Wednesday, March 28, 2012

But I want it!

Do you have a favorite food? I know you do, because I do. That favorite food of yours, is it bad for you? Or a better question: do you know if it's bad for you? It could be a food that by normal standards is considered good for the general population, but it could be doing damage to your body if you're not aware that you shouldn't be eating it.

I have many favorite foods...from potatoes to asparagus to coffee (Okay, coffee is not a food), but one of my all time favorite food groups is dairy (and coffee). I know...dairy, it's weird. I DO NOT DRINK MILK. That is gross. But I do love cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream and cheese. I could eat cottage cheese until it's coming out of my ears, haha. And poached eggs...oh my goodness, how I love poached eggs on a plain English muffin with a cup of coffee and an orange. For years I have been eating these things and for years my stomach has been rebelling on me. I didn't know it was rebelling, I thought it was just the natural progression of digestion, but it wasn't. Whenever I eat these foods I feel bloated, I get indigestion and sometimes even get a headache. I never paid any attention to these symptoms and just brushed it off, until one day I ended up with an ulcer and gastroesophageal reflux disease. This was from years of eating food that I thought was healthy. I was ignoring the other signs that it actually wasn't healthy for MY body because I loved the taste of them; and I was informed that they were good for me to eat. This is when you have to ask yourself if your favorite food is bad for you, even if it's "good" for you. 

It's not easy giving up your favorite foods, I still struggle with it all the time! I love coffee...some would even say that I am addicted to it. I used to drink two pots of coffee a day. Yes, two pots. I am not in any way exaggerating when I tell you this. I love the taste, the smell, the emotional connection I feel when I drink it, but it's one of those things in my life that is "bad" for me. And it's not bad in a way that you might be thinking. I drink it black - it is bad in the way that it gives me terrible reflux whenever I drink it; yet it is the toughest thing for me to give up. So I have to ask myself if it is worth it. Is it worth the discomfort it gives me after I drink it? Is it worth the internal damage it does to my esophagus? No. There is always an alternative. And you might think you're depriving yourself of the amazing sensation this particular food gives to you, but you need to also think about the deprivation you are putting your body through.When you are consuming something that your body cannot process, you are putting unnecessary stress on your organs and over all well being. 

You might ask then -"Well how do I know if the food I am eating is affecting me in a negative way?" I will answer that I am not sure! Only you and your doctor will know for sure. Start small. Start by logging what you are eating and how you feel after you eat or drink a particular food in a diary. Write everything down. EVERYTHING - even if it gave you diarrhea. These are important things to tell your doc or natural path when/if you decide to go. If the food you are eating is giving you indigestion or a stomach ache, it's a possibility that you may have a sensitivity to it. That is how I came to the realization that I cannot eat pasta or eggs or yogurt or drink my beloved coffee. Whenever I eat pasta, I immediately get a stomach ache that feels like spikes are shooting out from all sides of my torso. Whenever I eat eggs, they constantly repeat on me...and yogurt gives me indigestion. I have been trying for the last year or so to test different foods and see what my body will allow me to eat and what it won't. Even tonight, I am sitting here writing and I have TERRIBLE indigestion. I can't think of what I had today that would have given it to me. I ate soup for lunch from Panera Bread - the problem with eating out is that you don't truly know the ingredients, and I can almost guarantee that there was something in that soup that didn't agree with my body. It's tough, but eventually you can eat what is right for you. We can learn together. 

I can't wait for that day when I can say that I ate my favorite food and it was delicious and not: I ate my favorite food and now I am paying for it. - the excuse "But I wanted it" cannot be a phrase you settle for anymore. Remember that eating your favorite food goes more than skin deep.

Thanks for reading!


Health and Wellness to all,

Patti xox

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I took the stairs this morning

That's right, I took the stairs this morning...8 flights up. Significant? If you're claustrophobic and cannot take the elevator, yes...but this is not the meaning I am going for ;) See, I like to emanate optimism and positivity; almost two in the same and what I am talking about here is the difference it made to me by taking the stairs at work rather than the elevator. (Although, if you're a Steven Tyler fan such a myself; you might think you'll find love in an elevator).

Every day is a new opportunity to make better choices than you did the day before. This can be anything; as small as taking the stairs in the morning or as grand as helping a person in need. Making that "right" choice for you is important. Taking the stairs at work for me, was a right choice. It put me in such a great mood, and this just set off a domino effect for the rest of the day. I felt like I made a decision that was a "step" in the right direction. You can get such an adrenaline rush from making a choice that makes you happy, and this was one for me.

Image Detail
Similar to the stairs at my office ;)

Since I was in such positive spirits, I felt like not only was I more productive at work, but I also had more clarity and this made me feel like I had all the answers - well...maybe not all the answers, haha. I mean, I am still blogging from my one bedroom apartment and not a three story condo sitting on a Miami water way with Manatee right at my fingertips. But the clarity I had was more than just answering questions of my co-workers, it was also answering questions from myself. Like, should I drink this protein shake instead of eating all of these gluten, processed, fatty laden girl scout cookies that every one is so proudly eating; or do I go a step beyond what I feel comfortable with and offer to take on a more challenging task than normal so others can catch a break today or just complete my own tasks at hand. You'll be happy to know that I did not give into the cookie monster that has so happily taken over my office. Although I do love to support children and their local fundraisers, I gladly gave away the ones I purchased. I was going to put a picture of cookie monster on here to show you I caught him in action, but He was just too fast. I was able to make the decision of not putting the processed junk in my body and also help out a co-worker who was feeling overwhelmed. In this instance, the choice I made this morning impacted another person in a positive way. I was happy to help, and this person was able to feel less stressed about the rest of their day. The rest of the day I made smarter choices. I ate a lot better, I was happier, I didn't feel as agitated and I stayed optimistic about the challenges that day brought on. These are very small examples of making what you think is the right choice that can promote a positive well being with you. When I am talking about making a choice of taking the stairs, I am also speaking metaphorically.

I want to share with you something that impacted me with an overwhelming sense of compassion. I hope that when you read these next few sentences that you can feel the deep emotion that has impacted the way I think tremendously. It was a few weeks ago at work - I worked in a different department in my company for about 6 months last year and became very close with one of my co-workers because of the way were able to work together -we worked side by side - and he actually respected my work and work ethic. He made me feel a lot smarter than I am. About six months ago, I was asked to join another part of my company, which I accepted, however, it meant that I would no longer be working with him or seeing one another on a regular basis. This was a lot more difficult than anticipated. Now even though I say we were close, it's not the "huggable" friendship you would imagine. Since I have been on the "other side" we are able to only occasionally say hello in passing and exchange a quick IM as we are both so incredibly busy. So a few weeks ago, I decided to stop by his desk to say hello and chat for a quick moment. I gave him a hug, we chatted for about 5 minutes and then I went back to my desk. A week passed and I didn't think anything of our brief encounter; but then he came to my desk and said: I just wanted to tell you that I really needed that hug you gave to me the other don't know how much that meant and it was so significant that I went home and told Emily about it. He went on to tell me that him and his fiance just lost someone and about other heart wrenching things - The hug that I gave him to say hello really moved him and uplifted his spirits that much because of the tumultuous time he had been having at home; this really moved me. It moved me to tears. Something that I did helped another human being without even questioning my motives. He was so thankful and just couldn't believe out of all the days, I chose that day to come and say hello.

A small or grand gesture that lends a positive light is always good for the soul. It's amazing what one choice that makes you happy can do for others and for yourself. When you are walking by someone, smile. You never know if they are moments away from hurting themselves. When you are walking through a door, hold it for the person behind you. You don't know how many doors have been shut in thier lives. When you see someone crying, don't just brush it off like they are looking for attention, hand them a tissue and smile. Just this simple gesture can let them know they are not alone. If someone is speeding behind you, let them go and just think - it could be someone they are trying to get to. So the next time life offers you to take the stairs or ride the elevator, make the better choice, for you - and for me.

I took the stairs this morning and will take them again tomorrow and the day after and the day after that. What about you?


Love and Wellness to all

Patti xox

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why Be Glum?

Why was I having such a hard day with staying focused and on track? I thought about it all morning and couldn't think of a reason. No excuses, right?! If I couldn't think of an answer, I knew who could. So, I did the best thing I could think of... I called my sister for some Twinspiration. She said, "Blog it... and remember that you're allowed to have days like this." She was right. I AM allowed to have an "off" day. 

Here is how it started........ and how it ended.......

It was Tuesday, February 26, 2012... I woke up at 6:00 and got ready for work. I was in a very mellow and weird mood. I didn't like it. Maybe coffee would do the trick. Nope. I didn't want a coffee. I left for work and decided to stop for coffee anyway. I went to Starbucks and ordered a triple espresso over ice with soy milk and cinnamon. My favorite. That still didn't make me feel better. Well, at least I ate a good breakfast and everyone is back from vacation so it will be a normal day at work, right? Wrong again, sister. A co-worker called out sick and I am 10 minutes late - Wow... am I feeling sorry for myself. So, the day passes......... 

..........and it was time for lunch. I went to the kitchenette in my office and took my lunch out of the fridge. Veggies and a protein patty... AGAIN. About 99% of the time I love eating my fruits and vegetables. However, that day, I just didn't want to eat my veggies. I placed my dish in the microwave and watched it as it went around.... and around... and around.... I figured, the more I watched, the better it would look. On a normal day that bowl of veggies and protein patty would look delicious and I would eat it and be satisfied. For some reason, the more it cooked, the less I wanted it. I went back to my desk and ate it. Very Slowly. 

I finished my lunch and at that point I thought to myself "seriously, Nikkie? snap out of it. you're pathetic." I talked to Patti on the phone and via email... She was oddly enough, having the same type of day. WEIRD. We figured it out, together. I was exhausted - mentally, physically and emotionally with my diet, my exercise and life. Well, that's pretty easy you think - everyone gets like that! Well, maybe they do. But that day, I felt like I was the only one going through it. When I talked to Patti I realized how selfish I was acting. I am not the only one struggling to reach my goal, or stay at my goal... or stressing at work... or fighting off everyday temptations that other people don't have to resist. It's my life. It's how I have to live it. It's the decision that I made, so why be so upset about it? Everything will pay off. It really will! 

Soon after my conversation with Patti, I got over whatever I was feeling. I texted a friend to go to Zumba with me. After all, exercise is the best medicine! I finished work and left to head to The Dance Factory to shake off the bad energy I had. On my way to Plymouth I saw the best license plate. All it said was Y B GLUM - get it? Why be glum? so simple but so powerful to me at that moment.

My day started out weird, but with a little twinspiration from an amazing heart and a simple saying from a license plate, it ended with so much more greatness than I could have expected. 

So next time you're having an "off" day... think of this, and I guarantee you will laugh a little or hopefully, a lot!

"I wish I were a glow worm, a glow worm is never glum. 'cause how can you be grumpy, when the sun shines out your bum?"


Love and health to all