"Beam-ectomy should precede all mote micro-surgery. Just saying." Ginger Conrad paraphrasing Jesus Christ.

Paradigm Shift

“The list of health problems I think it would very hard to live with is SO much longer than the list of foods I previously thought I couldn’t live without,” Merrill Alley.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Beginnings Better Than Vegging

I have always found each New Year exciting with its possibilities of new beginnings. It's not that I think I'll be a whole new person with all my new goals, though little by little I have improved a bit over the years. After all one is never too old to learn new behaviors and things, and learning is so much more interesting than vegging. (Veg-heads need a new word for being lazy.) One year I read The Great Books of the Western World for the first time in our homeschool; it was hard. One year I learned to watercolor. That was fun. One year I opened an online school, which is winding down this year with the last senior ready to graduate. One year I adopted a plant-based diet and am still going strong on that one. One year I began writing instead of just thinking about it. While writing isn't a money maker for me, it helps me get my daydreams out of my head, so they don't bother me at night. One year I studied Spanish; actually I have unsuccessfully worked at learning Spanish for many years and will play at it the rest of my life. Me thinks I'm doomed to be unilingual. One year I began my grandchild of the week program and am still enjoy writing a letter each week to one of my eight grandchildren. During 2014 after an injury in 2013, I focused on foam rolling, ballet, and yoga; plus I learned to play the ukulele and took up the hoola hoop. One year I researched the Christian ideal of Charity and have been attempting to change my character to match that ever since...like learning Spanish this will be an ongoing goal for the rest of my life with some success and many set-backs...sigh...

I prefer the idea of adventure seeking over the stifling idea of resolution. I try to find adventures in the same areas as Jesus, so I can increase in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Some of my adventuring ideas fizzle, while others bring me lots of joy and satisfaction. I refuse to say the fizzles are failures, instead calling them misdirections.

This year my physical adventure is to build strength and endurance using desk and street bikes. Up North our itty bitty cottage is right on a river trail. Not only that the trail runs through the little town, which makes shopping by bike a real possibility. Imagine me as a diminutive Jessica Fletcher biking around town except my writing contains no murders.

I'm also going to be more careful with my intake of oils, since they stick to my waistline almost as soon as they pass my lips. Plus, they give me a terrible stomach ache and bloating. I know better, but chips and salsa are my especial favorite snack. My new tactic will be a crudite bowl in the fridge with oil-free hummus for dip. If I can grab veggies at 3:00, as soon as my afternoon slump begins, maybe I won't be tempted to eat something bready, sweety, or fatty. At this very moment a head of elephant garlic is roasting in the oven for some delicious hummus...mmmm...

I also plan to (re)read all the books I send to the grands this year. After finally getting my hands on my sewing machine again, I discovered I prefer to sew by hand. I plan to make at least one skirt, a peasant blouse, and some lavender hanger covers. As I've been doing for the last few months, I'll spend a few hours each week researching genealogy, which has renewed my interest in European history and geography. Because I miss homeschooling so much, I want to study European history, music, art, drawing, and geography from those old favorite homeschool resources again. Maybe I won't learn much this time through, but it was so much fun years ago. Genealogy research also gave me a desire to learn more about the Chickasaw tribe, since my  great-great-great-and so forth-grandfather was Squirrel Chief King. I'm nearly through the Life with Fred books and hope to well before the year is through.

I'm not sure what my other pursuits will be yet, but I'm having fun considering my options!

Roasted Garlic Three Pepper Hummus for Crudités

1 t flax seeds
1 1/2 c cooked, drained chickpeas
1 1/2 c cooked, drained cannelloni beans (a very good source of iron)
chickpea cooking broth as needed
1 head elephant garlic, roasted
zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/4 t chipotle chili powder
minced roasted red pepper (reserved)
minced jalapen o pepper (reserved)
minced fresh herbs of choice (mint, parsley, basil, cilantro) (reserved)
Salt if you must

Blend flax seeds into meal. Put other ingredients except reserved into the blender and process until smooth. Add broth as needed to make a smooth paste. It will set up a bit as it sits. Stir in reserved ingredients. Put about 2-3 T hummus in the bottom of a rocks glass, stand crudites in glass, and munch away. This hummus is excellent as a salad dressing thinned with a bit of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.