If you have followed my blog for a while, you know that one of my goals for 2016 was to have one green smoothie per day. The main reason to do so was to make sure that I had green vegetables on a daily basis, the colour of vegetable that we are most likely to miss out on if we try to eat a varied, balanced diet.
When I started I was really enthusiastic, motivated and it was working very well for me. I usually had the smoothie as breakfast replacement in the morning or as a snack in the late afternoon (particularly if I knew that I was out and not going to be back at normal dinner time). However, a few weeks into January, I noticed that I started having a very weird energy, something I could not quite put my finger on. At that time, I was also going through a phase of quite unsettling anxiety which has the side effect of giving me a lot of energy, but of the extremely unfocussed and unproductive type. It took me another couple of weeks to figure it out, but then it hit me: with my smoothies, which are quite high in simple sugars for someone who does not eat all too much fruit, I had inadvertently fed that nervous energy of my anxiety phase.
To put it into context of traditional Chinese medicine (if you are interested), I was really draining extra energy from my liver and gallbladder organs through the increase of fruit sugar in my diet despite the fact that both of these organs were already weakened (symptoms of anxiety). Liver and gallbladder are also nourished by warm and cooked meals, particularly in the cold of winter, so my replacing one of my meals on a regular basis with something cold put extra strain on them.
As a result, I was getting more tired and fatigued, but was still feeling utterly and completely wired, not sleeping well, but at the same time not having very productive days and not having the energy to do anything physical. That in turn increased the anxiety. To feed the energy from the anxiety, more sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings. More artificial and unsustainable energy. A proper downward spiral had started.
For me this was really scary, as I am familiar with all of these symptoms of low energy, feeling tired, but wired, sleep being affected, etc.: they are telling me that I am burning the candles at both ends and that I am sliding back into problems with adrenal fatigue and burn out. I knew I had to do something, but at the same time I did not want to give up on my goal.
So, what to do? My first step was acknowledging the problem. My second step was finding an interim solution: I started eating greens instead of having them in a smoothie with lots of fruit. Thirdly, I started understanding the background of what is going on. The unusual sugar cravings, the weird energy and the feelings of being tired, but wired.
It took me a few weeks to come to a decision I felt comfortable with and with which I felt I am still respecting my initial goal without compromising my health.
So, #366greensmoothies are now officially #366portionsofgreens.
Instead of a daily green smoothie, I will have my daily dose of greens through other means. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that my green soup consumption has gone up. However, I am also just happy frying a bit of broccoli in coconut oil and adding some tamari soy sauce or cooking some spinach in a frying pan in a bit of oil with onion.
So, why am I sharing this with you?
Often when it comes to diet or healthy habits, we have very unrealistic goals and expectations towards ourselves, want to implement too many changes at once or give up to easily because something is not working out for us. The example I have given above is a scenario where one of my goals did just not work out the way I wanted to. Instead of giving up on the goal itself, though, I decided to just approach the goal from a different angle.
The reason why I am sharing this story with you is to tell you that on the journey to better health, there is no failure, only feedback. There will always be ups and downs, but you have the control of how you react to situations when things do not go as planned and you can re-adjust your course if necessary. It’s all in the intention and it all comes back down to you needing to figure out what is good for your body and not someone elses. Even we Health Coaches are on this journey, experiencing the same hurdles and struggles along the way. We are in this together.
If you feel you can do with some extra help to navigate on your journey towards a more stress-free, balanced life, download my free eBook on the main sidebar to the right or get in touch for a free 30 minute consultation to see whether and I can help you!
With warm wishes,
PS: This is not to say fruits are bad for you! Not at all – they are actually brilliant, nutrient rich wonders that are really good for our bodies. What I am saying here is that for my body a high amount of raw fruit, particularly in the winter, does not help towards its optimal functioning. We are all individuals and I strongly believe that one body’s food is another’s poison. That’s quite simply why diets do not work!