Listen to Your Body

Zion 2010 109

September 15, 2016

Today I’m on my way back from the flu, and normally I would have called this a “special occasion” aka a reason to not eat in a way I’ve committed to, which is eat for eight hours and not eat for sixteen. IF or intermittent fasting. The regimen has netted many benefits, which I’ve discussed recently. The most notable are I’m losing weight and I listen to my body in a new way.

The reason I would choose to deviate: I am recovering today and I felt weak and lightheaded right when I woke. All the conventional thoughts on this matter whisper to me: Go ahead and eat. You need the nutrients and calories. Listen to your body. Eating when you’re hungry is simple common sense, right? And in addition to my brain being only half online, my stomach growled. I glanced at the clock on the microwave over my gas stove: 8:15. A month ago I would have been ramping up to a mid morning snack having had a full breakfast two hours before, but today I shrugged and said, I’ll wait until nine and “feed” 9:00 to 5:00. Some days it’s 10:00 to 6:00. Other days it’s even 11:00 to 7:00. I patted my belly and said, I AM listening. Very closely in fact.

But, instead of answering with, right on girl here’s a bunch of calories, I said, why don’t you burn some of that stored energy, aka fat, stored around the middle instead? It’ll be fine. I promise. Let’s start burning that extra fat rather than feeding off the readily available blood glucose. Burn the fat and turn THAT into the glucose needed. We’re turning into a fat burning machine. Yeah!

Could it be thirst instead of hunger? How about some beautiful pure water instead? We live in Central Oregon girl, some of the best water in the world. Ah, yeah that’s what I need.

Listening. Feeling. And as I hear the sound of my own hunger I know there are stored calories available, unwanted and unnecessary “cush” hanging out, on the real estate between my bra and my panties. I don’t need that. I don’t want that either. In fact, all those extra calories making the cush are also creating imbalances in the blood, clogging and thickening the life giving plasma which increases the likelihood of disease. Eek. None of that!

A toast loveliness, to listening, and just possibly giving a different answer.

Love and lettuce,

Kathryn

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What I’ve Noticed in Two Weeks of Intermittent Fasting (IF)

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What has occurred to me over these last couple of weeks have had a significant impact on my beliefs and behavior:

Hunger doesn’t hurt. I haven’t fainted.

Eating nothing is easier than eating less.

That line-in-the-sand, not eating past or before certain times has enabled… “a pause” I’ll call it, in my psyche, that has helped me make positive food choices during the “feeding times.”

I naturally drink a lot more water.

Caffeine helps with hunger. So does peppermint tea with wheat grass powder.

I am losing weight.

I have to be careful to eat planned meals and not keep eating until spacey-head feeling goes away.

Kombucha can give an immediate lift when feeling spacey. Most of the time I just have a little, maybe 2-4 oz.

I stay under 50 calories during non-eat/fasting times, which seems a little random but seems to work.

Yoga is even better in an empty or hungry state.

My desire to be lean is bigger than my craving to eat constantly.

Living lighter, getting leaner is a matter of honor and character for me. For doing what I said I would.

I almost like the feeling of being hungry now. That hunger means my body is burning something besides the glucose in my bloodstream from eating food—maybe consuming that ‘cush that is my belly instead!

That’s what I picture: my belly getting flatter; more hollowed out—as the perfect fuel (my fat) is consumed. My jaw is getting less square. My arms leaner. My calf muscles more defined. It’s almost like meditation. Breathe in. Feel the hunger. Breathe out. Eat the extra on my body. Lean into the growl. Smile that I’m doing what I said I would. Inhale the emptiness that runs from my belly to my throat. Yes. I’m getting leaner. I feel it. More clear-headed lucid. Yes. I’m also more beautiful. With each breath, with all my senses I picture these attributes. Hear my own voice. Taste the nutritious food. Touching my smooth, firm skin, I smell my own vibrant fresh musky scent.

A toast lovelies, to playing at the edges of hunger and beauty.

Love and Lettuce,
Kathryn

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Breakfast Isn’t the Only Option

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The first belief I’d like to question is that we should never skip breakfast.

So I’m not eating breakfast these days, at least like I used to. I’m not immediately feeding at 5:30 a.m., which is when I usually get out of my warm bed and start my day. Instead, I’m waiting until 10:00 a.m., hours after I wake, which is flies in the face of the “eat breakfast-steady burn” way of thinking. It’s always seemed to me that those early morning calories don’t count, like I’d simply plow through that early fuel as I moved through my day, yet the lived experience is I’ve maintained an unwanted ten or so extra pounds.

So, I’m playing with waiting to eat and I will tell you, since it’s 9:45 a.m. and the only things I’ve ingested are water, mate tea, coffee and diluted greens and water—I’m frigging hungry. My belly is growling and my brain has gone all spacey-cotton-y on me, which seems to also go against that “listen to your body” wisdom. I should eat, right? And why would I take on this masochistic endeavor anyway? To lose weight possibly? Yeah, that’s definitely part of it for me. You see this beautifully fit man lays next to me at night and a gorgeous square-necked, body-hugging yet lady-like, gray and copper lace dress hangs in my closet, and that that little honey whispers as I walk by “you’d look amazing in me at the wedding in October.”

It’s more than that though. As I’ve gotten through a series of weight-loss hypnosis sessions, which has been more about removing barriers and emotional healing by the way, I’ve realized adjusting lifestyle habits and beliefs about food is an essential part of this lean-beautiful equation. Since my sessions with Emmy I am feeling all worthy and happy, but there’s more than a good emotional-mental state that results in a lean fit body: I still need to choose this thing. Every day I need to choose to eat less and move more, until a bunch of days pile up…and voila I’m ten pounds leaner!

So, today I’m about two weeks into a simple practice called intermittent fasting. I simply eat between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Three meals: 10:00ish, 2:00ish and 6:00ish. Not a big departure for some, but for me, one who tends to eat like a bird—nearly constantly—it’s huge.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll even live longer. It’s believed that reduced calorie consumption extends life.

Maybe I’ll have less inflammation. It makes sense to me. Who knows all the benefits I could reap?

A water-tea-coffee-wheatgrass-kombucha (anything under fifty calories) toast, to questioning conventional wisdom, to finding our own way, to listening to a desire deeper than physical hunger.

Love and lettuce,
Kathryn

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Eat Your Wheaties and Other Bunk Ideas

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Eat your Wheaties.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
You need constant fuel in order to create a “steady burn”.
You have low blood sugar.
You have to eat more protein (meat) to lose weight.
Oh, but it’s “healthy fat.”

These are well-known snippets of eating wisdom are generally regarded as true. But are they really?

Maybe.

As I rotate between sips of green tea, plain water and kombucha water, my stomach growls and I sink into fantasies of Marionberry scones and syrupy waffles and I wonder how to sort through all this supposed basic knowledge about food and eating well. Most of my life I’ve believed and adhered to most of these foundational diet tenets. They make sense. My culture (doctors, articles, books, my mother) have spouted these ideas like they’re as obvious as gravity.

Maybe they are.

What about the very basic “listen to your body?” Listening to your body sounds like a real good idea, but my body says Lauren’s buttery garlic bread is the food of the gods and three handfuls of nuts feels like nourishment to my soul.

What’s really true here? As usual I’m going to run a few little experiments and see how deep this little (or gaping) rabbit hole goes. I’ll let you know.

A big ole kombucha toast to asking questions.

Love and Lettuce,
Kathryn.

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Fly Away

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In our community a couple of weeks ago a young woman went missing. A beautiful, vibrant young woman named Kaylee. We knew her. She and my older daughter were elementary school chums. As a community we worried alongside the family as the search teams were assembled and news coverage mounted. Our hearts sank as the missing person search turned into a murder investigation. A Facebook media blitz started. Everyone was looking for her. Then the worst was confirmed.

God no.

What does a person do, a person like me, close enough to know, but outside enough to be of no immediate help? I guess I do what I know how to do. I write.

So, here it is.

Years ago when my daughter Liss and her friend Kaylee were in Girl Scouts, Kaylee’s Grandma and Grandpa, the troop leaders, got the makings for bird houses from the Fish and Wildlife. I think Liss gave me the one she put together for Christmas that year. Anyway I nailed the thing up on an old juniper in the front yard and these last couple of years little birds have nested out there.

These last few weeks as I’ve sat on my couch writing, hungry chicks have loudly squawked right outside my living room window, Sometimes I’ve turned in surprise. So loud. Other moments I’ve smiled in delight, watching.

At first they were only beige featherless things, beaks open wide in hunger. Now they are fully feathered, with dark and shiny eyes, nearly ready for flight. Too soon is my first thought.. Then I sigh and give in to what must come.

Go ahead. Fly away sweet ones. We’ll be okay. But we’ll miss you. We’ll miss you so so much.

Love and Lettuce,
Kathryn
Eulogy writer at pro-wordsmith.com

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You have a vegan birthday?

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July 23rd, this last Saturday, was my first vegan birthday. It’s been an adventure. Surprisingly easy, natural, like this is the way I always was. I really had all these great vegan meals under all the gook I was throwing on top of my veggies. This life is healthier for me, kinder to animals, better for the planet. Win. Win. Win. And as delicious as I want it to be!!

Cheers lovelies, to our health, to kindness, to the planet!

Love and lettuce,
Kathryn

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Love Anyway

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We did make it. San Diego is lush-ocean, palm-tree wonderful. Been fun seeing his family. I’m sitting in our rental car at the disc golf course in Balboa Park, alone. Morely it’s called. The sprinklers are going. It’s quiet, except for the constant whoosh of traffic and the chik-chik-chik of of the old fashioned watering system. I’m munching a bag of power greens and dark chocolate thinking about what he said.

It’s beautiful here. It really is. No matter what I’m glad I came. And right now, I’m going to brave those sprinklers and rip me off a few.

A toast lovelies, to I don’t know what. Maybe just lettin’ ‘er fly.

Love and lettuce,
Kathryn

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Super Easy This Vegan Thing

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Getting vegan lean over here. This is my simple combo:

A pile of non-starchy veggies
A bed of greens
3/4 cup of beans
1/2 cup pseudo grain (quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice or amaranth)
2 Tablespoons hemp hearts
10 nuts (love hazelnuts)
Nutritional yeast
Salsa
Maybe a couple dashes of Braggs

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I’ll Always Have Your Back Kind of Love

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Now moving into the light and delicious “I’ll always have your back” kind of love—a lively partnership, a stable sane love, deep soulful connection.

We, you and me, make plans. We co-parent with our former spouses. If something comes up, maybe at a family meeting or in casual conversation, before we commit we might say, “That might work. I’ll check with…” Or: “Hey cool. I’ll see what Kathryn and I come up with.”

We don’t go to our ex’s for advice. We find best friends, coworkers and each other, because we rest in our own dignity and innate appropriateness. By refraining from this emotional intimacy with our ex, we also honor our current relationship and give space for conscious love. And finally, we allow our former spouse room to live in a new way without us, and give them room to bond again. Really “being there” might be being there less.

We knock on our former spouse’s door and wait for an answer. We respect their privacy because it’s just cool and right. We want to be whole and happy, not sloppy and fumbling. We want our kids on solid ground, knowing what’s cool. And what’s definitely not.

The “drop off the kids” times are friendly, but brief, with the focus on the kids. “Hey Cindy’s got some new moves in aerial. Check it out.” Or “Hey, Reba’s got a funny story about…” In the beginning while feeling around for a respectful groove, maybe just smile and stand close to the door. With words and body language say, “I respect you. I respect myself. I’m cool with this new way of being with you.” That clarity and “can do” lightness brings in the fresh air of moving on and “it’s all going to be just fine” that we, and the kids need.

We don’t go on vacations or spend the night with our ex’s, even if “nothing” is ever going to happen. Nope. Because we respect ourselves, it doesn’t even come up. And if by chance it does, by saying no, we’re saying “I set you free, both to love and to move on without me. I also don’t need you to need me. I believe in your ability to take care of yourself. And, I respect my new love.”

I’m ready to love, all big and luscious—because this relationship is safe, sane and respectful. I’m ready to build a deeper level of personal dignity by knocking first and keeping it brief and friendly. I include my soul friend/love in decision making, saying to whoever is in front of me, “Cool I’ll talk to…” I don’t spend the night or go on vacations with my spouse, though I’m naturally inclusive. “Come over on Christmas! Have one of Sarah’s cookies! Stay for a hand of poker.” I accept that we have a new way of being a family.

A toast lovelies,
To being the best version of ourselves.
To that “I’ll Always Have Your Back” kind of love.

Love and Lettuce,
Kathryn

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I Don’t Want To Know and Other Excuses

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How many times do we look the other way because we don’t want to know? Or we don’t feel ready to do anything about it?

I’m trying, as a personal evolution experiment, to notice when I’m avoiding. Maybe the reality of a thing seems too wrong, too awful, too overwhelming. Maybe it seems I can’t make a difference. Maybe it seems the whole world thinks it’s okay. Even so, I think I’ll take a little gander anyway. Something in me knows. Mine as well just give it a go.

I’m not ready to make the change, some say. For me, I no longer want to use that excuse. So, I’m looking: Animal agriculture. We all have some inkling. Don’t we? But, I can’t give up meat, I hear some say. Another says: I can’t give up dairy. But, I can’t…I can’t. I think we owe it to ourselves to at least know what choice we’re really making. We are more than the sum of our indoctrinations and addictions. We are more than what our culture tells us to be. I for one, flunked blind obedience training.

Let’s just see where knowing takes us. Maybe we could make a positive difference here. Maybe with what we choose to eat. Maybe with what we choose to buy. Maybe what we choose to support or participate in.

Maybe we change a little at a time, like embracing Paul McCartney’s Meatless Mondays. Maybe we make a grand leap and go vegan.

Are you willing? Just to see and know? Knowing the truth of a thing–that’s where it all starts.

So, the documentaries I’ve listed below are fascinating, credible sources of information on the unhealthy animal-product based diet we’re accustomed to, and what animal agriculture looks like in the United States.

Cowspiracy
Fork Over Knives
Fed Up
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
PlantPure Nation

Take a look, even if you aren’t ready to change. Just as an act of bravery, as an ethical citizen, on the path of your own evolution. As a human sharing this planet.

Love and Lettuce,
Kathryn

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