Archives for the month of: December, 2013

When I was a little kid, one of my favorite toys was my chemistry set. I loved “conducting experiments” with the neatly marked white bottles (of real chemicals! This was the 80’s, folks, we didn’t even have to wear bike helmets), making red liquid turn into blue liquid, making things bubble or crystalize, peering at blades of grass with my microscope – I felt like a real scientist, and I reveled in the magnificent sense of possibility.  My poor parents gazed on, probably thinking one day I’d be running a research lab at MIT.  Sorry, guys!

These days, the mad scientist in me gets unleashed in the kitchen. Things have not changed so much. I still love “conducting experiments”, albeit now my bottles are spices and herbs, and I can be found peering critically into the oven window rather than down a microscope. This week’s experiment was The Loaf. I read about The Loaf in a blog a couple of weeks ago and the name of it – “Life-Changing Loaf” – dazzled me with its promise.  

I began collecting the ingredients excitedly.  “I’m making a weird bread,” I needlessly explained to the kid at the health food store who poured psyllium husks into a bulk bag for me.  He smiled kindly, definitely thinking, “Whatever, weirdo.”

“I’m making a weird bread!” I announced to the boyfriend yesterday before commencing the experiment.  He shot me a quizzical look and went back to his work, immune by now to my “experiments” and behavioral oddities. 

Later, we both peered down at the decidedly unattractive mixture. “It’s a weird bread,” I offered again, this time apologetically.

The Loaf, pre-oven (yes, those are chocolate chips cookies behind it because I am nothing if not a study in contradictions)

So The Loaf, in its nascency, is definitely not cute. When I explained to the boyfriend that the loaf required a full night of sitting on the counter, “resting”‘, he announced that under no circumstances would he be partaking in The Loaf.   

So now it’s just you and me, Loaf. 

Ever the optimist, I popped Loaf in the oven this morning.  Filled with hope, I waited eagerly for Loaf to transform from a slimy mess into a delicious, golden rectangle of nutrition. I waited for it to deliver on its promise. And behold:

The Loaf!

It sort of did!! I was afraid that biting into it would ruin the magic of this victory (it looked sort of like the picture from the blog!), but no! It’s dense, chewy, and pretty darn good!! That’s right! Score one for science today, kids! 

The boyfriend still turns his nose up at The Loaf. More for me. 

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The past week has been so crazy with holiday stuff and work travel, all of my smug wellness efforts have fallen to the wayside. Green smoothies? Haha! Kale salads? Nope! Raw until dinner? Not unless French fries are now considered a raw food! 

I have really been trying to stay as healthy as I can, but demands on my times have forced me to pare back to the ultimate bare minimum.  In the absence of time and access to groceries/kitchen, here’s what I’ve been doing to cling to some semblance of sanity:

Water! Drinking plenty of water is pretty easy, and honestly, sometimes it is the only healthy thing I can do in a day. It’s what holds me back from a complete slide into “I’m officially Jabba the Hut” self-loathing.

Yoga! Even if it’s just a couple of sun salutations, I try to squeeze in even the tiniest bit of yoga each day.  Lately, I’ve been teaching Restorative Yoga, and let me tell you: That sh!t is NO JOKE! Legs-up-the-wall pose! Have you tried that? Do it! Do it right now! Find a wall, face it, and sit like 6 – 10 inches away from it.  Gently lay yourself back and straighten your legs, sending your feet up the wall. That’s it. Stay there for three to five minutes. Get up. Dance away like Bob damn Fosse because you feel SO REFRESHED! 

Breathing! Yes, I realize this is involuntary but doing full yogic breathing isn’t.  At least for me, it’s not yet.  Periodically during the day, though, I try to check in with myself: Am I doing wimpy little chest breathing? (Yes, usually the answer is yes here.) If I am, I forced myself to take some full, deep breaths.  Sometimes I even go back to pranayama 101 and put a hand on my abdomen to make sure. No cheating!!

So that’s my little arsenal of tricks! I’m thrilled to report that, so far, I have been arrested zero times in spite of the sometimes homicidal rage that the “not enough sleep + crappy food + unrelenting stress” cocktail induces.

Happy friggin’ holidays!