There’s something aboout this time of year. As a person who notoriously hates *stuff*, I find myself mildly dismayed at how many things I just want now that December is here and everyone around me seems to be buy-buy-buying. Sometimes I think I want to fight the urge to get in the gift giving spirit, but this year I decided that instead of trying to convince my friends that seven pairs of underwear is the perfect amount to own (if you do laundry once a week) I will put a little energy into supporting businesses and artists that I think are cool. Is this me making lemonade out of my mental lemons? I think perhaps so!
Here are a few lovely things I’ve run across that I am certain at least one of your dear ones would adore.
- Any lingerie from Bluestockings Boutique. I am not a typically a lingerie type of femme (remember that whole seven pairs of underwear thing?) but I LOVED seeing all of these gorgeous things modeled by such an exciting gender spectrum of humans. A few of the bras are advertised as being specifically good choices for trans women (I believe because they are cut to fit broader shoulders) and I love that. The way the world is shifting to be more inclusive before my very eyes pleases me to no end. I might just buy my first fancy bra in celebration.
- This “no wrong way to have a body” tote by Rachele Cateyes makes me so SO happy. Rachele makes suuuuuper awesome work in general, and this is just one of many choices for body positive accessorizing!
- These Life Lessons Enamel Pins remind us of life’s little pleasures. I simply cannot resist.
- Um, a Thighs As Big as My Dreams Crewneck?! Yes fucking please and thankyouverymuch.
- Heidi Swanon’s cookbook, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel is simply gorgeous. In it, Heidi shares 125 recipes along with photographs inspired by her life and travels both near (Northern California) and far (Italy, Morocco, France, India, and Japan). Each page tells a new adventure, and the resulting recipes never fail to please.
- As a person who lives in close quarters with her partner, I know this I Need to be Alone door hanger would come in super handy. No matter how in love, its always nice to have a polite way to tell folks to leave you the heck alone, am I right?
- How many times have you shared a brainstorm sesh with a friend over a meal and reached for a scrap of paper to jot their brilliance down only to find gum wrappers and soiled paper towels? These Good Idea Napkins are a perfect solution to that age old problem.
- Because I hate stuff, especially wasteful stuff, I freaking LOVE a Titanium Spork. Yeah, I take it camping, but I also take it whenever I eat food on the run, because the thought of a plastic utensil in a landfill fills me with unicorn tears and broken hearts.
- Lastly, I can’t wait to proudly brag about my gainz with this Vegan Pizza Strong Tank. I received this one as a gift myself, and I couldn’t be more pleased!
Now, in case you prefer some good old fashioned reading recommendations to material gifts, here is my crop of November links!
Body Image, Self-esteem, and ED recovery:
Physical and Mental Health:
Just for Fun:
What’s on youuuuur Holiday wish list?
Yesterday morning my new room had the perfect lighting pre-run. I had to capture it, not only because I felt excited about what was ahead for the day (run, client meetings, lunch with my dude, recipe formulation) but also because these kinds of morning moments are very seriously when I feel my best. It’s super quiet in the AM hours around my house, and as I tinker with my coffee and my water and my pre-workout getting ready routine I am more often than not super stoked. It seemed worth noticing.
A lot has been going on lately, like some seriously beautiful and epic shit. As I mentioned, I have moved into a new room in my Oakland house, and for the first time in the entire four years of dating Kett, we are sharing a room space. (We have lived in the same quarters for the entirety of our relationship, but never the same room). The room is giant, so spacious in fact that I have more room for my things than I did when I lived in the shack. I still don’t have very much stuff and definitely don’t mind living tiny, but it is kind of nice to spread out a bit more, to have wifi in my room, and to never wake up in the middle of night dreading the reality that I have to go to the bathroom.
It has been an adjustment to share a room, because just logistically, I go to bed at ten and wake up at six 99% of the time. Kett is much more likely to stay up until 3am and sleep until noon. Both of us are having to figure out how to navigate our different schedules while being in the space and its interesting to watch our communication grow and deepen with the process. I am happy to be marrying this dude! (Even when he wants to watch YouTube videos about Scientology when I am trying to sleep).
When I turned 31 this year, I promised myself that this would be the year I was in a punk band.
I’ve wanted to make punk music since I was 14 years old, discovered veganism through hardcore bands, and spent hours and hours on Greyhound busses and as the passenger in my friend’s cars so that I could watch bands scream about it. I am not musically inclined instrumentally, but I’ve always had the fantasy that I could frontline a screamy band and call it a day. It took more than half of my life to make the fantasy a reality, but luckily this is the year that I finally swallowed the nay-sayer inside and kicked it with a microphone.
First, I did both guest vocals and some song writing for my friends in the band Yearbooks. My vocals are on song one of the linked album, and my friend Brian and I wrote the lyrics together. Because I think they’re relevant to this blog’s content, I will include them here.
Wake up to a whisper, a voice invades my head
Shake it off, I move it away
Turn the other cheek, wake up to a thought
Full of dread, I draw it close
Look in the mirror – Stare in the mirror
Tell myself, Again and again and again
How can I say it so that it sinks in?
How many times should I say it ’til it really sinks in?
No one stares as hard as me
No one says what I have said
No one is as mean as me
No one scars me as deep as me
This plague my companion – feeds and starves the voice
takes away from me- gives me nothing
What will it take to suffocate
this vicious voice that lies inside of me?
How can I be sure?
remember to recall
how can I move past
“my body is so wrong”
My body is not wrong
My body can’t be wrong
(I feel) like my body is so wrong
My body cannot
really be this wrong.
HEAVY, RIGHT? Despite the bleak tone, writing this song was really empowering and good for me, and knowing that my male friend deals with the same dark shit that I have was extremely illuminating. The negative messages that we as HUMANS get about our bodies creep all over everyone. There is still work to be done, and as a body positive health and wellness coach, I am excited to do it.
Moving on, I also did some guest vocals all over this Anopheli album, which has totally blown my mind. The talent of these musicians is ridiculous, and my vocals sound like an evil witch. As you may imagine, I am INTO IT.
I know that both of these bands will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s cool! I feel that it is important to note that although I am all : “food! fitness! recovery! veganism! hooray!” I also have other worthwhile things going on now and again. It is worthwhile for folks to acknowledge the full breadth of their personalities, myself included. (I would be lying if I said I wasn’t narrowly focused at times).
I was on the radio last week! One of my awesome clients introduced me to Keith Langhorn, host of the show Food for Thought on KNSJ. Food for Thought focuses on food (duh!) and I love the fun and lighthearted tone of the broadcasts. In this show we talk about fitness, recovery, farmer’s markers, anti-inflammatory foods and more. You can totally listen to that here:
What have you been up to!?
I’ve been having some serious craving lately, and they’ve been stressing me out.
Craving a new home. Craving a new town. Craving more leisure, and less leisure and more work and less work. Craving more space. Craving more social time, craving more time to be creative. Craving fucking peanut butter, because if there is going to be a food that I daydream about, its going to be gooey and pair well with everything from carrots to chocolate.
MMM, peanut butter.
But I digress.
I have noticed these cravings arise, and they almost surprise me with their velocity. All in all, my life is prettttty cool. I love Oakland, with its incessant 70 degree days and vegan coffee shop, and a recording studio for my podcast, and a trade-procured membership at the best gym ever. I love the neighborhood that I live in and I love my proximity to the friends I have here, and I love my job. I love large voluminous salads with produce all grown in my general region and picked that day.
But still, I fantasize about the desert and living someplace where I don’t know many people and can just write my book and formulate recipes. I fantasize about clearing my work plate entirely to focus for a year. I finish my salad and my spoon finds its way to the peanut butter jar. I notice these things and try not to be too bummed, because shit, its easy to want a different location, and more time, and richer food.
In the last couple of weeks I kept wondering what my job was. Not like my employment job, but my why-I’m-on-Earth job. I was torn between the constant battle of wanting to achieve more and wanting to enjoy more.
I love both feelings, but I don’t necessarily think one is synonymous with the other.
This morning, I left my alarm off (a true luxury) and let myself wake up whenever I happened to (6:08AM, for the record.) I pulled on my running shorts, laced up my shoes, headed out the door, and took my first running steps. As my pace picked up, I found myself thinkng:
My job is to stand in my power. My in-the-moment power.
My job is to find the response between stimulus and action. It could be the moment before I choose to feel frustrated about the administrative or mathematical sides of being self-employed. It could be right after my brain says “ITS PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!”
Standing in my strength, to me, means the acknowledgement that I not only have the power to make positive and negative choices, but also that I have the power to enjoy my life or not. When I say “I wanted to do XYZ (let’s say XYZ is write) but instead I did ABC (cruised Facebook) because I juuuust couldn’t help it and now I feel terrible about my action”, well- that just downplays the fact that I am the one that chooses the things that I do and also that my choices help me to live a life of agency.
I get to choose what I do and how I feel about how I spend my time. This is a privilege that not everyone has, and I don’t want to give it away to craving.
If you are able, (like not in the face of horrible police brutality in Baltimore, or horrific natural disaster in Nepal, or not experiencing a similarly disempowering situation) I think its wise to OWN your life, in a serious capacity. Standing in your strength is the crux of that.
I just got home from my run, and now I’m asking myself : what would I crave, that I already have, if I didn’t have it? What can I appreciate and focus on right now?
And then, I’m challenging myself and I’m challenging you:
How can I hold on to what I appreciate?
What can I do to constantly find my strength, and what will I decide to do with it once I do?