Here’s what happened at Planted Life in April
Aren’t we in September already? Not quite sure where April went, like March it is all a bit of a blur with self-isolation and social distancing laws still in place.
This month the focus is generally on a four-day break, the Easter bunny and chocolate egg hunts that put smiles on the faces of children and adults alike. But the Easter holidays were cancelled as we were told to #stayathome with a promise that the Easter bunny would still visit us even if we didn’t have backyards or front doors.
Days 1-30 (because all days are still blending into one)
Lest we Forget
We remembered from our front porch before dawn the ANZAC’s, lighting a candle and holding a minute silence. A new initiative was started in 2020 which could have just had more people in our communities to come together to remember. It was a sobering time as we reflected on the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918).
Baby its quiet outside
Living in Victoria, namely Melbourne it seems when it comes to areas where there is normally a hustle and bustle of activity; you could almost hear an echo of your own footsteps it’s that quiet. From the South Melbourne Markets to Federation Square everyone it seems is adhering to the guidelines. However, the same cannot be said for The Tan and Albert Park; everyone is social distancing in the great outdoors…the need for nature has become quite apparent over the past month or two.
With indoor recreation and gym facilities closed, the lure of the wide-open spaces has become a vice that people seem to be gravitating too. Is this because we are now forced to be cooped up indoors and when we have the opportunity to be free in nature we are now literally running for it.
Our food choices have been paramount during these times of isolation; the importance of eating nutrient rich foods with an abundance of fruit & vegetables has never been so vital in order to help build and keep in check our immune systems.
The main purpose of our immune systems is to protect our bodies from viruses and bacteria. Our immune system works by recognising the difference between our body’s cells and foreign cells, allowing it to destroy any that could be potentially harmful; basically, it’s our first line of defence.
It’s vital that your immune system is in good working order if you want to stay as protected as possible, you can do this by several ways:
- Cut down on the amount of alcohol you drink
- Start exercising regularly if you don’t already
- Try to reduce your stress levels, learning to slow down and rest
- Eat immune-boosting fruits and vegetables every day
Top immune boosting foods
- Sunflower seeds
- Green tea
- Citrus fruits; oranges, lemons, limes
Despite our daily/weekly schedule having no change whatsoever one of the things we have made more time for is reading. We have excelled our reads during ISO and feel the choice of books has helped keep our mental health & sanity in check
The books read during the month of April include:
- Into the Magic Shop – Dr James R Doty
- Phosphorescence – Julia Baird
- Roar – Stacy T Sims, PhD (an education read)
A trip down memory lane
Spending more time at home on weekends has meant we have gone through our storage boxes and taken a trip down memory lane finding memorabilia such as a Sony Walkman (think Galaxy of the Guardians) and my 80’s tape collection which include music from movies such as Staying Alive and Grease and tunes from Men at Work, Bucks Fizz and Diesel.
It also meant going through the photo albums; from finding my first bikini shot and embarrassing photos from school formals and camps….glad to say, that was then, this is now.
Becoming a MasterChef
We have long promoted being responsible for your own food choices and meals; boasting that it can take the same time as take-away to make your own dinner so why wouldn’t you just cook? We have loved discovering new recipes from chocolate chip cookies, pad thai, celeriac soup, Mexican rice, mayonnaise, egg mayo, chips & curry sauce and making our own meat a.ka. seitan.
After months of striving for perfection, we decided to just start. We planted out our new vegetable and herb garden:
- English spinach
We decided to start small and have no doubt we will grow from here.
Supporting small businesses
Small businesses have definitely thought outside the box during these strange and unprecedented times and no more so than business such as All The Things with their self-sufficiently pack having make self-sufficiency the new normal again.
It seems we moved so far away from being self-sufficient that it took a virus such as COVID-19 to remind us how important it is to fend/cook for ourselves. The supermarkets shelves were bare where flour and yeast were once displayed, it seems people were now taking responsibility for their own food as opposed to relying on others, this can only be a positive for us all.
We loved supporting All The Things as well as an array of other small businesses:
- Artisa plant-based cheese (we are now cheese makers making our own cashew cheese)
- The Salt Lab (magnesium spray)
- Albert park Bookstore (new reads)
Keep moving and carry on
We may not have any races to run towards but that won’t stop us training; because life has to go on. We are set up at home with our own mini gym our treadmill and have signed up to Zwift for both bike and run training.
We have also joined interactive learnings online courtesy of companies such as Salomon Running & Simone Brick and have been guided on how to foam roll with efficiency and injury rehabilitation in mind as well as continuing with our weekly virtual yin classes.
It’s what you make of it
We are used to being overly stimulated and there are those who don’t know what silence and boredom is which could be our greatest downfall during this lockdown period.
Endurance running and hours of trail running has given us the opportunity to develop our ability to handle silence and we have worked on our skills to work with boredom, to sit with it and not go insane. We are masters of creating our own entertainment or no entertainment at all, this is where mindfulness and meditation come into their own.
I’m living in a household of three; me, my husband and my adolescent cat Miss Sparky so how have we kept ourselves occupied? We have weekly cook offs using only the ingredients we have in the house, date nights; set a time and meet for pre-dinner drinks and weekly workout and yoga sessions, yes everyone get involves in all of these!
Our new normal
To date we are yet to buy a packet of toilet paper, we have not stock pilled pasta or canned tomatoes and nor have we watched every series on Netflix; but we have found a new normal. We have appreciated slowing down and having the time to recognise what is really important to us. We have loved connecting further with friends who mean the most to us and no just through text messages and emails; we are learning to communicate again on a more personal level.
Social distancing may mean we have to stay 1.5m apart physically but mentally we are now closer than ever; this is a new normal I’m happy to adopt.
What’s planned in May?
- Continue on my quest to self-learn; nutrition, running and history being the topics of choice
- Ramp up my routine of strength & stability sessions that are assisting me when we are finally allowed to play back on the trails
- Learn how to master the art of sourdough baking; my first attempt was unsuccessful but I am not one to be deterred
Don’t jump gun, continue to be patience – it might just save your life
The plans for the next month don’t need to be many they just need to be highly achievable and obtainable. As we have said all year, the year will unfold as the universe has planned and as much as we like to think we have all the answers, at the moment not even the scientists have the answers. So where does this leave us? Just living day by day and controlling what we can control, we’re in this together.
Welcome to meatless and mindful May…because like January through to April being vigilant, patient and mindful has helped us flatten the curve and on the road to our new normal.
[Note: this blog forms part of my accountability promise to myself]