Spring... Its Sprung.

~ ~

Ah, spring. It is the time of year when I feel most alive. The time when I wake up from what seems like a long winters nap, amidst more and more fresh produce at the farmers market, longer days and later sunsets... oh yes, a few extra winter pounds that smuggled themselves in there somehow. I always look back or look ahead to winter, trying to visualize warmth and coziness in front of the fireplace, roasted root vegetables, Christmas with family, and the exciting times of a new year. But, truth be told, the winter every year for me is a hard time. I feel less motivated, less alive. And I try to fight it. I try and fight it with optimism and baking and yoga. But, it just seems natural for my body to want to hibernate for a while... not do much of anything and eat more than my fair share of cookies.

But this is not winter my friends, and spring has finally shown its pretty little face. I feel as though my new year is ready to begin, as all seems bright and new, and myself refreshed. I wanted to share with you my next month long cleansing and rejuvenation plan. Sometimes my body yearns to be reset, and now is about that time! I try not to incorporate extreme ways into my lifestyle, so this detox of sorts is really just a gentle purging to make room for all the goodness that spring has to offer. So here's my little ol plan:

1. Diet. Not "to diet", but rather "my diet." I'm trying not to focus on what I am not going to eat but rather let the season give me all it has to offer and supplement with whole grains and minimal amounts of dairy and eggs. So that means tons of the freshest produce, whole grain rices/quinoas, and some yogurt/cottage cheese thrown in there too. So for the next month I'm saying goodbye to added sugars, breads, anything processed, and all meat. It is a very gentle cleanse of sorts, that seems right for me... right now. I am excited to reset my palate, enjoy the simplicity of food and appreciate and remember what its first and foremost function is: nourishment.

2. Mind. This winter has been somewhat of a whirlwind for me for several different reasons. I started baking professionally, which has always been something I have been interested in pursuing. I started a new and wonderful relationship. I started teaching baking. My dad relapsed from his cancer. I have continued with some of my own health struggles. Oh yes, and it has been the season when I feel most vulnerable, most fragile. So it has been an emotional time for me for good and bad, but it has left me feeling that I have less time with myself, less time to focus on me. I need and appreciate this time almost as much as anything else in my life. It brings me clarity and peace. It is my religion of sorts (other than peanut butter the great I guess) and my goal is to set aside time each day for mediation. It can be for five minutes or it could stretch for an hour .(doubt it, but hey it could happen!) Making time for myself is nonnegotiable in my daily adventures, so I am excited to have a place in my life for that again.

3. Body. Yoga for myself is a given. What is it that centers and calms your mind and body? But not just through exercise, I plan to care for my body and prepare it for the livelier months. Taking care of my skin by making homemade masks, taking baths, rubbing aloe on my predictable oven burns... Being kind and caring for your body. In short, putting more awareness into how I handle myself and my surroundings.

So folks, this is what I have so far. It is my first month long cleaning of sorts, and I am excited. I'm most excited to learn more about myself and how I will react to different challenges.... not to mention what will be a challenge, and what wont be. I will post some recipes, some findings, and I hope you might do your own version (however intense, however minimal) with me. Journeys with support always seem a bit more doable. Good luck and happy new year.

Song Pairing

"Years" by JBM.
This song reminds me of stretching in the morning and waking....little by little.


Brandi said...

I think I need to take this little journey with you. I keep coming back to the idea of giving up bread, but it's such a huge component of my diet, I worry what I'll do without it. Maybe I just need to limit myself (and hide the nectarine jam, which is the biggest reason I eat bread). You've given me a lot to think about...

Steph said...

yay Brandi! That would be exciting. Speaking of bread... and comfort... I was just working on another post. I have actually learned a couple things about myself in the past couple days. Anywho, Ill talk about it more later, so long story short... I thought I would cut out all foods that I am emotionally tied to. Or at least the heavy hitters. I want to see what will happen and how I will react when I dont have peanut butter to reach for or a chewy piece or bread to knaw on... I am wondering how I will deal with things differently. It will be interesting at the very least. Thanks for your support!

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