Saturday, January 31, 2015

Taking Care of Myself


I can't believe it is the end of January already! I must admit I'm disappointed I went a whole month without posting here. The day after Christmas however, I decided it was time to take care of myself. I really pushed myself to make Christmas just as I imagined it and I was burnt out. On Christmas day my dad showed me this TED talk. A plant based diet is something I've been toying with for a while. I read this book many years ago and then watched Forks Over Knives this summer and on Christmas day I decided it was time to commit to a plant-based diet.

A few weeks into my lifestyle change I got hit with the flu. It's been years since I've had the flu and this one really dragged on. My body has been struggling. For years I've battled crippling migraines, painful periods, skin conditions, allergies and asthma. My doctors have always told me it's simply a matter of losing weight. I don't see that as the solution. I was a size 8 when this all started. I was at a healthy weight and living an active lifestyle. There must be something else missing. My body needs more than just shedding a few pounds.

For the past month I have been working on nourishing my body. My goal is to get as much nutrient dense food in my diet as possible. I've been devouring leafy greens in almost every form, adding mushrooms to meals, eating sea vegetables, feeding my gut with probiotics and making to change to healthy fats. I have completely eliminated processed food from my diet. Sugar is also off the menu (which is sad because I have so much glorious honey that I'm just not eating). It's taking a fair bit of experimenting to find food that appeals to my palette and is completely nourishing. Thank goodness for my blender and food processor!

Of course caring for my body goes beyond just diet. I've begun a daily yoga practice. I also attend a core strength class once a week. One of my favorite things however has been going cycling with the kids. We recently purchased a Madsen bike so I can cycle with both children. I love leaving the car behind. I need to fashion a rain cover so that not even rainy days can keep us off the bike. Our weekly hike has also been a big part of my wellness. I try to push myself on the trails so I get the workout but when I'm among the trees, listening to the birds, feeling the coolness of the forest around me, it never feels like exercise. It feeds my soul as well.

As a mother, taking care of my mental well-being is essential. It is so easy to get burned out by the endless demands of such small people. Yoga has certainly helped clear my head but my goal is to make time for meditation as well. When I was in university I used to ride my bike to a local beach and meditate on the rocks. Listening to the waves and letting go healed me. If school burned me out, that was what I needed. For now I'm trying to remain mindful. Live in the moment. It's easy for me to get caught up in worrying about money, sleep, cleaning, appointments, kids, gardening, everything. I can easily spend a whole night worrying about things in the past. So I remind myself multiple times a day to be present. Listen, feel, breath.

As a final note on this post, I'd like to share a recipe with you. This smoothie is my favorite way to start my day. Tweek it of course. Make it right for you. I hope you enjoy it as I do.

Green Banana Smoothie

1 large ripe banana
2 large kale or chard leaves
1 heaping tbsp almond or hazelnut butter
1 tsp probiotic powder
2 tsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp hemp protein powder
1 tbsp spirulina powder
1- 1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Add all ingredients to a high powered blender. Blend until liquified. Enjoy!