January 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
So I know this is a bit old as far as “news” goes, but doesn’t it just make you feel really good about all those holiday treats you devoured from November through the end of December? Take a look. Chocolate for Breakfast is actually not too bad for you. Below is the skinny and a link to the original article.
“Morning is the best time to consume sweets because that’s when the body’s metabolism is most active and we have the rest of the day to work off the calories, a new study shows.”
Also thank you for joining me for sporadic but useful posts in 2013. 2014 looks to be quite promising. After about 8+ years I will finally be completing my Doctorate this spring and I hope to devote more time to this blog and also share new projects that I’ll be working on, as well as exactly what I spent the last few years of my life studying. I hope this finds you well in our first full week to the start of 2014!
January 16, 2013 § 1 Comment
So I am three days into the Prude Papers 2013 Detox which I promise I will give all the details about in the near future. I decided that before I share the plan with others, I should have a taste of my own medicine so to speak. So I am trying it out, learning what things my body likes and what I need to tweak. To give you a sneak peek though I thought I would share some of my experiences with you.
This is a 7 Day Restore and Renew Detox. Last year I did a 21 Day Candida Cleanse that was really good, but also really hard to stick with for 21 days because well..21 days is a long time, and I have never done well on simply restrictive diets, but more so on gradual lifestyle changes. So while I found the cleanse and the recipes and the overall experience quite rewarding (I lost 10lbs and kept it off for at least six-nine months, and I felt re-energized) I decided that I had to do something a little more practical in terms of time commitment and I was not looking to necessarily fight candida as I was last year, but more so to restore good eating practices, restore good bacteria and renew my commitment to my overall health and yes…wellness too. So with these goals in mind I tweaked a would be candida cleanse and focused on packing myself with as many naturally beneficial substances as possible by allowing Bentonite clay, apple fiber and antioxidant rich foods to flush out all the toxic waste inside of me. I also realized after last year’s detox that detoxifying was not only about what you ate or didn’t eat, but also slowing down, streamlining and getting back to basics if you will. So in this restore and renew detox getting enough rest, de-cluttering your heart and mind, and taking it a little more easy are just as important as what you will and won’t consume. This is definitely not one of those “do it on the go” grab a shake and eat a balanced meal plans. We can all do that, and some of us actually have, but when you force yourself just for seven days out of the whole year to slow down, to put some errands off till next week, to let your spouse or coworker or friend take over some of the things that were on your plate or to even use a sick day (don’t say I told you) so that you can sip burdock root and milk thistle tea for ten straight minutes while doing absolutely nothing else, then you are pairing the mental with the physical.
Now I know not everyone has the luxury to work from home as I do, or to set their own deadlines as I do (now at least), but that is why this detox can be modified to do when you please and how you please just as long as you take your body through the three different steps that I’ll outline later. Anyway enough about all that here’s how I’m doing. Days one and two were a little difficult, I had chills, itching, dizziness, and a lot of irritability. Day two was better, not as much dizziness, not that many chills but an occasional hunger pain that was soon relieved by a scheduled detox drink. Both days I had better sleep than usual, which I wholly attribute to the nightly liver flush. It wasn’t that I actually got more sleep than usual, but the sleep I did get was better, and the dreams were quite interesting.
So now Day three. I have to say I thought I would be spent by now, but I actually woke up this morning to a blanket of white snow, which meant I would have to reschedule my Wed library trip for later in the week and work from home. I rearranged my schedule and then to my surprise I worked out. I know you may be thinking “Seriously, even after 2 days on a liquid diet. Is that even safe?” Trust me I wondered if I should be lifting weights too, but I didn’t do a boot camp workout just a good light cardio workout with some Pilates, and here’s the big thing…I loved it. They say sweating is good during a detox because it is another way to aid the body in excreting toxins. Afterwards I was ready for my broth, but not drained or famished. In fact my overall energy levels have been higher throughout the day while on the detox than they have been in months (12 of them to be exact). While I have more to share on this, I will leave you now as I’m going to capitalize on all this energy and get some dissertating (dissertation writing) done!
Till next time,
January 7, 2013 § 1 Comment
No, I’m not referring to the playoffs and the upcoming Superbowl (football fans everywhere may now navigate away from this page), but something even more exciting, more inviting and in my opinion more…useful. It’s detox time. This year I’m doing my detox a little later due to some holiday eating obligations, and while I prefer doing a detox in early December to help me better decide what should and shouldn’t be eaten during the holidays, and to start the New Year off right, I feel any detox is better late than not at all. So with no further adieu I introduce to you the 7 Day Restore and Renew Detox.
This seven-day detox is designed to aid your vital organs in naturally cleansing the body of harmful toxins and bacteria through the use of organic whole foods, natural supplements, and a revised life and work schedule. The cleansing recipes used in this detox will help to restore balance to your body by flushing out unnecessary waste, toxic build up and some fat, while renewing good bacteria,. In addition, healthy lifestyle and eating habits will also enable you to look and feel your best for months to come. The goal of this detox program is to bring back a sense of balance to your body through tried and true cleansing methods and to reevaluate your personal commitments to health and wellness via select lifestyle revisions.
Did I peak your interest yet? Well if so I will share the complete plan for this detox within the next few days, including a shopping list of essential items, a daily planner, and progress tracker. I hope that you will consider joining me in this detox and feel free to change it to fit your unique health and lifestyle demands.
December 29, 2012 § 1 Comment
I began to ponder this question weeks – maybe even a full month before I finally returned to sort it out here, and surprisingly enough I find that my answer is pretty much the same as it was then, “a series of choices.” But I’ve gone too far, let me start from the beginning.
Today the words “health” and “wellness” seem inextricably linked as if by some logical force but as I awaited news on my Father’s hip surgery that took place in October I began to ponder whether the relationship between these two words was more socially constructed than naturally indicative. The word health means, “The state of being free from illness or injury” and usually refers to a persons mental or physical condition. The word wellness means “The state or condition of being in good physical and mental health” with the additional warning that “stress affects every aspect of wellness.” On one hand these words appear to have very similar meanings, even utilizing some of the same words to convey their meanings such as “condition” and “state of being,” however a closer reading of the two definitions belies one major distinction between health and wellness, which is frequency. I may fall in and out of periods of good health depending on which viruses I catch, how much stress I absorb, or what I decide to put my body through . But inevitably, maintaining good health over a longer period, is essential to attaining physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. I searched high and low in the depths of google and found that I liked the way Wiki Answers stated it best (although as instructors we never recommend students quote Wikipedia or any other wiki in their papers).
“Health and wellness are not synonyms. Health refers simply to a physical body being free from diseases, but wellness is an overall balance of your physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, environmental, and occupational well-being. Wellness is a lifestyle and is not an end to be achieved. Wellness means that one strives for balance throughout his whole life. On the other hand, health would be that a person wants to lose weight and lower blood pressure. Once he does this, he is considered healthy. Health is a goal one can achieve while wellness is a dynamic concept that continues for a lifetime.”
So ultimately what lies between health and wellness for me is a series of decisions made every day about what I will do, what I will eat, how much joy I will have, where I will live, and how I will balance out the various strands of my life, some of which become unbalanced on purpose and by happenstance. Likewise I must assess what I will not do, and what I will not eat, and through this exercise of constant deliberate decision-making I am hoping to carve out a life of both health and wellness.
But even this process of making conscientious decisions every day about one’s mind and body is one of the most underutilized tools we have. Yes we begin in the New Year to make resolutions, that soon turn into distant memories. Or we are decisive and aware for a week or two and then throw everything out the window on holidays, special occasions, the (in)convenient Friday. We stay up too late and wake too early, we settle for the stress around us as opposed to change, and we create clutter instead of clearing it. And in some cases we carry on with relationships, jobs and habits that are not working for us rather than try something new. Still, there is no cause to be discouraged because if what lies between health and wellness is a series of decisions, then I predict that we shall have a million more times to ponder this throughout the coming year.
What do you think?
September 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
Ok, before you say “duh,” humor me for a moment. When I began this blog which has seen intermittent posts since 2011 I did it as a way to keep my writing muscles flexing during what seemed to be a stalemate in my dissertation research process (that’s putting a long story short). So I began to
procrastinate blog to talk about my various other interests besides 19th and early 20th century cultural legacies of the Black Atlantic, and the results were inspiring. I found out I had lots to say about many other things, and that my prude nature made it possible for me to shift between the every day politics of living, eating, sleeping (or lack thereof) to politics with a big P. I was able to traverse pastimes and meal times, and all the while I sometimes wondered if you, whoever you are besides my faithful mother and dedicated family and friends were still with me. I tried to box myself into a niche or genre, but my seven plus years in academia have rebelled such boxing and niching. So I apologized for the irregularity, and the all over variety of content. But now, seeing has how my last post was about six months ago, and a lot has happened since then, I feel that I should return to this space, if for nothing else then to do what I originally came here to do, which is flex my writing muscles.
Now I’ve gone over this a few hundred times, will it take away from ALL the other writing that must be done, or will it help? You see, in addition to dissertating I also write poetry and fiction, proposals and pamphlets. I consider myself a Jill of all trades when it comes to writing and coaching writing and this is a blessing which I am truly thankful for. However, all blessings come responsibility. We must look at how we are using are gifts and whether we are helping others, which to me is the main reason gifts are given. So that said I want to return to this space as a gift giver, not simply a blogger who talks about anything they can get their hands on. I want to return as someone with something to offer to you, the reader. I want to return and return with some sense of formality – not just disappear again. So I ask again, does a writer have time to blog? Probably not, which is why I think I don’t blog (blogging takes up a lot of time and turns into a full-time job for some). Instead, I write very thoughtful mini essays that reflect the things that I am working on, thinking about, experiencing and pontificating. My images are few and usually sourced from existing stock images. My posts are longish and usually require a six-minute read, but hopefully you won’t mind, because one thing I have realized during my hiatus is that every good writer, needs an even better reader to keep them going.
March 12, 2012 § 1 Comment
Question 1: What do you do when your toddler helps to clean up by throwing your money in the trash?
Answer: Hug the little helper tight and be thankful there were no poopy diapers in there.
Image Credit: Ilocanoyork.com
Question 2: What do you watch when you want to be entertained without being accosted by unnecessary special effects, dreadful plots and dialog that bores?
Answer: “The Scent of Green Papaya.” For me, this 1993 production is one of those rare jewels of a film that seems to engage every aspect of filmmaking at a multi-sensory level. You can see, hear and in some cases you even imagine, or if you are lucky remember what it is like to run your fingers through thousands of grains of rice, to smell the air as it settles into a musty – mid morning moment on a humid day, or to taste the flesh of green papaya. In many ways this film felt like watching a lyric opera in my living room. And I was so relaxed and inspired by it that I didn’t even mind the ending, or the lack of dialog between the two main characters in the second half of the film. In fact, I didn’t even mind watching it again, which is rare.
Question 3: What is the best way to spend $5 bucks?
Answer: Buy ingredients to make Green Papaya and Golden Beet Juice.
Green Papaya is a powerhouse fruit, offering benefits from Vitamin C and E, anti-cancer properties (particularly prostate cancer), antioxidant properties and carotenes. In addition Green Papaya helps to not only replenish good bacteria in our intestines, but it also helps to destroy bad bacteria which can lead to constipation and other digestive issues. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and according to the George Matejan Foundation “Papayas may be very helpful for the prevention of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.” Studies have also shown that because a ripe papaya loses some of its enzymes when it ripens, to get the greatest benefits, it is better to eat papaya in its green, unripe stage. So try this recipe. If you don’t have a juicer, cut all ingredients into small one inch pieces and put them in your blender with a little water.
Makes about four servings
1 Green Papaya (peeled and de-seeded)
1 large golden beet (peeled)
Place ingredients in a power juicer and juice on high. Use leftover pulp in curries, salads or stews . Also note that the green papaya juice is on the bitter side, depending on where it is in the ripening stage, but don’t be alarmed, that’s why we added the beet and carrots. Together they offer a very smooth and nutrient rich finish. Sorry there are no images I drank it too soon.
Hope you enjoy,
February 16, 2012 § 2 Comments
So…is it working?
Have you been logging 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. Awaking refreshed and more focused for the day ahead? To be honest and better yet, to be fair, I have found this to be quite the challenge. We are now sixteen days into our twenty-one day sleep challenge and I find myself having to break many other habits to develop this new one.
Namely, no more cups of water past 8pm. Otherwise it will interrupt my sleep and have me up and down throughout the night. Secondly, no more using Fridays as excuses to stay up till all hours of the night “catching up” on programs and reading that I didn’t have a chance to get to during the week…it’s just insane to think that one night of staying up late won’t make a difference. The Friday before last I did that, and I paid for it dearly, because one sleepless night begat a very tired morning, begat unnecessary grazing, which then begat a late night supper, which then begat another restless night. So folks I committed to walk the straight and narrow to be a prude in every sense of the word and for the rest of this challenge there are no Free Fridays or Whimsical Wednesdays. To help us complete this challenge I procured some ideas via magazine articles and the web on how to get better sleep. Please do share your own tried and true methods as well.
7 TIPS FOR BETTER SLEEP
- Do Not Stress – I originally began this list with the Cherry Juice, but in light of many recent events both personal and public I think it best to start with stress because it usually encompasses worry, anxiety and many other issues that can not only disrupt our sleep but also put a lot of strain on our mental and physical health. That said, many sites and health studies implore us to avoid stress which can help in many areas, sleep included. If you find you are worried, anxious, angry, mulling over the day while trying to sleep at night, consider one of the following ways of de-stressing your mind and eventually your body.
- Know what things are in and out of your control, and try to release those things which are beyond your own means. A couple once shared their new night-time mantra after many years of trying to squeeze 48 hours into a 24 hour day “What’s done is done, what’s not is not. And now it’s time to go to bed.
- Alice Tremaine over at Geranium Seeds recommends turning of your thoughts once in bed. So that instead of replaying the days or even future events over and over again, she employs her senses and uses visualization techniques to focus on what she is feeling rather than thinking. To learn more about these exercises check out her full post here.
- Prayer is an effective and natural way of relieving stress as it offers an outlet beyond ones core group of friends and family to share life’s burdens with. Some people find they receive clarity about a situation after praying, because the process of recognizing our own human limits to process everything can be freeing and rewarding in itself.
- Maintain a worry journal. Have a problem write it down. According to sleepnet.com “Many times thoughts and thinking will keep us from relaxing and getting to sleep. Try keeping a small notebook next to you with a pen and when thinking or thoughts persist write them down using a book light or another source of dim light. Writing them down will help to forget about them and allow for a peaceful sleep onset.”
- Consider Cherry Juice – According to an article in Taste For Life magazine, “A recent study found that participants who drank about an ounce of tart cherry juice concentrate (diluted in about 6 ounces of water) in the morning and in the evening slept more than a half hour longer and had better sleep efficiency than a placebo group (Tasteforlife February 2012)”
- Stick To a Sleep Schedule – The Mayo Clinic advises us to “Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. There’s a caveat, though. If you don’t fall asleep within about 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing. Go back to bed when you’re tired. If you agonize over falling asleep, you might find it even tougher to nod off.”
- Create a Bedtime Ritual – This is one of the first things they tell you to do with your baby as a new parent. Follow the same routine every night, be it a bath, story, and relaxing massage so that baby knows when its time for that big sleep. And in many cases it works, until they start teething. So why not let us try it, after all we do have all our adult teeth.
- Turn off Lights, TVs, Phones and other Gadgets that Emit Noise and Ambient Light – I do not like having a television in the bedroom, but then I also don’t have one in any other part of my house. However, if possible, try to leave televisions, laptops, and work related materials out of the bedroom so that it becomes a place of retreat, slumber, and eventually sleep. If you find that morning sunlight filters in about a half hour too early, you may also try using black out curtains. And if you have that nasty habit of falling asleep to the evening news, try using one of these other methods for lulling yourself to sleep.
- Avoid Alcohol as a Sleeping Aid – C. Simmons Over at Dumb Little Man provides this advice stating, ” The most common myth found among people is that they believe alcohol helps in the sleep. But the fact is alcohol may initially act as sedative, but it produces a number of sleep-impairing effects in the long run.”
- Start with the Basics– If you are fortunate, buy a comfortable mattress, a nice pillow good for side lying or back sleep whichever you fancy. Get good sheets, not scratchy or too warm, too cold or too big. All of these HGTV type items can really make a difference in terms of comfort level. Also think about adjusting the temperature in your home when you are sleeping so that you do not end up too warm, or perhaps too cold.
Til next time, sleep well,