This and That

So I haven’t posted anything in awhile because I’ve been so busy. You might think that turning off the T.V. would give me more time, but it’s time slot was replaced quickly. I have to admit that I did kind of relapse. Season 2 of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution started this week and I like watching this with the kids. So, one show – THAT’S ALL! Turning off the T. V. was the best thing I’ve done in awhile. What a difference it makes. And I don’t miss my old shows a bit.

My garden is growing. The last couple weeks have been warming up. Mother Nature has been taking care of most of the watering too. I have to water every now and then, but mostly just the potted plants and newly planted stuff. A couple of my tomato plants may have been stunted by freezing temperatures a few weeks ago, but I’m hoping they’ll start taking off soon. The marigolds I planted seem to be keeping the bunnies out of my strawberries. They are flowering and berries are starting to form. I’ll be keeping a closer eye on them when the berries are close to ripening.

I entered a facebook contest with the above photo. Nothing special, I know. You’re supposed to post a picture of yourself or something that represents what you’re doing to be healthy. The best part is that they re-posted my picture on their wall! My organic garden provides nourishing food, exercise and meditation. Being outside under the sun, with dirt and plants – growing the very thing that keeps us alive – touches me on a spiritual level. I think my entry gets that across.  Voting starts April 18th by the way. I shamelessly beg for your vote. The winner gets and iPad and I want it! You can click here to see my entry.

The yard sale was a bit of bust, but we still got rid of everything. We priced everything really low and some of it we literally gave away. We had two tables of “free stuff” that grew as the day went on. I think people were so surprised that we were giving away such good stuff that they bought a few things just to be nice. So maybe it worked in our favor. We didn’t have the traffic we normally do, so that was a bummer. I love having yard sales. And not just because we’re making money and getting rid of stuff, though that definitely doesn’t hurt. I thoroughly enjoy chatting with strangers and neighbors.

The pack rat in me showed up for a minute as we were closing up shop. I actually considered putting everything back in boxes and trying again at the next community yard sale. But then I came back to my minimalist senses and we delivered two ridiculously full truckloads to Goodwill. I’m sure the unloaders were not thrilled to see Brian the second time around. It felt so good though when he pulled away with that last load.

Thanks to one of my wonderful neighbors, I’ve finally found a holistic pediatrician for the girls. Within five minutes of speaking to her, I knew I was in the right place. It’s a drive to get there, but it’s worth it. Linsey was not happy about the appointment. She told me the night before that she wasn’t going to talk, but the doc was so nice and easy to talk to that she opened right up. It’s nice to find a doctor that fits so well into our new lifestyle and shares our philosophy.

Speaking of our philosophy… Lately I’ve discovered that a few people aren’t quite sure exactly what that is. I’m a little surprised, but then again I think sometimes I make it sound complicated. Another reason it may be difficult to understand is that it’s always changing. We have the basics down, but I’m always fine tuning it. It might be easier to explain what we do eat rather than what we don’t eat, since we don’t eat a lot of the food you’d find in the grocery store and the Standard American Diet. Mostly we eat foods that people would have eaten a hundred years ago – in this order: vegetables, fruits, meat (mostly chicken and pork), seafood, dairy, beans and some whole grains. All of which are grown organically, free range, pastured and naturally and without hormones, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc. – the way they were grown a hundred years ago. And most of it homemade – the way it was made a hundred years ago. I grow what I can and we try to buy the rest locally, especially from growers that share our philosophy.

Really we’ve just gone back to our roots and try to pretend that prepackaged, processed foods and exotic foods from far away don’t exist (with a few exceptions – olive oil, some produce, tea, coffee, spices). It’s called slow food – “good, clean, fair food”. We try to eat a wide variety of foods, rather than the same thing every week. We eat less, and spend the extra money on better quality food. We do spend a little more (seriously, only a little more) than we used to, but we’re investing in healthier food for ourselves and our planet and we’re supporting the growers that are painstakingly providing it with their own blood, sweat and tears, even as they are barely scraping by. (And I thank you, from way deep down in my hungry little soul.)

Not everything we eat is like this though – maybe just 75% of it. As I’ve said before, I’m no purist and I don’t believe that any food should be off limits. We buy some produce, olive oil, coffee, tea and spices that don’t grow in our region.  I don’t make my own cheese or yogurt (though I may try it one day). I don’t always buy organic, but almost everything is (especially the dirty dozen and any products that contain corn, soy or wheat). We do take advantage of a few shortcuts and modern conveniences. I’m not stuck in some weird time warp, although I wouldn’t mind going back for a short visit. It would be eye opening and I could learn so much. We all could. There’s a saying that if your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, you probably shouldn’t eat it. Michael Pollan also sums it up nicely. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 

I strongly urge you to read one of his food books by the way. If you struggled with food and weight, it might be the kick in the pants you need to change your life.

A couple other good books to get you started would be Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver. I especially love this last one. It’s also available on CD which is great if you spend a lot of time in the car. Check your local library. Seriously, stop dieting and read one of these. Worked better for me than any diet ever did.