Detox, Experiences, Me, Work life balance

Mid-week bonanza

I get to do one of the coolest things right in the middle of the work week, in the middle of work day – yoga! My company conducts a yoga session every Wednesday. I so look forward to it and I am very protective of this time.

“There is earth beneath you, breath within you, and you have good intentions. So many things should have gone right for you to be right here, right now. There are places to go. There is work to do. The most important work begins with you. Take the time. Take care of you,”  the yoga instructor reminds us as we stretch and warm up. “Believe in the power of your strength, and the natural ability of your body to find balance,” she continues. I hang on to every word she utters and commit it to memory. 

I love these reminders.. To stretch, to pause, to reflect, and to connect my breath with my body. Immensely thankful for this mid-week break that refreshes and rejuvenates me like no other. 

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Detox, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness, Introspection, Us

Fitness Diary – Day 11 and Day 12

Day 11

I was half asleep yesterday before I realized that I had forgotten the journal entry for the day. It was too late to turnaround and make amends.

Eats – so so. Dark chocolate is my vice. Thank God for this workshop because yesterday would have been one of those days I would have indulged in gluttony but good sense prevailed and the damage was minimized. 

Workout – 17 mins jogging. Meditation – 9 mins. Hydration – so so.  

Gratitude – thankful that I did not go overboard with the eating, thankful that I was able to take the day off to catch up on some household projects, thankful that I had a partially productive day.

Focus in the workshop was exercise – aerobics, anaerobics and flexibility. It is recommended that aerobics be done for not more than 3 days per week. High Intensity Interval Training, a form of anaerobic exercise is the most efficient way to lose excess fat. Personally, I tend to focus only on aerobic exercise. I have weights at home, time to dust them out. I also want to spend one day recovering by doing  yoga, perhaps surya namskar.

Day 12

Today was spent reflecting on random things. I was getting a little frustrated about a certain paperwork that was taking longer than I had hoped for. But I am proud of myself for not letting the frustration get the better of me, I kept chugging along.

Eats – so so. Besan chila for breakfast, ragi dosai for lunch, tacos and veggie rice bowl for dinner. So so because of the raisin toast and the extra dark chocolates that I had.

Workout – 17 mins of running. Meditation – 9 mins. Hydration – bad, did not even attempt. Sleep – so so.

Gratitude – 1. Thankful that I kept reframing and refocusing today and channeled my frustration to productive work. 2. Thankful that although the odds were not in my favor, I managed to pay my monthly visit to the parlor. 3. Thankful for the healing power of space and time – sickness, disappointments, frustrations, squabbles – we have a tendency to hasten the healing in an attempt to make ourselves better sooner than later. But healing takes space and time. Space to experience the unpleasantness and the time to put the suffering in perspective.  

Today’s focus was on eating seasonal and local foods. Eat what’s in season, and eat what’s local. This makes a lot of sense to me.  Here’s a useful link – http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=28

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Detox, Food, Gratitude

Fitness Diary – Day 08

Eats – good. Breakfast – Oats with berries, lunch – quinoa salad, snack – sweet potato and green tea,  dinner – kichdi with squash, mango and dark chocolate. 

Workout – 15 mins jogging

Meditation – 9 mins. Did not do any nostril breathing.

Sleep – bad – 6 hours of fragmented sleep

Gratitude

  1. M.S. Subbulakshmi Hanuman Chalisa
  2. Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate from TJs
  3. Break from making dinner tonight. Had food at neighbor’s house.
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Detox, Experiences, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness, Inspiration, Introspection, Kids, Little Moments, Sunday School

Fitness Diary – Day 7

Eats – bad.  I had a planned lapse (meaning the lapse was not due to temptation or craving but it was something I had budgeted for) so I don’t feel bad about it. What I do feel bad about is the four pieces of dark chocolate I had. Dark chocolate is allowed in the workshop but only one piece. I definitely need to work on my portions, will specifically focus on it this week. Otherwise the regular meals were ok. Raagi dosai with sambar for breakfast, pongal sambar for lunch, dinner sambar rice. Aarachu vitta sambar is a rare treat in our house, so when I make it I don’t miss an opportunity to devour it.  

Workout – 17 mins of jogging with the first born. It was so hard to pull myself out of the house. I had to keep reminding myself that the future me would regret if I let the workout slip by. And I am so glad I pushed myself. It was an absolute treat to get out early in the morning with the fresh cool air caressing my face. Hari thought so too!

Meditation – 9 mins. I did not do any nostril breathing. 

Hydration – so so. I think I nearly made it but did not pay particular attention to it.

Sleep – bad, slept only for six hours. I see the repeat of the story tomorrow. I don’t like that but unfortunately that’s the reality now. 

A day filled with gratitude.

  • Just when I woke up this morning, Ram who was sleeping right next to me, kissed and put his arms around me with such warmth that it melted my heart and rendered it into a pot of mush.  Ironically, what the love bug told me next left me feeling like the most apathatic and horrible mom in the whole wide world – “I am so excited amma. I wonder how much money the Tooth Fairy has left for me. I am tempted to look under my pillow.”  Oh no, how could I? Last night a certain someone had signaled to certain someone else to take care of it and that someone else conveniently forgot it the very next moment it was told to her. Aiyoo.!! After chiding myself and catastrophizing the whole situation in my head,  I woke up my knight in shining armour, who was snoring blissfully, and muttered to the clueless soul in broken hindi “mein dhanth keliyo jho rakna hai, woh bhool gayee”  (as you may have guessed, the child does not know hindi but it did not matter because he was mentally lost in counting his treasury… if I get $1, I will have $32 pocket money, if I get $5, I will have…) The knight in shining armour woke up laughing heartily, went out of the room under the guise of having to use the restroom.. Long story short, five minutes later, the child’s eye lit up as he pulled out a crumpled $5 note. I heaved a sigh of relief and made the best cup of tea to my knight in shining armour who saved the day for this forgetful mommy. Thank you, thank you and thank you.
  • Hari slept undisturbed the whole night last night. The child has had fragmented sleep for the past several weeks due to allergies. We think the trigger is construction related dust. Poor child, poor child, wakes up two to three times with a congested nose, and terrible sneezes. So every night he catches good sleep, I offer my gratitude from the bottom of my heart. 
  • Sunday school started today. Yesterday, I was overwhelmed with how thinly I have stretched myself and was convinced that I should think twice before committing next year. It’s too much preparation and too much time commitment. But this morning when I went to school, my heart was full with gratitude. This the place where I get my ix of India every week. Where I get to sing Vande Mataram and Hum Honge Khamiyaap loudly and proudly. Where as much as my kids want to make fun of the accent, in a strange sense feel like they belong. It was such a treat to see kids from last year come up to me and catch up. I am assisting Hari’s class in the first hour, I had taught some kids in this class five years back, my very first batch and there was a certain ease and friendliness in the air. I was also thrilled to see my new kids this year, can’t wait to see where they will take me on this journey this year.
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Detox, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness

Eats – so so. Breakfast – besan veggie chila, lunch – two course South Indian meal, snack – a slice of grain based bread and nuts packet, dinner – chow chow kootu and grainless granola. Portions not good.

Hydration – so so. Meditation – 19 mins. Workout – 45 mins of walking+jogging. Nostril breathing – none. Last night sleep – good. I missed our Sat. take out, my weekly break from cooking. I missed drinking milk today. No specific focus in workshop. Just a reminder to focus on all things.

Things that I am thankful for…

  • I am thankful that I live a life of my choosing. There are very few things that I do out of obligation or sense of duty. Most things I do because I want to do or like to do. 
  • I am thankful that Ram is on the mend. Good to see the little bird chirping around the house.
  • Today had an opportunity to visit a new temple to watch a a flute and mridangam performance by Hari’s friends. It made me happy and gave me a chance to rest and just be; much needed downtime for my preoccupied mind.  
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Detox, Food, Health and fitness, Introspection, Work life balance

Fitness Diary – Day 5

Intensive work calls, sick child at home, and kids’ dentist appointment – that was my day today.

I had my aha moment this morning when I realized that all this week I have slept well. A nice deep slumber for 8 hours. I have not had this kind of consistency in sleep pattern in a really long time. I thought it was attributable to the stress associated with the business of adulting (cooking, cleaning, nagging,… etc.). That might still be part of the reason but I think the true culprit is my caffeine intake. For whatever reason, I just assumed that my body is immune to caffeine. That an increased intake would not affect me as much. Apparently not. The amount of sleep I get seems to be indirectly proportional to my caffeine intake. Lesson learnt..!

Today’s focus was on nostril breathing three times per day. That is, close one nostril with the thumb, breathe in slowly. Close the other nostril with the pointer and breath out slowly. I did it twice when I was getting stressed out at work. I have to practice more to see if it works or not for me. The way I look at it, atleast it is better than escaping from the situation by surfing, whatsapping, facebooking etc.

Eats – ok. Baked potato for breakfast, quinoa salad for lunch, a long list of snack (green tea, corn on the cob, nuts and raisin, apple), and dinner was split pea soup and grain based bread with home made basil pesto spread. Grapes and fig for dessert.

Hydration – did ok I think. Sleep – 9 hours of fragmented sleep. I liked the one hour of no screen time prior to bedtime. Jogging – 17 mins. 

What I am thankful for today?

  • TGIF. Amen to that!
  • I am thankful that intensive work calls are not the norm in my work life.
  • I am thankful that I could afford the luxury of keeping the sick child at home without having to take the day off. I am thankful that the sick child did not hinder my productivity at work.
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Detox, Food, Gratitude, Health and fitness, Introspection

Fitness Diary – Day 4

Oh boy, leading a healthy lifestyle is easier said than done. I tell you, it’s  a full time job! No wonder, I keep falling off the wagon so very often. Nonetheless, it is a goal worth striving for. Baby steps, consistent efforts, incremental results. I tell myself, one day I will get there.  Even if I don’t, it’s worth trying and failing.

Today’s focus in the workshop is avoiding screen time for an hour prior to bedtime. This is very hard for me because that’s the time I spend catching up on pending work stuff, personal emails, writing blog posts, and watching T.V.  I don’t think I can do it on a daily basis. On the flip side, I see value in that idea. I am in front of the laptop for the most part of the day.  I keep wishing that I read more and spent more time with the kids, which is currently non-existent. May be this is an opportunity to see those wishes come to life – may be I can avoid screen time for half an hour before bedtime for 3 to 4 days during the week?  

Eats – not too happy, my portions were not good. Breakfast – chia seeds with fruits and nuts, lunch – good old quinoa salad, snack – poha with a mug of rasam, dinner – vegetable adai.

Exercise – 20 mins jogging. Meditation – 9 mins. Mind still wandering but came back to the present more often too. The sounds around me anchor me in the NOW than the breath. Hydration – again, didn’t count but I have a feeling I met the quota.

Things I am grateful for.

  • My cleaner. As I have written here before, I am fond of her. I am thankful that she cleans my house every fortnight. She does a better job than I would in half the time I would take. One big reason I am able to do volunteering activities is because I get to outsource the cleaning.  I also get the satisfaction of having made a small difference to someone’s monthly earnings.
  • Thank God for dosais and adais. For some the repetition may be boring, but for me it’s a life savior. Eating healthy, tasty, fresh, home cooked, gluten free, wholesome meal that can be made without too much planning as long as you have the batter ready. And how many variations one can make with them! Thankful for South Indian cuisine that makes gluten free diet possible for me.
  • My thanks to Da for taking care of dinner and giving Ram his bath tonight. I had to take care of pending work mails during dinner time to be able to  honor the one hour no screen time stipulation. All I had to do was ask him..!

Hope you are all well in your neck of the woods.

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