Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Monday, May 28, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
I had a full day with gardening, grocery shopping, dumpster diving, and a meeting/ work time at the community garden. And of course, I watched the season finale of LOST!
Today's dumpster haul was unbelievable at first glance--at least 25 quarts of strawberries, 20 packages of mushrooms (that looked perfect, not brown at all), 3 2-lb packages of grapes, 6 4-packs of D 'Anjou pears, 9 lbs. of apples, a small box full of limes and lemons, a bunch of celery, and one lonely package of Roma tomatoes. Of course, after my husband picked through the strawberries and grapes and took out all of the moldy ones, the size was reduced by over half. We gave away the mushrooms and spread the fruit wealth a bit among our friends (but not too much--we gotta eat!)
I then went inside Aldi and spent $38 on 3 large seedless watermelons, bananas, cucumbers, multicolored peppers, more apples, grape tomatoes, a couple of pounds of romaine (still haven't harvested any of my own lettuce), a package of frozen raspberries, and a can of chicken breast for the cat.
As we checked out, the cashier joked with us about how we are "her produce family." "Who eats all of these bananas?" she asked the girls. Of course, they were too shy to answer.
In June, I would like to accurately record how much we spend on food and how much it would cost us factoring in the price of the food we get for free out of the dumpster. Will I get that organized? We shall see.
8 a.m. One medium cantaloupe
9:30 a.m. 1/2 C. fresh pineapple (left from the kids' breakfast and I couldn't resist)
Noon About 2 C. red grapes
1-ish: some lamb's quarters while I was weeding in the garden
1:30 A blender soup made with a large cucumber, some red and yellow pepper, 3 roma tomatoes, a couple of stalks of celery, the juice of one lemon, and my typical mixture of onion powder, Italian seasoning, and salt
6:30 p.m. (on the run between the meeting and the work time at the garden) A green smoothie made with romaine, 3 small bananas, and 12 oz. thawed raspberries
10 p.m. A romaine salad w/ a blended salad dressing of cucumber, roma tomatoes, celery, lime juice and my typical mexican seasoning mixture of onion powder, cumin, and a dash of salt with the unusual addition of sundried tomatoes and cayenne pepper
Total: 1220 calories
Now don't even think it... Why is Greenmama eating a big salad with cayenne at 10 p.m.?!? An excellent question my friends.
Well, I'm worn out, so off to bed I go.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Photo Courtesy of www.agrohaitai.com
Where have I been? Well, I've been job training, gardening, mushroom hunting (no luck), playing with my friends, attending my daughter's preschool graduation, selling at the Farmer's Market (I made $8) and of course, loving my kids, dumpster diving, cleaning my house, and other routine stuff. I planted some really cool stuff--unusual heirloom tomatoes and red okra, among other things.
I have to report that we finally had some good luck this weekend! We got a washing machine off of Freecycle. Ours broke a month ago and it was going to cost more to repair it than it would for a new one. We couldn't afford either. But thanks to a wonderful Freecycler, we're back in the laundry business.
And, even more lucky, I got a free toilet. The same week that our washer broke, our upstairs toilet tank cracked at 3 a.m., scaring the heck out of us and spilling gallons of water on the floor. We hadn't replaced it, again, because of funds. I was driving along and saw a toilet on the side of the road with a cardboard sign that said,
"FREE. WORKS GOOD. REMODELED."
I assume they meant they replaced this toilet because they remodeled, not that the toilet was remodeled. How would you remodel a toilet? :)
I have been firmly following my raw fruit and greens regime. I have rid the house of temptations like nuts and raisins and tahini, so it is easier to stick to. I have had cravings for bean burritoes lately. I really need to up the calories a bit because of my active life, but there's not much great fruit right now and not much money... Can't wait to start eating more out of the garden. I can harvest my Four Seasons lettuce this week!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
When I got there, they had about a dozen mangoes on the display. No cases. It took me awhile to track someone down, and they had no idea about the case sale. They showed me a circular that had the 2 for 79 cents sale price, but not the case price. Of course, I hadn't brought my circular with me. So, I bought 4 mangos, a large seedless watermelon, 3 red pears, and 5 lbs. of Red Delicious apples (also on sale) for $15.
Then we headed for Aldi. I took a quick peek in the dumpster and got a cantaloupe. There was a huge pile of white bread, hotdog and hamburger buns. Well, that was real garbage anyway... so I left it. In Aldi, we purchased 2 lbs. of red grapes, 3 cucumbers, a 3-pack of peppers, 3 lbs. of Gala apples, and about 20 lbs. of bananas for $13.
(My husband had to run an errand and he took the sales flier advertising the mango price back to the store. They issued him a raincheck... Something to look forward to!)
After our shopping, we headed to our garden at our friend's farm. Look how tiny my girls look in the picture and it will give you a hint of just how big this garden is. About 15 times bigger than I've ever planted before. The red stuff in the foreground amongst the weeds is our Four Seasons Lettuce. Some for us, some for the Farmer's Market... if I get it weeded.
The girls helped me plant peppers and 5 kinds of tomatoes.
Today's eating included:
Cantaloupe, red grapes, bananas, a smoothie with mixed berries and bananas, mango, and a big salad with romaine, cucumber, tomato, red and yellow pepper, sprouts (French Garden mix), and a little shredded carrot. Oh, and some raisins while watching LOST!
Now, I'm up TOO LATE. I have a big day tomorrow with all-day training for my new job.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
- I have lost 6 pounds, which I attribute to water weight from a decline in salt consumption, since my body fat percentage is still about the same.
- In the beginning, I did experience some detox symptoms, such as mild headaches, acidic nasal drainage, sore throat, etc. But those passed fairly quickly.
- My bowel symptoms such as bloating, gas, and constipation go away, as long as I don't eat lots of nuts, dried fruit or dehydrated foods. When I eat those things, however, I am very uncomfortable.
- I don't crave cooked food, salt, or sugar. However, I don't like watching food commercials on t.v., because I have a combination of revulsion and attraction, almost like the feeling you get when you pass a fatal car accident on the road.
- My normally sharp sense of smell is even sharper. My friend came over with gum in her mouth and the smell almost bowled me over. Very chemically!
- My skin is clearer and seems to have a glow about it.
- I am anxious about other's reaction to my diet. I feel fearful about people's views about my parenting skills. I am also anxious about being able to afford good quality fruit.
- I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster, going from ecstasy and joyfulness to frustration and depression.
Monday, May 14, 2007
We were all visiting my in-laws on Mother's Day and were enjoying each other's company. We talked about gardening and all of the exploits of the various young children in the extended family. At one point, we had been commiserating about a relative who is a bit wacky (or maybe cranky is a better word) and is in the process of going blind and losing her mobility as a result of diabetes and obesity.
My son came into the room and did something in such a grown up way, that I was just so enamored of him at that moment. He has grown up so much physically as well. I reached over and tousled his hair and said, "What a good-lookin' young man. He's growing up so fast."
"He's too skinny!" my mother-in-law shot back. "He's a healthy weight," I responded. And the matter was dropped. But this isn't the first time she's made such a comment. It is really upsetting, because she truly does not respect me as a parent. The earlier discussion of the chronic suffering of our diabetic relative--doesn't she make the connection between a healthy weight and long-term health?
Later I looked up my son's height and weight at
and received this report:
A 7 year and 7 months old (male) child who is 50 pounds and is 4 feet tall has a body mass index of 15.3,
which is at the 40th percentile,
and would indicate that your child is at a healthy weight.
This doesn't even take into account the problems with the BMI chart and the height and weight percentiles being based on a population of unhealthy and overweight children.
The second experience tonight came when my friend (who is my mother's age) confronted me about our new diet style. She was quite worried that I am starving my children. She was highly concerned that a diet primarily consisting of fruit would cause them to stop growing and not develop healthy brains. She kept saying, "No grains?"
I let her try a cracker made with sprouted grains and flax that I had in my car... which in a way was dishonest, since I am coming to believe that indeed, the best diet for my children does NOT include grains.
When my children were last there about a week ago, they went inside her home to visit while my husband and I were doing some gardening. When I went to retrieve them, I found her feeding them large quantities of rice, beans, eggs, and bread. I didn't say anything. But she used this as evidence that they weren't getting enough to eat. I explained that they have healthy appetites, are very active, and eat large quantities of food all day. (I didn't mention that she uses a lot of salt in her food or bring up words like excito-toxins). The conversation ended with her seeming to accept what I was saying, with reservation and she did apologize for "scolding me." But I left with a sick, fearful feeling in my stomach. Would my friend turn me in to the authorities?
Part of my fear comes from inside. What if my kids aren't getting what they need? Recently, I have become aware that they need to eat much more sweet fruit than I realized. I didn't know that they needed more bananas and mangoes than apples and oranges. My oldest does not like melon or bananas very much and will not eat mangoes at all. He eats a lot of apples, which are his favorite. My daughters are actually a bit overweight and are less picky, so I worry less about them. And of course, the toddler is still nursing quite a bit.
All of you out there, you lovely blog readers, reassure me! Does anyone have wisdom or resources to share?
For Mother's Day, my husband bought me The Vein of Gold: A Journey to Your Creative Heart by Julia Cameron, the author of the Artist's Way. I am ashamed to say that I own the Artist's Way and have not yet read it.
I am absolutely enthused about embarking on a Journey to my creative self! I have felt paralyzed for too long.
Here is an inspiring quote from the introduction:
"This is a book of deep, thorough creative healing--and the tools are creative ones. It is the use of creativitiy which heals the creative wound...Our adult self merely "understands" a wound. Our creative artist, that inner creative child, must actually heal it." Julia Cameron
Wow! I feel like my spiritual and creative awakening will be a perfect compliment to the rejuvenation of my physical and emotional selves. I am ready for WHOLE HEALTH!
Sunday, May 13, 2007
I love you because
1) You make my lunch sometimes
2) You make our dinner
3) You made me inside your body
4) You help me be helthy
5) You let us run arond the neaborhood.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Monday, May 7, 2007
"For me personally, there is only one issue worldwide. It is not the war. It is not the economy, or all of these other political distractions. It’s the environment. We are still lucky; we’re young enough to have experienced pristine environments. But if things keep going how they are going, in 300 years our descendents will have never experienced a pristine environment. We can’t allow that to happen. We have all of the technology. We have all of the solutions. There is no problem we have in this world today where there is not a solution. If we implement those solutions, each individually in our own daily lives — just in America — we would transform the planet immediately — instantaneously. It is totally within our power. It basically comes down to “hey, let’s eat organic. Let’s eat more raw food. Let’s grow more of our own food. Let’s have more fun.” That right there will lead to paradise on earth."
Me and ma' baby workin' in the community garden this morning. My 5 year-old took this picture. On the right, you can just barely make out my raised bed. Nothing sprouting yet, so you'll have to wait to see what grows.
Notice the hoe in my hand and my lack of gardening gloves. This is a bad combination, as I now have two blisters. They didn't feel so nice when I was juicing lemons and limes to make dinner tonight.
I got in lots of walking today and enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather.
8:30 a.m. About a pound of grapes
Noon A whole bunch of Greenmama's Green Crackers (too many!), 2 plum tomatoes, 1 C. defrosted mangoes
3 p.m. A few slices of red pepper, a cup or so of grapes, a Bartlett pear
6 p.m. A big salad of romaine, green sprouts, red pepper, and chopped tomato with pureed mango and lime juice, some more crackers and Essene bread dipped in guacamole, some asparagus and a little more guacamole
I meant to just eat the salad and feed the guac to everyone else, but...
Sunday, May 6, 2007
Some folks decry the use of "transitional foods" because it's argued that you have to DEAL with your food addictions and emotional eating, rather than simply transferring those habits to a different sort of food.
Yes, yes, yes, I say. I am ready. Intellectually, totally there. Today, my husband gave me a thousand reasons why he couldn't possibly live without corn on the cob or chocolate. (To which I said, then don't live without it... nobody's trying to make you do anything!) But my thought is, what exactly do these foods mean to us? If I eat something that hurts my body and yet I am emotionally attached to that food, what does that mean? Is food really my friend? My lover?
Millions (maybe billions) of people survive on a diet primarily made up of a few simple foods. Are they unhappy because of it? Aren't there hundreds of delicious foods that I love and make me feel great while making me healthy. Of course!
The problem, of course, is transition.
When I hear the word transition, I automatically think of childbirth. Transition is the stage of childbirth in which the cervix finishes dilating. It is the most intense part of childbirth (at least for women who have not been given drugs). Contractions are intense and come one after another with little rest. Intense surges of hormones often cause women to feel drugged or sleepy during this stage. Emotionally, this stage of labor is when most women will experience self-doubt. They will often say things like, "I can't do this." or "I can't be a mother." or "Make this stop." Fortunately, this stage is usually the shortest stage of labor and is soon followed by the empowering pushing stage and the birth of the baby.
Transition is a rite of passage. It prepares a woman for the dark side of parenting, for the crises of faith that can occur and be overcome. A woman who has seen the depths of despair and come through it to the ecstasy of birth is one powerful mama!
So perhaps I can't skip transition as I change my life either. Perhaps I have to face all of the doubt and pain and beat it back before I birth the wonderful new me.
Yesterday was DAY 7 of my all-raw adventure!
Here's what I ate
10 a.m. 1 C. buckwheat sprouts, 1/2 C. mixed berries, 1/2 oz. raisins soaked, 1 sliced banana
From about noon through 4 p.m., I ate a pound of grapes
5 p.m. 1 1/2 C. thawed mango, 6 oz. cashews
6:30 Salad w/3 C. romaine, some chopped red and yellow pepper, shredded carrot and a dressing made of avocado, celery, cucumber, a splash of apple cider vinegar and a dash of sea salt
While cleaning up from dinner, I had a handful of leftover sweetpotato chips.
2,480 calories. Whoa.
So, the question is WHY THE CASHEW BINGE?
I was absorbing my husband's distress yesterday. I need to let go that bad habit. I need to allow him to have his moods (lord knows he puts up with mine) without internalizing them.
I also think that the buckwheat sprouts didn't sit well with me, as I had some loose uncomfortable stools in the afternoon.
Friday, May 4, 2007
Thursday, May 3, 2007
My son woke up in the middle of the night and threw up everywhere. This morning, he got up later than usual and complained of a headache. So, he had his first sick day of the year. Actually, he was fine once he drank some water, laid around for about an hour and ate some fruit. I should have known he was just dehydrated from the vomitting. But it was probably better that he rested instead of going to school.
I lazed around a bit online in the morning, talked to one of my sisters (her birthday!) on the phone, and then got motivated and did some more cupboard cleaning in the kitchen. I got together 3 huge boxes of stuff to give away to various friends. It feels so great to "detox" my kitchen.
I ate a whole cantaloupe around 9 a.m. Mmm, juicy and good. I'm glad I waited until it was really ripe.
At 11:00, I sampled some of my sweetpotato chips that I spent so long on last night. Well, when the hours that it took to make them is factored in, the verdict is... not worth it! I had trouble getting the chili ones to be coated the right amount with chili powder. I tried dipping them in the lime juice and olive oil and then dipping them in dry powder, but that resulted in way too much powder caked on. Then I tried sprinkling the powder on the wet chip, but that resulted in uneven coverage. I got irritated and dumped the powder into the lime juice and olive oil, but that was a mistake, too. I need one of those shaker thingies that people use to put powdered sugar on their French toast. Or I just need to give up making complicated food. LOL!
Anyway, the plain lime chips were better than the chili ones, although they were a bit too sour. Perhaps diluting the lime juice would have been better.
At around 1:30, I had about 2 cups of romaine, with a few small stalks of chopped celery and 12 ounces of thawed raspberries.
We headed to my friend's house to give her some of our pantry excess. The kids romped in the backyard while we sat in the sun and chatted. I enjoyed the time, but was feeling a bit lethargic and generally down.
After running to drop off more stuff at another friend's house, we headed home around 5 p.m. I threw together some cooked food and started a salad for the family, but was depressed about what I could possibly eat. Also, I was beginning to feel time-crunched. I really wanted to plant more out at the farm before it rains tomorrow.
My husband reminded me that he actually gets paid Thursday night, not Friday, so I ran to Aldi and spent $70 on fruit and veggies. Woohoo.
I then sped out to my friends' farm while eating my dinner--3 apples and way too many raisins and soaked walnuts. My mood instantly improved, though.
I planted lots of lettuce and all of my cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts for the spring. It was dark when I finished and I know my rows are going to be quite crooked. My friends' gave me some of their asparagus harvest, which I sampled on the way home. Mmmmm! Nothing like really fresh raw asparagus.
Now, I'm really headed to bed as I am utterly exhausted!
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
I was desperate to get some planting done at my big garden out at my friends' farm, so I picked my son up from school and we all headed out there. I brought a huge container of grape tomatoes and a quart of soaked, dehydrated walnuts since I knew the kids would complain of hunger if I didn't have food along. We also brought our brand new library books to read. Unfortunately, they polished off the food and read the books in record time. Bored, they began to systematically demolish the inside of my car. Well, o.k., that's an exaggeration. My car is a glorified compost heap with a failing muffler, leaks in the windows and dashboard, a broken side mirror, an engine badly in need of a tune-up, one working radio speaker, and a great big pile of junk in the back (it's an '85 Celebrity Wagon). So, there isn't much more damage that can be done to it. But they dumped out seed packets, spilled water bottles and walnuts, tore some paper into little confetti bits, turned on the windshield wipers to squeak horribly, adjusted all the speaker levels, moved all of the mirrors out of whack and generally created havoc.
We had to make two bathroom trips and take one extended nursing break and they pretty much whined and complained nonstop, so after less than two hours, I had had it! At least I got 48 square feet more of lettuce planted. I hate wasting the gas and the trip out there, though.
We tried to dumpster dive again at Aldi on the way home...man, we need fruit!...but an employee was out back taking a smoke break, so we were out of luck.
For dinner, I had about 4 cups of romaine, a stalk of celery, 1/2 C. grated carrot, 1/3 C. broccoli sprouts, and more of that creamy nut dressing.
Tonight I started making some dehydrator sweet potato chips marinated in lime and olive oil. To one batch, I also added chili powder and sea salt. I am interested to see how they turn out. I know they probably aren't the greatest--basically raw junk food. But I can't let those sweet potatoes go to waste.
Now it is almost 1 a.m., definitely too late for me to be up! I have to volunteer all day tomorrow at my son's school, so I should be in bed.
We are running alarmingly low on fruit. Sigh. No money until Friday, and after we pay the bills, not much left then, either. At least there's celery...
Wednesdays are the day that we go to preschool storytime at the library after dropping my son off at school, so I knew I better eat something before I left or I'd be ready to gnaw someone's head off before we got back at 11 a.m. So I sliced up 2 Bartlett pears before we left the house at 8:15. Unfortunately (for me anyway), I only got to eat one, since all of the kids begged for some.
We walked to the school and then headed downtown toward the library. I was watching a neighbor's son while she got a tooth pulled and he kept complaining about how far it was (not used to walking and he had his healthy breakfast of a PopTart). Then my daughter had to go to the bathroom. So we had to stop at a local business to use the bathroom. I had some fliers to post for my garden club's plant sale, so we made some more stops along the way.
By this time, it was about 9:15 and I was getting quite hungry. Being hungry makes me nervous! I stopped in the little grocery store downtown. I only had about a dollar in change and their produce was horrible and overpriced! I spent 50 cents on an orange, but had to share it with the three kids, so... But a quarter of an orange relaxed me and helped me last the next couple of hours.
We went to the library finally. I had missed last week since we were sick, so I didn't realize that story time was on break until June. Oops. Luckily, none of the kids got upset. They read and played with the library's toys happily for an hour and then we walked home around 10:45.
On the way home, I realized I had a jar of soaked, dried almonds in the bag and so we shared some of those. I only ate about 1/2 an ounce. I certainly overdid the nuts yesterday.
For lunch, I made a big salad with romaine, 12 oz. defrosted raspberries, and chopped celery, but had to share that, too. I was still hungry, so I choked down an overripe banana. Man, I have to find another calorie dense, affordable fruit. Bananas just don't do it for me. I do have 3 cantaloupes ripening on the counter. I wish they'd hurry up already!
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
In addition to my morning's green juice, I also ate
2 1/2 C. of thawed mangoes around 11:30
Around 2, I meant to make a salad and a dressing for it, but I ran out of time and just drank the dressing, which was 2/3 of an avocado, 1 large tomato, 2 stalks of celery, 1 Tbs. raw apple cider vinegar
2 oz. soaked and dehydrated walnuts around 3:30
3/4 of a large Bartlett pear around 5:00
A big salad of romaine, red and yellow pepper, grated carrot, a sprinkling of soaked dehydrated sunflower seeds, a sprinkling of lentil sprouts and a bunch more of that creamy nut-based dressing
I know, too many nuts and way too much fat! And I should probably be fasting while sick...
I feel down, but have been reading other's stories of detox and know that this is to be expected. I also believe that my detox will be short because I am YOUNG and STRONG and HEALTHY. I plan to rest and relax this evening and if I feel bad tomorrow, I will definitely go easier on the food intake.
I am sneezing and feeling run down. I have a low fever, which means my body temp is "normal" instead of the 96 degrees I normally am at. I stayed in bed dozing on and off until 9:30... Of course I had to get up to get my boy off to school and get the girls dressed and the toddler nursed over and over, so not any really good sleep to be had there. I got up and took a hot shower, which made me feel a bit better.
The terrible thing is that I just got over an awful flu and I was looking forward to a long stretch of health and high energy.
I wrestled with my cheapie juicer (I got it free so I can't really complain) for 20 minutes and finally got it to work. I made some kale, celery, apple juice and drank it while reading some raw inspiration on the 'net.
It is a beautiful day and I have so much planting I can do. Waaaahhhh.
In an hour, I will walk my preschooler to school and see how I feel.