Taking Paths Less Traveled

Joyful Hiker. Mother. Teacher. Adventurer.

Yesterday I wrote about the seasonal changes and the comforting habits that I have kept, even to my own detriment. Over the years my comfort habits of Autumn changed, driven by the marketing ploys, consumerism and economic gains. My body has always sensed the turning of the season from summer to autumn by the feelings in the air and the shifts of the sun. In the past this meant harvesting the garden, turning the soil, raking and playing in the leaves, and building up the log pile to hunker down the the winter. It meant card games with family and satisfying stews with grandma’s biscuit recipe. Crocheting beside the fire while watching a heart warming Hallmark movie with my family is, happily, one habit I still employ on a regular basis.

As I’ve moved into my career and away from my family I’ve struggled to recreate these scenes, and the artificial substitutes of pumpkin spice lattes and fashionable sweaters and boots attempted to replace the comforts my soul was seeking. Last night while driving with my friend, I remarked how I was looking forward to feel the longer nights of winter’s approach because I always crochet during this time of the year. My friend didn’t had the comforting experiences that I had as a child. She suffers from seasonal depression and dreads the decreased hours of daylight. As I ruminated on the realization that crocheting is something I only do in this season, she expressed her sorrow and desire in creating a happier winter season.

A couple weeks ago, I was selected as a participant in the early release of Dallas Hartwig’s new book “The 4 Season Solution”. Having recently found success an medically formulated food program, I’ve had a complete body transformation. I’ve developed habits around foods that have changed my body’s metabolic structure. I’ve learned how to use the program’s supplied fuelings (small snacks or meals) to consciously select foods to change the way that I’ve thought about food.

Several years ago I was a participant of Hartwig’s coauthored book, It Starts With Food. I embarked on a Whole30 journey with my family and found excellent success. I learned foods that provoked an inflammatory response and chose to exclude them from my diet. But, those 30 days weren’t enough to change my lifestyle, and I found myself quickly slipping back into most of my old habits. I still don’t eat gluten, corn or dairy, but those changes aren’t enough to sustain optimal health.

As I am nearing my weight loss goal and working toward “optimal health” I’ve become terrified of coming off the program. The program is designed with an end in mind. There is a transition plan to take me off the supplied meal replacements and work my way into choosing all my foods from the market. When Dallas asked his followers to preview his new book, I was so excited. He has always provided inspiration to help me change unhealthy habits, brought awareness to the choices I make both with foods and social media consumption. The title alone, The 4 Season Solution resonated strongly with my understanding of life. Several of the people that I’ve found inspirational on my journey towards my optimal self have mentioned life in terms of seasons. Not just the circadian seasons of the earth and sun, but the seasons of age, career and family.

Dallas’s book has been delivered into my hands at a serendipitous time. As I read through his work and internalize his findings, I have a gut feeling that this solution is the one that I’ve innately been working toward. His book has the promise to be the guidebook to incorporating my body’s biological needs with today’s modern technologies and realities. Combining the advances we’ve made as humans with the natural rhythms of the earth speaks directly to my ancestral soul.

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Joyful Hiker. Mother. Teacher. Adventurer.

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