July 10, 2014: Au Naturel

In the last couple days I’ve been noticing something’s been….different.  I can’t put my finger on it enough to discern exactly what it is, but I’ll give you a run down on the things that I think have been making a difference in how I’m feeling lately.  Some of the things I’ve been noticing about myself:

 

  • More overall energy
  • Less overall high emotion/increased ability to respond appropriately
  • Less body pain
  • Calmer digestion
  • More motivation
  • Less mental noise
  • Better sleep

 

BONE BROTH

I’ve been making this for a couple weeks now and consuming at least 500ml daily (sometimes more if I also have some soup that was made with it).  It’s no secret that I have suffered for about the last 7 years with serious back, neck & shoulder pain that has, at times, laid me up completely or landed me in the hospital.  I realize, having only been two weeks, it might be a bit soon to make a sweeping judgment call, but I can say with absolute certainty that I have less overall pain and stiffness in my body.  For years, after getting up from my desk chair, the couch or even out of bed, I’d be a bit crippled over for a bit until things “loosen up” and I’ve just noticed, that stopped about three days ago!

Is it the bone broth?  I’m not ruling it out.  From the Whole9 website:

Proline and glycine are important for a healthy gut and digestion, muscle repair and growth, a balanced nervous system, and strong immune system. In fact, a study of chicken broth conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that the amino acids that were produced when making chicken stock reduced inflammation in the respiratory system and improved digestion. (There’s a reason your mom always made you chicken soup when you were sick.) The gelatin in bone broth can help to heal a leaky gut, which may be of specific benefit those with inflammatory or autoimmune disorders. These compounds also reduce joint pain, reduce inflammation, prevent bone loss, and build healthy skin, hair, and nails. – See more at: http://whole30.com/2013/12/whole9-bone-broth-faq/#sthash.Mu1NlpS4.dpuf 

Broth

 

KOMBUCHA

We’ve been drinking a cup of this daily for about a week.  The benefits of this particular product are many and include detoxification, joint care, digestion and gut health & immune system boosting.  Plus it’s high in vitamins and enzymes/acids (b vitamins = energy!).   

I love this article on the history and benefits! http://www.foodrenegade.com/kombucha-health-benefits/  Could the KT be a player in having an overall feeling of greater wellness and energy?  Not ruling it out, tastes too good and is fun to make!

KT

 

SOIL BASED PROBIOTIC & RESISTANT STARCH

There is a tonne, tonne, TONNE of information on the internet regarding resistant starch and gut health.  Mark’s Daily Apple speaks up about it (which is a well respected source of logical and properly thought out information) and a great summary is from Free The Animal:  (start with this link and then just keep on clicking, the amount of research you can do on this topic is astounding!)

“The benefits most commonly touted are: lowered  fasting BG, BG blunting, better sleep, increased energy, wellbeing and calm, mental clarity, vivid dreams, curing of chronic constipation and infrequency, soft stools, satiation with gentle hunger, and increased body temperature.”

“…the reason some people have had less than expected results with resistant starch foods and/or supplementation, or even adverse results, is that they may lack some of the gut bacteria needed and those are really not to be found in dairy based probiotics. Fermented foods may help somewhat, but what we’ve found is that the biggest help comes from soil based probiotics.”

You know how “they” say that kids these days are so ultra-sanitized that they end up never developing a functioning immune system?  Same goes for adults.  Live too long in nearly sterile conditions and the good gut bacteria that live in your lower intestine are never replenished and give way to the sort of gut bacteria that basically have adapted to eat anything that you give them.  These particular “garbage gut bacteria” don’t do the same sort of thing as the kind that are supposed to live in your lower intestine.  If you feed yourself resistant starch (which, by the way, passes completely through your digestive system [resistant!] with no blood glucose load (think, low carb while eating potatoes!) and into your lower intestine where the proper bacteria (Soil Based Organisms – SBO) break it down and turn it into short chain fatty acids.  Those short chain fatty acids are where all the benefits above come in. 

So Resistant Starch plus SBO.  I’ve been including roasted potatoes (cooled after roasting before eating) with our meals and an SBO every morning.  Could it be having an effect on my energy, BM’ing, general wellness?  I’m not ruling it out!

 

BEAUTY REDEFINED/PERSONAL TIME

I’d linked to this website earlier this week but if you missed it, take an hour and go click around!  www.beautyredefined.net Trust me, it will be worth your time!  Besides being about shameful marketing practices that target women and our lowered (thanks to them!) self-esteem, it has been part of my new understanding that I deserve better from both myself and others.  Better than having to be fixed, corrected, repaired, enhanced, covered up, reduced and always pleasant.  I’ve been very focused lately on making sure that I’m doing things for the right reason; exercise because it feels good, choosing food and portions consciously, not using food as reward or punishment.  Earlier this week I stopped wearing makeup.  I have NEVER stopped wearing makeup, not since I started wearing it when I was 15.  That is over 20 years of smearing, painting, brushing, lining, dusting and glossing products onto my skin in order to “fix” my face.  As I was starting to put my powder on one morning this week I had the thought that it may be impossible to really learn to love myself if I keep painting over who I really am!  So….no makeup.  Not even eyebrow lining (although that will eventually be something I start to do again, I think) or mascara.  Just me.  I’m not saying I will never wear makeup again….but from day to day life it is more important to me right now to be as authentic as I can be…and that means no paint.  Plus, I have patches of painful redness on both my cheeks which refuses to go away and I feel as though layering powder and blush onto a rash is a poor idea.

au naturel

As I’ve talked about, I’ve also been creating and defending my personal time in the last few weeks and I’ve been feeling much more stable, recharged, relaxed and refreshed with even just a couple hours a week.  Sometimes I’ll run a fun errand alone or sit outside and read my book and the mornings with just the dog (below) has been heaven-sent.  Ray has also worked OT at least once a week in the last three weeks which works beautifully for me.  Chef’s Night Off is still in its infancy and will continue to be a large part of my return to me.

 

EXERCISE

This one has been a struggle for me lately (and I know that I am not alone!).  A heart breaking, lay awake at night, guilt inducing, shame enhancing struggle.  Fortunately (not for him), Ray was under the weather this week so I took over the morning dog walking.  It is beautiful weather here right now so at 5am, Gracie and I have been heading out for 30-40 minutes and walking, walk-jogging & jogging around the neighborhood.  And then when we get home, we sit outside for another 30 minutes in the cool early morning air and have some quiet time.  I attribute my ability to get up in the morning to my extra energy, decreased pain and corrected mental dialogue (sources currently unknown) which are all fed by a morning jog.  I am very careful to redirect my “weight loss-y” dialogue and “run faster/longer, get thinner” thoughts and turn them back towards “focus on breathing, talk to the dog, enjoy your time, create overall mental and physical health”.  So far so good.

 

TAKE YOUR RULES……

By this I mean I have given up all the notions, rules and ideas out there in order to optimize your health and performance.  Obviously since I am doing broth, KT, SBO/RS I haven’t given up attempting to improve my health but I have closed the door on “optimizing”. For example, after my walk/jog in the morning (which is a moderate to considerable workout for me right now), I have coffee.  With coconut milk.  And 90 minutes later we eat breakfast. According to “them” that is the exact wrong things to do; all the “research” says you must eat no more than 30 minutes afterwards and no fat, protein and carbs.  Screw you, wisdom.  I like my coffee post run and I will wait to have breakfast until we’re all ready for it.  Since my effort is for general wellness I have no need to “optimize” my results and therefore I can and will do whatever I want. Suck it, Tips.  Similarly (and thanks to a conversation with a friend), if I want something for a meal that is not conventional….I eat it.  And it’s SUPER!  Last night I made Blueberry Clafouti..and ate half of it.  Technically it’s a dessert….nutritionally it’s eggs, coconut milk & blueberries….and emotionally it was exactly what I wanted so I ate it.  Last Friday I ate potato chips for dinner.  They were delicious.  On Gracie’s bday I had ice cream for breakfast.  Yum!

Clafouti

I’m not saying that the door is open on consuming shit on a regular basis….but in three weeks to have had three questionable meals….I feel fine with that.  

So which one is it?  What has been making me feel good lately?  My job still blows, I’m still around 20# over my desired size (although no scale so not sure exactly), I still have no holidays, I haven’t come into money and Ray didn’t spontaneously ask me to marry him.  And yet, I feel alright.  My sister has tried to tell me for a while that I need to start doing things based on loving myself as I am right now. Right this very second.  I didn’t get it………….until I got it.  And now I’m not letting go.

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