Vegetables: A Great Pick Me Up And My Cure For Over Thinking Things

There are many days that I sort of just trudge through. I wish it were different but right now it’s not. There is a lot of mundane and routine around here that goes quite a bit against my nature.

The day starts the same and ends the same everyday and the middle is pretty similar each day also. I like to think that my kids don’t know how drudgery the days sometimes are for me as I try my best to be as enthusiastic as possible for them despite how I feel.

To combat this I try to find little things that are just for myself to get excited about and have as a little treat, a little pick me up throughout the day if you will.

A few months ago I somehow stumbled into the glorious treat of steaming vegetables and melting grass fed butter on them. I had read in various places around the internet that grass fed butter is really healthy for us and that we absorb more of the nutrients of our vegetables if we eat them with a healthy fat such as….grass fed butter.

 It sounded really good and freeing to be able to guiltlessly enjoy vegetables with butter and that they could be good for me that way. So I uncharacteristically threw caution to the wind, simply believed what I read and began voraciously indulging in my new treat of vegetables with butter.  And wow are they delicious!

I have never been much of a vegetable eater because I never made it enjoyable for myself.  I was of the mindset that if I am going to eat vegetables I am going to eat them pure, no salt, no butter, no cooking them, no enjoying them.

I had no idea all that I had been missing by doing this to myself. I now find myself craving steamed vegetables and butter and I eat them almost everyday. Instead of chips (for the most part) I am now asking my husband to pick me up some brussel sprouts and asparagus on his way home.

 I’m finding that this new treat of mine is really a great pick me up in the middle of the day. Not only does it taste delicious, is quick to make, and gives me a good boost of energy but it’s also very empowering to know I am doing something so good for myself by going to town on some vegetables.

If I was instead indulging in a sugary treat (as I have definitely done numerous times) I know I would just wind up with even less energy, would be feeling bad about eating unhealthy again and I would be adding it to my list of things I torment myself with that I am doing wrong (working on this.)

Therefore eating vegetables and butter (sometimes smothered in butter) as a snack has been great not just for my physical health but for my mental health as well.

It feels good to treat myself and not feel guilty and bad about myself as a result of that treat.

And as much as I really really want my vegetable treat to be just that, my treat alone to the point where I want to enjoy it in hiding and keep it all to myself (I’m finding it that good), I would be amiss not to share the benefits with my kids. I can’t help but think it’s good for them to see me regularly preparing and eating vegetables and enthusiastically enjoying them myself. I would love for both of them (I really believe my son will eat by mouth one day) to grow to be veggie lovers too.

I know it seems odd but eating vegetables has really taught me a lot.

I’ve missed out on a lot of time that I could’ve been benefiting from and enjoying vegetables because I was too uptight about them.

I made eating them into a bigger deal than they needed to be.

I had read so much about the right way to eat them: don’t cook them too much, raw is best, don’t put anything on them, you only get the benefits if you eat them this way and on and on the information can go.

I’ve found since I’ve relaxed, loosened up a bit, gone ahead and just put some butter on them I’m finding myself enjoying and benefiting from what was once so elusive to me, even if I may not be going about it the exact perfect way.

I have a feeling there’s quite a few enjoyable beneficial things in life that have been eluding me as a result of my tendency to really over think things. To over think things to the point of doing nothing but researching, discussing my decision (or lack of) and being exhausted from all the analyzing and thinking that I just wind up doing nothing.

Eating vegetables with butter has really taught me that I need to just go ahead and live a little, and I might actually find I enjoy it.

So what if what I researched is completely wrong and grass fed butters not as healthy as the Internet claims it to be?  I am now regularly enjoying vegetables and I know the benefits I’m getting from them with a little butter are way more than when I was so uptight about they way they had to be eaten that I just didn’t eat them at all.

So now as I enjoy my vegetables I find myself looking forward to finding other wonderful things in life I’ve been missing out on as a result of my inclination to over think things.

How exciting is to think (not too much though!) about all the other delicious treats of life out there just waiting to be savored!

I’d love to hear from you, do you tend to over think like me or are you more in the middle or throw caution to the wind side? Have you ever missed out on something really beneficial because of over thinking? Also if you regularly eat veggies how do you enjoy them? I’d love to hear your ideas of different ways to partake of them!

Focusing on the Negative is Exhausting; One Powerful Way to Combat it

This past year has definitely challenged me in ways I’ve never been challenged before. And honestly for a good portion of the challenges I really struggled. I reacted in ways opposite of how I had hoped or thought I would, I worried way more than I intended too, and I dwelt on the negative far longer than I needed to.

During these past twelve months we found ourselves weaving our way through a complicated school year with a team of individuals inexperienced in working with children with the extent of disabilities our son has. As we navigated the complexities of egos, various personalities and politics in this school setting we also found ourselves facing the unexpected attempted suicide of a very close family member and subsequent downward spiral of our loved one into the throes of severe depression.

Both situations slammed into our family simultaneously with a force we struggled to reckon with.

We were stretched paper-thin as we attempted to advocate for our son and our loved one and we often experienced feelings of hopelessness, despair, and most of all powerlessness.

We have since had resolution on the school front with our son attending a new school this upcoming year that is incredibly experienced and special needs friendly. We are blessed to have this school as our son’s home school and are excited for what this year holds for him there.

Focusing on The negative is exhausting, choose gratitude

We still find ourselves in the depths of advocacy, chaos and feelings of powerlessness that accompany helping a loved one coping with a mental illness and navigating a broken mental health care system.

On the heels of these challenges we took our son in for what was to be a routine MRI to act as a baseline for future MRIs to determine when in the next three to fours years his next open heart surgery would take place only to learn that his heart is already dilated to the point of surgical indication.

We now have an appointment scheduled with a surgeon at the end of this month and are unexpectedly facing an open heart surgery within the year.

Consequently my husband and I both landed in our doctors offices with our own set of health challenges that have been traced back to the overwhelming stress we find ourselves struggling to get a handle on.

Needless to say it has been a really challenging time for our family and one that unfortunately on many fronts we weren’t prepared for and just didn’t see coming.

With all of these challenges hitting us at once I knew I was going to drown if I didn’t find a way to cope.

Recently I was reading the book *Anchored: Finding Hope in the Unexpected by Kayla Aimee and she wrote: “I could not bring myself to give thanks for these circumstances but I could be thankful in them.”

These words were incredibly powerful and heart changing for me.

As we’ve faced the challenges we have this past year I realized I had slowly allowed the seeds of bitterness, anger, and cynicism to grow and overtake my heart. I have hated the situations we’ve found ourselves dealing with and our loved one facing.

And I will never be thankful for the actual circumstances that have taken place, but when I take a look at some of the incredible gifts we have received in the midst of these circumstances I realize that wow there is a lot to be grateful for.

Focusing on the negative is exhausting choose gratitude

*Choose Gratitude: Blessings Journal

I am so grateful the attempt at suicide was not successful, for people who have gone above and beyond to help our son, that we had the finances to hire an advocate to help us navigate the special education system, friends who have been there to listen, and for our marriage that continues to grow, deepen and strengthen as we navigate these challenges together, plus countless other smaller daily triumphs that I’d overlooked amidst the negative.

After reading those beautifully freeing words from Kayla Aimee’s book I began practicing cultivating a heart and attitude of gratefulness by every evening writing down at least one or two things that happened that day that I am grateful for.

I found that even in the most chaotic of what-the-heck-is-going-on-receiving-of-news-kind-of-days, the practice of daily writing down my gratitude has had a profound effect on my perspective and way of thinking.

There is incredible power in making yourself find something to be grateful for.

A few weeks into my new habit I noticed a complete shift in my mindset when I wanted my thoughts to go down the negative path I was used to.

I found myself disgusted by the negativity.

I realized how much energy I had been carelessly wasting by dwelling on the most negative of the negative that happened or could happen that day and how utterly exhausting negativity really is.

I am now a huge advocate of encouraging the daily habit of physically writing down and acknowledging what you are grateful for every single day, no matter how bad the day was.

If you are facing some tough circumstances this habit will not change your situation, but the change that will take place in your mindset will make all the difference in how you personally are affected and able to deal with the circumstances you are facing.

We are still deep in the trenches with some of our challenges, but the positive impact the habit of daily writing down what I am thankful for has had on my heart, mindset, and energy has been life changing in its own very profound miraculous way.

I pray for all those reading this who are struggling with the exhaustion that comes from having your mind constantly focused and filled with the negative, that you will experience the transforming benefits that come from cultivating the daily habit of practicing gratefulness.

I am with you on this journey of wanting to thrive despite the challenges you are facing and I strongly believe gratitude is a very powerful tool in making that happen.

Choose Gratitude

 

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Doing What I Really Want To and My Struggles With The Internet

I always tell myself when I start blogging, then stop, then start again that this time I’m really going to stick with it.  But it always turns out to be quite a struggle for me.

I think of elaborate ideas and ways to piece together words to pour out my heart, but wow at the end of the day when I sit down and have time to write it’s the last thing I do.

It’s definitely not the last thing I want to do, it’s just the last thing I actually do, and normally by the time I get around to getting started I’m too tired to flush out the ideas I carried around and thought about all day.

It’s a battle, not doing the things I want to and instead continually doing the things I don’t want to. (I take comfort knowing I’m not the only one who has had this problem. Paul of the Bible wrote about his struggle with this in Romans 7:15.  Of course our circumstances are very different, but still helpful to know I’m not alone in this).

For me, this means wasting quite a bit of time poking around the internet. Looking at this site here, researching this thing there, checking out this persons life here, and it sort of just ridiculously goes on and on. Next thing I know I’ve squandered away a ton of time, again.

It gets frustrating, and I’ll frequently say how I really really wish I had more time to sit down, write, and get it all out. But then I realize that the only point of frustration is my own lack of self discipline in this area.

And so here I am tonight, actually writing.

I pulled myself away from the lure of just mindlessy browsing the Internet, subconsciously allowing whatever I come across into my heart and into my life.

Doing some comparing, feeling inadequate, and maybe a bit envious anyone? That’s how I feel a lot of the time after I’ve purused around the Internet.

I don’t even think it happens at a conscious level, the comparing and dissatisfaction that comes from spending too much time on the Internet looking at other people’s lives and the way they do things. It’s almost like its a subtle subconscious but pretty damaging thing that happens.

I’ll start off good, going from website to website feeling pretty okay about my own life and what I accomplished that day only to log off feeling a bit off, feeling a little bit more and more discontent each day after a session of browsing.

So tonight I stopped myself from going down the same hole I have been night after night (the thing I don’t want to do) and instead I opened up my writing app on my phone and started writing (the thing I want to do).

I thought for sure out would come some of the deeper thoughts and feelings I’ve had lately about special needs parenting combined with parenting a “typical” child, or some of the organizational tips I’ve implemented recently that have really helped calm our house quite a bit, or even about some of the possible tough things health wise on the horizon for my son.

Instead of a post about any one of those things, out came a post about how dissatisfied I often feel as a result of undisciplined time roaming the Internet and how its keeping me from doing something that I really want to do, (write) and that the only one to blame is myself.

That might sound harsh to myself but I’m actually pretty glad I can blame myself. Because that also means I can change myself.

It means I can take a very honest look at how I’m really using my time, how where I’ve been spending my time really makes me feel, and make changes accordingly. Recognizing a problem is half the battle, right?

So I’m hoping that by being honest and acknowledging that, “hey, I have a problem with too much aimless wandering time on the Internet that subsequently results in feelings of failure and dissatisfaction,” that I will be able to take the steps necessary to curb that habit and replace it with a more rejuvenating refreshing one.

And I really hope that habit I replace it with is writing here on this blog on a regular basis.

It is what I really want to do.

I hope that it ends up being what I do.

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