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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lazy-A** Syndrome & the "I Don't Wannas" + Killer Sweet Potato Soup & a Giveaway---Everyday Happy Herbivore

Dang it's cold here in Ohio.  The whole state is one humongous weather-alert color on the weather maps and the Weather Channel gurus and local guys are salivating over the influx of 'white death'.  It cracks me up when I see the split screen on the local news morph into 5 or 6 distinct squares as the news anchors explain that they have their weather alert teams out there to bring the weather news to us---pause as they zoom into one of the poor souls stuck on this 'live coverage' duty as he points out that, yep, there is snow on the ground here in Ohio.

Anyway, it's cold.  A perfect day to sink into the very legitimate excuse on why I can't get x, y and z done....it's winter!  I can't be expected to do all my work.  I should just cuddle up with the latest Patricia Cornwell novel and happily cozy up to a good read.....I sure don't want to work!

Recently, a dear friend of mine and I were discussing via e-mail a concept that I am calling "Lazy A$$ Syndrome" or the  'I don't wannas'.  You know, when you head off towards a project, partially gung-ho, somewhat determined to get it done, open the door to the closet that needs re-organizing, the drawer that needs cleaned out, or approach the pile of clothes that needs folded and put away and you go, uhnnnn.....I ....don't.....wanna.  So, you either spank your inner child and FORCE yourself begrudgingly to do it, or justify why it's ok not to or just shrug, shut the door and move on.

In the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn't matter if we cleaned out the drawer or whatever, but I am beginning to notice the side-effects of 'giving in' and, conversely, the power of 'pushing through'.

We know we get what we focus on and we know that much of what we do are habits that are engrained.  So, if we use that knowledge we can see that every time we turn away from a task at hand THAT WE HAD COMMITTED TO OURSELVES TO DO, we reinforce the habit of, oh, what shall we call it, self-non-compliance maybe.  So that becomes more of a habit....to turn away, to give in to a non-productive impulse.  Now, this is not to say that every moment needs to be productive.  I'm realizing the utter joy of NON productiveness, which has taken me over five decades to appreciate---no I'm talking about when you SAID you were going to do it, and then you don't.  A decision NOT to do something is not the same thing.

Now, take the same scenario, some god-forsaken task like cleaning out a closet....UGH....and you open the door determined, only to shut it a few seconds later.  What did you reinforce???

I've been playing around with this for many weeks now.  I'm applying it to my personal fitness program, to working my horses (not always that much fun in Ohio winter), and to cleaning out various closets and piles of accumulated stuff that needs to go.  I can report success on all fronts to varying degrees.  What's been working for me is to first set an achievable goal.  One project is so overwhelming that I just haven't wanted to do anything with it at all.  For that one, I told myself, ok, you can spend FIVE minutes working on it.  That's all....five minutes.  I don't know how many of those five minute periods I've invested into this particular project, but it is well on its way to being completed, and it honestly feels like I've done the whole thing in only five minutes! This is a vast turn around from my usual modus operandi...I tend to be an extremist, so I gotta get the whole thing done or none at all.  Usually I get so over-whelmed, I quit several hours into it, exhausted and feeling like I failed.  Learning to perform a task in small chunks (and then live with the incompleteness of it mid-process) has been interesting and self-illuminating. 

Also interesting is that I now have engrained a bit of discipline in myself by reinforcing the habit to COMMIT to myself.  I said I was going to get this done, now just do it.  It is getting easier to do this.  Funny how that inner child only whines for a second or two before the momentum of the task at hand takes hold.  It is the starting of something that is often the most difficult.  Most things now that I set out to do, I don't even feel that initial resistance anymore (well, ok, there is one closet that still RULES me :-)....but I'll get you too, my pretty.....five minutes at a time).


I've always said that Mt. Everest could literally be moved one tablespoon at a time---usually as one of my lame philosophical blurbs to inspire someone into action, but now I really know that concept is true.  No matter how big the task, eventually, with persistence, the end of it will come.
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SAH-WEET!  Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup

I ran across this recipe on the blogosphere and even though I was worried about making soup with peanut butter in it (seriously???  p.butter in soup??), I am soooo glad I tried it.  It is now one of my absolute favorites.  It ain't pretty in the bowl, but let me tell you, it is wonderful.  I also think that it would be an awesome soup to have on hand in the freezer in case illness strikes.  Please give it a try.

Scroll down on Julieanna and A.J.'s site and the recipe is in the post dated January 4th.  The recipe is from the talented Robin Robertson....I have two of her cookbooks, Vegan Planet and 1,000 Vegan Recipes and they are both wonderful books.  (While you are there on Julieanna and A.J.'s site, view some of their videos, if you haven't already.  These two wonderful women are definitely on the front lines and doing such good work to get the message of healthy eating out.  They are personal heroes of mine for sure).

I used a can of tomatoes with chilis in it, so my soup had a bit more bite to it.  Normally I don't care for spiciness but for some reason, this combination was really good.  I also took raw spanish peanuts and dry roasted them in a fry pan to sprinkle on top of the soup....serious yum.  Do try it!

Recipe is here:
http://toyourhealthnutrition.blogspot.com/

Sweet Potato - Spinach Soup
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Cookbook Giveaway.  I am so excited about this.  The publishers of Lindsay S. Nixon's new book Everyday Happy Herbivore have graciously made available a copy of Lindsay's book to be given away on my blog.   (Shipment can only go to USA or Canada address).  My recent interview with Lindsay and a recipe from the book can be reviewed here:  http://sunnyhawklane.blogspot.com/2011/12/artificial-abundance-and-interview-with.html  That chocolate mug cake would make a great Valentine's Day treat for yourself or your special someone.



To enter to win, leave me a comment.  Are you currently eating a plant-based diet?  If not, is this a goal you have for yourself? View Lindsay's blog here:   http://happyherbivore.com/ We'll run this for a week, so get your comments in by next Saturday (the 18th). Thanks and good luck!

Sue, working---5 mins at a time, in Ohio


21 comments:

  1. Thank you for your blog! I have made a commitment to go to a plant-based diet. I'm weaning myself from meat and the other 'bad for you' stuff.

    Thanks for the great ideas!
    Betsy

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  2. Just found your blog through fat_free vegan list. I am glad I did! I went plant-based low fat in July. I have never felt better. I didn't lose any weight to speak of but I did lose fat. I started changing the way I ate because of my husband's health problems. I have to cook for him, so why the heck not? I jumped on board about 2 months after he started. I have not looked back. For me, this way of eating is perfect. My body responds well to this regime. I tried vegetarianism before and it just didn't work --I didn't feel good. The secret I think has been the no dairy and very little fat.

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  3. Hi dearie! Love this post! And you know I love that 5 minute thing! It really is powerful. Soup looks awesome too!

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  4. Hi Betsy & Nonie- Good for you both! Much success to you, Betsy. I'd love to hear how it goes for you, if you get time. Nonie, if you scan back thru my early posts, you'll see some posts about my husband's health issues too. That is awesome that you are supporting him! And even better it has proven to be great for you. I agree dairy is key....eliminating it made a huge difference in my overall health and pounds lost.

    Hey, Renae....yep, conquering it all, 5 minutes at a time. Who knew 5 minutes could be so powerful?

    Watch for another cookbook giveaway next week after this one! Fun.
    Sue

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  5. I have just recently began eating a plant based diet. I am loving it thus far. I'm excited to come across your blog.
    Kim (kpbryantdg @ gmail.com)

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  6. I do eat a plant-based diet, heavy on the blueberries. :)
    I've been trying to reduce fats/oils...except for peanut butter and almond butter. I just can't live without nut butters! I'm so glad you shared the link to the Sweet Potato Spinach Soup! It's exactly what I'm looking for now that temps have dropped into the near-zero range again.
    Thanks for the giveaway...cheers!

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  7. What's good for the goose.... Going gluten-free, wheat free. Now it's time to go vegan!

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  8. Yummy--that soup sounds great, especially with the kick of the green chilis and tomotoes! I have been eating plant based for almost a year now and loving it!

    I've been trying to win a cook book by Lindsey for a while now-Good Luck to us all!

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  9. Hi Kim & Moonsword- It's always so fun to connect up with like-minded individuals.
    Moonsword, remember we do need fats...it's those processed oils that are problematic. (You should love this soup recipe with the nut butter in it!)

    Good luck on the giveaway,
    Sue

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  10. Wow, B---going to go vegan??? Awesome! Let me know if I can help support you. How's that gluten-free diet going? Notice any changes?

    Hi Jude, would love to hear if you try the soup, what you think of it. Congrats on your upcoming anniversary for plant-based eating! I think that first year is such a huge milestone.
    Good luck,
    Sue

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  11. I am not currently eating a completely plant-based diet but am work towards it. I am trying to eat more veggies at each of my meals (including breakfast) and this cookbook would really help!

    Thanks!

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    1. Hi Cat, and welcome. That's a great way to start, integrating veggies into each meal. I'd love to hear how it goes for you. I'm one of these, all-or-none types, so jumping in full tilt works better for me, but I know a lot of people have had great success at a gradual approach. Good luck!
      Sue

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  12. I loved your discussion of "I don't wannas." I've been feeling that a lot lately because of winter weather where I am from, and to think of it as a bad (reinforcing) habit to say you're going to do something, and then blow it off, is something I've never done before. Maybe knowing that it's a habit will help me to keep it more under control.

    Thank you for the give away! My mom, who eats a nutrtiarian/plant strong diet like I do, got the book for Christmas this year and loves it, so I would be delighted to have a copy.

    I started playing around with a plant based diet over a year ago, went on and off it for some short periods, but as of September, when I started my blog (amysnutritariankitchen.blogspot.com), I have been very solidly plant strong. I'm enjoying it more and more every day with new recipes I try! The soup you featured sounds delicious (I'm a huge peanut butter fan), so I think I'll try that next. :)

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    1. Hi Amy,
      I wondered if anyone could relate to that "I don't wanna" thing and am glad to hear the responses. The winter is more difficult, that is for sure, but I still think our habits are so powerful.

      How cool that your Mom is on a plant strong diet! It's so great to have some support. I'll be checking out your blog too.
      Sue

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  13. I've been trying to follow a plant-based diet now for a few years, but am having a hard time. Sometimes I feel like I don't have the support I need or maybe it's the stubborn "I don't wannas" just as you explained. Hoping to do much better in 2012!

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    1. Jenny,
      That 'no support' thing is really really tough. If you look at my early posts, I had very little to no support, in fact my husband was very much against me doing this. And he's post-cardiac!!! It was Wendy's blog (Healthy Girl's Kitchen) that helped to keep me focused. That and reading everything I could---Engine 2 Diet, The China Study, The Kind Diet, Skinny Bitch, on and on. Sometimes I would just read and re-read Wendy's blog and somehow just knowing there was ONE OTHER PERSON out there in the world trying so hard to stay true to their decision to eat this way, well, it would be enough to get me through the rough times.

      Try pushing thru the i-don't-wannas on something a little less daunting....like I don't know, doing the dishes when you don't feel like it, or picking up the clutter when you would rather crash for the evening. Just push thru for a few minutes. Then repeat when the opportunity presents itself. I swear, I think this is a skill like any other! The more we practice, the better we get and the easier it becomes. Best of luck to you.
      Sue

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    2. Sue,
      THANK you for your reply! My husband is also very much not on board and it means a lot to hear from someone who pushed through and is successful.

      I will keep reading and pushing through. Thanks again,
      Jenny

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    3. Hi Jenny,
      You are welcome, of course. You are by no means alone in this. It can make things, well, complicated, when family members are not on board. :-0

      Knowledge is power. That's a great plan to keep reading and get as knowledgeable as you can. If I can help you, I am happy to. Most of us that have been down this road are very happy to help someone else, because we remember how difficult it was. You can e-mail me privately at: sunnyhawklane@gmail.com if you need to vent or whatever. I have resources I can share with you, there are on-line groups, etc. Don't hesitate to ask if there is something I can do to help. Best of luck to you!!!! You can do it!
      Sue

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  14. Ami, (two Amy's...one with a y, one with an i :-)
    I don't see your comment here, but I do have it in my inbox. So you are entered. Not sure where it is in cyberspace! Thanks for your kind words.
    Good luck in the drawing!
    Sue

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  15. Yes, I am following a plant-based diet. My daughter eats cheese and drinks milk, and my husband still eats ice cream, so my family isn't entirely eating a plant-based diet. The only problem that I've had while eating a plant-based diet has just been that I tend to consume too much sodium--I tend to go heavy on condiments, like Braggs, and things like that, and I have high BP (runs in my family).
    ceevegnashville [at] gmail [dot] com

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    1. Hi CeeVeg,
      I know what you mean about over-doing the Bragg's...I did that for quite awhile. I have managed to wean myself off it considerably and establish other habits. Congrats on your successes. Good luck. Will have the drawing later today!
      Sue

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