Is November truly about to be upon us?! I almost cannot believe how fast 2015 is going. It’s truly incredible!
How are you holding up, dear readers? The holiday time is decidedly upon us, and with U.S. Thanksgiving about to pop up, I am finding myself extra steeped in gratitude for friends, family, and my relative safety in this tumultuous world we live in . I think it is extremely important to slow down and marinate on the shit you feel good about this time of year, all the while remembering to recall that we are on some seriously stolen land here. To be real, I think Thanksgiving is a bit much with the way it pretends that its about how the pilgrims and Native Americans all sat down smily faced and shared some corn on the cob. Is it possible to hold the tension of gratitude for one’s current situation and acknowledgment of past injustice? I think so. At least I am going to give it a shot.
The below list is a categorized big ole hunk of Internet love. Most of these things were published in the month of October, but a few I was just a bit late to reading. No mind though! Great content is great content, regardless of when it is stumbled upon.
Health and Fitness:
Body image, self-esteem, and eating disorder recovery:
Holy shit, are things slowing down all around me. Summer is decidedly gone, and I’m sad about it, not gonna lie- but the fall produce is POPPING up here in Portland, and it’s absolutely soothing the burn of no more warmth. Today I want to give you a sneak peak into all the good stuff I’ve been eating!
This bowl of oats was positively fantastic. In addition to oatmeal, it included home made walnut milk, cinnamon seared apples, a hint of maple extract, pureed pumpkin, and peanut butter.
Let me tell you a little something about Pumpkin: right now, I absolutely have more than I even know what to do with. Let me explain:
By some amazing stroke of luck, one of the first new people I met in Portland happens to be a farmer. Not just any farmer, but one with an overabundance of produce and an under-abundance of time to cook up said produce. As soon as I figured out that this was this guy’s deal, I knew I had a trade in mind. He gives me veggies, I make him some servings of food from said veggies. I asked him what he might think of such a trade and when he responded by saying “This is perfect!” I nearly flipped my shit. Was I really about to be getting a fuckton of free vegetables just for portioning aside some of what I already made? Yes. Yes I was.
So this week, in addition to all the greens and onions and beets and carrots and the last of the summer corn, I got pumpkins. Not one pumpkin, or two pumpkins, or even three. I got five pumpkins.
I figured I better get to cooking.
These pumpkin pie chocolate thumbprint cookies were kind of a perfect pre-workout treat. I had formulated the recipe for KeVita (the post should go up sometime in November!) and I was struck by how tasty and wholesome they were, and how well they held together for something that was both vegan and gluten-free (Pumpkin makes an excellent binder, y’all). I ate one before my workout (with my new maybe-workout buddy! I am still seeking more of these if you like to olympic lift, powerlift, and get all around sweaty and stoked)
Post cookie, here was my workout:
5 sets of 2: snatch grip deadlifts + power snatch
5 sets of 1 complex: 2 military presses + 3 push presses
4 sets of 2: front squats with a three second pause at the bottom
10 seated box jumps
10 dumbell split squats (10 on each leg)
then the cardio!
400 meter row
4 sets of 5 front squats and 10 pull-ups
400 meter row
The whole thing took us about an hour and a half and when I was done I was truly READY for this recovery smoothie.
This mix included more walnut milk, Vega Sport vanilla protein powder, 1/2 a banana, ice, and- you guessed it- pumpkin.
After I threw the smoothie down my hatch it was time to do a little work. My main point of focus these days is putting the finishing touches on formulating my Reset and Restore program, which is a three week group class with a focus on vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free eating, mindfulness and meditation, movement, and feeling fucking awesome. In between recording some of the meditations I am sending people, formulating meal plans, making shopping lists, and researching mindfulness, I ate this soup (a french onion one, the recipe of which was actually formulated for Reset and Restore!) along with a slice of the best vegan gluten-free bread ever topped with a slice of melted Daiya swiss (vegan) cheese. It was p-re-tttt-y damn satisfying. (there are a couple of spots left in the Reset and Restore, too! Just sign up before Halloween)
For dinner, I made some seared purple cabbage, smoky tempeh crumbles, and a side of mashed pumpkin. I am kind of embarrassed by the constant occurance of pumpkin at this point, but fuck it- let me tell you what I capped my day off with.
A creamy, cinnamony pumpkin pudding. Another Reset and Restore recipe, and this one is a serious keeper.
By shaping my meals around the produce I am getting, I feel like I am both extremely well fed, and saving a TON of cash. That’s a recipe for one happy lady!
What have you been eating lately?
There is so much to be said about moving to a new place, but if I had to sum it up in one sentence it would be this:
That shit is challenging!
and then I’d inevitably add (You will miss your old routines! You will miss your old friends! You will miss even the shit that you didn’t actually like about the place that you are from!)
But! Challenge is growthful. And as comfortable as it can be to wallow in the I-feel-homesicks, I am taking this particular challenge as an opportunity to recommit to myself and my goal of having a cool life. Here’s how I am attacking the task:
I’m Seeking wisdom: Did you know that Andrew W.K is basically a modern day Buddha? I do not listen the music of Andrew WK (I hear he likes to party?) but somehow I discovered that he is on Twitter saying things that give me some serious pause on a very regular basis. (In fact, I am willing to say that Andrew WK is the only reason I am really on Twitter at all anymore, because how much can one typically get out of 140 characters? For me, the answer is generally a resounding “not much”.) Anyway: not so long ago Andrew took to the tweets to offer this bit of advice:
When I stop and think about it, I cannot agree with this sentiment enough, and this feels especially poignant when my life is in flux in ways that I cannot control. Sure, I chose to move, but the reality is that everything that happened from that moment on was kind of just not up to me. I can be stressed out about shifting my clientele to those in the Pacific Northwest, finding my new go-to coffee shop, and getting my workout in at a gym that isn’t my first gym love or I can look forward to the opportunities that these tasks present. I have a choice about my stress levels, despite my apparent obsession with routine, and I am making efforts to choose stoked.
I’m making lists: When my world gets chaotic, my immediate urge is to make lists of things I can do to fix or change the situation. At this point, I am taking a step back from that sort of list making, and instead making lists of leads I already have (or things I already have going on) that will make me feel better about my life as it is, right fucking now. I’m spending some time trying-to-feel-grateful-even-when-I-don’t-feel-grateful, and it turns out that all you have to do to cultivate gratitude is try a little bit. Even if your gratitude is a tiny kernel in a sea of I-feel-scared, if you focus on it- it will inevitably get bigger. Example: Last week I went to bed scared that I was experiencing some writers block, and I started to focus on the tools I’ve used to get back in the flow in the past. Today I woke up super inspired and ready to write. That’s a quick turn around for just a little bit of a focus shift!
I’m reading: When I am overly stressed or stuck my tendency is to try to work. One day, I had the realization that working when I’m stressed typically makes me feel…..well, more stressed. So I opened a book. Not a fitness theory book. Not a nutrition book. But a fucking funny book that made me laugh , because laughter was more of what I needed than research. After that I read a book on fighting sad feels, because no matter where I’m at or what I do, I will always have lower points. (I am, like, human after all), and then I read a zine, because there is something about the urgency of DIY publishing that feels really good on paper. (It occurs to me that it makes perfect sense that I have become a blogger in my adult years, because damn if I don’t love the immediacy of making something and immediately having it in the world. There truly is something to be said for holding a personal work in your hands, though.)
I’m nourishing myself awesomely: When I am feeling out of sync with the world around me I tend to get overly analytical, clenched and tight around many areas of my life. Because I come from a background of eating disorders, food is often, like, a thing I think about more rigidly when I am not feeling so hot. Luckily, I have skills around this (I do not accept the voice in my head that tells me that if I feel bad I need to eat less) and make sure to extra-extra listen to my body’s cues. When I’m hungry, I make a snack that feels rad. I don’t ask myself why I am hungry or if I should possibly not be hungry or ignore my hunger. I just eat. I deserve nourishment, too. Done and done.
I’m sitting the fuck down: A huge part of feeling like I am able to go where the universe takes me is letting go of the idea that I am in charge or can micromanage every little thing around me. I shouldn’t, I can’t and I won’t be in charge of all the minutiae of everyday life, and when I take a back seat to trying to control every single thing around me, I am just happier. It’s easier said than done, and unfortunately, whether or not it sounds appealing, oftentimes actually sitting down in meditation truly helps. Rats!
So! I know not everyone is moving towns, but seasons are changing, schools are starting, life is moving. How are you handling it? What tools do you use to deal?
If you are looking for a little support during this transitional/festivity filled pre-holiday time, I totally have a program for you! My three week class, Reset and Restore, starts on November 2nd and offers meal plans, a group coaching setting, meditation and movement prompts, and unbridled support. You should totally sign up!