I like to listen to my body for cues or inspiration when making health decisions. The other day, with no reason I can pin point, I decided that I wanted (and needed?) to take a break from taking vitamins and supplements all the time.
Juicers are not a new topic on this blog. I’ve been using them and writing about them for years. There was a time I loved my twin gear Green Star back in the day when I was a newbie to raw food. Then, I moved to a cute n fast Breville because motherhood was taking most of my time (actually I’ve owned a couple of Breville juicers). I also fell for the Hurom single auger juicer in an attempt to up my quality of juice while keeping it easier than the Green Star. Finally, I topped out at the all time ultimate Norwalk Juicer thinking that it would save me money in the long long long long run, give me a superior juice never to be more superior, and offer me the option to juice big batches that can be stored for a few days so I wasn’t juicing every day. I wrote about these juicers, and I imagine when this post is done that the bottom “similar posts” links will feature them.
But, things change.
We are a family who loves to travel, and our most recent epic road trip took us to Michigan. But, travel can wreak havoc on anyone’s best attempts to eat healthy. Not always. Check out my post below where I show how we traveled across the country while (almost exclusively) staying on our Real Food Foodie Lifestyle (i.e., we ate really healthy in spite of being on the road). It meant extra work, which isn’t always the thing you want to do after a day of being in the car, but I’m simply not willing to eat crap food which is most often what’s served in restaurants.
Taking even 2 minutes to focus your attention on things and people for which you’re grateful can turn any frown upside down. Try it.
I’m grateful for my generous and smart husband. I’m grateful for my precious daughter. I’m grateful for all of my family.
I’m grateful for my friends.
I’m grateful for my health… I’m without cancer, disease, or pain.
I’m grateful for meditation.
I’m grateful for the delicious, superior, high quality foods my family enjoys.
I’m grateful for the roof over my head that protects me from the elements outside.
I’m grateful for our car so we can run errands, visit friends and family, and go on adventures.
I’m grateful for my big, comfortable bed and pillows.
I’m grateful for fresh water to drink, wash clothes, bathe, and make coffee.
I’m grateful for the warm sun of Arizona.
I’m grateful that my eyesight works and I can read.
I’m grateful that I can hear music with my ears and have a voice to sing along.
I’m grateful for my freedom.
I’m grateful for the Internet and my computer.
I’m grateful for the clothes on my back the shoes on my feet.
I’m grateful that I feel safe walking around my neighborhood any time of the day.
I’m grateful for gratitude.
I’m grateful for so many things. Why are you grateful?
Since changing my diet from vegan to omnivore, I have found myself looking into which foods are optimal sources of various nutrients. As a result, I started making lists to compile all of the data in one place.
Here’s my latest version, which is a work in progress, but I thought I’d share anyway because it’s a nice starting point. I’ve selected nutrients that I feel are important for my family’s optimal health. The items are not listed in any order of importance.
You’ll notice that most of the best sources, for many of these nutrients, are from animals. But, I would never settle for just any animals. As someone who cares for animals, and appreciates them and the nutrition they offer, I will only buy grass-fed and/or pasture-raised animal foods: meat, fish, some dairy, and lots of eggs. To see a list of the various places I source our foods, see this blog post.
Every New Year’s eve my husband and I sit down and write out our lists of goals and intentions for the coming year. I usually divide up the ideas by life segments such as career, family, relationships, leisure, finance, travel, etc.
For 2014, I did something different. I did something I’d never done before. I decided that 2014 was the year I would embrace only one goal for the whole year: Meditation.
Why only one goal? For a long time, I’d been wanting to make meditation a big part of my life, a regular staple in my daily routine. But for some reason, I wasn’t doing it consistently. I always said to myself, “Oh, I need to meditate…. I’ll do it tomorrow.” And, as the 2013 year was coming to an end, I decided it was of vital importance to make it a regular part of my life (and for my family, too). So important that it was going to be the only goal I focused on for the year.
Why I meditate. There was a reason that I suddenly came to place meditation with such importance. That’s because I’m now a firm believer that meditation deserves top billing.
As most of you know, over the past couple of years, I’ve dramatically changed the way I eat. I went from being a militant vegan, with animal rights fueling my purpose, to eating a Real Food diet of grass-fed omnivore foods, when my family’s health was failing with vegan foods. (See here and here and here for specifics.) The frustrating thing about using diet for optimal health and longevity is that you can find diametrically opposed camps — with each claiming to have science on their side — about what is right and what is not right when it comes to the food you put in your mouth.
Amid the firestorm of controversy on so many facets of what comprises “optimal” health, the fascinating thing I realized is that there’s at least one thing that pretty much everybody agrees on: Meditation is healthy and important for health and longevity. You might have respected doctors vehemently disagree on whether kale or bone broth is the best superfood, or which position is the best way to sleep, or how to treat a cold… but I have never heard any expert in recent years say you shouldn’t meditate as a daily practice for optimal health. After years of peer-reviewed interventional studies, meditation has become not only non-controversial, but they just keep discovering new amazing benefits. The only people who don’t say meditation is good for your health are people who don’t know the first thing about the topic.
Although I don’t like to think of how I eat as a “diet” … sometimes that word just works.
Today, I’m sharing with you a meal I had in New York recently, where I went off the rails completely in exchange for a true New York foodie experience. Was it worth it? Oh yes. Yes, I enjoyed every devilish bite.
As you can see from the picture above, I had a sandwich. Ooooh so crazy, eh? Ha. Well, since I don’t eat wheat these days, it was very different for me. Plus, it wasn’t grass fed. But, a healthy lifestyle goes beyond just food. It involves happy experiences, family, friends, rest, fun, and so much more. And, take note, I always say that when I travel to France (some day), I will enjoy their authentic foods with pleasure in all its wheat filled glory. Same goes for Italy.
As you all know by now, I’m a wee bit picky when it comes to my food. I want the highest quality and most nutritious goodness for my body and for my family. I want high performance, longevity, and energy. So, to ensure I get all of those things I prepare all of our high quality foods from scratch. That’s no small task as you might imagine, but it matters to me.
Sometimes, I need a break, or sometimes we’re traveling and food choices are limited.
One of the places on our list of “OK to eat” is Chipotle. It’s by no means perfect; but, on the spectrum of fast casual restaurants, they get my vote. They try to source quality ingredients and they listen to their customers. For example, they changed their oil by switching from crap gmo soy oil and now use less-crappy-but-still-crappy rice bran oil due to customer complaints.
We traveled to Mexico during the winter and it was the first time taking Kamea outside of the United States. I was concerned about the possibility of getting ill as you so often hear from people traveling to Mexico, so I did my best to research and prepare well for the trip. Thankfully, as a result of my preparations and packing, we all stayed perfectly healthy.
Please note: I am not a doctor, nor a midwife, nor a nurse… I don’t even have a Ph.D. in motherhood yet. The following info, as well as everything on my blog, is not to be considered medical advice. Please, do your own research.
Before leaving for Mexico, we were advised by our Naturopathic doctors to start taking probiotics and to continue taking them while traveling. We usually have probiotics on hand in the house anyway so that was easy. Here is the brand that Greg and I take and here is what Kamea takes.
The following list is what I packed for our trip.
- Things I Bring on an Airplane to Stay Healthy – Salt Pipe and Bulletproof Coffee
- (Recipe) Ginger Essential Oil Green Smoothie w Flax Power
- Recipes: Turmeric Almond Milk and Pumpkin Spice Curcumin Chia Pudding (Raw Vegan)
- Online Shopping at The Raw Food World – Coupon Time!
- I love Mountain Rose Herbs – Herbal Medicine. Beauty. Enhanced Sex.
I’m not much of a social butterfly, though I pretend to be one sometimes (because deep down I wish I were more extroverted). But I’m a mom now, and, well, Kamea needs more human interaction than just from her parents, right? Add homeschooling to the equation and the pressure increases to expose her to people and situations so she doesn’t grow up to be a hermit.
Therefore, the hunt to do more with others began for us.
To start, it seemed like a good idea to enroll Kamea is various classes where she could learn skills, enjoy herself, experience new activities, and meet other kiddos. I put her in classes like music, gymnastics, dance, swim, etc, but I learned that in those structured environments it’s kind of difficult to really meet and get to know the other kids. Not to mention it’s hard to strike up a conversation with other parents who usually have their noses in their smart phones. Err… not that I would ever do this myself.
So, I did what I always do when I’m trying to figure something out… I went to the internet. It works for most things, including introducing me to my husband years ago (thanks, eharmony!), so why not see if I can learn how to make more friends for us with it?