All posts by rain

thirty four soliciting wisdom & life lessons

hello, hello!   yes, so today is the start of my 34th year… no more double-digits (gotta wait until my 44th) and am now in my mid-thirties.  I feel as though I’m learning a great deal about being myself, about the world, about food & nutrition, about relationships, about family, among lots of other things up until this point…and I look forward to continuing to grow into the future.

I’m interested in knowing what you *wish* you knew when you were 34….

or  what you *hope* to know by the time you’re 34…

or, perhaps, something that you know for sure at your current age of 34.

Advice?  Wisdom?  any interesting Life Lessons Learned? Anecdotes from which to learn?

thank you in advance for playing – and consider yourself hugged ((((((wibsite)))))

conversation w/ 4 year old

just arrived in Colorado, after a 875 mile drive yesterday (approx 15 hours – I am amazing!) to visit with niece and nephews as we await for baby #4 to arrive in the next week or so (hopefully!).

Aunt: “I adore you… and I think you’re pretty cool”

Nephew , 4 years:  (nods) “Yah.  and I think you’re pretty.”

tee-hee  :D


I just don’t get it.  usually I’m optimistic and upbeat and see the silver lining… and I’m still all those things.  however, today, for now, I’m just really disappointed and saddened.  loss of expectations?  perhaps that’s the perfectionist in me.  not achieving something in my brain/heart/body?  possibly.  life lessons learned? feeling the loss of what I never had?  am i feeling sorry for myself?  am i daunted by what needs to happen in the next few months?  am I discouraged? all of those things.  maybe i’ll feel better after eating some breakfast.

Only six days :(

For whatever reason, Day Five of the cleanse was really difficult…but by Day Six I was feeling great!  (I hear this is pretty common- Day 5, 10, 15, etc. are challenging b/c one’s body goes into a “deeper level of detox”).  Go here for an explanation :)

So I was walking through a parking lot and got a whiff of some really yummy beef cooking at some nearby restaurant…and I decided six days was good enough!

So I stopped my cleanse.  Now, I didn’t go off of it correctly.  Unfortunately.  Thus I had some digestive problems…but by today (day 11) things are back to normal.

My body felt good.  I lost some weight.  I felt lighter.  My head was clear (literally – but now that I’m back on regular food my congestion has come back…interesting).  I felt really good in general…and I felt liberated from food.  Does that sound odd?  It does to me – because I used to always be thinking about food…and now it’s more of an after-thought.

I didn’t think I could do one day, let alone six days… now I know I can do it.  Ten full days? It’s totally possible.

“Day Three” & an important list (blank canvas update, too)

Thank you for all of the encouraging comments from my last post –  The Blank Canvas Project is still underway, however the details are still very fuzzy.  I volunteered a week ago Friday, and realized something: whatever I do, I want to utilize my skill set.  I felt very foolish answering the phone (which rang approx once every 30-45 minutes), and finished copying/cutting/folding the cards they asked me to make in between phone calls —-in the first hour (was there for over 4 hours) —-and I feel like my time & skills were wasted – yes, they needed someone to answer the phones… but it was unfulfilling for me, because I could have helped in so many other different ways.  Which is good to know.  Certainly helps me shape this Blank Canvas Project

So…Yup.  This is Day #3 of the Master Cleanse… I know, I know – it sounds a little far fetched.  But so far so good.  The lemonade is really good (mmmmm, maple syrup) and I haven’t been hungry.  There was one day when I was away from home, and didn’t calculate the time right: my blood sugar dropped a bit.  But as soon as I walked in the door I made another lemonade mixture, and – viola!  all better. The Cayenne pepper has really cleared up my sinuses, and it apparently helps clear mucous and heal the digestive tract, too.  Oh, and without going into too much detail, the salt water bath has been instrumental in, um, overall health.  I’m shooting for ten days.  On my kitchen table, there’s a huge beautiful bowl of approximately 30 lemons – am going through about 4 lemons per day…need a minimum of six glasses of lemonade/day, up to twelve.  So far I’ve been rushing at the end of the day to get the 6th glass in – so far my body has been feeling really good…not hungry, lighter, and more clear if that makes sense.  At the end of the cleanse, I’ll take some probiotics to help the digestive system, drink fresh orange juice as recommended, and have some grain… and will try not to overwhelm my body by filling it with too much to digest at once in the future.

Since this past August, my eating habits have changed dramatically.  Strongly limiting gluten/wheat, eating whole foods in lieu of processed ones, enjoying new foods & exploring new dishes, and can now say it’s a joy (not a chore) to cook.  In the past two months, I’ve lost over twenty pounds…and one of the side benefits of doing this cleanse is weight-loss… please don’t worry – my goal for this cleanse is healing (not weight loss, although it’s a benefit).  I took a baseline weight yesterday, and will get on the scale again in about 10 days.  After that I’ll just get on the scale monthly – same time each month, too.  I think that’s key.  I’ve never been a big numbers person… but it does good things for my psyche to see the numbers going down.  I had gained a few pounds this past fall, which was SO DISCOURAGING… but after my body had some time to replenish nutrients & stuff, the weight started to come off this spring.

When I first started working with the holistic food counselor, I thought she was full of *%$#@.  However, now that I’ve gone through the program… I can now say my body is becoming more insulin sensitive, I’m craving greens (GIVE ME KALE!!!), am NOT eating nearly as much sugar – and when I do eat it it’s in different more whole/natural forms, and, well, you know what?  For my last session a few weeks ago, I made a list of the changes – lemme see… oh yes – here are most of them:

  1. Increased hydration (tea/water consumption)
  2. Changed friendships – shifting from unhealthy ones to good/solid/healthy friendships
  3. Got organized, reduced clutter from life (tangible & intangible)
  4. Moved forward with relocation plans…house is up for sale, am looking into job opportunities, etc.
  5. Using new oils/fats in diet
  6. Bringing lunch to work on regular basis
  7. Skin in better condition
  8. Stabilized blood sugars w/ increased consumption of greens
  9. Now understand why protein is so important to my body!
  10. Better understanding of sugars and how they impact me
  11. Tried variety of natural sugars…agave nectar!  stevia! are two favorites….brown rice syrup on icecream – yum.
  12. Cleaned out kitchen of unhealthy foods for me
  13. Restocked kitchen with grains and more whole foods
  14. Got better at meal planning
  15. Improved thought process about when I’m hungry – am making better choices overall
  16. Use of oils on skin & better choices of lotions for skin health
  17. Decreased binge-eating behavior & emotional eating
  18. Preparing/cooking isn’t as scary now – doesn’t need to be so complicated…it’s.just.simple.
  19. Increased ability to sleep
  20. Less resistance to food diary and/or meal planning… see the benefit of doing it, and I’m not so defensive now
  21. Improved ability to ask friends for support
  22. Less resistance to exercise (next phase – will become a greater priority!  so that’s my next project)
  23. Increased understanding of meats (bison, lamb, rabbit) and how they work with my body
  24. Pushed through the most difficult times when I was *so* discouraged
  25. Some weight loss (actual number unknown b/c  scale didn’t register…but I have an approximate number)
  26. Analyzed hormones several different ways… all normal (yay!)
  27. Better understanding of acidic & alkaline and how they impact my body system
  28. Increased use/understanding of benefits of incorporating sea weed into my diet
  29. Looking to go from insulin resistance to insulin sensitive…and am certainly headed in that direction
  30. Explored/tried a variety of new foods
  31. Understood that wheat may not be the best for me…AND eating mostly GF (gluten-free) isn’t that difficult.
  32. Increased consumption of breakfast
  33. Increased ability to acknowledge and take action to nurture myself
  34. Increased consumption of better, higher-quality chocolate
  35. Decreased consumption of poor choices in candy bowl @ work/office
  36. Decreased grazing – improved eating more at meals and less snacking in general
  37. Improved digestion overall
  38. Decreased acidic “yucky” stomach…no longer a steady state (now it usually happens when I eat pizza or something with lots of wheat/bread/pasta)
  39. Decreased craving of salt
  40. Better understanding that when I crave salt (or anything for that matter) I now look for the source of that craving – try to meet that nutritional need instead of going for a quick fix
  41. Increased incidence of asking people for help…often they couldn’t or it fell through, but the asking has increased – which has been difficult for me in the past.
  42. Better understanding the idea of “fitting out” and what that means to me
  43. Taste buds have changed
  44. Improved at putting myself and my own needs on the schedule
  45. Now have a better understanding of low/high Glycemic Index foods
  46. Decreased consumption of sugar…and I never thought that would happen!
  47. Chewing is part of the digestive system: smaller, more digestible pieces turn into energy while larger indigestible pieces turn into fat and/or are stored… huge lesson learned.

I won’t go into detail, but when I was younger, I learned to eat more & more food to help push food through my digestive system… it was a gradual, immature solution to an ongoing uncomfortable constipation problem.
Why did I eat? To help move food through.
Why else did I eat? because my stomach was in a CHRONIC yucky/acidic/sour state, so putting food in my stomach made that go away – sometimes – temporarily.
Back then, putting more food in my stomach made it feel better.  Shoving more food into my mouth (theoretically) helped things move through my digestive system.

Now, when I eat and my stomach feels fine… in fact, it feels great!  I almost don’t know what to do – can hardly believe I lived a life that way for so, so long.  And digestion is doing GREAT.

In addition to these things, I also lived in a world of black:white – this food will either kill me or it won’t (anaphylaxis – tree nuts).  I’m still allergic, however eating less processed foods has been very liberating.  Less reading-of-labels and more enjoyment of sustenance.

Is it any wonder I’ve had food issues for most of my life?!??!?!??!?!!!!!!

thankfully, I am *now* on the road to healing… all sorts of healing.

“Blank Canvas Project”

This is the affectionate name of my adventure…of the new season ahead…. because I have a blank canvas in front of me – and it’s time to paint!

I’d like to thank misslisa, Kerensa, Farli, Agatha, and Ian (and friends near and far – you know who you are) for the lively, informative, encouraging & thought provoking discussion following the previous post.

It has been one week since leaving my office for the last time… and I’m just starting to spread my wings.  Just starting to think “what do I want? how do I want to paint this next chapter in my life..what colors will i use?!? the design?”

I’ve been busy doing research – lots of phone calls, internet searches, and seeking information from whatever rock I can overturn… thank you, all of you, who have shared your ideas and made suggestions!

I had a lovely conversation with a dear friend earlier this week – she was so supportive, and excited about the prospects…which is such an encouragement.  We continued to brainstorm, and the conversation was such a blessing to me (thank you!).

Today (as the Blank Canvas Project morphs daily), so, well, today my volunteer interests include:

  1. baby holding (sick, poor, etc)
  2. teaching English
  3. literacy instruction for adult men & women
  4. food pantry work, and/or cooking/soup kitchen work
  5. facility maintenance
  6. farming, contributing to community building

So I’ve made some phone calls to nearby agencies, too.  On Friday, I’ll volunteer with Nurses for Newborns – answer phones, sort baby clothes, wash laundry, stock supplies, sort donations – whatever they want.  If I like it and they like me, perhaps I could be a frequent volunteer.  I also left a message for a food pantry organization in the city (stock, sort, pack, ready food boxes for transport), but am waiting to hear back from them.

if you have any ideas or suggestions, ideas, or just want to say hello, please stop by.  I’ll put the kettle on.

p.s. I’m going to do the Master Cleanse as soon as my citrus juicer arrives.

p.p.s. my work with the holistic nutritionist has come to a close…and I’ve lost about 20 pounds! (just recently – took my body this long to start to lose weight…will explain more in a different post)

p.p.p.s.  thank you for reading – i hope this post finds you well… take care and consider yourself hugged (((((wibsite)))))

Help? Inquiring minds want to know

Ok, so the plan du jour includes selling house, moving furniture & belongings into storage, then doing a national/international volunteer project or short-term work opportunity.

This could include helping build houses, helping with community projects, helping children with special needs who have difficulty with communication, never been on a missionary trip to an underdeveloped country – but something along those lines.

In the USA we have Habitat for Humanity.  In South Africa there’s a woman who came to speak to my class in graduate school as she tried to inform & recruit speech-language pathologists to join her for a stint to help children with special needs.  I’d recommend going to Haiti, however right now the country is in such caios….

Suggestions?  Other things I could think about?  Anything you’ve heard of or experienced yourself…?

thank you for reading, and I welcome your comments – who knows, perhaps you might be involved in shaping the trajectory of my life!

woke up this morning

…and, for the first time – ever – I won’t be going to work.

yesterday was my last day…i’ve been there for 10 years, and i said goodbye to the people, the place, the students… other teams with which i’ve worked, the friends i’ve made over the years… i need to make a list of people i want to get together with – and need to make those plans soon, becase as soon as my house gets a contract on it, the timeline will start and things will move rather quickly as i transition to a New Life Phase.

Is it possible to have a mid-life crisis pre-mid-life?  Or perhaps i’m just getting ready to fly… because i’m not holding onto the wall anymore.  I really did it!

There’s more to share, so I’ll be back later.  But my thought for today is this: breathing well is really, really important :)
(just used my nebulizer/breathing machine, which made a world of difference….all of the moving/packing/loading/unloading has made my asthma really bad – oh, and the fact that i haven’t been taking my medication regularly b/c need to keep it hidden while the house is on the market…so often i forget – out of sight, out of mind.  So, anyway, every breath is a blessing…and when I’m not breathing well, the whole world is a bit more stressful and bleak – yet now it’s bright and free… BREATHE!)