Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Where I've Been Lately

First, thank you to all of you who have shown up to read my blog entries lately! It's been a great joy to write again and post for all you who are interested.

Second, sorry for the absence lately. I coach track & field at my school (1 coach, 27 athletes, many events), and the season is in full swing. So my focus has shifted to the season. But that does not mean I haven't been planning some posts. So here are my plans:

1) 52 Pick-Up Challenge Posts--carnitas, turnips, and other yummies!
2) Book Reviews: The Paleo Coach and The Primal Connection
3) Other Random-ness & a Giveaway

So, keep your eyes peeled! More is coming soon...

Friday, March 15, 2013

52 Pick-Up Challenge: Week #5

*This series of Friday posts is inspired by the blog entry--52 Pick-Up Paleo Style by Amy Kubal via robbwolf.com. Each post is based on this premise that Dietary Ruts = Kitchen Boredom -> Healthy Eating FAIL! So each week, I plan to share with you one meal from the previous week that I tried and enjoyed to help me stave off the boredom in my weekly meal plan.

Whew! This has been a week of stress. It started out so peacefully with talks of reducing stressors by sleeping well and taking naps, but life at work blew up in my face. Life as a public-school teacher sometimes reaches these points which is why we celebrate Fridays so much. In fact, I am willing to put money down to bet that the motto “Thank God it’s Friday (TGIF)” originated from a teacher. 

For a little more insight on one stressor, just check out this article from the Chicago Tribune. Why? Who knew censorship was still alive & well? What were they thinking? Must we really start hiding or locking up our books in order to protect their freedom to read freely? I am glad I work for a principal in this school district that is level-headed and willing to protect that same freedom.

To relieve my stress, this weekend is going to be filled with a nice daytime date with my wife and cooking. And in the spirit of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, I am going with a green theme in this week’s 52 Pick-Up Paleo Style. No new foods, just creativity to keep things alive and well in the kitchen.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rock-a-Bye Baby: Celebrating National Napping Day

Happy National Napping Day! What a great way to put a cap on last week’s National Sleep Awareness Week 2013! Oh, you didn’t know about these fabulous “celebrations?” Neither did I until I saw peeps tweet it on our social medias. And now that I know about them, I want to turn out the lights and catch a few Z’s underneath my desk at work (I have a feeling this might be frowned upon; what a shame).

So why do we need National Napping Day & National Sleep Awareness Week? Most of us have grown up being told that hard work brings about success. Some have heard the Biblical proverb, “If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat (NLT Prov. 20:13). Others are wrapped up in being in the know about everything, that when it comes to sleep, they say,

You can fill in the blank.

But here are two findings when it comes to the typical practice of sleep in our modern society:
  • 10% of adolescents sleep only five hours and 23% sleep only six hours on an average school night. The recommended amount of sleep for teens is 8.5 to 9.25 hours per night (National Sleep Foundation)
  • The average adult sleeps less than seven hours per night. The recommendation for adults is 7 to 9 hours (NSF)
So what’s the big deal? Many of us can attest to why this is a big deal if we take a moment to reflect on how we are feeling at this moment. Some of us are saying, “Now’s a great time to go get another (insert a caffeinated beverage).” Some of us are blaming Mondays for the feeling we have. And a few of us forgot exactly what we were supposed to be doing right now instead of reading another blogger rambling on about sleep. These feelings can often be traced back to two things: what we ate & how we slept recently.

So what should we do? Sleep more. That advice is not going to help you make a change, but what else is there to say. Turn out the lights for 10-15 minutes and take a snooze. Turn off this computer, smartphone, or tablet, and shut your eyes for a few minutes. Turn off the TV at 9:30 (in the middle of your favorite show) and put your pajamas on. Put that caffeinated beverage down & drink water for the rest of the day so your body is ready for sleep at night. Go exercise a little.

Why? There are multiple benefits to getting adequate sleep. Personally, adequate sleep and a short shut-eye lowers my blood pressure. I can quickly tell if I am short on sleep, and it all begins with my blood pressure. Other benefits are well-documented—alertness, improved memory, productivity, creativity, lifted spirits, and less stress. All those things sound AWESOME! 

So what should we do now? Recognize and celebrate a belated National Sleep Awareness Week and National Napping Day! Go get some shut-eye…

Further Enjoyable Resources: