Life is full of ups and downs. When you’re experiencing an up you forget about the down, and when you’re down you think you’re never going to be up again.
Although a challenge to accept at times, I’ve learned to embrace the opportunities that present themselves during these low moments. It’s a perfect time to step back, assess my choices, observe circumstances, and align myself mentally, spiritually, and nutritionally.
I like to think of it as preparing myself to be balanced when the up comes along because it always does!
These last couple of weeks have been defined by a natural downward trend in my life. Unlike my other experiences, it’s not characterized by any one specific event, but rather a feeling that something is missing.
It’s that same feeling I had the month before I met Kevin, the same feeling that presented me with the opportunity to become a nutrition educator, and the same feeling that ultimately led me to creating the blog.
This hunger for balance and life progression has brought me to some amazing places in my life. So when the down comes, I have to remind myself that the up will be worth the wait.
After weeks of feeling this way, I woke up on Tuesday with a sense of clarity.
Spiritual + Mental
At 9am that same day, I signed up for a 4 day Woman’s Yoga retreat at the Yasodhara ashram in the mountains of southeastern British Columbia. Not only that, but I tacked on a 3 day road trip, where I’ll drive until I can’t drive no more, and blare the tunes while coasting through the mountains.
I’ve never been to an ashram, I haven’t practiced yoga in ages, and doing anything last minute is completely out of character for me. In fact, you could even say things like this make me a bit anxious. But, sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith, trusting that it will allow you to connect with whatever is out there waiting for you.
I leave in less than a month, 3 days after my race.
This moment of clarity shed some light on my current nutrition choices, too. In the midst of everything, I’ve lost touch with what foods nourish me vs. aggravate my system. Basically, instead of listening to what my body wants I’ve been telling it what it needs. It’s normal for everyone to go through this every once in awhile. Just as our external environments change around us, so does our need to switch up our diet.
A couple of hours in the kitchen and a bit of planning later, I feel confident that these steps will get me back on track.
There are a couple of goals I’ve set for myself:
- At least 1 salad a day
- Incorporate more protein into my post workout breakfasts
- Have at least 1 serving of pulses per day
- Treat myself to 1 blog item a day – I have so many cookies, squares, and cakes in my freezer it’s not even funny
- Eat every 2-3 hours. If I’m hungry before then it’s because I’m actually thirsty
- Properly combine foods for at least 50% of my meals
So, my days should look a bit like this…
Pre-workout: protein smoothie with 1 cup mixed berries, 1 scoop hemp protein, probiotics, 1 tablespoon each shredded coconut, gojis, pecans
Post-workout: quinoa flake bake with 2 eggs instead of fruit puree, cinnamon, stevia, and nut butter
Lunch: salad with piles of vegetables and pulses
Snack: vegetable smoothie + vega protein powder
Dinner #1: grains, eggs + veggies [can’t forget the ketchup!]
Dinner #2: Veggie “shepherds pie” with black beans and potatoes
I’m on day 2 of this new approach and feel great! All it takes is a bit of listening, love for yourself, and trust in your heart to push yourself out of a darker time. We all experience them, it’s what we do with them that’s important.
Here’s to listening, loving and jumping! Have a great Friday and safe long weekend for all of us Canadians out there ;)