Blackboard Eats

blackboardeats.com

I’ve been working on an article about smart shopping, and so my world has been inundated with coupons and deals, websites and bargains. The latest cool thing I’ve found is Blackboard Eats. Each day they offer a coupon code for a gourmet food item, or cooking gear, etc. for just a few hours or until the codes run out.

The Laughing & Lucky Buddha! A stroke of Luck!

by williamcho on Flickr


That’s been my mantra for the last couple of days. Twice this week, I’ve done a yoga flow that prompts me to speak different affirmations along with the poses, and I keep coming back to the idea of trusting my body, listening to my body, treating my body as my temple.

Then I saw this poem today, in a blog post by Dr. Elisha Goldstein:

Your history is here inside your body.

Your body is your storehouse

Of learnings, feelings,

Thoughts, and experiences.

Only waiting to be invited to

Reveal your treasures to yourself.

Help yourself.

As you let the learning emerge

And take shape, you can

Appreciate the wisdom of the body.

Each cell alive with

Spirit, emotion, and intelligence.

Ready to help you at any moment,

Always with you and for you.

A tee shirt from Threadless. The image just makes me inexplicably sad.

by yewenyi on Flickr

It’s been something of a challenging week, chez moi, and I’ve been dealing with a lot of thoughts that have come up.

First of all, I went to see the therapist on Monday. She’s recommended that I talk with someone who specializes more in my issues, but one thing she said really stuck with me.

She told me that whenever a person has a goal they want to reach, like weight loss for instance, one should ask oneself if they are ready, willing and able. Ready, meaning that they have all the information they need to achieve the goal; willing, in that they have decided that there are more pros than cons for achieving the goal; and able, meaning that they believe they can succeed.

In her opinion, from the hour we spent talking, I was lacking the third ingredient.

And I think she’s right. I’ve yo-yoed up and down so many times that I’m not sure I truly believe I can lose weight and keep it off any more. I don’t trust my own ability to lose weight successfully—never mind trusting myself to eat without a diet “plan” to guide me, or trust that my body would level out at a healthy weight if I listened to what it really needed and wanted to eat.

When I am feeling my most desperate, I cannot decide what to put in my mouth; every morsel, every bite of food is a land mine fraught with danger regardless of whether I’m considering organic strawberries or a bag of potato chips. All the data I’ve collected—the points values, the good carbs vs. bad carbs, the proteins and fiber that keep us full and the empty sugar that spikes our blood sugar—fights in my brain for supremacy, and I can’t make a decision until I’ve decided which program or plan I’m going to follow.

So when I decided I wasn’t going to follow a “program” or a “plan” anymore, perhaps you can see why I suddenly couldn’t move past that sticking point.

I’m not sure how to get to that “able” stage, but it’s definitely something to think about.

My friend Anne at One Little Window has a great piece about why she chooses to live green.

I know I always talk about “green things”, living sustainably, “saving the planet”, and whatever catch slogans you want to add. Well, I will do so here again. Not because I think the planet needs to be saved, although I think it does. Not so much because I worry about all the wasted resources, although I do. Not so much because I am terrified of the results of the oil spill, even though I am. I talk about it because I see it as a symptom of a blight that doesn’t have anything directly to do with the environment or the planet. It’s the blight of purposelessness. It’s the blight of busyness. It’s not living intentionally and choosing what you work at.

This gets to the heart of something I’ve been trying to verbalize and internalize for myself lately. Rather than asking “Why do this thing to be green?” I tend to ask, “Why not?” To me, so many choices are so small and so easy to make that it seems ridiculous not to.

First, a caveat: I do realize that I’m speaking from a place of privilege. I own my home and have a huge yard (by suburban standards), mine is a two-income family, I have a job, a car, and opportunities like single-stream recycling and natural foods stores within my reach. These are things that many people don’t have, and I don’t want anyone to think I take these things for granted.

But where I’m at in my life, there are choices I can make that are SO simple as to hardly even seem like a choice any more. For example, we switched to cloth napkins, cloth hankies and cloth dishrags (in place of most of our paper towels) almost three years ago and the paper products I do buy are all recycled paper. We do not miss wiping our bums with quilted anything, nor do I find that I do significantly more laundry than I used to.

Speaking of laundry, I buy only natural cleaning products now, and I use less of them than I used to. Baking soda and vinegar are awesome and super cheap. I don’t buy bleach, and I gave up using dryer sheets—with no negative results.

This is not a toot-my-own-horn post. This is not to say that I’m perfect, because I’m absolutely not. There are plenty of things I don’t do—yet—that I absolutely could. This is about the choices that, now made, seem awfully simple and intuitive. Better still, they feel purposeful. They feel meaningful. Maybe that’s a little bit of vanity on my part, but I feel good and virtuous about making these kinds of choices because they support what I believe in.

And, as Anne points out, it’s about more than just “saving the planet.” Doing these small things is a certain kind of mindfulness, an exercise in being present. It’s about actually making a choice, rather than simply going with the flow.

Why do you do the things you do? How much of your life is dictated more by habit than by any sort of conscious choice? Are you living your life in accordance with what really matters to you?

It’s a question I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’m not ready to give up my car and bike the 15 miles to my office every day, nor am I willing to spend two hours and more money than it costs to operate my car to ride the bus. But I’ve thought about it, and it’s a choice I’ve consciously made. And when I spend two hours in front of the TV after dinner instead of gardening or cleaning or reading or writing, I have to wonder if that was a choice I consciously made, or if I was lured to the sofa by the hypnotic flicker of the mindless entertainment.

I don’t have all the answers, but I think this is one time where it’s the questions that are more important than the answers.

Home-made and store-bought Pop-Tarts
Home-made and store-bought Pop-Tarts by Me

For our first-annual all-green issue, I wrote an article for my magazine about making processed food treats at home—namely Ho Hos, Pop-Tarts and Cheeze Its.

You can read how it turned out and get all the recipes on the Yellow Scene website

.

Some recipes I’m dying to try — and stay tuned; next week I’ll have an article on making your own Pop Tarts, Cheese-Its and Ho Hos.

Doughnut Muffins from King Arthur Flour
Orange-Glazed Olive Oil Cake with Fleur de Sel from Serious Eats
Gooseberry Relish from NYT Bitten Blog (as soon as my gooseberries ripen!)

Bras on a fence

by kidicarus222 on Flickr

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on bras lately, and I’ve actually been thinking I need some new ones myself.  It’s a good thing to remember: good ones will fit and flatter like nothing else, and your shape and size changes — and that’s OK.

Already Pretty has a Guest Post by K.Line on the Elements of a Great Bra

and

Venus Vision reviews the Spanx Bra-lelujah!

by Drunken Monkey on Flickr

I’ve been thinking for a long time about emergency preparation, and Sharon at Casaubon’s Book does a great job of breaking down what you might need food storage-wise.  She uses zombies as her imaginary disaster, which just makes everything even more fun.

Emily, Matt and Grey

Emily, Matt and Grey

I’m about to head out to my sister’s new home in Jackson, MS to spend a week exploring her new city with her and meet my new nephew.

It’s a time of new beginnings for her, and it feels like it should be for me as well.  So, while I’m gone, I’ll be linking to stuff I’m thinking about, reading, loving, etc.

Fit in 30 Minutes a Day!

Getting and staying fit doesn’t require a huge time commitment.  You need to have a clear plan and be consistent.  Investing 30 minutes a day in yourself will not only improve your fitness level but I guarantee you will be more efficient through out the rest of your day.  Regular exercise makes you feel more energetic and focused.

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