Self-Care in Times of Stress

by Pamela Cook on August 1, 2010

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Happy Sunday!

This has been a fragile week for me (see last post), and things have been all about taking a day at a time, and keeping self-care high on the list.

This has meant spending some extra time with the kids (learning to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and sucking at it), purchasing a new juicer to begin a wheatgrass juice regimen, planning to work in some comfort foods for the coming week, and finally purchasing P90X!

Wheatgrass Juicing

I’m most excited about the new juicer!

Notice my and my daughter’s reflection in the juicer. We are so easily amused. I found this like-new Omega juicer on Craigslist for $220. The absolute cheapest I’ve seen this model (new) is on Amazon for $256 including shipping.

I’ve wanted to get into juicing since starting a raw vegan diet a year ago, but I guess it wasn’t a high enough priority. I never felt like I could justify spending the extra money. But recently, when mentioning my son’s acne to my gynecologist, she suggested wheatgrass, and gave me literature on it. I was astounded that a medical doctor was handing out information on wheatgrass juice!

Can you believe my 14 year old son actually agreed to drink 1 oz per day? He has read the literature as well, and is interested to learn more. He has even been searching for videos on youtube related to wheatgrass juice.

We picked up a few 1/2 flats of wheatgrass (easier to fit in the fridge) at Jimbo’s in Carlsbad for about $5 each. They should last a week.

I took my son Alex to his first dermatologist appt, and got into quite the back and forth debate about the standard treatment. I can’t believe they are still using antibiotics as a treatment method for acne. This never worked for me as a teenager. It is a waste of time! In my opinion, antibiotics should only be used as a last resort, when someone’s health is severely at risk. Antibiotics create an imbalance of healthy gut flora, and compromise the immune system. It is only a temporary fix as an acne treatment (if it works at all), and has to be taken continually for years! It doesn’t cure it. How ass-backwards is that!?! It is embarrassing that in this modern age, we still use treatments like this in the United States.

I’m allowing my son to use the prescribed topical medications, in addition to wheatgrass juice for internal healing.

I’m starting with 1 oz of wheatgrass juice per day, then upping to 2 oz once I adjust. It is really strong! The first day I felt a bit nauseous after 1 oz. Today is day three, and I felt no affects at all after 1 oz.

Keeping my diet easy, but satisfying

I’ve been really slacking in the planning dept lately. If you are new to my blog, I’m a raw vegan, but still cook the standard American fare for the family. I’m slowly attempting to incorporate healthier vegan dishes into their diet, but it is not easy. If I’m feeling stressed, or overwhelmed, combined with their whining, I tend to fall back on standard unhealthy meals (i.e. cheeseburgers), rather than put the effort into planning something healthy and tasty.

As for myself, I’ve been getting lazy when it comes to planning for my own diet. I haven’t planned much variety lately. I find myself reaching for handfuls of nuts when I need to pacify my hunger, and emotions.

This week I had myself write out what I’ve been craving, and planned to work in some healthy favorites.

I came up with the following:

For cooked vegan comfort food – baked yam fries, roasted green beans (inspired by a recent blog post from Oh She Glows), and sprouted Essene Bread, toasted with coconut oil.

I already made a batch of the yam fries, adapted from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive Vegan Nutrition Guide:

Garlic Oregano Yam Oven Fries (original recipe, with my changes)

2 medium yams
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds (I substituted in some walnuts)
1 Tbsp oregano
1 1/2 Tbps coconut oil (I go heavy on the coconut oil)
1/2 Tbsp basil (omitted this time because I forgot)
sea salt to taste

Cut Yams into strips and combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl. (Melt the coconut oil if needed). Toss the yam pieces in the mixture and bake at 300 degrees for about 35 minutes.

I have also added in a few spoonfuls of pesto if I have it on hand, to replace the need to peel and chop garlic, and add basil.

This recipe is amazing!

Even though I consider myself “raw vegan”, I still eat a little bit of cooked food for comfort. I think being fanatical about “percentages” of raw is unhealthy for the spirit, and unrealistic. I believe that some fresh roasted veggies are healthier than many “100% raw” dense desserts, laden with sweeteners such as agave.

Oh – and I can’t forget my new vice, cappuccino. This is my healthiest version of coffee possible, and I enjoy it most mornings these days.

For my raw vegan dishes this week, I’ve planned spring rolls, and zucchini pasta with pesto sauce. I know it seems like very little planning for an entire week of meals! But I like to operate mostly on-the-fly. If I have a full-blown recipe to prepare each and every day, plus cook for the family, it’s too much.

One of my favorite sauces is pesto. I love to make a huge batch, and aside from pairing it with zucchini “pasta,” it goes great with impromtu meals such as roasted or marinated raw veggies, and salads.

Last but not least, my foray into P90X

During this unsettled time in my life, I’ve been having a difficult time staying motivated to work out. I decided it would be nice to have a program to follow. I like the idea of just popping in a dvd, and doing what it says. I don’t want to have to think about what I should be doing.

Furthermore, I love that this program has a specific formula and purpose for why it is put together the way it is. That means, every workout counts. This provides built-in motivation.

I just purchased a used version of the program on Craigslist, and plan to start week one tomorrow.

As for my “barefoot” running (transitioning to running only in Vibram Five Fingers), I plan to run 1 mile three times per week until comfortable, then gradually increase each run a few minutes at a time.

So that’s the plan for keeping my self-care on autopilot for the coming weeks and months.

More to come on all these topics in future blog posts. Plus, staying healthy while traveling in mid August.

I hope you all have a fantastic Sunday and upcoming week!

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