Self love

When I awoke this morning I had an amazing sensation: the feeling of gratitude and love for my body and being…what a concept!  I can certainly say that a major reason why I can connect with these feelings is because I am continuing to create distance between me and those toxic foods that skew my mind (the white stuff).

I actually enjoyed breakfast so much that I took a little picture.  This sort of creativity is always a sign in me that I am healing, feeling good, and going with the “flow” of life.

This pic also denotes something more left-brained than just a reflection of self love thru food: it represents 1 standard serving of Almonds.  For me, part of self-care is staying conscious of how much of a food I am eating, even if it is healthy.

Just 2 days ago I was chatting with a gal who struggled with kidney stones due to too much protein.  She had switched to a ‘healthy’ diet, which included 2 CUPS of nuts, day….yowza…..and got kidney stones as a result.  Perfect example of good intentions gone awry or the law of diminishing return.

Slowly my stubborn mind is seeing the grace and benefit of being moderate, gentle and peaceful in my approach.  How nice to have space left in my belly after a meal because I’m not as attached to eating the fullest servings I can.  There is much power in declining the need for “more”.

So much of what I see happens in myself and others when our body-minds are skewed with junk food is the inability to listen to the subtleties of life and our physical/emotional/spiritual needs.  The white stuff puts the sensory system on over-drive and whammy!  All intuitive responses are gone….at least for me because I have a serious inability to handle the white stuff.  Its all or nothing, so I’ll choose nothing – there is more freedom in every other aspect of my life without it 🙂

Oh, for those who are curious, here is what I did with the almonds:

“Fill you for a few hours” oatmeal:

1 oz whole oats

1/2 – 3/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla + cinnamon
1 banana
1 serving almonds (about 22)
2 tsp dried cranberries

Cook oats on med heat.  Half-way through add the fruit, vanilla and cinnamon.  When fully cooked, add the nuts (I like the crunch of keeping the nuts raw).  This meal packs about 15g protein, 8-10 g of fiber, 15g of fat and approx 25 g of carbs…and about 320 kcal.    A great way to to add a little TLC to your morning.  Can’t do gluten?  NO problem: use Bob Red Mill’s Gluten free cereal or rice cereal instead.  Can’t do nuts?  No problem.  Bob’s flaxmeal adds the fat/fiber of the nuts, and a little pat of butter would do the same.

BMW – the ultimate driving (me crazy) machine

Lately I’ve been taking my BMW for a spin more than I should.  What I’m talking about is the BMW in my brain: the Bitching, Moaning, and Whining.  Yes, it is the ultimate driving machine – of my neurosis!

Seems like I’ve been living in the problem a bit, and not in the solution…and what happens when I’m there: I get caught up into the desire to eat sugar, forget my responsibilities and become self-centered.

There is a reason I haven’t posted much in the past week – I’ve simply been self consumed.  LIving an Off-White life is all about personal accountability, responsibility, and balance.  Well, this week I none of the above.  I also saw a correlation between my attitude, my stress and my lack of self-care.  I ate too quickly, I did not give myself the simple pleasure of sitting at the table for dinner.  I did not connect with friends as much.  yada, yada, yada… get the idea.

What is it about the BMW’s of our minds that make the simple principles of self-care, especially with nutrition, so difficult.  Is it that I don’t feel worthy of good choices?  Is it because I see all the people in the TV and magazine Ads having so much fun with their junk food that I want to join in?  Is it simply that stress really does drive the need to just simple carbs, go into a food coma, and forget life.

I suppose the answer can be all three.  For me, the reason behind all the BMW moments was based in a fear of uncertainty.  I thrive on stability and control.  I like when things are the same, yet they never are.  So much is evolving in my life: career, residence, the role my husband plays in our life (grad student), financial insecurity… goes on and on.

Can anybody else relate?  I’m so interested in this human phenomenoa of wanting to neglect self in order to buy into fears and stress.  Yes, I get it that fears/stress are valid, but it never feels better  to give them all my power.

My hope is that I’ve done the footwork, prayer, and surrender over these issues, at least for now, and can get back to what I do love : blogging, connecting with friends, making healthy meals and being creative with food, and trusting that this evolution is absolutely perfect in its awkwardness.  Isn’t everything beautiful at one point awkward (I think of flowers opening for the first time, baby chicks with ugly patchwork down feathers, storm clouds that you can’t tell if rain is coming or not).  My biggest lesson to realize is that I am, and always will be, perfectly imperfect, and no amount of fantasizing about mile-high cheesecakes or donuts is going to change that truth.  For me, or for anybody else.

So, here are a few steps I’ve taken to get my mojo back;

1. Spend time with a friend on Sunday afternoon
2. Make some time for my husband on Sunday night after his trip out of town
3. Eat simply for 3 days: focus on 3 meals/day with the emphasis of these meals being fruits/veggies, and a lean protien.  No grains, and get off the dairy again.
4. Write in my journal
5. Post here, and be honest with myself and others about me
6. Look at websites of people I admire – ever reminding me to stay connected to my dreams and realize that nobody wakes up in one day with it all put together
7. Turn OFF THE TV – it is so demoralizing and food-tempting for me.
8. Go for a walk instead of a run on Saturday – gave myself permission to be in “flow” instead of force.


Silly me, I forgot that I have Candida

I was doing some paperwork “purging” and came across the lab results from all my testing I had done last year.  The testing came about because I was always feeling run down, had chronic constipation despite a high veggie/fiber diet, had voracious sugar cravings, and got sick all the time.  Amongst other issues the test results were loud and clear: Candida.

To make it short, Candida Albicans is a yeast that lives in the body.  It is the yeast responsible for “oral thrush” in HIV and cancer patients, and yeast infections in women.  Normally we have some in our gut.  When it gets out of control, it often creates major upsets in the GI function because it messes with the eco-system of your intestines.

It also craves sugar, its primary food source.  That is what screams at me to have some high-sugar fruit after a nice protein/veggie meal.  That is was whispers in my ear that a stop for hot chocolate “just this once” is a good idea.  That is the name of the voice which tells me to put an extra 7 teaspoons of agave in my tea.  Its ridiculous.

When I was diagnosed, my diet changed dramatically and for a while I was on the straight  and narrow.  My digestion improved and I felt good again.  lately, I haven’t been so dilligent.

Getting rid of candida is serious business: No high sugar fruits, no fruit alone, gluten-free grains oil, and LOTS of damn green veggies.  GoodNESS you have to eat a lot of green veggies.  I think I rebelled against the strictness and started enjoying things like dates and agave nectar and raisins.  Harmless to the ‘normal’ person, but I am hardly normal.

So I’m glad I found those results.  They humbled me again to realize that I eat for health, and not for my ego.  My body is pleading with me for balance, so its important for me to honor that plea.  The voice of the Candida is very tricky and easily mistaken for truth.

One thing I do when I’m  trying to cleanse my body of sugar craving is this:

1 cup of warm but not boiling water
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1-2 tsp of Bragg’s Apple cider vinegar

Mix and enjoy.  Its not tasty, but it cleans the GI tract and Candida hates it.  Score 1 for me and none for the Candida.  In fact, I’m drinking it right now and feeling  grateful that I know what my body needs… to only do it everyday……

Part III of sugar and stress to come.  But this is like an add-on to that topic, as Candida is certainly triggered by stress.