20 Days Completed

Okay, well I am going to count the fact that I didn’t eat any ice cream today as a victory. I need some sort of victory in today and I actually did want to have some ice cream. That’s unusual for me these days.

The first thoughts of it were when I was at the Grant County Fair. It’s a nice little fair. It has a lot of educational components, more than any other fairs I’ve seen this year. It also had an interesting mix of the typical fun fair stuff and some really sad displays. They had a wrecked truck on display that had belonged to a young man who’d died in a drunk driving accident. They also had a traveling display on 9/11. Both were powerful and good to be there. Personally, I think for a relaxing afternoon, I preferred the presentation from the two girls who did the live demonstration on how to milk a goat. For a moment, I thought it might be nice to have a goat. I let that thought go.

The ice cream though, I thought that might be nice, but the options were limited at the fair. I knew that if I were to have ice cream and the likely stomach ache afterward I wanted to have really good ice cream. So, I traveled on. Later, I took Buddy out to Benson to the dog park since the local park hasn’t opened yet. That drive meant going past Dairy Queen. That seemed a good option, but then I thought I’d rather have some Ben and Jerry’s. We went past the grocery store in Benson, but it looked like it might be closed, so I kept going with the thought that I’d be more likely to find Ben and Jerry’s in Morris anyway. Well, by the time we got home I convinced myself that just some banana with raspberries and cream would be just fine and that I didn’t want leftover ice cream in the freezer anyway.

So, I didn’t eat well today. I don’t think I quite hit my 6 cups of fruits and vegetables. I did eat fair food and pizza. But, I didn’t get ice cream and that was a good choice. I also felt good about just taking the day off and not worrying about it. Tomorrow I’ll be back on track and probably cleaning out my fridge to get a better sense of what I have and what I might make for meals this week.

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Day 19 of the Fruit and Vegetable Challenge

Yesterday was the first day that I missed writing this blog since the challenge began. It was a long, hot day and I was wiped out by the end. My co-worker, Mary Jo and I took a small crew of undergrads on a trip to the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus to visit the organic and Native medicine gardens and then on to Dream of Wild Health. This meant spending a full day out in 90+ degree heat and high humidity. We were lucky to miss the storms though and to get the positive impacts of cool breezes coming with the thunder storms.

The garden tours were all excellent. It was beautiful to see the energies that the farmers carry with them. Courtney, our first guide, took us through the organic gardens at the UM. Her smile was fantastic and she spoke with such joy of her love of growing unusual foods. We got to try quite a few berries, lemon drop tomatoes, several different edible flowers, all delicious!

We hadn’t expected a tour at the Medicine Garden, but Frances was there so he spoke for a bit, sharing the history of the place and encouraging us all to let go of our consumerism and instead grasp on to living for future generations. He spoke to a treaty that wasn’t ratified. His comments left me with questions. I’ll have to do some digging to figure out what treaty he was referring to. There is no doubt that many of the Native signers of the treaties didn’t have a full understanding of what they were signing and signed only under duress, but given that congress ratified the treaties, I wasn’t aware of any that weren’t ratified that the US wanted.

We spent a bit more time at the Medicine Garden than we’d expected. So, had to grab a quick bite to eat. I had to kind of wonder as we went through the line at Subway. We’re all supporters of organic farming. We all garden. We’d just listened to Frances speak to anti-consumerism and living our values. Then we went to get some of the lowest quality fast food available to humankind. I will say that I skipped it. I went for the sausage and cheese with crackers and some grapes and currants that we had in the van instead.

The afternoon was at Dream of Wild Health where we learned how to pollinate corn and squash for seed saving. It was really quite interesting to watch. I found myself remembering back in the days when my brother Tom was in high school and he spent summers de-tasseling corn. It was a much larger scale of controlling pollination, but much the same. It is striking to really think about how plants like corn are pollinated and how, even when we try to eat clean, we are so easily impacted by GMOs and chemically treated plants.

Dream of Wild Health is really an amazing place. Their work is to restore health and well-being in Native communities. They do this through restoring traditional foods and medicines, educating, and building community. It struck me, as I am sure it has many others, how appropriate it is that they have staff named Faith and Hope. Those two concepts are at the core of their work and simply radiate from everyone and everything in the place.

After a warm, but educational day we headed home. We stopped along the way for dinner at a little place called the Lakeside Cafe. It was a reminder to me of how my diet has changed. They had a nice buffet for their Friday fish fry. I opted for it, but was amazed at the level of carbohydrates and the lack of fresh, well fresh anything. So, a simple house salad with that value-free iceberg lettuce, some pickled beets, and bean salad, along with a bit of canned pears. The main meal though was breaded cod, macaroni and cheese, pasta salad, and a dinner roll. I tried the rice, but that was just not a good thing. I think that’s about the same amount of simple carbs as I normally eat in almost a week.

I’m not quite sure on my calorie count for the day, but I think it stayed under 2,000 and that’s good for a day like that. Plus, we did get a lot of walking in, not fast walking, but still we were moving about.

Now, the question is today. I had hoped for a trip to another county fair, but right now it’s raining. Maybe later if it clears up.

60 More Days To Go

I will count today as a success. I didn’t go out to eat. I wanted to for a bit, but picked up some fresh berries at the farmers market and a bit of cream at the grocery store and went home instead.

I was just exhausted today and decided finally to stop by urgent care to see what’s going on. It doesn’t seem to be anything of interest, maybe just getting over a virus and possibly just a bit dehydrated with all the heat. But, in any case any complicated food seemed a bit too much today. So, I’m not sure that everything I did was healthy, but I got my six cups with strawberries, raspberries, mango, and banana, as well as some mixed vegetables with lunch. I also roasted some chicken so had some really tasty meat with my lunch and some left for tomorrow too.

I will be eating out for a couple meals tomorrow. A co-worker and I are taking a crew of undergrads out to visit Dream of Wild Health and the organic gardens at the UM Twin Cities. It should be good fun and some interesting learning. Dream of Wild Health has been doing some wonderful work supporting Native youth and encouraging local and sustainable traditional eating.

I am hopeful that with laying low all day today and a good night’s sleep tonight I should be okay tomorrow. It will be nice to get out and have some fun with Mary Jo and the students.

16 Days on the Journey

Victory! I didn’t go out for pizza today! Okay, it’s a small victory, but even small victories are worth celebrating.

I went to work late this morning. It was planned. I had a phone interview this morning for a job in Wisconsin. I think it went well, but it had some interesting moments. My dog, Buddy, was in the house. I closed him out of the spare room so that I might be able to do the interview without any dogs or cats involved. It didn’t quite work that way. As soon as he heard voices on the other side of the door, he started to try to clamor his way in to be with me. I had to let him in mid-interview so he wouldn’t destroy the door.

He had a hard time with me trying to ignore him and he started play-gnawing at my hand. Not getting what he wanted, he tried chewing a bit harder and finally bit down hard enough, in his play, on my thumb to draw blood. It was only a little, but ouch! I never thought I’d get to experience being bit by a dog in the middle of a job interview! I don’t think the interviewers knew. It will make a good story if I get the position.

So, I felt I had a reason to celebrate. Then we had our floor meeting at work. It seems each meeting gives me reason to not want to stay in my current position and dampens my view just a little bit more on universities. So, I also felt a reason to mourn or maybe just console myself. In any case I had my excuses. I could do it. But, I couldn’t quite face this blog today if I gave up on a week without eating out on Tuesday. We’ll see if I make it through tomorrow, but Tuesday is really a bit early to give up.

So, I stopped and picked up some bacon for today and chicken for later in the week. Tonight’s dinner was a nice scrambled eggs with bacon, cream cheese, zucchini, onion, tomato, and peppers. It was quite tasty and I think I got about 7 cups of fruits and vegetables in today. That, I think, can be counted as a victory!

15 Days

My stomach is still a little off, but getting better. I am happy to say that I stayed away from restaurants today. Not eating out, a temperature outdoors of 90+ all day, and still having a bit of intestinal issues led to another day of limited calories though I did go out and get a new bag of sugar-free chocolate chips.

The day began with strawberries and yogurt. Lunch was homemade tomato soup with cheese and a side of green beans and carrots with hummus. Tonight was a piece of cod and mixed vegetables with bananas, mixed berries, and yogurt with a bit of maple syrup and some of those sugar free chocolate chips.

So, again about 6 cups of fruits and vegetables. That seems to be the spot for me. It’s doable on a daily basis. More than that can be quite a challenge. I feel okay with that amount. I feel good about being intentional regarding my food. It’s really kind of amazing to see how easy it is not to eat fruits and vegetables. I found myself wondering today what exactly I have been eating since I got rid of my allergens three years ago now. Clearly, I’ve been getting enough calories. I haven’t been eating allergens. This means keeping away from a lot of processed foods because of sugar or potato starch. I’d cut down the amount of pasta I’d been eating too in recent months. I guess it’s been more pizza and burgers than I realized or maybe they just make up a larger part of my diet than I knew.

Now, we’ll see if I can go the week just on my own cooking!

2 Weeks In

My stomach is still in recovery mode so breakfast and dinner were small and healthy.

I decided that Sunday is my day to go out to eat this week. It fit well with having been low on calories the past two days (down 3 lbs) and not interested much in many foods with my stomach still being out of sorts. So, lunch was pizza. It was okay and I was okay with just some raw veggies and hummus and a bit of cottage cheese for dinner too. I don’t think I’ll need any more today. I hope my stomach is back to normal tomorrow.

It is a help though that I happened to get sick right as I decided to stop eating out again. It gave me a reason to go enjoy myself and now I can enjoy the tasty and healthy things that I picked up at the grocery store on the way home and maybe try out some new recipes.

I suspect it’s simply part of the reality of being middle-aged, my sickness. It happens periodically, though not monthly, and lasts about a week. You’d think there was a better way of being female than having hormonal changes to deal with so much of your life. Ah well. It is life and many have these changes so much worse than me. I remain hopeful that continuing to improve my diet will improve this piece of my life too as will a bit more aging. There are benefits to aging after all.

Day 12

Well, no eating out today, actually hardly any eating today at all. Not feeling well. I’ve slept most of the day. Good news is that I don’t think I’ve had any seizures. In the past, this exhaustion and illness I think came with seizures. It doesn’t seem that way today and I’ve been able to start feeling better with ibuprofen and a little extra CBD oil. I hope this means a more rapid recovery. In the past, I’ve felt tired and foggy for days.

So, thus far today I’ve just had an apple and a few cups of cottage cheese. We’ll see if my stomach is ready for any more later today.