Monthly Archives: September 2012

Fist-Bumps for Everyone!

Is it Wednesday again? How the days fly by. I’m swamped under a self-imposed deadline but I couldn’t let Wednesday zip by without offering you a WritersButt post. I know how y’all are waiting, on the edge of your seat, clutching your water bottles in excitement for what I will offer you.

Okay, whatever.

Today I’d like for everyone to toot his or her own horn. I know you expect me to tell you to do this, don’t do that, eat this, avoid that … drink your water, eat fat, and do your potty squats! Today is your chance to tell me what you are doing about which you feel AWESOME.

This was prompted by a recent trip to my grocery store. I live in a pretty small town. I run into people I know every single time I go to the store. More often than not, the person will immediately start to justify the food in their cart.

“This is for the kids.” “It’s my wife’s birthday.” “I’m bad, I know.” “It’s my cheat day (week!)”

This sort of thing happens on Facebook and Twitter too. At one point there was the Twitter hashtag #donttellginger.  Cracked me up! And yet, I don’t feel anyone needs to justify any of their choices to me. If they feel justified in their actions, I’m cool with that. It’s yourself to whom you must answer, right? Not me? As I often say to my clients, “You’re only cheating yourself.”

Now, for all those things you think you’re doing ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’, I know you’re all doing a whole lot right in your life. I know this because I know you’re awesome!

So, tell me … what have you done in the last week, or even today that you feel good about.  It can be WritersButt related; did your potty squats all day, did a mini-workout with burpees and lunges, drank your 100 oz of water. Stayed OFF THE SCALE.  Let’s celebrate!  Or maybe you hit your word count, finally returned to your manuscript and just wrote something, did a random act of kindness, rediscovered a craft … anything that made you feel good and not that you were failing!

I want to cheer for you. I’m here waiting to give you a fist-bump, so lay it on me. Brag on yourself. You deserve it!

~*~

And now, I give you a recipe for Southwestern Frittata.  I made this last night and it was devoured!  So yummilicious.

INGREDIENTS

         1 tablespoon coconut oil

         1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced (I had about ½ cup)

         1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and minced

         2 garlic cloves, minced  (I used 4)

         1 cup sweet potato, peeled and grated (I had more)

         1 pound grass fed ground beef (or any ground meet of your choice)

         1 tablespoons chili powder

         1 teaspoon ground cumin

         1/2 cup salsa verde

         12 eggs

Sea Salt and cracked pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350. In a large saute pan, saute the onions and minced jalapeno in the coconut oil over medium heat until the onions are translucent.

Add the ground beef and cook just until it starts to brown and add the grated sweet potato and garlic.

Cook until the beef is completely browned and the sweet potato is soft. Add the chili powder, cumin, and salsa, stir and cook until heated through. Taste and season with a little sea salt if desired.

Transfer the meat mixture to a 11×7 glass baking dish and spread the meat mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the 12 eggs add pour over the meat mixture in the baking dish.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the eggs are set in the middle when you jiggle the pan.

DIG IN and LOVE!!  Have a great week.

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Knit and Purl, how I missed you!

I love doing crafts. All sorts of crafts. I’ve made quilts, baskets, jewelry pouches, domino crosses, jewelry, stamped cards and gift bags, knitted countless scarves … you name it, I’ve probably tried it. But in the last few years, I haven’t done a thing. Too busy growing our CrossFit gym, managing house and children, and writing.  I knew I missed it but I didn’t realize how much until Coleen Patrick write this fabulous blog about Chasing Inspiration with Scissors.

I got the bug to create something besides my stories. I wanted to do something with my hands besides lift weights and swing kettlebells. Of course I’ll still do those things too, but I needed to add in a little something else. That nugget of an idea settled into my brain, waiting for the right inspiration.

A few days ago, it came. The wonderfully talented Erica O’Rourke, who wrote the freaking amazing TORN TRILOGY, tweeted something about fingerless gloves.  I LOVE fingerless gloves. I bought a pair last year at Pikes Place Market in Seattle. A decadent cashmere pair adorned with antique buttons that I swoon over every time I slip them on.

I tweeted Erica back asking if they were truly as easy to knit as promised. She sent a tweet with a link to a pattern and said, “Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.” Yes, she really said that. I told you she was awesome.

Later that same day, I miraculously found myself at Hobby Lobby looking at yarns and needles. The patterns called for different type of needle from what I already owned and I did have to totally guess on the size. More on this fact later. Ahem!

After a little more searching for a pattern and instructions I thought I could handle, I casted on with my bad self. Sure the pattern I found called for size 9 needles and I had bought size 6. I mean, it’d all work out right?  Oh, and I should mention this was the first time I’d ever followed a knitting pattern, or sort of followed.

First thing I discovered was it had been WAY too long since I’d knitted since I now needed cheater-reader glasses. I had to keep searching youtube for videos for techniques I’d forgotten. YouTube, I owe you so much!  I followed the instructions for knits and purls. I counted rows with hash-tags on my grocery list. I was all Zen with my knitting self.

Let me show you my results.

Here you’ll see my cute “little” needles. One glove is finished there on the right and the other is ready to be seam-stitched. There’s a great tutorial video on how to do that on youtube, among other things. You might be thinking, ‘Gosh, Ginger, those look sort of small. Maybe it’s just the camera angle?’

Well, no, you’d be right. There are just a teensy-tiny-bit on the smallish size. But I think I can still make this work.

How cute is this coaster, for instance? (Note: Ginger is horrified at scratches in coffee table? Will be interrogating the natives after school.)

Or, maybe daughter would like her doll to stay warm while she’s off tackling 6th grade without her?

No matter, aren’t they just too adorable?

Hey, I bet these would be in hot demand in Lilliput Village. This is like, a very hard to find item. I have solved problems!

Ok, so I’m ready to start on pair number two. I do have bigger needles and another pattern to try, just to keep things interesting.

Do any of you craft? Have some ‘misses’ that are actually wonderful like my Lilliput Fingerless Gloves to tell me about? Please let me know all about it in the comments.

 

WritersButt Wednesday – Is your scale the boss of you?

Happy Wednesday everyone.

I want to talk scales today, or more specifically, the common bad habit of routinely weighing yourself and placing a personal value on whatever that number is.  Here at WritersButt, I try to relate health and fitness to writing and creativity. I know there are tons of blogs out there, fabulous blogs solely focused on fitness and/or nutrition. So as I pondered the topic of scales, I tried to figure out how I could relate what I’m about to say to a writer’s soul.

This topic comes up a lot in my daily life, mainly with CrossFit clients or friends lamenting the fact that they ‘can’t lose weight’ or ‘want to lose 5, 10, 25, 50+ pounds’. What they typically mean is that they want to be smaller, leaner, fitter. I’m here to say that you can be all those things and not lose an ounce.  Or maybe you will lose some weight, but it will be a byproduct of getting stronger, fitter, healthier … not the goal itself.

Now, if you legitimately are ‘overweight’ as in classified ‘obese’, you might need an occasional weigh-in to make sure you’re on course, but I still believe by proper nutrition and smart fitness, you will not need to know how much you weigh to know you are making progress. Your clothes will start getting loose. Your entire shape will be changing. You will walk up a flight of stairs without breathing heavy. You will sleep better, have healthy bowel movements and all that fantastic stuff.

What is dangerous about weighing yourself often is that many people place too much value on that number. They step onto that square thing and have a visceral reaction to whatever digit pops up, as a personal value. Most often this reaction causes stress. Stress produces a hormone called cortisol.

(excerpt from link above)

“ … stress can cause the body to produce too much cortisol which can play a role in craving “comfort” foods, overeating, feeling fatigued, and storing excess body fat.”

If you take one thing away from my blog today, I hope it is to see and believe that how much you weight does not dictate how good/bad, fit/fat you appear.  To illustrate my point, check out this amazing image that has made the rounds on Facebook. I wish I could find out where this was originally posted so I could directly link to the source, which I bet has a wonderful story behind it.

So, tell me, would you rather the scale read 10 pounds lighter and have the body on the left, or does that 10 pounds not matter so much if you have the body on the right?  It’s all about your body fat percentage and not about how much you weigh.

Again, I’m not referring to people who are dangerously overweight to the point where it is risking their health and life. I’m talking to people who fixate over the desire/need to lose 5-10 pounds. You know, you can lose 5 pounds in a few days. Drastically cut your calories and water intake and in a few days you’ll be lighter. And hungry. And dehydrated. And sluggish. And constipated. And probably pretty darn grouchy.

Ah, I was going to relate this to writing, wasn’t I?

All right, so take that amazing book you’ve written. It’s published. It’s on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads, raking in the reviews. The plot of your book is its soul, it’s core and foundation, much like your own mind, heart and soul. Your book’s words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters are its life source, much like your nutrition and fitness.

I’m going to ask you to blur the lines between subjective and objective here for a moment. Even though a number on a scale is objective, the value you attach to it as it pertains to your body image is subjective.

With that in mind, I ask you to recognize that no book gets all 5 star reviews. You’ll have some 3’s, some 4.5’s maybe even some 2’s or GASP some crazy gives you 1 star. Does each one of those stars change what your book is? Is it better when it gets a 5 or does it automatically suck when it gets a 2? Of course not.

Your book is awesome. It’s strong. It’s beautiful. It’s funny. It’s vibrant. It’s soulful.

Just like YOU ARE.

And NO number on a scale or star from a review will change that.

Now, everyone turn in your scales to me! Come on. You do not need them to know if what you’re doing is right for your body and mind. Eat clean. Be Active. Hydrate. Sleep. Be Grateful. Your results will shine through YOU, not a number on a machine.

Do not let a scale have any power over you; make you think less of yourself, or a failure in any way. You are more awesome than a meaningless number.  You are the boss. The scale is your minion. It must be banished!

 

 

Google is the new Sex Ed

I do not consider myself someone who lives under a rock or is clueless about the, shall we say, sexier part of life. For starters, there was some wild years way back when. And I’ve been married over 18 years with three children born from that marriage. I’m well aware the stork didn’t drop them off. I’ve seen some racy movies and I’ve read me some saucy books.  So it always shocks me when, well, I’m shocked.

Let me explain.  Next month I’ll be traveling to Surrey, BC to attend the Surrey International Writers’ Conference. While there I’ll be presenting a workshop about my ongoing blog segment, WritersButt, where I harangue encourage people to incorporate fitness into their daily writing life (or any life!), to eat well and all that good stuff, to promote creativity and better fitness. For my workshop, I thought it would be fun to have a prize or two, or a fun giftie to hand out. Right? Wouldn’t that be kind of cool?

So, I’ve been searching for stuff and not coming up with anything that really knocked my socks off. I Googled ‘WritersButt’ where I saw some interesting images. I Googled ‘Potty Squats’ which brought back a plethora of memories and vivid images of the toilets in Japan. Then I tried ‘Butt Novelties’.

Now, stop laughing. I thought there would be little notepads with Butt jokes, maybe even a Butt Bobblehead. I don’t know. But, (no pun intended) I did not expect to see terms like expandable plugs or some product called a butt banger. It appears as if some company, unfortunately named liquid@ss sells a bottled butt crack fragrance. Like, there’s really a market for that?

Ah, the things I learn!  This brought back another time when I was riding the clueless train.  A few years ago I was in New York visiting one of my best writing friends with another best writing friend. There was an industry luncheon where we got to schmooze with agents, editors and other writers. Fun times.

At one point, there were five of us tooling around town, four writers and an editor for, among other things, erotic romance.  I was in the back seat with my besties and from the front the term SMBD is bandied about. (P.S. I just had to Google that to make sure I had the acronym right. OY!)

Friend on the right whispers to me, “What’s that stand for?” Now, I didn’t want to seem like a complete noob, so I confidently answer, “Oh, it’s that number attached to books for sales and stuff.” (ISBN number)

Um, friend on the left starts laughing – and explaining. Ginger gets educated.  Much hilarity and guffawing commence.

Who knew??!!  Ok, I bet you all did but I didn’t. Now I do!

And now I also know a thing or two about butt novelties that I’m pretty sure I didn’t need to know.

Thanks, Google. It’s been an enlightening day.

Please tell me I’m not alone? Some of you have to have run across some stuff in Google searching that gave you the jaw-drop. Come’on – Fess up!!

The Surf, the Sand, the Slice of Humble-Pie

Hola mis amigos! As you can see, we are back from the paradise vacation in Troncones, Mexico. I spoke little to no Spanish when I left. And now, I speak little to no Spanish. But the lyrical music of the language is still singing in my head.  We enjoyed an amazing 4-night stay at the Present Moment Retreat in Troncones, Mexico.

While there we ate the most fabulous meals. Oh my gosh!  Even my grossest exaggeration would not do it justice. All fresh food, prepared to order, offered a plate of authentic goodness. And the seafood – pardon me while I swoon. They also offered a specialty menu of juices and smoothies. Each combination provided different benefits. Our favorite was the Energize juice, which was pineapple, spinach and ginger. In fact, I could use one right now!

This place specialized in yoga and meditation, basically all forms of relaxation to get you to be in the ‘present moment’. Well, it worked and then some. We meditated, we yoga’d our chi off, and found some serious zen. Ok, there may have been a little help from the 90-minute massages we got on our last day in a little hut on the beach with the waves crashing.

~*~Ooouummmmm~*~

Now don’t think we just sat around all day, rocking on our porch …

Or taking a siesta …

Or lounging by the pool …

Or enjoying some lovely beverages …

No, we had some adventure too, in the form of surf lessons. We signed up for 1-hour of private surf instructions. Enter Beto. I should add that I thought his name was Bento and called him that for 2 days. But I shall henceforth refer to him by Beto so he won’t go down in infamy as a Japanese lunch box.

Here is my Facebook status after our surf lessons:

1. Surfing is not easy
2. I’m pretty sure I have I plankton setting up house in areas they have no business being.
3. Laughing at yourself is very good medicine.
4. When Beto says, “Get on” — you do it and smile about it.
5. Eventually riding more waves than you miss is satisfying.

4 pm, Beto shows up. He’s your quintessential surf dude, I mean, surfer-city.  He tells us we are to walk with him down the beach to get our boards.  Once we get to the boards, Beto gives us a brief demonstration of what we are to do. We lay down on the board and prove we can indeed hop to our feet and strike ‘the pose’. Beto is foolishly satisfied we can do this and we head to the waves, leashed to our boards.

Within moments, a wave is coming, Beto taps board, “Get On.” Turns board to shore, shoves with the wave and says, “Ready, Go.”

Ok, let me cut to the chase. There was a whole lot of falling and rolling on the ocean floor. There was salt and plankton consumed in ways I’m not sure is wholly explainable. There was a valuable reminder that learning new sports is pure gold for your soul.

It wasn’t long before we wondered when our hour would be up. It felt like we’d been surfing for a long time. I think it had been about 15 minutes. We were exhausted! Every time I trudged back to Beto with my board, he slapped it and said, ‘Get on’ and I just blindly listened.  At one point, I asked Beto if it had been an hour. He shrugged. I asked if he new what time it was.

Beto: “Naw. What is time?”

Ginger has wave crash over her head: “Well, how will we know when our time is over?”

Beto slaps board, Ginger doesn’t even wait for his ‘get on’ and flings herself onto surfboard: “You having fun?”

Ginger: “Yes.”

Beto: “Then no time here. Have fun more important.”

Soon after that, my surfboard got ahead of me a bit on my way back to Beto, who was diving and flipping in the water as he waited for William and I get return after each ride with our boards. A wave came and sent the surfboard towards me. It crashed into my ribs, knocked me back and proceeded to ride over my face.

Yes, I ran over myself with my own board.

By the end, I have to say, we were riding more waves than we were missing.  Beto insists that we did very well. I would like to believe him.

Finally we called our surf fun to a close and made our way back to our bungalow and headed strait to the hot tub with jets.

Then we started laughing. I caught a huge fit of belly-giggles. A yoga class was finishing feet from us and I tried so hard to shush my laughter but that just sent me to snorting.  Every breath of air expanded inside of me and came out in laughter.

Once I got a hold of myself, and William refilled my wine glass, I got to thinking about what Beto said about time.

What is time? Really think about that. Time is a reality. But it need not dictate your being, your actions and your mindset. Sure there are times when this can’t be avoided. Appointments, schedules, obligations. But there are so many other moments that are wasted by thinking of a time that is not happening yet, right that moment, in that present moment.

Beto’s words will stay with me as a reminder to acknowledge the moment I’m in, to breathe and experience that instant. To allow myself the luxury of smiling, having fun, laughing at myself and appreciating every moment of life.

Whatever you are feeling; joy, laughter, fun, peace … allow yourself to feel time stop and settle into that moment and really live it … for right then, there is no time.

Hasta la próxima vez mis amigos …. Until next time my friends!

 

 

WritersButt Wednesday – An offer and a quickie

Happy WritersButt Wednesday.

So here’s the deal. I had a whole post planned for you today, jam-packed with recipes and it’s not going to happen. It’s not going to happen because as per my usual, I didn’t have the post prepared ahead of time and now I’m manically trying to get my stuff together to zip off to Mexico with my honey. It’s our first vacation, just us, no kids, not visiting family, since we’ve been married.  Oh, in February, we’ll celebrate 19 years.  This is long overdue.

I’m sure I’ll post about our adventure in Mexico. We are going to a yoga retreat in Troncones. Just typing that sentence makes me sigh and want to close my eyes and listen for the ocean and taste the salt on the sea breeze.

In the mean time, I just couldn’t leave you completely hanging, now could I?  So I do have a quick idea/recipe for you and a great offer as well.

The offer comes from my friend, who is a certified health coach, Sandra Brougher, who has graciously guest blogged for us here for WritersButt Wednesday to help us kick the sugar-crack habit. She is about to launch a 12-week course called Fast Track to Hot & Healthy.

The concepts that Sandra teaches here will align perfectly with everything I’ve talked about here in WritersButt. It’s not about ‘dieting’. It’s about fueling your body of the highest quality food, food your body needs to be healthy. The healthier you are on the inside, the more energy you have to move and increase your strength, which all circles directly back to your mental state. This ‘perfect storm’ puts you at your healthiest, most creative and dare I say happiest as well.

Wann know more? Here’s a bit from her site:

Make a decision TODAY to end the daily battle with your waistband, mirror and poor health!

  Step inside the “Fast Track to Hot and Healthy – How to Look Good and Feel Great in 6 Simple Steps”, and for the next 12 weeks discover how to “Make Healthy the New Normal” and sustain it for life.

  • Say goodbye to cravings! 
  • Banish crabbiness to the curb!
  • Watch your skin glow and hair shine!
  • Lose weight!

Wait a minute…..how is this different from any other plan out there?  Good question.

Over the next 12 weeks you are going to learn how to turn your bodies internal system into a fat burning machine.  Your body will have a major transformation from the inside out.

The course is about to start. You can read ALL THE DETAILS HERE. Also, even though her early-bird price has expired, because Sandra is awesome, she is going to offer a $100 discount to anyone who mentions WritersButt when they register. For the record, I have absolutely no financial gains here. I don’t get a kick-back or anything of the sort. I asked Sandra if I could mention her program because I believe in it and that’s it.

Now, one thing I know Sandra does, and promotes, is having a delicious “Green Smoothie”.  I have created and fast and easy version when I’m in a pinch and want to grab something fast after a workout.

I don’t have one of those whoop-de-whoop blenders, which are lovely and I know pretty awesome. But I do have a magic bullet and it seems to work for me.  For this smoothie, I use the coconut milk you see pictured. Most important thing is that is says UNSWEETENED on the carton. To that, I added a scoop of ‘super greens’ (many varieties can be purchased at a vitamin shop or online), a scoop of high quality protein powder, couple spoonfuls of fish oil (lemon flavor), a bunch of frozen kale and spinach, small handful of frozen blueberries. Mix-er-up and ENJOY!!

If you have any questions for Sandra, ask them in the comments.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have to pack up by bathing suits, my workout clothes, and my box of wine. Mexico or bust!!  Have a great week.

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