The “Yes” Express

IMG_2244 “I’d love to, but I’m afraid I’m just too busy that day, but let’s get a date on the calendar, that does work”. “I’d love to help at the event but I’m already volunteering at a fundraiser that same week”. These things aren’t hard to say and yet somehow or other, when we are in the moment, often these are not the words that come out. We end up saying “Of course, I’d love to help” or “I’ll be there” or “Yes, I’ll host that” or any number of similar answers. We just seem to have a hard time saying “NO”!

Jingle Bells

The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for many people. There’s decorating and shopping to be done, baking and cooking. We want to see all our family, friends and colleagues. There are parties and open houses and dinners and on and on. How wonderful it all sounds! However, a couple of weeks at this pace and you may find yourself tired and grumpy before we’re even half way through December, which is not wonderful at all! Of course we want to do as many fun things as possible and if you are good with a hectic pace, go for it! However, for some of us it’s important to set boundaries and save a little time and energy so that we can enjoy the season. I remember the days when I would cram it all in, and be so exhausted by the end of the year that I inevitably started the New Year with a bad cold and sore throat.

My Proposal

I don’t want you to think of it in terms of saying “no” to someone or something but instead think of it as saying “yes” to yourself! We all love the word “yes”. It has such a nice soft sound to it. It’s fun to say and good to hear.
When you say “no” to an invitation or obligation that could cause you stress, what you’re really doing is saying, “yes” to you, and you’re worth it!!

“Yes” is More!

Saying, “yes” to yourself is like telling yourself how valuable you are. How worthy you are of care and consideration. You’re telling yourself you’re important, and your needs are valid. When you say, “yes” to yourself you’re also setting a good example for your family, friends, and children. People will respect you when you set these boundaries. Lead by example and set the tone for others. When you get through the season with ease and are able to enjoy every moment with your friends or loved ones, and maintain good health and cheer, others will take note. It is not selfish but sensible. What good are you to anyone if you deplete yourself or compromise your own life or health? We naturally want to make others happy (which is a nice thing) but we shouldn’t always do this at the expense of ourselves. You don’t have to always be the one to host the family gathering or make the entire meal. Find ways to share the responsibilities with others. And don’t feel bad about declining an invitation (as lovely it is to receive them) because you have multiple commitments that same week and you need a little time to recharge or to work on your own projects or passions. Unless of course you actually enjoy wrapping presents at 2 a.m.!

Say “yes” to...  

yourself

your health

your body

your well being

your needs

your spirit

your passions

your dreams

your choices

your ideas

If saying, “yes” to someone else compromises your life in some way, then you seriously need to think about saying, “yes” to yourself instead! I spent years saying, “yes” to things and people that didn’t serve me. How did that work out for me? Not so well! I have worked hard at learning to say “yes” to myself instead. It takes practice but I can report that I have gotten rather good at it! Trust me, the more you practice doing it, the easier it gets. You quickly see and feel the difference it makes in your life and then there’s no going back. The power of saying, “yes” to yourself builds and builds. So, get on the “yes” express with me now, and feel the difference for yourself! How are you at saying, “yes” to yourself and your needs? Do you have any tips to share to help us all out as we navigate the holiday season? Please share below, we’d love to hear!  email_signoff1

Go with the flow! The Benefits of Eating What’s In Season

I think we would all agree that’s its easier to be in the natural flow of things than trying to fight against it. This is just as true when it comes to eating. Sometimes we have to be reminded to change our diet with the season. So many of us eat the exact same thing for breakfast everyday, don’t vary our lunches very often and have a few go-to dinner recipes. This does make our busy lives just a little easier. However, let’s keep the seasons in mind and try to follow the natural order of things. Our ancestors would eat with the season, not because they were trying to be fashionable but because they simply didn’t have a choice. They didn’t expect to be eating peaches in the winter and Brussels sprouts in the summer. Technology and our modern food system allow us access to most foods all year round and grocery store shelves don’t vary that much from season to season anymore.
Eating seasonally is simply trying to include foods in your diet that are grown at the same time of the year that you actually eat them.
Eating seasonally is good for your health, the planet and can save you money! IMG_1092

Higher Nutritional Content

Produce harvested and eaten at its peak generally has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than produce harvested before it’s really ready and then shipped long distances. You know what a big fan I am of those free-radical fighting antioxidants helping to keep our bodies free from disease! Foods that are grown out of season are often sprayed with all sorts of chemicals to help them survive in a growing season that’s not natural for them. Therefore, these foods are often full of pesticides, waxes, preservatives and other chemicals that are used in order to make them look fresher than they are. YUK! More preservatives = Less nutritional value

Flavor

Fruits and vegetables just taste better when they’re eaten in season. A great example is the perfect, juicy tomato ripened by the summer sun versus the bland, not so juicy green house grown winter version

Variety is the spice of life

When we eat for the seasons we naturally get a broader variety of foods in our diet. This can encourage us to try new things and consequently, expand our palate. This can also help create a more well-rounded and better balanced diet. Nature knows best and seasonal foods often harmonize with our nutritional needs. In winter we are provided with foods that help keep us warm and in summer with foods to cool our body down and keep us hydrated. So as winter approaches, think about replacing that lunch salad with a bowl of hearty soup. Eating seasonally also allows us to rotate the foods we eat which may help prevent us from developing food intolerances to certain foods and reap the health benefits of a diverse diet that is naturally detoxifying. IMG_1020

Value for money

When a food is in season, and plentiful its also usually less expensive. When it’s out of season it can cost a small fortune. Think about the teeny wee tub of blueberries that costs double what it did a couple of month ago. Ouch! When you buy what’s in season, you’re buying that food at the peak of its supply and it costs less for farmers and distribution companies to harvest and deliver to your grocery store or local farmers market. Out of season food either grown in an unnatural environment or shipped half way around the world is not only not as good for your health but can break the bank.

Save the planet

By eating seasonally this often in turn means you’re eating more locally grown produce. This not only helps support local farmers and your community, it also cuts down on fuel costs and pollution. IMG_0880

Harmony

Eating with the season connects us to the calendar, the earth and each other. We can recall or look forward to the activities associated with certain foods such as blueberry picking with a friend or a special seasonal family dinner.

Balance

As with everything, we shouldn’t get too hung up on trying to eat “perfectly” with every season.   Yes, there are health benefits to this food movement, but stressing out over it will reduce those benefits enormously. Just keep the seasons in mind and try to work with them and not against them. If you love a certain fruit or vegetable that’s out of season, it’s not a crime to eat it, but keep in mind that there might be a seasonal or local alternative that’s just as delicious and good for you!

Hearty Winter Vegetable Soup

Talking of expanding our vegetable horizons, Tania from The Cook's Pyjamas www.thecookspyjamas.com created this recipe to do just that – try new winter veggies! http://thecookspyjamas.com/hearty-winter-vegetable-soup/ Hearty-Winter-Vegetable-Soup-3

Roasted Winter Vegetables

Jamielyn from I Heart Naptime www.iheartnaptime.net takes you step-by-step through how to roast the perfect veggies! http://www.iheartnaptime.net/roasted-winter-vegetables/ roasted-winter-vegetables-7-e1358487693365 Do you feel like you already eat with the seasons? Or want to give it a try? Share below any tips of favorite foods you enjoy at this time of year. email_signoff1