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January 21, 2011 / allyo

Life in the new year – physical well-being

We managed to steal away this weekend to visit friends who have recently moved back to Cleveland for a few years. Even though I’m crazy busy at both jobs with my big event and job one two weeks from yesterday AND two big grant deadlines for the other job two weeks from today I decided the hell with it – we all needed to get away for a little bit. MD was able to get 2 consecutive days off and joined us, although he came down with some crazy virus Saturday afternoon and spent a good 14 hours shivering and sweating under the covers.

It was a great visit for lots of reasons. I was able to release a little of the tension that’s been weighing down my shoulders (literally), it was great to see our friends who were too far away to drive to for the last 3 years and therefore, due to our financial situation, we have only been able to visit with once a year. We ate great food, hit one of my favorite places in Cleveland, the West Side market, went sledding both days, and got lots of sleep (well, not Jamie). The best part about the trip was the opportunity for self-reflection and discussion with my friend which fed the growing awareness that I have been seriously neglecting my physical health for quite some time. I haven’t exercised regularly since I lost my job last year as I lost my daily walking partner (and big downtown sidewalks to walk on). I’ve had serious, recurring heartburn for months but it goes away often enough that I keep telling myself that I can handle it. And lately I have’t been able to eat any form of dairy without other, equally serious, repercussions. Add to that the SAD that always hits me hard after the holidays and the aforementioned work stress? I’m a MESS.

True, we eat very little processed foods but we slide during the winter on everything else and a basically healthy diet isn’t always enough. My body has been trying to get my attention for some time now and I’ve finally started listening. Job one is around the corner from a whole paycheck store and I went on my lunch break on Tuesday determined to spend a little money on my well-being. By the end of the day I had culturelle and a 14 day supply of otc heartburn medicine, some steel cut oats for raw oatmeal, and a few other odds and ends. I’ve been starting the day with raw oatmeal* with almond milk and then a smoothie snack mid-morning. Sadly, we can’t run out and purchase a vitamix so we’re not having whole fruit smoothies every morning (seriously, whole apples turn into silk), but Jamie and I are having fruit and yogurt, sometimes slightly chunky, smoothies out of our blender daily. I wanted to buy some super green powder but selection of super greens were dizzying and confusing so I need to do some research before making that v. expensive leap.

It’s easy to forget just how bad I’m feeling from SAD, but after a weekend sledding out in the sunlight and going from practically bouncing around the house late Tuesday evening and to barely being able to get out of bed this morning I finally bit the bullet and bought a full-spectrum light this morning. So far I’ve spent $100 – a lot for us – on what I keep thinking of as just MY physical well-being but all of this will also make me a much nicer person to be around, so it’s good for my family as well. It’s hard for me to think that way sometimes.

Other areas that I need to tend to in the new year are my spiritual well-being and my attitude towards my living space, but those are for another day and another post.

*I’m doing it slightly different than in that link. I soak steel cut oats overnight then warm them in a saucepan with almond milk, a teeny pinch of kosher salt, cinnamon and honey. The woman who taught me how to do this says she usually uses whole oat groats but I am using steel cut for now.



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  1. LittleWit / Jan 21 2011 9:39 am

    Isn’t nice when a weekend is actually rejuvenating? I’m interested to hear how the full spectrum light works for you.

  2. Mystik Momma / Jan 21 2011 10:45 am

    Very happy to be a source of inspiration, even though I thought..”oh no! I didn’t mean to make anyone feel self conscious about their health!’ Lord knows I also need to get on the health wagon and get my butt moving too! I would love for 15 lbs to just melt away and to be making raw, super foods all the time. But it takes time and if I can make one healthy change a week or every two weeks, then I am at least starting to tackle the problem. Last night… gross take out pizza, followed by sugar cookies.. all this on top of an uneasy stomach… what WAS I thinking? Lazy that was what was going on. Very happy to be here and to grow with you as our friendship blossoms!

  3. Dawn / Jan 21 2011 8:07 pm

    I have to say, eating well is not something I can attest to much of the time. But I would go crazy without exercise. Really crazy so I make myself do it. It’s amazing how much better I can handle life’s stressors after a long walk or workout at the gym.

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