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“You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.”

– Cochise (“Like Ironweed”) Chiricahua Chief

I’m going to try to speak straight here and everywhere.  We can manipulate language in so many gratifying and harmful ways when we are fluent in it.  We can make the truth read/sound a thousand different ways.  Sunlight too, comes to us in unique and varying ways.  It can be just enough to warm us on a day between fall and winter.  It can beat down on us relentlessly with its burden of heat and sweat.  When words touch our hearts they feed us – our state of being.  They allow us to form opinions, to react emotionally, to prepare for great triumphs or damaging winds.  To render ourselves steadfast.  Cochise just asked that we talk straight.  We talk straight so that our words feed our hearts like sunlight.  So that there is fairness all around.

Summer has become that overbearing master once again.  Restricting us indoors.  The garden is out of control, though still producing well.  Peace from the summer sun is hard to find, and you become a worshipper of conveniences like air conditioning.  Deladis absolutely hates the summer sun, and though she wants to play outdoors, she cannot.  Her skin is really sensitive because of the eczema and she sweats which makes her itch.  Her face turns apple red, and then she starts to feel poorly.  Ivy is restless from being cooped up like the hen and diddles.  She takes an evening run through the living room and into the kitchen, slamming against the door and back again, like clockwork, everyday sometime after dinner.  We only have a wall unit a/c and a fan, and we don’t turn it on until about noon everyday, and turn it off again at night.  Our cabin is not extremely cool.  We try our best to acclimate for summer and winter.  We tend to freeze or burn up when we visit our family.  But, right now, indoors is the safer place for us.  This is the first summer since living at The Confluence that it has been this way.  Though I remember many summers like this.

The sun zaps my energy.  As a child I tried to play softball, and would end up vomitting on the field because the sun makes me sick.  I’m no different now.  It’s why I love the mountainside.  The shade.  The cool breezes.  The altitude.  What is harder on me this summer is that I’m not well.  I’ve been reluctant to post about it here.  I am a believer in what you put out into the world is what you will get back.  People tend to avoid those that don’t feel well… or pity them too much.  I’d rather not deal with either of those things.  Writing about it here is more about talking straight.  Writing about things being difficult, my patience being short, or my being tired all the time would be just complaints without being honest as to why.  I don’t want to complain.  And, I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself. 

John and I do without some things in order that the girls can have them, or that I can stay home and be the primary caregiver of the girls.  One of those things is health insurance.  So, I’ve put off seeing a doctor for a detailed workup of my health for sometime.  However, we’ve saved and worked it out so that now I can, and I am relieved.  I’ve been so angry at the fact that I should be healthier than I have ever been in my life.  My lifestyle, my diet, my physical activity are all joyful and healthy.  Yet, I feel awful many days.  I have horrible headaches that don’t go away, sometimes nagging for days.  I’m always tired.  It’s a challenge to keep up with my chores.  My moods are up and down.  I have stomach aches.  I’m dizzy…. etc…  The doctor says at this point she knows that it is my hormones and my glandular systems that are causing the trouble.  Nothing contagious.  Nothing that keeps me from doing my best.  Tomorrow, I go for a blood draw for something they are calling a whole panel.  This will give her a whole picture and then we’ll go from there. 

I’m excited at the thought of feeling better.  Of restoring my body to proper function.  Healing mind, body, and spirit.  Wholeness.  I know any improvement I experience comes from my Creator, and the journey is of most importance.  It is a way to grow.  It is to be accepted and worked on from a place of peace.  Being able to just go through the outward movements of going to the doctor, getting results, is allowing me to release the anger at the problem.  I’m hoping it will help me to be still as well.   

I suppose I’ll write some about it here because it will be my focus for sometime.  And, as the summer brings other exciting things I’ll have share some of those too.  Opportunities are everywhere right now.  I don’t know whether to chase them all or pick and choose. 🙂  The Creator will give me the work of my day upon the unfolding of it.

Introducing Little LuLu

Have I ever said that I prefer cats to dogs. This one is a darling.

I wrote yesterday a little bit about my finding my way to yoga.  I’ve been toying with yoga for about ten years.  I’ve never really had what I would call a “serious” practice in that time period.  That is if the criteria for “serious” is incorporating all eight limbs of yoga.  I practiced more as another variation on the word “exercise”.  The closest I ever came to really doing yoga was during my pregnancies with Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa and Shiva Rea DVDs along with some studio classes.  I was more about tuning in with my little beans than tuning in with God or my inner self at that time.

I really enjoyed the Gurmukh DVDs during my pregnancy, and when I realized that the type of exercise I was doing (high intensity aerobics) was exacerbating my health issues (thyroid, stress, and exhaustion), I started with her.  The type of yoga she teaches is called Kundalini yoga.  Kundalini yoga is the most ancient form of yoga and was introduced to the west by Yogi Bhajan in 1968.  Kundalini yoga suits me very well because while I need restorative exercise, I really like to exert myself.  Kundalini yoga allows for both.  It is appropriate for all people in all types of conditions and age ranges.

I’ve been exploring the different aspects of yoga and doing Kundalini and Vinyasa styles.  In my search for an authentic, traditional life, I place great emphasis on doing things the way they were meant to be done.  I have been researching the “real” way to practice yoga.  I have found that it stand aside from religion, and I have found it extremely helpful in reconnecting me with my own spirituality.  I’ve been using my yoga time as prayer time.  I am a Christian, and the original mantras work so well for me.  My favorite right now is Sat Nam – truth is my name.  It is such an uplifting thing to repeat as praise, a reminder, or a prayer.

I have bred in me an unrest.  I see impatience in many members of my family.  The impatience leads to worry and stress.  It has really affected my mothering.  I am so impatient with the girls.  For over a year now, I’ve been trying to beat this troublesome attribute with not much success.  Yoga is teaching me how to go about ridding myself of it.  Many of our problems come from alienating the various parts of ourselves.  We think of physical, mental, and spiritual parts of our being as different and often conflicting.  Yet, one part can’t work properly without the other.  We can’t know our full potential in this life without working to connect them all.  We can’t rely totally on ourselves either.  There is much more to life than us.

Gurmukh says something that I used as my mantra during my savasana time today.  “Let go and let God.”  As I heard John caring for our girls in the background, instead of wishing for peace and quiet, I embraced what was going on.  I let go of that impatience and I let God take care of me.  I can tell you right now, I was in much better hands.

* Update: I wish I could let it go everyday.  That will be a never ending goal.  Today has been a trial.

I am shifting my priorities once again as some things are becoming quite clear to me.  My first responsibility is to my family and my home.  That is all there is to it.  Always the needs there come first, and as my daughters are getting older I am needing to grow in some areas of my mothering – most importantly in discipline.  My work around our home needs to continue with added fervor.  As much as I have the grand desire to “be” a writer, I have to realize that I need to have patience with it, and make the time I spend pursuing my writing count.  I’ve wasted too much time in this area of my life, mainly on the computer.  I don’t like being on the computer much, so it’s no wonder that it makes me anxious much of the time I’m on it.  The truth is I “am” a writer whether or not I am spending eight hours a day writing or only two doing it.  As long as I am working toward something, progress will be made.

Yesterday, I harvested all the remaining scallions and carrots.  They were turning too ripe in the ground.  carrotsI scrubbed clean and topped all the carrots and washed and and chopped all the onions.  I ended up with 3 gallons of carrots and 3 pint bags of chives and a gallon of bulbs.  John is hoeing the area where these were planted as I type this, and we are going to put in some fall crops.  I have plenty of seed for the planting.

I also am putting away more cucumbers as pickles.

pickles2We ate some on our burgers last night.  They are so yummy!  Check out the newest post at Nourished Kitchen today to learn more about ferment canning and pickles.

With all the changes going on in my mind, and some regret, my thoughts are scattered over here and yonder.  I’m torn between little time and all the things I love because of this feeling of immediacy.  My children will only be small once.  My husband and I will only have this year together once.  I only have so much time to pursue all these dreams.  Time is so infinite and yet so finite as well.  I wonder if it is wrong of me to place so much value to what I do while a resident of earth.  It doesn’t matter in the end… does it?  I mean, as long as I leave the smallest of footprints, serve the God of my beliefs, and raise the next generation well.  Anything else is a side note.

Other than my family and my home, my next priority has to be to my health in both the physical and emotional aspects.  I have another doctor’s appointment coming up to re-check my thyroid.  I never thought I’d say I look forward to a doctor’s appointment, but I do.  I’m tired of not feeling normal.  In seeking health, have really developed a fondness for yoga more and more as the days pass.  It is a great form of combining the physical with the spiritual.  I feel like I am more open to hearing God, and I find myself seeking my Creator with a renewed enthusiasm.  Yoga is perfect for the busy mama in that in its true essence you are combining the physical, mental, and spiritual components of your body into union.  You are destressing, becoming fit, and praying all at the same time.  Yoga means “union”.

When my family is happy, my home comfortable, and I am at peace with myself and the life my God would have me to lead, then anything else I want to do in my life will have a stronger foundation.  It will grow from a place of confidence.  It won’t manifest out of some fear that if I don’t do it now that it will never happen.  The final product of anything I do in the creative realm will be better.

sunflowerGrowth is the ultimate goal… for all of us.

I’m going to get frank here a minute.  I’m a very private person, but when it comes to writing things down I experience a freedom of expression I get no where else.  I can be summed up in one word – introverted.  That’s me… I’m “in”.  I don’t start conversations in real life, or I at least I  have to work up the courage to do so and have a dang good reason, but there is something about the written word that lets me lay all my inner thoughts down unapologetically.  I’ll air my innermost business to those who read.  Whether that is a good thing or not, it is what I am about to do now.

There’s something wrong with me.  I should be utterly happy and joyful, but I’m not.  I am blessed with all my direct needs met and most of my wants right in front of me.  I asked for two children and I have them.  I have the greatest husband who is also my best friend.  I have been able to move home to my mountains to raise my children in a comfortable place where I feel at home.  My surroundings are glorious.  Waking each day to these hills and my yard cannot be replaced by anything else in this world.  Yet, in my day to day I find myself stressed, rage filled, and down.  I could be being hard on myself.  My people are known for that, but I think my feelings are needless and selfish.

I’m trying to find the source of my problem.  I know at least part of it is something is off with me hormonally.  My bloodwork points to thyroid troubles.  My spiritual life is lacking.  I’m motivated almost to an extreme.  My responsibilities are all ones that I want, but I can’t keep up.  I’m not sure how to help myself because to admit any kind of weakness is so against my character.  It would be a huge step for me.

My Responsibilities:

1. wife and mother of 2 under 4

2. housecleaning

3. cooking

4. tending the garden

5. tending the chickens

6. writing everyday (blogging/noveling or both)

7. exercise (5 days a week)

I look at that and think… That’s not much at all.  What am I?  Why can’t I get it done? I see my time with the girls being stifled, stress filled, and I’m unengaged.  My house is a wreck most of the time.  I keep up with kitchen duties and laundry.  The rest is not looking so good.  I love my outdoor chores.  I manage them.  They make me feel solitary, useful, and quiet.  I’d much rather do them than anything I do in the house.  I keep up well with this blog and I enjoy it.  Blogging is instant gratification for a writer when you can look and see how many people are reading what you wrote whether it is 1 or 80.  I want more writing time.  I want to be a successful writer.  I want to help my husband not to have to work so endlessly to provide us with the simplest things.  Then, the exercise.  I’m starting to admit to myself that I may not have the best relationship with physical activity.  Though if I were to post my schedule it would seem normal, I’m not reacting normally to it physically or emotionally.

I’m motivated all right.  No lack of that.  I lack in the capacity to be all things to myself and my family all the time.  Right now I’m doing a half job in a lot of things and a great job in nothing.  No one can expect of themselves more than they are capable of doing, or is it just that I’m not together enough to accomplish it all?  I think of my sister with a teenager, eight year old, and a toddler all at once, holding down a job, going to nursing school, and keeping a house, while providing a supper as a family every night.  She’s my hero.  But, as another mother wrote to me… that’s an invisible yardstick I’m measuring by.

In all of this desire, I am pushing back my spirituality.  I’m putting my wants first even before my own good.  I’m turning my choices into The Creator’s choices for me… or am I?  Maybe it is the timing thing.  I’m neglecting my spiritual life, but then adding formal spirituality adds another responsibility.  I should re-prioritize.

So, yes, I’m coo-coo for cocoa puffs.  It comes up every now and again.  I am looking more and more to what comes naturally for help.  First my God and the purpose for my life.  Then, the natural ebb and flow of things… food, work, raising children… How do I let things come and go freely in their own time and still accomplish things?  Is it okay to slow down, or is that being lazy?  I’ve got to find a happy medium.

The rhythm I tried, which was really a schedule, has went the way of the dodo.  I need a plan.  I need control of my emotions.  I need rest… I so need rest.

Continue reading this week to see how things can come full circle without great effort.  Sometimes the answers find their way to us whether we actively seek them or not. 😉

I know… corny title, but hey, I have a fog machine in my brain and it is good at pointing out the obvious and that’s about it right now.  I have two things to write about today and I can’t decide between the two, so I’m writing about both.

First, I have to share this website with you.  Why Don’t You Look Like a Fitness Model? I have been seriously thinking about what a naturally capable and fit woman’s body should look like since I wrote the post on A Woman’s Perfect Body and Paleo women.  I found this website and article via a discussion forum I frequent and was really amazed by what this woman wrote and the pictures she posted on the site.  The pictures are of a variety of women athletes who competed in the Olympics.  As she states, you’re at the top of your game physically if you are competing at that level.  Their bodies were as varied as fingerprints and all ranges of gorgeous.  I highly suggest reading the article and looking at the pictures.  It isn’t about trying to achieve the look of someone from a magazine, but the look that is right for you.  There are a lot of factors that go into that.

And now… da ta ta ta… I present to you a new work of art by a blossoming new talent in the world of painting… Deladis Rose.

paintingShe is so happy when her daddy lets her have a piece of water color paper and turns her loose.  She will sit for hours, so focused and poised.  I’m amazed at how involved in her work that she becomes.  I’m thankful for her having the gift of focus.  I can’t wait to see what she does with that.  I’m a proud mama.

painter

I love wearing a size 10 shoe.  I love being a large framed woman no matter how much weight I’m carrying.  I love my large hands and my strong, thick legs.  I enjoy being tall, being able to jump high, and run 3 miles through the woods.  I’m glad I can work in the garden all day without it being a strain.  I can have a day of hiking with Ivy on my back and enjoy the physicality of it.  I feel best when I am strong and fit.

I was part of a larger conversation on the topic of how far should a person, in this case – a woman, take physical fitness.  How thin should we be?  How muscular?  Should we restrict and/or enhance our diet to attain results?

I take a natural approach to life in general.  I believe that we were equipped by nature to live the healthiest possible life.  In so many ways, our culture equates a pencil thin body with beauty and often health.  As females, we are exposed to the images of very thin women from a very young age and told by the media and those around us that they are beautiful.  So many of us disregard health to attain this thin beauty.  Healthy is beautiful however, so, the question we should be asking is what is the natural, healthy state of a woman’s body.  A body that isn’t interfered with through processed, sugary foods,  fad diets, or plastic surgery.  A body that is physically capable of survival and has optimal nutrition.

These questions made me ask what were the bodies of our ancestors like?  Not the women of Renaissance paintings or the old photographs in family albums (though there is a lot to learn there too), but the women who had to struggle and work with their physical bodies for mere survival.  I did a little research into the life of Paleolithic women to find out about their general health and physical capabilities.  These women were living in a era of human history before farming and keeping livestock.  They lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.  There is even a current school of thought on eating based on this lifestyle.

Paleolithic Woman

Human population density was very low, around only one person per square mile.[6] This was most likely due to low body fat, infanticide, women regularly engaging in intense endurance exercise,[21] late weaning of infants and a nomadic lifestyle.

Overall, they experienced less famine and malnutrition than the Neolithic farming tribes that followed them.

It is also unlikely that Paleolithic hunter-gatherers were affected by modern diseases of affluence such as Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, because they ate mostly lean meats and plants and frequently engaged in intense physical activity.

– info from Wikipedia

The Paleolithic woman lived to be about 30 years of age.

– info from Longevity/Health in Ancient Paleolithic vs. Neolithic Peoples

So, from this I can gather that life was extremely difficult for them.  The average lifespan was age thirty.  I am now thirty and I feel like I’m just getting started. 🙂   However, they weren’t malnourished often, nor did they go without food in a famine type situation.  They were capable of long periods of intense activity, but the info from Wikipedia is contradictory.  The intense exercise kept them from diseases that plague modern culture,  but it is also a reason they may have not lived as long.  Are we to assume great physical stress from exercise, or accidents because of the physical activity is what took their lives?

Their low body fat could also have been a contributing factor in the short lives of the women.  These women were carrying children and breastfeeding them.  Our bodies need stores of fat to do these things, otherwise it will pull nutrients from wherever it can find them – like our bones, muscles, and tissues.  In a sense our body will digest itself.  They were nursing children for extended periods of time, likely until the children could contribute to the hunting and gathering of food.  This was probably very taxing on a woman’s body that had little body fat and also experienced intense periods of needing physical stamina.  So, my conclusion is that low levels of body fat is not healthy for a woman’s body.  We can take long distance runners, gymnasts, and some dancers who train to the point of very low body fat and in turn experience an absence of menses as an example.  Though we may be elated by a missed period here and there, it is not a healthy thing for a prolonged time, and it is a sign of the body’s lack of what it needs to function properly.

The articles also mentioned that these women had more leisure time and were treated better by males than women in farming cultures.  They had less children (probably due to lack of menstruation).

My conclusion from all of this is that a woman’s perfect body lies somewhere between Paleolithic women and those voluptuous Renaissance beauties I mentioned before.  I will take pride in having curves.  I will strive to be strong and able bodied.  I will push my limitations of physical endurance (within reason).  I will enjoy my health not because the number on the scale reads as some BMI chart says it should, but because I know my diet and my physical body are in the best possible condition they can be in my current situation.  I will take pride that my body carried two beautiful babies and has allowed me to continually nurse them for going on 4 years.  It allowed me to nurse one daughter through the pregnancy of the other, and still grow an eleven pound infant.  I will be happy that I have been able to educate myself about what I am eating and what I am feeding my family.  I will maintain physical health as a means to mental and spiritual health.

I am raising two daughters.  I have a choice to pass on a heritage of looking in the mirror and being disappointed, or re-naming that heritage.  I can equip them with the ability to make educated choices about how they choose to treat their bodies.  Show them the beauty in the varied and unique forms that a healthy woman’s body can take.  I can show by example that it isn’t about striving to be magazine “perfect”, but happy and well taken care of.  It is my job to help them be secure in their bodies the best way I can.

For my workout on Friday, I decided to walk the hill trail where we drove the Samurai to look for morels the day before.  I planned to walk the entire trail we took in about 45 minutes.  Mother was going to watch my girls.  It would be time in peaceful quiet.  Like a Simon and Garfunkel song.

I started out, up Dry Fork, made it to the end of the paved road, and started on the dirt path.  The sun gave perfect light.  I noticed a feeling of freedom coming over me.  Without Ivy Pearl on my back, I felt airy.

I passed an old cabin where many families were raised.  I’d love to have a place like it of our own.  Something to hand down to the girls, or our grandchildren.  An asset.  The land up in there is triumphant.  A masterpiece of the Creator.  I’m hoping a little piece of what is to come.

A small white dog comes out of the trees toward me with a scowl.  I slow down a bit, but let him know I’m not scared.  He runs passed.  I, then, notice a female Doberman with heavy teats.  I wonder what such a dog would be doing back in the woods when I hear her puppies’ various grunts and squeals.  I start up one of the steepest inclines I’ve ever hiked.

My legs sting with the effort, but I push myself onward.  I make it to the top without stopping.  I walk a few feet to catch my breath, then my heart told my legs to run.  It had been years since I’ve ran.  I believe I was twenty-two the last time.  With my crooked spine, I’m not supposed to run, but I had to.  I used to run cross country in high school.  I loved running through the woods, and I loved it now.  There was always something that attracted me to the primitiveness of the sport.  The loneliness.  I like accomplishing something without a team.

I saw ancient moss covered boulders placed on ledges maybe by an earthquake, shifting tectonic plates, or when Kentucky was covered by the ocean.  I saw again the flowers.  More beautiful than anything cultivated.  My breath fell to a rhythm of two breaths in and two breaths out.  I did not grow tired.

I ran the entire way back to mother’s.  When I came off the mountain and hit the pavement of Dry Fork, a heaviness filled my lungs and threatened to slow my legs.  I passed houses and trailers.  People sitting on porch swings, working in gardens, watching their children play.  The real world seeped back into my soul like a change of life sped up.  When I got back to mom’s, I did some stretching, and with a smile entered the house refreshed.

It is a priority of mine to get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 5 days a week.  It is my way of keeping myself fit no matter how much weight I’m carrying.  Exercise is a sure fire way for me to fight depression as well.  I have heard that is true for many people.  I’ve been someone who has exercised or been an athlete my whole life.  Since having kids, it has had to involve a bit more invention and planning.  The following are my suggestions on how to get exercise in when being the primary caregiver of small children.

  • For those with infants and small toddlers, purchase a mei-tai carrier.  I have mentioned where to find them in other posts.  This will allow you to at least walk or hike with your child in tow.  It is also good for increasing your fitness level because as the baby grows (weighs more) it provides more of a challenge as you will have the need.
  • Check out Spark People on YouTube.  There are several cardio exercises that last no more than 10 minutes each.  There are also strength training and toning exercises.  Do these either as interval work, or when you need a quick workout.  Keep in mind it is okay to break up your exercise time.  It is still beneficial.
  • Buy some Parent and Baby exercise DVDs.  There are two made by Parents Magazine that are excellent.  One is for Babies and one is for Toddlers/Preschoolers.  I also have really enjoyed Dance Baby Dance by Infantastic.  I don’t believe they are in business anymore, but you can still find the DVDs on Ebay.  Gurmukh Khalsa has a great postnatal yoga DVD as well.  My girls have enjoyed all of these DVDs.  Not only am I exercising, but I get some quality play in with them as well.
  • Ask your partner, friend or relative for help.  Making exercise a priority may also mean you need to ask someone else to entertain or watch after the children while you exercise.  My husband watches the girls once a week so I can do the 1 1/2 hours of Ultimate Taebo.

Mostly, I exercise while my girls are awake.  I have other things (like writing) to do while they are sleeping.  This is the way I get it done.  I don’t belong to a gym with childcare.  That is not in our budget.  I may never have a Madonna body, but that’s fine.  I get the results I want from my way of working out at home.  I am fit cardiovascularly, and I’m taking it up a notch with some strength training.  I am working on my first week of the 100 Push-Up Program.  I’ll report back on what that does for me.

*Now, I’m off to the fair city of Pikeville for Hillbilly Days.  Please check back in Monday to see my documentation of the festivities and our involvement in them.  It’s sure to be a hoot of a time.

I ate the best vegetarian Hoppin’ John at a restaurant in Lexington, KY called Alfalfa’s.  I went home and tried to make the Hoppin’ John off of taste alone.  It turned out pretty good.  I’ve made it over the years and have since added hamburger meat to it as I am not vegetarian anymore.  I have served it with cornbread in times of lots of company, and I have made it when we needed something cheap, fresh, and lively.  I hope you all enjoy it.

East KY Style Hoppin’ John

  • 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small sweet onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups soaked and prepared black eyed peas (if vegetarian omit hamburger and use 3 cups prepared peas)
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro chopped
  • 2 limes
  • Enough soaked and prepared brown rice for 4 servings (basmati rice also works really well and adds more flavor)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 lb. hamburger meat
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • grated Parmesan cheese or sharp cheddar to use as topping
  • salt and pepper
  1. Soak and prepare both the brown rice (with butter and salt) and black eyed peas.
  2. In a large heavy skillet or wok saute minced garlic in the olive oil.  Add hamburger meat and cook through until brown and crumbly.
  3. Add the chopped green bell pepper and onion.  Continue to cook until just tender.
  4. Add juice of one lime and cilantro.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add black eyed peas and diced tomatoes.  Cook on medium heat until very warm.
  6. Serve the meat, pea, and veggie mixture on top of a bed of the brown rice.  Top with cheese to taste.
  7. Enjoy!  Goes really good with cornbread.

If you make it, let me know how you like it.  It is one of my favorite meals in any season.

Some of my favorite food blogs and places to get recipes:

I hope everyone has enjoyed this little discussion on food.  It’s got me thinking quite a bit.  I’ll end this “topic of the week” over the next two days with a blog on exercising with children, and one on eating away from home.  Please, feel free to share whatever is on your mind whether it’s a recipe, ideas, experiences, advice, failures, or successes.  I’d love to hear from you.

I have been looking into traditional foodways for nearly 2 years.  It was only a week ago that I became enraged at what the food and diet industry has fed to us as sound healthy information.  It was when I got a stack of size 10 jeans and pants and they were all too big that I realized I had been played.  Size 10 was the smallest I had ever been in my life.  I starved to get there.  I exercised way too much.  But now, having never felt hungry, having eaten 3 meals a day consistently, and exercised as being a mother of 2 permits me, I not only had to put back the size 10, but also the size 8.  I was shocked and had to triple check what I was seeing.  I didn’t understand how it could be.  It shouldn’t have been possible that without what I would have called a weight loss program I had lost enough to fit into a size 6.

That is when I got mad.  I got mad that I had been jerked around.  That my parents were led to believe that soda, Oreos, and Little Debbie’s were appropriate snacks.  That without cleaning my plate I wasn’t eating enough to grow strong.  That because I was a big baby and was a lazy nurser, I needed to be bottle fed.  That as early as age 12 I was dieting, or depriving myself of food to lose weight.  That I had been up and down and up and down ever since.

I got angry that somehow my “ideal” weight was always just under what I was able to achieve.  I got angry that chemicals such as monosodium glutamate was allowed into our food and called a spice.  I was terribly angry about the high fructose corn syrup is okay in moderation commercials when every box I picked up, no matter what food group, contained it as an ingredient.

I am angry that food has become something that isn’t taken care of on the local level.  That we are made to feel we don’t have time to cook from scratch.  That a mother can’t work (or father for that matter) and also prepare wholesome meals for their family.

But, as I got to thinking about all this angry stuff, I realized that the food and diet industry are telling you how to eat a standard American diet and be pseudo-healthy.  You’ll still probably need your cholesterol and heart medications.  Hopefully, you’ll be able to control your diabetes with diet and/or a pill.  Make sure to include plenty of Splenda.  It’s made from sugar and absolutely fine for you.  They are telling us how to get by and still give them our hard earned dollars.

It makes me angry.  I’d like to have a conversation about how you too view the food and diet industry.  What flaws do you see?  What is good?  What is the future of food and diet in the United States?  I’d like to hear from all people… vegan, vegetarian, fast food lovers, meat and potatoes folks, junk food eaters, those who eat the SAD (standard American diet).  Tell about your story in food.  Let’s talk and then decide what we are going to change in our lives for the sake of our health and our family’s.  I believe it’s all an individual thing.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

December 2021
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