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It’s January and I’ve not been writing or cooking much, mostly because we got a dog and I seem to spending all my spare time walking her.
She is a working breed (why did we get a working breed?! We are not an employment agency!) who needs a lot of activity and so we walk. A lot. The good thing about this is I’m up and outside at times I normally would not be, so I’m getting to hear more birds sing their morning songs, see the early fog lift slowly uncovering a waking world, and nod acquaintance with the other slaves to leashes out, their one free hand wrapped around a doggie bag. (Not the good kind.) My favorite part of being out in the morning though is seeing the stillness slowly come alive.
When I walk my boys to school we stay where a lot of commuters are headed to work so it seems like we are jumping into a busy day, already needing to catch up with the fast-moving current. After we say our goodbyes at school and our dog goes into hysterics that we are leaving the boys and no longer all together (bark bark whine whine) then we move onto a trail where the quiet seeps in and the early stillness of morning still resides. It’s beautiful.
Later hours often find us walking around town too, but morning is my favorite time to be out with her, when the air smells heavier with sweetness and damp and as we glide through it we are part of magical time before the day really starts. I actually didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions and in fact have been kind of on an anti-resolution kick if one judges by the amount of time I’ve spent at the gym. What I’ve had to do is change my routines and I’m trying to do it gracefully instead fighting every moment of it. We got this dog for the kids and they love and adore her, but of course it’s my responsibility to give her enough exercise, take her out enough, feed her enough. After all the ‘enoughs’ I’m also trying to accept the changes to my routines with grace and appreciate the pup for all her quirks and yes, adore her too. This January has not been about calorie counting, new exercise classes, or trying new food fads. For me, it’s been about accepting the fact that for the next few years at least, I’ll be spending a lot of my time just… walking. (Unless we move to a sheep farm which actually doesn’t sound like a bad idea.) For now though, if you want to find me you might check the trails in Redmond~ I’ll be the one trying to keep up with my working dog.
I’ve heard a certain expression all my life and never realized the acronym was k.i.s.s. until I just recently put it together. It was one of those moments when I thought, “does everyone already know this?” Anyway, if you’re like me and a little late to the party I’m talking about the expression, “keep it simple, stupid”. That line goes through my head a lot because I have a natural aversion to complications, which is a bit of handicap in this quickly complicating world. That is probably my least favorite part about our family’s food intolerances~ it adds a layer of complexity to what seemingly should be a very simple, straight to the point thing~ eating. When you add in eating while out, or eating while on vacation, the complications add up and complications mean stressers and stress and sometimes I just feel like saying, “let’s just eat whatever we want, shall we?” Actually, I know quite a few families who operate like that~ their children stay away from wheat and/or dairy while at home, but if they are at school and there is trigger food, they can eat it, or if they go out and there is not an easy option to avoiding it, they will just eat it and deal with the consequences. I can see doing that with my own kids once they have been off their trigger foods for a good year so it is totally out of their system and then maybe the bits will help to desensitize them, but for now it just isn’t worth it. They are so much healthier now, with better skin, brighter eyes, more energy, and happier outlooks it’s hard to imagine just letting them slide back into the funkiness of food intolerance~ I should know because I was funky for decades before realizing my own intolerances. It makes a huge difference, and in a way, it has it’s own simplification aspects that I appreciate~ the more natural the ingredients and the fewer the ingredients, the better. This time of year we hear a lot about food and diet programs, Paleo this and cleanse that, and again the idea of ‘keep it simple, stupid’ comes to mind. If something feels drastic, and difficult, and not doable for the long haul, it’s probably not the best option. I’m all for a cleanse every once in a while, as long as it involves real foods and helps to reset healthy eating habits, but it’s far more important to eat real food, mindfully, every day. I’ve mentioned how picky my youngest is, and in an effort in reinforcing healthy food choices we’ve started a sticker chart for him~ if he tries a new food he gets one sticker, if he eats the whole serving he earns another sticker. Once he reaches 50 stickers then I give him $10. So far it’s helped him with the trying part, though less so with the whole serving part~ but it’s a start, and this is a good time of year for new starts. Good luck with your own New Year’s resolutions, and remember to check in regularly with yourself and make sure you are being ‘kissable’.