Thursday, October 28, 2010

Refined purpose and new focus

For the first time in 5 months, I feel led to blog! I have been too busy living to be online as much. I have been continuing to grow and continuing to eat some raw foods. I have been journaling more lately and see a therapist regularly. This has helped me grow tremendously this year. I can feel the changes and others have commented on them too. And there's much more to come.

Since last December, I have had green smoothies almost every day. I usually skip the weekends to give myself a break. Usually these are fruit, water, and greens, and sometimes other bonuses like green powders, chia seeds, slippery elm bark powder, etc. Sometimes I make green protein smoothies instead. With those, I leave out the fruit as my stomach doesn't seem to like fruit with such a high level of protein all at once. It took some work (my first creations were kind of gross!) but I've got those protein shakes down to tasting really good too. The last was kind of cherry cordial-like. Mmm!

The rest of the time, my diet's not "raw." I stay away from dairy and wheat with rare exceptions. They make me ill and no mind-over-matter positive thinking can keep them from leaving me at least mildly depressed. Why would I want to go back to feeling sad, lonely, tired, and apathetic? We made a vegan, gluten-free pizza at home the other day, with fresh home-made tomato sauce (which was way easier than I thought it would be, by the way), and it was quite probably the BEST pizza I've ever had. It was SO good.

I do need to get away from eating corn all the time - I know it bugs me too, at least in large amounts. And I have been reading more about the connections between gluten and soy intake and thyroid problems, so I'm reducing my soy intake too. I hardly eat soy anyway, so that's not hard for me.

In my efforts to achieve great health, I've focused on food and diet pretty exclusively for a couple of years. That has done me a world of good, and I've learned so much. I'm not going to drop the ball on it, but it's time for me to focus on some other things too:
  • Overeating and fast eating: How much I eat and how I eat can be as what I eat. Eating too much "healthy" food, or gobbling it down too quickly, will leave me as tired and icky-feeling as an "unhealthy" food. I've long had an issue with overeating because I didn't want to see any food go to "waste," but I'm working on that. It's still a "waste" if it's making me feel sick, after all! I also need to get used to the idea that my small frame and small appetite means I don't need to take or eat as much as a 200-pound man or a marathon-runner. Also, I am trying to take the time to eat slowly and mindfully, remember to chew thoroughly and breath deeply. This makes a world of difference to my digestion! And if I'm eating more slowly, my body is better able to signal me to stop when I am full, reducing how often I overeat.
  • Sleep: Ever felt like your life would be easier, like you could get so much more done, if you didn't have to sleep? I've felt that way sometimes. Couldn't I at least have to sleep less? But really, if I had to sleep less, I'd just feel I have to do even more. For as long as I can remember, I've slept too little during the week and tried to "catch up" on the weekends. The more I learn about health, nutrition, and healing, the more doctors I talk to and the more books I read, the more I learn that's all a bunch of hooey. Sleep is important, not just on the weekends, but every night. It's needed for health, disease prevention, concentration, intelligence, energy, digestion, beautiful hair and skin and weight loss. Want to look and feel great? Commit to getting enough sleep every night. I'm going to!
  • Exercise: I've long being pretty lackadaisical about exercise. It's not that I'm entirely sedentary - I like to go on hikes a couple of times a month, some days I dance around the house when I'm feeling good, and I play games with my friends and my cats. But it's been over five years since I had a committed, regular exercise program and it's past due for me to do it again. Again, the more I read about health, the more I learn that exercise is not an option. It's essential. 
Focusing on diet is important - it really is a big, big part of health, probably the single biggest factor in disease causation, prevention, and healing - but it's not the whole picture. Exercise can do a LOT to either make up for or compliment your diet. You can get away with eating more crappy food if you exercise more... but eating crappy food means longer recovery times are required, too. But that, my friends, is a whole other post!

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