a new normal.

last night, i capped off a three-day detox with a beer.

i’m a walking contradiction.

when my roommate suggested we get pizza tonight for dinner, my bowels winced.  after 3 days of eating only nutrient-dense soups and steamed veggies, one beer had sent them over the edge with yeast.  i felt bloated and gross.

“that’s why it’s bad to do these detoxes,” Kel exclaimed, half-joking.  “you always feel like crap when you go back to eating normally.”

“i’m just not so sure that all those things should be a “normal” thing…i think i want to move toward a new normal.”

that is where i am with 2012, i think.  moving toward a “new normal.”  new normals don’t just happen overnight, obviously.  the normals i’m settling into have been happening in slow, gradual ways over the last year or so.  i discovered the lifestyle of Ayurveda in February last year, which has given great direction to dietary awarenesses and habit changes.  i got a road bike for my birthday in June, which has fueled (pun intended) my deserve to ride more, drive less.  and i began asking questions of people who are good at these things, so as to learn more about the practicality of that.  (i also asked only for riding gear for Christmas…my family was very good to me.)

so, here’s to 2012 being…

a year of better eating
not to be confused with losing weight.  the two rarely go together, and i am not really in a place where great weight loss needs to take place.  the fluff that could disappear should happen naturally as i decrease certain items in my diet (namely processed sugar and white breads) and replace them with nutrient-dense items like broccoli and carrots.

as i mentioned before, i first heard about Ayurveda almost a year ago from a friend and yoga instructor.  i was fascinated and dove into a book on the subject.  Ayurveda is based out of Indian (not Native American) tradition is a lifestyle of healthy eating and functioning.  they believe that every person falls into three categories (also called doshas…i have to be careful here, b/c Ayurveda has a language and understanding of the human body all its own and the words don’t always translate well into our culture).  each person has a constitution that falls into one or more of these categories.

after much reading, i learned that i am an even split between two: vata and kapha.  ironically, vata is symbolized by air and kapha by earth…complete opposites!!  explains me a lot.  anyway, there are foods and spices that work better (and worse) on each constitution.  some help cool tempers and agitations, others aid in digestion.  the more i learn, the more i am blown away by the sheer power of our food to not only nourish us, but keep us healthy.  crazy i know.

kaphas tend toward sluggishness and vatas tend to blow in the breeze, both of which i find happening in my life.  so, i’m learning about the spices and vegetables that aid in digestion and yet keep me grounded.  this awareness is finally settling into my brain and has begun to effect my shopping and meal choices.  i’ve successfully switched to soy (dairy not so good for kaphas), lean toward more vegetarian meals, and am becoming increasingly aware of the goings-on of my body.

all of that, and i still will eat chips today and enjoy a beer after work.  we must still have grace for ourselves, even when working toward being/doing better.

the year of the bike

Half-way through the Polar Bear Pedal, Jan. 2, 2012


i have to credit my roommate, Kel, for a great deal of my current ability to commuter ride.  my desire has been there for years, with a small attempt many summers ago, but it has been her living example that has spurred me to push on.

now, to fully understand this picture, it’s important to understand that i grew in the country, nearly 8 miles from “town,” as we called it, the place where groceries and the library and people were.  it was unheard of to consider bike commuting and because i was a busy teen, i got a car 3 mos prior to my 16th birthday.  i’ve had one ever since, with little to no idea of commuting otherwise.

when i first decided i wanted to bike everywhere within riding distance i was living in Anderson and would still punk out at the hint of rain.

Kel rode all winter last year, and i quietly watched the gear she chose to wear, the things she would invest in (waterproof backpack, warm gloves), whether or not she would still ride the 3 miles to work on a blustery day.

this was very encouraging to me, so when i got my bike in June, i made an unstated vow to bike as much as i was able in the city, no matter the weather.  i made a list of acceptable gear and passed it to my padres for Christmas, and was soon outfitted for riding.

my true winter commuting ride happened this morning.  on the agenda: bank, groceries, home, work.  all went well.  i am here (at work), alive and dry.  the more i ride, the more it becomes a part of me.  it becomes a natural choice.  weather is no longer a factor.  and i truly value the invigorating movement and fresh air.  bonus, i’m not burning gas and putting toxins in the air.  win win for everyone.

i’ll likely still drive to a friends’ house, though, if it’s dark, and i’ve already biked 12 miles in 20 degrees, and it’s late and i’m tired.  because this is about a gradual shift in my thinking, not about dogma.

a new normal is coming.  perhaps much of it is already here.


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