Archives for October 2011


Magic Moments

I was getting rid of old emails and I ran through several emails with pictures of family events embedded in them.  They are all dated this year and I haven’t quite figured out the best way to store them.  There is a reason for that.  My laptop has been every where, except with me.  My son moved out and he is in college, so the laptop goes back and forth between the two of us.  I am not as accepting as I could be about the “dis-combooberation” of life.  I want life organized and well planned.

In looking at those pictures in my email I realized one thing.  I cannot plan magic moments.  Those moments cannot be contrived.  They may happen as a result of being with people that you love, doing things that you love, but these moments can also happen if you are alone and at odd moments in your life.  I don’t know how these moments happen.  I just know that they do and I am extremely grateful for them.


The Ten Commandments of Stable Weight:

  1. No “mindless” eating.  Eat only when you are able to be “mindful”.  Do not eat in front of the TV and do not eat in front of the computer.  Eat when you are able to chew your food and savor the taste of it.
  2. Stock your environment with healthy, nutritious snacks that are not going to “tank” your diet.  Face it, you will run out of time and be hungry.  Make sure that you are not forced to go to the snack machine or the soda machine.  Most drug stores stock nutritious diet bars.  Do not be fooled by “fiber” and / or “healthy” bars; look at the calories!!
  3. Get up and move.  Everyone says that exercise has to be a certain number of minutes and it has to go at a certain rate of speed.  That is true, but move anyway every single chance you get.  Even if you cannot work out, take the stairs, park far away from the mall and the grocery store.  Force yourself to walk.  Every single chance you get to move, take it: be nice to someone and throw their paper in the trash, or get them a glass of water.
  4. No soda ever.
  5. Complicated ingredients were probably never meant to be part of a healthy diet.  My father used to say that if you picked up the tub of margarine and started reading the ingredients at breakfast, then, if finishing reading the ingredients would make you late for work; that is not a food you want in your body.
  6. Stay away from the “whites”.  I make a distinction between “forced whites” and plain whites.  A white potato is not a “forced white”, it starts out naturally white.  White flour is a “forced white” because it has to be bleached to become white.  Wheat does not start out white; it is “forced” into becoming white.  Specifically do not eat white flour, white bread or white sugar.  Moderate pasta intake.
  7. Dark chocolate is good for you and so is red wine, but only in moderate amounts.
  8. You cannot eat more calories in a day than it is natural for your body to utilize within a day.  Your equation is very personal and has to do with your DNA, your body type, your metabolism and your current health.  Your equation also changes over time and can change dramatically if you become sick or have a chronic condition such as thyroid disease or diabetes.  The only way to know what your equation is; is to monitor your body.  This involves a process of learning.  You must be willing to learn about your body and willing to learn about calories.
  9. Do not eat a lot of fatty foods.  What are fatty foods?  Beef, ham, most gravies, anything made with hydrogenated fats, bacon, whipped cream, whole milk, animal by-products all have an escalated amount of fat in them.
  10. Chocolate cream pie is chocolate cream pie.  In the words of my friend Rich, “it is what it is”.  Do not stuff your face with cookies and pretend that it all did not happen.  Live authentically with whatever it is.


My partner and I are disagreeing about how to grandparent.  I have always grandmothered as if it is an extension of mothering.  I raised my kids in a nutritionally strict household.  They will not and do not drink soda (beer is another matter, of course).  In my household, snacks are celery sticks and carrots; chip dip is often made with spinache.   As a matter of fact, everything is better with a smidgen of spinache.

I did not realize how serious this disagreement with my partner was until Friday night.  My partner and I were cleaning up after a very small party when I complained that most of the celery and mushrooms were still out, no one had eaten them.  His response was “why do you put them out when there are potatoe chips right there?”  To him, it is a silly idea to imagine that folks will eat vegetables on purpose.  It is as if all vegetables are only eaten if your mother is making you eat them.  So when the grandchildren were with us last night and they ate what they ate, I told him “what am I going to do when Rhea’s sons are here and they are not allowed to have soda for dinner?”  My partner only growled at me.  To be fair it was a low sound with absolutely no anger attached to it, more like a “we’ll talk later.”

I always figured (for at least 30 years) that if you give your kids soda, it is because there is something lacking in you.  In other words, you can’t afford fruit juice or you are too lazy to make tea, because who else would intentionally give their kids the evil concoction of soda?  Then I remember my mother and I hiding Coca Cola cans under her bed and the guilty, sneaky giggles when we would take two sodas out to savor and share in the afternoon, while the kids were outside playing.  It was a fun treat, made all the better because soda is so BAD for you.  So, I am guessing that soda may not(?) be the devil’s work.  I have since learned that some people do not even believe that soda is all that bad.

So here is what my partner told me this morning, “I only get my grandkids for an hour, their parents have them forever, I want my grandkids to say, I wanna go to grandpa’s house, he has ice cream and candy”.  I am thinking to myself that I want nothing more, and that there certainly is nothing better, than to have grandchildren stopping by, hugging, snuggling, kissing and hanging out talking.  I remember my partner telling me once after I explained to him that the youngest baby girl wanted ice cream, and so I asked her father, “can she have ice cream?”  My partner said “that’s your first mistake, don’t ask her parents, when she is here she can have whatever she wants.”  I remember thinking “how odd”, but now, I get it.