The secret of the universe… maybe.

Today was my sleep-in day, and man did I need it. I slept until 10:30, and I haven’t done that in a long time. I always feel a little disgusting after I sleep in. I prefer not to do it often, but I think my body will thank me today. It’s amazing, this body of mine. It can handle so much. My sister and I talked about it some a while ago, but after having a baby I can’t think about my body in the same way. Before, I could abuse it how I wanted- with laziness or substances or whatever- as long as my mind could rationalize it. I could smoke cigarettes because I knew they were bad for me, so I was making an informed decision and it was my cross to bear so-to-speak. I now realize that while that is true, it’s not the whole truth. Now I also think about how important it is for me to be here for my family- specifically for my kid. It’s so important not just for me to be here, but to be healthy and active and to live as an example for her. I also now think of my body as something that can become pregnant again, and that means that I need to be in great condition for when that happens. I think I am generally pretty healthy, but now I want to be strong and fit. I want to feel great, not just good. I wonder why it always seems to take some external thing to get us in gear. We sacrifice ourselves so readily. Actually, I think this is true in most areas. I think something my dad really pounded into us is that we don’t have to feel like doing something to do it. I think that’s probably what gets me doing a lot of things. Anyway, there’s always a reward in the end. To bring it full-circle, it’s like working out. At first you feel weak and sore and unable. But if you sit at the bottom of that hill waiting to be strong then you never will be. It’s about pushing through and hurting some, and then gratification comes later. And now I just thought of childbirth, and ok I’ll shut up. But seriously this is like the theme of my life, if you haven’t noticed. I feel like I’ve unlocked some secret to the universe.

June 18th:
I made a seared tuna steak with a wasabi butter sauce over bowtie pasta with kale and onions. It was sooo good. That sauce is going all over veggies and pasta and whatever for years to come. Jeff and I both used our fingers to sop up the sauce afterwards. mmmboy.

June 19th:
My mom has this vision of a garden, but she gets so overwhelmed when it comes to actually doing it. She hates the work that it involves, while I am the complete opposite. I mean, it takes some motivation to get going sometimes, and I don’t always feel like going out there, but I am always glad that I did it. Maybe I’ve just had enough practice so that I can expect that feeling of accomplishment at the end, not to mention the couple of hours of good thinking time you get out there. It’s so good for my soul. Anyway, she asked for my help and so a while ago we went to get her plants. Then they sat right next to this long raised bed on the side of their house until most were shriveled up and dead. So I went over there on Thursday and weeded and tilled it all and planted all the remaining plants. Then I made a chart for her and labeled all the different plants and where they were, etc. She was happy. I felt good. It only took about 3 hours, all said and done, with a baby. I hope that she can tap into her inner gardener this year. I’m encouraged by the fact that my dad waters everything. I know he won’t forget to, so at least the plants that are in there won’t die.

June 20th:
I watch Tuula on Mondays and Fridays. I’m glad that I do because I’ve really been able to see her develop in fun ways. This day in particular was great. She was trying to work the buckle on the highchair seat for so long. She sat there with this deep look of concentration while she tried to clip the two parts together (they don’t even clip together, but I let her try). She also learned how to kiss. We practiced for a long time and she would kiss Vera (basically just put her lips on her and made a smacking noise) and then I would cheer and she’d get really excited and smile. Then I’d ask her for one and point to my cheek and she’d do it to me. SO FRIKKIN CUTE. It got to the point where she’d kiss Vera and then come away and automatically clap for herself. I love it!

I’ve been meaning to update these cute videos of both of them, but I don’t ever seem to get around to it. Someday.

June 21st:
I’m not sure what the official name for these are, but the woman who gave them to me calls them “Yellows.” Who’d have thought. I like them.

June 22nd:
I’ve regained my taste for coffee. I lost it during pregnancy. I just wanted water, tea, and kombucha during that time. Now, there’s something so lovely about a hot cup of coffee in the morning.

I am determined to cut out refined flours and sugars. I don’t really eat much of it anyway, but it’s been a challenge to make a great pie crust or something without them. Wheat flour seems like a challenge to use to me, but I think I’ll tap into it’s greatness soon enough. I always thought that brown rice was not as good as white rice, but actually- I think it’s way way better. It’s so much more flavorful and substantial, kind of nutty. That’s a perfect example of that sad line of thinking that healthy food is gross. I didn’t think I subscribed to that, but in this area I think I did. Just like non-white bread. Once you get used to eating it, it has so much more depth and flavor. My sister works at this shelter for youth between the ages of 10-17, and many of them come from poorer areas. Apparently when they are asked what kinds of food they want from the store, they say all this brand-name boxed stuff that is void of nutrition and expensive, etc. When she makes suggestions for other things they often say “Eeeew, grosss! Organic food?!? Nasty!” And then she’ll ask them if they’ve had it before and they’ll say they haven’t. It’s just unfounded, it has to do more with our culture than anything else. What’s sad is that they could better afford to eat more nutritious food- rather than buying Pringles and frozen french fries and Velveeta. She said it’s funny cuz half the time she’ll make them something nutritious and they’ll love it. haha.
My housemate and I were talking the other day about things like this, and he said something that really hit me. He said that none of us have a right to comfort. We have a right to shelter, healthcare, food, etc., but not comfort. We were specifically talking about air conditioning, and how it’s so bad for the environment but people seem to feel they have a right to it. I have one for if the baby is totally miserable, but he thought that it was different for babies and the elderly, etc. I think that he made a lot of sense though. It’s a problem when we start to count our desires as necessities- at the expense of others and the environment, etc. I sometimes wonder what our grandchildren will say to us. Will they ask us to tell them stories of when the people of the world thoughtlessly polluted, when people wasted and shopped and valued comfort over health and money over prosperity and peace? I hope they ask me about these times, as if they are long gone.

I’ve had lots of time to think lately.

Quote of the day:
“World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed… Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion. We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built.” -Dr. MLK Jr.

Comments (13)

  1. brigittefires

    Cutting refined flours and sugars isn’t too difficult, though it seems like a very daunting task when you start. It’s a lot easer than cutting them out altogether 😉

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Oh I’ve already cut them to almost nothing- I’m talking about completely replacing it… so I’m going to have to relearn how to make almost everything! Any suggestions?

      1. brigittefires

        my only real suggestion is that MOST things that are now made with refined flours and sugars were traditional recipes before such technology and products were even available. So it’s POSSIBLE. The hardest part is re-teaching yourself to LIKE those things which are not as refined and processed, which you’ve already started. A whole wheat pie crust is NOT going to taste the same as one with pastry flour.

        For things that need gluten development, springing for some vital wheat gluten and subbing a small amount of the flour REALLY helps. Whole wheat flour has less protein by sheer percentage, what with the additional weight in the bran. And it’s less available structurally. So adding in some gluten is, while technically a refining process, really very helpful. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then there are other options; additional rising time (which is probably needed either way), and the like.

        A trip to the library would probably ve REALLY helpful. See if you can find some cookbooks that specialize in using whole grain flours, especially ones that aren’t just recipes and have some more educational content. Sadly I don’t know any titles offhand, but they’re around.

        Good luck! definitely post about your findings, as I haven’t had the time to devote to REALLY experimenting.

  2. pithy_epigrams

    That was nice of you to help your Mom out, the garden looks beautiful.

    I was a Houdini baby and figured out how to get out of every car seat. Every car seat. I hope Tuula isn’t headed into that direction…

    Eating healthy is definitely a class issue. Unhealthy food is marketed towards working class people, it’s cheaper, and faster, no wonder we have an obesity problem in the US. Seriously in CA, I see more unhealthy children than healthy ones. So sad.

    Good luck with the refined flour and sugar!!!

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Haha Houdidi baby! I have this image of a mini you working away at buckles and ties.

      Yep, it absolutely is. I remember seeing poor(ish – way poorer than Ann Arbor) kids at my school and they’d all have (what I thought at the time) way better food than I did. I had the tuna on whole wheat, with carrots and a juice- they’d have lunchables and doritos and soda. I was jealous. Now I am grateful.


  3. poppleshatesyou

    My favorite sugar substitute is Agave nectar, its so delicious! and wheat flour isn’t such a scary leap, i promise. 🙂

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I’ve been meaning to try Agave. I mostly use maple syrup and honey. I’d also like to try molasses. Anyway, do you have any good recipes for wheat flour? I’m not too intimidated, but for things like biscuits and things, stuff that tastes really familiar, I’m looking for a kind of consistency. I wonder if I’ll have to settle for like half and half or something…

  4. purerandomness

    I wanted to grow some Stevia this year as a natural sweetener, but never got to it. Next year, maybe.

    Jake just came over with a spoon for me to taste a wing sauce he just made– honey and vinegar and red hot (vinegar with cayenne pepper), olive oil and a little butter. Holy cow!

    I’ve been thinking a lot about how to get more whole-ness into my eating. If you find good recipes without processed flour/sugars, will you please post?

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Of course I will post! You too- ok? I never thought about growing my own natural sweetener! The sky is the limit!

  5. csgraham

    “Oh grandmother, tell us the story again of how you used to be able to just walk around without a gas-filter mask on and could just drink water from a faucet without boiling it?”

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Oh gawd. Oh. Gawd.

  6. nashifeet

    i remember when i wanted coffee again. it was joyous. 🙂

    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Mmmm coffee. It makes mornings so peaceful and familiar (joyous even).


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