11.26.2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello all and Happy Thanksgiving! The neighbor's deer has been dressed up for weeks ready to celebrate.

I love Thanksgiving with all it's comfort food and getting to hang with family. It also means Pomegranate Jelly making will happen soon with my Mom!

This morning on my way to take a free yoga class at Ekam Yoga in Newport Beach (Thanks Ekam!), I was thinking of all the things I am Thankful for and the list didn't have an end. I wanted to say that I was lucky or blessed, but I think the truth is it all has to do with perspective. I chose to be grateful and Thankful and that has made my life blessed.

Have a safe and happy holiday! I hope you too have a never ending list of things to be Thankful for.

11.22.2015

Coming soon: Anza Borrego and the Salten Sea

Friends! I am just returning from a weekend trip exploring the Salten Sea and Anza Borrego. I hope to have the full adventure posted before Thanksgiving! Stay tuned.....

Here it is!
Anza Borrego and the Salten Sea

11.15.2015

Mindful Eating

When the student is ready the Teacher will appear. -The Buddha

I just finished an intensive 200 hour yoga teacher training.  Well, intensive for me.  I spent thirteen hours Saturday - Monday attending training and then needed to attend at least four yoga classes a week and complete all my homework.  I felt like I used to do a better job at this crazy juggling but maybe I didn’t.  
 
When I was in graduate school (the first time) I was able to balance work and school.  Work did not require that much intelligence, so my brain could focus on graduate school. I remember listening to lectures while running and always studying.  I lived close to work so I was able to go home and start studying right away.  T was working nights so I had the house to myself and was able to graduate in a year and a half.  I worked really hard to have my degree and was able to be eligible for the job I currently have.

Graduate school the second time was harder in a way but I still survived.  This time I was in a cohort and each term we took two classes together for a course of two years.  By then I had figured out graduate school and knew the formula of earning a passing grade.  In graduate school you need to maintain a pretty high GPA, but professors outline how you need to do that in their classes and I was pretty good at following directions. Additionally this program wanted the thesis project to be something related to work and I was able to create something that we still use today.  The harder part of this was that now I had a commute each day that was digging into my study time.  I realized very quickly that I was going to need to really focus on school and told my family to call me at Christmas.  My social life was on hold for two years, but I made it out.

Since that time a lot of things have changed in my life.  Or as my Dad would say, they have “evolved”.  And not in a bad way.  I have started teaching classes at work.  T and I found the Eastern Sierra and I started snowboarding.  I have done the Whole30 a few times and am very aware of food and how it makes me feel.  Half marathon training has been stepped up.  My sisters both live near me now and I see my Mom at least once a month for Daughter Supported Agriculture (DSA).  T tells me my life is too scheduled and compared to him it is, but it seems to be the only way I can keep balanced.  This 200 hour yoga training upset my balance and I really noticed it with my eating.

Ironic right?  That yoga training upset my balance.  I laugh a little when I think of it.  But it did.  In a big way.  I couldn’t seem to balance everything.  I work ten hour days and have a commute that can take about an hour each way.  I usually have Fridays off, but ended up working a lot of them during training.  I was studying and doing homework for teacher training, not sleeping as much, and one day noticed that all I had eaten for the last two days were powerbars.  Not good.  This happened to be the week we were talking about the “Subtle Body” in yoga and the Chakras.  I think of this as the hippie part of yoga, (not a bad thing!) just a little more mind expanding.  There was a lot of sharing during this class and I had this moment when I realized I had an awful relationship with food.  If I was not doing something where I really focussed on what was going in my body, like the Whole30, then I was
1. Not feeding my body. Or
2. Eating power bars for two days.  

It really was a shocking thought as I love food so much.  Correction, I love eating so much.  And maybe that was the problem.  
Food is fuel not therapy

Leaving class that day I was in my head a lot thinking about this topic.  There were a lot of thought that surfaced and uncomfortable things I didn’t really want to deal with.  I started writing this blog post weeks ago but have only recently been able to able to finish it.  

The answer is Mindful Eating.

I must be mindful about what I eat.  I must be mindful about eating.  I must be hyper aware of the foods around me and make a choice if I am going to eat it or not. As I realized these things, my mind told me eating was not going to be as much fun.  But my body was trying to tell me that I would be healthier and feel better.  

Mindful Eating.  It is going to be a battle for me.  For the rest of my life.  

It will be hard but I think this understanding is the first step.  Mindful eating means more than what I put in my mouth.  It is also about when I eat and what I meal-prep for myself.
A goal without a plan is just a wish

I hate to be that person who has strange dietary restrictions so I hope to be that person who eats before going out so I can eat less of the things that don’t serve me and be mindful in that way.  

Yoga Training graduation is today and I am grateful for all I learned.  Half marathon training starts tomorrow and mindful eating starts now.  

If you have any suggestions about how to be Mindful about Eating, please let me know in the comments.  The journey will be long, but worth it. At least I hope it will be....

-elizabeth

11.07.2015

Shopping Local

The other day in the grocery store I was on my way out when I saw the (cute) guy who works in the produce department.  I was thinking about Thanksgiving in my head and all of a sudden wondered if they had persimmons.  I walked over and asked and he said they did have persimmons but they were the acorn ones.  I asked if he was going to get any of the flat pesimmons and he said he would order some for me and they should be there in two days.

On my walk home (yes I can walk to my local grocery store!) I started to think how lucky I was to live so close to a grocery store and especially one that had such a great produce department.  T came home from the store a few months ago and said look what the produce guy gave me!  T had asked him if the apricots were any good and the guy gave him some to try for free.  This happened to me a few weeks ago when I was looking at something and he asked me if I needed help.  I asked him what I was looking at and what it tasted like and he gave me some to take home and try.

On my walk home I realized that since this store has opened up I have slowly stopped going to Farmer's Markets.  There were a combination of things that happened that contributed to this such as the market I liked switching locations, the prices going up, and the markets being really crowded even when I got their early.  I also have gotten really busy and find myself going to the store a few times a week to get things I am in the mood for.  This coupled with the fact that some weekends it was really hard to get to a Farmer's Market has slowed my market visits to once every few months.

And it turns out I am getting really good produce locally at my Huntington Beach Ralphs.  There is a big organic section and items are marked "I'm Local" if they are from close by.  Seasonal items are always the cheapest and those items I used to only find at the Farmer's Market are showing up in the produce section.

I think I will continue to stop by the Farmer's Market every two months or so to stay in the loop and see if I want to go back to getting the majority of my produce there, but I have to say, if my local store keeps up the good work, I will just be walking there.

-elizabeth