Food not of my own making

1.31.2013 Selene's meals

I enjoy having food cooked and served to me, as long as it’s something that will make my body happy, something that tastes good and is healthy. It’s very disappointing to be offered food that isn’t really what I want or need. This past week I was fairly happy with most of the meals I had while away, though I would have liked more choices of protein for breakfast than hard-boiled eggs. Generally, though, I felt supported by the food provided. Today, traveling by plane without the opportunity to prepare or even purchase food for the trip, I was not so happy. Apples, leftovers, honey roasted peanuts, a protein bar, and a caffe’ latte were not really satisfying. I’m looking forward to cooking at home again, and some of my favorites that were not available, like Greek yogurt.

I want to be flexible and adapt to whatever situation I’m in. I want to be able to take good care of myself without that distracting from the experiences I’m having. Sometimes it’s difficult to balance those, and that becomes an opportunity to do the best I can and not get stressed about the parts that are not what I would choose in an ideal situation. But it’s good to be home!

1.30.2012 Selene's meals

1.29.2013 Selene's meals

1.28.2013 Selene's meals

1.27.2013 Selene's meals

1.26.2013 Selene's meals

1.25.2013 Selene

Traveling food

I took the time to prepare food for my flight, knowing that I would leave mid-day and arrive late in San Antonio, where I’m teaching and mentoring with Saybrook University’s School of Mind-Body Medicine at the residential conference. I made a big salad, a frittata, and a small chopped salad. I ended up eating the chopped salad for lunch, with a bag of baby carrots for a snack, then the big salad for dinner. The frittata stayed in the hotel room refrigerator and made a great breakfast this morning.

1.24.2013 Selene's meals

1.23.2013 Selene's meals

1.22.2013 Selene's meals

1.21.2013 Selene's meals

1.20.2013 Selene's meals

My experiment last week with saving all of my planned indulgences for one day and just eating what I wanted that day was interesting (see 1.19.2013, the next photo). When I’m generally avoiding bread and baked goods, that’s what I’m drawn to, along with high fat foods like halvah and cheese. I’m not sure it works for me to eat that much of those things all in one day. I may return to a more moderate pacing on planned indulgences, though so far this week I seem to be satisfied with just the healthy choices I’ve been making. I will wait and see how it goes over the next few days.

1.19.2013 Selene's meals

A Week of Mindful Choices

I have been careful this week in my food choices and amounts, and I am feeling more energetic and lighter in response. Looking forward to a bit more range in my choices on Saturday–a planned indulgence day! I am pleased to have made an accountability agreement with a friend to check in with each other by email each night about our morning self-care time and our day’s food choices. It really does make a difference to have that connection to support commitments we are making to ourselves.

1.12.2013 Selene's meals

1.13.2013 Selene's meals

1.14.2013 Selene's meals

1.15.2013 Selene's meals

1.16.2013 Selene's meals

1.17.2013 Selene's meals

1.18.2013 Selene's meals

Water everywhere

Much water is flowing and the wind is swirling and moving the trees outside. I am making a commitment to myself to drink more water, as I know I feel better when I do. I’m actually making an effort to remember to have wine more frequently as well, having read recently about a study at Oregon State University indicating that wine is helpful for bone density.

Re-establishing routines

It does take time to pull out my cell phone and take a photo of what I’m about to eat, and to put them all together at night, just before bed. But I have come to appreciate that time; a moment to breathe before taking in food, 15 minutes to review my day, with eating times as landmarks. I really did miss it during the time I skipped my photo-taking, and the sense of “not enough time” affected much more than whether or not my food collages were part of my day. That was symptomatic of a larger sense of squeezing in too much, and finding time to re-establish this ritual is a message to myself that my self-care routines are worth doing.

Quieting Down

Back to my food collages after a month and a half break. Though I have not posted any since spring, I had continued creating them until mid-August, when my busy schedule interfered. I needed to solve a website space issue before I could get back to putting them up on the blog, but I’m back now, and looking forward to the stabilizing influence of this awareness/recording practice. Thank you to those of you who let me know you miss the collages! It’s nice to know that a practice that helps me is useful to you as well!

Time is flying, while I take small steps

When days fly by and I feel like I am barely keeping up, I especially appreciate the wisdom of keeping a practice like this food journal going. It has become routine, something stable and reliable that I have committed to. On weeks when I can hardly track how I got from there to here, I have this visual accounting of the process of feeding myself to remind me of the basics. As I put together these collages from almost a week of eating, I am invited to reconnect with the momentary awareness that occurred as I took each photo and the daily awareness of putting together the collage. I have instituted a structure on which to hang my self-awareness, and I am grateful to that when my awareness feels like it could easily wander off. Right now, as I struggle with a relapse of the cold I thought I had finished with, pulling together a post with 6 days of food feels comfortable, a pattern I have established that I can relax into. The serious cognitive work of reading and responding to student posts and papers is next on the agenda, and something about finishing up this process of posting feels like a good foundation. I can feel more ready to think about other things when I have taken care of this small ritual.

When people ask why I am doing this, I usually refer to the accountability of presenting what I eat so publicly. But I know that the ritual of self-reflection that I have established in doing this is very stabilizing and reassuring, in the midst of many commitments that might leave me feeling fragmented. So to those of you seeing this, thank you for being witness to my process and providing such an anchor in my day-to-day life.

 

A New Year of Eating, Dancing & Recipes

I’m starting the year off right – I vowed to re-establish consistency on my morning movement practice, which is feeling very good. My body is grateful! My practice is simple: I light a candle, center myself, and then spend 20 minutes moving. What I do varies depending on my energy and inspiration. It can be stretching on the floor, it can be a ballet barre, it can be strength exercises (though I usually do those separately later on in the day when I’m at home). Usually, it is a combination of things, a dance that emerges in response to my mood and whatever music I have put on. I finish with a meditation. Altogether it’s about 1/2 hour that gets my day going right.

For winter holiday gifts I gave away lemon curd and mango apple chutney this year along with baked goodies. The mango apple chutney is a wonderful addition to cottage cheese and red bell peppers – see M2 on the Jan 3rd food collage.

Mango Apple Chutney

546 g        mango, peeled, seeded and chopped
400 g     raisins
465 g    red onion, chopped
240 g dates
367 g     apple, chopped
2        cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cup     honey
3/4 cup     cider vinegar
1/2 tsp    ground cinnamon

In medium skillet combine mango, raisins, onion, dates, apple and garlic. In bowl combine honey, cider vinegar and cinnamon. Pour into skillet and mix well. Bring to boil, decrease heat to high simmer and cook for about 40 minutes stirring occasionally. Cool and refrigerate for up to 10 days. (May be canned using the USDA canning guidelines.)

Servings: 64
Yield: 8 cups – 2 tbsp per serving
Nutrition Facts – Amount Per Serving
Calories 67.79, Calories From Fat (1%) 0.56, Total Fat 0.07g, Saturated Fat 0.01g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 1.51mg, Potassium 92.74mg, Total Carbohydrates 18.02g, Fiber 0.72g, Sugar 16.05g, Protein 0.37g

Finishing up 2011

We are already two days into the new year, and I’m finally finishing up the food collages for the last days of 2011. I plan to keep up with these daily food collages, as they definitely do keep me accountable and attentive to what I am eating. I strive for that kind of consciousness in every aspect of my life, though what I do and say and think are not so easily photographed. May we all increase our skills at consciousness witnessing and choosing how we live our lives in 2012!

Holiday excess

How can it be that my last posted food collage was the 14th?!? These days are moving very quickly indeed. Now, post solstice, they are getting longer, and I am glad of this – my hibernation impulse has been more intense than usual this year, and the growing light is a good thing for me. I did get some baking and cooking done for holiday giving, and ate a goodly amount of sweets along the way. So here are ten days of eating, healthy and not so healthy!