Close to a year ago, I wrote this. Caffeine consumption is something that I have to be very careful with. As a highly sensitive person, those caffeine jitters can make me feel very un-grounded and disoriented. Having said that, I adore the taste and aroma of freshly ground coffee, and if you have read my blog for awhile, you will know that I am not a fan of denial when it comes to all things delicious. So what’s a girl to do?

After I gave up coffee cold turkey last summer, I was intensely craving it. My morning lemon water is still a mainstay and helps to keep me hydrated, and I still love my tea throughout the day, but I wanted to figure out a way I could still have some coffee without it being a problem for me. In addition to the uncomfortable caffeine jitters, as a woman who is prone to ovarian cysts, I need to be very mindful of my intake of substances that cause inflammation. The happy place that I have found is exactly 1/2 cup freshly ground good quality locally roasted organic coffee (I LOVE Great Lakes Coffee!) almost every morning. So far, this seems to be a way for me to still indulge in my favorite morning beverage while cutting back significantly. It tastes great, and I feel good!

For the past few days here in Michigan we have been having fall-like weather…very pleasant, but unseasonable. I woke this morning wanting an old habit of mine…a Starbucks latte. Not wanting to pay for more coffee than I can drink, and considering cow and soy milk are the only options there, I decided to make my own.

I have seen plenty of Paleo coffee creamer recipes floating around on Pinterest, but I don’t use creamer enough to justify making a full recipe. I did have a can of Native Forest coconut milk in the pantry. (Of course you can make your own coconut milk, but if you go with canned, Native Forest is a nice choice because, at this writing, they are organic and the cans are BPA free.). I poured 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1 cup brewed coffee into my Vitamix and blended at high speed for a few seconds. The high speed creates a nice froth to rise to the top. I poured into a tall mug, spooned froth over the top and sprinkled with cinnamon. Simple, delicious, and decadent!

In full disclosure…I couldn’t drink the whole mug. It was more coffee and way more milk than I am used to drinking these days. But it was a lovely treat to start the day!

When we listen to our bodies intuitively and pay attention to that inner guidance, we can make healthy choices to suit exactly what we are needing and wanting at that moment.

What is your favorite morning beverage?

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Happy Full Moon Day! At this point each month I like to take a look at my intentions set at the beginning of the month and see what I can lean into deeper and what is no longer serving me. My guiding word for the month of July is “Trust”. A part of leaning in to Trust, for me, has been starting to unveil the beginnings of Moonbird Wellness.

I decided four years ago that I wanted to be a health coach…of some sort or another. I didn’t quite have a vision of how I wanted it to look or what exactly I wanted to do, just a general idea that this is a path I wanted to take. I felt like this could be a way for me to serve, to help others learn about their own health and the well-being of our planet, and perhaps more importantly, to assist others in cultivating a sense of happiness and wellness in their lives, regardless of their state of physical heath. A lot of this has involved learning to coach myself, and I have been one tough client. :) What I have learned, and continue to learn, is that my physical health and definitions thereof will always be evolving. Trusting this process is a continuing practice.

If you can take a moment today…stop and take a deep breath. Full moon days invite us to flow right along with the tides, with the wind, the stars, with all of nature. Whether it is an introspective time for you or a chaotic time, remember we are all connected. Trust the process.

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Watermelon is my favorite summertime food, and this season my kids have joined me in craving this sweet delicious fruit.  I have been making this drink quite a bit so I thought I would share…

 

Sparkling Watermelon Love

Ingredients:

approximately 2 cups of watermelon, seeds removed

2 peaches, chopped

a couple mint leaves

2 TBSP raw honey

2-3 cups water, depending on the consistency you like

Pellegrino or other sparkling water (unless you prefer a smoothie-texture)

 

Combine all ingredients except for sparkling water in a blender and blend on high.  At this point you can determine if you want a thicker texture (like a smoothie, for which the sparkling water is not necessary) or a juice-type beverage.  If you want a juice, pour the contents of the blender through a strainer.  Fill a glass 3/4 way with the watermelon juice and the rest of the way with sparkling water.  Enjoy!

 

This month I have decided to focus on intense self care. When I say “decided”, I mean my body has been sending me signals for a few months now that she is in need of better attention and care.

There is nothing like a pinched nerve that makes your body ache and extremities numb to wake you up to the fact that something is up! I, for one, have not been getting much sleep and have been mindfully trying to remedy that, but somehow did not remember to adjust my exercise accordingly and ended up overdoing it a bit, thus the painful reminder.

My guiding word for this month is “gentle”, and that is how I intend to approach healing. What are some of your favorite self care practices for healing?

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My daughter collected rose petals this morning that we will use for a soothing, calming fragrant tea.


I would say that patience has never been my strength, but honestly, motherhood changed that and I think that now I can say that I am a fairly patient person. You kind of have to be to navigate a trip to Target with four young children before lunch time. But there is a certain kind of waiting, the kind over which I can exercise little control, that still tests me.
Then there is the waiting for the results of medical tests…then waiting to speak with a doctor…then mulling over options trying to make the best decision…this all hit me pretty hard last month.
I have friends who are feeling the frustration of waiting for several things: a new job, the right time to start a new career, a long-awaited project to launch. All consumed by the wait time, what happens in between now and then.
It seems that this space that is waiting takes on a life all its own. In my case, my anxiety and worry tend to consume me. But there is also something so interesting about that waiting space…if we really can’t control when we will “know” something, we can choose how we fill that space and time. Worry can only cause more problems, so that does not seem to be the wisest choice. I think that how we choose to live in those in-between spaces can reveal a great deal to us about our character. Sometimes it is easy to fill up the waiting with our old stories, the ones we may use to avoid any kind of real change. But what if we decided to create a new story for that space?
Perhaps waiting is really the prelude to possibility, and not just a means to an end.
Perhaps it is during the waiting that the real magic, the real work, is taking place. Something I have been pondering…

Last night I took a solo drive to chase the gorgeous full Harvest Moon. It was a partly cloudy night and she kept hiding behind the haze, only peeking out now and then to reveal her silver glow. This time of year, when the moon appears larger, and often brighter, reminds me that we all have the chance to shine again. No matter what darkness we have walked through, the time comes again when we shine brighter than ever. Happy Harvest Moon!

Here we are in our second week of the school year…I have had these ideas for this post swirling around in my head for the past several days with no idea how to get them out…

Back to school time for a highly sensitive mama with a couple of highly sensitive kids is an adventure for sure.  My oldest has started second grade, and this sweet shy boy who cried every day for the first half of his first grade year now describes school as “amazing” and has told me that I don’t need to wave at the bus as he rides away.  Could you hear my big sigh there?  Part melancholy, part relief…and not ashamed to admit I followed the bus the first few days.

My second son, my little creative superstar, started kindergarten and while he seems to not mind the actual time at school,  the morning separation has been rough.  He was so excited to take the bus the first day you would have thought it was headed to Hogwarts.  But when he realized that taking the bus meant that I would not be there, he froze.  This has been a source of anxiety for him so I am driving him for the time being.  This helps…a little…but kindergarten is such a big transition year that we still have a few tears as we say goodbye.  Yesterday when I picked him up at the end of the day he came out BEAMING!  His teacher told me he had read aloud to the class!  I was proud, he was proud…it was a good day.  We need many many more good days…

And the twins…my little baby twinnies…have started preschool.  It is only twice a week for two hours but for them, it is huge.  It was a leap of faith to start them in the program as I am still nervous about how their speech delay will manifest…or not.  Today was their first day there without me.  My little guy sobbed his way into the classroom while his sister confidently took his hand and led the way.  I walked past the outside windows hearing him cry and could not hold back the tears myself.

This time of year has always been my favorite.  I love everything about autumn, including that this season I will celebrate my 39th birthday.  The seasonal transition so closely mirrors what is going on in my family right now…letting go of old ways and embracing new, being brave with the unknown and finding comfort in the warmth of our love for one another.

So this brings me to the idea of being brave.  Hannah Marcotti wrote this gorgeous piece last week.  Several bloggers that I follow have taken up this prompt as well, and it seemed time to add a few of my own:

Being brave is admitting that being a mama is damn hard.  Like really, intensely hard.

Being brave is leading the way with how I handle my own emotions so my children can feel confident in expressing their own.

Being brave is standing at the bus stop smiling when it is taking everything in me to not follow right behind that bus!

Being brave is telling my kindergartener how much I love him and to have a great day and then letting go of his hand as he begins his own new adventure…

Being brave is admitting to myself that while I rock as a mama of preschoolers, I still have a lot to learn about parenting school-aged kids.  A lifelong journey indeed!

Being brave is looking within and recognizing that I need to step up my own self-care.

Today is a beautiful Michigan late-summer day.  The sky is a clear deep blue and the weather is cool enough for a light jacket.  The tomatoes in my garden are still ripening.  The twins and I took a nice walk after school and I was able to really enjoy being with just the two of them…something that has not happened since they were born.  I look forward to having more time with them at home and getting to know them in a new way.  I am looking forward to many lunch picnics on the living room floor listening to Dan Zanes.  I am looking forward to picking up my big boys from school later this afternoon and hearing about the day.  I am looking forward to this new adventure in being brave.