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Aless N. Wonderland
I am a mother, psychologist and pragmatic hedonist living in San Diego, CA.
Recent Activity
The last couple of weeks have been rough to say the least. Part of it is that depite my best efforts I am still over scheduled and not prioritizing well. I would give myself grief about that, except it does nothing for me. Instead I will simply continue to schedule some me time, while trying not to overschedule social engagements, and partition work and play better. I also have to constantly remind myself to put my kids' behaviors into developmentally apporpriate persepctives, and not get all wound up about some of their behaviors. In the mean time all of this... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2013 at The "Aha!" moment
I mentioned in my previous post this year I will be slowly and consistently working towards achieving several meaningful resolutions. I have them outlined, I have specific goals defined, and the only part left is to create and work towards small steps that will eventually lead to my bigger goals. I was able to reign in my natural tendency, which would have been to try and meet all goals at once, and expect success while realistically setting myself up for failure. My plan in January was to work towards living more mindfully and taking care of me. Sometimes at the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2013 at The "Aha!" moment
Getting changed after work and not freezing. Being able to walk around the house without having to layer to stay warm. Houdini asking me to work on meditation with him, even if what that really represented was about 90 seconds of attention followed by fidgeting, questions, and whispering about toe nails needing to be cut, and games he wanted to play. Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2013 at The "Aha!" moment
Lighting a fire first thing in the morning with Houdini (even though I had to because the house is freezing since the compressor in A/C heating unit blew out due to my failure to change the filters for the past two years). Having my kids squeel with delight when I walked through the door this evening. Eating Indian food for dinner; rice, naan and all! Hearing from several friends today and really feeling cared for and of value to them. Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2013 at The "Aha!" moment
The little one sleeping an extra hour this morning Buying the first flowers of the year Not beating myself up for being incapable of quieting my mind during my 15 "meditation" session Warming the house up with a fire at 5 PM (I actually had to think about this harder than I would have liked to today) Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2013 at The "Aha!" moment
I spent most of 2012 adjusting to a whole slew of changes: being a family of four, getting my body and my strength back after adding Magoo to the family, close friends moving away and with that a shift in our family and social circle, and of course work, work and more work changes. I have joined the ranks of the Rambling Man and the Man Child as nutrition and lifestyle coach at their gym. I also have been promoted to marketing manager for the box, all the while preparing for big changes in my practice. After much debate, mostly... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2013 at The "Aha!" moment
This video touches on something I have been thinking about for a long time - the shift in identity and the loss of the individual self when becoming a parent. Longer post to follow soon. Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2012 at The "Aha!" moment
I have been wanting to increase my practice of mindfulness for quite some time. I had introduced it once through such things as the moments of bliss and trying to be in the here and now rather than always focused on the to-dos and the what-ifs of life. Increasingly, worries about work, new professional endeavors, household duties and motherhood have taken over, and life has been about getting things done, rather than living. In comes a new professional project: building a practice centered around helping people find balance, identify needs and priorities, and live a life that is in accordance... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2012 at The "Aha!" moment
I've had a goal for several months now. It is a worthy goal. It is a goal that should have enormous benefits. And it is one that is seemingly so easy; yet to date I have been only marginally successful in my attempts to reach it. My goal you ask? I just want to sleep at least 8 hours a night. The idea came to me while reading several articles on Primal living, health and fitness. More shut eye has been associated with the release of growth hormones, improved cognitive functions, better immune and stress responses, and of course greater... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2012 at The "Aha!" moment
I am on a reading/listening kick and usually have two to three stories going at a time, so I figured I should keep track. Titles not in bold were audiobooks, which I find to be a delightful way of discovering more stories. Wild (From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail); Strayed, Cheryl American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition; Neil Gaiman Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls; Jane Austen, Steve Hockensmith Good Omens; Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett Fifty Shades of Grey; James, E L A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (Official... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2012 at The "Aha!" moment
I need to, no, want to start this up again. Every time I consider it, I am confronted with the single thought of how much time it takes me to write a post. I figured if I started anywhere, with anything at all, maybe then I would actually recommit to this. So here goes nothing... and here is to writing again, about anything and nothing at all; for me, and maybe too, a little for you. Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2012 at The "Aha!" moment
I don't really know that I believe in these resolutions people speak of. Most people I know don't even bother to keep them past the month of February, and it seems to me that most resolutions are pretty generic - go to gym, spend less, eat less, stay in better contact with friend. You'd think that if this were so important people would already do it. So what is the point? Why do we bother, year after year, to come up with new resolutions we most certainly will not follow through on? I mean it is like setting yourself up... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
Fatigue (despite the most hours of sleep in a row since Rhys’ birth)? Check! Moodiness? Check! Difficulty concentrating? Check! Obsessive focus on bread or sweet carb sources? Check! Oh, no! I have all the signs of a carb withdrawal. How did this happen? My diet was pretty clean; I mean except for the occasional rice, French fries or the home made Paleo/primal baked goods. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a cautionary tale of small infractions. In this particular case we are talking about diet, but honestly this could be about ANY KIND OF BREAKDOWN in a previously established goal or... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
Oh, oh the holidays are here; 'tis the season of unabashed eating and never ending excuses for why one can't control their food intake or show any form of restraint when faced with the plethora of carb/sugar loaded holiday treats. Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays, and I especially love eating during the holidays. I actually come from a long tradition of homemade candy, baking and multi-course meal extravaganzas. Despite my culinary background, however, I just can't condone nor accept the attitude that simply because the holidays are upon us we should grow by two pant sizes and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
Being a mother of two is tough. I have always told myself I wanted to be the kind of parent who was firm and consistent, but knew when to let issues slide. I want to be a mother who knows how to handle stressors without raising my voice, or addressing my children using negative statements. Up until now I think I have been doing a fairly good job at this. Like any human being I had some days where I was unable to hold to these ideals, but for the most part I was all that I thought I could... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
Ok, I know I started this out with a very positive attitude, but honestly I am done with this. I loved my pregnant body, I tolerated my post-pregnant body for a month, and now I am ready to have my pre-pregnancy body back. I was initially encouraged by what was a normal inital weight loss; the first two weeks post pregnancy I lost a good 7 or so pounds easily, but have plateaued since then, moving up and down my scale by two pound, but ultimately seeing no real change. To be honest I don't care about numbers on the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
I love my husband, really I do! All research indicates that parenthood is associated with reduced marital satisfaction, which makes sense given the increased stressors that come with having a child combined with the loss of available time to bond and enjoy being adults together. Nevertheless, having children can also offer opportunities to fall back in love with your partner. Such is the case today as I hear the Rambling Man and Houdini in the next room, while I nurse Magoo. Everyday that he is available the Rambling Man spends one on one, enaged and involved time with Houdini. He... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
I never miss home more than in the Fall. Today my homesickness was triggered by a red kuri squash, which a quick internet recipe search led me to find out was called a potimarron in French. My mother constantly refers to any winter squash as potimarron, and not knowing better I thought it was a universal term for the whole family of vegetables; I now know that it refers to a specific varietal. As the french term for my dinner is uncovered I immediately am overcome by a myriad of associations. I see myself in the early hours of the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
Aie, aie, aie this was as hard as I thought it would be. I knew that working out would be quite difficult. After having Houdini, getting back in shape was hard, but with no real measure of how much I could push myself, it was not as hard as it could have been. Now returning to the gym, I have a true sense of what "pushing myself" means, I have an accurate notion of what I am capable of. Great! This should mean I am in a good place to set realistic and appropriate goals; and I am. What it... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
I have been trying a bunch of new baking recipes using coconut flour, which is pretty great as a wheat flour substitute and provides a much less distinctive flavoring than nut flours. My most recent attempt was carrot cake. I had seen a promising recipe on The Food Lover's Primal Palate . I will provide the recipe as it exists on the website and share some of my personal modifications. The cake was wonderfully moist and very flavorful, albeit slightly too sweet for my palate. This recipe with or without the modifications is a great paleo adaptation to one of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
This was my body before my last pregnancy: This was my body during pregnancy: This is my body now: (picture will be added soon) 152lb exactly 25 over pre-pregnancy weight and a bit over 27% body fat. My goal in the next six months is to get my body back, to help it recover not only potentially to the weight I was pre-pregnancy, but more importantly to a similar, if not better, level of fitness and health. The plan is seemingly simple: eat well, exercise, rest. The reality of said plan is more complicated as it will necessitate sacrifice, restraint,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
Cravings are one of the barriers to healthy life styles. I am not talking about the kind of craving that has you deciding to grab dessert at the end of a meal. I am referring to the single minded obsessive craving for a food, the kind that you cannot let go of, even though you want to. That kind of craving is akin to a drug craving. Those are the kind of craving I try to fight. A friend of mine was questioning this the other day - "Now," she said " now is the time to give in," but... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
On August 30, 2011 we welcomed a new addition to our family, Mr. Magoo. Looking at his wrinkled little face, his long perfect fingers and his oddly colored skin a single word comes to mind, fulfillment. Cliché as if may seem the arrival of this little boy in our lives has left me feeling that our little family unit complete. Yes, the addition of a new baby means many sleepless nights, never ending fights about which toy belongs to whom, regressed and oppositional behavior from Houdini, and countless arguments about division of household chores, returning to work and who works... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
Many of my ice cream recipes start with a custard base. Today, feeling lazy, I made a literal iced cream. The flavor is promising, the consistency looks good so far. Ingredients: 1 bag frozen mangoes 16 oz heavy cream 2 tsp honey 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp ground Cardamom Juice from one lime In a blender combine 3/4 of the bag of mangoes, the heavy cream, and the lime juice. When the mixture is well blended add the cardamom (I was also thinking a bit of nutmeg would be nice, but not both together), the honey and the salt. Blend... Continue reading
Posted Jul 10, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment
Everybody is interested in food, everybody needs it and everybody cares about it. Notice how much people actually care about what you eat or what you don't eat? Ultimately, though, most people are really only interested in talking about it if you share the same point of view. The second you profess another dietary perspective I have noticed two things: 1) either their eyes glass over and they lose interest, or 2) people get extremely defensive. It's as if, by having a different point of view, you automatically insulted theirs. It's as if someone asked you what religion you practiced... Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2011 at The "Aha!" moment