stuff

We want to share all the stuff with you - writings, musings, insights, moves, recipes, tips, hugs, etc. Stuff!

mindful ways to boost your energy by michelle cordeiro, cnp

micah-hallahan-28488-unsplash.jpg

I've been going through a slump of feeling quite lethargic lately. I always find that this kind of thing sneaks up on me gradually until I eventually realize that I've been purposely planning my day so I can sneak in an afternoon nap. DO YOU FEEL ME!?

And while I LOVE a good nap sesh, what I don't love is having to rely on it to get through my day without snapping like a sleepy child. But when this happens, it's often a good clue that I need to change things up and figure out how to boost my energy levels back up. And this often isn't hard, as just stepping back and looking into my lifestyle is enough to figure out why I've been so tired and what I can do differently.

Maybe you can relate? And if so, ask yourself these questions:

HOW DO I RECHARGE?

This is an important one, and something that took me way too long to realize about myself: I'm an introvert.

What I didn't realize (especially in my early 20's) is that being introverted doesn't mean that you don't like being around people, or that you're not a social human. The distinction comes from where you get your energy from:

Do you feel refreshed and energized from socializing or spending a day surrounded by people?

Or:

Does time spent by yourself leave you feeling renewed and back to normal.

For me, it's the latter.

Figure out where your energy comes from (I'm sure there's an online quiz for this if Buzzfeed’s your thing), and use that to your advantage. I no longer feel guilty about planning nights alone or  telling my friends that I need to recharge for the day. They get it, and yours will too. Because there's no point in further depleting your energy by showing up to something when you're only really half there and half wishing you were at home with your dog.

Own your introvert/extrovert label. Go out and eat up all the energy from those around you if that's what you need to do OR stay home and go for a solo run. Which brings me to the next question...

WHAT KIND OF MOVEMENT DO YOU CRAVE?

Sometimes I get copious amounts of energy from a nice long trail run, and other times it completely wipes me out. Finding what movement you gain energy from is a valuable tool to use towards boosting yourself up. And this movement will often change from day to day, even moment to moment, so exploring all the different ways to move and seeing where you end up is a great tool.

Sometimes a quick walk in the sunshine works wonders, sometimes you need to sweat everything out in a class, sometimes you want gooey yin yoga stretches to reset...explore, journal about it and be open to changing up your movement routine. Aside from keeping it fresh and interesting, this can also help you to gain insight into what really gets your energy levels up, or what absolutely drains you.

In Hamilton? My favourite energy boosting movements right now are:

  • Runs in the Bruce Trail: I recommend starting on the trail at Main and Wilson, running a good out and back using the trail markers and then finishing up at Fairweather Brewery, just East of the trail's start (trail runs and beer are a match made in heaven, I swear by it).

  • R&B Pilates at SousBas: I will never stop recommending this class, because it GIVES ME THE MOST ENERGY. EVER. Which is sometimes problematic when it ends at 9pm but I love it all the same.

  • Yoga in the Park: In Fine Feather Yoga Studio does a PWYC yoga class in Gage park on Sundays during the summer and it's the best community feels. 10am on a Sunday in the park is where to be!

Find what moves you (literally and figuratively) and go do it. Walk, run, jump, swim, bike, wiggle, whatever!

WHAT FOODS MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD?

Follow up question: what foods make you feel bleh? It's nice to think about the foods we eat not in terms of 'good' or 'bad' but rather little acts of self lovin'. Like: "I love myself so I'm going to make sure to find Muskoka Mocha ice cream at the Parry Sound grocery store this weekend", or "I love myself so I'm going to eat more than just Roma Pizza today". Ya know? Food choices that are based on how the food makes your body feel and your mind feel is a great way to gain energy.

And the goods news is that the foods your body needs are often the foods you crave. Thinking mindfully about your cravings rather than labelling them as a weakness or lack of self control can help to bring this into light. Maybe you finish a sweaty workout and are craving a big bag of chips? Your body is probably looking for electrolytes to replenish the salt that you've lost through your sweat, so go for something salty! Craving sugar after you run? You've probably burned through your glycogen stores and need sugars and carbs to replenish what you've lost in energy.

Properly fuelling your body with foods that give you what you need can be the difference between feeling wiped out or energized after meals.

P.S. If anyone knows where I can find Muskoka Mocha closer to Hamilton PLEASE advise.


Michelle is an RMMTT student and Holistic Nutritionist (CNP) with a focus on digestive health and learning to love the body you're in through intuitive eating and self love over dieting, always. 

Michelle currently sees clients at Inland Island Wellness Centre. Contact her for more info on her practice or to book an appointment.
// movewithguts@gmail.com
// @movewithguts

RMMTT musings: if hip openers make you cry, you're not alone by michelle cordeiro, cnp

hans-vivek-223133-unsplash.jpg

Last weekend I met for the Ritual Movement Method Teacher Training and had a h.e.a.v.y experience. We all did. The weekend before we all did a whole bunch of hip opening work, we all had some pretty intense personal experiences in the week that followed, and then talked it out (read: collectively cried for 45 minutes). It was a lot. And I struggled with it for many reasons but the main one being that I hate crying in front of others. I do it, but I hate it.  

And I'm working on that. 

I have a beautiful writer of a friend who recently put out a blog post called "The Things I'm Not Sorry For Anymore" and it really struck me (so go read it and marvel over the beauty that is her writing because I can't do it justice). A significant part that has hung on from both her blog and the overall wealth of wisdom that she gifts me, has been to stop apologizing for my emotions.  

And it's so haaarrrddd for me to do, and for many of us to do. It's hard because we often associate our own vulnerability as weakness when it's so intensely the opposite. Vulnerability IS strength. But even knowing this, it takes time to reframe the mind and allow ourselves to let our emotions run fluid.  

Here's a little excerpt: 

"I am learning to not be sorry for having deep emotion. I am not sorry that my tears make you uncomfortable or that my past experiences have made me intolerant to ignorance or that I find your joke offensive." YEP. 

So when I heard that hip opening exercises, like Robin's Hips Don't Lie video, can bring up a lot of emotions, I was curious. But I did the video when she first released it a few months ago expecting a big emotional moment... and felt nothing but sore hips the next day. Okay sure, no big deal, love the DOMS. 

And then two weekends ago we met for the Ritual Movement Method Teacher Training and opened up dem hips for almost 6 hours. Did I feel the emotional side of movement? No. Not at all. Still nothing. 

A week later we met again and the majority of the women in the group had gone through a huge emotional release after our last session... and I sat there feeling cheated out of the full experience. I wanted it! I wanted to experience this deep connection between movement and my emotions other that the obvious feelings of joy that normally follow a good sweat sesh. 

I thought "maybe I'm doing it wrong", "maybe I'm not the ball of emotions I thought I was", "maybe I don't hold anything in my hips".... 

And then it hit me. Hard.  

Robin took us through a guided meditation to deal with all the 'stuff' we were individually/collectively dealing with, and I LOST IT. I have never experienced such a full on emotional overload like that before. There was no warning, no build up, just a bunch of stuff came barreling out all at once and I hated it. I fought against it the entire time, tried to calm myself down, refused to lean into it or let it flow, and felt big shame for showing such extreme emotion even in such a safe space. 

But (but but!) when it was all over I did appreciate how beautiful it was to experience such extreme emotions from movement. During and after moving my body I've felt pure joy, frustration, strength, weakness, but never an uncontrollable sadness like I did on Saturday. Old shit coming to the surface that was held up in my damn hips. It was a wild realization.  

I get it. Yoga, pilates and other movement practices are holistic practices, affecting more than just the physical body. I know that moving can make me feel joyous and relaxed and accomplished, so having this alternative (and delayed!) experience was crazy.  

SO WHY ARE OUR HIPS SO TIGHT? 

Because we're sometimes/usually/always sitting. Our society is so often sitting at a desk, sitting in front of a computer, sitting watching TV or sitting in transit that we often don't allow ourselves to properly stretch out our hips. So when we hold tension in this area, similar to how we can hold tension in our neck and shoulders, it's hard for this tension to be released.  

And this is where a proper movement practice can benefit much more than just the physical body. Much much more. Stretch that stuff out. Squat deep, stand tall, create big, wide knee circles and move your hips in ways that feel really good, sticky, and beneficial. Stuff might come up right then and there, it might come up an hour later, or (if you're like me) it might come up 7 days later when you really don't want it to. Ah, life.  

Curious? Give this 30 minute HIPS DON'T LIE video, created by Robin, a try. It was my first introduction into hip strengthening and mobility work. And then when it's hard, frustrating and sticky, do it again and again. It does get easier, promise.  

 

homemade electrolyte drink by michelle cordeiro, cnp

kelli-tungay-329867-unsplash.jpg

We're all movers, right!? 

Whether it's yoga, pilates, running, cycling, climbing, or dog walking... we all like to get our bodies moving on a fairly regular basis. As the weather heats up (these 30 degree days are amazing but SO spicy), it becomes even more important to hydrate before, during and after wiggling and jiggling our bods. 

Beyond just good old water, it might be time to think about shifting our focus to electrolytes and getting those important nutrients back into our body. I’m not talking Gatorade... Gatorade (and other marketed sports drinks) are often full of processed sugar, artificial colours and questionable flavourings while being void of any actual nutrients. 

Instead, go for a homemade version that is less expensive and more fuelling - because each ingredient plays an important role in hydration and recovery. 

Magnesium! 

Magnesium is amazing for muscle recovery. It helps to calm restless legs and eases aches and pains. This mineral is also plays an important part in stress management by supporting our adrenals, but it gets used up quickly when our bodies do go through stress (physical or mental) - like exercise. For this reason, I ingest magnesium in some form (added to my electrolyte drink or taken on its own) daily. 

Sea salt! 

Real, proper, 100% sea salt is an incredible source of important vitamins and trace minerals, which are also depleted when we move (and sweat!). Plain table salt is stripped of these minerals, so stick to natural sea salt instead to reap all of the benefits. 

Honey! 

Raw honey is the only food on the planet that naturally doesn’t go bad... CRAZY, I KNOW! Honey is full of natural enzymes and antioxidants that help to counteract the oxidative damage that comes from exercising. Honey also contains the amino acid Tryptophan which has a relaxing effect on the body making it perfect for chillaxing. 

Here's what I do! 

ELECTROLYTE DRINK: 

* 2 cups of water 

* 1/4 cup lemon or orange juice 

* 1 tsp magnesium powder 

* 1 tsp high quality sea salt 

* 1-2 tsp raw honey 

* Ice

Dissolve the magnesium powder, sea salt and honey in 1 cup of warm water. Once dissolved, add remaining 1 cup of warm or cold water, lemon or orange juice and ice cubes (if preferred). You can also make a larger batch and keep it in the fridge for the week! 

Enjoy :)

TRYING TO PUT THE FIRST RMMTT WEEKEND INTO WORDS by Michelle Cordeiro, CNP

unnamed.jpg

In addition to being a kick-butt holistic nutritionist, member of the Ritual Island practitioner team and weekly contributor to the blog, Michelle is one of the students in our first ever Ritual Movement Method Teacher Training. The program is a 200-hr, year long course, running one weekend/month to train folks to teach our unique approach to movement. It is full for 2018-2019 but sign up for our newsletter to be informed when we begin registration for round 2. 

BUT I DON'T THINK THAT I CAN.

What happens when you put a bunch of women in a room lead by Robin Lamarr?

Movement.

Tears.

Growth.

Community.

It was just so GOOD.

I know GOOD is a pretty mediocre adjective, but when asked to talk about how I was feeling during those two days I often used it. I don't know, it was just hard to express, OKAY.

It was like we were all there for different reasons because none of us came from the same place but we all needed some sort of shift in our lives and then right off the bat we were sharing the honest, personal, hard, yet important stuff and it felt so right and so GOOD right from the first minute to the last. Did that run-on sentence do it justice? No, but I'm getting closer.

As I pedaled to the first day I had all these grand expectations about how much I was going to love every woman there, how I was going to learn so much, how it was all going to feel...everything. It was mapped out in my brain like a nicely worded novel where nothing could go wrong. And for a girl who thought she had a handle on managing her expectations to just go with the flow..this was out of character.

But then I arrived and everything was exactly (or maybe better than? yeah, better than) how I had imagined it. Honestly! Everything! The space was stunning, the group was open and welcoming, everyone shared, and we all just worked through the day together. Not to mention every piece of information made me really pumped on knowledge (diaphragms are so cool, guys!!).

I knew it was GOOD when halfway through my ride home I realized I had traded in my normal cycling focus of looking out for cars! potholes! broken glass! squirrels! for this really dumb toothy smile.

I WAS JUST SO HAPPY.

And then DAY 2 came, and it was like walking into a room of women you've known forever. No one sat beside the same person, we all mingled and laughed and awkwardly worked through each movement without judgement. We literally cheered each other on during the hard parts. I just can't. I could talk about this for hours..and I already have (shout out to my friends for asking and listening!).

What made it all extra special for me was, being my first ever movement teacher training, was the fact that it was Robin's first time teaching a training too. It's like we were all learning and growing at the same time and I think that added something a little extra.

I am so thankful. So privileged to have mentors like Robin and Emily. And so grateful to be supported beyond measure by those around me.

I think this is going to be big.