I am super dramatic when it comes to weather changes. Every year I assume that I will ease into the cooler weather without any fuss. Reality is that I am under 4 blankets with my iPad ordering a couple new sweaters for my husband and winter boots for me. I am checking the schedule to see when the next hot yoga class is just to feel a 95 degree room. I tear open the vacuumed sealed space saver bag which contains our winter blanket for the bed and immediately wash it. I start wearing my heaviest coat; even though it will just get colder and I have nothing warmer short of wearing two coats at the same time. I text my husband that I am packing for Hawaii and no one can stop me. Yes, I get very dramatic indeed. The leaves fall from the trees and I go into full winterize the house mode!
I am getting closer to figuring out how to explain how we are eating these days. I will want to blog post about it once I can fully detail what we do. Eating as healthy as possible is important to me. Not only for our well being but to not have issues with my sensitive stomach. I want to enjoy meals and not feel a burden of diet restrictions. I am not aiming for “perfect”, my aim is to be as reasonable and flexible as possible. “Everything in moderation” is a saying that ends up being true in many cases in life. At this point, my stomach has been perfectly fine and my energy level is good so that is a huge indicator to me that our food is agreeing with my system. I am still focused on organic fruits/veggies as the main part of our dishes. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for us each day. We end up going to a restaurant about once a month. I spend a good deal of my time per week doing meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking but I strongly feel that it is worth it. I also have been starting to practice intuitive eating as well. I eat when I am hungry, not based on the time of day. I eat what I feel like. It is all healthy but sometimes I feel like a vegetable chili and sometimes I just want beef tacos (grass-fed and 90% lean). I think we average eating meat about twice a week. Some weeks it is none at all. However it is always organic chicken or grass-fed beef. I am extremely selective on the type we consume if we do decide to include it on our meals. Otherwise seasoned baby bell mushrooms works as our meat substitute. Our dairy intake has been reduced significantly. I purchase coconut milk creamer for my coffee and utilize avocado instead of cheese to top chili, tacos, etc. I am not saying our way of eating is something that others should exactly copy. It works for us and that is all I know. I do think the amount of time I spend on meals per week is not practical in many households. It works for us since it is my top priority but I can see it not working for most families. When I was working full-time, it was not possible. We ended up ordering pizza delivery, getting restaurant takeout and using frozen meals. I only had the weekend to cook in bulk. I also ended up making the same meals over and over again since I did not have time to research recipes. Now I am having fun experimenting and combining recipes I find online. If I do repeat a meal, I mix it up with fresh herbs or different type of vegetables to make it different.
Since I am getting more into yoga these days, I started to look at yoga retreats. They are hosted all over the country (and world) and vary with the type of activities and atmosphere. I even found one that is right before New Years and you have 3 days of complete silence. Meaning you do not even talk with the other yogis, you ring in the New Year with silent reflection. It sounded interesting because I am a closet introvert but any type of rule spelled out is just a challenge to me. It would make me want to talk even more! I found some in the middle of a desert and some on beaches. I guess the hot yoga class would just be done outside at that point. Each included fun goodie bags and healthy meals. The common theme was that they were expensive and not practical for me right now. I was not finding anything that I would 100% enjoy. Then the thought of my own custom at-home yoga retreat came into view. I got a blank piece of paper and started writing down everything that I find enjoyable and relaxing. Favorite restaurant, pedicure, art class, etc. Of course I can practice yoga a couple times per day as well. No cooking, errands, chores. No cell phone, email, internet. Completely unplug and relax. I decided to book 3 days to dedicate to this retreat. I will do this right before the holidays since that tends to be a crazy time of year. I even ordered a couple of boxes from YogiSurprise and FabFitFun to use at my goodie bags. Stay tuned because after I do this at the end of December, I am going to blog about the result. I am hoping to plan an at-home yoga retreat per season.
Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and I have a lot to be grateful for as I reflect over the past year. I would label myself an optimistic and positive person most of the time. I try to look on the bright side and not complain or hold onto negativity. Starting a new lifestyle this past year forced me to take a moment and be quiet and reflect. The result has been profound. I think most of my happy smile was not a reflection on how I felt on the inside. I was stressed out most days. I think a part of me enjoyed being stressed because it was normal to me. It was comfortable and known. The struggle I have had lately has been to be comfortable in the calmness. Yoga has been a great benefit in my life. I leave class feeling so refreshed that I wish everyone in my life could have that same feeling. It has been my vehicle to let go of the stress I was holding onto for many years. I am looking forward to being a better version of myself so I can be a better family member and friend.
I wish you the best in the upcoming holiday season and stay warm if you are in an area that is seeing snowfall already.