Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Wow. Can it really be several months ago that I last posted? Life has been a roller-coaster ride and not always pleasant, but I've been endeavoring to make the not pleasant parts work out for the best.
I haven't lost any more weight, haven't gained any more.
My sourdough starter new starts keep failing, but that is more an issue of my not being "there" for them in childbirth, so to speak. If you don't pay attention to it, then no fair complaining that it doesn't do what it's supposed to do in spite of the inattention.
I should have more time soon to devote to making my outside look as good as my inside feels.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Okay, fair warning: this is a major rant.
I read an email that was dropped into my inbox by a total stranger, only because I belong to a particular sparkteam. This email was completely offensive in content, intent, and of a vaguely verbally abusive nature.
The writer apparently has issues with being incapable of posting to others in appropriate ways, and seems a bit confused why his "message" seems to be falling mostly on deaf ears, so to speak.
First, he claims that anyone who takes offense at his philosophy of "Tough Love" dieting is simply not smart enough to understand his message. Second, he claims that those who are hurt by his words are just "beginners" and of course his philosophy is only for ... uh... what? Professional dieters? Not sure about that one.
Third, he spoke of an alcoholic family member whom he was unable to "help". In this guy's mind, you're either a "help"er or an enabler, and it was fairly obvious that he understands neither concept. It is also fairly obvious that he has no understanding of addiction mentality, or mental illness, or chemical imbalance of the brain, etc.
In other words, he came off as a self-defensive, abusive, angry and ignorant person.
Why am I ranting about this? I'm doing so because the net effect will be that the people who most need to stay connected in this particular sparkteam will be frightened away or frightened into silence. "Tough love" to this poster, boiled down to kicking people in the butt, figuratively speaking, and who ever benefitted from that? Aren't most of us already quite proficient at kicking our Selves in the butt? And how has that worked, for the most part?
We all are owners of our words. Once out, they can NEVER be taken back, and if they are meant to hurt or harm, that can never be undone, either. If this is something we all know, then perhaps it's time we all made a better effort to ensure that our words come out to play, to humor, to encourage, to love, to befriend, to heal, and most of all, to understand.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
A couple of months ago, I made my first sourdough starter, and I thought it was pretty darned spectacular. I didn't feed it for several days, it took on a fruity smell, and I threw it out and started over. I blogged about it on the bread bakers' website I subscribe to, and wouldn't you know, some fella told me that what I had wasn't "real" starter because I used commercial yeast in the beginning.
?? This website clearly describes itself as a site "for amateur bakers". I am definitely an amateur. There are subscribers who are not amateur bakers; far, far from it. There are subscribers who own their own bakery, who used to own their own bakery, and who want to start up their own bakery. In other words, there are plenty of non-amateur bakers on that website.
So. My feelings were hurt, to say the least. I am here, nurturing a starter with rye flour and water and love, and I even just use a dish towel to cover the jar with so as to encourage the entry of wild yeasts from the air to bolster my starter. It's STARTER. I don't care what anyone says. On the other hand, I never called it WILD starter, as in starter made from only rye flour and water and love and time.
I can't let it go. I should, but I can't. It bothers me that there are bread snobs out there who are only too willing to gleefully educate me on the virtues of true wild starter, not-so-subtly calling me an upstart, a cheater, a sourdough starter carpetbagger.
Okay then. I am now embarking on my third starter beginning. This time, I am using rye flour, warm water, time and love. That's all.
I was at Costco yesterday, and there was a Vita-Mix demo stand getting set up. I looked at the accessories being offered and found a carafe that's designed for dry ingredients - coffee, grains, etc. I once spoke to the lab manager about making my own sourdough, and he mentioned that his wife goes in with another neighbor/friend/baker and they order bulk grains from the local healthy food store in Susanville. Hm, said I to my Self. If I get this dry-ingredient blender carafe, I can buy whole grains as well and grind them into flour as I need, and in that way I'll always have nice, fresh flour! More to the point, I can buy rye in bulk, and grind a couple of cups' worth ever couple of days, and keep the rest in the freezer, and I can get truly sour sourdough "wild yeast" starter from it, as well as some amazing breads.
I suppose that if I try hard enough, I can really go off the deep end with this venture. In the grand scheme of things, is that a bad thing? It's all on the road to optimal health, and to me that translates roughly to doing it myself where cooking is concerned.
I indulged, as well, in some artichoke/jalapeno spread, and suffered the consequences of it with an upset stomach once again. I am evolving, it seems, and my body simply can not process rich foods anymore. Should I be glad of that? I don't know. It's kind of like bariatric surgery: the choice is taken away from the individual, and somehow that just doesn't seem right. I actually AM glad, in a way, because it means that when I binge on food, I have to be very careful about what kind of food I binge on. In this way, I am forced to consider foods that are not so harmful when consumed in binge quantity.
And so my life goes on.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Spent a lovely weekend in Virginia City, NV, with friends who are of like interests. I've never been ghost hunting, and I actually don't like that term. We aren't hunting anything or anyone at all. In my estimation, I do leave my mind open to being acknowledged by those who abide in that middle plane of existence, or who travel to it.
Virginia City is a very active town where spiritual energy is concerned, and several places have been featured in the collection of shows that deal with paranormal phenomena. I don't actually feel anything at all. Where there is energy, I get a kind of lightheadedness, like I have become a vortex. It doesn't scare me, and I'm not necessarily worried about what might show up.
Unlike folks who adhere to very narrow versions of religious belief, I am very open and quite accepting of that which isn't "normal". Paranormality is only what isn't proveable by present standards. People who can believe in angels and devils refuse to believe that there are souls that either can't move on, or have but like to come back and visit with us mortals, which I find confusing.
In any case, I had a wonderful time, and my legs are quite sore from all the walking. Virginia City, after all, was built into the side of a mountain, and is so small, it's silly to drive anywhere at all within town limits.
There are severe limitations, however, as to what is available to eat. I didn't feel very good after coming home, but hopefully increasing my water and staying with a light food intake will resolve any residual issues.
Just as there are many levels to spiritualism, so there are many levels to reaching optimal health, many ways to travel that road. What has been working for me is perhaps more unconventional, but I don't have conventional issues with food, either. I accept that I'm using some methods that may be considered unorthodox, but if the work, I don't see the problem with that. I do wish that others would learn to accept that they, too, might benefit from some unorthodox methods, instead of adhering to the narrow version of losing weight that requires so much charting and measuring and other unnatural -to me- ways of living. Eating just shouldn't have to be so complicated!
Sunday, May 02, 2010
I'm at work, on call this weekend, and it's been a very nice, warm, sunny weekend that I've spent... sleeping.
I haven't been paying too much attention to what I eat, but I am making sure that there's a minimum of what I classify as junk in my daily diet. After last weekend's heat exhaustion illness, I'm back to a full cup of coffee in the morning finally, and eating normally, as in getting enough protein.
I did go back to Costco on Friday and stocked up on fresh fruit that I divvy into baggies and toss in the freezer for my daily fruit smoothie. This time I got fresh blackberries to mix with fresh strawberries.
I'm going to start experimenting with brownies made with applesauce instead of butter, or some other kind of soft fruit that will hold in the moisture. I think I can cut back on the flour a bit, and even the sugar, and come up with a dense, chocolatey, low-fat concoction that might be a good substitute for the more calorie-expensive regular style.
My biggest task this week is to psychically arm myself for next weekend. I'm going ghosthunting, sort of. I don't actually look for them, but I do often experience spiritual visits from well-wishers. This trip, however, I don't get to pick and choose my visitors, so I need to be ready for the negative energy that can be part of a haunted region.
In a way, it's like armoring myself against detractors in day-to-day life. There are so many people who have the capacity to hurt me with mere words, and there's not much I can do about it. The thing I can do, however, is learn to let it go. This body armor I've carried around all my life... I can learn to let it go.
I do look forward to seeing my friend's dad and grandpa, if they will grace me with their presence. I hope my Naya comes along for the ride, too. Actually, I hope to see quite a few people who have passed this way and will not pass this way again.
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