Monday, August 31, 2009

Whole Foods Challenge

Feeling tired? Sluggish? Irritable? Anxious? Depressed? Hyper? Low energy? Short attention span?

I've been feeling a lot of these things lately, off and on and I've decided to do something about it. I believe in the power of a healthy diet and what it can do to change the way you feel. Lately though, I've been so busy and stressed that I've been eating a lot of things that don't make me feel good. Don't get me wrong, they taste great and feel good when I bite into them, but they leave me feeling bad later. And not in a guilty, oh-I-shouldn't-have-eaten-that-because-of-the-calories sort of way. More of a yuck-I-feel-gross-and-now-exhausted-and-irritable sort of way.

So, I'm trying a one week whole foods challenge. I am also going to be incorporating as much raw foods as I can. Starting Saturday, 9/12 I will:

1) Not eat white foods (not potatoes, silly!)--no white sugars or flours, no white rice, no refined white stuff.

2) Eat lots of fresh veggies and fruits.

3) Increase healthy proteins (nuts, beans, fresh tofu).

4) Increase healthy fats (avocado, walnuts, wild-caught fish, etc.)

5) Continue to exercise.

6) Schedule time for fun and alone time.

I'm also "reading" (audio book) a good book on the subject, called the UltraMind Solution. It sounds sort of quacky, but it's really quite good. I got my copy at You can also find the paper version online or at your local booksellers.

Do you want to join me on a healthy food challenge? If so, post your comment below and tell me what you're going to plan for your own challenge.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Falling off the green bandwagon?

Have you ever fallen off the green bandwagon? Like a smoker returning to her pack of cigarettes, I'm embarrassed to say that I've let things slide around here in the last month or so. Between dealing with some postpartum anxiety issues, a summer vacation, drumming up (and completing) articles for work, taking care of a nearly 5-month old and trying to find a few minutes a day for myself, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed.

Actually, a lot overwhelmed.

I made a list at the end of July of all the things I felt I *should* be doing every day-or so around here (not including my freelance work). Guess how many things were on that list? 45. And then I thought of a few more a day later. That's just too, too much. It's no wonder I've been having anxiety issues and I determined after creating that list that some things were going to have to go.

Composting, while wonderful and important, was one of them. I've also put a hiatus on cloth diapering which was really hard for me to give up. We're using disposable Seventh Generation diapers--better than regular disposables I guess, but I still feel guilty every week when we toss them into the grocery cart. I've stopped cooking every night and instead we've had leftovers or things "nearly" prepared from boxes (but no mac-n-cheese from the blue box...yet!). I've also stopped working during my son's nap time and instead use the time to read, write (personal), or take a nap myself. This has been completely, utterly wonderful and made a huge difference in how I feel throughout the day. I didn't realize how depleted and frantic I was feeling until I stopped for a half hour and sat in quiet. Bliss.

Which brings up another point--alone time. While I have a wonderful mom and super-sweet sister who each watch the baby for 4 hours a week (two mornings total), they were watching him here in my house which was not working well for me. Though it was convenient for me and I was grateful that they were willing to drive here AND take care of the little PeaPod for FREE, I needed some time away from him. And sitting in the next room while he wailed and laughed alternately and wondering what he was doing and if Mom/Sis needed anything while trying to work wasn't, well, working.

Instead, I now bring him to their houses for care. Huge difference. I can fully concentrate and not feel pulled in two directions. My lovely sister also offered (insistently) that I let her take her nephew for another hour each week so that I could do something ALL ALONE. As an introvert, it's hard to describe how important time alone is to me. It's like air--I need it badly.

While all of the changes I've made around the house are supposed to be temporary (just until the first of September) there are some that I'm letting go for a little longer. My son has pretty much outgrown his cloth diapers now, so I need to decide if we go up to larger sizes or stick with what we're doing. I'll probably start composting again. I will not give up his nap times for work unless it's absolutely, positively necessary. I will keep journaling.

And good grief, I have got to start eating healthier.

I went into rebellion mode after the baby came. "I've been eating healthfully for 9.5 months," I was thinking. "Now I'm going to eat whatever I want." Well, I do still try to eat healthfully but it's been a definite struggle lately. I have 8 pounds of pre-baby weight to lose, which I'm not too worried about. It will come off when it's ready. What I am worried about is my health. I feel tired a lot, even though the little PeaPod is almost sleeping through the night. I feel bloated and crave sugar CONSTANTLY. I keep thinking that there is some nutritional deficiency--Protein? Greens? Fruit? I don't know but I've also been having digestive issues.

So yesterday I spent a little time online on one of my favorite health food websites, Happy Foody. This site is AWESOME and a "visit with Sara" always seems to get me motivated. Right now she's doing a green smoothie challenge--one month long. I'm trying for one week at this point and we'll see where it goes from there.

I also tried this recipe for Raw Chocolate Macaroons that she posted on her site--Oh my. Delicious and totally, completely satisfied my sweet tooth.

I'm so, so interested in a raw foods diet. Part of me is horrified to think of life without bread, but another part of me recognizes how great I feel when I eat lots and lots of fruits and veggies, things that always seem pushed out the way when tastier and less healthy options are available.

So, dear readers--onward and upward. I hope I'm better about posting on here as I do like to write on this blog and love the comments you post, but at this point I can't promise anything too intensive. I won't forget about it completely, though my posts might be more sporadic than I'd like. Please, bear with me.