Exercise, Veggies, and Writing

Three things that are constants in my life on an almost daily basis are: exercise, vegetables, and writing. An odd amalgamation of things, but all critical for a bit of balance and inspiration in my life. You might wonder how these three have anything remotely in common. Their only commonality is that they ground me. On the days when I have the opportunity to run, eat a good amount of vegetables, and take the time to write, life just feels better. It may not mean that I have had an amazing day. Lots of shit could have happened, but these three stable aspects of my life help me to get through the shitty days and make the good days even better. Call me crazy, but it is true.

The ironic thing is that all three require discipline and none of them happened for me overnight. Consistent exercise was a gradual habit that happened over many years. My craving to run each day is the euphoria of pushing myself to the limits, having an hour that is just for myself, and the feeling at the end of a run when I am dripping in sweat and knowing I got through it. There is nothing else in my life that gives me that feeling and my day does not feel complete without my run.

How I feel when I run matters and, often, I can tell that if I feel horrible while running it has to do with some crap I ate earlier in the day. I am usually an evening/after work runner, so what I had for lunch and any snacks or junk food I ingest during the day matters. Which is why I have become a fanatic of eating vegetables. I have them in my green smoothie in the morning (usually spinach, kale, carrots), a salad for lunch, then for dinner, a vegetable, protein, and brown rice. Some sort of yummy concoction, but there is always a vegetable go with it. How far I have come from trying to get away with no vegetables as a kid and little to none in high school and college. Why have I become such an addict? I can now tell the difference in my body when I do not have these natural nutrients. More sugar + less vegetables and my body shuts down earlier in the day. More sugar = more exhausted. Since I know this about myself I do all I can to eat my veggies.

Writing. The final aspect to balance in my life. I write five blog posts each week and used to write in a journal too. My journal writing has waned in the past few months. It felt like work and I was not inspired to do it so I stopped. I know I will pick it up again, as that has been the ebb and flow of my life. There have been times when I needed to write, and write, and write to figure out my thoughts and unravel my world. Writing random olio keeps my mind open and aware. When you know that you are going to write a blog five days in a row you look at the world differently. It makes me more creative, have more wonder, and investigate the world.

What is not to love about my three life disciplines? A random olio of balance that is the core of who I am today.

Timeout for our addictions?

How many of you would benefit from a safe in your home that allows you to put an item inside and not be allowed to have it back until the timer on top lets you back into the safe? How many of you would benefit from being blocked from the sweets, candy, or beverages in your home? Maybe it is not about being blocked from sweets, maybe it is Candy Crush on your cell phone, or your Wii remote? I recently found this cookie jar/kitchen storage bin called: The Kitchen Safe. The lid has a digital timer on top that allows you to lock up any item and only be allowed in after a certain number of seconds, minutes, hours, or days. (It will lock up to 10 days).

The idea originated as a way to control junk food cravings, and has led to controlling many other household/lifestyle cravings. The Overview page on their website shows a variety of items locked away, toys, video games, credit cards, cigarettes, and cell phones to name a few. It sounds like The Kitchen Safe is just the product to allow for timeouts on our favorite addictions. For kids and adults. At the moment only the clear bin is available for purchase on their website. The white version is out of stock until Summer 2014. A clever idea to offer both options. I imagine the white is out of stock, because if you do not have to look at what is locked away, while you wait to be able to open the safe it may be much easier on you (or your kids and family). The clear safe encourages a bit of self-control, because what is stopping you from smashing it? The $49.95 price tag. A high price to pay for a little bit of discipline.

Controlling temptation is hard to master. Hopefully The Kitchen Safe will help along the way, that is if you have not taken a hammer to it first. Here is the video from their website to show you how it works:

I am a food bore.

I am a food bore. Yes, I said it. I eat mostly the same thing every day. You have probably heard me mention that a few times. I think my colleagues might think I am strange. I have the same salad every day. The same (well one of two different smoothies) each morning. It works for me. The only place I have any variety is dinner.

Someone mentioned to me the other day about the drama of food indecision. It was an A-HA moment for me. That is why I have a boring food regimen. I would rather have a scheduled food day then be indecisive. There are so many other things I do not have control over during the day, that not having to think about what food I am going to have for breakfast or lunch makes things easier. Do you ever struggle with that? Often, when I did not plan out my breakfast and lunch, it meant I just ate a lot of crap in between. I would be so busy I would forget to eat lunch and then later eat most of a bag of chips.

Recently Chris and I did a detox, where we took out all the junk we had become so used to eating from the holidays. The mochas, chips, desserts, larger sized meals, etc. We decided to wait until after the Super Bowl, because who wants to watch the Super Bowl, and know you are not allowed to eat anything in the commercials (even if you never would want it in the first place). It is the fourth time we have done this specific detox, and each time it is easier and easier to do. It reminds me of how often we put so much power into the food we eat. When we remove all the crap from our diet and eat more fruits and vegetables, we begin to not want all the junk. Each time I have done this detox, I have ended it craving fruits and vegetables, and yes there is usually some junk food I still want too. Yes, I confess, that junk for me would be chips.

Are you a food bore, or do you bring sass and flair to your meals each day?