I learned much over the last three weeks while I dealt with a severe ear infection. Due to fluid moving around in my ear, it was quite painful and I couldn’t move my head around or down towards the floor, or even lie down for that matter without some sort of pain. So, my regular workout routine became nul and void. No yoga, no gym. I did continue to walk the dogs two miles each day, until it snowed again… (I’m a total suck when it comes to the cold, but so are my dogs.)
For the first several days I was still able to maintain watching my diet and spent a lot of time sleeping. After the first round of meds did nothing, I started my second round of stronger meds and noticed that by then it had been 10 days where my schedule was kyboshed and slowly, my healthy eating habits had diminished. Not completely, but slowly it became easier to make a quick processed food supper or it was too much effort to cut veggies for a salad. My calorie intake on My Fitness Pal was rising, slowly – not a lot, but enough to notice my good habits slipping. And most importantly my blood sugar readings moved up a number or two. All small changes, but significant to me. I had experienced so much success that this was bothering me greatly. And a note of interest – my last blood tests with my doctor showed ALL of my numbers in the normal range, plus I’m down forty pounds. I was so proud of myself, this was not the time to get sick. All my work has my diabetes under control, all within four months of diagnosis. So, seeing those numbers change on my daily tests, even though they were small, sent up a red flag.
Being true to my analytical self, I looked at the scope of what was going on. I couldn’t do my usual workout, but why was I struggling to stick to my diet decisions. I determined that my morning yoga was the key.
My usual routine being the following:
- get up
- get the boys off to school
- do 35 minutes of yoga
- drink a raw vegan smoothie
- creative raw vegan salad for lunch
- workout at gym
- make supper (based around salad)
- walk the dogs with the boys
- bedtime for them
- unwind with Netflix
- bedtime for me and repeat… somewhat.
But the all important key was starting my day with yoga – it created my mindset for the rest of the day. Even if I didn’t feel like doing my yoga, on those days I picked a slightly easier flow, but I still did it. And always, always, I was ready to face my day, I felt good, my mind was clear, focused and I could go on. But that 35 minutes set me up for my success for the day. Without it, evidently, complacency nudged in.
With my ear 95% better, yesterday morning I woke up, got the boys off to school, completed 35 mins of yoga, made a smoothie, and got on about my day. Today, the same, but this afternoon I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym. And just like that, my mood is better, my day is brighter, I’m focused and ready.
I understand that at times I’m going to get hit with an illness and that will disrupt my routine, but this was a real eye-opener into how important my morning fitness routine is to maintaining my overall well being.
Award-winning author and good friend, Jodi Carmichael, spent almost two years living abroad in England with her family and recently returned to Canada.
What was your favourite part of living in England? What was it like to learn to drive there?
How is that even possible to answer. There was so much that I loved; the people, the architecture, the proximity to mainland Europe, but I suppose what really moved me was the history. You can walk down streets that once were travelled by Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, Agatha Christie, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and I could go on and on. For a writer, exploring England is like traveling the road to Mecca.
Finished reading anything worth recommending lately?
I just finished, The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands. It is a fast paced historical mystery that I had a hard time putting down. It had everything a reader could want; secret codes, thrilling action, history, science, and well developed characters. Set in 1665 London, we follow the adventures of Christopher Rowe an apothecary’s apprentice as he cracks codes and opens secret doors, while solving a conspiracy that reaches far beyond the walls of Blackthorn Apothecary. This novel was aimed at middle graders, but anyone who likes a well written mystery with historical and scientific accuracy, and a good number of explosions, would love this book.
Please connect with Jodi:
Facebook: Jodi Carmichael
Instagram: Jodi Carmichael
Jodi writes for kids and teens of all ages and is the award-winning author of young adult novel, Forever Julia and chapter book, Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food. She is currently working on an action packed middle grade novel that is full of mystery, clairvoyance, and double agents.
I’ve been paying attention to what it means when we say “books for boys.” As authors and conference attendees we hear the following:
- There is a shortage of books for boys.
- Boys are more reluctant readers than girls.
- Due to number 2 above, publishers lean towards “books for girls” for better sales.
- If we don’t capture a boy’s attention within the first 5 pages, they’ll put the book down. Girls will read to the end, hoping the book gets better.
What makes a book a “boy” book?
I came up with an answer recently that really bothered me A LOT – adults. Parents, teachers, librarians place judgement and the first and foremost reason for a selecting a book is the main character. Is our protagonist a boy or a girl? And this is the determination of who should read a book. . . really? Is that where most (not all, but most) of the weight is put on determining what we feed our kids to read?
For the most part a girl will read both “boy” and “girl” books, girls are considered more open minded. Or, is it that boys are considered un-boylike if they read a book with a female protagonist?
My son, age 19, read my book, Empty Cup, for his grade 12 choice reading project last year. Empty Cup would be considered a “girl book” due to the protagonist being a girl. But when I consider the social issues addressed in the book, shouldn’t boys be enlightened also? Anyway, at the time when he read it, my son said that he liked my book . . .yes, I realize I’m his mom. . .
Recently, I chatted with him about how he felt reading Empty Cup. Excluding the fact that I’m his mom, is it a book he’d read or recommend to his male friends. He said sure. Kids today read whatever they want, it doesn’t matter who the main character is. Basically, kids aren’t judged for exercising their individuality, because it’s cool to be different. So his answer confirmed my thinking that adults place too much judgement on what would be appropriate for boys.
Considered my friend Gabriele Goldstone’s historical novel series. Red Stone and Broken Stone are set during Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany and tell the story of Katya, the main character based on her mother and the true events that happened to her during that time. These books should absolutely be read by both girls and boys as they tell an important story from history in Gabe’s beautiful prose.
Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series – each book has a main female lead character, but the series is appropriate for both boys and girls.
Also consider the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, loved by many girls and boys.
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier has a female protagonist, the best middle grade horror… sorry, let’s go with “thriller,” I have ever read! Totally recommend for both boys and girls.
And of course the list goes on…
I’d like to ask you to really think about your book recommendations and consider the pre-judgements you make when you recommend them. What are you basing your opinion on? Is it a valid judgement? Could you make the recommendation differently? Scrutinize why you feel the way you do about the recommendation with regard to boy readers.
I was recently participating in a reading with a teen writers workshop and a boy in the class said he read “anything but romance.” I don’t think boys are as picky as we adults: parents, teachers, librarians — make them out to be. We haven’t given them a chance. We’ve been too quick to judge. Our boys are more open-minded than we give them credit for, and we need to take this into account with our book recommendations. Its time for a shift!
photo credits: pixabay.com
I am loving TED Talks, so many brilliant ideas. And it’s still helping me get through my cardio workouts. Over the past several weeks, I’ve been able to boost my time from 15 minutes to 40 minutes, all thanks to TED! I now watch two to three talks per workout.
Here’s my recommendations:
What are animals thinking and feeling? – Carl Safina
Heartfelt animal feelings.
The power of introverts – Susan Cain
Enlightening and thought provoking.
The happy secret to better work – Shawn Achor
Positive psychology. I love the speakers that use humour. 🙂
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve watched several TED Talks while doing my cardio workout.
Here’s three that I’d recommend:
Art that Craves Your Attention – Aparna Rao
Original eye-catching art that you have to look at. Light and humourous.
The Paradox of Choice – Barry Schwartz
Does more choice really equal freedom?
Is Religion Good or Bad? (This is a Trick Question) – Kwame Anthony Appiah
Looking at the idea of religion from different points of view.