In today’s crazy world we are busy, lazy, distracted and plain worn out. Or at least a lot of us are. We work 40 plus hours a week typically at a job we don’t like so that alone causes more stress. We are glued to our social media, Netflix, you tube and whatever other electronic outlets there are. We find ways to do things the lazy way. By this I mean we buy frozen or pre made foods, we order our stuff online and I can’t forget to add we play Pokémon without getting out of our cars. I wonder if we didn’t follow these patterns if we would be healthier in the end? This writing isn’t just about food so I encourage you to read it to the end.
In my opinion a lot of what we do in our lives should revolve around ensuring we are eating good food. I know we have discussed this before is early writings but this is about more than food. Make this the year you change habits. Make this the year you do something different and try new things. A good place to start is with your food. Eat what is in season so you can eat cheaper on fresher food. Make a challenge to go a month without buying a canned good, frozen food or stopping for fast food.
Try your local farmers markets or look for community spots that bring in fresh produce. The thing to remember is plan your recipes in advance so you only buy what you need when you need it. On the other hand though be flexible with that recipe so you can adapt to what is available to you. If your recipe calls for fresh beets but all you are finding are fresh carrots then go with it. If you need potatoes but you find rutabaga’s cheaper then swap it out. One good thing about our smart phones is we can look up that recipe or substitute on the go. Download an app such as all recipes so you can easily search for recipes that match the vegetables you are looking at. Eating in season means you may not get corn all year round but when you do get corn you won’t pay much for it and it’ll be fresh.
Invest in yourself with food instead of with medication. By eating fresh foods we have cooked ourselves we not only are cutting out all the chemicals we put in our bodies we also get up off the couch, move around and refocus our minds. I heard something over the weekend that I want to repeat here. I was at a juice bar getting a nice refreshing glass of honey ginger root juice when someone said do something so you can be in the present. That got me to thinking about what that really means, be in the present.
At the time we were learning some cool techniques on how to breathe to beat stress, anxiety and to feel better. One of those techniques made us all feel like we were in the present.
Our minds need a break from recounting the past to figuring out the future. How do we do that? You hear people telling you to meditate, clear your head, blah, blah, blah…. Here is a different way to look at it for us people whose minds just don’t turn off. Put yourself in the present! We did this by breathing differently. So maybe you can just learn new breathing techniques. Let’s take it a step further and apply it to everyday life.
When I am in the kitchen cooking I am in the present. I have to be up and moving and focusing on what I need to do next. In a typical meal I have to cut up something, add seasonings, add ingredients at specific times, etc. If my mind is on something else it makes these tasks harder to do. By being in the present and focusing on what I am doing then I am forgetting about the past and the future.
Could we use this for other things? Of course we can if we are willing to put in the effort. Effort is something we have to do to accomplish anything, right? When you make an effort to do a hobby you have the opportunity to put yourself in the present. Modeling takes concentration on what pieces to glue where and painting it ‘within the lines’. In sewing, crocheting and knitting type things we have to concentrate on the stitch and counts, etc. You can be in the present doing hobbies and that will turn your brain off to the past and future and give it the needed rest it deserves and needs. Learn new breathing techniques to focus on, take a yoga class, go for a walk, run or bicycle ride and instead of thinking about everything focus on what you are doing.
Add in good food and good company and you will have gone back to the basics. I challenge you for the next month to change some habits. Focus more on a task that will get you out of the normal and incorporate that with not eating out or not buying frozen or premade foods. At the end of that month see how you feel and be honest about it. Remember when it comes to food keep it simple. Don’t try to do those fancy dishes you see on all the cooking shows because that will set you up for failure. Last night I cooked what we had which was cutting up 6 potatoes really small and putting them in the frying pan, cooking some pork sausage I had on hand (about ½ pound), then I cut up and added a red pepper, jalapeño, tomato, red onion and thru in some mozzarella and pressed garlic. I had it on hand and needed to use it up, simple, tasty and cheap. Oh and don’t forget it is much more healthy than anything you get frozen or fast. Not only was it chemical free it put my mind in the present which in turn helped my body as a whole.
So at least once a day be in the preset, give your mind a break and that will trickle down to the rest of your body and soul.