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A lot has happened lately!  If you subscribed with your Google Reader, you might have missed that I have moved.  See what's happening here.


Have you hugged your asparagus today?

pic courtesy of the Michigan Farmer's Market.  They really know how to grow 'em!

The votes have been cast and the decision is made.  Vive la vegetarian!  Today begins my month eating vegetarian.  I have toyed with the idea of vegetarianism for a while now.  A couple of years, in fact.  The reason why is sort of simple:  I do not like handling raw meat.  Ground beef and raw chicken gross me out.  I sort of gag just thinking about raw chicken.  Pink, slimy chicken with those little bits of fat...and sometimes a red veiny thing...  Eww sick I am grossing myself out just writing those words.

So handling raw meat is pretty ick to me.  And a couple of years ago I started thinking "what else in my life grosses me out so much, but is still ignored?".  I mean, I get sort of ill handling raw chicken but I ignore that every time and just prepare it and eat it anyway.  This isn't exactly consistent with most other areas of my life.  I don't think that everything we do must be pleasant.  I mean:

I change diapers every day.
I clean my bathroom every Monday.
I exercise and good grief that is not all that enjoyable.

But with all of those things at least there is a payoff that makes the discomfort or effort worthwhile. 

Clean diaper=happy, stink-free child. 
Clean bathroom=enjoyable bathroom experience and lack of shame when visitors come over.  Exercise=lower stress level and less overall jiggling of the body parts that are not meant to jiggle. 

The payoff for eating chicken and beef doesn't feel that great to me.  I enjoy it, but only if I sort of turn a blind eye to the preparation of it.

So yeah.  In the spirit of being fairly consistent with why I do what I do, I am motivated to cut the meat out.  That, and an overwhelming 66% of blog readers voted in my handy poll to change one thing in my diet this month. 

i prefer to eat fruits and vegetables that have been grouped by color.  thanks.

One reservation I have had in this has been the inconvenience or discomfort to other people.  I always wonder how frequently vegetarians have to sort of apologize for not eating meat, if they show up to an occasion and the main course is steak or something.  The host(ess) has prepared the meal, did not necessarily think to ask about diet considerations (which is becoming a more assumed question lately, I think), and the vegetarian has to try to be polite and considerate, but decline the main portion of the meal that was prepared for him or her.  I sort of cringe at that, but also don't really know how often that happens.  Or how big of a deal it really is. 

How exciting- this month I might experience that very thing and see how awkward I actually feel!  Quick!  Someone in Charlottesville- invite me over and prepare a big fat steak!  Let's put it to the test!

Maybe one week I will also cut out sugar.  Although, in the spirit of full disclosure, I don't really know what people mean when they say that.  Does that just mean no more sugar in my coffee and no candy?  That's a cinch.  Seems too easy.  Or does that mean reading labels and not eating anything with -ose as an ingredient (fructose, sucrose, dextrose)?  That would definitely up the ante. 


July Already?

Here it is, the 2nd day of July, and I am still not sure what my goal is for the month.  I just looked back at some ideas from April, and there are some really good ones.

I've narrowed it down to three:
1.  Try a variation on your diet for a month (no sugar, no gluten, no processed foods, vegetarian).
2.  Spend time with your husband every day, intentionally.  (Like, not just talking about bills and the logistics of running a home together). 
3.  Make something with your hands every day (gardening, a craft, a new recipe).

I think now is a good time to let you know something.  Some of these goals that I work on for a month at a time are often implemented strictly Monday through Friday, then loosely on the weekends.  I have been waking up at 6:30 in June, except on the Saturdays when the hubs is home and I sleep in a little later- like until (woohoo!) 8:30.  Is that cheating?  Does anyone feel slighted by this?

I have to make that clear.  I could work my tail off to be sugar free Monday through Friday, but then take a breather on Saturday.  Cutting corners?  Maybe.  Want to make something of it?

So- I'm taking votes!  What should I work on for July?  I'll close the official voting on Tuesday, July 5 so get your vote on.  Let's get out and Rock the Vote!

 If you are reading this post via Google Reader or another subscription, click on over to my real-live, legit blog and vote in my poll!


Sleep, Where Have You Gone?

Sleep has not been so great lately.  I have been lying there in bed, just trying to drift off, with little success. 

(Here is why I'm writing about this and here is why I have goals every month). 

I have followed the rules!  I shut down my laptop a good 30 minutes before I go to bed.  Same with the television.  I find it hard to turn off "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" but I am doing it.  I am counting backward from 300 by two's (298...296...294...).  Usually this helps shut my brain down as I am falling asleep, but lately...nope.  Not doing the trick.

from tlc's "my big fat gypsy wedding"
Sleep continues to allude me.  I'm lying in bed until midnight or 1:00, just wide awake.  And it is miserable.

Remember that leptin thing that Oprah's sleep guy talked about?  How leptin is the appetite suppressant that our body makes, and it recharges when we sleep?  My leptin supply is running very low.  I want to eat all the time.  I don't know what I want to eat, and I'm not hungry, but I am eating like it is my job.

I have that sleep-deprived fuzzy brain feeling right now, so I'm not even sure how to put sentences together.

I give up.  I'll leave you with another image from "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding".  Why? 

Why not.


Looking for a new read?

Just thought I'd pass along a book recommendation for your summertime reading pleasure.  If I remember correctly, I just pulled it off the "new nonfiction" section because I liked the cover (always a good way to judge a book.  Zing!).

The book is titled "You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know" and is by Heather Sellers.  The author has prosopagnosia, or face-blindness.  Never heard of it?  I had not either.  The condition prevents her from recognizing people's faces.  Mom, dad, boyfriend, husband- all are strangers until she recognizes their gait or speech.  Fascinating, right?  I always either pick up books like these (Face blindnessKidnappingEarly onset Alzheimer's!)  or books with hot pink covers about girls who shop too much and then lie to their husbands about it.  Usually the girls in those books are British and move to New York.  Seriously I've read several of those.  Meh.

Anyway.  Sellers opens the book recalling how she mistakenly hugged a stranger at an airport, incorrectly identifying him as her boyfriend.  The stranger pushes her away while her boyfriend approaches, laughing.  It is an arresting scenario and a snapshot of her day to day life.  Again- fascinating.

Sellers is a great writer, setting the reader up to feel as she does- self-conscious, on your heels, trying to put pieces together.  I felt confused at points in the book, not by the content but by this desire to have everything come into focus.  Sellers describes her family background, growing up with parents who were mentally ill.  I had this desire or need for things to make sense- the "aha" of her family that would bring the pieces together.  Much like Sellers experience, I would guess.  Things are chronically out of focus and blurry around the edges.  Her normal is my idea of complete and utter dysfunction.    

Not a very light and fluffy read.  (No hot pink cover on this one).   Great writing, however, and I had a hard time closing the book by 10:30 every night

Any recommendations for me on my next trip to the library?


Sleep Update

this peaceful bedroom courtesy of cup of jo

Wow!  21 days into the month and I've only posted once on my sleep goal!  (Read here if you want the full post.  Or, the short version: for the month of June I'm aiming to be in bed at 10:30 and up at 6:30).

I am loving this goal.  I have not kept it every night (more on that later), but it really makes a difference when I do.  A few surprises:

1.  It is really difficult to get myself to bed every night by 10:30.  As my friend Kelly said, the evening hours feel "sacred".  Morning, for me, is a time to think about the day ahead, prep this and that so we can get out the door, etc and so forth.  The evening is a time to relax.  It is when I feel like I have punched out for the day and can read or watch my shows (Whaaaat?  How did that link get in there?) without feeling like I should multitask and be productive.  So it is hard to cut that time short to drag myself into bed. 

2.  My body operates significantly better on more sleep.  Shocking, right?  Do I need to elaborate on this?  My fuse is longer with my kids.  My eating is more likely to be in relation to my appetite and not my need for a energy boost every couple of hours.  I feel more clear-headed, even first thing in the morning.

3.  The time slips away from me!  Often I look up at the clock and realize that it is already 10:15 and I am nowhere near being ready to shut down what I'm doing and go to bed.  It feels like I just put the kids down for the evening- it can't be the end of "my time" already!  After I wrote about my June goal, my friend Kim emailed me about her efforts to get better sleep.  Among the other things that she does to get herself to bed on time- she sets an alarm on her phone.  At 9:15 she gets a reminder that it is time to start winding down and moving toward bed.  What a great idea.  I love the idea of an alarm to remind me to start the transition.

So- this is one of those goals that might continue into another month.  I like it that much.

More later on why I have not always gotten to bed on time!
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