Tuesday, September 2, 2014

flowers and food


Just one clump of flowers survived the bank-clearing operation.

I pointed out the young leaves to the man with the brushcutter, and asked him to cut around them. He nodded. Then as he got closer to them, I pointed out the leaves again. He looked at them closely. I agreed that yes, it would be very easy to confuse these plants with the wretched bittersweet growing right next to and all around it, but that it was very important to try. He did a good job, and the buds are becoming blossoms. I am so happy to see them!

And I'm not the only one.

I don't know the name of this flower, but it was growing here when I bought the place.
It has thrived and spread and made me happy every year since.
I was thrilled to see a few stems bravely poking up this Spring!
It would have been very sad if it had been completely lost to the snowplow.

Soon the survivors should be moved a bit farther from the driveway.
Maybe sometime this Autumn? 
If anyone knows what the plant is, and if digging it up is a good idea,
please speak up in the comments!
I'd appreciate it very much.

Coconut custard pie, hot from the oven...
this is what happens when I think about not eating sugar.

Earlier this evening I started writing a wandering ponder about food and health issues, and a couple of dietary programs I've been reading about. And I was hoping for your input, because I'm not sure I should (or could) do a strict elimination diet. But in the process of all that meandering, at one point I suddenly lost the entire page (hello again, new laptop!) and only later discovered that I has accidentally published it. So if anyone saw the page of fragmented goobledy-gook, I apologize for that frightening glimpse into the way my mind works. 

And now I'm starting over, with less meandering.

Briefly: I'm considering doing the "Whole30" program, which is a 30-day elimination and "whole food" diet, to see if changing the way I eat may help with some chronic pain issues. It's kind of a tough program, in the sense that I already have a simple diet, yet Whole30 eliminates a great deal of what I eat. Which I suppose is the point.

Whole30 was created by the authors of the book It Starts With Food, but there is no pressure to buy their book; the Whole30 program and online resources are free. It is set up to guide people along the 30-day process, and there is a forum where people post recipes and so on.

I can already see that following the diet would mean spending a LOT more time thinking about food, every day. Also, making at least a couple of trips to the "real" grocery store, an hour away. And getting in the kitchen and cooking daily instead of when I feel like cooking. And so on.

For the first time in my life, I can really understand the lure of healthfood/spa-type places, where people go to deliberately relinquish control of their own decisions. Because if all I had to do was wait for some lovely person to bring me platters of "compliant" food, I'd eat it and be (probably) pretty happy. Confession (although no surprise to those of you who have read some of my "recipe" posts): I am so lazy when it comes to food. I like to cook when I feel like cooking. I like to eat when I'm hungry. And I eat mostly good things, and mostly organic: vegetables, homemade kefir, juices, homegrown eggs, etc. I don't eat a lot of sweets or "junk" food...unless I start thinking about it. For example, a few weeks ago I had an encouraging conversation with some friends on ravelry who have had great success lowering their arthritis pain levels by totally eliminating sugar from their diets. And at that time I said, "I don't use much sugar, but maybe I should try eliminating it completely."

And whammo. I have been craving sweets ever since.

So...I'm a bit anxious about what might happen if I suddenly eliminate, among other things, all sugars, all shelled legumes, all grains, and - gulp - all dairy.

On the other hand, I feel like an awfully whiny and entitled wimp to even think how "hard" it would be to eat "only" the things on the very extensive and healthy-sounding list of acceptable foods.

But...one of the most rigorous eat-for-health people I know (also one of the fittest and happiest for all the years I've known her) told me she had done a strict elimination diet years ago. "It was really hard," she said. Then she frowned and shook her head. "It was really, really hard. Whew."

So...I feel that I'd be foolish not to explore this avenue, but I also feel some trepidation about it. If any of my lovely readers has experience, pro or con, with an elimination diet, I would love to hear about it!