28 February 2009

Divine Ennui?

I was reading bedtime stories to my grandson last night when the strangest thing happened. We were ending with a passage from My First Book of Mormon Stories, the charming little section about Samuel the Lamanite. This is what I read (in spite of what was actually written upon the page):

"Some of the people believed him (Samuel) and were very happy that Jesus would soon be bored."

"Why are you laughing so much, Grandma?" were pretty much the next words spoken.

I'm afraid I have no idea.

18 February 2009

Out of curiosity ....

  • Blue skies? or
  • Stormy Weather?

Which do you prefer, and why?

05 February 2009

Gut Feeling

As everyone knows, the Ancient Greeks thought with their heads and felt with their hearts. This makes sense, sense being a Greek invention. The Ancient Hebrews, on the other hand, thought with their hearts (Proverbs 23:7) and felt with their … entrails … their "bowels," which could “yearn,” be “moved with compassion,” and be “filled with charity.”

We Enlightened Western Judeo-Christian folks, of course, do all of the above.

Now the modern technical term for bowels is … I know you’re thinking intestines, colon, something along those lines, but it’s actually ... “gut.”

And wait! There’s more.

I’m thinking of this today because of an article PLMP sent me as we were considering the benefits of kefir-drinking. It’s from the writer of “The World’s Most Popular Natural Health Newsletter,” one Dr. Mercola. Even though the article is called “Gut Bacteria Mix Predicts Obesity” and contains a lot of guilt-inducing information about antibiotics and the proper feeding of infants and children, I shall wrench myself away from my fatness and guilt obsessions for a moment (except have you heard about the “infectobesity" theory?) to focus on something else in this article:

Did you know that your gut is your “second brain,” containing something like 100,000 neurons, about the same number as your actual first brain?!? So when you’re upset, you “know” it by the neurological disturbance we call “butterflies in the stomach,” or by other sorts of intestinal disturbance that some of us know only too well.

It gets even more interesting: More than 95 percent of your serotonin is made not in your brain but in your gut!

Ponder this. (Wherever you do your pondering.) The neurotransmitter responsible for regulating my sense of well being, that stuff an insufficient amount of which leaves me feeling anxious and sad, is cooked up somewhere along my alimentary canal!

I just don’t know what … if even where! … to think about this. (If you think with your gut, you feel with your … hands?)

This has very important implications for me personally. For years I have been saying (in a justifiably proud sort of way) that I personally cured my depression through a “scrupulous mental hygiene” that unburdened the pitiful amount of serotonin performing herculean functions in my bizarre, befuddled brain. Little did I know that it might not have been the intense mental effort of head (and heart?) that did it. It just might have been all that Fiber Cleanse Sister Rhee sold me, which left my colon a lean, clean, serotonin machine!

WARNING! The author suggests that you obtain appropriate third-party verification from peer-reviewed sources before accepting any facts, assertions, or even metaphors found in this post. Switch your Google default to Google Scholar, and remember that you will not be permitted to cite Wikipedia in your final paper …. Oh, wait, sorry. Slipped into the wrong persona there.

03 February 2009

Progress Report

Okay, so here's what I'm doing:
  1. I drink warm water (distilled) when I wake up in the morning and eat a nutritious breakfast within 1/2 hour of arising. Okay, within 1 hour, or 2, but I'm shooting for the ideal. My body does not work well in the a.m.
  2. I write down everything I eat and drink, including water (of which I try to drink enough). Very tedious.
  3. I also record every time I do significant exercise, one half hour BEFORE I do it. In ink. I am actually 13 minutes into my next exercise period at the moment, but I'll just cross it out and write "blogged instead" and then write "exercise" again for 12:30. This is not yet a perfect process. I try to be motivated, not humiliated. I have this lovely Nordic Glider (thanks to KT/JLW for leaving it behind!) and one of those old-people's exercise chairs I bought for ... someone else. I try (don't push me here; try is a perfectly good word) to use each of them at least once a day.
  4. I have dusted off the pedometer, and pretty soon I'll get back to the 10,000 steps a day. When it gets warmer and the air clears. It's hard to go that far indoors, unless you're SEST, love your treadmill, and live in Alaska. At least I'm no longer experiencing twice-weekly dismay from the pitiful number of steps involved in the excruciating hike from the parking lot below up to the Maeser Building.
  5. I eat "small" amounts of food every three hours or so, and consume MUFAs with every meal or snack—olive oil, avocados, walnuts, almonds, dark chocolate. (Obviously, this is not a burden.) See here for more MUFA examples. (Except I DO NOT eat canola oil. It is poison.) Quantity control is the key for this one. (I admit that sometimes, so far, I only write down what I eat, not how much.)
  6. I make and eat kefir, about a quart a day. See here and here. I love this stuff. Thanks to the Taylors for supplying the kefir grains (probably direct descendants of those used by ancient, long-lived steppe-dwellers ... I mean the kefir grains, not the Taylors), to Carolina and Todd for helping me decide what I'm doing, and to my beloved kefir-drinking KTW always and ever for example and inspiration.
  7. I go to bed at a "decent hour," i.e. before midnight. I must admit that, so far, this one is entirely in the realm of the theoretical, but I'll probably keep trying. My liver supposedly needs my body to be sleeping between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. so that it can recharge or something. How does my liver know which time zone it's in? And there are apparently some fat-hormone and stress issues with not sleeping enough. Non-sleepers die young. Stuff like that. Anyway, I'm trying to get enough sleep for the first time in my life. Let's leave it at that.

I know that this could seem like goal-setting, but it isn't. It's only similar. I have always made grocery lists. Not part of a plan, exactly. Just so I'll remember. That's all this is. Just so I'll remember.

I started this remembering on January 31, and I have lost four pounds in four days. Of course there was a Fast Sunday in the middle there. I'll keep you posted on my progress. .... That's funny.

Okay, nine minutes till exercise time. Just enough time to think of a title for this post.

Okay, I gave up thinking of a title and crossed out 12:30 to write "thinking of title and editing blog." Then I wrote 1:00 Exercise. Best get to it.