Pina coladas, daiquiris and bootylicious-ness…

Vacations are wonderful. It’s that time of the year when you can sleep as much as you want, swim as much as you are able and eat as much as you desire. Oh, yeah, and drink as much as possible.  

Yes, Montego Bay was great and the rum was even better. Rum is not bad, per se. One jigger (seriously) of rum has only 97 calories. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a shot of rum without “extras.” It’s those extras that hurt my waistline.

Let’s start with a vacation favorite—the daiquiri. Did you know that a strawberry, pineapple or Mandarin daiquiri contains 112 calories or more per cocktail? Too bad I would have all three—in one day. When not sipping daiquiris, I would gulp a pina colada or two or four. Those icy concoctions have more than 500 calories per six ounce. What’s more, a six-ounce hurricane contains 250 calories. If you think a mojito would have been better, then you would be so wrong. Each mojito added 200 calories to my booty, which is not looking so bootylicious.

Good thing my Jamaican vacation is over, ‘cause I’m not ready for this jelly.  

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Is strong the new skinny?

Have you seen the latest Old Navy commercial in which Boys II Men serenade a group of girls wearing white jeans? I would love to be that skinny.

What? Wait. Shouldn’t I want those jeans? Damnit, I’ve been brainwashed, again.  At least those jerks from Abercrombie & Fitch are honest about only wanting young anorexic looking girls to wear its brand.

It’s not hard to wonder why women starve themselves to be skinny. Sophieologie (visit her site) suggests women should aim to be skinny strong. I like the strong part of that.

A strong woman does not starve herself. No, she tries to eat well—most days. If she falls short and binges on, say, Doritos; she forgives herself. And, she doesn’t restrict her calories to make up for the binge. No, she cooks a healthy meal the next day and takes a five-mile walk.

Ladies, let’s stop striving to be skinny and instead focus on being strong, i.e. healthy. A few weeks ago, I completed the 10-Day Ab challenge. My new challenge is to strength train three days a week. My goal is to be strong, plus have a waistline and biceps that would make Michelle Obama envious.

 

What’s the deal with Steinbeck?

After yesterday’s eating fiasco, I decided to make a healthy-ish meal for my nephew and me. Whole-wheat spaghetti with ground turkey and homemade tomato sauce, plus a side spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette sounds yummy, right?

We chatted while I cooked. At 15, Jeremy has a lot to say. It’s quite nice. He mentioned his love of basketball, football and math. He spoke of his distaste for literature and all things related to junior high English.

Jeremy (in Jerry Seinfeld’s voice): What’s the deal with Steinbeck? 

Me: He won a Nobel.

Jeremy (eye roll): How noble.

Me: Jerk

Did I mention this brat is great? What I like most about Jeremy is his strong belief in his goals and dreams. It’s awesome. I wish I could bottle that awesomeness and sell it on eBay.

Hmmm? When do we adults lose belief in our dreams and goals? Maybe we don’t lose ourselves. Maybe we simply become bogged down in the dreams of our bosses, spouses, lovers, and that cute guy down the street that I really should ask out—soon.

I’ve found my dreams again and I am slowly, but surely working towards becoming who I’m meant to be.

Hey, have you found you?

 

 

 

 

Hanging in Elvis’ land with cheese covered fingers

My brother, Jerry, and his wife, Tina, decided to celebrate 20 years of marriage with a trip to Montego Bay. The adorable couple will renew their vows in front of more than 30 friends and family members this weekend.  Yeah, just go ahead and say “awww.”

Their son, Jeremy, and I will be flying to Jamaica in a few days. We couldn’t go immediately because school hasn’t dismissed for the summer. So, like any good auntie, I’m hanging in Memphis with the kid until the last day of school. This is good and bad. It’s good because Jeremy is a great kid. It’s bad because this kid can eat!

Yesterday we ate pizza. Today it was Wendy’s. And, yes, I joined him at both fat-laden meals. I know I’m on vacation, but does that mean I should eat like a 15-year-old boy. Jeremy can get away with stuffing his stomach with junk food because he is 15! For goodness sakes, I ate Doritos for lunch! Yes, you read right.

So, day one of my vacation was a bust. Tomorrow will be better; I went out and purchased healthy foods that won’t leave my fingers covered in orange goo.

 

Happy belated Mother’s Day…

My mom, Earlean, is not the flowers and candy type. For Mother’s Day she wanted new tires for her SUV. As the mother of six (four boys and two girls), mom tends to get what she wants. It’s only fair.

She also requested chicken fried rice and ice cream for her day. So not kidding. I was happy to buy mom’s favorites. Mother’s Day, like any holiday, is a perfect excuse for me to overindulge.  Besides, a few days of junk food wouldn’t hurt me, right?

WRONG! You see, two days of sugary treats and over processed carbs quickly became four days. Again, so not kidding. 

A month or so ago, a nutritionist said I should go cold-turkey on sweets and processed foods. I ignored her. As a hypoglycemic, my body constantly craves foods for energy. Foods high in sugar are energy. The problem is my body burns these foods quickly, so I have to consume more food—soon. If I don’t, I crash. I guess I shouldn’t have ignored her.  

So the question isn’t if I should go cold-turkey, but how to do it and stay somewhat sane. Then again, sanity is overrated, while good health isn’t, right?

Not even Iron Man can complete with Berry, DeJesus and Knight…

I just read an article on how to help the women who were freed from the home of Ariel Castro. There’s a fund set up for three victims. Just visit http://www.facebook.com/ClevelandCourageFund.

While I have no doubt that money will be needed for months and years to come, I also have no doubt that right now these women need the media to leave them alone. I know, it’s easier said, than done.

Let’s face it; today’s world is news hungry. Actually, it’s, or rather we’re, scandal hungry.  While the numerous articles detailing the kidnapping and freeing of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight read like a Diablo Cody script, I remind you it’s not.  Nor is this a Lifetime movie. These are real women who endured unspeakable pain and unimaginable suffering. They are survivors who deserve respect and privacy, not a microphone.  

So, we can help these women by not forcing them to relive their horrific stories for our entertainment. We can help Berry, DeJesus and Knight by using their kidnapping as a beacon to remind other young women to be extremely careful from whom they accept a ride. More importantly, we can help these women by sympathizing with their plight, but acknowledging they are not victims, they’re heroines.  

 

Blogging and following my bliss…

I’m following a series on Linkedin called “My Best Mistake.” The premise is simple: high-profile individuals describe an impulsive rebellion that led to quitting an ill-suited job.

Today’s blogger, Dr. Deepak Chopra, recalled landing a fellowship with a leading endocrinologist in the 70s. Like many 20-year-olds, Chopra still had passion for his chosen field. He just didn’t have passion for his jerky boss.

Chopra’s discontent came to a head when his supervisor tried to humiliate him in front of their peers. Chopra walked away and eventually started a career in integrative medicine and as a writer.

It’s easy to walk away from a job in your 20s. Well, not easy, but it’s easier than doing so in your 30s or 40s.

Chopra said to “follow your bliss.” Okay, that I can do and it’s preferable to being unemployed in today’s economy.

So that’s where I am now—trying to follow my bliss.

Before writing this blog, my bliss would be feeding my insecurity and discontent with added sugars and refined grains (sounds like a sugar high rather than bliss). Now I read books that strengthen my resolve to write more creatively. And more importantly, I write—daily.

Yes, doctor, I am taking your advice to follow my bliss.

Today is what I have…

Yesterday I took a friend’s daughter to lunch for her 20th birthday. We were munching on smoked turkey sandwiches when Brit mentioned her bucket list.

Why would a 20-year-old child need a bucket list?

The list is not just things she wants to do before she dies, but little things she wants to do before her life gets too busy.

Brit’s list doesn’t include menial tasks such as climbing Mt. Everest or skydiving. No, she wants to visit a cranberry farm and she wants to learn Spanish so she can have a real conversation with the secretary at her dad’s law firm.

The amazing thing about her list is that she adds and subtracts from it—almost daily. “Today is what I have,” she said, then stuffed a grape from my fruit cup in her mouth.

I laughed out loud ‘cause she’s now quoting me. I snatched a French fry from Brit’s plate as she checked a task on her list with a lime-green ink pen. My smile grew wider as I realized she checked, “Lunch with one of Mom’s friends I admire—without my Mom.”

Last night I started my own bucket list and have already completed one task: “Lunch with cool-ass young woman I admire.”

 

Spending Wednesday night in the Twilight Zone…

The word ‘no’ is small, but powerful. I hate admitting this, but I feel bad telling people ‘no.’ This seems to be a problem inherent to males and females, although I’m sure more women have a problem saying ‘no’ than men.

The telephone conversation below is from another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. I know. Just bear with me, ‘cause some days, my life feels like an episode of the Twilight Zone.  

NIECE (calling her sucker, I meant her uncle): Would you send me $40.00?

BROTHER: Yea, I’ll get back to you in a sec.

Ring. Ring. Ring. I ignore the call until the commercial break.

ME: Dude. It’s Wednesday night.

BROTHER: Bible study?

ME: No. ‘Supernatural.’

BROTHER: Whatever. You got $40.00?

ME: What? Why?

BROTHER: Our niece needs it, but I don’t have it? So, just help a brother out.

ME: Uh, sure thing Huggy Bear.

I call her at the next commercial break. Don’t judge me. Sam and Dean are hot.

NIECE: What’s up Aunt Deb?

ME: Your uncle is broke and no, I’m not giving you $40.00. Bye and don’t call back ’til 9 p.m.

That felt pretty good. I should say ‘no’ more often.

Brokeback Mountain is gone with the wind…

I’m beginning to dislike my food journal. A 3-week perusal shows that 1) I love sweet coffee cream, 2) I eat all day, and 3) I eat when not hungry.

The last discovery is the scariest because it means I’ve successfully stuffed my hunger cues into submission.

Now what? Honestly, I don’t know, but I just happen to work at the state’s flagship university, which means I have access to some of best dietitians and nutritionists in the nation.

In less than 5 minutes, I’m chatting with an intense woman, who explained that I have, in fact, subdued my hunger cues. She noted that as a hypoglycemic, I should eat every 3 to 4 hours. The new schedule is simple: breakfast at 7 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m., mid-afternoon meal at 3 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and a 100-calorie snack before bedtime, if needed.

“Sugar is really, really bad for hypoglycemics. You should go cold turkey to stave off diabetes,” she added.

Me (yelling to no one in particular): Sugar, I wish I knew how to quit you.

You: (dramatic eye roll)

Me: Great Brokeback Mountain reference, huh?

You: (long, uncomfortable pause)

Okay. So, I’ll just worry about quitting coffee cream—tomorrow.

 

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