2012: learn the unforced rhythms of grace









Are you tired?

Worn out?

Burned out on religion?

Come to me.

Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

– Christ (from Matthew 11:28-30)

from a post at the Free Believers Network  Facebook page

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it’s my favorite time of year again.  the most wonderful time.

advent.  the waiting.

i’m loving this jesse tree celebration we’re going through as a family this year.  it’s blowing the dust off the waiting.  i love how Ann Voskamp writes.   it’s how i want to celebrate the season – simply, fully.

i’m big on nostalgia.  but i’m remembering this year just how revolutionary the birth of Immanuel was.  said Dietrich Bonhoeffer in an advent sermon seventy years ago: “do you want to be delivered?  that is the only really important and decisive question which advent poses for us. does there burn within us some lingering longing to know what deliverance really means? if not, what would advent then mean to us? a bit of sentimentality. a little lifting of the spirit within us? a little kinder mood? but if there is something in this word advent which we have not yet known, that strangely warms our heart; if we suspect that it could, once more, once more, mean a turning point in our life, a turning to God, to Christ–why then are we not simply obedient, listening and hearing in our ears the clear call: your deliverance draws nigh!”

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breaking fast

Sleepy chatter and quiet giggles ’round the table.

Good morning to you.

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there. my Summer-Of-Health is complete.  i can’t believe it did it!  here’s a quick rundown of what i’ve been working toward since may:

  1. read and embarked on the Raw Food Detox Diet by natalia rose.  i highly recommend starting here for those who are new to raw foodism, detoxification, etc.  a gentle way to begin (even if the green lemonade is nasty.  still can’t do it!). i have a newfound love – and need – for a daily raw salad.
  2. michael went whole-hog and had 2-3 green smoothies per day.  i usually had one.  the kids even had some.  fun for the whole family!  what’s a green smoothie?  read Green Smoothie Revolution by victoria boutenko (download the app!).
  3. watched a few documentaries:  Food Matters, Food, Inc., Burzynski:  Cancer Is Serious Business, and Simply Raw:  Reversing Diabetes in 30 Daysit’s changed the way we think about prevention, healthcare, and medicine…especially after watching my sister-in-law get her postpartum Type 1 diabetes diagnosis under control without resorting to insulin or drugs, under the care of a naturopathic/homeopathic doctor.  so inspiring.
  4. did a one-month ‘reboot’ – i survived thrived on fresh, raw fruit-and-vegetable juices (thanks to a great juicer i found for a steal on craigslist!) and one green smoothie per day.  it got old after awhile…i like variety.  and pasta.  and cheese.  but i lost some inches, feel amazing – clean, even- and am planing a 10-day reboot after the holiday season.
  5. took a power yoga class here.  it was amazing.  and not weird.  i’m hooked and want to go back.  um, regularly.  till then, ol’ Rodney Yee’s yoga on DVD will have to do.  (it is admittedly nowhere near as challenging as the live class, though.  but still good.  yoga, to me, is like fried chicken – even when it’s bad, it’s good. no?)

where does this leave me?  i’m not giving up my morning coffee – i could, but i love the ritual.  the warm cuppa, pretty thrifted mugs and yes, that friendly caffeinated jolt are comforting to me.  i feel best when i start my day with micronutrients, so green smoothies or fruit will be my usual daily breakfast.  raw salads, soups and wraps will be my usual lunches, but suppers will be whatever i freaking feel like.  plus a raw salad.  i’ve really gotten after-supper snacking down to tea or warm almond milk or wine, so i’ll try to stick to that.  oh – and i’m working out in the mornings again.  thank you, No Reservations for making that morning meeting with my elliptical a lot more tolerable (has food become an obsession?  es posible.).

we’re also getting rid of most of our processed foods, high-fructose corn syrup (if i were Hulk, i would snap Monsanto’s neck) flouride and MSG.  making better food and health choices for the family and reworking our budget to accomodate them.  i’ve learned i don’t need loads of milk or soy (two very mucous-causing foods) to get our calcium or protein.  almond milk is becoming more popular around here.  bacon without nitrates is on the list (a life without bacon is no life for me), and Coffeemate is out, too (i never really liked it anyway), just to name a few.  certain organic things are nice to add in (thank you, Costco and Trader Joe’s!), but i’m not sweating it too much (thank you, Mark Bittman!).  next year my garden will be nothing but greens and tomatoes.  i fell hard for heirloom tomatoes this year.  michael will continue with green smoothies for breakfast and lunch – they’re easy, very healthy and convenient.  he may act otherwise in front of you, but he likes them.

i’m so grateful for this season of learning, challenging myself and eating in new ways and feeling better, living more intentionally.  here’s to our health going forward.  now for a second cup of coffee.

Posted in detox, food, goodstuff, raw | 2 Comments

rein it in

finally done with my stint on the raw food detox diet…and loved it.  i learned a few new things about myself, my body, gained mental & emotional clarity, feel amazing – who knew all of that was tied to my food choices?  crazytown.

speaking of crazy…my man & i watched a documentary recently called Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (hat tip to Darby for the suggestion).  we were both so inspired by both Joe and Phil’s transformation that we’ve decided to give a raw juice ‘fast’ (or what Joe calls a Reboot) a whirl. i think it will be life-changing for both of us.  hopefully we can shed some weight, which is the main reason we were attracted to this program – hey, we reasoned, if a 430 lb. truck driver can get up the gumption to juice daily and lose nearly all his excess weight, so can we.  right?

i’ve not participated in a long fast before (i’m shooting for 30 days, michael for 60…taking it a week at a time), and it recently dawned on me:  i’ve never forced myself to do something i really didn’t want to (i’m an optimist/idealist – i can usually find a bright side), or had to reign in my desires much, especially regarding food choices.  i like my veggies (thanks, Mom!), so the detox diet was a fun challenge for me.  time to go deeper.  to cleanse further.  to learn the practice of fasting and to embrace real physical and mental challenge.

i started my fast this morning, and my modern, middle class, american self isn’t too happy about it already.  i’ll have to dig deep to get past the cravings that are already rearing up.  try hard to remember it’s just one month out of my life.  cowboy up, girl.

here’s to it – i raise my glass of apple/greens/beet/carrot juice to a better version of myself.  gulp.

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halfway through our second week of our raw food detox.  no turning back to a Standard American Diet (SAD – in so many ways) now – i feel absolutely amazing!

of note this week:

  • my husband has stopped snoring.  this has plagued me most of our marriage.  i cannot tell you how much better we’re both sleeping on this point alone!
  •  i am sleeping more restfully – no need for the snooze button any longer after a good seven hours.
  • my complexion is changing:  dark undereye circles and puffiness are virtually gone (same with my man’s), my skin tone is even, and i am starting to suspect a ‘raw glow’ creeping up.  LOVE.
  • i am developing a torrid love affair with avocados.
  • i have more energy.  i’m not bouncing off the walls, but i don’t need my morning coffee now (after a couple of days of mild headaches).  don’t get me wrong, this former barista still loves her coffee ritual, but for now, i’m okay without it.  i’ve no plans to leave it behind permanently.🙂
  • my mood is better.  my husband’s mood is much, much better.  we are genuinely, generally happier.  (sunshine helps!)
  • we’re both more in tune with our bodies.  we notice almost instantly when we’ve eating something that will probably slow us down or wasn’t a good choice.
  • i still don’t like the various raw veggie juice combinations i’m trying.  bleh.  V8 and a grapefruit are becoming my breakfasts.  and i am strangely, totally satisfied.  i am shocked at this:  i never thought that would happen, believe you me.
  • my stomach is flattening a bit.  i’ll pick up regular exercise again next week.
  • i am wrestling with a fierce cheese craving.  all cheese, any cheese – even craptastic nacho cheese.  it’s a little rough at times.  i will say, though, that i am really digging almond milk. (Trader Joe’s has the best price in town, by far.)

this week, I picked up Detox 4 Women by Natalia Rose (at the library!  thanks, OPL.).  it’s a much easier program to follow for women, and i’m starting to implement this 4-week detox immediately.  i have to admit – i really didn’t believe her many claims, but the further i progress, the more i see them coming to pass.  she’s onto something.  except for that blasted raw vegetable juice!  i hate it!  i’m trying, Natalia, i really am.  but the vomit-inducing factor is still too high.  maybe someday…hopefully someday.🙂

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ish wish dish

i tap my fingers a lot. i wish i had a piano. that is all.

Posted in daily, Uncategorized | 5 Comments