The day was April 16, 2011. That was the day I started fasting once a week and giving the value of what I didn’t consume to those who have less.
Not So Fast began just a few days after the idea came to me, and I knew it would be a long process of putting this whole beautiful thing together, but I wanted to start right away.
Since that very first day, a few (awesome) things have gone down. A blog or two, some great discussions, a few meetings, some great food, and all of you (wonderful readers and friends -xxx)!
But enough about me.
I am honored today (back to a new recipe tomorrow!) to send you over to Somer’s blog to read her story and to see how easily a simple concept can bring beautiful people together from all over this big, beautiful world.
If you’d like to get involved, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to hear from you!
A HUGE thank you to all who so generously donated to our cause this past two weeks, we are honored by your actions and look forward to sharing even more (in less). Our second cooking class kicks off this week, so stay tuned!
And no, I don’t mean in the kitchen (but I am that too and I LOVE it).
I mean, I worry. I try to worry (just a little) less at times, but catch me at a bad time late at night and it’s game over.
I worry about my schedule, or I worry that the kids won’t have the strength they need to stand up to a mean kid at school. I worry about the tall tree in the neighbor’s yard that might fall on the house in a windstorm, and I worry that I could get sick with some scary awful disease and leave my kids and my husband all alone (completely unwillingly of course).
Now please don’t get scared, I am not going somewhere dark or deep here.
I’m just saying, I think it’s in us all to worry, right? And we should be responsible, and do our diligence by living healthily and reducing our reasons to worry needlessly.
Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things happen. Don’t be afraid.
~ Frederick Buechner
So cue the checklist to healthy living.
Eat well (check). Live well (check). Exercise (check). Laugh (check). Give thanks (major check) Give yourself regular breast exams.
Am I the only one that is (so far) dangerously lax in this department?
This week I decided to take action on that front & was quite terrified when I actually found something. It was indeed a painful lump in my armpit (SO tender!).
It was late at night at the time of this discovery, time for bed. After my discovery and the inevitable irrationality of thoughts that followed, a little visit to the Mr. Internet Self Diagnosis department, and more irrationality (there may have been tears & attempts to hide them from the husband), I finally fell asleep.
Like I said, I am a mess sometimes. But aren’t we all? (And it WAS late).
The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth.
~ Chinese Proverb
Waking up that morning I vowed to be better. To check more often, and to visit the doctor more often. After all, I am in the prime age for this kind of stuff, and statistics show 1 in 8 of us will be diagnosed with breast cancer during our lifetime.
Shira you owe it to your family to do a better job (check).
After several hours of worry that morning, trying to work but only really thinking of my sore armpit (it was really really sore), and (maybe) a call to work announcing that I’d found a scary evil worrisome lump (in my pit), I managed to see the doctor in the clinic.
Even waiting there in that room (evidently the very same room almost 10 years ago that I learned I was pregnant the second time), I was a mess. Biting back tears, I explained my case.
I told the lovely doctor about the discovery, and about how I’d rubbed that lump extra hard to see just what kind of lump it was. I told her it really hurt (it really did).
When she didn’t seem to look worried, I started to (maybe) feel like it wasn’t going to be so bad.
Then when she asked me to take my shirt off and started poking around under my arm, I pretty much realized it was going to be okay.
Less worry and more action means you can spend energy on real matters. Less avoidance of important issues means more facing things head on. Fewer reasons to fret needlessly means more calm in your center, so making room for thoughts that are fruitful comes easy.
More action on health issues means fewer reasons to lose sleep. More calm, confident feelings means more rational sound thinking. More healthy food and healthy thoughts means more wholeness and good, wholesome living. So the need to worry can go out with the compost.
Apple, Kale & Hemp Seed Green Smoothie:
(1) organic apple, seeded and chopped
(1/2 – 1) avocado
(1-1.5) cups mango juice, (or apple juice if you don’t have access to mango)
(1) tbsp hemp hearts
(3-4) leaves green kale
(3-4) ice cubes, if desired
Blend all to a creamy consistency and enjoy immediately for full health benefits. Don’t worry though if you do need to blend it and enjoy it later..it will still be good for you (but maybe not if you worry too much about it)
This makes a generous amount that can easily feed 2-3 hungry people, but if you are at all like me, this could be just for one worry-free wonder woman (or man) as well. I often use this as my main daily sustenance until late afternoon, which means I have no problem enjoying the full recipe over the course of the morning.
Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.
~ Dr. Seuss
Turns out, I managed to strain a muscle in my armpit. I learned from the very nice doctor lady that there aren’t any nodes in there, but there are a lot of tendons (apparently ones that don’t like being pressured frenetically late at night).
I’d rubbed the heck out of that node the night I discovered it and caused myself a whole lot of pain for no other reason but to give myself a little wake up call.
I’m glad it was all okay.
And I don’t wish for the day when it isn’t. For anyone out there that has had a scare, or (heaven forbid) has been through cancer, I was reminded this week of how lucky we all are to have our health.
Only a few things are really important.
~ Marie Dressler
How can something bother you if you won’t let it?
~ Terri Guillemets
I don’t know how I strained my armpit, and it doesn’t really matter, the point is, I am going to be okay (it’s all healed now too so that’s good). For now, at least, and that is worth celebrating, and protecting, every day.
And I hope you are too.
So don’t delay on giving yourself some well-intentioned attention. Check yourself regularly, and eat well. Go to the doctor for check ups, and try not to worry (I think it comes with the Motherhood territory and having a majorly over-active imagination).
Surround yourself with friends that care about you.
And treat yourself to a green smoothie. Just be careful not to strain any muscles while tearing up your kale
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
I went, I saw, I ate, I reveled. I went home.
Freshly back from a visit to the country, my senses are still reeling from the sights and sounds of water, birds, soft grass, good clean food, laughter and plenty of pure unadulterated stillness.
A typical weekend visit to the family home means (weather permitting) farmer’s market visits, long runs in the quiet breezy air, and plenty of ocean-side time to the sounds of lapping water and the odd speed boat off in the far salty distance.
There, my phone doesn’t work, and neither do I.
This time of year, there is bounty in the gardens. Meals come from the yard and ingredients are picked not days, and not hours, but just minutes before preparing (and eating of course!).
Back home during the growing season, planning meals is as much about what is ready as it is about what your appetite tells you (actually quite a bit more).
Peas come and go for three weeks only, the strawberries show their bright faces only long enough to remember their soft red cheeks, and (thankfully) the kale grows for many prosperous and green months on end.
It’s a different (and refreshing) way to look at food.
I hope you’ll humor me as we walk through the garden and take (just a few) extra moments of island time.
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
~ Chinese Proverb
I always start by removing my shoes. The grass feels better that way, and somehow, everything seems just that much more beautiful. And real. Something about dirt in my toes.
Sometimes there isn’t an entire pints worth of strawberries left to pick and you have to enjoy what there is (these were the last ones saved for my daughter to pick).
This simple example (to me) embodies the ‘less is more’ lifestyle with crystal clarity – enjoying what there is when it is and making it last.
I won’t try to deny these strawberries were most thoroughly enjoyed. Yes, all 5 of them.
Whenever you are sincerely pleased, you are nourished.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
A quick (slightly disappointing) visit to the local grocery store offers a stark contrast to the bounty that is seen on display at the Farmer’s Market.
There at the market you can meet the guys who make your white chocolate scones and work through the night to make your loaf of daily bread.
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
~ Michael Pollan
It brings a new appreciation for where your food comes from – to see the hands that create the food for your nourishment and to lay eyes on the mouths that smile from a life of honest work.
For those of us who are blessed to live where produce grows in abundance, it seems an easy choice to buy (and eat) local.
Here in the city if I miss the Farmer’s Market, I’ve got a great grocery store in just about every neighborhood I can hit up as I need.
In many smaller communities this often isn’t the case. So more and more communities are relying on themselves, and on each other.
There are many communities across the globe who don’t have this…..yet.
After a visit like this, I return feeling more resolved than ever to work towards ways to bring food security to everyday people. Like me, (maybe) you, and (maybe) our neighbors.
There is just too much capability for abundance not to.
It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.
It seems so easy.
1. Grow food.
You need soil. You need seeds. Add a little sunshine and diligent watering and watch it grow.
I didn’t get my veggie garden in this year, as I mentioned there is just so much abundance all around me, there is no urgent reason not to support those who are working hard to produce amazing food for the region right now. It’s on the list, but for now I am happy to support those who are already in the game.
2. Cook it.
Prepare your meals with love. Plan around what there is. Use what you have, and what you can reasonably afford.
Maybe even tuck (just a little) away for someone else. Who knows? It’s all up to you, and to us as a whole, if we decide.
3. Eat it.
Eat with mindfulness if you can. Chew with gratitude. Swallow with awareness, and look your meal-mates in the eye. Talk with one another. Fully be. Wherever it is you may be.
4. Be nourished.
Being nourished is about so much more than just good food. Start with a helping of healthy, homemade vegetables & proteins, add a generous sprinkle of gratitude & and a moderate side of humility, and enjoy the fruits of your (or someone else’s) labor. After all, it is surely delicious. Isn’t it?
These are the simple things we can do.
From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.
~ Arthur Ashe
I want to take a moment to thank all of the supporters of this blog. Having such a supportive group of readers has made this whole project take on a completely new life. This isn’t just my project anymore – I really feel that it’s ours.
I have been touched to receive notes from a few of you looking to connect about health topics ranging from the importance of fitness to a holistic lifestyle (so true – link to Susan’s site here) – to the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle for those living with terminal illnesses such as cancer (link to Jillian’s blog here).
All of you have such amazing stories to tell and I am happy to do what I can to bring awareness to wellness initiatives everywhere.
But for now, let’s eat, and take off our shoes.
We all have things we do to escape and break what can seem like difficult patterns or routines we are stuck in – or simply just to get away. I’d love to hear what you do to step away.
Are you a garden lover?
Where do you take your shoes off and really relax?
For now, let’s eat well, and enjoy!
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.
~ Muhammad Ali
Next up I’ve got a super delicious chickpea salad in the wings – you’ll want to catch this one it is that delicious! Wishing you all a super fabulous week!
Wow! What a wonderful honor (and in some seriously good company too!), and for this I am so grateful!
To all of you who have supported this little blog and its mission from the start, and for those who are just joining us, thank you for being here.
It is such an honor and a pleasure and I enjoy each and every interaction with you, whether it is here, or on any number of your amazing blogs in this community (of which I am grateful to follow many a winner).
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
~ Thornton Wilde
Today’s post is another fresh and simple way to kick-start either a bright new morning, a stodgy, slumpy afternoon, or even as a great way to try the concept of ‘fasting’ if you are new to it. (Trading heavy solid foods for a quickie smoothie is a great way to try it).
Blended foods are gentle on the stomach, and when filled with pure, unadulterated whole foods, are easily digested and assimilated too.
Less additions to your fruit smoothie means easy simple ingredients that won’t break the bank. Less chewing and cooked foods means more raw nutrition that is easy to break down. Less challenging ingredients means you can find these foods anywhere, so eating this good is easy and accessible too.
More fresh spinach means more calcium, fiber, and chlorophyll. More fresh uncooked fruits means more fresh sun-kissed goodness. More blended raw foods means more clean gentle nourishment, so eating can be peaceful and healing when you need it.
Not just for Popeye!
Squeaky Clean Spinach & Stone-fruit Smoothie:
(2) fresh nectarines (can sub peaches or apricots, if using apricots up to 3-4)
(1) heaping cup frozen peaches
(1) large handful packed fresh spinach leaves
(1-1.5) cup mango juice (can also sub apricot, peach, or other yellow tropical combo)
(1) cup ice cubes (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until super smooth – about 1 minute minimum.
Depending on the strength of your blender, the time it takes to properly blend really varies.
Just make sure there are no chunks and if using ice, to give it a little extra time, or extra juice, or both.
We become that which we love.
~ Saint Bridget
It is said that in order to achieve a dream, that you should pursue what you love. I believe this to be true. I have referenced in the blog before that there is great power in just starting, and with this, there is also great relevance in the notion of starting as you mean to go on.
So while we can’t wait for things to be perfect before we start something new (because they never are), it is important to start as we mean to go on.
Because there is no substitute for authenticity, and it will always shine through any imperfection
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.
~ Marcel Proust
Everyday is a day for new things. This smoothie was my new thing this week, as it is wonderful – and an easy way to start the day as you mean to go on!
I adore the summery taste of stone fruits and spinach is a wonderful mild green that is easily blended into these fruits with such big taste and character.
So if you think you don’t like green smoothies – you might just be surprised with this one (or not)!
There’s a wall between you and what you want and you got to leap it.
~ Bob Dylan
In the ‘coming soon’ section…
IPOM started 6 months ago to engage and connect with a bigger group of people in the celebration of good food (Holla! You guys are amazing!)
Not So Fast, which is a new non-profit organization founded (by wee little me) last year, is just about to spread its wings a little.
We’ll be launching our new identity in the coming weeks, and sharing a story or two about (amazing) regular people (like you and me) who are making a difference in their community, by showing us that ‘living with less’, even for a short time, can make a giant impact!
We hope you’ll stay tuned while we roll this out, and I promise to keep you hungry for more great food ideas and recipes, and am (as always) looking forward to all of yours!
What is your favorite smoothie combo?
Are you a Green Smoothie novice?
Have you started anything new this week?
Do share – your comments and thoughts are always so enjoyed!
And of course, I am wishing you all a fabulous week…..I know I said it was last week (I ran out of time!) but after I publish this, I am turning my computer over to the pros, it’s finally time for a brand new computer!
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.
~ William Arthur Ward
Good day dear IPOM readers and friends! Need a little something to pick you up mid-week like I do?
How about a quick little shout-out to a most virtuous glass of nourishing and delicious fresh green juice?
I’ve mentioned before that it is tough for me to throw away the pulp that is left over after extracting fresh juice.
And it’s true, it is hard (for me).
Eating foods is definitely the preferred way for me to ensure there is plenty of nutrition being served up at our table, and all that fiber and goodness that comes from consuming roughage and delicious foods in their whole state is ideal (IMO).
Except when it’s time for a change up.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
~ Victor Frankl
There are times when the body might be sensitive to things. There are times when we might be stressed. There are times when we just crave a glass of pure vital energy.
For these times, and often on short fast days, this drink is my go-to elixir.
Super-energizing, super-alkalizing, super-tasty, and super-charged, this drink brings together everything an ailing tummy or mind might need. Eating can be stressful on the body sometimes (especially foods that are not good for you), and that’s okay. Just knowing a good safe way to rest the body and mind is a good place to start.
Of course, you need a juicer for this (which I know we don’t all have) – thankfully juicers are easily found these days in all price ranges, so if you are inclined, with a bit of research you can pick one up without breaking the bank account. It is an investment that will pay dividends, regardless of whether you juice once a day, once a week, or once a month.
Less solids in your tummy means a little rest when its needed. Less pressure on the tummy means more time to just be. Less cooked and stored juices means more vital enzymes and goodness, and hopefully less time feeling less than the best.
More fresh lemon juice means more alkalizing health benefits. More fresh greens means more chlorophyll and minerals. More fresh simple fruit juice means easily digested sugars, without all the nasty highs and lows, because something this happy can’t bring you down.
Healing Green Tonic:
~ Adapted from Natalia Rose, Raw Food Detox
4 apples, skin on, cut into pieces
10 leaves kale
1 head celery
2 lemons, with skin on, cut into pieces
knob of fresh peeled ginger (optional)
Simply wash all ingredients – try to use organic vegetables and fruits for this if you can. Chop apples, lemons, and ginger. Be careful when juicing to put the greens and lemon pieces in with a stalk of celery or a piece of apple to prevent clogging (depending on your juicer’s strength).
Strain through a very fine sieve (or not if you don’t mind a little pulp at the bottom), and enjoy right away for maximum life force and vital energy. Letting juice sit will oxidize the released nutrition, but if you like you can put some away in a sealed container (keep cold!) for enjoyment later.
I drink this when I need a nice boost. It keeps me going for hours and leaves a wonderful aftertaste and and even more glorious happy tummy smile.
It sounds extra-super-corny, but trust me it’s true!
I don’t juice too often as I get annoyed cleaning the juicer as well as I feel sad if I produce too much pulp – though it does certainly make a lovely addition to gardener’s compost
I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.
~ Simon and Garfunkel
The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists
~ Japanese Proverb
My weekend reading!
The power we have to create good, and to impact positive change both within ourselves and within a greater collective community is never lost on me.
There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.
~ Author Unknown
So keep up your own unique brands of awesomeness, dear IPOM readers and friends, for it is your energy and enthusiasm that keeps us all going, and I can only speak for myself and I know this to be true for this blogger!
I also have to let you guys know there are so many exciting things happening here this week with regards to Not So Fast. Honestly, I can’t wait to share….all in good time!
Are you a fan of juicing?
What is your favorite fresh juice of all time?
What are you MOST excited for right now (share anything!)?
I just adore hearing from you all, we’d all love to know!
I am off to enjoy the glorious Vancouver sunshine…and it sounds as though it is here to stay for a while!
Welcome! What is In Pursuit Of More? The blog about living with (just a little) less. By going without, we can gain - by giving to those who have less. Want to make a change in your eating habits for the better? Imagine how you can turn that into something positive for those who would otherwise go hungry. Go without so others don't have to. That's living with (just a little) less.