Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pros and Cons of Technology

In case you missed it, yesterday's post was all about making time to be healthy. How do you make the time for your health?

Today, while it is Mardi Gras, didn't have a whole lot of blog-worthy events (aside from our 3.5-mile run, which is more exciting than the parenthetical mention I'm giving it but less exciting than yesterday). So I'll discuss yesterday. I made myself a fancy little breakfast with some fresh greens, fried eggs, a pear, and a slice of bread. It felt quite Parisian.
Parisian breakfast

Last night, Terry and I headed over to a fellow Bruin alumna's house for a fun potluck. The group we volunteer for at UCLA has subcommittees, so our little group got together to better acquaint ourselves. I absolutely love potlucks. Sometimes I stress myself out deciding what to bring, but Pros andI get so excited to taste everyone else's treats.

Gourmet pizza courtesy of our committee leaders

Clockwise from bottom: roasted asparagus, my pear and walnut squash,  pork with peanut sauce (the star of the show!), and pizza.

S'mores bars - as one of the guys said, "The goodness of s'mores without the hassle of a fire!"

I brought my pear and walnut squash (with yellow squash instead of delicata), triple chocolate cookies, and my seriously delicious peanut butter and jelly squares. They taste exactly like a PB & J sandwich, but they pack a ton of delicious nutrients. These are particularly great for a pre-workout snack or for a healthy dessert.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Squares
Makes 25 squares

    Wholesome goodness

    • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1 cup chopped nuts (I've used a combination of pecans, walnuts, and cashews)
    • 1 cup oats
    • 3 tablespoons raspberry jelly
    Mix the first three ingredients; then stir in the oats. It'll be sticky, but as long as the oats are all evenly moistened, you're good. Line an 8x8 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Using a firm spatula, spread half the oats mixture on the bottom, ensuring that it spreads to the corners. Then spread a thin layer of jelly (you may find you use a little less or more than 3 T). Then top the jelly with the other half of the oats, again spreading to the edges. Chill for about 30 minutes (not necessary, but makes cutting easier), then cut into squares. To transport, put wax paper between the layers. 

    A delicious, healthy addition to any potluck

    Also great for breakfast, snacks, and post-workout protein

    While enjoying dinner last night, the topic of technology came up and stuck with us for awhile. All of us are generally the same age, so we grew up with dial up Internet, no text messaging, and no Facebook. We laughed about how kids today (do I sound like a typical adult or what?) have very little awareness of what is and isn't appropriate to put up online or when you should and shouldn't be texting. But technology has made aspects of life incredibly awesome, too. So I created a little list.

    Pros and Cons of Technology

    • Communication. Whether you love Facebook or hate it, you get connected and stay connected to folks you wouldn't otherwise. But oftentimes you think you're in touch with people when really you haven't actually spoken to them in years. 
    • Multi-tasking. We have programmed our brains to handle tons of information at once. But a lot of people have trouble sitting still and not looking at our phones for even short spans of time.
    • Time. Technology makes a lot of tasks much faster, but we also waste loads of time online (Pinterest, anyone?). We also lose patience because most things we want are instantly available; anything that takes longer becomes an annoyance.
    • Health. Technology has opened up a wealth of opportunities for tracking and improving health (heart monitors, GPS watches, crazy stair climber machines), but computers and big screen TVs encourage a sedentary lifestyle. 
    As a Millennial, I have grown up in an increasingly tech-centered world. Obviously, parts of me love all that we can do now (blogging!), but I also see where I spend way too much time mindlessly browsing through my phone when I could be enjoying what's around me. 

    What have you noticed about our technology-driven world? What parts do you love or hate?

    To observe Lent (Terry grew up Catholic and we both love the idea behind Lent), Terry and I are giving up television during the week. We notice that when we have the TV on "in the background," we're distracted, disconnected from each other, and late going to sleep. I'll ask Terry to set the table, and a few minutes later I notice he's standing in the living room, mesmerized, holding utensils and napkins and staring at the TV. I am just as guilty: Writing my blog posts with the TV on takes about three times longer than a focused post in a quiet room. (Duh.) So wish us luck as we enter into Lent! 

    Do you observe Lent or place yourself on restriction at times? What have you given up? What's something you could never give up?

    I'm pretty sure I couldn't go without my cell phone. My commute home without calling my parents would be even more brutal!


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