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Be Still

BY: Andrea Nakayama

DATE: 2011-01-25

What’s on my plate this month?

On Monday morning my alarm sounded at 5:15am, as it always does. The routine: scuttle out of bed and out the door to start my week with a yoga class. Tuesday through Thursday its early morning jazzercise. (Yup, lots of people still do it and its loads of fun!) These early morning ventures are afforded me by my son turning ten, waking to his own alarm clock and the breakfast I leave for him before running out the door. And these early mornings are like a secret little pocket carved into my day. I fly out into the dark chill morning air and find respite in the stretch of my hamstrings or the sweat between my shoulder blades, bringing me home to my body.

But this Monday I silenced the 5:15 chirping of the alarm. The weekend was full. I spent both Saturday and Sunday in a conference affirming the intricate connection between the hormones ~ the fine web of cortisol, insulin, the sex hormones and the thyroid hormones. On Saturday afternoon I left the conference early to drive to the Oregon Coast, delivering food and nutrition counsel to a group of moms whose children have cancer. They were on a well-deserved retreat, gathered from Portland, Vancouver, Sisters, finding sisterhood among previous strangers who also share the unthinkable.

So this Monday morning, in tribute to my own cortisol producing adrenals, I chose stillness. I didn’t hit the alarm off, turn over in bed, and fall back to sleep. Instead I woke, went to the bathroom, and contemplated my next move. I crawled back into bed and though I didn’t sleep, I sank deeply into a meditative rest. Letting go of the get-up-and-go. Even if only for one morning.

Winter can be a cold and dark season. It’s a time to replenish and nourish ourselves, to wade in the lull of the waters so that spring can foster new energy and life. As I prepare to teach the Revitalize Cleanse with Andrea Livingston, I’ve been aiming to walk my talk and practice what I’ll preach ~ to go to bed earlier, to nourish myself with warming soups and hearty stews, to consume supportive herbs, and to sometimes just stop. Be still.

What else is on my plate this month?

Curried Sprouted Lentils from The Nourishing Gourmet
Quick and easy dinner.
Gumbo Z from Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen (reprinted here)
This recipe sure did let me get my leafy on this month! I substituted garbanzo flour for the wheat flour and, though it was a bit time consuming, it provided the perfect winter meal.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
It’s simple! Peel. Cut into “fries”. Rub with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and spices, if you’d like. And bake at 400F for 20 minutes.

Andrea Nakayama

By: Andrea Nakayama, FxNA Founder & Functional Medicine Nutritionist

Functional Nutrition Alliance provides the comprehensive online Functional Nutrition training in the Science & Art of the Functional Nutrition practice. Learn to address the roots of your clients’ suffering with client education, diet & lifestyle modifications.


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