Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some Things Lately, That Have Changed My Life

Occasionally, we encounter major shifts in our lives that change things forever.  We get new jobs, we move to new cities, we cut all our hair off, we start or end a significant relationship, we get an iphone.

More often though, we encounter slight changes, either by incorporating new habits into our daily routine, or perhaps breaking bad habits, which essentially change our lives.  In that spirit, here are some things, which are really not a big deal at all, yet have made me healthier, happier, and shifted my perspective.

1. A Hula-Hoop

Remember those?  There's this awesome chick in Pittsburgh, named Stefanie Moser, who is a hula-hooping genius.  She teaches a hula-hooping class at the Union Project, and she also makes her own hoops!  She was a featured artist at this year's Love of Friends.  I ordered a hoop from her, and she asked for my measurements, and colors I liked.  I told her I love purple.  When I went to pick up my hoop, she explained, "I know you said you liked purple, so I obviously used that, but then I was going through your facebook profile, and noticed a lot of red too, so I used that as well."  She didn't just make a hula-hoop, she custom-made me a hula-hoop.  (and my generation loves anything that makes us feel special)

But, why did I want one in the first place?  Well, I have the space in my apartment, and I figured that if I was going to be hanging out watching tv or something, that it's better to hula-hoop while doing it.  Hula hooping is just the right level of activity, to be able to actually enjoy watching a movie or television, while not feeling like a total couch potato.  It's also not a bad way to strengthen your core (which is helpful in running.)  Finally, and most importantly, it is fun!  Really fun!  You should try it.  And you should order your hoop from Stefanie.

2. Twin Peaks

The 90's television show my parents watched, yes that Twin Peaks.  After hearing about it forever, I finally decided to check it out since it's on Netflix.  And it is so much better than I could have hoped.  It's scary, and funny, and hilariously dramatic, and the style is terrific. While you probably won't find me hiking through the woods of northern Washington anytime soon, you may find me checking out career options with the FBI  (the same thing happened when the artist and I watched x-files).

3. Leah Shannon's blog, Brazen Kitchen. 

I know Leah through The Midwife Center, we're both on the Let Them Eat Cake planning committee.  I read her blog, and thought it was cool, but then, THEN, I started trying her recipes.

First of all, Leah is a vegan, and I am not.  BUT, I don't like to cook meat, and her recipes looked so appealing and easy that I couldn't help but try them out. (I may have snuck some butter in.)

Last night, I tried her vegan macaroni and cheese recipe.  People, if you know me, you know how much I love cheese.  Particularly when melted, baked, and served with carbs.  If anyone was going to be skeptical about this dish it would be me.  But, you guys, it was actually delicious!  She doesn't use fake, soy cheese either. The sauce is made totally out of veggies.  I couldn't have been more shocked. And happy!  Healthy mac and cheese?!?  Hello new staple food in my diet!

4. Standing at my desk.

I saved my favorite one for last.  I've been hearing for months now how sitting all day long is 1) making us obese and 2) killing us.  In fact, further and scarier research shows it doesn't even matter if you work out regularly, you're still at risk for lots of unpleasantness if you sit all day.  No thank you.  I don't train for marathons, just to have it all negated by a desk job.

I started to hate my chair.  Finally, last week I read yet another article on how sitting is killing us all, but this one had a solution.  Put a box on your desk they said, and set your laptop on the box.  Voila, standing desk.

So I did that!  And it's been amazing!  My posture is better, my back doesn't hurt.  I'm more productive.  I don't get the 4 o'clock slump, or the after lunch slump, in fact, I haven't been tired at work at all since I started doing this.  Stand up, you'll feel better.  And you'll burn a few more calories too.

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