Learn More About the Angel Way, Annie and Karen

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How can the Guidelines help YOU?

That depends, of course, on what kind of help you're looking for.  For me, the Guidelines have helped me figure out how to answer the age-old question "What should I eat for dinner?"  They've helped me relax and enjoy my food choices.  They've helped me make better and healthier choices more frequently than I ever used to do.  They've helped me appreciate my food, where it comes from, and the people who work to bring it to me more than I ever did before. 

There's nothing especially magical about them, however.  They won't make you thin.  They won't necessarily make you healthy unless you decide to make healthy food choices.  In fact, the one Guideline - "What you eat is up to YOU" - puts the responsibility for every choice you make regarding food squarely on YOU.  (Assuming, of course, you're an adult.)  The Guidelines do, however, challenge us to show ourselves love by feeding ourselves with real love.  In terms of food, real love translates into healthy food. 

We are generally so addicted to self-abuse and self-hatred that we tend to frame even the things we do that are supposed to be "good" for us in negative ways.  Diets or other food regimens are frequently defined in terms of what we "can't" have.  Whenever I've been on a "diet" I don't remember spending much time thinking about all the luscious fruits and vegetables I could have been eating - I remember focusing mostly on all the buttery, creamy, salty, crunchy things I couldn't have.  I don't remember celebrating my "healthier" way of eating - I remember beating myself up mentally if I didn't "stick to" the diet. 

I  may not have a degree in psychology but I do know enough about my own emotional states that I can recognize these feelings are not condusive to healthy self-love.  By encouraging us to nourish ourselves in the most loving ways possible, the Guidelines can help nurture a more loving approach to how we feed ourselves, and ultimately, to our relationship with all that sustains us in the wider world.  It is no accident that "milk" and "kindness" have been long equated. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tweaking the Guidelines

Last night, I gave a talk at Passiflora Tea Shop in New Hartford on the Ten Guidelines.  Since it's been awhile since I've spoken on them, and since I've been living the Guidelines so closely, I've had the chance to reexamine how and why and what the Guidelines really are, and what they can help a person do. 

Consequently, I've "tweaked" them - added a new one, even! - and reorganized them in such a way as to - hopefully - make them more accessible and useful to others... which is really the point of it all. 

So please hop over to the Guidelines page - it's not as fancy or as pretty and there's no PDF to download, but I think it captures the material in a whole new light.  Please tell me what YOU think?  Thanks!...Annie  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Grief and Appetite

Grief is a complicated process that affects everyone differently.  Some people may find they want more food, some people find they can't eat at all.  I offer my experience and observations here as an example because loss is a part of life.  I believe that part of the reason we reject change so much is because change requires us to experience loss in some form or fashion. 

Initially I found that all I wanted to eat was comfort food but not much of it.  I felt hollow and empty, but without appetite.  When I did want to eat, the foods I craved were all comfort foods - rich, pillowy, and buttery.  The ones that weren't sweet and creamy were crispy and salty. 

As you might expect, after eight weeks or so, I began to feel a bit more pillow-y myself than I'm comfortable with.  I reviewed the Ten Guidelines and decided it was time to give some loving attention to the food I was eating. 

I took a hard look at what I wanted to change, and what I didn't.  For example, I realized I was drinking far more coffee than I wanted to drink in the course of a day.  Rather than impose an arbitrary limit on myself that my Rebel Child would only delight in breaking, I decided to stop drinking coffee at nine AM every morning.  After nine AM, I decided to drink mineral water (which I really enjoy in summer) or cold tea made with the herbs I grow in my gardens. (My favorite is chocolate-mint.) Because caffiene withdrawal can trigger migraine headaches, I decided that depending on how I felt every afternoon around 3 or 4 PM, I would have one or two cups of coffee in the afternoon.  For me, this is a reasonable way to cut back on the amount of coffee I drink every day.  

I also looked at the amounts of rainbow foods - fruits and veggies - I've been eating.  Predictably, I've been eating a lot of red foods - strawberries, cherries, beets, red potatoes - which correspond to the first chakra.  Grief is such a heart-chakra emotion that I immediately decided to add greens to every meal - including breakfast.  ("You're eating salad for breakfast?" my husband asked.  "Yep," I answered.)

I'll post more about my journey tomorrow, but please feel free to leave your comments and experiences about how grieving has affected your sense of wellness, dear Readers.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Grieving...the Angel Way

Dear Readers...

It's been a long two months.  My father's death was probably the most profound loss I've ever suffered to date.  Consequently, I've been doing very little writing or reading, or even much of anything.  What I have been doing is be-ing. 

For those of you who follow this blog, you know that the Angel Way is about paying attention and listening to your Self in the kindest and most loving way possible.  It's about becoming aware of what your own unique needs are, and then meeting those needs in the ways that are most kind and loving, not only to yourself, but to those around you as well. 

Grieving is a complicated process.  Sinking into the sadness and surrendering to the feelings, experiencing the detachment, the death and the loss, have taken up nearly all my energy these last few months.  It's only been a week or so that I can feel myself emerging. 

The world around me has changed, I've changed, and this blog will reflect some of the upcoming changes.  Karen's journey is demanding that she devote more time and energy to other aspects of her work.  Based on the feedback from the agents who were kind enough to read the manuscript last month, I will be revamping the entire manuscript.  IFYOU WOULD LIKE YOUR EXPERIENCES FEATURED IN PART OF THE BOOK, PLEASE CONTACT ME. 

I'll also be offering workshops in my geographical area to teach people how to use the Guidelines.  I hope to have the revised manuscript ready for distribution - whether electronically or in printed form - by September.  Thank you so much to all the followers of this blog and the Facebook group who have shared their experiences with me.  It is so gratifying to be able to share these messages and know that others have been helped to a more holistic way of living through them.  I truly appreciate your input and feedback and look forward to hearing from more of you. 

The winners of March's contest will be announced briefly.  Thanks again for all your support... Annie


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Angels Advise: Plan How You Will Nourish Yourself Each Day

There's nothing that a human body craves more than balance-- what health professionals call "homeostasis"-- a place of biological, mental and emotional, and energetic harmony.
Unfortunately, our crazy busy lives, not to mention poor diets and insufficient exercise, pull us right out of balance.

One of the Ten Angel Way Guidelines encourages us to "plan how we will nourish ourselves." This is not new information. Anyone who has ever tried to change a bad habit or incorporate a  healthy behavior into their lives, has been advised to create a plan. But, we humans have some flaw in our thought process that equates "planning" with limiting our choices.

Thing is we are overwhelmed with choices for everything from shoes to granola bars. If we don't plan for how we will nourish bodymind and spirit each day, then we are going to choose on a whim and often the choice will not be the most loving nor the most nourishing.

Before my daughters were born, I could manage a few days of slacking off on planning. My "listening skills" for my what my bodymind and spirit needed on a daily basis were almost reflexive. I didn't need reminders. Now, as a busy mom, I have two other lives I have to plan for-- from meals to after school activities, my mind is an iPhone App in attack mode. Next thing I know, I can't hear myself think and suddenly, I'm not taking the best care of myself.

Planning, then, becomes essential. I shop for the best quality foods we can afford. Planning menus a day or two out solves the last minute frenzy of "what to cook". If I don't plan, I wind-up grazing while I'm cooking and the kids, who are starving while they wait for me to throw something together,  take off on a runaway train to fussyville.  Planning prevents this mealtime madness.

If you don't have children, planning can be reassuring as you gently incorporate new ways / new habits into your daily life. Planning boosts your confidence and your chances for successful, long term behavior change because you see--right there on the page or the screen--what you are doing to take care of your bodymind and spirit. If you get off track, planning helps you spot where you lost your way and you can back on track more easily.

Planning with the Power of Choice
  • expand your choices by shopping at different grocers each week
  • buy at least one new food to try at one or more meals during the week
  • write your menu, especially dinners, on a calendar on the fridge-- If you sense your body needs Thursdays meal on Tuesday night, you can always switch.
I like to say my kids have my husband's "meat eater" gene; in reality, their cravings for everything from egg whites to steak probably has more to do with the fact that they are growing so rapidly. their bodies are building muscle and bone and new brain cells by the minute. However, I don't always want meat at dinner. I will include a high-protein vegetarian alternative in my menus a few times a week. As a woman in early mid-life, my needs are so unique from other family members, I find it necessary (and nourishing) to do this in order for me to stay in balance. Planning makes it possible.

What Angel Way Planning Tips Are Helpful To You?

Let us know-- how do you "go" The Angel Way?

We'd like to know...

How do you incorporate the Angel Way Guidelines into your healthy eating habits.
For example, I've taught my children about rainbows and white-light foods-- connecting the guidelines to what they learn in school about protein, fats and carbs. My girls are 5 and 2.5 years old.

Recently, I did run into an awkward situation when my oldest decided to educate another shopper about The Angel Way:
"You know," she said, "that soda and candy bar in your cart is not rainbow food. It's not the best choice, you know. Your body loves rainbows and you should eat lots of them to be take care of your head and have a strong body and spirit!"


Monday, April 4, 2011

When life throws you lemons...

Saturday evening, I received one of those calls that everyone dreads: my dad in California had been taken to the ER and was not expected to live the night.  Fortunately, he did live the night - but he's not expected to survive much longer.  And so, I'm flying out tomorrow morning to California to see my father probably for the last time.  

I won't be posting for a few days, so please be patient. 

Thank you for your understanding....Annie  

Sunday, April 3, 2011

We have winners!

Thanks to all who helped spread the messages this month! 

Our winners are... Kathy Duffy-Thomas, Rosemari Roast and Patricia Bruhn...congratulations and thanks so much!