Live Long and Prosper (The Diet, Day 20)

I ate a croissant today. I may not be qualified to diet blog after that, so I decided to let this guy talk to you instead.

Forgive me if this is a repeat post. I think I do have a vague memory of sharing this video before, but this is the first time I’ve shared it because I ate a croissant.

The interesting part of Buettner’s talk to me is that the populations living the longest seem to be those most cut off from modern industrialized life. They are eating the native diets provided by the land around them. I think Michael Pollan wrote about five books telling people to do that. We aren’t very good listeners, it seems. No matter how many hundreds of millions of dieting resolutions are made each year in America, we’re still primarily a fast food nation.

Buettner uses a term I like: downshifting. That’s what I’m trying to do. I need to downshift on stress in order to live not just a longer life but a better life as well. This Diet that I am currently undertaking is part of that downshift. I want to enjoy my life more, and that means feeling better, and that means getting in better shape.

Most days it means writing about the process too.

Today I wondered just how many other people out there were blogging about their diets. I started to look it up but got distracted when I ran across an article on asking if diet blogging was bad for the soul. Of course I had to find out. If something is bad for the soul or the body, chances are I’ve been doing it without even knowing I was.

Turns out the answer is just the same thing we all already knew. Obsession with appearance is bad for the soul. Feeling pressured by the judgments of others is bad for the soul.

I would feel sad if blogging about dieting in and of itself were bad for the soul. Writing, for me, is like a meditation. It is the time of day when I regroup, refocus, reorient myself to a sense of purpose. So to Jezebel I say hmph. Onward blogging now.

All that aside, since I was already having a good life day and an askew diet day, I decided to take my own advice from yesterday and play with my food even if that meant not quite achieving Diet standards.

I made my own salad dressing (following Krista’s advice minus the part about being Krista and knowing what I’m doing). More specifically, I made up my own salad dressing.

Quickly now, I will attempt to list the ingredients before I completely forget.

Balsamic vinegar
Blackstrap molasses
Creole mustard
Hot sauce
Olive oil

Don’t ask about proportions. I don’t know. I just shook stuff into a bowl and stirred.

The result was amazing. I felt like I was eating a gourmet salad right here in my own kitchen. I felt like I’d stumbled across a prize salad chef in some random city I was unlikely to ever visit again.

I’m trying to build up to going sugar free for a couple of weeks for Phase I of South Beach. I’ve officially named Monday as the start day for that, though, so the honey doesn’t count. And the blackstrap molasses, to my way of thinking, is just taking a liquid vitamin. That’s what they gave people to prevent anemia before vitamin pills were invented. Blackstrap molasses keeps people alive through hard winters. I’m just getting an early start.

Probably people in remote mountain villages live to be 100 by mixing balsamic vinegar and blackstrap molasses for their salads. Next time I’m in a remote mountain village, I’ll ask.

Writing the Collage

I love this assignment.

I'm trying to think how I can work it into my comp 1.  I'm imaging my students' faces if I say they have a five page single-spaced paper right off the bat.  I think I could tie it in with a journal assignment, though.  They could select examples of both formal and informal writing for the collage, excerpts from both essays and journal sketches.  Hmmm…

We have so much emphasis on everyone doing that same thing that it is difficult sometimes to just take off with a great idea, but I do love this assignment.  It breaks everything down to what matters about the writing itself (as opposed to the academic restrictions on that writing), the impact of the sentences, the individual stand-out moments.  The voice.  The voice. 

I think my weekend has just been stolen by the impulse to write my own collage. 

Here's more on the written (hypertext) collage from Doug Eyman.

And here's something from Peter Elbow about the collage as a collaborative assignment.

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