Monday, December 12, 2011

Every day is a new experiment

This weekend I met up for tea with Jana, who is following a similar path - it was lovely and inspiring to give and share support, and to discuss everything from makeup and cleaning products to eating meat and office hand soap. It also looks like I have some potential teammates for the 21 Day Adventure Cleanse, which will take place in January after the holidays have ended. The Cleanse is essentially a snapshot of a vegan lifestyle, with emphasis on raw, whole foods and less meat, dairy, caffeine, processed meals, etc. As I'd like to keep with the tiny steps mentality, I'm not trying to decide this moment whether being vegetarian is the right answer for me. Do I want to cut back on dairy and meat? Definitely. Do I think I currently have the knowledge and willpower to get enough nutrients from other foods (or even: could I conceivably give up cheese?!) Probably not. Regardless, I'm currently loving Kris Carr's book Crazy Sexy Diet, as it's really opening my eyes about how the body works. I'm also interested in reading The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, which Jana recommended. If anyone has any suggestions for good cookbooks which emphasize healthy vegetarian eating, I'd love to hear about them.

Over the past few weeks, I've been fascinated by detoxification. Initially because I didn't know that my body needed it and now because I'm trying to become tuned in to subtle signals. For example, I have cut way back on eating sugar and then twice this month I've had cake for celebrations. Both times my face reacted the same day by breaking out, something which has never happened so immediately before. Is it possible that my system is no longer used to sugar in the same way and now is less tolerant? What else will happen? The word of the month should be experimentation, since that's all I seem to do lately. For example, we have hard water at our house, meaning I've been experimenting with boiled water to have on hand for when I wash my hair.  The boiling process rids the water of minerals which can interfere with the baking soda and make it difficult to stick to the baking soda / vinegar method. Static? People try honey, they try coconut oil. Ineffective deoderant? Cornstarch. Dry scalp? Applesauce might do the trick, jojoba oil, or even egg yolk. Finally, a recommendation I will try soon is using a soft bristle brush, which can distribute the natural oils in your hair and help ease the detox process. I haven't tried all of these methods myself, but let's be honest - I'll probably try many such ideas before I've settled on the best methods.

I had a moment this weekend where I just felt completely overwhelmed by all of the research, potential expenses, time commitments, and changes I want to introduce to my lifestyle. It can be difficult to start something completely new with no established mentors; I've been wary of unintentionally making people feel criticized about their own choices, which is of course not at all what I'm trying to do. Finally, as I tend to put my whole heart into everything, I've invested a lot of thought into why I am ready to change. Once I took a deep breath, I acknowledged that when you decide to change habits which are both ingrained and comfortable, it's not going to be all excitement and good days. That's when I also have to take a step back and remember that I only started down this path a month ago - my habits have already changed so much over a few weeks time, that the rest of me needs some time to catch up! I began November thinking that I wanted to write a blog and think about happiness, and I'm halfway through December recognizing that happiness comes ultimately in the form of health. This year may end up being entirely different than I thought, which makes me feel like I'm doing something right. Along those lines, I took my first yoga class last week since stopping to do PT last spring. Since Shelli and I did a more intensive PT workout as well, it meant I was SORE SORE SORE by Friday. Oh my goodness. Amazingly though, my knee held out with only mild discomfort and reminded me how little steps really can change everything.  That's an encouraging thought for those moments when I start to feel overwhelmed.

No comments:

Post a Comment