Tag Archives: diet

Around the World: Archives and Advice Columns

Hello Everyone!  I’m currently bumming around Seoul, South Korea right now!  Annyeonghasimnikka!  That means Hello/Good Morning in Korea.  If all goes well, I hope to share some photos from the trip later in the week, but for today, we’re doing a little blast from the past with my blogging archives.  Believe it or not (cause I’m leaning towards not), I’m almost to my 200th post!  Here are a few I like that many of you may not have seen.  You can click the blue links for the full post.  So glad I have the Life List Club to hold me more accountable than I had been with my goals.  Yikes!

From the post I Write Like I Eat Potatoes, With Cheese originally posted January 24, 2011

Writers beware.  If you’re going to start changing your diet to see how it impacts your life, don’t begin that process the weekend of your niece’s 2nd birthday.

The Weekend Begins

I was supposed to start out early on my three hour drive home, but instead, I slept in, and was lured to stay when my boyfriend offered to cook breakfast.  Inventory:  egg and cheese sandwhich on toast, hashbrowns, milk, and blueberry flavored coffee.  Ok, pack up the car in -11 degree temperature, clear snow off of windshield, check.  I was doing really well so far.  I only stopped once on the drive to use the restroom, and I wasn’t planning to buy a thing.  But the lonely man behind the counter stared me down in his bowling shirt and disheveled facial hair.  Inventory:  gatorade and cheez its – -damn!  Saturday night I successfully finished writing a 10 stanza long rhyming birthday poem of all things Sonja to be read for her party.

The Party Day

The family oohed and aahed before we began to eat.  Inventory:  Brown sugar french toast, apple cinnamon squash, eggs, bacon, cheesy potatoes, mixed fruit, and broccoli and cauliflower salad.  Oh, Lord, so many tasties!  I made sure to take extra broccoli, and ok, I also took extra potatoes, but I wasn’t planning to write directly afterwards.  I was planning to watch my two year old niece unwrap presents in a quick half hour and then cheer on the Packers during the game.  Oh the game!!!  Inventory:  tortilla chips with chili cheese dip and black bean and corn salsa.  No judgement, I needed to replenish myself, the Packers needed all of our cheering help, and salsa as you know helps the vocal chords immensely.  On a side note, since some of you have gotten to hear about my father, I’ll have you know he did a rather spastic touchdown victory dance that was something of a combination between churning butter and the hokey pokey.

From the post Dear God, Writing is Hard.  Love, Writer originally posted February 4, 2011

Don’t you wish writing was as easy as talking to God?  No matter where you are, it will find you.  Blessed is she who writes, for she shall inherit a publisher.  Do not covet thy neighbor’s writing.  Do unto other’s writing as you would have them do unto yours.

When I was little, I believed I had a direct line to God, or at least to my priest.  When I was around 7 or 8, I used to write letters to the parish priest, Father Duane, and “mail them” by dropping them off in the collection basket.  They never failed to get to him, and I always received a most prized piece of mail in return answering all my weird questions like “Don’t you get sick of singing These 40 Days of Lent, Oh Lord?  I do.  Did you happen to watch the Barbara Walters special last night?  It was captivating.  I hate squash and my family loves it, do you think God put me in the wrong family?”

It would be great if good writing was as simple as talking to God, or writing your priest a letter, but it takes a lot more hard work, and often it won’t receive as kind and accommodating a letter in reply.  But good writing, like religion, can speak to your soul.

From the post Silent Protests Against My Mother originally posted March 14, 2011

Ever wonder why your parents made some of the decisions they did?  No, you cannot take the turtle into bed with you!  No, you may not watch Pink Floyd’s The Wall with your brother!  No, you may not eat double stuff oreos, and I don’t care if Liz’s mom lets her!

My mom is a great mom.  She writes in perfect cursive penmanship, has impeccable spelling, pays attention to detail, writes long letters and mails them with real stamps and envelopes and everything.  She likes to sing, read mystery books, bake a variety of coffee cakes, and spy out the windows.

But I have one bone to pick with my mother.  Throughout my childhood, on countless trips to the grocery store, she would never let me get double stuff oreos!  This woman who rarely enforced rules about vegetables, or clean plate clubs, who married a baker, son of a woman who enforced dessert before dinner, wouldn’t let me eat double stuff oreos!  Hell, I had coca cola in my sippy cups!!!  (That may be why I stopped growing in eighth grade.)

This anti-oreo rule never made sense to me.  I was a child who liked milk.  I had contests with my father over who could drink their milk the fastest at dinner.  I don’t know if you’re aware, but milk and oreos are like made for each other, best friends forever, kindred spirits from the galactic orbs of destined to be together soulmates!  I bet if you eat an oreo without milk, your heart shrinks a little.

From the post Do You Have a Favorite Book? originally posted May 18, 2011

Another magical book club meeting.  Two months Another magical book club meeting.  Two months ago, I joined up with a coworker of mine and attended her book club.  At the end of that meeting, hoping to insight me to return, they asked me what my favorite book was, and I said The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Now why on earth would a book about cells and science and medical advancements appeal to a girl who only walked through the science building on campus during winter when it was the shortest route to the English building?  It’s because the author, Rebecca Skloot, spent a decade researching the subject and uncovering the family that belonged to Henrietta Lacks.

Do you ever look back on your old posts and laugh that you’re still struggling with eating too many potato chips?  No…just me…

Ok then, do you ever look back on your old posts and think “Damn, I may stubborn, but I’m also good!”

Feel free to share an old link from your past blogs in the comments!  I’d love time travel with you!

The Nutrition Taxi Writer Mash-up

It’s the end of the week for my resolution to eat healthier and see how it would affect my energy and writing.

I can’t boast an amazing outcome as I’m now sick with some sort of cold and sore throat.  I think my niece coughed in my face a couple times and that’s what I get for coloring with her.  On the bright side, induced in a tylenol cold medicine sleep last night, I completely slept through some sort of war between my roommates.  Apparantly at some early morning hour a taxi showed up at our house and began ringing the doorbell repeatedly.  My boyfriend thought it must be our roommate and he locked himself out.  We have a spare key hidden that our roommate knows about.  My roommate, I guess, actually answered the door and figured out the taxi driver had the wrong house.  Oops, sorry.  However, my boyfriend, being in a particularly crabby mood this morning (unbeknownst to me in my medicated slumber) decided if he was up and awake, our roommate should be too.  So my boyfriend calls our roommate and repeatedly knocks on his door to wake him up, and now my roommate is also crabby.  I am positively delighted and cheery today because for once I slept through it all.  Yay!

Final Day Diet:

green tea and cough drops, if feeling better later, soup

I’m hoping after the weekend I’ll have a better appetite, so I did spend the better part of last night looking at recipes to make.  How does apricot chili pork chops with lemon spaghetti sound?  And chicken enchilada skillet?  And brown sugar steaks with parmesan potatoes?  Oh, I can’t wait to cook again!

Back to writing:

Last post, I challenged us writers to give ourselves SPACE and I’m still impressed with the idea to make changes in our lives, so I’m going to include that in my week’s resolutions.  I’d love to hear more about how each of you are giving yourself SPACE to grow, try something new, relax, reenergize.  What do you do get motivated again?  What are your guilty pleasures for writing?  What prevents you from arranging SPACE to grow in?  I can’t say thank you enough to the many bloggers/writers who have motivated me to keep going and think positive because any amount of change and any amount of writing is something proactive to have in your life.

This week I will give myself space by:

  1. Watching a Jane Austen movie.
  2. Cleaning my room of clutter.
  3. Journaling for my own enjoyment.
  4. Finish writing the icy mausoleum scene in my story.
  5. Blog ahead at least 2 posts.

Looking for more inspiration to get started?  Here are some posts I really enjoyed.

AJ Zaethe Great post on incorporating magic in your world building.

Albert Berg A post on how to plot when you hate plotting.

CM Stewart How to write realistic disabled characters.

Kristen Lamb Humorous post on Celebrity Death Match Author Edition.

Margaret Reyes Dempsey Serving up blurbs and hot tea while she’s snowed in!

Olivia Tejeda A brand new online literary journal debuts!

Ollin Morales Sending love to writers who haven’t figured out how to write just yet.

Room for Rent: Give your writing some space, for the love of God!

I’m stuffing lettuce in my face right now.  Guilt tripped after a weekend with the family, I devoured bite size bits of chocolate, ate french toast for supper, and cheesy potatoes for breakfast.  But I was leaving soon, and if I didn’t eat them for breakfast, I wouldn’t get any more!

Penitence: a light green salad, smidge of a smidge of a drizzle of caesar dressing, and Morning Star chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce and pomegranate juice.  It’s sort of like a kids meal at a fast food restaurant isn’t it, which tells you how well I prepared for this week’s resolution to eat healthier.

I swear to you, come morning, it’s back to Luna Bars and orange juice for breakfast.

Ok, Jess, distract the readers from your failings, what did you accomplish this week?

Let’s see, I relaxed. Sure that may not sound like an accomplishment, but for me, it’s not an easy thing to do.  And I bet many of you find it difficult too.  We writers can procrastinate to no end, but that’s not the same thing.  Say it with me, it’s not the same thing!  Procrastinating requires you to be doing other things when you should be doing something else more important.  But I had no immediate task to undertake.  I was free for three days to lay on the couch, watch movies with my parents, color with my niece, and read 100 pages of Jane Austen’s Emma while either in bed or in the tub.  That’s right, I took baths! To some, the notion of a bath is disgusting, as you’re sitting in the same water for so long, but I freaking love them!!!  And we have no tub at our house.  Well, we do, but it’s in my roommate’s bathroom, and I wouldn’t step a toe in that tub; it’s full of man hair and year old mold.  ylech!

I just got to hang out for a few days with my best friend, the red fleece blanket my parents call “Bette.”  Don’t ask.  I saw my dad attempt to latin dance, and my mother repeatedly fall asleep during every movie we watched.  I had my two year old niece pretending to be a monster crawl all over me growling and tell me what I thought was her monster name, “GaGaGooGi.”  Turns out, she wanted to recite “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep.”  *shrug*

I also attended a church service for the first time in maybe four years, Christmas excluded.  My dad recently transferred, if you can use that verb while talking about religion, to a new church and my mom still goes to Catholic mass.  I decided to appease him and go to his service on Sunday morning.  I was a little out of my realm.  Half an hour before the service started was pure parish singing, and there were a decent number of raised arms about me.  I’m not comfortable with that.  I ventured down that path once before, and the more I got into it, the more I found out my beliefs differed from everyone elses.  Still, I admit, it was moving.  The pastor had a very moving lesson to teach us, and I applied it as fittingly as I could with my current endeavors.  The lesson essentially taught us, “God is a filler, not a forcer.”  God will never force us to do anything, but if we give him SPACE he will fill it with all his goodness.

Ok, stay with me.  I’m not about to change platforms and write about religion.  But I can appreciate situations where I feel uncomfortable.  And I can learn from them, and from those around me.  Even though my religious views don’t match my fathers, it seemed more meaningful that I go with him, and when he held my hand in prayer, I felt it shake.  So, I listened to the sermon, and I said, “Self, how can you make SPACE for your writing?  What will you allow your SPACE to be filled with?  Who will you show off your new SPACE to?  And before you can do that, what must you clear away first?”

When I opened my thoughts to my writing, and how a silly thing like SPACE could impact it, I was sort of stunned.  I think it does apply that for us to be creative and embracing of criticism and feedback, we have to open and give ourselves SPACE to hear those things.  For us to try a new idea, a new genre, a new publishing venture, we have to give ourselves SPACE to show those things.

How are you giving yourself SPACE this week?

I Write Like I Eat Potatoes, With Cheese

Writers beware.  If you’re going to start changing your diet to see how it impacts your life, don’t begin that process the weekend of your niece’s 2nd birthday. 

The Weekend Begins

I was supposed to start out early on my three hour drive home, but instead, I slept in, and was lured to stay when my boyfriend offered to cook breakfast.  Inventory:  egg and cheese sandwhich on toast, hashbrowns, milk, and blueberry flavored coffee.  Ok, pack up the car in -11 degree temperature, clear snow off of windshield, check.  I was doing really well so far.  I only stopped once on the drive to use the restroom, and I wasn’t planning to buy a thing.  But the lonely man behind the counter stared me down in his bowling shirt and disheveled facial hair.  Inventory:  gatorade and cheez its – -damn!  Saturday night I successfully finished writing a 10 stanza long rhyming birthday poem of all things Sonja to be read for her party. 

The Party Day

The family oohed and aahed before we began to eat.  Inventory:  Brown sugar french toast, apple cinnamon squash, eggs, bacon, cheesy potatoes, mixed fruit, and broccoli and cauliflower salad.  Oh, Lord, so many tasties!  I made sure to take extra broccoli, and ok, I also took extra potatoes, but I wasn’t planning to write directly afterwards.  I was planning to watch my two year old niece unwrap presents in a quick half hour and then cheer on the Packers during the game.  Oh the game!!!  Inventory:  tortilla chips with chili cheese dip and black bean and corn salsa.  No judgement, I needed to replenish myself, the Packers needed all of our cheering help, and salsa as you know helps the vocal chords immensely.  On a side note, since some of you have gotten to hear about my father, I’ll have you know he did a rather spastic touchdown victory dance that was something of a combination between churning butter and the hokey pokey. 

Upon returning home to my parents’ we skipped dinner altogether as we were so stuffed.  But after watching a movie, the urge to nibble striked once more.  I opened the fridge.  Oh glorious dips!  My mother had stocked up at the grocery store and we had french onion, dill, and taco dip sitting in the fridge.  NO!  I will behave at least once today.  I grabbed a bag of carrots.  I ate about 15.  And then I ate about 30 chips with taco dip.  At least they went down together.  Have you heard that Mitch Hedburg joke?  He talks about eating a carrot and a chip, and the carrot says, “It’s ok, he’s with me.”   

I will do better tomorrow.  Did someone just say pizza???

Hello Chip, we need to talk.

If you’re familiar with my blog, you know I am making this year a year of writing.  And each week, I take on a new assignment or resolution to see how it will impact my writing.  Many posts I’ve recently read have talked about living a healthy lifestyle to be able to have more focus and energy while we writers combat day jobs and novel writing, household upkeep, and family.  You can read two very interesting blogs about that process by Kristen Lamb and Joy E. Held.

This week, I accept that challenge.  I am boldly going where I’ve not gone before, and leaving the bag of potato chips untouched, for at least one more hour, meal, day.  I vow for one week to make healthy living choices, and   substitute chips for fruits and veggies at least once a day.  And meals in general.  I have been running on “fly by the seat of my pants” meals to be packed for work: String cheese, lean cuisine, a bag of chips, applesauce – I may or may not eat.  Time to make time for cooking again.  I know I’ll have fun making the grocery list!  So many tasty words like garlic, chicken, pesto, and provolone.  Mmmmm.  Ok, definitely cooking again!  Better not get too crazy with the list, add more green things.

But it’s not enough to change my diet and wallow over savory smells in the household again. I must also write.  And what better way to keep me on track with my dietary discipline than to blog about my meals.  So, sit back and relax, grab a bag of chips and transition with me for one week while I change the way I eat and see what it does to my writing for the next 3 posts.

*Writer’s Note*  If any of you notice me pulling a Jane Eyre and describing something totally delicious on a plate right in front of me, using like 500 words to tell you about that delectable dish, and I don’t eat it, feel free to break said dish over my head.  I cannot abide by oppressive dietary rules, nor make my readers deal with it either.

Happy writing!  See you in the produce aisle!

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