A House of Healthiness
To start the new year off right, Lauren enlisted me to join her in a Healthy Challenge, in conjunction with Whole Foods. The official challenge is 28 days, but I have signed on for just half of that. I’m really depending on Lauren to tell me what foods are and aren’t allowed during the challenge, but I know we can’t have anything with added salt or added sugar, anything oily, anything fatty, any dairy, anything unnatural. Basically, a hell of a lot of vegetables. We were already off to a great start with our normal breakfast of a kale/spinach/banana/peach/yogurt smoothie, but the yogurt was a dairy product so Lauren swapped that out with some cultured almond milk. I think you literally HAVE to have a Whole Foods in your city to participate in this challenge correctly. About the only beverage that qualifies is water, and I have amazingly not been tempted by the free pop at work so far.

On top of that, the challenge was originally to also not drink alcoholic beverages for 14 days, but… we may or may not have broken that rule in two of the first four days this month, but at least it was in moderation. Apparently that was allowed on the challenge, but this was a Lauren addendum for our own good.

If Lauren succeeds and gets a good score on her upcoming physical, she can earn some nice incentives through work. Plus we just might be healthier and save some money.

New Years
Prior to starting this challenge, we went out on New Years Eve to a nearby sports bar and decided to have one last carefree meal. We shared a very salty order of fried pickles for an appetizer, and they were so salty that our burgers and fries were barely appetizing after that, making our last fattening meal very disappointing.

After that, we gathered up the hound and headed over to the Megos for the New Years Eve celebration with 15-20 other friends. We rang in 2013 with the clinking of champagne glasses and by 12:11 we were home and in bed.

Playoffs, Walsh Visit
Today the Minnesota Vikings play their first playoff game since the 2010 NFC Championship Game debacle in New Orleans. Lauren and I watched that game with Walsh and Sarah at a Twin Cities Buffalo Wild Wings and drove home very dejected when a 12-men-on-the-field penalty essentially lost the game and season for the Vikings. That’s one moment I’ll never forget, looking up at the game clock, seeing there was under a minute left, realizing the Vikings were in field goal range, seeing 200 people in the bar jumping and hooting and hollering… I specifically remember thinking “they’re actually going to win this! I can’t believe it! Nothing can possibly backfire at this point!” and then Favre’s ill-advised pass and the utter collapse of the crowd, much like the Metrodome roof collapsing. And then when Hartley kicked the field goal in OT to end the game, Walsh collapsed into a heap on the floor and slunk between a couple arcade machines in agony.

Well, anyway, Walsh is back in town for a trade show this weekend and came into town early to stay with us for a day or two. And it just so happens the Vikings are miraculously in the playoffs after beating the Packers last week. We’ll probably head on down to the Vikings fan club bar in south Austin to watch the game amongst other purple faithful. And in all likelihood will leave shattered.

Here’s our house on Gameday morning.

Thanks to Marcie Glanzer for shipping this flag to us.
Thanks to Marcie Glanzer for shipping this flag to us.