Another Brilliant Idea

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I had the brilliant idea that I would do a fast/cleanse of sorts every Monday and maybe Tuesday, possibly Wednesday. And maybe, just maybe, I would do this every week.

I stocked my fridge with coconut water and ordered more from Amazon as back up. I bought a truck load of kale, chard, spinach, carrots, celery, parsley, a few apples, pears and pineapple for juicing. There are enough bananas on my counter for a zoo.

The plan: Only raw fruits and vegetables in their recognizable form or spun into juice. Loads of water and a couple coconut waters a day.

The back-up plan: All of the above plus steamed fresh veggies with a bit of ghee. And maybe a dash of salt and pepper.

The back-up to the back-up plan: All of the above and maybe a hard-boiled egg or two if I was feeling particularly weak.

  • No caffeine
  • No sugar
  • No meat
  • No legumes
  • No grains
  • No dairy (except ghee)
  • No spices other than salt and pepper

Unfortunately all of that seemed to add up to no energy. So I cheated. Right. Outta. The. Gate.

An hour into my Monday morning, post coconut water, I was fading fast. I have a four cup coffee maker and my typical morning brew is half caf/half decaf – and all four cups – but I really didn’t think I’d miss it that much.

It called to me from the kitchen, it was moaning and bargaining and it just wouldn’t shut up. So I had 1 of those four cups with less than half of it caffeinated. BUT (in the interest of honesty) I also added a dab of sugar and a splash of milk.

I am not one of those brave souls who take their coffee black.

The rest of the day went according to plan until about 4. You know, that hour. At which time I gobbled up a handful (or 3) of macadamia nuts.

Dinner was steamed veggies with ghee as planned. And there was plenty of water and juice throughout the day.

It wasn’t a total fail.

I learned a long time ago not to shame myself. I’ve also learned that one “mistake” doesn’t ruin the whole plan. It would be so easy to give up and eat the chocolate. But I didn’t and I call that a win.

The whole reason behind the plan was to disrupt the crap fest I suddenly found myself in the middle of. Habits creep back. Sugar wants sugar. Carbs want carbs and so on.

If I can make this my base and go back to it a day or two a week, even with the coffee, I imagine I’ll be feeling pretty good.

 

 

21 Day Challenge – Day 9 – Non-negotiable

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It’s amazing what happens when you point yourself in a direction with intention and conviction. It’s not that things become easier or that you muscle through them, they just happen. Without having to “think” about options, the healthiest one is just naturally chosen.

I remember talking to a friend recently who was lamenting about his lack of time to do the things he really loved. Among those things were going to the gym, mountain biking, surfing and playing the guitar. He wants to start eating healthier and juicing. He’s been inside, working several jobs to provide for his family and get some financial traction.

He let go of all the things that support his true Self, that make him come alive.

He commented on some of the podcast heroes he listens to. “They’re working out at 4:30 AM. Everyday. Seven days a week. They have all this energy.” One does beget the other. Commitment + exercise + eating healthfully = Energy. And generally the equation stacks up exactly like that. Commitment must come first.

The commitment is not to the exercise and eating healthfully, it is to the result of doing that. Exercise and a good diet is just the stuff you do, not the goal itself. If the goal is to lose weight and get healthy that will only take you so far. It’s not a sustainable plan. There must be a bigger return on your investment. That would be the energy and attitude to accomplish, what? That’s up to each individual.

We all know these 4:30 AM people. We’re in awe of them and wish we could figure how they do it.  It’s not that they don’t have children or a crazy schedule or a ton of responsibility. It’s likely the contrary.   So what sets them apart from us? Their health and energy are non-negotiable. They won’t sleep in because they stayed up too late, The rarely have that extra round of drinks, if they imbibe at all. They’d rather their own stomach lining eat itself before going to a fast food restaurant, of any kind.

They’ve figured it out. It’s not a secret. It’s not even a mystery. It’s well-known and well documented. It’s a choice. They’ve made a conscious, cognizant choice to live their best life. Their enchanted life. Why would anyone settle for anything less? Why indeed.

I have been in optimal health before. I am pretty healthy now. But I let go of the early morning workouts if I don’t sleep well, putting them off until later, which usually translates to never – or at least not that day. Same goes for food. I’ll eat this little bit of chocolate but then I’ll stay on the treadmill an extra 15 minutes tomorrow. I’ve been working really hard, a glass of wine won’t hurt – or two. I’ll put off the project, the planning, the fill in the blank until I have a little more energy to focus.

I negotiate. I justify.

I am negotiating away my power. My valuable time. When I put things off I cannot enjoy the present moment. My energy is now divided between what I am doing – which is an important task like filing paperwork or vacuuming my car – and finishing the energetically heavy task that would allow me the freedom and time to do something creative.

When I do yoga everyday, go to the gym or for a nice long walk, and do yoga nidra, as I have been for 9 days now, I feel energized and alive. And this energy empowers me to make additional positive decisions for myself.  Do the hard thing first, watch less TV, spend more time on creativity, drink more water. It’s as if the flame has been turned up just enough to illuminate the other menu. The one I can’t see or comprehend when deep in sloth and debauchery.

Who is it I am negotiating with anyway? My ego? My evil twin? (I am a Gemini.) My inner sloth? If I am negotiating with a sloth and it wins that’s not saying a whole lot about my personal power. I mean, come on, have you seen a sloth move?

Like attracts like. If I am feeling good and energized and moving in a direction physically, spiritually, emotionally and professionally that looks at least interesting if not down right magical why would I do anything to jeopardize that? Right now I wouldn’t. And every day I say, right now I wouldn’t I reclaim a little bit more power.

I believe it takes a  while to get the non-negotiable rooted cellularly, but until it is I will do my best to place the sloth on the couch with some tasty leaves, put Madagascar on and go to my mat.

[Photo: While leaving a private yoga client’s home this morning I passed two horses in a nearby yard. One was asking me to come pet him while this guy was very involved in getting some sort of snack out of the tree. Side note: Horse represents power in the Native American culture.]