Tag Archives: wellness

Recognizing Patterns

2 Dec

I’d rather give than receive, and forget about asking – it makes me super uncomfortable.  I’d rather just do it all myself, regardless if it is practical or not.  So I do it all until I can’t anymore and end up remedying the situation with a chocolate bar & cookies.

Since being pregnant – I’m offered seats on the subway and my immediate response has been: thank you, but that’s OK – i’m fine standing.  I wasn’t really fine, but I just didn’t want anyone to give up something they had in order for me to have it.  Eventually I started to graciously accept these offers thinking – if they really didn’t want to give their seat to me, they wouldn’t have offered.

It’s all a choice.  To give, to receive, and to ask.  Even if one is easier than the other.

photo-35

Asking – now this is a huge hang up.  I believe I should be able to do it all by myself, like superwoman, so when I can’t, or I fall short – I let that determine my self-worth.  In my mind – asking for help = weakness, so I muster up every bit I have to trudge through the task ahead.  That is until I can’t anymore and eat an entire bag of potato chips.

See a trend here?

slow down

With the holiday season upon us, there is a whole lot of parties, shopping, cooking, socializing, and decorating going on.  A lot of us givers end up over giving and meltdowns can be plentiful – all of a sudden we are on empty but still have 50 miles to go.

Instead of constantly giving.  What would happen if we received? If we asked for support?  If we politely said no?  If we did less?  If we under-committed instead of overcommitted?  Imagine the space & ease that would provide.

These are questions I’m asking myself, and trusting they will guide me into a magical, miracle filled last month of the year.   May they do the same for you.

 

 

 

Plugging in to Unplug

18 Nov

I had the distinct pleasure of spending these past two Saturdays celebrating with a whole crew of family of friends.  The days were full of talking, laughing, eating, pondering, drinking, introducing old friends to new friends and connecting.

When the day was over I picked up my phone and opened back into the world of Instagram & Facebook. I usually use these apps as a primary form of connecting with others but after connecting with real people, this felt secondary and I didn’t seem to care the way I usually do.

Yet on a day to day basis that is the thing I do constantly, checking in with people’s updates – often with the intention of wanting to feel connected, but more often than not – feeling disconnected, not good enough, interesting enough, clever enough, successful enough, etc – and feeling like I never will be.  I compare, and I let my value be determined by the amounts of likes or comments I get.  Like if you can relate! 😉

I login in an attempt to connect, but also to disengage, distract, and fill up any empty spaces.  But I’m starting to wonder what would happen if I allowed moments of nothing – waiting  & transitional times – to get notifications and messages from myself, instead of the online world.  These internal messages will ultimately guide me in my life, rather than thinking I should follow all this other input that I see.

My quality of life is very rarely drastically enhanced after scrolling through the feeds.  And yet, these platforms can be so useful and have transformed the way information is shared.  There is so much good, my habits recently just haven’t been so good.

photo-23

I think if I set guidelines around how and when I engage – and ensuring mindfulness backs up my intake, I may have a different experience.  The thing is I always try this, until one day I wake up tired and scroll through the internet before I leave for work.  It’s all a process, let’s see.

Today I have made it until 5:00 pm without looking at my personal email, Facebook, & Instagram – and I am able to hear more from me.

Tea Time

12 Nov

and what it stands for. tea time

Rituals are so sweet.  They keep me tethered while life happens.

Edible rituals can be a delight.  As the temperature drops I often crave a hot cup tea or a beautifully crafted cappuccino, usually paired with some kind of sweet treat.

I woke up Sunday morning and wanted that comfy ritual, so I went to a cafe and ordered a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant.  With my treats in front of me – I opened my journal and I realized I didn’t even want the coffee or croissant.

I wanted what they represented instead:  leisure, relaxation, idle time, & indulgence – all so i could contemplate.

I drank the cappuccino, had a few bites of the flaky, buttery pastry, wrote in my white moleskin, and then hit the pavement – with a wrapped up half eaten chocolate croissant in my purse – onto the next thing.  I was hungry for more time in that cafe, not necessarily for the treats they serve.

It was interesting to realize do I actually want what I am eating – or what it represents? Could I access that feeling in a different way?

Some examples: Do I want the freedom that exists in a bottle of beer or the irresponsibility that lies in between the crust & cheese of the pizza pie?  Or can I find that elsewhere?  Do I need the comfort of rich & creamy vanilla ice-cream – or would a call home, a snuggle, or hug do the trick?

Not to say cappuccinos & croissants, pizza, beer, and ice-cream are no longer in my future.  For that would be a bleak future indeed.  Instead I will tune into what it is I really want.  And in the meantime  create space for tea parties with friends, foamy cappuccinos in solitude, delectable pastries, with circular conversations, journals open, and hearts wide receiving the warmth.

Be Smart

4 Nov

We all have a pretty good sense about what we should and shouldn’t eat for our health and wellness.  Eat more vegetables, eat less potato chips.  Drink water, forget the soda.   Cook real food, forget the packaged stuff.  So then why is it so hard?

Maybe we need more information, or to look more closely at our habits and what they are telling us, or maybe there is something bigger in our life that is calling for our attention and disguising as overeating, undereating, etc.  There can be a lot of reasons, and as a health coach I work with my clients to get to the root of what’s working and what’s not working.

A few months ago I was featured on bSmart and had my very first video interview.  Skip ahead to 3:22 to hear about primary foods and how they can impact the choices you are making with your food.

You’ll see my eyes are blue, I permanently tilt my head (because that’s just the way I was made), and I had a pimple – blast!  But I hope you gain some insight as to what it means to be well fed.

Food Snob

29 Oct

My husband thinks I am a food snob, and perhaps I am.

Monday Mussels

Mussels on Monday

Or maybe I am aware enough to demand an increase in the quality of the food that is served in this world.

It is easy to have my ‘food snob’ preferences met while living in Brooklyn, but when I travel (which I have been doing recently) I’m not as in control of the choices I have to eat and my food snobbiness begins to surface.  Here are some recent examples:

  • We go out for barbecue and I genuinely wonder where the meat came from.  I wished with all my might that it was local, grass fed, and hormone free.  Pretty sure that wasn’t the case so I turned a blind eye and ate it anyway.
  • I saw hot chocolate advertised outside a cafe, and dreamed of drinking a mug of thick, creamy, and rich hot chocolate made of real ingredients only to find out it was made with nesquik and milk – I politely declined, and was thankful I inquired.
  • While at brunch the waiter asked if I wanted orange juice.  I asked if it was freshly squeezed, he replied yes, no sugar added, and poured the orange liquid from the carafe – it was from a carton.  Who knows when those oranges were actually squeezed.

I’m disillusioned by supermarkets, I’m disenchanted by the dwindling quality of what can be called and referred to as food.  I want to eat real food, made by real people, with real ingredients – because that is the equation for GOOD FOOD, which is what I’m all about.

Food Mantra

Food Mantra

I’m starting to wonder if that is really such a preposterous request?  Is it absurd to desire local apples that are minimally treated if not straight up organic, real chocolate made with cacao +  sugar – nothing else, bread made from flour, yeast, and water  – that’s it.

When these things aren’t available I eat crap and then I just end up wanting and eating more crap. I grab a bag of peanut m&ms for that 4:00 pick me up and crave more, because I’m not satisfied.  My body isn’t full of real ingredients & nutrients – just fake stuff trying to appear as real food, made by machines & labs rather than people.

So if you find yourself making ‘bad’ choices, give yourself a break.  With all the chemicals and additives it’s very hard not to be addicted to all this junk.  Instead add in some real food (veggies, fruits, beans, grains, etc), and see what happens.  Your body will begin to crave REAL food and it will feel so good.

vibrant veggies

vibrant veggies

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.
(just remember to love food that loves you too!)

– George Bernard Shaw

So go ahead and be a food snob.  Your body will thank you.

Oats, Apples, & Cookies

30 Sep

As the crisp fall air replaces the summer ease, I’ve been switching up what I’ve been putting on my plate.  Apples have replaced summer berries, basil & corn have taken a seat to sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and squash – and oatmeal has reappeared into my regular routine.  Oh and cinnamon is generously sprinkled on many, many things – with gusto.

I feel more aligned and at ease when I eat what the season has to offer, it creates this subtle shift.  When I eat seasonally I can smoothly transition into the new space and pace of nature, rather than wanting and wishing what was (although that happens occasionally).  My body expects and welcomes the new seasonal food.  It’s grounding, warming, and comforting.  I find myself craving these fall findings – and unable to have enough apples.

I have been LOVING oats & apples in all it’s many forms.  In bowls or mason jars – depending on the amount of time I have to get out the door.  Here is a simple recipe you can incorporate into your weeks to make a great breakfast or even mid-morning or afternoon snack:

Steel Cut Oats with Toasted Apples & Pecans:

Steel Cut Oats

steel cut oats to stay

* Make a batch of steel cut oats (boil 4 cups of water then add 1 cup of oats and cook uncovered on low for 30 minutes OR add 1 cup of oats to 4 cups of water – stir and let sit for a minute, then cover and put in fridge overnight!) * this will give you about 3-4 servings for the week.

* Toast toppings:  Add a little butter or coconut oil to a warm pan and add cut up apples & pecans (feel free to add dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins here), stir, add cinnamon + perhaps a touch of maple syrup.

Prepare in bowl and sit and enjoy, or add to mason jar and plop in bag – I layered my to go oats by filling the jar halfway with oats + topping with cinnamon, maple syrup, and toasted treats – then repeat.

steel cut oats to go

steel cut oats to go

Of course this is only the beginning.  Top and taste according to what your boy wishes.

Then of course there was and will always be COOKIES.  As much as I am a cookie monster, I try and seek out healthy recipes with unprocessed sugar, good quality flour, and relatively little ingredients.  Here is what I found: click link or picture for recipe from Real Food Real Deals, they were really quite tasty.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

Doesn’t it all just look like fall?  Browns and oranges gently resting on the ground.  What are your favorite fall treats?  Would LOVE to hear.

Overheard at the Coop

10 Sep

I am a member of the Park Slope Food Coop and for those of you haven’t heard me either complain or rave about it (I do both), well that’s another story.  The Coop has really great produce, cheese, bulk items, raw chocolate, etc.. that are fresh and affordable since each member has to work a shift.

While working my shift last week I overheard another member say, “I’m giving up sugar…and when I say sugar I mean maple syrup, honey, agave…  I’m giving up wheat…and when I say wheat I mean bread, pasta, pizza and only having 2 tablespoons of grains: quinoa, amaranth…  I’m giving up dairy…and when I say – well you get the idea.

While although that way of eating is extremely healthy, what’s the point of living? Shortly after that, another woman asked if I was a vegan – I then went out for a meatball sub.

I even had a few sips of Coke

I even had a few sips of Coke

Aware this was certainly not one of the healthiest things I could have eaten, I ordered anyway – and savored half of the warm, gooey, sandwich.  Do I eat that way every day?  Nope.

I shoot for something like more like this - colorful.

I shoot for something like more like this – colorful nutrient dense eating.

When it comes to food, as it comes to anything else in life, it’s all a balance. And finding your unique balance is essential to your health and enJOYment of life.  You can have a vegan diet filled with green juice & algae – but if you’re not enjoying it – what’s the point?  I’m all about green tonics and seaweed, but I also enjoy a pizza and beer every now and then.

The thing I find troubling is when we ‘indulge’ we often then bear the wrath of our inner critic, “I can’t believe you did that, that was so gross, you have no self control, you are a fattie and always will be” ….at least that’s what mine sounds like.  Then we end up feeling worse about ourselves and our self worth.  Did eating a bowl of ice cream really make you that much worse of a person?  I don’t think so.  I’m interested instead of food being right or wrong, finding a well balanced approach to eating.

There are many reasons behind what we eat and how we eat, and that can give us a lot of information about our relationship to ourselves – which is the most important relationship we have in this world.  Take a look and see what comes up when you reach for what you reach for – and be as gentle as you can be.  Be a detective, use your food choices as evidence as how you are feeling, drop the judgement and replace with patience and forgiveness.  Because it’s always changing, just like the weather.