Sunday, July 28, 2013

Health Hack: Beauty Juice

It seems that every time we turn around there's a study or two that say that what used to be thought of as healthful is no longer good for you, for any number of reasons. Apples and alar. Spinach and e coli. Low fat is best. No fat is best.

But there are some things (very few of them, but some) that everyone agrees upon. One of those is water. Drinking water is good. Water trumps every other beverage in terms of health benefits. Sadly, though, if you're used to drinking something else -- sodas, juices, Crystal Light -- water tastes uninspired.

This leads to my first hack: grab a pitcher or a carafe, fill it with water, and label it BEAUTY JUICE. If you want to get extra brownie points, you can throw in some lemon or cucumber slices, or a few berries to make it prettier. I did this when I was in my early 20s and Diet Pepsi was my drink of choice. And it worked. I'm bored of water before I even pour a glass. But beauty juice? Now that's something I want!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Health and beauty hacks

Austin and I were talking about hacking yesterday. Although the word hack seems linked to computer programming, according to Urban Dictionary a hack is

a clever solution to a tricky problem

I love that. Both the efficiency of it, and the idea that a result can be achieved in a way that it would not normally be done. It might be a stretch to call these "hacks" but it makes me happy to do this. So stay tuned for some of my favorite health and beauty hacks.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Gratitude list with no qualifiers

Over the last 4-1/2 years, I've gotten more cynical and negative. Certainly circumstances play a role here, but what I focus on is still my choice, right? So here is a list of what I'm grateful for, right here, right now:
  • the garage refrigerator has decided to start working again
  • yoga with Tim this morning
  • kids who are active and interesting and fun to be around
  • my dog, who makes me laugh every day.
These days Buster is wearing shoes. There's a perfectly good reason for this (stitches in his paw) but I find it embarrassing when others notice and comment. The good news about the shoes is that they make him sound like a horse when he runs and that makes me smile.

Friday, July 12, 2013

(this post has no title)

I started blogging in 2005 when I was training for the Women's Tri-Fitness Competition in Las Vegas. And I wrote steadily for years after that, focusing on fitness and getting certified as a personal trainer, training clients, and my lifelong struggle to improve my diet.

After a year of writing, my blog got me in trouble with one of my relatives. I'd shared something on my blog that I hadn't directly told her and she was deeply hurt to not be informed. So I deleted every bit of my writing, in an attempt to prove to her that family is my priority. At the time it seemed like my only choice. The relationship is strong, but sometimes I wish I could get those words back.

My new blog uses WordPress. Everyone says WordPress is better, and I'm sure it is. But I just don't have the time or energy to learn it. So I'm going to bring those posts over here, to Blogger.

This morning I read through several of my old posts. I can see who I was before my parents health plummeted. There were a number of writings on the difficulty of parenting teens. Here's one of my favorites:

February 16, 2010
Busy day. Crazy busy. I got home at 9:30 from a meeting, and immediately Austin wanted me to watch a UFC fight, which I did. Then started cleaning the kitchen (told you it was a busy day). Tucker was talking to me and we were joking around. Then:

Austin, "You know what's fun? Trying to hear the fight over you guys talking."
Me, "You know what's fun? That you get to watch hours of UFC in the main part of the house and our family lets you."
Austin (turns up the volume)

Sometimes with teens I think it's best to not sweat the small stuff. So I fought the temptation to get tons of ice from the ice maker, then grind it up in the disposal. Do I get some mom brownie points for this? :)

Writing is therapeutic, and I want to make writing just as easy as possible.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Hate love

What I hate (a partial list)
  • triple-digit temperatures (110 is a teen goal weight, not a weather number)
  • when parents fall
  • the waiting game (the pull to sit and wait is so terribly strong. feels like i've perfected the art of intertia. shit.)
What I love (a partial list)
  • kick-ass caregivers (there's an angel on this planet and she helps care for my parents)
  • great doctors
  • vacations (all 4 of us head to Chicago tomorrow)
My latest analogy is that working on behalf of my parents is like playing Whack-a-Mole, so just when you think you've got 'em all, another one pops up. I feel awful for my dad. He is the worst candidate for a fracture. Nobody likes pain, but when you're 83 and already weak and unsteady, adding pain and pain meds into the mix makes things even more difficult.

I talked to him today. He asked how I was. I said, "I've heard you're not doing so well." His answer "Well, I'm staying away from running and jumping today." I told him that was a good idea. He said what was sad was he can't run in that 5 mile race. I said it was sad that he wouldn't get a finishers medal. He said they promised him a special pin and that he can try again next time. I assured him I would help him to train for it as soon as he feels better.

Love my dad's sense of humor. Can I say again that I hate that he's in pain? Cuz I do.

The more I try to do for my parents, the worse my inertia gets. Because as I'm waiting for calls from the doctor and visiting nurses association and the care agency, the concern and fear get the best of me. Then add in the fucking heat, which makes me feel like a prisoner in my house, and I kind of end up in a tailspin.

What helps? Gratitude and exercise. I have much to be grateful for. And I'm gonna take my phone with me to field calls, and kick my own ass as I wait. This is the last thing on earth that I want to do (with the exception of going outside), but it is the best possible choice right now.