“Nothing Tastes As Good As Walking Feels”

This post is dedicated to my mother.

“Nothing tastes as good as walking feels” …the quote that resonated so deeply that it hasn’t left my mind all week.  I used to be a fan of the Kate Moss quote, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” I even had it printed on a $200 dollar pillow from Johnathan Adler. The Kate Moss quote couldn’t be more of a fallacy.  Most things taste better than skinny and I left that stupid pillow in Philadelphia.

I had a call with NY Times Best Selling Author, Ann Boroch, this week.  I was extremely grateful to be able to speak with her on the phone and organize an event with her. (Stay Tuned) We talked mostly about specifics for the event and of course, the MS Healing Diet.  She was interested with my vegan take, and doesn’t follow a vegan healing regimen at all.  Although her diet was mostly plant based she still included eggs and an occasional piece of lamb or goat. Even after talking with such an inspirational woman, I still am a strong believer in my healing journey and take on veganism.  Mostly ALL healing diets are primarily plant-based, so I don’t see a problem with being fully plant-based.  Also, we must do what is best for you and find that balance.  I don’t disagree with any specific healing regimen, I think our mind and our dedication to healing is the key component in this equation.  And also lots of plant food.


 

“NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS WALKING FEELS”

She told me that one of her clients said this to her after regaining his/her health on her healing regimen.  We often take our ability to do simple tasks for granted.  I don’t know about you but I enjoy walking to pour myself coffee in the morning. Taking my pup for a walk.  Walking to my car everyday.

Every time we open our mouths to either speak or eat, we are either feeding disease or fighting it.

What we think, we become.

We are what we eat. 

In conversation people are always quick to say, “I don’t know how you do it, I love _____ so much!”

Do you love it as much as your ability to walk? I don’t think so.  When you are fighting for a greater cause, you find such joy and effortlessness in eating right.  Whether you do it for the animals, the environment, or to heal your chronic pain…it’s effortless.

My mother limps everyday to work and yesterday she fell and the brace on her leg broke.  Eventually she got up and walked to her car without her brace. My eyes fill with tears thinking of this scenario, and my thoughts go back to that quote. Nothing tastes as good as walking feels.  I do it for my ability to walk in a couple years.  I do it for my mother who has lost her ability.

Quit trying to do it for “skinny”.

Because food tastes way better than skinny feels, sorry Kate Moss.

But nothing. Absolutely nothing will taste as good as walking feels. 

Lots of love sent to Ann, and make sure you check out her amazing book, here. 

 

 

 

 

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Alcoholics Anonymous

I gave up booze. 

Early 20s Monica would not be able to believe her ears.  My habits before my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis would consist of tequila shots well into 4am, binge drinking, and wine was a nightly occurrence. East 90th street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan has seen me stumble out of cab, stumble down the block shoeless, and pass out in my bed with no recollection of the night before.  I’ve been there, done that.  I was a party girl.  I liked my alcohol, socialization, partying, and picking off the cheese on a Papa John’s pizza that I would devour to help quell the hangover.

After my diagnosis of MS in 2013, my alcohol consumption improved but still didn’t completely die off.  I liked to get drunk off red wine because it was “healthier” and I would try to drink more water in-between drinks.  I would often question why I still drank, but would wake up the next morning and down a green juice.

This past year, older and more knowledgeable, I really started questioning why I would still put alcohol in my system.  I would dabble on and off not drinking, exploring the cons of having a few drinks with Multiple Sclerosis, and told Peter a million times, “I’m done drinking.”

I’m a social person.  I like to attend dinner parties just like any girl in her mid-20s and I found that drinking alcohol was just something you had to do to, “fit in”.  I already eliminated pretty much everything that could cause inflammation in my diet and I didn’t want to be that bratty girl at every party that explains, “I don’t drink alcohol.”

No, I don’t think I’m better than you. Yes, I wish I could have that glass of wine.  But, I gave up alcohol.  I’m not saying I’ll NEVER have a glass of wine again, because I’m sure I will.  What I am saying is that I decided to eliminate alcohol from my diet and see what happens, how I feel.  Alcohol is poison, and I’m such an advocate for health and healing my chronic condition, I don’t understand why I would put alcohol into my system on a weekly occurrence.  Moderation is cool.  But in order to find that moderation, I’m willing to withdraw my body from alcohol for a few months and then reintroduce.

Three weeks ago, I went out with a few friends and had a some drinks.  And by some, I mean things got out of hand, and I had more than some.  I woke up the next day with the normal pounding in my head and nausea.  These were all things I was used to, a hangover. Later in the day I developed problems I wasn’t used to.  My face was numb, I was overly sensitive to heat and my legs were weak and tingly.  Right then and there I asked myself what the FUCK I was doing.  I wasn’t angry at myself for having a good time the night before and drinking more than I should, but I knew I needed to do something about this.  I never have MS symptoms, and the fact that one night of drinking brought out such issues was a huge wake up call.

I read this about MS and drinking, and it all made perfect sense.  Alcohol causes changes in the Central Nervous System, and those with MS can experience worsened neurological symptoms when drinking.  Do I think there is a problem with having an occasional drink? No.  Do I think there is a problem with having more than the occasional drink? Yes.

My life is more important than those few drinks on Friday night.  If cutting out alcohol will prevent a potential relapse, I’ll do it. Last weekend I was completely sober, and the Broncos won the SUPER BOWL, and I had a blast. I thoroughly enjoyed going out and then waking up the next morning for a walk and a cup of (organic) coffee.

Cutting out alcohol tips:

I’m still new to this, so I’m not an expert.  But these are some things that have helped me stay sober.

1.) When you know everyone is drinking, splurge and buy yourself a special drink.  I made beet juice and put it in my wine glass.  I bought a kombucha, and sipped on that.  Healthy alternatives, I’m definitely going to be working on some “mocktails”!

2.) Have fun.  Don’t sit in the corner and be all pissy that you can’t drink. Get into the conversation, join the drinking game,  you can still have fun without alcohol. (I had no idea.)

3.) Be the designated driver.  Who doesn’t love the DD?! It’s kinda fun being able to hit a ton of bars without having to pay for an uber, be the DD and everyone will arrive safe.

4.) I remember drunken conversations.  People were talking to me drunk, and I learned so much more about them.  Before,  I would have never remembered the conversation.

I will definitely add to this list, when I’ve been sober longer than 3 weeks!

I know this will bring about a LOT of questions, anger, and confusion (Haha) but just because I’m not drinking doesn’t mean I still can’t be your drinking buddy.

Comment your thoughts/experiences/etc…I would love to hear from you!

 

xx have a fantastic (sober) weekend.

M

 

My Top 5

What an exciting week! Peter was robbed, I got offered a full time marketing job with Two Moms in the Raw, we attempted homemade pizza and it came out as a deep dish disaster, a blizzard hit Denver and we worked from home mostly everyday, and Bodhi (our puppy) just threw up over the floor. (Too many apples and bananas for the little babe)  Some serious highs and lows…such is life.  But…Happy Friday.

Being jobless for the past couple of months and still trying to maintain my healthy lifestyle was quite the battle.  I’m used to spending an hour or two a week in Whole Foods picking out what fancy superfood I’m going to decorate my bowls with and snacking on dried mango at 7.95 a pound.  Like I said in my previous post, a seriously grounding experience.  My credit cards are maxed and I have $25.00 dollars in my bank account. How do I continue to eat so healthy on budget? What are some of my top must have’s in my kitchen?  Talkin’ about it right here, right now.

EATING HEALTHY ON A BUDGET

I hear this statement all too often.  “I don’t have enough money to eat healthy.”

Well, what an excuse that is.

1.) PRODUCE, PRODUCE, PRODUCE.  

Buying chia seeds at $18.00 a pound might be fun, but it’s very unnecessary. The foundation to a healthy diet is eating fruits and vegetables.  You really do not need these overpriced superfoods to clean up your diet.  Look up some plant based things you can blend up. (i.e.: see my raw vegan marinara sauce recipe) When I was on my 21 day cleanse last year, I would spend 30 dollars A WEEK on food. I remember my roommate at the time asked me what my Whole Foods bill was and she was in shock with how low it was. Eating produce is dirt cheap.  And good for you.  Stop complaining that eating healthy is “expensive” when you’re buying expensive animal flesh loaded with pus and hormones.  VEGAN RANT, done.

2.) SEASONAL 

It’s better to eat seasonal and local and also cheaper.  If you have a local farmers market in the summer, buy most of your produce there.  Seasonal food is way cheaper because it is at the peak of its supply and farmers and distributors can get it into the grocery store a lot easier.  It seems like common sense, but most of us ignore this.  Think about THIS.  Food that isn’t in season is flown halfway around the world, usually picked before the peak of their flavor and that means you pay more for a lesser product.  

3.) SALES

This seems like a no-brainer but I didn’t always pay attention to grocery store sales before I was jobless.  I always check out what produce is on sale, and I rotate it.  I only buy berries if they are on sale, if they aren’t in season.  I like this technique because it forces me to try a variety of different fruits and vegetables and find new recipes using these ingredients.

4.) THE DIRTY DOZEN

Of course I am big on always buying organic. What does organic mean? Organic is when the farmers grow the fruits and veg free or pesticides or harmful chemicals.  Make sure when you’re buying organic it’s USDA certified.

BUT Organic produce can be significantly more expensive (in most cases, unless you’re buying seasonally …see #2) When you’re on a budget you need to be smart about this…have this be your bible. Pick and choose what you eat organic.

THE DIRTY DOZEN (most contaminated fruits and vegetables)

  1. Apples
  2. Strawberries
  3. Grapes
  4. Spinach
  5. Potatoes
  6. Nectarines
  7. Peppers
  8. Peaches
  9. Celery
  10. Cucumbers
  11. Tomatoes
  12. Snap Peas

I just read an article recently that claims “not all pesticides” are created equal and buying organic for the “dirty dozen” and non-organic for the “clean fifteen” could be invalid.  But listen, we’re broke as hell right now and we are making this work.  There are a lot of loop holes when eating organic because of contaminated soil, labeling mishaps, etc.  Just do the best you can, eating produce is still going to be significantly better for you than drinking pesticide laden milk.

PS. Always buy organic coffee! It doesn’t always differ in price that much, except if you are in Whole Foods. Coffee is one of the most contaminated crops. If you’re a coffee drinker, splurge on some organic beans.

 

5.) GRAINS

Grains are relatively cheap. I’m not talking fake, GMO’d bread here. Brown rice, quinoa, millet, brown rice pasta, udon. Buy in bulk, organic if you can.  Quinoa seems a little pricier than the others but for the $6.00 bag of quinoa you get about 5-6 servings. (In my house, the back of the bag might say differently.) So think about this. You lightly steam your broccoli that you bought for $2.00 a pound, throw it with some quinoa, pour some shoyu over it (fancy word for soy sauce) and you have a meal that is nutritionally dense and is the same price as something off the dollar menu.

It’s really not that hard.  Eating healthy seems like such a hassle and all those recipes you see on pinterest are just so complicated and have words like “nutritional yeast” and you have no idea what the means…HELP.  Think simplicity. The most important thing to remember is unprocessed, organic when possible, simple ingredients, and words you can understand.   PEACE.

 

Okay, here’s the second part of this blog post.  MY TOP 5 THINGS TO HAVE IN YOUR KITCHEN. There is nothing that can ruin your healthy diet quicker than hunger and lack of preparation.  Keep these things on hand in your kitchen, so you won’t derail your healthy diet quicker than quick.

 

1.) Almonds

My most versatile nut.  I make milk, I throw them on smoothie bowls, I toast them and put them on savory dishes.  I dice them and put them on salads.  Just buy almonds, and use them for snacking/breakfast/lunch/dinner.

2.) Bananas

The best fast food.  Running late? Banana. Starving? Banana. Smoothie? Banana. Breakfast? Banana. Lunch? Almond butter and banana. Dessert? Banana ice cream.

3.) Dates

Not the cheapest food out there. And sometimes you buy them and they are dried up and gross.  BUT, these little sweet guys are great at everything.  I use them in my almond milk, I snack on them, I put them with almonds (see #1) and make my own trail mix.  Craving something sweet? Dates.  Dates are a fruit, high in calories, but 300 times better for you than grabbing that bag of M&M’s and crashing later.  GO ON DATES EAT DATES BE HAPPY.  Dates don’t last long in my house, I see Peter snacking on them constantly and well, this makes me happy.

4.) Quinoa 

Quinoa can be used at every meal.  Breakfast quinoa is a big hit and high in protein to start the day.  For lunch, quinoa is close to always on my salad. Dinner? Quinoa and vegetables. Hungry? Quinoa fills you up because it is a complete protein.  Buy quinoa.

NUMBER 5!

Avocados. Duh.  Easily the star of every meal, and I find myself putting hot sauce on them for snacks. High in healthy fat and way higher in nutrients than any other fatty snack you are gonna put in your mouth.  Choose avo.

 

To wrap up this blog post, I want to say that I’m working on a new project and I can’t wait to share results/testimonies/etc.  It’s not my easiest quest, but I’m doing it for my love of health, nutrition, and my body.

 

have a fantastic weekend, all.