Saturday, October 27, 2012


This week, I had the opportunity to attend the Texas Conference for Women. I went several years ago with a group from work. Martha Stewart was the keynote. Which sounds impressive, except that this was during the time of her troubles with the law, and did she, a most powerful woman in the world speak on this? No. She showed us pictures of Turkey Hill and her hydrangeas and reminded us that she makes a magazine we might want to buy. I was shocked at the lack of fascinating content that she cranked out that day. Nevertheless, that year this conference rocked my world a little, and introduced me to Julie and Julia and other wonderful books and ideas that inspired me.

For a few years, this conference went to Houston so I did not go there for it. But this year, it came back to Austin, and I got to go!

imgres.jpgimgres.jpgIt started off with Charlotte Beers, whom I had never heard of before, but I will never forget her. For one thing, she is from Beaumont, where I am from. But then she made her way to become CEO of  big deal advertising firms and Undersecretary of State (senior deputy) to Colin Powell. Her book is I'd Rather Be in Charge, and she wants to empower women to be outstanding communicators and powerful professionals. Her articulacy moved me. I can't wait to read her book.

Then there was Brene Brown, who is the most downloaded TED Talks speaker. She speaks about how important it is to allow vulnerability in yourself, and her book is Daring Greatly. Here is her TED video:

The speaker/author/person I really fell in love with at this conference is Danielle LaPorte. She simply drips with wisdom and deep spirit and authenticity. She spoke about getting real and doing away with what you don't need. She did an entire session called "Your Big, Beautiful Book Plan," where I took 4 pages of notes. She spelled it all out. She is amazing, and I am going to read everything she's got. Here's a video of Danielle from

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Macrobiotics... It's complicated

I read the Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics. It was not what I expected. I thought it might be easy. Like, "eat vegetables."

But it's about the energy of the universe, which is slightly more complicated.

The book starts with yin and yang. Really the whole thing seems to be about yin and yang. Everything in the world is yin or yang, yin being expansive and yang being constrictive. People are yin or yang, with yin being more feminine and yang being masculine. Yin attracts yang and vice versa. Yin repels yin and vice versa. Everything changes, and what is yin becomes yang. Everything has both yin and yang in it. Foods are yin and yang, and macrobiotics is about keeping these forces in balance within your diet.

I hate to say this. I do not want to be disrespectful, but ugggh...

No beef (extreme yang), no chicken (even more yang + crazy chicken energy), no eggs. No caffeine, no dairy (food for baby cows is not good food for adult humans). No sugar. No nightshade vegetables, so tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes are out. Pretty much no alcohol, though you can sip on some beer if you need a little yin balance. Very little salt. Nothing spicy. No microwaving. No freezing.

What do you eat? Whole grains. Certain vegetables, but keeping in mind their yin/yang business and balancing that. A little bit of pickled stuff. And seaweed. Yup. Seaweed.
Photo from "How to Heal with Macrobiotic Foods" at 

This is entirely more woo-woo than I was prepared for.

What the author did say over and over again is that if you get nothing else out of it, eat whole grains each day. Whole grains will make you feel good, focused, and light. And chew your grains- chew each mouthful 25, 50, ideally 100 times so that you really get the nutrition and energy out of them. Keep doing that and then come back if you want to, so you can go, as she says, whole hog.

I  couldn't help but think of the movie Bernie where the last thought that Bernie had before he shot Mrs. Nugent four times in the back is that he cannot bear the idea of having dinner with her again, watching as she chews each mouthful twenty. five. times.

So now I know, and I wish I didn't. I'm just not prepared to give up coffee, craft beer or cupcakes. I will continue with the occasional macrobiotic lunch and I will chew up whole grains regularly and see what happens. Maybe someday if I become more enlightened, I can do this. For now, I'll just be chewing.

Thursday, October 4, 2012


For a few weeks now, I have been eating lunch once or twice a week at a restaurant that serves macrobiotic foods. I chose it because it is quiet and serene. I can go there and read a book or write in my journal and eat a delicious, nurturing meal. I am really loving that. But what I’ve noticed is that I feel really good! The food feels so clean and healthy, but at the same time it is as comforting as if my grandmother prepared it. I have brought three people now to eat lunch there with me. I am going to make this a habit.

The thing is, until yesterday, all I knew about macrobiotics is that it’s vegetarian and in-season foods. Yesterday, I learned just a smidge more, that the different kinds of foods on the plate have energy. Grains are calming. That’s all I know so far, except that this food is really good and a great fit for my direction toward my best health and fitness. A book has been recommended to me, The Hip Chick’s Guide to Macrobiotics, by Jessica Porter. I bookstore-read the first chapter, and I can’t wait to read the whole thing.  But I’m over my book budget by a lot... Ooh! Public library. Hah.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Weight Loss, Even Temporary, is Good for You

Interesting article on Dr. Weil's blog today about weight loss. Even if you regain, the benefits of losing weight are long-term and real.

Even Temporary Weight Loss Cuts Risk, by Dr. Andrew Weil <- click here to read

It's interesting that he mentions a minimum of 10% loss; that's what Weight Watchers sets as your goal for losing. Seems to be a magic number.