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Archive for December, 2007

New Year’s Resolutions

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

I haven’t quite decided what I think of New Year’s resolutions. For one, we probably should be setting and checking back in with at least some of our shorter term goals on a more regular basis. And secondly, they’ve become something of a joke for so many. We set them knowing full-well many will soon be abandoned. Or at least expecting as much.

Why is that? And why do so many of us bother anyway?
My theory—still in its infancy—is the answer is one and the same:

It’s the time of year.

It’s natural to treat the turning of the calendar as a fresh start. This is a good thing, and points to the reason for our repeated attempts year in and year out. On the other hand, and this applies mostly to the infamous weight loss and “eat better” resolutions, starting so soon on the heals of extended holiday celebrations, it’s easy to become discouraged by straggler gatherings we continue to attend throughout the month of January.

Maybe that’s the solution!? I wonder if setting New Year’s resolutions to begin on February 1st instead would help the situation. That is, would help us to keep them. I don’t know; just thinking aloud here. What do you think?

For those with every intention of keeping their resolutions and starting them on the 1st, here’s to you and your success! I hope you’ll share them on the blog and maybe even with a wider audience:

10 Million Resolutions

The videos in the “countdown” section are a riot!  

Also, in planning your goals, remember to keep them SMART, as in the acronym first described by Paul Meyer, co-author of several in Jack Canfield‘s famed Chicken Soup For The Soul series, and most recently of Know Can Do:

  • S pecific
  • M easurable
  • A chievable
  • R elevant
  • T imely

There are quite a few resources on the internet to help with goal-setting. For example, this ebook on SMART goals. But really, what more is there to say than to spell out the acronym? Seems kind of self-explanatory to me. On the other hand, something like this goal-setting software could actually be useful. <shrug>

Again, whatever your aspirations and dreams for the New Year, I hope you accomplish them. And, remember this post, if January trips you up, and join me on the 1st of February.  

Raw Almonds

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Two big snowstorms just a few days apart. And it’s not even officially winter yet! I stocked up on groceries earlier this weekend, so I was ready. It’s kind of fun, like a forced day off. No guilt for not running errands. :)

Here’s how I spent the day. (We’ll get to the title eventually.)

I woke up bright and early, but the snow had started in “wee’er” hours. It was still coming down heavy as I flipped open the laptop to watch some live chess. My man, American GM Kamsky, drew the final game in his mini-match against Shirov (Mr. “Fire On Board” himself) to win the World Cup, an important step along the road to the next World Chess Championship.

Next up some exercise: a workout on the Bowflex, followed by breakfast, then a headstart on shoveling. There’s more waiting for me tomorrow morning, but getting a little bit done before the driveway’s plowed makes it so I don’t have to throw it as far.

Feeling accomplished, I watched the rest of the Hairspray remake I had started the day before, read some email, and generally just slothed. After a lunch of mushroom soup with a glass of merlot, it was back to goofing around online.

Here’s where we reconnect with the title of the post. That’s because, with more chess out of the way, a funny double entendre flashed across my synapses, and I found myself designing a couple t-shirts.

On September 1st of this year, the FDA issued a ruling, against overwhelming public outcry, to regulate pasteurization of almonds. The reason was ostensibly a reaction (isn’t so much of government paternalism just that–a reaction?) to a slew of recalls back in 2001 and 2004. So, OK, not a very quick reaction, but…

What’s worse though is they still allow these pasteurized almonds to be designated “raw.” Clearly, a misleading label. To me, the most important issue in so many food fights like this, is that we as consumers need accurate and readily-available data. Whether that’s trust in the “organic” certifications or disclosure of trans fats in reasonable serving sizes or nutrition information on restaurant menus. Just think, the UK has a VEGAN stamp, making it easy to tell at a glance whether it’s hunky-dory, versus needing to meticulously analyze the ingredients list.

For more on the raw almond controversy and what you might do about it, check out NewsTarget, where they’ve been tracking it from day one.

So, you want to see those shirts?


Wouldn’t it be a kick to wear one of these at a political event as you question the candidate on how they’ll protect label integrity and keep raw options on the table?!

To finish the day, I’m watching the Survivor Finale and Reunion show as I type this. As long as you don’t lose power, which happens far too often in my neck of the woods, snow days are great! Even (especially?) as an adult.

BTW, there are still ways to get truly raw almonds. For example, here.

Protein, Calcium, and Iron: Vegan Sources

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Ask any vegan, what’s the first question they always hear from concerned friends and family regarding their diet. They’ll tell you, it’s the perennial, “Where do you get your protein?”

And the second-most common? It has to be, “What about calcium?”  

Am I right? Seems people just have a hard time fathoming that we can actually get enough protein and calcium from anything other than an animal source.

To help answer these common queries, I put together a few Top Ten Lists (made one for iron too):

Click on the image above to sign up for my nutrition newsletter and grab your free copy today.

(This just in. You may recall, during the summer, I blogged about Jeff Novick’s outstanding presentation at the VegSource conference and encouraged everyone to have their loved one’s watch before it was to be taken down. Well, a couple bits of good news: 1) that link may still work, and 2) He recently joined the staff at the McDougall Center.)

Vegan Ultimate Fighter

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

This one’s for the fellas…

The next time someone challenges your manhood simply for being vegan, dare them to say it to Mac Danzig‘s face!

picture courtesy PETA

Danzig won The Ultimate Fighter Finale against Tommy “The Farmboy” Speer Saturday evening. His first round victory, a submission by rear naked choke, landed him a well-deserved contract with the UFC.

I had to laugh when earlier on SpikeTV’s reality show that led up to the big fight, Mac complained how the others were eating his hummus and veggies, leaving him with nothing. I think we can all relate. :)

Speaking of real men, not too long ago, I finished reading Montel William’s book Climbing Higher, all about his struggles with MS. Talk about brutally honest and courageous!

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