#1465 Experimentation for inflammation

I did something pretty drastic today.

Drastic for me. Maybe for you too. Or maybe you have done it already.

Experimented.

But I went to the grocery shop, and I bought a number of items…

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Can you spot the similarities?

GLUTEN FREE.

Today’s buys are a weird one for me. Weird because I feel like, in one way, the purchases are a contradiction of my whole life up until this point.

All my life, food has been good. All of it. My parents came from nothing, and so when they came to Australia, hungry for a new life, a chance to start anew, their hunger also reigned in a very literal way…

Food. They had scarce amounts in the village where they lived, and once they were working, they made sure there was always food for sis and I.

They never had enough food growing up. Constantly hungry, wanting more.

Therefore, from their life in Australia going forward, growing up for sis and I, food was a friend. It was something we celebrated with.

Food was wealth. Food was happiness. Enjoyment of food then, was one of life’s greatest pleasures.

And it still is. Very much so for me, as those European values are an intrinsic part of my DNA.

But some things have changed… like us, and also, the food.

I’ve always been a fairly healthy eater, and I consider my diet to be moderately balanced.

But like I said, things change. Our bodies don’t respond to things as they used to. The food we eat has changed. Pesticides, modified crops, freezing… food ain’t what it used to be either.

And with all of that, also, my diet has slightly changed. Still good, still adequate…

But, I have an inkling, I could do better.

I want to see if I can do better. 

Therefore, my experiment.

Now I’m not all anti-gluten and WHEAT IS EVIL here. I’m not going to hold a pitchfork against anyone who eats a slice of bread in my presence, or shout at them for drinking normal milk in their latte. No. I am taking a really relaxed and structured approach, if there is such a thing…

Because it’s not that I’m anti dairy, or anti-gluten…

Rather I am pro-alkaline and pro anti-inflammatory.

This is where my curiosities lie.

I am trying to replace my regular gluten staples with the absence of it.

I am going to introduce smoothies, teas and drinks that fight inflammation or work to reduce it.

And slowly, SLOWLY start to experiment with new dishes that take all of this into account.

It’s actually a HUGE project. I was at risk of overwhelming myself the other day as I simply started pondering it… but I had to remind myself – “Slowly. One day at a time.”

“One dish at a time.”

I’m going out two nights this week… if I eat gluten then? Eh.

But on the days that I do, I’m going to up the green tea, smoothies and bone broths during the day.

I hate the word diet… this is more of an experimentation. I was talking to my sister the other day who was telling me things about keto that seemed to align and make sense with things I had already been looking into… and though I am not on the keto bandwagon, I am heavily interested in how all these different ways of eating differ, yet are starkly similar.

I also don’t like feeling restricted. I may or may not stop this after a few days. It might be too hard… one meal for me, another for Hubbie and baby girl… but the only thing I can do is TRY.

Food is not the enemy. It never has been.

Food is the healer. And it is now my test, to see HOW it can be so.

#1296 A new season of Self-care

Spring is the beginning of many things.

Growth. Renewal. Sunshine. Greenery.

It just so coincides with a decision I made only yesterday, on the first day of it, to do something new.

To look after myself.

I’ve been on a bit of a journey, a spiritual awakening of late. My normal awareness of mind, body and soul has skyrocketed to another level.

In turn, I come to the conclusion that, like my Mum always says “you are your own doctor.”

I am my own doctor.

We know, intuitively, what we need. No one else can really tell us that. Even if we do learn something from an ‘authority,’ really, something inside of us has been trying to tell us that all along… give us worldly signs… throw our body off-kilter so that we take notice…

Even, send us dreams.

There is always something there, something trying to get through.

It’s just whether we are allowing ourselves to listen or not.

I’m not going to do anything crazy. I just have a heightened awareness, and in order to nourish my body, in making mindful food choices and trying to be more active, I will also be doing things for my mind, and my soul.

Yoga.

Meditation.

Music – I find it so therapeutic, and I am actually going to be singing/dancing on my own for at least 5 minutes a day. TRUE STORY.

Laughter – nothing makes me happier than when I find a new comedian via youtube, and I sit there almost crying for about 5 minutes straight.

Nothing crazy. Nothing unattainable.

Most of it, free. 

I am going into this realistically. There are days I may not be able to do much on my list. I will forget and let go of those days.

Then there will be days that I smash it out of the park. Those are the days I will use as fuel to push me on and keep me going on my improvement pursuit.

Just tonight I sat down, for like 2 minutes because that is all I had, to do some yoga moves…

Baby girl found me.

And she saw the book I was working from, and wanted to do yoga too.

They actually do yoga in her class. I wish I was in prep again.

So I let her. Old me would have been slightly annoyed to have lost my ‘me time,’ but new SmikG said ‘let go’ and breathed in and out as deeply as I could.

Watching her do the ‘cat-cow’ as we both went on all fours, made me smile.

It threw me off my yoga focus… but I was laughing. Relaxed. Wasn’t that the point?

Yep. It sure is.

#1050 Where I’ve come – 35.4 stage

On this day, the 30th of December, I can’t help but reflecting on the year that has passed…

I have grown. I have changed.

I have felt extreme lows that have physically rocked me.

I have felt dizzying highs that have surrounded my head in iridescent clouds.

Combined this has led me to a balance of in-between. Of remaining hopelessly optimistic as I travel through life, yet also being anxiously cautious of any shocks that may spring up unannounced.

With the cyclical nature of life, I am still happy. I am grateful for what I have, today. Every time that I observe something good, I am so happy for it, because I know that like everything, nothing lasts forever.

This stark truth keeps me paranoid, but the glass half-full gal in me ignores it until the very last moment.

I have what I need. Sure there are things that I want… but I remind myself of the important things. Of Hubbie and Baby Girl. Their love, their health. There are challenging days, and sometimes even tears, but I think the laughter we share as a family trumps that all.

Next year has a lot in store. So many changes. So much uncertainty and confusion, yet there is excitement in the unknown.

All the possibilities… what will eventuate? What will proceed? I am not alone in my life upheavals, with Baby Girl and Hubbie going through changes of their own… growing up, moving on, and discovering life.

We never stop discovering life.

So I am content. I am content in this not-knowing. It keeps me on edge and primed for action.

I am grateful with what I have now. Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes not having the things that you want is because there is a greater plan for you.

We aren’t meant to know it all. Just, let it go.

In this moment, life is good. And for that, on this second last day of 2018, I am supremely grateful.

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Unsplash credit: Paola Chaaya

#1009 Smoothie season

It was time to get the blender out today.

I have been saying for months and months and months, that once our kitchen reno was done, I would be using my blender more. It was in a more accessible position, so therefore being able to reach it would make it easier, right?

(I also said I would post a before-and-after once the reno was done with, but the teeniest and tiniest of little kitchen jobs has prevented me from that – so stay tuned).

It appears, that anything, any task, no matter how big or small it is, requires the same amount of grunt to get you going.

I had to do a ‘special’ grocery shop.

Get things I didn’t normally buy.

I had to find time. (Ohhh, that precious commodity…)

I had to find a warm day…

And finally, finally, through my haphazard excuses yet also slight determination to get things going, I got the blender OUT!

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It appears that sometimes what we are lacking is, the desire to do something new. The desire to try something out of our comfort zone. We get too comfortable in our little corners of the world, and look for all manner of excuses to keep from stepping out into the middle of the room.

In my case, deciding to get off my arse and take the blender out.

But once you start! Well once you start, you are suddenly open to all the possibilities out there, of fresh smoothies and healthy drinks, they are all waiting for you, simply because you decided your comfort zone was a tad boring.

Because it is, let’s face it. It’s the same old… r e p e t i t i o n… day in and day out.

So today, I salute the smoothie. Here’s to a summery season of it.

Cheers!

#947 Aches be gone

Oh, it is the sweetest thing. You take your health for granted, and then life decides to suddenly heap some shit upon your head –

BOOM! and you wake up sore, with muscle aches, a pounding head, and an inability to focus… man do you wish for those days you wasted away while being healthy.

Something happened to me yesterday. Maybe it was Hubbie’s cold rubbing off on me far too late in the game. Maybe it was seasonal, what with Melbourne weather saying “now I’m hot… no I’m not! WINTER darlings!” Or maybe it was the kids birthday party I took baby girl to on the weekend… we all know kids means germs and God knows what.

But I had some kind of bug that luckily only lasted 24 hours… because today I woke better, rested, still with this kind of dull ache reminder in my head of what was, reminding me to take it easy, but still, FABULOUS compared to what was yesterday.

And I was sooo grateful for it. The health. The absence of soreness and achiness.

Here’s to the simplest and best things in life… being healthy 🙂

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Photo by Jony Ariadi on Unsplash

#923 The holiday bath

There is something that I haven’t yet indulged about our time away in Hobart over the last few days.

At one stage or another, we have ALL been sick.

Hubbie was the first. Or should I say, his nasally symptoms and hoarse throat, followed him interstate and over-seas.

Baby girl was second. On the day we were planning to go to the MONA museum, she began showing symptoms of an unwell state. Not eating. Lying down. Looking sleepy.

All of this right after waking up. This was not normal for her.

And though she was determined to jump onto the ferry, her symptoms overwhelmed her, and after falling asleep on a lounge at a MONA café after we walked all over the place, she then crashed even harder on the couch back at our accommodation.

I copped it today.

Or should I say, I progressed today. Because I have had the same annoying cough, incessantly beating its way up into my throat passages and forcing itself up, scratching my insides and thudding my lungs in the process, for about 3 weeks now.

I woke feeling weak, my throat was worse, and I felt absolutely wrecked and emotional.

It’s no surprise that we have all been sick, or been more worse off at one time or another, during this holiday out of all times.

We haven’t stopped. You know that phrase, you need a holiday from your holiday? That is totally US. Because we’re just go-go-go. We’re taking it all in, trying to sight-see and experience and involve ourselves in as much as Hobart and its surrounds has to offer.

All at the expense of our health. Because we have not had a chance to breathe.

Today we still went out and did things… but there was a distinct period in the late afternoon where we were just hanging out at our rental abode. We had deliberately cleared the schedule for this time, because it was needed, as much as the sight-seeing and walking and tours and driving and scenic lookouts were needed.

And then, after I cleared it with the boss –

I decided, I needed a bath.

The boss being, baby girl of course. I had to let her know where I was disappearing off to, because God help me if she didn’t know, she would walk around the place yelling “Mama!” and any serene water spell would be immediately disturbed and broken.

I put on my pouty lips and sad face when she first joked with me that I was not allowed to go. She wanted me, all to herself. I play-pretend cried, and suddenly my wish was granted.

I headed into the bathroom, filling up the water in the bathtub, at 4:30pm.

When I sat in the bath, I was just about submerged. I relaxed as the water enveloped me, tried to settle my mind, my thoughts, and my weary spirit, and breathed…

Hold on. It wasn’t at the perfect optimum temperature. I turned only the hot faucet on, watching the water trickle out slowly for a few more minutes.

I lay there all content and steamed up afterwards. Ahh, that’s better. Submerged in the extra heat of the water, I felt my skin tingling and blistering from the temperature, knowing that small clusters of red were forming all over my skin, creating the large framework of lobster that I endeavoured to look like every time I exited out of any shower/bath.

Because if I ain’t hot, well the shower/bath ain’t worth it.

Finally I was able to relax more. The bubbles which had been so in abundance when I first set in, dispersed into puddles of flat foam, swimming easily around the bath.

I closed my mind.

Drip drip drip.

The tap wasn’t turned off all the way, and the dropping of water interrupted my thoughts for only a moment.

My mind went to the past day, to where we were eating that night, to the next day, to our bird back at home… things I had to do, whether or not baby girl should go back to kinder on Monday… but at some point these rational thoughts ceased, replaced instead by things I had heard and seen in the last few days, street names and places, with characters I did not know, and it was all flowing together in swift disconnected cohesion, though none of it was actual reality.

My body, stilled.

I was starting to very lightly dream.

Drip drip drip.

The dripping of the tap brought me back to the present. I was here in this foreign bathtub, in another person’s bathroom, with sounds of Hubbie and baby girl floating on through from the rooms above me, while I lay there in the heat of the water, drifting away, in both physical and mental form.

I allowed my eyes to rest a few more times, but as the water began to cool, my eyes began to open more frequently. My body was now hot, the kind of hot that makes you all hazy and sleepy and cloudy in the head. I lay for ages, thinking how well they were doing without bothering me, until I heard Hubbie’s footsteps coming down the stairs. Then there was a knock on the door.

Since I had no time on me, I had asked him to tell me when 30 minutes was up. In fact, it was 5:20 – he had let me go way over.

I knew I had married him for a reason.

I was grateful for the time spent just being this afternoon. I was grateful that Hubbie had been kept busy with his extensive folk music collection online, and I was grateful that baby girl had been busy watching dolls on youtube.

Both of their ‘busy’s had allowed me to do NOTHING AT ALL. And it was exactly what the holiday ordered.

But the weird thing was, I could have done the exact same thing at home… and yet I had to fly 720 kilometres, just to be reminded of that fact.

Now I hope, I have reminded you too 🙂

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Photo by Holger Link on Unsplash

 

 

#724 No shopping at Chaddy day

Today, the fog was lifted.

I was physically able, and also desperately needed to escape the house walls (and the soon to be 30+ degree heat that would be upon us today) and so we escaped to Chadstone.

And though a good 5 hours or so was spent there, and I looked at things, and tried them on, and picked them up…

Hubbie bought A LOT of things…

yet I did not buy myself ONE.

And I couldn’t be happier.

The gift I received today was greater than anything I could have bought with any $$$. Because today I was better than I was yesterday, which honestly meant more than the world to me.

It’s funny how we take our health for granted, even going as far as to question how bad being sick is, when we aren’t in fact, sick? I know I ask myself that question sometimes, thinking ‘it ain’t that bad,’ or ‘I can get through it.’

I wanted to remove myself from my body yesterday, that’s how bad it was.

I’m not 100% yet, but I am far better than I was 24 hours ago. And that was the greatest present I could have ever received.

Sorry Chaddy. You lost out to something greater this time…