form and not pushing distance or speed, but it's so frustrating! I feel like such a lumbering turtle-buffalo. I just want to remember what it's like to do this without pain or weird avoidant gaits.

Tonight I'm cookin' with Thug Kitchen , so expect some recipe reviews!

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TESENISIS1 6/20/2013 10:44PM

    Sounds like you are on the right track...eliminating sugar may not provide you with lots of weight loss, but you should feel a whole lot better without so much of it...I know it gives me lots of fatigue and makes it hard for me to maintain an even mood...which for me these days is a very tough thing anyway...keep at it and I think you will find many benefits that will make you want to continue...

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An Experiment

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

For the next month, while I'm waiting (not so patiently) for my hip to heal, I'm going to try an experiment. But first, let me explain the bigass gap in entries - I took some time off writing (and really shortened my training schedule) to finish my my masters. It needed to be done, and I'm happy because now I can focus on health, physical and spiritual. I sorely neglected these things over the past two years while I was finishing my MS.

So. The experiment. I thought of it after reading this article on obesity
and my recent read of Scott Jurek's Eat and Run
. I have long thought that the popular thinking on obesity is at best flawed, and at worst a malicious form of oppression. Seriously. I know those are big words. But I digress. So some things of interest in the article that I want to experiment with include the idea of how trans-fat, alcohol and sugar affect metabolism and how controlling temperature and sleep affect the same.

For the next month, I'm going to keep my activity level about the same as it has been for past four months - three short-ish wogs each week, with a longer distance on Saturday. As I've noted before
, that didn't really affect my weight much. I'm going to tinker with what I eat. Here's the plan for the next four weeks: no alcohol or trans fat. I will avoid as much refined sugar as I humanly can (which mostly means I'll pay attention to something I really haven't paid much attention to in the past). And I will eat vegan for two meals each day, allowing one lacto-ovo meal to appease my family. To the extent that I can control the temperature at home, I'll let it be natural. And I pledge to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

I will measure changes in weight, inches and blood pressure/resting pulse rate. I will also keep track of pace and how I feel when I wog towards running (that's the current focus, as much as my hip allows).

Based on what I find, I may make an appointment with the doc to do some blood work to get a more detailed read of what (if anything) changes and tack on another month.

Because why not? I'm in full-discovery mode, seeing what I can do with my body and letting curiosity drive. Whatever I discover really only applies to me, but I so want to know how much these things affect my health.

So here we go. Cheers to the next grand adventure!

(originally posted here:

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LAYERS_OF_ME 6/19/2013 6:47PM

    I read the same article this morning and thought many of the same things. Living in natural light can be easier this time of year in the region we live because the days are longer. I'd have to rethink how I might adjust lighting conditions in winter. Perhaps more candles? Temperature is also easy this time of year in this region, due to A/C being a luxury reserved for newer high-end homes. However, in winter, I'll have to rethink this again. For me, alcohol has never been a regular staple in my diet, but trans fats and sugar have been. I have long held the belief that sugar affects me in different ways, but only worried about trans fats as far as maintaining healthy arteries and blood pressure. I am also refocusing on my health this summer, and have been conducting my own experiment of a different sort. I guess I need to write a blog entry.

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3 Little Birds

Monday, June 03, 2013

SP has challenged me to list three things I accomplished today. The day is early, but I think I can muster it up anyway:

1) Remembered to bring my breakfast & lunch to work (saves $$ & is healthier)
2) Talked to J about time off while Mom is here
3) Stretched out my hip while waiting for my oatmeal to cook

I'll resist the urge to add "to-do's" to this post!


Aging Bodies Are Finicky

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I've been dealing with an aggravated hip flexor since late last week. It's an old injury; the first time I seriously hurt it was bad news, but it was all the way back in the 8th grade. Last time I trained for sports, as a matter of fact. The hip has flared up several times over the years and the pain is an old friend. This time, though, I'm in the midst of training for half marathons, so I have to do more than just greet it.

I did my long run on Sunday, but I've taken this week off so far. I'm considering whether I should take the rest of it off until next Sunday, or whether I should keep training and ice it after each session. I could easily fit in three days before Sunday's half, but I don't want to risk putting myself out of commission all together. This seems ripe for a good lesson in taking things day-by-day. I'm thinking I'll give it a shot tonight, maybe stick to walking and not push the pace, and being sure to follow with ice. I also need to be sure to keep hydrated, I think, and well-nourished. Those muscles can't heal if I don't give them the right tools.

So yeah. Aging injuries and bodies are finicky. No big surprise, right?

(originally posted at

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DRIEDOUT 5/15/2013 9:11PM

    So true Fire! As someone who's pushed myself to keep going too many times and has ended up with chronic conditions that limit my physical ability, I would urge you to err on the side of caution. Listen to you body. If it's your body telling you to slow down, it is the truth. Bodies cannot lie. Our minds can rationalize anything.

Be well! emoticon

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