Archive | February, 2012

Does This Nightstand Make Me Look…Healthy?

24 Feb

Have you had that experience where you realize that perhaps that BIG NEW IDEA or SUPER COOL thing you recently learned, that you’re so sure everyone you know will love, has perhaps gotten a little out of control?  I’ve had a few revelations lately, so as I sit here sipping my organic spinach & orange, almond milk, and optimized all natural whey protein smoothie (all made in my VitaMix 5200 Variable Speed blender) I thought I’d share them and get your thoughts.

The first thing happened when I was at the nail salon getting a pedi, and a  woman walked by, glanced at the book I was reading and blurted “Well, I can tell you why I’m fat…” and then walked off in a bit of a smirk. Startled, I realized she was reacting to the title of the book I was reading: “Why We’re Fat” by Gary Taubes (a super fascinating read that explains how insulin regulates fat tissue).

Next, I was walking past a guy I know at the gym, taking a sip from my water bottle, and he said in passing, “I know, I know, half my body weight in ounces everyday…”.

Another incident occurred in the bakery at Central Market when a shrill “..YOU eat BREAD?!!”  caused me to drop my ancient grain, no HFCS, loaf back in the bin. Then there’s the bartender the other night who just couldn’t get it that all I wanted in my margarita was tequila (patron silver, please), fresh squeezed lime juice and a splash of agave nectar. Si, si, sin triple sec, jugo de naranja y azucar. What’s the problema?

But finally, when I went to bed last night, these isolated incidents started to add up as I inventoried my nightstand. Was it emblematic of a healthily robust outlook on life, or a parody of a health nut?  So here’s my question for you: Is a healthy habit ever a crazy obsession? As a newly certified health coach (plug for Institute of Integrative Nutrition) and longtime lover of food & fitness, I tend to think no. But as an honest observer, as duly noted above, I suppose it’s possible. So think about it, and after you’ve gotten in your workout today, let me know your thoughts.

Founding Farmer Steve

13 Feb

Welcome back to the brave new world of farming. In two short minutes last night during the Grammy’s, Chipotle’s story ad, recited by Willie Nelson’s soulful rendition of Coldplay, and personified with brilliant claymation, fired the first spot on shot in the food revolution that Americans so desperately need.  At a time when fast food restaurants like MacDonalds trick Guests with sugar disguised as oatmeal, Steve Ells has crafted a vision for “food with integrity” based on the old/new principles of antibiotic free meats and locally sourced produce.  Just as EZ’s Brick Oven is working to do in San Antonio, True Foods in Newport Beach and Season’s 52 in DC, the movement to put only real food into food, is taking root. As we health coaches like to say, if it was made in a plant, don’t eat it. Thank you Chipotle Mexican Grill  for taking us “…back to the start”.

http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/fwi/videos/videos.aspx?v=1

The Body Politic

9 Feb

Wow. Who knew that women’s parts and reproductive issues were at the heart of our body politic? Can we perhaps raise the level of political and societal discourse above the waist? Maybe even engage more minds and fewer mouths?  Last week it was the dangerous practice of offering mammograms (see “2 Boobs in Texas” post below) to low income women that exposed, and later laid low, the fortunes of the right wing DD’s. This week it’s the unthinkable proposal to offer all women, regardless of race, creed, religion or employer, the option (Merriam-Webster: ” Option -noun. 1: an act of choosing 2: freedom of choice) to have insurance contraception coverage. Whats next? Bible burning? Right wing pundits, including my ideal Republican brain, MSNBC Joe Scarborough, are calling on  First Amendment advocates to rise up against the governments’ ability to dictate rules to religion. Catholics don’t believe in birth control, therefore the government subverts the constitution when it says that all employers, including Catholic hospitals and universities, must offer optional contraception coverage.  Do unto others, anyone?

Ugh. Look, this is America. Our cups and fortunes runneth over in so many ways, but sometimes too, our mouths, to the point that we forget who we are, and what matters most. The valid topic here is the reach and role that government plays in our lives.  With personal liberty comes personal accountability. Live a healthy life and resist the sirens call to slip slide into believing that you’re entitled to government care. Due to the pandemic of ill health and “diabesity” in the U.S., fueled by “SOOA” (sitting on our ass) and “SAD” (Standard American Diet) the government is now our national insurer.  That’s how we’ve come to be embroiled in this issue of condoms vs. The Constitution in the first place. Fight for your own health first, and stop thinking for one moment that you, or anyone, should dictate how women manage theirs. Surely you’ve got better things to do. Eat an organic apple and go for a walk.

Post First Published on February 4, 2012

2 Boobs in Texas

Gail Collins makes an astute point in her NYTimes Op-Ed piece today regarding the Planned Parenthood/Susan G. Komen unbridling, observing that “…everybody likes breasts – infants, adults, women, men. Really, it’s America’s most popular body part”.  So how the heck did these lefties and righties become entangled in the war between Red and Blue?  Boobs, left to their own devices, get along quite nicely and counter-balance each another.  True, the divide between the two sides vary from wearer to wearer, but there’s a natural harmony regardless.

Texans love boobs too, and yes, bigger is better. But we have other values and cultural mores: open spaces, big possibilities, firm handshakes, rugged independence, UT Longhorns, heat, and icy cold beer. These attributes, along with the Alamo, were enthusiastically celebrated when I was growing up just a couple of blocks from Floore’s Country Store in Helotes. Conservative, catholic, republican, I was nonetheless taught to value the best of both sides, right and left, red and blue, one piece and two, western and english saddles.  Small town but not small minded, we were taught to celebrate the core American ideals alive in The Constitution and The Bill of Rights. Heck, we even believed in separation of church and state back then, even in this biggest/best of all states.

With that idyllic state of mind in mind, what’s up with our leaders “messing with Texas”?  This week, yet another prominent (republican) Texan joined Governor Perry in the contest to become biggest boob in the state.  Nancy Brinker, though founding the life saving Susan G. Komen race for The Cure in 1982,  went from a (metaphorical) AA to a DD when she made known her antiabortion agenda by pulling  long-standing funding provided to Planned Parenthood for mammograms. That was actually round two in her campaign, after last year’s hiring of Karen Handel, former pro-life candidate for governor of Georgia, to serve as senior vice president for public policy. Though left breathless and repentant after getting bucked off on the national stage, it remains to be seen whether she and her organization will be able to reclaim their formerly well deserved ten gallon halo of advocacy for women’s health.

If she’s feeling low, however, she can take heart that Texas Governor Perry is still sitting high in his anti-rights, anti-personal liberty, anti-get the hell out of what is none of your business-human rights, saddle. The Texas Governor (aka self-appointed Christian & Chief) led the Texas Legislature to enact the most aggressive anti-abortion rights law since I strummed “Kumbaya” at Holy Spirit in 8th grade mass.

From The Texas Tribune: “The abortion sonogram law, which lawmakers passed last legislative session, requires doctors to perform sonograms and describe what they see, including the size of the fetus and the length of its limbs. The measure has been in court almost since it passed, with opponents arguing it violates doctors’ First Amendment rights by forcing them to disclose information that isn’t medically necessary and that the woman may not want to hear.”Gov. Rick Perry also praised today’s ruling, calling it “a victory for all who stand in defense of life.”He added that the sonogram measure “ensures that every Texas woman seeking an abortion has all the facts about the life she is carrying, and understands the devastating impact of such a life-ending decision.”  The Texas Tribune Judges: Texas Can Enforce Sonogram Law Now by Emily Ramshaw1/10/2012

Hmmm. Pretty judgy for someone who can’t hold more than two thoughts in his head. He, partnered with his trusty sidekick, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, is steadfastly riding the range, herding the cows and branding them with his demigod hot iron.  Bum Steer indeed.

Folks, we need to get a grip on the reins. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. Only women know how it feels to slip into those stirrups, and only we can, and should, decide on our bodies, our beliefs, our destiny and our health.  Saddle up for personal liberty:  right or left, red or blue, english or western, AA or B, C or D. Don’t be a boob.

2 Boobs in Texas

4 Feb

Gail Collins makes an astute point in her NYTimes Op-Ed piece today regarding the Planned Parenthood/Susan G. Komen unbridling, observing that “…everybody likes breasts – infants, adults, women, men. Really, it’s America’s most popular body part”.  So how the heck did these lefties and righties become entangled in the war between Red and Blue?  Boobs, left to their own devices, get along quite nicely and counter-balance each another.  True, the divide between the two sides vary from wearer to wearer, but there’s a natural harmony regardless.

Texans love boobs too, and yes, bigger is better. But we have other values and cultural mores: open spaces, big possibilities, firm handshakes, rugged independence, UT Longhorns, heat, and icy cold beer. These attributes, along with the Alamo, were enthusiastically celebrated when I was growing up just a couple of blocks from Floore’s Country Store in Helotes. Conservative, catholic, republican, I was nonetheless taught to value the best of both sides, right and left, red and blue, one piece and two, western and english saddles.  Small town but not small minded, we were taught to celebrate the core American ideals alive in The Constitution and The Bill of Rights. Heck, we even believed in separation of church and state back then, even in this biggest/best of all states.

With that idyllic state of mind in mind, what’s up with our leaders “messing with Texas”?  This week, yet another prominent (republican) Texan joined Governor Perry in the contest to become biggest boob in the state.  Nancy Brinker, though founding the life saving Susan G. Komen race for The Cure in 1982,  went from a (metaphorical) AA to a DD when she made known her antiabortion agenda by pulling  long-standing funding provided to Planned Parenthood for mammograms. That was actually round two in her campaign, after last year’s hiring of Karen Handel, former pro-life candidate for governor of Georgia, to serve as senior vice president for public policy. Though left breathless and repentant after getting bucked off on the national stage, it remains to be seen whether she and her organization will be able to reclaim their formerly well deserved ten gallon halo of advocacy for women’s health.

If she’s feeling low, however, she can take heart that Texas Governor Perry is still sitting high in his anti-rights, anti-personal liberty, anti-get the hell out of what is none of your business-human rights, saddle. The Texas Governor (aka self-appointed Christian & Chief) led the Texas Legislature to enact the most aggressive anti-abortion rights law since I strummed “Kumbaya” at Holy Spirit in 8th grade mass.

From The Texas Tribune: “The abortion sonogram law, which lawmakers passed last legislative session, requires doctors to perform sonograms and describe what they see, including the size of the fetus and the length of its limbs. The measure has been in court almost since it passed, with opponents arguing it violates doctors’ First Amendment rights by forcing them to disclose information that isn’t medically necessary and that the woman may not want to hear.”Gov. Rick Perry also praised today’s ruling, calling it “a victory for all who stand in defense of life.”He added that the sonogram measure “ensures that every Texas woman seeking an abortion has all the facts about the life she is carrying, and understands the devastating impact of such a life-ending decision.”  The Texas Tribune Judges: Texas Can Enforce Sonogram Law Now by Emily Ramshaw1/10/2012

Hmmm. Pretty judgy for someone who can’t hold more than two thoughts in his head. He, partnered with his trusty sidekick, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, is steadfastly riding the range, herding the cows and branding them with his demigod hot iron.  Bum Steer indeed.

Folks, we need to get a grip on the reins. Pro-choice is not pro-abortion. Only women know how it feels to slip into those stirrups, and only we can, and should, decide on our bodies, our beliefs, our destiny and our health.  Saddle up for personal liberty:  right or left, red or blue, english or western, AA or B, C or D. Don’t be a boob.