Moment of Zen: Dream Home Edition

By Katie, 5:25 am

As excited as I am for my new house, I kinda want to live here instead.

Where would your dream house be located? In a city? On a farm? In the woods?

Avocado Herb Dip

By Katie, 5:25 am

Happy St. Patty’s Day!!!

Unfortunately I’m not making any truly authentic Irish food today, as tonight I will be attending the Chris Tomlin concert in Baltimore!!! But I’m still celebrating by eating something green.

This Avocado Herb Dip is super yummy! It capitalizes on the natural creaminess of a ripe avocado.

It’s made with a mix of avocado, mayo, plain Greek yogurt, herbs, and lemon juice. I just mashed it with a potato masher to keep the consistency a bit chunky, but you could puree it in a blender or food processor to make it really smooth.

Of course the resident Irishman had to give it a try!

CRUNCH!

The dip is also great with tortilla chips, of course. It’s a nice alternative to traditional guacamole.

Avocado Herb Dip
adapted from Weelicious
Yields 1/2 cup

Ingredients
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
2 tbsp mayo
2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp mixed herbs (I used dill, chives, and marjoram, but you really could throw in anything you like!)
1.5 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste

1. Mash all of the ingredients together using a potato masher, or puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

2. Add salt to taste. Serve with raw veggies or tortilla chips.

What’s your favorite green food?

My Husband Called Me a Cow!!! (But It’s Not What You Think!)

By Katie, 5:39 am

A few weeks ago Dave asked me to please stop being such a cow. And yet I assure you, my kind and sensitive husband was not referring to my weight or my eating habits. Here’s what happened.

 (Source)

Earlier in the day I had said something silly at work. I won’t go into details, but I mentioned something about Catholic confession and priests and little boys that came out seriously wrong. I was trying to make a James Joyce reference, but I did not succeed. Oh, and I said this to two of my extremely Cathoic co-workers. EMBARRASSING! :oops:

We all laughed it off, but hours later I was still worrying about this little incident. Did I offend my co-workers and their religious beliefs? Did I sound like a complete idiot? Did they understand that it had come out wrong? Did I look like an irresponsible lunatic who never thinks before she speaks?

My lucky husband got to listen to me stew over these questions over and over again. And then he couldn’t take it anymore, at which point he called me a cow. Obviously this stopped me in my tracks. I was about to slap him (kidding!), but then he explained.

A cow, you see, is a ruminant – a mammal that digests its food by chewing it, swallowing it, regurgitating it, and chewing it again. This is where our word “ruminate” comes from; it’s the process of chewing something over again and again and again. Just like my obsession with my silly mis-statement.

So, Dave said to me, you’ve gotta let it go. You’ve already metaphorically chewed and swallowed it once. You’ll drive yourself crazy if you keep bringing it back up again. And it’s kinda gross.

True.

I immediately rushed to my computer and pulled up my old blog post “Refusing to Ruminate.” It was one of those situations where I needed a dose of my own medicine. And soon enough, I forgot all about my unfortunate miscommunication.

In other words, I stopped being a cow. ;-)

Are you ever a cow? (In the ruminating sense of the word!!!)

What Should I Get?

By Katie, 3:58 pm

The lovely folks at CSN have offered to send me a product to review here on the blog! Of course I want something for our new house (by the way, they broke ground on our building lot yesterday – exciting!). Will you help me decide?

Should I go with a small piece of furniture?

Something practical like recessed lighting?

Or something whimsical, like a rug with a modern pattern?

Maybe a new bedding set?

Or how about a spice rack?

They’ve offered me a gift code for $65, so I don’t want to spend too much over that. What would you get???

Who Says?

By Katie, 5:22 am

Who Says?

Who says I have to have a
stomach as flat as a washboard,
and arms and legs that are nothing
but muscle?

Who says my socks
have to match?

Who says that I shouldn’t
enjoy a bite or two of cookie dough
as I prepare the batch for the oven?

Who says that having an impromptu
dance session
isn’t a productive use of my time?

Who says I can’t find abundant joy
in the coolness of a rainy day,
the same way I appreciate the warmth
of the sun shining on my face?

Who says I can’t exercise
solely for the fun of it?

Who says I shouldn’t sing at the
top of my lungs,
using my hairbrush as a microphone
and my cats as my crowd?

Who says I ought not wear my oversized hoodie
for three days straight,
and then get dressed up on a day I’m not
planning on leaving the house?

Who says I shouldn’t take a nap?

Who says poetry has to rhyme
or a song has to have a chorus
or a painting has to have an obvious
meaning,
just so we can put it into a concrete
box with four walls and no opening?

Who says I can’t feel beautiful
every single day?

Not me.

Who says?

Re-Thinking Our Basic Needs

By Katie, 5:24 am

What are the basic needs of the human race? Food, water, clothing, and shelter, right? Isn’t that what they taught us in elementary school?

(Source)

When I went to hear Evelyn Tribole speak about her ground-breaking book Intuitive Eating, she mentioned that it’s really difficult to have a stable relationship with food if our basic needs aren’t being met. Of course, I thought, thinking that it would be impossible not to be obsessed with food if, say, I couldn’t count on getting a balanced dinner every day.

But it turns out that’s not all Evelyn Tribole meant.

As she spoke, she put up a slide up on the screen with a list of “Basic Needs.” It read:

  • Self-Care
  • Sleep
  • Transition Time
  • Friendships
  • Boundaries

A bit surprising, huh?

Unfortunately she was running out of time and couldn’t explain her thought process behind each need she listed, but it definitely got me thinking about what it is that each of us needs and deserves simply because we’re human. It’s more than food, water, shelter, and clothing, I think. I would add these to her list.

  • Safety, both physical and emotional
  • Compassion and acceptance
  • Intimacy and closeness with other humans
  • A connection to something greater than ourselves

As long as these things are missing from our lives, we will be discontent and uncomfortable. We will be on the hunt, searching for something to satisfy our hunger for fulfillment and our thirst for peace. And often we will turn to food, unconsciously hoping that because it quenches one human need it will take care of them all. But it doesn’t work that way.

If you’re struggling with emotional eating, as I so often have, it’s definitely worthwhile to make a list of your basic needs – going beyond the ones in the 3rd grade textbooks – to see if any of them aren’t being fully met. The key to making peace with food may very well have more to do with something like sleep or boundaries or intimacy than it does with actual food.

What do you think of when you hear the phrase “basic needs?” Do you think there’s more to it than the standard food, water, shelter, and clothing?

Moment of Zen: Phil Dunphy Edition

By Katie, 5:56 am

I can’t help but laugh whenever I see this cast of characters. I love them!

Any other Modern Family fans out there???

Don’t Buy This

By Katie, 5:29 am

Please, just don’t. It’s a principle thing, don’t ya think?

Do You Wanna Go To FitBloggin’???

By Katie, 9:55 am

I am so bummed to be sharing this news. I will no longer be attending FitBloggin’ this year. :cry:

I attended last year and had a blast. And this year, as soon as registration opened, I signed up with batting an eye…or checking my calendar. A few days later I realized that the dates conflict with a very important event I’m attending (a wedding – and I’m the Maid of Honor!!!).  I figured I would just show up to FitBloggin’ late.

But now I’m realizing that I really couldn’t get there until Saturday afternoon (the conference runs from Friday, May 20 to Saturday, May 21), and I just don’t think that’s worth it, you know?

FitBloggin’ is certainly going to be amazing. If you’re not familiar, you can read all about it here.

 Tickets are currently $300, but I’m selling mine for $150. So really, it’s a pretty good deal!

The ticket will be sold to the first person who e-mails me at katie@healthforthewholeself.com and tells me they’d like to buy it.

I hope one of you gets to enjoy the conference in my place!

Surprise! Being Nice to Yourself Really Works!

By Katie, 5:14 am

I’ve talked ad nauseum on this blog about how I got a whole lot healthier when I stopped being so darn hard on myself. Finally there is scientific research to validate my experience.

 (Source)

On my post “Are You Ready for Intuitive Eating?” (one of my most popular posts to date!), a very helpful reader directed me to this New York Times article on self-compassion. It points out that the people who are the most kind and supportive of others are often the hardest on themselves. Does that ring a bell for anyone else?

Turns out we can reap major rewards just by going a bit easier on ourselves. According to the article:

“The research suggests that giving ourselves a break and accepting our imperfections may be the first step toward better health. People who score high on tests of self-compassion have less depression and anxiety, and tend to be happier and more optimistic. Preliminary data suggest that self-compassion can even influence how much we eat and may help some people lose weight.”

In my experience, this has been key to learning to eat intuitively and healing my relationship with food and my body. We’re taught that if we show ourselves compassion and acceptance, we’ll become lazy and self-indulgent and unmotivated. And yet that’s not how it usually plays out. As Dr. Kristin Neff, a professor of human development at the University of Texas at Autin, points outs:

“Self-compassion is really conducive to motivation. The reason you don’t let your children eat five big tubs of ice cream is because you care about them. With self-compassion, if you care about yourself, you do what’s healthy for you rather than what’s harmful to you.”

Wise words, my friends. Wise words.

So if you’re knee deep in frustration over your attempts to change – to eat healthier, to move your body more, to be more adventurous, to let go of insecurity, whatever it may be – the problem may be that you’re too focused on feeling negative about your own self-discipline or will-power. The key very well may be to let go of that negativity and start showing yourself the kindness and compassion you show to others.

Now you don’t have to take my word for it. You can take Science’s word for it. ;-)

I’ll be blunt: Are you too darn hard on yourself sometimes?

*Check out this website for more information on Dr. Neff’s work on self-compassion, including a questionnaire to determine your self-compassion level.

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