You know those days when there is a domino effect of events that totally throws your day for a loop? I was having one of those days. I woke up an hour late. So late in fact, that when my eyes opened and zoomed in at the time, I realized I only had 13 minutes to make it to my running group. First domino.
I jumped out of bed, slipped on my running clothes and gear and darted out of the house. No time for coffee. No time for packing lunches. No time to think. I did miraculously make it to my run on time. By the time I was in my 3rd mile, I relaxed a bit and figured the rest of the day would go on normally. I was wrong. Upon my return home, I walked into my bedroom and my husband looked over and said to me, “Ryan threw up this morning.” Second Domino.
Ryan didn’t look sick so I thought maybe it was a fluke. My husband rushed off to court, unable to take my older son to school. Third Domino.
I tried to stay on schedule, calling out to Orly to remember to brush his teeth, asking Justin to finish his breakfast. But everyone was slower than usual. Suddenly it was exactly one minute after the time I absolutely have to leave the house to make sure my oldest son is not late to school and only 2 of the 3 were dressed and only 1 of the 3 lunches were packed. I left the baby in his pajamas, grabbed the one lunchbox and routed the three boys into their car seats. I figured I would drop off the older two, come back to dress the baby, finish the lunches, and take him a little later. Cue dominoes falling. I drop Orly off…late. I drop Justin off …without lunch. I come back home with Ryan. As we walk into the kitchen, he doesn’t look so good and proceeds to throw up all over himself and the floor. Oh God, its not a fluke. He is sick. I realize there will be no going to work today or taking Ryan to school. Oh well. I bathe my little munchkin, dress him in fresh clothes, brush his teeth, comb his hair and snuggle him on the couch with a blanket so he can watch Sesame Street as I clean up the vomit mess on the floor. I fill my mop bucket with water and clorox and begin cleaning away. Then, my phone rang. I don’t think much of it. I answered because I can multitask. As I spoke to my friend and simultaneously put the mop in the bucket to rinse it off, something happened. I must have made some movement with my head and shoulder – I don’t really know how it happened, but with no time to react my phone went flying straight into my bucket of water.
All dominoes down.
This was more than I could handle. This was my tipping point. My phone, my email, my text messages, my pictures, my videos. OH PLEASE NO! Can a human survive without a cell phone? As quickly as it fell in, I snagged it out as I exclaimed “my phone fell in the water!” My friend was still on the phone. She yelled “put the phone in rice.” I hung up, took the phone out of its case, dried it as best as I could and headed towards my pantry. Problem is…I don’t eat rice. I looked through every shelf. I did not have rice in my kitchen. Seriously? Well they say, necessity is the mother of invention. So I kept scanning my shelves and I did have some Millet.
Millet is a whole grain which is uniquely high in nutrients. It is an alkaline food and therefore digests easily. It has high vitamin B content, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and zinc. It is also a healthy source of essential fats in the body. I buy it because it is low on the glycemic index and has lots of fiber. Since this is the only grain I had available at the moment, I decided to submerge my iPhone in it and hope for the best. I will spare you the hours of despair of not having access to my phone (the phone was completely dead the whole day), taking it out of the millet, putting it back in the millet, and so on. Instead I will tell you that after many hours, the phone did finally turn back on. The only inconvenience was that the millet grains are so small that they got stuck in some of the holes of my phone. I used the point of a paper clip to get them out. But otherwise, the millet worked.
Turned out to be a whacky day but on the bright side, I got to spend a lot of quality time with just my little one for a change.
As I slipped into bed that evening, grateful that my son was feeling better, that my phone was working again, and that tomorrow my world would go back to normal, it really struck me that I had not found any rice in my house. As a Cuban-American girl, I grew up eating white rice and beans every night for dinner. There was a time that I could not fathom a meal not containing rice as a side. We are all creatures of habit. We tend to adopt staple foods, customs, and traditions in our lives and we stick to them. This is not a bad thing. It helps us do all the things we have to do without having to think so much. But just because we are accustomed to doing things one way, doesn’t mean its the only way. What we know is limited to what we are exposed to. However, when weight or illness becomes an issue, we are often forced to explore new foods to restore our health and our bodies. This can cause anxiety and stress.
When I changed my diet years ago, I felt this fear of the unknown. I didn’t even know where to begin to eat healthier and find alternatives to the foods I was comfortable with. I started trying new things and little by little I found a lot of “different” foods that I loved. The transformation has been such that I found myself searching for a staple food in my pantry that, without me realizing it, is no longer a basic food in my home.
My mom often jokes that all the strange things she eats, she finds at my house. In reality, they are only strange to those who are not exposed to them. So here is my challenge for you this week. Think of some of the staple foods in your diet. Analyze these two questions:
- are these foods contributing to your health
- are there any alternative foods that you could eat as a substitute in order to promote a healthier lifestyle.
Please note, I’m not saying you should never eat rice. Rice has its place in our diets from time to time and depending on our exercise regimens, etc. But I do not think it should be one of the principal foods we eat on a daily basis.
If you don’t know what new food to try, go for Millet.
Now you know this healthy grain is not only a great alternative to eating rice, it is also a great alternative to absorbing the moisture of an iPhone when it falls in the water. Its a win-win!