Your Life: Summed Up

October 9, 2012

The average American spends nine years of his life watching television and two million commercials. Only two weeks of his life is spent kissing another person. Imagine if those numbers were reversed (and probably are in some countries!).

The average Joe spends 4,050 hours at a standstill in traffic (that is the equivalent of 506 nights of sleep), 4,320 hours at traffic lights, 5,365 hours talking on the phone and 122,400 hours working. He will have walked 35,000 miles in a lifetime, which is equal to walking from Paris to Shanghai and back ~ twice. At the same time, he will drive 798,000 miles: That’s 3.5 times to the moon and back.

If you look at these staggering statistics, it makes you realize how much of our time is spent with machines, not Nature or even each other. It makes me want to hug a tree and remember that we are all connected to everything: Not just through Facebook, but through our ultimate purpose in life, which is to love each other with all our might.

How will you spend your day today?

Life Summed Up

Superbowl Eats the Slow Way

February 1, 2012

When I heard about Tosca Reno’s new book, Just the Rules for Eating Clean, I got curious. Given the Super Bowl is coming up on February 5, 2012, I thought it would be a good thing to provide some of her recipes as a healthier option to the empty, salt-ridden snacks we tend to fall prey to. She offers several rules for “eating clean”, a term I had never heard before. But it makes sense. We often pollute our bodies with things they can’t handle well. The result is sluggishness and an overall sense of puff.

Here are some of the rules she outlines for the best Super Bowl party ever:

Super Bowl Party Rule #8 – Color Up: Super Bowl junk is often a sea of fatty beige foods. Colorful foods are filled with more nutrients and flavor than bland, monotonous, processed foods. Opt for a rainbow of colors on your plate, which offers numerous health benefits.

Rule #12 – Smaller Portions, Smaller Pants (remember my Why We’re So Fat post? Portion size means everything!): A festive atmosphere can often create an eating frenzy, which leaves you feeling blah. It’s okay to enjoy an array of foods, just eat smaller portions. Remember one serving of lean protein is the size of your palm; one serving of complex carbohydrates from whole grain is the size of your cupped hand; and one serving of complex carbs from fruit and vegetables is two hands cupped together.

My power of slow favorite is this one:

Rule #13 – Fletcherize and Swallow: Do you ever fill your plate, only for the food to disappear moments later? Gobbling food is a common disorder in our fast-paced society. Remind yourself to sloooooooow down: eating is not a race. Eating slowly will not only allow you to enjoy your food, but will help you determine when you’re full and help aid in digestion.

Rule #23 – Good Carbs, Bad Carbs: Carbs can be confusing, and are often given a bad rap! Stay away from ‘bad’ grocery store, processed carbs and stick to ‘good’ carbs like fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain.

Consider Baba Ghanoush (click the title for your copy of the recipe). Doesn’t this look savory?

Photo Courtesy of Donna Griffith

Or how about BBQ Chicken Pizza? You thought I was going all holistic, holy-than-thou on you, didn’t you? Well, you can still have food fun and eat well. Look at this image. I’m getting hungry as I type.

Photo Courtesy of Donna Griffith

A Super Bowl Party wouldn’t be complete without Vegetarian Chili – warming, filling and de-light-ful!

Photo Courtesy of Donna Griffith

If none of these convinces you, Tosca has generously provided many more eat clean recipes on her Web site. Eating clean is not a diet. It’s a way of life.

What recipes would you like to share?

 

Mridu’s Snail Tales

June 14, 2010

Starting the day off with a giggle is a great thing to do!

Actually, my day started off with a slow wake-up (Germany played its first World Cup soccer match so brilliantly, we couldn’t get to sleep until well past bedtime), then the usual breakfast routine you-are-so-not-wearing-make-up-to-school-my-dear-daughter and a quick jaunt to the mechanic’s in town. Switching cars in the lot, my husband pressed 60 cents into my hand and said ‘Have at it.’ A breakfast roll was all I could afford at the country store.

But the giggle ~ the giggle got my day off right as I plunked down to sift through my inbox for anything delightful that might have transpired over the weekend.

And there it was. An email from my writer pal Mridu Khullar who has decided to blog about The Power of Slow and how she’s implementing the tips and tricks to a richer, slower life.

She’s calling it her snail tales. She’ll be giving away a few copies of The Power of Slow so swing on over this week to her blog, leave comments and have a conversation about what pace of life works for you.

Slow tip: Find something to laugh about today. Share it with someone else. Then share it with us here, too!

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Waiting sucks. Or at least we think it to be a minor annoyance. While waiting can offer us the opportunity to savor, you task-minded folks may appreciate these tips for those places when hanging around feels more like a time drain than a dance!

Doctor’s office

Bring along thank-you and birthday cards. Write them while you are waiting.

DMV

Download a few job-related podcasts. Listen to them onto your iPod while you’re waiting in line. Take notes until your number is called.

Movie theater

Fandango.com allows you to purchase tickets for participating theaters in advance.

While you wait, bring along that magazine you never seem to find time to read. Flip through it before the lights go down. If you’re with children, play a word association game. Bring your own candy. It saves time and money!

Grocery store

Make a list. Even if you forget it, try to recreate it before entering the store. Be strategic. Most fattening foods are in the middle aisles so steer clear of them. Circle the store once, going down only those aisles that warehouse the goods you need.

Bank & post office

Practice deep breathing. As you wait in line, take in a long, five-count breath. Breathe out for six. Repeat several times.

Outlet stores

Go on an off-day (middle of the week is often good). Avoid long holiday weekend visits. Grab as much as you can without exceeding the allowed limit of items to make the dressing room wait worth it. Tag team with a girlfriend so she can bring you the appropriate garment size and color. Besides, what’s better than girl time at the mall?

Theme parks

Google it before you go. Make a list of the must-do rides and be flexible on all the rest. Bring a few snacks in your bag so you’re not spending half your day at the concession stand line. Be mindful of holidays and peak times. Avoid them if at all possible.

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It is subtle at first: the ‘yes’ to that exciting new project; a nod to take on new levels of parenting (whether you feel prepared to do so or not); the impertinent weather that smacks your windshield as you navigate new roads to pick up loved ones.

Then it hits you. You have lost the alignment you exceedingly crave, that fine line between enough and too much. It comes in waves, washing over you with the tides of your life.

You drift, seemingly alone in the morass of demands. You can sense the faint music reaching your ears. Perhaps it is a hand-crank organ pipe and you its monkey, dancing on the fringe of things.

Life’s scary road leaves no street lamps to show you the way. You teeter. You totter. Then you wake up, realizing it was only a dream…

To which music do you dance? To whose rhythm does your heart beat?

I hope it is your own, and no one else’s.

Please take this one-question poll about work-life balance. Your input is greatly appreciated as it helps me know how better to serve my readership. Feel free to add a comment, too! Many thanks!

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