Exhausted. I was exhausted. I had been up 72 hours. Labor and delivery, surgery, and all that comes with being a new mom – had given me an adrenalin rush that kept me awake for three days. I started to cry. I needed to rest, but my mind and my body seemed to still be separated from the traumatic labor and delivery that still drained me of all energy and coherent thoughts. The nurses changed shifts and I dreaded the thought of having to readjust to a new nurse. Some nurses had been more helpful than others. I was drained and honestly just wanted my mother to walk through the door and give me permission to rest. Already protective of my beautiful daughter laying next to me, I dared not to close my eyes. But at the same time my body screamed at me to succumb to a few hours of sleep. I cannot remember the nurses name. In our first few minutes of conversation though I started crying from exhaustion. She immediately offered to me to take Eden, my newborn, away for four hours to let me sleep and then bring her back for feeding. I didn’t want to. I somehow felt this was a sign of weakness. However, even warriors need rest! I reluctantly agreed and entrusted my baby to a nurse I had just met and to the angles watching over her. I slept so deeply and woke with a start. I pushed a button and they brought Eden back into me. After another feeding time, they offered to let me rest again. I agreed easier this time. Feeling more trusting of her kindness, I slept even harder this time. After getting rest I finally felt like my mind was being restored. The hospital I had given birth at didn’t make it a common practice to take babies to a nursery but they had gone out of their way to relieve me. I am thankful. Looking back I will always be grateful for the nurse who let me sleep. That is how I remember her because I cannot remember her name. Only that she showed me a kindness and watched over the most precious treasure that I have ever had, my daughter. Let this be a lesson in kindness to us all! Let us go out of our way to lighten burdens and relieve pain as we are able. And I will forever be learning to give myself permission to rest.
A few years ago this idea of inspiring courage came to my mind. I was volunteering in ESL small group helping two ladies work through a practice exercise to solidify the lesson we had just gone over as a larger class. One of the ladies was Indian about 40 years old. The other lady was Chinese and close to 60 years old. I tell you their differences to highlight their similarities in a moment. They had been friends for the past two years and often sat next to each other in class. I was thankful they had welcomed me into their friendship and enjoyed learning more about them each week in addition to helping them learn English. Having grown up in Queens, an ESL classroom is like taking me home. After the the activity was over the Indian lady started talking about her love for swimming while the Chinese lady expressed that she wished she knew how to swim. Then the Chinese lady started talking about driving and the Indian lady said she didn’t know how to drive. I sat there just listening as the two of them encouraged the other to learn the skill that they did not know all the time sitting in a class learning to speak English together. I walked away that day a proud teacher and determined that we need to inspire courage in each other! None of us has arrived we are all learning but we all have skills that we can teach to another person and skills that we can learn from another person. But we have to be open. Open to sharing what we need to learn and being willing to start learning. When we choose to be open we not only open ourself up for growth but we also inspire courage in those around us. I choose to live this way willing to learn and willing to teach – living a life to inspire courage and be courageous!
Did you know – the key to good guacamole is using home grown tomatoes.
On Whole30 the thing I dreaded most giving up was ketchup! Yes, believe it or not since I was a little girl I have had a craving for ketchup – on my eggs, on my turkey burger, on my you name it! LOL! Well, friends if you find yourself in the same boat as me I encourage you to fine tune your guac making skills! Yes, you can make your own ketchup or find Whole30 approved ketchups out there, but I am an all or nothing kind of person. Also I found that I could make a big batch of guacamole and I could use it throughout the day!
My recipe – 3 avocados, a handful of cilantro, 1 lime juiced, 2 or 3 tomatoes depending on size, half a purple onion, a tablespoon of olive oil, and salt to taste.
You’ll thank me later. Nuff said.
Have you thought of giving Whole30 a try? Two months ago I asked my husband to go on Whole30 with me for my birthday! This was because I didn’t want to be cooking two different meals the whole month and because even though I am very disciplined I didn’t want temptation on my counter starting at me at my weakest moment! Initially, I was concerned that going on a Whole30 would affect my milk supply. As a first time mom I was hesitant of anything that might in any way make me produce less milk. In retrospect I can see I was over concerned, but for all you moms out there with that question in the back of your mind all I can say is, you will only know if you try. And it didn’t affect my milk supply. Whole30 is basically a sugar detox from my perspective. I have had so many international friends tell me that their first take of the American diet is that it is loaded with dairy and sugar. I do believe that food is medicine and so why not invest in your health today by managing what goes into your refrigerator! I seriously thought I could never give up ketchup but I love a challenge so bye bye ketchup and now I absolutely LOVE guacamole on my eggs! I would dub myself the guac queen if that actually was a title!! LOL! I also wanted to challenge myself to get better at cooking veggies. I have to admit given the choice of a slice of watermelon or cauliflower I will choose watermelon every time. Whole30 definitely helped me explore a whole new world of veggies! And get this, now I want to start my own garden. You are talking to a girl with NO green thumbs, but that isn’t going to stop me! So moms out there that are skeptical of Whole30 shoot me an email and I will point happily point you in the direction of the resources that helped me succeed! PS make sure you have a couple of good cutting boards ready for your 30 day sprint!