Tag Archive: journey

Embarking on a New Journey

To say that this year (school year) has been a whirlwind, is an understatement. The winter months tend to be a little challenging for me in general, so my blog posts become a little more infrequent (always working on that), but this year in particular has been interesting… And I thought you might be interested to know what we’ve been up to lately.

As many of you know, and for those who do not, after years of talking about enrolling in a nutrition program to pursue my passion, I finally did it! I enrolled in the Nutritional Therapy Association‘s Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Program and started the course-work in September. I knew it would be a busy year: working full-time, taking care of my family, and back in school for the third time (feels like 100th), but I was up for the challenge and ready to commit to the time and the learning. Brian is totally and completely supportive as well, which is such a huge help! The program is an online format with three face-to-face workshop weekends in Hartford, CT, which is an ideal location for me because it’s close to Boston, but also because my family is right near there! I also didn’t have to make a ton of time sacrifice for my current job, which is excellent. The fall was rolling along pretty smoothly. We studied the Basics of Nutrition, Anatomy and Physiology, Digestion (big one!), Blood Sugar Regulation (big one!) and Fatty Acids, just to name a few. It was a lot of material, but I was keeping up with the modules (video lectures, audio lectures, reading and homework assignments) and thoroughly enjoying the content.

newhouseAnother thing that many of you know is that we have been looking for about five years, yes five years, to buy a single-family home. We have been looking and looking and looking for THE house… that unique older home with historical characteristics that you don’t see in newer homes. We were never the easy people to sell a home to because we weren’t selling anything, we wanted to keep our two-family as an investment. Keeping the two-family was the grand plan all along. We drove quite a few realtors crazy because we could never just “find a house.” It wasn’t that easy, we were looking for something very special. And to be honest, I didn’t think it was out there. Well my friends, in October, Brian found THE house. When he first showed me the listing, I told him he was crazy. Maybe I actually said, “Are you insane?” Without going into so many details, because there are many, we took a chance, and put in an offer on what seemed like our dream house. We closed and moved in in January. Whirlwind!

So, to say we are embarking on a new journey, is truly an understatement… but we couldn’t be happier. Life is busy with life: relationships, work, kids, studying and new house tasks, but we are having fun, trying to stay sane, and enjoying the moment. Time passes by too fast, and if I’ve learned anything through these past few months, is that patience is truly a virtue. With patience, you can do anything. So here’s to chasing your dreams, taking the plunge, and just going for it. We have done that in a few short months. Excited to see what’s ahead, but so incredibly appreciative of the now, and TODAY.

With so much gratitude,

💚 Jenny

Goodbye February, Hello March

Hey everyone! I am really happy that March is here. This morning when I walked into yoga, I thought it’s going to be a good month. It has to be better than February. Around here in New England, it was a long month of cold weather and snow, not enough sunshine and some personal ups and downs.

What have I been up to? Full disclosure of my blogging struggles: I have so much to say, so much to post on the blog… I find myself often too hesitant to put it all out there, write my stories, shoot from the hip, as they say… The best blog posts are from the heart, but I’m slightly detailed oriented, and often get caught up in the small details, and the post sits in draft mode forever… I tend to over think things and then will go weeks without a post. With that said, I have been researching how to market, brand, and grow the blog. This is a goal of mine – to determine my goal so I can move forward with a clear purpose. Let me tell you, this is hard work!

HippocratesQuoteFebruary was a challenging month for me with my Hashimoto’s. I started editing a document I created last year that tells the story of my autoimmune journey and so many things came to the forefront. As I January came to an end and I finished my first Whole 30, I did a lot of reflecting, researching and questioning my symptoms. The month ended with an appointment to the endocrinologist, who is supportive of my journey trying to heal thought nutrition and lifestyle, but cannot support me in a coaching way the way I need. My blood test results are not ideal and my thyroid seems to be so far gone that I have to take medication forever possibly. It’s not ideal, and to be honest, last week at this time, I was not in a good place, but I have come to terms with the fact that medical doctors cannot support me in the way I need them to. I will continue on my healing journey and have plans for this month that will hopefully help me take some positive steps forward toward healing and feeling good again.

If you’re reading between the lines and don’t know my full story, I will eventually share it here. I promise! I have shared a pieces of my story on my About and Nutrition pages. In short, I feel like I am constantly working to figure out the why behind this wicked annoying disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. My thyroid is severely under active and because the thyroid is so important for so many systems in our bodies to work properly, when things are not working properly, one thing leads to another, sometimes positive, sometimes negative. Sometimes it feels like I take one step forward, and two or three steps backward. It’s like a constant guessing game. Because of that, I am constantly reading and researching. Some days it’s positive and I have a lot of a-ha moments. Some days it’s just exhausting and frustrating. Like I said, a lot of ups and downs. So this month of March can only go up from here. Better weather, better moods, better driving, and our youngest son’s second birthday!

What have you been up to? Are you glad March is here too?

xoxo

green_heart Jenny

Our 21DSD/Paleo/Primal Journey

I’ve been wanting to write about my experience with the 21-Day Sugar Detox (21DSD), but hesitating about it for so many reasons. One reason is that I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions and do things starting on January 1st. And, this is one thing I did start on January 1st.  A second reason is because I whole-heartedly believe that in order for things to change, it’s not just about changing one thing (like food), it’s a whole bunch of things that make up a lifestyle. The third reason is I do not believe it diets. If you want to really change, you have to look closely at the whole picture (food, stress, activity, sleep, etc.). Some people have asked me about my experience, though, and this seems like a great place to share about it. It has been incredibly rewarding in so many ways and I have many positive things to share. After all, I am an educator. I want to share my experiences so others are inspired to learn about real food and make better choices for their health.

What led us to the 21DSD?

I started listening to the podcast entitled Cut the Fat Podcast in November 2013. Several episodes referenced Mark Sisson and The Primal Blueprint, and eating primal/paleo for fat loss. My interest was piqued. I googled The Primal Blueprint and Mark Sisson immediately, which led me to Mark’s website Mark’s Daily Apple. I then downloaded and read the sample of Mark’s book The Primal Blueprint. Then during one of my nightly readings of Zite, I stumbled upon an article that referenced The 21-Day Sugar Detox. The article linked me to a set of questions from the introduction to the book, The 21-Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo about sugar, carbs, and the roles they play in your life. I was shocked (and kind of grossed out) when I read through and answered yes to most of them.

I ended up purchasing both The Primal Blueprint and The 21-Day Sugar Detox. I was reading both books during the last two weeks of December every night (every free moment I had to read, really). In all the reading I was doing, I kept thinking, “oh, that’s why I feel this way,” or “oh, that explains why that happens to me.” I was making so many connections to the discussions about health, digestion, and various symptoms I had experienced over the years. Simultaneously, I was thinking about my autoimmune condition of Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and everything I was reading was connecting to that as well. Reading through these books was like having hundreds of “a-ha” moments, over and over.

On January 1st, we started our sugar detox/paleo/primal journey. My husband is doing it with me too, which has been awesome for meal prep and support. We completed the 21-Day Sugar Detox in January (we actually did the whole month beyond the 21 days) and have continued eating paleo/primal since. The first things I noticed when removing sugar were my energy and mood, they skyrocketed! Also, any fatigue that I had as a result of the hypothyroidism was gone.

Helpful details to know about me pre-21DSD:

  • I was already gluten and dairy-free so making the jump to no grains wasn’t so terrible. I was sneaking gluten in here and there, and looking back, my digestion was suffering because of the “here and there”. Brian was not gluten-free, but has found the change to be manageable (probably because his lovely wife does all the planning and meal prep for the entire week 😉
  • The sugar I consumed pre-21DSD was from fruit and 85% cacao dark chocolate and some ice cream here and there. I was not eating added sugars or processed/packaged foods on a regular basis. However, I constantly had cravings for sweet things and would eat fruit and dried fruit (preferably mangoes! the sweetest thing out there!) whenever I had a craving. During the 21DSD, there are different levels for where you are on your journey. I stuck to the plan completely which minimized my sugar cravings to almost none. After the 30 days, I added 1-2 servings of fruit back into my days. When I do have fruit, I choose green-tipped bananas, blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.

Other observations/revelations we’ve made on our journey so far:

  • Midway through the 21 days, around day 10, was really hard. I really wanted sugar… really, really bad! I stuck with it though, stayed true to the program, and the cravings really did dissipate. I still crave fruit, but my cravings aren’t really for sweet things, just for nourishment. I added back dark chocolate a few times a week, but for me, once I have it I want it more and more. I make sure if I have it to have a few squares of 85% cacao dark chocolate.
  • My energy levels are astounding. I used to feel very fatigued in the later afternoon, and that has vanished. I feel like I have energy to enjoy the evening with my family.
  • The mysterious joint pain I was experiencing all over my body, that no doctor could ever shed any light on, is gone. It never occurred to me that joint pain, which was a symptom of hypothyroidism, could be reduced or removed by changing my food intake, which in turn has created balance in other aspects of my life.
  • I am sleeping better. If I wake up in the middle of the night it’s because of one of my children is crying or calling for me (or my husband is snoring), not because I’m restless or stressed.
  • When you focus on real food, and make the transition to Paleo/Primal, you consume more fat. Pre-21DSD, this would have been concerning to me because we have been told for years that too much fat and too many calories is bad.  Well, through more reading and research, I have learned that is the farthest thing from the truth. Fat doesn’t make you fat, processed crap and sugar make you fat. Protein and fat help you stay fuller and nourished longer. I have avocados and coconut oil daily and don’t really worry about calories or fat.
  • People are pretty skeptical/judgmental about the Paleo/Primal lifestyle. The number one thing people don’t know is that it is not a diet, it’s a way of living. And… we don’t sit around consuming a boatload of meat. I think the reason for this misunderstanding is because they don’t know much about it, or what they do know about it, is inaccurate. It’s been interesting to have to defend yourself like you’re some kind of weirdo about making choices that make you feel good. (More on that in my next post.)
  • I have learned to focus on nourishment, feeling good and healing from the inside. These revelations led me to also read Practical Paleo, as well as my current read, Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe.

The bottom line is I am confident in my choices about health and nutrition for myself and my family, and I know deep down, that’s what matters most. In conclusion, when you focus on real food, sourced from grass-fed animals when possible, organic and/or local vegetables and fruit, you start to change your outlook on the food you eat for nourishment. It’s not about “being good because you ate well or bad because you had a treat” and “having so much willpower to choose certain foods over others”, it’s about feeling good inside when you make choices that work for your body and your health and not anyone else’s expectations or opinions about what is right or what is healthy. As I continue on this journey, I am sure I will have more to write and report. Stay tuned and be well.

xoxo

My Yoga Journey: You Never Know What You’re Going to Get

I’ve been trying to come up with a catchy title for this post for days, but realized I just need to write it… because yoga is a journey, one this is never-ending and always changing.

I recently tried some new and different yoga classes and have made note of the progress I am making. It’s been quite interesting actually, because I’m a firm believer in mixing things up and always surprising your body, how else will you continue to make progress, right? Yet despite that belief and my yoga practice always challenged me, I don’t think I changed things up enough. In just a few short weeks, with what seem like small changes, I feel like I am gaining strength and can do balances that I’ve been working on for years. It’s like everything is just clicking. Very, very interesting… and exciting!

I love the saying “you never know what you’re going to get” in reference to yoga because it’s so true.  Each practice is different, and your body can do something different every single time. You have to embrace it and work with what it’s willing to give you on that given day.  You cannot possibly go into your practice knowing what it’s going to be like because, well, that would be boring! So here’s to every day being a new one, and never knowing what you’re going to get.

Namaste. <3