Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mindful Moving, Mindful Eating: Good for Me, Good for the Planet

JessTrev's determined to exercise and finds herself living more lightly (!) while she's at it.

I've been exercising for the past few weeks, trying to get back into shape. It's pretty rough restarting that engine (mentally as well as physically) and I'm trying to figure out ways to make it through these excruciating stiff-legged, creaky-kneed first miles. Music is figuring in heavily, as is eating delicious, healthy food, and finding ways to work out that don't involve a 32-pound boy hanging onto my back while I contort into a yoga pose. Somehow, I've also tacked on wearing sunscreen and eating my vitamins into this whole being-healthy mix. What's next? Am I going to start flossing or what?

It's occurring to me that lots of what I'm doing to try to be healthier is actually lighter on the planet: walking to the gym and back; making sure I always have that water bottle with me (no sugary drinks to weigh me down, plus no bottles or cans to ditch); and eating healthier (veggies and fruits galore). I'm obviously going to have to go for the unwaxed, nat'ral floss, huh?

The eating, of course, is the best part. We had such fun at the farmer's market last weekend! Healthy snack fulla fiber and fulla fun? Corncobs with the kernels dried right on them that were meant to be popped in a brown bag in the microwave. My kids looooved em. (Floss woulda come in handy, no?) Plain yogurt to eat with honeycrisp apples (my 5 year old's been saying that approvingly all week: mmm, honey apples). Beets (I ate the greens for breakfast, sauteed in garlic and olive oil, with a couple of fried local eggs for protein) to slice up over my beautiful arugula and butter lettuce. It was so cute, the woman selling my lettuce to me squealed when I exclaimed aloud about how exquisite the head of lettuce was: "I know," she said. "I look at lettuce all day but I swear, I was thinking the very same thing!"

I'm sort of amused at how much more time it takes to be healthy. I am not a vegetarian now, but have been in the past. I like vegetables. But basically, I'm a lazy human who likes quick food, even if I do like to cook. It's really speedy to throw a slab of cheese onto a hunk of bread. Wham, bam, full belly. Peeling carrots, slicing them, whipping up a quick vinaigrette? All takes time. And then the chewing! Sheesh. I could spend my whole day just exercising and eating these vegetables (and then lying on the sofa moaning, but I'm hoping that's a passing phase).

Luckily, I read something a ways back about how you actually digest your food better, get more nutrients out of it? If you are mindfully eating. You know, not multi-tasking. So I'm living in the moment of all that carrot prep and chewing. {You better believe I'm peeling a bunch extra and sticking them in the fridge, though!} You should see the carrots we got at the farmer's market this weekend -- so fat and adorable. My kids ate some right there in the stroller, dirt, peel and all.

Living mindfully. That really captures it all. In order to do it right, this life, I've need to try to be mindful. Thinking about the crisp goodness of my carrots and the smile of the woman who grew my lettuce. Drinking my water. Being a little hungry and a little sore and knowing that it's all a good thing.

Here's my grandmother's vinaigrette recipe (which makes me smile every time I drizzle it over my salad, since it's what she had every day for lunch! and she lived into her nineties):

GrandMollie's Dressing

a few garlic cloves, chopped
olive oil
red wine vinegar
bay leaf
freshly ground pepper
kosher salt
sploosh of ketchup

Stir it up and spoon some on. Keeps for 3-4 days in the fridge in a screw-top jar you've saved.

I hope you all are feeling healthy and that the choices you're making to be true to your goals are also bringing you closer to living simply as well. Happy trails!

13 comments:

Daphne said...

I'm with your son. Yumm honey apples. Honeycrips are my favorite apple. But I wasn't into mindful eating this morning as I was reading your post while eating my zucchini bread.

Electronic Goose said...

Oh, do I miss the farmers market! Come, spring!

Heather @ SGF said...

GREAT post!

I truly found happiness when I started living mindfully. It's amazing. And quit peeling. Just scrub and leave the peel on (carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, etc.) That's where the nutrients are :)

I'm a fast cook too. The quicker the better and yet with local foods, somehow it ALWAYS tastes yummy. It must be food cause I certainly don't have the cooking gene.

JessTrev said...

Daphne - yum! that zucchini bread sounds delicious. Nothing wrong with a slab of delicious veggie-bearing breakfast delight.

Electronic Goose - we are pretty lucky to have one in the city that's year round - but I can't wait for spring cause then we'll have a *brand new* farmer's market we can walk to!!

Heather - You are so right - I leave peels on apples and potatoes all the time anyways. Why not carrots?! I just started looking at Alice Waters' Simple Something cookbook (Simple Food? Simple Pleasures? hmmm) and am hoping that it will streamline me. And YES, local food does taste better. Just like Russ Parsons says in How to Pick A Peach -- if it tastes good, it's been grown right (organically, sustainably, it's in season, etc). The sauteed mushrooms we got from the farmer's mkt? Yeesh, delicious. Or, as my 2 yo would say - LISHUS!

kale for sale said...

Thanks for the tip on sauteeing the beet greens. I've added them to soup but not eaten them alone. The carrots have been crazy at our market too. They just taste so damn carroty.

JessTrev said...

kale for sale - beet greens saute well in olive oil and garlic - then put a squeeze of lemon on at the end. mmm! carroty goodness indeed...

Green Bean said...

Love the recipe - mostly because it was from your grandmother. :)

I'm on the same train, er um walking train. Actually, I'm putting a lot of effort into mindful eating these days. I still need to work on the mindful moving.

JessTrev said...

Green Bean - oh, I'd love to hear more about your mindful eating. Got a pumpkin at the FM to add to mac n cheese! Yay! Now to cook and puree it - do you store it in yr freezer in any particular sized amount to make it easy to pull out?

FOO said...

Great post! I also can't wait for our farmer's market to open - I've already sent in my $500 share and now I know it's really coming soon (but not soon enough)!

I like to store pumpkin in the freezer in 1/2 cup portions - then it is so easy to thaw and add to recipes. I just posted a recipe at my blog for pumpkin corn mini-muffins that were delicious and loved by the kiddos. Enjoy!

JessTrev said...

Thanks Foo, for the freezer tips *and* I can't wait to check out the pumpkin-corn muffin recipe! yum..

Willa said...

What really works well to freese 1/2 c portions of things in is the silicone muffin pan I got. I don't like it so much for baking, as things don't brown as well, but I love it for freesing. And if I am freexing the muffins, then the browning thing doesn't matter so much.

It is more difficult and time consuming to eat sustainably and mindfully. Fortunately we have a lot of local cheesemakers, so that hunk of bread and cheese isn't as bad as when I used to haul out the huge stack of white American. I'm also participating in a food waste reduction challenge, and that has me adding another dimension to this- I have challenged myself not to go to the grocery store until I have whittled down the store of stuff I have hoarded.

JessTrev said...

Willa - mmm, yes, local cheese! We have some, but not tons. Thanks for the silicone freezing idea... and I *so* need to do an eat-up-my-kitchen phase. Still struggling with waste reduction - tx for the motivation!

Fake Plastic Fish said...

I need to hear more of these stories. Have been trying to psych myself up to exercise again, but so far have been unsuccessful.

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