If you think about it, the fact that we get to eat anything at all is a miracle. A seed had to be formed, and then grown, sunlight had to happen, and water. A person had to pick the vegetable and make it available for sale. You had to have money to buy it or know someone who does. You have to be healthy enough to hold a fork and raise it to your mouth, or know someone who will do it for you, and hopefully they won't think you are a pain in the ass. The fact that we get to eat and live is a damn miracle.
I don't feel the miracle though, so I'm going to need to pray. I found this Japanese prayer online and I think it is what I need to say before I eat.
"This food is a gift of the entire universe,
and the work of many people.
May I be the presence that deserves to receive this.
May I receive the energy and be protected from illness.
May I walk the path of wisdom and love.
When I eat, may I not forget the people
who are now suffering from hunger in the world.
In this food, I see the presence of the entire universe supporting me."
No matter what we eat this week, be it good for us food or bad, be thankful for it. Say the blessing and hopefully it will become a reminder that even though horrible things may go on in our lives, there are blessings to be grateful for still. We need only to push ourselves a little sometimes to see them.
Whether or not you believe Jesus was the son of God, at the very least he was an intelligent, kind, and gentle soul who taught a message of unconditional love and hope for all. He is someone I strive to be more like.
Support - v 1. To give assistance to, enable to function.
2. A thing that bears the weight of something or keeps it upright.
This week, and for the rest of our lives, we are going to make healthy recipes for ourselves. I chose the word support because collecting recipes is one thing - making them, and continuing to make them even on days when you want the bad stuff, requires a solid foundation. Hard to do without support.
If you don't have support from the people around you, you are not alone. You're not even in the minority. Most people do not have the right kind of support from friends and family because most people do not know how to be supportive. If people don't give healthy support to themselves, they have no idea how to give it to others.
We cannot look to others for emotional support, we must give it to ourselves. This way you are not dependent on others to carry you, in the roughest of times you will be able to carry yourself. But how do we do that? Constant affirmation. Start collecting sayings and write them in your journal all the time. Here are a few:
It's not that I can't eat that, I am making the healthier choice not to.
"Your body is a piece of the universe you've been given." Geneen Roth
"Women turn to food when they aren't hungry because they are hungry for something they can't name. A connection to what is beyond the concerns of daily life." Geneen Roth
A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch but in its own wings.
This is why I started all of this, PNC My Sacred Narrative - to create the connections that will keep me on track, and share what I am doing with you so you can help you! So, one of the easiest way to do that is with the spinach smoothies. A high speed blender like my Nutribullet is perfect because it makes one perfect serving, and the blender turns into a cup to drink out of. EASY PEASY. I'd never eat that much spinach on it's own and the energy I feel from lots of greens is amazing.
This is one of my pages from last week and yes I had pancakes for dinner. I needed them. But, I did them in a way that was better than regular version which is white flour. I made Buckwheat pancakes and added Carob chips! This way I felt like I was getting a treat but carob is much better for me than chocolate. Carob has no caffeine but is a bean similar to chocolate and was CRAZY YUMMY melted in my pancake.
This is my set up for next week. I kept it pastel.
This is a page I made last week about sugar and being a crack head about it.
I am no further down the road of eating well any more than most regular people. I have tried many times in the past only to run to the store and eat as many cupcakes as I could get my hands on. I deal with stress by escape, and if I can't physically run away, I emotionally check out.
But, I am willing to try again. I think becoming a habitual healthy eater will take practice and time, and most of all, mindfulness. Keeping track of what I am eating, and having the recipes there for me are helping me stay on top of it. So that is what I am sharing with you this week.
Not that pretty, but it works for now. On substantial card stock, make a list of the vitamins and things you need daily. Cover it with clear contact paper. Adhere post it notes and your meal documentation card to it daily, and keep track of what you eat all in one place. You could even have a reward set up in mind if you achieve your daily goals.
Collect recipes that you want to eat and put them on cards. Adhere to your journal with washi tape. Washi tape's stickiness is low, so you can easily take the cards out and switch them around. The idea is each week to set yourself up with cards for that week, so you have it all right there with you. After the week you take them out and put them in a stack with the other recipes that are waiting to be used, like in a box. This way you don't keep another book for recipes, your week is right with you.
I used the back of the recipe card to add another recipe. But no worries that you have to make all these recipes right away. Spend this week collecting them and making cards.
And don't get all perfect in your journal. I don't, and it's more fun. I am more likely to keep up with it daily if I don't take everything so seriously. I do create art in it like I spend lots of time on, but that doesn't mean all of the journal has to be perfect handwriting and even corners. It's like your life, some of it is junky and some of it is serious. All of it is meaningful.
This was my last week filled in. No, ha, I don't have to remind myself to shower, but to make a special spa bath, like with bubbles and candles. It is part of forcing myself to relax. Also, the bed yoga is not code for anything interesting. It's just that I want o do a few poses that will promote sleep before bed. Did I learn any? Well, its Saturday night as I write this. I still have two more hours.
Just like we didn't go through our things and get rid of everything in the first week, neither are we going to change our entire eating habits in one day. This week is only for asking questions and being truthful with yourself. The only person it is going to hurt if you say, "everything is fine" when it's not, is you.
1. Answer, in writing, as many of the prompt questions as you like, and add more prompts if you come up with any (and please share them with the rest of us)!
2. What insights did you gain from your writing?What changes do you want to make?
3. Write down what you are eating. Make little cards like the ones I made so they are prepared in advance. This makes it much easier to document things even when you are busy. Write down what you ate, and when and how you felt afterward.
This is all I want you to do this week. Don't make any changes, just notice what your eating life is really like, right now. Record triggers: what happened just before you ate the box of powdered doughnuts? Were you fighting with someone? Did you look in the mirror and feel insecure? Getting to know what you are eating and why, without JUDGMENT, is the goal. In the following weeks ,we will work on learning what we need to do and how to do it, but for now, just be honest with yourself. You deserve it.
HI, I'M SUZI, AND I'M AN ADDICT.
It doesn't matter much what I am addicted to, since every day that changes. At the moment, it is Rick Grimes and his mouth, but white powdered doughnuts get to me, too.
Growing up in a small, tense home, where people who loved each other were afraid to love each other, at the tender age of 12 I learned the value of escape. It started with Music - The Doors. I'd turn the volume up on my stereo as loud as it would go to drown out the adults yelling incessantly. It never really got loud enough to drown them out completely. Their loud voices carried under my door and tore through my stomach.
When I found alcohol, I used it as much as I could get away with. I poured whiskey from the dark wood cabinet into a paper cup and drank it on the way to the bus in junior high school. Drunk at 8 am; hungover by 10. Getting strung out so early helped ease whatever stress came my way that day. I was too tired to care.
The physical essence of what we use to get numb differs only in how numb we get. While heroin equals comatose, a full box of Russell Stover chocolates eaten systematically, pausing only for brief gulps of milk to clear the way to swallow more, that's numbing, too.
Nour-ish: 1. Providing food or other substances, necessary for growth, health, and good condition.
Many substances, (including people, places, and things,) make us feel good but are bad for our health. We take them and fool ourselves that we are being nourished, but we are doing the opposite. We are harming ourselves. We have a need that expects to be met, the silence of screaming words that can't be taken back and ringing in a child's ear for weeks afterwards, for years, really. We need a safe space and when there isn't one, we pretend to make one.
Peace, however, if it comes at a cost, is not peace, and is only temporary. Part of real nourishment, real peace, is sustainability; it keeps us going far longer than false peace ever could. This fact is all I need to remain strong in the face of mini cupcakes, a pint of Guiness, or a line of cocaine - true bliss can be had with nutrition, with real nourishment. The high you are seeking IS available to you, but it doesn't come as fast. I know this because I've been on both sides of the self-soothing track. With full-time clean eating, I feel energetic, confident, and more peaceful than when I was high as f**k, which includes binging on food. If I didn't feel this good, I'd tell you that health is bullshit and be the first one to pass out the Xanax and doughnuts. Irritable highs and theatrical lows, the cheap dramas, can be traded for wholeness and bliss. Energy that lasts, real love.
What I ingest is a choice. I ask myself, "Is what I'm going to eat nourishing me in a sustainable and loving way, or will it deplete me?" Consistency is key. That is what I was doing wrong before. I thought as long as I had a spinach smoothie for breakfast, I could drink espresso all day for energy. If you lack energy and live in a general state of un-wellness, you HAVE to give up ALL false energy for your body to accept nourishment. Every time you add the bad stuff, you are canceling out the good. A little bit of arsenic does indeed hurt you.
Is the food you are eating adding to, or depleting, your health and quality of life? Do you think you deserve quality of life?
This is my set up for the week. I adhered Moleskine sketchbook pages into my Squared base journal. I kinda like this because they are more durable for art and stickers and things, but the grid paper is still there so I can write.
I used a Project Life journal card to make 7 food notecards for the week. I want you to make one too using whatever you have around. Index cards will work too.
If this was 2 weeks ago there would have been more Coffee and Chocolate than actual food. But I am doing my Sacred Narrative pages a little ahead of you, so I figured out what was killing my energy. I still can do better, but the act of writing and keeping track of what you are actually eating puts it all in perspective. You don't have to show your food cards to anyone else, so be honest on them. If you ate a pound of Doritos, write it down.
Make a pocket out of card stock and washi tape and put it where your week at a glance page is. Put all 7 food cards in it and pull them out each day. Keep track of how you feel after you eat, such as how high or low your blood sugar is and whether you feel energized or groggy.
Don't make changes in your food yet, just document how it currently is. You will gain more lasting changes if you naturally make the connection of what you are eating and how you feel. Changing your diet only because someone tells you too will not be as effective as that decision coming from within. Talk to yourself in your journal. Talk about the food, about how you feel. Make your own connections.
I add plastic page protector sheets to my journal by cutting them to fit, then adhering them with Washi tape on both sides. I like the added textural effect of the unexpected plastic. It makes the journal more interesting.
Here the page insert is put into the protector. Easy peasy. Everything in one book, the way I like it!
This is my set up for next week. The bright stickers are from an office supply store. I like to change up how to document each week at a glance. I'm realizing that since I work on a new page each day, I don't really need a lot of room for the week page - just bullet points of what I want to do or room for a sentence or quote. Definitely need a note area. If my rectangles get too filled up I can put post it notes flags over them for extra writing space.
This is the fatness of my book since March 1. Not terribly so yet. March was more about planning and doing more than writing introspectively, but next month that will change. I have a great topic that I'm sure all of us need to explore.
I will be putting up prompts every Sunday for the entire year, so come back here to see the new prompt, and put your pages up on the new FaceBook Page!
What if this was it? This life you have now, this is what you get. This is all the money you are going to make, this is as pretty as you will ever look, these are your things. Could you be content?
con-tent > adj. in a state of peaceful happiness
Of course you could. With the realization that in no way are you ever going to get something more, the stuff you have starts to look pretty good. If you were stranded on an island, whatever possessions you had with you would become treasures. If diagnosed with a terminal illness, the day itself would become a gift. Peacefulness about where you are in life is all about perspective.
Take me. I'm a striver. I've made big plans and some of them I made come true. I wake up in the morning and see the potential in everything. It is what makes me an excellent teacher. I do not accept limits in myself or anyone else. I know we all have the ability to make amazing things happen. I don't care what you think is wrong with you, I mean you, too.
But because of this, unfortunately, for me, now never feels like enough. There's always something that could be better. Everything can be improved, and if there is a flaw, I look at it like a black fly in my white potato soup. I want perfection. It has been one week since I had any caffeine or white sugar. I started guzzling both the moment my father left our earth three years ago. Cupcakes and caffeine, baby, that's how I dealt with the pain in my throat from crying, the ache in my belly that could not hear his voice. Speed baby, I couldn't have whiskey so I had caffeine. And while that was useful for grief, it helped me keep the pieces of me together, it did not help my ability to sit still for more than 2 minutes. But after this week, now is nice. I can sit and not shake. I can breathe deeply without the need to run around the block. I can be calm.
Calmness is key in noticing how great the present really is. If you are hyped up and anxious, thinking about how good the past was, manic about the future, now is going to seem like, meh. You can't compare now to the past. I've had my own apocalypse - there was then, and this is now. "You can't go back, Bob." It's never going to be like it was, but that doesn't mean it can't be great. Now holds some good stuff, too.
Truth is, I am a simple girl. I want my little house and I want sunshine. I want lemonade and to paint in the sun. I want to have small tea parties with girls who like to read books and do crafts. I want a garden and to grow food and have solar power and a composting toilette. (I even have a composting toilette song!). And yes, this is all in the future too because pretty much I've stayed in the basement grieving for three years. But spring is coming. I no longer want to worry about the future, I want to wake up to the beauty of now.
What's good about now?
This is my landing page for the week.
I set up the Week-at-a-Glance page on left, menu page on right.