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Hiya! Updates + It's almost Spring.

Hi Guys,

I've been laying low these past few months, busy with work and other things, and have been feeling like I've been in a bit of a funk.

When I stop to think about why I have been feeling this way, a few things instantly jump out:

1. My sleep schedule has been alllllllllll over the place. Late nights / late mornings combined with feeble attempts to get back to my beloved early bedtime. This does not work well for me. Some of this has been out of my control (noise disturbances etc.), and some of it has been my doing - such as just giving in, and staying up late even though I know it's not good for me.

2. Of course, having an erratic sleep schedule has led to me having an erratic eating schedule. This too, does not work well for me. I like to eat at the same time, every day. Call me boring. I don't care. Eating at random hours feels way too cray cray for this little guy (me).

3. Erratic eating schedules also lead to erratic eating choices. Poor sleep + inconsistent meals times = plenty of snacky snack snacks.  I would say that I'm always fairly consistent in eating vegetables and high quality natural foods, but I have definitely been eating a bit "wider" on the Macrobiotic spectrum these days, mostly because I've been eating out more than usual, and I've been feeling very carefree. Hello red wine! yee-haw! This for sure can be good every once in while. But, my body is telling me that it needs a little re-centering.

4. It also makes sense that if I haven't been getting proper sleep, and proper fuel, that I might also overlook the self-care routines and practices that make me feel so good. No matter how erratic my days are, I am always good at taking a few moments to sit in the sun and enjoy a cup of tea. But self-care goes beyond this. It means finding the right balance between social obligations and alone time. It means being consistent in the practices that improve your life. It includes processing emotions and feelings, and taking time to breathe, and to meditate [if you don't meditate, then contemplate ;) ]. And sometimes, self-care means a hot bath and a green sea monster face mask.

Self-care, self-love, and creating a happy and healthy life require diligence and maintenance.

I always appreciate these down phases and feel-like-i'm-in-a-funk periods because they remind me that a good life doesn't just happen to you ... you have to create it! Each person is different, and will require different things to live a big life.

I wouldn't say that it's unusual to feel in a funk in January / February. These are generally considered to be two of the hardest months of the year. But, Spring is in the air (at least over here!) and I'm already feeling my energy shift.

Spring energy is upwards moving. It is invigorating, and motivating, and I'm definitely tapping into that. Think about the colour green. Fresh new buds and sprouts. Right now, there are a billion cherry blossoms and magnolias. Every single time I step outside, I am instantly grateful for this.


So, I know what I need to do to shift back into feeling lovely and balanced! It's always about the simple things for me. Consistent sleeping schedule, regular meals, and lots of cooking at home. In fact, I am already dreaming of the beautiful produce that will soon be in abundance at the market!

So friends, please share: if you're feeling off, what do you do to shift yourself back into balance?

Much love and pink cherry blossoms,
Jess

Macro Monday: September Reflections

Hi Friends,

September has always been my time. It's the time of year when I feel the most energized , revitalized, and determined. I just LOVE when the air gets a little crisp. Not to mention the way the sunlight filters through the still-a-little-green pretty red & yellow leaves.

I think this is why I have always loved the start of school. I always dreamed about crunching leaves with my new boots on the walk home, and having an excuse to wear a few cozier things like scarves. My heart just swoons. And I know I'm not the only one.

This summer has been mega busy. Good busy. Bad busy. A little bit of all kinds of busy. I am so grateful to have been able to spend to much time with family and friends this summer. Lots of beaches and outings and all of that. And we'll be getting to see more family in a few short weeks, which is super fun! It goes without saying though, that life has been a little more chaotic than I am used to. Finding balance has been hard. But I am learning (trying) to find my grounding within it all.

So, this long weekend T and I unplugged. In fact, there would have been no other choice - we simply needed to regroup and relax and take a break from everything and everyone. We'll be back into the swing of things later on today (this post was written a few days ago, actually, so I could truly unplug over the weekend).

Anyways, back to September - I always love watching how we naturally adapt to the changing seasons. Without consciously thinking about it, I haven't been craving salads in the last few weeks. And I haven't been drawn to the berries at the market the last few weeks (I still got a few, duh). My intuition has been pulling me towards celeriac, and squash, and carrots, and has me planning soups and stews and warm, nourishing plates of delicious hearty food.

I also am drawn to work inwards and see what needs a little polishing. What kinds of things are not serving me at the moment? How can I focus my time more effectively on the things that matter? What can I let go of, and is there anything I need to bring more of in? There are definitely a few habits that I'm going to focus on letting go of, which I may write about in a future post.

I'm also excited, and gearing up to teach a few more Macrobiotic classes in September and October at one of the most lovely & wonderful spaces I've ever been in: Templed Mind. Definitely check them out, and their amazing schedule full of wonderful classes and events. Next Monday, September 8th, at 5-6:30pm, I'll be doing a class on some of the Macrobiotic Healing Foods. Hope to see you there!

Are you an Autumn kind of person? What's your favourite season? Any foods you've been craving lately?

Sending you a big crunchy-leaf, wool socks, and hot mug of tea kinda hug!
xoxo Jess

 

Macro Monday: Start Subtracting

Today's post is just a simple conversation about something I like to chat about A LOT: simplifying. Subtracting. Reducing the things the don't matter.

I love Macrobiotics because it feels simple to me: it places a large focus on finding balance through local, natural foods. Eat what's growing around you. Pretty simple. But, the Macrobiotic lifestyle also encourages simplicity. Some of the recommendations include: spending time in nature, gentle exercise, laughing, natural fabrics, and less time in front of screens. I think that is why I continually appreciate Macrobiotics -> it is another tool on the road to a simple life.

I have been growing a subtle distaste for EXCESS. I have my moments where I get caught up in consumerism, but they are becoming fewer and farther between. I have my sweet buddy, T, to thank for this - he is by nature the least possession oriented person I know - but also my yoga practice and my practice of Macrobiotics continue to be hugely influential. And another thing that's been adding fuel to the less is more fire: moving into a smaller space has been WONDERFUL. I can't say it enough. When you don't have rooms and basements and garages to hide your junk, you have to face it (or live in chaos, which I can't handle).

So the flipside of my growing distaste for excess is my huge appreciation for simplicity. The quote above, is for me, an amazing idea that I think would be great to live by: "When things aren't adding up in your life, start subtracting." If something about your current situation just doesn't feel right, then look to how you can simplify and refocus, by reducing the unnecessary blocks in your way.

If this interests you, I'd begin by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What IS truly important to you? Or, how do I want my life/job/relationship/house etc. to look like / feel like / embody?
  • What are the bare essentials that I require for this to happen?
  • How can I focus on or achieve those bare essentials?

Then, put everything else into the don't really need it or under consideration category, and stop thinking / doing / acting on those things - begin to reduce them from your life.

If spending time outside and being in nature is your focus, then ask: what are the bare essentials I need for that? My guess is probably TIME. So what gives you free time? Less work and obligations. And how can you work less? Well, you decide to buy less. So ---> reduce the number of things you buy, so you can reduce the number of hours you work, and instead spend your extra time outside.

If going traveling is your focus, then ask yourself what do I need to do that (what are the bare essentials)? Depending on you and the kind of travel or length of traveling, you may feel like the bare essential you need is simply money. If the bare essential is indeed needing to make money for traveling, then you need to STOP SPENDING on all other things, and amp up your work hours (I personally did this when T and I traveled though South America - I worked horrible long hours at a call centre, and didn't do much else). Many people think it's impossible to go traveling, because they just don't have the money. The truth is, if traveling is really the most important thing to you, you can indeed save up for it working a minimum wage job - its absolutely your spending that you need to address. Stop going out for drinks, going to the mall, eating out, decorating your house and walk or bike instead of paying for a car. Perhaps get a roommate, move into a cheaper place, or move home with your folks while you save up. All of these things will help you get to your money goal faster.

And here's a potential tough part, where I think many of us get caught in: perhaps if you aren't willing to make those changes to achieve your bare minimum (i.e., saving for traveling), then you should sit back and ask: is it (i.e., traveling) really that important to me? Maybe it actually comes second or eighth or twentieth on the list - maybe socializing with friends and spending money decorating the house are higher on the priority list. Be willing to realize that priorities shift and change. And that is totally cool, everyone has different priorities, and different things that make them happy. But be honest with yourself - it'll save you from feeling like you are being denied something, or that you CAN'T do something. Be willing to let go of things that are no longer your priorities. Instead, if you get in touch with your real, true, current priorities in life, it'll make you feel like you're doing awesome at the things you are working for. You'll no longer be pining over something you actually don't really want.

As you can see, you can apply this kind of thinking to WHATEVER goal you have or whatever it is that is important to you. If things just don't seem to be going your way, try it: try reducing. Figure out, and then get rid of the things that ARE getting in your way to achieving what is most important to you. And don't be scared or upset if you realize that the things in your way are there, because they have a message for you about what is NOT your priority (often they are things you subconsciously put in your own way).

Go for what YOU really want, not for what you think you should want, or what other people think you should want.

And get rid of the rest.

Have you done this before? Do you have trouble reducing to your bare essentials?

Have a wonderful week friends <3 <3 <3
~~Jess

 

 

 

Macro Monday: Some Thoughts on Fasting and Cleansing

Hi Guys,

I'm back from some time away visiting family & friends in my hometown. I had SUCH a blast catching up with with everyone, and I had so much fun attending the loveliest wedding! I definitely embraced the summer fun vibe, and drank more wine in those few weeks away than I have in the last 10 years put together...very out of character for me (in the last long while), but not so out of character for my younger-self (also formerly known as party Jess...she seems so far far away these days, haha). It was great though, and life's short, so why not?!

And here are some delicious eats from my visit:

I finally got to try  Frickin' Delights Donuts ! Donuts have never been something that I've craved, but Mandy's vegan donuts are SO FRICKIN' GOOD (seriously, they are) that I'd become a donut person for sure if I lived in the same city!! She uses the best &amp; freshest local ingredients around!

I finally got to try Frickin' Delights Donuts! Donuts have never been something that I've craved, but Mandy's vegan donuts are SO FRICKIN' GOOD (seriously, they are) that I'd become a donut person for sure if I lived in the same city!! She uses the best & freshest local ingredients around!

I guess all that food & wine brings me to the subject of cleansing, and fasting (or lack there of). I've been asked quite a few times about various fasts, so I thought I'd do a quick post on my thoughts for any of you who are interested.

MM: Fasting & Cleansing

Extreme Fasting / Cleansing

I guess this could be a really short post, because quite honestly, I think that fasts and cleanses can more often than not cause more harm than good. But of course, it definitely varies depending on the cleanse and the fast. I have never personally tried anything so extreme as the Master Cleanse, or even an all-juice fast. I think that these kinds of fasts (often, not always of course) create much too quick of a change in body chemistry - these kinds of changes are usually impermanent, and often lead to future binging & weight gain, a damaged metabolism, and major eating and emotional health issues. Under proper guidance of course, these potential side effects could be reduced. But it is an area that I would tread very cautiously on. especially if you are feeling pretty healthy anyways. If you have a strong digestive system, be happy (yay!) and don't do anything too drastic, because you might permanently change and/or damage it, and my sad-belly history is begging you to reconsider. I also think the cleanse mentality of "good foods" vs. "bad foods" can be very destructive to our relationship to food. If you pay attention, you'll learn to know just how each food you consume makes you feel and you can choose your eats accordingly, allowing of course, for enjoyment. Remember, the dose makes the poison.

Cleansing vs. Healthy Eating

I guess I'm not so into "cleansing", because I do not consider clean natural eating or healthy eating to be a part of a fast or cleanse - but perhaps some people do. I guess often the recommended diet on many of those cleanses is one that appears to be a stricter variation of my regular day-to-day eats. If not eating much processed food, focusing on local veggies, fruits, and whole-grains and gentle protein, with healthy nuts, seeds, and oils means going on a cleanse, then hah! I guess I have been "cleansing" for a long long while unknowingly. The closest I have been to what I would consider a "cleanse" is simply to have chosen to eat a bit more simply, for a short chunk of time (eating lots and lots of brown rice amongst other things, perhaps adding in a few extra supportive herbs or remedies, and removing for a short period, a few things that I sometimes eat too much of!). But really, nothing very different at all from what I normally eat. And anytime I have thought about or leaned more towards what I feel like is the common fanatical "cleansing" mindset, it has stirred up negative eating thoughts and patterns that I am much better off without! Instead of drastic measures, eat good food and your body will feel good! Eating healthy natural food regularly is key to a happy body, mind & soul :)

Healing With Old-School Wisdom

I think the best natural break you can give your body (of course only when and if you need a break) is to focus on freely eating lots of cooked whole-grains and veggies with healing seasonings, herbs and oils, and some gentle protein of choice. This is probably more effective for most people than any mono-diet or strict cleanse, as it greatly reduces the possibility of damaging your metabolism, while still providing high quality yet easily digestible energy. You are still eating real food! If you're wanting to do a cleanse because of sickness or severe digestive problems, then (after seeing a doctor or professional, of course) perhaps try cooking your grains and veggies with extra water and for longer than usual, and even blending them into soft porridge. But nothing crazy is required here. I'm talking about simply removing the obvious junk, and giving your body a tiny break - even just for a day - probably all the things your body is asking for if you learn to listen closely. Let's just gather up all of our collective old school knowledge and apply it - when you were sick as a child, did you eat lots of heavy foods such as meat and dairy, or hard crunchy sweets like candy ? Probably not. I know at least for myself, when I was sick as a child, I was given plain toast, or soft rice, or porridge, and sometimes plain popcorn. Simple food. Easy on the belly. If you want to give your digestive system a break for a few days, then just scale back the variety of foods you're eating, and chew well your well-cooked simple food.

Our Natural Ability to Cleanse & Heal

Really, all this cleansing talk is super positive when you think about it in terms of what goes on without us doing anything. Our bodies are amazing! They will naturally cleanse and heal themselves, if we let them do it! Seriously, cells regenerate and heal all on their own. Sometimes letting our bodies heal on their own, means that we may need to assist by removing some obstacles out of the way. Here are a few of those obstacles that I can think of that can impede our bodies' natural ability to cleanse, process, and function optimally:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Lack of rest (too much go-go-go-ing)
  • Major diet imbalances - too much of any one kind of food or macronutrient (have you eliminated an entire food group, and instead are focusing on just one?)
  • Stress & Anxiety
  • Excessive alcohol, caffeine, drugs & refined sugar
  • A lack of necessary vitamins or minerals (get tested for deficiencies if you're not feeling well, & especially if you've recently changed your way of eating - also be aware of Vitamin D deficiency, fellow Northern friends).
  • Being too sedentary
  • A food allergy or more serious condition such as celiac disease or chrons.
  • Too much time in front of screens, and not enough time outdoors
  • A hormonal imbalance or other imbalance such as depression

I think a simple self-assessment of the previous points, and addressing any ones that stand out, will give you much more of a deeper cleanse than any actual "cleanse" you can do or take or buy. Why not send all your cells on a holiday, when you sleep well, get some gentle exercise, breathe in some fresh outdoor air, and eat supportive foods, while reducing for a little while, the frequency of foods that take a little more to process. Nothing harsh, just some TLC in the most simple yet deep way.

Final Thoughts

So would I recommend cleansing? No- at least not in the way that most people understand it (such as those popular very extreme cleanses like the master cleanse), and not for most people.

What would I recommend?
Try eating, as much as possible, high quality, wholesome, local & natural foods with minimal processing. In whatever shape and form those take, as long as they make you feel your best.

...And back to the wine conversation from earlier...obviously there has been no "cleansing" going on over here - it's summer, and I'm just enjoying and relaxing and following what my body is asking for right now and catching up on some rest - I'm not so spry as I was in my younger days, and those few days of, what feels like a lot of wine to me, took a bit of a toll :) Summer is a time of in season fun splurges along with the season's natural ample fruit and veggie bounty.  My favourites are fresh raspberries and cherries, and of course some iced coffee wouldn't be horrible ;)

I'd love to hear any of your personal experiences with "cleansing" both good & bad, or any of your thoughts on the subject in general! And...what's your favourite summer treat!?

Have a great week!
- Jess

Macro Monday: Finding Inspiration

Hi Friends,

I've been feeling like I need a bit of inspiration these past few days. So, here we go!
 

MM: Get Inspired

Here are some Dainty Pig tips for getting inspired, when your motivation seems to prefer taking naps instead of going on adventures.

Get Outside

It doesn't matter if you simply sit outside with a book, go for a walk, hop on your bike, or just lay in the sun & have a nap, getting outside will make you feel better. And if it's raining, open up your windows and take a deep breath in of that gloriously fresh rain air.

Go Somewhere New

Again, the options are limitless: go to a new restaurant, walk somewhere new, go on a road trip, visit a new park in your city, take a new route on your way to work. There's a certain rush of seeing something for the first time - yes, even if it is simply taking a new route in your car. This also flexes your easy-going muscles, and gives you a chance to be more spontaneous.

Eat Something Fresh & In Season

Berries. Berries. Berries. I am so happy to have fresh berries this week. They instantly lift my spirits. They are so pretty and tasty and bring summer right to your bowl. Anything fresh and seasonal will make you feel balanced, and bring some of the season's energy & momentum into your life. Visiting a farmer's market and seeing all the amazing fresh veggies & fruits will connect you to Mother Nature - always a good thing.

Listen to New Music

Try something totally different. It just might shake things up a bit for you, and shake off that stagnant energy that we all feel some time. And you could also try dancing to that new music :)

Visit / Chat with a Friend

Get out of your own head, your own life, and be there for someone else. You must give in order to receive!

Unplug

For an hour, for a day or for a week if you can. Leave your phone & laptop behind (or lock them away), and experience how much space & time you have!

Make a list

Make a list of all the things you are grateful for. Hello instant mood booster :)

Clean

Clean your house, clean your car, do some laundry - whatever kind of cleaning is calling to you, go for it. Make space in your surroundings for the things you love. That clean fresh energy will interact with you :)

Treat Yourself like Royalty

Have a long bubble bath. Put on a face mask. Get a massage. Or a facial. Buy yourself some flowers. Or a pretty new dress. Sleep in. Do the things that make you feel luxurious and spoiled. Sometimes that's all we need.

Watch an Inspiring Movie / Listen to or Read about an Inspiring Story

Don't be shy to let yourself get lost in someone else's adventures or inspiration for awhile. Maybe some of that good stuff will rub off :)

Ask...

Ask yourself: why am I not feeling so inspired? Is it because you are under slept? Or you haven't been doing the things you love? Is there something that you are avoiding dealing with, or is there a big stress in your life? Ask. And listen.

What are your favourite tips for getting inspired?

Have a wonderful wonderful week my lovely friends!
xoxo jess

 

 

 

Macro Monday: yoga off the mat

Hi Friends,

There has been a lot of outside time this past month :)
I have had the fortune of having many many visitors, and lots of beautiful days. While this has changed my usual routine of early mornings and early nights (lots of free time in the day, and later nights working or visiting), I have been going with the flow and allowing things to just be, and enjoying what is. I've been focusing on taking in the experience - the friends & family & the beauty of my surroundings - fully. Yoga off the mat, and lots of it. Breathing in each place and holding it in my heart <3

Here are a few snippets of my days - places & eats I've been savoring and experiencing.

This is all good WORK for me to be doing. Going with the flow, and not forcing my schedule. For some people, schedule free lives feel more normal & natural. Not so for me - I have always had lots of scheduled time, and usually thrive off of routine. Now I get to play with shifting, adapting, free moving time - working it so I get what needs to be done, done, at all different times of the day. Bedtime at midnight? Sure. Practice at home at 11am or 3pm? Yep. Working in the evening / visiting in the evening and playing outside during the day? Okay! I have been able to adapt to different hours for the time being, and relax into a new rhythm of... no rhythm. Haha :) It's challenging me in many ways. Good growth in new ways. And of course, I'll soon be able to get back to my earlier bedtimes & regular schedule, and enjoy what I know that has to offer ;)

Flexibility, ease & adaptability - it's all part of living a BIG LIFE - the heart & soul of macrobiotics.

Now - I'm off to play in the forest & ocean - my brother & his lovely lady are here visiting, and I couldn't be happier! :)

Macro Monday: Simple Living

MM: Simplicity

Image from: http://goo.gl/FoUKXr

Image from: http://goo.gl/FoUKXr

More and more I come to the understanding that less is more, in every sense. The less you want, the less you have, the less you do, the less you desire, the less you need...the simpler and more peaceful your life will be. "Life is simple when you live simply."

Part of living a big life is most definitely engaging with simplicity. To achieve the things you want to in life, you need to focus your time and effort on them. Anything that adds to the number of things you "need" to do, will take away from time you could be working on what is near and dear to you. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day. You can either devote your time to 100 different things, or to 10. Be careful of spreading yourself too thin.

I think that the reason routine often leads to increased productivity, is that it minimizes required decision making. The more decisions you need to make, the more "stuff" you are bringing into your mind, and the less time you have to focus on what is truly important. I think I really liked living in Japan, because it seemed like everything there had a system. There was a certain way of doing EVERY thing...and while I could see how some people might find this overbearing, I found it to be ultimately simple. On this day you do this. If you have this, you clean it at this time of year. This food is made like this. You eat this with that, and nothing else. Rules, and routines - yes. So many decisions that you need to make yourself, each day? No. Simple? yes.

Finding a few great outfits that you wear over and over, a few good meals that you cook often, and a few restaurants that work for you when you need some good food quickly, will reduce the time you waste when deciding. In fact, I have been on the quest to decide which things I like the best in every category, and to then just continue on getting those things. I've tried enough different variations of most essential ingredients to know which companies or versions I think are best. It's not worth my time to try new variations that come out. Stick with what you know, and you'll find you have more and more pockets of time appearing.

What all this means for me, lately, is that anytime something comes my way, I find my mind jumping to: "okay, that's lovely... but slow down...will this require anything more of me, on a regular basis, or in the future?". If the answer is indeed yes, that it will require more of my time, it becomes a more serious decision. Even if it is something lovely and wonderful, pay attention to what it will require of you in the future.

For example: having pets and/or a large garden - both lovely and awesome. But both require a large amount of time commitment. And if you want to go away, or leave town - more time is required for finding someone to look after your pet or plants. Worth it? Often, yes. But not without thinking about it a little more than usual.

And how about objects, things, & products that you invite into your home. Pay attention. Ask yourself if this will create a more simple existence, or if it requires something of you. More objects often make it harder to clean. They definitely make it harder to move. Especially if they take a long time to put together or take apart. And especially if they are large and/or heavy. You also need to find / create / make space for them. If your space is way too overcrowded, it will rob you of future time, because it will take longer to find or do most things. Another example: buying more clothes - this comes with the more laundry time commitment. Seriously, you'd be surprised with the time commitment that comes along with simple items you bring into your house.

So... do less, choose less, buy less, agree to less.

The more streamlined you can make your day-to-day life, the more LIFE you'll feel like you have. Set up some guidelines for what works for you and what doesn't. Try to stick to them whenever possible, and save yourself the time you'll use on decision making.

In fact, really just think about what it is that is worth your time. And remember this before you commit to / agree to / or decide to do or buy anything. Ask: does it really support me - is it worth my time?

And I challenge you to notice what SIMPLE things bring you happiness and joy.

The things that support me are at their deepest essence, purely simple. A perfect day for me includes some form of movement, simple healthy meals (nothing too crazy or complicated here, I'm talking oatmeal), regular work hours, time outside, regular unwinding hours (including spending time with my guy and friends or family), and good quality sleep. All of these are simple. I don't need them to be fancy or crazy or wildly spontaneous. Just gentle, easy, moments.

All my best to you friends.
I hope you have a SIMPLY joyful week.
xoxo jess

MacroMonday: Hobbies

mm: hobbies & your comfort zone

Recently I've been looking at how I spend my free time. Free time, to me, falls outside of the daily things that I consider to be a necessity for my overall well-being. Those daily necessities for me include: working, hanging out with my best bud T, practicing yoga, spending time outside, working on The Dainty Pig [cooking, baking, researching, reading] & doing chores/housework.

Free time falls outside those things, and that's where hobbies fit in. Hobbies, to me, feel more like playing. They are things that bring joy, not too many responsibilities, and for me, are something that I can approach without expectations. I will include my long-time love for reading here, and a newer one for me, is gardening.

Lately though, I have been feeling the need to create.

And so I've been on the search for a hobby where I can create something. But this isn't easy for me. It's new territory. I am more of an active go-go-go kind of person, so creating things in the form of art, crafts, or music has never been what I've gravitated to. I'm not saying active people can't be creative, or that creative people aren't usually active...it's just that for me personally, anything that requires me to sit still and focus for a long period of time, without moving my body around, is something I often do not choose to do (apart from reading). It's just my natural, instinctual preference. Try watching a movie with me...I may or may not get up a zillion times during it.... I have always played and participated in lots of sports - giving up piano lessons when they interfered with soccer practice. And don't even get me started on colouring and drawing...when I was young of course I did these things, but after about 5 minutes the urge to scribble over whatever I was doing and get up and run around was overwhelming. Sit me down at a desk with a colouring book and felt pens, and I'd be pretttttty grumpy.Give me some sticks, mud, and kids to chase / be chased by, and I'd be a happy camper.  [perhaps my desire to move around accounts for the ridiculous number of times I needed stitches when I was young].

Anyways...I'm writing this post because I've discovered that actively choosing to experiment with something that you don't naturally gravitate to - something that challenges your innate way of being - can be immensely rewarding. Choosing to engage in a hobby that forces you to be still, or to be patient, when your natural mode is moving, does wonderful things for the non-stop kind of person like me.

And so, you see, this brings me to my new hobby: knitting.

If anybody has tried knitting while moving around / standing it surely is me. BUT, this urge soon passed, as the reality that moving & lots of yarn everywhere do not mix (read: disaster), and the meditative motion of knitting took over. I've been knitting for a few weeks now, and I'm by no means great at it (unlike my knitting whiz of a sister), but the satisfaction of learning something new, challenging myself to be still, and then getting to see my creation at the end (like the cute fingerless mittens I made) - is very encouraging, and very rewarding.

Because I am not naturally a crafter of any kind, I had zero expectations for myself when embarking on this new hobby. And truthfully, I think that has been the key to my success [ & by success, I mean sticking with it and completing a project - not that I am now a pro knitter, haha ].

So...this week, I'm asking you to consider what your natural way of being is, and then perhaps, try something completely opposite to it - in your free time, your playing time. And remember, there is a difference between resistance to something that may be good for you, and opposition to something that is obviously just not right for you. Play around in that space. Let go of your expectations. Don't be shy!

Big love to you, my dainty friends!
xoxo J

Macro Monday: Airports & hot weather travels

Hey buds,

The Dainty Pig is on the move again! This time we're headed to warmer weather for some fun in the sun in Honduras.

Airport traveling is much different than road trip traveling - much less ability to pack foods when going through security multiple times.

I did start the trip off right though...our first flight was over dinner, so I picked up Macro takeout & ate it in the airport before we boarded. #smartme :)

 

MM: Macro Tips for Happy Airport Traveling

Flying puts a lot of stress on the body: we're exposed to really loud sound for a long time, the air is cold & dry, and we're crammed in with lots of people in a tiny space. So...body stress response on ---> this means digestive power is lowered. I'm pretty certain most people experience some form of indigestion while traveling like this.

Things you can do to help your belly out:
* chew your food extra well
* choose lighter, fluid rich foods, such as fruits, veggies, cooked whole grains/porridges
* make sure you hydrate well: drink lots of water & herbal teas to balance out the drying effect from flying
* avoid any added stressors such as excess caffeine & alcohol

Over the years I've also come across some helpful tips:
* when offered beverages from the flight attendants, choose one that doesn't involve the plane's water tank (like coffee and tea). Those tanks likely don't have the cleanest water. Instead choose something bottled or canned
* zinc is great to take for immune support (a few tablets for a few days before & during travel)
* keep on top of your sleep - get as much as you can
* bring some natural ginger candy along if you get motion sick or queasy
* wash your hands like crazy!

And I was recently given some great travel tips for staying healthy while on holiday:
* take a food quality probiotic
* a bite of an umeboshi plum a day
* a cup of miso a day

I totally forgot the umeboshi & miso at home 😳 but did remember my probiotics. These things all build up the good bacteria in your belly, which gives you a better chance at fighting any bugs and dealing with stress.

I always pack a few snacks as well, so I have a quick solution if fresh foods aren't available. This time I brought: a macro bar, some tamari almonds, a few natural cookies, and a bar of dark chocolate. Obviously not a meal replacement...but these are ok on my belly if I can't find anything else.

Airport restaurant options:
*Starbucks has oatmeal: this is a great breakfast option.

*There are often stands with fresh juices or smoothies, and often fruit cups and salads.

* At some of the actual restaurants or lounges you may be able to find sushi, soups, and light sandwiches.

Leave the fun food exploring for your destination, and stick with simple foods you've eaten before. Your cabin mates will thank you.

Stay tuned for my experience eating mostly macro here in Honduras.