Life: Getting out of a rut

I’ve been battling a rut for a while.  Part of it is avoidance of all these big to do things that I have to do, but the rest of it I’m not quite sure about.  The biggest problem with this rut is that I have been feeling run down and constantly tired.  I would like to blame the weather, but I took care of that part of it and bought another air conditioner for my apartment.  I kept telling myself that I should start working out and start eating cleaner, but I just couldn’t really find the energy.  The lack of energy has been so bad that driving is scary.

Today, though it seems that the fog is abating a bit and I have some theories as to why I finally feel like I’m climbing out of this rut.

  1. Cut out the caffeine – I don’t usually have a daily caffeine habit.  I do enjoy coffee and tea, but usually it’s a splurge when I go out to a coffee shop to do work.  However, when I started a month of shift work with erratic hours, I started up a caffeine habit.  Mind you, I set a limit of one cup, but I tend to be sensitive to caffeine and continuing that one cup of coffee a day habit even after the erratic shift work was over was probably a bad idea.  Even though a tiny voice in the back of my head was saying that I should stop, I enjoyed the ritual of a morning coffee.  Last week, I read somewhere (sorry, I’m so terrible at remembering where I read things and linking up…something to work on) that daily caffeine could in fact prevent weight loss instead of promote it.  I would like to ditch a couple of pounds that I gained about six months ago, but I’m not actively trying to lose weight.  Reading that article reminded me what I knew all along about fatigue, adrenal function, and so on, so I ditched the coffee.  Sad, but necessary.  I used the rest of my cold brew as a hair rinse.  At least my hair smelled lovely.
  2. Drink more water – I’ve been lucky that the last couple of days I’ve been able to drink more water, but the reality is that most working days I’m lucky if I can remember to drink a cup or two of water.  I’ve gone whole shifts/days of work without drinking water.  I know this is really bad, but when you are running around all day, going to the bathroom is not on your list of to dos.  Naturally, it follows that you stop drinking water, too.  I’ve gotten in the habit of tucking a bottle of water into one of my giant pockets.  The trick now is to remember to actually drink that water.
  3. Sleep consistently well – Sleep has been problematic for me for most of my life.  I can hear just about everything in my sleep.  I also need about 9 hours of sleep to feel fantastic.  I wish I could be one of those people who feels awesome on 7 or 8 hours but frustratingly, I feel the best with 9 hours.  When I switched to eating a more paleo/primal diet, I started to sleep better, which was awesome.  Problem now is that if I get a couple of nights of good sleep, then the third or fourth night, I end up staying up too late.  There is probably a happy medium of being well functioning during the day and being able to sleep consistently well, but I still haven’t found it.  Something to work on.
  4. Get outside – Life has been busy and there is a whole lot of things that I am not doing that I need to be doing.  That being said, I’m basically hitting snooze a million times in the morning, dragging myself out of bed, and throwing on a bunch of black and rushing to work.  When I get home, some evenings I found myself cuddling with my laptop and sleeping because I was too tired to make dinner or do much of anything else.  I realize that no matter what I need to get outside once a day, twice would be preferable, but let’s start small.  Getting outside gets me the natural light exposure that I need and a much needed dose of outside air.  Being inside all day with not very well circulated air is probably contributing to my exhaustion.  Not to mention the lack of natural light is probably not helping my circadian rhythms either.
  5. Breathe – When things get busy, I have a tendency to get wound up and tense.  I start wanting to micromanage and control every detail about what’s going on.  I often don’t realize this until I’m well into doing it and I find myself walking around with a clenched jaw and stiff muscles.  One of my favorite teachers of all time told me on Friday, “Don’t just do something, stand there.”  At first, I was confused, but he was saying that sometimes you have to stop doing and just take a step back and take it all in.  “Don’t forget to enjoy this,” he said.  After that conversation I realized how much I was working myself up and making things more stressful for myself than they need to be.  So one at a time and breathe.

There are probably a million more things that I could change and do differently to feel better, but those are the things that come to mind that seem to have shifted over the last few days.  I was really floundering for a while trying to figure out why I was feeling so terrible.  Hopefully, things are a lot better from here on out.

How do you get yourself out of a rut?

Life: Sleep Around the Clock

Despite the fact that this was touted to be an amazing month of procedures and an easier schedule in terms of total number of hours, I find myself in a constant haze of never knowing what day it is much less what time of the day it is.  Shift work definitely has its perks, but for me the lack of a good day to day rhythm and constantly being tired isn’t working so well for me.  It’s a good experience, but I realize that no matter how much I enjoyed this, I’m no longer really tolerant of this kind of abuse on my body.

Had I started this journey at a younger age, I probably would have jumped into whatever struck me as exciting and fun, scheduling and bad hours would probably not be given even a glimmer of a second thought.  Where I am now, though, I respect and cherish my body a lot more and the way I think about my approach to life and career is vastly different.

I imagine this terrible sleep schedule, the odd hours awake, and the liberal use of caffeine (and when I say liberal I mean one cup a day, two at the max, and two is very rare) isn’t helping me shed my winter weight.  Weight gain that I blame on the terrible hours I had over the winter with 24 hour calls every three days.

Only a few more days of overnight shifts and then I should be back to a more normal schedule.  I can’t wait to join the world of the living.  As convenient as it might sound, overnight shifts and random  hours of sleep are less than ideal.

More thoughts later…I’m not exactly coherent.

Tales of Sleep

I’m not exactly your star blogger…I’m pretty sure that I’ve talked about sleep constantly on here and I’m often AWOL.  Such is life I suppose.  I still sometimes delude myself with visions of being a good blogger and keeping up with blogs that I like and commenting and connecting.  I think I should just be honest with myself and realize this is how it’s going to be.

Moving on to the real topic.  You might already be sleeping by now if you follow this blog in any sort of half hearted fashion.

Sleep.  It’s necessary, important, and the bane of my existence.  I can’t seem to get enough (I blame school and dumb hospital schedules) or I can’t seem to get good quality sleep (I blame my type A personality, which probably got me to where I am…talk about vicious circle).

Well, this past week was no exception.  I usually tend to get a sort of subpar sleep that’s enough to get through life, but this past week was not good.  Running around on 4 hours or less of sleep each night, you think I would have been tired enough to pass out after a day or two of that nonsense.  Apparently not.

Finally, last night I was able to get into bed early (8 PM – I know talk about a lame Friday night.  I’m definitely getting old) and slept pretty decently (by my standards) until 7 AM.  I wish I could tell you that I feel amazing this morning, but really, I feel okay versus blah.  I’ll take it.  It’s an improvement.

So, why am I telling you personal stories of sleep?  Because, I think that sleep is affected by a lot of factors.  Factors that we don’t always take into consideration.

Why was my already not so great sleep even worse this week?  Well, I have some ideas about that.

    1. food – I have not exactly been eating on a schedule or eating regularly.  I got back from my hiatus late enough on Sunday that I didn’t have time to cook for the week.  Scrambling to cook while trying to get used to a new schedule and new environment is not exactly the way to nourish yourself.  It’s more like anti-nourishment.  Plus, I’m missing some of my food storage containers, so I’m hoping I can remedy that today.
    2. caffeine – I have been drinking a cup of coffee in the mornings for the last couple of weeks, which isn’t my idea of a good time, but was necessary.  I’m sensitive to caffeine, which I know very well, but given the circumstances of needing to be alert and not getting enough sleep, I was pounding the coffee.  It’s going to be a caffeine wean week this week if I can get everything straightened out this weekend for next week.
    3. change of pace – I’m on a new service (sorry, hospital lingo…maybe new  department makes more sense) with new people as of Halloween, so it’s back to square one and figuring out how things operate and how to get along with new people.  Getting used to a new environment often gives me some background anxiety (add that to caffeine and you can see why this is bad) and then subsequently, I’m a little irritated until I start feeling a little more comfortable.
    4. messy apartment – I prefer organized and clean, but not enough hours in the day (I know not a good excuse) means that often my apartment is not as neat and clean as I want it to be.  Clutter and messiness is not relaxing.  Remedying that one today.
    5. unresolved feelings – Sometimes the whole maintaining a professional persona can be exhausting and when you find yourself short on time, you might not remember to go back and process those feelings.  For me that means, I stress out in my sleep or have weird dreams.
There you have it, my morning ramblings on sleep.  Now, off to fix all these things (well most of them).  Farmer’s market first!  Check back later on Funny Eater for market finds of this week.

Rants, thoughts, and other things

I am somewhere between bored and depressed.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of things to do, but sitting inside all day in front of a computer drives me batty.  I know, I’m supposed to take frequent breaks, get outside, and all that jazz.  I’m just frustrated and need to vent somewhere, so this is my rant for today.  I’m sure you’re jazzed that I’m writing a rant for my first post in a while.  (uh huh…don’t lie…you can leave now and I’ll still be your friend…I promise.)

Some thoughts…I need to drink more water.  This is the problem with me and water, though, drinking water makes me need to get up every half hour or so.  Remembering to drink water is another issue.  I know I need to drink more water, but it’s really a problem for me.  What’s worse is that for the next month-ish, I need to do a lot of studying and having to pee all the time is really not helping that endeavor.  (I wanted to spell that with a “u” and be all British.)  If I’m out studying, which is how I do my best studying, having to pee entails either believing that the stranger that I ask won’t steal my things (including my computer) while I’m in the bathroom or packing up and hauling everything to the restroom and potentially losing my table.  You see why I’m having a problem with water.  My ideal situation is to go out studying with a friend I won’t talk to and then being able to get up when I really do have to pee.  This however has not traditionally worked out so well.  Sigh.

Moving on…I’ve also been having issues with sleep.  (I’m sure you anticipated this when I started in about the water.)  I’m stressed and probably anxious so I’m up late messing around and not being productive.  Today is a case in point.  I went to sleep late last night and tried to force myself to get up early.  I felt isolated all day, so took a break to take a walk to grab some coffee thinking this would help me concentrate.  The coffee was mediocre and I fidgeted all day long without any real progress.  I’m also eating way too much chocolate.  I clearly need to stop.

Speaking of chocolate, I think I’m on an extended sugar binge that began with having a few non-paleo days back at the beginning of the month.  From the fruit and honey in yogurt all the way to my latest chocolate binge, I really need to stop.  I’m sure that all this sugar is really not helping me at all.

I’ve been having some digestive issues of late, which I’m not sure where it’s coming from.  Back in the day, I would eat some rice gruel for a while to calm things down, but I have no rice in my apartment.  So, that’s not going to happen.  Not to mention that at this point having been grain free for a few months, I’m just not really all that interested.

I also know that I’m in desperate need of more exercise.  My trainer went renegade and now trains people at home, which is all great and all except my apartment is not very large and the floor is terribly sensitive.  Sneeze at it and it’ll get a scratch or dent.  Gotta love cheap construction.  So, in the process, I also stopped going to the gym I was at because there really is no point.  I do have a standing date for afternoons at the park with a friend, which is good, but not enough.  I also seem to lack the interest in actually exercising.  Blah.

I don’t know who came up with this modern lifestyle of electronics, inside-ness, sitting all day, and productivity, but it stinks.  It’s terrible.  I hate it and it’s really not my style.  I know I should change my life and all that, but I’m just really annoyed at some of the hoops and ways that I have to get to where I’m trying to go.  What’s worse is that what I’m seeing makes me less and less inclined to want to join the professional tribe that I’m training for.  Big Sigh.  (Yes, I capitalized that “s.”)

I know what I need to do (for most of the things I’m ranting about), but with the boredom, the isolation from social interaction, and well, not really wanting to learn what I am supposed to be learning, I’m just having a hard time taking a big breath and starting over.  If I don’t start off my day right, things usually get worse and not better.   Thus, I think that tucking in early tonight is probably my best bet for breaking out of this funk.

If you got all the way down here, I thank you for your compassion and for “listening.”  I’m going to go and take a deep breath and try and calm down to sleep.  Hopefully, I can come back with something more interesting.  I did make a paleo pizza of sorts if you want to go and check that out.  That’s the best that I’ve got for you.

Night night.

 

Ready for some normalcy

Relative normalcy that is.  I’ve not had the best of schedules over the last few weeks.  Between staying up whole nights or working long days of 14-16 hours and having a completely variable schedule with nights and days flip flopping all over the place, I’m ready for the next few weeks where I get to have a more normal schedule.  Still long hours, but predictable “normal” hours that are mostly during regular business hours.

As fun as the last few weeks were for me, I’m looking forward to being able to follow my circadian rhythm more closely and knowing that I can sleep consistently every night.  I am looking forward to calming my body down and having a schedule (as much as I resist having a schedule…somehow that whole idea of being scheduled makes me feel boxed in and robotic).  I’m pretty sure that between the stress of things that are going on in my life outside work and the unpredictable work schedule with very erratic sleep patterns not to mention the huge sleep deficit have probably spiked my cortisol to unacceptable levels.

I am also looking forward to checking out the farmer’s market.  I thought about doing that today, but I didn’t end up doing that.  Why you ask?  Well, for one thing I was coming off a night shift and even though I was feeling relatively awake after having gotten a good few hours of sleep (the first and last time I got sleep while on an overnight…thank you wonderful mission control person), I wasn’t feeling up to driving or going by myself.  Going new places by myself requires a certain amount of energy and I wasn’t up to it today.  Granted, I’m sad that I won’t be indulging in wonderful, season, local produce, but I think I’ll be okay for another week.

I have managed to continue eating paleo with some modifications.  I added in full fat yogurt the last few weeks because I wanted to get my fruit in and I hate eating my fruit plain.  I don’t know why, but the yogurt helps me eat berries and the like.  I also put some honey in my yogurt.  I know that it probably spiked my blood sugar some, but oh well.  I was also drinking coffee pretty consistently.  Not exactly the baseline I want to be at, but I do love coffee and it was so necessary to keep me awake.  Other than that, I stayed completely paleo.  Yay!

The really weird thing about eating paleo is that now that I’m in the hospital, I find myself faced with situations where I really want to tell people that they’re wrong.  I had someone senior to me tell me one morning about how terrible it was that people had no concept of calories and good nutrition and the like and I really had to sit on my hands and tune out a little bit because I just don’t subscribe to conventional wisdom anymore.  Actually, I never really fully embraced the whole conventional anything.  I’m a funny duck in a very traditional thinking and acting field.  (I do wonder what I got myself into just about every minute of every day…but that’s really not a story for now.)

Not only are patients having weight problems, but almost everyone that I have worked with recently has talked about their weight, eating habits, and diets.  One of the things that I really don’t want to happen to me in my career path is for me to gain weight.  I gain weight every time I’m in school.  I think it must be all the stress and the sitting.  Whatever it is, I’m heavier when I’m going to school.

Last year, I started on a quest to make sure that I was keeping things in check and staying healthy.  I went on a crazy spree of working out twice a day, being at the gym 6 days a week, and eating an almost purely vegetarian, high fiber diet.  At first I was feeling stronger, but then after a couple of months, I felt like I was getting fatter and not leaner.

With paleo, I eat what I want (that is within the boundaries of paleo) and even if I don’t get a chance to exercise, I still do okay.  I don’t feel terrible.  I’m hoping these next few weeks I’ll find a better equilibrium and get some walking in.  Maybe some other soothing exercise.  Sprints and weights will get their due.  In addition, I scheduled myself a massage.  The one great thing about being at school is that I have a great massage therapist.  It’s one of the few things that is getting me through school.  I know it’s an indulgence, but it’s so necessary for me.  Not only is it relaxing, but it helps me sleep, which is huge for me.

Well, this has been sort of a rambling post and I really do need to do some serious work and then get my butt to bed so I can get my body back into a good sleep schedule.  I can’t wait.

Till next time.  I hope everyone is well.

I’m Back…sort of

So, I finally have internet that is all mine and things are relatively together.  When I say relatively, I really mean that.  I still don’t know where half my clothes are and where any of my papers are, but I know where the important things that I need to function are, so that’s enough for me right now.  It’s going to be a long road to getting everything to a state of being able to do without thinking.

I realize that I wrote that first paragraph without any background.  I have moved and am back into the swing of things career/academic wise, so that’s why I don’t know where half my clothes are.

My first week back I moved and got sort of organized over three crazy days.  Only made possible by the awesomeness and dedication of my mom and sister.  Super big thank you!  In my sleep deprived state, I started on a crazy schedule of 14 plus hour days where I’m running around and on my feet all day.  It’s been fun, but there is not nearly enough time to get sleep and all the documentation done that needs to be done in the remaining hours of the day.

Lack of time brings me to the the point of this whole post…food and sleep.  Let’s start with food, since I just ate breakfast.  (I have to apologize for the lack of photos…hopefully sometime soon I’ll be much more into the swing of things and remember to take and post photos.)  I just had some bacon and a scramble of eggs, zucchini, and sweet onion fried in the bacon fat (I want to say grease, but that makes it sound disgusting.).  Super good.  I hadn’t realized that I was hungry this morning, I haven’t been eating enough food between running around and then being way too tired to even care about eating.

This is the first time I’ve used the bacon fat to cook something and I actually like it.  I’m surprised because I never was a huge fan of bacon and well, I avoided fats like the plague for most of my life (with the exception of olive oil).  From four pieces of bacon, I had enough fat to make a six egg scramble so I put most of it aside for breakfasts later on this week.  I’m trying to plan ahead here.

The eating has not been perfect by any means.  In fact, I’ve had potatoes, pizza, and pasta all in the last week.  I know, terrible, but I had to go with what was made and given to me.  When you aren’t eating at all from lack of cooked food, eating whatever is there seems like a better alternative than not eating at all.

I’m hoping that this week, if I can get moving here this morning, I can have a bunch of food cooked and stocked in the fridge.  This way I can have things to bring with me to eat and things to eat when I get home.

I’m on lovely night shifts this week.  Not really interested in having a messed up sleep schedule since I feel completely dense when I’m awake as it is now, so trying to keep myself up for the rest of this week sounds not so fun.

In an attempt to help myself sleep for night shifts, I bought some blackout curtains yesterday and hung those up in the bedroom.  They aren’t perfect since they are a little bit narrow, but they do the trick.  The windows already have mini blinds in them, so it gets dark enough to sleep.

I also scheduled myself for a massage.  I think I’m going to be needing more of those this year I think.  My legs and feet are so unhappy with wearing clogs all the time.  I really want to wear my barefoot shoes, but in the interest of keeping all my toes and protecting myself from germs, I gave in and started wearing the clogs that everyone else wears.

Okay, I was totally going to write something more interesting, but I’m feeling the sort of zombie brain coming on, so I’m stopping here.  I’ll try to keep things up on here, but I can’t make any promises.  Be back as soon as I can.  🙂

 

Sleeping, Again

I know, you’re probably tired of hearing me talk about sleep, but sleep is like the one thing that I can’t seem to get good at.  I know it’s silly.  Sleeping is natural and it just happens when you’re tired.  Not me.  I’m jealous of all those people out there who sleep well.  I want to be one of those people.

Anyway, enough about my wishes and desires.  I have been trying out an app called Sleep Cycle, which by analyzing your movements at night gives you a summary of your night that looks something like this:

Went to bed / woke up: 21:39 / 5:58
Total time: 8h 18m

Analysis made by the Sleep Cycle iPhone app.

My sleep graph for the entire night:

This is the version that I e-mailed to myself.  It looks a bit nicer in the actual app.  You can also post it to Facebook.  Now, I’m not sure why you would want to post something like that to Facebook, but you can.

I’m not sure how accurate or based in science the whole app is.  I know for a fact that there is some correlation between how much you move and the stage of sleep you’re in, but I’m not sure how accurate the graphs are.

I actually bought the app hoping that the wake up function would help me out a little in the feeling dragged down in the morning department.  So far not a whole lot of luck.  I seem to wake before the alarm or accidentally set it for the wrong time.  Whoops!

We’ll see how it goes.  I figured it was a harmless experiment for $0.99 and a fun novelty.

In other, possibly more interesting sleep news, I went to sleep late yesterday around midnight, probably after, and got up at 3:30 for an hour or so to cook some breakfast for an early morning departer (I like to make up words to suit my needs) and then slept until about 7 am.  So in total I probably slept something like 6 hours.  I’m guessing that figure is probably less because I’m not sure when I actually went to sleep, I just know that it was after midnight when I looked at the clock last before I went to sleep.  This is all the boring background.  The exciting news is that I actually feel pretty alert today.  I feel pretty good.   I’m surprised.

So, does this mean I actually need less sleep?  My stress somehow magically vanished overnight?  I ate something yesterday that helped me sleep better??  I have no idea.

All I know is that I usually do not do well on less sleep.  So this is interesting.  Hopefully, there will not be a big spectacular crash later from the lack of enough sleep.

More thoughts on sleep to come…aren’t you excited?  (I know you’re not, so you don’t have to pretend.  It’s okay.)

Have a great day!

Sleeeepy

I have been having some major issues with getting tired in the middle of the afternoon.  I know that there is a natural dip in energy, but passing out for an hour or two just doesn’t seem quite right.  Plus, I was hoping that I could avoid the afternoon slump by turning paleo.

Now, I know that I’ve only been eating paleo for a short while, so I shouldn’t get all concerned, but I either need to wait this one out or change something.  (The other explanation is that I really hate studying…honestly, I’m allergic to sitting for a long time.)  I’ve been trying to sleep better at night, but I don’t seem to be sleeping that much better.  I do seem to sleep deeper since going paleo, but I’m still not sleeping great.

I recruited the services of an app on my phone called Sleep Cycle ($0.99 at the Apple App Store) for the last few nights to see how I’m sleeping and to see if waking up when it was more optimal would help me.  So far nothing really great to report.  I think it’s going to take a little bit longer to figure out how to optimize that.

I think my biggest problem is falling asleep.  I also seem to be sleeping the best in the early morning, which is not ideal since I need to wake up fairly early in the day.  Plus, it’s my preference, since I seem to get more done getting up earlier – it’s a mental thing.

I read on Mark’s Daily Apple something about long lying and how that can help you fall asleep, so my plan is to use the inversion table we have and hang upside down for a while before I head to bed for the next few nights and see if that helps.

In addition, just in case I might be tired from not enough calories or from “low carb flu,” I am trying to eat more today and see if that helps things.  We’ll see.

I really hate to have to resort to caffeine to keep me up, but if this continues, I might just have to do that since I really need to focus for the next couple of weeks.  Sigh.

Any suggestions or ideas are welcome, especially from those with first hand experience in getting over their sleep and sleepiness issues.

Stress, Tired, and Other Random Thoughts

I’m pretty sure it’s all the stress and the lack of enough sleep lately, but I’m just tired and cranky and some of the fun of this new eating plan has worn off.  Now, don’t let this sway you from trying paleo or primal if you are considering it, I still recommend it.  I’m just documenting this part of my journey.

The first two, two and half weeks of paleo/primal eating were wonderful.  Going to the farmer’s market, cooking breakfast every morning, feeling satisfied and not overly full.  I’m one of those people that loves novelty.  And the novelty of paleo was exciting.

I was also on a pretty good schedule.  Daily walks, eating at set times.  It was all very lovely.  I was working on my sleep, but other than that things were feeling pretty good.

Now, with the onset of stress, things are feeling a bit off kilter.  I’m not drinking enough water or sleeping enough.  The focus is a bit off.  So we’re going to try again.  We’re going to try to get back on this bandwagon and even things out a bit.

First off, sleep.  Again, need better sleep habits and sleep hygiene.  Anyone have any good ideas on how to calm things down??  I think worried stress has me tossing and turning and not sleeping too well.

Next, water.  Drink lots of it.  I never was very good at drinking water and I think it’s more important than ever for me to drink water.  Not only because of how I’m eating, but also because it’s immensely hot and sticky out here lately and I probably need the hydration.

Third, get a hold of my stress.  This one is going to be tough.  I tend to be very sensitive to stress and so calming this one down is going to take some work.  I’m open to any ideas if people have any.  I think that getting the exercising bit back on track will help things immensely.  I’m also hoping that maybe I can get a short meditation in on a daily basis.  I think I need that.  Need the scheduled silence.

So how do people get themselves back on track when life and stress throws you for a loop??

Thoughts on Paleo/Primal Eating and Living

This whole paleo/primal thing has really got me thinking about a lot of things.  I like it.  I haven’t had new and fun things to really think about in a novel way in a while.  I blame it on school.  (Don’t even get me started on my thoughts on education.)

I saw a post over at Mark’s Daily Apple that was some reader’s list of things that changed for the better in his life since going primal.  (Sorry, I don’t have the specific link for the post…I tend to read things and muse about them and then don’t have links to them later.)  It really got me thinking about the things that have changed in the two short weeks since I’ve started eating paleo/primal.

I’ve started to sleep a little better.  It’s by no means sleeping as well as I want, but I’ll take any improvement.  I’m hoping that I can be a sleeping champ sometime soon.

The dishes tend to get done right after eating.  I’m not sure why, but the dishes would sit for a while before I could pick myself up to do them.  Now, they get done right away.  Even if there is a big wok involved.  My mom even commented on this.  We have a theory that it might be due to a lack of food coma after eating.

I eat more consciously.  What I mean is that I think more about where my food comes from and how it tastes.  We’ve been buying from an organic farmer at the farmer’s market and the produce is not only fresh but so tasty.  We tried some produce from some other farmers that grow produce conventionally and it’s really just not as tasty.  Plus, our organic farmer usually has a novel item or two, which makes it more fun.  I have gotten to know what escarole is and what a sunburst squash is.  Yum!

I also eat more consciously in another way.  I eat at the table and I just eat.  I don’t do other things while I’m eating.  I actually sit and taste the food and I don’t find myself bored while I’m eating.  My family had a bad habit of eating in front of the TV that developed over the last couple of years.  We would just eat mindlessly in front of the TV.  I don’t know why we started eating at the table, but somehow TV just lost our interest.  I’m pretty sure that now that we have completely cancelled TV service, we won’t have the problem of eating in front of the TV again even if we want to.

The changes have come on sort of subtly without me noticing until I actually stop and think about things.  That’s nice that the changes have happened without too much effort.  I like to think of it as the downstream effect of making one positive change in your life.  Making even one change is powerful, but this particular change has come with some subtle and nice effects on the side.  I’m interested to see how things shape up down the line.

I’m hoping that eventually my whole family will eat this way…at least most of the time.  What really got me interested in eating this way was the possibility that it would balance out my mom’s health.  She’s in remission for an autoimmune issue and I’d like to keep it that way.  I’m hoping to prevent any development of an autoimmune issue since I’m now at risk and also hoping to see my seasonal allergies disappear.  My allergies have gotten to a point where I’m taking three medicines just to keep it under control enough for me to function and that’s really just not cool.

So far I only have my mom on this bandwagon.  I’m hoping that she’ll continue to eat like this after I go back to my regularly scheduled life, but I’m not sure that she will.  I think that the biggest issue is coming up with protein for each meal.  We were never huge meat eaters so after a meal that involves beef or pork or any sort of serious meat like that, we have to find something else to eat.  Honestly, in the last two weeks I’ve probably eaten more animal protein than I’ve eaten in the last 5 years.

My dad even commented on the meat eating.  I’d like to see him eat this way, but because he is on the go almost constantly, I think it’s harder to do.  I’m not sure that he’s convinced about this way of eating, so while he eats the way we eat when we all eat together at home, I’m pretty sure he’s eating what he wants when he’s not eating with us.  I think he’ll eventually come around.  He’s definitely thinking about it.  He mentioned that he noticed that he doesn’t see a huge drop in energy levels when he’s hungry, he’s just simply ready to eat again.  I hope that’s the start of him moving closer to eating this way.

I’m not sure about my siblings.  They have busy lives and they don’t always have a choice about what they eat, but I’m still hopeful.

So, those are my thoughts for now.  I’m slowly developing some patience with this whole evolution.  I am one of those people that wants to see effects NOW, but it’s actually been more meditative to realize some of the more subtle effects.

Now, time for bed.  I was going to sleep about an hour ago because I was completely wiped today for some unknown reason, but this took a while to write.

Sweet dreams!