Foodie, Heal Thyself
By: Michelle Shain
I know, I know. It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my journey. Ob La Da is more my husband’s business than mine, but once the holidays start swinging into gear the work starts spilling over to me. So it has been busy, busy, busy around here. How did all that work with my health goals? It could’ve been better, but it could have been worse. I did my best to keep things reasonable, but it is definitely hard when the house turns into Santa’s Workshop and the rest of the family is like “hey, let’s get a pizza.”
You all have been there before, right? Everyone is gorging on a huge Italian feast and you’re off on the side eating salad and giving the stink eye to your compadres.
It’s hard and it’s a recipe for failure as I find time and time again. Don’t get me wrong… I know my husband, Kevin, means well when I’ve had a bad day and he suggests getting ice cream from Farfars, but good intentions pave the road to ill health.
I have good news though: Kevin has come aboard the Foodie, Heal Thyself train! We got past Christmas and started looking towards the new year and he said that he wanted to drop some of the padding he’d picked up over the past year. I jumped on that as if he said Queen Bee was giving away free honey, and got him on board with the plan. It’s so much easier to achieve goals when you have a partner, not only because of the camaraderie you feel when you are in the trenches, but also for accountability. Which is really just a fancy way for me to say that now I am allowed–no, required–to harass him when I catch him eating those dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s.
So what is our plan?
I’ve always been a strong believer in meal planning, not just for health reasons, but for financial reasons too. It is so much easier to stick to a budget when you plan out what you will be eating for the week ahead. Then you know exactly what to get at the store when you go shopping and it makes it so much easier to stick to a shopping list and prevent those impulse buys! It’s become fairly obvious to me that meal planning makes it easier to stick to a sensible diet too. And if you are a calorie counter, you can count those calories just as easily as you can count those pennies!
Our meal plan consists of mostly fruits, veggies and lean meats with a little bit of rice and quinoa and a smattering of cheese and yogurt. I love some plain Greek yogurt with local honey every now and again. (I’m also going to be adding in some oatmeal in the morning because it helps with lactation and I am still nursing my son. Too much calorie restriction and heavy exercise can lower your milk production, but that’s a whole other conversation.) It is hard to eat fresh and local in the winter, but there are lots of local farms out there that are growing hardier vegetables during the winter, like our friends at Rise and Shine Farm.
We’re going to add more exercise into the mix. And I’m going to get back to my yoga practice. I was doing great leading up to my last pregnancy and then the morning sickness and some pelvic girdle pain dropped that straight out of my schedule. So it’s time to get back to the mat because nothing makes me feel as good and relaxed as yoga does. I’m thinking about checking out one of our local yoga studios so maybe I’ll get a chance to write about that and get some yogi wisdom to share with you!
I know how important goal setting is, so on a regular basis we are going to sit down and review our goals, set new goals and/or redirect our goals. The way I have always done this is to think of the end result that I want. I write down the end result and then map out backwards how to get there. And, you know, not to be all The Secret, but creative visualization is definitely a powerful tool for staying on course. I make vision boards and Pinterest boards all the time to remind me of what I am shooting for. My goals are to heal myself of course, to eat more local and raw foods and to get my abdominal muscles back to their pre-cesarean strength.
This may be a hard one to talk the rest of my family into, but meditation has done wonders for me. I was diagnosed about a year ago with PTSD and regular meditation has changed my life and helped me regain control of my brain. I like to work with the Deepak Chopra guided meditations. He does a free 21 Days of Meditation every once in a while, so if you are skeptical keep your eye out for that and give it a try. If it doesn’t do anything for you, that’s cool, but it has the potential to really bring a lot of positivity into your life.
Yes, indulgence. And I’m not talking about the peanut butter cup kind. Right before Thanksgiving I had my first craniosacral/reiki treatment from Holly Dolben of Marshfield. It was amazingly relaxing and the first time in a long time that I had spent money to do something nice for myself. So part of the plan is to indulge in a little self care. Massages, haircuts, pedicures, etc. Painting for me. Playing the drums for my husband. Date nights. Maybe even just a nap here and there. It’s so easy to get lost in taking care of business and taking care of the family and it’s important to look after yourself!
So how about you? Are you planning to healthy it up in 2013? Come on and buddy up with me and Kevin!
Michelle Shain is a writer, artist, baker, and graphic and web designer. She and her husband are the owners of Ob La Da, a locavore bakery in Marshfield, MA.