Archive for the ‘Food/Health Related’ Category

What did you do before with the time you now spend on the computer? My husband sprang that question on me the other day and now I’m springing it on you. I do spend hours at this screen every day. I’d never thought about what I was doing before with my time. So here is my list of things I have given up or spend less time on:


  • TV—That’s the activity that has suffered the most and I don’t miss it at all. As a matter of fact, when I try to find something to watch while relaxing I wear my thumb out channel surfing. TV has gotten worse. My time is better spent on the computer for sure.
  • Shopping—I had to dig to come up with this one. Surely I did more than watch TV before, and I did. This revelation surprised me. Shopping used to be an enjoyable sport to me. Now what I don’t order online I save up to buy in one trip as quickly as I can. When did that happen and why? Who knows, but I see the UPS man more than a store clerk now no doubt.
  • Finances—I wrote checks by hand, balanced my checkbook (sometimes) and subtracted until the money was gone. Now Quicken shows my finances at a glance, bills are paid online, bank accounts handled the same way. I’ve saved money and time in this instance, and best of all kicked the little voice from the FUKOWEE Indian tribe. If you read Kurt Vonnegut I won’t have to explain that last one.
  • Writing fiction—This is the one downer. I realize my writing urges are being too satisfied with this blog, leaving my serious writing over in a corner somewhere.  


That is it as far as I can tell. I still exercise (biking, walking and yoga) though no longer at a club. I certainly read as much as ever, if not more. And photography? I take way more pictures now. The instant gratification of seeing them on screen or printed immediately enhances that activity. Now that I have pinpointed the one area I need to attend to, I plan to do just that. Of course, that will mean more time here on the computer. It all comes back to Big Hal, doesn’t it? 


What have YOU thrown aside or slighted for your relationship with the computer? How has it affected your life? Perhaps you have thought about it; I hadn’t. If computer is as big a part of your life as mine I think you should. I would really like to hear your views.

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Look at them strutting around like bantam roosters at the Thanksgiving table, those little babies you made eat what was good for them. Well, now they are heads of their own families, thank you very much, and don’t have to listen to your table rules. No more tomatoes for them, never again. Oh, they had to eat them growing up or go without catsup. You reminded them catsup was also tomatoes, so if you don’t eat it in macaroni and beef and all the other dishes, no catsup for you. Ah, but they are kings and queens of their tables now and there are no tomatoes to be seen in their homes. They will never again drink your Kool Aid with only half the sugar called for. They will have the soft drinks denied them. And none of that healthful butter spread; only real butter for them. The list goes on and on. So much for feeding your children right.

Okay, they do still like sprouts like the ones you raised under the kitchen sink and they didn’t complain about the soybean sandwich spreads or wild onion you clipped from the yard. They loved the wild blackberries they picked for your cobblers. Your pumpkin bread is still a favorite. Even the roasted pumpkinseeds excite their taste buds.

A funny thing happened on their way to independence, though; they turned forty. Their mother can no longer rule their table, but their doctor can. They’ve kept fast food places in business for twenty years, and the piper must be paid. You’re sorry the truth of nutrition was announced to them in such a rude way, and that you didn’t get it across in the right manner, but are so glad they get it now and are adopting a healthy eating style. You know “you are what you eat.” You even know who said it first: Gaylord Hauser. His book has been in your kitchen for almost fifty years.

So here’s to the healthy next sixty years of your lives, Kids — except for this Thursday when we eat for the pure joy of eating. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Just under one mile is the distance I walked in the house on wash day, about what I expected. I will continue to check other days to see how normal daily activities stack up in the sneaky exercise department.

 Now for my absolute best hint for sneaky exercise. This is one you do all day every day yet carve not one minute from your busy schedule. It’s for your glutes. Anybody need help there? The number of reps will depend on how many times you get up out of your chair, so you couch potatoes who never leave the sofa–sorry. This is what you do. Each time you rise from your chair check that instinct to press on the chair or your knees for support. Put those hand in front of you, and with weight on your heels slowly rise. That’s it. If you aren’t used to getting up unaided it may seem  difficult at first, but believe me, it gets easier, and your butt gets harder and harder, as do your thighs and the back of your legs. If you have trouble with balance at first you can always grab onto the chair when needed. You’ll need that support less and less as you own body takes over.

See? Sneaky, no extra time at the gym. But you have the advantage of many repetitions during the day that will build your leg muscles and create strength as well as lift that bulbous butt a little. You’re welcome.

Stay tuned for other sneaky ways to keep your strength, trim your body and improve your balance.

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Okay, the step/mile counter is firmly attached to my waist. I will let you know at the end of the day how much exercise I get on wash day.  You see, I usually feel I have walked miles. Well, let’s just see if my wails of exhaustion are all hyperbole. If not, washday counts as exercise day, too.

Not normally a sneaky person, I do strive for surreptitious ways to exercise. I’ll let you in on a few when we we get together to tally today’s total.

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 Your planet’s immune system is trying to get rid of you.” Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Publix’s motto is “Where Shopping is a Pleasure.” Shopping for groceries a pleasure? That might be stretching it a bit, but you know what? They do come close. From time to time in these posts I will note little things that make life more pleasant and this is the first.

 Enter any grocery store and the first thing you’ll do is grab a shopping cart. Ewwwwwe, do you know where it’s  been? Those handles were found to be one of the most germ laden objects we can encounter, and yet we wrap our fingers around it, grab a few apples, lettuce, and on and on, becoming the Johnny Appleseed of germs. If you are germaphobic, and I am, you cringe and use the handcleaner when you reach the car. Ah, but that’s after you’ve infected everything in your cart with whatever is on that cart handle. What to do? Publix to the rescue.

When I pushed my cart inside a couple of weeks ago I saw a miracle on the wall –a pop-up box of anti-bacterial wipes. NO! Yes. Generous size and sloppy wet, that towel lapped up germ after germ. I wiped my hands, gripped the fresh handle and shopped with a lot less angst. Now if everyone did the same, think of the colds and flu that wouldn’t happen.  This is no small matter, and I have just one thing to say:  THANK YOU, PUBLIX.

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mrdoratearoom8-13-05-018.jpgThe last time I heard “That’s a gracious plenty!” was at a family dinner back in Texas. As Grandma tried to ladle more cobbler in the dish, one hand would go in the air while the other rubbed the tummy. (Is that how the old trick started?) But the point made was: I’ve had my fill and no need to “bust a gut.” Now the progeny of those diners pull up to a McDonalds and say, “Supersize me.” We know what the result of that has been.

Portion size has gotten way out of control in the U.S. and not just at fast food and family restaurants; manufacturers have also slipped larger servings into directions for preparing and serving packaged products. Check the back of your oatmeal box. Go ahead, I’ll wait. What used to read l/3 cup oatmeal and 2/3 cup water now reads l/2 cup oatmeal and 1 cup water. And if you don’t notice, what do you do? Learn to like elastic waistbands. You are buying oatmeal more often, but not so often that you are aware. The oatmeal company is aware; their income is increasing.

It’s time to let restaurants and food companies know we are tired of being manipulated to the detriment of our health. If you were taught to clean your plate, that is getting harder to do. Until we coerce cooperation from manufacturing firms, we are going to have to take it on ourselves to watch for changes in serving sizes. It is one way short term to tell them, “That’s a gracious plenty.”

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