I am facing the reality that I am a very sensitive soul. I said it today as I had my visit with my natropathic doctor. I sometimes feel like I was born in the wrong time. Like as in I was born to late. When I was able to stay home with my kids, homeschool and cook things from scratch, I felt grounded and happy despite a lot of choas going on around me. I felt strong in my life. When that got turned upside down a couple of years ago I have felt lost. Like I am out in a storm holding on to a twig. Well I am starting to feel strong again but it’s been a journey with a lot of help and helpers along the way.
I can’t say my primary care doctor was much help beyond the fact he was the first one (and believe me I was doctor hopping) to get some blood work done. I had a friend tell me I was wishing for something to be wrong and that nothing was. Well her jaw dropped when I met up with her and told her I was prediabetic. She asked for my numbers as if my doctor even got it wrong and then said “yeah…you are…wow”. I admit to anyone who knows me it was a shock. I am not overweight or have any other thing that would have pointed that out.
I took six weeks between my primary care visits to health coach myself. Something I am shamefully admitting I was not doing. I was not doing any self-care. I would try but then would drop it to take care of others. Now when my grandson went into the hospital something shifted. As I sat listening to my helpers/healers in my life tell me I need to take care of me I actually heard them and started to say no to things and started to try to take care of myself. One small step at a time. What I was able to jump into was my food. I cleaned that up pretty quick.
My body is sensitive to changes and there have been a lot in the last few years. These changes have taken a toll on my health as I let go of things I use to do that were soothing for someone like myself. I know I need extra care. I wish I could be like a weed in my garden and just bloom not matter what is going on around me but that is not really who I am. I’ve been good at putting up a front that I am, but the truth is I am not. It was the self-care I practiced that got me through times that were tough. I am more like a delicate flower that needs the right conditions to bloom. For a while I thought this was a fault, as if something was wrong with me. I am starting to see there is nothing wrong with being this way. It’s just who I am and embracing it is ok. Saying “no” is ok. Taking more time to rest is ok. Trying to add in more creative time in my day is ok. Not working out like a crazy woman at the gym is ok. Needing warm scents as summer fades away and fall kicks in is fine. Ordering tea at a coffee shop is totally ok. These are the things I need to soothe my soul.
All these things that somehow I thought were odd about myself are actually what I need. My body has been screaming for me to listen and I kept going on like I was super woman and I kept pushing myself when I needed to just rest. I ignored some pretty big red flags.
One part of my body that has always flared up as a result of stress and not taking time out for me is my liver. You tell this to your primary doctor and you get a weird look. My liver is getting an extra dose of work as I let my self-care go, got overly stressed and well its that time in my life when my hormones are wonky and it’s the liver that deals with that. You add that and my diet of not so great foods ( heavy on the carbs) that I was using to “self medicate” and you get a cocktail called prediabetes. So maybe my primary care doc wasn’t half wrong when he said stress was the issue. What I wasn’t getting is while I can’t remove the stress from life without moving to the moon, the change that needed to happen was, I needed to change how I a react to that stress and make sure to take extra care of myself when things get extra rough. I am learning how to do this each day.
I did some changing, returned to my doctor six weeks later and had changed my sugar numbers and reversed my prediabetes. Now he just looked at me and said it was stress and we will see where I am next year. Asked if I had any other issue to talk about and then shook my hand and said see you next year for your annual. Yeah, ok thanks!
For months before this, I woke up with extreme nausea. It was so bad at times I needed to lay still in bed and I wasn’t able to eat for hours. Not good when you have blood sugar issues. I tried a bunch of things but nothing worked. When you have to go to work and you need to eat a little protein it makes life hard. I can admit to crying in front of the fridge a few mornings and thinking I was going to waste away. Some mornings I just wished it would happen already and I could get the misery over with. Not a pretty site and it so wasn’t me. I am not like this. A huge red flag.
My juicer is still covered in dust and I miss using it like crazy. I don’t have the time in the wee hours of the morning to juice and clean up. I know it would be a great way to get nutrients in. So instead I turned to my good old blender and started making smoothies. At first I wanted to reach for protein powders. I had tried that last fall but felt sort of weird on them. The sugar levels are insane too. I had sold a product last year that was better but really all of those shakes and smoothies in a can are not worth it if you really look at the ingredients. Get back to eating whole foods is what I knew I needed.
Yes you can do a protein shake out of whole foods in a matter of minutes and be full for hours. It’s easy.
First, select your base, in other words the liquid you’re going to use. I use unsweetened almond milk because I am get extra protein and while I went dairy free for two years and can now tolerate dairy I don’t want to push it. You can use coconut milk or even coconut water if you’re looking for a dairy alternative. Keifer is a great idea because you get the benefit of protein and probiotics. Just watch the flavored ones and the sugar in them.
Second, choose your protein. Unsweetened greek yogurt, chia seeds, hemp seeds, nut butters, nuts or seeds are all great ideas. I love avocados in my smoothies. You can also add vegetables like spinach for protein. Have fun with this.
Lastly, pick some flavors to sweeten if you like. You could stop with the above or you could add some frozen or fresh fruit. pomegranate seeds are a favorite of mine at the moment. Some mornings I like pumpkin in my smoothie and a little cinnamon. Did you know cinnamon is good for those with predietes or even diabetes? I just like warming flavors as the seasons change. I also love mango, cherries and bananas. Some mornings I enjoy unsweetened carob chips as a special treat in my smoothies.
This liquid breakfast helps me and I have found I look forward to this more than I use to look forward to my morning cup of coffee.
So it’s time to accept more self care and self love. Time to drop the idea of keeping up with “them”. Who ever they are they can run at top speed. I’ll stop when I get the chance and slowly sip my tea. How are you going to add more self care into your life? Is your body calling out to you?