The unglamorous scoop on green shakes

GGS

*Illustrator credit: Elissa Hudson (check out more of her work here check out more of her work here).

I wanted to use this adorable graphic when I posted about being back on my green smoothie wagon the other day but I was waiting to get permission from the illustrator because you know … the law. Also because it’s totally not cool to use other people’s work without permission. But you guys already know that so moving on …

Somehow a bunch of you must’ve known I’m working on blog content and recalibrating normal over here because my inbox blew up with some great questions.

Here are a few on the subject of my smoothie situation – if you are looking for perfectly styled pictures and clear step-by-step directions this blog is not for you. I’m more like here’s what works for me, and here’s what I did. And this. Oh, also this. But not this. Bonus tip: here’s what totally didn’t work.  My kitchen journal is basically what it would be like if Amelia Bedelia wrote a cookbook.

(*This post contains affiliate links to products I love and whole-heartedly endorse. My goal is to make millions blogging … there was this infomercial … have Nathalie’s Notes pay for itself and a few cents adding up on Amazon for purchases you are already planning to make seemed like a reasonable way to accomplish that! So thanks for making your Amazon purchases through my Amazon links – it doesn’t matter what you buy.)

With that convincing introduction, here’s the scoop on my breakfast shakes following Kimberly Snyder’s recipe – with less graceful instructions. She makes it sound easy. And the truth is, if you’re not used to this sort of thing it isn’t! At first.

Q: So you use these exact measurements?

A: Oh, no. That’s just a guide.

Q: So ….

A: Oh – well mostly I do it like this: 2 cups water, three heaping handfuls of spinach or kale, one bunch of romaine, blend. Then add three celery stalks. Blend. Then add apple and pear chunks. Blend. Then one banana. Blend. Lemon juice cube or fresh lemon juice. Blend. Done.

Q: Is it hard?

A: Yes. At first.

Q: Does it trash your kitchen?

A: Totally.

Bonus tip: I spare myself some cleanup by making massive amounts of green shake at a time and freezing it in 32 ounce/Quart mason jars. (Make sure you leave room at the top of the liquid before it freezes, or else, you know … BOOM and glass shards Every. Where.)

 

Q: How much do you drink at a time?

A: So, I choke down 8 ounces a day. By which I mean, when I am on my green shake kick I choke down 8 ounces. After about a week or so, my taste buds acclimate and I start to crave different kinds of food. Today though I still want All the Nutella. Matt on the other hand, chugs the whole quart first thing in the morning on all the days I remember to make it for him. Since he often works through lunch I feel like a jerk on the days I forget. (See freezer trick above).

Q: So the lemons are kind of a pain, huh?

A: That was more of a comment than a question. But I had to include it because of the bonus tip below. And actually, it is literally a huge pain if you have an open cut on your hand while you’re juicing these tart babies.

Bonus Tip:

If you think this whole nourishing your body thing might stick, consider picking up one of these lemon juicers. They are sweet to have around, cuts or no cuts. Lemon Juicers For you, Lemon Juicer for Me

Get a bunch of lemons – Meyer lemons are The Best! Pick them up when they’re on sale, squeeze them into your new juicer.

Then I pour in these mini muffin molds and freeze. I bag them for later. Meyer muffins are the bomb.

Q: How do you drink it?

A: Cold. Otherwise it tastes like warm, green sludge. (I’m really selling it, huh? Thing is, there has to be a counter to all the people who rave about it being “easy!” and “delicious!” Because for some of us? No. But also: necessary.)

Q: How long does it take?

A: So much depends (upon a red wheelbarrow …)

I can’t answer this one. If I’m doing it with no interruptions, which happens approximately never, it’s a quick job. I tend to make them in the margins of making dinner while I’m already trashing the kitchen, what’s a few more cores and leafy items on the floor? But once you streamline the process and get used to the measurements, it’s pretty quick.

Q: Do I have to have a Vitamix?

A: No. You have to have something that will blend this stuff up really well though. And they are kind of awesome.

Q: So … I’ve kind of avoided the produce aisle most of my adult life. What’s the best way to do this?

A: ANYway that works for you! I mean, you can plant yourself a garden and all the spinach and romaine you need will sprout at your fingertips. You can even have your own lemon tree!

On the other end of reality is me. I buy the stuff in bags. I even buy the romaine hearts in packs of three and spinach by the box.

I also don’t use all organic stuff because of this little thing called a budget. I do tend to almost always buy organic apples, pears, celery and spinach – some of which are on the Dirty Dozen list for high pesticide levels. (I used to be ignorant about all this stuff, then I got all informed and then I was paralyzed and petrified of food. So now I walk a cherry*-picked path to balance my reality which includes a tight grocery budget and a philosophy that fruit and vegetables I can afford are better than none at all).

*Cherry tomatoes are number 10 on the Dirty Dozen list for 2015 but cherries aren’t on the list this year. They have been in prior years and still show up in Google searches. And THAT is part of what makes me crazy. Total aside, sorry.

To “like me” like me, find me on Facebook at Nathalie’s Notes, on Twitter or on Pinterest. I’m a prolific pinner on deadline. Just sayin’.

 

Nathalie Hardy recently published her first book, “Raising the Hardy Boys: They Said There Would Be Bon-Bons” available at local bookstores and online. Hardy writes in the margins of her life with two little boys and a husband who understands deadlines come before dusting. To contact her, visit www.nathaliesnotes.com. Hardy writes in the margins of her life with two little boys and a husband who understands deadlines come before dusting.


Back on the wagon

There once was a girl who worked kind of hard to be healthier and lose some weight. Then she stopped doing the things that were making her feel better and gained it all back, plus some more for good measure. (See what I did there…)

Okay, it’s me. The obvious question that comes up: “what did you do to lose the weight? Why don’t you do that again?”

People can be so aggressive.

I guess I was kind of hoping someone would discover another trick besides all this dumb talk of diet and exercise. But until then … I’m back on the green smoothie bandwagon.

(Warning: if this isn’t your normal way of eating, it’s gross at first. Your taste buds will adjust. Promise).

 

Glowing-Green-Smoothie

 

 

The Glowing Green Smoothie® Recipe

Author: Kimberly Snyder

Serves: 64 oz

Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups very cold, filtered water
  • ¾ pound organic romaine lettuce, rough chopped, about 1 head
  • ½ head large bunch or small bunch organic spinach
  • 3-4 organic celery stalks, halved
  • 1 organic apple, cored, seeded, quartered
  • 1 organic pear, cored, seeded, quartered
  • 1 organic banana, peeled
  • ½ fresh organic lemon, peeled, seeded
  • bunch organic cilantro with stems (optional)
  • bunch organic parsley with stems (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Place water, romaine, spinach, celery, and optional ingredients, if using, into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Starting the blender on a low speed, blend until smooth.
  3. Gradually moving to higher speeds Add apple, pear, banana and lemon to the blender and blend until smooth.

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Cheers!


Cracked

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For alcoholics, a sign there might maybe be a problem is pouring the cooking sherry on ice.

For my bulimia brain, and other eating disordered thinkers, you know there’s a problem when you start eyeing the baking chocolate.

Of course, for me there’ve been other clues pointing to the problem.

But last year I decided to deal with the swirling storm around me by focusing on healing myself. That brought me back to therapy, among other things. On Mother’s Day I got a FitBit from my family – a gift I wanted, for the record. And something about that little bracelet worked so well for me. It was a physical reminder to me not only to take as many steps as I could but to be mindful of my food intake. I lost 31 pounds last year without barfing or being all obsessed with it.

It felt so awesome. So, so awesome.

I wore clothes I loved. I started to feel a sense of my own style. I thought maybe I could someday possibly enjoy exercising. My taste buds acclimated to not needing everything to be sweet to taste good.

It was good stuff.

Yeah. Was. Like before now.

Today … today (Technically, not, like today right?) I have gained more than half of that back. Which is, you know, not so much fun. In fact it feels like … well, shit. It feels like shit.

Here is the part that shows me I’m slowly healing something more important than my waistline though: yes it feels like shit. But I don’t feel like a complete piece of shit for going back down the slippery slope of eating for comfort, for relief from my pain or solace for my loneliness. Disappointed, of course, but prepared to begin again. Again.

That is huge for me you guys. Huge Significant might be a better choice of words here.

So, even though I felt I had it licked as clean as the spatula I used to make an entire batch of gluten-free brownies for no one in particular just because I needed something sweet to cut the pain inside, I didn’t.

My bulimia brain is kicked into high gear and I am dealing with it. It is not something I can explain to anyone really. You get it, or you don’t. If you’ve struggled to overcome anything like this you get it. If you haven’t I am so, so happy for that!

Begin again seems to be my motto so here is my morning coffee replacement, hot water with lemon.

It’s going to take some getting used to but the part that feels good is knowing I’m starting my day with something good for me. So far, I’ve done it for two days so, you know, we’ll see.

Before sending me links to how coffee can actually be beneficial, it’s not good for me. And that’s mostly due to the shocking amount of sugar I use to make it palatable. Just use less sugar! I know, right? And yet … sugar to me is what heroin is to some … there is no such thing as one cookie for me.

It’s one cookie, maybe two, in front of you.

Then, it’s one when you’re not looking.

Then it’s the rest of the bag when everyone is asleep.

Then it’s lying when the family wonders “What happened to all the cookies?” Or mints. Or ice cream. Or Nutella. We have many such mysteries.

Just don’t buy that stuff. I know, right? And I don’t when my bulimia brain is under control. I know how to make good choices. Except when I don’t. In fact some of my close friends wonder why it is that I have such a hard time losing weight given that I eat pretty healthy. And I do. In front of people. But I also find comfort in my own private heaven hell.

Why didn’t I cross out finding comfort? Well, because honestly as I wrote those words it struck me that even though it doesn’t feel good exactly to make myself sick with food, it is comfortable in a familiar way. Just like an alcoholic doesn’t feel good after drinking a fifth of whiskey, it feels normal. And so somehow comfortable because that is how they cope.

My relationship with food is so disordered I don’t even know how to write about it. And I have no idea why I’m sharing it with you now. I write what I feel clearly called to write and have always trusted that process, so I won’t stop now. But it is all I can do to not scrounge for something sweet to salve this discomfort I’m feeling.

You know what else is uncomfortable though? My fat sitting in my lap as I write this.

It’s uncomfortable when your outside doesn’t match how you feel inside. Because there are so many parts of me that are happy, thankful and love this life I get to live. But then, you know … there are the broken parts.

At church awhile back our pastor talked about how we’re all broken jars of clay – but of course – that’s where the light comes in, right?

So, yeah. I’m cracked.

And from here, I heal.

To some, comparing an eating disordered brain to an addiction like heroin might be offensive. I mean people die from heroin overdoses. But you know what? There are a lot of ways to die. Some of us are walking around dying a little more every day with a smile on our faces. So, it’s worth mentioning.

Similar to drugs, the craving for the next binge – and the mental fatigue from fighting the urge compounded with the shame of struggling with something so “obvious” to others, hurts people.

It has hurt me for a long, long time.

For lent I am giving up that hurt.

For lent I am giving up the habit of eating my feelings.

For lent, I am giving up shame about this.

For lent, I am giving up self-loathing. (You’d think that would be easy. Nope.)

And I’m telling you about it because it’s so much fun to lay bare my heart and mortifying parts of myself.

Wait. No. That is totally not why. That part actually kind of sucks.

I’m telling you because I know I’m not alone here. I know that we all have dark places that need the light of hope, and help.

And they say the first step is admitting there is a problem

Which is hard because once you admit it … you have to own it. And then, you know, act on it or knowingly chose to be a victim at your own hands.

Luckily I’m not like Oprah doing this with an audience of millions, but it does stink to be in this place again. It’s a slippery slope down the rabbit hole and as a friend said “A long crawl out.”

It is.

It is a very, very long crawl out.

And here I begin.

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“There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.”

- Leonard Cohen


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Is my bulimia showing?

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This girl, twenty years ago: 

Is feeling so uncomfortable in these senior pictures.

The caption might read: Is my bulimia showing?

I ache sometimes to see old pictures and read old journal entries because I’ve blocked so much out, and yet carry much of it with me still.

Some of this is coming up due to floods of memories coming back as my high school reunion just came and went.

I would’ve loved to go but there were too many other things to budget for and I couldn’t make it work. But just thinking about connecting with people who knew me (to the extent that was possible) two decades ago, brought up some …. stuff. Good stuff. And also, not so good things.

After nearly two decades though I look back on this girl with more kindness and tenderness than anger and anguish. I see now that it was just all part of the plan, maybe not my plan, but …

There is so much I’d say to her to perhaps ease the journey. But then, it would be someone else’s story and if nothing else I have learned to own my story. All of the parts. And to be willing to be vulnerable, to tell the truth and to allow another to feel less alone. Or, perhaps to give insight into a loved one that baffles them. I don’t know the why, exactly only that I feel called and compelled to do so by something larger than my ego. Which, by the way, prefers I keep it a little less real up in here.

So, in no particular order and in a totally disjointed fashion I send these words to me, 20 years ago. And to you, and whoever else might need to hear them.

(Really? Twenty years?!)

I would tell her she is so not fat. And that even if she is, because she will be, the number on the scale is just information. A gauge by which to measure how she’s feeling on the inside. (I am not saying that’s true for everyone, just know that it was for me. And by was I mean is.)

I would ask her: What makes you feel good? Do more of that.

Also I would tell her to be honest with herself, especially with herself. And, if you’re telling the truth binge eating actually does not make you feel good. Ever. It just makes you feel empty instead of full of feelings you can’t digest. And that will feel like a relief.

Until you bloat again with all the big stuff you can’t handle and then need to binge them away again.

But they don’t go away. And you can’t eat the big, scary stuff away and you can’t barf it out of your system either.

You have to deal with them.

Yeah. I know, I would tell her. Sucks, huh?

Except it doesn’t.

Dealing with feelings, the actual messy part, is not so fun. But it beats avoiding them every single time.

People will tell you it’s not pretty to cry. They will say it’s not okay to be angry over something so stupid. They will tell you you’re making a big deal of nothing. They will tell you you’re being too emotional.

That, dear girl, is code for they can’t handle your feelings. But you? You’ve got this. Keep going. The anger will turn into sadness which will turn into acceptance and you will do things with that acceptance. You will “get” people. You will know without knowing. You will be okay with other people’s big, messy feelings and the world needs that.

You will learn to stand in the presence of hard feelings and let them be, yours or those of others. And you will learn to breathe through them. You will help other people feel okay. And that will mean something to you. It will mean everything to you.

You will learn what belongs to you and what does not. And you will learn to stand in the space of someone else’s disappointment in you and  be okay. For real.

I wish you got there faster, but you’re here now, and that’s all that exists anyway. Just, right now.

It will take you till you’re running out of thirties but it will happen.

And p.s. that stuff you think you can’t handle? You totally can. Not all at once, but you’re not alone and you never have been.

It felt like it because you didn’t trust other people to be there for you. You didn’t tell them what you really needed. Because you didn’t know.

If you only help others without ever letting them return the favor, you’re not being gracious and you’re not letting people love you back. Do that sooner.

I would tell her if you have to smoke to get a break at work, get a different job. Those quick cigarette breaks between bussing tables turn into 12 yeas of smoking a pack a day. Which, if you were being honest, you’d have to admit didn’t make you feel good either.

I would tell her you will never be “popular” until you stop caring about being popular. This will baffle you until you realize that no one ever really feels “in.” Ever. Even in the in crowd someone doesn’t get the memo that collars are being turned up today, but you won’t know that because on the outside looking in it seemed pretty perfect at that table. Later you’ll remember just as fondly the fun you had with your friends eating lunch on the floor by the band room (but will wonder why there?) And by lunch I mean hot pockets, Diet Coke and Sprees. Every day. For a year. It will be a long time before you stop trying to punish yourself for being born. And you’ll wish you did it sooner.

But now you know. And, again, now is all we have.

Oh, also: He won’t call you back unless you don’t care if he calls you back.

And, you’ll do better in the interview if you don’t care if you get the job, by which I mean if you don’t seem all nervous and desperate because you know you’ll be okay either way. Nothing truly important ever hinges on one thing outside of your control. Nothing. Ever.

Those are all lessons in irony. Also, non-attachment. That’s a thing. This will be one of your life lessons, at least from this vantage point there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight. You will come to loathe the expression: “You just can’t get attached to the outcome.” Because you will. And then you’ll let go. And then magic happens. Every. Single. Time.

You’ll know this because you kept a journal and there is proof that this pattern is a Thing.

I would tell her to skip the glamour shots, you’re just not that girl. A ponytail with a pen in your hair is how you roll.

Someday, after a lot of therapy, you will decide you might, after all, be a good enough mother. And you will have kids even when it starts to seem impossible. And those kids will actually form a habit of looking for something to write with and then come to you to bend down so they can pluck your pen out of your hair. And this will make you oddly proud.

Take notes, on everything. You’ll never regret that. Even when looking back makes you cry and cringe. Even when your mom reads it, even when your best friend reads it and even when your boyfriend finds it. You might consider getting better at hiding it. Just sayin’.

Those notes are how you will remember where you’ve come from and lay track for where you’re going.

Because, you see, right now turns into yesterday in a blink. And yesterday informs today but without your notes it’s easy to forget the story of how you got to here.

Right now.

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(You guys, I’m going to sleep on this before I share it. If you see it, there is so much more that came up here that I might just turn it into a series of posts. Or I might leave it in the draft pile forever. But right now … this girl needs to go to bed).

So, also – I know I make a living describing things in words. In keeping with my lessons in irony I can’t seem to put into words what kind of writing this is exactly. Thoughts?

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Living la vida verde

GGS 1 GGS 2

 

I’m on day 3 of a ten day challenge that ends July 31. The goal is to drink one of these Glowing Green Smoothies a day ala Kimberly Snyder.

So, I’m a little late in the game to ask you to join me, but it’s not like the expiration date for feeling good is August 1, right?

If you’d like to join me in this challenge, I’d love it!

I’ll be doing this long after the end of the month since it has served me so well this far. I think I shared before that these shakes have been part of my formula for losing 22 pounds which isn’t quite half way to my goal but it’s the steadiest progress I’ve made in years and I feel awesome.

I know we’d like to not be about the numbers, but those numbers are part of how I measure my success because they are directly linked to lowering my BMI which of course is a legitimate factor in my overall health.

This beautiful graphic by Kimberly breaks it down for you and her site has the recipe and instructions as well.

GGS

I love these green shakes so much I made FOUR gallons to bring on a one-week vacation. Not coincidentally, I also enjoyed playing in the lake with my boys, spending the whole day in a swim suit and water skiing for the first time in twenty years. (How. Is. That. Possible.?!)

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For details about the challenge or to learn more about what’s up with the green shakes, visit Kimberly’s page here.

The gist is:

 

1) Follow along and actually drink the #GlowingGreenSmoothie each day.

2) Post a daily photo on Instagram or Twitter – to track your progress and commitment.

3) Use the hashtag “#BeautyDetoxChallenge” and tag @_KimberlySnyder

I’ll be posting more soon about how I’m incorporating some of Kimberly Snyder’s concepts into my world. If you want to read along with me you can order her books at your local indie bookstore or through my links on Amazon by clicking on either of the cover images below.

Also … if you’re in the market for a Vitamix, I highly recommend them and get a few bucks if you give them my code so let me know.

This post contains affiliate links in an effort to support this blog by connecting readers to products, services and people I believe in.

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Brain matter and other fun facts

 

get things done

First, some housekeeping – figuratively I mean: in response to my coming out column there’ve been some interesting comments and questions, I totally plan to follow up on those I promise – pinky swear even.

But also it’s been kinda crickets from some corners of my life so to answer the conversation I’m having in my head with some of you, I should probably just throw out there that I haven’t been, like, on the bathroom floor doing smack or anything. This whole 12-step thing for me is mental/sanity recovery dealing with habits and patterns formed a long time ago which no longer serve me but I kinda thought I was stuck with them. Turns out? Nope. So, it’s actually good-ish news minus the awkward, uncomfy parts.

All that is just, you know, fyi to whom it may concern, remotely interest or disappoint in a high stakes schadenfreude* situation.

But more on that another time because today I’m writing about what might be the manual to help me conquer the world do some actual housekeeping, write my book and stop being all angsty all the time.

A friend loaned me her copy of David Allen’s Getting Things Done after I asked about her lists. Because I am a noticer, of lists and other things.

Also, I’m an asker. There are all these questions I’m supposed to ask for my job, and then there are the ones I ask just because I want to know. Anyway, this friend is one of those people who makes “it” look easy but I knew there had to be a method to her keeping the madness at bay. She was all:

Nathalie, meet David Allen.

Hello David, if you happen to be a self-Googler. It’s okay if you are. Really, it is. We all do it. Don’t we?

Dear David Allen … totally stoked to read your book. Let me know if you need a blogger to document their journey from pre-David Allen to post David-Allen introduction. Love, Nathalie

Anyway, just flipping through the book I felt compelled to highlight and star pages but that’s not cool so I ordered my own copy.

This book jumped ahead of so many other books in my “to read” pile … because this book is going to create more time for me to read those other books, I think. Maybe. I will keep you posted.

On page xiv (two little kids people, I’m sloooow reading anymore) it says: “I’ll give you new ways to leverage those basic skills into new plateaus of effectiveness. I want to inspire you to put all this into a new behavior set that will blow your mind.”

For real, David Allen?

I want new plateaus of effectiveness. I don’t know exactly what that means for me, but I want that.

It. Is. On.

Let’s blow my mind, one paragraph at a time.

I’m kind of afraid this is going to be one of those things though where you buy the new running shoes and nothing happens because you’re supposed to, like, wear them … while you run.

So I told Matt about this great discovery and how “you have to read this! It will change. your. life. It even says so right here.” And I followed him around the driveway reading out loud from page xiv.

It will blow your mind, I say.

“I think I’ll watch it blow yours first, okay?” He’s skeptical, it seems.

Fine, be left in my dust or the bitty bits of my blown brain, whatever.

But if any of you friends want to blow your minds alongside mine, I get a few pennies here and there for anything you guys buy on Amazon through my link above Getting Things Done. 

Nathalie’s Notes:

*Do you know this word? You should know this word. It’s awesome. Knowing other languages rules because sometimes whichever one you start with lacks the capacity to say all of the things there is to say… luckily the Germans have these cool compound words that say just the right thing and they can become our adopted words, but it helps if more of us know them.

“Some German words are so long that they have a perspective.”

 – Mark Twain

Nathalie’s Notes fun fact: English is my second language, but you probably already knew that? Now I’m learning Spanish. Like, this week– Rosetta Stone lesson numero uno.

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Behind the picket fence: My Messy Beautiful

So I came out in my blog this week as a 12-stepper*, which is something I’ve been wanting to share with you for a long time now.

I was waiting to get “all better” before I mentioned the thing that was helping me so much in my journey to “better.”

And then I had this little trip back down the rabbit hole recently and realized “better” isn’t a place I’m going as much as it is a way of being.

When I started my conscious recovery, something I’d been seeking in multiple ways over decades, I initially felt very, very sorry for myself that I “had to go to these meetings.”

But then after about six weeks, I started to feel sorry for everyone else who doesn’t get to go to them.  That’s about when I wanted to start sharing all the awesomeness with you guys but it was all still kind of raw and I wasn’t ready.

I’m still a little like “whaaat am I doing” but if I can spare one person the angst anguish hell of my darkness by shining a little light on it, perfect.

I’ve been praying a lot about what I’m meant to do next with my work and I know this kind of stuff is what I’m supposed to be writing about even though it feels all vulnerable and awkward and like I’m totally unqualified to be talking about stuff like God since I also still say things like “shit” and “damn.” A lot.

So this happened:

me + a book + kids playing happily in the pool = bliss for like 20 entire, uninterrupted minutes.

Twenty of them.

You guys?

It.

Was.

Awesome.

I have dreamed of this day. In fact, “reading poolside” is a joke I have with a few girlfriends, sort of our version eating bonbons, which isn’t even a thing by the way. You know that right? Bonbons are a joke, so is reading poolside for mothers with young children.

Except for these twenty minutes. Those were no joke. Those were the kind of minutes I will remember for eternity. Just like I remember this one nap I had in the summer of 2011 when Matt had Sam and I snuggled with Baby Jake for a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep.

And I savor these blissful moments as reminders to enjoy them when I get them and to trust that more will come.

But then, you know, this happened too:

party pooper

After the bliss, the poo … or something like that.

All I could think as we were evacuated was thank God it wasn’t my kid. Anyway, the moral is: Every party has a pooper.

Pure bliss punctuated by poo in the pool … isn’t that perfect you guys? I mean, really. That’s the deal right there.

And it’s such a perfect introduction to what happened next. So you might have noticed the book I was blissing out on was “Carry on, Warrior. Thoughts on Life Unarmed.”

The author, Glennon Melton Doyle is the founder of the awesomeness that is Momastary for Truth Tellers and Hope Spreaders.

Glennon is in what my friend and writer coach Christina Katz refers to as my “tribe.”

Glennon is “my people.” I’ve never met her, but I know we belong to each other, and she knows it too. All of us belong to each other. In fact she’s made it her mission to connect like-hearted spirits and this Messy Beautiful blog post project is an example of how she connects people in genuine, inspired ways.

Shortly after the poo-in-the-pool sitch we got back to my parents’ house and I had an email from Glennon inviting me to participate as one of the Messy Beautiful writers. I responded to the initial call awhile back and didn’t expect to get picked so it was pretty cool to get that “Yes.”

Especially because it was bigger than her yes. I had just that morning asked God for some specific direction about my writing to make sure the vision coming up in my head and heart was really a good idea because it kind of freaks me out.

I’ve always been about honesty here and I’ve struggled with that because like I said the other day, our stories are interwoven and while my stories belong to me, they are tangled with the threads of others and I want to be respectful of that while honoring what I came here to do which I think is to be one of the truth tellers. To live out loud, on paper … to be vulnerable in a way that encourages others to be their most authentic, favorite selves … is there anything else worth being?

So, with my heart’s calling and with the invitation to participate in this project – I am leaving the gate propped open, it’s broken in real life actually, to share more from behind my white picket fence.

All is not as it appears, and some days that’s a really, really good thing. Others, not so much. Either way, it’s my messy, beautiful life – welcome.

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This essay and I are part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!

*I know the specifics are important to some of you, and we can talk about that if you ask but really, it doesn’t actually matter. It's an al-anon program to work through old, messy stuff ... I’m working on it and growing into the best and healthiest version of myself as I do.

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T is for Transition

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While the screen capture shows I am no longer a reporter at the News-Register, it turns out I am a very slow leaver.

Let me preface this by saying I did this to myself because I have boundary issues and also letting go issues, as evidenced by the fact that I am donating four stories to the paper’s campaign coverage because I wanted to help and because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

At what time? Well at the time I had an office, and childcare of course.

Now I have the contents of my former cubicle spread throughout my dining room and bedroom as I attempt to carve out a space of my own while we attempt to figure out what this new life of ours looks like.

This is what transition looks like. It can be messy, confusing and a little unsettling.

Also, it is freeing, exciting and an opportunity to create more of what we want as we weed out what no longer serves us – things like rushing.

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One of my favorite quotes from this week is Sam saying his favorite thing about my being home with him is “not rushing all the time.” Agreed.

As per usual, last week did not match the image in my head of what coming back home would be like.

In addition to not being all the way done at work, there was some unexpected drama on both a personal and professional front immediately following my handing over my keys at work.

The two were totally unrelated, one stemmed from some misunderstanding about a column I wrote which turned into hours of discussion and sleepless nights as I wrestled with my role in the problem, which in the end I determined did not belong to me. I do however regret that I wrote something that caused any angst, and I learned from the experience so there’s that.

The personal one is trickier to summarize because I strive to walk the messy line between my personal information and that of others in my life, (past/present/future) without crossing it.

That said, here’s what I am ready to say: I’ve been 12-steppin’ it* for some time now to deal with some long, long standing unhealthy thinking and behaving on my part and after finally losing track of my days in recovery, I derailed myself over the weekend by leaning in to some drama that did not belong to me.

A series of bad decisions lead to ugly consequences and I am still kind of bewildered by and recovering from that trip to Crazy Town.

Note to self: Until I just wrote the above summaries I didn’t see the connection between the two energy-sucking situations … at the outset of eachdrama I didn’t ask myself: is this my problem? 

**I know the specifics are important to some of you, and we can talk about that if you ask but really, it doesn’t actually matter. It's an al-anon program to work through old, messy stuff ... I’m working on it and growing into the best and healthiest version of myself as I do.

There really is a lot to that one day at a time business and I thankful to have the opportunity to embrace this one.

With my people.

Thank you for checking in, for caring and for being my people Smile 

Speaking of which, my pint-sized peeps are paging me … something about needing to eat. Again.


Of Milkshakes and Marriage

Long-term readers of this blog know I’ve been working on getting healthier eating habits, stronger and—out of favor as it is to say it—thinner.

I’m nearly half-way to my goal and as I often used to do when I see the possibility of actually achieving a goal, I sabotage myself.

Just as I was starting to feel better and fit into my smaller clothes, I went on a little binge. (I wonder if I will always have a variety of sizes of clothes in my closet making it look like I have so much to wear but really … no. Just the same pants I wore yesterday.) When my friend brought over a chocolate milkshake I put it in the freezer for later. By which I mean I hid it in the back of the freezer behind the frozen salmon. And then I forgot about it. By which I mean plotted my binge, waiting until every one else was dead asleep before coming downstairs to dig it out of the deep freeze and dig in.

I told myself I deserved it. A little treat for myself. Which really, is so considerate, right? I mean why not give myself something that will make me feel ill for a couple days – milk does me no favors … but this was a chocolate milkshake. in my house.

I enjoyed it to the last drop. By which I mean I inhaled it before I thought better of it berating myself the entire time. I know, total bliss right?

And then—why am I telling you this—I wrapped the empty cup in a plastic bag and threw it in the garbage hid it in the washing machine. Because that’s normal. And went to bed.

I woke up feeling, not surprisingly, sick and a little bit stupid. But not as stupid as I felt when I saw the garbage bag—yeah the same one I’d so carefully tucked among the towels loaded in the washing machine—sitting open in the sink.

Some of you know we haven’t been living in wedded bliss over here so my first thought wasn’t “Busted! How funny!”

It was more like a sinking feeling in my stomach followed by mortification quickly overtaken by rage: “What a jerk! Leaving the bag in the sink to shame me like this.” Because I am super good at jumping to negative conclusions. Awesome at it.

And because 6:30 in the morning is a good time as any to pick a fight I called my husband to inquire about this random garbage bag in the sink.

Husband:  It was weird. I don’t know, the kids must have stuck it in the washing machine.

Me: I think the real question is what you were doing digging around the washing machine at 5 a.m.

Husband: Really? That’s the question?

Me: Well, also why you put the bag in the sink and not the garbage.

Husband: Because there was a metal spoon in it! And so you’d know one of the boys put garbage in the washer.

Me: I will totally have a talk with them.

 

Yeah, we’re healthy like that.

Feel better about yourself?

You're welcome.

 

 

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The Salad Standoff

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Recently Jake decided he wasn’t going to eat his vegetables anymore. I don’t love spending any part of dinner on cajoling kids to eat the food I went out of my way to prepare in a healthful, tasty way.

Earlier this week, we both put our foot down in what will forever be known as The Salad Standoff. Matt suggested we serve the salad first and then the rest of dinner so there was no room for discussion, debate or drama.

Jake immediately pushed his bowl away: “Don’t want ‘dat.” We calmly told him he had to eat his salad, like the rest of us, and then he could have dinner which would be followed by dessert. The rest of us ate in that order while Jake refused to take a single bite of salad, instead repeating “I don’t like salad! ‘Dat yucky!” again and again until we finally excused him from the table when we were all done eating.

I was a little worried about how nighttime would go but was confident in our choice to starve him out to teach him a healthy habit. For the record there was nothing in that salad he hasn’t eaten and liked before: spinach + goat cheese + sunflower seeds and Annie’s Goddess Dressing (Affiliate Link).

I can hear it now: You’d seriously send your kid to bed hungry because he wouldn’t eat his salad?

Totally. Because I’m the mom. And partially because of my own eating-disordered brain it is essential to me that we don’t create a pattern of control and drama around food. I know it might seem like that’s exactly  what I did here but it wasn’t a new food. It was him being stubborn and me giving in a few times too many.

So, here is what happened:

Instead of starving to death, because he was truly hungry, as I was putting his pajamas on he looked at me with his big, owl brown eyes and said: “Mama, I hungee.”

“Do you want your salad?”

“Yes.” He said. I tried not to look shocked (or smug) as I carried him downstairs, back to the table where his salad was still waiting for him.

Here he is, happily, eating his salad. Which was followed by two servings of meatloaf and none of the mashed potatoes.

File under: battle picking.