Saturday, March 31, 2018

Falling off the wagon

You know how it goes.   One day you just say, eh, fudge it and do something that you quit.  An old habit... mine was flour and sugar.  It gave me that good feeling, so I rode that dragon until over a week ago when my chest got tight and I experienced a severe GERD attack, or what I thought was a heart attack at the time.  Hello wake up call!  The doctors all say to use an over the counter antacid product.  But have you ever done the reading about GERD?  You don't need to suppress acid, you need more acid and to eat smaller meals. 

Lately I've wondered, are medicines just a crutch?  My cardiologist informed me that my PCOS is best managed by lifestyle modifications, but my high triglycerides, at this point, do need assistance. My naturopath said the same things, and reminded me that stress does so much harm on the inside that when it finally shows up on the outside, you are now chasing the symptoms, not the actual underlying problem.

Lifestyle modification.  Why aren't more doctors prescribing this treatment?  Because it's hard to do, or it's easier and more profitable to prescribe a pill?  The American lifestyle is partly, or mainly to blame.  We work very hard and try to live too big.  We don't really need 6 cars and a big boat and new wardrobes every year, but we want them.  Or at least some people do.  Items are not made to last as long, the life-cycle of goods and supplies has greatly lessened even over my short almost 40 years.  When these items don't last as long, people need to buy more, and that means more products need to be produced and more people are needed for jobs.  It's a vicious cycle of consumerism.  The other is our diet.  I have said it before and i will say it again, the american diet is not healthy.  Over indulgence and excessive stimulants has created a sick, stressed out populace. 

So how do we change our lifestyles?  Not everyone can return to the earth ways of the past, nor do we want to starve ourselves of the riches our country has to offer.  There has to be a happy medium right?  That is my goal.  My hubby doesn't have as many issues as i do with sugar, flour and grains, but he is supportive of my journey to wellness.

It all starts with one step, one minor change.  One step to change a habit, leads to repetition training, which leads to lifestyle modification.  You have to replace your thoughts of what you are giving up with what you are gaining. This isn't easy.  I fell off the wagon. While I'm still working toward my wellness, I know I have to make a conscious choice each and every day to improve,  to eat foods that are gut friendly, to be active, and be mindful.

What about you.  Are there things that you feel can be changed or reverted by lifestyle modifications?  If you like coffee, have you tried, to replace your creamer with a simple coconut milk or almond milk?  Have you tried coconut sugar? What about cassava flour? Cauliflower rice?  Roasted white sweet potatoes?  Moderation helps,  knowing that an indulgence is just that, a treat, not a staple in your diet. 

Be well this upcoming season, find one thing to be thankful for each day, and try to change one habit this month. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

St Patrick's Day 2018

Today embarks on another St. Patrick's Day.  Looking back, I have thrown some epic dinners.  But the first still makes me smile, in my apartment with a few friends. It started a journey and a promise to myself to keep family traditions alive. As the years have gone by, each year adds something a little different.   Be it a location, menu item, different guests, or different themes.

This year the focus is the Irish American movement.  When our grandparents (some great and great great) came to America, they came looking for a better life.  They brought with them a culture that evolved into Irish American culture of the USA as we know it today. 

The views of the non-Irish seem to think that our families do nothing else but drink, swear, fight and recite poetry. Some days that may be true, but like an onion, we have more layers than that.
Another is that most Americans don't know that corned beef is not irish at all (100% American) or that true soda bread is as simple as 4 ingredients. 

American ignorance (naive ignorance) to only accept the surface without research and looking deeper has led to people losing sight and remembrances of the struggles of those that came before us.  They didn't have fancy clothes, boats, mcmansion homes or white collar jobs.  Most of our ancestors who emigrated from Ireland were dirt poor and they fought to survive on pitiful wages by doing whatever they must. Fact of the matter, today we live like kings and queens compared to our great grandparents.

So with all of that being said, I am proud of my heritage, of those who try every day to be a good person, give a smile to others, welcome all, and embrace the diversity that America has to offer.
We celebrate today and all days my Irish-American values, give thanks to those that came before and give hope to those that will come after. 

My Irish-American values:

1.  Everyone is welcome so long as they are kind and respectful;
2.  Let there always be enough good food to share
3.  Family should be forgiven (may not forget transgressions, but in the end we forgive); f
4.  Friends are like clovers, you can have many, but the 4 leaf kind are special;
5.  Faith is personal and this world has fought too long over it, so if you can't agree to disagree, don't discuss it in my home.

Oh, and my menu today:

Irish cheese and crackers
Guinness pretzels and Guinness honey mustard
Irish sausage rolls

Roasted beets and carrots
Steamed cabbage
Boiled carrots and cabbage (ode to the one pot Irish)
Traditional soda bread
Mashed potatoes

Corned beef

Irish coffee
Homemade irish cream

Apple tarts

Happy St. Patrick's day!