I haven’t blogged in quite some time because, well, life… We moved our daughter out of state, my Father-in-Law passed away, I got a new job and we recently found out we are going to be grandparents for the third time. Life has been all over the place for me, but the one consistant has been how and what I eat. That has been what had kept me strong. And healthy.
In June, my youngest daughter and I set out on a week-long drive across the country to get her settled for her new job (her husband had to temporarily stay behind for his job). We dubbed it the Thelma and Louise road trip and had an incredible time together and some crazy fun. If you are ever able to travel a distance by car alone with one of your children, do it. It was a gift in so many ways: we got to know one another as people, we had time to talk about so many things and I think we both learned to be a bit more independent. Most importantly, we didn’t kill one another.
A little over one month later, we received a phone call that altered our lives forever: “Come home, dad has been given last rights.” The next weeks are a blur of caring for him, loving him and honoring him. And now we grieve. Grief is a funny thing, you continue moving forward and yet there’s this awful feeling that’s always just below the surface. And it doesn’t take much for it to rise to the top – a favorite song on the radio, a holiday, a moment in time where you just miss your loved one. From the outside all looks fine, but we are all fragile and broken and trying to grieve in our own way, in our own time, because grief is different for everyone. This man who said to me “There are no in-laws in this family; you are my daughter” was my dad too for over half of my life. I miss him and I am sad.
In late September, I was offered a job. A once in a lifetime opportunity I could not pass up. And so I said yes and goodbye to people I have worked with for almost nine years; some of whom have become dear friends, some more like family. It’s scary starting a new job. You leave what is comfortable and familiar and move to something that is not. Most days I feel lost but each day gets easier and I’m still glad I made the decision I did. Sometimes you just need a change. Having the courage to actually make that change? It’s everything!
About the same time I was starting my new job, our daughter – the one that I drove across the country with – announced they were expecting their first child. So many emotions: excitement then grief and then sadness. Why the grief and sadness? The realization this baby won’t know us as well as our other two grandchildren kicked in, as well as this is the first great-grandchild Dad will never know. He would have been filled with joy to hear the news. Of course, I’m betting he already knows and looks down with such love and joy. And there again, that grief lurks just below the surface.
Through all of this, my health has held on. I’m not saying I’ve not had some struggles with RA flares and the like but through all of this, I was able to use what I’ve been taught to manage my way through. By eating deliberately and following a Paleo diet, the flares have not been as bad or lasted as long. I listened to my body, I mean REALLY listened, and was proactive instead of reactive. I’ve noticed my RA really acts up right before I get sick. Once I put the two together, I have learned to step up the probiotics the minute my feet hurt and walking is painful and I make sure my diet is super clean while using the tools I was taught by my Integrative Medicine Dr. to boost my immune system. And it has worked, every time. And for the very first time, I feel completely in control of me.
So, it’s fall-like outside (I live in Cali so fall-like means 80 degrees while the leaves are changing color) and I decided to get my pumpkin on. Today was all about pumpkin muffins, pumpkin custard and the most unbelievable Paleo oatmeal cookies we have ever tasted. Recipe links below:
And, of course, our favorite Sunday waffles (not pumpkin but SO good): https://www.thenaturalnurturer.com/blog/oatmeal-green-smoothie-waffles
When I first started on this journey, the options were few but now you don’t have to eat bland food to be compliant. We eat delicious Paleo food that is good for us and helps build my body up, instead of tearing it down. While life is sure to throw you many curve balls along they way, you can be in control by eating healthy. It’s completely doable – start by switching out one or two things and then move from there. Take this in small chunks. How you get to this point doesn’t matter. Much like grief, our paths are all different. But changing your lifestyle can be done, one small change at time.