Tag: health & wellness

Food for Fun – Day #10

Food for Fun – Day #10

Durham BullsToday I woke up more clear-headed than I have in centuries! The ebb and flow of anxiety and depression has become less severe. I feel fatigued at times if I try to do too much, or don’t keep my food intake up. While all is not perfect, I am feeling better and better each day. In fact, I felt so much better last night I had an overwhelming desire to go to Tutti Fruiti’s for a big cup of frozen yogurt to celebrate! How else does one celebrate….anything!

Food as a form of celebration, fun, reward, and relaxation is deeply ingrained in my body, mind and spirit. My husband and I always plan where we will eat whenever we do anything for enjoyment. It’s part of the outing.

He loves to cook and loves to eat and his favorite pastime is planning our meals, in or out. Whether it’s a picnic on a trip or going out to a nice restaurant, it’s a central focus. Fortunately, we eat fairly well most of the time and our finances have never allowed us to indulge in dining out on a regular basis, but a change in perspective will have to be made for me to hold fast to this new lifestyle.

Finding ways to enjoy time together, without food as a significant part of the experience, will be a challenge. Every year we go to opening night at the Durham Bull’s. It’s coming up in a couple of weeks, and while the game and ambiance is always enjoyable, ballpark food is part of the fun. It’s something we only do once or twice a year. Much of it I could do with out, and usually do, but there are a few items….well, I’m just going to miss. I do not want to slip into deprivation mode on such occasions, especially if my husband chooses to indulge.

Scott has been cooking up a storm for me and helping in every way he can. Still, I know he is struggling with deprivation. He wants to support me, but he wants his pasta! I keep telling him to cook and eat what he wants, and I will take care of me, but I think he’s trying to eat healthier, and for the moment is sticking with it .  It’s made cooking more challenging for him,  allowing for fewer opportunities for creative expression.

These are all things to sort out and it will take time to do so.  Change is never easy. Even if it’s entirely worth it!

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go

Day #7 – The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection

Day #8 & #9 – A Word About Trauma

Day #10 – Food for Fun

We All Need Support

Holistic Detoxification Process

Along the Path of Healing

The Morning After the Night Before – Day #2

The Morning After the Night Before – Day #2

Tiffanie At White Sands by Woodie Duncan
Tiffanie At White Sands by Woodie Duncan

Nobody should have to drink swamp water first thing in the morning. I just have to get that off my chest. Even if it tastes sorta okay, really that’s a stretch, I feel more like a frog than a human being. It just isn’t natural! Give me spinach and lettuce  if you have to, but icky green water? No thanks!

I made it through Day #1. My only cheat was coffee with a splash of fat-free half and half. I started Day #2 the same, so now that my confession is complete here’s what I’m discovering.

It was both easy and hard. Easier than I expected, hard because it took work, focus and argh discipline. When I went to bed, after a cup of home-made vegetable beef soup and two Tylenol, I thought there’s no way in hell I can keep this up. I have to admit, however, I was proud of myself…a little.

The most valuable tool that I used throughout the day was something I’ve been practicing for some time: mindfulness, staying in the moment. When my mind wanted to jump ahead to dreading my next meal, or lack thereof, I brought it back to the moment. Just now. Be here. When you are here, you can’t wallow in self-pity or despair over what could have been or  might never be. I will, can, and do drink the swamp water  in this moment. That’s it. That’s my only thought, and then it’s done, and I can go back to writing.

I have an intellectual awareness that food = comfort, and have paid lip service to how it’s impacted my life, but yesterday, I began to explore the connection in a deeper, more personal way. First, there is almost nothing on this diet that offers me comfort, except for the sweet potato that I had at 3:00.

Comfort is an illusive thing and often, it is not even clear what need we are trying to meet. Yesterday, I realized that I have a powerful need for security. It’s stronger now perhaps  than it was in the past, as I have come to  a place where I have almost none of the typical types of security, such as a steady job, certain income or a husband with same. I do not have the external structures I once had, such as kids to raise, parents to care for, or again a job outside of the home.

Over the last several years since the accident I unconsciously created a meal regimen that offered me structure, security and comfort all in one. I found healthy foods that I enjoyed for breakfast and lunch and that’s what I ate…every day. Eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, fruit/yogurt/nuts for lunch. Dinner was whatever my husband fixed, and as I’m not a fan of dinner, it was simply a meal at a structured time that filled my stomach.  I moved on with enjoyment, however, to a cup or two of decaf coffee with flavored cream and later a bowl of cereal and/or a low-fat fudge pop. All of this comfort food, albeit healthy to some extent,  is not on my food list now.

The absence of the opportunity to find structure, security and comfort at meal time and beyond is forcing me to look at new ways to fill this need. Interestingly enough, today I was eager to write down my foods, take my supplements and write this blog. Ah, structure, of a different sort. Security can be found in participating in planned, creative or functional tasks. It’s only the beginning.

I had very dark, vivid and ominous dreams. It must be my “rebellious liver”! I’m always amazed at the creativity of the psyche. If I could have recorded my dream, it would have made an awesome horror flick. Where does all that stuff come from???

Before I end I have to say a word about my husband, Scott. I would not be honest if I did not say that we have had our difficulties during our thirty-two years of marriage, so those of you who are single, please don’t assume as I did when I was single that it is an easier or better life, because it is not. It is different. It presents its own opportunities for growth or avoidance of growth. Single or coupled, in the end we must always face ourselves. Perhaps being single offers one a better opportunity for an authentic life as one is forced more readily to face oneself,  but I digress.

Scott has supported me in every endeavor I have ever decided to undertake. He never questions my choices, criticizes my madness, or stands in the way of my valiant attempts to be me. In fact, he almost always jumps right in and participates in whatever way he can. When I opened Baby’s Best, my used baby furniture store, and I was 7 months pregnant, he was right there beside me,  hauling furniture, putting up shelves, and keeping an eye on our then three-year old son. When I said, “Let’s move to Virginia”, he rented and packed the truck while I sold the house. When I said, “Let’s buy a fixer upper”, he was right there, knocking down walls, laying flooring, and installing appliances while

Breakfast Day #2

I painted and painted and painted. When I decided to sell jeans on eBay, he bought and assembled shelving and helped me turn one of our spare bedrooms into a warehouse. That’s just the short list. Now, as I attempt to modify my health, he is right there with me, unceremoniously preparing meals for me like the one in the picture (my breakfast). After a hard day of work he made a luscious meal of salmon and veggies and a pot of soup. Already, on Day #2 I can see how instrumental he is, and will continue to be in my  success with this program. Thank you, friend and soul mate. You’re the best.

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go

Day #7 – The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection

I’m A Coward – Day #1

I’m A Coward – Day #1

scared-catI may as well admit it right up front. When push comes to shove I’d much prefer to hide under the covers. The evidence is right here on this blog that I started in January. It’s now March. So much for “manifesting me”! Here’s what happened.

I wrote the poem, posted my first quote and was somehow, immediately and without a care in the world (ha!) swept away by my new quote site. My creative genius friend caught wind of what I was doing and between the two of us, spinning in the ever-widening circles of our imaginations, created a tempest in a teapot!

Now, I’m back here, two months later, taking another stab at “manifesting me”. I am beginning a new project on a new day. That one is over there somewhere doing it’s thing and I will continue to work away on it, but….is it me? No, not really. In fact, it’s an extreme example of what I swore off when I started this blog…curating! You see, in my soul I’m a coward. Afraid to be me. Afraid to live an authentic life. I much prefer to hide under the cover of other people’s brilliance. Here, I will not do that.

Today is another new beginning. Another attempt to stick my head out of my hiding place and pull from inside of me what lies hidden there. I am taking another step in my healing and wholeness project, that began in earnest after my car accident. Today, I am embarking upon the healing of the body piece.  It begins with a 14 day “cleanse”.

How I hate all of this modern-day crap! Seriously. Not that the idea of ridding my body of all the icky stuff that shouldn’t be there, and I can tell by looking in the mirror that there’s an awful lot of it, it’s just  that the idea of anything radical involving my body has me shaking in my boots. I’ve had far too many experiences with radical physical change and suffering in my life to think that it could ever be good. I like things to remain in some sort of status quo, even if not perfect. Sadly, my intellect disagrees.

As I sat in Crystal’s office yesterday, passively nodding and shaking my head as she knowingly described the state of my “Rebellious Liver” (among other things) and spelled out every gory detail of her proposed Wellness Strategy for me, I thought I was game. After all I felt like bloody hell. It was time to take this step.

I’ve done a ton of psycho/spiritual work, but apart from chiropractic adjustments and massage, the body part of the mind/body/soul connection is clearly still out in left field.  I know it’s time.  I left her office with two bags of supplements and a notebook of information, schedules, protocols and fill-in the blank daily record sheets. I was ready to begin, not the least bit excited about the prospect, but determined to put one foot in front of the other. When I left her office I was more focused on when and how I’d fit in my last ice cream binge. I would start tomorrow.

Well, today is tomorrow. I did have my hot fudge sundae after my hamburger and french fries dinner last night, but I can’t say I enjoyed it. After last week’s mega stressors (husband’s car accident, nature’s tree pruning) my body has fallen back into full-blown PTSD mode. Which means that my digestion has pretty much stopped. Not a good feeling. I worked hard to convince myself that I was enjoying my last splurge in a gallant effort to motivate and prepare myself for today.

When I woke up this morning, however,  everything in me said, NO! Can’t do it. Don’t want to do it. The only structure I have in my life right now is my morning coffee, my fruit and yogurt for lunch and my after dinner decaf with flavored cream. She wants me to give up ALL OF IT! “Hell no” were the only two words that played in my mind throughout the early morning hours before I was quite awake.

When Scott met me at the bathroom door with a steaming hot cup of coffee at daybreak, I grabbed it. (Sorry, Crystal!)  I sipped and savored it  with much more enjoyment than usual. As I did, I began to formulate a plan. I’d follow some of the protocol. I’d work up to it, a little bit at a time. That makes much more sense! After all it can’t be good to shock the system with all that healthy stuff all at once! My body might shut down entirely! It wouldn’t know what to do!

photo (24)I put off breakfast as long as possible. I changed my routine and walked Rowdy first. When I returned I put the water on to boil for a soft-boiled egg. This morning it would be minus the toast and plus the gacky green stuff mixed with water. Okay, I’ll see if I can get through the breakfast menu.

I ate the egg first, sprinkled with a little salt. This was food I recognized and understood. My stomach needed a layer of normalcy before I put all the “natural stuff” in it. Once consumed I knew it was time. I blocked as many of my senses as I could (mentally at least) and mixed up the green stuff. (The manufacturers have the nerve to label the container “PERFECT FOOD”! Certainly not my idea of perfect food…and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t God’s notion when he created our lovely green earth and all its frozen yogurt shops.)

I took a deep breath of courage and did my very best to bypass all of my senses as I swallowed and guzzled as much of it as I could, as fast as I could, before my body knew what hit it. Good? Hell, no! Disgusting? eh, manageable. I’m two-thirds of the way through the concoction as we speak, and I’ve taken all of my prescribed supplements. So far I’m still standing. But, that was just breakfast! Oi!

This insanity is designed to give me energy, to help my body cope with the effects of PTSD and too many years of stress, and basically just to feel better.  I’m pretty sure I can’t keep going on the way I was.  So here goes. Hopefully I’ll be back again tomorrow with an update.

Dorothy Sander 3/12/14

Day #1 – I’m a Coward

Day #2 – The Morning after the Night Before

Day #3 – There are No Words

Day #4 – Coming Full Circle

Day #5 & #6 – Hyped Up and Nowhere to Go

Day #7 – The Body, Mind, Spirit Connection