Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lessons learned from reality television or Can anyone explain: Reality TV Stars who think they can sing

I had a bit of insomnia last night and after tossing and turning I finally decided to give in and watch some late night television. After considering Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives but being caught off guard by a curry dish that included apples, I finally settled on The Real Housewives of New York.

Why these Real Housewives shows are being made period could use some serious explaining in and of itself. Isn't a housewife technically someone who stays home from work? All the real housewives on these shows seem to have jobs. There is also the issue with half the women not being married and thus not even technically being a wife. I guess Bravo though prefers to go the route of "spirit" not "letter of the law". And since they are the ones that make the "big bucks" I'll assume they know what they are talking about and move on to my real issue.

I have a lot of legitimately talented friends that will never make it to anything close to mainstream because their musical ability goes unrecognized. That's fine. Contrary to the popular Roots song "Everybody is (not) a star". All my friends have learned to deal with that so I need to move on too. However, when I watch shows like "Real Housewives" I am stunned to see these less than talented women making music videos and getting legitimate, albeit mocking entertainment coverage.

I realized that there are some lessons to be learned from reality television. If you are on a reality television show: 1) It doesn't matter if you are far too old to be considered "pop star" age, if you have a reality television show, you get a music video. 2) You don't have to have an ounce of talent, you get a music video....It's really like a sick version of something I've seen a time or two on Oprah: "You get a car, you get a car!"

Oh well, I guess the true moral of the story here is that with enough money and a film crew following you around, you can be anything from a music video star (New York, Atlanta housewives) to a gallery owner (Miami housewife), to a runway model (Orange County housewives and the girls of Laguna Beach).

So that's the lesson kids. You can be anything you set your mind to as long as there are people following you around filming your every, pointless move.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Healthier, Happier Me: Getting started by counting calories

So since the first of January this year, I've lost over 10 pounds. I'm not normally the type that sticks to New Year's Resolutions but this year was different. I was sick and tired of looking in the mirror and not being 100% happy with what I saw. Now I'm not saying I'm completely out of shape, nor was I completely overweight but I'm not getting any younger. I know the rounding the corner on 30 doesn't just mean that I am now "flirty and thriving" (I love the movie 13 Going on 30), but it also means I get to look forward to things like slowing metabolism and being more susceptible to health problems.

So I made the decision to start counting my calories. I knew I had to crawl before I could walk. The first thing I set my mind on was figuring out how much I was putting into my body. Was I eating too much, too little, the wrong amounts of protein, veggies, etc? It's maybe not the right choice for everyone, but it made it was the decision that worked for me and to me it was a good place to get started.

Now there are a number of ways you can go about tracking what you are putting into your body:

Food Journal: You can keep a simple notebook where you track what you eat on a daily basis. This certainly keeps things easy to track during the day but you have to come home each day and figure out the amount of calories in each item which can becoming time-consuming and monontonous.

Online Tracking: There are number of online trackers you can use. Things like MyFitnessPal, MyCalorieCounter, and MyFoodDiary. Just a simple google search of the words "online calorie counter" will bring you over a dozen more. Some are free services and some require payment. It's up to you to decide if this is a method that will work for you. I chose to go about counting my calories in a different manner because I wanted to be able to count whether I was near a computer or not.

Calorie Counting Phone Applications: This is the method I chose. This was the best choice for me for several reasons. First it was free via the application Calorie Counter for my windows phone. Second it was portable, with this application I was able to instantly enter what I ate at which times of day. Third, it has a database filled with restaraunt calorie counts and popular grocery store items. Another perk is that you can enter caloric information yourself if you can't find your item in the the existing database.

So that's my first step to a healthier, happier body. Counting calories is a good litnus test for you to figure out where you really are in terms of health. Lots of people think they are not losing weight because they are eating too much when it turns out they are not eating enough. Or they may be eating the right amount but are missing out on getting enough fiber or protein. Weight loss, like life is a balancing act.

Calorie counting isn't something you have to do every day for the rest of your life so don't stress over the time it takes when you first start out. The amount of information you gain from taking the time to chart your eating will help you out tremendously, so don't skip this essential first step. Eventually you will only count calories sporadically, as a maintenance step.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or nutritionist. I am merely sharing my personal experience. Obviously you should consider going to see a professional before you get started with any weight loss or exercise regimen.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Just a Suggestion: Check out the Asheville Drum Circle

If you are every in Downtown Asheville on a Friday night you have got to do yourself a favor and head down to the Drum Circle. This is a tradition on Friday nights spanning back 9 years and is one of the coolest, free things you can do to really experience all that makes Asheville the amazing place that it is. Things start up pretty early, like maybe 6pm or so in Pritchard Park.Drum circle2

Here are things getting started...

Anyone with a percussion instrument is allowed to join in the fun. I have to tell you, one of the coolest things about the circle is seeing people of all ages and walks of life joining in the fun. If drummings not your thing, not to worry, there is plenty of room for a spectator, dancer or hula-hooper. It's also a great spot for a good game of hackey sack.

So check it out when you are here, you won't regret it!

Drum circle 1
Here's the drum circle once things really got going!