Thursday, February 23, 2012

Feed Your Soul

I apologize. Perhaps my post last week was a bit harsh. I was just pissed off. As I told one of my readers, I have a love affair with food. I love to cook, and I love eating even more. For me, food nourishes my body and my soul. So, when somebody tries telling me that what makes me happy is bad for me, I get defensive.

I found a fantastic website from the Dietitians of Canada with some great evidence-based resources on food. It also includes some great recipes for a healthy life-style. Check it out.

My girlfriend, who’s whole family is dedicated to educating others about healthy eating habits, has a page on her website that I would like to share with you. Though I may not agree with everything they believe, I like the way Chanelle presents her opinions - with an open mind and attitude.

And because I am sort of on holidays and lazy, that will be my post for this week J . Bon App├ętit!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Are You Really Gonna Eat That?!

I am a meat eater. I like drinking milk and eating cheese and I damn sure like sugar! And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I also love a well-prepared fish dish, a vegetarian chili, almost all fruits and vegetables and green smoothies. And I know there’s nothing wrong with that.

There is a huge movement right now towards being very aware of what you are putting into your body. Which is so, so good. Obesity has literally become an epidemic, especially in kids, which is so very sad.

I do feel though, as is common with a new trend, people are going way overboard when it comes to what we should eat to be healthful and what we are pushing onto other people. There are people who would shudder to know that my kids probably ate their weight’s worth in sugar on Valentine’s Day (it‘s one day people!). There are those who think I’m a bad mom for giving my children milk to drink and red meat for supper. Those people can suck it.

What once was good for you, now is bad. Milk will cause extra mucus in the body, leading to inflammation, causing any number of ailments from acne to respiratory diseases to IBD. Fruit is full of sugar and will lead to yeast infections, diabetes and cancer. Whole wheat bread has gluten in it and will certainly cause you to have nerve damage, IBD and even brain disease. (These are all “facts” I just found on Google).

Okay, slow the fuck down people!

Yes, if I have seven glasses of milk a day, shit’s gonna go wrong in my body. If I eat nothing but fruit, I will likely get diabetes. And if I consume a whole loaf of bread in one day, I will most likely be backed up for a week or two and perhaps not be able to feel my fingers and toes. But who eats like that?!

People need to get smart about what they eat, and especially about what they read. Milk, fruit, lean meat and whole wheat are good for you. As long as you don’t eat too much of them.

I like to compare the occasional “treat” that I eat with alcohol, a substance that has no nutritional value whatsoever. If I have one drink, my body is fine. The ol’ liver processes it and it leaves my body with no harm done. If I have 5+ drinks, my body feels GREAT for a little while, and then really not so good after that. If I eat healthily on a regular basis, then take my kids to McDonald’s for a night out, my body will be fine. If I eat that crap 2, 3 times a week, shit is gonna go down hill fast.

My point I’m trying to make is, Everything In Moderation. Most people, including me, do not eat as well as they should be to support their bodies. This growing trend of awareness is going to help change that. According to Canada’s Food Guide, a healthy adult should be eating everyday, on average, 8 servings of fruits and vegetables, 7 servings of grain products, 2 servings of milk and alternatives, and 2-3 servings of meat and alternatives. I don’t know about you, but I personally eat too much meat and dairy, and not enough fruit and vegetables. I am working on changing that.

If you choose, for whatever reason, to cut out from your diet dairy products, or meat or all sugar, then all the power to you. But please don’t tell me that I will be in poor health because I choose to keep those foods in my diet.

Or I might have to slap you with a beautiful rib-eye steak … covered in sugar … with cheese on top.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Try Something New

Today my yoga instructor and I and two other ladies from the studio are taking a yoga road trip. We are heading into Regina to the Bodhi Tree Yoga Studio to try something new. They teach Hatha yoga there, a style of yoga I have never practiced. I am a little bit nervous, but quite excited.

At Body In Mind Yoga Studio, I practice what is called Core Strength Vinyasa. It was founded by Sadie Nardini, my instructor’s instructor. It is a vinyasa flow, which means each pose flows into the next, built around the idea of the core as the foundation for everything yoga including the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects.
My first thoughts are “I don’t think I’m going to like Hatha Yoga”. From what I’ve been reading on Yoga Journal Online, “The word hatha means willful or forceful”. I don’t really like to associate the word ‘forceful’ with any form of exercise, especially yoga. I don’t think anything should be forced when it comes to your body.

But, what do I know?! Maybe I will love it! I will never know if I don’t try it.

Such is life. We will never be able to expand our minds and our hearts if we are not willing to try something new. New and different can be scary. Same same is safe and comfortable … and BORING!

Try something new today! Accept that exciting new job offer; have a baby; take that trip to India you’ve been thinking about!

Or maybe just try a squirt of chai flavoring in your latte instead of your regular vanilla. You crazy cat.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Right Here, Right Now

As I write this, I’m thinking about what I’m going to make for supper, how long I have before my kids get sick of their show and come disrupt me, and that I should have myself a cappuccino. I find it really hard to stay in the present moment. To focus on what I’m doing right now, and not think about a million other things that I did yesterday or need to do tomorrow.

The art of meditation asks the practitioner to empty his/her mind and concentrate on only one thing, such as their breath, an inanimate object or an action such as walking. To just be. For the most part, learning the skill of meditation has eluded me. I haven’t even really tried, to be honest. I don’t think I’m “there” yet. I find it a challenge to clear my mind in a 5 minute savasana, let alone a 15 - 30 minute meditation.

But I really think there is something to be said for really being where you are and doing what you’re doing. Multitasking has always been touted as a positive thing, but I think that if we could all concentrate on one thing at a time, it would get done more efficiently and with a higher quality. Yoga is perfect proof of this. Pop up into a handstand. Go ahead. Concentrate. You’re doing it! Now think about what you’re gonna wear tomorrow. Bam! You’re on the ground.

Yoga instructors speak a lot about staying in the present moment during one’s yoga practice. I’m usually pretty good with concentrating on my practice and have been trying recently to really focus on and experience each pose and not think about which pose I’ll be doing next.

The same can be said for life in general. One minute you’re changing diapers a hundred times a day and rocking babies to sleep, the next you’re taking down the crib and putting change tables into storage. As I watch my babies grow and the years roll by, I hope that I can remember often to, as with my yoga, really focus on the right now and truly experience the wonder of everyday life, today.

Ferris Bueller had it bang on when he said “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”.