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.

Persimmons & Pineapple Guavas

I have finished the last of the nectarines, and there are just a few more plums in the fruit bin. Pomegranates and persimmons and pineapple guavas are taking their place as my daily fruits, and of course apples and pears. I am grateful that these new delights are here to ease the disappearance of the summer fruit.

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!

The essence of ritual

I had no Passover seders to go to this year, so I did what I usually do in that situation: I took care of bringing a mini-seder essence of Passover to whoever I was with. We were with a small group of friends who have become extended family over the many years we have gathered with them (since 1987 for some, 1992 for the others in the group). I made charoset (symbolizing the mortar used for building the pyramids when the Jews were slaves in Egypt) and brought something to cover the symbols on the seder plate and matzo (the unleavened bread, symbolic of leaving Egypt before the bread could rise). There was at least one person there who found my simple introduction to Passover educational, as she had not known any of this. A reminder to me that what I take for granted is not always common knowledge. It was a good day, with a walk through the Berkeley Rose Garden and Cordonices Park before our meal, then a shared potluck after my Passover introduction, then improvisational sounding and singing after. Not the traditional Passover, but I felt satisfied to be with community and share meaningful time together.

Goat Cheese Papaya Mango Dip

It’s been raining here, and I’ve been sitting at the computer and working for way too many hours this week. We got out Friday night for a visit with old friends (you can see what we munched on in meal 3 on 3.16). I whipped up a dip to bring with the raw celery, orange peppers, kohlrabi, and carrots:

Goat Cheese Papaya Mango Dip

6 ounces goat cheese
6 ounces Trader Joe’s papaya mango salsa
6 ounces hearts of palm
1 teaspoon curry powder

1. Whiz in food processor until it reaches the desired texture.

Servings: 4
Calories 126, Total Fat 7g, Saturated Fat 5g, Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 610mg , Potassium 83mg, Total Carbohydrates 8g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 3g, Protein 3g

Shared meal & peasant bread

Friday night was a delicious meal of shared food, with new and old friends who came to visit. I made lentil soup and peasant black bread, and they brought endive with fruit/nut/cheese filling, stuffed baby portobellos, potatoes with aioli, sliced orange, and homemade chocolates with dried blueberries and nuts.

Peasant Black Bread with sunflower seeds

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup water
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
120 grams rye flour (1 cup)
390 grams whole wheat flour (3.25 cups)
1/4 cup gluten flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
72 grams sunflower seeds

1. Mix all of the ingredients by hand, mixer, or bread machine till you’ve created a smooth, elastic dough. Because the consistency of sourdough starters vary, you may need to add a bit of extra flour or water; the dough should be medium-soft but not sticky. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

2. Turn the dough onto a lightly greased or floured surface, and form it into a fat log. Make about 4 slices across the top of the loaf. Place the log into an Italian stoneware baker (cloche) that’s been greased on the bottom, or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the loaf, and let it rise for about 30 minutes..

3. If you’re baking in a covered stoneware baker, place the bread into a cold oven, set the oven to 400°F, and bake for 40 minutes. Check the bread, and bake for a bit longer, if necessary; the internal temperature should be about 197°F when measured on an instant-read thermometer. If you’re baking on a sheet pan, preheat the oven to 375°F, and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until the bread is brown. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack.

Servings: 22
Nutrition Facts Serving size: 2 oz.
Calories 138; Total Fat 2.3g; Saturated Fat 0.2g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 160mg; Potassium 145.5mg; Total Carbohydrates 24.3g; Fiber 3.5g; Sugar 0.2g; Protein 5g