Memorial Day Bliss

000picnic

Memorial Day was a blissful celebration of family at our house!

Translation:  Me and mine laughed together, loved together, and ate together.  On Monday we ate a lot.  Thankfully, I had another person there at the table who, like me, is trying to live a life conscious of food: the good, the bad, and the ugly of it. Having that other at the table with me as I watch others eat what they ate, seemingly without a care in the world, made it easier for me to abstain.  Not easy, but easier.

I think I am coming to terms with the fact that I can no longer approach food-maybe never will again-without thinking about what it will do to me if I eat “that”.  I drank three sips of diet cola on the weekend, and my body immediately alerted me to the fact that it was not happy with me about my choice.  Instant heart burn.  Instant regret.  Instant notice that if I continue, there will be consequences.

Today, I can happily say that I am glad I hear my body when it speaks.

I can with regret say I wish I had listened all those years ago, when it was calling out to me, warning me, asking me to STOP-Dear Lord, Please STOP!

I didn’t listen then. I do know.

Progress!!!

How was your Memorial Day celebration?  What fun thing did you do that brought joy into your world?

Habits-Part 1

000habits wordleRecently I hear a commentary that got me thinking.  The commentator posed the following questions to his audience:

What do you habitually love?

What do you habitually long for?

What are you habitually loyal to (commitments)?

For what do you habitually labor?

What are your liturgies in life?

I took that last question to mean rhythms, routines, or habits that you practice religiously?

These questions were intriguing to me and fodder for a blog I would like to read, which is why I’m writing about them today.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you know that I believe in the power of habit. Habits are formed pretty quickly for me, especially with food, and they are extremely hard to break when they are of the bad variety. Understanding this about myself, I try not to eat the same food too often and I try to mix up my diet as often as I can. Still, I find myself in a rut sometimes.

I think many of us are habitual about our food likes and dislikes, which is part and parcel of the obesity epidemic in our country. We get hooked on high calorie, sugary foods, and develop bad habits that keep us coming back those same foods again and again, even when those foods are killing us.

Today, I thought I would write about those things I habitually love, since this habit of love is an easy one for me to identify in my life.

What do I habitually love?

Food. Proof positive of my love of food and the habit I have with it is the amount of time I spend thinking about food, looking up recipes, buying food, prepping food, and in general handling food. I would say that the time I spend each day on food denotes an habitual love of mood-altering substances, which is why I identify as a food addict.

Good Conversation. I love thoughtful discourse, especially as it relates to building community and learning new skills. I live with some avid talkers, so I don’t say much once they get going, but I listen well and I love, love to entertain witty and intelligent people and banter. I appreciate most those who are not afraid to ask questions with no answers, and who perk up when differing or opposing views are expressed.

Art. I love the visual arts, mixed media, music, dance, you name it. I immerse myself in art in one form or another every day, and I can’t imagine a world devoid of good art. Appreciating what is beautiful is definitely a habit I encourage.

Family. I love my family and am habitual in my attentions to them.

Last, but not least, I have a God crush. It is my serious habit to commune with my Creator nearly every moment of the day. I look to Him for inspiration, instruction, and instigation. Anything good I’ve ever begun in my life or kept doing for any length of time, can be attributed to this habit I have of checking in with Papa God and staying consciously aware of His place in my life. I’m grateful for his gentle strength and encouragement to keep moving forward, especially on those less than delightful days that tests my faith.

These habits I have guide me, and together have made me who I am. I would label them habits because of the amount of time I spend on them, and what they mean to me.

If this were a post about balance, I would have included here those bad habit I also seem to love, but it’s not, so I won’t.

What do you habitually love?  How has that love, expressed on a consistent basis, shaped your recovery and made you well?

“Understanding the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism is critical to laying down the shield and picking up your life.

Research shows that perfectionism hampers success. In fact, it’s often the path to depression, anxiety, addiction, and life paralysis.”

Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Emulation

Her three-year-old stuck both hands in his jeans pockets and looked down, reflecting upon what he’d done.

“I’m sorta like a man,” he said. “Cause see, I have my hands in my pants…like a man.”

His swagger suggested a hint of pride in his accomplishment. His stance. He rocked back and forth on the balls of feet, satisfied.

We all want to be like someone.

Who do you want to be like?  What trait do you see in that other that most impresses you?   

Meatless Monday-Overnight Oatmeal

000oatsI love oatmeal!  I’ll eat it almost any way you fix it. I especially love it baked, as a breakfast cereal. Sadly, I don’t always have time to bake my oatmeal, and there are days when it isn’t prudent to warm the house with a hot oven. What then should I do? Make overnight oats.

Below, I have copied a recipe for overnight oats I found on the ISHA website.  I’ve seen similar recipes all over the web, but this is the one that hit my fancy today, so I wanted to share it as my Meatless Monday post. Enjoy!

Mixed Berry Overnight Oats Vegan Breakfast Recipe

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup almond milk (you can also use milk, yogurt, or non-dairy milk/yogurt of your choice)

2 tsp maple syrup or honey

Pinch of cinnamon

Few drops vanilla

Fresh berries

1 TBS chia seeds, optional

Directions:

In the evening, in a small bowl or jar, stir together oats, almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and chia seeds. Much of the liquid will be absorbed overnight, but if you desire a thinner or thicker consistency, you can add more or less almond milk. Cover the container and leave it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, top with fresh berries and enjoy.

If you’d like to vary your oats to enjoy them a different way each day, try topping with raw nuts like walnuts or pecans, pomegranate seeds, sliced banana or apple, raisins, or whatever you like!