Something happened to me last week that opened a door to my past. A deep and dark precipice that threatened to let me drop off it’s edge with no remorse. And it broke me.
It was a moment of rejection. A painful reminder that not everyone will like me even when I’m the best version of me I can possibly be. Suffice it to say that the after-effects of this incident left me reeling for days and I couldn’t gather my bearings. I found myself filled with embarrassment for being shunned in front of others, then dread at the idea that I was no longer liked by this individual. I pushed the thoughts aside till the next day when my mind and heart suddenly filled with crippling anxiety. I spent the day in a daze, struggling to re-route my thoughts every time they would resurface. I made comfort food, had a movie night with my child, and for all intense and purposes “forgot” about the day before.
But I didn’t forget.
The next day– two days after the initial incident– I had my very first “angry” gym session. The workout was vigorous and aggressive as my body tried to release what my mind would not. After all, I wasn’t writing anymore, how could my mind possibly find a way to sort through the pain?
And then I slept. I slept the day away and come the following morning I felt almost normal again. Not happy but not devastated either. I was past it. Or at least I was past the initial blow.
I meditated on this and asked myself, why was I letting something so small and irrelevant get to me in this way? I’m a strong woman who doesn’t place her self value in what people think of her. And yet at that moment, and days afterward, I was 12 again… And it was horrifying.
So the writing bug returns as a symptom of childhood insecurity and bullying. It never occurred to me that writing was necessarily that essential to my self esteem. I mean, I knew it kept me calm and sorted out some muddled thoughts, but I never truly understood to what degree it played in my self-preservation, not to mention my sanity. But as it turns out, it’s more important than I ever gave it credit for and so I’ve come to the conclusion that it can’t go away.
I deal with pain through words. It’s not what my gift was given to me for but it’s what I use it for, even if I didn’t realize it. So as my therapy and as my essence the words have to come back.
Living with bi-polar means I don’t have control over my emotions; they fluctuate and are erratic. Medication can calm the ups and downs, but there isn’t anything out there that can really harness a sense of control. Except creating worlds.
When I’m writing elaborate fiction I AM in control. That’s the whole point. Without it, I flounder. And so, in spite of trying to push my gift aside, It’s been proven– quite disturbingly, I might add– that writing is my ultimate self care and I couldn’t ditch it even if I wanted to.
One month ago today I made the conscious decision to remove dieting from my life once and for all. A big decision for me as recently I’ve come to realize that I’m a chronic dieter. I’ve been a chronic dieter for all of my adult life and sadly, for most of my teen life too.
For those who don’t know what chronic dieting is, it’s an eating disorder of sorts, that causes individuals who suffer from it to either always be dieting or, to be yo-yo-ing back and forth from dieting and living an unhealthy binging lifestyle.
The first thing I needed to do in order to train myself to stop the cycle was to stop weighing myself entirely. That was the hardest and I’m still struggling with it every day. The second thing I needed to do was to teach myself to eat healthy even though I wasn’t weighing myself. That wasn’t as difficult because I actually enjoy eating healthy now and can’t really eat unhealthy meal after unhealthy meal anymore without feeling it in my mood as well as feeling the sluggishness in my body. I guess you could say that I’m much more mindful about what food does to me now and that helps me make better choices.
Another thing I’ve done is increase my protein intake and I’ve done that for two important reasons: (1) I’m muscle building and protein is essential for building strong and healthy muscles; and (2) protein keeps me fuller longer which, during busy work days, comes in handy. I’ve also learned about the importance of complex carbohydrates for MY body type and what kinds of macronutrients I should be putting more emphasis on in my diet. All this information I’ve been learning has been exciting and eye-opening for me because it truly is not about the weight anymore. It’s about feeling good and fitting my clothes comfortably and being happy with my food decisions.
Because I don’t want to feel bad about how far I’ve come anymore. I don’t want to be beating myself up over those 15 final pounds I’ve led myself to believe makes all the difference. How much I’ve transformed in the last year and a half is amazing and should be celebrated. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself about not reaching a perceived idea of what I deemed to be an ideal weight. HEALTH ISN’T A NUMBER. It’s being able to live your life to the fullest; it’s loving yourself unconditionally; and it’s freeing yourself from anything that holds you down. HEALTH IS HAPPINESS!
I’m in love with steak. For those who don’t know that, well, now you know. At home we usually eat steak from wild game that’s popular in our area: the good old Canadian Moose. It’s as natural as meat comes in this area and much leaner than beef.
The downfall to eating moose steak, however, is the fact that the meat is often tough and the flavour sometimes quite wild. But there is an easy remedy to that and I’m about to share my secret recipe with you all. So listen in!
Note: this recipe is good to use with any kind of red meat including beef. I created it for making the best of my moose meat, but it is amazing on other meats as well.
1/3 cup Soya sauce
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup EVOO
1/8 cup Apple Cider vinegar
3 TBS Dried basil or oregano (I prefer oregano)
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS yellow mustard
1 tsp black pepper
Blend till visibly creamy in magic bullet or regular blender. The recipe makes enough to marinade 2 to 3 large steaks in a freezer bag.
I wrote a couple of novels a few years back that have absolutely nothing to do with my life now. But writing them was a very important part of becoming who I am today.
The words are angsty and the stories are dark but the message in both are important to me. This is why, even though I’ve decided to leave writing behind, I feel that it’s important to continue to share them on my website.
I’m proud of my work. I will not apologize for these unconventional stories of emotional survival. They were intricate in my healing process and that can never be taken away from me.
I work in a care home. One of the perks of working in this particular care home is having a home-cooked meal and desert available to me every day at no cost. And when I say home-cooked I’m not exaggerating. The food is delicious and filled with flavour; the deserts made from scratch and decadent AF.
But if I want to keep on track with my current healthy lifestyle I have to limit myself from accepting these meals more times than not. And sometime that is soooooo hard to do.
This week, for instance, a ham boiled dinner was on the menu. For those who don’t know, a boiled dinner is the ULTIMATE comfort food for me. It was the meal I asked my mom to make me for my birthday every year and so it holds a very special place in my heart. I could NOT turn that meal down and even hugged our amazing cook after I had my share.
That’s not so bad. A boiled dinner, though high in salt, is actually pretty nutritious and so I wasn’t concerned about making the decision to eat it instead of my usual whole food and lean meat type of meal. But where I went wrong was this weekend when I decided to eat a tiny piece of desert. This particular desert was some sort of square clearly made with loads of butter and sweetened condensed milk and it was AMAZING! I had no regrets.
That was Friday. When Sunday rolled around some sort of orange creamy delight came about and this time I didn’t even hesitate to eat it which is a red-flag because if I’m not consciously aware of what I take in my body even just once a new cycle begins for me. And the cycle that began after consuming that piece of cake was daunting. So much so that I wasn’t able to fight what came after.
Binge Fest 2019, to the most ultimate degree, started immediately after I got home last night. I ate two Pillsbury Pizza Pops. After that, I made a full box of KD and ate that. As if that wasn’t enough, I found a bag of croutons (my Kryptonite when chips aren’t in my cupboard) and ate the whole bag!!
Needless to say, Sugar consumption, especially of the highly refined variety, makes me CRAVE carbs. And when I crave carbs I become a MONSTER that can’t stop eating!
So why does this happen??
According to Mbgfood (mindbodygreen.com) craving carbohydrates almost always means our body is searching for a serotonin boost. Seeing, smelling, and even thinking about indulging in certain foods triggers the release of the pleasure and reward neurotransmitter, dopamine, in your body, which has been stored in memories as past pleasure. What does that mean exactly? Well, basically, what we ate as kids and associated with happiness will be what we crave when we are emotionally drained and in need of a “happy boost.”
But my issue isn’t just about searching for happiness. It’s about the chain of events that occurs the minute I get one taste of refined sugars in my system. It seems that sugar gives me a boost of dopamine and that high is what has me searching for more like a junkie searching for her next fix.
For those who don’t know, Sugar is a carbohydrate too. 100 grams of refined sugar equals 100 grams of carbohydrates. So it’s safe to say that whether it’s a sweet desert, or a large serving of pasta, the results are the same. We want more!
So what’s the solution?
For me, yesterday was a lesson in learning to indulge in a conscious manor. Something I’m (very slowly) getting a grasp on. This video by Kerry Glassman at nutritiouslife.com has all the information and constructive pointers I need to help me make a better decision next time around. Because healthy eating isn’t a ride you get off after a while, it’s a rollercoaster that never ends and I’m completely okay with that.
So it’s happened again. You buy packs of fresh herbs for a recipe, use the three pieces of leaves each it calls for, then stash the leftovers in the crisper drawer where you forget all about it till it shrivels up and inevitably goes bad. Such a waste of food AND money but, let’s be completely honest here, haven’t we all been there?
There are a lot of options to save those packs of herbs from wasting away in your fridge but my go to favourite option, and probably the simplest options, is making a yummy pesto out of the leftovers.
For this recipe, I used Sage and Cilantro, but you can use any leftover herb in any variation to make this work.
You will need:
A food processor
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
2 cloves of Garlic
2 or 3 cloves Shallots
1 Tbs. Parmesan Cheese
Add herbs of your choice (remove stems), a clove or two of garlic, two or three cloves of shallots, salt and pepper to a food processor. process on low for a beat before adding oil as it continues to blend. Once it’s reached a pesto-like consistency, add parmesan and mix one last pulse before serving it on your favourite rice or pasta. Enjoy!
note: Today I served mine on Jasmin rice and jumbo shrimp.