Saturday, May 29, 2010

Crushin' on Mandela

Each person we meet, we meet for a reason. Everyone is sent to us to teach some sort of lesson. I believe in that very deeply, and do my best to sort out the lessons often packaged in heartache, frustration, and more importantly joy.

Today, I got to meet Tosca Reno. This woman is UNREAL. She is by far my inspiration for eating clean (her books). After hearing her speak, it made me think of other inspirational people I have known or have come to know their words. It brought me to my Gramma Joan...

My Gramma Joan, who was an unbelievably amazing person, had a crush on Nelson Mandela. She was a peace activist for decades, and I know she loved him for a combination of his determination to create a better world and also for his charisma.

I found it very strange that roughly a year after her death, I was creeping around facebook when I came across a Madela quote. It was dark, but something about it spoke to me. It was two days later, when I discovered this person had taken just the first three lines of a quotation that will stay in my spirit for the rest of my life. I was laying out my mat for my very first hot yoga class, when I turned around to see a wall hanging with the entire quote written on it.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
- Nelson Mandela

Every time I read this, something different stands out. Just as nutrition, exercise, and for me at this point, medication, helps you to become the exact person you are supposed to be, connection to a bigger being is just as important.

Bigger being doesn't always mean God, or the Universe or whatever you choose to call it. Bigger thinkers, bigger risk-takers, bigger lovers, bigger anything. When we choose to make a connection with something BIGGER than our immediate person, it nourishes us to become bigger too.

My Gramma Joan was a big person, in many ways. She always let her light shine, and I am trying my best to do the same.

Is it your own light you fear?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Do it up.

Today was a food day. My clean eats were washed, chopped, rinsed, boiled, ground and measured to make sure this coming week is epic. Great food makes for a great week, and who wouldn't want that?

My counter was filled with fresh veggies cut and sliced for convience (3 jobs makes grab and go a MUST), some fresh strawberries for my oatmeal (cooked for a few days in advance!), protein and fibre filled mixed beans measured out in snack sizes, along with some low-fat dairy for more delicious protein options.

I am a creature of habit. I am my mother's daughter. Organize and control are the words that keep me on track, and with Tosca Reno's amazing tips on getting yourself organized for the week ahead, it leaves very little room for slip ups.

I am off for my first bridge run in quite some time. My partner in crime is still not quite in A-form for such an adventure. I cannot wait for him to be back to keeping pace with me. Heist will be getting his very own blog entry soon, because he really is the reason I am on the path I am.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Great Food + Lots of Action = One Happy Person

I had the first meltdown I've had since starting my medication. These overflows of pent up energy just started in this past year, with more strength than I have ever experienced. The energy is physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. The force of its expulsion is something one cannot control. I do not like these meltdowns. The lead up to them also hurts other people. No one deserves to experience me like that.

I think I know why it happened though, and that gives me hope and knowledge. And we all know that knowledge is power.

In the two days prior to the "meltdown" I didn't put a single clean food choice in my mouth. I didn't push myself to get rid of any excess physical energy. I had had some sort of bug upset my stomach fiercely, and left me without the ability to want to eat anything or get outside. And man oh man, did I see what an impact that had on my mood.

The power is now in my hands. The simple equation to keep my balanced is being kind to my body. Eating clean, burning off energy, chanllenging my thinking, and loving others will help keep me being a happy person.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I think he's instant oatmeal...

After a long discussion, I feared he was white bread. The addictive poison that leaves you a wreck after you've given in. Satisfying in the moment of binging, driving your blood sugar higher and higher; only to leave you to crash a short time later. You know exactly the situation you'll have on your hands once you've finished it. Discomfort. Puffiness. Low mood. Nothing good. But some how, the baguette often wins out. I was afraid that that was who he was too. Oh so tempting, but full of nothing that would nourish me into a better person.

But that wasn't it. You truly cannot defend white bread. It's a waste of money buying it, a waste of time preparing it, and a waste of calories eating it. He's got something good...but a far cry from steel cut oats.

Steel cut oats. Among the best ways to fuel your body. Fibre, complex carbs, some protein. Throw in flax, chia, blueberries, and protein, you've got yourself the best damn thing to happen to your day. In the beginning, he was steel cut oats, with all the amazing additives. But who isn't in the beginning, right? He seemed to be just what I needed. Intelligence, humour, goals, and a touch of weirdness. The best damn thing to happen to my day.

But no, he wasn't steel cut oats. No one is ever that perfect. But he wasn't white bread either. There was still that underlying goodness of the oats. The fibre, the complex carbs, protein. But with an added 13 grams of sugar that didn't give you any vitamins or extra fibre that would help you get where you wanted to be in the end. Everyone's favourite Maple and Brown Sugar instant oatmeal. Not TOO bad, but quick, easy, and a little sugar high. It was possible to see the relationship would enter into a safe habit, replacing the steel cut oats because of convenience and the little high the sugar gave me. Instant oats can get you close to your ultimate wants, but never get you there. Right now, he's instant oatmeal.

My challenge to anyone who reads this is find your instant oatmeal person. Find out what you can do to change your relationship with them. It may just make them a bowl of steel cut oats, with all the good stuff, one day.