Like flying

feel it

Morning Meditations

I’ve been trying to meditate more, especially after I was diagnosed because honestly, it can be difficult to cope with everything. I sometimes find that in summer it is difficult to cope with anything life-related, much less something difficult and stressful like learning to deal with a new illness. Doing so requires a complete lifestyle change.

But, I’m not particularly good at meditation. My mind races in every direction ALL THE TIME and I find it nearly impossible, sometimes, to tame my brain. But without a doubt, the time of day that I feel most grounded and connected is the morning. Even when it is 90 flippin’ degrees outside. #thankGodforAC

Usually I’m alone in the morning: just me, myself, and my cup of coffee. I sit at my little wooden table in the corner, look outside and think about life. Granted meditation is supposed to embody an absence of thought, but I find that in the morning, before the days events pollute my thought patterns, I stand very objectively.

Perhaps tomorrow I will focus more on meditation in the morning. Just to see what happens.

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Silly Things

Sometimes I take pictures of my breakfast and I don’t really know why, because most of the time it looks quite unattractive: today, for example. It looks like a little bird pooped on my oatmeal. I swear I don’t consume fecal matter … it’s cashew butter! Promise ūüėČ

Making oatmeal look pretty is actually very time consuming. I like the way it looks when it is all beautified but making something that looks like baby vomit look attractive in a rational amount of time is a knack I have not yet mastered. And, amid post-workout, early-morning ravenous-ness, I do not have the patience to make my oatmeal look pretty. Thankfully I have enough patience to press my coffee, though.

This is an [ugly] bowl of oats, cooked with chia seeds (lots of fiber in those little suckers) and a medley of dried fruits (raisins and goldenberries were in the mix) and topped with cashew butter and cinnamon. I love my little cinnamon shaker but I tend to be a bit over-zealous and shake it all over the place. Whenever I “beautify” my oats I usually wait until after I snap the picture before adding the cinnamon because it looks messy.

I’m a no-mess kind of gal. I don’t like messy looking oatmeal, unless that was the idea in the first place. And even then, I usually go for an “organized mess.” I like to keep my room organized, I keep my computer organized (I delete EVERY program that I don’t use regularly) and I keep all my stuff organized. I’m not obsessive about it, and I will certainly admit that my bedroom floor sometimes goes for inordinate periods of time without seeing the light of day, but I’m most comfortable in an organized environment.

Right now it feels like my life is a mess. Not in a bad way, of course, but I’m just overly eager/anxious to go to college and I’m restless because of it. I feel like I can’t sit still! I really, really, really want August to come fast so I can leave this town and start my life. Fresh start, new people, goodbye old life. Seriously. I am counting the days. There are 40 left.

I’m also trying to look for little things to look forward to along the way so it doesn’t feel like I have to wait for so long. Seriously, I feel like this is my own 40-day period of deprivation such that I can save the world and rise from the dead. Wouldn’t that be great? #Jesus…

Anywho. These are the “goals” (or checkpoints, rather) that I have for July:

  • July 4th – Fourth of July! Party, fun day, relaxing, hanging out, maybe go to dinner, watch fireworks with friends and my nonexistent boyfriend.
  • July 6th – Find out my roommate for college! “On or around July 6th.”
  • July 7th – Bestie’s graduation party!
  • July 11th & 12th – Orientation
  • July 13th – Six flags, if I don’t have to work!
  • Third week of July – Receive my AP scores
  • July 27th – Olympics begin! My girl Brittany Viola is going to tear it up in the diving competition…I have a hunch.
  • July 31st – July ends…finally
  • August 1st – August begins…10 days until I leave!
  • August 11th or 12th – I leave!

And during that 10 days or so of August, I’ll be packing and shopping before I leave so theoretically it will pass pretty quickly.

But until then, I get to sit here in the wretched heat and humidity, trying to stay cool, trying to tame my ridiculously humidity-sensitive hear, trying not to sweat, and trying not to complain too much. Do you think I complain a lot? Le sigh.

I tied up my hair yesterday in a bun when it was still kind of wet and when I took it down before bed:

Beachy waves! I love the way this worked. Too bad it’s too hot to wear my hair down, though. How many days until September?

-Alexandra

Do the ice cream!

Remember yesterday when I told you that I was experimenting with chocolate-banana ice cream? Well, it worked! I still have some work to do in terms of improving the flavor, texture and richness (I want to achieve the “ice cream” status and not just frozen-banana-deliciousness, ja?) but for the most part, the basic properties are perfect!

Really all I did was blend four bananas with 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 3/4 cup almond milk, 1/4 teaspoon each of xanthan gum and guar gum, and then pour the whole lot into the ice cream maker. When it became too thick to mix anymore, I scooped it into a plastic container and put it in the freezer. It ended up scoopable and banana-licious, which is exactly what I was going for.

Next time I think I’m going to add some sugar or maple syrup to make it sweeter and use coconut milk instead of almond milk to make it richer. I know coconut milk is on my “forbidden” list but I’d assume it is less offensive than wheat, right? I suppose we will find out. If not, I might just ADD almond butter (or peanut butter? yum!) to the mix for the richness. However, my hope is that coconut milk will be alright. It is pretty low in sugar, anyway. Did you know that coconut is actually a fruit? So is avocado! I found that very interesting…

I think one of the major difficulties with my new diet plan will be finding a suitable alternative to¬†real ice cream. I am an ice cream¬†addict. I love the stuff, and with this horrifyingly hot and humid weather we’re having, I feel like I NEED something cold and sweet to ice down and enjoy myself. I don’t do well in the heat.

I tried this chili-fruit popsicle at a party I attended. The bars are apparently a discontinued item from Trader Joe’s, but they are gluten free and vegan, meaning that they suit my diet well, although mango is technically “forbidden.” I’m not doing so well with following the rules to a T, but if I feel okay, it’s fine, right? I suppose my stomach will let me know when I’m not doing things right.

-Alexandra

06/30/12

So I’ve been “gluten-free” for four days now, and so far it is going pretty well. I had some wheat mishaps (in addition to one mystery mishap) that sent my GI into a tizzy…I think the “colon cleanse” that I completed before my procedure changed the pH and such of my gut and made me¬†even more sensitive to IBS triggers…or maybe I’m just imagining things. I’m not quite sure. In any case, I’ve spent this week trying to figure out what I¬†actually can eat that won’t make me sick. For a while, it seemed,¬†everything was making me sick.

I was talking to a friend this past Thursday and he said, “So, what¬†can you eat?” To which I dramatically whimpered¬†“Nothing!”

Yes, I was being dramatic. But when I first looked at the dietary guidelines that my gastroenterologist gave me, it felt like I couldn’t eat¬†anything. I was reading the AVOID list off to my dad and then I paused to say, “Yeah? What the hell am I supposed to eat then?”

Le sigh.

This is my “list.” [click to zoom]

For the first couple of days on this diet I lived mainly off of black beans with Donkey Chips and chopped avocado. Oats or eggs for breakfast. Almond milk to drink.

Yesterday I tried brown rice pasta from Trader Joe’s, though, and it was actually quite delicious. It tastes just like regular wheat pasta, and even has 2 grams of fiber per serving! Yum, yum. I made some pesto with my immersion blender (basil, olive oil, pine nuts, salt, pepper) and added that to my bowl of GF pasta with chicken and some frozen mixed veggies (green beans, carrots, water chestnuts, broccoli which I picked out)

That was actually a very good dinner. It was so good that it actually inspired me to get out of my sullen bean funk and try to figure out what I¬†can eat instead of boo-hooing about what I can’t. Once I get into a comfortable, Gf/LF groove, I can start experimenting with the “forbidden” produce to see how it actually affects me but first I want to get to a place where I can feel good and ¬†stay feeling good.

Speaking of which, I have been feeling pretty darn good. I didn’t recognize it before, but I was¬†constantly¬†bloated. After eating, my stomach would feel gassy and bloated and¬†stay like that for quite a while, leaving me lethargic and crabby. I subconsciously learned to accept the gassy bloaty feeling and only really noticed anything when my GI started cramping or I had those wonderful gas pains. Not fun.

But right now? ¬†I feel energized, awake, and satisfied. No more frantic food cravings. No more “just one more bites.” Just satisfaction after meals. It’s actually pretty ironic because my ED anxiety would go out of control whenever I would eat a meal because I was rarely satisfied afterwards; just bloaty and awkward-feeling. Often I would eat¬†more which made me feel¬†more bloated and anxious. That doesn’t happen anymore, and I really hope/pray/want/need it to last.

I am currently in the process of making lactose-free “ice cream.” In reality it isn’t ice cream at all, just blended bananas with some other stuff added that I tossed in the ice cream maker. Frozen bananas have a yummy, smooth texture that I¬†love and is so reminiscent of ice cream. If it turns out, I’ll definitely post the recipe.

Things I have learned that make my GI happy:

  1. Following my diet plan and eating healthfully
  2. Exercising every day! (I walked four miles with my dog this morning and I felt AWESOME)
  3. Regular sleep schedule
  4. One mug of coffee every morning (skipping a day makes me head/GI feel ick)
  5. Drink lots of water

I suppose these are all things that are good for anyone but I really feel exceptional when I meet all five of those. Food for thought.

Miscellaneous Picture Stuff:

The sweetest little girl in the world.

Delicious passion fruit! Albeit quite expensive at $1.69 for only a few tablespoons of snot-seed-deliciousness.

I don’t know why wordpress rotated this image…but in any case, brown rice with beans, peppers, oregano and sunflower seeds.

Storm clouds of death.

Coffee. Very necessary. Very.

Mah dawg. Very tired after her walk. Eating ice.

Mah dawg wearing people shoes. I don’t understand, either.

TJ’s dark chocolate covered almonds. Did you know they are gluten-free?

Pretty flowers.

-Alexandra