Take Gentle Care

“Take gentle care.” That was my first thought when I read MH’s post on “Paper, Planning and Paleo.”

It’s funny; many of my friends in wellness jobs sign emails or close conference calls using that phrase, “Take gentle care.” I’m not gonna lie, I always thought it was a little hocus pocus-y. Yeah – good thinking. Tell the “should have been diagnosed ADHD, mile a minute, never a moment’s peace” lady to take gentle care…ya right…you might as well say “sit still.”

Now, before anyone gets upset; I am not being flippant about the ADHD diagnosis, I am serious…I’m fairly certain that’s me. So what does this have to do with MH’s post on getting organized and going Paleo…everything? First, let’s just get the planning thing out of the way. Brilliant! Must do. Here’s my Saturday morning routine: I go to my Bountiful Basket pick up site like a small child on Christmas morning. I bring my loot home, unload, and clean the veggies and fruits. Then I sit down with a cup of coffee, my computer and my paper calendar.

Hilary's Calendar

HIlary’s Calendar in Process

First I go through my emails to make sure if there are any meetings or requests for the following week, I have them in Outlook and I have copied the appropriate people. Next I transfer them to the appropriate places on my paper calendar. I only look one week at a time. I use the bottom of the calendar to put in my menu ideas for the week based on what I picked up from my co-op. This allows me to make a short grocery list that I will stick do, spending less money (theoretically).

All the kids’ activities are listed as well. This helps me to figure out…”Whoa, tennis and dance are back to back. That means we need to be packed for the day in the morning. It also means this will be a good day to have the crockpot ready.” Three other benefits of my strategy beyond planning:

  1. Others can see what is going on for the week and appreciate what mom is doing for them…perhaps even helping out.
  2. Mom can ask for help where she needs it because as much as I have tried, I can’t yet be in three places at once.
  3. I choose a couple things from my running to do list and fit it into my paper calendar…if all the lines are already filled, it is unrealistic for me to try to get more done. The last one is important for me because I beat myself up when the 40 things in my list aren’t done in an hour…I am practicing gentle care.

Soul Sister Vino, A Non-Paleo Essential

Now, on to Paleo. First, what is Paleo? They call it the Caveman diet. Simply, you eat what your ancestors ate and I am pretty sure that was not McDonalds. MH asked if it was time-consuming or difficult. Answer…it depends. When I first started it, I jumped in with both feet and tried to do it perfectly. I was spending about 20 hours a week researching, tracking down grass-fed meet, looking up recipes, etc. Then, I finally relaxed and started taking gentle care. We are now not strict Paleo…but we’re eating Paleoish. We try to eat little to no processed foods. We eat less dairy, but we used to live in Wisconsin, we make exceptions. I try to get organic and grass-fed where I can, but if it doesn’t work in our budget, I forgive myself and make the healthiest choices possible. True Paleo is also no alcohol. I’m drinking my red wine, just sayin’.

The simple rule at the grocery store,  just don’t shop the middle aisles. If you stay on the edges (meat, fruit, veggies, deli), you are making better choices. Has this helped our family? Slowly, but surely with this change, I have taken off an extra 18 pounds that was hanging out for no good reason. The kids are making smart choices and see our family as a healthy family. They take pride in it. That’s golden to me. MH also asked me to make some Paleo Super Bowl suggestions. So here goes. Not all our menu items are Paleo, as we have a mixed bunch of eaters here and I have made healthy choices all week so that I can indulge on Sunday. We are having:

  • burgers with grilled green chilies and cumin (cheese and buns optional)
  • avocado deviled eggs (hard-boiled eggs, mix yolk with avocado, hot sauce to taste and other seasonings that sound good)
  • assortment of veggies
  • Paleo bruschetta (see Everyday Paleo Italian Cuisine)
  • an antipasto plate (olives, prosciutto, dried salami) and then an assortment of “normal” football food like chips and dips.

I could stress and make it all Paleo…but again, practicing gentle care. It does not have to be all or nothing…just breathe…and have fun! Go Seahawks!

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