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11  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Healthy Eats-Along 2012 on: January 08, 2012 01:47:04 PM
I need to up my nutrition factor so I'm IN!
It's not about weight with me.  I'm a type 1 insulin dependent diabetic...I now tend to think traditional nutrition is what made me sick in the first place (I was not diagnosed with the diabetes till I was 23).  IN the last few years though, I have been dealing with depression and being "stuck", and I have developed a "food sucks" kind of attitude.  So I would rather eat chocolate then try and think of something healthy to eat...or just skip eating all together.  My Hub does the cooking, so I normally have one full meal a day at least.  But then I tend to graze on crap all night long, so I'm not hungry in the morning again.  SO my large goal is to get back to eating things that nourish me, and eating every 2 to 4 hours during the day, so I don't feel ravenous at night.

I know the feeling about needing to up the nutrition factor in one's life.  I too am a late-blooming type I diabetic.  I received my diagnosis only six years ago when I was 27.  It was a strange moment to realize that I no longer had the liberty to care about food and exercise because I wanted to get rid of those spare 5, 10, or 15 pounds (depending on the year and the season).  Now I had to care because my life, literally depends on it.

I wish I could say that I am a perfect diabetic, who never eats the things I shouldn't and never has a blood sugar reading out of the "good" range. I'm far from perfect, but I was blessed to have a healthy appetite for healthy food, and I've tried to hone that over the past few years.  I try as much as possible to not buy the junk, to read food labels for the items with as little salt, as much fiber, and as few preservatives or unnatural ingredients (i.e. the ones I cannot pronounce or have no idea where they come from) as possible.  In fact, more and more, I find myself shopping the "perimeter" of the supermarket, where all the fresh ingredients are--fruits and vegetables, meats, fresh bread, and dairy; skipping most of the middle, where the prepackaged, highly-processed, less-nuturitious foods like to hang out. I make exceptions for cereal, some canned or frozen vegetables (watch the salt content there, though.  yikes!), dry beans and whole grains, and the occasional treat.

I'm also working on some things on the home-front too.  I started gardening a few years ago.  It's not much to speak of, but it's growing (truly!).  I've also joined with a local community garden, which has more than doubled my yield thanks to others' greener thumbs and the joy of gardening together.  This summer, as I raked in a great harvest of cucumbers and okra, I realized that growing your own food is not only resourceful and healthier, but it forces one to exercise a great deal of creativity.  My garden is not--as yet--like the produce section of the supermarket, where I can find two tomatoes, a head of lettuce, one onion, and something fun like arugula or zucchini just because that's what I want to eat tonight.  Some things grow at the same time.  Others do not.  Some things cooperate with the seasons.  Others (like my tomatoes this year) do not.  So, I have to improvise or things go bad and get wasted.  This year, I experimented with cucumber soup (needs work), sauteed okra (amazing!!!), and stir-fry with lettuce bolts (an interesting way to use the lettuce that has started to sprout and get a little sour...it was pretty good, saved lots of edible lettuce from being wasted, and made me feel like a true innovator!).

Also on the home-front is the idea of cooking more from scratch.  Yes it takes more time, but part of eating so much junk is the ease of it.  If our food takes a little more time to prepare, a little more effort to get together, a little more of our creativity to come up with, a little more of ourselves to put on the table, perhaps we will relish it a little more. Speaking of relishing, I heard once that part of America's problem with food and weight and unhealthy eating has less to do with the content of our meals than with the setting.  We have moved eating to the living room in front of the television, to the office in front of the computer, and to the car in the middle of a traffic jam. Not only are we sitting more for our work and our leisure, but we are not sitting around a table enjoying the meal together with other people.  We are not connected to our food or others.

I remember reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's books as a child, my mouth watering as she described the tables full of food.  Now, there weren't many photos of her and her family, but the ones I've seen did not show a bunch of unhealthy people.  They may not have been perfect tens according to our contemporary understanding of the perfect body, but they seemed vigorous and healthy.  I've often wondered why that was, especially when they seemed to eat the way they did.  I'm sure some of it has to do with the additives, preservatives, pesticides, and fertilizers not used then.  I think more of it had to do with their relationship to food and the food within their relationships.  They worked to get the food (burning calories).  They worked to make the food (burning calories).  They ate together (less about food than family/friends).  They cleaned up the food (burning calories). They saved the leftovers (saving money, reducing waste).  They composted and fed to the chickens the scraps (saving money, reducing waste).  They worked to get the food (burning calories).

I don't think we need to all start gardening, raising chickens or becoming farmers, but perhaps there is a lesson to learn or relearn about how we get food, prep food, eat food, and enjoy food.  I think, and this is gradually improving my blood-sugar, my waistline (only struggling with those irksome 5 - 10 pounds right now), my family dinner time, my relationship with food, and my overall life, we need to get some family therapy for us and the family meals (even for those of us who might eat alone).  Just like many experts tell us to turn off the television and take a walk, play a game, or read a book to improve our mental and relational health, I'm realizing that we need to turn away from the drive-through (or frozen pizza box) and plant a seed, cook a meal, or say a blessing to improve our relationship with food.

Sorry to have gotten so long-winded.  I guess I've thought quite a bit about this topic for the past few years and I had a few things to say.  For those of you who stuck it out until the end, thank you.  I'd love to hear your feedback.

Next post, I'll try to share some recipes.
12  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Handspun and Handcrafts Swap Round 5 (SU through 1/20, SO 2/20) on: January 07, 2012 08:12:02 PM
If I read the swap description correctly, you are looking for any type of crafter.  I have some ideas for dimensional artwork that I'd love to have some beautiful yarn to play with creating.  I don't know, however, if that's what you mean by "handcrafts."

Unfortunately, I don't spin, crochet, or knit.  In fact, I can barely braid, so if that's what you're looking for, I'll have to just sit back and watch the results pour in!

Just in case, I sent in my questionnaire...
13  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Re: Dryad/wood nymph costume (pic heavy!) on: November 08, 2011 02:23:43 PM
I have always loved dryads.  I think secretly I've always wanted to be one.  Thank you for reinspiring me!  Lovely.
14  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Quackster! My Creative Feathered Friend... on: November 08, 2011 02:16:27 PM
This was my first entry and my first finished art project in quite some time. I was so thrilled to do it and so delighted with the outcome, that I wanted to share it with everyone!  Since I'm a newbie at all of this, you may have to follow the links to see the pictures.

Spread your wings, my little one! I really took this costume and flew, adding tiny felt feathers all over the wings (just felt sewed onto a yellow t-shirt), the tail, and the head-piece (more felt on a few re-purposed dollar-store finds). The duck feet were a stroke of inspiration: car-wash mitts put on her feet!

Shake your tail feather, for sure. I want you to be able to enjoy the full-feathered fun of this ensemble. I made the tail so fluffy that it forced her to waddle like a duck.

Here's the Duck in Action. This gives you the full effect.

You can get an appreciation for two elements of the costume here: a) how fluffy that tail is and b) how well it held up to an afternoon and evening of candy-fueled activity!

15  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: One Tiny Book Rd 2 GALLERY on: November 08, 2011 02:11:41 PM

This is beautiful!  I have been wanting to do a project for the season of Advent (the days leading up to Christmas) by making an ornament each day, using playing cards.

Could you help me know what you used to work on the cards--did you paint them with something or treat them specially before you were able to paint, glue, etc on them?

I'd love some advice, especially since the season fast approaches!
16  UNITED STATES / Alabama / Re: Anybody ever done a Crafter's Co-op? on: November 08, 2011 02:05:00 PM
I don't know exactly how to do this, but I know some people here in Montgomery who might be interested, if you're nearby...
17  UNITED STATES / Alabama / Re: Montgomery area anyone? on: November 08, 2011 02:03:50 PM
I'm in downtown Montgomery and would be interested in joining in the creative fun that is to be found in the River Region.
18  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: Felt scraps and random bead necklace on: November 08, 2011 02:01:57 PM
This is so fun.  I am always looking for some pop of color to add to my usually drab-colored clothes.  I might have to try this.
19  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: Ribbon Rose Rings with Leaf Jewels on: November 08, 2011 02:00:29 PM
20  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Re: Extreme Bird Mansion ! on: November 08, 2011 01:58:28 PM
Holy mackerel!  That is impressive.
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