self care

On Food

I recently started traveling a lot. It's wonderful work. I get to connect with other Yoga teachers, studio owners, counselors, and students all interested in the intersection of addiction, trauma, and Yoga and how they can deepen their understanding and application of recovery principles and practices to help support and heal not only themselves but a very vulnerable and unfortunately very large population (of which I am one-- there are a LOT of us). 

My work with Y12SR (The Yoga Of 12 Step Recovery) is taking me all around the East Coast these days-- Maine, West Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida-- and on the road, easy, healthy, affordable food options are not always readily available. I skip breakfast sometimes, even at home, and that's a big no-no for me. Low blood sugar makes me a little crazy-- and when I'm a little crazy it doesn't take long for me to start missing important things going on in my day-- or worse, to royally start screwing things up. 

When teaching a weekend full of often very intense, complicated discussions of a pretty personal nature, I need to be my fully present best. Ideally there's a kitchen, and if not a kitchen, then a small fridge, and access to hot water. 

I think I nailed it this past weekend, finally. It didn't hurt that I had an extremely gracious hostess, Courtney, and her sweet husband Matt and their awesome dog Tootsie (photo at the end)-- a crazy-comfy bed, private bath, and a bright lovely kitchen-- all just a couple of blocks from the wonderful Space Yoga Studio where I was teaching. So convenient. But even with all of this, I will often have such full days of teaching I'll just eat whatever is available, and really screw up my insides-- not to mention my brain. Not ideal. 

I got in so early on Friday that I had time for a sweet nap (such a luxury! and so needed after getting up at 3 am to make a 5:30 am flight)-- then we hit the grocery store. For the weekend, I bought: 

1 container salad mix

1 large avocado, ripe and ready to go

1 container cottage cheese (accidentally bought the kind with pineapple-- but so good!)

1 lemon (to squeeze on the greens as a dressing)

1 bag fresh peas (which have 5g protein per serving)

1 container fresh cut watermelon (such an indulgence in February, but needed)

1 bottle raspberry chia kombucha

The above cost about $21 and made something like six meals, and I had left over food at the end of the weekend. If you're vegan you can substitute all sorts of things for the eggs and cottage cheese-- sometimes I will do just that. And I forgot to buy six eggs to hard boil, but Courtney had a bunch and shared with me. 

With this combination I could make several delicious, protein-rich salads, especially when I added the trail mix I brought along with me. 

For snacks, I had brought along two apples and because I can't resist, a chocolate bar and some protein bars. So for snacks and lunch, I was set!

But the real kicker was what I had planned for breakfast. 

I usually do not have time to cook breakfast. It takes me a while to get hungry in the morning and by the time I do I often have to be out the door anyway. So this time, at home, I packed three zip lock bags each with the following: 

1/3 cup organic quick oats

1 tsp ground flax seeds

1 tsp flaked coconut

1 tsp chia seeds

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

pinch sea salt

1/4 c freeze dried blueberries and raspberries

1/4 c slivered almonds

I dumped a bag in a bowl each morning, and added a couple of cups of hot water, letting it sit for a minute or so. Delicious, healthy, filling, and good for the brain!  

I have not figured out good coffee options yet. I usually have to rely on the kindness of the strangers I'm staying with for that. I have those Via instant coffee packets from Starbucks as a last resort, but I have not been able to bring myself to use them. I do bring my own Camomile/Lavender tea bags for evenings so I get good rest. 

I'm getting the hang of this traveling thing. It feels good to be able to say I'm not sacrificing my health and wellness for an increased work load. I know that's the case for a lot of people-- I get it. But as I often say, "We can't give away what we, ourselves, don't already have to give." I also remember the quote from Audre Lorde (which I'm paraphrasing): "Self-care is not indulgent, it is self-preservation-- and that is an act of political warfare." The self-care we do on the inside makes us better able to do what needs to be done "out there" (though I really believe there is no separation there-- it's all the same work). I'm rambling now-- so, eat well, rest, do you, and kick butt! 

Oh-- and love on an animal, like Tootsie, if you get the chance.