When We Know Better

[Previous Rural Farmgirl, April 2009 – May 2010]
When we know better, we do better. Or do we? That statement is often true in my life, yet sometimes when I know better, I just know better. My knowing doesn’t always lead to immediate action. Sometimes, everything in me applauds the newly adopted philosophy, but it’s as if tie-downs keep me from jumping into action.

Weight loss is a great example. I’m not a total “slug” on the topic; I have a passion for holistic nutrition, and people are often shocked by how much I know about natural health and healing. Mentally I have been engaged in the idea for years. I have totally adopted the shift into organics (thanks in part to John Robbins’ Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World, as well as Michael Pollan’s writings). That said, organics in the wrong hands can still be food that isn’t exactly “diet-conscious.” (Go ahead and ask…I have the recipes to prove it, and they are divine.)
I am self-aware enough to know that when I follow what is called an 80/20 diet regime, I feel my absolute best. (The 80/20 regime is a diet consisting of 80% raw veggies, fruit and fresh veggie juices with 20% cooked foods, such as rice, grains or bread, and even a little raw milk dairy, grass-fed beef and free-range eggs). When I follow this plan, my energy level is high, my hormones balanced and the world is my oyster. But then, for no apparent reason, I fall off the wagon, leaving me feeling like Lucy Ricardo, trying to “splain” to Ricky why she has fallen off yet again!
When I feel like this, I wish someone could drop me off at the far end of my goal and just leave me there, much like when I was a kid pulling rye out of the wheat fields. Back then, we would be driven out to a faraway point in the field armed with a compass and canteen and told to head south down the field. We would then be picked up eight hours later, having completed the task at hand. It was perfect, really. We had the goal, we had the tools, and we had none of life’s distractions. We also had just enough motivation, since we didn’t want to fall too far behind the rest of the crew and hold anyone up at the end of the day. If a few of us got done first, we could just lie in the sun until the rest caught up. (I loved this work, by the way; it was the daydreamer’s perfect job. Eight hours of conversations in your own head…brilliant!)
 
People just meeting me are often stunned by the amount of books I have on natural nutrition. They line the bookshelves in my office…and guest room…and dining room and…well, you get the picture. My poor hubby can become quite depressed when he thinks of all the money spent on my quest for information. So I certainly don’t lack knowledge, but somehow I haven’t yet gathered the gumption to “get ‘er done.” I am known in my little circle as the “go-to girl” on all things holistic nutrition, yet “physician heal thyself” often rings loudly in my head.

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  1. I am not sure if what I feel and know inside will come across in words, but I’ve found that the entire way we tend to look at food and diet and nutrition to be off base.

    I had the opportunity to attend a meditation retreat led by Thich Nhat Hanh in 2004 and before eating we said or read the following: This food is the gift of the whole universe – the earth, the sky, and much hard work. May we live in a way that makes us worthy to receive it. May we transform our unskillful states of mind, and learn to eat in moderation. May we take only foods that nourish us and prevent illness. We accept this food so that we may realize the path of understanding and love.

    Key points: food is a gift; eat in moderation (don’t be wasteful of your food or harmful to yourself); eat food that nourishes us (I loosely interpret this to be the body, the soul and or the mind); accept the food with compassion (be kind to yourself).

    Often times we know what we ought to eat for optimum health, but eating purely for health is not necessarily fun. We also eat socially or we eat for piece of mind or because of a memory of what a certain food (experience) tastes like.

    For me, being able to cross over, and understand, really understand in my core, that eating foods that make me feel bad later (whether that be mentally, physically, biologically) is just not worth it…food is nourishment for our soul. And so, I take the time to appreciate a fresh sweet carrot, savor its crunchy nature, just as much as I might a piece of rich chocolate. And, when I am served (or serve myself) something that is not healthy (and that generally means also filled with unhealthy ingredients) I don’t eat it…

    As a caveat, when it comes eating sweets, occasional indulgence is healthy, especially if the sweets are made with whole, pure ingredients, just like grandma would have made them!

  2. Just discovered your blog today. Love it. We also grew up on a farm in Eastern Washington, now we are in Puyallup, WA. You know home of the Puyallup Fair, last time we checked it was the 7th largest in the nation! Anyway, life on the west side of the mountains is different than the east side. We are trying to bring a bit of the country life to Puyallup on June 13 &14. We are putting on a big antique show and flea market full of awesome cool junk. We love to repurpose things and have found alot of other people do to. Go to our blog to check it out http://www.funkyjunksister.blogspot.com. We will check back to your blog often!

    Take care,
    Linda & Dixie
    The Funky Junk Sisters

    Hey girls,

    Thanks for the info… I marked it on the calender. We have our 2009 Farm Fair July 3-5th Farmgirls come in from all over the US… Come on over, we’d love  to meet you in person!  got to our website and click on the farm fair button… http://www.maryjanesfarm.org

    Again thanks for the info

  3. rene says:

    SharleyAnn,
    Beautiful post, thank you. I think there is a lot of value in your words…conecting with eating as a "re-fueling process" is key~ Any chance you could just be a "bug in my ear" until I know it by heart? :)

  4. Aunt Jenny says:

    Wow…we must be long lost sisters!! I am the same way….love to study nutrition, and am really valiant when it comes to my kids, especially eating right..but I tend to fall off the wagon myself (due to the devil bread and cheese mostly..haha) and this weight problem is always still just that…a problem. I know what is right and good and mean well, and eat the right things, and then …well…don’t again. sigh. I AM glad I am not the only one. I feel in good company.

    A little birdie tells me that there is "farmgirl" help on the way in the way of a new book… I dont know all the details but I for one CANT wait

  5. Gary says:

    Your Bloggie on food is head-on Cool Rene’…!
    The experience you describe of connection between organic vegetarian based diet, with some free range dairy, is exactly what I have experienced since making the changes.
    I am vegetarian and also eat free range organic dairy and eggs, and I buy free range meats to prepare meals for my Cat and Doggie, because they cannot metabolize plant protein and need meat.
    The benefits go beyond just a feeling, as I have been taken off two medications since I made all these changes, and like you said… I feel Great now…!
    Thank You and…
    GodSpeed to Y’all…!
    Gary
    in Tampa

     

    Gary,

    Apparently Hippocrates had it right, "let thy food be they medicine". Seems so simple, why do we fight it?

  6. LillySue says:

    Hey, that’s me too. I have a huge interest in nutrition and holistic medicine. I have lots of books and read a lot of info online. I started a blog this year and this month started a feature called "LillySue’s Health Tip Tuesday". You can read what I have posted on health and fitness if you hit those subjects in my post list. I actually got serious with myself last year and am doing sooo much better. I have now finally got into the habit of thinking about each thing I put in my mouth….will this benefit my body or will my body have to compromise other systems to deal with this. I would love to have you pop over for a visit. apeaceofbliss.blogspot.com Also, are you going to be at the FarmChicks sale June 6th? We will probably be moving over 4th of July and most likely will not be able to attend MaryJanes shindig.
    Blessings~LillySue

    Lilly Sue,

    I can’t wait to check out your blog, thanks for the address, I am heading there now. I doubt that I will make the farmchick event as my head is buried in the "details" of FarmFair July3-5, as well as classes we are hosting at the MaryJanesFarm Store June 4th ~ But I hear it is a great event and I hope you all have a blast. And really, farmgirls getting together, how can you go wrong. Thanks again!

  7. Dalyn says:

    love the new blog Renee! I’ll put it on my blog’s roll *U*

  8. Judy says:

    I love reading your blog. This is a subject close to my heart too. I too have a load of books on nutrition and natural healing, as well as practical knowledge on the subject. I like to keep up on the the newest trends in nutrition but try to find the middle road in following them. Preachers of all nutrition ilks, really bother me…maybe because I have that tendency too. We just need to decide what we want to do ourselves and I get nervous about getting caught into a way of eating that is "correct". Being in my mid fifties now, I can see the same pattern of being on track, and being off. I guess that’s just the way of life…how quick can we get back on when an event, or thought, knocks us off. So, eat and be happy!

    Judy,

    Ya, my grandpa ( who is so wise) said, "anything will work if YOU work it".. hahahah.. hate it when it comes down to being that simple :)… Instead of complicated like I think it is…..:)

  9. MichaellaS says:

    tks for the effort you put in here I appreciate it!

  10. weinyPeenigap says:

    I am new and wanted to make a my very first thread to acquaint myself. My name is Maryann and I stumbled here by a quick search and wanted to just say hello. I would like to participate in future discussions and look forward to talking with everyone.

    Please also check out the farmgirl connection at http://www.maryjanesfarm.org click on "chat with other farmgirls.

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