How to Stay Strong in Difficult Times + Lemon Blueberry Smoothie

March 28, 2020 / Lyndsey Hafer-Williams /

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A few weeks ago, I was in Hawaii.
On the roof of Molly and Luanne’s Maui home.
Gazing up at a full moon and a night sky full of twinkling stars.
Basking in friendship and the sounds of laughter.
I distinctly remember thinking that life couldn’t get any sweeter, peaceful, or more perfect.

A few days later, I was in a hoard of anxious, masked travelers.
In the ornate Hall of Flags at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.
Standing in a long line, on weary legs, with a pounding headache.
Waiting to have my temperature taken. For the third time.
I remember thinking that life couldn’t get any crazier, darker, or more out of control.

WTF? Seriously. What in the actual fuck had happened, was happening, would happen?

How did I go from one of the most beautiful, powerful, stunningly vivid adventures of my entire life – in which I felt nothing but searing joy – to flying home amid the chaos of a worldwide pandemic crisis like we’ve never known in our lifetime?

What fresh hell was this, and how in the world was I supposed to navigate through all this noise, fear, and desperation?

By the time I returned home to the arms of my wife, the kisses of my furbabies, and the sanctuary of my home, I was bombarded with feelings. All the feels and nothing but the feels!

So confused, yet full of clarity.
So upset, but also excited.
So scared, yet eerily calm.
So worried, but strangely at peace.
So filled with the creeping edges of depression, yet happiness bubbled inside.

After 36 hours of travel, 5 airplanes, and as many airports, I wasn’t even sure of my own name, much less my emotions or what to do with it all.

So, I went to bed.
And slept for a day and a half.

When I woke up, I wanted comfort.
I wanted cookies and chips and pie and onion rings and chocolate.
I wanted a milkshake and soda and candy and ice cream.
I wanted caramel popcorn and pizza and Chinese takeout.

But then I remembered Who I Am.

Let me explain…

I’m not the person I used to be. I was a lifelong yo-yo dieter, binge-eater, and user of food – not unlike one who uses drugs or alcohol – to dull, to numb, to zone out…

I’m not the person I used to be. I no longer eat highly processed foods or drink sugary sodas to push down hard or scary feelings. I no longer smooth out those rough edges of hurt, fear, shame, guilt, or embarrassment with food.

Who am I?

I am an ordinary woman who has extraordinarily learned to love and listen to her perfectly imperfect body. Through CFDG, specifically, the Plant Fueled Meal Plans and Lighten Up, I have become the vibrant woman that you know in person or online.

It’s not an act. What you see is the direct result of being unafraid to feel all the feels, fuel my miraculous body with whole plant foods, and move on my mat. I refuse to be a victim to anyone, including myself.

Simply put? I can feel it all: the light and the dark, the negative and the positive, the yin and the yang of this crazy world, and still choose to be okay. We humans have the amazing ability and capacity to hold all of that, make space for every bit of it, sift through it, and then move forward. If we choose to do so.

I can be scared of the future and still dive headfirst into whatever opportunities or adventures await.

I can be scared of the future and still dive headfirst into whatever opportunities or adventures await.
I can deeply grieve the death of a friend gone too soon and still laugh like mad at my hilarious wife.
I can feel terrified of the long-lasting effects of this horrendous pandemic and still find a ray of sunshine in every single day.

And I know that you can, too…

Who are you? Do you know?

Everything that you feel right now is ok. Feel that shit. Acknowledge it. Observe it. Invite it in for a chat. Then let it go and choose you. Choose to batch all the plants and eat them with gusto all week long! Choose to go for a walk or play with your kids or snuggle with your partner.

I know how stressful and frightening our world is right now. I know that we are all trying to sail through uncharted territory in a torrential downpour of mass hysteria, out-of-control social media, and the very real panic of “what if?”

It’s ok to be scared, emotional, and worried in these uncertain times. I’m scared, too.

But don’t forget that you have a choice in how you move, act, and react in this world. I gently urge you to choose love over fear, action over inaction, kindness over hatred, patience over irritation, an open mind over narrow judgment, and to care for yourself as you would for those you love most.

Because, my dear friend, you are worth it!

How are you responding to the recent weight of the world? We would love to know in the comments below.

Lemon Blueberry Smoothie

Author: Molly Patrick

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups packed kale (60 g)
  • 1 1/2 cups packed banana (260 g)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries (210 g)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients into your blender and blend until super creamy and smooth.

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with feeling all the feels.

Xo
Molly

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Written by ex-boozer, ex-smoker, Co-founder, and CEO, Molly Patrick. They will help you eat more plants while throwing perfection down the garbage disposal.

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16 Comments

  1. Maggie on March 28, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Thank you so much for this! Reading how you felt and how you’re dealing is helpful and reassuring. I am constantly trying to figure out how to deal and navigate. I am a person who constantly gets consumed and overwhelmed by my emotions.

    • Lyndsey Hafer Williams on March 30, 2020 at 8:07 am

      Hi Maggie!

      I am the same way. But I’m trying my best to recognize all the hard emotions and then to allow them to flow freely away from me – not to be consumed.

      We will all get through this together.

      Much love,

      Lynds

  2. Lesley Nicol on March 28, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you Lyndsey, very helpful. timely message, and Molly your email also was spot on.

    • Molly Patrick on March 28, 2020 at 3:06 pm

      Sending lots of love to you and your family, Lesley.
      xo
      Molly

    • Lyndsey Hafer Williams on March 30, 2020 at 8:09 am

      Hi Lesley!

      I’m so grateful you found a bit of comfort in my words.

      Sending you a huge hug and lots of love.

      Lynds

  3. Linda McMahon on March 28, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    Thank you for the reminder that’s it’s ok to feel all the feels. I am isolating with my 82 year old mom who isn’t taking the disruption of her blessed, comfortable life. I am the bad guy, the bearer of the bad news re timelines and social distancing and disinfecting our groceries. So thank you for telling me it’s ok to feel stress, but reminding me to also feel blessed. Cause that virus is staying outside our door, outside our bodies. Which makes everything I have done worthwhile. PS we are eating a shit ton of plants which are thankfully delivered right to our door!

    • Lyndsey Hafer Williams on March 30, 2020 at 8:11 am

      Hi Linda!!

      I’m so thrilled to hear that y’all are eating all the immunity-boosting plants! That’s something we DO have some control over in this crazy time.

      Sending bunches of love to you and your mom.

      Xoxo,
      Lynds

  4. Mary Ann Scanlon on April 2, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Hi Lyndsey,
    I left a week before you and it was nerve wracking. When I arrived in Portland at 9:30 on a Monday night, I’d never seen so many other people from other flights waiting at curbside to be picked up. The Uber/Lyft/ taxi lines were incredible. It took my husband 20” to get to me from the cell phone waiting area. It must have been terrifying for you with having to go through those lines 3x. I felt I made it back, just under the wire when I got back home on the ninth. I slept until 1030 the following morning. I was exhausted and felt overwhelmed
    . But I’ve carried you and the others with me in spirit and in gratitude for the new friendships we made. My best to you and your wife in these coming days.

    Mary Ann

    • Lyndsey Hafer Williams on April 2, 2020 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Mary Ann!

      I am so thankful that you made it home safely. We had such a special time together and I will never forget you or those magical days in Hawaii.

      Stay safe and know that I’m sending you a big hug.

      Xoxo,

      Lynds

  5. Carol on April 5, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Hi Lyndsey and Molly,
    Thank you both for your messages. The “feeling the feelings” advice is great; and, I think I have become so skilled at keeping them “at bay” or shut down or shoved down that I am going to have to be extra attentive and quiet to notice them. Some of them are wispily hovering about today. I’ll have a chat with them.
    Love,
    Carol

    • Lyndsey Hafer Williams on April 6, 2020 at 1:37 pm

      Hi Carol!

      I’m sending you a huge hug and a ray of sunshine!!

      Feel your feelings and hang in there. We’re all in this together.

      Xoxo,
      Lynds

      • Carol Lane on May 23, 2020 at 11:13 am

        Thanks Lyndsey. Lots of love back to you.

  6. Charmi Patel on May 22, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    Yes, during this lock down we can stay fresh & strong by this lemon blueberry smoothie.
    Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Team Clean Food Dirty Girl on May 23, 2020 at 1:42 pm

      `Thanks for stopping by, Charmi! We hope you enjoy the smoothie. Stay healthy! ~Karen + Team Dirty

  7. Carllie on July 9, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    What an amazing freaking article! 👍🏾

    • Lyndsey Hafer Williams on July 10, 2020 at 6:47 am

      Hi!

      Thank you so much.

      Wishing you much love and light.

      Xoxo,

      Lyndsey

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