Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Unicorn Dreams, Yoga, and Maple Syrup

I'm still not sure how it's already the middle of July. All year long, summer seems so far away, and then it gets here, and we realize that we actually spend a lot of it working . . . and then it ends. But I'm grateful to have this time to get to be with my mum and brother more.  (And at least Fall means plaid skirts, which are always a plus.)

I've got a lot of work to do to get ready for the school year starting. It may seem early to begin prepping, but I'm going to be applying to a speech pathology program, and I need to work on that before I'm tutoring and subbing every afternoon. My dream right now is to work in rehabilitation of some kind . . . and in my "unicorn dream," I hope to use yoga and art and writing therapies with children at Vesnova in Belarus. Does anyone else have a "unicorn dream"?

From Giphy

This August marks ten years since my grandmother passed away. She helped raise me and my brother, and we miss her red hair and freckles every day. I didn't really understand the extent to which she was sick (lupus, cancer, etc.) until after she died, and my heart goes out to anyone who's dealing with any sort of autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are like ghosts: they aren't always visible, but they're there, and they're felt.

They're definitely felt.

When I was little, my grandmother used to bake with me, and she liked to make pumpkin pie and apple crisp and a whole assortment of other gluten-free, allergy-friendly treats*. One of my absolute favorite parts of the baking process was getting to taste the batter because it had maple syrup in it.

Maple syrup is delicious.

But I haven't had maple syrup in the past several years because I've labeled it as "too sugary." Ugh, why? I know that there isn't any one perfect diet system and that dropping diets is the best thing that any of us dealing with disordered eating behaviors can do, but there are some principles of Ayurveda that have been helping me recently. Ayurveda actually recommends maple syrup for anyone dealing with excess Vata or Pitta. Certain eating disorder behaviors--like obsessing, restricting, and avoiding--fit really well with Vata and Pitta imbalances.

And Ayurveda aside, maple syrup is yummy and packed full of antioxidants. Why deprive yourself of that?
Image from Amazon.com

This morning I was baking muffins for our neighbors, and I picked up one of my favorite cookbooks (Deliciously Ella, yay!) to look for some ideas. I found Ella's blueberry muffin recipe, which calls for a lot of maple syrup. My initial reaction was to think, "Okay, what should I sub the syrup for? How can I make it less sugary?" But then I read her description of the muffins as nourishing, satisfying, and energizing, and I decided to drop my maple syrup avoidance and instead embrace the idea of trusting the recipe and trusting myself.

Interested in yoga? Try it here!

In yoga "class" (aka YouTube videos in the living room), I often hear to "trust the yoga." (Thank you, Adriene Mishler!) It's such a simple statement, but for anyone who struggles with feeling anxious or doubtful, releasing fear and control and just trusting the yoga is actually really liberating. It's all going to work out in the end. It's going to be fine! So today I trusted the recipe and just added the maple syrup, and as soon as I started pouring it, I remembered being four years old and sitting in my grandmother's kitchen tasting syrup off of the spoon while she baked.

Everything felt better in that moment.


Just breathe and trust.


*Note that I'm not pushing a gluten-free, etc., agenda or anything . . . my family just has a history of Celiac Disease and histamine issues. Any choices I reflect on the blog regarding vegetarianism or dairy or anything like that aren't fear-based.

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