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Storms Aren’t a Crisis!

Pagan Leadership Anthology

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(These are originally from Bob Harper, Oprah’s weight loss and fitness ‘guy’. Now, whatever you may think about Oprah (and she is a conflicting personality), the woman has literally made a career out of her journey into health. I think Harper is the most realistic of her gurus and his list is sensible.)

1. Drink a large glass of water before every meal.
2. Don’t drink your calories.
3. Eat protein at every meal.
4. Slash your intake of refined flour and grain.
5. Eat 30-50 grams of fiber each day.
6. Eat apples and berries every single day.
7. Learn to read food labels so you know what you are eating.
8. Stop guessing about portion size and get it right.
9. No more added sweeteners.
10. Get rid of white potatoes.
11. Make one day a week meatless.
12. Get rid of ‘fast’ and fried foods.
13. Eat a real breakfast.
14. Make your own food.
15. Eat at least 10 meals a week at home.
16. Banish high-salt foods.
17. Eat your vegetables.
18. Go to bed hungry.
19. Sleep right.
20. Plan one ‘splurge’ meal a week.

What I will add to this is:
Plan your meals and prep as much as possible in advance. Personally, I make very bad food choices if I don’t have a good breakfast. Also, I can’t eat cereal for breakfast (bad intestinal things happen, although I am neither gluten- or lactose-intolerant). So I take time on Sundays to make my breakfast for the week: baked berry oatmeal,, or baked eggs with veggies in either tortillas or hash browns, or ricotta cheese waffles w/ fruit sauce, crustless veggie quiche, etc. Bringing my breakfast makes a huge difference in how well I do during a day.

Another key is having a variety of snacks. I am a ‘hangry’ person, so getting low blood sugar is a Bad Idea. My office keeps ‘Naked Medley’ snacks — plain nuts and raisins — on hand, and I reach for them if I run out of what I bring from home. From home I try to bring a variety, because that helps me keeps from feeling like I am on a diet. Sardines on whole grain toast are nummy (but you’ve GOT to keep them sealed in a smell-proof container and eat them over two days or your office mates will hate you), guacamole on sliced veg, hard boiled egg with a slice of nut & fruit bread, salmon ‘candy’ (from Vital Choice), apple with peanut butter, fresh fruit, or just the old standby: sliced carrots and celery.

My lunches are usually leftovers from dinner, which makes meal planning very easy and keeps me from being tempted to spend money/ eat excess calories by buying lunch.

So that leaves dinner planning as my complicated weekly task. (And I’ll do another blog post on how I do dinner planning a month at a time, and then I just have to tweak weekly.)

Other smart eating tips I’ve ‘discovered’ over the years are:

  • Drink a glass of water first thing when you wake up. Keep a mug by your sink and do it before/ after you brush your teeth. It’s worth the extra 15 seconds.
  • Eat the highest quality food you can afford, starting with your proteins. (Costco does a really good job of working with organic producers, so join their club and get good prices. They also have organic milk, eggs, and butter.)
  • Eat when you are hungry, not according to the clock.
  • Eat slowly. Put your fork down frequently. Stop eating when you stop feeling hungry, NOT when you are feeling full. It takes a while for your brain to catch up with your stomach so give it that time. You can always get a bit more food.
  • Keep a bowl of fruit on the counter. Eat all of the fruit before it goes bad. (You can always cut it up and freeze it for smoothies. but make a smoothie that week.)
  • Switch to smaller plates: use salad plates instead of dinner plates.
  • Read the label:
    if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, don’t eat the food
    if it has more than 5 ingredients, seriously contemplate whether you want to eat it
    can you create it yourself? if so, would purchasing it truly make your life simpler?

There is no such thing as a ‘diet’ — there are changes to what you eat that suit your lifestyle that will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Since your lifestyle will change, so too will what you eat. It’s a fluid situation, not static — don’t get stuck. Moreover, there are plenty of ‘skinny’ people who are incredibly unhealthy (high cholesterol, diabetic, etc.) Pay attention to your HEALTH, not your weight. Are you fit? Are your numbers (cholesterol, glucose, etc.) good? then you are healthy.

I love to read, I also read for a living (thanks Facing North!). So you’d think these reading challenges would be easy.  .  .

Here’s how I’m doing so far in 2016:

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People who know me would probably use the word ‘organized’ somewhere in the first 10 describing me. I certainly wouldn’t dispute that. But there is always more to be done when it comes to being organized, especially when one tries to live a ongoing life of de-cluttering. As with so many things, being organized isn’t a static point; its more of a process and an ongoing journey.

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According to author Stephen Covey in his book First Things First, a personal mission statement is a way of “connecting with your own unique purpose and the profound satisfaction that comes from fulfilling it.” I see it as a personal ritual and magical spell.

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Making positive changes requires a shift in perspective as well as positive reinforcement. Setting yourself up to succeed can take multiple pathways. One way is to journal support for your self. Take a little time to go through the following exercise. I think it will make the process of your change easier on many levels.

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I found this challenge a little late in the year, but I still did pretty well.

A book with more than 500 pages: Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
2.A classic romance: Daisy, Judith Krantz (1980)
3.A book that became a movie: Insurgent by Veronica Roth (2012)
4.A book published this year: Bon Appetempt: A Coming of Age Story (with Recipes), Amelia Morris (2015)
5.A book with a number in the title: 8 Laws of Change: How to Be an Agent of Personal and Social Transformation, Stephan Schwartz (2015)
6.A book written by someone under 30: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, Deb Perelman (2012)
7.A book with nonhuman characters: Dead Men’s Boots, Mike Carey (2009)
8.A funny book: Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City, Elizabeth Helman-Minchilli (2015)
9.A book by a female author: Blood Red by Mercedes Lackey (2014)
10.A mystery or thriller: Make Me, Lee Child (2015)
11.A book with a one-word title: Gut (The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ), Giulia Enders (2015)
12.A book of short stories:  Sun in Glory and Other Tales of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey (2004)
13.A book set in a different country: A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family, Cheryl Lu-lien Tan (2011)
14.A nonfiction book:  The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating An Extraordinary Workplace, Ron Friedman (2014)
15.A popular author’s first book:  In Conquest Born, C.S. Friedman
16.A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet:  From A High Tower, Mercedes Lackey (2015)
17.A book a friend recommended: Midnight Riot, Ben Aaronovitch (2011)
18.A Pulitzer Prize-winning book:
19.A book based on a true story: Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites, Kate Christensen (2013)
20.A book at the bottom of your to-read list: The Gastronomical Me, M.K. Fisher (1985)
21.A book your mom/family member loves: Harry Potter series
22.A book that scares you: anything by Stephan King (and no, I don’t read books that scare me)
23.A book more than 100 years old: Little Women, Luisa May Alcott (1868)
24.A book based entirely on its cover: 1602, Neil Gaiman
25.A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t:
26.A memoir: This is Who I Am, Roseanne Olson (2008)
27.A book you can finish in a day: Shattered, Kevin Hearne (2014)
28.A book with antonyms in the title:
29.A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit:  Lion of Ireland, Morgan Llywelyn (2002)
30.A book that came out the year you were born: The Autobiography of Malcolm X (1(65)**
31.A book with bad reviews: Witches of America, Alex Mar (2015)
32.A trilogy:  The Morgaine Saga, C.J. Cherryh (2000)
33.A book from your childhood: Foundation, Isaac Asimov
34.A book with a love triangle: Mona Lisa Darkening, Sunny
35.A book set in the future:  Second Foundation, Isaac Asimov
36.A book set in high school: Skulduggery Pleasant*, Derek Landy (2007)
37.A book with a color in the title: Dress Her in Indigo, John MacDonald (1969)
38.A book that made you cry: Shattered, Kevin Hearne
39.A book with magic: On A Pale Horse, Piers Anthony
40.A graphic novel: 1602, Neil Gaiman (2004)
41.A book by an author you’ve never read before: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan (2012)
42.A book you own but have never read: 
43.A book that takes place in your hometown: Hunting Ground, Patricia Briggs (2011)
44.A book that was originally written in a different language:
45.A book set during Christmas:
46.A book written by an author with your same initials:
47.A play:
48.A banned book: the Harry Potter series
49.A book based on or turned into a TV show: The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Ree Drummond (2012)
50.A book you started but never finished: Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer (2014)

* Granted this is stretching it a bit. But the protagonist does go to HS as part of the story.

** within 2 years of my birth, that’ll have to be close enough.

Ok, so I failed to accomplish only 8 of the tasks. Pretty good, if I do say so myself!

The house is quiet. The house is dark.
All of the electronics are unplugged. All of the drapes drawn over windows shut tight.
It is late, so there is no traffic on the streets outside.
My household sleeps, safe and warm.

Outside, the recent rain has stopped for a bit.
The clouds have parted.
Stars dot the velvet sky,
bright jewels.

The wind is so cold
while ragged fingers run
across the moon’s
pale face.

I wait.
Shivering.
I wait.
Growing numb.

. . .

Almost too slowly
the dark lightens
black becomes steel
grows rosy

All hail the return
the return of the sun!
Light returning
as the world wakes up around me

~12/22/15

Kind Hygeia, granter of health and vigor,
daughter of skillful Asklepios whose wisdom
is the salvation of many, daughter of Epione
who soothes the sharpest of pains, defender against
all illness and disease, foe of the Nosoi,
friend of those who wish to live long and well, who wish
for a whole life. Granter of a strong body
and a strong mind, companion of grey-eyed Athena
whose wisdom upholds the mindful care of self,
your work of health and healing must be sustained by those
in need, your blessings must be borne by those who find
your favor. Hygeia, I praise and honor you.

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I call to Hygeia, daughter of wisdom-loving
Asklepios whose shining temples you share,
ever-watchful sister of dear Panakeia
who knows all remedies. Bright-eyed Hygeia,
foe of the Nosoi who lurk in the unclean corners,
rich-robed goddess, mild and gentle one whose soft touch
and soothing voice give ease to the suffering.
In Athens and in Corinth were you well honored;
in fair Sikyonia did you receive long locks
of the hair of women, did you receive the gifts
of the grateful. Hygeia, holder of the serpent
and the chalice, friend of the honest physician,
granter of the most precious of blessings, who gifts
us with a hale and robust form, with vigor
and vitality, blessed one, I call to you.

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