Archive | February, 2013

Being blessed

7 Feb

trainingI really believe that when you boldly declare an intention to the universe or to God or to whomever you are in the habit of declaring to (your mom?), the world will open up to invite you to experience more joy and abundance than you could have imagined.

Since sometime in 2010, I have been thinking about becoming a personal trainer. I’m sure it seems trite, but I was inspired by Jillian Michaels of the Biggest Loser. She yells and makes people cry, but she also helps them and changes their lives. I wanted to be that. I was also inspired by a personal trainer I worked with. I did a bit of research and attended a workshop but when I realized how much it would cost just to become certified (anywhere from $800 to $8000 depending on the route you choose), I decided I would need to wait a while.

Well, a while has passed, and it’s time for me to make a change.

Recently I have felt as though I were in the midst of a real midlife crisis. I’m 41, never married, and have no children. I graduated from college at the age of 36. I work two jobs and live in a studio apartment. There might not be a “traditional” path for women anymore, but if there is, I certainly didn’t follow it. I felt like I needed a change, but I had no idea what I wanted to be or do.

And then, with the help of a friend, I realized that I have always been most fulfilled in my life when I am helping people through my work. I am one of those Pollyanna people who thinks she can make a difference, and even if that difference is made simply by selling someone the right pair of running shoes so that they can be comfortable and free from injury and can learn to become a real runner… well, that’s enough for me.

So I’m taking a big leap of faith — a big, giant, scary leap. I am going to find a way to get my personal trainer certification, and on the way there, I may make other changes that are yet to be determined.

Now that I’ve made that declaration (I actually made it a week or so ago), the world has opened up for me. I’ve been blessed by people who have offered advice, support, and connections. The universe is saying, “Good job Wendi! You are moving in the right direction! What else can we do to help you?”

Life is good. I am blessed.

How can I bless you today?

 

Being cleansed

3 Feb

When I got sick in November, I immediately started researching foods that would help fight viruses (not kill them but keep them at bay) and that would also boost immunity. I knew that I was stuck with the virus forever, but I also knew that I could use food to help me live as healthfully as possible.

So I gave up (for the most part) gluten and refined sugars at that time. I also started eating a lot more green leafy vegetables, fruits, and grains. I was still stuck on caffeine, and admittedly I was still drinking sugary, high fat coffee drinks at least three days a week — and usually seven days. And once in a while, like after a long run, I would have something that violated my food rule, but I thought I felt better.

Then in January a friend and coworker suggested I do a cleanse with her, one that was led by Anna, a nutritionist my friend knows. The cleanse would mean giving up dairy (CHEESE!!) and caffeine for two or four weeks. After the cleanse was finished, I knew that I could go back to any of the things I had given up. In other words, I knew I didn’t have to do it forever!

I read Anna’s tips and learned how releasing my body from gluten, refined sugar, dairy, and caffeine would be beneficial. I printed some of her recipes and prepared to spend some big bucks at the grocery store in the organic produce section. And I gave all my cheese to one of my young friends.

Surprisingly, giving up caffeine wasn’t that difficult. I was eating a lot of quinoa, which it turns out can make you very nauseous if it isn’t rinsed thoroughly to remove the saponin (soap!) that covers it, so I was feeling sick at the same time I had the caffeine headache and it passed without me noticing much. I bought some Teeccino, a coffee-like beverage that’s made with grounded roast nuts, figs, and dates, and the warmth plus the flavor has been a welcome substitution.

I’ve been eating more beans (especially chickpeas) and ancient grains including quinoa, wild rice, and brown rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I found a recipe (thanks to my coworker!) on The Spunky Coconut (a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free blog) for Walnut & Coconut Porridge┬áthat I’m pretty sure I could live on solely if the need arose. I drink unsweetened almond milk and use canned coconut milk for recipes. As a sweetener, I use raw honey but only sparingly. I’ve also fallen in love with sweet potatoes and kale, believe it or not, and I use kale all the time it in stir frys and scrambled eggs.

The result? I’ve lost maybe 5 pounds (I don’t know what my weight was when I started, but some clothes fit that before did not!). I sleep like a baby most nights. I have plenty of energy and don’t get that afternoon sugar crash that I used to experience every day.

Yes, going out to eat or going on a coffee date is harder now, but cooking is fantastic. The money I save by not going to the coffee shop every day is being spent on healthy staple foods that last a long time. I’m discovering new recipes and experimenting with substitutions in old recipes. And I feel great!