Sunday, June 24, 2012

A little help from my friends...

As much as I love to stay active and eat well, sometimes my motivation wanes. I'm sure it happens to the best of us, but being a nutritionist somehow makes me feel even worse because I know what bad decisions can do on a cellular level--toxins building up and causing illness, mood swings, and digestive problems, just to name a few. PLUS I end up feeling guilty because, well, I'M A NUTRITIONIST! Aren't we immune to temptation and comfort foods? Don't we possess some super-human enzyme that makes it so!?!

Alas, no, we don't. It helps that I have a passion for good, healthy food. It also helps that I've always been active, but I do have habits from my youth that creep back into my psyche now and then. So, what do I do? What strategies do I have in place when these moments of weakness occur? Well, I find tapping into a community of other healthy-habit-driven people helps. Friends to work out with or discuss new recipes or environmental issues with, and with the innovation of new media (not-so-new anymore, but I catch on a bit slowly!), I also find tools such as twitter to be motivating. And it's not just about healthy foods and activities, it's about finding inspiration through other peoples' accomplishments. In their stories, I'm reminded of my own, and the energy allows us to fuel each other in a positive, momentum-building way.

When I climbed Fuji-san 10 years ago, the feeling after I reached the top was pure elation. Not just at the beauty of this great mountain, nor was it just the gorgeous sun rising overhead. It was the feeling that my body, exactly as it was (regardless of my perception of its imperfections), had enabled me to do this amazing thing. I didn't hear a chatter or faults or criticisms in my head; there was just silent gratitude. When I hear other peoples' tales of having achieved great things, whether they surpassed physical or emotional barriers, it takes me back to Fuji-san and reminds me of how awesome the human body is and how it wants, above all else, to survive. It fights for us, and so I'm reminded of how worthy of respect it really is.

People can improve their well-being and habits at any point in time that they choose to do so. Once upon a time, getting together with one of my dearest friends involved gorging on junk while hanging out. Of course, we've been friends for more than 25 years, so one might think it would be a habit impossible to break, but we now have a variety of activities that we do when we get together, one of our favourites being working out! To this day we laugh about how I thought, at the naive age of 10, that she was only friends with me because I always had ridiculous amounts of chocolate in my house (those who've read my previous blogs know that between my grandfather working at a chocolate factory and my father being a mechanic for Beckers', chocolate was in my home in abundance at all times), and here we are now, sharing endorphins on a whole other level and loving it! Her triumphs, as well as everyone else's I hear, lift me up and make me want to do and be better.

So, my motivation in times of weakness? Reminders from everyone else around me about how amazing people are in their own rights, and how with the right combination of laughter, a positive attitude, and an open mind, we really are boundless creatures with the ability to surpass what we once thought were our wildest dreams. I want to feel amazing travelling this road with my loved ones, and remembering how amazing this road can be makes me want to be as healthy as possible so I can enjoy the ride.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Smells like Summer!

I love Farmers' Markets! There's something about the atmosphere of them, not to mention the aroma of fresh fruits and vegetables, that feels like home. Truly wonderful. This is the week that the local ones start up again in my neighbourhood, and this is really exciting for me.

There's also a real sense of pride in helping local farmers out. These are hard-working individuals who put everything they have into the produce and other items they're selling. There's a genuine feeling of community and very often the individuals selling the goods are friendly and kind.

Last year, I was able to find homemade dog biscuits made without of the common allergens found in commercially made ones, and while this is becoming more common even in chain pet stores, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling at the thought of a fellow animal lover baking for other animals.

So, here's the link to find the markets in Toronto closest to you!