Thursday, November 7, 2013

Nourishing Your Body and Mind, Freshly Made Juice and Pie

I recently signed up for "21 Days of Gratitude" by Louie Schwartzberg and what I read today (Day 4) clicked for me in a new way. I love it when that happens!  

Here is the part that clicked even more for me: "Nourishing your body and mind is the finest way to express gratitude for who you were created to be."

That part came from this paragraph which was part of the daily newsletter: "Everything in nature is in perfect balance. When we feed our body the right foods, and give it enough water, just as the soil receives nourishment from the sun and the rain, we produce good results. When we get enough exercise and enough rest, mimicking most other animals, we feel energized and stay healthy. Nourishing your body and mind is the finest way to express gratitude for who you were created to be."

That reminded me of how good I've been feeling since I started juicing again over the past three weeks. I have been taking the time to juice carrots, beets, apples, kale, celery and sometimes lemon or garlic. It has been delicious and nourishing to my body and spirit. I feel SO much better and seem to have So much more energy when I drink freshly made juices.

Yes, there is some scrubbing of the vegetables and some clean up, but it is all worth it because it makes me feel that much better overall. Not only am I worth taking care of, but the time that I spend taking care of myself is also worth it! Doing things to care for ourselves is a way to express gratitude for being alive and for our bodies. Now when I do things to nourish my body and spirit, I will feel even better taking the time to care for myself.

I didn't even realize that I felt that way until I was talking to a friend about juicing and how much better I felt and how Li was drinking the juice with me as well. She said she used to juice and it made her feel better too, but that she was so busy now (and she IS!!!) and didn't want to take the time to juice because there is so much clean up, and besides, she would be the only one who'd probably drink it.

Yes, there is a lot of clean up. However, if she wanted to juice (or do anything that she felt was taking care of herself), she is worth it - even if she is the only one who drinks it. Taking care of oneself is important! She might even have more energy overall and maybe the good nutrients and vitamins would help her ward off colds and stay healthier which is a bonus too and provides benefits in the long run. (Unless it feels too stressful and then doing so would defeat the purpose or even be a detriment.)

It IS hard to take the time to care for ourselves when we are so very busy. And yet maybe that is a good reason to try to not be so very slow down so that we have the time to take care of ourselves. (Reminds me of that book by Richard Carlson - "Slowing Down to the Speed of Life.")

And then again, there ARE times in our lives where we find ourselves much more busy than we'd prefer and we may ride out that time to a calmer period in our lives. Or maybe we choose to be super busy for a time because we feel that the benefits of doing so will be worth it in the long run. I think that is where my friend is right now.

And I love her. She is a great person and mother and friend! I was thinking that this might be a good time for someone in her position to buy a juice. And it might be. It would still have health and energy benefits. is something that is new to me. I have found that since I've been juicing myself instead of conveniently buying a juice from a stranger who cranks them out as part of a routine job, the time I take out of my day to make the juice is valuable too. I am aware that I am taking this time to care for mySelf. And I think that this part (the taking time out of my day to care for mySelf) has become important to me as well. And it is something I can do in my house when I feel like I would like one and when I have time. In that sense, it is convenient!

Maybe it is like when someone brings you a homemade pie as opposed to a store bought one. When you get a homemade one, it feels extra special because you know that the person put their time and energy and self into making it. When it is a store bought one, you might like it and appreciate it too, but to me, a homemade one seems extra special because of the time the other person put in to make it.

And yet I kind of feel bad saying that as that is not true in every circumstance. There have been times I have been so busy or wiped out that I have bought something to bring with me because I prioritized other things in my life for reasons that were important to me (esp when I had babies and toddlers!). There have been times when I made box cakes such as when I felt that those eating them would prefer one or wouldn't care and money was tight (like at a bake sale that the kids were doing). But if I had had more time and money, unless there was a preference, I would have made everything from scratch and bought all organic ingredients.

Other people probably have their own reasons that are meaningful to them for why they would choose a store bought something over a homemade something. Maybe they even prefer the store bought version! There is this one blueberry pie that just can not be duplicated. It is by a person named Amy and found at certain local stores and very expensive, but oh so worth every bite! :D It waaay trumps any homemade pie that I've ever tasted. We don't get it very often, but if I ever bring one to you, know it is way better than any homemade blueberry crumb pie I could make!

And there are expenses to consider as well. Sometimes one can't afford to make a homemade version, or buy a special pie like Amy's (that's why we rarely get them...they are a big treat!). Or a person may have other priorities to attend to and are glad to be able to bring *something*, even a store bought pie, to contribute.

So...I would feel grateful for any gift or contribution. It is just that I extra appreciate the time and energy and care that one puts into making something homemade if they are able to and want to.

And I'd not want to put any pressure on anyone to make something homemade either - because a gift with obligation is not a good thing in my opinion. I don't like to feel obligated and I would not want to make anyone else feel obligated. But a gift of something done because one wants to do that is nice!!!

Ha....more clarity here as I'm writing - I am realizing this is all about me...because I feel guilty as there have been times when I haven't baked a pie myself and I had the time. And now that I am writing this, I realize I should not feel guilty. If I let whatever I choose to do come from a place of giving and love, whether or not I decide to make or buy a dessert - it is all good. I can trust that I am doing what is right for me at the time. Whatever I decide to do is based on what I can handle emotionally, physically, and financially and if I ignored my feelings or situation to do what I think I *should* do rather than what I can handle, there are consequences - I could feel grumpy, stressed out, and resentful (even though I'd be bringing it all on myself!). That wouldn't be good. And if I did something like that out of obligation, I wouldn't feel good giving the pie. And that wouldn't feel good to the people who I'd give it to if they knew.

Therefore, I trust that I will do what feels right to me. And I can and I will allow myself to feel good about giving a store bought item, knowing that if I choose to do so, it is good and okay and right for me at that time. No guilt. Then, I am giving graciously with what I have to give at that time. I can even look and appreciate other's homemade goods without comparison or shame. Wow...that feels better.

Okay...back to the juice! I know what I could do! Make my friend a juice next time she visits! Or bring her one next time I see her! It will feel good to bring one to her whether I make it or buy it.

If I make her one myself, she wouldn't just be buying it from someone who regularly cranks them out, but would be receiving a gift of freshly made juice from someone who cares for her and wants to do something nice for her and is able to take the time to make one.

If I buy her one from the store, I will feel good about that too. For even if I don't make it myself, the idea that I want to bring her something that I think will nourish her body and spirit is grand and counts.

I so did not mean to write so much!!!! And how in the world did I get on to so much about pie!! But the ideas behind giving gifts can be applied to other things in life. So maybe they will be useful for me to think about in other contexts.

Another little snippet from today - As I listened to today's audio (well, all of the talking part and the beginning of the meditative musical only part). This was what we were invited to think on during the meditation part: "I give thanks for and honor the miracle that is my body." I sat on the carpet with headphones on and dwell'd on the miracle that is my body and thought of how wondrous the human body is in general - our ability to breathe in (receiving) and out (giving and strong) and being able to dance and move. I thought of the 5 Rhythms class I went to recently and how everyone danced, moved and breathed. And how Kanoa and I ran around last night getting exercise in this room and laughing as we played chase games with Sealie (the stuffed animal seal). Just as I got about two minutes into the meditation part, Kanoa walked over wearing only his diaper as he had taken off his sweatshirt, shirt and pants a little earlier (he's four and likes to be in shorts or less rather than more clothing, even in the cold!). I marveled at how his little body is growing and thought about how fast he had run last night and how much energy he has. I was grateful for his being - himself and his body that is his vessel! He needed a diaper change. So I ended the meditation feeling like I got some good things out of it and felt satisfied and helped Kanoa.


This is another thing that resonated with me - the quote of the day: “To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” -Buddha

What I liked about this was the idea that it is wise and good to take care of ourselves so that we feel good and healthy and may be more likely to make better decisions.

If you are feeling poorly, some or much of your attention will be on how to feel better or on how awful or foggy you feel. When you feel well, not only does that feel good in itself, but you also have that extra space and clarity in your mind and it is with greater ease that you may be able to think and make decisions.

That is how I was interpreting the quote anyway. And while I frown on the idea of "duty" and prefer to think of "choice," I still got much from the words. Besides, who would not want to choose to have a strong and clear mind! Well, I suppose some people have their own reasons for trying to dull their minds temporarily to deal with crappy lives or experiences (like those who use alcohol or drugs as a form of escapism - and maybe if we were in their shoes, we'd do the not judging, but hoping somehow to do my part in the world to make it a little better). But I'm not thinking of that at the moment. I'm thinking in general that people most often prefer to feel good and think clearly and with a strong mind.

I think of people who love their sweeties..and maybe for them, that is what makes them feel good. It is something that brings them joy and feeds their soul along with their sweet tooth! In that respect, it is good for them!

Plus, kids who love sweeties may be growing and needing those extra calories fast! They know what they need. But yeah, I do feel best when I take the time to give my body the food it wants - whether it be a protein, fat, carb or sweet. And it helps if I slow down to listen to what I think my body is needing and wanting. Sometimes it is freshly made juice, sometimes it is pie! Hmmm...come to think of it, both of those things are sweet! At least the way I make my juice! Guess I love my sweeties too!

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