July 13, 2012

GERD and Stress: A Constant Juggle!

What to eat in a heatwave.

I've been experiencing increased GERD symptoms lately:  the lump/food in throat feeling, off and on nausea, belching, bloating, and some esophageal reflux.   I spent several days traveling during the Fourth of July holiday, and the next week in a very busy work schedule.  A heatwave complicated my cooking efforts -- who wants to do anything by the stove when it's 95 degrees three days in a row?   I missed a greenmarket, have been dealing with constipation, and neglecting to eat mindfully (slowly).  What a mess!  No wonder my system is responding as it is.


I am telling myself to just "go with the flow"-- maybe this just will not be the perfect week.   Maybe I will be eating out for lunch, eating quick frozen vegetables and veggie sausages.  Last night, J. and I resorted to pierogis from the supermarket (albeit "homemade" in our neighborhood) and frozen spinach.  Do the best I can to resume my GERD-friendly eating habits -- go slow!  Breathe.    The big greenmarket and cooking-ahead are in my weekend plans.


I strive to find daily pockets in my busy days where I am outside -- crucial for my sanity, especially since I spend so many hours in an office.  Just being mindful and in the moment helps ease my stress.

Here are some mindful moments I try to incorporate each week:

Visiting a farm -- even in New York City -- or the next best thing -- the Greenmarket.  This is Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, which sells its crops to local restaurants and in its shop.  Visitors can stop by to buy produce and pop upstairs to view the farm itself (and the Manhattan skyline from a new angle).  I'm always more relaxed after stopping by!

Leafy things growing at the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm.

Green beans at Union Square.

My weekly ritual includes shopping at the greenmarket early Saturday morning.  I am always inspired  by the fresh foods, their smells and tastes grounding me.  I was delighted to spot these beans a few weeks ago at Union Square Greenmarket.

Connecting with animals.   My GERD symptoms began after the death of my cat a few years ago.  I am thinking about adopting another cat but this may be problematic due to my schedule (I'm gone all day) and my landlord (he's not keen on letting me have another one; I barely convinced him to accept my original cat).   Meanwhile, I volunteer once a week at the local no-kill shelter, where connecting with cats and dogs (and pigeons and chickens!) who need homes is immensely gratifying.  I know I am benefiting as much as the animals, probably more.  

One of the cats for adoption. 

Replacing the hassles of the commute.   Once a week at least, I hop the ferry instead of taking the subway lines.  This involves a 30-block walk to the pier, a reasonable wait for the next boat (which gives me time to catch my breath), and a lovely ride across the river.  It is a magical and rejuvenating experience every time, even under gray skies!

East River Ferry.  

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