Let food be thy medicine

1 Jan

-who said that again? Some old Greek, I reckon. Anyway, It’s the first day of the new calendar year, and I am sitting here stuffed to the brim after last night’s (albeit small) festivities. Not the best way to start the new year. Anyway, that thing about food and medicine still stands, maybe more now that I am growing older than it did before.

Things I learned about my body and food during the last year:

  • My gut does not agree with lactose anymore. Which is not too bad these days, almost everything I like is available in lactose-free or plant-based version as well.
  • I do not agree with too many carbs – they support my nasty migraine habit. I’ve been tracking my macronutrient intake for a while, and with less than 120 g carbs per day my head is doing much better.
  • There is no such thing as too much caffeine for me, but there definitely is “too much alcohol”, and the limit is creeping closer every year. Well, it’s not a bad thing per se – only when I go out some part of me still believes that my liver is not a day older than twenty-one, which simply isn’t true, as I am reminded the next day. Stay tuned to see whether I ever learn. ^^
  • My gall bladder (especially the biliary concrement named Hans) does not agree with too much fat.
  • My skin does not agree with too little fat. Neither do my joints.
  • Unless I pay really close attention, my iron levels tend to be a little low. This is most evident when returning from a run with blue lips and fingertips. Supplements help.
  • Excess calcium causes almost-instant migraines.
  • My immune system starts hibernation unless it gets a reasonable amount of protein.
  • Grape juice offers quick migraine relief, I just have to remember to pack some when travelling.

I think that list is not complete yet. Does it sound as if eating was starting to be a hassle? Let me assure you, it is not. At least in everyday life when I am in charge of making most of my meals. Honestly, I do not feel any kind of deprivation because I have had plenty of time to learn a variety of recipes I like that are easily thrown together and agree with my various needs. Last month, however, when I was visiting with family for a few days and was not in charge of the kitchen, I was reminded of all the peculiarities that have crept up on me over time, and I finished the trip home alone in my car with a roaring migraine (at night, with the lights of the other cars cutting through my optic nerve) – too bad I had not remembered to bring some grape juice, which offers quick relief. See? Another thing I learned. Let’s put it on the list. Done. ^^

I like varying my food intake, and often have a host of precooked meals at home to bring to the office. Some of my favorite cookbooks include “Appetite for reduction”, which has a great number of low-fat vegan recipes (the low-fat thing can be a problem for me, see above) “Five ingredients, ten minutes” and the Skinnytaste cookbooks and blog. Once I have a source with recipes I like, I stick with it no matter what. Especially Skinnytaste is my go-to for quick weekday fixes because fo the variety of food stuff it offers. The baked goods are always a success with family and friends, and I have not yet found a single recipe that didn’t work out as planned. Plus the recipes have all the carb, protein and fat stats included. What more could a fuzzy-for-health-reasons girl ask for?

What have you learned about your body in the past year? Any recipes, links or suggestions you would like to share?

Brief reprieve for Standing Rock – now what?

6 Dec

Even German media is reporting about the decision to find a new route for the North Dakota pipeline. Rejoice, people! Everything is going to get better!

Except that it probably isn’t. Not long until Mr. Orange takes office, and he has made clear already that he will decide “like a grown-up”. Yeah, a discolored grown-up with the political understanding of an angry toddler. Not impressed.

I hope that the current, soon-to-be-gone president will find a way to protect the sacred grounds of the Native American people, and cement the decision so Mr. Orange won’t be able to mess with it.

And in case you’re wondering why I care about the Natives on the other side of the glove – Europeans don’t have any “Natives”. We don’t have any “Natives” because back when we were colonized, the majority of people thought it was the right of the victor to do with the other people as he wished. Rites and cultures were lost, or at least buried deep enough that we only find them in fairytales. Everyone did as the Romans, and then as those who came after the Romans. And knowledge was lost.

So … who’s up for a collective protective spell?

Family woes

21 Nov

Gosh, I wish I had hit Richard over the head, gotten him some nice amnesia and convinced him he was an orphan. I hate family matters. At the moment we have the whole shebang – hospital visits, chauffeur services, organisational matters – and as the men are working long hours (and even far away, in Richard’s case) and as his sister-in-law has two young children to take care of, many of the responsibilities end up in my court. I like his family, and I love to help, just … I wish I had a bit more time for “my” stuff: Writing, running, reading a good book. Instead for the past few days I have spent at least three hours per day on the road with family matters, and in the remaining time I just try to get enough done so no one dies. Our freezer is stuffed with precooked meals (turkey pumpkin white chili, pumpkin butter, tomato cream soup with pecorino cheese, navy bean soup, cajun pasta sauce, … ) and our cats have forgotten they share the flat with humans. At least I know this won’t be forever. And that’s what family is for, right?

Good intentions, bad suggestions

21 Oct

In case you didn’t know, the guy works as a business consultant. And if you have ever spent any amount of time with business consultants clowns, you know that they mostly are a bunch of egotistical, sociopathic, megalomaniac assholes. Like sharks in expensive suits – all blood thirst, no emotion. (Just kidding. I like sharks. Business clowns, on the other hand … )

Now, the guy has a new colleague who goes behind the team’s back every occasion he gets to cozy up to to the bigger cheese, befriend the clients and badmouth everyone else on the team. Of course the guy complains about this behavior to me, because it is unprofessional and hurts the team and the project they have been hired to complete. The way I see it, N.A. (New Asshole) is trying to launch his own carreer at the expenses of everyone around him. No making friends, no building connections or gathering experience, no taking hostages (figuratively speaking, of course).

And for the past few weeks I told the guy that he had to shape up in order to defend the team, show N.A. that the project won’t work this way and give him a taste of his own medicine. But I feel bad for doing so. That’s not who the guy is. He is patient and sweet and careful around people so he won’t hurt their feelings (he can also be judgemental as hell, but only in private – no one’s perfect, right?). He thinks of his team and the bigger picture and wants everyone to cooperate and just get shit done.

So now I am stopping to tell him to “shark up” and be the bigger predator. He’s great just the way he is. Let the others fight about careers and bloody scraps, as long as the guy keeps his soul intact.

Tiny changes

10 Oct

But nothing much.

The mysterious toilet has disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared. Fall is crashing into the landscape, leaving trails of bleeding trees and frost on the ground. Everyone is breaking out the heavy sweaters. And I really need to buy new pants.

The idea of doing an obstacle race refuses to die. I was ill for so long at the beginning of the year (normal cough, expert cough, ankle trouble) that we decided to postpone till next year. This gives us almost a year to train for a (hypothetical) race in September, and leaves me with enough breathing room to do a Strongman Run by the time I am thirty-five. Right now I run ten kilometers three times per week and try to get used to strength training at the gym. At the beginning of the next year I hope to get a few trainer sessions scheduled and start using free weights, at least part of the time, and maybe take on a pilates class for general torture. Oh, and I need to lose about twenty kilograms of fat to make it easier to hurl myself over the obstacles. Or that’s the plan.

Sounds boring? I don’t know, I am kind of hyped. You may have forgotten that Diana is my patron goddess, no matter how hard we fight, and moving my body, especially running through the woods, has become our kind of prayer/ritual. Sometimes birds of prey accompany me on my runs – either waiting for a nice snack once I collapse, or in order to encourage me. Who knows? My running speed has increased slighty (from originally 7:30/km to 6:15/km over the course of several years *ahem*), but I mostly enjoy that I can run rather long distances without interruption and not get hurt in the progress.

Of course there will be less wood-running as the evenings go darker, and I am not sure that the treadmill at the gym is a suitable substitute, but I will keep you posted. And in the meantime there is plenty of time for candles and horror movies and long graveyard walks. Maybe I’ll bring a few pictures the next time. ^^

18 Aug

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To be honest, our neighborhood is far from shitty. Quite the contrary. We’re one of those places where neighbors spy on watch out for each other and there are disputes over whether you have parked in the wrong spot – which belongs to the neighboring flat, although that neighbor does not even have a car and the spot is ALWAYS empty and the other neighbor has been parking his BMW so close to your spot that the only thing you could park there is a children’s bicycle, but he rented the flat with the parking spot and he’ll be damned if he lets anyone else park there for we’re in Germany and there are RULES, goddamnit, and where will this all end if everyone parks their car where they want to, these savages, in the olden days those punks would have been set straight by their parents no matter their age!

Mostly we like living here. We keep our heads down, smile when we meet the neighbors, park our car in our spot (unless the BMW is parked too far on the right, then we park out in front on the street, but that is not bad, either, for nothing ever happens around here) and keep to ourselves.

And right now we are watching dirt getting stirred up.

Two families are moving in simultaneously, and doing lots of renovating and stuff.

You know, this is a QUIET house. The people do not like other people drilling or opening doors or walking in the hallway after a certain time. The last people who moved in here moved out again after just three months because some of the older inhabitants had a veritable smearing campaign going on against them because their dogs were too loud and the older dog sometimes peed in front of the house. They told everyone that the woman was being looked for by the police, called animal protection over alelged dog abuse and wrote her landlord scathing letters about what kind of FILTH had he brought into the house??!

And now two new families. One couple in their fourties, polite and well-off, who put up letters when they have loud construction going on and leave chocolate on your doorstep as an edible excuse. (I like them.)

The other one, from what I have seen, a younger couple, maybe our age, with lots of family helping and drilling on weekends and a tiny child, which means they leave their buggy in the hallway sometimes.

I wonder how long they will last.

I’ve tried, really, but …

16 Aug

… I am just not a spiritual person.

This does not mean that I am not a witch – beware! I would rather stop breathing than stop witching. But that whole transcendent, one-with-nature, forgive-your-enemies thing … not for me. I do not even understand why anyone would want the whole thing.

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This is a picture of my altar, taken this morning. Notice the duck? Or the two sheep? My everyday stuff continues creeping into my sacred spaces. I also have some candles in the livingroom which I like to light for some proper down-time. Want to see them?

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I put some shit next to them. And not just some random shit. Pretty cute shit.

In the end, I guess, my practice fits with my everyday life and personality. I AM THE BLOOD OF THE POTATO! (If you don’t get it, just trust me. I’m out of coffee.) I don’t have time for fancy meditations or elaborate rituals. No mantras here, thank you very much. Instead I try to BE a witch – take care of those around me. Be patient, but take no shit. Pick up litter. Defend those who need defending. Listen. Breathe fire (occasionally).

With all these tasks, I still fail spectacularly. I run out of patience. Or I just don’t feel like doing it. Or I have my head (or heart) full of other stuff. But I keep trying. and over all these things I hope, I may slowly be turning into Granny Weatherwax. Although I doubt she had cute shit on her shelves. ^^