The Elusive ‘Balance’

When we first came home from India is when I began spending more time reading and researching on the internet.  It was 2011 and maybe I was late to the party, but it really caught on with me at that point.  It was fascinating how much I could learn about health, nutrition, cooking etc.  But very soon that fascination became an obsession.  And I know I am not alone in this as I see so many people fall into this same trap.  What can at one point be empowering and energizing can suddenly become debilitating and paralyzing.  It seemed that there was nothing that one could eat that would not in some way be ‘bad’ for you.  Everything caused cancer or was toxic in some way. Be it meat, dairy, spinach, soy, and God forbid—sugar.  Add to that the multitude of ways things can enter your bloodstream or be inhaled – all your personal care products and house cleaning products were toxic as well. I remember talking with my friend and telling her that there was nothing that felt safe. I remember where I was sitting in that moment and the feeling I had – it was all of constriction and contraction. In other words – fear.  So what had started as an innocent search for increased knowledge about something I have always been interested in, very quickly became an unhealthy obsession with how much ‘bad’ is out there.

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Enjoying a meal out with our Canadian friends 🙂

Add to that feeding a family with various taste preferences. I could not change everything they were eating just because I was fearful of it. For some time, I had wished I knew more when the boyz were little so I could have raised them differently – so what? would I have not fed them because nothing is healthy? Would I have made everything from scratch as I was trying to at that point – making myself crazy? I remember it would be a beautiful summer day and I would start out early and say ‘ I just need to make some yogurt, bread, almond milk and cookies’…thinking I could do that in no time and then enjoy my day. But as the day started to get away from me, I would grow increasingly frustrated as I craved the sun and doing something fun outside.  So was that healthy? Increased stress, decreased sunshine and decreased fun? I think not!

So I have come a long ways since then but it is a continual journey and a constant awareness and conscious effort to not ‘buy into’ the media’s fear mongering.  I am susceptible to black and white thinking. Life would be easier in some ways if things were right or wrong, good or bad, black or white.  But that is not the reality and that , as I have found, breeds fear and dis-ease.  What I have been striving for is a balance.

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One thing that continues to be homemade is the treats – there is just no comparison!

I have stopped buying as many organic products primarily for financial reasons especially as my boyz became very hungry teenagers and it was just not realistic to buy that much organic food.  While I look for the best deals on organic foods and do the best I can with cleaning products and personal care as well, I have learned not to stress about the non organic milk and other products we buy.  I am conscious of the media I consume as I do not want to go down a road that tells me how that milk will kill us, how dairy, meat, carbs – pick your poison – will cause terminal disease.

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A lovely gift from our friend who visited last night…another triplet parent 🙂

What I realize is that ease is what I need….grace as we try to live the best life we can….cooking and baking is fun but I also recognize it is ok to do easy meals in this stage of my life.  If I am in the mood and have the time, I will put more into a meal, but on your average night – it is a basic rotation of go to meals the majority of us like with sides that make it a feasible meal for those who are not crazy about the entree.  And this works…everyone if (somewhat) happy, everyone is physically nourished and we are together sharing a meal which nourishes our souls and our relationships.  So I am choosing to stope feeding the fear and instead to feed the love by embracing moderation, embracing ‘all foods fit’ for my family, and expanding my awareness of what it means to be ‘healthy’.

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