Strict dieting, portion control, eliminating entire groups of foods and timed as well as how many meals led me to binge after each and every bout of severe restriction. ALL of my adult life.
The weighing, measuring and counting triggered what I later learned was disordered eating. When I looked into Eating Disorders Anonymous after a friendly chat with a gen z-er who noticed I wasn’t ordering lunch during a lunch date, I realized my weight and body size meant a lot more to me and how in reality it was unimportant to others who liked or loved me and generally in the scheme of things.
I have used food as a substitute for feeling emotions as well as sabotaging and punishing myself. It was a comfort, a drug and an escape. It was a way to control, manipulate and judge me because as an immature adult I thought I needed that kind of discipline. I had body dysmorphia and loathing. No body shape or size was ever good enough.
Now I use intuitive eating and I have gained weight yet actually I like myself more and I am finding my voice. Because it wasn’t the outer me that had to morph, it was the inner me that had to love and accept herself exactly where she was at.
Here’s the list of other plants: Poison Oak (no sampling but did you know it’s there to protect other plants from predators?),
Sticky Monkey (yellow flowers edible and it opens you up energetically making you vulnerable so it’s great for connecting to your higher self and intimacy with others),
Wild Cucumber (not edible but mature seed pods can be cracked open and inside are loofah type sponges used for cleansing long ago by indigenous people),
California Mugwort used as a spirit ally for lucid dreamwork and vision quests, CA poppy which has edible leaves and flowers that help with anxiety, showy penstemon, scrub oak which is not a real oak, Ca sage brush is great for smudging,
Mule fat used to drill willow bark back in the day to create fire, CA buckwheat which is not really wheatgrass at all and its tea leaves helps with headaches and its dried flowers makes reddish pancakes,
CA sage, CA gooseberry, Black Sage with its light blue flowers, Hemlock which as Socrates knows is deadly,
wild mustard which is bitter greens, golden chia that doesn’t look anything like a chia pet from the black seeded variety and finally, thistle which is a lilac colored spiny ball of a flower and grows profusely here in CA.
Read MFK Fisher’s memoir, A Year in Dijon. A foodie memoirist before the word was invented. She recounts her youthful 20’s during the in between world war years of peace in France, specifically the quaint town of Dijon. Her precise observations of people and settings are laced with interesting word combinations making the descriptions even more alive. There’s just enough dialogue and inner monologue to keep the narrative flowing and just enough funny incidents to keep it light.
Highly recommend if you are a history or food aficionado. Better, if you are both.
Eating Mindfully – No more senselessly eating in front of the TV. Set the table. Eat outside. Put utensils down between bites. Listen to music or silence. Light candles. Pay attention. Focus. Bring mind to the task or life moment. Check in with appetite. Pause. Reflect.
Also – Walk, wonder, write. My 3 W’s for Women. How can you be authentic if you don’t know who you are?
And what does intelligent, smart or correct eating mean?
For me, I choose organic, vegan foods. If I was always on my game, all my foods would be whole. I like to eat processed vegan foods so I am not always so conscious. I know for me, I just can’t have sugar, wheat or peanut butter. They are triggers and lead me into the black hole of bingeing.
There are some obvious unhealthy choices like fries that could be considered treats. If you can have just one, then it has no power over you. I am not one of those people. So, it’s smart for me to know what my triggers are and then to stay away from them. Just one bite and I am off and running.
Exercise can mean a walk around the block, one hour on the elliptical or a game of tennis. Everyone needs to determine their start point and build upon it.
Whatever works for you WILL work for you but getting your head around it first and then planning it is best. You have to feel ready and balanced to begin or refresh your regimen. Or, you have to be fed up. If you feel sick and tired of being sick and tired, you must not give up. Just take it one step, one meal and one day at a time.
As it is cooler in the San Bernardino mountain range at 5300 feet above sea level and the air is breezy and clean, I decided to make a triple C invention: a Cauliflower, Cannellini bean soup thickened with Cashew cream and topped it off with water sauteed mushrooms, red onions and fresh basil. Yum. Satisfyingly delish. No oil, no salt, no sugar, no starch.
On Monday, we gallivanted over to the center of Orange and visited The Duchess of Cambridge Design Center and Green Door Cafe.
Strategically positioned, every inch of space at The Duchess is a vignette of class and sophistication. Whether indoors or outside, the store exudes posh and chic style. The natural setting and the structure’s fine bones all lend to exhibiting elegant material goods. The mood is set, the colors are modern yet soothing and the older home is built with fine craftsmanship and expensive millwork.
After a pleasant shopping experience, we headed towards Green Door Cafe, a few blocks away. At Green Door, vegan and vegetarians eat together amidst art created by the owner’s son. My favorite appetizer is the buffalo cauliflower. The florets are drenched in an orange, hot sauced batter and baked. The accompanying vegan ranch dip cools the heat and coats your mouth with tanginess.
We agreed on sharing the kale walnut muffin with icing which was to die for.
After duly contributing to the well being of others, we funded another good cause and grabbed lunch at The Butcher’s Son, an all-vegan dining establishment that has risen to stardom on University Ave.in Berkeley.