Monday, April 8, 2013

Waking from a deep sleep

Waking from a deep sleep on *sparklingly { http://sparklingly.blogspot.com }
{ Our former Police HQ—Google the current one if you want to cry  |  1 April 2013 }

This winter seems to be dragging on a bit, despite the sporadic bouts of warmth, and with it, I've definitely been dragging a bit, too. My hibernation mode means I'm not feeling as sleek (cold air and high heaters wreck havoc on the skin!), strong (have been quite the lazybones when it comes to weights and things), or flexible (ditto on yoga) as I did just a few months ago.

The only thing that has been somewhat countering this yucky situation I find myself in are the loooooong walks I've been taking—and even those I had to stop for a while because they were too painful. Watery eyes from blustery winds + freezing temperatures = Frozen face. You may think this doesn't bode well for any future move to Sweden, but at least there I'll be expecting it and will be prepared. Here I'm still in denial about the meteorologic state of things.

Clearly I need a little seasonal freshening up, so recently I've been:

+ Drinking stovetop-heated water with liberal squeezes of juice from Meyer lemons first thing in the morning to boost my immune system, balance pH levels, gently push toxins out, keep my lymph system happy and get my digestive juices flowing (sometimes I add a capful of Apple Cider Vinegar to my potion if I've had a particularly heavy or spicy meal the night before).

+ Dry brushing my whole body before a shower and my face in the morning and evenings to get rid of dead skin, promote elasticity, cell renewal and blood flow, continue to keep my lymph system happy, get toxins on their way, and help with digestion. I found a natural, long-handled brush from the drugstore for my body and this wee, horsehair brush for my face from MUJI. In the mornings I use the face brush dry on my skin and in the evening I smear my winter oil concoction on my face first to take off makeup/dirt and then swirl the brush over my face and neck.

+ Reinvigorating how I exercise. I think one of the reasons I haven't made an effort lately to get up and move in the morning is because I was bored (and / or cold!). So last week I looked up some new ideas for strength / body-weight moves (Pinterest is great for this!), updated my routines (I put together Google Drive slideshows targeting different muscle groups or grouped by style of workout and then I just access them on my phone when I'm ready to go—they're easy enough to see while my phone is perched in its armband). I also downloaded some new Yoga Podcasts because I want to get back into it after a bit of a break. I liked how I felt and how my body aligned itself when I was practicing regularly. You could say that I'm a little unaligned at the moment.

Hopefully a little of this and a little of that will give me a little spring-appropriate rebirth / rejuvenation of sorts. So far I've noticed the most benefit from face brushing—my skin looked much brighter after just one day. And! Even though I didn't have the best luck with Pure Synergy (although I've been thinking of trying them again since I didn't take the full dosage the first time around and they're still the cleanest product I've seen), I HAVE had some luck with the Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega D3 capsules that I started taking a month ago. Given how hard it is to buy fish I feel good about, I wanted to get my Omega 3's from a supplement and I figured that while I was at it, a little Vitamin D was in order. While I haven't had the elusive burst of energy I'm looking for, I did at least notice a slight uptick in my energy level and way less of the endless yawning I usually do, so maybe there's something to it?

I've also been looking into a few other vitamins and supplements to augment things, but it'll be a while before I can share since I'm still awaiting my Amazon box of goodies to arrive and I want to incorporate them one at a time so I can pinpoint which ones actually have an effect.

And, I hope I don't sound like one of those slightly neurotic, pill-popping fanatics—the wacky type that makes everyone around them feel slightly uncomfortable (the odd thing is I don't really talk about this at all except for here). I've just become interested in these things over the last few months because even after eating and living fairly cleanly for a few years, I've never felt as good as I think I should feel by living that way. Plus, reading about how our produce today has less vitamins and minerals than a generation ago (thanks to soil depletion and pollution), I figured it might not hurt to give my system a little help...right?

8 comments :

  1. what about adding weights to your exercise routine? my cousin swears by his 17 minute high impact work outs...

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    1. Weights are actually the focus of my exercise routine. I made a big change about a year ago and I could not BELIEVE the change in my body composition (mentioned it here: http://sparklingly.blogspot.com/2012/11/be-gentle.html).

      After reading about it on Mark's Daily Apple, I switched from doing about 80% mindless cardio + 10% light weights + 10% yoga (which made for a morning exercise routine of 60-75 minutes) to doing 70% heavy weights/body weight exercises + 15% yoga + 15% HIIT cardio, which now takes me about 30 minutes. And, I also walk everywhere that I can. Huge difference (getting the extra sleep is also nice, too).

      Problem recently was that I just wasn't doing ANYTHING thanks to the cold and general winter blahs ;).

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  2. 1) I think it's funny how you use google to manage your life too! :) i have totally adopted excel, docs and ppts as a way to manage most of my "projects"
    2)Since i've been learning a lot about ayurveda lately... and at the core of it, says that everyone exhibits a body/mind type ...and based on the stuff you're mentioning here, it kind of sounds like you're presenting some kapha inblalanced qualities. Interestingly enough, you're already addressing the very things that are supposed to help counter those that are more kapha...see: http://www.medindia.net/alternativemedicine/DietandLifestyle/kapha/lifestyle-kapha.asp

    But there could be more you could glean off of what to do to enhance... in relationship to sleep habits etc etc... best suited for kapha inbalance...

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    1. 1) I am OBSESSED with Google! I use all their products to run my life ;)

      2) I went through a deep obsession with Ayurveda in college (getting back to my roots!). I didn't like the things that were prescribed for my vata, though (no spicy food?! never!), so I now take a bit from all ;). Thanks for sharing the link though, perhaps it's time for refresher!

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    2. Wow! Thats impressive a college student actually learning about healthy lifestyles - seems counter intuitive to student life as a whole!

      So I am vata pitta and because of the fiery nature of pitta I've pulled back on spicy and caffeine (but those are the most difficult) however for vata the most beneficial thing I've experience is having a strong routine. Its something that does help to simplify and bring calm to my very active mind. I tend to see things as the whole mountain and routines (same bed times and early sleep and wake and especially when I eat! ) Also a clean or warm ambience makes for much more mental space and zen as well so that might be why we are drawn to that in our homes. All I know is flowers make me happy and I love gardening bc it really puts me in a calm zone, where during it, I really can be in that space of " there's no other place I have to be..."

      Anything to help the thinker/worrier aspect of vata! But that also makes for being very organized and good at creating structure, which is part of what I do everyday for work.

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    3. My college experience was the antithesis to the typical one! ;)

      I'm vata pitta as well (previous comment should be "for my vata pitta"). I'm also a minute planner (*cough* Google Calendar *cough*) and it's what I'm most "known" for! ;) Just the thought of calendar, schedules, routines, timetables, filing labels, etc. makes me giddy! (Sadly, so does the thought of spicy food, yum1).

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  3. Also... i was JUST talking to another friend about the lemon water and she mentioned apple cider vinegar... so now i'm curious about that too! I think being aware of our digestion is just something that most people aren't quite aware of or can appreciate what it feels like to not be bloated all the time or like a brick sitting in your belly when it becomes the "norm"... just something you have to experience to be able to understand.

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    1. ACV feels SO good going down (although the first few times it's a little odd, but I'm so used to it now).

      The brick in my stomach—-totally describes my daily feeling pre-gluten free.

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XOXO,
J.