Thursday, April 11, 2013

My Relationship With Food

I am participating in a Mind-Body Medicine Group at Atlanta Functional Medicine. The Group is an 8-week series of meetings where Dr. Sue Blewett has been teaching us well-studied and proven techniques for lessening stress in our lives by utilizing the connection between mind and body. It has been wonderful. This is the practice where I work, and where I contribute to the blog and website. (see my latest post: http://www.atlantafunctionalmedicine.com/blog/) Today the subject matter was: Mindfulness and Our Relationship with Food. As part of today's session, we were provided with paper and colored pencils and asked to create drawings expressing our relationship with food. Here's mine -- not fine art, to be sure, but hopefully it gets the point across. In case you can't tell, that one on the right with the evil eyes is a dark chocolate bar. If you haven't already read it, this old AMLV+ post explains more about my relationship with chocolate: http://midlifevegan.blogspot.com/2012/03/breaking-up-with-paul-and-justin.html.

My relationship with food is really wonderful, actually. We communicate very well with one another. It lures and tempts me, and when I accept, I immediately either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of the indulgence, depending on which food it is. I know where I stand with food. I am so in love with food, in fact, that I write about it, read about it, plan, shop for and cook it, and I even grow it!

I had a bit of a blue winter after losing Mom last year, so my heart wasn't into putting in a winter crop, but I got the gardening bug again yesterday so I cleaned and mulched, sowed seeds and nestled plants all snug in their pots. What a wonderful day it was. I actually felt the whole thing was a meditation which drew me closer to something larger than myself. It doesn't look like much just yet, but I will share the progress as my garden goes along.
My herb pot looks pretty much like last Spring's. Only the oregano and the thyme had survived the winter, but the thyme had gone to seed, so I pulled it out and got a new one. the rebirth of the oregano is the little one in front. I also have Italian parsley, basil and sage. I accidentally bought two sage plants from two different places. I wonder what that means -- too much sage? Wisdom maybe? Or Dad's famous sage dressing, veganized for my benefit -- either way, I'll take it!
Here's the garden itself, after planting. I told you it wouldn't look like much. I moved the stepping stones around to accommodate the tomatoes -- just 4 beefsteaks -- which I actually planted this year with space requirements in mind. I'm trying onions this year. I found a little bunch of baby onions at Walmart wrapped with a twist tie for $1.60. There were about 70 of them. I am hoping the stinky onions will discourage garden marauders. I've had bad luck three years in a row with little critters. First there was Heimlich, the big juicy tomato worm (search "Desnudos" on AMLV+ for back story), then there was Buster the adorable Chipmunk, then there was Draco Hortus, the slinky garden dragon who ate absolutely everything, even the stems and marigolds that were planted to deter pests. You can search "Buster" and "Draco Hortus" too if you're interested in the details. So this year I am trying onions and marigolds to see if my quest for a critter-free garden will improve. In the bare patch on the left, I've sown carrot and radish seeds. Microgreen seeds are in a few more pots.
Cherry tomatoes always do so well in pots, so I put in a black cherry tomato plant on the patio. Here are some more patio shots. It's a gloomy day today since this afternoon we are expecting the storm which spawned tornadoes in the Midwest yesterday.
I like how the addition of this white caladium brightens the old lavender bush from last year. The petunia is a trailing variety. I always loved the combo of fuschia and cobalt.
The white caladium was going to go along with her sister here in my boy and girl planters, but when cleaning up last year's debris, I discovered the rebirth of last year's hosta in the boy's pot. If you look very, very closely, you can see it peeking out of the soil. It's just as well that the white one went with the lavender bush. It was too tall for this planter, and the pink caladium looks none too pleased to be in this little pot. I'll have to find her a better spot too, and come up with something little to fill her space. 
My husband would not be happy I am sharing this shot of the yard with you. He prides himself on his lawn. Emma and Ellie (my pups) destroyed the lawn last year, so we laid some sod, and it was so new we could not apply pre-emergent weed control, so here we are with these lovely bright green weeds all over. When the warm-weather grass wakes up, it'll all blend in, and then we can fix it next year.
Here are some more patio shots. I love the white dogwoods and the red maple in this one. You can see the green trees are only now waking from their winter slumber. Pollen is all over EVERYTHING! In a week or so, the forest will be opaque with fresh green leaves.

I love our patio. We used to have a little wooden deck that was up on the level of the back door. It was always way too hot to use in the Georgia summers with our western exposure. Now the patio spills down gradually  right onto the yard, and the roof makes the space livable.

I'll share more garden shots soon if I see any progress. What is your relationship with food?

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