Less thoughts, happy belly.

So I have been pretty busy lately. As I mentioned in my last super short post, I finally managed to get a yoga class going, and it has brought so much joy to my life! When I was teaching back home in Canada, I knew I enjoyed it, and I felt like it was a good fit for me, but it was not until I was away from it for 6 months, that I truly realized just HOW much I enjoy it. I am barely making any profit at all, but the happy energy and bliss I feel after my weekly class is all I need. I feel peace because I know that teaching yoga is the right path for me. And also, my home practice has become more grounded, which is great!

In other news, I got a car! A super mini-tiny black little bubble car.

It was free from another English teacher who is leaving. All I had to do is pay for the yearly inspection that all cars must go through. A ton of paperwork and insurance setting up later, and I am now mobile! I still ride my bike to work, and to the grocery store, and to the beach. Car does not equal a quick way to replace my bike. But now, instead of spending over $200 a month for me and my guy to get into the city on the train, we can travel for much cheaper. And we can now go on road trips into the mountains. I see many camping and hiking trips in our future.

Also, spring time has come early this year in Japan.

Which means, more time outside on my bike under cherry blossoms (not my photo, but you get the idea), and less time inside on the computer.

Lately, I have been experimenting a bit with my diet (because, like many of you, I always am). For two weeks straight I battled with an intense craving for meat. I have never had such a craving in my life. Figuring that I simply needed some protein, I tried to satisfy these cravings with natto, lentils, tofu, tempeh, and fish. But it would not go away. So after much deliberating I tried some meat---for the first time in a long time. And, it made me feel like a million bucks! I am working right now, on how to incorporate some meat (which my body is loving and receiving very well) into macrobiotic guidelines. Tricky business, that`s for sure.

But sometimes you just need to listen to your body and stop listening to your mind. You know what I mean? I know both Heather and Maggie have recently been enjoying some meat, and have seen some great results. My eats lately are brown rice (mixed up here and there with some buckwheat, millet, and oats), natto, seaweed, veggies, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, flax oil, fish, tempeh (finally found some here!!), occasionally some meat, and a bit of fruit. And of course, some dark chocolate here and there.

My biggest, not to mention continual, struggle is to SLOW DOWN, and NOT OVER THINK. I stopped to consider my eating habits, and realized that I have spent SO much wasted time on deciding if I should/can allow myself to eat something. But the wasted energy doesn`t stop there, because once I decide to eat something, then how much? With what? What will it do to me? Can I mentally allow it?

I wholeheartedly believe that thoughts like this are detrimental to one`s health. So right now, I am trying to listen to my body and decide if a craving is physical or mental, and to just slow down and enjoy something when I am eating it. And also, to not spend so much time thinking about food in general. This is hard when there are so many food blogs I love to read, so if I haven`t been around much lately, it`s because I am experimenting more with letting go of food thoughts.

Sometimes it`s really nice to just go with the flow and eat whatever you first think of. I was in a restaurant the other day, and I just ordered the first thing I saw that appealed to me. I didn`t compare it to other items. I didn`t waste time thinking about calories or if it was on my “ok to eat” list. And you know what? The meal was so much more enjoyable. Way more than if I had scoured the menu looking for the most perfect/allowable thing to eat. It is interesting, because while I do like a splurge once in awhile, most things that I naturally gravitate towards are healthy and nourishing, so that makes me happy.

I am also sure that so many thoughts are NOT good for your digestion, no matter what you are eating! If it has taken you 20 minutes to decide you should just have the salad, but without the dressing, and maybe subbing the croutons for more tomatoes...your body will probably not receive this food very happily. Some times less thinking and worrying, and more croutons (???) are better for you belly, and your soul.

I have noticed here in Japan, that people just seem to eat whatever they want, without worry, and just enjoy it. Whether is raw fish, ice cream, or curry rice. No mental battles going on before eating in this part of the world. And coincidentally, substantially SUBSTANTIALLY less overweight people. Food is big here. People LOVE food. But, they don`t overthink every decision. Now, you may be thinking that “ well, if they aren`t overweight, then of course they don`t need to worry about their food choices so much.”

But maybe look at it from the other way: Perhaps, they aren`t overweight, because they don`t overthink their meals, and instead just enjoy what they are eating, when they are eating it. When they are done eating, then don`t think about it anymore, and instead enjoy life. No food obsessing, just generally healthy choices.

If you are overall healthy and balanced in your eating, then you don`t need to worry about every little detail.

So, take it easy. Slow it down, like this cute turtle I found on the net:

Don`t take life (including eating) too seriously. Every second you spend thinking about food, deciding for hours over what to eat, or beating yourself up over something you ate, is a second that could have been enjoyed by stepping into the present moment and accepting it for what it is! Listen to your body. Trust that inner voice (it won`t always tell you to eat the ice cream, I promise). Make the most of your time! Every once in awhile, enjoy your croutons. And maybe just eat the damn cake too?


Question to you: have you ever noticed that the people who seem to be naturally, consistently, and easily healthy and fit, do not spend much time overthinking what they eat?