Birthday Post: the things I learned when I was thirty two
I guess I’m an hour early… but… Thirty-Three. Today, or well June 20th, is the day, another trip around the sun. I want to talk about a few things, a few themes that have really stood out in the last year for me.
- Body positivity
- Hormone health
- Inflammation, the reduction of it
- Accepting that I can’t control everything
So let’s start with that last one and we’ll work our way up shall we!
Let it gooooo….
In the last year we were assigned a new duty station, so for about six months of the year I had no idea where we were going to live and every few weeks we would obsess about the available options and imagine creating (or coping) a life there and then, nope. Not chosen, wait again. Until finally at the very last minute… Virginia. Which is where we are now. I rode that emotional roller coaster for two months until I just said… F that! Whatever will be will be.
So many other things in life just happen once you decide to accept that whatever the outcome will be, it will be what is meant to be and that you can make it work.
In January of last year, for the third time in my culinary career, a friend of mine said… I’m going to tell my publisher your idea… just for them to get back to me with another no. Yup… I might have a book about to come out, but it didn’t just fall in my lap. After several NO’s… another friend, another opportunity arose, months later… and you know the timing was even better. My message was clearer, my narrative more positive. It was meant to be, and in just 27 days my cookbook will be out in the world.
You know what I did when I got turned down by those first publishers… I said… let me focus on my work, on honing my craft, on helping people. Eventually, my work will get the attention it deserves a book will happen. So I let go of the idea for a while and focused on building up other areas of my life and in turn, it circled back to fulfill my dream!
Get my book baby here.
There’s an old Latin saying… Cuado esta pa’ ti, esta pa’ ti… When it’s right for you, it’s just right for you.
Food Related Inflammation vs. Stress Related Flares
Say what? Yes. In the last year, I have seen my dietary related inflammation disappear almost completely. I have honed in my food intolerances both digestive and hormone-related. Keto has really been the final nail in that coffin.
Did you know ketosis has an anti-inflammatory effect? Not to mention the level insulin levels and balanced hormones, all play into really helping with that. However, regular keto is not what I do. This is my AIP(ish) , real food, dairy free keto. It’s truly a lifestyle built on four pillars. Nutrient density. Intuitive Eating. Movement. Sleep.
Now… sort of going back to part #1, you know, about control. I like to control my health and I like feeling like I am doing, eating, sleeping and moving in ways that make me feel good. So when I do all of those things… and then… dun dun dun…. Swelling… or Something hurts… I FREAK OUT JUST A TINY BIT. I’m at the point where I am not scared of food nor do I see it as the cause of all inflammation. Stress people. We don’t give it enough credit.
But guess what? Moving from Hawaii to Virginia is STRESSFUL. Writing, photographing, editing a cookbook is STRESSFUL. Releasing a year’s worth of work to the world. Writing that is vulnerable. Hundreds of recipes all at once, in print, that you can’t go back and edit, that have to be perfect …. Is STRESSFUL.
Stress makes you more insulin resistant, stress impedes digestion…chronic stress messes with our sex hormones causing some crappy symptoms like weird periods, inflammation, cramps and more. And while I have some great coping mechanisms in place, other than giving myself grace, and making damn sure I stick to my health habits… there is not much I can do to mitigate this. So this anti-inflammatory thing will probably be an ongoing battle, but as long as I’m winning most of the time, I can live with that. Which brings me to our next section…
I’ve learned a lot about how diet affects our hormones in the last year. I have been able to get my estrogen dominance under control. I think to the point of overcorrection honestly. But in general, tracking my cycle. Knowing the symptoms of ovulation, of my follicular phase and my luteal phase has really deciphered my body. I also now can gage when there is a change really well. I can tell how food directly affects my cycle and what kinds of food I crave during different times.
For example, during my follicular phase, especially in the first few days I could live off of animal protein, offal, fat and dark chocolate. Pretty sure this is me needing B vitamins and iron. Once I ovulate I begin to crave more vegetables, light foods and once I’m full on luteal I really crave soups, roasted veggies, and seeds! Which is an indicator that my body needs a little glycogen, fiber, and probably some estrogenic compounds from the seeds with that post ovulation hormone dip.
As far as stress and hormones go… my sister is pretty sure I have pregnenolone steal going on. All this book business + a move took a number. Pregnenolone steal is when you are chronically stressed and you can’t produce any more cortisol so your body steals sex hormones since they are a secondary function to keep this fight or flight response going. This is a major oversimplification… but it’s how my brain understands it. Really good post about it HERE.
Once my life isn’t bananas I will create a plan of action to address this and will share more info with you all. But for now, I will say I have been taking a lot of magnesium and trying to rest more, physically and mentally.
I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt…
Yes… Body Positivity.
If you could not tell by this hilarious photo shoot… which.. BTW I took myself, #selfportrait because I found this amazing formal dress at TJ Maxx on sale and I had to have it to wear at my cousin’s wedding and hot damn I felt sexy in it. So I did my make up and set that self-timer and had myself a little party. It was awesome, and also a workout! Ha!
So in the last year I really, truly, finally let go of the notion that I need to weigh less. This realization came when I hit my lowest weight ever, and was so so so so so so sooooooo happy about it.. to the go back up… and then bounce between my lowest and 8lbs more. Forever. But then I also felt strong. Looked good. I was seeing definition and I was feeling myself. I loved the food I was eating… I wasn’t willing to change or to restrict anything for that damn number.
So I said, hey body, you’re doing pretty damn good, let’s just keep this going. And you know what… I’ve gained muscle. I’ve gotten fit and strong and I’ve dropped a dress size. I’m not really smaller. My body doesn’t shrink and I don’t want it to. Where my waist cinches, my thighs bulk up and my back gets defined. But I’m happy. I’m learning that even with a 60lb weight loss. Even with building a lot of muscle… even with… xyz… bodies all look different and I need to love the way my body looks now instead of pursuing some image I saw on IG once.
So love your self-today. You’ll be happier. Want to reach your goals… manifest them. It’s half knowing you can get there and half knowing you sort of already are….
Overall 32 was AMAZING!
It’s the year my business took off. It’s a year I helped hundreds if not thousands of folks find health, confidence, and happiness. It’s the year I made my dreams come true. I wrote a freaking book!!! Ahhh!!!
I continue to learn, to grow, to evolve. I am still passionate and determined more than ever to spread the message that food is medicine and it should taste damn good.
I want to empower everyone, but especially women to move your bodies. Get strong. Feel bad ass. I want to help you BURN THE WAGON. Create lasting change and find the food freedom I have.
I want to keep helping you and others and I am more inspired than ever!! If you want to meet me, I like to give hugs! RSVP to my book your here: BOOK TOUR.