June 24, 2014

21 days later

It was like seeing a million more stars for the first time. It was like breathing fresh air into all the tiny crevasses that never get to see the light of day. I wasn’t perfect, and it wasn’t easy but for the most part of 21 days I stuck to it. 

PHYSICALLY: 

I think had I just come off caffeine for this adventure it would have been much harder. But since I had already cut it out earlier this year I was already feeling a pretty stable level of energy. I would say the biggest thing I noticed was how much I thought about food at the beginning – things I could eat, things I needed to stay away from and then figuring out how to cook them in a delicious and new way! It was definitely a challenge some days but I would say what was most fun was that by the end of it, it was really easy to know what I could (and wanted) to eat and what I shouldn’t. 

Physically I felt less of that ‘too full’ feeling, less bloated, and less uncomfortable. in general. I felt significantly better when I cooked for myself versus eating out, except for two restaurants that both serve as much local food as possible, and at their lowest standard, organic food. They were totally delicious. The Creemore Kitchen in Creemore, Ontario and Cafe Belong at the Brickworks in Toronto. I would highly recommend trying both! I think what was interesting to me was that they make a point of having local everything (including beer and wine) and when they can’t find something they want for the menu, they resort to organic produce/meat/poultry/fish. To think that for some of us this is the first step we take, from ‘regular’ produce to organic produce. The ideal would be that we eat local and seasonal. The 21 day journey really allowed me to see and search out how I can best do this for my own household!

I don’t want you to think it was entirely easy either because it wasn’t. There were days when I was craving ice cream or gelato and other days when it was someone’s birthday and all I wanted was a cold glass of white wine to celebrate! And I did! I think the good stuff is just as much a part of the journey as the nourishing stuff because it nourishes you in other ways. Stopping yourself from every delicious thing isn’t going to help you, but guilting yourself after you’ve done it isn’t either. Finding that balance where you allow yourself to enjoy life is really important. 

I think similar to when I tried my hand at eating Paleo last summer, doing the 21 day holistic eating journey allowed me to open my eyes to even better, more nourishing foods and learn how to cook and enjoy them on a daily basis. 

I am going to create a new section on the blog of some recipes with images (when possible) of things we ate over the course of the 21 days. I will try to get this up for the beginning of next week! 

MENTALLY + EMOTIONALLY: 

I slept better. I focused on myself more and I felt excited that I was doing something solely for myself and my body. I felt much more motivated and focused on my morning and evening belly breathing at the start than towards the end, but I always made a point of having at least 5 minutes to myself in the morning and evenings. As well, I really made a point of going to one yoga class a day (during the week) – this movement, which I’ve talked about a lot, is so important for my mental health. I made a point of only going to slower vinyasa and hatha classes to try and not strain my body in any major way. I wanted movement to be a solely nourishing part of the journey, not a strenuous part. The other amazing thing I participated in ( and am still doing) is a hormone balancing yoga sequence. I am still getting the hang of it for myself but once I am comfortable enough I will share it on the blog! 

I think the other thing I noticed is the calmness that I brought to myself over the past 21 days. I would try whenever possible to really think about what served me best over the course of the journey and how I could try to make a day or a moment even more still. I tend to do too much, or make too many plans in one day. This was the first time in a long time I really allowed myself to slow down and pick and choose what served me best for 21 days straight. It was heaven. I think one of the biggest lessons I will take away from this is to really try to keep that stillness and daily calm present in my every day life. 

I happen to be a super emotional human being and I definitely found that over the course of the 21 days I was in a more stable place. I still had ups and downs and days of feeling anxious or frustrated but I found that in general I became a lot more slow and was able to start to see things in that way. Instead of letting something go directly to that point in your chest where you feel like you could burst into tears, I really could view the situation from the outside and try to think of the best way to deal with what was going on. 

I also felt like I talked more ( I hope in a good way!) to my husband and friends. I tried to really communicate and think about what I wanted to say and do in whatever the situation was. Making a point of saying something and doing it and really meaning it. I recognize how hard it is to please everyone but if you can zero in on the things that are most important in that moment then you can usually really open up to listen and respond the people you are with! 

I don’t know what else I can say but if anyone else participated, I would love to hear your feedback. If you’re just jumping in now, go for it! I will definitely hold on to as much as I can from this experience. If anyone has questions I would be happy to answer them! Now that the 21 day holistic eating and living journey is finished I’m going to try to bring a few more exciting things to the blog. More recipes and nutrition based information as well as some interviews on women who are currently pregnant and what their experience was nourishing themselves before ( or early on) in pregnancy! A final thank you to my friends and family who supported me through the experience, I feel very very lucky. 

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