Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good Morning!

Yes, peaches are still amazing for me! Hallelujah! Here, I am having them with some delicious dry granola with flax and pumpkin seeds.

I've been offline for a while, dealing with  a couple of health issues which, at the risk of boring you, I will note, as a sort of public service announcement for you vegans, and also for you mid-lifers.

Strange but true:  you can overdose on tomatoes! I've lived it! After our wonderful trip to Miami Beach, I came back to find my garden gorgeously abundant with amazing vegetables (I did hire a wonderful neighbor girl to water it for me). Most abundant were the tomatoes of several varieties. I joyously threw together salsas, sauces, sandwiches, salads. Looking back, I realize I ate tomatoes at least twice a day for a whole month! The shame of it is that I knew better. Alicia Silverstone points out that tomatoes are members of the nightshade family and contain certain acids that are damaging to our systems, and are better enjoyed as an occasional treat. Well, obviously I had thrown caution to the wind and didn't bother at all with moderation. After my tomato overdose I began suffering from a painful stomach whenever I ate anything! I quickly surmised what was going on and went off tomatoes cold tofurkey. In two days my problem vanished. So heed my cautionary tale and don't o.d. on the nightshades!

My other malady has nothing to do with diet, but with aging, I guess. In April, at a Florida beach for Spring Break, I injured myself walking barefoot on the beach! Now that's a little ole' lady injury if you've ever heard one, huh? Truth be told, I was really hoofing it, power-walking for cardio benefits. The problem was that I was walking on the rock-hard wet sand, on the unlevel surface of the beach, right where the waves came crashing in. There was one step I took where I remember feeling an electric-like sensation from my heel to my lower back. After an x-ray back home it was determined I had sprained a lumbar ligament. After a week of icing the back and taking anti-inflammatories, the problem seemed to resolve. But apparently the back is still a bit tender, months later -- I am now laid low again after a rally session last weekend, preparing for our carpet replacement -- loading boxes etc. I've been in almost-constant pain for over a week now.  I did go to the primary care doc, who looked at my x-rays and determined the problem is wholly muscular. I was prescribed muscle relaxers and physical therapy. I've had one of the muscle relaxers and feel sooo much better now. I guess it was muscle spasms.

The good news:  The doctor was amazed at my good, strong, solid bones. "Do you take calcium?" She asked. "These are not the bones of a 45-year-old!"

"No," I proudly answered, "I take collard greens and I don't eat dairy!"

I guess my cautionary tale about my back would be that it is even more important to wear good shoes when exercising as we age. We don't snap back as quickly as we used to. But I can tell today that, after a night of great un-spasming sleep, I am on the mend.  Yada, yada, yada, enough about that!

Here is a recent garden harvest. I took this photo with my new camera! Yes, my sweet husband did come through with what I wanted for my birthday -- I am still learning how to use it, but it looks pretty good so far. . . featured here are japanese eggplant, yellow crookneck squash, tomatoes, ruby swiss chard and chinese long beans. I chopped all these up with a purple onion, a red pepper and a couple of zucchini, added olive oil, salt and pepper, and my husband stir-fried them in a grill pan outside for me. We had guests who loved it! (They also loved Morgan's Amazing Refried Beans from Little House of Veggies, and Quinoa with Chick Peas from Veganomicon, by the way!)

It is important to note that eggplants are also nightshades, but I find that this slender variety is not bitter like the larger specimens, and the skins are very thin. No soaking or peeling is necessary, and I didn't feel any ill effect from consuming them. I am still picking around the tomatoes for a while, personally, leaving them for the others who did not o.d. on them as I did.

Hmmmm, overdosing on veggies, getting injured walking on the beach -- pitiful!  Feel free to have a little chuckle at my expense!

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