The snow is deep outside and spring is a long way off, but the light is starting to slowly come back, bringing with it hope and increased energy. I love this time of year with the holidays over and a new page on the calendar. It is a great time to slow down, review the previous year’s highlights and challenges, and resolve to do better this year. What an opportunity for a fresh start, a new beginning!
I came up with quite an ambitious list this year, as usual, except this time my number one thing is get more organized, which can help me with all of the other things. I recently read a book called Organized Simplicity, which has a lot of great ideas I’m using. First is a weekly template with lists of my daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to check off and space to write my appointments, meal plan, and to-do lists. It is super simple, but keeps me on task. I also have a notebook where I write meal planning ideas, project lists, work ideas, things for the kids, my goals, and anything else I need to get out of my head. She also has a method for deep-cleaning and de-cluttering one room at a time that I am beginning to dive into. I took a huge load of books into Tidal Wave and can’t believe how great it feels to only have books that I really love and want to read.
My other big resolutions revolve around health, something I am always thinking about and trying to improve. Of course I have the usual “exercise more- at least 3 times per week” but this time I really mean it! I can’t believe how sluggish I feel when I get out of the habit of exercising regularly. It’s not easy to take the time for myself with two kiddos, but I’ve been doing a good job of bundling them up and getting them in the chariot so I can take them on a ski. We all get fresh air and I get extra exercise pulling them!
I’m also re-doubling my efforts to eat healthier. This seems to be a moving target as I learn more and my life changes (feeding kids, breastfeeding, etc). The Alaska Food Challenge was a really healthy way to eat, but it is really difficult to keep up with, and there are so many things I really like to have in my life that don’t come from Alaska. It’s not so cut-and-dry anymore so I have difficult decisions to make, just like everyone else.
The most difficult part for me is the grains. It is a ton of work to make all your own bread, pasta, tortillas and crackers, (I must admit I got a little burned out during the food challenge) but the processed stuff just isn’t so good for us. We all know white flour is bad, but whole grains contain antinutrients that keep us from absorbing all those amazing nutrients they offer unless we sprout, sour, or ferment them first. Many traditional cultures know this and would process their grains in such a way before preparing them. You can read all about this and more in the excellent book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. If you are thinking of becoming pregnant, pregnant, or have young children, you absolutely must read her new book, The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care. I thought I ate really healthy until I read these books, but I’m realizing I have a lot to learn and a lot of habits to change.
As I found out, reading the books isn’t quite enough, you actually have to make changes. While I was pregnant with Rylan I got a few new cavities. This is fairly common with expectant mothers, because the nutrient demands are so high for the baby, but I didn’t expect it to happen to me. My teeth and gums are actually in pretty poor shape, so I bought the book, Cure Tooth Decay. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m pretty sure it is going to echo much of the information in Nourishing Traditions. Surprise surprise, another one of my resolutions is to heal my cavities.
I’ll spare you the rest of my resolutions… they probably look an awful lot like yours; spend more time with my family, show my love and appreciation for Matt, be present and patient with my children, etc. It is not a sign of failure that my resolutions look similar year after year, rather it is a sign that these things are really important and I need to continuously pay attention to them. I hope that during this dark, cold season that you, too will find time to reflect and resolve to doing what is important to you.