I have a new haircut, barely a week old. The first week of a new haircut is always a little dicey for me. I'm having a hard time dealing with the shorter length, and I just want the whole thing to be a little bit easier. I've spent most of my life obsessing about my hair. These days, I don't care about looking perfectly done. I just want to look comfortable. I want to look easy. *Wait. That didn't come out right.* Effortless. Undone. I don't want to look like I had to try too hard, and in the process I really don't want to try too hard. Anyway, I think I've finally got it. And it has been easy and casually fun the past couple of days.
So back to what I eat. I've been doing a fair amount of reading and studying up on diet and nutrition. I'm convinced that organic is better, and that I need to be pretty selective about what I allow myself to eat. About 3 years ago I was tested for food sensitivities and here are the things I'm supposed to avoid:
Cheese (very sad... something I love)
Cane Sugar (!!!)
Some things are pretty easy, like pineapple or celery. Cow/Goat milk I can live without. Cheese is hard for me. Cane sugar has been a devil. When I do use eggs, I've started using the organic, grain fed, cage-free type. Hoping it makes a difference, but mostly trying to avoid them. I substitute black beans for the other ones. I eat only sourdough bread (no yeast). Brewer's yeast is another tough one, as it's in all vinegars except for a certain type of apple cider vinegar. It's in ketchup, soy sauce, salad dressings, and many, many other commonplace items.
I've googled, and searched, and read all kinds of information. And for the past month I've tried really really hard to eliminate all of these offending items as much as possible from my diet. Some days the best I can do is only have 1 of them somewhere, but it's a lot better than I was doing. Some days I feel better, less achey. Like today was a good day. I started out with a very stiff and sore knee and ankle, but as the day wore on, I kept drinking a lot of water, kept offending substances completely away, and tonight I feel pretty good. My litmus test is this: on a bad day my body is screaming for Advil by 4 of 5:00. Tonight I looked at the clock as we were about to go out the door to ride bikes, and it was 7:00. I hadn't even thought about Advil. I took it anyway, as a precaution, but it was a good sign that I hadn't started to feel miserable at 4:00 like on other days.
It was a good energy day. I worked a full 8 hours while running up and down the stairs doing the laundry. I wasn't crying from exhaustion tonight while I changed the bed linens. All in all a pretty effortless day. Exactly the kind I wish for.
It seems like it would be easy to cut things out of your diet if they make you sick, doesn't it? It's not. So many of those ingredients are in so many other items. I've had to cut out processed food entirely, which is not that hard if you're at home, but to eat out? To be out socially? You don't know what's in anything then, and eating is such a social thing. Up until now I guess I haven't felt bad enough to be motivated to do the hard work. But I'm tired of feeling achey and worn out and joint-sore. I want to be as well as I possibly can. So I force my concentration away from what's for lunch. I make myself content with a handful of almonds and some grapes. I cook everything from fresh ingredients. No more convenience foods. I'm going to start this week frequenting a local farmer's market for good, organic produce.
I imagine I'll still have good and bad days, but I'm hoping that with enough effort and time for my body to heal, I'll have more and more good days. I know a couple of you out there also experience chronic conditions. For those that do, what works for you? I realize we're all individuals, and our bodies have different needs, as well as things to avoid, but in general, how do you give yourself the healthy food you need without sacrificing fun times out with friends, or without travel wreaking havoc?
Lastly, I've stumbled on this blog, Advanced Style. It isn't for everyone, I realize. In fact, when I showed it to my husband, he was slightly horrified. But there's something about these older ladies that I fascinates me. I don't necessarily aspire to their level of style - I doubt I'd ever have the time or money to dress that expensively, and I don't even think I want to. But what I love is their total lack of fear to wear exactly what they want to. Dye their hair a crazy red if that's what suits. I get self conscious wearing a straw hat in the summer, and I don't want to be that way. I want to wear what pleases me without worrying if it's age appropriate, or too splashy of a pattern, or too bright a color. I want to wear multi-color bangles that cover my whole arm if it cheers me up. I want my grandchildren to remember me being fun and colorful.
Anyway, check out that blog, read a lot of the older posts, and see if it doesn't just make your day. The author is putting together a movie featuring these stylish ladies, and here is a short little teaser for it. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. For some reason it made me really happy, and gave me a little bit of courage. If they can do it, so can I. So can we all.