Thursday, July 21, 2011
Is grocery shopping just an exhibition game? Are you really showing off with what's in your Grocery cart? Or is this something more, related to evolutionary, scientific findings ...
I think even HartBeat*, to which I am free-subscribed, missed THIS news!
"Researchers watched 136 people as they made food choices in the grocery store, [and] found that people who used baskets that they carried instead of carts that they pushed were more than three times as likely to choose unhealthy over healthy food items.
"Why, exactly, is a little complicated, and involves something called "embodied cognition," or the notion that bodily sensations can influence our thoughts and emotions. In this case, the researchers say that the act of flexing your arm, as you do when holding a basket, somehow encourages you to choose smaller, easier rewards (also known, in this study, as "vices"), while extending your arm, as when you push a cart, has the opposite effect.
"In other words, the simple act of holding a basket can trigger a desire for instant gratification, which overrides long-term goals. And here I thought I was being smart always grabbing a basket because I would be limiting my purchases to what fit in the smaller space
But *I* think, in any locality large and sophisticated enough to have large grocery stores and supermarkets (thus NEEDING carts), your selections are "on display". Ditto for those newfangled, long-handled roller-baskets and those near-square double-decker space-saving shopping carts found in the likes of Trader Joe's or Whole Foods ...
Not so for a non-rollered picnic-basket shaped shopping basket. To use such a basket is like shopping in a 7-11 or a Stop'N'Go in the stealth of night, in comparison.
Complicate matters such that if you are on a volume-based eating plan such as Volumetrics, T-Factor, Rock the Scales or many of the low-carb plans in their early stages, you are NOT showing off with all those heads of lettuce, stalks of celery, radishes, turnips or other large-space-consuming complex carbos in your cart. It is a diet necessity, whether you only 10 or 100 pounds from your weight goal ...
*HartBeat is strictly to the consumer product goods trade and has a consumer health slant, and the above news is probably at cross-purposes to the consumer product goods (in layman-speak: packaged edible goods) industry. Since I'd been working in a now-defunct spinoff consumer health related industry that the company I work for was involved in, I'd chosen to subscribe. I think people not working for consumer health concerns could register for a subscription, too.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
This past Sunday, I planned to attend a Public Event that features lots of meditation. With a theme of life's water and streams and focusing in the middle of New York City's Downtown.
I missed it, but not 100% ... in the meantime, I'd gotten caught in the Zeitgeist ...
I was there at the appointed hour, and people were gathering ... I figured they would be youngsters primarily, about half my age, in boho dress, most likely.
Well, I found them, surrounding a few young men who looked like buskers ...
They started to light up cigarettes.
They did not look menacing, but they most likely did not look like seasoned meditators (if they were to smoke) The looked a little too tough to be meditators. But probably, judging by my satsangs, the right physical type (which was EVERY type) ...
I have a tight schedule (due to a lengthy commute to and from work during the week and other family issues), so I took the time (after walking rapidly about 5 times looking for where the "meditation flash mob" would be. I was handed a paper by a woman, along with a decal that said, "Powered by Natural Ass" ... getting colder ? I asked her where the meditation is. She said, there is a concert going on, it wouldn't be where she was ... I did not find them and it was about a half-hour that had elapsed .. a fair amount of walking. I took the opportunity to do specialty grocery shopping at the Whole Foods near there and just forget about it (needed to go to the Walgreens, too ... neither store anywhere near where I live, but all very close by to that park .. !
So then I asked two security guards; and then a cop. The cop told me there is another park with grass that is accessible to the public at this time. 10 blocks away.
I certainly don't have time to hunt them down in that other park.
Well, on my way to browse some books. I find them. They are all pretty much one physical type. (Not mine, and not the ones around the busker.) Skinny, nicely dressed, and each sitting ramrod straight in at least half lotus, in a concentric circle looking as if straight out of a movie set, on the hard cobblestone plaza. All eleven of them. With the concert blaring away loudly about 50 feet away. And me old enough to be their mother.
My age bothered me much more than that I am long-legged, can hardly comfortably sit Indian style, am curvy and have a non-flat belly ...
I went away, only to return again ...
I finally went back to the spot when the meditation session totally broke up, the very end.
I spoke to one of the meditators, and then to the organizer. I would most likely be joining them next month.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
My Freeform Yoga class this past Friday, in the late evening, had been packed!
This class has no instruction, no adjustments, no aromatherapy, no touchy-feely neck massages; and almost no music—just the presence and personality of the instructor (who adds a lengthy meditation session at the end). More often than not it is taught by candlelight. There was one time it had not been. The instructor had needed to get a somewhat more vigorous self-practice on, and there had just been the two of us that time.
This class is Trendy, with a capital "T", and here are a big handful of reasons why:
(1) Community Class 2.0: Community by donation classes never left the studio. They just became decentralized at the cross-roads of not-so-well-heeled yoga students discovering that even the new "affordable yoga" (at least in New York City) lacks a more politically correct "consciousness" (I certainly was one of them) and the need for studios to reach primarily home practitioners and ultra-late adopters (and that's just my guess, since I'm not in the business) ...
The time it was offered, reaches my very tight, supercommuter schedule at very least ...
(2) The Post-Instructional Era: Really, for the cost of an internet connection, a couple of bucks or a library card: all that streaming, YouTube, periodicals, books, DVDs (and websites, online communities, podcasts, iPhone apps, etc.). One can do the math. And here I quote Nancy Alder, who writes a blog called The Flying Yogini (even though it is yoga-teacher-centric, she did train with the ultimate in outreach, Sadie Nardini):
"After all, students come to a yoga class not to learn from a teacher (these days you have amazing resources like Yoga Vibes where you can watch at home) but to connect with other yogis. Some students [got into an intermediate-level arm balance] for the first time, some for the second or third and some did not even want to try. But the yogis in the room celebrated each other’s successes whether they were with their feet up and flying or not. There was sisterhood and brotherhood in the room and we all felt it."
(3) Ecstatic Dance and Creative Movement's Third Wave - Yes, freeform movement as a devout spiritual expression.
Yes, even for semi-gimps like myself. I had spoken in the Dancers! team about Gabrielle Roth's 5 Rhythms trance dance.
Let it be known that, I have been celerbrating to the day 4 years of regular yoga practice.
I grafted a little 5 Rhythms onto that class; and overall, I followed a 5 Rhythms pattern (that's how I abbreviate my home practice to fit into the movement portion of the class)
(4) Meditation is trendy, once again.
It is more scalable and portable (not to mention much more democratic) than yoga postures, in reaching the masses. I plan to join a meditation flash mob this year.
(5) Iyengar derivate in disguise. [Not that the class featured alignment corrections.] Kinder, gentler, little to no music.
Really: Less in-your-face spirituality.
Props were abundant ... not like at that OTHER studio that I have loved (I'd had to wait months until they'd purchased straps) ... oh, I might mosey on over there again if The Cool Yogini still has her job ... they went through a sea-change ... I only do REASONABLY-priced walk-ins, but I could bend my rule in that case (no strings, natch, until proven I should)
Still there is a canon for this Freeform practice, it was written by a vinyasa teacher who is a disciple of B.K.S. Iyengar. It is called Moving into Stillness. And this famous teacher's name is Erich Schiffman.
Fusion reigns supreme here:
In my case, much more ACCESSIBLE core work.
But out of the corner of my eye, This time I saw a guy also doing Pilates .
Just for the record, I am still sparkling.
Just as a candle flame flickers the brightest and biggest just before it is extinguished by a blowing wind, I am starting to sparkle in the autumn of my life as never before.
Life is for experimenting and doing it big - though not so much like this:
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
("Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night" by Dylan Thomas)
Sorry, but in my less than hyperactive body, rage has left the building ...
Anyway, it's more like this:
Leaves are brown
And the sky
Is a hazy shade of winter
"Hang on to your hopes my friend
That's an easy thing to say
But if your hopes should pass away
That you can build them again"
["Hazy Shade of Winter" (song lyrics by Art Garfunkel)]
But, if you ever go looking around at fall foliage in the Northeastern United States, the leaves may be brown, but also they are shades of shiny, sparkling fiery BLONDE ....
and nothing is more fun than a brassy blonde!
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
And I need the shortcuttiest shortcuts I could find.
Plus, I tend on lettuce binges when I'm doing well, weightwise.
So, what I will do is what I do in real life, Favorite my meal plans left and right.
What is bad is that, come 5 p.m. I am eating while on my long commute and grazing throughout my evening. When my boss is around, I'm lucky I can eat my Metamucil wafers [100 calories, some simple carbs, plenty of psyllium fiber] (yes, I have that problem but a lot of people on high protein flexitarian diets have that problem ...)
Note to Community Team: Not to be gross ...
Sunday, June 05, 2011
I was just removed as a fan on The Nameless II Yoga Studio's Facebook page.
I received no notification, except for the fact that it did not show up as one of my Pages. I did not initiate the gesture. I knew within hours what the problem was, as all of my comments were gone, and there were holes in comment streams ...
That having been done, in retaliation I deleted all my (4 and 5 star) reviews of their business and the one from which they spun off, from Yelp and citysearch (my attempt on yahoo! failed ... sorry to myself about that--at least--at very least--I posted under a more AMPHIBI-YOGINI-ish name as testament to my erstwhile love for swimming).
Deleted also any Compliments to my Yelp profile that mentioned their name. Removed and prohibit any further automatic emailings by ConstantContact from The Nameless II Studio to my email address.
Deleted any comments I made about them to status updates on Friends' pages.
This is going back, whatever is still there, even if it obliquely referenced The Nameless II Studio, it's in ALPHABET HEAVEN!
Decided not to give them any more business nor to contact them in any way. And I had been about to give them somewhat more business, because they'd modified a policy of theirs that had been making it uncomfortable for me. Like getting rid of the sweetheart walk-in deal they had with full-time students with ID.
I am sure it would not be a great loss to them. I hope they are happy with their precipitous actions.
My comment had not been negative at all. Just truthful, and inviting of discussion.
It seems they brook no discussion.
I sit shivva (a term that means mourning) for them.
It's like I never patronized their business.
Note to Community Team. If you don't publish this, I would like to know why.
My weight is not doing well. My home yoga practice is doing better.
End of story.
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