Tag Archives: lifestyle

Having Cats

[fr] Avoir des chats, c'est aussi: des interactions sociales avec voisinage, amis, et connaissances; des pauses jeu, câlins, sorties; un encouragement à prendre soin de moi, en prenant soin d'eux; des balades dans le voisinage, pour les accompagner ou les trouver; un espace coworking muni de chats!

You might remember, when I was grieving Bagha, that I tried to sort through what pain was associated with not having a cat anymore, and what was of the loss of one particular cat I had loved, Bagha.

With my new cats, I am remembering there is a bunch of nice things about having cats (aside from them making your travels slightly more complicated) — whoever they are.

  • They help me connect to people socially. There are people in the neighbourhood I had pretty much not spoken to since Bagha’s death, and that I have spoken to again during these last weeks, because pretty much all we can easily socially connect on is cats. I find myself wanting to invite people over more (“come and see the cats” is a great pretext and easier than “I’d enjoy spending time with you” — I probably need to work on that, though ;-) )
  • They encourage me to take downtime. Whether it’s watching them in the garden, playing with them, or petting sessions, I’ve been “stopping” more.
  • I have to care for them on a daily basis, and I’ve found that in a strange way, taking care of something/someone else encourages me to take care of myself too.
  • I walk around my neighbourhood, either to accompany them, or to look for them :-)
  • I again manage a coworking space featuring kitty company, entertainment, and relaxation!

Er... Can you get down, please?

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Posted in Personal | Tagged cats, lifestyle, safran, tounsi | Leave a comment

The Wisdom of Small Changes: Incrementally Reclaiming My Flat

[fr] Reprendre contrôle de mon appartement, un petit pas à la fois. Chaque jour, ajouter un nouvel élément à garder sous contrôle. Aujourd'hui, c'est nettoyer la baignoire.

Aussi, diviser l'appartement en zones, et travailler chaque semaine sur une zone, 15 minutes par jour.

Inspiration: toute une longue histoire personnelle, et le site FlyLady.

I’m going to tell you about my plan to reclaim my living space, little by little, over the next weeks and months. However, you know me — I’m first going to get sidetracked a little ;-) and tell you how I got where I am, and how the plan was born.

I have lived in clutter my whole life. Both my parents were pretty active clutterers too, so I guess part of the reason is “in the genes” (we recently cleared out the family home to rent it — oh, boy). Other reasons include the fact that there are much more fun things to do in life than clean/tidy (though annoyingly, each time I actually start doing these things I really enjoy them), and my natural tendency to “not do things” rather than “do things”.

I love living in a reasonably tidy place. It makes me less stressed. It makes me less depressed. It makes me happy to spend my days in an environment which is under my control, rather than a sprawling monster of Things. How to tidy my flat and keep it tidy is something that is always on my mental to-do list.

I’ve lived in my flat since I came back from India, over eight years ago. It has been cleaned more or less from top to bottom a few times since I moved on (in 2007, for example — check the “myflat” tag to see more pictures of my living space and its transformations through the years). Over the years, I’ve become quite good at keeping clutter off the floor, but that’s about it. Clearly, I lack a process to keep My Stuff under control. I have lots of stuff.

The importance of having processes in life was driven home by my foray into the GTD (Getting Things Done) method. So far, I have not succeeded in implementing GTD completely (I particularly suck at weekly reviews, I think I haven’t ever managed to do one). I do, however, use quite a lot of elements from this method:

  • ensure I have a system in which I can capture all the stuff that’s on my mind
  • have an inbox (though I don’t empty it very often, but at least it keeps all the stuff to be dealt with in one place
  • think in terms of “next actions” and “projects”
  • know that when I’m procrastinating, either I have too much stuff sitting in my head, or my next action is not clearly defined
  • use an A-Z classification system, with printed labels on folders, for all my paperwork.

The idea of having a process is underlying in two previous “housecleaning” articles: Taming the Dirty Dishes, way back in 2002, and Keeping The Flat Clean: Living Space As User Interface, in 2003. But it’s not quite there yet, or expressed clearly.

Two years, ago, I had a groundbreaking conversation about my diet with my Doctor. I was leading a very unhealthy lifestyle (even without smoking or drinking) and knew it, but I was so wracked with guilt and discouraged by the amount of changes I had to make to my life that I just didn’t do anything. He showed me how important it was to not disrupt my life and diet completely, but to make small easy changes like prepare a few leaves of lettuce while my pizza was warming in the oven, or cut up an apple before the meal so that I’d eat it for dessert.

A year ago, I officially rediscovered the importance of morning rituals. I’ve also come to accept that having some things under control is better than none, even if all the rest is going to the dogs. Last autumn, for example, I decided that even if my kitchen was a mess, I would at least keep the table clean and void of any clutter, so that I would have a nice place to eat.

Recently, I started cleaning my bathroom sink (almost) every morning. I don’t use soap or anything fancy, but I have a sponge I keep on the sink and I give it a quick wipe whenever I use it. Looking into a clean sink in the morning is clearly nicer than when it’s dirty.

Now that I’m in the habit of (#1) washing my bathroom sink (it doesn’t require any cognitive effort for me to do it, it’s just part of the things I do like brush my teeth or use my neti pot), I’ve started thinking about other small changes I could make. And I’ve already made some:

Last week-end, I decided that if I wanted to tackle this flat, I had to do it little by little. So, on Saturday a week ago, I did two things in that department: caught up with the kitchen dishes (they were running away again) and put the laundry away (I live out of the clean laundry basket). Oh yeah, and I got Roomba to work.

Cleaning my bathroom sink each morning has reminded me of FlyLady. I first heard about it when Florence Devouard mentioned it at Going Solo Lausanne. I didn’t really investigate it then, but filed it away somewhere under “system/community which starts with cleaning your sink, and then you add extra stuff to do each day”.

I looked it up this afternoon and spent a couple of hours reading through it. FlyLady is a system/community designed for stay-at-home moms, or “Sidetracked Home Executives“. It is e-mail based, and indeed, does start with getting you to shine your kitchen sink (read why) and get dressed to the shoes.

Are YOU living in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) like Franny in the pink sweats? Do you feel overwhelmed, overextended, and overdrawn? Hopeless and you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry friend, we’ve been there, too. Step through the door and follow FlyLady as she weaves her way through housecleaning and organizing tips with homespun humor, daily musings about life and love, the Sidetracked Home Executives (SHE) system, and anything else that is on her mind.

The whole tone of the site is very caring and motherly, with a lot of educational redundancies and extremely detailed instructions. The system actually instructs you to stop and rest for 15 minutes doing something you like, or to only declutter for 15 minutes at a time. Some of it might make you cringe, or laugh a bit if you’re a computer geek, but I really think they’re onto something and it’s well worthwhile spending some time reading the various pages on the FlyLady website.

Obviously, I’m not a stay-at-home mum and I don’t own a house, so I’ll be taking a shot at my personal interpretation of the programme. Here are the ideas I like:

This “slow but steady” system reminds me a bit of dieting strategies. You’re better off with a diet that makes you lose weight slowly, and is in fact a lasting change to your lifestyle, than with a crash diet that makes you lose loads of weight but will see you put it all on again as soon as you stop.

Same with clutter: if you stop everything for three days to clean the house top to bottom, you haven’t in fact made any changes in the lifestyle that caused you to accumulate so much clutter in the first place. By changing things slowly, you’re actually making modifications to your lifestyle which will allow you to keep the clutter under control, rather than clean everything and end up knee-deep in clutter two months later.

As FlyLady says somewhere on her site (quoting from memory): “Your house didn’t get cluttered in a day, and it won’t become uncluttered in a day either!”

Browsing as I was writing this article has brought me over to SHE forums, a community which functions on “challenges” and peer support to deal with household tasks. Remember Website Pro Day and WoWiPAD? :-)

The FlyLady website method is actually based on a book, Sidetracked Home Executives(TM): From Pigpen to Paradise, and one of the co-authors has a site called The Brat Factor, which is all about taming your inner brat (there’s a CD and DVD involved, of course) — but it looks fun (that’s how you tame brats). Your inner brat is the part of you that procrastinates, leaves the dishes in the sink, doesn’t put the clean laundry away& know him/her?

So, I’m going to set my timer to do 15 minutes of decluttering in my hallway (zone 1, I’ll consider it’s already Feb. 1st). Each day, I’ll add a baby step to the ones I’m already doing. I’ll post each new baby step on my Digital Crumble.

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Posted in Life Improvement | Tagged changes, cleaning, clutter, control, flat, flylady, gtd, habits, home, life, life improvement, lifehacks, lifestyle, mess, Pieces of Me, Practical, Psychology / Sociology, routine, system, user/07467067922840649993/state/com.google/read | 6 Comments

From Airport to Airport

[fr] Me voici à nouveau dans un aéroport. Celui de Bruxelles, pour être précise. Je n'avais jamais mis les pieds à Bruxelles. Et là, après une visite éclair de 24 heures à peine, je peux mettre un drapeau dans la carte, mais je ne peux pas dire que j'aie vu grand chose de la ville.

Ainsi va ma vie de voyages, enviable et excitante vue depuis le monde stable du sédentaire, mais qui comporte son lot de frustrations. J'ai dû accepter il y a un peu plus d'une année que mon insistance à rajouter 3-4 jours à chaque voyage pour "visiter" générait une quantité de stress que je n'avais pas à m'imposer.

Oui, diront certains, quel gâchis d'avoir la chance de mettre pied dans toutes ces villes, mais de ne pas même prendre le temps de faire un peu de tourisme!

Le tourisme, ça nous relaxe et nous plaît précisément parce que l'on ne le fait pas tous les jours. Une ville étrangère, c'est exotique quand on en visite une ou deux par an. Quand elles s'empilent les unes sur les autres, eh bien, comme avec tout, la routine s'installe.

Mais si je me lamente un peu, ce n'est pas tant que ma vie me déplaît -- au contraire, je préfère mille fois mieux "trop voyager" que me lever avant 7h chaque matin -- mais plus en réaction à l'incompréhension un peu systématique (mais bien pardonnable) des personnes qui peinent à voir en quoi tous ces voyages peuvent bien être pénibles.

Alors, aéroport, aéroport. Encore une ville où j'ai mis les pieds sans l'avoir vue. Une journée de travail fatiguante mais sympa et efficace, avec un chouette projet. Retour tard à la maison. Je vais tenter de profiter un peu de mon week-end, toutefois!

Airports all look the same. Well, not quite the same, but similar. All the excitement of being in one has long since disappeared. They’ve become tame and familiar, just like the airplanes that buzz in and out of them.

Another plane, another airport, another city. This was my first time in Brussels. barely 24 hours on Belgium soil. I’m starting to get used to this kind of trip. In, business, out. A bit over a year ago, I realized that all this traveling was stressful (though it may sound glamourous to some) and that if I wanted to spare myself a little, I had to stop insisting on tacking along extra days to each travel opportunity to “visit”. So, in, business, out.

This is what my life looks like at times. Oh, don’t get me wrong: I had a very good day (nice people, good business, fun project), the trip was rather painless (plane coming here 30 minutes late, searched at security), and I’m not unhappy or particularly travel-weary. And I know that compared to others, the amount of traveling I do in a year is a week-end trip to the mountains.

I’m just taking a step back and looking at my life. I wonder what my past self of a few years back would say, had I known. I never imagined this for me. This wasn’t part of the plan — but that’s what I have, and to be honest, I’m quite happy with it. I’d rather travel a bit too much than have to get up before 7am every morning. As downsides of the job go, this isn’t too bad.

I think that what frustrates me is that people who don’t travel much for work tend to assume that my traveling is as exciting as their traveling. “Oh, how exciting, you travel all the time and get to visit all these foreign cities!” In truth, as anybody who travels “too much” knows, traveling is exciting precisely because you don’t do it often. Visiting a foreign city is a great adventure when you do it once or twice a year. When it’s your seventh or eighth in a row, you’re sick of visiting and don’t go out to walk around if you don’t feel like it.

So, here is my life of travel (and again, aware that I travel less than many).

Another airport, another city I’ve visited but haven’t seen. A fun but tiring day of work, and a late night home. I’ll try and have a bit of a week-end, though. :-)

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Posted in Being the boss, Travels | Tagged airport, freelancing, life, lifestyle, Pieces of Me, Travels, user/07467067922840649993/state/com.google/read | 2 Comments

On the Road to Being a Healthier Geek

[fr] Il y a un mois environ, une petite conversation avec mon médecin a eu des conséquences remarquables sur mon mode de vie:

  • je mange plus équilibré (pas dur de faire mieux que le régime pizzas)
  • je me déplace plus souvent à pied et je vais vendre ma voiture.
  • Sans rentrer dans tous les détails relatés dans la version anglaise de ce billet, mon médecin a réussi le tour de force de me motiver à faire quelques aménagements dans mon mode de vie, sans me culpabiliser (ce que je faisais déjà bien assez toute seule). J'ai pris conscience que ma mauvaise alimentation et mon manque d'exercice étaient probablement en train d'avoir un impact sur ma santé (physique et psychique), et qu'il n'était pas nécessaire de bouleverser complètement ma vie pour arranger un peu les choses.

    Côté nourriture, j'essaie vraiment de viser 3 repas et 2 collations par jour, avec 5 portions de fruits/légumes (pas si dur si on construit autour), de la viande ou du poisson une fois par jour, moins de féculents et moins de produits laitiers. En gros, les machins verts/rouges/jaunes, c'est la base. Ah oui, et du poisson 3 fois par semaine, c'est bien.

    Puis l'exercice... les fameuses 30 minutes par jour, ce n'est pas si dur si on décide d'aller à pied au centre-ville plutôt que de prendre la voiture ou le bus (Chauderon c'est à 20 minutes de chez moi). Du coup, ma voiture s'empoussière presque sur sa place de parc depuis un mois. J'ai décidé de la vendre, et l'argent ainsi économisé me permettra moult taxis et voitures Mobility...

This is the long-overdue post about the groundbreaking chat I had with my doctor about a month ago.

I went through a rather rough patch in November/December. Those months are usually tough for me, but this year was particularly stressful and tiring. Of course, there were objective reasons for that: I started working for myself in the summer, burnt the candle from both ends during my first months of school-less freedom (yay! I can go to bed at 4am and not feel guilty about it!) and generally had a hard time saying no to clients’ requests even if it meant a packed agenda, because, hey, it was stuff I was excited to do and it was paying the bills. So yeah, I had every reason to be feeling tired. However, I was a bit concerned about the fact that I didn’t feel less tired even if I got more than enough sleep, and I decided to go to the doctor for a check-up, just in case I was “missing something” by putting the blame on my lifestyle as a freelance consultant.

After taking a blood test (I will now remember to systematically present the person holding the needle with my right arm, as the left one has non-cooperative vein) I sat at my doctor’s desk for a little chat. He asked me what was bringing me there, and I told him the story. He asked me how I was sleeping — not quite enough, but reasonably regular hours and overall good quality. He asked me how I was doing in the food department — and that’s where it suddenly got very interesting.

Food

I’ve known for years that my eating habits are disastrous. Diet based on pizza, bread, and cheese. Skipping meals. Not enough fruit or veggies. I used to joke about it and say my main source of vegetables was pizza. I’d evaluate my meat intake as roughly ok, but not enough fish — everybody knows you never eat enough fish, and I hardly ate any. The only thing I knew I was doing right was the fluids part: I drink a lot, and most of it (if not all) is tap water (healthier than bottled water around here). I hardly drink any alcohol at all and I don’t smoke.

I told my doctor I’d been gaining weight (it’s not so much the weight itself that bothers me than the fact I feel too tight in some of the clothes I love to wear them anymore), and that during the summer I had tried to eat more veggies, but my effort had collapsed after a few weeks when my life became too busy.

This is where my doctor earns extra bonus points and good karma. Without making me feel more guilty than I was about my unhealthy diet, he managed to encourage me to try and improve things in small steps by explaining to me in what way one’s diet influences general health and well-being, and walking me through a few simple, concrete things I could easily do to eat better.

A balanced diet is the starting point for all the rest. When your diet is unbalanced, before getting into the really nasty stuff that shows up in blood tests, you are going to suffer minor hormonal imbalance, for example. This can make you a little more tired, fall ill a little more easily, and introduce subtle imbalance in your neurotransmitter levels. Neurotransmitters? Whee. I had never given thought to the impact food I ate could have on the chemical balance of stuff in my brain, and therefore my mood and general psychological health.

So that would seem to say: “a healthy diet might help me be less tired and in better psychological health” — did I get that right, doc? Now that’s encouraging.

Then he pulled out a food pyramid from a recent presentation he had just given a bunch of professional dancers on nutrition. I’ve found quite a bunch of those pyramids online, but they all seem to be different (here the closest match I found, so I’ll just tell you what I remember of the one he showed me and our discussion.

The bottom of the pyramid is fluids (non-alcoholic). I’m good with that one. The second floor, however, is veggies and fruit (five portions a day). Then cereals, pasta, bread… three portions. Meat/fish/eggs are on the fourth floor (once a day, fish three times a week), sitting next to dairy products (here’s the catch… I can’t remember if it was once or three times a day for those… I suspect once).

Three solid meals a day and two snacks is the way to go. Oh my god, how on earth do I squeeze five veggie/fruit portions in there (two of them raw)? It’s not that hard, actually:

  • orange juice at breakfast = 1 portion
  • those little Andros fruit mushes you can buy at Migros = 1 portion
  • a fruit for snack = 1 portion (or 2, if I do two snacks)
  • stick pizza in oven, grab a fruit or two, peel, chop up and stick in a bowl for dessert = 1 potion (leaving them in the fruit basket doesn’t work, I won’t eat them)
  • stick pizza in oven, grab a handful of pre-packaged fresh salad (Migros, Coop), add sliced tomato, sprinkle with a mix of pumpkin/sunflower/flax/sesame seeds (Migros), a little oil and vinegar = 1 portion with added Omega-3 bonus
  • aubergine or other veggie sliced and steamed, add salt/lemon/whatever to taste = 1 portion (my best acquisition over the last year was my Tefal Steam Cuisine– easy to use, great for fish, little washing-up after).

The trick is to think about eating as organised around the veggies. Before, I tended to have mono-meals: either a piece of meat, or some pasta, or a huge salad, or a pizza. Now, any of these things would at least be accompanied with a salad or fruit.

Three-minute salad One trick I’ve discovered for salads is to not prepare them in a salad bowl. It sounds silly, but one of the biggest hassles with food for me is the washing up. I have a bottle of balsamic vinegar which is made to be sprayed on things, so I just put the green things on a plate, spray them with balsamic vinegar and add a little oil. One possible result of this effortless process can be seen here in the photo.

Another trick (for fruit, particularly) is not to buy packages with 10 kiwis or 6 apples. If I buy two apples and put them in my fruit bowl, I’ll eat them. If I have 6 of them, that’s too much — and I won’t. I also noticed that so-called organic fruit, or simply fruit that you by individually, is more tasty.

Fish three times a week isn’t too difficult to achieve using the steamer (stick fish in steamer, cook five/eight minutes, yum!) — concentrate on the Omega-3 rich ones like tuna/salmon/sardines. Fresh raw tuna is delicious too, but don’t overestimate how much you can eat.

One month later, I’m still happy with the improvements I’ve made to my diet. I have to say that the simple fact I “have this food thing under control” has taken away a lot of guilt and stress, and is in itself making me feel much, much better. Of course, it’s not perfect — but my experience with life tells me that striving for perfection is the best way to Not Get Things Done ™. I suspect I don’t usually get my three meals and two snacks each day. When I eat out, things go to the dogs (though I do now always order a salad with my pizza). I don’t think I get my five portions of veggie/fruit, it’s probably more around four. Well, you get the idea — but I’m headed in the right direction.

One thing I plan to do is to conjure up some kind of monitoring sheet where I can cross out my veggie portions, meat/fish consumption, meals etc. I tend to have very little awareness of what I’m doing/not doing — for example, I was totally incapable of answering many of my doctor’s questions on what I was/wasn’t eating. So writing it down would allow me to be aware of how regularly I skip meals, for example, or to notice if my fish consumption goes down to once a week or less. I’ll blog the document if I get around to doing it.

Exercise

Another painful chapter was opened when my doctor asked “so, what about physical exercise?”

Uh-oh.

What? But, don’t I, like, do a helluvalot of judo? What do I have to worry about exercise? Well, the “helluvalot” part might have been true ten years ago, when I was training 4-5 times a week, but for the last years, between things like injuries, too much work, and car accidents, it’s more around once a week on average over the year. And, let’s face it, with thirteen years of judo underneath my black belt, I can also go to training and not tire myself out if I’m feeling lazy or out of shape.

So, I need another source of exercise. Leading a geeky lifestyle is all very well, but even without being addicted to the internet (it might just be technological overload), one has to agree that sitting in front of a computer all day, many days a week, is not exactly physical exercise, and probably not what the human body was designed for. Specially when you’re working from home and you live alone — trips to the kitchen and the bathroom don’t really add up to very much.

First, as with food, motivation and encouragement: something like cutting the risk of developing breast, stomach or colon cancer by 50%, just by doing 30 minutes of exercise per day. Wow. There are a whole lot of other benefits on your health, of course, but this is the one that struck me. So, 30 minutes a day? Damn, that would mean I have to take “time off” to exercise.

In summer, I go rollerblading by the lake. It’s nice, it’s good exercise (an hour or so from university to Ouchy and back), but it’s not so great when it rains. I need something I can do whatever the weather, says my doctor. Hmmm. I don’t like swimming. Dancing counts, he tells me — I don’t really like dancing either. Walking is ok, if it’s a brisk walk and not a gentle stroll in Ouchy on a Sunday afternoon. Cycling is ideal, he adds, specially on an indoor bike. Well, I have a bit of a space problem — but as he says, it’s all a matter of me deciding how important it is. You can buy a kind of tripod that you can stick a real outdoor bike on to turn it into an indoor bike, so it’s not that expensive (150CHF). Unfortunately, I don’t already own a bicycle.

So I decided to give walking a try. All the walking I did in San Francisco certainly helped me take the plunge. Minimal duration for the walk to be worth anything is 10 minutes (so 3×10 minutes = 30 minutes, good!) Café-Café rehearsals, my brother’s place, shopping, post office — all those are 10-15 minutes away. No more taking the car to go there. I tried walking down to town, without taking the bus. Gosh, Place Chauderon is only 20 minutes away! Café de l’Evêché, 30 minutes! That’s about as central as it gets. No more taking the car to go into town either. There’s a bus-stop a minute away from where I live if I’ve done enough walking for the day and don’t want to walk home. And overall, the Lausanne bus system is pretty good and can take you more or less anywhere in the city.

One added advantage of walking places is that it means longer commutes (OMG! who would want that!) and allows me to listen to podcasts on the way. I miss the singing-at-the-top-of-my-lungs sessions in the car somewhat, though. Longer commutes are also good because they force me to reduce the pace of my sometimes mad days — I can’t pack meetings or activities wall-to-wall in three different places in and around Lausanne because I think “it’ll just take me five minutes to get there”. I get breathing space, and I get alone-time (time spent on the computer blogging, IMing, Skypeing and IRCing does not count as alone-time).

Going No-Car

I was telling a friend all this during LIFT’07, and the fact that my as my car was now spending many a day sitting on my parking space I was certainly not going to get a bigger one, when he flat-out suggested that I sell my car. Yeah, but… I need it to go to my sister’s, to my dad’s, etc. “Rent a car when you need it.” Hmmm, why not, but rental agencies are at the station, which is quite far off… Anyway, I dismissed the idea and enjoyed the rest of the conference.

A few days later, the background process had worked its magic, and I ended up spending a fair amount of time on the Mobility website, looking up prices and figuring out how it worked. Basically, it’s a web-based car rental service which allows you to book your car, open it with your magnetic card, use it and bring it back — without having to involve another human being. You can also rent cars from AVIS and Hertz through them at a reduced rate. And more importantly, they have cars everywhere. At the Migros where I usually do my shopping. At the Coop in Prilly. Down the road. Up the road. All within walking distance.

It made sense to have a car when I had to drive daily to Saint-Prex or Bussigny, which is not a practical journey by public transport from my place. But now that I’m not commuting regularly anymore… The amount of money I pour into the car sitting in that parking space could just as well be spent on taxis and rental cars and leave me with extra aeroplane budget.

Bottom line? I’ve taken a four-month Mobility trial subscription, and I’m selling my car for March 9th. I’m losing my license for a month on that date because of my car accident this summer — so it’s a good time.

Thanks for the nudge, Stowe! ;-)

Wrap-Up

I don’t know how many people will have the courage to read through this horribly long post, so here’s a quick wrap-up of what I’ve effortlessly changed about a month ago, and kept up with. All because the importance of a reasonably balanced diet and regular exercise for my (mental and physical) health really sunk in.

  • 3 meals a day, plus two snacks (I’m still working on turning my breakfast into a “meal”)
  • 5 veggie/fruit portions a day — build the rest of the food around those
  • fish 3 times a week if you manage, meat/fish/eggs once a day
  • eating frozen or ready-made stuff isn’t disastrous, just add salad/fruit
  • commute on foot — many distances aren’t that huge if you take the trouble to try
  • if you don’t use your car regularly, it might be more economical to go cab/rental.

More important than the specifics, what’s to note here is a change of attitude. Details are important, of course, as they are often what’s needed to make an intention into Things That Happen (check out GTD again). But alone, they are not sufficient. In my case, it took a few months of feeling rather unwell, and the fact that my doctor took the trouble to talk to me about these issues, for me to realise (a) they were important (b) they were probably having an impact on my life right now and (c) I wanted to do something about them.

Today, instead of thinking “what do I feel like eating” or “do I want to go rollerblading/walking”, I think “where am I with my quota of veggies/exercise, and what do I need to eat/do to reach it”. I don’t do it in an obsessive way, mind you. It’s just that food and exercise have become goal-driven, and there are rather effortless things I can do to move towards a goal I find worthwhile — so I do them.

On the road to being healthier geeks!

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Posted in Food, Health, My corner of the world | Tagged commute, commuting, cycling, diet, doctor, eating, Essay-Like, exercise, fish, food, foodpyramid, fruit, geek, Health, healthy, lausanne, lifehacks, lifestyle, meat, omega-3, Pieces of Me, Practical, snacks, Thinking, unhealthy, vegetables, walking | 10 Comments