Sunday, February 27, 2011

More from Mr. Mnmlst

Every once in awhile I go read a bit from the mnmlst blog.  A few posts ago, he wrote the following:

"Fear stops us from being minimalists.
Why do we keep things even if we don’t need or use them? Because we’re afraid we might. Afraid of what could happen if we get rid of those things."

This is so true in my life.  I find myself haunted by "what if?" thoughts as I weed through our stuff.  I remember the conversations with my daughters about how upsetting it was to them when I threw out this or that.  I think of my boys saying, "What?  You threw that out?" or them asking ,many times, "Do you know where ____ is?" after I've already determined we don't need it and have given it to the thrift store.

So I often hold off on getting rid of things we don't need just to avoid that conflict or just in case we do need it someday.  Many times these fears are completely rooted within though -- it's MY fear of missing it or MY fear of needing it later.

I really do weed through our stuff often and purge weekly, but it's never enough.  We still have too much.

As I re-read the mnmilst words, I tried to apply them to my thoughts -- those thoughts that don't serve me well.  I don't need them and even though I do routinely think them, so I can't say I don't use them, I don't find them useful.  These are the thoughts that interfere with my goals.  They are the thoughts that sabotage my dreams and ideas for what I'd love to do or become, but I'm not sure how to get rid of the thoughts or patterns in my life that get in the way.   I guess recognition is a start.  I'll see if I can get beyond that starting block and just start running with it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Food allergies, Food intolerances, or just plain bad for you food.

Many people have food allergies.  My son used to break out in eczema from head to toe if he had dairy or white flour (yes, white flour -- they tested him allergic to wheat, but he never actually had problems with whole wheat foods).   A missionary we know is so allergic to beans that he has to carry around medication to give himself a shot if he accidentally ingests some beans so his throat won't swell shut.  I've heard of children with such extreme peanut allergies who have died from unknowingly eating something with peanut butter in it.

I'm not sure if I have any food allergies.  I know that during peak hayfever months (pretty much March through November with August off), if I eat or drink any dairy products, I'll have allergy symptoms within minutes.  I don't really consider that a food allergy because those foods don't cause the same health problems when it's not allergy season.  I have found, however, that when I eat dairy products, I get sick easier -- catch the common cold or flu that's going around.  I definitely notice a difference with mucus (I know -- no one likes to read that word) when I eat dairy and not without.

What I've come to understand for my body is that certain foods weaken my immune system.  Dairy products is one of them.  Processed foods, even sugar and flour, also weaken my immune system.   It's not that my body is actually allergic to them.  It's just that my body has to work harder to figure out how to assimilate them into (or eliminate them from) my body and this energy makes my body not as able to fight germs.  I also think that many foods we eat in the Standard American Diet (SAD) are inflammatory, which weakens our bodies and brings a host of problems (asthma, allergies, arthritis, just to name a few).

So I find it interesting when I talk to my friends and explain how when I just eat whole foods and stay away from processed foods and animal products that this or that health problem improves immensely that they often respond with things like "I don't have any food allergies" or "If I had problems like that, I'd change my eating too, but I don't, so . . . " -- but they don't seem to realize that the health problems they have could be alleviated by healthy eating too. 

I actually heard a doctor's assistant at the dermatologist's office tell my child that skin problems are not related to how we eat, (but to make our moms happy, we should just eat healthier anyway -- but it doesn't affect your skin ).  I wanted to challenge him with a big, "Hmmph!  Have you had  any experience with this?  Where did you get that opinion?  That doesn't make any sense to me.  Wouldn't a car drive better with clean fuel that was actually made for the car to drive at it's optimum level?"  Instead I just shook my head inside and told my son afterward that I didn't agree with that at all.

Enough rambling.  Just wanted to set the record straight since I keep it in other times that you don't have to have something as bad as a food allergy to keep yourself away from certain foods that are so prevalent in the SAD.  Food allergies are real and valid to be sure.  But so is the fact that many things we eat just make it hard for our bodies to be healthy and strong. 

Off to do some yoga.  TTFN!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yogi Tea

If you haven't discovered Yogi Tea yet, I'll share a few of my favorites.  I used to think herb teas were all awful.  I'd try one every year or so, but would never make it past the first few sips.  I don't drink caffeinated drinks, so I've only used black tea to dye my linens and I haven't jumped on the green tea bandwagon.  But I do understand the healthfulness and healing powers of many herbs the earth has to offer, so I've continued to test and taste herb teas. 

I can't remember how I became acquainted with Yogi Tea.  Perhaps it was the yogi in me that drew me to this brand.  I think I was reading up on how to get rid of eczema a few years ago and read about detoxing.  I thought I'd try a detox tea and Yogi has Peach Detox.  What's not to like about Peach?

Peach Detox quickly became my favorite and I've since grown to love Echinacea, Cold Season, Breathe Easy,  and Berry Detox.  I bought Women's Energy and while it's not my favorite alone, I usually mix 2 bags anyway and just mix it in with a Berry or Peach if I'm feeling the need.  I just drank a mix of Echinacea and Breathe Easy and to me, it's as tasty as some yummy muffin in the morning.  Just wonderful. 

I just read that they have a Skin Detox too.  I'm not sure if I'd love it since it has a floral smell/taste, but I'll give it a try.   Oooh, they have a Mayan Cocoa Spice too.  I haven't seen that one yet.  I'll have to look for it.  Most health food stores sell a wide variety of flavors.  Grocery stores carry maybe 5 or 6 and Trader Joe's just carries a few.  

It's just nice to feel that warm mug with my cold hands on a cold wet day like today.  Off to boil some more water so I can use these bags at least one more time.  TTFN!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What's your price?

I was just watching Joe vs. the Volcano the other day (and wonder if anyone else on the planet enjoys watching that movie as much as I do) and there's this part maybe 2/3 the way through where Patricia (Meg Ryan's 3rd character) apologizes to Joe for being rude to him on the dock.  It got me thinking.  Patricia tells Joe that she was snobby when she met him because she was angry at herself for getting back under her father's control.  Her dad had a lot of money and Patricia, unlike her shallow, materialistic, parasitic sister had decided to not depend on her father anymore financially or otherwise.  She had broken away from that trap in her life.  But her father knew that she loved to sail.  He offered her one of his yachts in exchange for her taking Joe on the boat over to the island so he could jump into the volcano.  Patricia didn't want to do it, but she knew that her father had discovered her weakness.  She had set a goal to break away from depending on her dad, but when he offered her the yacht, she sold out. She was angry at herself for having a price, for selling out. 

I thought about my efforts to eat healthy and to exercise.  It's much harder after moving than it is when I'm settled and in the swing of things.  So I'm continually regrouping and trying to get myself to do what I know works best for my body and all it's crazy conditions.  I stay focused in the morning, even through lunch, but at some point in the afternoon (or even after a full day or two of sticking to my goals and feeling great), I sell out.  I sell my goal for the price of __________ (fill in the blank depending on the circumstance).  For the first few years of me striving to eat healthy, that price was pizza.  I've finally moved past that for the most part.  It can still be a weak spot, but not during my very long allergy season.  Even when it's not allergy season though, I get congested and have other problems from the white flour.   The price could easily be chocolate if I'm at the store and haven't nourished by body well enough up to that point in the day.  The price could be many things.  I won't tempt you with all my weak spots, but I am happy to identify them as a price that is not worth it in the end.  It never is.  I end the day with the same problems I had the day before (or some new ones -- the other day I ate a bunch of soy ice cream and ended up with zits, canker sores and a headache) and know if I just stick with my plan, I'm much better off.  

I could probably write 50 posts on things I learn from Joe vs. the Volcano.  Go watch it again if it's been awhile.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Being in tune with my body's needs

One thing I love about eating the most healthy foods (besides not being sluggish in the morning nor requiring much sleep) is I feel so much more in tune with my body's needs.  I have a better understanding of what my body is signaling throughout the day.  I feel thirsty far more often and absolutely love drinking water.  It's as rewarding if not more than any food I could possibly eat.  I don't crave sugar or other processed foods but savor the taste of the pure real foods that I eat.  I even want to spend more time outside enjoying nature than I do inside the house, as usual. 

On the flip side, if I'm eating foods that aren't good for my body, I don't think about drinking water much, wish I could keep sleeping and sleeping when it's time to get up, crave foods that I shouldn't be eating in the first place, and even when I do eat them, don't feel satisfied -- I just want more, more, more!

I'm thinking I like being in tune with my body better than being oblivious.  It's like the oblivion feeds shots in the dark to what might make my body feel better, but it just opens up the way for more cravings and confusion to my body's signals.

What's the best way to get in tune with your body's needs?  Try fasting.  Even just fasting for a few meals can help cleanse your body and help you see that you want and need water more than you desire or need any foods.  Then once you do eat again, start with raw fruits that are easy to digest and you'll notice and enjoy the flavors more than usual.  Take time to prepare foods from there on that are nutritionally dense.  Enjoy those foods and start to feel the benefits of eating healthy foods.  I hear so often a negative reaction to eating healthy -- like people are afraid that they will feel deprived or won't enjoy what they eat.  Nonsense!  We're just so patterned to eat unreal foods that our bodies don't know what's good for it or what can be pleasurable.

You'll also have more energy to move and increase your pace in life whether it be in your exercise regime or your need for rest and sleep.  Being in tune with your body's needs is the way we're designed to be -- to increase our life span and to help us be the most productive we can be in life.  Cheers!

photo by iglooo101