It's hard to believe it was just over a year ago I was at my convocation celebrating the completion of my Masters degree. I remember after all the celebrating was over looking at the pictures and noticing the beautiful totem pole behind me of a woman holding a baby, and I thought how amazing given my little baby was growing inside of me. It was like the totem pole and I shared a secret.
I have been riding some pretty significant rolling waves of grief these days. One day I feel okay and then next I feel like I can barely get through the day. I will admit some days I feel like a zombie just going through the motions of the day, but I figure at least I am doing it. Hopefully in time I will be fully present and once again my authentic self. It is so exhausting carrying on with the every day and pretending that everything is a-okay when it feels like there is a giant hole in your heart that will never mend. It is seriously exhausting... Over the spring and summer I felt I was given messages from Amy to be strong and carry on, but with the end of summer and no more butterflies I decided it was time to get my own permanent reminder that I can get through this. So a couple of weeks ago I got a new tattoo! It's pretty inflamed in this picture that was taken the day after I got it, but when it is done healing it will be a beautiful work of watercolour art. With the ever evolving grief process and a shift back into some pretty deep trenches of grief this is the first thing I see in the morning, and it reminds me I need to get my butt out of bed and carry on with the day, and it's okay if the authenticity follows later.
This journey through grief can just knock the wind out of you at times. It has been so hard, and all I want to do is call my Aunt who was always my rock of support, but having lost her it feels like a deeper kick in the grieving gut. Some days I am not even sure how I managed to fake my way through the day. Authenticity is a value I hold dear, and it is a struggle to feel like you aren't living your own values. I have come to understand there comes a time when you just have to do what you can to get through.
Despite all the sadness and emptiness I still hold hope in my spirit. That tiny bit of hope has been keeping me going despite my lack of caring for self. It reminds me I need to return to my yoga practice and find more movement. The glimmer of hope reminds me it's okay to cry until there are no more tears. It reminds me I don't need to zone out and watch Netflix but can engage myself with conversation or just being mindful and present. This hope has reminded me there are things I have been neglecting that I should be giving energy to.
I am down to the last 3 weeks of my wheat free, dairy free, refined sugar free living. There have been some bumpy patches but I haven't strayed too much. I did have a 7up this weekend, but that's really the most I have cheated since going on this diet so whatever! I am so happy to be on the home stretch and am looking forward to slowly reintroducing some of the things I miss and trying to keep them to a minimum level (aka do not go on a cheese binge). I have been feeling annoyed with this diet as we are away form home a lot and traveling with these eating restrictions is tricky, and I am so over salad! To try and change things up a bit, I have been on a bit of a Pinterest recipe kick and will share some winning recipes with you:
Chana Dal simmering in the dutch oven.
Served in a bowl on basmati rice & topped with fresh cilantro & slices of lime.
Dairy Free Chicken Tetrazzini casserole with a wheat free spin.
I opted for gluten free rice bread crumbs, and gluten free spaghetti.
It was pretty tasty but the leftover were quite dry so I would make extra sauce next time.
Lentil Marinara with Zoodles. I would also like to try this with carrot ribbon noodles!
Barbecued Huli Huli Chicken with a baked yam topped with black bean & corn salsa, cashew cream, sliced green onions, & cilantro.
One of my quick go tos is quesadillas, which I don't eat nearly as often when I am eating wheat free, as I am not a fan of the rice wraps. But it has been long over do and I was hungry for some Mexican inspired fare. I had mashed yam with black bean & corn salsa, cooked ground chicken in homemade taco seasoning, and a sprinkling of Daiya pepperjack shreds.
They never look very appealing, but are bursting with flavor! I like to make it with half and fold over the wrap, but you can't do that with the rice wraps because they break. It's also much easier to flip when it's half a wrap! I cut this full sized one into 6 and we each ate 3 slices. I serve them with homemade guacamole, cashew cream, and my sweetie likes salsa with his too.
These past few weeks have probably been the most cooking I have done in several months and it feels good to be getting back to something I have previously enjoyed so deeply. I am not finding the same joy in it just yet, but I am hopeful that will return as I continue to push forward and keep mucking about in the kitchen. I know Amy would want that for me and my own wellness so I will keep pushing myself to do it and also be easy on myself when I really don't.
The holiest of holidays are those kept by ourselves in silence and apart: The secret anniversaries of the heart. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow