I made it out to visit my parents during the beginning of currant season (it should be in full production mode now). I found a few handfuls of wild currants and dried them while there. They were mostly pest free, despite being completely wild and organic. I only tossed out a coupld weird looking ones. They would be easier to harvest after they're all ripe, only a fraction of the berries on the bushes were ripe yet last week when I was picking.
They definitely have some bite, flavor-wise, unlike the mislabeled dried zante/corinth grapes often sold as dried currents. They have a bit of cranberry and tomato flavor to them, in my opinion. Perhaps a bit of noni flavor, though far more palatable than noni juice. I need to use them in some baking and post my results.
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak... I'm working to make that less true for me, at least the latter part. I have knowledge of how to eat, I know how to lose weight pretty rapidly, but I haven't been doing it since February.
I'm addressing a couple issues that I think have been causing my noncompliance. The main issue is that I just haven't taken control of my life. My children's routines have been lacking, our sleeping and eating schedules have been out of whack, and the illnesses we had in Feb, March, and April have amplified those problems.
Sleep/Routine. We learned at the IfHI conference last year that early birds are the healthiest. Staying up late and sleeping late throws the body out of harmony. With small children I was happy to let them sleep in, so I could get a few more zzz's myself, but that is changing now. My 5 year old really likes his pre-kindergarten, and has begged us to let him go all summer, but it's only in the mornings during the summer, so we're going to do it, and we'll all be better off for it. Today my taekwondo class was at 9:30, which is earlier than we usually get anywhere. It cost me some sleep, but we did it, and we actually ate breakfast in the morning, and lunch at noon. I got some gardening done after lunch, and it's been a really good day. They went to bed 1 and 2 hours earlier last night than the night before, and they should be tired tonight as well.
I heard on the radio about a sleep study where they found that lack of sleep contributed to increased hunger by affecting the amount of Leptin hormone. It also causes prediabetic changes to the metabolism, so sleep is serious stuff. That may have contributed to my falling off the diet wagon when the kids and everyone got sick. I missed a lot of sleep then! Here's to staying healthy.
Self-Control. For me this is part of being in touch with my body and actually having something challenging to perform. After my MS scare, I am very grateful to have a body that works well, and I'm going to really start using it. Today was a trial for taekwondo, and I signed up right after for the next 6 months, 2 days a week. I knew I'd be sore, so this will keep me coming back regardless of soreness. I have till next Tuesday to recover from today's lesson. My five year old is very excited, and I think a bit proud, that I'm joining up too. He went with me today, as he had a class right after, but will switch to an afternoon class next week to work around summer school.
I have no excuses, and I'm not going to make them, but I am doing something to change them. I should have lost 20-30 pounds since the first of the year, at the clip I was going in January. I can hardly give diet advice to others until I start progressing along myself.
Today has been pretty perfect. I had scrambled eggs, crenshaw melon, and hato mugi for breakfast, with some green tea to make up for the lost sleep of the morning. For lunch I had a buffalo patty with ricotta salata and tomato. I did have a bit of sugar in the organic ketchup, but I have found a compliant Eden mustard...Oh, I have compliant ketchup now as well which I forgot to get out and open...Organicville. Since gatherers can have vinegar, that makes it much easier to find such things, though I do still avoid distilled vinegar on account of my corn allergy. These two items have apple cider vinegar I believe, and the ketchup is sweetened with agave! I did have a bit of sugar in the kombucha I bought to try, that has sugar added after fermenting (I started drinking it, then looked at the label when it tasted too good, I enjoyed it, then bid that brand a fond farewell).
I'm addressing a longstanding issue with slightly high fasting blood glucose. I'm cutting way back on agave, as vegetable glycerine works just fine in most places. I'm avoiding the high fructose fruits that are black dots for gatherers, and sticking to superfood carbs wherevr possible.
It's good to take control. I have knowledge, it's my responsibility to use it. I have a functioning body, and it's my responsibility to use that as well. I must combine the two to reach a state of health that allows me to contribute more to my family and the world. (Or I could say, "and THUS the world", as the furthest reaches of a mother's contributions extend so profoundly through her children and their contribution to the world.)
Oh, and as far as taekwondo goes, I'm going to be very sore! It's a great workout, and will really improve my coordination and confidence. I found out I don't have to spar, if I don't want to add that in, but I can still get a black belt. That takes a lot of work, of course, but I need a challenge. I'd like my sons to get their black belts, so I need to set an example.
We just got in from a 9-day family road trip on Monday. Travel sure is different once you have kids, especially little ones. We had some good times though, and we'll eventually only remember the good times, not the fits and meltdowns and tantrums...so that's what matters.
We got to ride an elephant at 6 Flags Discovery Kingdom. That was cool. They have such massive strength as they plod along. 6 Flags always makes us miss Disneyland though, other than the elephant there's no comparison, especially with small children. My 5 year old can ride Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain (I think, though it was too cold last time to try it) and a host of other exciting rides at Disneyland. At 6 Flags he gets turned away from all the real roller coasters and even some of the kiddie rides. The workers all seemed a bit more helpful and friendly than last year though, still not on the level of Disneyland, but it was nice. It was far too hot the day we went, so we didn't spend as much time as we planned there.
We also went to San Francisco, where we saw the Exploratorium, a big hit with the kids, and Marin County where we saw Muir Woods and Muir Beach. We hit Cafe Gratitude a couple times, and I found something there I really like, the Yo Soy Mucho, a quinoa bowl with a couple gatherer black dots (but hey, it's a vacation, and I did a lot worse elsewhere)...quinoa, fresh tomato salsa, awesome guacamole, kale, and pea shoots. Their key lime pie is also awesome, we've sampled many of their desserts (my celiac egg/milk allergic son doesn't have that opportunity elsewhere) but that one is by far my favorite...it may have avocado in it, I'll check my cookbook for a recipe and post back. My 5 year old doesn't do well with Carageenan, so I was a bit concerned about the irish moss (the source of carageenan if I understand correctly), but it worked out fine or him.
Tomorrow I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and starting Taekwondo. I've done Pilates, Aerobics and Yoga (though none of it recently), but I've never done any martial arts. They have a babysitter there, as lots of moms take the class. It promises to be a good workout that may help me break out of the box in other ways as well. I'm soft spoken and I avoid confrontation far too often, so getting out of a rut should be a good thing. As a gatherer, and a human, I have more potential than I'm using.
I still get in an emotional rut sometimes over whether or not to have one more child. I'm and InfJ, and the J is very strong, so I hate having a decision just hanging out there to be decided later. My decision is to live for the two amazing boys I have, and focus only on them, and of course my husband. I know I can always change my mind about having another child, and I'll know if I need to reevaluate that, but my J side is decided now. I really put a lot of focus and attention into each child, with just having two, and I do like it this way. There are so many things to look out for in raising children today, I can hardly bear to take my eyes off of either of them.
There are quite a few new foods I've found thanks to BTD and GTD, and I'm continuing my search for food finds. Learning about and trying new foods is a fun adventure.
Today I tried Job's Tears, or Hato Mugi. Lola posted a link to a website source for them, so I ordered some. It was't long before I also found them at a local Asian market. They were labeled as some type of Barley, though they definitely didn't look like barley, but I still didn't dare buy them. I waited for them to arrive in the mail, so I could be sure I'd recognize them. I followed the recipe on the bag for Japanese Soft Rice, a porridge of brown rice and Job's tears, using brown basmati. They remind me of homini, a food I liked in my pre-BTD life, so I'm pretty pleased with them. The porridge is nice and energizing, I can see why this Japanese recipe is recommended for those who are ill. (I'm still quite tired and fighting sinus pain after that head cold I had, so this was nice.) I will use it as a homini substitute next time. It's also a fine barley substitute, for those who can't have gluten or barley. The texture is like homini, the flavor is a bit like millet.
I've continued to enjoy my newfound Shirataki noodles. I have to avoid the tofu shirataki and get the ones that are made of just yam flour. There are some pretty interesting claims online about these noodles for weight loss. They are filling, though not really like any regular noodle. I like them best in Asian soups, but I've also tried them in stir fry and curry stir fry. I haven't yet tried them with spaghetti sauce, as they aren't like spaghetti, but I may try it. I have tried the ones with seaweed in them, and didn't notice much different in their flavor. They all smell seaweedy, but after rinsing, they don't taste it. They're clear and a bit chewy, and don't need cooked beyond just warming up.
It's not a recent discovery for me, but GTD has renewed my interest in Goji Berries. I'd heard about them from Young Living, then Sarah introduced me to them in Japan, where I used my hotel room tea pot to turn them into a tea. I quite liked the tea, and the plumped up berries. Last week I saw them sold as a tea at the Asian market, so that wasn't an original idea I had. They're kind of sour, and would probably be a good dried cranberry substitute (since I've yet to find any unsweetened dried cranberries). Their flavor has a bit more depth than a cranberry, maybe a bit less bitterness. I'm thinking of trying to germinate some for planting, just for fun. I have all kinds of bushes on my hill, but none of them produce anything edible (until now that I've planted a few elderberries and raspberries).
Lingonberries are also interesting, I've only been able to find them as preserves, with sugar. They also have a totally different flavor than anything else I've tasted. I'd think that if I've tried 10 berries I've tried them all, but their flavors seem to be unlimited.
Black Currant juice...I'm still working this one out, to figure out what it tastes good with. I can't drink it straight up very easily! Mixed with other flavorful juices, or into an elderberry seltzer, it's rather drinkable.
Noni juice - I hate to say that I hate the flavor of this juice, but I do. It tastes a little like blue cheese, which is weird in a juice. I drink it for punishment (and health benefits, as it is a superfood for me) and haven't really found any way to mask the flavor. It doesn't help that I can't have any of the noni blends that have improved flavor, due to the xanthan gum, citric acid, and other foods added that don't work well for me.
Watermelon Seeds - in addition to trying to buy seeded watermelons and just eating the seeds as I go, or putting them into smoothies, I've also ordered some roasted watermelon seeds from Oh Nuts, where I get some milk free chocolates for my son. I don't know what kind of oil they have in them, but they are tasty. I only wish I could find them shelled. They are hard to shell, and the nut inside is so small that it's very little pay off. I never was much of a sunflower seed eater, so shelling them isn't a natural passtime for me. It is possible to eat them whole, but I can't recommend it as the shells are quite hard and irritating to your mouth and gums! The flavor though is excellent, and I think it's worth it.
I regret posting on the heels of my recent keema post, so if you missed that recipe, check it out and try it. My picky five year old just finished some off for lunch.
Anyway, I've spend a good deal of time and energy trapping raccoons and sending them away with the city's help. So today driving home from church something small and furry was crossing right in front of my car. It was a very small raccoon. My two boys were in the car with me. I agonized over the decision for the instant I had to make it, as I avoided hitting the cute little pest. I wasn't sure if my boys had seen it, or if they'd know, or what I'd need to do after hitting it...
What would you do?
No doubt, once it gets a bit bigger, I will conspire to trap it and send it away like the others. I think my boys are a bit too young to understand or forgive me for hitting such a cute little thing...if they hadn't been in the car I may have decided otherwise. I don't know. I've never killed anything bigger than a mouse or a trout before, so I'm not sure if I could do it. It's so much easier to have the dogcatcher come load them from the trap and "take care of them" for me.
At least it was a head's up for me that they are indeed, still in the area. I was hoping they wouldn't have to come down here during the summer, that they'd be able to find enough food in the wild, but as it stands, I'll need to shore up my garden to protect against them. If a young one was down here, they're probably nesting near here permanently.