Not for me I already look younger than I am (and that’s NOT a complaint). I mean for this. My blog! I am finding that the more I write, the more I feel I want to say, and RunCrissieRun is evolving into more than just a play by play of my exercise and dietary habits (and strange stories of my family). I have found the past few months to be both liberating and confining. I love writing and telling my story, but at the same time, I’m limiting what I say to stay within the confines of what the original intent of the blog is. Rather than limit what I have to say, I may as well expand the intent! My goal is to have a bit of a face lift after the holidays. I’m in FL all next week for a work related training class, back at the office for 3 days, and then off until after the new year. I figure that gives me plenty of time to do some research and formulate what it is I want to do going forward.
Part of this desire is coming from a crisis of health. I am watching people around me (either directly or indirectly) battling illness. I work in health care and I see every day the fear and uncertainty on patients faces as they deal with disease. We live in a culture where food is the enemy. It’s killing us, our families, our neighbors – because no one really knows what’s healthy anymore. How many times have experts been on TV in the past 30 years telling us how to eat? High carb, high fiber, low carb, low fat, food pyramid (which was adopted in 1992 and changed in 2010), Atkins, Zone, Sugar Busters, South Beach, Mediterranean, Blood Type, Cabbage Soup, Mayo Clinic….get the point? It’s no wonder everyone is confused. It doesn’t help that we live in an instant gratification society where we want quick fixes. Give us pills, surgery, or the ability to eat as much chocolate cake as we want and still lose weight!! But please, please don’t tell us we have to work hard and change our habits. Puh-lease. The old adage is true – anything worth having is worth working for. Grow up, get over yourself, and do the right thing for yourself – for your body, your health, your future, and the planet while you’re at it (had to plug the vegan angle!). Eating our selves to death is an incredibly selfish act. There are too many people to love and love us to throw it all away for yet another onion ring, piece of pizza, or slice of cheesecake. Be accountable. We need to take control of our own health – because we can. Simply by making choices and stop making excuses. We CHOOSE what we put in our mouths. Who choose to sit on the sofa. We need to stop saying “McDonald’s made me fat”. No. We’re making ourselves fat. Want to fix the health care problems (yes, this is an oversimplification – roll with me on it)? Lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise. Want to stop many of the pills we have to take? Lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise. It’s not a complicated prescription – but as a culture we’d rather take 100 pills per day than lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise.
Let me enter my caveat here. Obviously not all disease is preventable. Type 1 diabetes, genetic diseases, etc. My husband has Crohn’s disease. He has to take MANY pills several times a day. Nothing he did caused this, and it causes him intermittent agony. BUT – many diseases are directly related to our habits. Type 2 diabetes, smoking-related illness, alcohol related illness, non genetic heart disease, non genetic high blood pressure, and several cancers are related to our risk factors – smoking, obesity, etc. We suffer from diseases of affluence more than we do genetic disorders or diseases of poverty (read about it in The China Study). Having plenty means doing this to excess. While people in other countries struggle with malaria (something unheard of here), they are NOT suffering from obesity related deaths. Coincidence? I’m not saying we should trade one for the other. I’m saying we have the power to change our lives because we have choices. We take for granted the choices we have the luxury of making.
It makes me sad that people believe it’s cheaper to eat food that’s completely nutritionally devoid rather than something healthy. Families would rather feed their kids off the dollar menu at the drive-thru than make a balanced and healthy meal at home. Don’t get me wrong – I get it. I have 3 kids, and my husband and I work full time (and even when my husband was a stay-at-home dad, I did the cooking). Take out and drive thru are easier, faster, and as we fill up more and more of our days with the things we HAVE to do, we cut corners in others. People don’t realize that a $1.50 bag of beans could feed a family for several days! Paired with some whole grains and frozen veggies…it’s a million times better than a burger and fries and cheap as hell. It’s not always willful ignorance at all….but it is ignorance just the same. Our schools serve pizza, soda, and junk because they’re on a limited budget. They could make lentils, rice, soups, etc for the same price – but our Americanized taste buds won’t allow it. So we blame the schools for making our children fat – but don’t really do much to change ourselves so they’ll follow suit.
So here’s the revelation part. This is me. I suffer from many of these things too. My family and I eat out way too often. My youngest would be happy to eat nothing but junk food all of the time. When she asks for a snack – she wants chips, cookies, and crackers. Not apples and carrots. I eat too many of the wrong foods. While I am healthy – I over indulge too much in processed foods and alcohol. I work out pretty consistently, but not diversely (cardio…good, strength training…bad). I’ve lost 60 lbs in the past few years – but could still stand to drop another 25 and still be a healthy weight. I worry every day about the scale and about the future of my health. My genetic line is wrought with metabolic disease, heart disease, and cancer…just like everyone elses. I have the power to prevent SO much from happening to me. I’m afraid that I won’t. That I’m not strong enough. And then I think about my kids. My husband. My parents. My sister and her kids. My very good friends. And you know what. Bull. I AM strong enough. I’m self-less enough. Hell…I RAN A MARATHON…I can do this too!
But change is hard. I know that as well as anyone else does. There are days when I watch my co-workers at the company picnic or potluck eating cake – and I’m eating fruit. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I indulge. Sometimes I feel fine about it. But it’s a struggle every single day. Changing how my family eats is hard. They rebel, refuse to eat something (my youngest and my husband are the worst at that), or end up making a sandwich!
Oh good God. Sorry. I really didn’t intend to go all drama on everyone. I really only meant a quick sentence or two about possible upcoming blog changes! But like I said above…the more I write, the more I want to write. So there you go. I completely went overboard, but it is what it is.
My regularly scheduled programming is usually babbling about my day. So here’s been the past 30 hrs or so.
I took the day off yesterday due to the Better Than Ezra concert Tuesday night. I spent the morning re-hydrating and blogging. I eventually got my act together (around 11), got dressed, and headed out. My first stop was Michael’s. I had a ton of pictures, but no frames. I had my Chicago marathon picture, 3 pictures of my sister’s kids, a nice picture of D and I from our last trip to Busch Gardens, school pictures, one of my sister and I from two years ago, and a few others…so I took them all to Michael’s to get corresponding frames. There was a big sale, but I still spent about $85 (sorry honey). After that, I went to Virginia Beach to do some shopping. I went to Sports Authority and then the mall. I picked up several Christmas gifts (finally nearly completion), and grabbed lunch. What did I have? What do I ALWAYS have when I’m at Lynnhaven mall? Pho. Vietnamese Vegetarian Pho Noodle Soup. It was perfect, and I read my Kindle while eating my lovely lunch.
My Pho Fun! Yes, the tofu is fried. Otherwise, it’s loaded with tons of broccoli, carrots, cabbage, and scallions with some fat rice noodles and a vegetarian broth. Sometimes I add hot sauce. Not today.
After I got home, I brought all the gifts inside that I could lift (not telling until after Christmas. I can never be sure if my kids are reading!). I had some tea to warm up (it’s been in the 30′s here, which just fully sucks). Around 430, I bundled up to head out for a run. It felt great, and I did too – leading to my belief that I was really just “dehydrated” and not “hung over”. I was on one of my neighborhood streets when I saw D and R drive by (he had just picked her up from daycare…I couldn’t because of the suspect and heavy items in the van). It was cute – he pulled over, gave me a kiss, and I went on my running merry way.
The rest of the evening I spent putting pictures into frames, wrapping presents, and getting boxes ready to ship back to my family in WI. I’m usually not this prepared – but with me being gone all next week, I know that if I waited, I’d pay a fortune to get the boxes there in time for Christmas. Without going into details, part of the evening was less than fun with my teenage daughter, but eventually dinner was served and things got done. I admit though, that I didn’t eat dinner, and neither did D. Too stressed out.
Try as we might, D and I didn’t get to bed until after 11. No worries though, because when I did finally fall asleep, I slept very well. Even watched an episode of Haven!
This morning I woke up, made pancakes for breakfast (R’s choice), made lunches, and for myself, had a cup of coffee and then another green smoothie! I’m not sure if I can really call it a green smoothie because it ended up turning purple, but I think the definition of a green smoothie has more to do with the presence of a leafy green than it does with an end result color. Anyway, today’s concoction consisted of 2 cups of water, a chunk of pear (about 1/3 of the fruit), an orange, a half a cup ish of blueberries, and a cup or so of spinach (I didn’t measure – just eyeballed it).
I thought it would be fun to take a picture of what it looks like before I whip it into healthy goodness. You can just see all the awesomeness waiting to be blended into juicy fun.
And after! Don’t judge the chunky looking juice. I probably could have blended it a bit longer, but it was still good. D thought it tasted a bit too watery, and maybe next time I’ll only use 1 cup of water instead of 2.
After my juice, I went for a run this morning before work. Holy cold, batman. I wore a thermal turtleneck under a long sleeve technical shirt, under a running jacket. Top half was mostly fine. I still need decent pants though. With my hat and gloves, off I went. The first quarter mile or so I was cursing and wishing for a scarf. Not long after, I warmed up pretty well and was on my way. I was feeling the drag of not having eaten dinner the night before, and figured that along with my juice, I probably should have had a piece of Ezekiel bread toasted with sunflower butter.
After my run, I took a quick shower and got ready for work. I used my awesome espresso machine to make a pumpkin spice soy latte. I used a caramel espresso, low sugar vanilla soy milk, and pumpkin spice. Mmmmmm. And warm, which was an extra added bonus. Take THAT Starbucks!
It’s even pretty! That’s right, not just about taste. It’s all in the presentation!
My meetings all day went very well, and they wrapped up around 2 ish. I got several more things done, and then went to pick R up. The two of us headed to the grocery to pick up some essentials, and then headed home.
I made the Lentil Chowder from my Candle Cafe cookbook. Basically it’s lentils, butternut squash, carrots, Yukon gold potato, onion, tomatoes, thyme, and pepper simmered for an hour and a half.
Here’s a picture of the stew pot just after I added all the fresh produce and before I actually started cooking it. Doesn’t it just look fabulous?
And here it is an hour and a half later. Here’s why I am posting the pictures. It struck me when I took the lid off after it’s cooking, that it looked almost identical to the “before” picture. How cool is that? It somehow made me feel like the meal I was eating was that much more wholesome – that the process of cooking it didn’t really alter the bright colors and vitality of the whole thing. Anyway – this was dinner tonight.
I know tonight’s post is quite rambling. I’m not sure what the post-face lift blog will look like, but I have many ideas. I’m going to start by re-reading a few very inspiring books. The China Study (link above), The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, You Are What You Eat, and maybe a couple of others I have lying around.
Eventually, my intent over the next few weeks is to make RunCrissieRun more about change. Change that I need to make. To take you all with me, to maybe inspire, and to definitely BE inspired. Because in the end, I’m definitely strong enough. And I’m definitely worth it. Just ask the people who love me.