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Posts Tagged ‘food’

Thanks to my Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) training over the past couple of years, I’m quicker to reach for self-care strategies when I’m feeling bereft and hopeless. Instead of “checking out” (like I did last night), I look for opportunities to pause, and re-connect. What always sustains me is nature, especially edible gardening, cooking, and food stories. 

I’ve been meaning to watch The Biggest Little Farm for quite a while, so I dove in this morning. What follows is not really a coherent blog post but rather a series of thoughts that arose. (more…)

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warm-drink-786x524In the winter of 2005, I was a pre-doctoral psychology intern working at a college counseling center in a mid-sized town in the agricultural heartland of Oregon. I lived four counties away, and because we had a home (and pets) to care for, and my military spouse was recently stationed on the East Coast, I commuted a total of two hours each way. (Yes, it’s as crazy as it sounds.)

Each weekday morning, I left our home before dawn, after I’d fed our two dogs and given them time to play in the backyard. I tried to make a game of it – how mindful could I be of the rising sun? Too often, I’d find myself lost in NPR or my own sleepy thoughts, only to blink, mid-commute, at the bright sky. (more…)

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20191201_124752It’s a relief to catch my breath after the frenetic pace of summer. Winter is a time of rest, both for the soil and for our bodies. Shorter days, cooler weather – an opportunity to slow down, go to bed earlier, take stock of the previous months and contemplate what lies ahead. Recently, however, I wandered outside to visit my neglected vegetable beds and reacquaint myself with my edible garden.

Around the yard, the bare limbs of our apple, pear, and hazelnut trees were outlined against a heavy gray sky. Much of the garden appeared dormant and yet life pulsed just below the surface. A few beds offered their remaining bounty – herbs, a lone rutabaga and kohlrabi hiding beneath an overgrown forest of aragula, a last row of leeks, a small patch of beets.

As usual, I’ve impressed with the hardiness of greens like kale and swiss chard, and how they often persevere through frost and snow.  Aren’t we all like this – surprising in our resilience? (more…)

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9389a10aa827004f79c4f63dbe307fd3.jpgIt’s been exactly two months since I’ve closed my practice as a psychotherapist, but it already feels like I’ve been away a lifetime. During that time, I’ve celebrated birthdays and an adoption anniversary, given a whole lot of attention to my edible garden, volunteered at local farmer’s markets as a Master Gardener, written a little, cooked a lot, and read a handful of books.

I do miss sitting with all of you, feeling awed by the courage and vulnerability and determination I saw every day. I miss being of service, feeling connected to a profession that is doing good things and working hard to remedy past wrongs, individually and collectively. I miss bearing witness to so many stories, those jewels of human experience. (more…)

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From my garden (clockwise, from bottom): Starburst radishes, parsley seed, red-veined sorrel, snap pea, German chamomile flowers, apple mint, mustard mix, Redbor kale, borage flower, sage flower, New Red Fire lettuce. Tristar strawberry and nasturtium (middle).

Yes, you should play with your food! Mindful eating invites us to feast with all of our senses during our next meal or snack.

For families who want to have fun with gardening, check out this article: https://www.pbs.org/parents/thrive/gardening-with-kids-how-it-affects-your-childs-brain-body-and-soul.

And here’s another blogger’s perspective on how mindful gardening can connect us to our bodies: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/gardening-blog/2016/sep/01/if-you-want-to-practice-mindfulness-the-garden-is-the-place-to-be.

Happy summer eating and gardening, friends.

 

 

 

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As I wind down the final month of my practice as a psychotherapist, things are exploding (in a good way) at home on our little farm. But rest assured, I’m hard at work growing the SAVOR Project, as well, and updates will be coming soon!

In the meantime, here are a few farm shots. I love playing in the dirt so very much. Some of these herbs will show up as plant starts in a future SAVOR workshop – maybe my Back to Food Basics, exploring food literacy through a variety of fun mindful eating exercises, in the fall?

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Hollywood winter farmers market 2019

Last Saturday, I visited the Hollywood Farmer’s Market (open every other week during the winter months) and feasted on the usual albeit smaller displays of local food, plants, and produce. From the Persephone Farm stand 

(http://www.persephonefarmoregon.com/), I purchased an aborscht.jpgssortment of beets, which I used to make my first homemade batch of borscht. Who doesn’t love a pot of hearty soup on a cold February evening? And the experience was especially meaningful as part of efforts to connect with my family’s Eastern European roots.

What personal connection can you make with food, in the coming week? Can you experiment with a new dish, or purchase produce directly from a local grower? Find a way to “lean in” that is congruent with your budget and lifestyle – it might be as simple as adding a new fresh herb (purchased from your nearest grocery store or snipped from a neighbor’s patio container – with their permission, of course!) to one of your meals. Or visiting one of the local winter farmer’s markets available throughout the Portland-metro area, and allowing time to savor, with all of the senses: http://www.portlandfarmersmarket.org/

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