Saturday, May 15, 2010

Eat/Dance/Yell Your Way to Balance

Hello blog friends, it has certainly been a while since my last entry-- something I didn't anticipate when I first started this blog.  I began this blog for several reasons;  I was cooking all the time, discovering new things and wanted to share how accessible this experience could be, I was really involved in the Food movement in Toronto and I wanted to connect with others and share my experiences and because I had a lot of free time and wanted to put all my energy into things that made me happy and were productive.  Since this time (seems like long ago..) I now have very very little free time because I am still very involved in the Food community, am putting my energy where I want it to be and because I am working two jobs! Oy Vey!

Through these last few months I have struggled to keep my life in balance.  It is hard to eat well, exercise, socialize, volunteer and be a work-o-holic all at the same time.  Needless to say my cooking and blogging got left by the wayside, partially because my camera isn't charged and partially because as much as I have tried my life has not been fully balanced.

I thought that instead of sharing a recipe for food that I would share my thoughts on a recipe for balance, which to be clear, involves eating good food!

1. Eat Breakfast Every Day: My usual choice is 1/8 cup of Oatmeal and 1/8 cup of Red River added to a pot with 1 cup of water and a teaspoon of salt.  I usually throw this in the pot and allow it to boil as I brush my teeth, stretch and wash my face.  On mornings when I skip this routine I find I am prone to headaches, uneven moods and a deep angry hunger by lunch time.  For those with "crazy-life-syndrome" (which may be the majority of the people I know) this is an important ingredient to a balanced life.  (sometimes I made hot cereal in several batches and put in the fridge so all you have to do is reheat in the morning! saves 7 minutes of cooking and 5 minutes of cleaning!)

2. Close Your Eyes and Relax:  This is something that is easily neglected, but when I find 30 minutes to rub together I try and find a quiet place where I can just simply close my eyes.  At first it may seem a perfect time to check e-mail or return phone calls...this 20-30 minutes can make a huge difference! I usually set an alarm on my cell phone that vibrates when the time is up.  Giving myself time-outs allows me to clear my head and refresh for the rest of my day.

3.Always keep food with you (and water!):  If you look in my backpack you will usually find some sort of fruit, maybe a meal bar, some trail mix and then a secret hoard of pens (oops!).  One of the hardest things is making time to eat and this has a MAJOR influence on your moods and energy levels.  When you are not getting enough sleep and rushing around you should at least be eating and since eating takes time that you may not have I suggest taking a moment to throw in healthy whole foods into your bag/briefcase/purse/pocket for the day.  This prevents you from eating something Nasty that won't provide you with useful energy as well as provides an easy solution when you feel stressed about being hungry.  Also water..if you hate a big bulky water bottle--get a SMALL ONE, staying hydrated will prevent you from getting headaches and feeling dry and gross.  You should try and have at least 2 Clear Pees a day! (That's right..Clear Pees)

4.Work it Out:  When you are super busy you generally don't have time to deal with every inch of your personal life.  This may refer to your emotional state, your stress about non-work related things, your friends/family yadda yadda.  But even though you don't have time to deal with these things, they are still happening and you are still feeling but are generally unable to fully deal.  For this I try and work out, go for a short run if I have no time at all or go for a full on body busting session if I can make it happen.  But either way getting just a bit of a work out in a couple times a week relieves a lot of the pressure you feel emotionally whether you like it or not.  I think it gets neglected that exercising is important for your MIND and not just your body.

5. Be Lazy: If you have one day to sleep in..then do it.  Do not get up early because you think you will get more things accomplished.  A morning off to re cooperate will refresh you from your last week and set a positive tone for your next one.

6. Dance/Sing/Yell: In Your room, at a bar, in the shower, on the street.  Wherever you feel comfortable.  You have to Dance and Yell and Sing a bit.  I know we are all responsible adults these days but you have to let out a huge scream here and there, sing while you ride your bike, dance while you fold your laundry, dance at an awesome concert or something or other.  Apart from always keeping food with me...this is my favorite thing to do.  

I am sure there are a thousand and one other things one can add in their recipe for balance...but this is mine so  far.  It is still being revised daily as things are always changing.  If you have any ideas or additions from your own recipe for balance please feel free to comment below.
until next time!