Saturday, June 14, 2014

Taking Care of My Body

   If becoming a mother has taught me anything, it has been the importance of taking care of myself. I was quite athletic all the way through my pregnancy and before, but got sidelined by my hip injury for the better part of a year.  The injury & recovery has changed my perspective and helped slow me down enough to really appreciate my body and the small things I can do to stay healthy and active. Being a mom is demanding enough, but when you add a 60 hour work week - 40 of which include a baby - and the physical and mental strain that come with my job - which involves 50 lb boxes of clay, a lot of lifting, moving and sitting hunched over as well as running the business - being healthy becomes extremely important.
    Living a healthy lifestyle came into focus as we began to plan our family, and has become the central focus. Not only do I want to be successful at work, but I want to set a good example for my kids and be healthy and active so that I can enjoy my family.
   I feel a little strange writing about this stuff, and am still trying to find my voice on this new blog, but I hope it gives you a little insight and maybe some inspiration!
A rare warm winter day, hiking at around 8 or 9 months pregnant. 

 DIET  I have always leaned vegetarian, but now keep a dairy free house. My husband calls us " 99% vegan." We eat what we want when we go out, but at home, you will not find any meat, dairy, or refined sugar  and everything in our pantry is organic. This has been a process over about 3 years, and as our diet has become even cleaner,  I feel better physically than I ever have.
   I also drink around 80 - 100 ounces of water a day, drink alcohol very minimally. I have not had a hangover in 2 years, its amazing, can't even imagine trying to do everything I have to do in a day hungover- those days are over!
   I cook once per week, and in a future post, will share my system. I think its easier to eat healthy when you have healthy meals, snacks and treats ready to go. I don't  know how people come home after work and cook, or if they even do. I am way too tired at the end of the day. You can see examples of the meals I cook on my Pinterest boards.

Excercise  My goal is to work my way back to the level I was before my injury, but  after a year of being injured, I  have a little more patience and self acceptance, and am now ok with where I am today. Exercise is good not only for your body, but for your mind, so I look at it as a benefit even when it seems to be easy and/or slow - which is the case at the moment.
    I walk wherever and whenever I can. Now that Caleb is walking, we go out together a few times a week up and down the street at work for about 10 - 15 minutes. I also walk him to the store on my weekends and try to get at least one solo walk in sometime during the week. We may walk up the street to a restaurant or to get coffee, etc, I absolutely count this as exercise.  I have a rule that I must always live within walking distance to something, I love the convenience of adding an errand or a coffee run to my "exercise."
  My Yoga practice is currently at the lowest level I have ever been, but I practice, albeit slowly, 2 - 3 times a week for about 20-30 minutes.  At my peak fitness, I was doing Bikram 4 times a week, for 90 minutes a session,  though I don't see how I could fit in that sort of intensity at this point in my life.  For now, I do a self guided practice or a video in my new little nook.
    I have found that exercising can either set me up for a more productive day or relax me after a particularly challenging day, and thankfully my husband understands the necessity and encourages me to take these small breaks for myself.

Health Care  I get a Deep Tissue massage and/or receive Craniosacral Therapy at least once per month at a Holistic Medicine Center. When things are crazy and my body is in revolt, I go once a week. My work is very demanding, if my body is not functioning well, I can't do my job, nor can I take good care of my family.  Finding Holistic Medicine was a game changer. I turned to this when my injury became too much to bear and I needed to find a natural way to manage my pain and recover, it has become a way of life now. If I find myself starting to feel off balance, or my injury starts to flare up, I head in for a tune up immediately.