Categories: Kristin's Earlier Blogs, About Kristin
Is it just me or is there anyone else out there that is mortified by the plethora of plastic surgery make-over shows currently being shown on network television? I cannot believe it! People willingly signing up for not just one surgery but phases of treatment requiring numerous surgeries and painful procedures. And the intense level of healing that their bodies must go through as a result of all that trauma. For Years. Just thinking about all that anaesthesia alone makes me ill. But the bottom line for me is what is it that motivates someone to take such drastic measures for superficial change?
Several months ago, a friend and I were talking about the popularity of these make-over shows, and she mentioned that social psychologists believe the make-over shows are a direct result of living in such a disconnected, mobile society, where first impressions are the ONLY impressions. We don’t develop the connections with people like our parents and grandparents did. If we interacted in our daily lives with people we went to elementary school with, people we knew our entire lives, we would judge them on the basis of their character and how they lived their lives; how they looked in appearance would be inconsequential.
I remember as a new mother and struggling with accepting the physical changes wrought from childbearing, I read in “Mothering” magazine an article from a man who had studied pygmy cultures in Africa. In pygmy societies, the woman who has the saggiest skin and the most stretch marks is seen as the most beautiful. Since children are so highly valued in pygmy society, the physical remnants of childbearing form the basis of their standards of beauty. How I clung to the notion that it is our standards of beauty that are at fault, not my changing body. And that what we see as beautiful is a reflection of our character, both individually and as a society.
Never having been one to embrace the beliefs and attitudes of the dominant culture, I realize I have always been attracted to interesting faces sculpted from experience and a life lived fully. And if there is a quirky personality living behind that face, all the better.
Went for an early evening hike today at The Garden of the Gods, the perfect time of year to hike in the park. The sun was warm, the air cool, and the tourists haven’t quite arrived yet. Being locals, we tend to hike the hills on the outskirts of the park, so we are away from the high traffic areas. Steve Garufi, on his blog coloradoguy.com has some pics of the Siamese Twins trail which is one of our favorites. (By the way, the “Kristin” in some of the pictures is not me.)
We had some late Spring snow/rain this year so the vegetation is lush and green... for now. There are lots of wildflowers, the prickly pears are budding, and the scrub oak are full of soft green leaves. Only the yucca were not in bloom, I only saw one flower stalk which is unusual.
Being that it was early evening, we saw a few deer grazing nearby the trail. They do not seem particularly alarmed by people any more, a sure indication of the intense useage the park receives. I also saw my first hummingbird of the season. Colorado has 4 species of hummers that vacation here in the summer. I have always liked hummingbirds. Seeing the hummingbird reminded me that my oldest son used to call me Hummingbird Woman when he was young.
We paused on our hike to let the boys scramble on some rock formations. They always seem especially eager to hike with us if they know we will let them climb around for a bit. Garden of the Gods is famous for its multitude of sandstone formations, many of the smaller ones are suitable for free climbing. I don’t know why the boys like to climb so much, perhaps it’s that full body cross-lateral movement that they need on some level. My O son seems to really need vigorous exercise, while A son seems to enjoy being in nature and observing wildlife best. Me, I like both of course. It’s a B thing.
After our hike, we had a late meal of leftover lamb stew for me and the O while the A’s enjoyed lentils and rice cooked with onions, carrots, and celery, very rejuvenating for all.
And the best thing today was we awoke to the sound of the phone ringing. My husband’s sister had given birth during the night to a baby girl. Weighing in at 9 lbs., she is a good size for a healthy baby girl born in high altitude; they live above 7500 feet.
Welcome to the world, little one.
Last night I went out with a friend to a Mexican restaurant that I hadn’t been to in years. In perusing the menu for something suitable to eat, I noticed that the only smart choice was the raw veggie platter. I was thinking about ordering that when I saw NACHOS on the menu, full of black beans, corn tortilla chips, cheese, tomato salsa, sour cream, and jalapeños. Not only does this restaurant have fantastic nachos but my husband and I often came here for nachos while we were dating so I have quite fond memories of the nachos in this place. So, what’’ll it be... rabbit food or nostalgia? Well, nostalgia won this round and I chose the nachos but I also agreed with myself to watch how this food choice affected my body and mind.
Now, I will occasionally eat corn or beans or even sometimes tomatoes, all of which are lethal for B’s but I never eat them all at one meal. Boy, was I in for a ride! The first thing I noticed was feeling like I was drunk, and I had only had a tiny sip of my margarita (honest!). I had difficulty tracking our conversation and when I stood up to leave the restaurant after about an hour, my legs felt shaky (and no, I hadn’t had any more alcohol beyond that one sip!) I felt dizzy getting into the car and by the time I returned home I was feeling irritable and agitated which stayed with me all evening and into the wee hours of the morning.
As I lay in bed trying to will myself to fall asleep, feeling like I had eaten the nutritional equivalent of wallpaper paste, or worse, for my evening meal, it suddenly dawned on me... this is how I used to feel all the time. All. The. Time. I had forgotten... I had forgotten the physical sensations and mental agitation of those years when I was eating vegetarian, macrobiotic, low-fat, you name it all in the name of “healthy”. And all it was doing was making me miserable.
Sometimes it’s good to have a little reality check. But this is one choice I am not likely to choose again.
As I picture amber waves of grain in my mind, it is not wheat that I am seeing but spelt. Spelt - that lovely, delicate, versatile, plump little grain. And being, generally speaking, suitable for all blood types, what’s not to love?
When I started on the Blood Type Diet several years ago, one of the first foods I eliminated was wheat, in particular, whole wheat and wheat germ. I like to bake and I was in the habit of using whole wheat flour and adding wheat germ to EVERYTHING: cookies, muffins, breads, and pancakes in particular. Since spelt flour is similar to wheat flour, I decided to give it a try and printed some spelt recipes off the internet. I was so impressed with the results that I began substituting spelt in all my recipes. I had some successes... but I also experienced a few failures and learned some things along the way. Since spelt does not absorb as much liquid as wheat, a little more spelt flour is needed when substituting for wheat. This produces a finer crumb in cakes and muffins. I use about 1/3 cup extra flour for every 3 cups in a recipe. I have also noticed that I am more satisfied with my results when I use a heavy liquid ingredient, such as butter and buttermilk, banana, winter or summer squash, carrots. Cookies made with spelt flour are often dry so I couple spelt with another grain such as oats which hold more moisture.
But, I had never tried preparing anything using spelt berries. So yesterday, I stopped by the health food store and picked some up. I soaked the spelt berries overnight, rinsed them, and cooked them in fresh water for about an hour. I first tried mixing the cooked berries in with some oatmeal topped with a little butter and dried blueberries. Delicious. Then I tried the spelt berries alone toped with a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup, and dried cranberries. Tasty as well with an interesting and chewy texture. I think I’ll try making a spelt berry salad next.
Oh yeah, this love affair is definitely going to last.