Thursday, September 24, 2009

On my mind

So, we've been working hard in our house to be healthier. Part of that, for me, means I'm back to the water-almost-exclusively plan. For two weeks I drink nothing but water, with milk for cereal, and then after two weeks I will occasionally have something else to drink, if I want it. I do this for a couple of reasons: No one in the world needs all the extra calories we take in when we drink sodas, sweet tea or even juices everyday. You also get nutrients from tea and juices, but the sugar gain outweighs the benefits and most of us don't drink just a serving (1/2 cup). Juice packs alot of calories, but you don't get the benefit of the fiber you get when you have a the whole fruit or vegetable. I'm not saying juice is evil, I just prefer to eat a whole fruit/veg and have a glass of water with it. Plus, I'm fuller, longer, and with good stuff. Another reason I, in particular, need to drink as much water as I can is that I am a kidney stone breeder. It's been years (knock wood!!!) since I've passed a stone, and even longer since it's landed me in the hospital, but I can tell you that it is, by far, the worst pain I've ever felt, and I've had two babies. Naturally. I'd rather have a baby than pass a kidney stone. And, since no one knows what my stones are made of, I don't know what to avoid. Better safe than sorry. After two weeks, I'll add hot teas, especially green, back into the mix because I tend to put less sugar in hot tea than cold, sweet tea, and I'm always happy with one cup, whereas I can drink gallons of sweet tea in a day. I've done it.

During these two weeks, I'm not going to change anything else in my diet. I don't like to break my neck and try to change everything at once. I feel that it sets me up for failure. So, I do steps, changing habits and thought patterns gradually, one at a time, building on success and gaining momentum.

Another change I've been working on for a while now is eating fish. Note, that doesn't say eating MORE fish, just eating fish. I've never enjoyed fish, but I want to learn to if nothing else for the health benefits. I started eating some non-vegetarian sushi a couple of years ago, but I hardly count that as it's a very small amount of fish. Recently, I tried some tilapia while out with friends, and I was blown away with how wonderful it was. Mari loves fish and spent some time as a pescetarian , so she's always encouraging me to give fish another shot. I decided that it was time for me to be a grown up and give fish a chance. So far, I've ordered fish twice while out to eat, and I've made fish twice here at home this week. Once it was for dinner and once for lunch. Granted, none of these small forays are perfect, but I've enjoyed every single occasion. Today, I had a Lean Cuisine Parmesan-crusted fish meal for lunch, and I finished it wishing I had a freezer packed with it. It was just amazingly tasty, and the flavor of the fish wasn't drowned out by something else! I actually liked the fish!!! I've got more fish in the freezer, and I'm so encouraged that I may have a tilapia filet for lunch tomorrow.

So, we're eating healthier (lots and lots of veggies! very lean meat! no added oils or fats! FISH! water, water, water!) and we're exercising more. All in all, it's a good thing and I love that Jason is on the bandwagon, too. It's so much easier to make these changes when you're not the only person in the house making them or when you don't have to make a meal for them and meal for yourself.

Now, I don't know if this is related, and if it is, I don't know how, but along with this is an urge to travel. One of my life goals is to live in another country before I die, and maybe even live my life out in another country. I love my country, please don't mistake me, but I also love my world and I've seen far to little of it. Though I feel I have an open and accepting mind, I know there are ideas, people, places out there that I cannot even imagine, and I want to experience that. I want to be immersed in other languages and be forced to learn them in order to survive. I want to live in a bustling Japanese city, a sedate and beautiful Austrian town, on a deep green hillside in Ireland, on the edge of a vast rainforest, within sight of the Egyptian desert, in the Outback, Morocco to Moscow, Paris to the Pacific Northwest, Tehran to Tahiti... I want to live anywhere I can because I want to be a citizen of the world. I think when I work toward making my body healthier, my view is always on the whole and how the systems work with each other, so perhaps it's natural that my thoughts and view would turn outward to see how our world is a reflection of my body. As above, so below, ya know?

So, I sit here and my feet are eager to be off. I want to travel, and I want my children to travel. I want them to see the world, to love it and want to protect it. I hope they will learn to value people (including themselves) for what they are: fallible, imperfect, ultimately lovable, full of grace and worthy of redemption. I hope they will see that different ideas, ideologies, religions, viewpoints, voices, are not only ok, but absolutely necessary. Most of all, I want them to see nature, and feel the full force of Nature, to feel small next to a redwood, and huge when an ant crawls up their shoe, to know they are nothing special, but everything that is amazing. I want them to be filled with pride and humility, and I know that traveling can give that to you. It's a subtle mix, to be sure.


Heather Meadows said...

Your bit by bit, step by step method of adding good habits and changes sounds like a really good plan. :)

I know what you mean about wanting to travel. I am dying to get out of the country again. I was lucky enough to get to go to England and see Brooke and David this summer, and that was amazing. I'm also planning a trip to Japan in 2011. I really wish I could be traveling 50% of the time...

mari said...

Yay on the fish Jeannie! I noticed you trying it more out but I had no idea you were having it at home too. Thats a big step, congrats. :)

As for travel, I hear ya. I don't know that I will ever be able to live in another country again. Thats so much easier to do when you don't have the responsibilities of an adult. But I DEFINITELY want to and plan to travel more. Thats one of the main impetus(es?) for me to finish paying off some debt. Car payment down, 2 cards, and a student loan to go, watch out world, here I come :D