Grab Bag “Let’s be Thoreau”:
July 12th… Henry David Thoreau’s birthday. It might surprise you to know he died when he was only 45 years old. Just a kid. Something tells me Hank didn’t fritter away the hours watching reality TV, even if he could have. HDT wrote a lot of memorable things. One of my favorites is:
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Grab Bag Nutrition “Grill It Right” Tip:
Although grilling fish, chicken, vegies and lean beef can be an outstanding and tasty way to healthy eating, grilling can lead to the formation of potentially cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic amines (who knew??).
Here are some ways to get the best, and healthiest, out of your grilling:
1. Limit the amount of grilled meats you consume, and make grilled vegies the bulk of your grilled food.
2. Pre-cook foods in the oven or on the stovetop, and finish them off on the grill. Less grill time, less nasty amines.
3. When you do grill meat, avoid charring or blackening, and don’t eat any parts that are are charred.
Grab Bag “Martha” Moment:
OK… I’ll admit it. I am emulating a bit of Martha Stewart’s mojo on this. But it IS quite cool.
I needed to better organize some drawers in my closet, and the standard dividers available for such a task were not the right sizes. Lo and behold I find these cool custom jobbers at Lifestylesystems.com – (scroll down that page to see the really bitchen clear ones) 🙂
These nifty little items come in varying widths, so a deeper drawer would call for the 4″ wide packs, but a shallower desk drawer might use the 1″, 2″ or 3″ widths. All YOU need is a measuring tape, a ruler, an exacto utility knife and some drawers that need tidying up. Presto.
Grab Bag Panoramic Health Tip(s):
Here’s one of the most powerful weight control/anti-aging/anti-inflammation tips I can give you:
Contemplate nothingness, sniff lavender, and don’t sweat the small stuff. And maybe, just maybe, exercise LESS.
Now let me explain.
Cortisol is a stress-reaction hormone that is, unfortunately for us, incredibly efficient. When our system perceives stress in 2009, it is usually “we don’t have enough green rectangles to buy everything we want”, or, “that idiot just cut me off, and I’m gonna be late”. But what the body HEARS is, “saber-toothed tiger!!”, or “we’re almost out of food!!!”.
Cortisol to the rescue!! Stress, ANY kind of stress, stimulates cortisol, which in turn puts your body into “recession mode”. It helps the body to conserve every bit of food you eat, conserves all the fat you store, slows your metabolic rate… why it even interferes with your exercise output rate, yielding your workout time less effective, as it tells the body to conserve, conserve, conserve (because, for heaven’s sake, “WE’RE IN TROUBLE!”). FYI- Cortisol has been linked to that handful of belly fat that “won’t go away”. A sad by-product of it’s effectiveness is cortisol’s stimulation of the inflammatory response, a red-flag in SO many health problems.
Our bodies were designed for a far different reality than the one we present to it today. And in this particular cortisol cycle of events, our bodies have not caught up with the world and how dangerous it ISN’T now. So it’s up to us to translate for our body, and make sure it is receiving the right messages.
How do we do that? Imagine you are speaking to a child, and if they hear you arguing with your spouse, they assume you are getting a divorce. You have to talk them down from that fear. Same for your body. So here’s what it wants:
1. Meditate, or at least do some controlled breathing (4-7-8 breathing method is great), a few times a day. Doesn’t have to be long, but it calms the body down (if you have time to sit still and breathe slowly, things must be OK).
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff….. and…. it’s ALL small stuff. Let that be your mantra…. because it’s true. Research at University of Rochester shows introverted, worried, self-focused people have higher blood levels of an inflammatory chemical called interleukin 6 (IL-6). Higher levels of IL-6 may indicate a much higher risk of death.
3. Sniff lavender. A recent study of Japanese students showed that just 5 minutes of sniffing lavender scent lowered cortisol levels and may have actually increased anti-oxident activity. I wish I could give you a reason why this is, but I’d be making something up here. Maybe the body feels that if you are taking the time to sniff lavender, you’re in a great place, with nothing chasing you? Who knows. Who cares? It will cost you next to nothing to try it, and it is, I guarantee, safe.
4. Watch your exercise levels. Now, the vast majority of humans don’t exercise ENOUGH, so I’m not really advocating less for most people. But there are those out there reading this right now that run ad nauseum, or do too much exercise in general. Remember, your body has the mentality of a 5 year-old kid. If you are getting active in short, intense bursts, your body thinks, “I’m hunting! This is cool! I need to get stronger and faster!”. If you exercise too much, and run to long, the body thinks. “I’m being hunted! I better conserve all my resources.”
Everything in balance: healthy dietetic intake needs 4-7 hours of exercise a week, stress needs relaxation, work needs play… you get the idea. Nowhere in this equation will you find fried foods, artificial chemical consumption/exposure, unmitigated stress or a sedentary lifestyle. Be kind to your beautiful body. It’s the only one you’re gonna get.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
Grab Bag Funny Double Stuff: