Today I posted this Body Love message up in my Holistic Body Love Facebook Community, and it had a significant response from my tribe members who are struggling with putting life at the foreground and food in the background, so I am inspired to blog about ways to have a good life …because there was a time in my life that I was suffering as well – I couldn’t put food in the background, my life revolved around food and I would get so anxious about it 24/7. So I am happy to share about my own personal experience and some tips on how to start putting food in the background.
I recently came back from San Francisco. My husband and I were celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary! First of all, I had NO idea how cold San Fran was…when people warned us, we were thinking, “Ya, ya, we’re Canadians, so we’ll be fine” – and we mostly packed summer clothing. Well let me tell you, it is COLD! It was so cold, I had to buy a toque and a fall/winter jacket (which totally is okay with me because winter jackets are my all time fave fashion! LOL).
And I got a pretty cute fox toque …
…and stylish jacket 🙂 Here I am visiting with my friend Nancy, who lives near San Fran.
Experiencing a “Good Life” is about experiencing events and moments that bring you pleasure, joy, happiness – and this should include non-food AND food related events, minus the food anxiety, guilt, shame, negative self-talk and punishment.
Having a normal relationship with food requires some of your attention because we need to eat to survive and to fuel us in our life endeavours. However, most of your energy and attention would be on being present to whatever your life purpose and endeavours are!
I personally practice what I preach (of course!) and my relationship with food is one of FREEDOM regardless of where I am – at home, or on vacation. My relationship with food in regards to what I eat when I’m in my everyday home life versus on vacation looks different.
So in my day to day home/work life, I usually eat six times with a balance of lean proteins, carbs and healthy fats throughout my day. I don’t eat this because someone told me to. I do this because after learning how to eat mindfully and intuitively, I know what works for my body to support me in living an awesome lifestyle. I also only eat foods I like and love, and never eat anything that does not taste good to me (even if scientific research shows it is “beneficial” to my health). Ultimately, I am the person that will determine whether something is beneficial to my health because the food makes me feel energized, light, mentally alert, grounded, happy, balanced (in hormones because I am not having mood swings), and productive. This is what works for me, it may not necessary look the same for you and that’s okay. You got to find what works for you.
I KNOW which foods make me feel lethargic, bloated, tired, irritated, zoned out. Occasionally, I will consciously and mindfully still choose to eat these foods, knowing that AND ACCEPTING the fact that I will most likely feel this way after eating. The most important part is being OKAY with that. So for example, eating white sugar over a certain amount makes me feel buzzed for the first hour, then tired a couple hours after that AND possibly the next day. I also know that I will often feel sugar cravings the next day or two. So before I CONSCIOUSLY make a decision to eat sugar, I PLAN TO ACCEPT that this will happen and I PLAN and already KNOW (from experiences) how to take care of these sugar cravings in the next day or 2 so that they won’t get out of control. Some examples of how I bust my sugar cravings is using Young Living Essential Oils and making fruit smoothies with lots of greens, protein powder in an extra thick ice cream consistency (which is part of my everyday eats anyway). So the point is, I’m accepting the effects certain foods have on my body and dealing with it like a boss 🙂 You can do this too! You don’t have to be a victim to your circumstances. And most importantly, it’s not about “making up for your ‘mistake'” – it’s called living a balanced, good life.
Here I am mid-wine tour with a bloated belly…and it’s okay! I know I’m still worthy as a person, even if I have a (food) belly. 🙂
Now if you’re eating foods that make you tired, lethargic, bloated, brain fogged, increasing your body fat more than 50% of the time…then that’s the real issue. It’s the dose that’s the poison, not the food itself.
Back to my relationship with food on vacations. My predominant driving force is that food is fuel, its’ going to help fuel me to focus being present to the experiences (museums, beach, zip lining, hiking, biking, walking, etc.) And of course, visiting a different city or country is also about experiencing the different foods that culture offers! So of course I am going to eat differently than I would at home in my everyday life. Part of vacation is experiencing the food culture!
So while in San Fran, I ENJOYED foods that I occasionally eat at home such as pizza, french fries, sushi rolls, ice cream, and specialty breads to name a few things. Let me be clear, these are not “bad” foods, they are just foods that I choose not to eat regularly because I know they would not help me feel vibrant in life if I ate them regularly. If these foods make you feel vibrant, light, energetic, hormonally balanced, then great! On vacation, I also ENJOYED foods I eat as often in my everyday life just as much, such as: smoothies, salads, (local) seafood, chicken, protein bars. These are not “good” foods– these are foods that serve me when it comes to feeling energetic, light, balanced in mood and hormones. There is no such thing as good or bad foods, rather, look at foods in regards to them serving you or not.
This may not be for everybody, but what I know about me is that I LOVE my morning breakfast ritual (yes, I call it a ritual) because what I know fuels me to be happy, grounded, and present is having my Vanilla protein powder, oatmeal & natural crunchy peanut butter – all mixed in together to create a cookie-dough consistency dish. Yum Yum! So when I go on vacation, I do bring my own quick oats, vegan protein powder and nothing beats the President’s Choice organic, natural, crunchy PB from Superstore (in my opinion). I haven’t tried a PB that I like better to date 🙂 I also bring my own protein bars (I love Quest brand) and natural raw almonds for snacks on the go, which I carry around with me during the day. They are there to sustain my energy and prevent me from getting “hangry” (hungry +anger). 😉
What happens if I don’t bring my go-to snacks? Well, that’s fine because I can always stop in somewhere to grab something that makes my mind, body and spirit happy 🙂 Anywhere you go, you can usually find food that will support you. And if not, it’s just food. Enjoy it and move on to your next exciting activity 🙂 In the past I would have NEVER thought this way- I would have been super anxious and rigid about having specific kind of food to eat, and not eat until I find something that I would “allow” myself to eat. Talk about not living life and being obsessed with food. No fun and definitely not putting life at the foreground! 😦
I also would love to share some photos of our adventures and experiences in San Fran:
Segway Tour (so fun!)
Celebrating my birthday with shopping and sushi! I was spoiled 🙂
Tandem Biking From San Fran to surrounding areas (our first time tandem biking, which was so fun!) Enjoyed my minty chocolate cookie ice-cream mid ride!
Winery Tour to Napa Valley
Hanging out with my hubby’s high school best friend and his wife, who live near by.
Running my very first 1/2 marathon (my husband learned there was a 50K race in Redwood Forest, and because I actually love running in the trails, I thought it might be fun to do together). We compromised since I do not train as a runner, to run the 1/2 marathon (which I’ve never done before). I only train in the gym with weights and do plyometrics or HIIT exercises in between, and once in awhile, I will do stairs outdoors or run in our beautiful River Valley. I am definitely NOT a runner, so I didn’t know how I would do. I just made a goal to complete it within 3.5 hours OR stop running when I am not having fun anymore. Turns out, I underestimated myself and completed 21K in 2 hours 49 minutes (and 13 seconds to be exact!) That was a super proud moment for me 🙂 I find it REALLY soothing to be amongst trails and trees – I love the scent, the sun-rays peeking in, and the big old trees- just being in nature makes me happy. 🙂
Checking out local eats- my faves were Blue Barn (their detox salad was SO amazing with the local organic grilled salmon!), Earthbar (had macronutrient balanced meals and smoothies), Market (downtown- amazing salad bar, amazing mini restaurants in there such as the Pokebar, Tapas bar, Pizzaria, a unique Malaysian Eatery called Azalina’s, juice bar, and a cafe for unique coffees and pastries) -Think Whole Foods vibe with all these extras! And downtown San Fran in little Italy there is Tony’s Pizza and Golden Boy (we pizza hopped!).
I hope that this was helpful and enjoyable for you to read! I’d love to hear from you about what were your take-aways from this post!
I’d also love to share that I am excited to be running my 11th Holistic Body Love Women’s Group Program! Details & Registration can be found here!
Early bird rate is until Sept 1!