Could your attitude about food be worse than the food itself?

I have multiple food intolerances. Just recently I discovered that my IBS, which has gotten much worse over the last few years, is rooted in gluten intolerance. So now I have become that person. The difficult one who asks if the sauce or the soup contains gluten. Intolerances of this nature tend to make food the enemy. Every meal has the potential to cause incapacitating digestive issues, extreme fatigue, brain fog, or irritability. The struggle is real, the intolerance is real, but does the attitude I bring to the table make a difference in how badly my body reacts?

A friend of mine tells a story about a time when she indulged in a gooey triple chocolate brownie at a fancy restaurant. It was rich and delectable, full of gluten and sugar and bad oil, and completely irresistible in its confectionary splendor. The whole time she was eating it she was thinking about how terrible it was for her and how much she was going to regret it. After only a few bites, she was kicking herself for her poor choices and had herself completely tied up in knots, but she couldn’t stop until it was gone. Continue reading “Could your attitude about food be worse than the food itself?”

How to live fully

Last week, I spent every day having mini adventures with my little girl. It’s summertime, and we live in an area that people flock to for their summer vacations. So we played tourist. We went to museums, animal parks, playgrounds, picnic areas, educational centers, Custer State Park, Sylvan Lake, and a handful of hiking trails around the Black Hills. It was beyond awesome to hang out with her. What a fantastic hands-on workshop on how to have a child-like mind from the master!

The art of living with abandon

When hanging with a child, it is important to leave your ego and ideas about time behind. Focus on the fun that is to be had rather than a task to be completed. These important concepts may not sound practical or useful for your adult life, but I beg to differ. Here are lessons I learned from my child about how to live fully. Continue reading “How to live fully”

Stop ‘Shoulding’ on Yourself

How often do you say “should”? I’m guessing several times a day. “I should go to the store.” “I should clean my house.” “I shouldn’t eat that.” “You should [insert unintentionally judgy comment].” Maybe you aren’t even aware of your shoulds. This is the negative Mean Girl dialogue that sometimes takes over inside your head. “You should have gotten that job.” “You should work harder, do more, be better.” “You should look like that girl in the magazine.”

This kind of thinking is stressful and sucks the joy out of everything. You can’t live up to your full potential if you are constantly thinking you are not who or where you need to be or that you should be someone or somewhere else. Continue reading “Stop ‘Shoulding’ on Yourself”

How clutter steals your superpowers

I admit it. My house is not museum quality. It is very lived in. Truthfully, I feel like I have better things to do with my time than clean my house. I am famous for walking by a surface, setting something down and continuing on with whatever I am doing. If I don’t follow my current thought, I’m worried that I won’t remember what it is I need to do. However, I have recently been clued into how my tendency toward disorder may be limiting my potential.

When your outside environment is disorganized, your thoughts are, too. Things that are out of place require your brain to do something with them. This causes stress and distraction. Like we need more of that in our lives. Have you noticed that successful people have super clean houses? It isn’t just because they have someone to clean them. Tidy habits carry over into other areas of your life. How you do one thing, you do all things.  Plus, the less clutter in your line of sight, the less distracted you are and the more brain power you can invest in other areas. People with tidy environments also tend to eat better and exercise more regularly. Continue reading “How clutter steals your superpowers”

Don’t Watch Bambi on Mother’s Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and a digital detox day for me. We did brunch at home, shopped for planter supplies, and planted a few flowers in the morning. In the afternoon we settled in to watch some movies and rest. In paging through our available kid-friendly movie selection, we ran across Bambi. I said, “Hey, we haven’t seen this one for awhile, want to watch it?” My little agreed, so we settled in.

It didn’t take long for her to ask, “Is this where he loses his mother?” A question that would be repeated several times throughout the movie.

What mother hasn’t contemplated what her child’s life would be like without her? Isn’t it this thought that keeps us from running off to a tropical island on days we’ve had enough? Kids make us show up. Especially little kids. They make us be present. Because what if I wasn’t there one day? How would that affect her? Continue reading “Don’t Watch Bambi on Mother’s Day”

Why I don’t label my diet

You will rarely hear me slap a label on the way I eat. I know it’s the hip thing to do, but I don’t do it. People love to flaunt their food preferences for everyone to see, waving the vegan, keto, paleo, or fruitarian flag for everyone to see. Declaring food preferences makes sense in a way, considering that these diets veer away from the Standard American Diet (SAD) in such a way to be considered “odd” and it cuts down on awkward “I can’t eat that” occasions. It is also a popular conversation starter.

I don’t label my diet for a few reasons, first and foremost because once you put a label on a diet, much like putting labels on people, it becomes something we are able to compare and contrast. It becomes subject to the secondary label of a “fad diet.” Once you have been caught with a fad diet, watch out! I mean, I can’t even keep up with the clothing fads, let alone the food fads. Continue reading “Why I don’t label my diet”

Bikes and Tantrums

Who has freaked out on their kids lately? Be honest, there’s no judgment here. I did it just yesterday. It was the ugly, uncalled for, bad example of how to deal with frustration type of freaking out. That was me. Yes, the person who is always here talking to you about positivity and gratitude and being present. I talk about all of this stuff because I need to hear it myself. Tantrum was actually yesterday’s daily prompt, but it is extremely apropos for what I need to write about today. Here’s what happened…

My kid is five, almost six, and can’t ride a bike. This is completely my fault. It hasn’t been a priority. When we are outside playing, which is often, we are usually swimming, hiking, on the playground, climbing, or doing something in the dirt. Biking isn’t something I like to do much, so it isn’t something I have modeled for her or helped her learn. Still, it is a basic skill that everyone should learn. So we agonize over it every so often.

Since we’re so close to it being summer here, I thought I would bring the bike out for another test run. First off, her Hello Kitty bike is getting a little too small for her. I have raised the seat and the handlebars to near capacity, but it isn’t quite enough. Second, we live on somewhat of a hill. Our sidewalk slopes to a busy street, as does our very quiet, dead-end street. The sidewalk seemed too steep for her, so I brought her out into the street where she could ride around in a gentle circle. It’s safe because the street ends three feet past our driveway.

Continue reading “Bikes and Tantrums”

Self-Care: Get Outside

Yesterday was one of those truly magnificent days. It was the first really nice day we have had in months and I spent the whole day outside with my 5-year-old daughter. In this part of the world, we have been not so patiently waiting for spring. Yet winter drones on. We are expecting “rain/snow mix” tomorrow, so I have no regrets about having forgotten all of my responsibilities and played hooky yesterday.

You see, self-care isn’t always a spa day or an extensive morning routine. Self-care is what you need to support yourself right now. Maybe you need a few deep breaths to calm yourself down in traffic. Maybe a nap is in order, or a walk outside. Maybe just sitting quietly for a few minutes with a cup of tea is what you need. It doesn’t have to be the same things all of the time. Maybe you need to shake things up. Self-care for me yesterday was forgetting all the things I was supposed to do and spend the day outside hanging out with my little girl.

Continue reading “Self-Care: Get Outside”

5 Steps to Ending Judgment

When we have the intention of becoming mindful, the attitude we bring into it is an essential ingredient. We can’t just have the idea that mindfulness is healthy somehow and sit down to do it, following a set of instructions, thinking it won’t work but expecting it to anyway. Spoiler alert: It won’t work. Our state of mind matters. Attitude determines whether anything we set out to do will be successful or not. One might argue that a person’s state of mind is, in itself success or failure.

In his book, Full Catastrophe Living, Jon Kabat-Zinn outlines the 7 Attitudes of Mindfulness. These are Non-Judging, Patience, Beginner’s Mind, Trust, Non-Striving, Acceptance, and Letting Go. These 7 Attitudes are guidelines intended to reduce stress, increase joy, and support positive self-improvement. We have explored several of these on this blog previously, but today I would like to focus specifically on Non-Judging.

Judgment of Ourselves

When your inner Mean Girl starts to pipe up and tell you where you are failing or why you can’t do something, this is when you are judging yourself. Especially when you are facing something difficult or unfamiliar. Suddenly words like “can’t”, “hard”, “busy”, or “won’t” start to flood our consciousness. We look in the mirror and notice every flaw, we start to wonder who we think we are to try something so audacious, or we judge ourselves unworthy to associate with the people we aspire to. We judge ourselves more harshly than anyone else ever could.

Continue reading “5 Steps to Ending Judgment”

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