Getting Active: The Junk Food Paradox

Mr. Moon and I acquired a membership to the local community center. Besides pool tables, ping pong tables, and a cafe, it also has a climbing wall, a pool, a walking track, and the usual exercise equipment. Of course, they also have a full schedule of classes.

As a swimmer all through elementary, middle and high school, that's of course what I was most excited to do. The fact that it's the only thing I'm cleared to do thanks to many years of damage on my joints doesn't dampen the excitement factor. Mr. Moon is most excited for Pickle ball, Volleyball, and the water slide. I foresee many hours at the rec center for a while!

Of course, with all this extra activity from the past week, our bodies are crying out for calories. Fast calories, easy to digest, and high on the "quick energy" meter. That means that combined with my raging PMS this week, much potato chips, peanut M&M's, and ice cream have been consumed. Can you say,

Junk Food Binge!?

I'm letting go what we've already eaten, what's done is done. Now I'm buckling down and focusing on having some good snacks available for those after-workout mow-down sessions. It's doubly important to have nutrient-dense foods for breakfasts and lunches that are easy on the stomach, since we're mostly planning on going swimming right after breakfast, and so far we're coming home ready for lunch. Or at least a good hearty snack.

So far, I've come up with only a few ideas. I've got a gallon lemonade jug of homemade sports drink: Lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit juices with a splash of honey and a pinch of salt. GREAT for replenishing electrolytes without all the processed junk in Gatorade and Powerade.

Nuts are a great snack food, but they hurt my teeth. I keep making veggie snacks and completely forgetting them, or not wanting them when they're in front of me. Less so with fruits, but those too. Everything else that I can think of or find on Pinterest keeps requiring me to make/cook/chop/prepare something when I want to eat it, and that defeats the purpose. I'm still stuck on this, and maybe always will be, if the last 15 years are any indication.

I know that I sound hypocritical when I rail against the junk in sports drinks after I just finished a bag of Doritos. First of all, I've never claimed to be perfect. Perfectly flawed, perhaps, in that I know I am flawed and I recognize the internal inconsistencies with which I struggle. One of them being a perfectionist streak, that quietly whispers in my ear the idea that if you can't do anything 100%, you shouldn't bother doing it at all.

I disagree. Any time you pick a salad over french fries, you are doing an awesome thing for yourself and your body. Every minute you meditate is like picking a salad over fries. Every time you get up and out to the pool even though the blankets are soooo comfy and you really didn't sleep well, when you tell yourself you're not in enough pain to give yourself a break today and you get up and climb in that pool, you are making a choice that's good for you. Better for you than the alternative.

That's my goal. Better. I wanted Doritos, and if my angry uterus had anything to say about it, I was going to eat them. So I picked a small bag instead of a big one. I picked the water over the soda, I picked the pool over staying in bed. I picked the cloth napkin over the paper towel, and the food at home over the fast food burgers that smelled so good. I picked growing my own vegetables over buying them from the store, and I picked the local ones over the produce from far away (when I had the choice). I picked working out at all over staying at home watching a movie, even if I didn't necessarily worry about heart rate and speed and calories burned. Those can some later. For now, I'm proud of just doing Better.


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