Today is the start of a brand new year and I’m very excited about what 2016 has to offer. I had such wonderful moments in 2015 and achieved some amazing goals as well as ended the year on a healthy note. I am 187 days without a flare and my hope is that I can reach a year.
I received my yoga teaching certification and have 2 classes a week that I’m teaching along with a full time career so if I had more time I would certainly devote more to teaching yoga. This past year I have developed a daily yoga practice with a daily meditation practice and if nothing else I think those 2 things have me healthier and stronger.
I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions but I haven’t in many many years because I prefer to have goals and plans in which to achieve those goals. I once heard that goals without a plan are simply dreams and I have dreams too of course the things I believe might be achievable but yet I still question the likelihood and wonder how. My goals are achievable and even if they take time I will get there.
The most important people in my life make my life what it is and how special it is. I have an amazing husband that makes this life so wonderful and he is truly my biggest supporter. My family is amazing and extremely supportive as well. My sister is home for Christmas and came to one of my yoga classes. It was truly so wonderful to have her there and watch her practice my yoga sequence. I have 2 nephews that I can’t wait to see what they learn and teach me in 2016. They are growing up so fast and I still don’t know where 5 years have gone. I adopted 2 kittens from Tennessee for my birthday back in Oct and they have been with us 10 weeks, they literally make me smile every single day since they have been here. They bring a spirit and life to our home that is so much fun. They are sisters but nothing alike, perhaps they found each other on the truck from Tennessee to Maine and just clicked, perhaps they are truly sisters, all I know is that they love each other so much even though they are truly so different and they love my husband and I even more. Sounds silly and probably makes us sound like the couple without kids so we love our kittens and maybe so but they are wonderful and yet still allow me hours to do my yoga, spinning, weight training, walking and other activities. However, they do climb in my lap during meditation so part of my practice is disconnect from them for that time, I don’t make them move I make my mind believe they have moved. It’s working so I let it be.
I hope this year brings you exactly what you need and although when we wake up today and believe since it is a new year it means a new start, you can wake up each day and start again, fresh and new and have a clean slate every day.
Yesterday we said good-bye to summer and hello autumn. Although I was most disappointed to see summer go this is all part of life and so as a way to celebrate the arrival of autumn we went to Maine’s largest farmer’s market. We call it the Commonground Fair in Unity ME and it brings farmers from all over to share their offerings and experience with the common folk. We are the common folk but there is something very sweet about eating produce and vegetable that were grown and cared for by the very farmers standing in front of you most impressed with their own work.
Now do not get me wrong, this is a fair with everything fairs have to offer except no rides, but there is fried dough, lemon slushies, and treats absolutely everywhere. However, they also have grass fed organic meats, cheeses, dairy, and made with love pies and ice cream. We knew we didn’t want to spend our time in the food area so we had packed snacks to tide us over as we walked through the farmer’s markets, the cattle area, poultry and backyard chicken area, some of my favorite places; the sheep, goats, alpaca, and donkeys. I honestly don’t know if the picture I posted was a mule or donkey but I do know her name is Lily and she is very much loved.
I had a moment of romanticism or maybe it was insanity but I started to think that I could be a homesteader. My husband in a very loving way laughed and said it isn’t romantic at all and how about we start with a garden. I believe after many conversations on our way home that I truly am not cut out of homesteading right now but I’ll start with a garden and see how I do. I did try a garden a few years ago but I guess I didn’t realize I actually had to do anything with it so as you can imagine I had the best fed deer, chipmunks and squirrels in all of Maine.
There really is something romantic about the thought of living on a farm, heading out every morning for first fresh air and saying hello to all your animals. Eating foods right from the farm and sharing those foods with others. Perhaps just a dream for many of us, but also a true reality for those very people working so hard to provide us wonderful foods not just one weekend a year at the fair but every day.
Today is the start of a new month and maybe a new approach. I downloaded a book from Amazon for free. Yes, for free at Amazon called The Flinch by Julien Smith. He wrote and had this book published but wanted it to reach as many people as possible so he gives it away for free so people will read it, apply the principals and share it. I wanted to share it with you.
We all know what flinching is and we all know it is an involuntary response when we are startled. The flinch starts the flight or fight mechanism but have you ever thought about the fact that anytime something uncomfortable comes near us we flinch. We may not address certain topics or conversations because they are uncomfortable, this is the flinch. The Flinch as portrayed by Julien keeps us from doing what really matters to us and we stop ourselves out of fear, unknowing, uncertainty, insecurity and many other reasons. The book has many levels to it and it can apply to parts of your life. It can pertain to MCTD, your career, your relationships, your lack of security to try new things and other situations.
As I was reading this book I realized two very important aspects, one is that even when I flinch I keep moving forward. There are many situations that are uncomfortable for me or I’m not sure about. There are many aspects of living with MCTD and my future that are worrisome, there are people in my life that I’m not what if any relationship I want with them and I have to address these things. In my career I have made huge moves toward the flinch and watched amazing things happen but of course there are still days and situations where I second guess myself. With my MCTD I try and try and keep trying to find what some call the impossible and even I think I’m asking for the impossible some days but if I allow the flinch to stop me from trying out of fear or whatever else is facing me down than I really won’t know if I can drastically change things for myself.
I gave a quick synopsis of some of the important aspects of this book because I think for a free book that you can download it is well worth the read. You might have areas in your own life where you flinch and keep going or flinch, stop and turn around the other way. Sometimes you have to turn around for safety but recognize that you decided not an involuntary response in yourself that decided. If you want to push a little harder, walk a little further, try something new, then now is the time. It is a new month to start. New Year’s resolutions are unfortunately closer than I care to admit but the New Year really is right around the corner. Don’t wait until then to decide to do something different, make the change now and face the flinch don’t give into it.
When living in Maine, what do you do on a beautiful fall day in September? Go to a fair, but of course. That is exactly what we did today. The morning started out wet and foggy but we were not going to turn back, instead we started out extremely early for our nearly 2 hour drive. We were on our way to the Common Ground Fair which is an organic farmers community fair. I have never been before but so I excited to go.
When we arrived the gates were just opening so we found a nice place to park and headed for the gate. The walk to the fair ground was like a nice Sunday morning hike in the woods. Along the way there were signs about low impact forestry, types of wood, how to detect dry wood, green wood, and other types. There were composting signs along this trail as well that 90% of everything at the fair was able to be put in compost. We walked along this trail in the woods waiting for the fair to appear. Once it did it was not your typical fair. We bought our tickets and immediately were ushered into the farmers market. I was like a little kid seeing all the stands, wondering what we should buy, discussing should we get it now or on our way out. The cattle farmers were there and the poultry farmers were there. We even saw organic, grass fed pork and couldn’t wait to taste the deliciousness of this fresh farmed meat.
After we got our program we decided we wanted to see the demonstrations and would consider our buying needs later. The first demonstration we attended was the goat milking. I might be from Nebraska but I have never seen any animal milked and yes I found this fascinating. The farmer was talking gently to the goat and she didn’t seem to mind that all these different hands were on her taking the milk that her body produces. She didn’t seem anxious but rather relieved. After spending some time there we were off to see the horse show. We had arrived for the working horses. These mammoth animals were beautiful and intimidating but were also very calm. Some were talking to each other and since neither my husband nor I speak horse we made up the stories we believed they were telling. The handlers ranged in ages of young teens to older much more experienced season men and women. The differences between the handlers was just as interesting as the differences in all the horses. We learned about Belgian work horses and Perchons work horses. We actually spent a lot of time with the horses. I think we enjoyed their energy.
Soon after the horse show we went over to the Border Collie demonstration and these experienced dogs were something to watch. The way they obeyed commands and herded the sheep and goats and yes even ducks. They like to work and it showed in the way they were entertaining the crowd as well as pleasing the farmer at the same time. We watched them with great glee. Moving on after the Borders we entered the beer brewing demonstration. This fair literally has something for everyone and as you walk from demonstration to demonstration you are on scenery overload with all the potential things you can buy and questions you can ask as you enter tents of your choice. We went into mushroom tents, and herbal tents and beer brewing tents. If this sounds like a hippy fair you would be absolutely correct but it was just what we were looking for.
So after already spending hours walking and looking and watching what do two Paleo wannabe dieters eat at the fair? We certainly weren’t interested in fried dough or anything that came in a wrap but since this is an organic fair we had wonderful pick of organic meats and chose skewers. We got a plate of skewers, found a little bench to share and eat our lunch. My husband looked at me and made reference to sharing a plate of food with our hands was certainly very primal. He could not have been more right. No need to sanitize it was time to eat and enjoy and that is exactly what we did.
Many more hours later we finally decide our feet have had enough and back to the farmers market we head to do our final shopping and climb back into the car for our 2 hour trip home feeling very satisfied, a little more educated, extremely exhausted, and ready to talk about all we did and saw for the day. If there was ever a fair for us to attend this was it and we are already planning our trip for next year and how we’ll lay out the day a little better and try to condense our walking to ensure we see what we want but not walk in circles looking for things. Every state has their fall fairs and it really is fun to head out for the day and just enjoy what the fairs have to offer.
What is more addicting reading or listening to podcast? Both are at an even level for me right now. I love to walk outside and just listen to an hour long podcast when it is over I know how long I’ve been out and I can go for a 2nd podcast or call it quits. For my long walks I can easily listen to 2 sometimes even 3 podcasts before calling it quits and heading back inside. The nicest thing about podcast is that for the most part they are free and as I listen to several they introduce me to others that I can try.
All the podcasts on my player are about health and nutrition. Jillian Michael’s Daily Dose is very good and she always gives a quick snip it about nutrition and then a quick snip it on fitness. She is a character and her producer, Janice, is an added bonus to the show. Every episode is sure to get at least one laugh out loud from me. Do I look silly walking down the road laughing to myself? Of course I do, but really who is looking and who cares? Everyone is so involved in their own world that they don’t care about the crazy lady walking all over the city laughing to herself.
I have really been introduced to the Paleo and Low Carb community through podcasts. These podcasts can be humorous but what they are really doing is setting me up for life so I understand what this means not only in the short term but also going forward to make it a true part of my life and my husband’s life. They don’t all agree and I wouldn’t expect them too. I like to gather all the information and make my own decisions. At first I was making decisions based on my philosophy and what my brain was telling me. Now I make decisions on what my body is telling me. It is hard to wrap your head around eating so much fat when we all believe low fat is the way to go and for some it still is but for me I feel better when I keep my day in the range of about 50-60% fat.
Some of my favorite low carb type podcasts are “The Fat-Burning Man” by Abel James. He interviews someone different every week in the community and usually who might have a book coming out or has been involved in a particular article. His content is very interesting and usually find myself looking up the book at the library or looking up the person to see if they have a podcast. For instance he was recently interviewing a doctor out of Philadelphia, Colin Champ, and I found this doctor to be so interesting. He is working in a hospital trying to convince people to eat high fat, moderate protein and low carb to a community who does not think this way. I looked up his Podcast which is “Relentless Roger and the Caveman Doctor.” I went to episode 1 and have been working my way through them. Roger is a trainer, Colin is a doctor and together they are really informative.
Another one I listen to regularly is “The Paleo Solution” Robb Wolff and his podcasts are answering questions that different people have sent to him. Although I’m still not sure what met cons are or how many blocks of protein I should be eating I find him very knowledgeable on the autoimmune disease front. He is the real reason that I’m making this change. When he talks about autoimmune diseases he doen’t speak about them in terms of absolutes and gives me hope that someday I can put my MCTD in remission. I know I won’t be cured but if I can at least put it to rest long enough to call it remission that will work for me.
Sometimes I need a woman’s perspective and for that I turn to Balanced Bites which is 2 women that speak about being moms, women, and wives and I can relate them. I also like Live, Love, and Eat which is a female that has dealt with food issues most of her life and just gives a woman’s perspective as to what food means to us. Women see food very differently than men do. If you tell someone like my husband to eat a big hunk of meat and a huge bowl of greens he just does it. I look at that and ask where is the fun in this? What is this going to reward me in terms of taste? I know what it will reward me in terms of health but again my brain says make it fun. That’s when my creative side kicks in and I start playing with my portion. If my husband wants some color and pizazz than I play with his dinner too but usually it is just mine.
Another player in the community is Jimmy Moore with “Living LA Vida Low Carb” and “Ask the Low Carb Expert” both are informational. I have only broken the surface on possibilities for my listening pleasure and really looking forward to finding even more to tune into regularly. The more I listen, the more I learn, the more questions I have and somehow they always seem to get answered somewhere down the line. It has been really beneficial to put a lot of time into this life style and tackle it like a career
I have listened to many hours of Dr. Fitness and the fat guy and although I really enjoy the subjects they speak about and the information they give this is just for entertainment purposes. I knew that when I started but because I blogged about it and some of you might check it out I must be clear that I don’t even know if he is a real doctor and his show is just for my entertainment.
This became very clear to me yesterday when I listened to the show that Dr. Fitness went to his first “Bikram” class. I was very excited to hear about his experience and as soon as he started saying he was at the gym running and after he finished he grabbed his towel and went to the yoga room. Therefore, he is still at the gym so I’m already skeptical at this point. He says as he enters, it is hot and they have turned up the heat in the room. Instantly I realize this is not a Bikram studio but I’m still interested and then he continues to talk about his Bikram experience and referring to it as Bikram but then he talks about his downward facing dog and how hard it was. At that moment it was very clear he was in a hot yoga or hot vinyasa class not a Bikram class but clearly he just associates all hot yoga with Bikram.
Bikram is a specific yoga made up of 26 postures and never have I done downward facing dog in Bikram. In fact I have read a few books, seen interviews and read articles about Bikram and he never mentions flow yoga or downward facing dog. Now I’m thrilled Dr. Fitness tried something for the first time I was just disappointed he didn’t know where and what he was actually doing. Yoga in any form is wonderful but I just expect someone with a radio show to be more informed.
I will continue to listen but he has lost a little face with me and I’ll be careful to believe everything I hear from him but I was using him as entertainment only and he is a great way to pass the time during my commute and my exercising. I find podcast to be just as entertaining as reading and blogging.
I have written many times about how much I enjoy reading and I certainly blog when I read something worthwhile. Well now I have a new hobby. I wrote a few days ago that I have been logging a lot of steps now that I’m able to walk all the time and being outside now. I put my music on and head out the door for about 1.5 – 2 hours walking and enjoying myself. After several days my music was getting old and I was missing being on an elliptical because I wasn’t able to read. I bet you think the next sentence is that I found audio books, nope. I was mildly complaining about just listening to music so my husband suggested I download a podcast.
I must admit I’m kind of new with all this technology smart phone stuff but I get around relatively well. I asked what kind of podcast would be good for me to try. Do you realize there are billions upon billions of different podcasts? I’m sure you all do, but I didn’t know this. I started to do some research and thought that a good health and fitness podcast would be fun for me to listen to during my walks. I found one that I will share with all of you. Dr. Fitness and the fat guy which is a radio show but also has free downloads and they talk about everything. They have a wonder mom on the show Kari who I really enjoy her stories and they bring some good interviews on as well to tell their stories. I’m totally addicted now. Not only am I listening when I walk but I have plugged into my docking station so I can listen for an hour or two while I’m working. It is very clean so I don’t need to worry about people coming into my office and hearing anything they shouldn’t. I have literally found hours of great fun. Everyone has a podcast and I can’t wait to look up some other favorite authors, radio hosts, fitness gurus and yoga gurus to listen to them as well.
Today I was listening to a woman who US air said was too fat to fly not once but twice. Agree or disagree with the content either way it is light, fun, informative, and passes the time nicely if you need a little more than nature sounds or music.