Time flies. How is it July already?? It’s been a month since I last wrote a post and life has been busy. I saw a picture on social media the other day that summed up a few general wellness principles quite well:
Sounds simple enough, but why is it always so hard to put some of these principles into actual practice? Life. It’s stressful! We’re moving at a really fast-pace, we don’t slow down and like the quote says, we don’t “listen to our body.” It’s easy to say, listen to your body. But, knowing and doing are two separate things. I’ve found that stress for me is the trigger to making poor eating selections, overdoing myself, as well as losing my cool at times. This weekend I’ve taken time for myself, meditated, slept in, and worked some (more on that later). It’s just what I needed after a month of non-stop on the go craziness. A few things from this past month:
Four weekends a year we do a special program at work called Mastering Your Diabetes. It’s a program geared towards people with Diabetes (insulin management). With a multi-disciplinary team – nurse educator (CDE), dietitian (CDE), physician, and psychologist – our aim is to:
· Optimize patients understanding of how their insulin works
· Improve the decision making regarding the timing, dosage, and administration of their insulin dose for their insulin needs
· Assist in identifying patterns in blood glucose management (with the use of continuous glucose monitoring – CGM)
· Reduce risk for hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia
The month of June we have one geared towards kids and their families. To say this 4-day program is life altering is an understatement. I always go in to the program knowing that I will be teaching a lot of information to the kids and their families – carbohydrate counting, general nutrition for growth, etc – but the truth is I always come out having gained so much more from the kids themselves. We did a section one day where the kids had to say one positive thing about having diabetes, one negative thing, one thing they’re grateful that their parents do for them, and one thing that’s annoying that their parents do. The kids ranged from ages 8 – 16 in our group this year. For this section though I had the younger kids, ages 8-11. What they all had in common is that they wanted people to see them as normal children that didn’t have some label that comes with “diabetes” on their forehead. Sure, they know they’re special they said and that they have to “think like a pancreas” but they’re normal kids that hate needles and want a cure for type 1 diabetes, like yesterday. One child that especially touched my heart this time around was a child from Guatemala (he came especially for our program!) When going around the circle, his fear is that his sister will have diabetes and his one thing that he was grateful for was that his parents buy him the things he needs to manage his diabetes. At age 11, to be so reflective and able to see how supportive his family is for him and yet to be so thoughtful that he doesn’t want his sister to experience what he has gone through (even knowing that he is okay at the end of the day). Okay, I’d say cue the tears, but I didn’t want to cry in front of the kids and get my ugly cry on in front of them! So, I bit my tongue – maybe not the best strategy, but the kids knew their comments were getting to me – one came up and gave me a hug. 4 intensive days of teaching kids and their families how to “manage their diabetes” that not only changes the participants but changes us (the healthcare professionals) for the better. Completely life-changing.
In between working the weekend for MYD I’ve also been working to prepare nutrition curriculum for a 300-hour yoga teacher training (YTT) coming up. My yoga teacher, Marianne Wells, developed a 300-hr YTT and with collaboration with medical and therapy professionals that will help yoga teachers deepen their knowledge, expand their skill level, as well as foster their evolution as yoga professionals. I’m excited to be a part of this YTT and have been working hard on creating the curriculum for the Nutrition portion. I’ll be covering some of these topics:
· Carbs/proteins/fat – What is the right balance?
· Nutrition in diet and disease & prevention
· Vitamins/Minerals/Antioxidants – Is supplementation necessary or will my diet provide everything that I need?
· Nutrition Trends – Paleo/Atkins/Macros/Juicing – What’s the right “diet” I should be following, if any?
· Mindful Eating – How to be mindful in a not so mindful world (technology/social media/work)
Simple requirements – that you’ve already had a 200-hour yoga teacher training prior to taking this 300-hour training & it’s highly recommended that you’ve been teaching yoga weekly at least one year prior to the training. Again, I’m beyond excited to join Marianne in teaching what I love and am passionate about, Nutrition! I’ve really been putting a lot of time into creating the curriculum. I’ve still got more to go, but each weekend I put in hours dedicated to the curriculum and will be ready to go come November! Any questions, let me know. Check out Marianne’s website for more details as well: Marianne Wells Yoga School - 300 hour Therapeutically-Oriented Yoga
In the middle of all of this I decided to try a few no-carb meals. It’s a really popular trend – just check your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter feed and you’ll see any and all kinds of “noodles” that aren’t really noodles… I’ve spoken to a few doctors (endocrinologists that I work with) and the thought is that every now and then a meal or two can be carb free. I decided to try it and put the experiment to the test. I borrowed my mom’s “spiralizer” and began to zoodle away:
I randomly spaced the no-carb meals so they didn’t fall consecutively and I made sure to include one or two meals prior to the days I would run. What were my findings? This is not science based, simply based on my personal experience: I was hangry after these meals – so much so that I was definitely eating things that were unhealthy. I was beyond irritable and my runs were the worst runs that I’ve ever had (according to Fitbit analysis). Maybe it was all mental? This has and always will be my recommendations to people – EAT CARBS. Eat healthy, complex carbs and in portion controlled amounts. Quality AND quantity are important when it comes to carbs. We are a carb laden society and need to cut back on the amount of carbs we are eating. Period. No need to eliminate them completely, rather include them in the right size portions – which when you see a cup of pasta you’ll think I’m kidding. 1 cup doesn’t look like much. Believe me, overeating pasta is easy. The key is to balance your plate with the right amount of protein along with non-starchy vegetables. There won’t be any more experimenting with no carb meals. I’m good. I know my body and I listen to my body. Healthy and balanced. I eat carbs J
I finally was able to check out the new restaurant here in Miami called Grown. It’s a fast-food restaurant created by Ray and Shannon Allen (former NBA player) that brings “real food, cooked slow for fast people, fusing a farm-to-table concept using organic, local, and nutritious ingredients in a fast-food setting.” They created this restaurant Shannon says out of frustration. She has five children, one child with Type 1 diabetes, and cooks healthy food at home, but like most families is busy and wanted an option to have on those nights when she couldn’t cook and needed to grab “fast-food”. Enter her idea for Grown. I knew I had to check it out – it’s only been open for three months already! The menu is nicely laid out – they have the option to pick your protein, grain, vegetable, and then your sauce. I chose to go with the salmon (as I will eat fish occasionally). Literally ready in under 5 minutes, my dish came out:
Healthy food, fast. Delicious flavor and quite convenient – they even have a drive through! While it is a fast-food concept, just go in knowing that the price isn’t equivalent to other fast-food chains. It is a little more pricey – you are paying for the local sustainability and organic food. I haven’t eaten out in forever as I make my own food all the time. But I do love their concept and understand her frustration – what do you get in a pinch that doesn’t compromise eating healthy? Enter Grown. Here’s hoping they expand and others will catch on to their concept. If only I had the means to open a restaurant of my own…hmmm.
This past Friday, all I did was rest. It was what my body needed. This past month has been busy and at times stressful. So I did just what my body told it to do – I slept in (even if it was only till 7:07 am, I slept in!), I did a restorative yoga class, I meditated, I took a nap (and I am not one to sleep in the middle of the day – but I was out cold for 20 minutes so apparently my body needed it!), and I did just a little bit of cooking – because I wanted to nourish myself with home-cooked food. I know that in order to give to others I need to give back to myself. I was running on fumes for the past week and a half and I needed to rest and restore. We all do. The wellness principles I mentioned at the beginning of my post are simple reminders to us all to slow down and tune in to ourselves. On the days that were so crazy busy I found myself skipping my meditation time – when it was what I needed most! I’m reminded that meditation can be little bits all throughout the day and this is what I’ve been practicing since Friday – one minute intervals of breathing, re-connecting, and resetting my intention – to not let stress overwhelm me and to know that there still may be moments of stress. Breathing just helps me refocus and restart with a little bit of a different vantage point. I’m not here to say I still won’t get stressed or overwhelmed, but I know I have the tools to tap into and help manage the stressful times. I'm ready for you July!