When Feeling Really Full Feels Really Good

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Most often, feeling really full feels pretty bad.

I am certainly a culprit of overeating, more often than I’d like to admit. When I eat too much, I feel heavy, sluggish, and usually “guilty” for the over-consumption, perceived mindlessness and lack of discipline.

However, I was in the car the other day and it struck me that I felt really full… in a good way. I felt so full, I wanted to pop. The fullness didn’t come from consumption of food, it came from taking a breath–a gentle pause–and realizing the many things that I am thankful for: so many wonderful people, creatures and things in my life; my body and health; the ability and opportunity to explore; authenticity; growth; change… and, you.

You, just the way you are.

The world can be harsh. Reality can really suck. People can do terrible things. Nature can wreak havoc.

But there is so much space for love, kindness and compassion. There is always a capacity to reach out. To listen. To smile. To hug. To uplift. To give. And, to receive.

So today, let us pause for a moment and remember all of the good things that fill us. Let us smile a little bit brighter, laugh a little bit longer, and… love loudly.

xo

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We Are All One

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I found this quote through someone I follow on Instagram, though I don’t remember who, nor do I remember to whom the quote should be credited. Alas. Nonetheless:

“Repeat after me: I matter. The world would not be the same without me. I am loved. I give love. Because of my existence, love exists. Because of love, I am. It is important that I am here, doing exactly this, right now. I am where I need to be. The center of the universe is in me, just as much as I am in the center of the universe. I am, because we are. We are, because I am. We are all one.”
- Unknown

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Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

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I’ve always loved food. I can remember many nights laying in bed, sleepily and giddily pondering what I would have for breakfast the next morning. I love going to the farmers market and delighting in the beautiful colors of fresh fruits and veggies as they wait for a hungry tummy to nourish. I love browsing recipes and thinking about all of the potential for what’s to come in my victual future. I love the process of making food, from the physical act of chopping, dicing, slicing and mixing, down to cleaning up after the work is done and the meal enjoyed.

Food… yes please!

After completing my recent 15-day body cleansing, I was feeling unsure about how to proceed. Two weeks of eating a raw vegan diet left me feeling clean, light, energetic, and generally cheery. I had several people tell me how svelte, happy and glowing I looked, which was extremely positive reinforcement! But was vegan raw 100% of the time for me? What about… cheese! And… morning glory muffins! And… roasted brussel sprouts! And… meat! But on the other hand, I felt SO GOOD, how could I give up that feeling?!

It’s now been nearly four weeks that I’ve been eating raw vegan, with one exception of one lovely vegetarian meal made by a friend. I haven’t been eating any refined flours or sugars, no grains of any type, and only “healthy fats”. I have a stable, constant energy supply throughout each and every day. And basically, I just feel really, really good.

In the past few weeks I’ve also read two very inspiring books: Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food and Jane Goodall’s Harvest for Hope. Both books tackle subjects surrounding the way “food” in this country has become so centered on factory farming, mono-cultural crop fields, GMO, adding “nutrients” to foodlike substances, etc. (Note: I do think food science has great potential, but not as it is being instituted now). Both books also offer a lot of hope with stories of small farmers standing tall, the rise of farmers markets and CSA’s, and suggestions on things we can do to create change, even if those things may seem too small to make a difference. I believe that every little bit matters. Every change for the positive matters.

Pollan’s motto states: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I wholeheartedly agree with this. I feel so very alive when I eat real, whole foods in modest quantities. Food grown in dirt. Food without a nearly unpronounceable list of ingredients. Simply, food.

Something else that stuck with me from In Defense of Food was the phrase “Shake the hand that feeds you.” I love this concept – creating a relationship with the farmers and folks who bring fresh, whole foods into my world. If nothing else, I would love to thank them.

On Tuesday of this week, I went to my local Highland Park farmers market and stumbled upon the lovely folks from Shear Rock Farms. They had a wonderful, interesting array of fresh, vibrant greens and other lovely veggies. I ended up buying some truly delicious heirloom broccoli, which I made into a tasty raw salad tonight (recipe below). After only one visit to their booth, I’m already a fan of this farm, and plan to visit them again this Friday in Echo Park with hopes of learning more about what they do.

My diet for the past for weeks has consisted (99%) of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. I’ve eaten at least three pounds of miso paste (in a variety of dishes), countless avocados (so much yum!), lots of coconut oil, spirulina, maca, and matcha. (I’m in love with nutritional yeast!) I’ve been drinking green tea every morning. In the afternoons, I enjoy my usual home-brewed kombucha (I’ll be posting about that soon). I’d like to start reintroducing beans and lentils, as well as some whole grains (whether raw sprouted or cooked). I feel open to eating an egg every now and then, maybe even a little goat dairy in small amounts, and… maybe even a little meat or fish, if I know where it came from and how it was treated and handled. Lastly, I love not worrying about my weight, but instead, being more conscious of how I feel based on my choices, and trusting that feeling above all else.

So where does this leave me in regards to how I’ll identify with food as I move forward in life? I’m not keen on labels, and I don’t feel particularly fond of putting one onto myself (or anyone else!). I don’t want to define myself in rigid terms, and then potentially feel bad if I decide to eat something outside of what fits within that definition. I like being flexible and feeling empowered with knowledge, clarity, and trust about what I know makes me feel good, and what I believe is good for myself and the planet at large.

So my plan, for the time being, is to… Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

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Raw Broccoli Salad in Spicy Sesame Sauce
Makes 1 Ample Serving
(note: measurements are approximate)

2 cups chopped heirloom broccoli
1/2 cup chopped cabbage
1/2 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
dash of red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients and let sit for at least one hour. Enjoy!

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A Dear Friend & Car Trouble

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My dear friend Kasey will soon be departing for a year-long* intercontinental journey. This past weekend, I drove out to Arizona to visit with her. I decided to leave Los Angeles in the late evening, which would mean driving into the wee hours of the morning. At about 2am, with one hour of driving left until my destination, my car decided to putz out and overheat. I was very lucky that I hadn’t yet entered the mountain pass, where cell phone service would have been nonexistent. Kasey so kindly picked me up and we drove the hour-long stint back to get a few hours of shuteye.

The next morning, we awoke and set out with coolant, water, duct tape, and some tools. The night before, I had noticed the coolant was low, but the car started just fine. We were hoping that refilling the coolant would be enough to get it through the one hour drive to our destination. We made it 5-10 miles and stopped for lunch at a diner in a tiny highway town (hamburgers, yes please). After lunch, the following 30 miles proved to be a patience-testing game of driving as far as possible before the temperature gauge got into the red, stopping, letting it cool, and setting off again to go far as we could. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. The lure of calling AAA for a tow was great, but lack of phone service prevented us from doing so.

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40 miles and some-odd hours later, we made it to our destination. Because it was a Sunday in the early evening, no mechanics were open. We opted to park my car for the evening and go on a much needed hike. I felt such sweet relief to have the car close by, and hopeful that it would only require a minor fix.

Monday morning, we dropped the car off at the mechanics and decided to explore some of the outdoorsy things nearby: rock hopping; rock climbing; river hiking; frozen yogurt; movie night. And the next day: yoga; meeting new friends; hiking & rock climbing; hamburgers; root beer floats.

In terms of the car, after a series of phone calls spanning the two days of waiting, at long last the mechanic is fixing the car as I type. I’m crossing all of my applicable appendages that I’ll be able to make it home tonight.

There are far, far worse places to have a car breakdown. There are far, far worse stories to be told. It’s felt so wonderful—and I feel so thankful—to be able to see my dear friend, get out of town, and just be.

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*or as the open road softly—or loudly—calls her.

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From, the Universe

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Every morning around 1am I receive a note from the Universe. Often these notes provide an encouraging message, a pep talk, a little silliness, a suggested new perspective, or simply a refreshing quote. I was particularly keen on the note from April 19th:

Every day, you move mountains, touch lives, and perform miracles.
Every day you’re a success, a hero, an example.
And every day you change the world.
Actually, there’s not been a single day in your life when you’ve been anything but magnificent.
Just some stuff to think about next time you doubt yourself.

You rock,
The Universe

And another:

As far as I can tell, worrying about anything at all is a pretty good indicator that one has begun thinking that their joy and prosperity will somehow hinge on pending physical events, other people, or angry green Martians.

Can you imagine?!

Phone home,
The Universe

You can sign up for your own notes from the universe here.

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