WILW ED #22
Happy Hump Day everyone! This post is a little later than usual (apologies), as I've been at work all day - which I am still loving by the way! I hope your Wednesday has treated you well so far.
This week I am...
Last week, during explorations of Melbourne's CBD, my friend Tyler (creator of Please Pass the Doritos) took me into a shop called Mag Nation, a shop dedicated to magazines. We spent a little while wandering through and whilst there were literally dozens of magazines that I wanted to buy I ended up purchasing an older copy of a Frankie magazine. Frankie is a quirky, alternative Australian fashion and lifestyle magazine, featuring interesting people-focussed articles and creative tips for your own DIY projects. I always enjoy reading it and find it to be a refreshing change from the vanity and gossip of some of the more mainstream magazines aimed at my demographic. Definitely the perfect read when accompanied by a blanket and a good cup of tea.
Listening to: my body
This little section goes hand-in-hand with my aim for the past week, which was to eat mindfully. It is often easy to fall into the pattern of eating, sleeping and exercising rather mindlessly, following a strict routine rather than going with the ebb and flow of our lives. Our bodies are innately intelligent and so if we take the time just to listen to what our body is crying out for you might be amazed at what you find. Often our cravings (even for so-called "bad" food) are just signs from our bodies that we are lacking in a certain micro- or macro-nutrient. If you are craving salty foods then maybe you are low in some of the trace minerals found in good quality sea salt. If you are craving warm comfort food then perhaps some hearty stew is all you need to nourish you.
I am not saying go eat everything you crave (ice cream, refined sweets and chips are definitely not the way too health!), but do take notice of the subtle changes in your body's needs on a daily basis. Some days you might not actually be that hungry, so eat less. Other days you will be hungrier, so eat more. Likewise with sleep, if you need a little more than usual give yourself that time for rest. If you find yourself waking up earlier or having less sleep naturally, accept that that is perfectly okay.
Watching: Catalyst - Gut Reaction
Unfortunately I only caught the end of the second episode in this two-part series, but the short few minutes that I saw definitely blew me away! The current trend in medical research is certainly pointing towards imbalances in our gut bacteria and microbiome as a key factor in many of the modern-day diseases, including autism, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances, anxiety, and depression, just to name a few. The reality is that our cells are greatly outnumbered by the bacteria that reside on and in us, so living in a harmonious balance with these little creatures is critical for optimal health. If you want to learn more about this field or the exciting research then definitely check out the Catalyst episodes!
I have a sneaky suspicion that I have shared this quote on the blog before, but after 412 posts it is a little hard to remember. Regardless, this quote is one that has been stuck on my wall since I was 16 and it still has the power to put me in a contemplative mood upon reading. Over the past few weeks I've started to take notice of our use of technology, and it has really ruffled my feathers! Firstly, on public transport it is near on impossible to find a person who is not looking at their smartphone or some other device. Even if someone is looking up or out the window, they likely have headphones in and thus are still connected to their device. I am one of them.
It saddens me that we use these our smartphones as some kind of pseudo-shield to protect us from (God forbid) interaction with other human beings. The thought of making accidental eye contact with another person is terrifying. When we bump into each other as the tram jerks to a stop we mumble apologies into our laps, our eyes never leaving the glowing screen in our hand. Our necks are constantly cocked forward in the most unnatural way. The idea of starting up a conversation with a stranger is foreign. I can't help but think that our predecessors from a mere century ago would be horrified that the most popular form of entertainment at present is a virtual game of Pokemon... I mean, I get it (it is kind of fun), but how sad is it that people are claiming this game that has us glued to our screens is enabling socialising. Rant over.
Eating (drinking): kombucha
For those who have never heard of it before, kombucha is an ancient type of fermented food, specifically fermented tea. It is made by placing a SCOBY (which stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) into brewed, cooled tea with some sugar. It is then left to ferment for a few days to a few weeks, depending on how warm the area is. Once done, it is a light, fizzy and tangy drink that is incredibly nourishing for the gut, and as discussed above, gut health is king! I've only just attempted my first ever batch of homemade kombucha (yet too be tasted), however since starting work at Happy Place I've had the convenience of kombucha on tap and I love it! I find it especially good for killing sugar cravings and to help dispel any digestive troubles. If you want to try making your own, check out this kombucha kit from The Whole Daily.
Pondering: three pillars of a successful relationship
In another Lewis Howes podcast with Ravi Patel (star of Netflix doco 'Meet the Patels'), Ravi outlines what he believes to be the three pillars of a successful relationship - love, commitment and compatibility. He goes on to explain that in the Western world we place almost all of our emphasis on love, particularly in romantic relationships. In this way, we fail to acknowledge and accept that for a relationship to be successful there must also be the elements of commitment and compatibility. I found this to be quite insightful, because as Ravi explains, if a relationship were anything else, a business or job for example, commitment is something we expect and are (generally) happy to give. But somehow we just expect to fall in love and to have relationships flourish without having to work at it. It's a little bit backwards when you look at it that way. I guess what I am slowly learning is that like anything in life worth doing, relationships are challenging and difficult and require great, ongoing commitment to be successful. But that work is oh so worth it for the reward of enjoying beautiful relationships.
Moving: yoga photo shoot
Recently I had the pleasure of doing a beautiful (albeit very chilly) yoga shoot with the talented Shardey Olynyk at Port Melbourne Pier, and the photos above are just a little sample of the result! As always, yoga pervades as my movement of choice - there is just nothing better than a good stretch in the morning!
Aiming to: eat mindfully (and slowly)
I started a little journal last week in which I have been writing down one habit I want to practice each week and then recording my progress (and little slip ups too). For the first week of my journal I chose to practice mindful eating, because as I alluded to earlier, more often than not I can fall into the habit of inhaling my meals without even really acknowledging that I am eating. In order to practice this mindful eating I did my best to eat sitting down, at a table and free from distractions (including my phone, music and the TV). I took three deep breaths and a moment of gratitude before I ate and then took the time to really notice the flavours and textures of the food I was eating. I can't say that the week was perfect, but I certainly noticed that I felt much more physically and emotionally satisfied by the meals that I ate mindfully, as opposed to those that were "inhaled".
Grateful for: electricity
Yesterday I had the pleasure of catching up with my friend Gabe and hearing about his incredible intern work with a social enterprise called Pollinate Energy, which aims to alleviate energy poverty by selling solar lamps to slum communities in India. Gabe explores and explains this model much more eloquently than I ever could in his post here. The point is that learning about this enterprise and hearing about the conditions in which the slum communities live gave me an immediate sense of appreciation for electricity, something that I use every single day and yet have never expressed gratitude for... until now.
How has your week been? What are you loving this week?
Love Erica x