Monday, November 28, 2011

Small steps

Step 1. Stop feeling guilty about not exercising and eating poorly. Admit that you not perfect, your going to be lazy at times but that’s no excuse not to start again.

Step 2. Get up off the couch and run 3.1 miles (yup that’s a 5k) up and down slippery muddy slopes, across streams, through woods and back to the lake with a fun-loving run club Thanksgiving morning before cooking turkey, potatoes, and cranberry to put on sandwiches for the next week.

Step 3. Put 6 year old who’s too tired from running her own mile race into jog stroller and race to find/catch up with the runners/walkers who started 10 the club run 15 minutes earlier because you were to consumed with getting the kid dressed, fed and settled to make it on time. Proceed to run/walk 4 miles.

Step 4. Stop eating out. Make afore mentioned sandwiches with sprouts and mustard and pair with clementines, apples, carrots or salad. Pack lunch, snacks, fill bottle with water, and tea bags to take to work at any cost.

Step 5. Admit that you need support. Finally return the call of the new Health Counselor who has been patiently trying to reach you for 4 months and confess all your bad habits and slip ups. Get reminded by a total stranger that you haven’t failed, just taken a little (probably needed) break, you have already accomplished several goals including running a 5k (something that was once an impossible task and is now somewhat routine), finishing a 10k, dropping a dress size or two, and losing 15-20 pounds.

Step 6. Feel better. Make a plan to get active at least 2 days a week, pack lunch with health foods and drink more water. Go to bed excited to start working on your goals again.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dark Days Challenge 2011-2012

Nothing like the Dark Days Challenge to remind me to do what is best for me, my family, my health, the earth and the local economy. Yes it’s that time again. Time to face the cold and dark with delicious sustainable, local, organic and ethical (SOLE) food. As in past years I will again be joining with other local food enthusiasts to prepare at least one meal a week entirely prepared with foods grown, raised or created from ingredients available in my local food-shed. For me that is about 150 miles up and down the Potomac River, into the Lancaster region of PA and a little down the Blue Ridge Mountains except for salt, pepper, minimal amounts of oil, chocolate and mom’s home canned raspberry jam and tuna from CA (it is unthinkable to come home without a few jars of home preserved goodness in our family).

Got a quick look at my stored ingredients when I cleaned out the pantry before thanksgiving and even though I didn’t get much canning/preserving done this summer I think with a few trips to the farmers market I will have a good run at it. Still have canned potatoes, chicken stock, vegie stock, a salsa or two, peach butter, grape juice, and some other sauces. I’ll have to check the freezer but I know I have some oven-dried tomatoes, and some farmers market sausage. Also have some local wheat flour left Managed to get in a small crop of carrots, turnips, beets, celery, kale, cabbage, oriental greens and lettuces into the community garden plot at the end of July. The root vegies are all looking good and the greens are thriving under the row covers so I may even get to have some salads

Since I had originally planned to eat out for Thanksgiving until my daughter begged me to cook it, I didn’t end up with an entirely local meal like previous years but I made the best of it. I went to the Wednesday Reston Smart Market and stood out in the freezing cold (not quite but with the wind it was bitter) to purchase an 11 pound heritage breed turkey from Heritage Farm and Kitchen. It cooked up beautifully and went great with my 1/2 local mashed potatoes (the last of my self-harvested spuds from the Great Country Farms Potato Dig plus a Trader Joes assortment), pan gravy (pan drippings, local flour, my stock and a bottle of gifted non-local red wine) and cranberry mold (cranberries from whole foods that may have been right at the 150 mark, local honey, non-local orange/cranberry juice). Haven’t gone too fancy with the leftovers, mostly repeats and sandwiches. Local Saturday Farmers Markets were closed so hopefully I can get some more local food stuff or this weeks entry will be barebones (guess its time to make the turkey soup).

Season for Balance

I’ve lost my balance. Since returning from my sisters wedding to be overwhelmed with work chaos and falling utterly behind in all things at home, it seems that I can only function in spurts. When I have the energy I pour my heart into the matter at hand and when that energy runs out it seems I just crash and become too worn out to tackle all the challenges that need addressing. Hitting that vicious cycle of cause and effect I have let my exercise motivation slip, my eating habits rely almost entirely on fast and prepared foods, my mental focus fade into survival mode only focusing on scraping together for the immediate needs and letting everything else take the back burner.

I need my balance. Lost in the clutter of my life and my home I’ve hit the point where I need to regain my balance in order to take care of my work and family obligations, not just to bring back my health and happiness. Being a Libra I crave that fine tipping point between the chaos and the order where thing flow freely and shift readily but always within bounds. With the bounds broken I’m left scrambling too much to catch everything and keep it from falling and the futility leads to letting it all go and that never works for long.

I will find my balance. The seasons are changing again. My friend autumn, with her blustery winds, chill air, and brief rich hues reminds me that I to can change again. It’s time to let the breeze sweep out the clutter, the air invigorate my motivation, and to refocus on what is important. More to follow.