Blend Your Grind

I think I just drank plastic.

I’m pretty sure that horrible sound when I started my blender was the plastic cap…..

GRIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDddddddd…….

I couldn’t find the top this morning when I went to empty all my ingredients into my blender, and just thought,

It must have fallen down somewhere

OR…it was actually in the blender and just got mixed in with my ice, protein powder, coconut oil, and all the other goodies that make up my daily concoctions on this diet.

My smoothie tasted odd, different.  Something was definitely off, and it wasn’t the daily ingredients.

This was an extra piece that didn’t belong.

So, I emptied the smoothie down the drain, and started fresh, without the plastic cover on the top.  It was a pain, but I figured I could just hold I paper towel over the top to keep liquid from coming out.

The blender worked great otherwise, right?

WRONG.

 

Last summer, right before my 41st birthday, my whole world was turned upside down with the diagnosis of being pre-diabetic.  I went from a dancer’s mentality of loading up on carbs for energy to completely eliminating them.  My whole pantry emptied and was filled with items I didn’t think I would ever have.

My fruit bowl that was normally overflowing with bananas and peaches instead held avocados and squash. Chips, crackers, and popcorn all went away.

Thankfully, I started working with a brilliant biochemical nutritionist who prescribed a protocol that reversed my numbers in 3.5 months.  I was no longer pre-diabetic, but my blood sugar was still right on the cusp and too high.  So, in came her mentor, a integrative medicine doctor who started me on a more intense regiment and a cleanse.

A cleanse with smoothies.

Lots of them.

Before my diagnosis, I rarely drank smoothies.  I did enjoy a chocolate protein drink for breakfast every day, but my blender sat in my cupboard.

For years.

I don’t think I had taken it out once in the three years I’ve lived here, and the blender was actually from my bridal shower for my first marriage….back in 1997.

When I started the smoothies as part of my daily diet and a way to get good fats in my system, I got the old blender out of the cupboard, and it didn’t last long….just a few months.

And then, at the beginning of 2017, I grabbed my Bed Bath & Beyond coupon and bought the cheapest one I could.  With my coupon, the blender was a whopping $15.

That was all I wanted to spend.

I didn’t need anything fancy, right?

WRONG.

 

This $15 blender was a pain from the beginning.  The blades would get stuck, and I would have to pump the buttons to get an even mix.  Most of the time, the smoothies would come out lumpy, and when I would add avocado, the motor would actually burn out.

WHIRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrr…

And yet, I kept using it.

When the plastic top cover piece was ironically eaten by the blender, I had a quick thought,

Maybe I should buy a new blender.

And yet I didn’t.

I was determined to make this blender work.

Even though it was not working.

What was I really trying to prove?
What was actually going on?

 

Have you ever done something like this?

Tried to force something to work in your Art that clearly wasn’t?
Have you tried to keep working with people that you know in your gut are not your ideal collaborators?
Or forced a project that was not in integrity with your vision?
Have you seen all the signs and just trudged on anyway, thinking it will change on it’s own?

Most of all, have you cut yourself off from growth in your Creative Life for the sake of saving a few dollars?

Check in for a moment.  What in your Art are you allowing to be hard and take more energy than it needs?

There’s an easy solution, so you don’t have to drink plastic and burn out your motor.

You’d think the day I drank plastic would be the moment I would hop onto Amazon and buy a new blender, but I actually took the impending 28 Day cleanse I started in April to really bring it home.  I was looking at having 2-3 smoothies every day, and that was daunting.

So I broke down and went online.

And there it was….shining and new.  A glass jar, and the same make and model as my friend had recommended.

The price?

$23

Only $7 more than the last one.

The blender arrived and I plugged it in, and saw there was this button,
AUTO SMOOTHIE

I put all my ingredients in the jar, placed the nifty top on, and hit it.

And then magic happened.

The blender ground up the ice, and created the most even and perfect smoothie I have drank since my diagnosis.  All with one touch of a button.

That easy, and all it took was $7.

And there was a LOT in that $7.

There was the belief I could make it work.
There was an attachment to an old way of being.
There was a strong need to control a situation I didn’t feel comfortable in.

The answer?

Actually become present to the situation, recognize my frustration and anger at the cleanse and diagnosis, and then give myself a huge hug.

The old blender wasn’t working.  And I was using money as an excuse.

 

Have you done this before?

I think the real issue underneath was fear.  I was scared to admit I needed to let go.

And recognize I was doing the best I could, and this was not a sign of failure from my effort.

We can become so attached to how things HAVE been, and try to get the results we want, but just putting in more effort.

But more effort doesn’t equate results.  It’s really about the intention behind the effort and the effectiveness of your actions.

It may be as simple as just investing in making a change. Even more so, admitting to yourself it’s not working and it’s time for something new.

One that will free up your Creativity.
One that will be more effective, and allow for flow.
One that will inspire you and connect you even deeper to the reason you became an Artist in the first place.

And it may only cost $7.

As Albert Einstein said,
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results

What can you change today?

Throw away the old blender and bring in what puts you in the flow.

28 Days Later

On my fridge, there it is. Typed in black bold letters and highlighted in yellow.

It’s held in place by a bright purple clip, magnetized to the larger door, in plain sight for me to see. Maybe I had hoped the color would detract from the subject, and the creator of this document,

My doctor.

I’m doing something I’ve never done before and something I never thought I would…

A 28 Day Cleanse.

And to give you just a peek, I’m not allowed to eat dairy, sugar, nuts, coconut, eggs, or nightshades.

What does that leave?

Not much.

 

Last July I received back the blood test that changed everything with a diagnosis of pre-diabetes. It was right before my 41st birthday and you could have picked me up off the floor.

While my father was the first one in our family to have diabetes, he wasn’t diagnosed until he was in his mid 50’s.

All my life, I’ve had the dancer mentality of carb-loading for energy, and suddenly I was facing having to eliminate so many foods that had been everyday habit:

Fruit
Chips
Popcorn
Chocolate
Cookies

While I did eat organic, I had no idea that my habits of starting the day with sugar, whether it was a chocolate protein drink, or a banana or cereal, were actually the worst thing possible for me.

My body just wants to turn everything into sugar.

And I didn’t know this until I was 41.

I was clear I didn’t want to get diabetes, so I started working with a nutritionist and eliminated most of what I had been eating and replaced it with meat, vegetables and healthy fats.

The avocado became my best friend.

And my body started doing something remarkable and something I didn’t know was possible when I was a professional performer,

I began to burn fat for energy.

In three and a half months I was able to reverse my numbers and went from having 5.8 H1c to 5.5 (pre-diabetes is measured from 5.6 – 5.9, with 6.0 being diabetes). I was officially no longer pre-diabetic…..

But I was still very close.

So I continued the diet, and got another blood test in February only to see my H1c had not moved an inch.

I was frustrated and my nutritionist assured me this was a victory that I had maintained, but I wanted to be out of the danger zone, as my sugar metabolism was still way too high.

So, I was referred to a integrative medicine doctor who took just about every test possible on me to gain a full picture, and he agreed.

My numbers still needed to come down, and this wasn’t just about my sugar metabolism, it was also about my hormones.

I thought of what I want for my life moving forward…of the next 41 years…and that doesn’t include a dialysis machine.

I thought of my vision for my work, for the family I want to have, for the adventures I want to experience, and looked at my doctor and asked the question,

What’s next?

 

What is your vision?
What is it you truly want in your Art?

If you could wave a magic wand, what would you have?
Who would you be?

I remember moving to New York City with stars in my eyes. And what got me out of bed morning after morning for every audition, even in the face of rejection, disappointment, and fatigue was my vision,

To be on Broadway.

Do you remember why you picked up your brush?
Do you remember why you picked up your instrument, pen, camera, or dance shoes?

As Creatives we have a natural ability to visualize. We see in pictures, and step into our inner Dreamer with abandon.

So, what is driving you?

Or, the better question may be….what are you allowing to stop you?

 

I woke up this past Monday morning so nervous. I had loaded up my pantry and fridge with the FEW things I could eat, and knew this was it. I was about to enter into 28 Days of a very strict regiment, and my mind really wanted to race,

Will I be hungry?
Will I have enough to eat?
Will this even make a difference?

And I took a breath, and gave myself an enormous hug.

I made a promise to myself last July that I was going to turn this around. At the time, I honestly had no idea it would take so long, nor did I have any idea that this is actually HOW I eat now.

I’m sugar and dairy free.

The dancer who loved her daily banana and Greek yogurt….has changed.

And I continue to change every day.

That’s the real gift. You and I are the same in this. You are also changing every day.

Yes, I was nervous and feeling very squeezed as I looked at the intense amount of supplements I was going to be taking for the next three months…

..as I looked at the huge protein powder container…

..as I looked at the purple magnetic clip with the whole plan laid out, including a week and half where I can only have the powder in water and vegetables…

And what came back was my vision. The vision I have for my life. The vision I have for ZenRedNYC, for my art, and for the life I am building moving forward.

So, I took a breath, opened up my freezer and measured a cup of ice for my first smoothie.

Dear God…

 

So often we can feel squeezed in what is necessary to achieve the acclaim we desire. We can look at the plan, at truly attaining our dreams, and feel it’s too much.

But, what if this is just the next step?

This is why it is crucial to be connected daily to your vision.

And it needs to be real.

If you are not seeing the results you want in your Art, what did you decide was “too intense”?

I honestly used to look at fellow performers who were doing cleanses, and going paleo or full vegan, and think they were nuts.

Most of all, I never saw myself in them.

I didn’t think these choices applied to me.

And that may be part of the reason why I didn’t make it to Broadway. I had the strong vision, but wasn’t clear on what I really needed to do to make it happen.

Or probably more accurate, wasn’t willing to do what it took.

In truth I needed to claim my ability, and try a new approach.

Just like I am now.

Just like you can starting today.

Come back to your vision and step into your dreamer. The nerves and fear are a PART OF the process. They aren’t the reason to stop.

What’s something you’ve never done before and never thought you would?

This may be the change that actually brings you the results you’ve been waiting for.

And it could turn around in as little as 28 Days.