Friday, May 30, 2008

Contentment, Laziness or Age?

My daily yoga and meditation practice has taken me to new levels of contentment and tranquility. Or is it something else?

This feeling of contentment has overlapped into many areas of my life. Here are a few good examples that come to mind.

I am no longer easily provoked. Or should I say, when I am provoked, I am not as likely to react in a negative way. I look inside and see my anger or my judgment and more often than not I choose to be silent. I don’t have to be right, I don’t have to have my say. I find myself smiling inside and feeling a stillness and peace and saying “Everything is perfect in my world, just the way it is“.

I used to be unnerved if someone didn’t take off their shoes and left messy tracks in the house. And I would never miss scrubbing the house from top to bottom each week. Now if I miss my cleaning day and see a layer of dust on the furniture, I let it go. I find myself smiling inside and feeling a stillness and peace and saying “Everything is perfect in my world, just the way it is“.

I have always been an avid gardener and prided myself on my gardens being well groomed, pruned, weed free and perfectly organized. Now I “allow” them to be a bit more carefree. If there are weeds, so be it. If I don’t deadhead all the faded bloom, oh well! And if the deer have eaten 20 years worth of work on a boarder garden(this I recently discovered). Not long ago I would have been devastated to the point of tears. But I found myself smiling inside and feeling a stillness and peace and saying “Everything is perfect in my world, just the way it is“.

So what I want to know is this…Am I more content and tranquil or have I developed laziness? Or could it be that I am getting older and maybe a bit wiser and realize that it is true “Everything is perfect in my world, just the way it is”?

Gypsy Girl

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Nature's Beautiful Gifts

The Holiday weekend was perfect in all respects. We had lots of family fun at my niece’s house, lovely weather, a great cookout and a hilarious kickball game that 3 generations of family members participated in.

It is a custom in this area of New England to plant during Memorial Day weekend. So yesterday we planted our vegetable and herb garden. I love it because I can view it from my kitchen window and watch the progress each day. In just a short time we will have an abundance of fresh organic veggies and herbs at our fingertips, just a few short steps away.

It is hard for me to believe that we have been organic gardeners for nearly 40 years. YIKES!! Where did the time go. We plant enough to give to family and friends and always have plenty to store in our root cellar for the winter months.

We have several families of birds nesting in various places in our gardens. This photo is of a nest that is built on a ladder hanging on the back of our barn. Today Ronnie needed a ladder to do some maintenance work and he remembered that we have a Mamma robin nesting there. So he had to borrow a ladder from his brother in order not to disturb the beautiful blue eggs.

I love to watch the birds as they carry grass and twigs and mud to make their little nests. Right now it’s pretty quiet, the hard work is done and moms are sitting on eggs. But soon it will be a busy time again when both mom and dad fly in and out with a constant supply of food for the hungry little mouths. Fun to watch!!

Isn’t nature grand? It always provides us with such beautiful gifts, if only we stop long enough to appreciate and enjoy them. It really is true…the best things in life are free.

Life Is Good
Gypsy Girl

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Praise for CRON Bloggers

In a recent post I had a little rant about disciplining myself to keep on track with my CRON(calorie restriction optimal nutrition) way of eating.

There is a whole network of CRON people out there blogging and ready to help with whatever is needed.

I found CRON through one of the yoga blogs that I read. Arturo, a fellow yogi, practices a CRON diet. So from reading Arturo’s blog about yoga I also found lots of nutritional and CRON information. He has given me lots of great recommendations from books to read about CRON to everyday CRON practicing tips. ( not to mention all the good yoga info). Arturo lives on the opposite coast and he was just in Boston for a conference. But unfortunately, we were unable to meet.

I read several CRON blogs that are packed with good information about nutrition and health.

I love Minicronnie , who lives on “the other side of the pond”. Her blog has info about getting the “most bang for your buck” (in this case nutritional value). Because she is such a wee thing, only 4’10.5” tall, she has to tweak those calories more than the average person to get all her nutrients. She does endless research about the foods that provide the most nutrition for the least calories.

Then there is The Scientific Psychic. Tony is a marvel. His blog is interesting on many levels, not just CRON.

Nennette is so supportive and helpful with CRON. Her blog reflects a lively, energetic and loving person.

Mary is somewhat of a CRON “pro” and has participated in calorie restriction studies.

The list is endless. The good thing is, they all live CR and through blogging they share their knowledge, support, tips and advice.

I have always practiced good nutritional habits. But reading these blogs and using the tracking software CRON-O-Meter
, has helped keep my focus and provided a wealth of information about staying healthy and living longer.

“Your Health is Your Wealth”
Gypsy Girl

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rituals and Core Power

“Keep your body as clean as possible and your mind as clear as possible”
Swami Satchidananda

My oldest granddaughter Brittany has just returned home from completing her freshman year of college. She called me the day before returning home to remind me to call her each morning so we could practice yoga together.

So today we practiced yoga to one of her favorite Baron Baptiste DVDs. She likes it because it has a great core strengthening portion.

After yoga practice we made breakfast together. She started cracking eggs while I scurried to the garden to pick some fresh asparagus for our scallion and asparagus omelets. And no visit with any of my grandkids is complete without a pot of tea.

Our tea drinking ritual goes back to when my grandkids were barely able to hold a tea cup. Those days they just liked pouring the tea from their little teapots and the milk from their mini cream pitchers, and sometimes making a mess. I have a whole collection of tea pots, creamers and tea cups and saucers of varied sizes. They all have their favorites.

Today as we shared our pot of tea the conversation was mostly about keeping our bodies and minds fit through yoga, fitness and good nutrition. We talked about how yoga is more than just a physical exercise and how through the focus and consciousness that yoga teaches us, it strengthens so many other areas of your life.

What a gift to have awesome grandchildren that are also my very best friends. I always remember to thank God each day for having been so blessed.

Gypsy Girl

Friday, May 9, 2008

CRON Idiosyncrasy, Discipline or Passion??

“Funny how I slacked off on keeping a food journal and put on several pounds in just a few weeks. Well, DUH!!
So, if I’ve learned anything at all, it is that discipline in eating, CRON, and weight control go hand in hand. AND keeping a journal of everything I eat is the best way to stay on track (for me, anyways).
So, today I am back at it. Measuring servings, keeping a food journal, counting calories, tracking nutrients, proteins and carbs.
So back on track again!!”
from my food journal in January of this year

I am not an obsessive person. My husband on the other hand is a tracker. He writes on his calendar each day the time he gets up, his weight and the outdoor temperature, along with a brief “weather forecast” by noting sunny, rainy, snowy etc. Now, to me that is obsessive….or could it be genius. Thomas Jefferson was obsessive in much the way my husband is. He had a thing about time and weather and writing things down. He also had over a thousand inventions credited to him.

But my brain doesn’t function that way. Take cooking for instance. I grew up in an ethnic household (Lebanese), taught to cook by my grandma, who made everything from scratch. Nothing was measured. Just throw in a bit of this, a handful of that, a pitch of something else. Sometimes she never even used a bowl. Just threw a pile of flour on a board, made a “well” in the center with her hand, threw in a few things and wallah…bread, noodles, pies. Who needs a cookbook!

Middle Eastern cooking (in our house) was all fresh vegetables, tons of fragrant herbs, olive oil, garlic, and lamb. Nothing ever came out of a can. I don’t think I ever tasted “white bread” till I went to school.

I was brought up on a more healthy diet than most health food fanatics eat. So the good nutrition part I have down. It just feels so unnatural to measure and track and write down everything. But it is a must if one wishes to maintain a CRON (calorie restriction optimal nutriton) way of eating.

A question for my CRON friends, or anyone else that might like to help me out.
Can a passion for healthy eating go from being a discipline to becoming an idiosyncrasy? And more importantly...How do you stay on track?


Gypsy Girl

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

This Is The Truth-Vertigo

My husband's cousin just sent me this beautiful message and I thought I would share it with you.

If you want to feel good all day, take a look!!

I wish you peace, love and laughter

Gypsy Girl

Monday, May 5, 2008

Happy Cinco de Mayo

My Mexico days are fading. It's like waking up and only remembering little bits and remnants of an almost forgotten dream. It doesn't seem possible that time has flown by so fast. All the planning, waiting, then delays and the whole trip almost getting trashed. Then seven glorious weeks living in Mexico gone in a flash.

But now we are home. It was a cold and wet first few days back to reality, but today was a perfect spring day. I checked out my gardens and had a chance to see the first colors of springtime. And to take note of all the yard work to be done.

No travel plans for quite some time now. New England is coming into her best seasons. There is nothing as pretty as the soft greens of springtime, the birds singing before the sun comes up, the early blooms; all reminding me of the coming long summer days at the beach, followed by the magic of the fall foliage that New England is known for.

So we will spend time gardening, enjoying family and friends, and savoring the beauty of one of the prettiest parts of the world.

I wish you peace, love and laughter

Gypsy Girl