Lexd's Blog

I write about what I want!

Well, you only get ONE July 5, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 8:36 pm
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As I type this I am post-weights/yoga session sweaty. (And my laptop is really warm too … which isn’t exactly helping things.) For breakfast I had a bowl of museli with almond milk and a huge pile of strawberries and blueberries. Lunch was an enormous salad devoid of meat, cheese and bread (my three weaknesses).

Before you tell me to shut up and quit bragging, there’s a reason I’m telling you this. During my yoga session today (YogaDownload.com detox yoga #3), I realized something. I’ve finally come into the stage where I want to take care of myself, and my body.

I was raised in a household that relied mostly on alternative medicine. Not to say we didn’t go to a doctor when we were really sick or anything … my parents were just hesitant to hand out medicine for each little ache and pain. Their philosophy was that you should try and treat the source of the problem, not just mask it with medication. At the time, as my head was pounding because I’d been to Starbucks twice, not eaten breakfast and gotten two hours of sleep the night before (high school was a bitch), I hated it.

“Look what modern medicine can do!” I always protested. “I don’t have time to address the problem, so it gives me a way to get through the pain until I can!”

That didn’t fly very often.

When I finally moved to college, I was all about meds (OTC stuff). I took terrible care of myself freshman year. I managed to eat decently most of the time, but I drank way too much coffee, way way too much alcohol, didn’t get enough sleep and wasn’t exercising enough. As a result, I was constantly sick, hungover, bloated, dehydrated … and generally toxic. I remedied this with a variety of things like NyQuil, DayQuil, Tylenol, diuretics, and occasionally Adderall.

It took about 3/4 of my freshman year to realize that waking up without a hangover/being sick/etc was VASTLY superior to having some sort of malady all the time. I continued to treat my body pretty badly, but it was at that point that I began to make some slight lifestyle changes.

Fast forward seven years later: Today. The changes have been more noticeable in the last year, but I’ve been gradually making some lifestyle changes that reflect how I’m beginning to feel about my body … that I need to take care of it. I eat better; mostly when I’m hungry, and what I want to eat. Even if that means a slice of apple pie on the 4th of July (guilty), I go for it. Treating your tastebuds every now and again is as much a part of taking care of your body as giving it what it needs to function (IMO).

When I do have health issues, I’m hesitant to take anything at first. I like to give my body some time to figure out what’s wrong and address the issue, instead of jumping the gun and suppressing it right away. Because really, if you’ve got a headache because you’re dehydrated, that headache is still going to be there when the Excedrin wears off in 6 hours. And, if you haven’t hydrated, it’ll come back even worse.

Not only am I officially losing weight, but I can tell my body feels better when I work out. I’m starting to see some definition in my legs, and I really find myself enjoying the relaxation period at the end of yoga sessions. I’m stronger, more flexible, and less achy.

Please don’t think I’m on my soapbox about this, because it’s your decision how you want to live, and how you want to treat your body. Everyone has a different level of functionality, and mine may be different than yours. My intent with this post is to point out what’s in the headline — you only get one body. How are you going to treat yours?

Currently loving: My new iPhone (I know, like 5 years behind everyone else)!, YogaDownload.com Detox classes (mayjah twists), that the Vitamin Shoppe by me has coconut water!

image from lululemon athletica

 

Morning Routines June 16, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 8:36 pm
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I’ve mentioned this before with cooking, but in the mornings, I have a routine. It is pretty specific, and it can throw me off if I do anything differently. My excuse is that I’m not really awake enough to adapt to change that early, and a routine ensures I’m not forgetting important things like breakfast, my cell phone, or pants.

My alarm goes off at 7, and I either get up within a few minutes of that going off (if BF is still in bed, so I can steal the shower first) or sleep in until about 7:20 (if he has to open at work, he leaves at about 7). Post-shower, I can actually be ready to go in about 15 minutes, so after that I mosey to the kitchen to make breakfast or lunch (or just grab the two if I’ve made them both the night before). These go into my gym bag, so I know if I’m leaving without my purse and one extra bag … I’ve missed something big.

I usually pack my gym bag the night before, because it’s pretty awful to forget socks or a sports bra and have to go ALL the way home to get them. I am forgetful in the morning, so I’ve found pre-packing is a better method for success.

I usually get to work about 10-15 minutes early, and I take this time to get settled and quickly scan my Google Reader and Reddit. The office is usually really quiet until 8:30, so it’s nice to spend some time by myself, drinking tea and catching up on Interwebs hilarity.

After the tea is drained (and usually after I send out a daily report for one of our clients due by 10 a.m.), I mosey on down to the coffee machine to see if there’s any left for yours truly. See, I’m not supposed to drink coffee every day (probably not at all, but COME ON). So, I figure that if there’s actually any left in the pot at that point, it’s meant to be and I can drink it 🙂

After that, my day is usually a mishmash of 1,000 different things, different clients, different assignments, brainstorms, conference calls, editing, webinars and just flat out locking myself in my office to bang out some articles and press releases. To be completely honest, rarely do I have one day that is the same as the one before it (I think this is common in PR) … can you blame me for being attached to my morning routine? 🙂

Currently loving: My Sarah McLachlan playlist on Grooveshark, the sincronizada I had for lunch at Habanero’s, peppermint tea

image from Editor B

 

Causes that move you May 5, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 3:21 pm
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Busy busy busy at the casa de D! BF has a less-than-awesome week at work this week, so last weekend he encouraged me to schedule some stuff after work (so he can just come home and be crabby by himself). Hence, fun stuff all over! In honor of Cinco de Mayo I’m heading over to an event at the Enzian Theater in Maitland tonight, and tomorrow night I have a happy hour with my coworkers and then a girls’ night to celebrate a friend’s engagement. And then Friday, I’m considering heading over to Tampa with some friends to see Tim McGraw and Lady Antebellum. Tickets are only $30, and it’s been too long since I’ve seen a concert. Shame shame.

Also, my knee still sucks. So yoga, less-than-brisk walking and icing it is.

I’d like to take a step back from my usual tongue-in-cheek banter and tackle a more serious subject, spurred by Caitlin’s recent post at Healthy Tipping Point.

Charities. They always sound like a great idea, but with so many (and not much disposable income/time), involvement can get a little overwhelming. Prior to moving to Florida, I did community service, but not for any causes that really moved me. It was usually to fill a class requirement or something. My parents weren’t involved in charities, either, so there wasn’t any pressure from them to investigate causes.

My first genuine interaction with charities was really at my current job. I work at a PR firm, and we have a variety of non-profit clients. Through this involvement, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I think part of the reason I was never really deeply involved in a charity before was because I was still growing up and learning about me. I’ve always loved animals, so that’s a given, but my interest in other people was limited. In the last couple years, I’ve discovered that the causes that really set a spark in me are children’s education (including support for deserving teachers), welfare of animals, and children’s welfare.

The education one surprises me. Maybe it’s my secret longing to be a teacher (it’s always been there, I just gravitated more to PR) or something, but my time working with a local school district’s foundation was very memorable. The kids really surprised me sometimes … and the TEACHERS! Some of them were so creative and inspiring.

Also, children’s welfare: To put it bluntly, I’m not a huge fan of kids. I am not planning on being a parent for a long time. But, after taking a facility tour at the Kids’ House of Seminole, I realized that the idea of child abuse and neglect really gets to me. There are children out there who, on a daily basis, deal with circumstances many of us can’t even imagine. I was in tears when we finished the tour 😦

I also spend time volunteering with animals at Pet Rescue by Judy, a no-kill animal shelter. I am not trying to make an obscene comparison, but with both the Kids’ House and PRBJ, I think it’s the fact that recipients of services (children and animals) just need to be loved that appeals to me. They are denied something that is a basic need for most people: love and approval. Positive reinforcement. Socialization. And all they need is my time? Sign me up.

Feel free to share issues that move you — and why!

Currently loving: “Southern Girl” by Incubus, Perfect Protein Pancakes from The Fitnessista, COFFEE! 🙂

image by jetalone

 

PR 2.0 Chat! April 7, 2010

Filed under: social media — lexd @ 9:38 pm
Tags: , , ,

I have to plug myself for a second and direct you to my friend and former colleague (Heather Whaling) PRtini’s web site. Last night, during the #PR20chat she helps run, one of the questions was centered around “people you SHOULD know.” Guess who made the list 🙂 Thanks, Heather!

I mentioned it in the comments on her site, but this right here is why I love social media. Let the naysayers (“you’re so narcissistic blah blah blah”) say what they will … Twitter enables me to constantly be plugged in to people who I think are funny, or who consistently bring value to their followers.

“Value” can be defined differently for everyone, but for me, it’s some mix of the following:

  • Humor
  • Unique insights about PR/SM
  • Distributes interesting information (links to articles, etc)
  • Conversational
  • Asks good questions

That being said, I take Heather’s endorsement (and yes, it was made with full disclosure that we worked together) as a huge compliment, and that I bring value through my Twitterstream.

I also made sure to follow everyone else on this list (which I’m pretty sure almost everyone else did as well) … and I’m liking them already. I’ve found a fellow Yankees fan!

image from carrotcreative

 

Long overdue March 26, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 8:27 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

March has been — hands down — the busiest month I’ve had since last summer. Between moving apartments, going back to brunette, family visiting and shit hitting the fan at work in general … I’ve almost been afraid to blog. There are no filters to catch the crazy that would have undoubtedly poured from my fingertips.

The worst part about March? I haven’t had a real gym to go to for a couple weeks now. So, I feel fatter and haven’t had good stress outlets. Yes, I went to Chamberlain’s this week and spent $40 on things I didn’t really need. Yes, I ate the SHIT out of some trail mix (raw pepitas, sunflower seeds, peanuts, cashews, almonds and organic raisins. MAGIC). Now that I’ve identified my coping strategies, I need to figure out how to squash them.

But, saving that for next month. Tonight I’m going out for wings and beer with coworkers. 🙂

I went dark(er) brunette again. This time there’s some red in it, and I LOVE it. I’ve gotten more compliments on this hair color than I ever have before. It’s a keeper for now. And now that I’m starting to get tan (after 7 hours in the sun last weekend), it looks even better. I think it even makes my freckles look better.

Speaking of looks, BF unearthed a pile of college pictures that included several of him drunk in the back of a uhaul, and then yours truly.

Seriously, I was pretty hot in college. My hair was this great twinkly blonde-brown shade, I was SUPER tan, and skinnier than I was now. I was surprised when I saw those pictures.

I realize that that look was supported by some pretty bad habits: Binge drinking and not eating because I was hungover and mayjah time in a tanning bed. I am not awful looking now, but it was kind of a blow to my self-esteem. I know I’m taking better care of myself now, but it’s frustrating to not look as good now as I did then. Not sure how to handle this yet.

My sister came to visit, and together we redefined “hot mess” with the help of the Orlando Beer Festival and Cowboys bar. Also, I ate 40 wings at Gators on Monday. Worst. Indigestion. Ever.

I’ve been running 5Ks on the treadmill, and I actually managed to beat my PR. Exciting! It’s odd how sometimes you perform way better after taking some time off from exercise. Maybe this will motivate me to sign up for some races in the near future. And maybe even bring BF along … (when hell freezes over, probably)

The sun is coming out, and so are my freckles. I spent some time outside this weekend and my nose is fully freckled. I had some guy at the Beer Festival ask me if I was Irish. I’m thinking it’s the new hair and the freckles … and the sweet burn I got on the back of my neck. FML. I wanted to respond, “Yes, now shut up and pour me a beer.”

On that note, I should be back in the blogging saddle. We’re hitting up a Yankees spring training game in Tampa tomorrow, and then fully cleaning the old apartment on Sunday (boo). Looking forward to the end of March … but I swear I will kill anyone who plays an April Fool’s joke on me.

image from navin75

 

“Your” Dish March 16, 2010

Filed under: food — lexd @ 2:07 pm
Tags: , , ,

At some point in my life, I heard or read someone/my mom/my grandma/BF (follow that? I have no idea where I learned it) say that while adventurous cooking can be fun, as a good cook you should have a few dishes in your repertoire that you can nail every time.

These are “your” dishes. You generally keep the required ingredients on hand, you don’t need a recipe, and should the perfect storm occur (you’re getting home late from work, you haven’t been to the store in a week and your well-meaning roommate/significant other is bringing his boss over for dinner), you can still pull it off.

I am a creature of habit with some things … breakfast, for example. Honestly, I don’t want to think too much in the morning. For other meals, I usually detest making the same recipe too often. It gets boring. And between How to Cook Everything, AllRecipes, SeriousEats, Epicurious and all the other food blogs out there (check out my Links page for what I read) … life is too short to eat the same stuff all the time!

That being said, I struggle with this “master one dish” idea. In order to master something, you have to have a lot of practice. If you see where I’m going with this … YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT A LOT. Clearly, this is a violation of my kitchen principles.

BF’s dish is beef stroganoff. I make fun of him for his taste in food sometimes (he’s not very daring), but damn can the guy make epic beef/noodles/sauce.

My mom’s dish is manicotti. I could eat this every night for dinner for a week and not get sick of it. If it wasn’t bursting at the seams with cheese, I’d make it on Sundays and take it for lunch all week.

My dad’s dish is mojo chicken. It’s this incredible barbecued chicken dripping with a garlic, lime and cilantro marinade/dressing.

It took me a while to find something that I could make “my” dish.  I discovered what it was when I realized that BF would ask me to make this one thing again … and again … and again. Not only was I getting practice, but I was consistently NOT screwing it up! The dish? A roasted chicken.

It’s kind of tricky to get the hang of. You have to be unafraid of handling a carcass, and becoming intimately familiar with the giblets, insides and even that space between the meat and the skin. But once you get it? As Emeril says, “BAM.”

I’ve done a lot of research on roasting chickens. It started when I saw Tyler Florence do it on “Tyler’s Ultimate,” and my obsession slowly grew from there. I read recipes and techniques all the time. Just today I found an adaptation of Thomas Keller’s recipe, and will definitely try to dry the bird out a bit in the fridge next time.

Another bonus? This technique can be adapted to other birds like turkeys and cornish game hens (if you have not tried to do these little guys, you are SERIOUSLY missing out). BAM indeed.

So, there’s MY dish. What’s yours?

chicken picture from stevendepolo

 

Sleep: How much is too much? February 16, 2010

Filed under: other — lexd @ 9:54 pm
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I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I LOVE SLEEP. I’ve always been a sleeper. It’s rare that I actually have trouble falling asleep … even in inconvenient locations like airplanes.

I was a night owl in high school (and again in college, but that had more to do with drinking too much, eating like shit and never working out), but over the last few years, my body’s gotten into more of a early-bird rhythm. And by “early-bird” I don’t mean I go to bed at 10 and get up at some absurd time like 5 a.m. I mean I go to bed by 11 at the latest and get up by 7. I cannot get up earlier than 7 for anything less than an emergency or a work function. It doesn’t happen.

If you do the math, that puts me between 8 and 9 hours of sleep a night.

According to some people (*coughcough* BF), that’s too much sleep. I did not know such a thing existed. Apparently, he might be right.

I know this isn’t a super-recent article or anything, but this isn’t the first time I’ve read that too much sleep can be detrimental. I know I’m not the guy in the article who is spending 12 hours sleeping, but I am on the high end of the spectrum.

I maintain that sleep patterns vary for everyone. BF is a night owl, and finds that he functions best on 6 or 7 hours of sleep. I expect your pattern might be different from his or mine. Everyone’s body needs something a little different.

That being said, for the last few months, I know the quality of my sleep has deteriorated significantly. BF snores, and while I try to rock the earplugs, sometimes they just hurt my ears so I end up on the couch. Or he does. Either way, it’s not very conducive to good sleep. I realize this may make me feel tired, even after a full night.

Also, BF has told me that I twitch a lot in my sleep. Not the whole-body jerk (the one that happens when you dream that you trip or something) … although those happen pretty regularly. Apparently I just … twitch. I don’t know that it’s impacting my quality of sleep, but it does make me feel bad for the girl that I shared a bunk bed with on the sorority sleeping porch.

The jury is out, and I’m pretty set in my ways on this one. I just feel better when I get 8 or 9 hours of sleep. Any thoughts?

image from peasap’s Photostream