Thanks to goodnessknows for sponsoring this post and encouraging me to refocus on healthy living goals!
I remember once proclaiming that I’d rather date a vegetarian than someone who was gluten-free. I said “vegetarian” like it was something utterly disdainful, the penultimate compatibility failure. Fast forward a few years, and I’m the (most-of-the-time) vegetarian touting a gluten-free fellow. Oh, how the tables turn! Starting this blog 6.5 years ago was sort of like my healthy living “puberty” — back then, I was dipping my toe in the internet’s complex, often conflicting, never-ending pool of health-focused information. I was intrigued, excited, and totally misguided. But, just as our bodies physically mature over our lifetimes, our tastes, preferences, and views shift and expand, strengthen and sag too. And thank god for that. Otherwise I’d still be eating fat-free dairy for snacks and microwaved broccoli for breakfast every day.
Near the time I started blogging, I learned about the gluten-free diet from my friend Tracy, who, after an onslaught of tummy troubles, found that dairy-free, gluten-free foods made her feel “normal” again. At the time, “gluten” was a word few people knew or cared much about, and this whole gluten-free diet thing sounded MISERABLE to me. So, I made it my mission to find Tracy a decent gluten-free, dairy-free pizza so that her new GF life wouldn’t be completely devoid of joy.
A big thanks to goodnessknows for sponsoring this post (and contributing to this grad student’s emergency vacation fund!).
The well-documented link between mental stability and physical activity is one I won’t drudge on about here. In short, mental health and physical health are intertwined just like the pastel colors in those rainbow bagels I see all over the internet these days. Basically, bagels are my therapy. I MEAN EXERCISE. Yes, exercise. And by therapy, I simply mean that I am happiest and most emotionally stable when I get some form of exercise each day. I joke that like a dog, I need walked twice a day. Even small amounts of exercise (like walking) boost my energy and mood.
Of course this all sounds wonderful, but the truth is that when life gets crazy, exercise is the first thing to disappear from my routine (followed closely behind by healthy eating), and in those high-stress chunks of days, I feel my happiness dissipate — not to depression, but to numbness. I become numb to the world as I focus with champion-like intention on the task at hand. You see, I’m what my dad calls a “go-getter” always seeking out some thing, some goal, and hunkering down till I obtain it. A goal-getter, really. I know this about myself, and actually, I like this quality. But, each time, after the smokey stress cloud clears, I look back on the weeks or months that have lapsed and am often disappointed that I let so much life pass me by; that my mission for mindfulness was yet again neglected; that I sacrificed those things that help me be my best me.
I’ve got my sights set on this balanced rainbow bagel of life as I head into what will surely be the most stressful couple of months this gal has tackled yet. As the great Mr. Tolle, my 10th grade biology teacher, proclaimed: “organization is key.” And thus, I’ve organized some thoughts on my health goals for the fall.