There’s nothing like smelling coffee first thing in the morning, and holding that cup of steaming, hot, luscious, black elixir.
I considered naming this post “For the Love of Coffee” or “To Coffee with Love.” To say I love coffee is an understatement. I love the smell of coffee. I love the taste of coffee. I love the act of brewing coffee: I own an automatic drip coffee maker, a french press, a cappuccino machine, a pour over coffee dripper, and a coffee grinder for grinding my own beans. I like coffee hot, iced, black, lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, and sometimes I make bulletproof coffee or even splurge with an Almond milk White Mocha or Vietnamese style coffee. Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts, and mocha almond fudge is one of my favorite ice cream flavors. So suffice it to say, I love coffee. Not to discriminate against tea. I am a fan of tea as well, and have a well stocked supply of flavors and teas with different therapeutic benefits, but coffee is my morning jam. ❤ So cutting back on how much I drink hasn’t been easy.
I have embraced a “clean eating” philosophy, to keep my fibromyalgia symptoms at bay.
When I was a kid, my father used to come home from work and snack on a handful of nuts or a spoonful of peanut butter, to hold him over until dinner. The protein and fiber helped curb that hunger just enough. I always loved peanut butter growing up, too. Peanut butter with jelly, ice cream, chocolate, and bananas! PB&B may have been Elvis’ favorite sandwich, but this combination makes a great smoothie too!
“I grow plants for many reasons…but mostly for the joy in seeing them grow.”
There’s something to be said for getting outside and having your face in the sunshine, and your feet and hands touch the grass and the earth. It grounds us to Mother Earth and connects us to all of her energies. Tending to our flower gardens or vegetable gardens also has so many benefits that will enrich our mental and physical health.
“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.”
It is said to take anywhere from 21 – 66 days to build a new habit, with the time really varying from person to person. I started this 30 day journey as a way to get back on track with some of my daily habits that had slipped lately and refocus my priorities. I wanted to concentrate on the following:
Gratitude: I had lapsed from writing daily gratitudes
Mindful eating: I wasn’t logging my food
Fitness: I had added some extra pounds I wanted to lose
Mindset: I wanted to see if yoga would be more beneficial for all of my ailments than my typical mindless treadmill walking
Rest: I wanted to get my sleep habits back on track
So here is my final check-in of my 30 day personal challenge for the month of April.
A set-back is defined as a reversal in your progress. This past week I experienced a bit of a set back, that I wrote about in my post on The Challenge of Slowing Down. I hurt my back, came down with strep and inflamed vocal chords, and was ordered to go home and rest my voice. Then came the fibromyalgia flare. And then word that one of my cousins, who is just a few years older than me, died unexpectedly. Talk about some stress on the body.
This is what happens when you ignore the little voices in your head telling you to take it easy. Take a day off. Get some rest. If I had rested sooner, maybe I wouldn’t have developed strep and lost my voice, maybe I wouldn’t have gone into full fibro flare mode.
“Temporary set backs are overshadowed by persistence.” ~Quentin L. Cook
I have had difficulty accepting that I cannot do what I once could. I am not the same person I once was.
Life in general requires overcoming challenges and obstacles of many types. Life with fibromyalgia introduces its own share of challenges: lack of energy, lack of sleep, chronic pain being the most prevalent. These things can change who you are and how you approach life. What once was a simple task, such as getting out of bed in the morning, can now be a daily struggle.
In the years since my diagnosis, my biggest challenge has been SLOWING DOWN. I have had difficulty accepting that I cannot do what I once could. I am not the same person I once was. Type A personalities like myself prefer to be in the game rather than sitting on the sidelines.
Adopting health strategies such as a clean diet, regular workouts, and supplements, has helped lessen the daily pain and limited my “flares” of my fibromyalgia. It has allowed me to maintain a moderately active lifestyle. And then I begin to think: Maybe I am OK. Maybe I am in some sort of remission. Maybe I can push myself just a little harder. And that thinking usually ends in a crash and burn, i.e. fibro flare and bed rest. Slowing down, resting allows the body to recover from the stresses put upon it. Without a recovery period, we can do our bodies more harm than good.
Smoothies are a great way to sneak more fruits, vegetables, and fiber into your diet. The combinations and options are endless!
I make a lot of smoothies for breakfast. My typical recipe is high in anti-oxidants and fiber, with all kinds of yummy stuff in it. It’s easy for me to blend up and drink while I am getting ready in the morning. But I have seen this trend of making smoothie bowls so I decided to try my hand at one over the weekend, for my 30 Day Challenge.