Monthly Archives: February 2015

Giving up CONTROL and EXCESS Baggage

A few weeks ago when Joe and I returned home from a much-needed break, my first impression of our home (which two of our grown kids had been occupying in our absence) was to pitch everything! Let’s just say that “their” version of clean and “ours” is very different. Seriously. I wanted to throw everything away. It was late, and after a long day on the road we were both exhausted and not in the mood for anything but bed. The house did not “rise up to meet us” as Nate Berkus says is so vehemently important. To bed we went; now tired and grouchy!

 

We got up early the next day and started cleaning together, as we usually do. Joe went to the kitchen, his favorite room to clean, and I headed to the living room. I started looking at all of the “stuff” that we have accumulated and I just became overwhelmed. We had so much stuff. I just didn’t feel the need to possess some of it anymore, really, most of it. It looked out of place and didn’t feel like “me”. I guess living with the wide-open, outdoor space and salt air did something to me. Looking at the expansiveness of the ocean for all of those days must have done something to my inner being. Perhaps cleared the cobwebs. So I started grabbing things and placing them in a box.

 

I had no real intention of spring cleaning or purging, but that is exactly what ended up happening. I literally felt a tightness in my body when I looked around and asked myself, “WHY” do I have all of this crap?! GAH! (I wanted to start a BIG OL’ FIRE!) I KNOW you’ve been there!

 

As soon as I started removing things and putting them in the box I immediately started feeling better. So I put more up. And more. And more. The living room was starting feeling better, so time to move to my office. Objective: Feng Shui that space! Moving my desk to face the door(s) and into the “power” position was my whole intention.

 

It all started with the chair…as soon as I robbed a chair from the living room, (which I do often…steal from one room and put in another) it was on. I was going to replace it with another one that I had stored in the garage, but Joe liked the space. That “spacious” and “empty” feeling. My first thought was, “and this is exactly why I do this alone…no one to argue with!”

 

And then I decided to listen. After really hearing the reasoning and the way he wanted the room to feel, I realized that it wasn’t just “MY” room…it was “OUR” room. Not “MY” home, but “OUR” home, and why shouldn’t he have a say in how it looks and feels? So I agreed. I acquiesced. For the first time I can ever remember, I gave up complete “design” control of the house. I mean usually I do all of the rearranging and purging when he’s gone because I just know how it needs to be/should be done… (Sure I do!)

 

Well as it turns out leaving that space “emptier” than it was before, felt wonderful and I actually LOVED having his opinion and his ideas. Adding more of the masculine and creating a space that we both love and enjoy together, was pretty awesome. And honestly, the open space is starting to grow on me. I think he may be onto something.

 

And in fact, I am pretty sure that all of the “STUFF” and the crammed in feel of it all is certainly connected to all the other issues… like weight, and food and not wanting to feel “empty”. I would venture to say that I know it is. It’s something to think about, meditate and reflect on. What if getting rid of all the “stuff” actually got rid of all the “other” stuff, too? Hmmmm… I wonder…

 

So, no need to wait for spring to find out. I am going to start donating and removing from our house and my head, all of the unnecessary things I have held onto for so long. Including limiting beliefs and ideas that no longer serve a purpose in my life.

 

When I think about all of the beliefs that I have bought into and that others have placed upon me as I grew (and even as an adult) it actually makes me laugh. So many ridiculous notions, I mean really. What I decide to believe and accept NOW is ONLY what feels right to me. It doesn’t matter if anyone else believes what I believe or not. It doesn’t make it anymore or any less true, for me. Question everything. And LISTEN for the answer. YOUR answer.

THE SKINNY ON FATS

coconutTHE SKINNY ON FATS

For years, health experts preached that a low-fat diet was the gateway to health. They proclaimed fats as the enemy, linking them to cardiovascular and other diseases. The food industry jumped on this “theory” and bombarded us with fat-free and low-fat “food” options. A walk down the supermarket aisle will confirm our obsession with fat-free foods. To ensure that flavor was not compromised, sugars were added in increasing amounts. So, while our low-fat options exploded, (I was the first one on the Susan Powter train…low fat everything!) so did obesity rates, as well as other related illnesses. Clearly, low-fat did not deliver the promised results. We now know that healthy fats DO NOT make us fat. In fact, they are one of the three macronutrients, along with carbohydrates and protein, that your body NEEDS to function at optimal levels.  And, truth be told, fats help us stay slim!!

THE WHY

So, why do we need fats in our diets, how much is enough, and what kind of fats should we incorporate into a balance eating plan?

Fats provide essential fatty acids, protect your heart, keep your skin and hair soft and subtle, lubricate your joints, protect your nervous system, and protect cell membranes from inflammation. Fats deliver vitamins A, D, E, and K to your cells and are also are a great source of energizing fuel.  So, you can see that your body really can’t function without them!

THE WHAT

THE BAD FATS:

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of fats. The SAD diet (Standard American Diet…and it is indeed SAD!) consists mainly of artery-clogging saturated and trans fats. Why? Because they taste so good and are widely available in our food supply. Fats, together with sodium and sugars, enhance the flavors of foods and keep you coming back for more.

Most of us have heard about bad saturated fats. Usually solid at room temperature, these are found in animal products such as meat and diary. New research, however, shows that some saturated fats, such as coconut oil, can be metabolized by the body faster than others, hence they are rarely stored as fat. Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been altered though the process of hydrogenation to extend their shelf life. These should be avoided at all costs, as they are associated with heart disease and related illnesses (think:   packaged cookies, pastries, muffins, candy bars, and cakes).

Healthy unsaturated fats play a huge role in your overall health and well-being. They are either polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats and are considered good fats because they help lower cholesterol levels, which can reduce the risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Polyunsaturated fats provide us with essential fatty acids, essential meaning we must get them from our diet as our body does not manufacture them. These fatty acids keep your brain functioning well and aid in the healthy growth and development of your body. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in oily fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts, are central to reducing inflammation and heart disease. It’s always best to get your omega-3s from food, but supplement if you need to. Most people get too many omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils and margarine. Yikes! Monounsaturated fats are found in peanut butter, nuts, olive oil, sesame oil, and avocado.

Remember, the next time you are in the supermarket and spot a fat-free or low-fat label on a food item, take that as a red flag and your cue to run as fast as you can to the fresh produce section!

xoxo,

Marie

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