Hi Friends, Happy Easter!
I'm back from a week of crazy yoga-subbing, and am full of spring time vigour and vitality!
My body was asking for a bit of spring cleaning, so that's what it's getting. Most people think I eat very cleanly, and truthfully, I eat mostly macrobiotically, all the time. But like many people, Christmas involved a few over-indulgences, and they seemed to have carried over into the first few months of the year. I think my sensitive system was carrying around a few too many of my winter treats in the form of sluggishness, dullness, and a few extra pounds.
With the chirping of little birds, more sunlight, and the beginning of April, everything clicked and I knew it was just time to clean up a bit. For me, this means a few obvious goodbyes for now. The main culprits were: decaf almond milk lattes, cocoas, dark chocolate, stevia, and little snacks here and there.
Step 1, and my biggest challenge and goal: To reduce my sweet tooth.
I was simply answering it's call far too often. Although I wasn't using actually sugar, stevia is just as bad for me, because it takes away a sense of needing to moderate, and adding stevia to little treats a few times a day was just firing up my desire for all sweet things. And while I love cocoa and dark chocolate, and they are wonderful "soul/emotional" treats, they should be TREATS, not a daily occurrence.
So, for the past week:
I have successfully had no stevia, no cocoa, no chocolate, no decaf espresso. I don't even miss them a bit, this means that it's 100% the right decision.
And the best part is that already I feel great.
I have more energy, am sleeping better, want to snack less, and am already a bit lighter. Instead, I have focused on my usual 3 meals a day of whole grains, lots of veggies, a few roasted nuts/seeds, and some lentils and adzuki beans.
For now, I have substituted decaf espresso with dandelion coffee, and i'm loving it. Dandelion is a great for detoxifying the liver---> perfect for spring! Liver & gallbladder are the organs associated with spring, so if we can help them clean out a bit, we'll feel great! Also, kukicha tea is just delightful.
I am satisfying my sweet tooth in a few ways:
using my willpower to ignore it (the best choice, obviously), a few tiny spoonfuls of rice syrup in my tea here and there, a bit of fresh fruit (apples, pears, & berries), a bit of carrot juice, and sweet baked squash.
I am also incorporating some lovely spring foods:
lots of lightly cooked leafy greens and fresh herbs (dill, parsley). And some great macro-foods to help the cleaning out/lightening-up process: daikon, green onions, leeks, and turnip.
I'm helping my belly by taking a very high quality probiotic.
I have a very high sensitivity to anything fermented (I get horribly bloated for a few days, which makes we wonder about candida), so for now am being gentle by avoiding miso and pickles. For this reason, pickles are the one area of macrobiotics that I don't regularly include, but i'm always wanting to. So that is a goal of mine, to slowly test the waters after my stomach feels great. But i'll wait for awhile, until I feel ready.
The next phase of my spring cleaning: To be the kindest I possibly can to my digestion.
This means a few things:
♥ Cutting out all unnecessary snacking in-between meals (which is hard because I teach at random hours).
♥ Get better at chewing, and not letting it slide sometimes.
♥ I'm also going to reduce/eliminate the amount of nuts and nut/seed butters
I eat (mostly almonds, sunflower butter, and tahini, & very rarely peanut butter).
♥ Reduce even further any puffed/popped/flaked whole grains like popcorn, rice cakes, rolled oats, and wraps (even though I don't eat them often at all, I hope to eliminate them completely for awhile).
The snacking & chewing are things I hope to permanently change. The other foods i'm going to avoid just temporarily because they are known to be harder to digest.
Often when you reduce/eliminate things that you love or naturally gravitate towards, it feels like you are being mean to yourself, or you can feel deprived. But this time
I feel excited, inspired, and rejuvenated.
Eating this way is how I want to eat all the time, and if I need to be stricter for awhile to re-gain my sense of moderation, then that's what i'll do! In fact, i'm actually being kinder to myself! I also have a brown-rice fast in the back of my mind.
So, here's an example of a lovely quick spring-time inspired lunch that I had to throw together in 5 minutes:
Pressure cooked brown rice, roasted almonds, parsley, and a bit of carrot juice.
Not perfect, but getting there, and really quick and easy.
I've also been having this a few times a week, with my whole grains:
Grated daikon with a touch of tamari.
Are you doing any spring-cleaning in any sense? If so, what?
Any tips/advice for a macrobiotic spring cleaning?