Thursday, February 27, 2014

Men in the News

I'm being overloaded with school work these days, but I needed to stop for a few minutes (you should see my bedroom right now - looks like a 360 degree paper bomb went off around me) to talk about 2 stories that I saw on the news today. It seems the only time that I ever get to watch TV is when I am at the gym, but these stories were interesting enough for me to take the time to discuss them.

So the first one is about beard transplants. Yup. Beard Transplants.

Now I LOVE a good beard. I think my love of beards stems back to the time I lived in Nelson and living in a hippie town full of bearded men just kind of really grew on me. There's something manly about a good beard that I find highly enjoyable. Perhaps it's the fact that women can't grow them so they're kind of a defining masculine feature that make's the male species undeniably unique. Either way, beards are hot.

So now it's cool and trendy to have a beard and unfortunately there are men who wish to ride the hipster bandwagon but cannot sprout a full beard. An unfinished patchy face just isn't going to cut it these days. Luckily for these men, the ones who just happen to have several thousand dollars hanging around, they can have Facial Hair Transplants! Lucky them!

Really?  C'mon guys. Do you really need to move hair from other areas of your body and put it on your face just so that you can look extra cool in your plaid button up shirt and toque? As much as I love a beard, I feel that you just let your natural growth remain where it wants to be and let the real men rock the beards.

Did I just say that out loud? I'm kidding! There are an endless number of super sexy clean shaven men out there who are the definition of manly. If everyone had beards then they wouldn't be special, so I say, keep what you got where you got it.

The second story was about how they are beginning to believe that men also have a Biological Clock. It's not just for the ladies anymore. Women are always talking about their imminent ticking biological clock and their fear of drying up and become a barren wench. Now they are finding that men may also have a biological clock of their own in which the older the man is when he fathers a child, the higher chance that the child will have mental issues or learning disabilities.They also found that children were more likely to have challenges academically and be at a higher risk of developing substance abuse problems.

Crazy! We've been blaming the women for having old eggs all of this time.

The study stressed that not all children born from an older father will have some kind of developmental issue. They just found that the likelihood was shockingly higher (13x higher for ADHD and 25x higher for bipolar disease).

Very interesting stuff.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Coming Home

I doubt that there are very many people who can disagree with this post because I am doubting that there is anyone out there who has never been moved, either emotionally, physically, mentally or spiritually, by music. Music always seems to find a way into our souls and touches a place that nothing else can reach. Music is beauty, creativity and an interesting extension of our personalities. It can take us back to a time, place, feeling or state of mind and make us relive great or unpleasant memories. For most people, there is a band, song or album that gives them a sense of inner peace or simply brings a huge smile to their face. There is a band or song that is always on the iPod, even if you go for months without listening to it, it will never be removed because someday you will need to listen to it.

For me, that band is Tool. Specifically, the Lateralus album.

As soon as I put on this album it is as though I am going home again. I will go for months without listening to this band, but then one day I will just have to hear them. Whether it be because I am having a bad day and I need to find my center again or because I need to belt out some lyrics and smile like a fool, Tool is the band that makes my soul smile.

How does one even begin to describe the feeling I get when The Grudge begins? It's like a tightening in my chest of emotion. Almost like pride? No...I don't know how to explain it. There is this joy that spreads through me and I instantly relax listening to MJK's beautiful voice. Everything that is happening around me does not matter because I have this album to bring me back to where I need to be.

I have listened to Lateralus (and ever other one of Tool's albums) dozens and dozens (and dozens) of times and every time that I put it on, it's like listening to it for the first time. I am always moved and greatly appreciative of the power it has over me and the way it makes me feel. Whatever your taste in music may be, I really hope that you have a band that makes you feel like Tool makes me feel. As soon as those first few notes come at you, every calming neurotransmitter in your brain kicks in and you become lost in the music. All of the stress and bullshit that your day threw at you gets removed from your thoughts and you are left with nothing but yourself and the song.

Can you tell I listened to Lateralus today?

"Over-thinking, over-analyzing separates the body from the mind.
Withering my intuition leaving opportunities behind.
Feed my will to feel this moment, urging me to cross the line.
Reach out to embrace the random,
Reaching out to embrace whatever may come."

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Finish Line?

So it's Saturday evening and I'm nearing the end of Day 12 of Sugar Deprivation. The memories of that difficult 6th day are fading in the distance and I had 5 days of mental strength with little trouble getting through without yearning for something coated in chocolate.  My co-worker shoved s homemade chocolate chip cookie in my face yesterday and insisted I try because of how delicious it was. I declined...less than politely...and accused her of being a self absorbed jerk for even asking me.

Luckily she knows me well enough to not take me seriously.

So now here I am, contemplating these last 12 days and beginning the close in on the finish line.

Or am I?

Like with any goal you set for yourself, once you see the finish line ahead in the distance, you begin to wonder how far you can actually drag the whole experience out for. Do I really need to get back into my life filled with sugar, wheat and dairy? Is it so strange to embrace these eating habits beyond the days I set out for myself? Should I not extend this eating altering journey for as long as I can so that I can lead a healthier, more nutritious lifestyle?

I'll admit that I am torn. I know that I could easily do this for at least another week. Possibly even two. No, definitely another two. The thing that is making me want to be done with it once the 2 weeks are done is that there is such a huge social aspect behind eating. I want to go out and have a beer with friends and not be the awkward one sitting there sipping water meanwhile eying down every pint of Pale Ale that crosses my line of vision. I really hate being one of those annoying people who has to mentally tear apart every item on a menu in search of something that works for me. I am the last person to come out to someone and say, "Oh no thanks. I'm on a cleanse." The word "cleanse" has some baggage and I really don't like to say that word unless I absolutely have to. People totally judge you when you bust out "cleanse" and I have found that there are so many other ways to not eat the foods you are avoiding rather than saying the evil "C" word in public.

Like a simple, "No thanks," when someone offers you something can really go a long way. Every so often that person will insist and tell you how amazing it is. Mentally you may be ringing their necks and wishing they'd take that delectable morsel away from your nose, but verbally just a friendly, "No honestly, I'm good," can make them back off.

There are lots of reasons that people cleanse. Weight loss is the major reason and we all know how much those celebrities like to announce to the public how amazing they feel when doing them. Yes they lost 20 pounds in 15 days, but c'mon, not a realistic way to lose unwanted poundage. Another reason people do cleanses is to actually cleanse, meaning to detoxify the body of all of the junk that we pump into it every day. There are tons of different kinds of cleanses, such a ones for the liver, kidneys, skin, GI tract, etc, and their goals is to clean you out and make you function better. They all have their differences but one overall similarity: Don't eat garbage food anymore!

What I enjoy about doing these cleanses is that they (at least for me), make me feel powerful because I am thinking through my decisions of what I am putting into my body. They also get me to make recipes that I may overlook normally. Also, when you're doing a cleanse, you never feel bloated and gross. Your body is working more efficiently and you can see it reflected in your skin and feel it within your body. Plus if you're lucky you'll shed a few pounds and squeeze into your skinny jeans a bit better.

I'm definitely not doing this for weight loss (I actually weighed myself at the gym today and am down a grand total of a pound and a half). If you saw how much I have been eating you would likely wonder how I have not gained weight. But that is the miracle of eating good food people! You can stuff yourself silly with vegetables, fruits, proteins and healthy fats, even the saturated kinds (I've been eating an avocado every day) and still come out losing weight.

So back to the main point of this impromptu rant. Do I stay on it or go back to my regular scheduled eating habits? I feel that after writing this post that I have talked myself into staying on this eating course for at least another week. Plus I am going to make some cleanse friendly Coconut Curry tomorrow so that will be a good motivation to stay on this track I have beaten out before me.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed this long and drawn out conversation with myself :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Spoke Too Soon

I am nearing the end of Day 6 of Everything Delicious Deprivation.

Notice the name change?

Today is the first time that I have been really craving something sweet and now that it is on my mind, I am finding it difficult to push it back into the rational part of my mind that knows that I cannot have it. Yesterday my co-workers gave me this big red tin-foiled chocolate star (I’m their “Super Star”) (their words, not mine), and I took it with absolutely zero temptation to break into the wrapper. Big chunk of chocolate sitting on my desk for a good 5 hours. Nothing.

Then today I saw a Quality Street wrapper in a garbage can and now all I can think is chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!!!

Writing this is not helping matters.

And I don’t even really like Quality Street!

As soon as I feel as though that my will-power super-hero powers have evolved into completion, BAM! Day 6 kicks me in the arse with a strong chocolate foot. I know that I will not give in and that I’ll make it through the day without indulging in my dark, rich, sweet, silky, decadent desires…mmmmm….but it wasn’t easy today. It probably also has a lot to do with being tired. Being tired and slightly lethargic makes me want to curl up with that comforting feeling that chocolate gives me.

On another note, I went out to dinner on Friday night to the new Indian restaurant in town called Turmeric and I am so lovin that place. No I could not eat all of the delectable dishes such as samosa, pakoras and naan bread (*insert drooling) but the menu had lots of options that included items which did not contain dairy or wheat and I was highly impressed with the variety that they offered. I had the Channa Masala which contained chickpeas and, oh man, it was so delicious. I also tried some of the Coconut Curry and the filling for the samosas (also wheat and dairy free) and they were also incredible.

This might be my new favourite place to eat at the moment. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone who enjoys this kind of ethnic food. I had the medium heat which was a nice spicy for me. I could have bumped it up to hot since I love spicy foods, but it was my first time there so I felt that I needed to test the spicy waters before jumping in with both feet.

Turmeric. Go. Eat. Love