What a great weekend. From romping in the ocean, walking the beach, swimming, playing lots of pool, great food, watching some old Twilight Zones and reading the Vegetable Gardener’s Bible (thanks to Dolores and Ted) the weekend was definitely a mini stay-cation and a great one, at that. Inspired by an episode of Twilight Zone, where Jonathon Winters returns from the dead to allow Jack Klugman to try to beat him in some straight pool, (and take over the title of THE BEST) I traded in our usual games of 8 ball, to learn straight pool, which I find out, after all these years, that I really like! Just another reminder that we have to keep changing things up and break out of our comfort zones and try new things.
I am a big believer in trying things 3 times before making decisions about like vs. dislike. Last night I tried making quinoa for the 3rd time. The first time it was too bitter. The second time, it gave me a stomach ache. Last night, I made sure to soak it for about a half-hour, rinse and drain it a few times and then cook it. After it was boiled I added it to some sauteed mushrooms, onions, garlic and diced red pepper. I served it as a bed for my grilled veggies and it was really good…filling and NO STOMACH ache at all. Since quinoa is a great source of amino acids, it is, all by itself, a complete protein, as well as a great source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus and iron, making it a really great food everyone, especially those on plant-based diets. So, the third time was the charm for me. I now know just how important the soaking and rinsing, before cooking is.
Another thought I have to share this morning is one I have shared many times before. For me, cutting back on caffeine (I wean and wane on this one) ALWAYS makes me sleep better, eliminates palpitations from my life, and just makes me a happier person in general. I love coffee. I can drink quite a few cups by lunch time. I share this info because I know many experience heart palpitations and they are never pleasant. This one simple change always makes such a big difference that it is worth sharing. And for the record, I never feel sluggish when I do this. Less caffeine always equates to a lower resting heart-rate for me, and I strongly believe it also lowers my blood pressure. If you want to try to cut back on your caffeine, do it a little at a time over the course of a few days to avoid the withdrawal headaches that come from going cold turkey.
Finally, I have to admit that I am obsessed with the idea that we need to change our brain about exercise. When I was in my 30s I wrote an article about how exercise is not a 4 letter word. I think we need to find a new word to replace exercise. If we think of that hour or so a day as play, as something we GET to do for ourselves, as FUN, as the antithesis to the rest of our day, I believe it could change everything. Imagine an hour JUST FOR YOU, to play tennis, or swim or throw a football or even get on the treadmill and be alone with our thoughts, or catch up on a TV show that we wouldn’t otherwise have time to watch…what really is bad about ANY of that? With all we do for our jobs, our families, etc., don’t we deserve an hour a day for ourselves???
What will you fill YOUR hour with? Let me know and above all else, MAKE IT FUN!