Categories: Kristin's Earlier Blogs, About Kristin
In my younger years, I used to participate in a dance form called contact improvisation that involves full weight exchange between partner(s). One of the foundation techniques is learning how to fall to the floor without hurting oneself, through various methods, including Aikido rolls. As I intentionally fell to the floor over and over again, I never realized I was learning a valuable life lesson, with many levels of application.
On a practical level, it is unlikely that I will hurt myself when I fall down, which has, uncharacteristically, been happening alot lately. I noticed it a few weeks ago when I was dancing around my living room. I leapt into the air, and came down wrong on my foot and before I knew it I was sprawled on the floor, uninjured. My body knew not to put weight on that oddly positioned foot. It would have been seriously injured if I did. Instead, all my joints collapsed and there I was, on the floor... in a heap but unhurt. My body was not afraid of falling.
This has happened several times while hiking on icy trails. I even had a banana peel both-legs-in-the-air fall while hiking down a long slippery slope and managed to land on my side and forearm, NOT my tailbone or elbow, thank goodness. My right shoulder girdle was achy for a few days, but easily recovered.
My body knows how to fall.
My self is still learning that one.
It is inevitable that we will fall, and often, on our journey through life. No matter what our intentions are, no one is ever perfect. At this time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions, I think it is important to remember that failing, or falling, is also part of the journey, in which many a valuable lesson can be learned.
I have been working hard at keeping avoids out of my diet. But on those times when an avoid does somehow creep in, I ALWAYS learn something through the experience that I didn’t know before. Sometimes it is a new awareness, association, reaction, or even a new sensation. The experience of ‘falling’ from my goal becomes a valuable experience in and of itself.
So no matter what your intentions of betterment are for yourself on the BTD, whether it is committing to exercise, eating the right proportions of all the food groups, getting closer to the lofty goal of 100% compliance, or even just eliminating a favorite avoid, please give yourself permission (without guilt) for falling.
You might just learn something valuable about yourself on the way down.
Ah, yes....it is that time of year again...
I am sitting here at my computer, sipping a steaming mug of hot cocoa, having (finally!) finished all of my Christmas shopping. We’ve had a lovely snowfall the past 36 hours of that wonderful powdery snow so envied by skiing enthusiasts. The kids are on winter break from school and the relatives have arrived for the holidays so I am spending most of my time in the kitchen... which is truthfully where I am happiest. I love cooking for others... most of the time.
But the house is quiet now, for the moment. And it gives me pause to reflect - this time of year turns me even more introspective than usual. My heart fills with gratitude for all the many blessings I have experienced in my life’s journey, the BTD certainly being one of them. And I how much I treasure time spent with my family, I often think I am the luckiest person in the world on that score. They have enriched my life beyond what I thought was even possible. My family is truly the greatest gift I have ever been given.
So here’s wishing you many wonderful, heart-filled moments this holiday season. And may you be blessed by the presence of family and loved ones in your life.
Several months ago, I noticed that a couple of my pants had gotten a bit tight around the waist. Reluctant to give them to Goodwill just yet, I placed them in a secluded spot in my closet to rest for a bit, and ordered a pair of pants (don’t have an “off the rack” kind of body) one size larger and began to accept the fact that I’m in my forties now, weight gain is inevitable, and began thinking about purchasing a whole new wardrobe.
Until that rebellious trait in me (please tell me it is indeed indigenous to all B’s!) screamed out “Well, forget this!! I refuse to accept this notion of inevitable weight gain! You WILL DO something about this!!!”
So I did. I eliminated almost all flour products from my diet, increased fruits and veggies, and made sure I had my protein in the morning and throughout the day. But the biggest change was I upped my cardio. Big time.
And it worked. Today, those pants in my closet came back from their extended vacation and fit perfectly. No uncomfortable binding at the waist. And those pants a size bigger? They hang like a sack on me now.
I probably will gain weight, or at least added fat as I age. My shape is surely to change - it already has. And I am not willing to starve or exercise to the point of exhaustion to maintain a “youthful image”. I actually like all my wrinkles. The sagging skin... well that is going to take some time to accept but I’ll get there. But here and now, I could affect a change with just a little bit of effort. I didn’t have to accept the inevitable weight gain. Not yet. And I feel much healthier and vibrant from all that good oxygenating exercise.
So here’s to not settling for less... and also for grace in accepting the inevitable changes wrought by the passage of time.
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. As a child, we traveled to my aunt and uncle’s house for the day. There was something of a predictable routine for the holiday that I found very comforting. We ate dinner at 1 PM, with the whole turkey, mashed potatoes, marsh-mellowed yams, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce thing. My aunt made pumpkin and mincemeat pies every year. After dinner, the menfolk, all 8 of them, watched football and read the newspaper while the females, all 3 of us, washed dishes and cleaned up. So glad times have changed on THAT one! At about 3 o’clock, out came the homemade fudge and card games. Around 5-6, another meal was served and we then stumbled out to the car and traveled home stuffed to the gills.
Usually with Thanksgiving, I don’t think about compliance much ~ it is a holiday after all. But this year, I was excited to try a little holiday alteration to the compliance side of the scale, which suddenly became a bit complicated as we decided to spend Thanksgiving with my husband’s aunt and his family in Santa Fe. So, to keep my agreement with myself on sticking to BTD principles, we had a pre-Thanksgiving meal on Tuesday before heading south.
I love cooking a turkey and have long ago given up on stuffing, so that was an easy one. This time of year my Grandmother Sage is still green and so I picked several sprigs plus fresh rosemary and often thyme to stuff the turkey with. Sans stuffing, the turkey cooks quite quickly and stays moist as well. We also had mashed potatoes and gravy with our pre-holiday feast plus butternut squash with cranberries, and steamed green beans. I made a pecan pie with a spelt crust for dessert, using maple syrup in place of the corn syrup and half & half for some of the cream. Just enough food to fell like a holiday but not enough to feel over full. Quite delightful.
So on the actual holiday, we made a huge green salad to bring along, and having had our mini-Thanksgiving beforehand, it felt like just another meal with family. I ate several helpings of the salad since I knew exactly what was in it and avoided most questionable dishes. One caveat however, Aunt Clo had made an apple & green chili pie. I had to try that one. Oh My Goodness it was SOOO good!! So, I had a second piece - that was my downfall. It was loaded with cinnamon and I began to feel irritation in my stomach almost immediately. But the pie was so wonderful that I will have to come up with my own compliant version without cinnamon but with lots of hot green chili peppers! Oh ~ ya gotta try this one!
Thinking about turkeys lately has spurred other memories too. When I was 11 years old, I hatched a couple turkey eggs that my mother picked up from a turkey farm for a science project. They were calds - too small by turkey farm standards - so we didn’t know if they would hatch or not. Two eggs out of the five did hatch. I remember watching them peck out of their shells all wet and new and fresh to the world.
Now, domesticated hybrid turkeys are not the smartest birds on earth. I had to teach them how to eat and drink by placing shiny objects in their food and water dishes to peck at. One of the turkeys drowned in our sump pump, so I was left with one and he grew to be quite large. He was our pet and would follow us around the yard and out to the garden, searching for bugs and scratching in the dirt. He had people he liked and those he did not and would chase after strangers, something like a guard turkey.
But the day came when I saw a large weasel or fox lurking about his pen and realized the time had come to find him another home. My mother found a farm that would take him as a pet but I knew he would eventually end up on their table.
And he did. They said he was the best tasting turkey they ever had. Perhaps it was because he was fed well and had a good life chasing after bugs and the like.
But I think it was because he was loved by a little girl who watched him miraculously hatch from an egg for a science project.
Interesting Saturday on tap. Earlier, the weather predictions were either for 1-4 inches of snow or 10-20 inches. I hate to be objectionable but there is quite a difference between the two and does put something of a wrench into the weekend planning. So far, it looks like the lesser amount will prevail.
We were able to get out to see a high school production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” which came off quite nicely. All the actors remained in character throughout and no noticeable dropping of lines, all of which can sometimes be challenging for a high school production, depending on the cast. My only criticisms were directorial, I think the director could have done alot more with it but, oh well, it was a school production after all. Lovely to be be at a live performance. It has been a very S L O W performing arts season this year. The arts are truly hurting in Colorado.
I read an article in our weekly rag about a turkey farmer in Carbondale raising heritage breeds of turkeys, including several that were near extinction and have been championed for comeback by-- the Slow Food Movement of course. This farm is committed to raising the turkeys as “naturally and organically as possible”, feeding them wild apples, squash, zucchini, pumpkins and the like. They also have plenty of space to forage for grasshoppers, field grasses, and seeds on their free-range pasture. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? For more about this article, click here.
I know that turkey is neutral for all blood types but I have to admit that I sometimes feel a little guilty eating it. I learned several years ago that the hybrid broad-breasted turkeys that are most commonly farmed have been bred to have such large breast meat, that they can only reproduce through artificial insemination. The breasts are so large on the toms that they are unable to mount the hens. We have created a hybrid species that is no longer capable of natural reproduction. And why??? Because we like that nice juicy breast meat. And I won’t get into the horrid conditions that most birds are raised in. I even have questions over how “free-range” some of those free-range turkey farms actually are.
So thank goodness for farmers like Jim Sorensen of Shanaroba farms and his passion for raising vintage turkeys in a healthy environment, fed with organic and wholesome food, and a chance to chase after a few grasshoppers in its lifetime. I plan on supporting the efforts of these farmers who understand what conscientious and sustainable farming is all about, and who know that preserving diversity within a given gene pool is critical for the overall health of the species.
That is, once I don’t have to take out a second on our house in order to afford one. I sure do hope the price per pound becomes more reasonable!