I Need More Fire

I feel so much better after talking to Jennifer this afternoon! My eye is no better, and maybe it’s even a little worse, but now I have someone helping me get to the bottom of this, and that is a big relief.

She said I need more fire. She told me to indulge in fats, to put coconut oil in my hot water, to find some dried calendula flowers and some herb called “eyebright” and make a tea and then soak a washcloth in that tea and put it over my eyes.

She told me to eat raw garlic, and to order a tincture called Power Lift that will help with fatigue and support my adrenals. She told me to order Supergreens and zeolite.

All these things sound like good things and I am anxious to start this protocol and see what happens.

Today is my 6th day without coffee, alcohol or sugar.

I am also one day away from the April yoga challenge. I’m going to need a lot of energy for that.

I think I am on my way.

Help is on the way

Day 3 of this no coffee, no sugar, no alcohol torture. It’s not the alcohol or the sugar I miss, it’s the coffee.  I do feel a little better today, and that’s because help is on the way. Last night I got this text from my friend Jennifer Ness Schmid:

“Hi, You should not have to got through caffeine withdrawal without adrenal support! Your body doesn’t have the inner juice yet to heal your eye, but you’re on the right track. I have a few ideas..will you do a free phone session with me? Xoxox”

I love her. She must have read my post from yesterday and thought “Uh-oh, Kath’s in trouble” and immediately sent this offer. Yeah, she will help me with “adrenal support” but the support that really warmed my heart last night was her caring concern.

Ever since I broke off with my naturopath I have felt a little out at sea. Fortunately, I am in really good health other than this nuisance eczema,  When these nuisance things do come up though, I get both obsessed and frustrated with my inability to figure them out.  My old naturopath couldn’t figure it out either, and we worked on it for 2 years.

But Jennifer is wicked good at what she does, and in addition I really love her as a person, so I am looking forward to collaborating with her in getting to the bottom of this.  I totally trust her and I can really talk to her.

She used to live here, but moved to California a number of years ago and has recently set up her own business, Oasis Wellness. We met when she started coming to my yoga classes as a new mother. She was funny, smart, beautiful and she ground her own wheat to make bread! What??

She left class one day saying that she had to go home and soak her lentils. I couldn’t imagine how a young mother with a baby and 2 other small children was finding time to grind wheat and soak lentils. But she did, and as as I got to know her better, I found that she lived the lifestyle she promoted, and is in total integrity. I love and admire that about her.

After I got that text last night I thought: How lucky am I to know such really pro people who have mad-crazy skills and are willing to support me in my hour of need?

I hope she agrees to work with me and become my new naturopath. We are going to talk on Monday.

I feel so much better already.

Thanks, Jennifer!

Winter, enough.

I am sitting here on the couch with the headphones on because the basketball game is on and I can’t really write with that blithering in my head.

I am in my 2nd day of no coffee and I think my eyes are getting worse, not better. I know 2 days isn’t much, but I wanted to see at least a little improvement. (I am so dull without the charge of coffee. It makes me sad.)

So far I have been able to keep pretty optimistic with this endless winter, but today I couldn’t pull it off. It was cold and dreary when I got up, and as the morning progressed, the day got darker rather than lighter, and as I was getting ready to go to the gym, I heard thunder. And then it started to rain. Hard.

I can see the window reflected in the bathroom mirror. I could see the gloom and the rain, and then I refocused on my face, and my red puffy right eyelid, and the beginning of the same situation on my left eyelid.

(2 days without coffee, alcohol and sugar. Things should be better.)

The end of March.

(Things should be better than this).

I wanted nothing more than to sit in my pajamas and read and sleep all day. But I got myself to the gym, and did what I was told, and left the gym and went home and washed my hands and had some food, and got to my 1 o’clock appointment.

(All this is very dull.)

And then I went to yoga, and class was good, but all I could think of was going home, getting into my pajamas and sitting here even though I had no idea what the theme of the day should be.

I hate to complain. I hate to hear people complaining. Yet all I want to do is give in to my sadness about the weather and complain.

I have been trying so hard all winter to go with the flow, to control the controllables and accept what is out of my control. But today I just couldn’t. I actively hated the weather.

I miss sun so much. And warmth.

(My client walked in all sun tanned from a month in Florida.)

All I need is sun. To lay in. To bask in. And then I will be fine.

All I need is sun to be happy. It is not going to happen in the foreseeable future, though.

This is why when it gets to be fall, and everyone is all rhapsodic about the leaves and how beautiful they are, all I can think about is that this day is coming, this day of unendurable cold and wet and miserable after a winter of stabbing cold.

But we do endure, don’t we?

I hope you are in a place of sun and color. I hope I will soon be in that place, too.

Namaste.

Elimination Diet Begins Tomorrow

I have no idea what to write tonight. This is my 34th post in a row. I started out on February 18th, Ash Wednesday, with the goal to post every day until Easter, which I believe is April 5th.

But tonight I am hitting the wall, I am scrounging for content.  But I will not let myself break this streak.

A streak, is something you do for as long as you can, all the while knowing that you probably can’t sustain it forever. A streak is like a game: it’s fun to see how long you can last.

In the past I’ve had “yoga streaks” and “workout streaks” and “writing streaks” and “meditation streaks.” I once had a two and half year streak in 750words.com.

Tomorrow I am starting an elimination diet, which is a kind of streak. (A really hard, pain in the ass streak.) I am going to see how long I can eliminate  known inflammatories like wheat and eggs and coffee and alcohol and sugar from my diet, in the hopes that I can get to the bottom of this patch of red and scaly skin on my right eyelid which has been bugging me for a number of months now.

I  suspect that it is some food that is causing this reaction, so I am going to do some detective work. I am going to eliminate certain foods and see if this eyelid thing goes away. Then I will slowly introduce foods back in to see what triggers this allergic reaction..

Tomorrow morning, no coffee. I have gone off caffeine  before and it’s not pretty. But it has to be done.

Some streaks are easier to sustain than others. This one is going to test me

I’ll keep you posted. Wish me luck. I’d be really interested to hear any success stories about elimination diets. Did anyone have great luck? Do tell.

The Doyen of the Detox

G posted some pictures on Facebook today. Pictures of dirt. Pictures of the ground. Pictures of people not wearing coats.

I don’t remember that.

I looked in the mirror today and let’s just say, I’m not a “winter.”  My skin is the color of a codfish.. The bags under my eyes could hold my wallet, phone, a full set of gym clothes and my Ipad.

I’ve got a bad case of the uglies.

So, I am on a detox mission. This is nothing new.  I have done detoxes before, am pretty much the Doyen of the Detox.

I have cycled through Clean, a bunch of times, as well as Whole30–both elimination diets. But this time I am going Ayurveda all the way, baby.  I am finally going to take myself through the protocol I truly believe in: eat with the seasons, and according to the dictates of your dosha.

My Vata is wildly deranged at the moment: eczema really acting up, dry everywhere, restless sleep, so it’s time to regain  balance. It will start with sipping hot water all day, taking supplemental manjistha and turmeric, firing up the ol’ VitaMix for my green drinks, and caffeinating and alcohol-ing waaay less.

When the dandelion greens start popping up through the snow, I will be packing them, as well as  cress into my smoothies.

In 2 more weeks it will be officially spring. Tonight we turn the clocks forward.

Could it be that the worst is almost over?

 

Food Sins

Last night I came home from my wild and crazy Fall Flow class, starving. On the counter stood a warm rotisserie chicken and a bottle of wine at the perfect temperature. Oh god, it was the sight of heaven.

I fixed a plate, poured some wine and settled into the couch for a DVRed episode of The Amazing Race.

Ever since I have come off Clean, I have been super-aware of the effects of food on my mood, my sleep and my energy levels. This past weekend, for example, I indulged in pulled pork on a roll and, of all things, Cheese Balls.

Yeah. You know, cheese balls–those things that come in a jumbo plastic jar that are nothing but salt, preservatives and chemicals? Yeah, I ate those. After the 10th one I felt like I was going to throw up. Seems I no longer have the “palate” for crap I used to.

Cheese balls

The white roll that housed the pulled pork was this tasteless piece of “meh” that didn’t even offer that chewy, doughy, satisfaction of really-bad-for-you carbohydrate. It was just a hunk of processed white flour posing as food.

Last night though, the chicken was tasty and greasy, the wine fruity and satisfying. Alcohol has not been a big player in my life for the past 2 months, so as I sipped this nice Cline Zin (on a Monday, no less) I was aware that even though this probably wasn’t the best thing for me to be drinking, it nourished my soul.

The biggest problem with me and wine is not the wine itself, but how it lowers my resistance to other things. Like chocolate.

After I drained the first glass, I went to the kitchen for “just a splash more” and returned to the couch with my splash, plus a square of Ghiradhelli.

And then another one.

I went to bed and slept the sleep of the dead.

For 2  hours.

Then I was UP.  Chocolate at night. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

I looked at the clock at 1:30. Then again at 2:45. Then at 3:30. I adjusted pillows. I started the fan for some white noise. Squinted at the clock again at 4:45. I planned my NaNoWriMo project in my head for awhile then woke with a jolt at 8 AM.

I shuffled to the kitchen and made a big batch of amaranth cereal with apples and dates, and while I ate it I said 3 Our Fathers and 3 Hail Marys.

Clean slate.

Recipe for Amaranth cereal:

3 cups almond milk

1 cup amaranth (find this in the bulk food section of Wegmans, near the candy)

1 apple and 5 pitted dates pulsed in the food processor until they are in little pieces.

A good healthy shake of cinnamon.

Put all of these ingredients into a pot and bring to boil. Continue to simmer uncovered until the cereal is of the consistency you like. For me, this takes about 20 minutes. It makes a lot, so save it and heat it with a little almond milk the next day.

Amaranth is an ancient grain with a lot of protein, fiber, lysine and magnesium.  It will absolve you of the sins of cheese balls and chocolate and wine at night. I hope.

Eating Out

There’s something great about eating out: ordering from a menu, having a cocktail, choosing a dessert. And the whole thing about having someone else cook your meal, bring it to you, then whisk away the dishes, leaving you to linger over your wine, or a coffee? Yeah. I’m all about it.

So tonight G suggested we eat out.

I didn’t teach today, her game was postponed until Sunday, and we both are going to be spending a lot of time in Crazy Town in April, so this might be our last chance for a nice dinner out for at least a month.

But where to go? That was the question.

The local brewpub where we usually go? Or to the place where we used to go, before the brewpub opened.

It was a hard call because the local brewpub serves locally sourced meat, but I was in the mood for a martini and a nice dessert, and I couldn’t get either of those things there.

So we went to the place where we used to go. I am about to go back on the Clean program starting Sunday, but even if I wasn’t, I’m still concerned about where my food comes from and how it’s prepared. That’s why it’s often hard for me to eat out.

I am never really happy with any place we go. I want a place that will make me a delicious meal with locally sourced meat and produce. I want a place where I am confident that the chef is conscientious about getting fresh ingredients, and preparing them with care and attention. I don’t need to have as much info as these guys from Portlandia did, but I need some reassurance that things in the kitchen are cool.

So tonight we went to the Nest and I had a martini and the crabcakes, and we got the chocolate peanut butter mousse pie to take home.

It was lovely. But I wish we had a restaurant like this one around here. If we did, I would be eating out a lot more, methinks.