The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Monday, January 31, 2011

Romp On!

The snow adventures have continued. We have had a snow storm every week, and the weekends have been glorious with wonderful snow romps across Westchester County. The forecast for the next 2 days is for a mixture of snow, rain, frozen rain, sleet, better known as a "wintry mix." This could be an end to our successive weeks of perfect conditions for romping in the snow. If the wintry mix ruins the current snow, we can hope for another real snowstorm sometime soon. Either that or we will have to get back on our bikes!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

You're Going Out in This Weather?

Thursday night brought another 4 or 5 inches of snow, which covered up the layer of icy slush from Tuesdays storm. And so the snowshoe army was ready for another adventure. The only problem -- the arctic blast. Today's weather forecast was for a sunny day with a high of 20 degrees. But I haven't felt cold at all on any of the other days we were out there, so I figured I would make a few "wardrobe adjustments" and give it a try. When I pulled my car out of the garage, the thermometer read 30 degrees. I wondered how low it would go as I drove across the county to Ward Pound Ridge reservation. I was pleasantly surprised when it was a balmy 18 degrees when I parked my car. And 9 other crazy outdoor people showed up. Off we went on the red and green trails and what a glorious day it was! If anything I (and a few of my companions) was overdressed. Spending 2 hours on the trails with a bunch of great people followed by lunch at the local coffee shop....... priceless.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I don't think you can suck at yoga, because the whole yoga-thing is about the individual and finding your own way to harmony, balance, and inner peace. It's one of the few activities where comparisons to other people is discouraged. You just do what you can do and if you keep doing it, you get better at it. At least I hope you get better at it because I have significant "room for improvement." Taking a yoga class makes my realize how inflexible I am! All the repetitive motion of cycling (or any other activity) can really lock you up. I have never been a big fan of stretching and I never stretch enough. Well, as I get older, that lack of flexibility has the potential to become more "embedded" and to even have impact on my quality of life. So I am trying to get to yoga class a little more consistently, at least once per week. It's hard for me. Not only is it physically challenging, but its also mentally challenging. Yoga is not something you can rush, you have to be very patient with yourself. I find it difficult to be patient, even forgiving, when my ability to get into a certain position or balance is limited. I start to tell myself "you suck at yoga," but then I find the other voice telling me, "be patient, just do what you can do." At this point I know yoga is good for me, and I need to do it, and I enjoy it, but I don't love it. Maybe if I didn't have that voice telling me that I suck at yoga......

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow Adventures Continue

I don't work on Fridays, so off I went to Ward Pound Ridge on a snowshoeing adventure with Geanne. I had never been there.... and I can't wait to get back there! The trails through the hills are beautiful and the snow was deep and soft. Today, Saturday, was an opportunity for everyone to get in on the fun, and we did. Off to the Rockies for a few hours of blasting through the open fields on snowshoes and skis. I came home, took a shower and fell asleep. I'm loving the time outdoors.

Friday, January 14, 2011

On My Mind

Today DH and I started the elimination diet. Last night I prepared for that by cleaning out the frig and removing all the eliminated foods from the pantry. It was not a bad idea to clean out the pantry. I threw out items that have been around much too long. I filled 2 big boxes with all the eliminated foods. Bye bye lasagna, rice noodles, brown sugar, soy crisps, raisins, I could go on and on. Between the purge and the elimination, my pantry is about 75% empty! Once this experiment is over (in 4 weeks) we will be able to slowly reintroduce foods into our diets. I'm sure we will return many of the eliminated foods to the pantry, but I have a feeling I will be donating a big pile to the food bank.

We are going to be preparing the vast majority of our meals at home. We do a decent job of that now, so that won't be a big change. Tonight's dinner was sesame tuna, roasted cauliflower and carrots, and kale sauteed with onions with pine nuts. Not too shabby! I also roasted some chickpeas to take with me tomorrow as a snack when I go snowshoeing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Clean Part 1

DH and I both read this story in Outside Magazine about Dr. Alejandro Junger's Detox Program. My husband bought and read the book, and decided that he is going to do the total 28 day detox/cleanse program, starting tomorrow. I am reading the book and have not decided if I am doing the whole thing, but I have decided to embark on the elimination diet for at least 1 week. At that point, I may stay on the elimination diet for another 2 weeks, or dive into the 3 week cleanse/detox program with DH.
I do believe in the basic premise underlying Junger's detox program. We are surrounded by toxins in our environment-- pesticides, plastics, air pollutants, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products. Add to that the preservatives, sugar, alcohol and nutrient depleted foods that we eat, and the result is a shell-shocked immune system, a leaky gut, chronic inflammation, and an inability to rid our bodies of all these toxins. The symptoms range from irritable bowels to depression to fatigue. I won't delineate them here, but I definitely have symptoms that can be attributed to chronic inflammation. I also want to support DH through this as much as possible, so I'm ready to jump in with at least 1 foot if not both feet!
The first step in the process of resetting your body's ability to heal itself is elimination of foods that are more problematic and/or more likely to cause allergic responses. So starting tomorrow, DH and I will be eliminating these foods from our diets:
FRUITS: oranges, grapefruits, bananas, strawberries
DAIRY: eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese
GRAINS: wheat, corn, barley, couscous, oats
ANIMAL PROTEIN: pork, beef, veal, shellfish
NUTS AND SEEDS: peanuts, peanut butter
VEGETABLES: corn, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant
OILS: butter, mayonnaise, canola oil
DRINKS: alcohol, coffee, caffeinated beverages, soda
SWEETENERS: refined sugar, honey, maple syrup, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners
CONDIMENTS: ketchup, relish, soy sauce, BBQ sauce, relish

What can we eat? Well, more about that in the days to come. DH is going shopping today and I will clean out the pantry this evening. I think I'm going to need a fairly large box for all the foods we cannot eat!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Burn Baby Burn

The snowstorm brought a foot of beautiful snow. It all happened overnight. I knew I wasn't going to work today, so I slept a little late, and when I awoke, the roads were clear and the driveway was plowed. NICE!! A couple of phone calls and by noon 7 of us descended upon Rockefeller State Preserve for an afternoon of cross country skiing through the fresh powdery snow. It was awesome. We worked hard. Once we got away from the lake (the most popular trail in the park), we had to set tracks through the deep snow. Nick was the only one on snowshoes and his track helped establish a path. We were out there for several hours, burning up the calories. When we were done, we hit the Wobble Cafe, for some delicious refueling. I have to work tomorrow, but I am psyched to get out there on Friday, hopefully on snowshoes to switch it up.

Sunday, January 09, 2011


I remember riding my bike past a very popular gym on a beautiful Saturday morning during the summer. The parking lot was jam-packed. All those people, riding exercycles and running on hamster wheels on such a perfect day for being outdoors, it was hard to believe. I felt the same way this weekend. I had so much fun with my bike club friends this weekend, snow shoeing and cross country skiing. I spent a few hours on both Saturday and Sunday taking photos, chatting it up, teaching and learning, exploring, laughing at each other, sharing gear and equipment, making new friends, and being physically active. The sky was blue, the air was crisp and it felt great. We have all figured out how to dress for these outings, since its not much different from going out on a bike ride in March or November. It only took 5 minutes to get our engines revved up and we were never cold. And when we were done with our outdoor adventure, we went out for lunch. There may be more snow coming this week..... we are keeping our fingers crossed so we can repeat the entire experience next weekend, at a different park or golf course.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Snow Romp on the Golf Course

Fresh snow + cross country skis + sunshine + friends + camera = snow romp
There was a dog too, but he didnt make it into a photo, he didn't stop running and jumping long enough to get a photo!

Friday, January 07, 2011

On My Mind...

The view out my backdoor. I don't work on Fridays, and I usually take care of all my errands. I did get out this morning, but now as I watch the snow come down, I am considering how to spend my day indoors. I think I will make a big pot of soup and then clean up my desk. Today is a gift wrapped in snowflakes. And tomorrow I am planning a snow romp, a chance to take out the cross country skis and/or snowshoes.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Mom's Personal Shopper

My mom does not have a computer. After my dad died, my brother and I made several attempts to get her online, but she never got the hang of it and didn't really seem all that interested. She knows that she would have another way to keep in contact with her grandchildren, but even that was not enough of an incentive to get her online. But one of the consequences of her non-internetness is that I have become her personal online shopper. She now calls me about once per week to do some retail research for her. This week she has me shopping for silk underwear. That's right, I had to research petite silk underwear for my mom. She plans to wear it in April when she comes up to New York for Passover. Silk longjohns in April? Well, maybe we will be able to turn the heat down to 75 if she's wearing them.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

22 Miles

What a BEAUTIFUL winter day, with temps here well into the 40s. I rode today, my first ride of 2011, nothing very ambitious, just 20ish miles, with a stop at the bagel shop for a cup of coffee and a snack. It felt great to be out there, feeling the cool air moving over the snow pack, rolling down the quiet roads, enjoying the company of 2 other riders who chose to come out today. When I got home, I had some lunch, a shower and a little cat nap. Eventually I got around to preparing a delicious dinner for my family. I'm hoping today's adventure will set the tone for the year to come. Get out there, enjoy yourself, and the rest will fall into place.
Happy New Year!