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.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

In local news...

Our town got hit with quite a storm on Monday. It made CNN, I was told (though I didn't see it). Some shingles blew off our roof and we lost 4 large trees, but none of them hit anything. Luckily, we're renters and not responsible for the repairs or cleanup. If you follow this link, you can see some pictures. The church that had the wall blow down is a block away! Funny enough, all of my children totally slept through the storm. The damaging winds rattled our whole house fiercely for about five minutes and then it was very calm.

In other news, I have taken up knitting. I have joined a group class with my sister-in-law and her mom and sister. I am really pleased at how relaxed I am and how quickly I am picking it up. This has not been my experience before with handicrafts. LOL! I think I am growing in self-confidence.

Another area where I am picking up steam is my exercise. Speed, endurance, core strength, yay! I actually look forward to sweating. A big motivator for me is that I want to be in "fighting shape" for gardening season this year. I plan to do a separate post soon about my garden projects.

Happy Spring everyone!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy birthday to my fruitbaby!

Qian is one year old today, and that ain't no April Fool's.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Excuses Begone

I have heard plenty about Wayne Dyer but never had any direct experience with his books or presentations. When PBS showed a program last week, I took the opportunity to watch, mostly out of curiousity.

Though I found his manner engaging and the presentation interesting enough that I didn't turn it off, I found myself judging him... Who does this guy think he is with his pot belly telling me how to be successful? He hasn't said anything I haven't heard elsewhere. In fact, most of what he does is quote other people.

I got curious as to what my resistance was about. And then I realized... here is a man who has attracted a fortune to himself, as well as legions of admirers. I am jealous. I laughed a little at myself, and my annoyance dissolved.

I took away one nugget of wisdom that has helped me immensely in the last few days. One of the excuses that I wish to begone... "It will be difficult to achieve."

I realize that I have been repeating this to myself over and over for the past few years, with regards to transitioning to a healthy lifestyle. And, as long as I have believed it, it has been difficult!

Today, I realized it can be easy. And so it was. Now, about that fortune...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I have been enjoying all the things that I have begun creating in my life... a closer relationship with my husband and children. Friendships. Improved health and fitness.

I am spending much time working through and healing past trauma. I am spending much time dreaming and planning the beautiful, bountiful garden that I will be growing this year.

I grow happier and happier! I am so practiced giving words to painful emotions that at times, I feel like I have nothing to blog about when I am happy. But as I grow, I am sure I will find a way to express myself more clearly.

So I will spend some time telling you about the mundane in my life...

My sweet little Qian hangs out with me every day, like a little shadow watching me as I go about my housework. He is a curious little being, with a strong sense of himself. He likes to climb, but this week, he has finally figured out how to go down the stairs as well as up. If I open the dishwasher when he is nearby, he rushes over and grabs the biggest knife (why not the wooden spoons?). Having older children and a baby can sometimes be a challenge. He wants all of their toys. I keep finding the girls' beads in his poop. :( But he is never shy about getting into their games. The other day they were wrestling on a mat on the floor, and he dived right in the middle, laughing.

I have been spending some time each week with my sister-in-law. She is a cool chick. I've meant to befriend her for many years but never found the time or courage. Now, we get together once a week. Our goal is to do some kind of craft project, but so far, we just hang out and talk. They have a lovely brown lab mix, a sweet, somewhat hyper young dog named Abbie. She puts her nose right up to Qian's nose, but he does not get scared or back down. He looks right back at her with the same curiousity that she has for him.

My husband is still doing raw... mostly citrus juice with a salad in the evening. He has occasionally cheated, but seems to be in a really good place about the whole process right now.

I am on the cusp of finally finishing this years-long transition, I believe. I finally realized it is not about "discipline" or force in any form. It is about joyful embrace! I need to ALLOW happiness. It is my birthright, no matter what I was taught as a child. I can let old beliefs that no longer serve me fall away, and embrace my full power.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Healthy living as a family

My husband decided last week that he has had it with feeling fat. After his terrible health struggles of the past year, he is finally feeling somewhat better. His neuropathy has improved to the point that he is able to digest food without pain, sleep through the night, and walk and stand and wear shoes for a couple of hours at a time without seering pain. He still has swollen feet every day, and though the doctor assures him his circulation is fine, his feet alternate between a dusky blue color and a reddish hue, with a spiderweb of bruised-looking little red veins. He hopes that his feet will continue to get better, and that he can resume some physical activity.

When he was ill, he lost a lot of weight, partly because his pancreas was unable to function properly and his cells were starved for nutrition, and partly because he could barely eat. At one point he was down to 140 lbs. (he is 5' 10"), a weight he had not seen since grade school. His weight has crept back up around 200 in the past year, a combination of insulin injections, improved digestion, lack of physical activity, and emotional eating.

One of the gifts that I have received from my husband's illness is that I found the low fat raw vegan path. But it is so sad to me to see how he suffers from a painful disease that is 100% preventable (and I believe, 100% curable). I know that there are so many more children now who will be facing the devastating effects of Type 2 diabetes in their 20s and 30s as he has done, and it breaks my heart.

And so I find it frustrating (infuriating?) and somewhat amusing that my husband's primary motivation to change his diet to improve his looks. Of course, I know that he has some very powerful and painful emotional issues surrounding eating, and in a way, feels overwhelmed at the thought of facing them. It's easier to just go on a little juice detox so his pants can fit again.

He feels overwhelmed by the chewing and the high water content of the LFRV diet, and prefers to drink cold beverages and have a salad with dinner. He has no idea of his hunger signals (he thinks that stomach growling is hunger, and since it almost never growls with a lowfat diet, he has no idea). He doesn't really want to believe in the whole premise of the raw foods idea, and is petrified that following this diet will alienate him from his family and friends. He resists tracking his food intake and massively undereats. In fact, he resists joining the LFRV community or educating himself about it (and for sure, resists my lecturing ;). Which is why I can get away with this very revealing post, since I know he won't read it. Sigh.

But, there is HOPE! He came up with this idea on his own, long after I had given up on any dream that he would change his eating habits. He has stuck to it now for several days in a row and has already had some good cleansing occuring. So I am giving myself a little empathy about my fears. I am realizing that I need to work my own program and not try to micromanage his. I am supporting him in the best way that I can. And I can only hope that as he experiences improved health (and increased hunger), he will gradually educate himself on his own terms and choose to continue on a path towards health.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Photo found at The Hungry Ghost Kid

I am doing a happy dance today because I have manifested myself some terrific produce deals today. I have been finding good deals at small independently-owned ethnic markets for years. One of the great things about these markets is that the owners are typically hands-on and accessible. If you want to buy things by the case, they are often happy to oblige, often at a discount. And, of course, they often sell tropical fruits that are either not available or highly expensive at grocery stores.

Last week, I got a case of 50 lbs. of Maradol papaya at my favorite Mexican tienda for $26 and was absolutely ecstatic. They were the ripest papayas I have ever purchased, all a beautiful golden color, and deliciously sweet and juicy.

This week I went back to the store with the intention of finding out what other goodies they can order for me by the case. They had received a huge delivery only moments before, and there were crates of produce and foodstuffs stacked up outside the doors and in all of the aisles of the market. They run a bustling restaurant next door, so they purchase a much larger quantity than your typical tiendita. As I maneauvered around skids of tortillas, my eye landed on a lone box right next to the front door. In the box were various heirloom tomatoes in a striking rainbow of hues. I asked the cashier, who is the wife of the owner, how much she wanted per pound, since I had never seen these carried by this store. Oh, she said, those were sent to us by mistake; we were going to send them back. Can I buy some, I asked. She went and found her husband, who offered me the entire case (probably 25 lbs or more) for $6!

We also discussed ordering mandarinas and oranges by the case. He told me that he will sell me a 50 lb. case of oranges for $20. But they're juicing oranges, he told me, I hope that's o.k. Um, YEAH!

Next week, I am going to talk to him about what else I can order by the case. Perhaps there are things he doesn't typically carry inside the store, but that his supplier has available. I mean, his prices are unbelievable!
I gave the owner and his wife some of the heirloom tomatoes to try, and talked to them a little about gardening, since the varieties look like some that I have grown in my own garden. I hope this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I thought I knew all of the low fat raw vegan teachers out there, but Swayze was kind enough to introduce me to a few new ones in this post.

Chris Kendall, what a ball of joy. I aspire to enjoy my bananas as much as he does, and his precious little niece made me laugh harder than I've laughed in a long time.

I loved reading Ellen Livingston's account of fasting in Costa Rica with Doug Graham, and I had a big a-ha moment when I read this passage...

"I begin to turn further inward today, and become uncomfortably aware of how much in my life I have identified with the emotion of sadness, and the experience of suffering. This has become a part of me that does not want to leave easily. It's been my companion, however self-destructive; sadness and suffering have become experiences that I can deeply connect with, and their depth has often given me a welcome experience of aliveness. What I want now is to feel that aliveness, that depth of emotion, through joy instead of through sorrow. I want joy, happiness, peace, easefulness, restfulness, vibrancy, and health to be my constant companions now. I am not afraid of sorrow and suffering, I just want to release my lingering identity with them and make more room for joy to be dominant."

Ellen Livingston

Yes, exactly! Somehow this inner part of me that clings to the identity of suffering does not believe I can survive without her. "It's a cruel world," she warns. "You'll get your heart broken."

I think it's worth the risk.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

This Emotional Life

I watched and enjoyed a portion of this PBS documentary tonight that discussed happiness.

One of the topics discussed was resilience. They interviewed Bob Schumaker who was shot down over Vietnam and spent 8 years as a POW. He was tortured and held in solitary confinement for almost 3 years. He discussed all of the ways he stayed sane and optimistic through a horrible trauma.

First, he dreamed. One of his main dreams was of the house he planned to build for his wife and baby son when he returned. He worked and reworked the plans in his mind, down to how many nails and how many square feet of plywood he would use. After his release, he built it.

Even though he was prevented from being with other prisoners, they developed a tap code so they could communicate through the walls. He demonstrates this amazing system here. The POWs even went so far as to teach one another classes using the tap codes on everything from French to music to television repair. The social support was vital to getting through the horrors of being imprisoned. Without the tap code, the POWs would have gone mad, or worse.

Bob said he would have not changed his experience for anything, despite the pain. He said he never gave up or doubted that he would come through it. He said he never regretted the time that he lost or what he suffered because he learned so much about himself through the experience. After his release, he had a happy marriage and a great relationship with his son (who he never met until he was 8 years old), and just loved life. His facial expressions and tone of voice clearly reflected his happiness.

And if he can do it, why can't I?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Old tapes

Some of you may remember which teacher it was who used to tell us that the "old tapes" running through our heads sometimes led to getting stuck in behaviors we want to change. I know some of you reading this aren't old enough to remember cassette tapes. LOL! But I find it a useful and accurate metaphor for what I experience at times.

Despite my incredible progress in so many areas, a lot of my old tapes are still running. After a strong start to the new year, I have slid back to the point where I found myself eating all kinds of crap yesterday, including dairy.

The new tape says, one meal at a time, start now. But the old tape says, you are a failure and you always will be. The new tape says, look at how far you've come and all you've improved. The old tape says, it's been years and you are still rehashing the same old crap.

When I feel like this, I have repetitive dreams where I have an important task to complete. Usually, in the dream, I have a class to teach or an appointment to keep. I find myself in a large building where I am wandering about, unable to find the room that I am supposed to be in. In another version of the dream, I don't have the proper materials or I can't find my glasses and am totally blind. The dream goes on and on, while I try and try to complete my task, with no success. Sometimes this dream is combined with a dream I have when I am stuffy and mouth-breathing. In this dream I have a large wad of gum stuck to my back teeth. I try to remove it, but I can only get bits and pieces. I pull piece after piece of sticky gum out, but still a large wad remains. I wake up feeling anxious, unrested and very thirsty.

Ok, my lovely friends, now is your cue to send me lots of love and encouragement. Thanks!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Things that Make Me Happy

Thanks to Tina at Terra Bites, Christopher at Berry Boy, Elijah at Overcoming Epilepsy and Kim at A Fruity Endeavor for nominating me for this fun award. I have been kinda crabby for the past two days, and I needed this little pick-me-up!

Ten things that Make Me Happy (in no particular order)

1) My husband and kids. Every day they show me love and appreciation (even if it's mixed in with aggravation) and every day at least one of them makes me laugh out loud. And if you every find you're needing adoration, just be a mommy to a 9 month old. When you come in the room, he will light up with the biggest smile, as if you are the greatest person on Earth and he is experiencing bliss just seeing you. He will hug you and snuggle you and want to be with you all the time. I am very lucky to have my little Qian and I don't forget it, even when I'm tired.

2) The Naked Food Cafe. I don't think I could be home alone in this cold weather eating naked food without the support of Connie and all the wonderful people at the NFC. It is a fun, positive, interesting place.

3) Sunshine. Even in winter, nothing is so wonderful as the bright, cheerful glow of the sun.

4) Our new MP3 player and subscription to Rhapsody. My husband and I gave ourselves this gift for Christmas and it has provided hours of fun and entertainment. I have made upbeat playlists to motivate me to walk, jump on the rebounder, and dance with the baby. With Rhapsody, we can experiment and find all kinds of music from all over the world.

5) Fresh, ripe, sweet, juicy fruit. MMmmmmmmmmmmm! And of course, eating fresh off the tree or or the bush can't be beat.

6) Exercise. Nothing bounces my mood through the roof better than getting my heart rate up a bit. Walking outdoors is one of my favorite. Bouncing on the rebounder makes me feel like a Tigger. And dancing fills my heart with joy and love.

7) Reading. I love to meet new people and transport myself to another time or place. I love to learn and explore new ideas. And all without leaving the comfort of my home or spending a dime (thanks to an awesome library system).

8) Gardening. I'm already starting to window shop for the varieties I want to try this year. I love growing unusual fruits and veggies that I can't buy in the store.

9) The Farmers Market. I love meeting other people who love growing and eating fresh healthy food. All of the colors and varieties, and the experience of interacting with and supporting the people growing the food directly. The whole atmosphere of a Farmers Market feels so alive and wonderful.

10) The blogosphere. So many people, so many perspectives. It is so fun to read everyone's stories and thoughts, see their lives. I have to be careful or I can spend my entire day just reading blogs.

If you have read this far and you haven't made your happy list yet, consider yourself nominated. Write it ASAP! By the time you hit number 5, you'll be feeling FANTASTIC.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Celebrating the New Year of the New Me!

I am ready for big things in 2010 and have started out the New Year living my intentions.

January 1st, I fasted on water with the lovely folks at the Naked Food Cafe. I have been enjoying lovely fruits and greens since then. I even served tater tots, a long-time cheat food, to my family today without popping a single one in my mouth. And I didn't feel disappointed at all. They actually kinda stink.

I got a cheapy little electric orange juicer yesterday and we made our first yummy OJ today. My 10 year-old set it up for me and read the directions, and he and the girls did a lot of the juicing while I made the rest of the dinner. Fun and delicious! It was easy to go through 8 lbs. of oranges in one meal, however, which brought up some of my fears about money and the price of feeding my family quality food. Deep breath. Letting it go for right now.

After only 3 days without salt and other junk, I am already feeling a lot less achey and bloated than I usually do. I had fun rebounding vigorously for 30 minutes, as I recovered from my respiratory illness much more easily. However, I have had a little bit of trouble with the timing and quantity of my food, so I am undereating and a bit hungry. Not to worry. I have ripe bananas and frozen raspberries, so I will have a nice big meal for breakfast and get back on track. I also have lots of Barhi dates. Mmmm.

After some research, including this article by Don Bennett, I decided that our family are all going to take a Vitamin D supplement. I am not thrilled about this, but have decided that it is the best we can do for our health in our current location. I have been dreaming a lot about our future tropical paradise where I will grow fruit trees and bask in the glorious rays of the sun year-round. (Hear that, universe?)

I am so happy to have my family and friends, especially the lovely online raw community I have found through this blog, and to celebrate the reawakening of my hope and joy in this lovely New Year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I have this nasty little habit. I focus on all the things I haven't accomplished or succeeded at. If I have a list of 10 things I want to get done, and I do 8 of them, I feel disappointed and obsess about how I could fail to accomplish those last 2 items. Not surprisingly, I have gotten to the point where I feel afraid to name an intention, set a goal, or make a to-do list, because I am afraid I will "fail."

Isn't it ironic that even now, telling you about my bad habit of focusing on the negative, I am focusing on the negative. LOL!

So, here's to not having any New Year's Resolutions. Here's to finding ways to enjoy, celebrate, and feel good all the time. Here's to being present with my decisions in every moment, without shame or guilt. Happy 2010!