Gratitude #67

Though we are now on the waning side of long days, today I am feeling appreciative of the long summer days.

Isn’t it a joy to have daylight from 4:00 am until 9:00 pm or later? Think of all that can be accomplished in that number of daylight hours. I suppose it wouldn’t be so valued if these long days were to occur in wintertime, but isn’t that the beauty of the way nature has ordered our world? Short days in winter, long days in summer. Perfect.

On top of that the weather has been so delicious recently that its like a double blessing!

Please, do enjoy!

Peregrines of Willoughby

Peregrines of Willoughby

Detox Cleanse Update

Several weeks ago I wrote about trying a detox cleanse for the first time.

To remind you – I did an 18 day cleanse – six days to eliminate alcohol, meat, processed sugars, dairy, wheat, and caffeine; six days of a mono-diet of kitchari; and 6 days of reintroducing foods back in.

It has been about two months since I began and am well past the reintegration phase, but have chosen to continue leaving most of those items from my diet. There are a few reasons I’ve chosen to do that.

First, I feel great. I have energy – more than I had before – and physically I feel really good. I have been staying up at night, on average, an hour longer that I used to.

Second, I am sleeping more soundly than I have in years. In addition, I’m having lots of vivid, interesting dreams (but that could be the full moon!)

Third, I have lost some weight, and that definitely needed to happen.

Fourth, I do not miss any of the things I have eliminated so why would I add them back in?

Fifth, my life seems simpler these days.I don’t feel that I spent a lot of time thinking about food in the past, but I do know that NOW I am definitely spending less time thinking about food. Because I am basically eating less in general it takes me less time in the grocery store. Because I know what I will be eating – salads, vegetables, fruits – then I go directly to those sections of the store and finish more quickly. I have also ordered a few hard to find items online, so that shortens my shopping trips to the grocery store as well. I do spend more time checking labels, but it’s easier than it used to be. In the past I was checking for carbohydrates or calories, and now I’m only checking the ingredients list. Anything I can’t pronounce or the inclusion of things on my ‘don’t eat’ list, and that product is off limits. Easy.

The idea of simplifying goes beyond the mechanics of food preparation and into the psychological realm. We all have various mental connections with food, I believe. Some people eat when stressed, we talk about ‘comfort foods’, we connect social situations to food…
There are many ways that we are emotional about what we eat. In these past weeks I have noticed that some of the less healthy mental patterns I’ve associated with food have disappeared. A classic example is that feeling of guilt I would have whenever I ate something sweet – a piece of chocolate in a friend’s office, a cookie with my advisory group. . .quite often, I would beat myself up over the things I ate. The voice inside my head would remind me that if I wanted to lose weight I was making bad choices. blah, blah, blah. I used to say that I was a sugar addict, and it may be true. Now I suspect that it’s more likely that I was in a vicious cycle of eating too many sugary things so that my body began to crave those things.

With my current eating habits those issues no longer exist because I am not eating any of the foods that lead to those negative thoughts or physical reactions. Every morsel that goes into my body is healthy. I eat three simple meals a day with no snacking in between and I am not craving anything or feeling unsatisfied. Being more mindful has allowed me to recognize when I am hungry, or not hungry and tune into that recognition, adjusting as necessary.

For me it’s been an amazing journey in just a few weeks and I am excited to continue on this path. I encourage others to try it, particularly if you are recognizing unhealthy relationships with food.

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Gratitude #66

So so so thankful for YOGA! All the time and patience the ancient yogis put into discovering all aspects of yoga AND passing their knowledge down over the centuries is totally appreciated by me.

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When I practice yoga I can let everything else go and live in that moment. Could it get any better than that?

om

Summertime Dreamin’

When I married my husband he came with a 17′ Wellcraft inboard outboard, and we have had a lot of fun with that boat.

There is nothing that feels better on a hot summer day than to float around in Lake Willoughby. On many of those days I have taken photos of the camps along the lake, often dreaming about how lovely it might be to one day own one of those camps and live on the lake in the summer months.

What I love about the camps on Lake Willoughby is that so many of them are nestled in nature. These are not the beachy camps of the shore out in the open stacked like dominoes. Instead, many of the Willoughby Lake camps seem to blend into their natural surroundings – one with nature, if you will.

See for yourself:

One of my favorites!

One of my favorites!

Simply sweet

Simply sweet

Nod Away

Nod Away

Aren’t they lovely surrounded by trees and the natural rock that makes Willoughby Lake so unique? The pristine waters, while chilly, are wonderful to swim in.

Cozy Camp

Cozy Camp

The ritz of camps

The ritz of camps

Okay, now we’ve moved up an income bracket or four! But a girl can dream right? I love how this one looks down onto the lake – what a view they must have!

Tree House

Tree House

Same income bracket, but this one must feel like living in the trees. Again, what a view they have!

Nice deck

Nice deck

Home away from home

Home away from home

Notice how the last two are built into the rocks – how wonderful to build with nature in mind, rather than removing nature for convenience.

Potential

Potential

Family Time!

Family Time!

What a backdrop!

What a backdrop!

While I may only dream about one day living in such a fine place in the summertime, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying the view from the water and realizing how blessed those camp owners are. They each have their own little piece of paradise here on earth.

Gratitude #65

This week I am thankful for SPRING BLOOMS! With the rain and cooler temperatures it gives me great pleasure to look out at the gardens and see the lovely colors that are so longed for this time of year.

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Take a moment to stop and smell the spring flowers!