…you are tempest tossed’
It is so easy to lose focus on what is really important to you. Gaining back the focus can be just as difficult too. So here are a few things i were doing and then got lost in and now need to use my energy (the little that i have these days) to gain back my own focus.
I have meditated on and off for years and yet just now i seem to have lost focus. I know the benefits of practicing at least once a day. There are many distractions in my life just as they are in yours but just spending a few minutes every day do nothing, letting thoughts come and go and allowing the mind to focus on the body. When i meditate at night i find i sleep deeper and longer and my mind is clearer when i wake in the morning. Meditation is supposed to reduce heart rate and blood pressure and allows us to gain control over our appetites.
We all eat food, right? Wrong many of us look at the nutrients, the calories, the fats, etc and not actually at the food. I got really good at eating food, proper fresh food but with money being tight and the chocolate talking to me as i pass it in the store i just can’t resist. However it is time to calm my body down and eat food.
I got into the practice of drinking a litre of water a day as well as others things i may drink, but again my little drinks bottle went missing and i forgot to do this one simple thing. It time to buy a new bottle and drink a litre of water a day. And, before you ask i drink tap water. I fill the bottle up with water and put it in the fridge over night, cold fresh water is so nice to drink.
Exercise is really difficult for me. The more i do the more exhausted my body becomes and the more pain i end up in, which is not good. I started knitting, an odd exercise you may think, but my hands were becoming claws and useless at that, so knitting it was. I used to knit for Bliss, which is a premature baby charity in the UK. I started by knitting tiny bootees. I could only knit two rows to begin with, but with steady practice i can now knit a whole bootee is a evening. Now i also knit jackets, hats and mittens too. I also try and go for a walk every day if i can, even if its to the corner shop. Sitting still all day is not a good thing so i make sure i get up every hour or so and at least walk around.
Life is full of billows that toss us here and there, but it is through simple actions that are repeated often that we can create calm and build our inner fortress for what is to come.
Several months ago i created new food rules for myself and whilst i was working over the 100 days of Real Food i was doing really well and i actually felt better and it cured me of one or two problems i was having at the the time, body wise. However with the camera no longer focused on the food i let my actions slip not all the way back to start but some way along the journey. So these are a list of the Food Rules that i begged, stole, borrowed and created has i went along the way. I had intended to print them out and put the list on my fridge as a reminder, however i am human with a memory like Swiss cheese and i forgot several times, but here is the list anyway. Do with it has thou wilt but please state where it came from, i did try and do the same where necessary as i made my journey.
I have been having another look at these rules, which i did have pinned to my fridge for sometime but they are quite confusing and maybe too many to stick too. So i have decided simple means simple and maybe they are just too complicated for me to stick too.
Now the list is a whole lot smaller.
- Eat food (Michael Pollen)
Eat 2 vegetables and 1 fruit for lunch and dinner Eat no more than 1 portion of dried fruit a day Drink no more than 1 small glass of fruit juice a day
- Eat lot of fruit and vegetables
- Drink water
Or Herbal tea Or milk Drink whole milk Eat yogurt 3x a week made from whole milk
- Eat organic whenever possible
Eat a good breakfast Eat rice Eat pasta Eat Salad or vegetable soup every day Read the packets Cut out soya whenever possible Eat tomatoes, onions and garlic together often
- Keep food simple
Eat dairy Eat fish Use honey Keep sugar to a minimum
- Make my own bread
Eat butter Use a smaller bowl/plate and have seconds if you are still hungry Desserts are treats
- Keep a food diary
Clean out the cupboards/fridge
- Keep a food store
- Shop with a list
Do not go down the aisles in the shop you do not need to Do not shop pop or trolley hop Do not go hungry Have a menu
- Eat mindfully
If you must eat meat no more than a lb a week (per person)
Joseph in Egypt tells the Pharoah of a coming famine, where there would be 7 years of plenty and 7 years of lean (Genesis 41). The Pharoah was wise and headed Joseph’s counsel and started to buy up land, grow crops and built appropriate storage during the years of plenty and at the end of that time the food supplies were used to feed the whole of Egypt and beyond.
Today the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the only church to have a living prophet, President Thomas S Monson, have also given counsel to store now what will be needed in the future. They give the following counsel;
- Gradually build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet until it is sufficient for three months.
- Store drinking water.
- Establish a financial reserve by setting aside a little money each week, and gradually increase it to a reasonable amount.
- Once families have achieved the first three objectives, they are counseled to expand their efforts, as circumstances allow, into a supply of long-term basic foods such as grains, legumes, and other staples. (Ensign 2009) (Food Storage)
- Let me make this even more simple -
a. Find a pad of paper and a pen
b. Write down everything you eat and or drink for a week, create a list, remember it’s emergency food not a feast but do add chocolate
c. Find a box, cardboard or otherwise, it doesn’t really matter and put it where you can see it so it will be a constant reminder
d. Decide on a budget, add a money jar to the box, even small change can go a long way when necessary
e. Buy only what you are going to eat, you may have to live on what is in the box
f. Be diligent in adding to the box, work on gathering a week’s supply of food, then 2 week’s supply and so on. Try and leave the food you buy in its original packaging if possible, use in date order
g. Last one, add bottled water
A word of warning we do not know what tomorrow may bring but we can try and be as prepared as possible. Do not think of Home Storage as only available for use in times of extreme famine as in Joseph’s time but we all have lean-times, when we are sick or we are unemployed. In these times of uncertainty it is necessary for us to take action and do that which the Lord has counselled us to do and store that which we may need in the future.
“Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their … supply of food … and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free.”
President Thomas S. Monson, “That Noble Gift—Love at Home,” Church News, May 12, 2001, 7.
In the last few weeks i have had to raid my food store for milk because i have been unable to get out for fresh milk because of the snow. There are many minor inconveniences and occasionally some major ones too a food a ready available food store gives the assurance that we need to survive until fresh supplies are available.
I think the most simple food we can eat is fruit. It comes in all sorts of flavours, shapes, sizes and we can put it in our bag or pocket and just eat wherever we are. No one is going to stare at you for eating something greasy or smelly.
Did you know, that a single apple, pear or banana will cost you about a quarter of the price of a bar of chocolate? And it is better for you. We hear all this chatter about portions and eating five portions a day and getting enough and getting a variety of different fruits and colours and this is better for you than that. Let me debunk all of the above. Eat fruit. Eat lots of fruit. Eat your favourite fruit every day and if like me you only like blueberries and raspberries if they come wrapped in a muffin you are better of avoiding them to some extent at least.
Fruit should be enjoyable. I love watermelon. The red one with the green skin but i wouldn’t buy a whole watermelon as it’s too much for me to eat all in one go, i tend to buy fresh pre packed sliced from the market. The one thing about fruit you should know is that fresh and in season is better than fruit that has been sitting around for days or even weeks.
You can also have tinned fruit, in its own juice or fruit juice. Of course you probably won’t be able to carry it around with you and eating it may also be a little more problematic but its a good substitute for fresh when needs must but not too often. Also try dried fruit and fruit juice and smoothies. These should only count as one portion a day of each. So drinking lots of fruit juice just doesn’t work the same. However homemade smoothies can count for as many portions of fruit that you care to put in them. Keep them fresh, drink them fresh.
Stop with the excuses i have used them all, just eat fruit and enjoy!
Last week i didn’t weigh myself because i was staying with my daughter and so it as been two weeks since my last weigh-in. After eating erratically i expected to have put every pound back on again, but thankfully i have not. It is amazing how a change in causes a change in my eating pattern. Although i have not lost any weight this week i haven’t put on, either. However what may have happened is that i put a few pounds last week at my daughters and then lost them again this week. Ups and downs are not good for the body or for the soul.
Also has most of you will know my daughter has recently had a baby and we have been discussing postnatal exercises. I have sent her a list of the ones i were given after i gave birth to all mine. These days they don’t hand out any instructions and you just told have to make it up as you go along. I believe that my daughter has begun this little exercise routine for the pelvic floor and the tummy. Nice and gentle i told her but you need to do them twice a day.
Fibromyalgia is supposed to respond well to gentle exercise, which obviously comes from people who do not suffer from it in the first. Whenever i do anything including walking i am left in pain and exhausted. However seeing has my daughter is doing these tiny exercises i began to wonder if they would be of any help to me. So for the last week i have been doing the same exercises and i didn’t think they were making a difference until i put a skirt on for church this morning and realised it fitted a little better than before. I am hoping that these exercises will be the beginning to helping me to strengthen my core muscles, which in turn will help my back pain too.
The FMS means i need to take things very slowly or else i will be left in more pain than when i started and that won’t be a good thing. All the exercises are done laying on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor or bed. The exercises are supposed to be repeated twice a day for 6 weeks, increasing slowly the amount that you do.
1. Pelvic pull
lay down as above and imagine a string attached to your pelvic floor and going up through the middle of your body. Now pull the string, hold, and the let go. Repeat for 6, adding 2 more every week until you can do 12
2. Pelvic tilt
Same position. Tilt pelvis forward pulling your naval towards your back bone, hold, let go, repeat for 6, adding 2 each week
3. Side to side
Same position. Bring your knees together and turn them to the left and then the right, try and put your knees flat on the bed each side. Repeat for 6 each side and then add on as above.
4. Mini sit up
Same position. Put your hands on your upper chest. Roll your tilt your pelvis forward and gently lift your head off the floor. Try and hold and then roll back gently. Repeat for 6 and increase as above.
Things to do this week
1. Keep a food record
2. Drink more water
3. Eat more fruit – 4 portions a day instead of 3
Several months a created new food rules for myself and whilst i was working over the 100 days of Real Food i was doing really well and i actually felt better and it cured me of one or two problems i was having at the the time, body wise. However with the camera no longer focused on the food i let my actions slip not all the way back to start but some way along the journey. So these are a list of the Food Rules that i begged, stole, borrowed and created has i went along the way. I had intended to print them out and put the list on my fridge as a reminder, however i am human with a memory like Swiss cheese and i forgot several times, but here is the list anyway. Do with it has thou wilt but please state where it came from, i did try and do the same where necessary as i made my journey.
- Eat food (Michael Pollen)
- Eat 2 vegetables and 1 fruit for lunch and dinner
- Eat no more than 1 portion of dried fruit a day
- Drink no more than 1 small glass of fruit juice a day
- Drink water
- Or Herbal tea
- Or milk
- Drink whole milk
- Eat yogurt 3x a week made from whole milk
- Eat organic whenever possible
- Eat a good breakfast
- Eat rice
- Eat pasta
- Eat Salad or vegetable soup every day
- Read the packets
- Cut out soya whenever possible
- Eat tomatoes, onions and garlic together often
- Keep food simple
- Eat dairy
- Eat fish
- Use honey
- Keep sugar to a minimum
- Make my own bread
- Eat butter
- Use a smaller bowl/plate and have seconds if you are still hungry
- Desserts are treats
- Keep a food diary
- Clean out the cupboards/fridge
- Keep a food storage
- Shop with a list
- Do not go down the aisles in the shop you do not need to
- Do not shop pop or trolley hop
- Do not go hungry
- Have a menu
- Eat mindfully
- If you must eat meat no more than a lb a week (per person)
A few weeks ago i took several photographs of me just standing. The idea behind taking the pictures was to see if i was standing straight, because i often feel like i am leaning towards my left side. All the pictures were totally gross but this one was the worse.
Several months ago i put away my bathroom scales has i used to weigh myself daily and sometimes several times a day and decided the scales weren’t who i am. I realised i needed to accept myself for who i was. However after looking at this photograph i weighed myself. Never being a skinny-lizzy i don’t expect myself to be one now either. However the scales said i had gained 32lbs since i had my accident last year. I knew my clothes had got tight because i had bought bigger ones. The beautiful dress i bought for my daughter’s wedding won’t even go on me now.
None of this is good and the reason behind all this weight gain is partly lack of activity but more than that, its chocolate. The problem with chocolate is that it made out of fat and sugar and when you have one bar if gives you and energy boost. How? Well this is the science-ish bit. Sugar goes in, insulin is released and zooms round the body turning the sugar into glucose and glycogen (fat) the problem is that once all the sugar is converted the insulin continues to zoom around the body, going, sugar, suGAR, SUGAR and you start to feel tired and sluggish and you have this craving for more sugar. Our bodies are really good at laying down fat for when there is a lack of food. However for most people in the western world a lack of food is not the problem, but too much food can be.
The only way i have found to get rid of a sugar craving is to go cold turkey. When you remove the extra sugar your body doesn’t need it may continue to shout at you for several days before it finally gives up. However the moment you succumb to its call you are right back where you began or even worse. You will also find yourself feeling very dehydrated, which may lead to headache. Drink water, just the stuff out of the tap will do.
I know that exercise is difficult for me and probably for others too but sitting eating chocolate all day is doing me no favours at all, has you can see. I was actually in the baby shop the other day buying things for one of my daughters and also i was looking at maternity clothes and thinking that one of the dresses was very pretty, smart even and i even thought about buying it, but thought it would make me look pregnant. Who am i kidding? I already look pregnant.
Yes i know Christmas is coming but so is the New Year. Don’t we all start diets in the New Year? I don’t want to be a skinny lizzy i just want to fit into my pretty dress and a pair of jeans from a certain clothes shop. I did it once i can do it again.
PS Sorry about the photograph i hope it didn’t scare or offend too much
When i started this challenge I thought I knew what Real Food was, I now understand I had no idea or not much. Also when the 100 days began it felt like an eternity before I would get to the end but now I am here it feels like I began yesterday.
As all those who have been following my blog since the beginning of the year will know, i was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in February of this year after suffering increasing seemingly unrelated symptoms for several years previously , such as exhaustion, unbelievable pain all around my body, severe depression that made me want to give up, Irritable bowl syndrome, insomnia, and the inability to actually get out of bed every day. I did not know what changing my diet to Real Food would do for me at the start but i did know that my body and my mind felt like it had been poisoned and i was out of balance both internally and externally. Internally i felt like i was on fire, i can’t explain it any other way. As for externally i was increasingly withdrawing from people and the world.
This is the result of my 100 days of Real Food Challenge -
1. The Irritable Bowel Syndrome was calmed, it is not gone all together but i hardly notice it now.
2. Internally i no longer feel on fire.
3. I sleep better, most night.
4. Although my medication has been changed, I now have less pain and my body feels easier
5. I get out of bed most days and don’t always need to return for a nap either. I even get dressed most days too.
6. The over powering exhaustion is better than it was.
7. I no longer feel like I am being poisoned.
8. My internal and external balance is better
9. The depression is more controlled.
10. I no longer have the ongoing horrendous headaches I once did
So what did i learn that I didn’t already know -
1. We have been conned into believing bad is good and good is bad when it comes to food
2. We have been taught to fear food
3. That you don’t need to be perfect to make a difference to yourself
4. That honey doesn’t have a magic cure
5. That there is sugar added to just about everything, even those things that you really wouldn’t expect to have it in
6. We need fat in our diets
7. We are missing essential vitamins and minerals by not drinking whole milk, eating butter (sparingly) and yogurt every day
8. 9 is the magic number for the portions of fruit and vegetables we should eat every day or even more
9. My favourite bread was not what i thought it was
10. That there is a REVOLUTION coming and the producers of substandard cheap food full of chemicals and unpronounceable ingredients are going to have to think again, as more and more people turn back to the Real Food diet.
There were some fails along the way and some triumphs. There were things I should have changed but didn’t quite get to but there is still time.
1. Chocolate, i ate less but it kept calling to me
2. Bacon sandwiches, I am still a lazy vegetarian and probably always will be
3. Bread- I can make enough for myself but having other people over including my family meant i couldn’t keep up with demand
4. I never changed my lunch order when having lunch with my friend, although I meant to, I didn’t get round to it in the end
5. I still haven’t got the idea that i really don’t need to fill the fridge to the top, little and more often is key here
6. I didn’t quite reach the magic fruit and vegetable number of 9 but i do eat more
7. I still buy coco pops
1. I eat more fruit and vegetables
2. I drink more water
3. I use honey in place of sugar
4. I have learnt to cook something different
5. My diet is mainly vegetarian
6. I made muesli that i like and doesn’t taste like cardboard or looks like rabbit food
7. Eating small and simple meals is a good things and it works for me
8. I changed breakfast
9. I found a perfect lunch, for me
So what’s next? I really have no idea. Stop feeling bad about eating chocolate now and then. It is the case of keep going, keep learning and doing all that I can to stop the world from crashing in on me again. My BFF asked me yesterday if changing my diet had achieved anything, I think that’s a YES!
Please stay with me for my next 100 day Challenge.
PS writing this post made me cry, i hadn’t reaslise what a 100 days could do.