Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Think natural.

So I've been compiling a list of healthy meals that we can incorporate into our diet and then I plan to make a trip to Sam's Club to get cases of everything from the list that isn't perishable. "Healthy" to me has come to mean some very specific things. Here are some general guidelines:

-1/2 of every meal has to be vegetables and fruits

-the vegetables can be canned, but not the fruits; they have to be either fresh or frozen

-the vegetables have to be non-starchy

-the carbs have to be as unrefined as possible

If I follow these guidelines, I usually have no problems with my blood sugar getting high. Of course there's more to it than this, such as being somewhat careful with portion sizes, but this is a great start. Then I don't have to worry so much about the fact that Paul wants to fill every stirfry with tons of meat. The quantity of vegetables will far outweigh the protein and exercising frequently will take care of the excess fat. It works out great!

Why write about this? It's because I have to think about my health every day or I will get very sick very fast. My biggest problem seems to not be high blood sugar but low. I still haven't found a way to keep my blood sugar up while I do any kind of physical activity. Whether I am running or doing my dishes, my blood sugar plummets ridiculously fast. I don't know how to stop that from happening yet, though. I suppose it's all trial and error.

But the whole point of my guidelines is that returning to the natural is the best way to eat. Your body doesn't know what to do with refined things or sugar substitutes or fat subsitutes. Foods in their natural state are the best for you. Your body knows how to digest them and so eating in this way should improve overall health. It makes a HUGE difference to me!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A glimpse into the geeky-ness.

I have a week before school starts again and I finally decided that I just have to actually get something done. Since Christmas Break started, I have become a Final Fantasy VI fiend. (American Final Fantasy III, if you must know.) Anyone who has become deeply involved in a Final Fantasy game understands the complexities of building characters' levels. They just can't learn their spells if they don't get into enough battles! I have become so obsessed that Paul just sighs and shakes his head- his characters are at about half the strength of mine because I've been playing so much...

But today, I was a good girl. I got out all my papers and folders and three boxes of letters and organized it all! My entire bed was covered and it took all day, (except for that one interval of getting groceries) but I DID IT!

I was wading through letters and cards that I haven't laid eyes in years, little sticky notes that I have no idea who wrote and in-class notes I passed with my junior high friends. I kept finding packets of letters written in my old friend Chelsea's handwriting (with responses in my handwriting) and so I had to take a closer look. Turns out we were writing to each other from the perspectives of Lord of the Rings characters, Legolas and Pippin trying to one-up each other on whether things were rougher at Isengard or Helm's Deep. It was so hilarious! Every letter from Legolas would end with something like, "Sorry, but I have to go cut off some more orc limbs now. Have fun with the ents..."

I have got to be one of the geekiest human beings on the planet!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Ah, games.

Last night, we were at our friend's house. They have an adorable little girl whose almost two named Calista. We were playing a board game and I just happened to be winning. I say that because my style of playing board games is not the most competitive. I tend to just keep to myself and do random things that strike my fancy as being advantageous. When the other characters are picking on each other and sabotaging each other, I get more or less forgotten and that's how I win.

Well, I was sitting there and Calista was across the table from me. She pointed to one of the game pieces on the table and I immitated her, pointing to a matching piece on my side of the table. She caught on quickly to the game and pointed to another and we were having a good time immitating each other across the table. I looked up suddenly and saw that Paul and Calista's parents were watching me as if I was insane. They saw what I was doing but hadn't noticed Calista at all.

Paul asked slowly, "What are you doing?"

I had to just laugh. Calista was still waiting expectantly for me to point to one of the little colored cubes and I had to explain to the adults at the table how our game worked. They didn't seem to think it sounded all that fun but Calista sure liked it a lot!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Chorus of the City in Winter.

I went for a walk today in the nice upperclass neighborhood that is not far from my house. I decided to try to be completely present while I walked. It is one of the things I am working on. Being present means focusing on when and where you are rather than on the past or too much on the future. I tried to do this as I trekked along.

Normally I don't listen to the world around me. I am so internally focused that there are probably many sounds that I am not aware of. So I tried to become aware and I loved what I heard!

It was the first sunny day after a series of storms and so the snow was melting, dripping and falling and plopping down from roofs and tree branches and cars. The sound was beautiful like a chorus, the little pops and tinkles complementing each other as if part of a symphony. Sometimes a door would open and shut somewhere. A child would call out or laugh. Those were important parts of the chorus.

It was wonderful to experience the walk and listen to the sounds of a city in winter.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Considering death.

I've been thinking about dying young. My American Literature anthology had little boigraphies at the beginning of each selection about the author. I swear that at least half of them died from complications of diabetes and several of them were in their forties or fifties. I've also read several accounts online of people who were doing all they could to control their diabetes but died unexpectantly in their mid-forties from heart attacks.

So on my birthday a couple weeks ago, I was wondering if I would die at 46. Since I was turning 23, that would mean that my life would be half-way over at this point. And that was really strange to consider...

The last 23 years seem to me to be a long time and so it doesn't seem like I would be all that young if I died at 46. That's a lot of years to read good books and experience quite a few happy moments. That would over 25 years of marriage with my lovely Paul. And let's speak of the hypothetical children that could possibly be born between now and then. Hopefully I could raise at least one child to adulthood in that time. It does seem depressing to leave them partway through growing up, though...

It is surreal to think about dying. It changes the perspective that you have on living- because it becomes obvious that dying is what happens at the end of living and there really is no separating the two. I am so afraid of wasting the span of life that I am given, however long or short it may be. I want to really live and savor my time on this planet! How sad otherwise.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My words.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a paper for my American Literature class. It was supposed to be about "Neighbor Rosicky" by Willa Cather, but I found myself tying in Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and was surprised by the result. What I ended up with was a long narrative about my decision to be an English Major and the pressures and challenges I have had to face for making that choice.

I turned the paper in the next day and was unaware of what followed until later. My teacher, Deb, read the paper immediately and then went to meet with a student. The student was a young freshman girl who wanted to be an English Major and was not sure that the people in her life would support her. This was why she wanted to meet with Deb, to seek counsel and advice. Deb handed the girl my paper and she read it right there in the office.

Deb told me later that it was exactly what that girl needed at that moment and because of my words she found the strength to dedicate her life to her best personal path. It was almost as if I had been aware of that girl's life and had written just for her. I was so amazed by the experience and through it, I have learned some interesting things.

I didn't write the paper for that girl who I have never met. I wrote it because I felt that I needed to and I was surprised by how my original idea had morphed into its own creation. I can see clearly now that the Lord was directing my work, steering and prompting me to write the things that I did- because even though I could have no idea who would be reading my paper, the Lord knew that there was someone I could reach. He loved the freshman girl and wanted her to find comfort and reassurance at a time of turmoil in her life.

I begin to understand that whatever I choose to do, I can reach out to the people in my life through my words. The Lord is not so concerned with one's choice of occupation; where ever we place ourselves in life, he can make us instruments in that capacity.

So I decided I have to start writing again because... who knows? Someone might need my words and even if I never learn who I have impacted and how, I want to be a useful instrument in the hands of the one who knows better than I do.