Friday, June 18, 2010

Meat meat chewy chewy!

I know its June and not January, but I decided to make some resolutions. Well, more like challenge myself to be better in a few different areas.

Last year I decided to eat healthier, and although I’ve slipped up a few times, I’ve made a fairly impressive turn around in the last year or more in terms of what I eat. To add to that, for the last 3 weeks I’ve been eating a vegetarian diet. There are tons of great reasons (health, environmental, etc.) why I wanted to—and I should have done it a long time ago. But habits are heard to break sometimes. I knew if I didn't make it a challenge with an end date and just said oh I'll eat less meat, than I wouldn't. So I survived 3 weeks without it, just to see how it feels. A few people were concerned that I'd faint or become weak--those people are silly and don't know how to eat well. It was very easy to get enough protein. There are plenty of other sources to get what you need without eating meat. In fact, I probably got more than normal because I was paying attention.

I grew up eating a lot of meat (almost with every meal)—and it still seems like it has to be there on my plate sometimes. But it really doesn’t, or at least not as often as I think it does. And I proved to myself that I don't really need it. I will go back to eating meat on occasion (eating out sometimes, holidays, etc.), but for the most part I'll try to stick to no meat. I enjoyed trying new foods like eggplant "meat" balls and learning how to cook tofu. I was much more creative with my meals and had a lot of variety.

More Challenges:

For my next “challenge” I’d like to be a better finisher. While working on my thesis I often felt like I never finished anything. I even had to keep a finishing journal sometimes to prove that I actually can finish things. I’m still working on my FINAL thesis corrections, and that will be a good start to my new finishing rule. If I start reading a book, I will finish it. If I have undergraduate manuscripts that still need publishing so that they don’t haunt me forever, I will finish them. This also leads me to my third challenge…

Pushups. I’ve never had much upper body strength—playing soccer for 10 years doesn’t help that. So, while incorporating more exercise into my life in general is a good plan (at least I hike daily now), I made a specific effort several weeks ago to reach 100 consecutive push ups. And…you guessed it, I didn’t finish! My upper body strength was so poor that I could only do 8 knee pushups without falling over. And in a couple of weeks I had worked up to 40 consecutive knee push ups (stop laughing at me). But I hit a plateau, and gave up. So I’d like to finish this challenge. And it will probably take a some serious effort. But push ups are one of the best exercises you can do—works a bunch of different muscles and is easily done anywhere without any equipment.

Finally, my 4th challenge is to read more (and finish the books!). Now that I don’t have to read text books and scientific literature as much—I can read for fun again! So I’ve made a list of books I’d like to read over the remainder of the year. Here’s the list…just in case anyone wants to join me. The first one I’ve finished reading already, the second two are ones I started, but never finished—so they are on the top of the list. Otherwise they are in no particular order.

Deep South, Nevada Barr

Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson

Pigs in Heaven, by Barbara Kingsolver

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, by Tom Robbins

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant

Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, by Rebecca Wells

The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver

Bridget Jones's Diary, by Helen Fielding

Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier

Animal Dreams, by Barbara Kingsolver

Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger


Johnny Nutcase said...

I like it. I like it a lot. Thumbs up on the less meat thing, but that's no surprise coming from me. And like you told me earlier, pushups indeed are a whole lot harder at 6500 feet than sea level. I totally gave up too...maybe i should try again. I'm going to recommend that you do not read the Kite Runner though. Neither Zac or I could finish it because it was so depressing, upsetting. Pigs in Heaven and Poisonwood however, yes good! My eye is twitching.

Anonymous said...

On a Kingsolver kick? I just got her most recent novel, the Lacuna, from the library. I'll let you know how it is. So far Pigs in Heaven, Bean Trees, and Prodigal Summer are my favorites of hers. Animal Dreams is a little depressing. -Terri