Monday, February 26, 2007

People eat the darndest things

I spend my days helping people become better at whatever they want to do, to feel better and improve themselves mentally and spiritually. Unfortunately, something has been coming between me and that aim. What is it? That's right:
I've been finding person after person telling me they are feeling bad. I ask them, "What did you eat?"
"I had a donut for breakfast, a hot dog for lunch, for a snack I had potato chips and for dinner I had some water and then I had some coffee."
Or "I had chocolate and tea for breakfast."
Or "I never eat anything all day until 3:00 pm. Then I have a big cup of coffee and a muffin. At 10:00pm I have my big meal of the day and have a huge steak and pasta".
Or I've had people tell me they can't sleep or they wake up after a few hours of sleep and I ask what they do before going to bed, and they tell me they eat a chocolate bar or drink hot chocolate or eat sugary cereal.
What ever happened to regular food?
There are SO MANY diet foods, plans, nutrition guides and breakthroughs; books on this, that and the other miracle vitamin or supplement, that I didn't guess that food would need to be addressed at all. Food seems to be at the forefront of national and international attention. You can't go anywhere without hearing about food, snacks, diets, gourmet dining, new recipes or nutritional health cures. There are entire empires built on these things and many people who have gotten rich giving advice on what to eat and not eat.
I wonder if there is still a niche in the market?
The problem is, who would buy a book or diet plan called "Eat Your Breakfast", "Eat Your Vegetables" "Don't Eat Too Many Sweets"?
Besides, it would be a very short book. I'd have to pad it with lots of chapters about what not to do, or just make up a lot of gobbledegook for filler.
This is basically all it would say:
1) Eat all three meals a day
2) Eat protein at each meal
3) Eat vegetables and fruits each day
4) Don't eat very many sweets, try to stay away from junk food and sodas
5) Keep to a reasonable amount of caffeine- try to get your energy from slow-burning food and exercise.
6) Get enough fluids in a day- water is great.
7) Don't eat anything sugary before going to bed. Maybe have a light snack with protein and/or vegies. Warm milk or turkey are especially nice for getting to sleep.
Well, that's about it. It does work, so maybe if anyone out there can think of a hot way to market it, we could have a best-seller.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Saturday Night Dance

Last Saturday night I went to a local Ballroom Dancing class. It was set up in a brightly-lit High School gym, decorated with red hearts and red Chinese Lanterns, pink balloons and pink pigs; celebrating both Valentine's Day and the Chinese Year of the Pig.
The turn-out was good- about 75 nervously sweating middle-aged men and women had shown up. The instructor Paul had us stand in a circle around him, and each man was told to grab a partner and introduce himself.
One man introduced himself to me as Tom. He was about the same height as me, with white hair and glasses, and stood very stiffly. The instuctor showed us the Salsa, and before I knew it Tom and I were holding eachother tight, hips swaying back and forth together suggestively. I just started to get used to this idea when Paul told the men to rotate around the circle to the next woman. So I said good-bye to Tom, and Salvatore came up to me. He was a little taller, with a dark, balding, Latin look, and an apologetic expression in his eyes. He held me gently but firmly, and bagan to Salsa to the instructor's count, chanting "Quick-quick-Slow, Quick-quick-Slow" under his breath.
The night went on, as the men circled around, each one with a new name and look, but each one holding me close, with sweaty hands and an intense look of concentration. When I was starting to get a little dizzy trying to remember the changing circle of men's names and faces, the instructor had us practice spins. Each man practiced spinning me to the Salsa beat until I wasn't sure which way was up. At which point the instructor announced we were going to learn the Polka. "This is an energetic dance," he said, "And should be done quickly. There are a lot of turns, but we won't do the Constantly- Spinning version of the Polka tonight."
I don't know how much more Spinning the Constantly-Spinning Version could possibly have been, because we were spinning A LOT. Round and round we went, skipping, hopping, dashing in little circles around eachother, and spinning, spinning, spinning.
It was time for the free dance now, and Samba music was put on. I was pouring with sweat and feeling distinctly unladylike. I couldn't imagine any man, no matter how old or desperate, being able to hold me tight, swaying his hips against mine. So I dove for the bathroom and stood for a while splashing myself with cold water, trying to slow down my breathing. Unfortunately, standing in front of a bathroom sink invariably entails looking at oneself in the mirror. My face was a bright neon red, shiny with sweat, with my hair sticking to my face. I decided right there that I would leave.
But I would come back next week, with cooler clothes and more anti-perspirant, to learn the Tango and the Walse.