antioxidants, appetite, evening primrose oil, food, herbs, hunger, intuitive eating, job, journey, process, supplements, turmeric, vitamins, work
Time for an off-cycle post to keep y’all guessing…typically I post on Sundays but I was a little tied up and tired last Sunday. J and I are continuing to tackle my beyond messy garage, and last weekend was focused just on icky cobweb removal and sweeping. Yep, it was that bad. Next up is another round of sweeping and then some TLC to seal up the cracked concrete that’s letting in trickles of water whenever it rains. Yes, it literally, really and truly all “rolls downhill.” Gotta love living at the bottom of a steep hill, and who knows where the uphill drainage problems lie. Plus, my garage is mostly below ground level. Then, we PAINT!
I can’t believe that this Friday marks one month at my new job! Job shifts can be both abrupt and uplifting when you work short-term consulting engagements as I’ve done since circa 2006, and/but I find they also provide a huge opportunity to revisit my workweek routines and make changes! How exhilarating!
I continue to practice Intuitive Eating as a way to swear off the diet mentality once and for all. And also with the long-term goal to normalize my weight…gradually and without hunger! This is a daily journey of discovery, and every day I feel more confident about the choices I make and I steer far away from judging myself or criticizing myself on how “well” I did on any given day. That comes right down to thinking about food differently…meaning, there’s no such thing as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’ food. It’s just FOOD! And what one might typically label as “junk food,” is better known as “play food.” I love that!
A new work routine is perfect fodder for reshaping my eating habits. In my previous job, for example, I would typically skip breakfast as I was constantly running late and was facing an unbelievable 45 minute suburb-to-suburb commute. What a head scratcher! Toward the end of that work assignment I discovered Intuitive Eating and I began bringing stuff to work like granola to enjoy with milk (the company provided beverages free of charge) or I would just go grab an early lunch. And I also started enjoying mid to late afternoon mini meals which I previously had avoided, thinking I would somehow “spoil” my dinner appetite. I brought in meal replacement shakes I had purchased over a year ago for a 5-day cleanse I was too chicken to try and ended up mixing them occasionally with milk – they’re perfect as a midday snack rather than the torture of using them to replace meal after meal for days in a row! I also started bringing in snacks such as unsalted almonds. And I started enjoying V8 juice something fierce. I listened closely to my body’s internal cues and really began Honoring My Hunger.
Now my work commute has shrunk to a glorious 15 minutes in the morning and maybe a half hour tops in the evening. And our team has an unwritten rule that no matter how hectic things might be…get away from your desk for 30 minutes and take a midday break! Granted that break might be at 11:00am some days and 2:00pm other days, but take the break! We have a significant team presence in Atlanta, 3 hours ahead of Seattle time. So I am often on conference calls during traditional lunch break hours here on the west coast. I find that Intuitive Eating works wonderfully in these types of constantly changing midday mealtimes, and I love it! I’m moving into a routine of eating 2 smaller meals during the day anyway…two “mini lunches,” and it seems to work well keeping me feeling satisfied and not stuffed and bloated.
Given our cafeteria could use some competition of sorts (and given I was royally spoiled by the massive, spectacular food service provided at my previous job), I’m starting to bring more of my own food in to work in a cool lunch tote bag that’s insulated with foil to keep food warm or cold. What’s in the bag?
- Raw, unsalted almonds
- Organic walnuts (look up ‘health benefits of walnuts’ and you’ll be astonished!)
- Yogurt-covered raisins
- A can of low sodium V8 juice (perfect for a midday pick me up; I’ve sworn off soda completely during the workweek – even sparkling water – as it’s no longer free of charge in our work vending machines)
- String cheese
- Greek yogurt (I’m still experimenting with what I like and don’t like, but I do enjoy the tangier taste of Greek yogurt compared to traditional yogurt.)
- Gluten free pretzels
- Baby carrots
I also enjoy a sweet treat occasionally, such as when someone brings in donuts or other pastries, or when I take a fun swing by a co-worker’s desk who always has tons of small candies in a glass jar. (That’s the “play food” I mentioned earlier; sometimes nothing will do but a couple of Tootsie rolls.) And I go through water by the gallon. I gave up Diet Coke in early January 2010, and now I’m losing my craving for canned, sparkling sodas as well. I do think this has cut down on my tummy bloat, but we’ll see how that pans out long-term!
And, knock on wood, I’ve yet to come down with any sniffles or illness this calendar year! I’ve built on the arsenal of supplements for staying healthy post I did earlier this year and thought I’d share what else I’ve discovered.
I take most of my supplements in the morning before heading to work, but also take a few in the evening before dinner:
- 1 glass of low sodium V8 juice
- 1 glass of buttermilk (I know, I know, this can trigger gag reflexes in many of you, but I love buttermilk – I adore the slightly sour and tangy taste and also how it fills me up – that’s my Dad’s genes at work)
- Concentrated fruits and vegetables
- Double X supplements – I alternate this daily with the two supplements above. This is a 3-tablet turbo boost of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
- An Omega-3 supplement. This is especially important to me now, as I’m no longer in a position to regularly enjoy some good seared salmon during the day at lunch.
- Evening Primrose Oil: I actually take a capsule of this both in the morning and in the evening. Ladies, if you’re mid 40-something like me and the hormones are a-changin’, this is a great way to even everything out. It lessens food cravings and cuts back on PMS mood swings (not that mine were ever anything severe, thank goodness) and breast lumpiness/tenderness, which is typical prior to your period. But check out the link for more, as its benefits go far beyond anything strictly female-related.
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Milk Thistle and Dandelion – a great protectant of your liver.
- Turmeric – my goodness read up on the health benefits of this herb…astonishing! And next time I will likely order a refill through this website for a far better deal than at my local grocery store. I debate between spending a lot on supplements vs getting a discounted version.
After all, what could be more important that what we put into our bodies to fuel and nourish ourselves? Shouldn’t we seek out the very best? It doesn’t have to be the most expensive product per se, but I’m all for finding a bargain wherever possible.
Thanks for this post. I’m curious about your taking of evening primrose oil. I’ve been reading a few different articles about it lately (such as this one and this one), but none seem to mention how they interact with other herbs. Have you noticed any odd interactions between it and the stuff you’re taking? For that matter, that and any of the foods that you seem to be eating a bunch of? Thanks!
Hi, Linda! Thanks for taking the time to comment on this post! I have not had any adverse reactions with other supplements when taking evening primrose oil. Nor have any foods either. I take evening primrose oil typically in the evenings when I get home from working out and prior to a light dinner. I find evening primrose oil seems to help dissipate any mid-cycle or PMS-type food cravings.