Patti Digh recently invited readers of her blog, 37 Days, to participate in a 37 Day Challenge. The object of the challenge is to do something small that is doable, actionable, recognizable and to do it consistently for 37 days. When I read Patti’s invitation to do some small, actionable, recognizable thing I was instantly intrigued.
For several months I’ve been trying to figure out how I could reduce the amount of sugar in my diet. I’m a confirmed choco-holic. I love dessert and am more likely to grab a cookie to finish off my lunch rather than a piece of fruit. I’m pretty good about reading food labels and avoid, as much as possible, buying food products with multiple listings of sugar, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup.
But there are sweets in our house (cookies, chocolates) and I know reaching for something sweet has become a bad habit.
So Patti’s challenge sounded easy enough (Ha!)
I started the challenge on Monday (3/30). After lunch I had that immediate desire to head to the cookie jar. Instead I had half a banana. Believe me; a banana is no substitute when you really want chocolate; but I grudgingly survived.
On Tuesday my mid-afternoon snack was a bag of ranch flavored rice cakes. Tasty and immediately addictive. Great! Now I’m substituting something salty for something sweet and chocolaty. After dinner I did indulge in a warmed snickerdoodle cookie. A little sugary…but not chocolate. You see how the rationale starts to work here.
On Wednesday, day 3, I wondered if a banana, chocolate chip, & walnut muffin counted as a sweet or not. It has banana and walnuts in it. That’s slightly healthy isn’t it? It was a small muffin too.
Yippee! Only 34 more days to go!
Does this sound like I’m depriving myself?
Deprivation isn’t my intent. My intent is to change a habit, to live healthier, to make an improvement. Today, instead of something sweet and sugary, I opted to snack on trail mix (nuts, raisins, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and teeny-tiny chocolate coated candies.) After a walk, I had cheese with fig spread on Kashi TLC crackers.
And then I opened the candy jar and…..deeply inhaled the scent of chocolate. It was oddly satisfying.
A Visit with “Uncle” Al
On Monday night Eric and I went to the Speaker Series at the Wang Theater. We were there to listen to former Vice President Al Gore talk about his environmental initiatives. (Don’t ask why, but I’ve taken to calling him “uncle Al.”) We weren’t sure what the speaker format would be like, especially when we saw two comfy looking chairs on the stage.
So there was the emcee who welcomed people and introduced a man from the Boston Phoenix (a joint sponsor of the speaker series) who would introduce Al Gore. And when Gore walked on stage he receieved a standing ovation. I mean, he is almost a native son as he did graduate from Harvard. I’m sure the fact that he was in slightly liberal leaning Massachusetts had nothing to do with it 🙂
Mr. Gore was given a certain amount of time to share some stories and talk about how the environment, the economic climate, and foreign affairs are all intertwined. He was quite a compelling speaker.
And then an interviewer from the Boston Globe was introduced. And that is where the speaker series disappointed us. The interviewer asked Mr. Gore questions about the election (current and past), the economic climate (bailout, auto industry; as if we haven’t heard enough), and the survivability of newspapers. Not one single question about the environment or his initiatives was asked.
I understand it is the interviewer’s prerogative to ask questions s/he feels may be current and important. But if the comments overheard after the event were any indication, many people expected more conversation about the environment.
I was impressed that two days after this event I received a survey about the event. I expressed my disappointment that our expectations were not met as far as the interviewer’s content. I suggested a future event might ask audience members to submit questions ahead of time and that a moderator asks the questions. Better yet, just have Mr. Gore speak for 90 minutes.