40 Before 40

This year I’ll be 36. I don’t know what happened to the last ten years. But I do know that for the last several months I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can live a better, healthier life. This year I’ve discovered intuitive eating, started this blog, increased my exercise exponentially and addressed sleeping problems that I’ve been avoiding dealing with for years. Postive changes are addictive :).

I recently made this list of 40 goals I’d like to accomplish before I hit the big 4-0. Some are tiny. Some are huge. Most have been things I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. But time flies…

  1. Start meditating daily
  2. Have acupuncture.
  3. Wear gray hair with pride (Its been my natural color since I was in my late twenties).
  4. Be professionally fitted for a bra.
  5. Try a spinning class.
  6. Learn to make homemade biscuits well.
  7. Learn to sew.
  8. Find a hairdresser that I like.
  9. Have a pixie haircut.
  10. Visit twenty different houses of worship.
  11. Go on a camping trip.
  12. Get a professional facial.
  13. Get a chiropractic adjustment.
  14. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet.
  15. Make a collection of family recipes for the people in my family.
  16. Study our genealogy; and make a family history book for N.
  17. Knit a sweater.
  18. Make a craft and sell it.
  19. Go to a wine and design.
  20. Try a spinning class.
  21. Try a cross fit class
  22. Write and illustrate a children’s book
  23. Take a barre class.
  24. Become a National Board Certified teacher.
  25. Find our forever home.
  26. Have a second child.
  27. Learn an instrument.
  28. Grow a year round garden
  29. Write for something other than my own blog.
  30. Sew a quilt
  31. Buy a Vitamix.
  32. Visit Canada.
  33. Go deep sea diving.
  34. Go on a week-long trip with just M..
  35. Go on a train trip.
  36. Try one season of a community supported agriculture subscription.
  37. Save a year’s expenses in savings.
  38. Go on a cruise.
  39. Rent an antique booth for a year.
  40. Successfully make a layered cake.

There it is! I think I can do it. What about you? What do you hope to accomplish before your next big milestone?


The Power of Eating in the Now

I have a confession. I read a self help book- and I liked it.

Lost and found

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Geneen Roth has been on Oprah, Good Morning America, NPR and everything else you’ve ever watched on TV or heard on the radio. She’s been around for a while. But maybe, like me, you missed that.

This book, in a nutshell, is about being present. Being mindful and present as an answer to life’s biggest problems is certainly no new idea. What is a bit of a unique concept is the connection that Roth makes between mindfulness and the way we treat our bodies. According to the book- and I’m paraphrasing big time- when we take the time to really pay attention to our bodies and the food we put in them, we will know what we need and therefore come to a healthier place both physically and psychologically. Mindless eating, or any compulsive behavior, is considered a result of disengaging from the present. And it makes sense when you think about it. Why would a person eat when they’re not hungry or eat food that they know will make them feel bad? According to this way of thinking, we do this because we are checked out of the present moment.

Unlike the diet industry, this book makes no claim that being a certain size is the worst thing that could happen to you. The worst thing that could happen to you, in fact, is to be so disconnected from the present that your only reference for what your body needs is a number (scale, clothing size or calorie)- again this is my interpretation of the book. The answer then is listening to your body, not shaming it, not depriving it, but learning how to feel when you’re hungry and pay attention to what your body is really telling you it needs. Really paying attention to what your body needs is not easy when you’ve spent your whole life trying to overpower your body with diets.

Whether you’re into biologypsychology, or books like Women, Food and God you can find support for the same idea. Diets can be a distraction or even part of the problem when it comes to issues with food.

After reading this book, I realize that the diets that so many of us have been on for so many years, the ones I really hope my daughter never subjects herself to, are just the flip side of mindless eating. I realize that both cause you to avoid addressing what compulsion (to eat when not hungry- a really weird habit when you think about it) is all about.

This book is (figuratively) huge; and I’m really suprised I didn’t hear of it before. I know that there are tons of people out there like me who have been caught up in the diet/indulge/regret cycle for too long. I don’t believe this book has every answer. But I love that it in a sea of books and products that only muddle the issues, Geneen Roth is looking deeper.

I’m Sensing a Pattern.

When I started this blog I did it with the intent of changing one thing a week, mostly diet or exercise-wise, in an effort to become healthier every week and therefore super healthier in the longrun.

This is how its gone so far.

Week One: I cut out caffeine.

After two days of excrutiating headaches followed by three otherwise normal coffee free days I started remembering that I’ve read tons of stuff about coffee actually being good for you. Also I love coffee. Also I’m a better person in the morning when I drink coffee. And why was I even trying to give it up?

Week Two: Add 30-minute walks daily.

This was great for both me and my awesome dog, Riggs. This change is a keeper.

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Week Three: Cut out peanuts

This lasted one day before I really wanted peanut butter which is weird because I don’t even eat peanuts or peanut butter very often. I prefer almonds. Do you see the pattern I’m seeing?

Week Four: Add 45 minute walk every week day

I love these walks. 45 minutes is really not that different from 30 minutes except I feel like more of a winner and Riggs is even happier.

Week Five: Cut out dairy.

I thought this was a really a great idea for several days and then… yeah you probably can guess.

Somewhere during this period I added vitamins, added more fruit and vegetables, upped the walk to an hour, and had five different doctor sessions revolving around my sleep issues (Good news on that front, by the way).

So it turns out I’m like a bratty kid that rebels against anything they have to do and has to be treated very carefully… by myself :/. Is that crazy? That was rhetorical.


In With the Good

So far I have added a prenatal vitamin (not pregnant, but hopefully within the year), Vitamin D, B12, fish oil, more vegetables and more fruit. The hardest thing to add was vegetables. But it is slowly becoming more of our normal life.

This is what N and I had this morning for breakfast.  (Spinach and sweet potates for breakfast- I’m such a grown up!) She prefers yogurt. But I’m really into it.
Good thing- because this recipe makes a ton. There is enough in the kitchen to last M and me three days and another week’s worth in the freezer!

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