Finally, Bacon for Your Purse

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Why not? Honestly, why damned not?

In college we don’t always make smart choices.  A liquor luge here, a walk of shame there.  But this is bad.  If I’d have followed my instincts back then and bought a RonCo food dehydrator I’m certain I’d be a bacon jerky millionaire today.

Alas, 15 years later a company with the regrettable name Oh Boy! Oberto has stolen my grandchildren’s trust fund and brought the world bacon jerky.

Ladies, carry bacon in your purse.  Guys, stash a stick in your pocket in case your date opts for a slim clutch.  Show them chivalry isn’t dead.  Only my dreams.

Beware, eating bacon jerky may cause swollen ankles, skyrocketing blood pressure, and being chased by dingos.

Hiding the Health

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“Healthy food tastes like warm sawdust and lawn trimmings.  No salt + no butter + no cream = No flavor.  I know I have to eat it, but I’d rather snort fire ants.  Oh, and you’ll never find me in a new age “healthy” restaurant.  If I’ve never heard of it, I ain’t eatin it.”

Any of this sound familiar?  Do you heave a sigh at the thought of healthy eating out?  A new breed of “stealth health” restaurants think lots of folks share this mistrust of healthy restaurant fare.  So they downplay their health food stance.  Lest you be scared away.

It’s assumed in today’s health conscious environment a restaurant offering healthy options should tout its waist slimming options.  That marketing strategy brought Jared from Subway into our consciousness.  And Subway record profits.

But for restaurants like Season’s 52, their healthy standards take a back seat to flavors created in the kitchen.  It’s a noble idea, but the aforementioned Subway success makes me think promoting healthy food intentions doesn’t hurt.

In fact, I live just down the street from a Season’s 52 and wasn’t aware their concept before reading this Washington Post article.  Now I’m enticed to go.  Maybe I’m in the minority.  Maybe most folks still want the option of getting a meatball marinara footlong covered in melting cheese.

What I do Right

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This is not me. I’d remember being in a room that white.

Last week I confessed what I do wrong in maintaining my health.  It was a mildly uncomfortable, but helpful, exercise.  I hope it prompted you to do the same.

Today, I begin to resuscitate my self esteem.   It’s time to  celebrate what I do right:

I cook regularly.  Michael Polian’s new book Cooked asserts cooking at home is the path to healthy living.  I think he’s right.

I always eat healthy at work.  I eat roughly half my weekly meals at work.  If I’m eating healthy 50% of the time I can screw up more off the clock.

I try new ways to exercise.  At different times I’ve been moderately obsessed with jogging, swimming laps (yes, I own a speedo), pounding a heavy bag, weight lifting, and circuit training.  I’ve recently begun taking hot yoga classes.  A new obsession is blooming.

I stay active.  I don’t mean “workout” active.  I mean walking to get groceries, working in the yard, playing golf, and generally staying on my feet.  I try to reserve sitting for eating, driving, and watching sports.

I keep junk food out of my house.  See: Most Important Diet Tip Ever.

Don’t forget to tell me what you do right!

What I Do Wrong

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I’ve been in a rut.  Since early November I’ve eaten poorly and exercised infrequently.  Repeated attempts to restart a healthy lifestyle, even using this blog as forum for a public shaming, have produced mixed results.

Perhaps it was the distraction and stress of a pending addition to our family that pushed me to junk food and gym excuses.  Call it pregnancy sympathy weight.  No matter.  I’ve neglected healthy habits and now sport burgeoning love handles.

You’re likely not interested in my tales of woe.  As Paulie Walnuts said, “Hey, I got my own f****** problems.”  But in working my way back to happy habits I’ve taken an honest look at what holds me back.

We can all benefit from being honest with ourselves.  I’ll start.  Here’s what I do wrong:

I love beer.  For those that know me this is no surprise.  But knocking back even a light beer means pouring on 100 calories.  I’m not becoming a teetotaler by any stretch, but fewer suds can only help my 5K time.

I can’t resist temptation.  During her pregnancy, it was everywhere.  She wants cookie dough ice cream, she gets cookie dough ice cream.  Unfortunately, it means I get cookie dough ice cream too.

I over indulge on holiday-ish.  I ignore my own advice.  From the last Thursday in November to the end of Bowl season I eat with little concern for calories or content.

I give in to weekly habits.  Sunday feels like pizza night, doesn’t it?  It certainly seems so around my house.  I can’t give up pizza.  But I need a better reason than, “It’s Sunday.”

I write down fitness goals, then ignore them.  “A goal without a plan is a only a wish.” -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

In an effort to regain some self esteem I also recognized five things I do right.  I’ll post those pick me ups next week.  (Always start with the bad news….)

Atlanta’s Reverse Parade

THIS This Independence Day I ran the Atlanta Peachtree Road Race for the 6th time.  It’s one of my favorite traditions in this fair city and has become as much a Fourth of July tradition as fireworks. The Peachtree Road Race is the world’s largest 10K race.  60,000 runners, ages eight to eighty, clog Peachtree Rd/St starting at 7:30am.  Some runners are serious competitors, but most are in it for fun.  Especially those who run donning costumes.  This year I spotted a pair of Oompa Loompas and Harlem Globetrotter legend Meadowlark Lemon (complete with tri-colored basketball dribbled the entire 6.2 miles). Over 150,000 spectators line the course.  This year I ran past 4 live bands, 3 “free beer” stands, 5 citizens exhorting runners through a bullhorn, a clergyman cooling runners with holy water, and countless tiny American flags. The whole thing is a reverse parade.  Those on the sidewalks entertain the street bound passersby. But my love for the Peachtree serves another purpose: it’s a yearly motivation to stay in shape.  At least good enough shape to complete the race without much struggle, if not in personal record time. Make a “stay in shape” tradition of your own.  Find an annual race or competition in your area and vow to be there every year.  Even if you finish 17,653rd.

More of the Same, Differently

IMG_2062Lesson #1 from early fatherhood:  I have less free time.  Based on intel gathered from those farther down the child rearing continuum, I can expect the trend to continue.

Lesson #2: I’d willingly trade free time for smiles and coos from my daughter.

That preference notwithstanding, a problem emerges as posting on this site takes place almost exclusively during, now dwindling, free time.  Yet, I still enjoy sending random thoughts and lessons into the great abyss of the World Wide Web.

To reconcile these competing realities I resolve to better manage my free time.  So, expect continued partially helpful and underwhelmingly entertaining posts coming through this site.  Just not as often as previous incarnations.

Essentials is back.  Woot-woots and high fives.

Essentials’s Newest Fan

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Recently I’ve had my hands full.  Literally and figuratively.  I’ll be back to regular postings in the near future.  But for now my days are consumed with alternating feelings of bliss and pure panic.