Monday, March 2, 2015

Certainties in Life: death, taxes and change

Benjamin Franklin once said "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes."  While I agree with Mr. Franklin, I would like to add change to the list of certainties.

Nothing in nature remains static.  We live in a world of cycles.  The sun rises and sets, the seasons change, and even the temperature fluctuates within seasons.  Take the recent weather in Washington, DC as an example.

Silly me, I failed to snap a picture last night.
Thank you for the photo.
Over the weekend, the weather was dry and sunny on Saturday followed by freezing rain on Sunday that left the world bathed in a thin layer of ice.  Beautiful to behold but not so beautiful for travel, it resulted in yet another 2-hour delay for most of the working world this morning.  Fast forward several hours and the temperature is now 43 degrees with sunshine and blue skies.  A symptom of global warming, we've been experiencing some erratic weather patterns this winter.

Some of my friends complain that they are sick of winter and wish spring were here already.  But what I think they are missing is an appreciation for the present.  Yes, perhaps we've been hit with cold weather nearly every weekend so far this year (2015), which limits the ability to go for long bike rides or travel to Chinese New Years parties, but we've also had some unseasonably warmer days, too.

Instead of getting stuck in the rut of thinking that the weekend is the only time to play, consider being spontaneous and adventurous during the work week too!  Take advantage of of the "warmer" winter days and go for a walk during your lunch break.  Or perhaps sneak out of work 15 minutes early so you can go for a quick run before the sun sets and the temperatures drop back down to freezing.  The world is full of possibility - you just have to keep your eyes open and look for it!

If you don't like the weather today, just wait until tomorrow.  There is a good chance it will be different.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The importance of listening to your body

I've started climbing more often since resigning from my corporate travel job.  Instead of just climbing on Mondays and Fridays, I'm climbing most Wednesdays, too.

Climbing was awesome for the six weeks of 2015.  K and I started doing 4 x 4 workouts again (A 4 x 4 is where you choose 4 routes and climb each one 4 times in a row).   When we weren't doing laps, we were projecting difficult routes.  We'd get to the gym at 5:30 and stay until 8:30 or 9pm.  Eventually, I improved enough to climb a straight-wall 5.12minus cleanly!  Two weeks later, I climbed it four times in a row without falling!  I felt amazingly in shape.

But eventually, the repetitive stress caught up with me.

Last Monday (2/16), I met K at the gym at 5:30pm.  Like usual, we started warming up on 5.8s and 5.9s but I quickly realized that something was "off" in my left shoulder.  My back muscles (rhomboids and serratus anterior) were so tight that it was affecting enervation of the shoulder joint.  It felt like only 50% of my shoulder muscles were working properly.  Any time I reached my left arm out and pulled my body toward the wall (a move I had done over and over and over again on the 5.12minus the previous week), I felt a strain in my deltoids as they overcompensated.

Not wanting to injury my already over-worked muscles, I backed off and climbed 5.8s for the rest of the night.   I listened to my body and took it easy on Wednesday 2/18 and Friday 2/20, too.  On the nutrition side of things, I added extra anti-inflammatory foods to my diet to help calm down the inflammation in my over-worked shoulder muscles.  I stretched and did gentle yoga.

Although frustrating, the rest paid off.  Now, two weeks later, I am beginning to like normal.  I'm headed to the gym in 30 minutes and I can't wait to get back on those 12s!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Modern Reiki Principles

During my dietetic internship, I spent my elective rotation at the George Washington Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM).  Having worked as a student clinician at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health (BCNH), coordinating care with other health care providers, I was curious to experience another integrative medicine facility.  I wondered if integrative care in the nation's capitol would be different than integrative care on the west coast (Bastyr is located in Seattle, WA).  

While it is obvious that DC lacks the "earth mamma energy" of the west, the services provided by CIM were no different than at the BCNH.  In addition to naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and herbal medicine, I was also introduced to the healing art of Reiki.  On this Mindful Monday, I would like to share with you the modern Reiki principles.

Just for today, I will not worry.
Just for today, I will not anger.
Today, I will live honestly.
Just for today, I will respect the oneness of all life.
Just for today, I will be kind to everyone I meet.
Just for today, I will show gratitude to all living things.

Friday, February 13, 2015

How do I fit in exercise?

Every week I get five glorious days to do as much work on my private practice as I want before I "have" to take a break and enjoy the weekend.  I know this may sound backwards (most people hurry to "get through" the work week so they can relax and enjoy their weekend), but this is how I've been living the past 2 months.  No joke.

After working a corporate travel job for nearly two years, I am super excited to be my own boss, set my own hours and make all the decisions.  What most people don't tell you about entrepreneurial ventures is that you end up working way harder for yourself than you would ever work for your employer.  The reason I work so much harder is because I am *passionate* about what I do and am truly excited to help my clients lead healthier, happier, more satisfying lives!

My poor boyfriend can attest to much time I've spent getting everything set up so I can start seeing clients.  I would probably be even more of a work-a-holic if he wasn't around to convince me to take a break and spend time with him on the weekends.  Below is a picture of what we did last weekend.

Using a Tyrolean Traverse to cross the river and get to the climbing area on the other side!

That being said, I think the the most challenging part of self-employment is making the time to feed my body three solid meals each day and exercise at least 3 days a week.  Here are the techniques I've been using to help me "fit in" exercise (I will discuss food another day).

  • Set a schedule.  My boyfriend and I rock climb on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights (or at least 2 out of the 3).  This has been the default for so long that instead of calling to schedule a climbing session, we usually only touch base if we need to cancel.
  • Friendly motivation and accountability.  Last weekend I woke up at 6:30am in order to drive 3 hours to Franklin, WV to rock climb outside with a group of friends.  I would have never done this on my own volition but, because three others were riding in my car, I rallied and sacrificed my sleep to make the adventure happen.
  • Seize the moment.  Today is a gorgeously sunny day in the Washington DC metro area, the kind of day that just demands to be taken advantage of.  I haven't gotten outside for a run in what feels like forever so today I am treating myself with a mid-afternoon exercise break.
  • Try something new.  In the past 2 months, I added acro yoga back into my repertoire of activities.  A good friend of mine introduced me to acro when we lived together back in 2010.  He now lives in California but, every time he's in town, we get together to "fly" and "base" -- which, of course, inspires me to share the love.   I got my boyfriend into acro and we usually play around with balance poses after our weekly yoga on Tuesday night.
  • Find an activity you like and look forward to!

Thank you, Len, for taking this series of photos.

February 7 (Franklin, WV): south-facing crag = warm enough to climb shirtless!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Where has Adair been? (Planning an Editorial Calendar)

In the past month I have written a business plan, created a website, obtained a domain-specific email address, planned a marketing strategy, became a provider with an insurance company, learned how to submit claims, found an accountant, set up my books, started filing by 2013 taxes...and completely neglected by blog!

Fear not, faithful readers, I have a new plan!

To keep you informed and updated on a regular basis, I am going to implement an Editorial Calendar.  I am going to pick three themes and write personal stories about them on the same day each week.  Unless I think of better names, these themes will be:
  • Mindful Mondays - thoughts and suggestions for living a more present and joyful life
  • Wednesdays with Integrity - ideas for food planning, purchase, prep and presentation
  • Fitness Fridays - sharing of activities I enjoy and ways to "fit" exercise into a busy life
Moving forward, this blog will be written in the first person, using a lot of "I," "my," and "we."

For those who like science and other factual information, please visit my NEW blog.  As part of my burgeoning nutrition practice, I plan to archive recommendations about specific dietary interventions, diagnostic testing options, and other "How To" and "Should I...?" articles on my business website.

In addition, every time I read an interesting newspaper article or recent scientific study, I am going to post it to my business Facebook page - so check there for good information, too!