I was terrified. Every time I thought about doing it, I started crying. When I thought of others, giving it their all, I cried more.
There was NO WAY I would participate.
Then my sister said she was going, and taking her daughters, and immediately, my hackles went up and I thought “I must go to protect them.” Fear had me in its grip, and I was reacting to the situation.
The day before the event, my darling sister also started to feel the fear, deciding it wasn’t the best idea to go with the girls, and she and I planned instead to go for a run in the morning while her daughters played at Grandma’s house for an hour or so.
This morning, I woke up from terrible nightmares, and knew – I had to go march.
This may be the biggest event I will ever see happen in my lifetime. I needed to be present, and support my fellow feline feminine goddesses.
Further influenced by some very important women in my life (all starting with dear sister’s desire to STAND UP for our rights), we went together – my nieces safely at Grandma’s and found our way, in the pouring rain, to the Women’s March in Portland.
I have never been political here, and to be clear – this is truly not about politics, this is about Human Rights. This is about life as we know it to be – NOW – In America as women, men, queer, of all religions and all nationalities and races, and keeping the momentum moving forward.
The March was full of love, peaceful protests, comedic signs, uplifting words, and really, SO MUCH LOVE.
As we shuffle-stepped our way, holding hands, into the crowded street to begin our slow procession through the city, I found myself giggling at many of the signs that touched my heart, and my eyes were constantly welling up with tears.
This is what matters. Supporting one another.
This past Tuesday, I found myself at the Library, to check out a book for the first time in my new city, and drifted over to browsing the movie titles after picking up my book in “holds” section. Suddenly, Suffragette was staring at me from the shelf marked “S”. My first thought was “that’s an appropriate movie to watch, now,” as I have started fearing my rights may be taken away from me under this new administration.
Today and tonight have been eye-opening.
I know that the movie is not exactly historically accurate, but I learned how naive I have been about the struggles women have suffered. And how much effort, sacrifice, and strength it has taken to get to this point, our present.
I have so much respect for the women who have come before me.
To all my elders: please accept my belated gratitude for all that you have done for me, and every woman, so we can live our lives more freely, working toward the equality that should be the born right of every person.
And so help me, I will do my damnedest to help keep those rights for each and every woman in this country.
I am not a confrontational person by nature (this introvert does not like conflict), but I can tell you that today, a part of me was awakened that I often try to hide, even from myself. I have only once in my life – before today’s march – been involved in any activism (2000 Election get-out-the-vote campaign – anyone else jump on that wagon?), and I generally have side-stepped political conversations (or confrontations) in the past.
But now is the time to take action.
I am no longer a sidelines person. I have decided this evening to find a local organization to join and get involved in for (at least) the next four years (open to suggestions from those of you who are more plugged in than I). The Women’s March is a good start, but we have a lot of work to do, and many more days of truth-speakingto do, and I intend to lend my voice to this cause.
Because women [and everyone] are worth it.
I know this post may be controversial, and I hope that, no matter your party affiliation, you can see the truth in the purpose of today’s Global Women’s Marches: The people’s peace movement for the rights of all.
I pray that we can all continue to lift each other up, find levity in each day to stay positive, and stand up when we are called to do what is right.
Over eight months ago was my last rambling in this lovely space, and I feel … stuck at how to begin telling you about the major transformation my life has taken in such a short time.
It’s like these stairs in my new neighborhood…
There have been challenges. Physical pain. Heartbreaking loss.
After it all, I have continued to climb this hill, and find myself in a very happy place.
I now own a home. I am finally running again! And a new sense of purpose is subtly finding a place in my mind, rolling off my lips, and it is finally time to make space for this new adventure on a page.
After the broken toe (and spirit), the healing solo vacation, and buying my first home, I now know what I need to do.
While I was on the journey through Yoga Teacher Training two years ago, I found myself contemplating creating (what I thought was) a new career: healthy lifestyle coach. I found so much joy in talking with my peers about what they really wanted to do and encouraging them to step forward, plus I was exploring cooking and baking without sugar, with success! And I really want to share my ideas and recipes with you, my friends.
So this is when I get to tell you: I am starting a new project.
Alwayslovinlife has fulfilled her purpose for the time being. She will stay here, and perhaps I will visit from time to time with notes or pictures from my running adventures (because I do plan to have many more).
This is a new adventure to share my real life with you (not just the running highlights):
– Recipes created without added (processed) sugar (using REAL FOOD)
– Reduce/reuse/recycle ideas and DIYs (“Save the Planet!” because I have always been that way. And now I have a house that needs furniture and fixing – on a budget!)
– Relevant ideas regarding mindfulness & self-care. This is a practice that is difficult for me to maintain, so I am asking you to help hold me accountable.
– And more developments to come, once I catch my stride in the new space!
That’s the scoop! I am happy to finally have the processed enough of the stuff of last summer/fall/winter, and have the mental clarity (and drive!) to start moving forward again. One step at a time.
Look for another post coming soon regarding where to find more updates from me in the near future!
(To all you friends and family that I have been talking about starting that food blog: Yes – it will be live within a week!)
Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive and patient with me as I spent time with myself, in my mind, in workbooks, staring out windows, and painting furniture to work through my grief for all this change, and process how to make my next steps. I appreciate all of you so very much.
This season of Summer passed much more quickly than I expected.
I have spent a lot of time inside this summer. Inside at work, in my house, exploring the inner space of my mind.
One tends to learn a lot when they take the time to listen.
This has been the case for me. After breaking my toe, abandoning “getting back in to dancing” (the activity that caused me to break the toe), taking time off from running (due to the toe fiasco), and going on a solo trip to Sisters, Oregon, I had a lot of time to think and ponder what was really important for me. I even started reading The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte, and am working on completing the workbook – which has created space for more inner contemplation (more on this soon, when my words form into something more solid and communicable).
But this time of solitude and reflection was interrupted.
I reconnected with an old flame on my way home from Sisters – and that is going great. I went back to work for a week. Then, with a week to prepare and buy a plane ticket (and thank goodness for AirB&B by the way), I had the good fortune to join a good friend on a trip to Italy, where I hiked the hills of El Cinque Terre, and ate bread like nobody’s business. (Chocolate croissant and cappuccino for breakfast daily. I know what you’re thinking: “But you’re gluten-free!” You’re right, I am … In America. In Italy, I ate croissant, pasta, and bread consequence-free. The experience was incredible, and I will never forget the focaccia bread pesto topped pizza in Manarola…).
While away, I heard from my Mother that my Grandma was not faring well, and a friend passed away. By the time I returned home, I spent 24 hours in my city, and while not yet unpacked from my recent trip, grabbed my bag of toiletries and a few clean t-shirts, and headed North with my sister to be with my family for a week through Grandma’s transition. Then home for five days, then North again, to spend more time with family, which was quite wonderful and healing. Another week home, and word of my Grandpa’s passing.
Another visit with family (again, therapeutic), and my weekends have been spent working on building a relationship, trying to get back into running, dwelling in the past, and thinking about the future.
Somehow, I left self-reflection behind and began exclusively focusing outward again.
Every time I find myself yearning to work on the Desire Map workbook, I put it off until later. But when is “later?”
I know that the practice of reflection and taking time for myself makes me all that much more available to other people who are important in my life. The challenge is actually making time for myself.
I make time for (some) chores, sleep, and occasionally cooking. And I made the promise to myself to schedule time for painting, dancing, writing, singing, all the artistic endeavors that keep me sane, happy, and feeling fulfilled, and have not yet made these activities a priority in my daily life. Heck, they’re not even priority in my life on a monthly basis.
I have been slowly removing things from my home – creating space. For some reason, this feels necessary in order to start creating art again. I need a clean slate and the clutter (of things and thoughts) is driving me insane.
Fall cleaning is in full force in this house.
This weekend, the special man and I are headed to the coast – staying in the cabin from my childhood, and I am really looking forward to being away from all the clutter of my daily life to take some time turning inward, and to be present. I am taking my workbook, with the intention of working on those important things again. Time to re-center my focus on the here and now.
How do you get yourself back on-track after de-railing life happenings? What activities keep you centered, happy and feeling whole?
I rented a beautiful little straw bale house on the edge of a cliff in desert country. I feel so at peace in the house (except last night when something jumped on the deck while I was washing dishes after dark, and scared the bejesus out of me – adrenaline kick kept me awake another hour). Like being in a cave with many windows and a fantastic view. Oh, and a hot tub.
The kitchenette is sufficient for cooking and baking, I brought my Vitamix for smoothies, and basically half of my foodstuffs and spices for food prep so I really can (and do) feel at home. I sank in to enjoy the delicious sound of the whoosh of the rapidly cooling wind in the evening as it moved through the trees and swept down the canyon, the birds chirping, the sound of the nearby hawk rustling its wings in warning, and got in touch with being fully present with myself secluded up on this hill. Away from my dear, lovely city.
I have only one thing to say: Life-changing.
Until last Tuesday, I never took time off to go on an adventure, or do anything on my own. Fear held me back: fear of loneliness, of missing out (oh, that FOMO), of neglecting duties. Fear of lacking things to do, of conversation, and people to engage with on a daily basis. Finally, fear of being alone with myself and my thoughts. And honestly…?
I love the quiet. And being alone.
Until last year, I considered myself an extrovert, and during a class at work, learning about personality types, I learned that I am, in fact, VERY introverted. (No wonder I am always exhausted after a couple of hours out with big groups of people). Over the past twelve months, realizing that I really do need to spend more time alone, I have been working on giving myself permission to say “no” to social engagements. It has been a difficult exercise in choosing what is best for me, and meeting (my perceived) expectations of friends and family that know me as a very social person.
And that is the key: I do not need to meet what I perceive to be someone else’s expectations. I am responsible for how I feel and for taking care of myself.
I need only to meet MY OWN expectations and desires.
I chose this adventure based on the dates of a watercolor workshop. In April, I happened to walk into an art gallery on the last day I spent in Sisters after a 20 mile race event, and not an hour before leaving town, I met a wonderful artist who happened to mention a workshop she would be teaching during the summer.
Boom. It was fate.I knew I had to attend the workshop.
I created a whole vacation around the three-day painting course. The location is great, the lessons were amazing. I learned that I can, in fact, paint. I learned so many new things that my brain hurt at the end of each day, and I was exhausted. (I’d forgotten how much learning can zap the energy out of you! More to come about the workshop later).
I am still loving it out here, so much in fact that I wish I could have more days! Nearing the last day of my stay in this wonderful straw-bale home, I realized that it took until today for me to finally relax and feel settled. New lesson to myself – vacations need to be longer than seven days, especially when travel is involved. (And perhaps they could be more frequent!).
Needless to say, I am learning many lessons this week. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone, taking chances on things I want to learn, and spending time reading and reflecting.
So tell me…
How have you stepped out of your comfort zone recently? What was your greatest take-away from your last adventure?
I followed that juice with a no sugar added chia pudding if still hungry.
Each lunch and dinner was made by me, in my kitchen, so I knew exactly what was in each delicious bite.
I slept blissfully well on a new mattress that was delivered on Tuesday. (This is the first NEW mattress I can remember having … in many, many years. Why go for this now? Because I’m worth it. And sleep is SUPER important).
My body is sore from re-entering the world of yoga, and I am feeling more light and happy from running more consistently.
I have made an ENORMOUS shift.
The past two and a half months have been a time of … introspection. Without the ability to get out and run and walk around my neighborhood (putting in miles just for the sake of wandering), I was consequently being rather sedentary and feeling the effects of food more acutely, as well as (to be perfectly honest) seeing them on my form.
And then it hit me.
While I know I have the power to make the choices that are best for Me, I was still ignoring all of the self-awareness and knowledge I have gained in the past year.
Somehow, I felt that because I could not follow my regular work-out routine, I could let my usual “how I eat well” go by the wayside, as well. Sure, I knew when I was eating that gluten-free ice cream sandwich that I would experience physical consequences later that day… or the next… And yet… Acknowledging when your choices are bad does not make you feel better.
Some may argue: But you only live once!
And I have to say, I agree. Wholeheartedly.
We only have ONE life to live. ONE body to nourish and move with in this life. ONE Chance to make a difference in the world in which we live.
SO I ask you one question:
Why the heck is “YOLO” a Reason, a Rationality (a JUSTIFICATION!!!) to do things that will CAUSE HARM to our one and ONLY vessel allowing us to be here on Earth?
Granted, eating Ice Cream is certainly not the end of the world, but for me, sugar is a known adversary, and after the amount of reading I have done about substances that your body does not digest well, learning that they can get into the blood stream, and quite literally beat up your veins on the inside, WHY do I still choose to eat the things that cause me unfathomable damage?
So I started this week with a new intention: “You Only Live ONCE”.
I am feeding myself with vegetables and fruits that will help sustain and heal my body rather than simple sugars that can beat me down. I want to be (and feel) my Best, as much of each day as is possible. This week has been remarkable emotionally and physically, and I want that good feeling to continue. What does that mean for me?
I am giving up processed sugars.
I am happy to say that although I have not been 100% this week (more like 90% – the evening dessert craving has bewitched me a time or two, and even the dairy-free ice cream was not consequence-free), I know I make this change pretty easily (must do more baking with fruit). Of course, there are always times to make an exception: for example, Grandma’s house for the Holiday dinner because you don’t want to offend family. For my own cooking, there will be no sugar added. Last night I successfully baked an apple crisp without any added sugar (just banana for the crumble!). Such a wonderful discovery (and triumph!).
I am giving up alcohol.
I know. This one is tough for most people to understand. I admit, I enjoy a nice cool drink from time to time on a hot summer’s day, but to give you a little perspective: I purchased a few bottles of alcohol – a couple of years ago (um… more like 4 years) and they still remain unopened in my cabinet. Whenever I buy a bottle of wine, I’ll open it for a glass and forget it is in my refrigerator. Plus, there’s the fact that I cannot get myself out of bed in the morning to run after having just ONE drink. (That is probably the most important part). I am perfectly happy having a glass of soda water with lime, or a hot latte. Friends, please do not be upset with me for not joining in the consumption of alcohol, this is for my health (and sanity – running is super important to my emotional state. Also, I have some bottles of liquor to give away…).
Both of these things mean consuming MUCH MORE whole foods, less abrasive vein-invaders, and overall, feeling …
Pretty much like a million bucks. (And who doesn’t want to feel good?)
Now I put the question to you: what does “You only live once” mean in your life? Is it an excuse to try whatever you want because you’re young and your body can “take it”? Is it your motivation to keep working toward that PR? Or is it just a silly phrase the kids are using these days?
I always love hearing how you’re working through your own personal battles, so leave a comment and help to start a conversation below.
Thanks for reading, and have a happy, healthy, fun and free weekend!
Almost a month ago, I set out to start on a journey to cleanse my body using a cleanse program of shakes and liquid (almost fasting) days. Something I was extremely hesitant to do, and I chose to work with a company I do not know very well. In fact, I currently have a business that offers a 30 day cleanse, and I went with something else. Why? I think I needed to try something unknown because then no one else I now really knew about it or could judge me for what I was doing. Because, holy moly.
I was seriously judging myself.
I am all about natural food, eating whole foods, cooking without sugar, and making what you eat count and work for you. And this was, well, nearly the opposite. In all honesty, I was very excited about this program. The nutrient and mineral content is so high, the products are such good quality, and I have a couple of friends who have had amazing results – I was super jazzed. Perfect thing to do while I’m not on my regular running routine, right?
But then something happened.
I had an allergic reaction, and after reading through all of the ingredients at least three times each, looking things up, asking an expert, and trying to stick with it – on day three of shakes and allergic reaction I called it quits. I needed to stop putting this into my body. I have been pondering why this happened for nearly a month, and I do not doubt that there was something in one of the items I was using that I was allergic to (I have plenty of food sensitivities). My body rejected the cleanse.
Although, at this point in time, I wonder … Did I create the reaction subconsciously?
I have never been one to “diet”. I will certainly change the way I eat (usually at the advice of a physical trainer or doctor) to avoid certain foods and achieve better health. But never stopping eating real foods.
I was pursuing an option to health that I did not find right for me.
And after this experience… I been floating through each day. Eating normally. Still not running. And now I feel the most out of shape that I have been in … years. I’ve gained a few pounds (none of it muscle), and clothes that were too big on me before fit – and fit well. I am kind of astonished at what I am learning about myself in this state – I feel different, and being out of shape bothers me, but…
I feel so feminine and (dare I say) sexy! Part of me revels in the way my body moves right now. It’s crazy to think that just a few notches up the scale can make such a difference in the body’s form and rhythm.
The rest of me is ready to move my body, go to yoga and build some strength, and get back outside and run! My doctor said six weeks, and this coming Monday will mark those days completed. I have prepared myself – new shoes, real yoga clothes (I have never had yoga pants, until now. I am very excited about these beautifully printed – made in the USA from recycled water bottles – teeki pants!) – for the first time in my life I have enough work out clothes to make it through a week without doing laundry (or re-wearing an outfit… or two).
The past month and a half has gone by extremely quickly. I have had a very busy social schedule, eating out more often than not, and I am ready to spend more time at home cooking. Using real food to nourish my body back into fitness. Blending veggies to have a “smoothie” (I love my Costco special Vitamix!). Making protein shakes using kefir and spinach, turmeric and cinnamon. Eating much like I did when I was off sugar, but keeping some fruit and sweeter veggies in the mix.
I’m ready to get my body back in shape, and yet, also strongly desire to maintain this feeling of femininity I have recently acquired. (Fortunately, I’m fairly certain this is a state of mind rather than a state of be-hind… And I can work with that). 😉
Tonight I splurged on a dessert out at a local favorite: Papa Haydn. I used to go here with family for birthday celebrations. At the table with the art of walking (by dear friend and beautiful artist: Kari Gale), a latte, seated at the sidewalk to enjoy the people-watching of NW 23rd’s patrons and this amazing dulce:
Kari’s book was just what I needed to remind myself to move forward doing the things that inspire me, and pay attention to my intuitive side with what really does feel right and good in my life.
Speaking of journeys, I am very excited about the one I am taking this summer. I will be taking my first-ever solo vacation. I am enrolled in a watercolor workshop out-of-town, and staying in a quiet place where I can rest, paint, write, cook, and nap at my leisure. Although a much shorter journey than the Camino Kari explored, somehow, this experience feels like it will be life-changing. Eye-opening.
And I am so ready for this change.
So tell me friends:
What parts of your self have you been avoiding exploring (your artistic side, desire to venture out in the woods, relaxing in a hammock)?
Where will your journey take you next?
Thank you so much for spending time with me, on my ongoing journey as a runner, dancer, cook, and artist.
Food. Something we contemplate, curate, and consume every day.
Well, perhaps some of us contemplate. Most of us just consume. And I have been an unconscious consumer for about thirty years, yet about seven years ago when I decided to get in shape (by working out at the gym) I coincidentally learned something about eating – a way of eating that reduced inflammation and water retention. My trainer offered me a food plan suggestion, and I followed it to a T. For three whole months.
Then life happened.
I had to travel for work. I got off schedule. I was following someone else’s meal schedule (on someone else’s budget), and could no longer eat small meals every two and a half to three hours.
And my gut was not happy with me for choosing to eat differently.
Eating “normally,” most would say. I was eating out at restaurants. With the sauce. And the fried stuff. And drinks. And dessert. And… Oh, man. Why do work trips turn into over eating and drinking every night?
Eventually, after returning home, getting back into eating my small meals, mostly sticking to the plan, I self-diagnosed myself with a wheat intolerance problem. I was bloated, had intestinal pain, and generally not well when I ate wheat (something I avoided on the suggested meal plan, unless it was whole-grain sprouted and only first thing in the morning). So, I decided to eliminate it from my diet.
This was right around the time that gluten became a thing people were intolerant to, and celiac disease coming into the open. When I learned of these things, I got a little worried and had a blood test done. My first score (I had the test done twice) was 303 on a scale of 0 to 310.
My doctor told me I was fine.
I ran through the external factors (and facts) in my mind:
1. I had not been eating wheat for months.
2. These scores are determined by the number of antibodies in your blood stream.
3. No wheat had been introduced into my body for months to irritate my system and get my immune system all up in arms.
4. My score was nearly at the top of the chart.
There was no way in He** I was fine.
A year later, after avoiding wheat as much as possible (although, I would test myself every once in a while), I asked for another test. Negative again.
Then one day at a market, I met a gluten-free Celiac-diagnosed baker who told me: “You probably need just one more test – those tests have a 75% false negative rate”.
75%??? Why even give a test if you know there’s a 3 out of 4 chance you’re going to get a negative result and it is probably wrong?!?!
At this point, I gained resolve. I decided that I needed to be a “Gluten-Free” person. And this choice has served me well. I am still not 100% strict, but as time passes, I am growing more certain that I will be soon. Between my own research, and conversations with others dealing with similar digestive issues has taught me there is only one way to get real results on any of the Celiac tests: You must eat wheat and gluten for three weeks before taking the test.
Which means, if you DO have Celiac disease, you are quite possibly, literally causing yourself more harm to find out 100% if you can give your problem a name: Celiac.
I have decided that is not for me. A self-diagnosis is enough. (Although, I have to admit, it would be nice to know for sure what I was up against if this really is a thing I have. Some interior struggle is going on. My advice: If you suspect you have wheat/gluten intolerance, do not stop eating these items until you can have the test done. I no longer want to feel the symptoms to find out. Catch 22. Check out WebMD, or even Celiac.org for more resources on this topic).
And then last year… At my annual check-up, I was filling my doctor in on some of the issues I had been having with digestion (ahem… gas) and allergic reactions to food, and she said: “I think you may have leaky gut syndrome“.
Um… What??? Am I DYING?!? (Seriously – this name makes this ‘condition’ sound worse than Celiac Disease!!! Please know that I am in no way belittling the giant challenge that Celiac is for those who have the condition. It is a monster to tame, and a battle to eat clean Every Single Day).
So I learned that a whopping 70% of the American population has Leaky Gut and that it is caused by a build-up of yeast in the intestines that blocks nutrient absorption, allows food particles to get through the intestine and into the bloodstream, and then your body attacks the food like an invading pathogen. (Yep – check out WebMD again, if you like).
So, besides some flatulence and bloating (by yeast-produced gas), you actually can develop more sensitivities to foods as your body starts recognizing these as invaders.
I wanted to stop this. Now.
I took the suggested items to avoid list, along with the suggested items to ingest, looked up the referenced website The Candida Diet, immediately got on Amazon and ordered The Candida Free Cookbook, purchased green powdered probiotic, and two weeks later, after mentally preparing (and stocking my cupboard and refrigerator), I committed to following the guide and eliminated ALL sugar from my diet. (Because the sugar feeds the yeast, so it must go).
Yes, ALL sugar. Including fruit. For three whole weeks.
Admittedly, the first couple days were… interesting. I was having fun cooking (it was easier, really – a restricted shopping list). The second day without sugar, I went out for a run, and found I could not get myself to run more than a block before I would need to walk. After three-quarters of a mile, I wanted to lay down on the pavement at the waterfront and take a nap. The feeling of all this was entirely ridiculous to me, I had no idea what was wrong with me.
(Fast forward to three weeks later when I belatedly read the introduction of the book, referenced the website again, and learned that when the yeast in your body die, they release toxins, and your body has to process and eliminate these. I went cold-turkey off sugar, and experienced these symptoms pretty dramatically. Most instructional books advise easing off of sugar, slowly taking it out of your diet – which I apparently skipped over, and dove in head-first. In hind-sight, it may be more sustainable to slowly reduce the sugar intake, and then eliminate it from your diet. Just a little tip from me to you).
Five days in, I felt amazing. I was more awake, alert, my body felt good – stronger (I was also in Yoga Teacher Training – this definitely contributed to strength). Within a week my tummy started deflating. No more bloat. By the end of week three, I was afraid to touch any sugar ever again. I knew how great I felt (and might i add – looked?) without it, and was terrified to eat an apple.
Fast forward to today, and here is my dinner:
Now you may look at this and wonder at if this is good or bad. It’s a vegan dish, all healthy, colorful vegetables. But let me tell you, there are only three things in this picture allowed in the Candida free diet: tomatoes, onions, and garlic. The squash, carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes are high in sugar. Also very high in fantastic nutrients, but … very high in sugar. And I can feel it in my belly again. The bloat. The unhappy intestinal cries of “what are you feeding me?”
I have a confession: I have a problem. My body does not process sugar well. And I continue to hurt myself by continuing to eat foods that are high in sugar.
For years, I have been one of the “healthy eaters”. No, I don’t mean I eat a lot of food. I mean, I eat what other people perceive to be healthy foods. A lot of whole fruits. Some vegetables. Baked sweet potatoes! Unsweetened, whole-fat yogurt and granola. Dried fruit. Nuts. And more fruit. (And sometimes ice cream).
Yes, compared to the usual diet you see your average friend (without food sensitivities) eating, I am eating very healthy foods. But that is where it stops.
It is incredibly easy to eat gluten-free in my home town. There are at least five dedicated bakeries, and almost every restaurant you may choose to dine at has some option for the gluten-sensitive crowd. Unfortunately, most gluten-free bread substitutes are made with simple carb flours and starches (rice, tapioca, corn starch) which quickly convert to sugars (and later fats) in the body.
So I have to make my own protein and fiber rich bread. Like the one below … with raisins.
Interestingly enough, I listened to a web interview on the Hay House World Summit with Joan Borysenko, Ph.D and she described that as a populous, we are split 50/50. Half of us can process carbs very well, and the other half can process fats. Well, I know which team I’m on, so what am I going to do?
Today, I find myself at a turning point. A crossroads.
I am at a place where I am no longer willing to sacrifice my wellbeing for something that might taste good.
Self-care is not just exercising 30 minutes a day, taking a bath, making time to read a book, or getting your Vitamin D. For me, I have learned it quite literally starts with food.
How we nourish our bodies affects every single thing we do on this Earth.
Without proper nourishment, our mind is less able, we contract disease more easily, and our bodies eventually fail us (sooner than later).
I have been fortunate enough to be given the option to choose what I feed myself. Organic, Non- GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free all readily at my disposal, and I seek items with these particular labels often.
Now, I am about to embark on a different kind of journey.
Against my nature (of eating food straight from nature) I have committed to a 30 day cleanse. Going through each day with a shake substitute for two meals, and one healthy whole food meal. There will also be two 2-day cleanses – where I will only consume liquids and small snacks to give my digestive system a break.
It’s funny, I felt really shy about telling my sister that I have chosen to try this cleanse (many would think of this as a diet – currently, I still see it as a dietary experiment). As an afterthought, this is exactly the kind of thing I would (and do) choose to do. I’m conducting an experiment with my body to see how it reacts to different kinds of inputs – once again.
Why now? Since I cannot run (the broken toe), and honestly I’m feeling slightly detached from my body of late (yes, I have beeneating all the foods – except gluten), I felt this was a great time to try something … different. I won’t be worried as much about my eating schedule and amount of protein consumption because I am not on my regular (running) training schedule. Additionally, this specific program is very high in protein, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients which alleviates some worry that I would not be giving my body what it needs. Since I have never tried a cleanse before, now seems like the perfect time. Besides…
You wouldn’t go 30 years without giving your car a tune-up, right?
Time to give this body’s digestive tract a rest. And you can bet you will be getting a play-by-play. If this program is as effective as it claims, this very well may be life-changing.
Please share with me, my athlete and health-food conscious friends:
Have you ever done a cleanse? Did you enjoy your results?
Were you able to keep working out while you cleansed?
Thanks so much for being here with me on this journey,
Last weekend, for the first time in months – No, years – I got myself a ticket to a three-day dance event. And I went out. Every.Single.Night.
It was delicious.
I had such a great time (once I got over the “I don’t know a soul here” shock). I reconnected with friends from six years ago (when I was avidly involved in the dance scene), met some new friends, had many wonderful dances with great leads, and really got into spinning around the hardwood floor again. Simply divine.
I need new dance shoes.
The only pair I have are a pair I purchased when I went to a West Coast Swing event in Reno – I think I was in college, then. (a.k.a. It’s been a while – they’re old shoes now). So all weekend I was wearing these little lyrical sandals I got… also many years ago, in college. I think they were purchased for a Ballet class.
I was basically dancing barefoot, which is what many people who enjoy this type of dance do. You’re low to the ground, you can move around easily, lets you get that rhythm in your knees… It’s a lovely way to feel connected.
Sunday night, I was so proud of myself.
I made it out to dances three nights in a row! I even stayed out till nearly three a.m. on Friday and Saturday (I was not able to meet my girlfriends for the Saturday run due to needing sleep. Apparently staying out till 3 a.m. sets me back in a way that it did not used to in my mid-twenties. And I can no longer sleep in until some ungodly late – morning hour due to repetition of awakening before six. 8:30 a.m. was not the “Sleep in” I was hoping for on Saturday).
Sunday I made a promise to myself. I would head home at midnight because I needed to be at work the next morning. At sometime around 11:30 p.m. I saw an old friend showed up unexpectedly, and at around 12:15 a.m. I got to dance with him. I love dancing with this man – he spins me quickly like a Westie (we met doing West Coast Swing many moons ago), makes eye contact, always keeps me from running into other couples, and I just feel like a good dancer when we’re on the floor together.
Toward the middle of that song, I noticed we were on the side of the room that had a bump in the floor – you know, where the slats of hardwood have popped up on one side and there’s a little lip? Yeah, that one. And I could feel my sandal catching on it every once in a while. A bit of a nuisance, no real trouble… until… My toe caught on the little annoying lip.
I felt a little bit of a pop, which I thought was my toe merely ricocheting back toward the place in the middle of my foot where it belonged, and a minor bit of pain, but I ignored it and kept dancing (stay on the ball of the foot, keep the toes lifted to prevent that from happening again). Thanked him at the end of the song, and went to sit for a minute. I allowed myself one more dance then decided to head home (at around 12:25am – 25 minutes after my own imposed curfew).
When I got home, I notice some bruising on my toe. And it was pretty painful. And I knew. Despite the fact that it wasn’t really swelling. Despite the fact that it wasn’t pointing in a weird direction.
My toe was broken. IS broken. Yep –
Time to take a break.
I finally made it to the doctor today after one day of denial, and a second of no availability and she confirmed it for me. Fracture.
Which means… no running (or dancing) for 4-6 weeks. Or (gulp!) longer if pain persists.
I am not sure how to navigate this obstacle. I’m pretty sure this also eliminates any aerobics classes, yoga involving being on the toes, and excessive walking.
Serious lifestyle change.
So, I guess I have to … go to a gym. And… ride a bike? Use the rowing machine? Lift weights???
I haven’t done any of that in years. I guess it’s time to give those old friends a visit.
… Want to know the funny thing?
The fact is, I had been planning to increase my mileage and days/week running starting, oh… Now. And after my experience dancing last weekend, I was all ready to get back out to do some swing or blues every other week or so.
Yet, truthfully? I have a seriously strong desire to create some kind of consistency in my life, start a daily spiritual practice (of some kind – still working out the kinks) each morning, and although I really want to incorporate running into this routine, I have been unable to get up at the same time each morning with any regularity, and maintain this practice. While on this train of thought, a lightbulb went off:
I manifested a broken toe.
So now, taking a break due to my blessed broken toe of fate, I will be working more on me – spiritually rather than physically. This will be a … difficult change, but one I am finally ready to take on (and I kind of have no choice). Certainly this is a great opportunity to dive right in: why not take advantage whilst injured (before I’m all healed and back at it ignoring my wise inner voice).
Now where to start…?
My question for you, my dear runner/athlete friends, what is your favorite non-running (not a lot of foot movement) workout to do when injured? (I’m entering new territory here, and I’ll take any advice you’ve got!)
Thanks so much and have a great time out there for me! I’ll be thinking of y’all gliding through the air in the great outdoors… Happy running! And send photos!
Sometimes we do things and then realize how silly we are, right? Such as running only once (maybe twice) a week while “training” for a 20 mile race…
Apparently, (according to my most recent history of recorded runs in the months of February, March and April) I no longer feel that 20 miles is a huge challenge. I know if I stay hydrated and bring enough nutrition, I’ll be fine. My legs will carry me over the distance. Sure, I’ll be a little tired and sore for a couple of days, but that’s true after any hard workout (including yoga). So, while watching each day of the week pass, the only real training I was doing was in the form of a long run on Saturdays, which is fortunately coordinated by a dear friend, and I love catching up with the girls on the weekend, so I make it a point to attend. During the week I got out once, maybe twice for two to six miles. My total weekly mileage may have reached (almost) 35 miles (only on one week of training – and that included a 19 mile Saturday run).
What happened to my drive? And the clarity I felt when preparing for my first 50k? At that point in time, my only concern was being able to accomplish that goal – to finish running 31.8 miles without injury. And I trained hard. I got out for every single run in my training plan. And now what? I had a race planned; a goal with a date printed in ink on my calendar, why was I unable to motivate myself to get running in a way that would have helped me complete this challenge more efficiently?
Maybe it was the distance. 20 miles is an odd number. I don’t know if there exists a training plan for races between half marathon and marathon distance. (…This feels like a terrible excuse – cancel that). Whatever the case may be, I am changing my strategy. It’s time to get races on the calendar, and to plan my workouts – because not only do I want to be better prepared and efficient during my next race, I want to be better at running. Stronger, maybe even faster.
Fortunately, despite my lack of training or strategy, The Peterson Ridge Rumble went well. The weather was great, and although the terrain was primarily dry, dusty, and rocky, I was able to get a few good shots:
Ultimately, I have learned that I need to plan ahead in order to meet any training goals. I was able to finish the race a bit faster than I expected, in 4:15 by my watch (4:20 by the website – I stopped for at least 5 minutes for picture-taking in the first half, and toward the end of the race, I just let the clock keep running. Ah the life of an iPhoneographer runner).
Tomorrow evening I intend to do some research, detail which races I will sign up for and run for the rest of the year, and create a running/workout schedule to follow.
Because – speed. And consistency. And all good things that putting energy and focus into something you love will do to improve your results.
Now, I would love to hear your “ah, hah” moment.
Have you ever realized you were not doing yourself any favors by cutting yourself slack while training? (0h, boy!) And what did you do once you came do that conclusion?
Do you have a favorite weekly workout schedule?
I am strongly considering running long on both Saturday and Sunday – I just love getting out for a while on my day off – it feels so good to spend time out enjoying my run without the rush of “I have to get to work” or “I need to get home and cook dinner” clouding my brain. What are your thoughts on doubling up on the weekend?
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend run! (I’m getting out tomorrow!)
Have you ever found yourself avoiding the activities you once loved?
Have you been in a place of constant learning and pursuing eight different newpassions all at once?
And when you finally achieve your 200 RYT yoga certification, become a Reiki Practitioner, and finish your contracted time working with a business coach to set up your Reiki & Coaching practice – You find you’re ready to launch (once you have your logo), have copy and marketing packages planned (yet your website doesn’t exist), business license acquired and bank accounts are set up, and you’re talking with all of your friends and family about starting this business you love – and yet…
You can’t get yourself to start.
Oh, no wait, this is no random example – this is about me.Yes, this is the story of the last seven months of my life. I found myself shoulder-deep, hands tied to my sides, unable to move forward with this business I thought I wanted – no, needed– to start.
I wasexhausted, frustrated, and tired of putting all of my time and effort into this thing that was not exciting to me.
Don’t get me wrong – I love yoga. And I think Reiki is amazing, and I am so grateful to have learned how to properly use this gift I was born with of healing with my hands, yet… something was missing.
So one day, shortly after moving in to my (new) apartment, I was trying to set it up in such a way that would allow me to accommodate clients with comfortable seating and a place to set up the Reiki table, when a random thought crossed my mind, and caught me totally off-guard:
What I really want is a space where I can sit comfortably and eat a meal. What would that look like?
Which lead me to start thinking some more about why I was setting up my space for other people… And then: what would it feel like to let go of starting my Reiki business? I was well aware that I had been self-sabotaging any real chance of getting it off the ground (by not doing anything to move forward with getting clients), and as soon as I allowed myself to explore the idea, I felt my shoulders relax away from my ears, weight leaving my mind as it became less frantic and the whirling slowed. I could breathe again. In that moment, I decided:
I will allow myself the freedom to choose to let go of starting this business.
It took seven months, a few large investments, and a very deep breath to finally realize: If I was being honest with myself: I did not want to start this practice. I felt like I was pretending to be someone I am not, slipping into a skin that was not mine, and putting on a happy face to show that I really wanted to move in the direction of having a Reiki practice. And in letting go, I was finally free to actually be Me.
Slowly, in the places where I felt drained of all energy before, I now feel a sense of creativity coming back into my life. When I moved in January, I was informed tenants can paint their apartment, and I have completely indulged in painting – walls, trim, ALL rooms (before and after soon to come!). It has turned into a huge (really ginormous – going on three weeks here, folks) task, yet it is making me incredibly happy. I have never felt more at home.
The past few weeks, settling in to this new place (mind freedom and space freedom), I have finally been able to get back into running – and the joy that comes with the expending energy moving solely by my own feet through the air and around this fair city reminds me how much I need to make time for this self-care.
Somehow, I manage to surprise myself again – Letting go of the routine of the run, after recognizing its importance in my life, and in returning re-remembering how much this daily ritual of moving meditation brings a lightness to my work, and keeps a smile on my face.
I am a better person when I care for myself. (Isn’t that what we are taught?) When on an airplane, you are instructed to put the mask over your own face, and then take care of others near to you. Why is it so hard to commit to self-care, when even our society is letting us know that it is vitally important?
Today, I am re-committing (after re-remembering) to myself and my word of intention for the year: “Health”. Food, exercise, and rest. To be the best me, so I can be a better person for all my friends, family, coworkers (and myself!) to be around.
I would love for you to share your realization and commitment story:
Is there something that you have devoted yourself to that is draining your energy? What can you choose to do right now to relieve stress and feel more in alignment with your own intentions?
On that note (of self-care), I am off to bed!
May health and happiness be with you all – Goodnight!