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Clarity: Words, Thoughts, Food, and Drink

by Lisa on April 13, 2011

At the risk of sounding a little (or a lot) repetitive…I’ve been really busy. I had to teach a two-hour lecture yesterday about sexual and reproductive health to a bunch of 20 year-olds. I’ll be honest with you, it was not high on my list of things I wanted to do…ever. In general, I over-prepare for my classes because I never want to (1) run out of things to say (as if that’s possible!), and (2) I don’t want to have any awkward moments when I stumble over explanations of things like coitus interruptus or spermacidal lubricant. I’m sorry–I had to overshare a little so you could feel some of my pain.

Honestly, the entire class went really well. The problem was with how I somatically experienced the anticipation of it—in other words: I let the stress get to me, and it totally kicked my ass.  I couldn’t relax after class because I had another lecture to prepare for the evening (thankfully it was about vitamins).

Stress Free Me (i.e. Not Today)

Have I mentioned I want the semester to be over?  I’m not going to mention it again. I swear. My goal is to turn my nervous intense energy into positivity. If I help other people do that, I need to be able to do it myself. When I get nervous, my head gets all cloudy—and I hate that feeling.

So, the theme for me for the next five weeks is Clarity. I’m not setting goals, but I’m setting an intention.

Focus. Calm. Productivity.

Do you have an intention for how to conduct yourself in a general day-to-day way?

I usually recite things in my head, mantras if you will, about things going smoothly with effortless ease.  But I need to be a little more specific right now, or the To Do List will get the best of me. It seems so silly that I was so stressed out today and now it’s all over, and all of my students probably already forgot about the class, and most likely didn’t care or listen very well in the first place.

My first attempt at Clarity resides in the Aloe Cooler. It’s not really aloe cooler weather here yet, but I’m being optimistic!  You should definitely try this.

#1 Rule: Drink Aloe Cooler out of a wine glass!

In the blender:

12-16 oz water or coconut water
1 big chunk of aloe gel (filet the aloe leaf and throw in a chunk, but not too much—it acts like Draino if you overindulge!)
handful of ice
juice of 2 limes and 1 lemon
stevia to taste

Blend—it gets frothy on top and so amazingly refreshing. Aloe is great for acid reflux and toning your digestive tract (but like I said, more is not necessarily better!). I invented this last year in the summer, and the most satisfying time to drink it is with your mom, while sitting in the shade, after a really sweaty walk on a hot summer day… Just a suggestion :)

I’m planning to post a series of purifying drinks over the next week or so. I need to clarify and purify my mind, and my body could use a little tune-up too. Ingredients to come: grapes (with seeds), watercress, and more!

I also have a Sun Butter giveaway coming up in the next couple days!

For WIAW…

This is mostly Joe’s food, but he was really happy with his tuna and his antipasto salad, so he offered for me to take pictures of them :)

Tuna on a bagel---he added raw spinach (chopped), a few hot peppers (that's the red stuff---I think there may have been tomato, but not sure on that one), red onion, and spices/herbs...then used Vegan mayo that is made with grapeseed oil. I had a bite (or two)---this is amazing! Why don't people put stuff in their tuna? It's pretty and delicious...

Hi Antipasto: I think you can see everything in it...he made the dressing with fresh/dried herbs. I think that's key!

My salad: Not as pretty, but really good!

Super Simple Juice: 1 head of celery, 2 limes, 1 chunk ginger, orange extract and stevia to taste. It made about 20 ounces. I think next time I'll swap out some of the celery and put some romaine in its place.

Just a reminder for myself to play today. What are you going to do for fun today?

Do you have any ingredient ideas for getting clarity?


  • http://mygreenkoolaid.com Michelle

    Clarity- the word makes me sigh with calm and peace. I love clarity too. Being mindful in the shower to wash off the stress can be a great way to get things going!

  • Dairyfreebetty

    I LOVE the idea of that cooler!! Now by fillet, do you mean taking off the dark green part and just using the inside?

    It's kind of nice to know teachers get nervous you know? (as much as I don't want YOU to feel that way) because my teachers this semester are tough cookies, and it feels like nothing phases them… Today is my last day of classes though.

    No time to play today, I have 9 hours of classes, and 2 hours of commuting! UGGG!! LAST DAY YAY!!

  • http://chefkatelyn.wordpress.com/ Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn

    We have to make aloe coolers this summer!! That sounds so. good. Especially mixed with Zevia ;)
    I need to work on clarity..and focus. I've been getting better in the homework department (thank gawdddd), but it could still use a little work. And I need to sleep more. That has been my every day goal that is getting a LITTLE better:) You should play today!! Maybe we could go to the gym soon and do some kettle bells for fun…hahaha we can play with the medicine balls! Talk about holy muscles! Have a good day, chickadee:)

  • http://couchpotatoathlete.wordpress.com/ Holly

    That is not a class I could teach – I'm glad there are people who do it though! When I worked for the police department I had to go speak to a bunch of 1st graders about what bad touching means. It was awkward to say the least.

    Not much time to play today — work then a 7 mile run, dinner, laundry and maybe a little TV watching but that is it!

  • Lisa_healthy_diaries

    It definitely seems as if your hands are full but you're so close to the end of the semester! Hang in there! ;)

    Whenever I had presentations in class I would ALWAYS over think myself and was a nervous wreck. I got better as time went on, but I could never be really comfortable speaking in front of a large group.

    That cooler looks really good too! I love reading your blog because you always teach me something new about food an all these ingredients I never knew about! :)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    By filet—-I mean chop a section off the aloe leaf (usually about 2-3

    inches wide), and then trim the sides off and cut right along the green part

    so you end up with a rectangle of aloe gel.

    I might be weird as far as teaching goes…but I definitely get anxious

    about certain lectures—either topics I don't necessarily feel like an

    expert in, or things lectures that I spend a lot of time preparing. I guess

    it comes from wanting to really help people learn and also wanting them to

    find it interesting. That can create a lot of pressure!

    SO Happy for you that it's your last day!!! Celebrate!! What a great

    feeling :)

  • Heather (All Sizzle)

    I need to invest in an aloe plant asap!
    I usually eat mary's crackers or carrot sticks when I need clairty. Something about crunch means clarity to me.

  • http://merigoesround.blogspot.com meri

    I constantly have to remind myself of the same “skills” I teach kids for work actually, taking deep breaths, organization, sloooow down, etc.
    It's incredible that I can teach it all day and then still forget for myself!

  • http://purplebirdblog.com Christin@purplebirdblog

    Hahhahahahahah I almost just googled “coitus interruptus” at work… glad I stopped myself! ;)

  • http://www.cottercrunch.com lindsay cotter

    oh yes, the aloe cooler. THANK YOU!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    You probably need it more than I do right now—totally rainy and gray in

    NY!

  • http://www.cottercrunch.com lindsay cotter

    yep, totally hot and humidy here. 
    :)
     

    ________________________________

  • http://www.1970kikiproject.wordpress.com Cathy

    wow, lisa, i do NOT envy you teaching that class yesterday (and i don't mean the vitamin one!) – at least it's over! and vent any time about your stress level/schedule – it's your blog and we are supporting you!! (and thanking our lucky stars we do not have to give presentations to 20 year olds!)
    to maintain clarity, i need to write down my goals, and write in my journal – identify what i want to do and how i'm going to get there. keep a clear path ahead of me, so to speak. i sooo feel what you've been going thru, though – i can get worked up over stuff and then after go “why??!”
    aloe cooler – that's new to me! very interesting!

  • http://www.ravenwavesblog.com Sophia

    Ugh, I couldn't even imagine teaching that class! Stress is really getting to me too. Clarity is a good thing though; I definitely need to focus more on that too!

  • http://herenownotforever.wordpress.com/ eva626

    great pics!! love the green monster!

  • http://www.funfitandfabulouswithlauren.blogspot.com Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous

    I am the exact same way. I get so worked up and stressed out about things and then when they're over I look back and think “why in the heck was I so stressed!” I'm so sorry you're going through such a rough patch right now. I am sending positive thoughts and prayers your way! Your aloe cooler sounds amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/PeasandCrayons Jennifer Laughlin

    BOTH your salads were gorgeous! Thanks for the deets on the aloe cooler! I should start growing some aloe plants in NC – I always had them growing up in FL!!! They rock! =)

    Happy WIAW doll! whooooooosaaaaaah! no stress! <3

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  • http://spicedplate.blogspot.com/ lauren@spiced plate

    i love aloe…i'm weird and drink it straight up…it helps cool me down in the summer, and also helps with other health related issues…so soothing!

  • http://www.mythornshaveroses.com Stephanie@MyThornsHaveRoses

    Sometimes taking a shower helps me with clarity. I also tend to have more clarity when I sit myself down the night before and visualize how I want the next day to go. Sometimes with a list and sometimes not. I hate the feeling of working til I can't open my eyes at night only to wake up and get stressed about how much there is to do the next day.

    I'll hope for a stress-free, positive end of semester with much clarity. You can do it! :)

  • Allison @ PickyEatingRD

    This has nothing to do with food or clarity but i love your shoes in that pic above!

  • Allison @ PickyEatingRD

    This has nothing to do with food or clarity but i love your shoes in that pic above!

  • http://oliepants.wordpress.com/ Susan

    I'm obviously behind the times because I have an aloe plant and I have been using it solely for medicinal purposes (cuts, burns, kitchen mistakes, etc.). I need to make your aloe cooler but I already feel refreshed just looking at it!

  • http://movesnmunchies.wordpress.com/ Carrie

    can your eats be any more fresh and vibrant!? LOVE!

  • http://www.thefitnessdish.com Laury@TheFitnessDish

    I wantt o try that aloe cooler!! looks so refreshing and is so good for you!!!

    I hope the stress gets better soon, hang in there!

  • http://twitter.com/feedthebf Peggy Labor

    That aloe cooler sounds really interesting! Definitely going to look into it!

  • http://www.love-life-project.com Stephanie

    Drinking aloe…that's really a cool idea! I've only used my aloe to look at and slather on sunburns. I don't need any…ahem…help in the digestive area, but I'm definitely intrigued.

    For clarity, I try to use positive self-talk. I try notice, name and acknowledge my feelings (I'm feeling frustrated right now because…), and then let them go if they're negative. I also do what I call “walking meditation”. I can't meditate. I've tried. It's awful. But a long walk clears my head like nothing else, especially when it's sunny and breezy like today!

  • http://twitter.com/carrieonvegan Carrie

    Wow, I do the exact same thing in over-planning and stressing before events. I had insomnia the other night because I had a meeting the next day. It's so silly too because of course the meeting went fine and wasn't a big deal. Maybe these things get easier with time? I hope so!

  • http://www.balancedbean.com Maryann (The Balanced Bean)

    Drinking aloe is a completely new concept to me! I am always learning so much in your blog…I love it! Keep up the good work, this semester will fly by. I admire you because for one of my nutrition classes I have to teach a group of kids a 50minute nutrition lesson and I am currently freaking out about it a little bit. How do I make it last that long?! haha.

  • itzyskitchen

    I hope you have a stress free weekend planned! Glad the classes went well. I over prepare and work myself up too! I need to work on that. The smoothie with aloe sounds totally interesting. And I want your antipasta! I can't wait for the sun butter giveaway- love that stuff.

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    Tell stories and make them interact in some way! I do that will college

    students, and it helps a lot with keeping their attention and also makes the

    time go faster. Good luck!

  • Gina (Candid RD)

    Those are some GREAT looking salads!
    My ingredient for clarity is a good beer and some relaxation time on our thinking couch. haha, it's our basement couch where Nick and I always plop down at the end of long days.
    I understand what you mean about getting stressed over presentations. For me it's not the act of giving the presentation that is the hard part, it's the prep! Like you I don't want to sound stupid or have awkward moments…I completely understand what you're talking about. I'm glad it went well though!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I think these get easier with time and repetition! Like…if I had to do

    that awful lecture again, it wouldn't make me as stressed this time.

    Meetings should be the same, right?!

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisakthrives

    I love walking for clarity too—and the positive self-talk!

    There's a bunch of research out supporting “experiential meditation” as

    effective as the sitting still kind—the same benefits occur in your body.

    So I don't think it matters how you get that feeling as long as you get it!

    I went to a conference about different experiential techniques…chaotic

    breathing, shaking and dancing…but walking is still my fave!

  • http://fitnessfoodandfaith.blogspot.com/ Samanthaswalton

    yummy salads!! happy friday…have a great, relaxing weekend :)

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing

    hope you find some time to relax this weekend lisa! you certainly have been a busy bee!

    - Beth @ http://www.DiningAndDishing.com

  • http://profiles.google.com/fitnesshealthandfood Jennifer Houlahan

    sorry you're having a stressful week! My husband taught undergrads for several years and they really tested his patience! especially falling asleep and leaving the classroom for most of the lecture (and this is a prestigious university that I won't name…)

    Love the look of the aloe cooler and the antipasto salad. I want that salad for dinner tonight!

    I think the best ingredient is actually just being kind to yourself and taking breaks whenever you can. I hope you have a restful weekend and feel much better soon! :)

  • Canyoustayfordinner

    1. I couldn't love that photo of you more- you are beautiful! And those heels…sex kitten :)

    2. I'm sorry to hear you're feeling super duper busy and a wee bit stressed.

    3. If I had any idea of how to attain any shred of mental clarity, it would probably be me repeating everything you ate on Wednesday. BEEauuuutiful food.

  • http://healthandhappinessinLA.blogspot.com Health and Happiness in LA

    Ooh I want to try that aloe cooler. I've never ingested aloe before, just put it on burns! But I do get heartburn, and it baffles me. Ads for heartburn medication always show fat middle-aged guys eating ribs so I'm like WHY ME?!

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