Your Symphony

IMG_9945.JPG

I'm craving quiet, calm, peace. A season where my days aren't filled with lists, checkmarks and errands. I find myself in-between two spaces often: the go go go mama and entrepreneur. Working every extra minute, rushing off to events and meetings. And then the quiet at home mama and wife easily entertained by a good book, a relaxing afternoon at the beach. This summer has been the former. I've been rushed, I've been stretched and I've grown a lot. But right now I'm craving the latter. I want to slowly watch my days unfold and let the wind take us where it wishes. I want to sit with William for 20 minutes looking for dolphins in the ocean and never feel a minute of anxiousness about an errand we have scheduled or work I need to do.

I'm bombarded daily with the concept of balance. How to juggle work & life, how to balance motherhood and being an entrepreneur, how to keep your cool when your days are full but you're an introvert. I was recently asked to write a piece about balancing and I nearly snorted into my second cup of coffee.

There is no balance between work and life. They're one in the same. To separate them would be impossible. Work is work, family is family, leisure is leisure. Seems pretty cut and dry. But all of these things are not mutually exclusive. Even if you leave the house to work from 9-5 every weekday you cannot possibly completely separate what you do at work from what you do while you're at home. 

I like to think of it as more of a beautiful song. Full of melody and harmonies - a full orchestra playing each and every part. The instruments are the pieces of your life that you weave together: your work, your family, your hopes, dreams, planting a garden, playing softball, dinners with friends, daily runs. Sometimes the music of life sounds like a high school orchestra. Thin, full of mistakes, but generally in the right place. Other times a few of the instruments forget to show up and it ends up being a duet. And a few glorious moments where everything is perfectly in sync your life is the most professional symphony; intricate phrases coming together seamlessly, crescendos, movements all vibrating to their highest frequency to create something so beautiful it makes you stop and think and you're filled with the most intense feeling of gratitude for how thankful you are to be living this one life.

IMG_9928.JPG

That's what balance is. Right now, I'm giving a few players the night off. Today's schedule calls for a simple duet or maybe quartet. Nothing fancy, an easy to follow piece of music, simple enough for a child to understand but beautiful enough for even the most learned musician to appreciate. In time, the music of my life will change. More instruments will again fill the concert hall, some still needing some practice, some out of tune, others pure perfection and the tune will sound quite different. 

The trick is to be OK with whatever your music sounds like in this moment of time. And to know, always know, that there will be a shift. It may be a longer movement at the elementary level, but at some point, your players will become more professional-sounding, your music will change, adjust, and you'll find yourself in a beautiful concerto and, once again, a few players will call in sick or quit or be late to the concert and you'll feel like you're flat or sharp or just not in sync. But knowing there's something else right around the corner; another season, another phrase, is the secret to loving every note of your song.

 

*did i get a little heavy with the metaphor there? clearly i'm craving some music right now!*

Unforgettable

WHDenver67.jpg

One of my biggest fears is being forgotten. Being so un-memorable that I couldn't be recognized in a crowd or even a small group. 

In high school, I had friends. I considered the people I spent my time with my friends. But once we all graduated and headed off to college it seemed that our views on friendships were skewed. I considered them my friends, but the feelings weren't reciprocated. To this day I can't tell you the reason. I've come up with countless ideas for why my only friends suddenly abandoned me, forgot about me, ignored me. It wasn't just growing apart with age and experience. I tried. I would call, text, email, no response. After a few years of trying to keep in touch and being met with crickets I stopped.

I stopped with them but I also stopped with making new friends, meeting new people. I got so good at not making friends that I became my worst fear. I became forgettable. Just by being afraid of rejection again, I created a persona for myself, a routine for myself, that allowed me to be so forgettable that I couldn't be rejected; because I never let anyone get that close.

It helped having young children and moving around the country so much. It was easy to chalk it up to that. But it wasn't that. It was my fear of rejection, my fear of getting hurt, lost, forgotten. 

About a year ago I hopped on a plane with no idea what I was walking in to. I honestly to this day can't understand what made me get on that plane for a weekend-long retreat called Wild Hearts Weekend in Denver. I decided for that weekend, for those few days in a strange city with a bunch of strangers, I would let them see me. I would open myself up just a little bit for connection that I had previously cut myself off from. Just a little bit. 

After day 2 these strangers in Denver cracked me wide open and I let them all in. All the way in. I let them see me in a way I hadn't let anyone see me since I met my husband. I let them remember me, I kept in touch, and they reciprocated. It was like a whole new world. Even though these women flew off to different parts of the country after knocking off my hard exterior, they didn't forget me, because I had allowed myself to be unforgettable. 

Over the course of the past year I've been slowly letting more people in. Letting more people see me, not hiding at events, the park, while waiting in line. I've made it a fun new game to meet as many new people as I can. Not for the sake of making tons of friends but for the sake of practice. The more times I let someone see me, the better I'd be at opening up when I met someone I truly wanted to develop a friendship with. And it's worked. I spent the last few days at Yellow Conference meeting new people, reconnecting with old friends (some of the ones I made in Denver!), but what was most surprising was the number of people who walked up to me already knowing who I was. Not because we had already made a connection, because we were already friends, but because they had seen me before at some event or another or even in an online space, and I had allowed myself to be seen, and they remembered. At least 15 people over the last few days remembered me. Made me feel seen and loved and worthy of their time and energy and space. 

I will always be an introvert. I'll always need to recharge alone, in my home, away from people. I'll always need space to regroup and gather my thoughts and emotions. But I also now know that I need friendships. For the first time in nearly a decade, I have friends. True friends that know me and love me and for once it's not a one-sided thing. And what's more: I'm not done. I've learned how to create and cultivate friendships and meaningful relationships with people. I've learned how to let someone in, let myself be seen, and remembered. And I've learned how to mindfully keep in touch with someone I want to be better friends with. Making friends as an adult is already hard, but once I had turned off that switch for fear of being rejected and forgotten, it was impossible. But all because one night in a hot hotel room in Denver, Colorado where I let myself be seen *just a little bit*, I can say I truly have friendships that will last.

Use Your Voice - Find Beauty

Use Your Voice - Find Beauty

say it say it say it. out loud. even if you're driving home and turn a corner and see a sunset. you're totally alone and no one can hear you. SAY IT. there's an incredible power in our voices even if we're the only ones to hear them. use you voice. notice beauty. acknowledge it. every day. all day. because you never know who's listening and who needs to hear it. who needs their attention brought to that beauty. who needs that reminder. 

Blending vs Juicing

blending-vs-juicing

Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake deserves a pat on the back. Whether you are
consuming them raw, grilled, steamed or in liquid form - you are making a solid effort to
improve your overall health and preventing future diseases. Making produce into a
drinkable form is awesome, and convenient but have you ever wondered if there is a
"best practice" for doing so? Juicing or blending? There are pros and cons to both, so
before you go out and spend money on the necessary equipment, read this.

Juicing

A majority of people think that juice is healthy. But did you know that the daily
recommended intake of juice is 4 ounces a day? That's only a half of a cup and it doesn't
matter if you make it or buy it. And now you are probably wondering, why??
When you juice a fruit or vegetable, you are extracting all of the water and nutrients
out, while leaving the bulk, or fiber, to go to waste. This is a red flag! We WANT the fiber
in our diets for so many reasons (heart health, digestive health, satiety, to name a few).
Fiber helps your digestive system by making it work harder to get the nutrients out of
the food and into your blood. Without that said fiber helping out, the nutrients go
straight to the blood stream. This could be great if you have digestive issues but
definitely not great for your blood sugar.

Also, if you are juicing as a meal replacement, please note that without fiber, you will
most likely be hungry again soon. It's important to note that since juicing is so
concentrated, a little goes a long way (hence the 4-ounce recommendation). In the eyes
of an RDN, you are much better off eating the actual piece of produce than juicing it.

Blending

There is something to be said about throwing whole fruits and veggies into a blender
and having the result be filling and delicious. Blending is great, for so many reasons - I'm
trying not to get too over excited while writing this, but I may not be able to contain
myself.

When you blend produce, you are using the entire thing (skin and all) which means the
product is an excellent source of fiber and very filling. Personally, we make smoothies
most mornings of the week at our house. It's a great way to make sure my kids are
getting the nutrients they need and it's fast and easy.

When you are blending foods, the nutrients are broken down from their original form
(the whole fruit form). This means they are readily available for your body to absorb and
use. Since the fiber is there, the nutrients are utilized at a slower rate. This means you
won't get that big spike in blood sugar like you do with a juice.

Another advantage to blending is that you can add in whatever you want! Chia seeds,
flaxseed, peanut butter, yogurt, anything your heart desires. I put almond milk in mine
for a low-calorie additive that thins out the smoothie a little bit. Add Greek yogurt to
increase protein intake or pumpkin seeds for some healthy fats. 
Lastly, blending is cleaner and easier. Most blenders are dishwasher safe, and you won't
have to clean up the unused portions like you do with a juicer. 

In my eyes, blending wins. Hands down. Don't ever be afraid to experiment with
blending and making new recipes. Drinking your produce is a great way to increase your
fruit and veggie intake, so what are you waiting for??

Need a place to start? For one of my favorite smoothie recipes, click here.


unnamed.jpg

Hi I’m Lindsey. I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and I’m a cheerleader for health enrichment. My passion is education and that is the driving force behind the blog I created, Raise A Little Kale. Nutrition is a very broad topic and everyone seems to have something to say about it. I crave cited sources so you can rest assured that the information you are reading is factual and science-based. I want to empower people to take back their health and live the best life they can. Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand when it comes to health promotion so there is plenty of workout posts as well. Everyone needs to start somewhere, I hope you start at Raise A Little Kale!