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Monday, 7 March 2011

Best to Start at the Beginning

I would be remiss to state that I started this journey just today. That simply does not ring true. I started this journey a very, very long time ago. I have done a great deal of research, trial and error, and lo and behold...I am not as healthy as I want to be. No sudden realisation here, just straight up admission of fact.

I also did not get this idea today. This idea, this journey is the result of many long years of trying everything except for what I know to be true, for me at least. I knew that I was facing knee surgery, and I knew that meant some time away from work to recover. This created the perfect opportunity to embark on a six week health makeover.

I start today, with a heavy, sore tummy. I ate all the foods I knew I would have to pass up for the next six weeks. Ouch! All the more reason to pass on those foods...they actually hurt! How can that be health supportive? It isn't all about food, although for me, I can't really remember when it hasn't been all about food. This journey also has to be about finding exercise that I can participate in (knee surgery), having opportunities to channel creative energy, and connecting with the Divine in a meaningful way. Mindfulness. That will be a definite focus. Mindfulness.

I didn't do very well with the breakfast portion of today...I didn't want a smoothie...I wanted toast. But, I am giving breads a pass for the most part right now. So, I settled for fruit. A banana to be exact. Not a total loss. By the time I realised I was rummaging, I also realised that it was almost lunchtime so I began lunch prep.

So here is the food portion of my six week health makeover:  for breakfast, whole fruit or a smoothie with fruit and kale/spinach added; for lunch a huge salad...tons of greens topped with a variety of fruits/vegetables...I passed on dressing today and went with homemade hummus, minimizing the tahini to lower the fat, but capitalising on the nutritional value of chick peas. Yum! Dinner will likely be veg stir fry, over quinoa rather than the usual brown rice. My "diet" is primarily plant based...although I really do enjoy some fresh, local fish...mostly salmon for the essential fatty acids, and because I love it! I plan to focus mainly on unlimited leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables, whole grains, limited starchy vegetables, beans and legumes. My intent is to focus on foods eaten in a way that is as close to their natural selves as possible. So, very few if any processed foods, no animal products (other than fresh, local fish on a limited basis), and very limited dairy (just some yogurt for the "good" bacteria) and some "cream" (canned milk) for my coffee. Yes, I am aware that I will have to look at giving up coffee, but I am so not there yet.

I tried a 21 day vegan kick start last year, which went very well. I have maintained some of the eating habits learned through this process, but I feel ready to "kick it up" a bit. The good thing is, I will not be "giving up" a bunch of foods this go around, I will be honing my culinary skills and my imagination...to come up with nutritionally dense, health supportive meals to nurture my body and my soul.

And now, for the exercise peice. Today is a beautiful, sunny although crisp day. A walk is in order. I just got off the crutches, so I don't know how far I will make it...but today, I will walk as far as my body allows me to.  I will not ignore my body's wisdom by trying to go farther than I am ready for.

I didn't realise this before, (mindfulness) but I know this now...I pray when I prepare food. I always have said, "did you put the love in" or "that's because it has love in it" without much thought about it. Now I realise I say little verses when I prepare food, or I honestly just pray ... Today, I said a prayer of gratitude, that I have access to organic vegetables and fruit, that I am standing on my own two feet so soon after knee surgery, that the salad I prepared will provide my body with the nutrients it needs. Not only does this provide me with a practical connection to the Divine, it also connects me to my food on yet another level, preparing myself to take in the nutrients and to use them effectively.  I beleive it is always good practice to give thanks when presented with such bounty. I included a photo of today's lunch...lovingly prepared and enjoyed!

On a bed of chopped romaine and spinach, layer one sliced tomato, yellow pepper, edamamme, purple onion slivers...top it all with 2 T home made hummus....yummy!