Refuse to be Passive

Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Calm Before the Storm

In Life in General on March 31, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Starting tomorrow I will have not a spare moment at work. The application deadline will have passed and I will have to start sorting. I will be calling people, shuffling through paperwork, and just generally trying to organize hundreds of applications. This all has to be done under time constraints, and so, my relaxing days at work will be done for the next month or so.
Granted, the last couple of days have seen a definite increase in activity around my office. Lots of students coming in with questions. But starting tomorrow, it will be a different kind of busy. It will be a shut my office door and pretend the world doesn’t exist kind of busy.

Yes…I blog from work. Don’t worry. I do it on break time.

So if I don’t blog for a few days, it’s because I’m either working or sleeping. Thank goodness Easter weekend is almost here! It will be a chance for rest amidst the havoc.

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Busiest Day of the Year

In Life in General on March 30, 2010 at 6:32 pm

Tomorrow will be the busiest day of my working year. Today, I had student after student walk into my office, wondering about their Financial Aid Application, and dropping off extra information, or inquiring as to the reference letters they needed to have submitted.
Tomorrow, I will undoubtedly have a line up at my door all day. Really, why don’t students take care of these things sooner? Now, I will admit this may be a wee bit of the pot calling the kettle black. I’m really talented at procrastination. For example, currently I should be working on an assignment for my volleyball class that is due at 10 p.m. and instead of doing that, I’m blogging. Oh, and I’ve known this assignment was coming due for about….two months now. Yeah, no procrastination there at all. That being said, once this is done, I have only my exam left to do, part written, part skills evaluation and performance. Yikes!
My league volleyball is also almost over for the year. We took semi-finals last week. We have one week off before we take on the Flying Mongooses for the boasting rights of taking first in tier 8. Okay, so maybe we should be boasting, as we only got to tier 8. Oh well, at least it was fun… for the most part. It’ll probably only take a few weeks before I’m itching to be back on the court again. Maybe I’ll play beach this summer, who knows?

Easter

In Food, Life in General on March 29, 2010 at 11:16 am

Easter is coming up quickly. Actually, I can’t believe how quickly it’s coming. Good Friday is this Friday. So, I’ll go to church in the morning, do the Cross Walk in the afternoon– we go around the neighbourhood and pray for various areas of life and our community– and then go to a play in the evening. I have to admit that I’m a little surprised that the Citadel is putting on a play on Good Friday, but I suppose not all people celebrate Easter. So my friend Kara and I will be going to see The Glass Menagerie. I honestly have no clue what this play is about, but I’m looking forward to it. My evenings out with Kara are always fun, even when the plays turn out to be something other than what we expect.

Other plans for the weekend include potentially going to a friend’s house for dinner on Easter, and then having a couple of people over for dinner to my place on the Monday. Breaking with tradition, I’m going to try making a turkey, rather than ham or lamb, which makes me a little nervous as this will definitely be a first. But I’m super excited to get started on pies and such! Mmm… it’s goona be a fun week in the kitchen.

The Experiment, and other such stuff

In Art, Food on March 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Well, my time off from processed food continues to go on, and in some ways I really like it. It makes me slow down life a bit and take time to cook things like oven roasted root vegetables, multigrain bread, and make yogurt cheese. All very fun! I’ve been redefining what I’m counting as processed a bit though. So yogurt, is still in my diet, seeing as the process to make it involves bacteria rather than chemicals. It doesn’t have any of the long preservative words listed in the ingredients. And did you know that if you take plain yogurt, and strain it through cheese cloth overnight that you’ll get a delightful, creme fraishe style “cheese” that you can put on your toast if you so desire? I had that topped with strawberries this morning for breakfast and it was delightful.

This afternoon I helped my friend Sara move. On the whole, helping people move is one of those things I’d rather not do, but lots of hands make light work, so I headed over to her place to help them get it done faster. It was quick. They’d already moved a lot of stuff, so I think the move today took less than three hours. No too shabby! Everyone was going to stick around for pizza, hypothetically, but no one actually did. I figured it would be best for me to make an early exit so I wasn’t faced with the temptation of one of my all-time favourite foods.

So now, I have a nice evening to relax, and then the week starts again. It’s amazing how time just keeps going. We really need to pay attention to what’s going on right now, or in twenty years, we’ll have no clue where it went or what we missed. Here I go, off to pay attention to the here and now.

What Others Don’t Get– Weight Loss

In Food, Life in General on March 27, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Last night I was watching Jamie Oliver’s Dinner Revolution with a friend. The family that was on there were all obese, and were working to change their eating habits and lifestyle with Jamie’s help. My friend made a comment that even though the kids were so young—twelve or so, they already had considerable amounts of extra weight. It was definitely true. And the kids were also at risk for diabetes on both sides of the family.
My friend then went on to comment how hard it would be to lose that much weight. I replied that even losing thirty pounds is a struggle for anyone, let alone eighty or so. He agreed. His comment about how hard it would be for this boy to loose weight bugged me a bit though. Over the course of the evening I had watched my friend down four cookies, three pizza pops, and five or six beers. He’s six-foot-four and probably weights 170 pounds soaking wet. Yeah, he looks like he knows a lot about struggles with weight loss.
For all of you out there who have never had to struggle with your weight, or your food intake, never pretend to know how hard it is. Losing weight and keeping it off is probably one of the biggest struggles that overweight people face. For many of them, the challenge is emotional eating. Food is their friend. It doesn’t discriminate—it’s always there (at least in North America). When you’re sad, you eat. When you’re lonely, you eat. When you’re bored, you eat. When you’re tired, you eat, and when you’re happy, you celebrate with food.
One of the challenges of emotional eating is the recognition that the problem isn’t just food. Turning to food is a problem that is set off by other problems in your life. And then the working out these problems is even tougher than the recognition that they’re there, because it requires you to change.
Now, I would like to address any thin people out there who have never had real weight issues and think, “It’s not so hard, all they have to do is lose the weight. They’re just being lazy.”—I hope you have to try losing weight someday. Then you’ll realize that it’s really tough! If you find yourself looking at overweight people and snubbing them due to their size, you’re not helping the situation. Is obesity a problem in North America? Absolutely. Does something have to be done about it? Absolutely. Can people lose weight all on their own and keep it off? No. This is where you come in. For many thin people, a healthy lifestyle is already the norm. If that’s you, excellent! Do you know someone who is trying to lose weight? I’ll be you do. Help them. Pair up with them and help them with their journey towards a healthier lifestyle and a smaller dress size (or pants size). Be supportive and realize that it takes time. In doing that, you can become part of the solution. Anyone whose ever lost weight and kept it off will tell you how important it was to have a support network. Become a part of that network.
If you’re one of the skinny people, like my friend, who does not maintain healthy eating habits, then I beg you, take pity on your arteries! Just because you’re thin, doesn’t mean you’re healthy.

My Bruised Ego

In Life in General on March 27, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Yesterday night my ego took quite a beating. I was hanging out with a friend and over the course of the night he made a lot of comments about how he viewed me. The tops ones were that I was a control freak, and I wanted everything to be as it should be, the second that I saw everything in black and white, for me there was no grey, which I suppose ties into number one. The third was that I was brainwashed because I’m a Christian. Ouch. Even if people think it, they rarely say it. There were other things too, but those are the big ones. The first two stung a bit, but I could see how he got there. But when he pulled in my faith, that really hurt. It’s something completely fundamental to who I am. I suppose he saw my faith as a catalyst for numbers one and two.
Anyways, I went away from that evening with a headache, feeling really tired (it was 3 a.m.) and wanting to crawl into bed and not think about what he had said to me.
Now, the next afternoon, as I slept away the entire morning, it still stings– and I still have a headache. I know that the Bible warns us that people will think we’re crazy, or that they’ll speak against what we believe, but it’s not something you expect out of a friend. It’s really easy to take from someone you don’t know. You shrug it off and keep going, saying, “they just don’t get it.”
I don’t think my friend has any clue that what he said hurt, and even if he did, I don’t think he’d regret saying it.
It kinda sucks.

And on it goes…

In Life in General on March 26, 2010 at 10:31 am

Last night was the first evening of my processed food fast that I had nothing on the go, nothing to distract me from cravings. Thankfully, I’d cleaned out my cupboards and fridge of all temptation when I began this challenge, or last night would have been my downfall. But I stuck it out and am quite proud of myself for that. I’m rather used to bowing to the temptation of food, so to not do it is an accomplishment. The weekend will be a challenge, but I feel confident that I’ll survive, and even succeed in keeping my food intake in check.

Today is a long day at work, starting at 8am and going until 6pm. We’ve got students on campus, and I have to be around to help with that, but also to give a presentation, hence staying at work until 6. Well, let’s built up those overtime hours! I can always find a use for them.

Sushi and Such

In Food on March 25, 2010 at 9:22 am

So last night I went to Maki Maki with a friend for sushi. It was the first time I’ve eaten it since traveling to Japan in 2007. While it hadn’t been to my taste at that time, I thought I should give it another try. It turns out that I still am not a fan. I have a hard time getting over the slight sweetness of the rice and the general texture of raw fish. But it’s definitely more texture than taste that seems to give me issues. That being said, there is something delightful about sushi. You can eat a ton of it and not feel bogged down, like you would if you ate a plate of pasta. This was a great thing, as I had a volleyball game shortly after dinner.
I think my friend felt bad about suggesting sushi once she found out I wasn’t really a big fan. And then she started worrying about me getting sick from it, because I mentioned that my body wasn’t really used to eating raw fish. Well, Jen, be calm. I felt perfectly fine, and if anything, I think I played rather well at my volleyball game.
I do love having friends who stretch my boundaries though. Friends who take me out of my comfort zone a bit and get me to try new things. It’s a way to move forward and become enlightened, even if you’re only being enlightened to the fact that sushi will never be your thing.
Dang, I forgot my camera for this one. Let’s just say, as with most Japanese food done well, the presentation was excellent. Oh, and if you do like sushi, definitely try Maki Maki. I may not like sushi, but my friend enjoyed it and she’s a bit of a sushi snob.

Easter Menu

In Food, Life in General on March 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I’ve been doing some recipe research for this Easter and have come across so many fabulous recipes that I can’t wait to get into the kitchen. If I make all the food I want to, I’ll need to start a few days early. Thankfully, many of the dishes can be prepared ahead of time.
But now the problem is, who’s going to eat it all? Anyone want to come over Easter Monday?

Day 2 Down, Only 38 To Go

In Food, Life in General on March 24, 2010 at 8:55 am

Well, I’m on to day 3 of not eating processed foods. It’s an experience I’ll tell you. Half of the food they serve at work I can no longer eat.  So while everyone was eating their apple crisp and drinking pop, I was munching on a plate filled with broccoli, cauliflower, and pineapple and drinking water. If it weren’t for the pineapple I would have felt really deprived. Have I mentioned that apple crisp is one of my all-time favourite deserts? Ah well. Health before taste buds.

On a different note, I’ve decided to declutter my house and get rid of a bunch of stuff. The truth though, is that I really don’t own much stuff. Last time I moved, it only took one trip with a truck and trailer for everything, including all furniture. I really don’t own much at all. But I started sifting through my cupboards and closets and found some sundae cups and popcorn containers, some shirts, a couple of wine glasses, and some books I’ll never read. So apparently I have some stuff to get rid of.There’s something about purging your house of extra stuff that just feels good. It makes you feel like you’ve succeeded at something.

Tonight: sushi for supper and then volleyball

Wait, is sushi considered processed food?