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Showing posts from January, 2011

My Latest Pipe Dream

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'Tis the season to put in now for any time off I want. Guess where I want to go? Guess how much flights costs to get there? If you guessed un bras et une jambe, you would be correct.
I WILL get to the City of Lights. Comme Dieu est mon témoin, je mangerai le brie dans le pays dont il est venu!
(Gotta love online translators, don't you?)

A little perspective.

In 2009, I was working in a career I no longer enjoyed. I was miserable, cranky, confused, and unfocused. I sabotaged myself and relationships with the fetidness for which I had no outlet. I made approximately $35,900 that year. Which may not sound like a lot, but for a single, childless gal in Vermont who doesn't live extravagantly, can make for a very comfortable life.

In 2010, I spent the first half of the year at a minimum wage job, putting myself through school. I technically qualified for all kinds of aid, including food stamps and housing assistance. While I was too proud to take the help, I was not making enough to cover all of my (basic) expenses. I got through it by dipping into my saving account and putting things like doctor's visits on my credit card. The second half of the year, I started work in my new profession. Between the school job and the new job, I made just over $16,000.

I can't remember the last time I was this happy.

What they say is true, folks. M…

Mmmmmm... Foooooooood

I like food. I like food a lot. I like that I'm eating it again.

Okay, I need to quit saying this in all my post-cleanse posts.

I decided this week that since I am still post-cleanse and have at least temporarily eliminated everything stuff from my diet, now is a good time to experiment. I think I've mentioned that I'm going off breads, crackers, cookies, and pasta for a little while to see how that helps with my binges. So far that is going quite well. I've been placed in several situations where such yummies were up for grabs and I didn't want any. Yay, me!

Another thing I've decided to do (and this will be TMI) is to finally track down what is causing my seemingly unending supply of gas. Sometimes I feel like if someone tied a hot air balloon to my butt I could power all on my lonesome.

Sigh.

I mean, I've been a veg for years, so my GI tract should have adjusted by now to the beans, lentils and cruciferous veggies. Sure these things happens to everyone n…

You Mean the World Didn't End?

I had coffee today and yesterday and the world didn't collapse in on itself?

Crazy!!!

I am two days post-cleanse, and I feel my body is still letting things go. I am returning to regular food, although I am trying to keep it as healthy as possible. My menu for yesterday (the first day post-cleanse) looked thusly:

7:00am: 1 cup coffee with a splash of soymilk and some agave nectar, banana
11:00am: bowl of greek yogurt and the worst frozen blueberries I've ever had
2:00pm: bowl of leftover curried potato, cauliflower and lentil soup from before the cleanse, date
4:30pm: 2 cups of decaf english breakfast tea
5:30pm: tri-doshic "energy ball" snack at the workshop
7:30pm: Chili with a bit of cheddar cheese shaved over the top, date, a couple slices of the cheese

I actually couldn't finish the chili; it was too spicy and my tummy went "what?!?". The thin slices of cheese actually came a couple hours later because my stomach settled down and wanted something a…

Ayurveda Cleanse: Day 7 (!)

I made it!! The last day of the cleanse. Sweet Mother of Mercy, I made it.

Honestly, I don't know how people do these month-long lemon water and cayenne cleanses. I just had seven days and I got to eat and I wasn't entirely sure I was going to make it.

It's a good thing I'm stubborn.

So even though it's not "kosher," I ended up having a spoonful of olive oil last night and this morning. Frankly, I kinda felt like I needed some oil. This cleanse is extremely low-fat and frankly, seven days is a long time to go with almost nothing. I know there are people out in the world who like to "eat" butter or oil or fats straight. I don't know how they do it. I can't stomach straight fats. Tough to get down and my tummy  says "what the hell are you trying to do here?"

I am eating rice this morning as I ate the last of the oatmeal yesterday. I put a little agave nectar in it and it doesn't taste half bad. Still rather boring but all in …

Ayurveda Cleanse: Day 6

Once again I am posting throughout the day.

I am cranky this morning. Apparently I woke up this way. I am sick to death of oatmeal and I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am that I ate the last of it this morning. But since I have one day left on the cleanse, I'll be eating rice in the morning. At least it isn't oatmeal!

I don't want to go to work today, hence the reason I am sitting her typing this instead of getting ready. I'm still tired, despite have slept a great deal. I really just want to be lazy and do nothing. Or even take a walk as it looks to be a nice day. But by the time I'll be finished, it will be too late for one.

Whine whine whine, bitch bitch bitch.

Tomorrow starts a re-introduction of "soft foods", ie steamed vegs and soups, and I am SO happy for that. I know I said a day or two ago that I eat the same thing several days running, but I have definitely reached my limit!

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I am so tempted to cheat right now. It's coming towar…

Ayurveda Cleanse: Day 5

Today I really wanted pizza.

But that's okay. The kitchari hit the spot. Sorta. Maybe. If I tell myself this enough times, it'll be true, right?

This time around I added some sweet potato to the recipe (we're allowed to add a very limited list of veggies to the lentils and rice). I think I have to admit to myself that I will probably never like sweet potato and stop trying to convince myself otherwise. Yeah yeah, it's good for you and all that jazz. But I'm just not feelin' it.

Anyway.

Slept like the dead last night and spent a half hour this morning laying in the sun before getting out of bed, soaking up its energy. Because there was sun!!! First time in days. Of course, it was gone by the time I got out of work. But it was nice to know that it was there at some point today. I actually considered this my "meditation" for the morning, even though I was probably a little more dozy than you are supposed to be. As I was laying there, I was consciously &q…

Ayurveda Cleanse: Day Four

Excerpt from an email sent by the facilitator:

... Days 3, 4 & 5 is when aversion (i.e. towards Kitchari) and attachment (i.e. what foods you are missing) really begins to arise. This is normal and part of the experience. Emotions may be beginning to surface. You might feel more tired, irritated, drained, or overall emotional. This is all normal. New sensations, both physically and emotionally, often come about while doing a cleanse and this can be a way your body is releasing toxins.

Boy, she ain't kiddin'! I'm actually doing okay with the kitchari. I usually eat the same thing running for several days straight so this is nothing new to me. However, in addition to the kitchari, I also want potato chips, a bagel with cream (or faux cream) cheese, and red wine. I've been thinking about yogurt - which I seldom ever eat - and even got a whiff of a co-worker's Quizno's toasted sub and just about died. Yeah, it was full of meat and cheese and I didn't care it…

Ayurveda Cleanse: Day 3

Hullo, all! Day three has come and gone...

First, though, a little housecleaning. One of my commenters was generous enough to tell me that the link I provided for the Ayurvedic Cookbook at the bottom of this post wasn't working. Well, that has been fixed. Thanks very much for bringing this to my attention! It is a very good informational book and I enjoy it. The author has another cookbook entitled something along the lines of "Ayurveda for Westerners". I need to shop the local bookstores to see if they have it. I am interested in that one as well.

In another comment, someone asked if I was seeing any results yet and if it was worth it. The answer to both of these questions is "yes". I've done other cleanses before (never more than three days), and I've always felt lighter by the end. Now mind you, I didn't necessarily lose any weight, but I felt like I wasn't carrying anything "extra" around. Which is, at day three, how I'm feelin…

Ayurveda Cleanse: Day 2

Please forgive the possible disjointedness of this post; I am typing it at intervals over the course of the day.

The ghee did not sit well this morning. If I had to do it again tomorrow, I don't know if I could. I got it down and managed to eat most of my oatmeal, but I couldn't finish it. Actually went back to bed and just laid there for a little while until my tummy settled. I finally got up and had a little bit of almond milk, and that seemed to help a bit more. Also have a very low-grade headache today. Whether this can be attributed to caffeine withdrawal, my uber-tight suboccipitals or the cleanse remains to be seen. Probably a combination of all three.

Apparently honey is a no-no on this cleanse, which I didn't find out until last night. I bought a small jar of local, raw honey to use in my oatmeal, but apparently that's not going to happen. Agave nectar is okay though, so I bought some last night and used it in my oatmeal this morning. Quite good, actually. You…

Ayurveda Cleanse: Day 1

Well, Day One is just about over. So far, it's been an easy start to the cleanse. The food for the first two days is simple, warming foods: oatmeal, soup, and steamed greens. The facilitator gave us two recipes to choose from for the soups - a miso veg and a red lentil and root veg. I chose the latter, and was glad to know that it was very similar to my go-to soup. Which has no recipe but is more me throwing a bunch of random vegetables in the slower cooker then dumping a cup or so of red lentils in. The nice thing about red lentils is that they almost completely disintegrate so you are left with a lovely broth.

While massage is not technically on the "menu" until tomorrow, a friend needed someone to practice on and I happily accepted the offer. In class tonight we also received a list of acceptable snack foods, which eased my mind a lot. Because, that's a LONG time to go between light meals with nothing. So, after class I stocked up on some almond milk (unsweetened)…

Frustrated.

My cleanse officially starts tomorrow. And that is most definitely a good thing. I weighed myself this morning and I'm about 8 pounds over where I prefer to be. Now, I know 8 pounds sounds like nothing and most of you are all 8 pounds? Whatevs. But these 8 pounds represent the beginning of a long, slippery slide down a slope I don't want to go.

I am feeling frustrated and desperate that I cannot seem to lose the weight on my own. That whenever I try to lose the weight, I get hungry and end up eating more than I require. I am still trying to examine what I am feeling when I do this, but it's odd. When I try to reduce the amount I consume down to reasonable levels, I panic. Or my body panics. Not sure which. It's like this switch flips and I have to eat. Sometimes I am hungry, and sometimes I think I'm hungry. But regardless, I have to eat now.

I do not want to re-join Weight Watchers. Frankly I just don't want to spend the money on it and I've found when you…

Expansion

Today was a good day at work. There is nothing tangible to prove that, but it is more a feeling. When I left after my shift today, I felt so light and airy. I felt like I made a difference to the people I saw today. There were shifts in their own perceptions and mine as well. In-roads were made, minds were opened and energy was moved.

Moreover, with my last massage I could literally feel my own style growing and maturing. I tried things I never normally do because - and get this - her body was asking for these techniques. Practically begging for them. And it made a huge difference. To her own self-awareness, and to me as a therapist. It was a very powerful session; there was a lot of positive energy moving around moving with it made the whole session much... deeper.

So yeah. I just wanted to share that today was a very good day at work. :-)

The Science of Life

A couple weeks ago, I signed up for a 3-week series on Ayurveda. The series includes an introductory class (which happened last night), a seven-day cleanse (which happens next week), and information on why this ancient Indian form of medicine works and how we can integrate it into our every day life.

This is exciting and kinda scary all at the same time. Well, the information isn't scary - the cleanse is, a little. Although, the leader of the class said straight out that while she felt obligated to present the materials in their original form, this cleanse was a "choose your own adventure" kind of deal. Follow as much as you can to the best of your abilities. There are some things I'm definitely on board with (yoga? massage? hot baths? Yes please!). There are other things I'm game to try (two tablespoons of warm ghee drunk down before breakfast? Um... sure, why not?), and a couple places I am just not willing to go (ahem, enema. You can call it by the Sanskrit te…

It's Time to Get Your Chakra On

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I have been very drawn to the chakras of late. Actually, I seem to be drawn to a number of Indian spiritual ways of thought, the chakras just being the latest. As I've been massaging, I've noticed that most people complain of discomfort in two areas: their lower back and their upper back and shoulders. These pretty much align with the Sacral Chakra and Heart Chakra.

On a personal note, I've been called lately to work on my own Sacral Chakra issues. Earlier this year, I did a lot of work around my Solar Plexus Chakra and I have felt the difference in everything I do and how I relate to life in general. But it is become increasingly clear to me lately that my second chakra has given up the goat and gone of vacation. Which will simply just not do.

For all of you completely unfamiliar with Chakras, here is the quickie version: while chakras exist in some form or another in many cultures, according to Indian philosophy there are seven main energy chakras (meaning "wheel of…

Hard Thoughts on Being Vegetarian

So, in my last post I mentioned that I want to have a better relationship with food. For me, that really means examining the reasons why I eat the way I do. There's a lot that I really need to examine here (like why I cannot stop myself from bingeing on chips or pizza), but I chose first to examine the one thing that I've been using to define myself for the last several years: vegetarianism.

It took me several years to go fully ovo-lacto vegetarian, and my initial reason for doing so was purely health-related. I didn't know much about healthy eating back then, but I knew a lot of meat was bad for your heart, and my heart has issues. So I gave it up. It wasn't because I didn't like the taste or for the animals. It was purely because I didn't want to die before the age of 65. But I didn't quit cold-tofurkey. I ate vegetarian at home, but would order whatever I wanted when I was traveling for conferences or out to dinner with friends. It only gradually migrate…

Happy New Year!

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Well, another year has ended and a new one has begun.


Firstly, an update. I passed the National Examination! I am now a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist. Huzzah! Now, to find time in my schedule for the required continuing education courses to keep it.


Secondly, I promised to share with you the present my brother made me for Christmas. Here it is:




Inscribed around the top is the Surya Namaskara, twice. He is the one who inscribed it, and it is done in Sanskrit. Well, English letters, sanskrit words. The plaque at the top says "Reflect and Shine." Here is the Surya Namaskara in Sanskrit:


Om Dheyah sada savitru mandala madhyawarti
Narayanah sarasijasana sannivistaha
Keyurawan makara kundalawan kiriti
Hari hiranya-maya-vapur-dhruta shankha chakrah.
Translated, it reads: Oh! Surya Narayana
YOU are the crown glory, carrying shankha chakra in your hands. 
YOU are the creator of joy and destroyer of sorrows. 
YOU cover the entire universe with the golden twilight. 
YOU are the Master, the…