Clean Eating

SE1Q7617I typically try to buy only organic ingredients – I’m not sure when I started caring but it may have been the movie Food Inc that made me very conscious about the quality and origin of my food. I also found that Trader Joe’s organic carrots tasted great and that could be a launching board for us to move away from the “bar diet”, where we thought it super time efficient to eat, for example, zone bars for breakfast and lunch during the weekdays. We actually may have been the thinnest around that time period – most of that had to do with Weight Watchers for me though. After Food Inc. I believe is when I started to move away from HFCS and lean more towards grass-fed beef (not to be confused with beef from cows on a “vegetarian diet”, of which corn could technically fit into that category, which is bad because that is what produces the E.coli in the cow’s stomach and why the beef producers would then add ammonium / pink slime additive to kill it from what I understand), after this Unblind My Mind: What are we Eating? TED talk I started to avoid MSGs, and I’m not sure where the non-GMO part came in (but saw Consumed earlier this week, which only reinforced the practice though).

Anyway, now I’m trying to focus / refocus more on this Clean Eating, which technically I would have been doing but due to time limitations (baby needs, work balance, etc.), I need to figure out how to continue and do it better. (Perhaps a crock pot?)

But, on top of just eating clean food, I have been concerned if I am getting all the nutrients, macronutrients, etc. I need. In watching [fragments of] The Truth About Cancer, there was one Doctor who could take a blood sample and tell you diseases/disorders you would/could expect to get, what your missing, and what you could do to bridge those gaps. Amazing. I must find this guy.  I heard that this is similar to when plants turn yellow because of lack of nutrients in the soil – it’s similar to when people get jaundice.

Considering that, in the cancer documentary, one person claimed to battle and defeat cancer by clean eating, why not continue down this road?  They say that Organic foods are more expensive, but if in the long run it keeps you healthy (less medical bills) it would ideally pay off.

We may not be 100% perfect at clean eating, but if we get back on the horse everyday, the continuous detoxing effect of clean and well-balanced eating have proven to pay off.   This is beginning to sound like a diet come to think of it, but I guess it’s more a way of life.  If you do it right, it’s actually not a bad deal if you do it right!

And now… Meditation

Buddah Meditation

And now I [try to] end my night with a meditation.

I have downloaded a free Meditation App. It’s amazing how therapeutic it can be or is supposed to be.  I can vividly remember as a child being in the now and as I left formal schooling, I find my mind often in the future and, perhaps more dangerously, in the past.  I read a Dr Axe article that listed meditation as a treatment for autoimmune diseases and considering how stress can cause all types of physical ailments (like expensive kinds to diagnose at the very least), I have started to appreciate why that could be.

Do what your doing, while you’re doing it.

Even if I can’t listen to my app at night, I remember to focus on my breathing and on the now.

I’ve tried meditation formally once, and it was hosted by someone who was a plumber.  Who would have thought!  It was hard for me to sit for that long without a leg falling asleep.

Have you tried meditation?  How do you like it?

Gift Giving

Chocolate GiftI remember at a very early age I saw a Barbie Ferrari on a TV commercial and thought it was the coolest thing EVAR!  I asked my mom if I could get one but we didn’t have any money she said. To which I thought, Oh No!! There began my awareness of how close one could be to the street, there was sometimes homeless folks who would camp out in a box across the street. 

I felt terrible asking for anything after that point.  I kept a LOT my toys practically NIB. My mom would take us to Playworld, a former toy store in our neighborhood, and she would stalk me to see what I was looking at for a gift idea. So at some point I decided that, when I got someone a gift, it was because I wanted them to have it – and not want or expect anything in return. 

I hated to give a gift to feel like the next day the person would feel obligated to  give something in return.  In the work place, I now plan to wait until it’s the person’s last day in the office, and then I would give them my little token of appreciation and close the books! 🙂

I like this approach because even though though we may have a job, life is expensive. Taking care of kids, parents, a car, taxes. Also, in an effort to downsize and simplify, I don’t need or want anything at this point in my life other than basic necessities.

So what do you do for the holiday season or for gift giving in general? One of the inspirations was helping a friend clean out his house after his mother passed away as well as cleaning out 7 tons of items left behind in an old barn/farm. I told myself I never want to leave that behind for my [GW] kids or grandkids one day. 🙂

The 4 D’s

In one of my earlier jobs, one of the PMs I knew would always talk about the 4 D’s.

  • Do
  • Defer
  • Delegate
  • Delete

I believe this may have stemmed from reading the book Getting things Done.  We always talked about writing the SOP for this – in jest he joked about getting out of any work.

The thought process was that, if it took less than 5 minutes to do, Do it.  If you need to do it and can’t do it now, Defer it (add it to your To Do list or schedule it on your calendar ). If you have someone you can delegate it to, then do that. That was not always an option for me.  If it’s not important, scratch it from your mind/list etc.  In other words, Delete it! 🙂

This was a primary thought process as I would go through email or voice mail. Unfortunately, I would still have time constraints!  I think too that the work world has gotten more complex though the better ones to master this skill of decision-making still may fare better.

Do you have any tips for dealing with the workload that comes your way? I’ve heard a lot about reducing the amount of decisions you make in a day for an easier day.  Let me know what other tips / books /etc. have helped to manage the load!

Stride Right!

I recently measured my LO’s foot, suspecting he needed larger shoes now.  I was surprised to find that his feet were extra wide – yet not at the same time.

Anyway, I got into a conversation with my mom about our trips to Stride Rite, a shoe store with professional staff, where they would always measure your feet and pull out all the options available to you.  These days those professions seem non-existent – perhaps to our detriment in a way, especially if   you have feet that is not standard to the Average American(?) male/female.

I first thought about this when a primary doctor mentioned, in passing, that yeah, she  saw a slight formation/start of a bunion on my foot.  In a very non-chalant way too.  But why is that okay?  Fast forward to recently, I was readying Mayo Clinic newsleter about foot health and how bunions are formed.  I would expect a dcotir to tell someone (me) you need to get a shoe with a wider / more fitting width, or whatever the remedy would be.  I started stretching my foot out to get my toes to start stretching in the right direction, and I try to use these Yoga Toes I have whenever I remember.

It all those darn heels.  Now I’ve been trying to push out the ill fitting shoes to meet the needs of the outlined foot on the paper with my ruler.  Wide it is and, for my son, XW (extra wide).

So I would recommend learning how to measure your/your LO’s foot size so we can take care of our feet and prevent residual effects of improper pressure on our feet!

Top 10 smartiEating Tips

Thanksgiving Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving!  I was listening to podcast earlier today about what some of the first Thanksgivings really were like – it was a 3-day feast and you ended with the fourth Sunday when you went to church.  I imagine it would last for 3 days because there was no refrigeration and once all that food is cooked, no one goes home until the plate is empty.

Anyway, I’m stuffed.  I did better than most Thanksgivings though!  Over the years of trying to be healthy, I have developed a few hand rules that I try to abide to moreso than not.  If you need to recover from the Thanksgiving holiday or try to avoid putting on the “winter coat” here are some ideas that I’m sharing with you.

  1. Healthy Snacks – bring fruit with you!  When I find myself craving something, I tell myself, shut up and eat your banana 🙂
  2. No Snacks at home.  I try not to stock anything that I didn’t fit caloric-wise into my week’s meal plan. And I use mealplan loosely here.
  3. Split out serving sizes ahead of time. We used to snack on cereal and then would find we make a regrettable dent in the box. Then for the week,  we’d separate each serving size into Ziplock bags and put them back in the box. We’d also separate a bag of trail mix into small Tupperware we’d then take to work or on road trips.
  4. Split meals / apps/ desserts – my hand rule that I try to abide to is split an app and an entre or split an entre and a dessert. Otherwise, just one entre and no add-on’s.  Restaurant potion sizes are way more than we should consume typically, so plan not to consume it. If you are able to, just eat half of  your entre if you’re not able to share with someone or pack it to bring home.
  5. BYO Lunch. No way to limit your intake than by planning ahead.
  6. 1 glass of Wine – It’s fewer calories than those mixed surgery drinks and red wine has antioxidants. The societies with some of the longest living populations have a Wine at Five rule (reference: blue zones). If you limit yourself to one drink in general, it will preserve your wallet’s contents.
  7. Eat a carrot. (Take a veggie with you.) I found myself a couple of times eating a baby carrot just because it was there at my desk.  It surprisingly killed a sugar craving I had.  Carrots do have suger though, so maybe that’s a bad reason, but any time you can replace empty calories for ones loaded with vitamins and nutrients, then it’s a win.
  8. Teaspoon of Cranberries in your cereal to regulate blood sugar in the morning.
  9. Pile veggies on your plate – if you find yourself at a buffet-style setting, try filling 50-75% if your plate with greens / vegetables and other healthy items. This will limit how much rice, meats, and other items you should limit.
  10. Take the smallest Container and stuff it.  When you’re at a buffet style place for to-go, take the smallest of the clam shells and fill that to your heart’s content. Again, try to first stuff with veggies.

Let me know if there’s other ideas I should add to the list!


New York City’s Holiday Markets

Outdoor Holiday Market Vendor

I love the holidays.  It plays a big part that I enjoy more and more, spending time with my family.  When it comes to the December season, it’s not presents that I seek, but time out (or in when it’s too cold) with my family and time off from work (when possible!).  I find we do so much running around that we don’t get the opportunity to enjoy the town we live in or the apartment we have, albeit smaller that we’d like!

If you are trying to instill an appreciation of family time, or just general together-time, with yourself, a date, littles ones, your out-of-town visitors then there are several ways we can make that happen without centering your activities around shopping.

One of the things I love about the Holiday Season is all the Holiday Markets that pop up starting mostly in November.  My favorite is Union Square, but there are more that we can take advantage of.  Although there’s lots of shopping that can take place at these markets, my favorite thing to do is get a cup of warm coffee / hot chocolate / hot cider (whatever you desire that’s available) and get a warm Belgian waffle or hot soup to eat and huddle for warmth with your loved ones while enjoying the brisk air, lights, and liveliness.

If you already ate, scout out some free chocolate samples.  Some practical items you can obtain, if you do need to shop, is a set of gloves / scarves / hats; a  Christmas / Holiday tree ornament; a box of chocolates for family/friends or co-workers (at least we’re shopping local here and they’re good quality!), to name a few.

I won’t reinvest the wheel, but will instead leverage Time Out New York’s good work to pull all these markets together:


    News, Traffic, and Trolls

    Gnome TrollIt amazes me sometimes how some sites generate so much traffic for such nonsense.

    I went to some generic browser’s homepage, where I would always find myself clicking on their news and realized that some of the ads on their sites were not theirs. It was some advertisement but now that they don’t have borders around the advertisement (sneaky sneaky!), it’s not too apparent.

    Anyway, some photo of a lady captioned that the husband divorced after looking up close of the photo. The lady was pretty, so why would he do that? So let me take a peek. After clicking, it ends up being some slide show and every page was like, a sentence else a fragment of a sentence. The photo at the end of the slide show had nothing to do with the photo the headline was referring to. The photo of the girl looked like a regular girl on a messy bed and there was a pair of eyes peeking out of the frame of the bed.  First of all, there wouldn’t have been room to fit a head behind/under that furniture. secondly, why would someone even bother to hide from a photo – just step out of the frame.  I got TROLLED. And think of all those pages I clicked on to see what the reason was. And on top of that, some of the slides were also advertisements and there were pop ups in the mix. What a nightmare. I’m done with these news-lookig type of troll advertisents. They will never have a good resolution. (LOL)

    On top of news trolled, I got video trolled. I saw some video title suggesting Hilary was having a seizure. No way. I have no interest in seeing it becuase it’s not nice to see that happen to someone. I was shown a video making the same claim once before, but I missed it (I was doing something else / distracted).

    So I clicked it. I missed it again.

    It must be a differet video. It wasn’t – it had the right title. I replayed to catch it. I missed it. Again. Does the person posting this even know what a seizure is?

    Whoever gave it that title must have been doing it for the hits. Or were they? Because by the end of trying to see how she made out, I could hear her voice giving contradictory statements on some very serious items. The clips were back to back. It was all very clear what happened – it was all on video.

    Was that a Trump Troll? #TROLLED

    On top of that – on the flip side – I clicked on a Trump video indicating why they he never talks about one of his daughters.  At the end of the slide show, I reflected on it.  I don’t think the reason was ever given.  Actually, it looked like all the kids got along, completed some impressive form of higher education, and were doing pretty good.  I think I was Trump Trolled again!

    If that’s the case, then…well played Data Scientists, well played.