Tag Archives: Cleansing

Accountability is the Answer When Self-Care is Elusive: 5 Tips

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The term self-care is thrown around so much these days that it causes concern. It’s  as if it’s in danger of being put out to pasture in the land of cliches. It’s truly an over-used phrase because it’s talked about much more than it is practiced. It’s almost silly sometimes. We talk about sleeping more. We talk about meditating. We talk about making more time for loved ones. Then we continue to grind.

Grinding feels like the anti-thesis of self-care. I mean, say it out loud. Even the way the word feels in your mouth feels sort of grimy and abrasive. Yet, it resonates with entrepreneurs, artists and activists I know. One who “grinds” is gangsta with his/her commitment to winning at whatever he/she does.

Oh self-care, self-care where art thou? With loads of articles, youtube videos and podcasts about self-care one would think that the self-care movement would have taken a greater foothold by now, but you know that old habits are hard to break. 42% of Americans didn’t take any vacation days in 2014. There are host of reasons as to why this occurs but Forbes magazine said that even Americans with paid vacations don’t take the time off. In 2014 only 25% of Americans used all their paid vacation days.

I have some really talented friends. They’re driven, determined and gifted producers, filmmakers, writers, dancers, singers, techies and creative professionals. My partner will close his eyes and be in la-la land minutes after sitting down. He “rests” his eyes in the most random of places and is clearly sleep deprived like many of my fam. I’ve also seen friends work themselves sick. Oh, and in my inner-circle not eating enough is much more common that over eating. Let’s not even talk about water consumption and hydrating foods.

Everybody knows we should be taking better care of ourselves especially in the current climate. If one has any ties to being actively engaged in the movement in even the smallest of ways, it’s important that people remain vigilant in the fight for peace of mind and optimal health.

If you’ve been trying to cleanse for the past year and haven’t done it make it to yoga class or the gym, and haven’t gone or if you want to drink more water or go to bed earlier at night,  consider enrolling a circle of people to support you as you transform your habits. Engage an accountability team that will help you stay on point. The first step is stop lying to yourself and thinking you can do it on your own. There’s a reason why community exist.

5 Tips to Creating Your Accountability Circle:

1-Be specific and tell people how to challenge you. Tell them what your goals are and where you tend to fall off track.

2-Remember that at the end of the day it’s still your responsibility. You have to show up with the mentality that you are doing to take better care of yourself.

3-Choose people who will tell you what you need to hear and not just what you want to hear. Avoid the loved ones who co-sign your crazy. Also, make sure they deliver in a style that speaks to your personality. Avoid those who cannot share without judging. You don’t need judgment, you need support.

4-Don’t try to do everything at once. Choose one or two self-care habits you want to build.  Work on that for a month. Write it down and post it in a few visible places. Put it in reminders on your phone and insert it into your calendar.

5-Find a self-care buddy. It’s sort of like a work-out partner. Identify someone who is working on the same thing and willing to stay in touch with you for a few weeks or a month while you both work on the goal. It may be a friend who wants to drink more water or someone who wants to increase their fruit and vegetable intake. Text each other, inbox inspiring messages or videos and exchange information. Team work makes the dream work so get yourself a buddy!

So stop chasing your self-care. Looking within, look at the mirror and resolve to love up on yourself properly. Establishing accountability can be intimidating but commit to making the changes and letting others know how they can support you. The discomfort will melt away. Self-care is the best care and self-care is self-love.

Love yourself.

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“Self-care is not about self-indulgence. It’s about self-preservation.” – Audre Lorde

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Healing Naturally: Self-Exposure and Nakedness

bright sunThe morning is here.  The sun is peeking through the curtains as if to say let’s do this, you’ve slept enough already. The blueness of the sky has returned, the clouds seem happy to not be filled with rain and the air looks deceivingly warm. It is not warm. I am in the Blue Ridge Mountains where snow fell in October just the other night. It is 31°F.  It is October and I am not mentally prepared for winter.

Winter preparation means preparing my mind for massive amounts of self-love and discipline. It means massaging my heart just as good as I massage my kale and enrolling a serious circle of accountability to support me in my healing protocol. The journey is a blend of adventure and routine.  Letting go of old habits and forming new ones, especially new ways of thinking, is not for the weak.  Although I at times feel weak, I know for sure that I am strong enough to accomplish my personal and professional goals. Oh, and then there’s the work to prepare for the book release, but that’s another post for another day. Today is Sunday, a day I shall use for going within.

I am revisiting my video blog, Healing Naturally, as a way to keep myself accountable and to practice sharing consistently.  I started out strong then stopped posting even though I was still recording posts.  Exploring and exposing my fears, anxieties and areas of weakness just didn’t feel cool.  Authentic sharing requires lots of courage, a willingness to be naked and let it all go.  Well, I made myself the promise of a huge break through by the end of 2014.  I intend to live and love boldly. The break through is not going to happen with me standing on the sidelines, hiding under the covers or sitting quietly in the corner pretending to meditate. Nope, my purpose was revealed to me at 10 years old and I’m about that life of honoring it. Look for posts once or twice a week on my youtube channel.  Please comment on youtube, LIKE, subscribe and share your story too!

Make Your Smoothie Work For You

ImageIt is summertime and you’re feeling fine! We dress brighter and freer. People smile more in the summer, we socialize more often and relax.  One of the things I love about summer is that there’s an abundance of fruits and veggies. We usually want to eat light because of the heat.  Also, it feels as if it’s easier to cleanse during this time of the year. I see lots of friends and online buds sipping on luscious smoothies.

In May I attended the 10 day program at the Living Foods Institute in Atlanta.  I learned so much about food, the body, our relationship to food, our relationship to ourselves and the significance of emotional wellness and spiritual health.  It was such an empowering experience.  Currently, I’m often at about 75% to 80% raw, living food while I’m at home and smoothies are an important part of my eating plan. Many think of a smoothie and only think—bananas, strawberries, oranges, pineapple, and mango. They also think about milk or a non-dairy milk alternative, added sweeteners including everything from sugar to honey or agave. However, I’m beginning to see these smoothies as “entertainment drinks” because smoothies have so much more potential to “work” for us thus the title of this post:  Make Your Smoothie Work For You.

A Vita-Mix is ideal but a good blender does the trick just fine.  I recently had to be away from home for a week and took my Osterizer blender I bought at Target 6 years ago.  It couldn’t produce the same volume, but I was blown away by how well it did the job. This is a quick post so it may lack detail.  Feel free to post any questions and I’ll respond.

Possible Smoothie Ingredients:

Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Watercress, Parsley, Apple (cold), 1/4 cup sprouted mung beans or sprouted lentils, buckwheat sprouts, a 1/4 of cucumber, a tblsp of kelp powder, two or three 2″ chunks of frozen banana, 1/4 cup or so of frozen blue berries, maybe a little frozen strawberries, a cup of cold ice water, and if you need it sweeter (in the beginning) add a little cold apple cider.

Put all the greens:  Kale (2 leaves torn a bit), Watercress (a handful), Parsley (a small handful) in the blender jar first, then the chopped chunks of apple.  Add everything else and pour ice water in and add more ice on top. It may take a few tries to figure out how you like it best. Blend on high. Turn it off and stop to move around the contents of the jar if you need to. Also, add more cold liquid if you need to do so.  I often add my green powder supplement, Vitamin Mineral Greens, to a small portion of the smoothie in a separate glass as I don’t like the taste of it. Then I enjoy my smoothie thoroughly.

Now, some prefer a sweeter drink, some like one that is less sweet or even savory, but I find this to be a refreshing drinkable salad. My BFF says it sounds “interesting” and the thought of drinking salad sounds unappealing while my buddy from college scrunches his face at the thought of “drinking spinach and kale”.  I say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, stay open to the possibility of significantly increasing your intake of nutrition, and be open to changing your mind, your thinking and your habits. We all want ‘change’ in our lives, but why are we so resistant to ‘changing’? The bottom-line is that it’s possible to come up with a healthier smoothie to suit your own particular tastes. Add those greens!

Keep in mind that if your diet currently consists of sodas, sweet tea, commercial cereals, a lot of starches (sugars), a lot of corn and/or cookies and cake, then your palette may need some cleaning. Your system might also need a little detoxing. Try a three to seven day cleanse while the summer is on your side. And yes, detoxing from foods can generate withdrawal symptoms just as if one were detoxing from drugs. Some say food is a drug (but that’s another blog post). lol *raise your hand if you were ever addicted to Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey or Salt & Vinegar Kettle Chips or Mrs. Fields* We’ll talk sugar later.

Oh, and remember you can make enough smoothie to enjoy a few times during the day.  Simply store in 16oz – 20 oz glass bottles or jars in the fridge. This makes it easy to take them to work with you or to have morning, mid-day and evening. Your smoothie can work for you and add a significant amount of nutrition to your diet if you add in the right ingredients. Don’t forget it’s still important to drink as much water as possible!

If you’re interested in a focused healing/learning space, please check out the Living Foods Institute. Also, a number of my social media ‘friends’ offer support services for detoxing.  I’ll be posting links to a number of them in the coming months. Check out:

Nwenna Kai

http://www.nwennakai.com/

NOTE:  All of my green vegetables and apples are always organic. I do my best with the other fruits. I often buy the frozen bags of berries from Trader Joes.

Summer Cleansing

So I did a great Spring cleanse, but I’m getting signs that the rest of my Summer will also be about detoxification.  Getting motivated has not been easy so I’m enrolling a small circle of ‘cleanse buddies’.   I started Queen Afua’s 21 day detox that includes a few cooked foods and a lot of vegetable juices and salads.   For some reason I thought I would be able to pull it off with performances, an out-of-state work trip, and a 10 day visit from little people (i.e. a 3 year old niece and an 11 year old nephew).  I live with a chef who loves to cook and loves eating even more.  Ideally, I would go to an intensive fasting retreat for a week and ride the momentum on my own, but that just isn’t in the budget.  I’m thinking that having a group will be sort of like having an exercise partner who wakes you up for a power walk on hard-to-get-out-of-the-bed-day.  I’m posting a few of the possible cleanses or you could do research and share yours with us.  We also want to share recipes and strategies for smoothies, juices, snacks and meals.  Now, one of my ‘cleanse buddies’ has decided that her “cleanse” will be more of a “purging”.  She’ll use the time to let go of a few food addictions that came back over the past couple of years.  My mom is cutting back pastries and white flour products.  Let me know if you would like to join us.  We’ll do a weekly call and might even do a celebration feast of salad, smoothies and vegetable chips! If next month  or September suits you better, then let me know.  This is all about lifestyle change and this health movement will last all year!  #Healing

Brown Rice Cleanse-Dr. Linda Rector Pagehttp://drlindapage.typepad.com/healthyhealing/2010/01/brown-rice-cleanse.html

Queen Afua’s 21 Day Detox

http://queenafua.moonfruit.com/

Food Elimination Diet (to pinpoint allergies and food intolerances)

http://www.endfatigue.com/health_articles_d-e/Diet-multiple_food_elimination_diet_rapp.html