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Feeding Myself with Love

I’m a food-loving, pleasure-seeking Taurus gal through and through. I eat because food tastes goods and brings me, well, lots of pleasure. I’ve always had a strong appetite, never prone to skipping a meal and always with snacks on hand. Lately though, it’s been a whole new ballgame!

Currently with my recent RA diagnosis, I am working with a naturopathic doctor (ND) who looks at health in a more holistic way. It is their tendency to go straight to the gut and digestion first and foremost as the root of health issues. This is in contrast with allopathic doctors who don’t necessarily agree that these factors influence dis-ease but rather place emphasis on our genes.  Being the person I am and having the belief system I do, I am 110% all about healing my gut as a way of healing the dis-ease in my body rather than the alternative which is popping pills every day (or worse self-injections) for the rest of life. 

With that being said, I also had a battery of allergy tests carried out and the results weren’t so nice. Now, one must remember that when a person is “sick”, they are naturally going to be less tolerant of things entering the system. Suddenly every little thing causes a red flag for the immune systems which is already working double to fight off infections.  Regardless, a mandatory four week elimination diet has now turned into twelve weeks going without some of America’s favorite foods: bread! Cheese! Potatoes!  Along with a few more:

Asparagus

Basil

Bean, Lima

Blueberry

Cabbage

Cantaloupe

Carrot

Cashew

Cauliflower

Coffee

Cucumber

Eggs

Eggplant

Garlic

Ginger

Gluten

Grape

Milk, Cow’s

Mustard

Orange

Peanut

Pepper, Black

Pineapple

Potato

Rice

Safflower

Sesame

Soybean

Tomato

Watermelon

Wheat

Yeast (yes, this means no beer or even GF rising breads)

Yogurt

Whew! While I’ve had some success re-introducing some foods without side effects (pain in my case) it has been a rather slow process and not always a fun one.  It is hard enough preparing healthy and tasty meals but add in a litany of diet restrictions and you’re in for a rollercoaster ride.  I definitely find myself craving pizza and french fries, wishing I could go out to a restaurant and enjoy the things I used to.  But at the same time I am thankful…I see how much people take food and their health for granted and I am thankful I have a supportive husband willing to eat “my food”.  I know that while I may never eat chewy pizza dough or a real doughnut ever again for a while to come, I will emerge from this experience with a new sense of what it means to be healthy and I will (and already am) learn new ways to feed myself not with food but with yoga and with art, spending time in nature and with friends, my nose in a book or soaking in a bath; I will feed myself with love.

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grandmas

Wayne with his mom and grandma Grace (left). Mel with her grandma Tae.

Yay for Grandmas!  We visited Wayne’s Granny Grace (above left) while in Minnesota and my grandmas, Tae (above right) and Arlene while in South Dakota.  We had a great time hanging out with all of them…card games with Granny Grace, lunch with Grandma Arlene at her new pad, and setting fire to Grandma Tae’s kitchen.  We even learned a thing or two on our visits: 

Finnish Vocab from Granny Grace (note that the following words are spelled phonetically as I had no clue how to spell them nor could I find them in my googling research) 

heista nuppa = smell my belly button 

hensa peckida = a chicken’s tail 

dupa = butt, as in booty, behind, hiney (actually polish)

Grandma Tae’s Famous Roll Recipe 

2-1/2 cups white bread flour 

1 packet yeast 

3/4 cup whole wheat flour 

1 tsp. salt 

1 cup + 1 tBsp. warm water 

2-1/2 tsp. honey 

1 egg 

2 tBsp. butter 

Combine dry ingredients together (flours, yeast and salt).  Combine wet ingredients (water, honey, egg).  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and then mix in butter.  Knead the dough into a ball and let rise.  When done, break into rolls, flour, and place on cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bake rolls for approximately 11 minutes.  Enjoy warm doughy goodness! 

 

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Meet Virginia

Some things I learned in Virginia:

  • The Virginia state bird is the cardinal
  • Apparently some Virginians didn’t have to take the same driving test I did to get a driving license because I saw numerous road signs that read, “Do not pass when solid line is on your side”
  • They have bald eagles and lots of turkeys
  • That the chicken crossed the road to prove to the opossum that it could be done
  • Only the really small ticks are cause for worry, and only if they bite you, and really only if the bite becomes red and infected
  • If you go far enough South, they have southern accents
  • The dominant grocery store chain is called “Food Lion”

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Wayne @ Terrain

 

Mel @ Terrain

 

We had an amazing and inspirational time at Terrain as you can see from the pictures.  I’m a big fan of multi-use programs such as this one which serves as a plant nursery, retail store, landscape design office, and cafe and also hosts various workshops/events related to gardening.  Not that I like to support large corporations, but the people at Urban Outfitters, Inc. (who also own Free People and Anthropolgie) really know how to put a store together.  I’m not sure if there are plans for Terrain to proliferate around the continent but I would be content with it just staying as one little gardening oasis in Delaware.   

We arrived in the morning and enjoyed a cup of coffee and a very large scone in the light and plant filled cafe.  I leisurely perused their selection of planters, terrariums, books, plants, jewelry, furniture, and miscellaneous home goods.  It was such a large space that it took a couple of walkthroughs to see everything.  I didn’t want to leave!  Wayne ended up dragging me out of there but not without a few goodies.

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