This is a guest post by Brooke Benlifer.
The third installment of her Back To Goodness Series in 2016.
Brooke is our resident Dietitian here at The Wellness Bucket.
Getting back to goodness sometimes means dealing with stressful, emotional, and physically draining situations as Brooke shares with us here.
It’s isn’t always sunshine and rainbows… and while we can’t control what happens to us sometimes, we can control how we react.
Thanks for being here Brooke and sharing how you roll with the punches of life… Take it away!
I’m not going to lie, the first half of this month nearly knocked the wind out of me.
My son got sick and was in the hospital for four nights and came home on my birthday.
It was the best gift ever.
Then, five days later, my daughter got sick and ended up spending five nights in the hospital.
To say I was stressed, emotionally and physically drained, hurting for my sweet children who were wheezy and scared, and feeling as though I was falling apart from all of it, is an understatement.
Neighbors and friends were hugely helpful in watching whichever child was at home while my husband and I spent the days and some overnights in the hospital, and he also commuted back and forth to work.
We made an effort to eat well, bringing our own food from home (quick and easy snacks we could eat in the room).
We also committed to choosing the healthiest hospital food options that were available for our kids such as salmon, broccoli, fresh eggs, and cut up apples along with almonds from home, which they loved!
I made an effort to at least get outside for a few minutes most days while my kids were napping in their hospital rooms.
Anyone who has spent extended time in a hospital knows how draining it can be on the soul.
A few minutes of sunshine kind of snapped me back to reality and made me ready to greet the afternoon with gratitude for great medical care.
Note From Mike: Amazing the positive effect just getting outside and getting some sun can have on us. Something to think about next time you’re in a not so pleasant situation.
My daughter came home on Valentine’s Day and the four of us were able to spend the afternoon together – the way it should be.
After Every Storm, The Sun Always Shines
Fortunately, the second half of the month turned out to be much smoother.
We traveled to Mexico and enjoyed amazing, fresh seafood and traditional cuisine (mole, ceviche, guacamole, etc.).
The kids were their energetic selves, we read lots and lots of books, and… we sang Ba Ba Black Sheep approximately 10,000 times (never enough! 🙂 ).
Just in the past couple of weeks, I realized the negative effects that the hospitalizations had on me.
All of that fear, anxiety, insomnia, early mornings, and late nights really took its toll on me.
I spent a lot of extra time in the car, and many, many hours sitting in hospital rooms. My meals were anything but relaxed and my normal routine was completely thrown off course.
I am someone who thrives on routine, or at least a sense of structure and some predictability.
I’m just now getting back to focusing on slowing down, being mindful, purposeful, and not letting needless worry get the best of me.
I found myself with a strong desire to get back to goodness… AND Ayurveda!
For years, I have researched and been very interested in Ayurvedic medicine.
Note From Mike: Ayurveda is one of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful mind-body health systems. More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vibrant and healthy while realizing their full human potential.
One of the core principles is to eat two to three healthy meals per day (a light to medium breakfast, a large lunch, when the “digestive fire” is greatest, and a light dinner), preferably with no snacking in between.
Snacking between meals (in Western societies) has been touted as helping with blood sugar balance and boosting metabolism, among other things.
Recently, though, in light of emerging research on the benefits of intermittent fasting and the ancient Ayurvedic principles, I am having my doubts.
I think there is great merit to the 2-3 meals a day approach. It makes sense and it also frees up time and energy to do things other than constantly graze.
I’m more than willing to give it a go, and I did just that!
I am completing a 100 day Gong (A Gong in Chinese is the length of time that you dedicate to a specific task.)
In my case, for the next 100 days, I will be eating 2-3 meals daily, with no snacks in between.
In Ayurveda, breakfast is optional, depending on your constitution. For years, I was not a breakfast eater and preferred eating later in the day.
So for the next 100 days, I’ll be taking part in the Ayurvedic approach to meals.
I’m looking forward to more free time, more mindfulness around mealtime and improved digestive health.
Digestion is believed to be a cornerstone of health in Ayurvedic medicine, even though it is grossly underrated in Western medicine.
A product that I have been very impressed with lately is Organic India. They make a variety of teas and supplements that support good Ayurvedic health.
To the point where I once again enjoy drinking tea!
Thanks for being here and reading.
Wishing you a month full of goodness!
Brooke Joanna Benlifer, RD is a Cornell University graduate and Registered Dietitian. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband and twins.
“My passion is preventative health through optimal nutrition. I want to lead people toward healthier, more fulfilling lives.”