When you look up Julie Ann Brown McIntosh on FaceBook, this is how she describes herself:
I'm silly, outgoing, "annoyingly effervescent", sarcastic, enthusiastic, and as southern as a collard green. I'm a loyal friend, I'm a sucker for animals, and I've got a bunch of great recipes. I love to cook, I love to decorate, and I love to entertain! I love my sterling silver, bone china, and crystal wine goblets, but I can throw a nice BBQ on paper plates just as easily as a fancy feast! I refuse to clean bathrooms because I have a wonderful lady who comes to do that sort of stuff for me! I've got a lot of fun "sayins" like "if brains were dynamite, the explosion wouldn't ruffle his hair on a windy day..." I'm a proud Texan! I don't care what people think of me unless they're my friends or my family!
I still cook with butter, dammit! I don't use margarine, skim milk, or fat-free cheese. I believe in eating rich, eating well, and then working it off! I love real butter, extra virgin olive oil, Madagascan vanilla, and Williams-Sonoma kitchen gadgets. I think "Kid Cuisines" should be outlawed as child abuse and that frozen lasagna is heresy!
How can you not love her? She bubbles over the page like fine champagne and can really make you think with her quick wit and intelligent observations. So why, you ask, is Miss Julie frowning? The very idea is an antithesis to her very nature. So, Why? Because like many economically stressed Moms throughout the USA, Julie has been forced back into the daily grind to help the household stay afloat. She misses her kids. She has a dangerous commute - snow, ice and salt, YUK! And above all, she lives in Michigan. I am here to tell you, as a native Texan like Julie, living in Michigan is like putting a lizard in the freezer. The weather can get down right cold, and we are warm weathered folk. But Julie handles all of those things with her ever-present charm and grace. What is really making Julie frown is what I call 'office-itis'.
She sits at the computer all day, staring at the computer screen under flourescent lights that tires her eyes, rounds her shoulders, elongates her back muscles, and numbs her butt. Yep. Office-itis. She posted today that she didn't understand how a such a sedentary position at her desk could make her so tired??? She isn't running around, climbing stairs, or lifting heavy objects. So? Whats the deal? As I sit and type this I know many of you are in the same situation as Miss Julie. I am going to give you a few helpful tips to combat this exhaustion; this life-sucking enigma called Office-itis.
First, lets talk water, H2O, libation of life, the true thirst quencher, I could go on...
Scientific studies have been up-dated. 64oz of water a day is still okay, if you weigh 128lbs or less. These days reports show the optimal amount of water that should be consumed by the average person is their weight in pounds divided by 2 and that number converted to ounces. And that is if you lead the life of a Root-Warrior, where you lay a daily seige upon your sofa. So John/Jane Doe weighs in at 200lbs. Their daily intake of water should be around 100oz of water. Now, consider the workout in the morning? They could actually drink more of than the 100oz and that is perfectly fine. If they drink the water instead of snacking, exercise regularly, and take care of their body, the weight goes down as well as the amount of water. "But I don't like water!" Then sustitute the water for sugar-free decaffeinated tea. This is a hard habit to develop for some people, but it is a crucial one. Your body needs that water to move waste from the muscles, combat fatigue within cellular walls, and keep the most important disease fighting barrier, the skin, hydrated and functioning properly.
SO DRINK WATER! Got it? Good.
Have you ever noticed how some employees within your office go on frequent smoke breaks? And since you are not a smoker, you don't feel you have an excuse to leave your desk for a break unless it is lunch time. Well, here is your excuse: Take a 5 minute stretch break. Now, I am not talking about straddling your legs between the cubicles. I am saying take a minute to go outside (weather permitting) or an empty conference room and do a few squats, stretch your pec muscles, swing your arms, and bring some blood back into the legs. Try something for me right now >> Take the first 2 fingers of your right hand, place them on the sternum and press the muscles found there. Hurts doesn't it? Thats because you are tight! Massaging the sternum is something I do for anyone that works at a desk. Now keep pressing out toward the shoulder. Still painful? Think about the position you maintain as you sit typing at the computer ALLLL DAAAYYY LLLOOONNGGGGG..... now multiply this by 5. UGH! My pecs and back burn just thinking (and typing) about it. I can see it now: your hands are in front of you poised above the keyboard, your shoulders are therefore rolled forward, this elongates the muscles in the back, and at the same time it causes your pec muscles to stay contracted. BAD BAD BAD! So, get off your rear, tell the smokers you're taking a "stretch break" and let them be jealous for once.
Okay, one last thing and I will shut up, stay away from refined sugars, heavy starches and fried foods. All they do is lift you up Up UP! Then send you spiraling down into crash mode. Stick to raw nuts, fruits, and veggies for a snack. No more trips to the candy machines, soda dispensers and coffee shops. Don't fill up at lunch. It just makes you sleepy. I follow a simple rule: Eat like a King in the morning, a Prince at noon, and a Pauper at night. If you try it, you will never go back to the old habits. (Hopefully)
So Julie, this Blog is for you sweetheart. Try and keep your chin up. We are all rooting for you and support you in your new adventure. There are many people out there like you and could benefit from your leading example. Good luck... and send me that recipe for skillet corn? Thanks!
Love to you and yours,