Saturday, March 12, 2011

Artist's Way Seminar: After The First Day

It's the morning after the first day of the Artist's Way seminar, and I'm exhausted, but having a lot of fun as well.

Yesterday, I started the day with a great breakfast of steel cut oats, fortified with a little yogurt, some walnuts and a little maple syrup and cinnamon.   Yum.  Let me say that again -- yummmmmmmm.  I also had a couple of boiled eggs and some stewed apple slices.

As I was enjoying the meal, I sat at the table thinking "Why don't I eat this way all the time at home?" 

There is no good answer for that, because I really could eat this way at home more often.

So I hereby vow to try and do so.  Because eating healthy food makes me feel so much better than eating crap.  ("Duh, Christy, how many times do you need to learn this lesson?" you ask me.  "As many times as it takes to learn it," I reply.)

The slightly odd thing is that they don't serve coffee in the dining room here -- there's apparently a caffeine war afoot.  They do have tea -- including some tasty English breakfast -- but that's not what I want with breakfast.  Sneaky me, though, I brought some Starbucks Via instant coffee packets with me because I heard about the coffee thing and planned in advance.  So this morning, I took my travel mug with me to breakfast, pre-loaded with instant coffee and made myself a cuppa to take with me to my first class...

...where everyone around me appeared to be envious, except for some caffeine nazi coffee hater who was glaring at me and then moved to sit on the other side of the room entirely.  I felt guilty for not bringing more to share, frankly, but the caffeine nazi coffee hater person probably would have had a heart attack on the spot if I had.

I took a class this morning on nutrition, and boy do I have lots to share about that with you all when I get home.  I also had a nutritional consultation with a dietician here who shared several really yummy recipes with me that are gluten and dairy free (to help reduce my inflammatory load, she says), along with a whole host of other really helpful info.

Yay!  New healthy recipes to cook and share with everyone!

After the nutrition class, I sat through another one on how to incorporate yoga, meditation, and other more mindful, stress-reducing, self-care awesomeness into the real world lives we all have to eventually go back to at the end of our stay.  I can't say I have that worked out just yet, but I did really enjoy the simple yoga we did at the end of the class.  My body loved the feeling of stretching out and readjusting itself, and I really loved doing it.

More yoga for me, please.

Lunch today was also tasty.  There were a lot of selections and I chose:  a small bowl of carrot-ginger soup, some sauteed kale and broccoli with roasted garlic, a slice of quinoa, egg and broccoli frittata, some roasted potatoes, an orange, and a slice of homemade oatmeal bread with some almond butter slathered on it.  Again with the yummy.

One of the best things about being here is knowing that the food is really healthy...and I don't have to cook it because it just magically appears in the steam trays before my very eyes. 

After lunch, I had my talk with the aforementioned nutritionist, who was incredibly helpful.  You guys are going to love some of the recipes -- just wait until I get home and play with them a little and share them with all of you.  A lot of her advice followed most of what I've read about Clean Eating, so that's definitely going to be a priority for me when I get home.

Better food means a better me, truly.  Just having a couple of days of utterly clean eating under my belt is a serious eye opener in how much better I feel already.  Now to figure out how to make this happen for all of us once I'm home.

I was hoping to take a gentle yoga class this afternoon, but I ran out of gas and decided to be kind to myself and take a long, warm soak in the bathtub instead.  I was glad I did because I felt so much more relaxed and refreshed afterward.

I puttered around in the room doing some reading, and talking with The Peanut and Mr. ReddHedd for a bit (I'm really loving my time at Kripalu, but I am getting horribly homesick for my family.  It's a momma conundrum -- you need some me time, but when you take it, you miss the whole "us" dynamic horribly.  At least I do, anyway.)

Dinner was also a treat.  You sit at communal tables for meals here, and I have been meeting some of the nicest people, which has been breaking me out of my usually hermit-y shell.  It's been fun getting to know so many funny and seriously diverse people here, I have to say, and made me realize I need to be better about tending my friendships at home as well.

For dinner, I had more of the broccoli, kale and roasted garlic saute (they must have had a sale on broccoli and kale locally!), some roasted chicken with lemon and rosemary, a bowl of delish butternut squash bisque, a big salad full of veggies and topped with some pumpkin seeds and a spicy tahini dressing, another orange, and a slice of vegan banana bread that was only marginal for me, but one of my seat mates loved it.

After dinner, we had our first session with Julia Cameron and it was an absolute blast.  She is a hoot in person.  We talked about preconceptions that get in our way and block us from doing the things we really want to be doing...and how to push past them anyway.  We played around a bit with internal critics and censors, and how those pesky internal critiques can really stop you in your tracks.

We did a lot of the work in what Julia calls "creative clusters" -- we grouped ourselves in 3's, and traded them around several times through the evening session.  It was great having conversations with people who are on similar quests to figure out who they want to be when they grow up -- or with people who know what they want to do but can't seem to be doing it.

There's so much creative energy that you get from just interacting with other folks who want to be creative.  I also need to do this sort of thing more often -- it's really energizing me in a good way.

We had an assignment to do morning pages first thing -- and I've done mine.  So it's off to breakfast and another day of moving myself forward (she types hopefully).  More soon...
(Photo via fortinbras.)


Christy Hardin Smith said...

Wow, you guys have gotten so quiet out there. I feel like I ought to do a blog test to see if anyone is out there.

I take a trip and everyone disappears. Hope you all are having as good a week as I am. :)

Sharon said...

I am really enjoying your reflections of your time away. I'm very much looking forward to any gluten-free recipes or ideas you will share! I have noticed how much better I feel on a GF food plan. How wonderful that you are taking this time for you! Thanks for sharing with all of us out here, even when we are quiet.