Category Archives: Healthy Living

Day 8 of 20 *Questions* What is my body telling me?

My body is telling me that it’s hungry for “trick food.”  Honestly, that’s what my body says all day every day.  My body used to tell me that it was tired *and* wanted trick food.  Thankfully, with doctors help I found solutions to the sleep issue, and I am daily grateful for that – so maybe I should say, the first thing my body is telling me is to be THANKFUL!  Always a good place to start.  Then my body says, “we’re going to work hard today.  Maybe start with some energy from sweet tea and cookies?” 

This is where I am in my journey now.  I have been working on exercising for awhile, and that is a gift – I love feeling the wind in my hair when I’m running (which sounds romantic, but could technically be called “jogging” …)  But I tend to believe that the fuel we give our body is what will define our days.  Filling my tank with sludge (mmmmm, partially-hydroxinated oils!) will not help me run as well as a slice of honeydew and a hard-boiled egg.

I’m listening to an audio book right now called “the mouth trap: the butt stops here.”  The author talks about what we tell ourselves is “fun food” – and she explains that in her journey, she went from her “fun foods” being the traditional sweets and salty-crunch foods to her “fun foods” now being raw red peppers and roasted Brussels sprouts.  I think she’s on to something – if we take time to taste our food, most any of it can be fun – our palate and the variety of foods available to us is practically miraculous!  And yet we tell ourselves that only a few foods are really treats.  That doesn’t make much sense biologically, yet, we are “consumers” – meaning, we consume food, and we “consume” a “diet” of images from tv and magazines and even memories that instruct us in what is “fun” food.  I am trying to make the transition to seeing more foods as fun, and it brings the double benefit of it helping me be more svelte, but I’m also realizing, I’m giving the programming for what my kids will think of as “fun food” decades down the line – maybe even what they will be feeding my someday grandchildren!  Yikes!  Oreos are for special occasions, kids – have some honeydew!  Have a whole orange!  Have some fruity oatmeal and homemade tortillas!

And so – each of us has messages from her/his body.  Maybe it’s the need for sleep, or real food, or a massage; maybe it’s a trip to the doctor, or a walk at sunset, or to simply let our tastebuds celebrate life.  The question for today reminds us of the miracle that we are given: our body and our life.

Day 2 of 20 *Questions*: Is this what I want to be doing?

Is this what I want
to be doing?

Since moving to Malaysia, I have become temporary chair of the PTA at our boys’ school.  I don’t yet know if I enjoy it.  But someone needed to step up, and I was there with time and energy, and I really wanted to learn more about how the school functions, especially as an international school in a local community.

It’s a fair amount of work.  There are lots of events that we’re expected to do, and the steering committee is made of people with 4 different mother languages.  We all have kids, so we’re busy.  And I often find myself asking, “Is this what I want to be doing?”  I ask it with each task I volunteer for, with each e-mail I send, with each time I wonder how I’ll get everything done before the deadline.  The obvious answer, you might think, would be, “No, this isn’t what I want to be doing.”  It’s not like it’s fun, easy, or terrifically rewarding.

But each time, I think, “for now, yes. This task is important, and I want it to be done.  For now, I will do this.”  It gives me permission to put my energy fully into the role, to commit, and in so doing I often find pieces I do enjoy.  Starting a Christmas charity drive was really special, and only happened because I repeatedly said, “Yes, this IS what I want to be doing.”

Asking this question also gives me permission to notice when I won’t want to do it anymore.  I already know that I’m winding down my time as chair – and it gives me some time to find a replacement so I can finish this commitment well and without guilt.  There are other things that I also want to be doing, and I need to be free to turn to those.  It’s said that discipline is knowing what you *really* want – this question invites your time to be disciplined and thus freed.

Day 1 of 20 Questions

What questions should I be asking myself?

OK, this question gets the “obvious award.”  Any project based on questions starts with, “well, what question(s)?”  But this question, for me, links to one of our House Rules (our 10 Commandments):  “Look and listen – slow it down.”  At almost any point, it helps to Stop, Look, and Listen.  I’m consistently amazed at what I learn when I do those simple things.  We get into a groove, and it can become a rut in no time at all – but if we pause, we might notice other options, other dreams, other ways of being that we wouldn’t be open to if we keep on at our same pace and direction.

Right now I’m into interval training – riding an exercise bike, and *every minute* I spend 30 seconds at high difficulty and 30 seconds recovering.  It completely changes the workout for my mind and for my heart (literally).  For the whole workout, I’m starting something new every 30 seconds.  It’s like asking myself, “what should I be asking?” – entering into a different interval in the pace and direction of my life.


the 10 Commandments at the Trozzo house

So – if you don’t know what 19 questions lie ahead of us, and I hope you don’t – what questions do you think should go on a list of “20 questions we should all be asking ourselves?”

Let’s play 20 Questions … a new way!

I just read an article by Martha Beck about the 20 questions that you should be asking yourself, your whole life long. Kids ask about a million questions a day, it seems, and they use questions to learn about their world. They are curious about the world, themselves, and how things relate to each other. As [so-called] adults, maybe we can learn from them to keep learning about ourselves, this world we live in, and how we keep on relating to everyone and everything around us.

Full disclosure: these questions are from the article in the February 2011 issue of Oprah magazine. Later in the magazine, Dr. Phil says, “A question is really a statement in disguise.” Questions do lead us to what we believe, and can lead us to changing our beliefs (again, about our world, ourselves, and how we all relate).

I got this magazine from our state library, and in 2 years it’s been checked out 23 times. (That’s pretty good for a magazine!) Hopefully you’ll check back here 23 times to see the questions, comments, and if anybody has answers to share. Because this is one way to learn!

Take a poll …. about questions!    

A Christmas Snack

Healthy Striped Christmas apple snack

Healthy Striped Christmas apple snack

As we enjoy the holidays, we strive for all kinds of health:

Financial health – living generously without going beyond our budget

Spiritual – not only “keeping the Christ in Christmas” but letting his presence change us throughout the year (“letting Christ out of Christmas”)

Wellness Wheel - ELCA

Developed by the Lutheran Church (ELCA), these are ways that our lives can be healthy.

Emotional health – recognizing that for many, this is a difficult season.  Even for those not actively grieving, expectations are high.

Physical heath – exercising even when it’s cold, eating just enough and eating healthy

Intellectual, Interpersonal, Vocational health – learning, relating well to others, believing that our job has a mission that matters

And so – I offer you one simple step toward health.  If you’re going to a potluck, bring fresh, healthy, and festive apples.  Or if you just want something special, here you go.

A festive find - the Christmas star in the center of an apple.  Who knew!?!

A festive find – the Christmas star in the center of an apple. Who knew!?!

They only take a few seconds to make, so you have a few extra minutes for other health ventures.  They don’t cost a lot but are a fun conversation piece – especially when they find the Star of Christmas in the center of their apple chip!

Merry and healthy Christmas to you!