A New Season

Looking through this blog, it may seem strange to you that there is such a gap between posts (mainly, the second half of 2013). There are several reasons for that, a few of which almost kept me from coming back to this blog at all.

  1. I started this blog as a distraction from the ‘boring parts of life’ – namely, my craptastic job. In that job, I used my ample down time to craft my blog and gain inspiration from others’ blogs. Highly productive! Just after this post, I quit my job and lost all that great time to blog during the day.
  2. A few weeks after I quit my job and started a new one that I actually cared about, I discovered I was pregnant. I considered blogging about the pregnancy, but I didn’t want this to be a pregnancy blog. Plus, that would have added one more thing to my ‘To Do’ list, which I was so not on top of (Pregnancy brain is real).
  3. I got tired of talking about myself. It bored me, to be honest. I’m still not sure how to keep this interesting, and it’s sometimes easier to let myself off the hook with the ‘who cares what you have to say anyway‘ mentality.

Given all of that, and other less important reasons, I stayed away. I put some thoughts on paper or in draft posts, but never got past that. So, here we are, nine months later. Not the best time for me to think I can go back to blogging, given the drastic life change I’m about to experience, but at least I can try – and it doesn’t have to be perfect.

p.s. I just went for a short run at 39 1/2 weeks pregnant – just to see if I could still do it. Major win! Looking forward to getting back in shape very soon.

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Self Help Title Here

April has been a hard month for me. Early on in the month, I realized that I wasn’t living very intentionally and that it was having a negative effect on my happiness and my body. I was overly stressed about little things that were unimportant and I was not truly enjoying the things that were beneficial or fun (like working out, reading or learning new things). So, I decided that it wasn’t ok to just limp through this part of my life or to be physically ill because of my stress level. I have many blessings and I should be joyful and positive and allow myself to fully experience life!

I’m sure some (or all) of you have been through this type of thing before. It really isn’t uncommon. But for me, it was just NOT ok. I forgot that we need to take care of ourselves mentally and spiritually, as well as physically. Because if you take great care of one part of yourself, but neglect the care of another, it WILL come back to haunt you. Physical symptoms of stress can be very painful and disruptive, and I have found that they are also stubborn and take a great deal of effort to ‘cure’. No one wants to live like that – that is for damn sure!

I’ve taken several very important steps toward being intentional with how I care for myself as well as how I spend my time, including reducing my stress level, increasing sleep, acupuncture, pursuing my interests and spending meaningful time with friends (among others). It took a solid two and a half weeks for me to start to feel ‘normal’ again after beginning this new journey of intentionality. I’m sure it will take many more weeks or months for it all to settle down, but I know now that I can’t let neglect of my inner self be part of my lifestyle any more. Happiness, but more importantly joy, are essential for a healthy and balanced life. It’s not all just eating right and exercising.

Ditching Fast Food for Real Food

I’m just gonna let you in on a little (not so) secret. I love food. Especially junk food. I used to be the kind of girl who would eat whatever I wanted without a thought as to what it would do to me. It made little difference to me what was in the food. Who cared about calories or chemicals or whatever? And don’t you dare try to take away my sugar! Isn’t it obvious that I love it?

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The truth is, I just never thought about why we eat food. I eat because I feel hungry – eating ANYTHING makes me not hungry – and it’s delicious. Simple, right? Well, unfortunately, no. Eating the ‘easy’ foods, like pizza, french fries and cookies actually does the opposite. Sure, I feel full for a while (and enjoy my temporary sugar high) but then something ludicrous happens – I get hungry again! Not just a little hungry, either – we’re talking WAY hungrier than I was before. Sound familiar?

That’s because as we fill the body with simple carbohydrates (a.k.a. sugar),  it produces more and more insulin to counteract all the sugar in the bloodstream (by storing it as FAT). Then, when the insulin has been pumped out in stupid high levels, ALL of the sugar is eventually re-distributed and there is nothing left in the bloodstream but insulin. Once there is no more sugar left from that awful meal we just ate a few hours ago, our body signals that we are – yep – hungry!

Blood sugar and insulin is only one of several reasons why we should all eat REAL FOOD vs. processed food. Bad food can also cause systemic inflammation, clogged arteries, hormone dysregulation, and can lead to auto-immune disorders, cancer, stroke, diabetes and a host of other illnesses. Don’t believe me? Read This or This.

For those of you who are more visual learners (or who just think I’m making this up) there is a brand new video designed to highlight why we should eat REAL food. I highly encourage you to watch and share with the people you love. Slim Is Simple.

Now, I eat to fuel my body. I eat veggies, meat, fruit, nuts and seeds – mostly in yummy combinations. When I work hard (see my post about Lifting Heavy), I splurge on high starch foods like potatoes or rice. I eat chocolate and drink wine and make grain-free low sugar baked goods. Hey, I never said I was perfect! But, I am thin, happy and healthy. What more could a girl ask for?

Bacon as a Food Group

So, I was surfing the blogosphere today (cause I have a lot of free time) and I came across this post about Bacon: Top 10 Foods Containing Bacon. Sometimes I forget that there are people who don’t live in a world where Bacon is its own food group. I mean, I was just in Germany where no discernible Bacon could be found (why is this, by the way, in a country whose main protein source is pig?), and somehow I had already fully recovered from that experience enough to be surprised that anyone would not feel the way I do about Bacon.

Here’s the thing about Bacon: It goes with everything. I mean, I was scrolling through the aforementioned blog post and I was like “yep, had that and that and, ooh – made that last week (without the toast) – that one looks delicious,  hmm, maybe I should try it!”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Bacon is my favorite food. If I had to choose between Bacon, Chocolate or Wine and could never have the others again I would probably stuff my face full of Bacon and down the bottle of wine before running off to my chocolate island to live out my days of Baconless existence. What I am saying is that Bacon IS the best and only food that doubles as its own food group.  Anyone who disagrees with that premise should just admit to being a closeted Vegetarian now and I’ll understand.

Now, as much as I like bacon in and on anything I eat, I do have standards. I do not eat bacon that came from a factory (unless I have to, like, because I’m at a restaurant). My favorite bacon comes from a farm that raises their pigs without antibiotics and butchers them by hand to produce a delicious, uncured, strip of fat. I’ll also go for some minimally processed stuff like TJ’s Free-range, nitrate-free, antibiotic-free deliciousness. Just not that crap from Giant or Safeway. Ugh. Way to ruin Bacon!

Pure Bacon

Pure Bacon (Credit: Wikipedia)

What the Blog?!

As I wrap up my first week of blogging, there are several things I have noted along the way. For those of you thinking of blogging, or just curious about it, here is what you shoulmedium_341429556d know:

1. People you don’t know will somehow find their way to your fledgling blog within minutes of a post and like it or even follow you(!) before you even tell your spouse.

2. When you tell your close friends and family about your new endeavor, it’s possible they might never look at it.

3. It’s all about tagging. If you post something without the proper tags, no one will see it, and then you’re just talking to yourself.

4. When that person you don’t know likes your blog, chances are that theirs’ is much more interesting than yours’, so take a look.

5. Nothing you say is stupid. Someone else said something dumber or less coherent 10 seconds earlier.

6. Blogging is for you, don’t do it for anyone else or you will be disappointed.

Photo credit: andyp uk via photopin cc