We’re Back!

…and recommitted!

First, let me apologize for my blogging hiatus.  We were in Philly for 9 nights – 8 full days – and in that short time, we saw over 80 friends and family.  There were dinners and lunches and a date night and time spent sneaking away for runs (four total).  Each night we feel into bed exhausted.

The kids were spectacular.  They were magnificent angels on the flights, despite my soaring stress levels.  Hendrik played with the iPad and his cars and even slept on one leg of the journey.  Ailie slept a bit on both flights, but for the most part just looked around, smiling and charming people.

While in PA, they were shuffled back and forth four times, and they did so fairly seamlessly.  (H was up many times in the night, but that seems to be the norm since his molars started coming in last September.)

Meeting great-grandpop Ace.

Making himself comfortable on the air mattress.

Quality time with great-grandpop Dominic.

We had a wonderful trip: no major family drama (it wouldn’t be the holidays without some, of course).

Even though we were not on a tropical sojourn, a week away from home always offers some new perspective.  On our car ride back to J’s parents for the second time (after a brief trip through our beloved Manayunk), we brainstormed ideas, goals, and rules for our new health and happiness project.  I call it “Operation: Bust the Gut.”

Here are our joint resolutions, printed out on a table in Word, which we agreed to review at the end of each night:

  1. 48 ounces of water daily.
  2. At least three fruits, two veggies per day.
  3. Blood pressure taken nightly and charted (J’s had some higher readings lately, and we need to get this under control).
  4. Eliminate processed foods.  To this end, we’re charting how many foods we consume with more than five ingredients.
  5. EXERCISE.  We have different resolutions here.  J needs four work-out DVD mornings and 1 walk weekly; I need five runs plus one walk for now.
  6. SEX.  We set a weekly quota, though I won’t bore you with specifics.  I’m sure you can imagine that with a 2.5 year old and a three month-old, it’s not exactly a free-for-all over here on a nightly basis.  Time to refocus.
  7. DRINK.  We love us some beer and wine, but the fancy beers – AKA the highly caloric ones – have become the norm around here.  We’re limiting J to four fancies per week, and two glasses of red wine (good for the heart!).  I’ll limit myself to four glasses of wine weekly.  We don’t typically drink Monday – Thursday, but we like to have a drink or two on the weekends, and football season is a good way to crush your good intentions with food and drink on Sundays.
  8. Daily mood rating.  This one is tough to quantify, but we’re going with a scale of 1 – 10, 10 being winning Powerball ticket/both kids slept through the night happy.
  9. Daily weight check.

In addition, we have some rules of the road:

  1. Put leftovers away before we sit down to dinner to control portion size.
  2. Measure serving sizes; become a “bowl person”.
  3. ABSOLUTELY no grazing at social events.  Must get a plate.
  4. Must have a smoothie on both weekend mornings.
  5. Aim for two super foods per day.
  6. Absolutely no foods on the dirty dozen list purchased conventional.
  7. Antibiotic/hormone/nitrate/nitrite-free meats only at home.
  8. No more than two starch meals per week (rice or pasta).
  9. Salad twice a week for dinner.

And, some health to-dos:

  1. Make J physical appointment (determine blood work and numbers we need to know).
  2. Make J dentist appointment.
  3. Experiment with real iced tea for J (he prefers the deadly powder-y kind).
  4. Buy more whey protein.
  5. Buy super greens.
  6. Buy waffle iron.
  7. Buy glass containers for food storage.
  8. Weekly meal planning for grocery list.
  9. Order Bountiful Baskets.
  10. Look into dairy farm.
  11. Look into meat farm.
  12. Look into natural make-up alternatives.
  13. Buy compost bin for new year.

I also printed out a list of the Dirty Dozen and some superfoods, although there really is little consensus on those.

We’re already a pretty health-conscious family, as you know, but I have been slacking lately.  I’ve been rationalizing buying conventional grapes and whole grain Goldfish lately, telling myself: we ate this stuff growing up, and we are fine.

Except, we’re not.  In my own circle, I know a woman a few months younger than me recently diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer.  A 32 year-old woman diagnosed last year with stage 4 lung cancer during her second pregnancy.  (She is the second non-smoking young woman I know stricken with this disease.)  Another friend learned she had thyroid cancer during her second pregnancy.  My college boyfriend is recovering from one of the Hodgkins cancers.  Two friends were diagnosed with testicular cancer in their early 20s.

Closer to home, my mother is going through a rash of bizarre health problems (thyroid issues, GERD issues, now some breathing issues).  I pray that these do not turn into something more serious.  I see some of the health mistakes she has made.  I’m determined not to recreate them.

If I think about all of this too much, I become quite terrified, especially for my beautiful babies.  To me, the best method is prevention.  There are only so many things I can control; but what I put into my body (and my fam’s) is something I influence.  I mentioned egonomics in my last post.  Admittedly, it didn’t quite work for me over the holidays.  I didn’t mind indulging in pies and processed foods, knowing I could rein it in when we returned home.  (Miraculously, my weight is currently at 152.)  But egonomics may just work when I think of all of those suffering from the illnesses I described above.  If there is any way to avoid them, we must try, right?

On a lighter note, I’m reading Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs, “One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection.” It adds some much-needed humor to health as he approaches each body part individually, speaks to experts, tries various work-outs.  I would recommend.

Me, with three excellent reasons to be the healthiest mama in Texas.

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