I had a craving for some pizza, so I ordered pizza. No cheese, all the veggies. For some reason, this time, my body reacted in a new and unpleasant way - HOLY MOLY the SWELLING! Pretty sure I gorged on quite a bit of salt, there... I don't think I'd ever been so bloated and tight. Couldn't get my rings off and when squatting it felt like my thighs would burst. Sooo not a fun feeling. Fortunately, this reaction to my food coincided with my 23rd week call with Anjali.
When bloated and body retaining water? DRINK WARM WATER. All day long... the body needs it to flush out everything. Thankfully, that little tip from Anjali was JUST what my body needed!! Spent all day drinking warm water and could feel a big difference by bedtime.
We got on the subject of food and how much it can influence my physical and mental state. Everything has energy... and the manner in which food is grown, harvested, stored, shipped, prepared and served ALL play a part in how my body receives that energy and puts it to use.
If someone grows their own organic veggies in their backyard and prepares them in a home kitchen full of love and family and the chef loves cooking, that food has one kinda energy. If crops are mass produced and covered with chemicals, harvested early, pumped with preservatives for a long shelf life and stored in a box until someone in a restaurant whips it up like a robot (cuz it's just a job and maybe they don't love cooking)... that food has a very different energy. Like Anjali pointed out... food in a box? It's energy is so depleted, it's nearly gone. Processed foods might be cheap and easy to prepare, but the quality? Meh. Fresh food is definitely more beneficial to my body.
"But Anjali, I'm soooo busy, where do I find the time to eat better?" And I remind myself of this meme... The concept of "time"... Haaaaaaaa. There is THIS time, this moment, and I know it.
So this is the point in my life where I get to look at my choices about food. How do I plan for it? Do I? Not really. Kinda like right now - I'm hungry, unprepared and thinking about microwaving a bean burrito because it's cheap, easy and quick. Sure, it'll satisfy the hunger craving.. but the quality? What awesome energy is coming out of that frozen, processed food? Sigh... I know the answer.
I find it ironic that I will spend hours and hours every week, making food from scratch, loving what I do because I'm putting good REAL food out into my community... but when it comes to my personal time and what *I* eat? It's rushed and unplanned, mostly. I admit, I don't make the space in my schedule for meal planning. There are so many reasons why I know I *should* be planning meals - cost, ease, quality, diversity, nutrition - and really only one reason why I don't... I don't make the time.
With my busy schedule, I also tend to look at mealtime as a distraction, something in my way because I have to stop what I'm doing to pause and feed myself. I've viewed stopping to eat as a pain in my ass, which isn't a very fun or happy feeling to be having towards the very thing that helps me LIVE. lol... air, water, food... KINDA important. LOL... and I know it should really be at the top of my "things I need to practice for ultimate self care" list. Now is the time I get to change the way I look at food for myself.
I GET to change the way I look at things, thankfully!! All about changing my mind.
Meals are a ritual, something I GET TO enjoy. Something I GET to slow down to experience. Something I'm BLESSED with, living where I live. I don't go hungry. I am blessed with abundance around me - a store on every corner, produce where ever I go. I have the gift of the internet - any recipe I could possibly imagine just a google search away. In other cultures, meal time is a BIG DEAL. Businesses close down, families come together and a lot of time is spent cooking, eating and enjoying the meals each day. What a life!! And why don't I have that? Because I don't slow down. I don't make it a priority. I've been rushing through meals as if they are an inconvenience to me.
When switching to a plant based lifestyle, I discovered a whole new world of food and a way to eat. Preparing food at home became necessary and it was a new adventure. I've slipped away from that over the last couple of years and gotten lazy.
I'm proud to report that this week, things have been different. I took time off of BOTH businesses so I can slow down, plan some delicious meals for Thanksgiving and be with family. This holiday weekend has been absolutely wonderful, focused around food and family. I want more of this in my life. I wanna do Thanksgiving every week! :) Our leftovers are almost gone and it's time to plan out some meals for next week. Making one additional home cooked meal per week is a start and an attainable goal. It starts today... cuz I'm really jonesin for some vegan pho. Mmmm I know what's for dinner!