Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Going Green(ish)

Whew! What a weekend Memorial Day was — chock-a-block with parties for both the adults and the kids. If you’re anything like me, you may be feeling a bit saturated — polluted — with red meat, sausages, beer, potato salad, chips, more beer, bubble and cakes. Time to reëstablish a more healthful and sustainable balance. Sort of like going green.

Balance being the key. “Moderation in everything. Including moderation.” (Mr. Wilde, I believe.)

As much as I’d like to try a full out fat flush, I just don’t see it happening. But there are a few tricks that I use to keep Mrs. E. and me on track. Actually, just two: diet and exercise.

The E&EL Breakfast Smoothie

Leftovers or salad based luncheon.

Salad based dinner,  fish or lean meat to accompany. Nothing deep fried. No sweets (easy for us). No wine during the week. (Well, most of the time. This is much harder than the no dessert thing.)

Exercise. This has gotten tricky since my asthma has been giving me fits this year and severely curtailed my running. Up ’til about a month ago, my routine was fairly regular. Run 3-4 miles. 100 push-ups, 100 situps, 10 pulls ups. Repeat ever other day. On the “off days” I tried to run 5-6 miles. This past month, I’ve been using a DVD, a fifteen minute workout that I bought after reading a finely crafted piece of direct email. 15 Minute Hell. It pushed all my buttons. Cancer survivor, ex military, martial artist, teacher, written in guy talk vernacular, discount offer and a P.S. . Perfect piece of craftsmanship. I oughta know, I used to write them for non-profits back when junk mail was the order of the day.

(N.B. I don’t receive any sort of compensation for the endorsement.)

The production values are minimal at best. Elegant, it ain’t. The close to USD$100 price seems insanely high, especially for a guy who relied on a pair of running shoes, a kettle bell, pullup bar and two dumbells for all his exercise needs. But the system is easy and it works. Yes, it’s a workout, but once you get the hang of it, it isn’t the sort that leaves you curled up in the fetal position sick to your stomach (like that first day in February 2000 with these guys). And seriously, who doesn’t have fifteen minutes a day? Well, make it thirty. You’ll perspire and have to shower after all. What else can I throw in your way? I no longer have joint pain as I did from my old workout. My pullups have increased without any extra effort on my part. I LOOK better — that started after two weeks — and have more energy than before. Best yet? The only equipment needed is a DVD player (or your computer), about 6′ X 3′ of space, and a towel. I use a kitchen towel and work out barefoot.

It’s summer, green yourself up with a new diet and exercise routine. What’s your plan?

8 thoughts on “Going Green(ish)

  1. For the Summer, I am eating raw, at least 80% raw and 20% cooked. I have eliminated caffeine, alcohol,sugars and white flours. I allow only the weekends for a bit of imbibing. I feel so much better.
    My weekly plan is yoga twice, tennis twice and daily brisk walks with my dog.
    I want to see by Fall how much better I feel. Funny, I feel programmed to make healthy choices.

  2. I started the Primal Blueprint (www.marksdailyapple.com) (I’ll remove that if you don’t want someone getting free advertising) about eight months ago. Lost 35 pounds in about three months. No exercise, or at least what most people would define as exercise. Now, I fluctuate within about a four pound range. I do keep meaning to start exercising, and still might. Pondered doing that as a New Year’s resolution, but it is so horribly cold before work at that time of year, I knew I wouldn’t stick with it.

  3. Thanks for bringing this topic up. One can muse the night on good living, but feeling good about yourself starts with body image.

    I have gained 30lbs in the past 4 years. I attribute it to massive work stress, losing regular exercise as part of my daily routine and then finally a job change which has helped me down the road to more balance in my life.

    My goals for the summer? Start thinking more about what I eat… conscious eating I believe it’s called and get back to ANY form of regular exercise… I might give this 15 minute program a chance.

    Keep up the good work and I’ll raise a G&T to you this evening. That is on the diet, right? 🙂

  4. Wisco, great goals. I use diet tonic… Exercise was about the only thing that kept some of my stress at bay back in the start-up days.

    Turling, well done! That cold thing is tough to get by. “No such thing as bad weather, just bad gear.”

    Mrs. PvE, not sure I could do it, but it sounds terribly healthy and I bet you’re in the pink!

  5. It is fun to hear everyone’s approach to healthy living–and how different we all are! Although I have never had to watch my weight much, that isn’t as great as it sounds–the massive stress that puts weight on one man(Wisco), causes another to lose her appetite! Some stress in the past year has caused me to lose weight, unwanted. So to avoid looking skinny and boney, I order cheeseburgers and pomme frites, & exercise to keep muscle tone good. I believe in walking, for both physical and mental health. I also find digging in the dirt (gardening) is therapeutic. We joined a health club, a mid-town, smaller club without all the chaos of the big clubs, and we love it for cold months and short days. I don’t give up anything completely. I believe the key is to eat REAL food and enjoy dessert, but not every day. No fast food period. I like a glass of wine every evening, and the occasional gin and tonic in the summer months. Breakfast is cereal (Grape Nuts or Raisin Bran), with skim, fresh squeezed oj and coffee (Whole Foods Blend) with half and half. Live in a house with stairs, own a dog, have the laundry room on the lower level, stay busy, and there’s no way you can gain too much weight. Being a Mom also generally keeps a girl trim. Staying strong requires some weight machine use, aerobic fitness requires a run/treadmill/eliptical a few times a week. But eat well and be happy!

  6. Correction–being a Mom keeps a woman trim, same with Dads! I forgot to mention the importance of stretching–being limber and loose makes me feel much better, too. Joggers, beware your knees–what feels good when you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s surfaces in a bad way in your 50’s!

  7. Paula, your point about living in a house with stairs, owning a dog and having the laundry on a different level is hilarious and spot on. Thinking that yesterday as I traipsed upstairs for the third load!

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