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Tag Archives: mental clarity

Paleo Plans: Birthday Gift #2

I admire people who are willing to research and explore this world, reach a conclusion based on their experiences and learning, and then faithfully hold that unique, fact-based perspective even as the popular opinion clings to outdated science, sentimental tradition, and the status quo.

I am doing my best to raise my children so that they may each become that kind of person.

The two greatest accomplishments of my 34 years
& the reasons I continue to pursue the healthiest lifestyle possible.

 

I won’t lie. It’s not always easy. I need guides. I need muses. I need information. Luckily, there is no shortage of any of these in the Paleo community.

 

One such guide is Dave Asprey. Even though he is not officially affiliated with “Paleo,” he is, in my belief,  a primal living guru. He views himself as a biohacker and has spent considerable time and money figuring out with the world’s leading scientists and researchers what is best for the human body. His website is vast and detailed, and you can check out exactly what it means to be Bulletproof at The Bulletproof Executive.

I was initially a huge fan of Mr. Asprey’s because he helped his wife overcome PCOS with his “Upgraded” diet, which he details in his Upgraded Chef Cookbook.

What continues to interest me about Mr. Asprey is his “Bulletproof Coffee” recipe.

I LOVE coffee. To a fault. As in it could be the only thing I drink. So, in learning about the benefits of Bulletproof Coffee, I decided to gift myself the Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee Kit and give it a try.

My kit should arrive today, which means tomorrow morning is going to be Bulletproof. I’ll let you know how it goes!

 

All my best for a terrific Tuesday, Lovelies!

 

 

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Whole 30 Challenge, Road Trip & Party Survival Guide

Lovelies! How are you all this morning?

On Day #10, I am soaring–yes soaring!–on the feel-goodness of this plan! I’d try to describe how wonderful I feel, but I’d rather just encourage you to find out for yourselves. Nothing is as effective and motivating as first-hand experience.

For those of you already Whole-30ing along to Melissa and Dallas Hartwig’s Whole 30 program, a word of motivation: Do it.

Don’t sort-of-kind-of-ooops-I-had-a-cookie-or-two do it.

Do it as it is written.

There is absolutely no gray area to dabble in. Like the Hartwig’s point out, every bite, every nibble of inflammatory foods puts you back at square one of the healing cycle. It’s commendable you’re putting in the effort, now reward yourself with commitment and follow-through for thirty days. It’s just thirty days. Thirty days that have the potential to be life-changing if you put in the effort. Your one-and-only body will thank you. And, when in doubt, listen to the wise advice of Master Yoda:

Pretty simple when you think about it, right? Either you do it. Or, you don’t. I’d do it if I were you!!!!

So, while I truly believe that the mental clarity and feel-good-body results alone are more than enough to promote the Whole 30 program, the physical body-composition results are equally impressive. Don’t get me wrong, I still have some weight to drop, but in just ten days, do you know what’s happened?

Let me explain…

On Day #1 I put on a pair of jeans that barely zipped and buttoned (A full size smaller than what I wore in January, but still, NOT pretty!). On Day #5 I put on the same pair of jeans without any struggle (or unsexy overhang–yay! Be gone, overhang!) Yesterday, even fresh out of the washer–even with it being “that time of the month”–those jeans had a little room in the waist and hips. Today, I. CAN. FEEL. MY. HIP. BONES. Holy moly! I can’t believe I have them! They’ve been buried as deep as Atlantis for the majority of my adult life, especially post-kiddos. So deep, in fact, that I think I believed they, too, were mere myths or legends. Not so! They do exist! Sure it’s going to take a little more work in the gym to see the ultimate results that I want, but the careful attention I’m giving to my food sure is paying off! Hip bones, by golly!

This is where I say: If I can do it, you ABSOLUTELY can do it! No fuss about busy schedules or liking milk too much to give it up. (Lovelies, you are NOT baby cows who need fattening!). I don’t believe any of it. Not one little syllable. You are exactly as capable of doing this as you believe yourselves to be. When you are committed, nothing can derail you–not even a 1,200 mile road trip to party with family! (Yes, I’m really doing that–in just a few short hours, in fact).

How am I going to survive 600 miles each way, plus two days filled with food, family, and fun? I will be packing my own eats and politely asking for the support (not sabotage) that I need. No questions about it. Black, white, not a shade of gray. Most of my family knows my plan and my goals–the rest will soon find out. I will not indulge in birthday cake, grainy-carby-finger foods, or sugary-dairy-creamy-debauchery of any kind. And, lest you think I’m a party-pooper, I say this: How can I enjoy the party if I am feeling less than my best?

Now that I know what my true “best” feels like, temptation is an abstract idea that affects others. NOT me. It is liberating!

Want to find out what your “best” feels like first hand? Here’s your three-step get-started plan:

  1. Go to the Hartwig’s website. (Click here if you haven’t saved it from previous posts!)
  2. Print out the four pages of the Whole 30 program.
  3. Start. Now.

I believe in you! Keep us posted on your progress!

I Love You, Me.

Image

I am musing this morning. Apologies in advance. I will have a point in the end…eventually.

Strength and Courage….

What’s so special about them, you ask? I asked the same thing yesterday when I saw this quote and it nagged me all night.

I’ve decided that, on their own, I don’t suppose there is much special about strength or courage.

The mere possession of strength of body or mind or will rarely achieves greatness. Sure, you may have a rockin’ physique, an I.Q. enviable to Einstein, or the tenacity of a hungry shark. Good on you! However, unless you have the courage to use your strengths, they remain your locked-away secret–your dormant potential, but not your reality.

(Tragically, I’ve noticed that too many people get stuck possessing great strengths with heaping amounts of self-doubt, and they hide their strengths away from the world. They appear bitter, jealous, insecure, unfulfilled, and unhappy).

When strength and courage exist simultaneously within you, though, they work synergistically, and your potential cannot help but burst forth and shine, improving your life and the lives of all around you. The key is to embody both so that one may continuously influence the other and allow you to live in your true state of being. Sounds blissful, right?

According the Lao Tzu, love has something to do with it.

So what’s love got to do with it? (Great question, Lovelies!)

Love is the matchmaker that unites your strength and your courage. Most of us were born into the perfect strength-courage scenario: We came into life much to the delight of parents who loved us unconditionally. Their love gave us strength as we grew, and because we loved them back we had the courage to test-out our strength in the world.

Unfortunately, most people outgrow this scenario right around the time their strength and courage will be tested the most: adolescence.

As our perspective of the world expands and changes, so do our needs. We start needing the love of others, not just our parents, to sustain our courage. And so we audition others for our support team. We find people to love and who will love us in return, even if only temporarily, so that we can feel safe being ourselves. Isn’t that why high school was so much fun for some and so hellish for others? Some of us are lucky to find our lifetime love, a constant giver and receiver, in our teens; others of us search for a lifetime, moving from person to person until the right one enters our lives.

I am lucky. I am in love with my best friend and have been since I was sixteen years old. (That’s one year more than half my life, Lovelies!). Has our relationship been rom-com Oscar-worthy, filled only with sunshine and fairy dust?

Um, no.

Nor would I want it to be.

What our relationship has been and continues to be is the fulfillment of Lao Tzu’s wise words. By loving each other we give two things: Strength to our partner and courage to ourselves. I am, undoubtedly, the person I am today because of CH’s love and my love for CH.

But I realized something….

My strength and courage don’t just come from loving someone else and accepting someone else’s love.

My strength and courage come, in part, from loving myself and actually accepting my self-love.

Think about it: how much better would you feel if you gave yourself permission to love yourself? All of you. Even your flaws. Isn’t that the kind of love we give to our partners? Isn’t that the kind of love our partners give us? They wouldn’t give up on us, would they? Well, then, don’t you dare give up on yourself!

This is your job today, Lovelies. Love yourselves. And make sure you know it!

You are amazing. You are beautiful. You are strong and courageous.

Go light-up the world!

XO

Nikki

Acceptance, Not Optional

The soft chiming of my spoon against my mug is what initially brought T.S. Eliot’s famous quote, “I have measured out my life in coffee spoons,” to mind this morning, as it does so many times throughout the year. But today, my musings took me on a surprise tour of recent emotional currents swirling beneath the seemingly navigable waters of my life.

(Yes, old words about spoons and coffee and measuring that I’d heard and thought of a thousand times before, did all that. Perhaps the mental clarity I’ve been experiencing as an amazing benefit of Paleo has helped as well).

What I discovered, though, when I “measured out” out all of my life’s spoons and examined them each, in all their unique and individual complexity, was fairly simple:

I had to accept them all.

All. Of. Them.

Even the broken ones. Even the ones that leave a bitter, metallic taste in my otherwise fantastic coffee. Even the ones that cut my skin when I reach to touch them. The faux spoons. The sporks. Yes, Lovelies, whether I like it or not, all of them are mine, and, therefore, I must accept them. Just the way they are.

And that upset me.

At first. (Because, let’s face it, I’m not really talking about spoons).

Then I realized (thank you mental clarity!) that I have a choice.

Acceptance and active engagement are two very different things. Acceptance is not optional. If a spoon is in my life, it’s there for a reason. I accept that. Active engagement, however, is optional. Just because a spoon is there, doesn’t mean I have to give it my attention. My effort. My best.

From now on I will gladly accept all of my life’s spoons. However, I will be far more discerning about the ones with which I choose to interact.

That bitter-tasting spoon? I won’t put any more effort into lessening the metallic taste with which it contaminates so many great cuppas. Instead, I just won’t stir anymore of my precious coffee with that one!  I’ll also never reach for that sharp spoon again. Spork and Faux–the ones who expect engagement but always fail to follow-through? Yes, I’m finished with them, too. Life is too short to continue hurting myself when there are so many better options! Sure, I’ll have to see them every time I open the drawer, but I can live with that.

Lovelies, as you continue on your own life journeys (Paleo, or not), please remember that no matter which spoons you have in your drawers, select the ones you share your coffee with wisely! Your emotional health is important, too! Don’t neglect it!

XO

Nikki

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