Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reclaim [my life], week 1

I am participating in a free nutrition class through my local yoga studio called "Reclaim Your Diet."  I'm personally calling it Reclaim My Life because I don't like the word diet, and the title really makes me feel like it's a "wonder-diet" only to stick around for a short while.  

I joined the class with lots of reservations, a lot of skepticism and generally a big 
as to whether this was healthy for me or a right fit.  I finally decided to take a chance, as it was free and I already had yoga classes to my credit at the studio it literally cost nothing and I could drop out whenever I wished.  It is going to be what I make of it.

I'm almost done with the first week and I have to admit it is a very down-to-earth, reasonable way of talking about nutrition.  I was pleasantly surprised at how down to earth and realistic the advice is.  The dietician/nutritionist who led the classes had a very personal relationship with poor nutrition, which makes listening to what she says more meaningful.  It was really refreshing to learn about nutrition in an environment that was not telling you to completely give up any one thing and was encouraging more conscious "selective" eating than eliminating and omitting foods.

My main reason for joining the class was that I was feeling very unhealthy and felt that I needed to do something for myself.  I often put others first and really don't take care of myself first and foremost as I should.  When I do put myself first, I feel guilty and often try and back off or apologize for my decision or action.  Sure, I'm not perfect, some of those apologies were necessary, but a majority of them were not. 

I also wanted to be more in control of my life.  Right now my schedule is what my professors want it to be, anything I do outside of class is smooshed in around classes and forced to be second to every class and group meeting.
I needed something that I controlled, that I said: I'm doing this now because I want to do it now.

This week our challenge is to start taking out some of the processed food we have in our diet.  We were told to make a personal goal as to how many processed foods we can eat per day and aim to not go over that goal for this week.  
Only guideline: Do not say Zero.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


one-hundred percent
burned out. restarting myself,
pulling out of ash.

A haiku for a Sunday evening.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Unknown Doughnut

This past weekend my brother and I both made the trip home to visit my parents.  I was specifically going home to see the high school musical (Into the Woods) and my brother had some paperwork he needed to bring home and really wanted to see his sister (... or at least that's how I tell the story).  On his way home he picked up a dozen doughnuts to share with us from his local bakery.  These doughnuts are the real thing. Made that day,  light, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth kind of doughnuts. I don't think I'll ever have another doughnut from Tim Hortons ever again.  I definitely ate my fair share of doughnuts that weekend and brought one back to school with me for breakfast Monday.  I then decided I was going on a "doughnut diet" until next time some of those delicious doughnuts find their way home.

My friend posted this video on Facebook.
[Go watch it, it's only 5 minutes and really interesting... plus I have a few spoilers below so you should watch before reading]

It's called the Calorie Detective and the creator looked at the discrepancies of calories in the typical foods he might eat in a regular day.  He compared this discrepancy to big macs, hamburgers and doughnuts that you "ate unknowingly."  In his experience, he would have eaten 2 doughnuts worth of calories unknowingly!!!!

I was quite surprised at the large discrepancies between the companies' reports of the calorie count and what the calorie count actually was.  I've never been a calorie-counter but I do tend to make choices of snacks by how many calories are in a serving (Snack A has 300 calories, Snack B has 275? I'll take snack B... most of the time). So far in life I have been blessed with the ability to maintain a healthy weight without too much concern, but it is really an eye opener when you consider the amount of overeating that occurs in the United States. 

This video made me wonder: 
How many calories am I really eating? 
Can I really trust what the boxes tell me? 

He touches on how the law requires companies to put nutritional information on their food but that the calorie count is not actually enforced, creating these misleading reports.  

Does the information actually help if it's inaccurate? 
Should there be regulations on this? 
Is regulating this even practical/worth while?

This semester I have not been eating the healthiest or really exercising as much as I would like due to stress (which I know only makes the stress worse), and looking back it's scary how many extra "doughnuts" I may have eaten this semester without even knowing it.  I'm definitely a "stress eater" and I don't tend to eat the healthiest of things when I'm stressed.  I think I am going to make a conscious effort to eat a bit healthier so that instead of eating doughnuts without realizing it, I can have (and enjoy!) a doughnut or two next time my brother comes home.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Navona Cardigan

Decided to be a cliche this week and post a WIP Wednesday.

I started the Navona Cardigan on the 1st of February with the Woolly Mammoth Knits KAL, which you can find at the link below on Ravelry.

I used some stash fingering weight yarn I received as a gift from the lovely knitters in Ithaca (Thanks again! I am currently making plans among plans to use all the colorful yarn you gave me!)

The main color is Dove Heather colorway of Knit Picks Stroll, of which I have 5 balls.

The contrast color is a beautiful turquoise in Brown Sheep Wildefoote.

It's proved to be a very good "multi-tasking" project.  I've worked on it while listening to podcasts, watching the super bowl, listening to lectures and therefore got a good chunk done already.
This is not the most updated photo (probably about half of what is actually done) but I've been lazy and haven't gotten a new photo yet
I've gotten to the point where I divide for the sleeves and then I will start the first stripe of color, which after all that grey, I'll welcome :)

I have paused on it, because though it is probably a stupid question, I'm not sure what kind of yarn is best to use for waste yarn.  Normally I just use whatever I have available but what I have is worsted weight or a very thin/weak fingering weight that broke on me the last time I used it as waste yarn. Most of my stash is at home (I'm at school right now) so I don't have a lot of options as to what to use.  

Do you have yarn you specifically use for waste yarn or do you just use leftovers?

What characteristics make a good waste yarn?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

6 month plan

Most people make 5 year plans. Or 10 year plans.

Me? I'm lucky to have a plan for this week.

So for me, a 6 month plan is the best I can do. 6 months from now it will be August.  

I plan on being done with my 4th and final clinical, moved out of my apartment and back with my parents (for a very short, limited, time period, I promise) while I study for my boards. 

But that goes beyond 6 months.  

So at 6 months I will be relaxing in the summer sun, reading a book that does not mention diabetes, or charcot-marie foot, and decompressing from 6 years of college.

Do you have a 6 month plan?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stop. Breathe. Be.

No one ever told me that the hardest part of college, was finishing it.  My classmates and I have started the seemingly never-ending list of "lasts."  It puts a very sentimental angle on life and really makes one think about what is going to be the next "first." This, of course, brings a whole ton of other feelings to the surface as those "firsts" are just as scary as the "lasts" if not a little bit scarier because of all the unknown.  

One morning, my professor of "Professional Development," a seemingly (up to this semester) pointless class that was not going to be overly helpful, and asked the question.

Where will you be locating after you graduate??
and why? 

We then started discussing parts of the country we want to work in and areas of practice we're interested in pursuing and a wave of panic rolled through me.  I hadn't thought about it yet.  Well, that's kind of a lie, I had thought about it, but I quickly pushed it aside as soon as it popped into my brain. So that morning when my professor stood at the front of the room and asked that scary scary question, I was stuck. I had no clue where I wanted to work, I had no clue what my plan was for interviewing. In reality it's a wonderful opportunity to have nothing holding me back, to be able to go anywhere I want to go.  This also creates so many options I don't even know where to start. 

So, I tried a few different things.

I made a list of possible cities I'd like to explore... but that just basically was a list of the major cities of almost every state in the US. 

I asked friends where I should go, which was enthusiastically responded to with whatever city they are currently living in. 
  • J said stay here in WNY 
  • E said DC, DC, DC!!!! ... oh, and I might be going somewhere else... but CH will still be here.
  • M suggested Ohio... (Ohio? really? probably not, no offense, darling.)
  • C recommended Boston, which I have considered, and may still consider. 
I asked the ladies at my knitting group in Ithaca who suggested: 
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Twin Cities (Apparently there are excellent yarn stores in the Twin Cities region)
  • San Francisco (I think?)
  • Chicago (after I mentioned it as a possibility)
... and after all that, I'm still at square one. Trying to decide which way to go, when in reality, I don't have 2 or 3 paths ahead of me of which I have to choose one.  I have a field.  I can go through it or around it or over it in any way I choose. And the best part? I can change my mind.  I can decide tomorrow.  I can decide next week.  I can even decide in 6 months.