The last few days have been spent preparing to launch my first ever Teen Girls Workshop. It's a twelve week workshop held mostly here in my home geared towards weight loss/management and the cultivation of a courageous, healthy and mindful life. In middle and high school what we DON'T learn is how to care for ourselves. In a time where obesity and stress are the two major causes for illness, it's time to adjust something about our academic load. There are opportunities in school to be social, creative, silent, bold, active... so much happens every day for a young person. We are also in a time where both parents are typically working full time jobs. Meals are bought out of convenience. Conventional and boxed foods are the norm and far from fresh. Healthful nutritious foods aren't happening. This leads to higher levels of sickness and decreased energy for both parents and kids. When we lack energy we make up for that energy in various ways- most likely with caffine and sugar. Dealing with lack of energy and life force is stressful. You don't feel like you are living life, it's as if you are just outside looking in. I know this feeling very very well. Growing up I had terrible seasonal allergies, asthma and chronic sinusitis and was 50lbs over weight. I basically was on antibiotics 4-6 times a year for about 6 years for my sinus issues. At some point I googled "natural remedy for sinus infection" and it was from there on out that my life started to shift. It took years mind you, trying different things from apple cider vinegar, to netti pot cleansing, to chamomile steaming, to homeopathic nasal sprays.. and they all helped. But it wasn't until I shifted my diet did the REAL MAGIC happen. I did a two week sugar cleanse by following an elimination diet. As I slowly added foods into my diet I noticed how profoundly wheat and dairy affected my asthma and sinuses and mental clarity. I was finally walking the streets with clear head! I didn't feel like I was on the outside- I felt available and alive and actually felt like exercising. I was finally losing weight! My life was literally and finally mine. Looking back on my childhood, I do see a happy girl. I had lots of friends and very supportive parents who gave me wonderful tools to live the life that I do. I'm so thankful for them and for the person that I was. It's such a shame that not once in my childhood did a doctor say to my mother "Perhaps you should change her diet." It's just not the way Doctors are trained.
My Mission is to work with teen girls to learn the stuff they don't learn in school. To help them answer the questions: When do I feel my best? What foods make me feel alive? What should I eat to have lots of energy? What are real foods and what are fake foods and how can I tell the difference? What are some tools I can use to decrease stress? How can I live mindfully, being fair to myself, the planet and the ones I love? How can I be courageous and bold and true to myself in this world?
There are so many answers to these questions, and every young woman I work with will teach me new possibilites. I am thrilled to learn from them. I am thrilled to be a part of a movement that will arm young girls with the life force to change the world. There are times I am filled with doubt and confusion- pretty much every day actually. It's those times and I remember that I'm eating good food, and being kind to myself and the planet, and it propels me further!
Feel free to share what helps you feel amazing, and reach out with any questions.
Foods I enjoyed during days 5,6 &7
breakfast: home made muesli with almond milk, whole grain bagel with almond butter, toast with avacado
lunch: all three days I had some salad with lemon juice and olive oil. one day i also have some left over rice and beans, and another day I had some trail mix
snack: hummus and carrots, guac and chips, squares of 70% or higher dark chocolate, tea with agave and almond milk, crackers and diaya cheese.
dinner: fajitias made with diaya cheese, beans and "field roast" grain meat sausages- mexican chipolte. omg soo good. pasta with red sauce ( I mixed a can of lentils into a jar of red sauce and let them get really soft- it added great flavor and lots of protein and Ivy loved it!) and last night we made a veggie stir fry with short grain brown rice.
Here is a quote from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, I'm in the middle of her 30 day challenge!
"Fifteen to thirty minutes per day is a reasonable amount of time to spend making food for ourselves and for our families, and it’s not only possible, it’s imperative. Taking fifteen to thirty minutes a day to nurture ourselves, to nourish our bodies, and to healthfully feed our families is really no time at all. In fact, whatever we’re doing that we think is so much more important than taking care of ourselves and our loved ones will mean nothing when we’re not well enough or not here to enjoy it. If we think we can’t find a few minutes a day to take care of ourselves and those who depend on us, then perhaps we need to reexamine our priorities.
The bottom line is: If we don’t have time to be sick, then we have to make time to be healthy."
Well said girl!