Sunday, August 8, 2010

Garden update

Here's a tomato for Mommy! Now if I could only teach him to pick only the ripe ones...

A Charentais melon. How the heck do I know when this sucker is ripe? I can't wait!

Look at those beans go. The cucumbers are trying to take over the fence, too.

The vast cucumber sea... As you can see, I planted these too close together. It's making harvesting a bitch!

A volunteer pumpkin plant. Isn't that awesome? I think there will be one for each child! Thank you, universe.

I wanted to put more pictures on here, but Blogger isn't as generous as she used to be, so I'll have to post more later...

In other news, I stepped on a bumblebee a couple of days ago and my foot is huge and red and hot. So, I've been resting and eating lots of local organic watermelon (and other stuff, lest you think I'm monomealing). I have way too many cucumbers! If you need some, come on over... :)
And of course, the best news of the day is that my sweet little Salome is 6 years old today. Happy birthday, Sali-cakes.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My excuse for not blogging...I'm in the garden!

See the Scarlet Runner beans and Christmas limas on the fence behind me? Hopefully I'll spot a hummingbird sipping from the red flowers...

My landlord was kind enough to rototill these strips in a sunny location. Here's where my melons and tomatoes are planted.

I made an hugelkulture bed and planted potatoes in it. This was quite an endevour to build and I was lucky to get free soil from a neighbor.

This is the original garden plot. As you can see, there is a big tree shading it, and there is also a tree on the other side, not shown in this picture. Not enough sun for melons or tomatoes, but other things manage. I have a lot of different things interplanted, as well as weeds. If you were to blow this up, you could pick out lettuce, beets, peas, kale, and sunflowers. In the back, in front of and beside the bean fence, are dry beans, lots of cucumber hills, and more potatoes.

This is a cute picture of my baby's butt right next to a banana tree. This little table houses all of my new dwarf fruit trees. 3 bananas, a fig, a pomegranate, a pineapple (not a tree), and a quartet of citrus. They are doing great. More pictures and garden info coming soon!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fun Feast Recipes

Cucumber-Jicama Salad

My sister-in-law made this for my nephew's birthday party. "You're gonna love this!" she raved. I was so touched that she thought of me and knew a little bit about my dietary interests. And I did love it! Of course, her version had olive oil, salt and pepper, so I adjusted the recipe here by omitting those ingredients and adding tahini. Sorry about not including the proportions. I find it better to just experiment and taste as you go.

Jicama, cut into match sticks
English cucumber with the skin, diced
Tomato (preferably Campari or grape tomatoes) diced
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Raw tahini

Kaptain Krunch

I created this dish as a milk and cereal alternative for my children. The girls love it! You can get creative with the additions of different dried fruits, shredded coconut, nuts, seeds, or spices, but we generally keep it pretty simple. Today I added a couple of teaspoons of chia seeds and a dash of cinnamon.

1 apple, diced
1 rib of celery, diced
1 banana, blended into mylk w/ about 1/3 cup of water

Mix diced apple and celery in a bowl, along with optional ingredients if using. Pour over the banana mylk. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Mango Madness Salad Dressing

I am so happy that the children have let go of their attachment to commercial salad dressings. Remember the good old days when most salad dressings were just vinegar, oil, spices and salt? While not healthful, they weren't a toxic cocktail of chemicals with unpronounceable names like they are today. And not cheap, either, especially the ones that have fewer additives. We've been testing out quite a few different dressing recipes and here is one that I came up with... our current favorite.

6 medium Ataulfo mangos, peeled and diced
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
3 ribs of celery
Juice of 1 large lime

Blend until smooth and creamy. Perfect as a dip or thick dressing. If a thinner dressing is desired, you can add 1/4 cup of water.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Feast Days 3 & 4

Day 2, May 28

Movement: Cardio Salsa workout, Feldenkrais Lesson "Freeing the Hip Joint"

Food: Mangoes, Cherry-banana smoothie, romaine lettuce
Joy: I finally got the last of my melons planted! My baby is so happy to spend some time naked now that the weather is nice. Nothin' is cuter than a naked baby running about happy and free.

Day 3, May 29

Movement: Slim and Sleek Fast workout, walking

Food Nightmare!!! I tried so hard today. We only had 3 ripe mangos left, so I enjoyed those. I went to a different Farmer's Market, as I had a class to attend in a different town. No ripe strawberries yet. :( I went to the store after my class but could not get anything ripe, so the pile of "ripening" fruit in my kitchen has grown, but nothing to eat. I ate two pints of sour raspberries that were starting to mold on the way home. How can they look so pretty and be so sour?

I was really hungry and really annoyed by the time I got home. First I cut up a pineapple. Not ripe, too sour for me. I tried the papaya that was yellow as can be and starting to mold a bit. I knew by smell that it might need a couple more days, but I had to try. Unfortunately, some rot had gotten into the stem and invaded the seed cavity. I tried to salvage some undamaged fruit, but it was, of course, unripe. Then I tried the last watermelon. No good. Over-ripe, slimy, verging on fermented... I had one bunch of bananas that had sugar spots, but they looked a bit hard and green still. I tried. As I suspected, not ripe. With no options left, I blended 5 of them with some frozen sweet cherries. I also had some delicious baby bok choy from my garden, and some Freckles lettuce from the Farmer's Market. This tided me over for a little while, but not surprisingly, by dinner time, I was eating cooked lentils and brown rice and veggies because I was hungry and frustrated. Hey Universe, I need at least 3000 calories of good quality fruit per day!

I really start feeling despair when I spend so much of our limited resources on fruit that ends up in the compost. I have to predict how much to buy when my children's eating habits can be unpredictable. Some times I have too many ripe bananas, other times we run out. I have to order my bulk produce sight unseen, and pray that it is good quality and will be ripe in a reasonable amount of time... about half the time something goes wrong in this equation. And the worst is when I have to take a risk on buying unripe fruit, like pineapples, papayas and mangoes, and hope they will ripen before they rot. Or when I have to buy fruits, like melons, that might look fine on the outside but are horrible inside. Ack!

Well, chalk it up to a learning curve that I am going to master. (But I am afraid the real solution here is to move to a farm in a semi-tropical location, or become moderately wealthy and increase my produce budget by 300%.)
In other complaining news, I stepped on a bee today and was in horrible pain for about 2 hours afterward. And so, no gardening.

Self-Love: I love that I am a work in progress. I love that I am beginning to have clarity about some of my stumbling blocks in my raw journey, so that I can start to attract solutions.

Joy: Got to reconnect with some good friends at the Farmer's Market today. And I got to see Trudi Temple speak. She is a fabulous, funny, inspirational firecracker of a person.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Feast Days 1 & 2

Day 1 5/26

Food: Mangos, bananas, blended strawberries and tomatoes, romaine lettuce. Not enough ripe fruit in the house today, so I didn't eat enough.

Movement: Walking and Feldenkrais Lesson #3 Rolling to sit.

Love and Joy: Dancing with my cute baby. Reading my 5 year-old's kindergarten portfolio and seeing how much she has grown this year. Today is the kids' last day of school and summer fun begins.

Day 2 5/27 My dear husband's 35th birthday.

Food: Mangos, banana/ sweet cherry smoothie, cherub tomatoes, avocado and romaine, cooked food from my husband's birthday dinner (not happy about that one... but it gave me an opportunity to practice self-acceptance and compassion)

Movement: Walked with the children to the park and chased the baby around for awhile.

Healing: Was feeling a lot of shame and sadness early in the day. Was later able to pinpoint what had triggered that and name my needs around that, but I still could have used some more... something. Was feeling stressed. But, last night I was able to offer my daughter some empathy when she got really upset and scared at bedtime. She was really receptive to it, and calmed down. It was so nice to be able to help her. She hugged me really tight and told me she loved me, and then went right to sleep.

Love and joy: Got my kids a little kiddie pool that they have been asking for. They were so happy! Felt lots of love for my husband who is having a mini midlife crisis on his birthday. LOL!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

40 Day Feast

Connie at Naked Food Cafe has inspired me to a 40 day feast of self-care. Just what I need right now. Here are my 40 day goals.

1) I will love myself deeply and sweetly no matter what.

2) I will eat the foods that my body was designed to digest and use for fuel.

3) I will continue to move my body joyfully for at least 45 minutes per day.

4) I will continue to focus on my healing work, and I will celebrate each tiny bit of progress and accept that it may take time.

5) I will take time to express gratitude and love often.

I really want to blog more, but I often feel that I have so much going on, and my emotions are so up and down, I don't know what to share. Here's an update on the last month or so:

My eating has been up and down dramatically, but fruit is my main source of calories. My exercise is consistent. (Walking, rebounding, cardio videos, jumproping, dancing!) My garden is ambitious and I am nervous but excited about it. I planted 7 varieties of melons this week and have more to plant. My snow peas, sugar snaps and potatoes are 2 inches high and baby lettuces, beets, beans, and carrots are poking out everywhere. So far I am keeping my potted baby fruit trees and my tomato seedlings alive. Fingers crossed.

I want to share that I have been turned on to the amazing benefits of Feldenkrais and have been really enjoying doing some of the free lessons found here. It is changing my life!

I am so grateful for the sunshine, and for my beautiful family, and for the fresh local organic strawberries I have been enjoying this week.

I will try to post my progress regularly on this feast.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I did my first barefoot run!

Kathleen from Trifruit has influenced me to finally go for my dream of becoming a runner.

When I was a child, my dad and mom had a lot of fear that us kids would get injured, and so we were discouraged from doing normal kid activities like running, climbing, spinning in circles, going barefoot. Also, there were a lot of us (11) and the house would get overwhelming if we were all acting playfully. And they didn't want us to play outside unsupervised or go out into the neighborhood to play. All this added together, and I basically was a slightly overweight, definitely out-of-shape child who spent most of my time reading, doing housework, watching t.v. and daydreaming.

I used to dread the Presidential Fitness Test at school where we were required to do the mile run. I never ran it. I would jog for a little while and then walk the rest. In high school, my fitness improved a bit because I was in marching band and on the swim team (though I was pretty much the slowest person on a very slow team).

In college, I used to dream about getting fit. But for the most part, I would buy fitness magazines and read them in bed before I rolled over and took a nap. I really enjoyed walking around the city, though, and occasionally would get on a stairclimber or do a couple of sets on some weight machines.

My overall beliefs about my body were that I was flat-footed, uncoordinated, genetically ectomorphic, and basically unsuited to being an athlete, though I believed it was important to get some exercise for my health.

After I found 80-10-10, my belief in my own potential expanded quite a bit. I think watching a few seasons of Biggest Loser also changed my beliefs a bit as well. Heck, if people weighing 300-400 pounds can start running, what's my excuse?!? I began to harbor a secret desire to become a real runner. One who could run a mile continuously, or a 5K, or a marathon... Hey, if Oprah can do it, why not me?

But my initial attempts at running felt a bit awkward and difficult. I was feeling at my peak physically, having done several months of 80-10-10 and gotten to a very comfortable weight of 110 pounds. So why did running not feel good? My mother had admonished me that running was terrible for your joints and that I was sure to get injured because all runners do. I reflected that I did know tons and tons of runners who had all suffered injuries. I didn't want to believe her, but I put running on the backburner as something to try later when I had sorted things out for myself.

When I got introduced to the concept of barefoot running recently, suddenly things started to fall into place mentally for me. I no longer felt worried about whether I would get injured. I realized that the human body is meant to run, and if one runs in the way humans are designed to run, then it will be no problem. I planned that as soon as the weather was warm enough, I would start. I found this awesome article that gave me some invaluable tips on proper form.

And even though, I'm 40 pounds overweight, running felt a million times better than the first time I tried it. Unbelievable! Now, the only problem. After a mixture of walking and running on pavement and grass and over the inevitable sticks and small stones, the skin on my feet is a little sore. Perhaps I should take it a little slower and toughen up my feet a bit first. But my joints and muscles feel fine.