life: super powers not included

Category — Healthy Living



Dear Earth,

What’s the hurry? Let me fill you in on a little something: When you’re done rotating, you’re going to start all over again.

Here’s the deal: You’re spinning on that axis just a bit too fast. We’re overworked and stressed and could really use, say, 48 hours per day. Cut your rotation speed in half and we’ll all be happy.


The Humans

p.s. Thanks for the longer days.

Living with boxessource

Dear Boxes,

It was nice having you around for a while. I loved the way you made my apartment feel small and (as they say on Craigslist) cozy. My life was filled with constant mystery—what will I find in you today? As much fun as it’s been, I need a break.

It’s not me, it’s you.

Please unpack yourselves and proceed to recycling.

Your Landlord


Dear Fox,

I know what you’re up to and I don’t like it. The last time I got hooked on one of your sci-fi shows, you moved it to Friday. Before I could say “season finale” you yanked it off the air. Not cool. If you end Fringe, I’m going to beat you up.

And, yeah, I know you renewed the for another season, but don’t think that’ll fool us. It’s in the Friday night death slot and loyal viewers won’t rest until it’s safely returned to Thursday.

Don’t take out your we-shoulda-ended-24-two-seasons-earlier frustration on poor Fringe.


Super Natural Every Day

Dear Hedi Swanson,

Your book is lovely. I’m drooling over the photos as we speak. (No, it’s not getting on the pages. What do you take me for? An animal?) The recipes sound delicious.


I’d much prefer if you came to live with me and cooked for me. I promise I’m really nice and my couch is super comfortable.

Hungry Tracey

Empty roomsource

Dear Tracey,

Putting a thick layer of lotion on your feet and then walking on the hardwood floor is a bad idea. Don’t do it again.


Anything you need to get off your chest?

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April 12, 2011   32 Comments

Dear Millionaires, Want To Adopt Me?


Do you ever look at the clock on Sunday night to find it’s thisclose to Monday morning and you barely had a weekend? That was me last night. I didn’t watch the clock all day and then, all of a sudden, it was time to go to bed.

It’s not that my weekend was super eventful, though we did unpack some of the bedroom. I promise you two things once I’m unpacked:

1. Photos

2. Your winnings (for many of you that means bumper stickers and for Urban Solstice that means a poster, all of which are still boxed up).

Thanks for understanding.

In other news, after a month of debating with my doctor, BlueCross BlueShield decided I don’t meet the right criteria for Cymbalta. A lot of people with EM say the drug helps with the pain. But when my doctor told them that, BlueCross BlueShield replied with something you couldn’t say in a PG movie.

Of course, I spent the past month waiting for the drug like a kid counting days till Christmas. I’m on Lyrica for pain, but it just takes it down a notch. Combined with Cymbalta, though, I might not feel crazy intense burning as my feet are consumed with fire.

I paid for the drug out of pocket—$115 a month, which isn’t a big deal considering we live in a mansion and I make $2.5 million a year. Um, riiiight.

NS0340 of these teensy pills are $115. Also, ignore my chipping polish.

If the drug works, I’ve hatched out a plan to visit BlueCross BlueShield’s offices and scream at the top of my lungs in pain until someone says:

“Wow Tracey, those beat-red feet with bulging veins feel hotter than my oven. It sure looks painful, especially when you burst into tears while walking. I think we should cover Cymbalta for you. And for being such a pain in the a$$, we’ll fly you home on our private super air conditioned jet.”

Oh, and I’m on an avocado kick again. My latest creation: BLT with cheddar, sprouts, avocado, and whole grain mustard. You can use mayo on it, but I’m gonna warn you ahead of time that it will most likely be gross. (As is everything with mayo.)


Yes, the sprouts and avocado slices make this huge. (So huge that when I ordered this they added an extra slice of toast. Truthfully, you don’t need it—or the extra slices of cheese or bacon. They just had no faith in my ability to reorganize the ingredients into a well-balanced stack.)

It almost takes my mind off my arch nemesis, BlueCross BlueShield.



Q of the day: I love avocados on sandwiches and salads, but what other ways do you like to eat them?

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March 28, 2011   48 Comments

Don’t Call Me. Ever.


I thought I’d be posting pictures of my new apartment today but, yeah, not a lot of unpacking happened this weekend. OK, maybe just a box or two. I worked over the weekend and The Man took the opportunity to watch an inordinate amount of college basketball. From the lack of angry shouts, I’m guessing his teams did well.

Anyhow, you’ll have to wait to see the place. I mean, to see more than this:


Oh, you don’t like the wall of boxes I created? I thought it was modern art.

So yesterday I read this New York Times article about the telephone—and how no one likes to use it anymore. (It’s worth a read despite the fact that everyone the writer interviewed worked in the publishing industry. Apparently she couldn’t find a single person without a publishing connection. And, for anyone who’s about to say Jonathan Adler isn’t in publishing: That’s right; he’s an interior designer who WROTE A BOOK.)

Still, I couldn’t agree more with the article. Frankly, I hate talking on the phone. I know that’s strange since I conduct dozens of interviews, but in real life I avoid the phone as much as I can.

This is not a new thing. I never liked talking on the phone, even when I was a tween and it was so cool to talk for hours with your friends. The Man and I had marathon phone conversations when we were 500 miles apart and dating, but that was a fluke—desperate times and desperate measures and whatnot.

Here’s the thing: It’s boring. In order to focus on what the person’s saying, you have to step away from the computer. You have to just sit there and pretend to forget about the 9,000 other things you should be doing. Sure, you could do something productive, like cook dinner, but even then you’re probably not giving as much thought to the conversation as you would while writing an email.


And that’s my main gripe. It’s 10 times easier and faster to write a detailed email. For scheduling purposes, email and text give you time to consider your calendar—or whether you want to say yes or no. And you can still watch TV or listen to music or whatever while emailing.

(I should mention I talk on the phone with my mom, though. She’s not yet a fan of The Email.)

Like the article mentions, the telephone is an intrusion. Imagine this: I’m eating dinner or watching a movie and the phone rings. I can:

A. Pick it up and interrupt my dinner or movie.

B. Ignore it, adding “Call ___Enter name of old person here___ back” to your to-do list.

In both cases, the caller assumes you’ll drop everything to talk to them. And getting back to a phone call? Much more time consuming than responding to an email or text.

So what have we learned today?

ignore cell

How about you: do you like to chat on the phone?

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March 21, 2011   32 Comments

Read: It’s Good For You


You know that scent attached to bookstores? It’s a mix of fresh paper, coffee, and ink. It’s my Chanel No. 5. Part of the reason I love Eau de Bookstore so much is that I love to read. (I’m not above admitting that, being a writer who hopes to one day publish a novel, it’s also the smell of dreams being realized. Too pathetic? OK, forget I said that.)

Books have always been an escape for me. I’m mostly talking about novels here because, truthfully, a good book about fitness or nutrition doesn’t whisk me away to a land where I don’t have chores.

And fiction’s more fun. Sorry.

Anyhow, because I’m such a huge fan of reading I was so excited to read Mark Daily Apple’s post about bibliotherapy. You should really read the full post since it’s wonderful, but here’s the local news channel version:

Therapists assign trouble clients books to work through difficult problems, new at 11.

Here’s another sneak peak:

He said, “Within the safe but compelling confines of a book, readers can find themselves and their life’s issues laid bare.” More, after sports.

Anyhow, I love the idea that by reading we can envision a different life. We can work out problems. We find inspiration and courage and comfort and motivation.

For four hours I can pretend my feet don’t burn, that I have magical powers or need to stop a corrupt government from outlawing love. And when I’m done? I can start all over again.

Do you agree with this? And what’s the best novel you’ve read recently?

PS: Happy St. Patrick’s Day. May you avoid meals with green food coloring.

PS Again: Have a Goodreads account? Me too. Let’s be friends.

PS Times Three: I’ve been reading mostly young adult because that’s the type of book I’m writing. Anyone interested in learning about some really great YA novels? If enough people are interested, I’ll do a post on my top picks.

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March 17, 2011   32 Comments

The Being On A Deadline Miracle Diet

HP's no sugar dietsource

They say there’s no such thing as a miracle diet. That the only way to lose or maintain weight is to eat healthy and exercise. But you know what I say?


I stumbled upon two diets that will have you down 20 pounds in a matter of weeks. Yes, they’re that good.

First is what I like to call the Being On A Deadline Diet.* Here’s how it works: You volunteer for at least three work projects, two volunteer events, and party planning for a good friend’s birthday/engagement party/bachelorette party/baby shower/just-got-dumped pity part.

Make sure each of your tasks is due on the same day. This is important.

Make sure you start each task exactly a week before the due date. This is critical.

When you’re too busy to pee, let alone eat, you’ll watch the pounds slip off.**

diet = fooling oneselfsource

Just look at these testimonials from satisfied customers:

“I was 5 pounds overweigh and depressed about my body. But after three days on the Being On A Deadline Diet I could fit into my skinny jean again!”

“I weight 370 pounds when I started the Being On A Deadline Diet. Three weeks and four trips to the emergency room later and I can fit into my size 6 jeans!”

“I didn’t believe in crash diets before I started the Being On A Deadline Diet. But I’m a true believer now! I lost 75 pounds in two weeks and only passed out twice!”

See? It’s that easy.

If you’re unhappy with your body, stop your whining and star the Being On A Deadline Diet. Skinny jeans are just a deadline away.

But wait, you say. That’s not realistic for everyone. I know, I know. There are people who don’t have strict deadlines at work, who don’t volunteer, and who aren’t lucky enough to have a pregnant/engaged/dumped friend.

No worries. Jimmy Kimmel has the diet for you:

*Don’t try this at home, kids.

**For legal reasons, I’m obligated to tell you that you should be drinking water. I apologize if that appears obvious; I don’t want to get sued. Again.

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March 16, 2011   16 Comments

The Biggest Loser Drinking Game

The Biggest Loser

Don’t forget to enter my Cascade Ice giveaway. You have until Thursday and can enter as many times as you want.

OK, so how many of you are watching The Biggest Loser this season? You know, it’s entertaining and all, but what would make it more bearable fun?

The Biggest Loser Drinking Game!

You might think that drinking while watching The Biggest Loser goes against the show’s healthy ideology. So what if it does? This game will singlehandedly get you through each contestant’s sob session. Here we go!!

Take a sip

  • Whenever Jillian screams at someone (yes, you’ll pass out before you hit the half hour mark)
  • Whenever Jillian has a heart-to-heart with someone
  • Every time someone falls off the treadmill
  • Each time someone screams while exercising

Take a shot

  • Every time Bob promotes a product
  • Each time a contestant cries.
  • Whenever someone purposefully gains for a weigh-in because they have immunity
  • When Jillian and Bob freak out because someone remembered they’re playing for a boatload of money and therefore cheated the weigh-in

Chug a beer

  • When someone says they can’t do something and then subsequently does that very thing
  • Each time a contestant remembers how far they’ve come during a talk with the camera

Turn off the TV

  • Every time a contestant pretends to use a product out of convenience when everyone knows it’s an ad.

And that’s it. Have fun guys! Did I miss anything? Feel free to add your own.

*I take no responsibility for drunken texts, Facebook status updates, or Tweets.

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March 8, 2011   20 Comments



Housekeeping: Remember you still have time to win a cool poster and Not Superhuman square bumper sticker by commenting on this post. I’ll choose a winner on Friday. Depending on how many people enter, there’s a chance everyone who comments wins. So, yeah, get your tookus over there.

Next: I’ve been keeping up on my health-related news, clicking all over The Interwebs to see what’s new. I’ll tell you what’s new: People are crazy. Seriously.

Here’s a sample of the nutso out there.

Lots of candysource

Addicted to sugar? Want to give it up for good? Well, my D.C.-area readers can do that by enrolling in a local dietitian’s boot camp. For 21 days she’ll remind you that you crave sweet breakfasts (that’s bad) or that a snippy comment from your boss will have you grabbing for a cookie (also bad). But you don’t just pay her to tell you things you should already know. Nope, you pay for her to come out to your house and get rid of any sugary junk. Which is good, you know, because most people are incapable of doing that themselves. (Here’s where opposable thumbs would be so useful.)

Don’t worry. She’ll also give you tips. Here’s one that Daily Candy mentioned: Leave nail polish by the cookie jar. When you want a cookie, swipe on a coat and drink in those aromatic toxic fumes. (Or, you know, don’t buy cookies. Whatever.)

Guys, promise me you’ll never pay someone to throw your food away for you. Here’s how you beat a sugar addiction: Get rid of all the sweets in your house, don’t buy any more, use a sweetener like stevia to tame cravings, and buy a boatload of fruits. Then tell yourself you can buy something totally awesome if you last a month. After that, you won’t crave sweets anymore. (Should I charge you guys $50 for that advice?)

Ice cream in glasssource

Next time you’re craving dessert, grab some breast milk ice cream. Yes, I actually wrote that. Apparently a British ice cream shop is selling the stuff—in martini glasses, because it’s classy. Don’t worry, though, the milk’s provided by women who have been tested for diseases.

Honestly, I’m not sure what else to say here. Breast-feeding babies? Very good. Breast-feeding adults? Vomit inducing.

Wrist weights

Most people sit in front of a computer all day—talk about sedentary. Well, one company has come up with a great way to get in shape while working. You just strap a weight around your wrist and watch the pounds disappear. Some things you should not consider:

  1. Typing with wrist weights is totally uncomfortable. But ask yourself: Is it as uncomfortable as having fat forearms?
  2. You might think that writing with wrist weights is equally as cumbersome. Sure, you’ll get carpal tunnel faster than most people, but as yourself: Would you rather be unable to write or unable to wear three-quarter-length sleeved shirts?

If the wrist weights still sound like a good idea, make an appointment with a therapist and then buy a pair. Everyone else? Laugh then do a push-up.

Sleep on marshmallow

I love reading the Goop newsletter. It’s always good for a laugh. $372 iPhone pocket journal? Of course, Gwyneth, of course. So I was all for an eye roll when I read about Americans’ terrible lack of sleep. You get me, Gwynnie, I thought. And then I read this:

“If you need an alarm clock to wake you up, it’s a sign that you’re not sleeping right. Alarm clocks interrupt the sleep cycle and prevent sleep from completing naturally, pushing sleep problems into succeeding days.”

Hey G, will you talk to my work about this? Because those silly people expect me to be up and working before noon.

Ah, to be rich and famous and able to roll out of bed without an alarm at whatever time your body tells you to.

Heard any crazy news lately?

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March 3, 2011   21 Comments


tumblr_lgh6zttlne1qccwo7o1_500_largephoto from we heart it

Well happy Valentine’s Day guys.

I’ve never been much a fan of this holiday, which is lucky for The Man. I don’t see the need for flowers, especially when he does so much for me on every other day. Also, I despise jewelry store commercials.

I’d love to tell you about my wild weekend but I basically sat in bed getting over my sickness and working nonstop to meet my deadline today. (Which is to say, hearing about my weekend would probably bore you more than being at work.)

However, I do have two really great meal ideas for you.

WARNING: Craptastic photo ahead. It’s the pitiful lovechild of dim lighting and the iPhone. Proceed at your own risk.

Modified BLT

This is a modified BLT: bread, lettuce, tomato and feta-avocado spread. Right, so this is gluten-free bread but I’d advise you to use regular bread if you can. Maybe I haven’t been gluten-free for long enough to forget how utterly awesome wheat bread is. Whatever the reason, I find gluten-free bread super dry and overly sweet.

The first step: Turn an avocado into guacamole and add some feta cheese. I’m avoiding cow’s milk dairy (just in case it’s behind my fire feet) so I’ve been eating sheep’s milk feta. Feel free to use your favorite cheese here.

Spread the avocado mixture on each side of the bread. This is the glue, people. Don’t skip a side or your fillings will fall all over the place and probably end up on your white couch.

Then add tomato slices and lettuce to either side. Slap ’em together and—done.

Potatoes with pasta sauce

Seriously guys, I have no excuse for this photo. Only I do. I was using an iPhone. I only had one light on. And I was antsy to actually eat. You understand. Trust me that the dish tastes about 100 times as good as it looks.

This is roasted red potatoes covered in this tomato sauce with zucchini (don’t squint, you won’t be able to see it), sheep’s milk feta (go ahead and use your favorite cheese here—Parmesan would be good), and parsley. I’d never considered dousing potatoes in marinara until I did it by accident. This is kind of awesome.

And, that, dear friends, is it.

Wishing you a gorgeous secret Valentine who arrives bearing chocolate.

Are you a V-Day fan?

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February 14, 2011   20 Comments

Apartment Hunting Addiction

Big apartmentphoto from we heart it
Warning: This is not my old apartment. It’s not my new one. But if you happen to be the owner, I’d gladly take it off your hands.

Confession time.

Since 2004, when I graduated from college (yes, I’m that old) I have lived in six different apartments. Well, in a month I’m going to hit No. 7.

Yes, The Man and I are continuing our New Year, New Apartment plan. We hope in 20 years we’ll have lived in 27 different homes. You’d be amazed at how much friends and family enjoy helping us move. No really, they’re lining up to lug the boxes to our new place.

Um, right. In reality, every time we move The Man and I vow to stay in one place for more than a year. We try. We fail. Some thing or other always calls for a move.

Let’s see …

  1. The first place was too far from work.
  2. The second place became too small when we decided to get married and join all of our junk.
  3. The third was infested with mice (I’m shuddering while writing that) and not in D.C., which is where The Man and I had just gotten jobs.
  4. The fourth was too far outside D.C.
  5. The fifth came with a 2 ton gorilla living and stomping around above us.
  6. And this, the fifth, costs way too much for us right now.

So either we’re picky or have horrible apartment searching skills.

I’m hoping No. 7, which we found this weekend, will be the one place in seven years we can live in for at least two years. Because, friends, moving is expensive.

So the new place! I promise a photo tour but for now I’ll tell you that it’s much smaller than the place we live in now. And that’s about all I know. This may freak you out (I’m Type A, too. I get it.) but I never viewed the apartment. Because of my EM, I let the man view it and make the final decision. Scary? Yes.

But I trust him. I think.

Anyone else addicted to moving? What’s in your ideal apartment or home?

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February 8, 2011   22 Comments

You Need to Read This Article

Girl on bedphoto from we heart it

Raise your hand if you’re hung over. Hm, just as I thought.

Since I couldn’t care less about the Super Bowl, I opted to work during the game. I did stop to watch the commercials occasionally and it made me wish advertisers aimed for high standards of funniness during the entire year. Otherwise, stop complaining about the fact that everyone on Tivo fast forwards through them.

Anyhow, today I wanted to direct your attention to the New York Times’ Well blog. Tara Parker-Pope interviewed author Laura Hillenbrand, who has chronic fatigue syndrome.

Some of her story sounded like mine: The inability to go out of the house because she’s so sick. But it’s even worse. Some days she couldn’t even roll over or sit up in bed.

As Hillenbrand mentions in the interview, the disease’s name suggests a mild disease. And, really, before I read about her I thought that people with it were just tired. But it’s a completely debilitating disease.

As someone who also suffers from a debilitating chronic illness, it was nice to read how she handles her life. But even if you aren’t sick, it’s a great read, interesting and sad at once.

Read the article here.

How much do you know about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)?

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February 7, 2011   20 Comments

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