40 Days: 022410-D8.0

Good morning…it is 5:37 a.m.

A good morning indeed. I enter this day with rest, a quiet mind, a happy heart, ready to serve.

A few people have been asking me about my diet, and I thought I’d take a moment to share with you how my eating styles have changed in these first 8 days. But first, I want to offer a quick comment on yesterday’s posts.

I know that the discussion of fear and love is a heavy one, and it really puts some tough questions on the table for me to consider. One of the great things about this journey is that it asks nothing of anyone but me, and the words of Ruiz on fear and love really affirm this. All I can be concerned with is my contributions to any relationship and not anybody else’s — either toward me or toward others. This journey is helping me realize that any correlations with the way I interact with people and an unhealthy lifestyle are solely my responsibility. Any changes begin and end with me and with no one else. That’s an amazing and liberating thing to embrace.

And this is where strength found within, from a higher power, is so celebratory. It has always been within me. It has been right here waiting, all this time, for me to still the waters long enough to realize it. Some may wonder why my journey is not filled with suffering or with trouble, as I have given up several parts of my life that have been at the cornerstone of who I “am.” But there is no suffering in being set free. I think that suffering comes from resistance, from a desire to try to cling to something that you once had that you long for once again. You suffer through a period until what you desire is returned to you. That’s the glorious beauty in all of this. I have not lost; I have found. I have discovered something great that requires no computer, no convenience store, no immediate fix. All I need is already in me, around me. Accessible 24/7.

Today, I celebrate that stillness, that clarity, that realization.

On with the dietary changes!

First, let me tell you what I am no longer eating that was a huge part of my diet.

Fast food in the car. In traveling to and from school every day, the commute can get pretty long, especially on the way home. Before I reach “the point of no return” (routes 29, 70, and then the beltway), I pass by four temptations for quick food. In that two-mile stretch, my inner critic does its best to convince me that I am starving, and that I may get stuck on the beltway, and it may be two hours before I get home, and the pains of starvation will be great while I am stuck in traffic. No More.

Late-night dinners from Red Robin or Five Guys. I get home, and I spend a lot of time with my family, running errands, working on various needs for school, Ravenwater, or Lines of Love. With the family all scattered, my wife and I wouldn’t settle down for dinner until 9:30 or later. There’s something soothing about eating comfort food watching LOST (every night, of course–we own all five seasons) after a long day. No More.

Lunches at school. No offense, really. Mom was big in the world of school food service. Eating a bunch of fries and pizza at 12:30 is not the best way to get through the day. No More.

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Any time. Anywhere. Bags of Reese’s peanut butter cups, Dove chocolates, Hershey nuggets. It did not matter what kind. The perfect food to eat on the run. No More.

I’ve replaced all of these things with whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day, soy “yogurt,” Lara bars, raw almonds, Total cereal with soy milk, Maki, and marinated tofu with stir-fried or steamed vegetables. Coffee, tea, water. Gone are the fast-food runs, the late-night burger binges, and the IV-drip of all things chocolate.

I don’t have to tell you how good my body is feeling. Yesterday, I felt a little light-headed from this change after a particularly long stretch of classes. I have to keep reminding myself that this change is huge, and I have to keep grazing on the foods that bring me real energy and strength throughout the day.

Time to head to school. My love to all on this blessed day!

4 thoughts on “40 Days: 022410-D8.0

  1. Rus, while I commend you on your journey, you cant forgot that all things in moderation. If its your will and desire to give up everything (food wise), that is your decision and a good lifestyle change. But dont deny yourself pleasures once in awhile too. I, a partner of the chocoholic team, have cut a majority out of my life but still allow myself a mini Hersheys dark chocolate special bar every now and again. Remember, Dark Chocolate has some very good health benefits not to mention tastes sooo good! 😉

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  2. Let me put it on record, Michele, that I am in search of vegan dark chocolate! I was at Rite-Aid last night (did you know that Planters puts GELATIN in their peanuts???), and I was going to get a Special Dark bar, but they still add milk to it. 😦 I’ll have to check Trader Joe’s next time I am there…I think they have the extra-dark bars, which I believe are 100% dairy-free.

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  3. I was going to tell you that YES Trader Joes has vegan choc. Might check Wegmans too cause they have a large selection of vegetarian etc… There is another brand ( will have to find out the brand) that is 80% and 100% cocoa. Will let you know what I find…. Also, Austins Godmother is a vegetarian and Ill ask her too– she has some awesome cookbooks ( Moose Inne ? was one she loved)

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  4. Your words of insight have been very interesting. As I read the first portion of this entry, it reminded me of Dorothy’s discovery in the Wizard of Oz. She had the power to get home all along; she had it in her, but she wouldn’t have believed it if she hadn’t taken the journey.

    With that said, I just hope you aren’t beating yourself up for past decisions, etc. It is those decisions that have made us who we are. And in my opinion, you are and have always been, a wonderful person. If you want to cleanse your body by eating healthier, great. But I agree with Michelle; don’t beat yourself up if you want to indulge (in small ways) every now and then. If you want to cleanse your soul, that’s great too. Each of us should strive to be the best that we can be. But in any case God loves you, just as you are.

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