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February 23, 2020

The other morning while I walked to work from the parking garage, I saw a group of four young, fit-looking people in a courtyard area doing an interesting combination of jogging in place, jumping, and pushups. This caught my attention both because of the activity and because it was only 5 degrees out.

A serious of random thoughts ran through my mind in fairly rapid succession:

  • How can they be doing that in such cold weather?

  • I suppose the exercise helps keep them warm.

  • I haven’t bee...

February 16, 2020

Valentine’s Day for this year has come and gone, but the candy lingers, and so does the idea that the holiday is all about romance. At least here in the U.S., if you don’t have a romantic partner on Valentine’s Day, or if you have one but things aren’t going well, you’re often made to feel like something is wrong with you.

But Valentine’s Day wasn’t always about romance, and even now, you don’t have to get swept up in the societal norms. So in case you were feeling left out this past Valentine’s...

February 9, 2020

Note: This is a different type of post than I normally do, but I was inspired by learning about community solar farms and how solar and agriculture can work together.

Last summer, laws in Maine changed that make community solar farms more viable. Since then, many companies have been looking for land to use for those solar arrays, and farmland is a prime choice since it’s already cleared and in a good location for sunlight.

At first glance, this seems like a difficult choice – after all, both food...

February 2, 2020

I’ve been having fun recently watching old episodes of the Penn & Teller show Bullshit on Hulu. It’s an unusual show, looking at various practices and beliefs of things that many people think are true but may not be. They cover a wide range of subjects, from alien abductions to the war on drugs to safety concerns.

One episode that especially caught my attention was titled “Exercise vs. Genetics.” It looked at what exercise can or can’t do when you factor in genetics. 

It got me thinking about wha...

January 26, 2020

As part of mindful eating, I sometimes talk about how it can help to focus on a feeling of gratitude for food. But recently I had an experience that made me appreciate something even more basic.


More specifically, running water out of faucets. Water that comes when you want it, in seemingly limitless supply. But when it’s not limitless, and it’s not there when you want it, it gives you a whole different perspective.

Running Out

It started on a Thursday morning when I got water for tea, and I...

January 19, 2020

Agatha Christie stories aren’t best known for making you think about food choices, but recently, one of them did that for me. It happened when I read the Hercule Poirot short story, “Four and Twenty Blackbirds.” 

The story begins with Poirot joining a friend named Mr. Bonnington for dinner. After their waitress, Molly, took their order, Mr. Bonnington noted: “Good girl, that…. Was quite a beauty once – artists used to paint her. She knows about food, too – and that’s a great deal more important....

January 5, 2020

Last week I wrote about how diets offer the false promise of happiness, but it occurred to me afterward that they also offer another type of false promise.

They tell you that your old way of eating will end.

Along with that, your old way of life will also end, with something new and better taking its place.

But changing your eating habits isn’t like getting a new car. You don’t turn in the old one and come home with something new and shiny, although that’s what diets suggest. 

The problem is, relat...

December 29, 2019

With New Year’s just around the corner, more and more people will be thinking about diets and losing weight, at least if prior trends are any indication. Last year, for example, 12% of people said they wanted to lose weight, which shared the top spot with people resolving to become a better person.

And it’s not too surprising when you think about what diets promise. It’s not losing weight, despite what the ads say.

Diets promise happiness.

When you go on a diet, you’re told that you’ll lose weight...

December 22, 2019

We’re in the darkest time of year, especially here in the northeast where we don’t even have 9 hours of daylight. 

It can be easy to view this, or any kind of darkness, as something negative. This happens all the time in our culture, where we consider dark things bad, or if we don’t like something, we consider it dark. We even have the release of the latest Star Wars movie this weekend, which is all about defeating the Evil of the Dark Side. (And yes, I’m going to see it this afternoon.)


December 15, 2019

One of the things that makes the holidays so difficult for mindful eating is that many of the traditions revolve around food. 

Thanksgiving is all about specific foods. People celebrate Hanukkah with latkes and pancakes. Kwanzaa is celebrated with soul food. Christmas often has sugar cookies, candy canes, and much more (here’s a list of Christmas foods with a subjective ranking from best to worst).

What’s more, those foods connect us to our past. The memories might not always be happy, but many o...

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