Tag Archives: yoga

Qi (chee) on this.


It’s time to update you about my long-time health drama.  I have had a sour stomach most of life.  Just before I chose to stay at home,  it completely whomped me.  Throat, esophagus, stomach.  Likely stress-missed meals-stress-missed sleep-stress- induced….numerous doctors, tests, meds and diagnoses culminated into one thing – not solving my problem.  Finally, I quit what doctors told me to do.  I stopped all medication.  I changed the way I ate, in an effort to eliminate “pain” foods.  I loyally attended yoga (stress reduction/better circulation) and even started acupuncture sessions.  I wanted to fix myself – naturally.

*Enter new alternative medicine doctor.*

WOW.  Her therapies literally swept pain out of my body.  I FELT it.  And in the process of treatment, she coached me about lifestyle and diet.  She described me as an ‘earth’ body (whaa?) and someone who deals with spleen Qi deficiency.


I researched it.  I was shocked, to say the least, to find case after case about people with the same issues and a common theme for resolving the problem:  diet.  Over and over again….all of my crazy symptoms didn’t seem so crazy.  Was it possible that there was something to it?  After all, Chinese medicine has been around for a heckuva lot longer than western medicine.  There must be something to it.

According to literature, I am eating all the wrong things.  My favorite foods essentially ‘weaken’ my spleen Qi.  (stay with me).  Instead, I need to drop the last of my dairy intake.  Wheat is out.  Refined sugar.  High carb fruits- gone.  Uncooked veggies.  Cold food (ice cream!), soy, greasy food, bananas and anything unnatural -moot.  Instead, my new diet is rich in other grains, cooked beans, garlic, baked root veggies, mushrooms, some red meat, basil and various strong spices.

And here I am.

My first efforts at cooking this food introduced me to TarteletteBlog’s version of Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Rice.  I found it on Pinterest, which continues to be an awesome source of information and inspiration.  After tweaking it to meet my needs, it was awesome and substantial enough to leave me fulfilled.  Better yet, my husband liked it.  Best yet, it’s a great way to incorporate one of my favorite veggies:  butternut squash!

Butternut Squash =

Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Rice by TarteletteBlog

So far, I don’t feel better….or worse.  But I just had that surgery….AND I admit I cheat here or there.  After all, life is too short to absolutely cut out chocolate (dark please) and frozen desserts (hello, ice cream).  I just need to incorporate loads of the ‘good’ foods, until I can feel fulfilled by those means.  Sigh.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Before I go, guess what?  I’m in the process of updating my NEW blog title and site.  Talking about work-to-home is limiting and frankly, it doesn’t fully express what I’m about.  Change is refreshing.

Til’ then,



Less is more.


Yesterday, I spent a whopping 4 hours putzing in my kitchen and dining room.  Putzing, then tweaking.  Tweaking, then cleaning.  Cleaning turned into an all out offensive attack on any can, jar, box, appliance, dish or linen that failed to make my heart warm and fuzzy.  My results:  2 boxes full of donations (courtesy of still unused wedding gifts)….one huge garbage bag stuffed with, well, garbage…and much more order in space.  Getting rid of the stuff did make me feel like a cold-hearted B, but the act of keeping only what I use and LOVE felt good.  Really good.  Less was more.

In the process of doing all of this, I wore S.P.A.N.D.E.X yoga pants.  Yup, I did.  Why bring this up, you ask?  My spandex is starting to feel TOO BIG (woot woot!)  I am down 18lbs and a couple of inches on the waist and hips.  Partly from health issues last spring.  Partly from my new life-diet void of dairy and white flour.  Mainly, I exercise.

I’ve lost significant weight 3 times:  all post-baby blubber.  Nice people would always say nice things about my ‘amazing transformation.’  Each time they said it I thought, thanks!  Wait, what the hell?  Was I really THAT fat?

This time, I was in the clear.  No post-baby thing.  Just exercising my free will to take care of myself.  So when my kid’s teacher innocently gasped and then whispered, “you are so much thinner!  Wow, you really lost weight!  Oh, were you working at that?”

I pause.

I smile.

“Well I was sick for a few months.  I’m eating differently now.  And I like to do yoga and stuff.  Thank you for noticing.”

And we go about our business – the teacher none the wiser about my internal woes.  Was I really that heavy before?

Well, heck.  I guess I shouldn’t care.  I feel great.  Less of me DOES feel good.  And because I’m a person who likes feedback on my work, I am even more inspired to kick my butt on the yoga mat.  Less of me feels like more.

Before I leave you, I have to share daughter’s recent art work.  Completely innocent:  the couple is forming a band.  She thought the police officer would like to come and watch.  Good grief.  I hope this never falls into the hands of a child psychiatrist.



I looooooove me some yoga.  It’s not just a physical workout, but a mental cleansing and spiritual upliftment.  Really, it rocks.  I love it so much, I set aside a considerable amount of my monthly ‘allowance’ to attend a local yoga studio.  When I’m there, it’s my time.  It’s positive energy.  Oddly, it’s also a relaxing time, even though I drip sweat through rigorous poses.  This ‘ole given-life-to-three-kids-body feels stronger and normal aches and pains are replaced with “yes, that was an awesome workout” pain.  Yes, I love me some yoga.


I also love that both men and women, young and old, are sweating through the same yoga flow.  The space is ‘generally’ judgement-free, but I can’t help but find that it can also be entertaining.  Bikini Man is spotted from time to time (front and center).

I can't even do this one, yet!


Bikini Man (reenacted)

Woman With The See-Through Tank That Barely Holds The Silicone In also jumps in the front row from time to time.  Then there is John, a fellow yogi who enjoys the crunch of Minnesota snow.  And Marcie, a friend who has very little hearing in one ear, but always hears my whispers (like, “Look!  There’s Bikini Man!)

I CAN get this far though. (reenactment – do you really think I’d share a personal spandex photo with the world?)

Humor aside, THIS is what I love to think about as I work out:  (ORAL TRADITION) LOKAH SAMASTA SUKHINO BHAVANTU
May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

This is the mantra of Yoga, chanted in almost every class.  By giving voice to it, we set the intention to create a world that is harmonious and peaceful.  This is my mantra that I love to exercise every day – not just as a new year’s resolution. 

If you have a yoga studio near you, try it out!  You just might love it.  Namaste.

No Excuses


Oy, yoy, yoy.

It seems that I’ve been on “blog vacation” during the last few months.  You know, too much thinking can mentally exhaust oneself.  During these months, I’ve simplified my thought patterns:  One thing at a time.  Keep it simple.  Be present.  Breathe (that would be my yoga). 

No, I have not been watching re-runs of Oprah.  I just happen to catch myself jumping around like a crazy woman.  I notice.  I adjust.  After all, “crazy woman” activity isn’t something that makes a household purr, you know?

I had the notion to return to blogging just yesterday.  ‘Tis the season for children to ask, “..but how long is it until we can open presents?”  Huh.  I swear to you…..we work hard to instill a sense of giving and service in our children.  As a matter of fact, I believe they take joy in giving  (once I pry them away from video games or wrestling matches).  It’s just that they can forget, too.  Those presents are so darn distracting, right? 

Yesssss…….. so I felt it necessary to discuss the spirit of the season at our dinner table.  I also challenged everyone:  we agreed to target 12 days of random acts of kindness.  We would share them every night.  The initial sharing session excited some who remembered they HAD carried out an act of kindness that day… to mortifying others (remaining nameless) who chewed on the fact they couldn’t remember a single act of kindness.  Ouch.  Sound cheesy?  Well, I beg to differ.  This has been EXCEPTIONAL and we are on just day 4 of this family adventure.  

I don’t want to go on about our personal kindness escapades, but I will say one thing.  A stranger’s startled smile sticks with me.   My kids are quick to help out.  We are more pleasant around each other.  Best of all, my husband WASHED ALL THE DISHES and pre-made the morning coffee!  Absolutely acceptable. 

Today we decided to pay for a stranger’s order (car behind us us at a drive-thru window.)  The kids were instantly excited with a resounding, “random act of kindness!!!”  Big grins.  Satisfied mom.  They like it.  They get it.  I hope they carry it forward.  Goodness knows I don’t feel like being kind some days.  But those kids just lift me up.  And that’s why I’m going to give them those presents.