Texans, Playoffs, Keto and Wins

downloadFirst, let me rejoice with all other Texans fans reading this that the Texans made it to the NFL wild card playoffs this year. As for any fan, I was hopeful.

Again.

To be honest, they seem to be able to get to both level of playoffs since 2011; but, they lose something in the transition. They get sloppy; slow to act and react.

Nonetheless, I donned my JJ Watt official Texans jersey and went out to get stuff done. At one of my stops, an elderly gentleman struck up a conversation with me.

Gentleman {acknowledging my jersey}: “Are you Mrs. Watt?”

Me: “I wish. But, I’m sure there are many of them running around the city today.”

Gentleman: “Oh, is he a polygamist?”

Me {chuckling – is he serious?}: “No, I’m pretty sure he’s not.”

The store employee came back to finish up his order. Conversation done, I’m left to ponder the meaning of his statement, and disappointed that I couldn’t get my admiration for JJ Watt out into the cosmos. It doesn’t seem adequate to only be wearing the jersey and not raving about him.

When your team is in the playoffs, it is your obligation to root them on any way you can. Talk them up. State their advantages and their strengths. To put your own emotional high energy out into the collective cosmos along with the energy of every other fan. It’s a sports thing. Whether American football, futbol, baseball, hockey – if you love the sport, you have a favorite team. It is your obligation to join with other fans in the pursuit of the victory that you are sure is just waiting for the taking.

Ordinarily, I imagine most people just watch from home. They have cable, dish, whatever means to stream the game in. As they sit in their favorite seat right in front of the TV, they are safe to yell at the screen for Deshaun Watson to throw the ball already (no one to offend or startle on the next barstool) or to jump up when Clowney catches it and bolts to the end zone (even if they upend the bowl of popcorn) and to slam the table when Clowney is tackled just 5 yards short of a touchdown. God forbid Deshaun gets sacked, again. Not saying these actions don’t happen at a bar. But they become muted, in the process losing an element of the raw humanity that they represent.

My plan was to go to a local sports bar where the Texans are the favored team. In this type of venue, it is easier to find a screen to watch my game and less likely that I will have to sit next to a fan of the opposing team. I am not a fan of sitting at a bar by myself to begin with; but for my team, that is an acceptable sacrifice.

Mid-morning, I found out that a friend of mine was hosting a day-long playoff watch party, starting with the Texans-Colts game. I was ecstatic.

What to bring? Football food tends to be hi-carb, hi-fat, not really healthy food. Food that I normally don’t eat; and, on a Keto-like diet, foods that I should not be eating.

I gratefully RSVPd and proceeded to figure out what Keto-friendly food to make and bring.

I settled on bacon wrapped ‘little’ smoky sausages, baked and basted in BBQ sauce, and a bottle of Absolut Citron vodka. I couldn’t find the specific sausage that the recipe called for, so I had to improvise with larger sausages cut in longwise 1/8th portions.

Later, at the party, I re-united with some old friends and met some new friends. My iced vodka did not take too well among the beer drinking attendees – that meant more for me. But the bacon-wrapped sausages were a big hit.

In the end, my Texans lost – miserably. But for me, it was an all-around win.

But – what team do I follow into the Superbowl, now that the Texans are out of it?

Stay tuned!

© 2010-2019 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

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Healthy Resolution – Keto

 

Selection of healthy fat sourcesLike many of us at this same time of year, I realized today that I need to make some changes in the upcoming new year.

Before I proceed, let me provide some perspective on the idea of resolutions.

I’m not a big fan of new year resolutions. Resolutions – like promises – can end up in quite a big box with other resolutions that turned into perceived no-wins, that we simply gave up on in lieu of survival, or other resolutions.

I believe that with every new day comes a new opportunity to change – to improve. We truly have 365 opportunities every year to move closer to the vision we have of ourselves.

Why limit that to 1 opportunity every 365 days?

But, life is complicated. We get overburdened, overwhelmed, over-exhausted; which is when we begin to delay things to the promise of doing better in a New Year.

Necessary, and desired, changes get pushed out, farther and farther away from our current state of being while we focus on the delusion of our here and now.

My delusion was finally spotlighted this morning. But, I would be lying if I said I hadn’t noticed it sooner.

Like my jeans getting tighter since October; the muffin top expanding; the increasing attraction to the looser fitting tops in my closet. And, who can forget the annual relief that we are into the coldest weather of the year here in Austin – sweater weather. The panic knowing that the cold season will end in about 2 weeks and sweaters will no longer be an option.

I try not to torture myself with the memories of my not-so-long-ago slimmer days. Days when size 6 jeans were too big and I could get away with buying teen sizes to fill the gap. Times when certain styles and designers allowed me to wear a petite.

Bottomline: I have gained roughly 15 pounds since October. Worse, my BMI has tripled.

Two things need to change now: diet and exercise. Today, my focus is on the diet part.

Normally, I eat healthy. I make meal choices to keep my blood sugar steady by the timing and type of foods I eat.

  • many small meals throughout the day
  • no meals after 7pm-ish
  • no bread
  • no sodas or sweet drinks
  • no artificial sweeteners
  • low sugar fruits and vegetables
  • lots of protein
  • lots of water

I do have my vices, though. And, in times of stress (like the past year), those vices can be powerful to avoid. And they add up quickly.

  • cold cuts
  • desserts
  • wine

So, what is there to change?

Then, I find myself thinking about a conversation I had earlier this year with some friends who had started a Keto diet. While they confirmed lost weight, in the next breath they lamented how many foods they could not eat. At the time, I remember thinking “how bad can it be”? Because, at the time, I associated Keto with high protein and did not really take the time to look into it after that conversation.

After doing research now, I get it. It’s not about the sugars; it is also about the carbs. Check out this post for more details.

Makes sense. Can’t be too difficult. I already maintain a low sugar / high protein diet.

Digging deeper, as I tend to do, I found several lists of what NOT to eat on a Keto diet. That’s where the feel-good faded and the spotlight of reality shined bright. Foods that are staples in my daily diet quickly added up and ended up in the No-No pile.

  • oatmeal
  • honey
  • mangoes
  • raisins
  • cold cuts
  • chicken breast
  • wine
  • beer
  • legumes, including lentils
  • sweet potatoes

GONE – my pizza and beer Friday night chill-down with my son (when he is around)

GONE – my morning oatmeal – with raisins and honey

GONE – my glass (or 3) of red wine after a particularly stressful workday

GONE – my beloved marinated black beans

Thinking positively, I went back through the lists for things that I can consume, that I like, and that are also staples in my daily diet.

  • eggs
  • avocados
  • lemons
  • olives
  • tomatoes
  • strawberries, raspberries
  • brussel sprouts
  • spinach
  • kale
  • CHEESE!

And, if I need to have a drink – well, there are options there as well.

I don’t expect, nor do I really want, to get back into the single digit sizes. Although, I wouldn’t halt anything if things do lead there.

My goals in this voyage are to remain healthy while feeling good about myself. I see this as a resolution to myself to journey into better, healthier, more contented living.

For me.

That resolution just happens to be falling on day 364, the cusp of the New Year.

Wishing you all a happy – and healthier – 2019!!!

© 2010-2019 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Leaf Keeps Moving

I am just a leaf in a stream. 

I must keep moving. 

To where? You ask. 

I don’t know where. 

I don’t ask where; nobody tells me where. 

Upstream_2

Upstream

The rock is my friend, but only for a moment.

He is strong. He is stationary. He is dependable. 

He is only there so that I can take a break. 

But I must keep moving.

The Rock

The Rock

The pool of cool water is my refuge.

She keeps me afloat when I might sink. 

But I must keep moving. 

Afloat

Afloat in a Pool

I don’t know where I’m going.

Nobody tells me where to go.

I am just a leaf. 

Location: Lost Trail, Bull Creek District Park in Austin, TX

© 2010-2018 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Tales of the Trail

Location: Tejas Trail in Georgetown TX

This is dedicated to every one of you who did not have the awesome weather that we had here in Hill Country Texas; and to those who could not, did not, or otherwise missed nature.

Strong breeze keeping the heat and the clouds at bay.

Water lapping at the shore providing the beat to the natural ensemble. Tall dry grasses answer back.

Birds waft the currents in the sky.

And the open trail.

Need I say more?

 

© 2010-2018 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Thoughts for the Days

~ “Scared of what’s behind and scared of what’s in front.
Live with what you have now and make the best of what’s to come.” ~ from Tell Me a Story by Phillip Phillips

~ ‘White’ is a race too. If you won’t share a meme about another ‘race’ because it would be perceived as racist – why, I wonder – would you think it’s acceptable to share a meme about ‘white’ people.

~ The redbuds are blooming…the redbuds are blooming

~ “What we think, we become. The ancestor of every action is a thought.” ~ from Bhagavad-gita

~ “It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.” ~ Voltaire

~ To keep America great, we have to try our best to buy American products

~ “If you want to make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.” ~ from Man in the Mirror by Michael Jackson

© 2010-2018 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

A Cavern Escape

All he wanted was time away.

For peace. For a moment. A chance to muffle the yapping dog, to turn his back on the demanding brats, and the hovering girlfriend, the consumption of adult responsibilities.

As he dumped himself into the mini-van, he let out a great breath of air that he must have been holding onto. Just waiting to escape.  He glanced around her car. He hated driving her car. She never cleaned it. It owned an ever-present layer of cookie wrappers, cracker crumbs, crushed juice pouches, chewed straws, and “what is that smell”. His dank, dark cavern escape couldn’t come quickly enough.

He tried not to take the corner too fast on his way to the freeway.

Pulling into the parking lot, he felt a quick jolt of adrenaline at the first glance. His plan might not work well for him today. Kids piled out of multiple cars, followed by parents and grandparents. These people weren’t seeking solitude, or connection, or peace. They were seeking entertainment, perhaps a way to pass time, to play, to redirect the focus from themselves on this final day of a long holiday. In a way, it was not dissimilar to his goal.

Tour guide ultimately attempted to corral the group as the parents in the group attempted to corral their children.

“There are only two rules”, she said. “Stay with the group and don’t touch the rocks. But, the most important rule is don’t touch the rocks.”

A brief explanation of why ensued and then our descent began.

At the first few stops along the descent, a man of grandfather-age wobbled for a second. To steady himself, he leaned against the rocks. Hand first. Had he not heard the tour guide and understood the golden rule? The children seemed to follow the rule. Did he think the rule did not apply to him? Maybe he didn’t understand English. No one corrected him. The tour guide did not correct him, nor even appear to notice. What’s the point of the rules if they are not enforced? Halfway down, another discussion by the tour guide with the children about why we don’t touch the rocks, and the grandfather quit leaning on the rocks. At each stop after, he wobbled and would seek out handrails to lean on. About time.  Next time grandpa, bring a cane, or a walker.

The air was heavier the further they descended. Damper, laden with a mineral halo. It smelled of earth, and water. Breathing it in deeply, he knew instinctively that is was a healthy damp.

The temperature increased degree by degree as they descended.  He took his sweatshirt off. During the summer, the effect would reverse.

The formations of the stalagmites and stalagtites succeeded in making him smile, as they always did. He repeated in his head – “stalagMites because they Might reach the ceiling” – to remember the difference between what is a stalagmite and what is a stalactite.

In the end, they all just look like large penises.

At the deepest part of the tour, they stopped.

The tour guide wondered aloud how many had ever been in complete darkness. A few said yes; and they had seen ghosts there too.

“I bet you have never been in a dark cave. There is no sunlight down here. It’s too far down so the sun can’t reach.” Then she said, “If I turn out the lights now, do you think you would be able to see anything?”

Silence.

“OK, I’m going to turn out the lights now. Stay close to the group.”

One…

Two…

Three.

Lights out.

True ink black cavern darkness. What would it be like if no one else was there? Would it be frightening? Even in the very dark, you could “see” your hand if you placed it in front of your face, almost like you just know it is there. More likely because there is enough ambient light for you to actually see it. Even that was impossible to see here. Closing his eyes, not even the usual pinpoints of light and grey patch appeared. True dark.

With that few moments of complete visual emptiness, the tour guide flipped the switch and the cave was lit again.

Ascending up the winding stone path, he was not at the peace he wanted but grateful for the peace he got.

Making his way back home, back to his personal chaos, he plotted his next escape.

© 2010-2018 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.

Money Talks The Loudest

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Now there’s a novel concept!

As the outrage over the civil disobedience of top paid athletes continues, we again find ourselves – as a society – muddling through the murk and sludge of perceptions and individual beliefs. What will we tolerate, and what will we not – as individuals, and as a society.

The issue du jour appears simple initially: privileged players in most sports leagues are choosing to not stand for the National Anthem. In civil disobedience, they are kneeling to show their disdain for our country.

Undoubtedly, the National Anthem is a powerful part of the “Americana” on which our country has historically been based. Its lyrics represent war and division, yet it was ensconced into the sports arena as an iconic beginning to every game from the early 1900s.

It is a ritual that everyone expects.

  • The person who will sing the anthem is introduced at the opening of the game
  • Everyone stands
  • Military personnel and service are praised
  • Hats come off
  • Hands go to the breast
  • Anthem begins
  • Tears flow

Afterward, we are complete, we are united – as a society, as sports lovers, as patriots of our country. We are ready for football.

Of late, many highly paid athletes across many professional leagues, cloaked in the growing pallor of the First Amendment, have thrown us all into the grip of yet another cultural quagmire.

Here is what you might be seeing and hearing in the media and from people you know:

  • President Trump is causing this to spiral
  • President Trump broke the law and caused further division by voicing his opinion
  • The players have the right to express their beliefs in the public arena
  • The National Anthem doesn’t matter anymore
  • Civil disobedience, for its own sake, is acceptable
  • Anyone who doesn’t agree is a white supremacist
  • Anyone who doesn’t agree is not American
  • The owners of the teams have no influence over what the players do

Here are the facts:

  • In other parts of the world, as well as in the US, people are still suffering and dying from the onslaught of Mother Nature
  • Millions of Americans have died and continue to suffer as a direct result of their service to our country. They deserve our respect.
  • The National Anthem is irrefutably a symbolic form of respect and appreciation for the service of millions of military and law enforcement men and women who contribute to making our country free and safe.
  • A NFL standard contract looks like this: “A player who doesn’t ‘conduct himself on and off the field with appropriate recognition of the fact that the success of professional football depends largely on public respect for and approval of those associated with the game,’ or who ‘has engaged in personal conduct reasonably judged by Club to adversely affect or reflect on Club,’ is subject to being fired.”
  • Other leagues have different guidelines
  • While this debate rages, and is argued in the arena of public opinion, these privileged players are still earning millions of dollars every game, every day
  • Politics has been brought into one of the last standing bastions of our lives, where it should not tread

My opinion, based on the facts and my gut, is that these players who are choosing to not stand during the National Anthem are invoking their right.

Do they have the right to their non-violent free speech? Absolutely.

Should they be allowed to do it on my dime, on yours? I don’t believe they should – but that is a judgement call.

They, just like Hollywood actors and actresses who also spout their political opinion from the pedestal of their privilege, are paid to entertain us. Their opinion when they are doing their job is irrelevant.

Bottom line: if you don’t like that the players do not stand for the National Anthem, don’t spend your money on them.

Don’t go to games.

Don’t watch games on TV.

Don’t buy their stuff.

Money talks way louder than words, or tears, or stamping of feet, or ranting.

© 2010-2017 Kimberly Yoss. All rights reserved. No part of this online publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without prior approval from Kimberly Yoss.