The last three months have been an education in staying focused on the simple things: preparing fruits, vegetables, and protein, creating time for exercise and devoting time to stretching-EVERYDAY!
Living in the woods of northern New Mexico almost daily I find pottery sherds and arrowheads left by the native people who inhabited this land thousands of years ago. When I find these relics I often try to imagine what their lives were like surviving in this high mountain desert. I imagine them foraging for berries and wild vegetables, hunting animals and preparing these foods over an open fire. I imagine they got plenty of exercise, clean water and fresh air. I imagine they had a sense of belonging to a community and felt support from other members.
Often I find myself wondering if they lived "the good life." Yes, I know there was a lot of hardship and violence...many difficult things, but that is another story.
All I mean is that they lived in a culture where simple nutrition and community was a basic way of life, eating wild unadulterated food.
Kenzai brought me back to these principles. Focus on pure foods, a healthy amount of them staggered throughout the day, with a good dose of exercise and voila, you can be your best self and share that!
Alongside these three months I have witnesses time and time again how our culture tries to seduce us into thinking otherwise, that there are shortcuts to weight loss, gaining energy and strength, a hundred ways to hack well-being....to be honest it infuriates me. All of the marketing tools aimed and seducing you into the next failure.
Our modern culture has led us away from the pure bliss of eating a ripe strawberry into the belief that a snickers bar is actually more "delicious." These values, not to mention fast food, are at the root of the health challenges that plague our modern culture. What a shame!
According to my Japanese-English dictionary, Kenzai means "building material...good health....well."
Kenzai has made me "well" not only because I am more focused on simple nutrition but because I am honoring the basic principles of using food as the "building material for my good health," just like the native people who lived here before me.
I feel realigned and reoriented towards these primal human activities. What a gift, it feels like coming home.
wow, i just read this poem and could not believe the synchronicity.
i was just talking about moving toward the finish line w my cousin who is visiting.
i hope you enjoy it too, it is by maya stein. the photo i took recently in CA
Take the thorny, inconvenient step. Create a mess outside your usual jurisdiction.
Stop leaning on the learned practices that have kept the seams of duty
tight as they are. Divorce yourself from the false betrothals of ceremony and disrupt
each tidy garden plotted assumptively by your predecessors. The change
will do you good, birth a blush on your cheeks and a slight tremor in your legs,
the kind that reminds you these particular muscles are far from atrophied.
You are not merely the sum of your inheritances, an agreement made on the merits
of habit. You are the same oyster you tell your children the world is theirs to crack,
the one waiting for the tide to turn, slippery and possible,
every grain of salt winking in the sunlight.
One week into my vacation and I must say I am grateful for this experience in a way I had not anticipated.
I am really surprised that the “splurges” that I saved up for this vacation have not brought as much pleasure as I expected.
Both times I went off the diet and ate gluten or sugar I ended up with aching joints and a headache. My digestion is off and I have less energy!
I am impressed with how much the diet clearly contributes to my overall well-being and find myself looking forward to going home and getting back in the good rhythm I had established. What an unexpected consequence. At least I am fully enjoying all the abundance of fruits and veggies.
Well here I am, in an airport lounge on a layover. I have been anticipating this upcoming trip, where I will be gone a total of 18 days, with much trepidation in terms of staying Kenzai compliant. Going into this program I knew that the month of June was going to be difficult.
I have access to a kitchen at the beginning of my trip but for the majority of the time I will be at the mercy of other peoples ideas about breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can only imagine the look on his face when I tell the proprietor of the small inn we will be staying at that I’d like to have egg whites for dinner🐣
I feel great right now eating my apple in the face of all those cookie jars and I have no desire to eat one, but cookies never really were my thing. I’m not worried about temptations, I’m more worried about what to do when I have very few options. I am motivated to stay on the program and most days I will be able to do my exercises.
What is the best course of action when I don’t have access to the foods I need to stay compliant. Is it better to just not eat, or to go ahead and eat that food even if it has too much salt, sugar or oil? Any insights? I would really appreciate any tips from those of you who have had to travel while doing the program.
Many thanks 🙏🏼
Seems as though there really is a method to this madness, another lesson placed exactly where it is needed.
This screenshot is of a conversation I had a couple of days ago with my friend June L. who inspired me to join Kenzai.
Glad for the lesson today reassuring me I am on track while feeling off the rails!
I've been thinking all week about my Mother as it was exactly 2 years ago that I saw her for the last time before she passed away. That is a story for another time, but a big part of what I have been reflecting on is how deeply influential her love of food was on me.
Healthy, fresh food was a priority to her and I spent countless hours in the back seat while we drove to the butcher, cheese shop, bakery and various farms to get quality food. There were plenty of groceries store nearby but she loved the more intimate experience of the small specialty shops. My mother was an incredible cook (we never missed an episode of Julia Childs) and she devoted a lot of time creating healthy balanced meals for our family.
This gave me an invaluable foundation in which to explore my own, and in turn my family's, relationship to nutrition and health and I am deeply appreciative of her devotion.
I was thinking this week about the Kenzai program and how it feels a little bit like having a good mother in the background. Someone there to guide and push me... make helpful suggestions... remind me to exercise and eat right... to teach me valuable lessons... all with the intention that I be my best self.
Kenzai is nurturing and that is the word I have been trying to put my finger on, I really appreciate this program because I feel nurtured by it. What is expected of me is metered out in achievable doses and when I press the "I DID IT" I almost feel like there is someone there saying "nice job darlin, you did it and I'm proud of you!"
Many thanks team Kenzai :)
Happy Mother's Day to all you mother's out there. Bless you for the obvious devotion to your health and for being such amazing examples to your kids, I am incredibly impressed you are making the program work.
I hope you have a beautiful day of being celebrated!
My husband had knee replacement surgery on Monday and by late afternoon I was relieved, bone tired and ready to exhale. I decided I would head up to a small retreat hut we have on the property. I had awakened at 4:30am to accompany him prior to the surgery and only as I was walking out the door did it occur to me that I hadn't done my workout :(
It was so tempting to just walk out the door, but something inside said "no, you made a commitment so stick with it."
Since I had managed to get the cardio done in the morning all I needed to do were the exercises so I grabbed a piece of paper and quickly jotted them down, pressed "I DID IT"... feeling a bit like a liar... grabbed my band and went up to the hut. I felt better after exercising but even more there was the satisfaction in staying true to my commitment.
I NEVER would have done that routine if I hadn't committed to this program and I must admit it is a bit unsettling to realize this. Why wouldn't I have made the time to care for myself with a good routine, particularly on a very stressful day.
By committing to Kenzai I am finding it possible to prioritize self-care everyday and this has brought me face-to-face with the ugly truth that in the past I did not create enough time within my daily life for "devotional practices." I would find myself easily distracted with a myriad of other responsibilities I felt were "more important!!"
I am experiencing how valuing myself has a kind of domino effect. If I place more value on the particulars of my self- care, most other events in my day have more value because I have chosen them more carefully. Thank you Kenzai!