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Archive for February, 2009

>Adding Beauty continued

>So many of you (’cause SO many people read my blog HAHAHAHAHAHA!) read my post a while back about adding music and candles to our dinners in an attempt to create a beautiful atmosphere. I have to say, while it hasn’t solved all our problems, it has defintately lifted my spirits as we live our lives. Fortunately I found Pandora Radio and so have been able to introduce a wide variety of music into our lives throughout the day (nothing says lovely like listening to Etta James while making dinner!).

Here are my goals for adding beauty as we move into spring. Already I have begun to drink my afternoon tea from a teapot (as opposed to the electric kettle) and tea cup and saucer (as opposed to a big mug with a tea bag hanging out). I would like to say I will drink my tea sitting down, but with three kids that isn’t likely to happen any time soon so let’s call that a loooooong term goal. Also, as they become available I will be cutting flowers to bring inside to a few vases in the dining room and kitchen.
I will also be phasing out a lot of processed foods in favor of homemade and whole foods in an effort to help us all feel a lot better so that we can appreciate the other beautiful things in life.

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>Our society has become so backward and deranged that being “fit” and “healthy” actually involves starving oneself and stressing the body to the point of exhaustion. There are more diet programs and fitness gurus than I can count. We even have television programs devoted to the topic of watching people lose weight. I can honestly say that I do not know one woman who has not at least considered modifying her food intake or exercise regime to conform to one of these popular programs (be it weight watchers for the overweight or pilates for the fit crowd). Men tend to be a little more immune to the hysteria, but I do know plenty of men who have succumbed as well.

I do not want to ignore the obvious (believe me, I live it): we are a society of overweight, sedentary and for a great part lazy people. Honestly, America invented the couch potato. We are unhealthy. I believe the greater question is can we move forward to becoming a healthy people and still ditch Jenny Craig and the gym?

As with all things, it starts in the home. We need to teach our children to make good food choices and to have moderation in appetite. And this, like all things we teach our children, begins with example. How can a child respect a parent who says candy is not an everyday food, and yet keeps a secret stash of M&M’s for their own pleasure? Isn’t the hard part the fact that so few of us know how to eat and live correctly and therefore cannot be expected to be a positive example for our children? I mean, if we knew wouldn’t we be living it already?

But maybe we do know. Maybe we know and are so caught up in our own gluttony and pleasure cycles that becoming the example our children need is almost unthinkable. What?? Give up my morning Coca-Cola*? Or my nightly cookies? Or my fried foods? Or my three scoops a day of ice cream?

I’m pretty sure I know how to live a healthy life: Eat a healthy diet of veggies, whole grains, lean meats, good fats and occasional treats. Lower quantity of food overall. Move more. I don’t mean go to the gym more, but rather less sitting at the computer (blogging…..) and more doing chores upstairs and downstairs and playing actively with my kids.

I recognize that part of the problem (and therefore our perpetual need for the treadmill and eliptical) is that our society has become so mechanized and efficient that our physical workload is greatly diminished. We no longer have to grow our own food, tend our own animals, walk to…well…anywhere, exert ourselves to do laundry and a whole host of other things. So, yes, maybe we need to supplement something. I still don’t think it should be a Richard Simmons video in your living room. I’ll get back to you when I figure that one out.

So where does Lent fit in? Well it is the perfect time of year to reevalute how you live your life and impose some serious discipline while reaping spiritual benefits. As of Septuagesima I have already given up one vice and establised one habit: no more soda, diet or otherwise and a good breakfast of irish oatmeal. I feel better already. It has not been easy, let me tell you, but the benefits are there. And as Lent begins I will be giving up nighttime snacking (no food after dinner) and all fast food. I will start making healthy soups and simple meals for our dinners and eating a modest lunch. The laptop will moving to the kitchen where I will only be able to be online if I am standing. As soon as the tempeture is consistantly in the 50’s we will be spending a good part of the day outside either playing or taking walks.
That’s not the entirity of my Lenten discipline this year, but those are the things that relate to this post.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

*I was going to say “coke” but then I started thinking that other people might interpret that as a worse habit than the one I have 😉

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>I Hate February

>I’m tired of being cold.
I’m tired of being sick and/or having sick kids.
I’m tired of constant static hair and electric shocks.
I’m tired of snow (okay, so we’ve only had snow for two days but I’m really done with it).
I’m tired of being cooped up in the house.
I’m tired of getting enough sleep but waking up tired.

Blah.

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