Things we’ll do this month: February 2020

Second month, second post of the year. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a trend!

I love the beginning of the year. I know it goes against the grain of popular opinion, but I think January is great. And February – February is one of my two favourite months of the year.

I’m using my TWDTM post to help vault me back into the habit of posting at least semi-regularly. Before writing this, I looked back into the history of these posts. I’d thought I started in 2017, but it was actually 2016 when I posted my first which means we’re coming up on a four year anniversary – fruit and flowers. I can get down with that.

Goal setting is fun. It’s great motivation to sit down and hash out the things we want to do and fantasize about the roads that will take us there. When we talk about goals, we talk about money and career and real estate and competition, but we rarely talk about good, old-fashioned leisure. What I’ve found is that having some fun and light-hearted goals is a nice way to interrupt the monotony and drudgery of obligation. Month to month, I will publish a list of things I would like to do during the month ahead. Of course, this list doesn’t take the place of all of my standard goals related to health, wellness, money and spirituality, but I reserve the right to, in some cases, blur the lines.

  • Post my 20 for 2020 & one little word
  • Super Bowl (my contribution to the snack-fest: almond butter rice crispy treats, veggie chili, sourdough biscuits, cookies)
  • Celebrate a milestone birthday for my Mom
  • Road trip to Seattle
  • Make and send Valentines
  • Valentine’s Day/Smackdown
  • Pancake Day!
  • Hike
  • Snowshoe
  • Make gluten-free sourdough bread
  • Take more photos of people
  • Replenish seed collection
  • Finish my personal commandments
  • Day trip to the valley

January was a very inwardly focused month. I did a lot of personal work, focusing on meditation, healing, calm and stillness. I found a way to perfectly balance the needs of my largely introverted personality with the part of me that wants to create and maintain meaningful relationships. For the first time in a long time, I was able to go out regularly without feeling completely drained by the experience. I want to continue with that internal growth and it’s time to start integrating my experience by wading further out into the world again while trying to maintain that feeling of peacefulness. I think this month’s list will really nurture that combination.

What do you have planned for the month of February?

End of Lent

I’m not going to lie, those three words were googled a number of times over the past six weeks. Every time, at a particularly challenging point, I would double, triple quadruple check that Lent came to an end on Thursday, April 18th.

We’re in the clear!

But here’s the thing: as challenging as it has been, we’re sticking to it. For Kevin, of course, as he recovers from his injury, anything that battled inflammation is key. He feels like his body is moving better, his head is cleaner and his team of practitioners is happy with his progress. Coincidentally, his barista got his order wrong this morning and served him up with a venti americano. Of course, he’d nearly finished and was feeling jittery and foggy by the time he double checked the tag on his cup. While we’d both already felt fine with kissing coffee goodbye, we had a long conversation about how it made him feel and really confirmed that continuing with the coffee ban is the right thing at this time.

Kevin has been given the green light to start testing new foods – egg whites or corn. Even though that was the answer he got from his nutrition coaches, he says he’s feeling so much better that he actually doesn’t want to change anything just yet.

Me, I’ve got this new protein challenge which is exhausting me. I’ve realized that I don’t eat three meals a day consistently, let alone protein rich ones. Yeesh. Every day so far, I’m almost obsessed about it. On an episode of Spiritualish podcast that when approaching eating restrictions or goals, a good way to prepare is to always know what your next two meals will be. So far, it’s working.

In addition, I’ve started some new supplements to aid digestion and they’re starting to have some really lovely effects. Dr. Shannon has advised that I might feel more energetic as a result. Nothing makes me happier than the possibility of increased energy!

So, while we survived the six weeks of Lent, it isn’t really over for us. We’re just going to keep on fighting inflammation as best we can.

How did you Lent practice work out? We’re you successful? More importantly, what did you learn?

The west coast food privilege

We’re approaching the midway point of our forty day food experiment (aka Lent) and if you were to ask me how it was going, I’d tell you two things.

  1. I feel fantastic. My energy has skyrocketed and many of my minor aches, pains and twitches have disappeared.
  2. The anti-inflammation diet honeymoon is over.

It isn’t that I don’t like it or that it’s even that hard, it’s just that it’s something I have to think about all the damn time. I feel like I’m always on guard. I can’t just order a salad because I need to make sure it doesn’t have tomatoes or corn in it. I have to make sure I make a modification to a fish dish in case it’s being served with a side of potatoes. Stuff like that. There isn’t anything I’m particularly craving and I’m certainly not thinking about anything overly indulgent, but I’m ready for a little freedom.

Truth is, I’m excited to get through this experiment, get back to the naturopath, analyze my DNA information and come up with a new, more tailored eating plan with, perhaps, a little more exploration or elimination testing even.

Today we were on the go. We were out a little late after the lacrosse game last night so we weren’t rushed to get up, but when we did get moving, we headed to my folks’ to do a little more walking down memory lane and, in some cases, trashing some of the scenery. After several hours there, we hurried home so that Kevin could get ready for work and so that I could get ready to go to the hockey game with my girl, Cara. In the midst of all that, we didn’t really get to eat anything so Kevin had the genius idea of trying Freshii for the first time. We’ve seen a million of them and have even talked about going, but we’ve just never done it. So we did. He got a salad and I got a bowl because I’m supposed to be focusing on warm foods. And you know what? It was legitimately good, healthy food that was modifiable to our needs, but actually required very few tweaks. We’ll certainly be going back!

Hours later at the hockey game, I was able to sip on a green smoothie from Jugo Juice and I was reminded of just how lucky we are to have the variety of food that we do in this area. Sure, my diet is pretty limited right now, but if I run out of time or want to grab something on the go, there are reasonable possibilities at nearly every place I go. Sure, it may take some modifications and a little detective work, but it’s possible and that’s a real privilege.

Lent 2019

We’re not traditionalists. Heck, I don’t even come at religious holidays from a spiritual point of view. But, as I mentioned yesterday, I do believe in the power of abstention or denying ourselves something. I think we stand to learn more about what we value and sometimes we discover that we don’t necessarily need the things that we thought we did.

This year, we’re doing things differently. Sure, we’re kind of giving things up, but it’s more that were focusing our attention differently.

We got this anti-inflammatory diet guideline sheet from our friends over at Catalyst. For Kevin’s ongoing injury, reducing inflammation will be key to his recovery. For me, I’ve suspected I’ve been ongoing, low-grade inflammation for a while. So, for 40 days and 40 nights, we’re adhering to the guidelines of this diet. This includes giving up caffeine, sugar, alcohol, red meat and many other things.

We’re less than a day in and I’d forgotten how challenging it can be to eat a defined diet, but I keep reminding myself how much I actually enjoy it – the stricter, the better. (I really just have to convince him to hang in there!)

Have you given something up for Lent? If so, what?