Scene: I'm sitting at the dining room table with my youngest sister, Kallie and her wife Kaitlyn. They moved out to Young Family Cabin in January and we call them our "landmates." We've all worked together to build them a tent home on our land which I will share more about below. I say, "Um ---- so I kinda want pudding." Kallie is so enthusiastic with her response...
Last week a gal sent this over to me. The poem reminded her of my message and that simple sentence reminded me how important it is that we all share our message. I LOVE REAL FOOD.
Food used to confuse and frustrate me. I used to blame it and hate it for the excess fat on my body and yet I'd eat and eat until I was sick at my stomach. Then I'd spend lots of time hating myself and eating some more because 'WHY NOT. I'll start over again tomorrow.' And tomorrow would come and I'd look in the mirror and prove once again that I was fat and miserable. Everything was heavy and dark. I had no idea where to begin or what changing my relationship with food would do for my life and body.
These days food feels like home and ease. I don't struggle anymore. I don't feel guilt anymore. The lightness I feel reading this poem is like the lightness I feel in my body and in my life. I look in the mirror now and see love. I am proud of my body and of myself. Wow, even just writing that out feels like a gift.
I want that for you with all my being. I want you to feel freedom from all that is heavy and dark in your life. There is so much lightness waiting for you. Eat something alive today. Something from the earth that had dirt on it not too long ago. Take that one step and see how you feel. Then take another. Drink water when you wake and get your system going naturally. Don't drink coffee first thing... chew something first, a few almonds maybe and then have your morning cuppa (especially if you're trying to shed pounds). And when you've got those down take another step. And another. Until one day you'll look in the mirror and all those old stories of struggle are so far gone that you're not even sure if they ever existed at all.
The truth is how you get there is up to what resonates with you. It could be food, meditation, time in nature or something else entirely. It doesn't matter just follow the path that feels most light for you. No matter what keep going. You're worth it. You matter. There is so much love here for you.
The book is The Anthology Love Poems from God and the poem is by St. Catherine of Siena.
Thank you, Heidi for sending this.
Last night I met some of my family for dinner downtown at Benihana. In the car on the way there I got to thinking about how I've transformed through the years where food is concerned. My food life looks nothing like it did 5 years, 10 years or 20 years ago. As a kid we LOVED Benihana. It was chicken fried rice heaven (and still is for many). There were years when I was first transitioning from a meat-based to plant-strong diet that I would waffle at places like Benihana. I'd justify that it was a "special" occasion (even on a Tuesday) and reflex back into ordering the usual, steak + chicken, fried rice + loads of garlic butter. My stomach would revolt, my taste buds would explode and it would inevitably set me off on a binge. With the binge came a flood of emotions... guilt, shame, anger, sadness. I didn't realize what I was doing to my body on a deep chemical level. I thought it was just a momentary indulgence and "I'd start again tomorrow." Only when tomorrow came I really wanted to eat out again and so I did. Pizza this time. Bread. Cheese. Fat. Grease. Delicious, salted meats (pepperoni).
Once I started to understand the inner workings of my body it took so much pressure off my tender heart. It really wasn't my fault. And it's really not your fault. Consuming high amounts of fat, salt + sugar will absolutely send your body into cravings. The sugar makes you crave salt and the roller coaster ride begins. Ever notice how you eat out one night and later that night even though you're full you want to get dessert and the next day you're really wanting to eat out again? Your body is craving the junk. We are biologically pre-dispositioned to go for the most pleasure with the least effort.
High calorie content foods tickle the pleasure center in the brain and make you want more, MORE, MORE! This is how food can become an addiction and THIS is how processed foods are made. They are literally created in a lab to give you a moment of pleasure and then take it back so that you want to eat another serving (or the entire bag). It's mad scientist stuff and it's making them millions of dollars at the expense of our health.
Eating out is often a danger zone. I eat off menu a good 75% + of the time creating meals that feel good in my body. Remember it's the small steps that add up over time! I didn't wake up one day and just start eating clean. Many days I felt like I white knuckling it through tears. Some days I really, really wanted the fried rice but I chose the steamed rice. I struggled feeling like I was missing out when everyone else was indulging (you've been there, right). It was a necessary part of my journey. These days I choose the steamed rice without a second thought. It feels good. It tastes good. And the next day all is well.
5 Tips on How to Eat Out + Stay Healthy
1. Before you even walk in the door ask yourself "What would feel really good in my body?"
If your body says steamed veggies, listen + honor that request. Then when you go into the restaurant see if they have something with steamed veggies.
2. It's O.K. to order off menu. If they don't have a plate with steamed veggies, ask if they will make you some! 99% of the time they will say yes!
My favorite meal at Mexican food places is all sides. Side of corn tortillas, pico de gallo, steamed veggies (hold the butter) + guacamole. Then I make my own tacos! Bonus :: It's often really inexpensive to create meals this way. When we first moved to Texas + I ordered all sides and the waiter felt sorry for me saying that wasn't a "real meal" and gave me the sides for free. HA!
3. Always, always choose real food + ask about what it's cooked in and with.
Many times foods are doctered. At Benihana in the past when I've attempted to make the fried rice vegetarian it's come loaded with garlic butter, added salt and sugar. So yeah, that may be vegetarian by definition but it was a gut bomb for my body. Ask if they make their own salad dressings in house. Go for the house made vinaigrette when possible. Ask about how the beans are cooked. Often Mexican food places will cook their charro beans in lard. LARD! Or they are mixed with low quality meat products (ie beef stock) that include salt + sugar. Stick to foods that are close to the earth. Meaning things that wouldn't have a label in the grocery store (fruit, veggies, grains, nuts, seeds, beans).
4. If you eat meat ask where they source their meat from.
If it comes in on a big truck with all their other food BUYER BEWARE. If it comes from a local farm you're likely good to go! We recently went to a fancy pants restaurant (white table cloths, waiters in tuxedos, etc). I thought surely this place will serve happy chickens that were in the yard yesterday. NOPE! They order them from a food distributor that gets their chickens from a factory farm where chickens never see the light of day.
5. Whatever choice you make do so with a wide open heart and no regrets!
It doesn't matter if you've ordered the brownie sundae for your main meal. Enjoy each and every bite! Invite the food into your body for the highest good. The energy + attitude that you approach your meal with will determine how well it's digested and assimilated into your body. Breathe. Examine the food as it arrives. Smell it. Take it all in and say a moment of thanks for the incredible food before you.
And a note on weight. If you're looking to reduce your overall body weight research shows that increasing your calorie intake by 50 calories per day can result in an overall body weight increase of 20 lbs per year. While I DON'T count calories or advocate it I find this a really interesting statistic that emphasizes how the smallest of choices can make a big difference overtime.
We had a fantastic time last night! I ordered Miso soup, salad, brown rice + steamed veggies. It was so much food I brought leftovers home for Cliff. I enjoyed my family and my meal. I went to bed feeling really proud of my food choices and woke up this morning with zero cravings. Success!
Where ever you are in your journey with food it's all perfect + I'm rooting for you, Lacy
This morning I organized my spices. True story. I love to organize pretty much anything and I often rearrange the kitchen, clean out the cabinets and refill my spice jars. It's one of those practices that keeps my energy in the kitchen. It's like the James Redfield quote,
“Where Attention goes Energy flows; Where Intention goes Energy flows!”
Smelling spices inspires me to create with them! Some days it's as simple as a sprinkle of cinnamon on my carrot, apple, ginger juice and other days it's an elaborate spice mix that will go into a stir fry or get sprinkled on top of popcorn.
Ever wonder if your spices are fresh? Have you had them in the cabinet for so long the bottles are starting to look vintage? Here are 5 super simple tips to keep your spice cabinet fresh and hopefully inspire you to use them!
1. Whiff test! If the spice smells strong, use it. If weak/ no smell, toss it!
2. The bulk bins are your friends! Buy spices in small quantities (unless you use them a lot).
3. Spices love the dark! Store in a drawer or cabinet. Keep away from moisture, air + heat. Store away from teh dishwasher, stove + sink.
4. Keep ground spices no more than 2 years. Whole spices no more than 3-4.
5. Paprika, ground + crushed chili peppers stay fresher longer in the fridge.
To staying inspired, Lacy
This lifestyle takes work. Eating whole foods isn't always the easy choice. We are surrounded by junk foods, processed foods + fake foods that are dressed up to look, smell and taste pretty delicious. Even an ugly cupcake makes people smile. Staying mindful and acting in alignment with your desires is a practice. Often that means overriding old ways of being. When stress + anxiety well up inside it can be so easy to self-soothe with food. For me it used to be sugar. Anything cake, cookies and ice cream. Looking back usually only the first bite made it better (if that). After that I was negotiating a killer headache or belly ache with a side of guilt for having done that to myself yet again.
The truth is that there's always an option that will support + nurture you and it usually doesn't have anything to do with food. Inspired by a client going through a tough time I've compiled a list of motivational tips + tools to help.
1. Pause + breathe before you act on the emotion or feeling you're experiencing by eating. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart. Take three deep breaths. Sometimes it's all you'll need to bring you back into presence to gain some control + perspective.
2. Say to yourself, "I love you. I see you. I feel you." You're feeling rotten and taking a moment to affirm that you're here with yourself, on the same team, being seen can work wonders. Consider a practice of saying it in the mirror daily.
3. Look at what you'd like to do and then decide differently. Ok-- the shit has hit the proverbial fan. You're ready to cart yourself down the street to the local coffee house for a baked good and cup of whipped cream with a little coffee in it. What could you do instead? What could you do that would take you out of the moment you're in, still feel satisfying but NOT filled with sugar + regret? Have a glass of water and write in your journal. If you're in a really tender state consider writing all you're feeling and then burning the pages to help release any trapped energy! (please burn the pages in a safe place like a fireplace)
4. Is this an opportunity to set a healthy boundary? Sometimes the thing that pushed you over the edge was a result of not standing up for yourself in a loving way. Could you say 'NO' sooner next time or change some routine, behavior or practice that would honor your boundaries?
5. Naps are a wonderful reset button. Maybe you need a nap to bring you back. Sleep is basic, necessary and a total life saver. Maybe it's time to look at your sleep schedule and commit to getting into bed earlier each night.
6. Be oh so gentle with yourself + respect your feelings. Chances are something has been building up over time to lead to this moment. Could you practice more kindness with yourself this week? Maybe that means letting go of those old rules about how things need to be done in a certain order before you take care of you. Leave the dishes in the sink + light a candle to soften the mood. It's ok, advisable even to take care of you first.
7. Ask yourself what you're really craving and then create space to invite it in. It could be you're really craving... more peace, physical touch, quality time alone, intimacy, a little hope, some more energy etc...
If you're struggling, you're not alone. We all face challenges in feeding + taking care of ourselves. There is a way to fill the well without overdosing on food + booze. There is a way to move through life without the guilt + shame hangover. I totally understand what it feels like to want to change but not know how. I have been in that moment where I knew it was going to be more painful to stay the same than it would be to do the work to change. I baked a whole sheet of cookies once only to take them out of the oven and put them down the disposal in tears. Been there. Done that.
If any of this is resonating with you and you'd like some support please reach out. I have eCourses, lead groups and do 1:1 coaching all geared at changing your relationship with food, creating balance and healing.
Love yourself enough to do the work to change. You've totally got this! XO, Lacy
I LOVE rituals. Love them. Food focus is one of my favorite rituals. It's a simple practice that helps keep me tuned into my goals and stay mindful about my relationship with food. It's usually just one thing that I stay with it all week long. Food Focus is usually something like:
- Eat breakfast within an hour of waking. I can get into my day and totally neglect eating breakfast. You too? - Eat without distractions. No phone (not even instagram and I LOVE instagram), tv, computer. Just me and my food. It's harder than you think. - Chew each bite at least 15 times. Again, harder than you think if you're like me. I'm one of those chomp, chomp, swallow people. The practice of chewing is something I come back to over and over and over. - Eat my last meal of the day before 7. - Eat food without labels (ie, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, grain, beans). - Drink warm water every morning upon waking.
This week my food focus is to eat at least two meals at home per day. That way I know exactly what I'm putting into my body and it keeps one meal free for going out if we choose to! I keep meals simple. So far this week it's been juice for breakfast + grilled veggies or salad for lunch + dinner.
Want to join me? What will your first Food Focus be?
Already making this one repeat. Hope you love it as much as we do! Cucumbers are pretty awesome! - They are an excellent source of B vitamins which will give you an energy boost! - To cure bad breath, press a slice of cucumber on the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds! - Constipated? Eat cucumber daily and you'll be regular in no time! - To avoid a hangover eat a few slices of cucumber before going to bed! - Cucumbers are 95% water so they're excellent for hydrating your beautiful body.
- Happy Home DIY alert... cucumbers will stop a door from squeaking. Just rub the cucumber where the squeak is! Aaaand they will keep your bathroom mirror from fogging up! Simply rub a slice of cucumber on the mirror before showering and it will stay all clear for getting ready after!
Cucumber Dill Salad
Serves 1 (or 2 as a side)
- 1 sliced cucumber (peeled)
- 1/4 sliced small red onion
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill
- 1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Mix all ingredients and enjoy right away or refrigerate for later!