Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Nurture your Nature

Okay, so yesterday after posting about loving the body we inhabit... no no, loving the body I inhabit, I decided to make a big pot of vegetable soup. I have always despised vegetable soup, maybe because I really do think I've only had it in restaurants, where, let's be honest, I despise most soup. I AM a soup person, but my mum always made a meat stock for the background, and when I think of veg soup I think overcooked green beans, too much tomato in the background, too much black pepper (to try to cover up the ick, I'm quite sure), and some overcooked bean or grain or noodle. Ick.
But a new leaf has been turned in the vegetable soup department. I followed Tessa Kiros' (my ALL TIME favourite cookbook author) recipe for an idea of what to do and basically she said chop up all the veggies you have, cover them with water and cook for an hour! Easypeasy! So that's what I did. I chopped up: beets, beet greens, cabbage, yellow beans, potatoes, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, onions, chives, sweet potatoes, and carrots, added some parsley and bayleaves, salt and a wee bit of pepper, and oh my GODDESS! the best soup I've EVER had! It's a beautiful pink base (from the beets), the mildest delicious vitaminiest flavour, and with the yellows and oranges and reds and purples... Beautiful!! Who knew veggie soup could be BEAUTIFUL? Even my children lapped it up like hungry little kittens last night! And today for lunch they resisted for just minutes and then I tossed in some of their favourite crackers and they were mewing for more in no time. And it felt SO good to use our own veggies to make the entire thing. Well, I did clean out my fridge which had a few odds and ends leftover veggies from our CSA delivery, and chopped around the rotten bits of the sweet potatoes I'd bought and forgotten about a few weeks ago... But MOSTLY all our own. Step 1 to living a healthier life was yum
yum yum! highly recommended.
Then this morning I read CJ's invitation to "go for a walk" and decided we were starting our daily walk today. So we hunted around for all the gear we needed, kiddies jumped into the jogger and away we went. Part of the Waldorf kindergarten idea book we're using is to take the same walk every day of the year, so my children can see the changes the seasons bring, greet the neighbours, and start to feel like it's their own. I was planning to start in September, but why wait? We started today. And what fun we had! I was puffing a little, pushing them up all the hills, but that'll get easier, and they LOVEd it. We went into the park (parked the jogger at the entrance as the trail isn't jogger-friendly, which is my plan to continue to do as long as we don't get snowed out) and after skipping along at a fast pace (kids felt like fairies in the rainforest -- how lucky are we to live here?!?!) for nearly an hour, we heard a BEAR up the creek! No mistaking those sounds. My wee P sensed it even before I did and before we heard the noises and instantly wanted "up". But when I heard the crashing I picked up my 2 and became the Amazon woman I've always wanted to be and raced out of there with one on each hip. So, step 2? Exciting!!! Maybe too exciting. I might have to plan an alternate route until the bears go to sleep in the Fall... eeek!

So? what are your thoughts on the ethnic body theory? It reminded me of when Marti went to the Ukraine for the first time and said this: "I felt like I blended in for the first time in my life." Interesting, no? We think we own our body and WE are in control... That it only takes a sufficient amount of self-discipline and courage to achieve whatever body we want... and then beat ourselves up when we don't look like the people on TV (who, let's be honest, are actually revolting-looking from a health standpoint). WHAT IF we learned how to WORK with our genes to live in a healthy strong body FOR US. Yes, indeed, what if ??? Comments please?

I must add that my friend also suggested that I hang out with more like-minded people so as not to be faced with body-image-crises in the first place... I agree. But these are my husband's people and I consent to a group party with them one time a year. Mostly I AM surrounded by my own tribe, but you know? It's good to be out "in the world" now and then to really get stetched and get thinking and learn some new lessons. This one will be big for me -- sorting out what holds me back from living in the body I THINK I live in (it's the invention of the camera that does me in -- I know, I know, some of you have mirrors -- they're banned from my house. he he Maybe that should be step 3? Invest in some wall-size mirrors?) hee
But back to the law of attraction. I was thinking of how to draw the energy to me that will enable me to make the necessary changes to transform my mind into accepting that my body is healthy and strong... What do you think of this, um, whatever it's called when you tell yourself the same thing over and over to get it into your brain: "I comfort myself with movement"? Sounds pretty positive and powerful, no? Because it's when I'm feeling stretched or drained or tired or ... in some way in need of comfort that I nurse on a flavoured (read creaminess and sugariness) coffee (and no, I don't make them myself, then I would KNOW what goes into them. eeek!) or race off to buy an M&M chocolate cake (quicker than making one myself! eeek!) or whip up some cream to dip almost anything high in carbs (are fingers high in carbs? ahem!) into...

I LOVE this quote by Christiane Northrup: "What we're all really looking for is the mother that few, if any of us ever had: a superhuman being with two ever-full breasts who is always there for us, meeting our every need and gazing into our eyes with pure unadulterated love, a being so powerful that she can protect us from all the inevitable discomforts and challenges of life, and soothe all our feelings of self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-blame. There's no such being. And the sooner we learn how to nurture ourselves, the better we'll be at being realistic role models for our daughters."
DAMN! There's no such thing? That's EXACTLY what I'm looking for! Who isn't?
Nurture myself. "I nurture myself with movement." ?? Will that work? Does it have to be something oral? "I nurture myself with green tea?"
This sounds a bit humorous, but really, it isn't. SO MANY of us are struggling with our weight, our strength, our health on that level. And NONE of us want to pass that onto our children on any level.
Who's next? Use the comments section! xo


Chick said...

I love my mirrors. They have really helped me love myself. I have a large, full-length mirror that I absolutely love. It is placed where I can see myself in it, often. And usually when I see myself, I think, 'wow, I look pretty good - better than I thought I did...' Not that I don't have moments (like seeing the pics of me in my underwear...) That same mirror is responsible for how well I walk, too. After 2 years of not being able to walk on my right leg properly, my body learned many coping strategies. I learned to correct them by watching myself walk down the hall towards this mirror. You are so beautiful! And your body so beautiful! Look in the mirror and see that!

Chick said...

I can recommend some books for your interest in history. Edward Rutherfurd has written several historical novels that take you from the beginning of human habitation up to the present day. I have read Sarum and Ruska. Dean has read all of them - the Forest, Londinium... You will learn lots about body types, cultural differences, etc. You get the big picture of how it all evolved.

julie said...

I worry about the health of my body, too, and I also struggle with being motivated to feed myself well. Sometimes I think that when I mother myself I am like a parent who showers her child with treats to make up for neglecting her other needs. Reading your post has got me inspired to nurture myself with respect and awareness.

brent said...

that's exactly how i make veggie soup. throw it all in. i make it more in the winter time, but summer time is just as good. been doing that for years now. i love it. the best way to use up vegetables you are figuring out how to use.
as far as body issues go, i have to ask why? you are totally beautiful and sexy. so what more do you want? we are human beings. we age. unfortunately we can't all be living in 15 year old bodies forever. and who wants to be? that would mean junior high school. if you eat well and you exercise there is nothing else you can do.
get over it.

SRJ said...

i am along the same lines as brent. I KNOW I KNOW...
someone close who reads my blog said to me 'your SO consumed with your body!...' and its so true. and others have said to me you have to accept yourself before you can make any changes. the way i'm seeing it right now. changes or no changes. i am accepting myself right now. and right now. choosing me-now-now-now. everything else is just an excuse.
i hope this helps?
loooove you!x

Mary-Sue said...

oooh! eeeee! LOVE these comments! thank you thank you thank you!!!
i am sussing out where to put a full-length mirror that i can SEE myself walking. and am definitely keen to read a historical novel or two to learn more about history. always had a hankering to do that!
and Julie! your words just reverberate so strongly for me. i had never thought of it that way, but that's JUST what i'm doing, showering myself with treats to make up for lack of nurturing myself. oooh. there's a lot of wisdom in that. thank you!
and bee, oh bee! you're just spot on. thank.you.for.every.one.of.your.words. xo
SRJ! i knew this one would resonate with you. accept accept accept. seems to be my theme word for this year. thank you! xoxo