I Can See Clearly Now

Yesterday was a bit disappointing. After eating a plant-based diet for nearly eight months, I went for my yearly eye exam with the hope that my vision had improved or that, at minimum, there was no change. Not to be… My vision had changed significantly, and for the worse, in one short year.

Of course, the appointment itself had me feeling a bit peevish. My usual eye doctor had had surgery and was unavailable so I had to go to another office and an unknown eye doctor. I arrived ten minutes early….and twenty minutes later was asked to fill out some paperwork. Then, the woman at the desk kept asking me questions about insurance (I don’t have vision insurance and that was very plain on the form I had just handed her). I then asked if they had received my records. No. Apparently, the office had neglected to request them as I had been promised. By the time I was led back to the exam room, my nerves were frayed. Having just been put into the exam chair, I was asked to switch rooms. AAAARGH! I calmly let the technician know that I was a very unhappy camper….she handled it well, and the rest of the appointment went smoothly. Confession, though: I really did not like the doctor. And I certainly didn’t like having my eyes dilated (never have; not his fault)….and just after having the drops put in my eyes, the doctor told me to take a look at new glasses. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! I’m sure he wasn’t particularly pleased with my lack of cooperation.

But…..here’s the up side to all of this. Last year if this had happened, I would have been in tears. I would not have been confident enough to state my feelings calmly or to assertively decline looking at glasses with dilated eyes. Does a change in what I put in to my body do that? I believe it does.

The foods I consume now are calming foods. And let’s face it, when an animal is slaughtered (no matter how humane the process), that animal is SCARED(!) Somehow, those feelings are stored in the cells of meat…..I know it sounds crazy, but I believe that fear was transmitted to me. My life is more calm, confident and radiant now because I consume foods that are “peaceful.” In fact, my whole idea of what constitutes “food” has changed significantly (more on this subject later).

Interesting….a trip to the eye doctor and I really do see more clearly (even without the new glasses).

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Not Really A Green Thumb

I’ve been experimenting with the world of plants. A year or so ago, I cut the top off of a pineapple and, following some directions I found online, stripped off a few of the bottom leaves and set it aside to dry for a couple of days. Then I planted it in some regular old potting soil. I don’t know how long it took for it to root (didn’t tug on it), but that pineapple didn’t die. When it warmed up a bit here in the Houston area, I set it outside. My pineapple plant has been growing like crazy (in spite of getting hit by the weed whacker a few times) and it does need to be re-potted soon. When/if cold weather sets in for an extended period, I’ll bring the plant inside during the cold spell; pineapples, after all, are tropical plants.

From what I understand, it takes about 3 years for a pineapple to produce fruit….so I must be patient.

I’ve also tried rooting a pineapple top in water. That took about 4 months….really….4 months. But it did root and I need to pot it soon. No picture of that today, though.

Somewhere else online, I learned that I could take the bottom from celery and plant that and it would grow. I had the celery and a bare spot in my pot of basil so….Amazingly, the celery started leafing out within a day.

Doing so well with the celery led me to pop the bottom pieces from a couple of bok choy in another pot. They, too, look as if they will be leafing out. Pictures will come when they do.

I don’t have a green thumb, really. I’ve killed so many plants since moving to the Houston area…the weather here is just so different and there’s more than one growing season. Success with these little plants has made me excited about gardening, though. My yard is small and it took a lot of convincing to get my husband to allow me a little section of the back yard to do a container garden. Maybe when he eats some of my pineapple, celery and bok choy, I’ll be able to expand my little plot a bit.

Here’s hoping everyone will give it a try!

Eat Simply

On the night of November 14, 1940, the German Luftwaffe bombed Coventry, England. Included in that bombing was Coventry Cathedral, which was totally destroyed by the ensuing fire. A few days later, the cathedral stone mason noticed that two of the medieval timbers had fallen in to the shape of a cross. That cross later became part of the rebuilt sanctuary, with the words “Father Forgive” inscribed on the wall. A local priest also created a cross from 3 medieval nails….this Cross of Nails became the symbol of Coventry’s ministry of reconciliation. (Info from http://www.coventrycathedral.org.uk/about-us/our-history.php)

Several years ago my husband and I were members of a church which was affiliated with the Community of the Cross of Nails and belonged to a foyer group. A foyer is similar to what many churches refer to today as Small Groups. Part of the theme of the foyer was: “Eat simply so others may simply eat.” (In fact, the recommendation was for a “crust of bread and a glass of beer.”) The group would meet once a month on a rotating basis of members; there would be a simple meal and plenty of conversation. It was a wonderful way to get to know people within the congregation without any pressure to cook a fancy meal or have the perfect house.

“Eating simply” is my new normal. A plant based diet is, by its very nature, simple. That doesn’t mean it lacks flavor; it means preparation requires very little time or energy. (Of course, simple ingredients can also become a gourmet meal if the cook so desires.) In fact, no cooking is required. In the process of my eating simply, I am lessening my carbon imprint on the planet and hoping that someone, somewhere benefits from that. I do know that, in a very small way, I save the lives of one or more animals over the course of a year.

I believe that “Eating Simply” (even if you still include meat, etc., in your diet) is key to living a radiant life. My focus is on consuming food to fuel my body when it’s hungry rather than being consumed by the idea of food. American culture puts so much emphasis on food….gourmet meals, dining out, frozen dinners, the newest diet. Watch a commercial on television and it’s probably about food or drink. We are consumed with food and eating it….look at the people around you on any given day and you’ll see the effects of that consumption. “Eating simply” helps us to refocus, to put food in its proper place. Food is no longer the focus of our attention, our idol. In fact, by “eating simply” we begin to truly live….and then we have the pleasure of investing in the lives of others.

It takes practice

Living a radiant life takes practice and discipline. Each day is filled with choices…do I honor GOD with my choices? Do I honor my body with my choices? And that’s where this blog comes in…. I’m a work in progress. Sometimes my choices are really poor. Sometimes they’re wise. Most days I fall somewhere in between.

Nothing is ever achieved without practice. Who learned to tie his shoes without practicing a gazillion times? An athlete practices until he makes it….to the end of the race…over the hurdle…over the bar….past the marker….and then he practices even more. To improve ourselves, we have to practice. Sometimes we have to practice quite a bit to get it right. Sometimes it only takes a day or two. Statistics have shown, though, that new habits are formed by practicing something for 21 days.

I’ve been following Dr Joel Fuhrman’s plan, “Eat to Live,” for eight months now. Each day is still a practice session for me as I continue to train my body to love nutritious whole foods. A few months ago, I started working out with weights…I now train a couple of times a week. I’m getting stronger….but it takes practice. The spiritual side of things need some more training, too; I haven’t been too consistent in the areas of prayer and Bible study. It takes practice! Practice keeps me from becoming complacent. Practicing a spiritual discipline and a physical discipline work together…I need them both to “get my glow on!”

And so….this blog’s for me and all of you who aim for the radiant life, a life that glows with health and peace and confidence. Let’s practice together!