I’ll try anything

Whether it’s related to health care or just beauty, that’s basically my approach.

In preparation for our trip to the show next month, we’ve been catching up on recent episodes of The Social tonight.

As we’re blasting through to see what they’ve been doing and talking about, but mostly checking out what people in the audience are wearing. (They gave some pretty specific suggestions related to that when they confirmed our tickets.)

If you’ve never watched the show, it begins with a panel conversation featuring the 4-5 regular hosts when they break down a series of topics, current events and stories. Later in the show, they welcome guests, review beauty products, talk to fitness, food or health professionals. It’s a typical daytime talk show except Canadian and cooler than any of the others I’ve seen.

Early on, we saw a discussion about Botox. Kevin made a comment about why people would do that. I told him, “I would.” He replied, “but you already look young.” (Bless his heart.) I told him I’d actually been thinking about doing it lately not because I want the results, but because I’m just plain curious about it.

The things I wonder:

  • What is the process?
  • Are you sitting up or laying down when they do it?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Does it hurt?

I’m not really worried about wrinkles or looking my age. In fact, I don’t actually even know all the benefits (or the risks, for that matter.) But, I would, most definitely, do it.

In the next episode, they talked about spray tans and I found myself thinking, “I should try getting a spray tan.” And I might.

It reminded me of times when I’ve enthusiastically taken part in alternative treatments or procedures. Sure, they have always had intended results, some were successful, some less so, but for me it was often about the process. I like trying new things. I like experimenting with different approaches. If I am offered an alternative, I’ll probably chase it down.

Do you voluntarily try different treatments? Do you experiment with new procedures when you can? Also, anybody know where I can get a good spray tan?

My gratitude non-practice

As you can imagine, I’ve thought about creating a gratitude practice many times. I’ve done a lot of reading about how taking time out of every day to acknowledge things we are grateful for contributes to our overall happiness. As you can also imagine, I’ve never really stuck to a daily practice.

Today wasn’t an easy day. It wasn’t hard by any means, but it also wasn’t easy. You know what I mean. For example, when I first wrote the paragraph above, part of it read: “taking time out of every day to acknowledge thugs we are grateful for…” πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

But I do have a lot of things to be grateful for despite the fact that our team didn’t win and I didn’t get to see my friend and I have been out of the house for 16 hours and it’s already time for me to start thinking about going to bed.

I was really surprised when, during the miniature New Moon ritual we kind of did last week, Hillary confessed to feeling great benefit from devoting some time and attention to reminding herself of all that she has to be thankful for. Not surprised because I don’t believe it, but just surprised because I’ve never heard anyone really own it before. Not IRL, anyway.

This is going to sound totally moronic, but actually having someone in front of me who actively takes part in counting blessings convinced me that I ought to try it out. I generally feel a strong sense of gratitude. I am extremely thankful for the people, things and experiences I have had and continue to enjoy in my life. I know that I’m blessed and I feel lucky for that all the time.

So, what would happen if I actually catalogued the things that inspired me to feel that way most? Well, let’s find out.

Do you keep up with a gratitude practice? Tell me about it.

Balance

Oh brother do I need to get a handle on this. Maybe today’s notes will be a request for advice more than a statement of anything, really.

I got into a little last night with my summary on my resolution of slowing down. I’m caught in the place of doing this SUPER EXTROVERTED JOB on some evenings and weekends but I’m a SUPER INTROVERTED PERSON, well, all the time. The rational solution would be to give up the extra stuff. The problem with that is that I really enjoy it while I’m doing it. I love it, in fact. It’s when I’m done that the dilemma rears it’s head because then I’m exhausted. Yes, I’d planned on hibernation this weekend, but even if I hadn’t, I’d have had little choice. After Friday’s late night and in anticipation of today’s game, the third in five days, the fourth in nine, I had two things going on: recovering from a total energy sap and bracing myself for another one coming up. It’s a weird thing to try to get a hold of.

In my experience, my best course to maintaining wellness is to take extra care to eat nutrient dense foods, sleep when I can and meditate. I’ve started to realize that I need to really commit to spending time to these things when I’m not required to be ON. I can’t just go on and do the things I’d normally do because the energy that I have needs to be focused on recovery.

What are you secrets to self-care when you have a lot on the go? How do you find balance?

30 grams of (plant-based) protein

That isn’t even all of it, friends. THREE TIMES A DAY.

There it is.

Yikes.

I’ve been witness to friends who committed to intense and meticulous eating plans and I have applauded them. I have cheerleaders for them. I have have talked them down from ledges with reminders of their greater goal. This isn’t even that hard, but it’s certainly a challenge for me.

I saw my naturopath again today. (I also saw my regular doctor who didn’t brush off my issue the way I’d hoped she would. Then I broke a tooth. Needless to say, my ND visit was the highlight.) We caught up on my findings from the anti-inflammatory diet I’ve been following. Mostly it’s been going well and I am feeling great. We also checked in on the DNA results that we had access to as part of my Ancestry raw data.

Among the things I learned:

  • Caffeine is not my friend. Coffee, green tea, chocolate. None of it.
  • I’m great at absorbing the nutritional content of nuts and seeds.
  • I’m best suited to a Mediterranean diet: fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains. (A ketogenic diet would wreak havoc on my body.)
  • I was really happy to hear that my DNA indicates that a plant-based diet should suit my body just fine.
  • My disinterest in food likely “tells a story about my digestion.”
  • I don’t absorb Vitamin D well as others.
  • I don’t deal with saturated fat as efficiently as other people might.

We reviewed all that and much more. Most of it I can’t relay accurately. Next up, we worked on an eating plan and a timeline.

The Plan.

  • The aforementioned 30 grams of protein per meal.
  • Three meals a day, for that matter.
  • New supplements, all related to digestion.

I love that we’re focusing on one thing and that its digestion. Never before in all my life, all my medical care, all my doctors, nobody has ever taken even a passing interest in my digestion, but in the short look we’ve taken, it seems there may be legitimate concerns. It’s enlightening and also disappointing. For all of the health concerns I’ve had, some of the roots may have been in the health of my gut. How could it be that until now nobody ever asked?

Instead of looking back, I would prefer to look forward. I’m excited for the changes ahead and the challenges in learning more about how to eat. I haven’t had a number around a goal before so I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes.

Let me know if you have any suggestions or tips. (I have to continue to avoid the same things I have been already, including wheat and sugar.)

Homework

You bet I got some yesterday. That’s one of the key things you should know if you’re going to see an ND – there’s going to be work involved. Guaranteed. I think that’s what drawn me to it so much over the years. I want to be a partner in my health care, not a recipient of it. And I don’t mind rolling up my sleeves if I need to.

So.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t go in there with a problem or specific focus yesterday. I’d made some notes and had six or seven things I’m curious about. When I filled out the intake forms last month (like, a lifetime ago) to answer the questions of my top three health concerns, I added only one: Overall Wellness.

That’s my motivation for everything I do. I’m not interested in body composition or weight or calories or anything else. It’s all just numbers and they’re meaningless to me. I just want to feel good.

We went through the getting to know you portion of the visit (I think I forgot to mention that I got a full hour (!) of one-on-one attention) and Dr. Shannon really felt that the best place for us to start was with digestion. I don’t have problems with digestion in particular, but when she broke down the way that poor digestion might rear its head in other ways – especially with how it impacts hormones – I was easily on board. Good digestion is no joke, friends.

For my homework, I had a few tasks.

  1. Listen to this: Samantha Gladish’s Holistic Wellness podcast, episode 41: 11 Steps to Better Digestion.
  2. Pick a step to follow from the episode . I chose eating warm foods because that’s something I’m not very good at. I prefer everything at room temperature (I know. Weird, right?) so this is actually going to be a challenge and I didn’t trust pick the easiest one.
  3. Upload my DNA results to Dr. Shannon’s preferred service provider so she can analyze my SNPs (single-nucleotide polymorphism or “snips” as she called them.) Since I’ve already done an Ancestry DNA test, the raw data will provide her with this information and will shed some light on how my DNA may be impacting my digestion and other health. (I’ll be honest, this one blew my mind.)
  4. Do the HCL challenge to measure how much stomach acid I have. She drew me a little picture of why this is so important and I wish I’d taken it so I could show you. You want to have a healthy amount of stomach acid because it helps not just with the act of digestion, but it improves efficiency, absorption and protects us against bad bacteria that hitches a ride in with our food.
  5. Start taking berberine to help support the work we’re doing.
  6. Continue on the anti-inflammation diet (turns out my new ND is the one who wrote the iteration that landed in our hands!)

And the final piece of homework was one that I requested. I’ve been curious about it FOREVER and really just wanted to ask some question of a professional. This was my chance and I wasn’t going to squander it.

    Start seed cycling. This is using seeds and oils to support the body according to menstrual phases. In the follicular phase we want to promote estrogen – omega 3s help with that – and in the luteal phase we want to promote progesterone – omega 6s help with that. I find this stuff totally fascinating so I’m excited that she could not only talk me through it, but she had some information sheets to send home with me.

If you couldn’t already tell, I’m pretty jacked about this new chapter in my health.

If you’re interested in improving your digestive health, I’d encourage you to go check out that podcast and join me in picking a step. Let me know which one you choose!

Lots of water. Lots of sleep.

Honestly, I’d forgotten how hard it is to do a full clean up of my diet. Twenty-four hours after I started, the foggy, dull ache at the back of my neck from being caffeine free. I was reminded of the tough work ahead by mid-afternoon when I started to feel a little spacey. By the time I went to bed last night, I was best described as groggy. I woke up to much of the same.

Today, it’s been headache and out of body feelings and aches and stuffiness and nausea and cursing every single cup of coffee or sugary dessert or heavy carb product I have been allowing myself to consume.

I know it’s going to be over soon. If I recall correctly, things should start looking up by the end of the day tomorrow. In case I’m overly optimistic, Hillary all but promised me five days is the turnaround. No matter how long, I’ll just keep repeating that mantra until it happens.

Lots of water. Lots of sleep.

Kevin made Superfoods Soup from the Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. cookbook and just omitted the canned tomatoes. (Also prohibited.) Bless his soul. πŸ™πŸ»

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?

Dance break!

Took a little dance break to hang with Carmella and R-Truth tonight.

Also checked out The Wellness Show at Canada Place earlier in the day. It’s on again tomorrow and if you’d prefer something a little less sporty than the Super Bowl, it might be a good time to check it all out. Plenty of great health-related products and educational opportunities to be had.

I’ve been out of the house most of the day and have also been completely preoccupied with my current read, Inheritance by Dani Shapiro. So, so good.

Hope you had a great Saturday! Tell me about it!

Full Moon in Leo Lunar Eclipse

Today is a big day – and not only if you’re a Rams, Patriots, Saints or Chiefs fan. I am none of those things (thank GOD!), but I am keenly aware of the fact that today we’ll experience our first Full Moon of the year, a Full Moon in Leo or Wolf Moon and at the same time it’s a lunar eclipse, also known as a Blood Moon.

One of my goals for 2019 was to maintain my New and Full Moon rituals and I wrote about my first one the day before the New Moon in Capricorn on January 5th. At that time, my focus was on Capricorn ambition, balancing success and failure, stubbornness and motivation.

With the Moon now full and in the sign of Leo, we turn our thoughts towards some of the Leo traits: strengths, power, courage and respect.

This was the draw that I did today, guided by the Leo card in the tarot deck, Strength, and a spread that I found on the Labyrinthos website.

1. What is my greatest inner strength? Ten of Wands

2. How can I step into my own power? The Sun 🌞

3. What parts of myself can be more celebrated? Knight of Wands

4. Where can I take bigger risks? Knight of Pentacles


I rely on a few people for guidance through the lunar phases and, as always, they came up big for me.

Here were some of the highlights as I prepped for this Full Moon.

Megan Skinner:

It is not unusual to FEEL intensively during this time. If you can embrace your feelings and emotions, whatever is illuminated for you now, without judgment, there can be a great transformation and awakening.

Please see her post for her gorgeous explanation of the relationship between Aquarius and Leo and how this event can influence your life at this time.

Stephanie Gailing: Here is her post about today’s big events. That link includes everything below and much, much more.

Remember that even if we can’t see an Eclipse in the sky, these celestial events are potent harbingers of illumination in our lives. Eclipses are often associated with the unfolding of life-shifting events and/or awareness.

And to give you a sense of what today’s lunation really means in an astrological sense,

One of the questions that the Leo Full Moon may pose is how we can authentically be ourselves while at the same time being part of and contributing to something larger than our individual selves.


Staying true to myself has been an ongoing theme for me for over a calendar year now and I feel stronger and better for my commitment to myself, to Be Carly.Personally, I’ve had a couple of themes at play in my life recently. One has been related to friendship and the other career. In both, I am contemplating the meaning and value in my life, the things that I desire in each and the things I am willing to tolerate or sacrifice for those values. In the Full Moon spirit, I am moving on from both in some ways.

In friendship, I’ve starting to release the ties to relationships that were no longer serving me, to accounts that were making more withdrawals than deposits, to paraphrase a quote I shared on Facebook the other day.

When it comes to career, I sometimes get carried away in thinking about the type and volume of progress I’d like to make. I love my job, but if I listen to my heart, I want to grow my position without necessarily moving “up” in my company. I like the level of responsibility that I have. I work hard and I work long hours and I don’t really want to commit more than I already do. In a corporate setting, it’s hard to hold onto that internal truth without being swayed by the currents swelling upward.


Happy Full Moon! Don’t forget to leave your crystals out by the light of the Moon to cleanse and charge them. πŸŒ•β™ŒοΈ

11.14.18

I used to believe that ALL vacation days were meant for travel and I would suck every last second out of any trip. I’d work up until the last possible minute before my departure. I’d fly home the morning of a work day and head straight to the office. Now, I’m not so much into that kind of hectic rush and will build a buffer before/after a trip to prepare/settle back in.

This week, I have a five day window before going back to work. I’m using it to unpack, do laundry and get the house organized and I’m also taking some time to adapt my home life into what I want my normal to be.

Today, I got up and went for a run. When I got back, I thumbed through a new cookbook I borrowed from the library and did a little meal planning for the days ahead. After ten days of being on the move, away from home, some decent, nourishing food was very, very welcome.

Kevin is back at work all day and night today so I’ve had the apartment (and cats πŸ‘πŸ» – and laundry πŸ‘ŽπŸ») to myself.

I’ve started to turn my thoughts to pulling out some of the Christmas decorations and practiced gratitude that we celebrate Thanksgiving at the beginning of October and there I no other holiday to get in the way between now and then.


Yesterday, in the spirit of a new week and new goals, I asked which of the following mantras most spoke to friends on Facebook and on Twitter.

Interestingly, I had two different people respond saying they knew that if they chose one of these things, then everything else would fall into place. One said EAT HEALTHY is their key to wellness. The other said BE HAPPY is their missing puzzle piece.

The thing for me that makes everything in my life come together is sleep which, as you can see, does not appear on that list. Still, I think there’s merit in all of the things listed so I’m going to cycle my way through all of them. One week at a time, I’ll hold one of the mantras close and see how it all comes together.

How about you? Which of those mantras most speaks to you?