Saturday, December 19, 2009

morality of meat

last night, over tea with coconut milk, my sister, her girlfriend, and i talked about our bodies and body image. i have had health problems for over ten years that i can't seem to shake, except of course for the few months when i was totally primal.

"you know being a vegan totally messed you up, right?"  my sis said.

in a flash, i realized that my weight issues, my health issues, and my mental health issues dramatically worsened when i gave up meat.  i was a vegetarian for years.  i felt so very righteous.

i've always been an extremely sensitive person.  so sensitive, that as part of my survival, i know tend to avoid crowds, too much noise, and the news.  i just feel too much.  so, the plight of our fellow creatures on this earth (i lost sleep after imagining chickens in cages too tight to move around) as they are farmed for our sustenance made me sick (in so many ways).

as a little girl, i saw chickens with their heads cut off running around a small enclosed yard.  a couple of hours later, they were quite delicious.  i've eaten the meat of a ram that i used to pet.

and, then, the health issues.  bloating, all sorts of digestive distress, fatigue, joint pain, headaches, scattered memory....but at least i wasn't contributing to an animal's suffering.

hold the phone.  I'M an animal.  and i'm suffering.

part of the rage that i feel towards factory farming are the deplorable conditions in which our meat is raised.  the pens are too small.  the diets are all wrong for the animals.  (cows eat GRASS not GRAINS) the animals aren't given room to play.  they are fed hormones to control their weight.  a cow isn't given place to develop its "cowness".  a chicken can't be a chicken and pigs have no mud in which to be piggy.

wait a second.  people are crowded into cubicles.  our diets are completely wrong for us. (people eat VEGETABLES and MEATS not GRAINS)  people aren't given the incentive to go out and play.  people take pills or are fed hormones in their food that control their weight.

people aren't given place to develop their "peopleness".

the animals that suffer the most with vegetarianism are people.

not eating meat is not a morally righteous move.  we need it to be healthy.

insisting that all creatures have the right to live as they were meant is beyond moral.  it's just correct.

i wonder how long it will take to undo the damage to my body that vegetarianism has caused.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

ouch...

has it really been that long since i've posted here?

i've been busy sludging through the sweet underbelly of the stereotypical american lifestyle.  there are several couches with the expanding indentation of my ass.  there are vibram five-fingers laying forlorn in the depths of some bag, somewhere.  there are foodlike package shells littering the landscape of this past month.

and there is the pseudo-food that has become a part of me.  the taste of all that sweetness, all that agricultural pornucopia still coating my digestive lining.  the cloying desserts, the puffy, margarine soaked giant pretzels, the sparkle of msg on hot fries....all that is flowing (okay, not flowing really, more like roiling) through my system.

i feel like hammered shit.  quite frankly, i feel poisoned.  sickened.  and like something unnatural.

this blog was my lifeline, in a way.  the accountability to something.

of course, i have my excuses.  i've been without steady living space for a long time.  my depression pokes it's colossal head up through the floorboards more frequently.  i was robbed so my beloved (beloved????) computer is in the hands of a thief.  i am homesick for something that no longer exists.  and, i feel isolated.

it is a chicken and egg thing.  what happened first?  did i stop living primally so all these factors popped up or did all these things rear up and then i stopped living primally?

either way, it's time to stop the insanity.

i am dancing with different aspects of it all right now.  getting the new cave set up in a VERY minimalist way.  (i got rid of half my stuff and it's still too much...where did all this shite COME FROM?)  i'm slowly organizing my pantry and fridge to have all the foods that my body recognizes readily available.  i am working on a loose routine that allows me to meet all the modern responsibilities while giving me the time to live with as much freedom as my wild self needs.

i am the type of person that wants to wake up in the morning and have the perfect day after living in chaos the day before.  but, creating a life takes work.  scratch that word work....it's a weird connotation.  creating a life takes boldness, imagination, and playfulness.  and of all the things that make me who i am, those three things i have in excess.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

grumbly in my tumbly




eating grains and sugar makes me hungry.

i can't ever get enough.  and within an hour or so, i'm hungry again.  grains and sugar really send my body on a horrible cyclical path.

i get puffy, have all sorts of digestive distress, aching joints, my moods spike up into near mania only to crash down into a nearly comatose state, and just lifting the next brownie to my mouth seems like lifting a boulder with a toothpick, sugar is so draining.

so why do i keep eating them?

oh tribe!  i am one of those people who knows everything but learns nothing.

once something is incorporated into one's life with consistence is when i consider it to have been learned.

i have been involved with so many aspects of "alternative"* health for the past 11 years.  the facts, studies, herbs, foods, philosophies, and personal fiddling could easily fill a book.  (hmmm....)  however, i'm not the healthiest person that i know.

why?

oh there are very many long-winded answers that could fill that blank, but what it really and truly comes down to is that i'm a perfectionist.

if something can't be done perfectly, it's not worth doing at all.  so i give up.  this perfectionism is lovingly nurtured by horrible life experiences, a culture that hates women, sunday school, and dieting since the age of 11.

what a conundrum.  i love life.  really, i do.  i want to touch everything, smell everything, see everything.  i want to kiss life right on the mouth.  here's the kicker:  life is not perfect.

life is messy.  life is wild.  life is unpredictable.  life is tragic.  life is exultant.  life is bigger than the rules of one little woman trying to control it.

my focus shifted off the great when i started trying to walk the path of perfection.  food stopped being something to explore.  it became bound up in rules: portion size, time of day, mode of preparation, etc.

food's greatest purpose is nourishment.  i love that word.

NOURISHMENT

and grains and sugar simply don't nourish me.  they break me down.

it's time to eat for nourishment.  eat to feel wonderful.  eat to thrive.  because you never know what life is going to throw your way next and it's good (not perfect) to be ready.

*i have no idea when health practices that have been proven themselves effective for thousands of years became the "alternative" to allopathic experiments that began only a few hundred years ago.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

what we're working with




i am known for having eyes much larger than my stomach.  it seems that i can never really tell how large anything really is.  taking on fifteen projects at once, piling my plate higher than a legos tower, thinking that an hour is plenty of time to run 5 errands, all in different areas of town (on my bike), and that raising a child just means feeding them once in a while is my m.o.  of course, it works the other way with myself.  i think i'm ginormous.  i always experience a moment of shock when i see myself in group pictures and i'm SO SHORT!  SO TINY!

all this to explain that when i "adopted" (returned) to the primal lifestyle, i jumped in with both bare feet.  and not everything stuck.  in a panicked effort to organize (control) all that, i regimented it.  that's when it really fell apart.  once i attach a "should" to anything, my extremely vocal inner child throws a tantrum and my inner revolutionary, well, revolts.

should is, to me, one of the dirtiest words in the english language.  i cringe when i hear it and want to cover my burning ears (EARMUFFS!).  it also seems to be one of the heaviest.  throw it into any sentence and the should side drops down with such a hard thud that it's hard to hear the rest of the words.

of course, i have a much more developed rebel inside me than most.  but it can be very difficult when the one i rebel against is myself, the task piler.

so, i've simply distracted the part of me that needs projects.  i'm buying (BUYING! holy crapola batman!) a new cave today.  so the project princess will be well taken care of for quite a while.

but what am i going to do about the rest of me that doesn't give a should?  i remember when i started this whole thing in july, that one of the things that i wanted to do was to play outside every day with my son. i haven't done that since coming back to the states.  play has given way to regimented exercise, standard american eating habits, lack of sleep, and a loss of community.

no wonder i feel like should.

so, i'm bringing play back as my first priority.  i'm not going to lay down any ground rules, i'm just going  to find fun again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

6 week (sure) cure





i started the 6 week cure yesterday.  it's the book written by protein power power couple, the dr.s eades.

i went so far off track with everything lately that my body is right back where it used to be before i ever started eating primally.  and, when i say that, i'm not talking about weight.  a little over a year ago, my body got to the point where i could barely move.  i'll never forget driving with my sister for a twelve hour trip and all that i could do was silently cry.  it didn't matter how i sat, laid, walked, or moved, the pain crowded everything else out.

it had been a slow and steady degradation.  i had lived through a war-zone for a couple years.  the level of anxiety, fear, and stress that came with that was more than i could manage.  there was a period of six weeks where i didn't sleep more than 2-3 hours a night because i was so terrified and worried.  in the midst of that, i flew to new york to spend over a month living in a tent on my cousin's bare land.  it saved my life and whet my appetite for a different lifestyle.

once i landed here, the culture shock and what is called here "post-traumatic shock syndrome" and what i used to call "waking up monday morning", my body aches and fatigue began in earnest.  i tried veganism and it worked for a while but then i just felt undernourished and so tired.  i went high-carb because i knew that there was a direct neural/chemical pathway between sugar and the release of seratonin.  but, i had to eat a lot of carbs to neutralize the crash of the carbs i'd eaten earlier.

my road trip and the "vacation" that followed were my body's low points.  i'd always been very active as a dancer growing up and able to do things with my body that other people could only googly eye at.  but, at 35, i felt crippled, crispy, and cried about it often.

i had also gained a lot of weight but that didn't bother me anymore.  i had learned to love my body and i thought that i was doing all the right things for it.

i started eating primally, moving primally, and found my energy again.  but these past few weeks, i've thrown all caution to the wind, thinking myself "cured" and eaten my way back to the pain.

of course, the rainy, cold weather doesn't help.  it makes me want to crawl into a cave and stay, buried in animal skins, until the sun comes back out in the spring.

i am exhausted, constantly.  i can't get enough sleep.  every joint hurts.  i can feel every bone in my body, heavy, like a steel rod that my softer flesh has to make its way around.

so, i do what i alway do in a crisis.  i read.

i found the eades's book "the 6-week cure for the middle-aged middle" and instantly knew that this is what i had to do.  although it's marketing itself as a weight-loss thing, which is something that i know will temporarily work, what really draws me to it is that it is a strong liver supportive plan.

since i started yesterday, i'm in the first two weeks of the six week plan.  each two weeks are a little different one from the other.  i'm in the 3 shakes and 1 meal a day portion.  that one meal a day has been the most delicious meal i've ever had, mostly because i'm hungry by then, but also because i'm finding joy again in food.

so i raise a shake to health.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

thinking and thinking leads to.....hopefully, insight





i've been gone for a little while.

the amount of stress that i've been denying has finally caught up with me and some very old habits and patterns have taken over.

the things that i KNOW would help me deal have fallen by the wayside and i searched out substitutes for the lazy.

i learned about 6 years ago to never feel guilty or to punish myself for these lapses.  they are just what i'm used to doing.

when i started this blog, i think i went in my default "i know it all" mode.  the thing with that mode is that it's false.  i don't know it all.  i sometimes feel as if i know nothing at all!  as someone who has lived too long in her head and been too valued for her smarts, it is painful to admit that there are libraries of books filled with the things that i don't know.

i am a cave girl but i am still becoming one.  there are days when i am not one at all, and am instead a very lost animal grasping at carbs and modern noise to soothe my confusion.

i have been writing with a bit of the 'i've arrived, let me show you the way" tone.  HA!  i'm bumbling around in the dark a little bit.  i know where i want to end up.  i want to live as my ancestors did, as my body and mind are genetically determined to live.  so many other sites about primal life really focus on the food and exercise portions of that life.  that goes a very long way.  but, i'm interested in my entire lifestyle, my mindset, my environment being transformed into something deeply nourishing to my deepest DNA.

i would love to explore this all with you.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thursday, October 15, 2009

do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight




It may be true that white men can't jump, but the real problem is that they won't dance.  And if they won't dance, it seems unlikely that they would have anything important to say about movement education.  Dance, after all, is entry-level.  After sex, gathering and hunting, 
it is the original human movement.


Frank Forencich, Exuberant Animal

I attended a private Christian school from Kindergarten through graduation from High School.  The teachers were all mid-western imports from  exotic places like Gary, Indiana and Flint, Michigan.  They were missionaries called by god to save Haitians from a fiery afterlife that was surely awaiting them because the Haitian culture was so satan saturated.

Dancing is one of those sins that ranked right up there with genocide that wasn't sanctioned by the Old Testament god or actually marrying someone who didn't share your skin color.  Dancing leads to all sorts of horrible things.  If you spent time dancing, most damningly with a partner, adultery, pedophilia, and (gasp) homosexuality were going to be the way you wrapped up your evening.  Dancing is the gateway sin.

In Kindergarten, as my class was preparing our part for the annual Christmas pagent, my teacher, Mrs. Gadness (oh how thrilled I was to discover that my mother, first grade teacher, was "serving the Lord with gadness!") took my mother aside with deep concern.  "I understand that Jenny, um, likes to dance, but dancing to Silent Night is a bit excessive, don't you think?"

Later, in my Bible classes, i glared at those teachers who insisted that moving the temple of the Holy Spirit to the beat was just asking for demonic possession.  I would quote the passage about King David, a man after god's own heart, exploding into exuberant dance behind the ark of the covenant as it was taken to the temple.  I would gloss over the part of his strict reprimand by all the killjoys around him.

At home, I consumed any PG movie that had dancing scenes in it.  One summer, my sister and I watched "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (starring Helen Hunt and Sarah Jessica Parker) 58 times.  And then, there were Turbo and Ozone and Kelly (Special K...every good dancer has a street name).  White Nights was rented from the video club...over and over and over.  Gregory Hines's solo grew fuzzier with time because I rewound and played, rewound and played.  Misha (that's Mikael Baryshnikov to you) danced deep into my dreams in his JEANS!

I finally accepted my one-way strobe-lit and bass driven ticket to hell.  But, I found a different sort of salvation.  I began to dance a different way. I abandoned the chaste side-stepping I did to Olivia Newton John and opened my hips, liquified my spine, and bared my feet.  Haitian folklore was similar to African dance, but, focused more on the slithering torso than the punctuating limbs.  I danced to the drums, the same drums that were used in West Africa by my ancestors.  All of a sudden, I was out of my head and it was the most spiritual experience i'd ever had to date.  i could feel the cultural, genetic umbilical chord stretching back into time.

i was more than myself.  i was the goddess, the god, the forest, the freedom fighter, the snake (who only symbolizes evil in the judeo/christian tradition: in every other the snake is the symbol for healing, knowledge, and the divine feminine.).  it was so simple, really.  it was my body and some hollowed out wood with some goat skin stretched tautly across it.  but, the sound was the same sound that humans had always made since we could.  the drum was the first external heartbeat.

of course, dancing to me was more than my salvation.  it was what showed me that there was nothing from which to BE saved.  i was primal, ancient.  moving to a hand-driven beat with others doing the same taught me what it meant to be human, to be in my own flesh.

to dance was among our original movements.  it was the original workout.  how sad it is to realize how far we've come.  dancing hard for hours only nourished me.  i couldn't do a step-aerobics class for more than thirty minutes before a homicidal desire to use that far too cheerful instructors noggin as my step took over.  lifting weights was like a metronome, dull and uninspired.  but, dancing, our earliest form of community, expression, and celebration feeds us.  so, turn on the music, feel the joy, and, like my son liked to say when he was three, "do the booty dance".

Monday, October 12, 2009

how to know...part 2




there was that one moment when i probably emasculated my pre-pubescent son.  he had spent the previous two weeks counting his armpit hairs that were sprouting one by one.  one day, he could see a patch of dirty blonde fuzz (or just the shadow caused by the bathroom overhead light) in the valley of his pit.  he came running in to the living room where i was curled up in the deep concentration that i can only summon when reading a book about herbs or self-sufficiency or surfing or the suicide girls.

"mom, have you ever seen so much armpit hair?!" he almost sang.

i didn't say a word nor did i look up from my book.  i just lifted my arm.  i could almost feel the weight of his face as it fell about five inches.

i don't always look like i have don king in a head lock.  but, i sometimes do.  of course, there was that one hippie year when i easily could have braided it all, slapped some beads on, and at least i could have had bo derek's iconic hair...but, you know, under my arms.  the flowing pit-locks look is more of a winter-time thing for me.

i do have my reasons that reach further than my feminist leanings coupled with my ironic life-long struggle to "be one of the boys".  (when i was seven, i pulled my sister and the two boys that we grew up with into the bathroom and proved that i really could pee while standing up.)  i don't feel the need to bow to some societal standard of beauty that is counter to what my body does naturally nor do i understand why that standard only applies to one gender.  however, i think it's healthier to let my body do what it wants to do from time to time.

and, to top it off, the armpits are an erogenous zone but a little fuzz increases the sensation by a factor of ten.  anything that increases my pleasure on this planet is fine with me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

oh happy day!




the vibram five fingers and i on a hike in the north carolina mountains were so primed for adventure and the luring siren call of winding woodsy paths.  i know that i've been gone for quite a long time.  people, i went to the mountain since the mountain wouldn't come to me.  i camped for 4 days on the shore of a lake.  it was a small tent, very much like, well, a cave.  and this cave girl heard her own thoughts.  it was amazing to be far away from the constant jabbering of society's aimless quest for happiness through consumption.

now that i'm back, i am overwhelmed by the constant noise, the very bright lights, and the STUFF!  sweet baby jesus, the stuff.  it is everywhere, shelves groan under the weight of stuff, floors pant under the strain of holding up stuff, streets are congested with the glut of stuff, closet doors reach for their frames against the bulge of stuff.

so, i'm having a garage sale.  i have too much stuff.  generally, 98% of americans have too much stuff.  (okay, so i didn't consult a census.)  i marvel at the value placed on things.  here, one is considered living in poverty if the household doesn't own a two t.v.s and a microwave.  POVERTY!  i grew up in haiti where lying in a river of mud and pigshit to take a nap because you have nowhere else to lay your head in the carboard slums, THAT'S poverty.

i lived in a tiny tent with a pair of jeans, a skirt, a couple t-shirts, my sleeping bag and a few books.  looking out through the mesh window, there were trees whistling in the wind, canadian geese transitioning from comedic waddling to graceful gliding in the lake, the mist would kiss the water so lightly and the moon shone just brightly enough.  and i felt ridiculously wealthy.

i was camping and attending a women's herbal conference.  herbal medicine is cave girl medicine.  we have evolved alongside plants and even from plants.  that is why our bodies and plants can communicate on a cellular level.  we know what to do with plant information.  with pharmaceutical drugs?  not so much.  plants are not directional.  what i mean by that is that a drug formulated to lower hypertension can only move in one direction.  it will lower and lower and lower hypertension, which is why drug users need to be monitored so closely by their pushers...i mean, doctors.  whereas a plant used for blood pressure is a blood pressure regulator.  it doesn't move in one direction, it works with our bodies to bring about balance.

i will be including some cave girl medicine once a week here.

i've thought a lot about this blog.  i want to take it in a slightly different direction.  the cave girl lifestyle is so much bigger to me than just eating and exercise.  being a cave girl, which is what we all are (except of course, the cave boys), is an entirely ancient way of looking at everything.  everything in our lives is out of step with our true animal selves, not just the way we eat and move (or not).

for example, my teacher, Susun Weed, taught one of the classes this past weekend.  we were talking about stress.  stress has really been demonized in the past decade or two.  we need stress.  stress is what makes our bones stronger, our mind quicker, our muscles bigger, and our emotional range broader.  there are only two stressors that are so hard-wired into our reptilian brains, the oldest parts of ourselves, that we can not adapt away from: loud noises and fast movement.  both of those things signal to us DANGER.  get ready to run or fight for your life.  Susun Weed thought it was very interesting that with all of our talking about stress management, we go out and buy boxes full of nothing but loud noises and fast movement, then, put one of those boxes in nearly every room of our homes.  We then can't understand why those weekly yoga classes aren't working.

I haven't had a t.v. in years.  if one isn't ready to ditch theirs quite yet, maybe one could try to go just one week without turning theirs on.  cover it with a sheet and use the top to place a framed photo of a mountain, or a lake, or a waterfall, or the ocean. or, just tape a picture ripped out of a national geographic. see what kind of difference that makes on your stress level.  i dare you.

Friday, October 2, 2009

update




so far, i'm 4 days in to the new challenge i've given myself.  i've been spot-on, even in the face of coconut-macadamia nut butter balls by Mary Lou.  so flippin' yummy, BUT, much to my dismay, i finally read the ingredients (i know..rookie) and they contain rice bran.  that totally explains the, um, discomfort in the abdominal region i was having after eating them.

the only slight possible mishap is a cup of mysterious gas-station coffee.

i won't be posting at all this weekend because (drumroll) i will be off the grid, sleeping in a tent, in my new yellow, down-filled sleeping bag.  (where's the cave and the animal skins, right?)  woohoo!

i'll be attending an herb conference in the mountains.  cave girls really should know their plants.  the capacity to identify each plant as food, medicine, or poison was a skill that our ancestors had.  i consider it to be extremely valuable to the primal lifestyle.

i will also get to meet my teacher susun weed (www.susunweed.com) in person.  i've been taking a correspondence course with her, and i am totally stoked about this!

speaking of plants, the leaves on the trees outside my window right now are a glorious acid yellow.  summer is officially over.  it is time to start changing the menu a little around my cave.  i move from raw chopped salads and ceviche to stews and soups.  it's a gradual transition but the seasons are a wonderful reminder that we are as wild as the earth.

so, i'm off to dance wildly in the woods....and possibly let out a "barbaric yawp"!

Monday, September 28, 2009

i'm back





after a ridiculous divergence, i awoke this morning with aching joints and completely unrested.  wheat, sugar, and preservatives strike again....why do i let them?

that's for a WHOLE other post (or blog even).

but, i'm back to myself.

so, today begins the second challenge that i put forth for myself.

the goal of these next thirty days is to eat 100% primal.  again, this means: meats, eggs, nuts, a shit-ton of vegetables, and some fruit.  my one vice is chocolate.  i'm not going to punish myself by removing it, however, i will limit myself to the fantastic 99% superdark that i've found.  also in my goal: adding one raw salad a day and eating seaweed twice a week.  my major issue is having the food readily available.  i've got a couple tricks up my sleeve though and i'll tell you about them as i execute them.

eating well is not a vanity issue for me.  i've been thinner on really unhealthy foods, but i've never felt better than eating like a cave girl.  yet again, the point has been driven home that my body, the only me that there is, does not like eating any other way.

Monday, September 21, 2009

new breath





it's been getting deep around here!  i've kind of fallen off from the primal path.  it's making me verbose.

tomorrow will mark the beginning of my own 30 day challenge.  i will come up with a new one for myself every thirty days.  i bore easily and challenges do motivate me.  i'm competitive enough that increased health may not be sufficient.  i have to beat something.  stupid, i know, but i yam what i yam.

duality





there are two of me.  i think that this is probably true for everyone.  i certainly hope that it is.  there is the me of sunlight, loud laughter, and bubbling energy.  there is the other me; the me of the shadows.

strictly a human condition, duality can leave us (and those who love us) confused.

who will i be in the next five minutes?

it is this capacity for choice, this intelligence that can separate us from other animals.  to me, it is often a source of my depression.  the rejection of my shadow can make me one-dimensional.  i feel best in the sunlight, but is that only because i have can compare it to the shadow?

i think the idea of the dumb cave girl is a myth.  i believe that my ancestor was incredibly intelligent.  was her psychology far different from mine?  was there even a concept of a person's duality?  these are modern concepts, apparently.  it wasn't until freud  in a cocaine-induced frenzy came up with the theory that what makes us who we are is not what we see, but the mystery that lies underneath the visible.

maybe.

or maybe we just think too much.

is there a place for such self-indulgent thought processes when one is foraging with one's tribe? or building a shelter on a spontaneous field trip?  or when dancing around a fire?  or running really, really fast from a predator?  or dancing hard around a fire?  or having sex because it feels good?

we have moved from our bodies to our brains.  when i set up camp in my brain, sit back and let the thinking begin, i can pretty much guarantee that depression, and his brothers, anxiety and fear, will rapidly be joining me.  but, when i move deep into my muscles, feeling the strength of my thighs, the power of my arms, the stability of my torso, the wave of my spine, and the domed structure of my feet, like sinewy temples, i know that i move beyond emotions completely.  i have moved away from narrow psychology.  i have stepped into being.  i am an animal again.  i can channel my intelligence into movement and sensory exploration.  i no longer have to judge my shadow.  it doesn't need to be rejected.  it is just a different movement.

my shadow is the slow stretch.  it is the skin's reaching toward moonlight.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

to be beautiful




i am at the ocean.  i'm watching the waves slam into the sand as i write this.  the sea is reflecting the sun as shimmers of light.  there is a steady rhythm that hypnotizes me, but awakens me at the same time.  it awakens an ancient part of me.  the part that is the most primal stretches out in the base of my neck and remembers.  i may not know why the caged bird sings, but i do know why the fish out of water gasps.

yesterday, paddling out on my board, the waves would rise up right in front of me, the light would pierce the mystery of the wave, and schools of fish were shown to me.  dozens, hundreds of little fish were surfing the waves.  early this morning, earlier than i can wake up in my landlocked life, the waves were crashing far off shore.  there were dolphin.  they were leaping out of the water, flipping, splashing.  then they were SURGING through the water, then they were one with the waves.  five, six at a time riding through the wave.  the wave would fill up, reach forward to the shore, and in its bulk were a half dozen dolphin actually surfing.

two nights ago, i lay in bed feeling the numbness of too much fatigue and too much sadness.  my nerves were so overcharged from those two stressors, that i felt nothing.  the tall man mentioned my sister being gone and the switch was flipped.  the tears poured down into the pockets of my ears.  my ears filled with the sadness and it leaked out onto the pillow.  i could feel him caressing my arm as if in a faraway place and could barely hear anything over my sobs.  when i was calm enough to speak again, he asked me what it was that i needed.  what i needed.  what i needed.

when i saw the fish rising up as a unit, the dolphin playing like children in the waves, i knew what i needed.  what i need is to be in my environment with people that i love.

now i am here.  salt crystals are flaking on my skin.  the tall man and the medium boy are here.  i try not to focus on my sister who is missing from here.  i know that she is present in a dry place near the rio grande.  i do believe in blossoming where one is planted.  reach always for the sun and dig your roots deep.  but, it's decidedly harder to bloom in ground that is not ideal.  blue-green saltwater on my skin, sand between my toes, sun on my neck warming my reptilian brain, and the rhythm of the water is where i open up most easily.  my limbs stretch out in every direction seeking out the sun.  my colors deepen to their most vibrant.  i am as beautiful as nature intended me to be.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

cave girl and the city: part 2


in haiti, i have two dear friends that saw the change in me since i went back to living like a cave girl.  "you look so happy!"  "i can see how healthy you feel in your smile!"  "you practically shine!"  "wow, you're able to life such heavy things!"  "you beat me and the elevator by going up the stairs?  you are so fast!"

then, i came back to the states: "have you lost weight?"  "you look like you've lost weight!"  "you're looking thinner!"  "wow, you've lost weight!"

i've gone back and forth with diets all my life.  my mother was overweight and her example was one crazy diet after another.  there was the nothing but boiled chicken diet, the diet coke diet, the cabbage soup diet, the grapefruit diet, the leave-in acupuncture ear needles diet, etc.

i started dancing when i was twelve and felt the pressure to be smaller and smaller.  luckily, i danced folklore (like african dance, but with a lot more booty-shaking) as well as ballet.  folklore required that i be strong, not ballet fragile.

when i went to college, i flirted with eating disorders.  to my advantage, puking grosses me out and i can never go very long without food.  BUT, overeating?  THAT sounds like fun!  and pack it away, i could!

i stopped dancing.  i started "working out" in the way that americans do.  an hour on the treadmill, aerobics classes...nothing that was enjoyable, but things that were "necessary".

and so my body became my enemy.  it was something that needed fed all the time.  eating the carb-heavy american diet put me on a crazy roller-coaster of hungry and overfull.  doing "workouts" instead of moving to the music or playing on the field stuck me in front of the mirror with a lot of criticism.

there is still a epidemic confusion that skinny means healthy.  there is still the misconception that the slender girl is the happy girl.  we've all been sold a bill of goods that says if we can just lose 15 pounds, life will be everything that we wish it was.

i've been losing my way lately.  my eating has gotten erratic, movement has become something of a chore.  my recent desire has been to keep the weight loss going.  this is very anti-cave girl.  it's hard to rise up against the crushing tide of different priorities.  and my core priorities are very different than those of society.

when i move from health based living to wanting to lose weight, certain damaging behaviors raise their ugly little heads.  losing weight, being thin, as a goal is futile, fleeting, and potentially dangerous.  wanting to run faster, throw farther, sleep deeper, eat better, be stronger...these are things that one can have a greater measure of control, but most importantly, it is FUN.  it is PLAY.  remember being five years old?  that was when hopping was challenging.  that was when climbing a tree all by your big girl self was something that filled you with pride.  jumping rope was done to rhymes.  do you remember the way the inside of the house was cool and dark after the bright sun outside?  do you remember how red your face got when you were running as hard as you could?

i can't imagine cave girls wanting to grow up to be models.  i can't imagine cave girls worrying about an extra inch to pinch.  these girls were strong.  they were valued by what they could DO.  it was so much more important to be able to run away from a tiger carrying a toddler on your back than to fit into this year's loin cloth.

i'm trying to see myself, my body, as my tool.  it is my way to experience all the pleasures of this world: the breeze on my skin when i ride the bike, the tickle of grass under my feet as i run, the sun on my eyelids when i nap outside.  i am not an ornament or a statue.  i am dynamic.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

to love a wild thing



i am different from other people.  the pat answers of parents, the church, society, and school have never been enough for me.  it has led me to search all my life for answers that are deeper, truer, and, possibly, harder to accept.

i have lived thirty-six years so far and i plan on living 2 more times that.  some of the things that i've learned so far are more like remembering things that i've always known, that my body has always known.

i do not believe in god.

i do not believe in societies' structures as truth.

i do not believe in eating things that were manufactured in a factory.

i do not believe in spandex.

i do not believe in "the family unit" as based on blood.

 i do not believe in doing something that makes one miserable just to pay the bills.

i do not believe in chasing the american dream.

i do not believe in farming as an industry.

i do not believe that surgically altering one's body increases beauty.

i do not believe that the fashion industry gets to dictate my self-worth.

i do not believe that inside the house is more valuable than outside the house.

i do not believe that progress is progress.

i do not believe in western medicine as preventative.

i do not believe that humans have been divinely endowed dominion over the earth and other creatures.

i do not believe in thong underwear.

i do not believe in polyester.

i do not believe in CNN.

i do not believe that food should have a shelf life.

i do believe in love.

cheesy, you say?  maybe.   all my life, i've believed in it as something pure, noble, and life-altering.  the problem with being a wild thing is that most people find wild things intimidating, unruly, and a tad frightening.  what happens to a wild thing that needs love but doesn't know how to find those willing to love a wild thing?  she quiets down.  she learns to laugh quietly so as not to disturb the peace.  she wears a thong and learns to smile through the discomfort.  she uses big words, reads a lot of books, and learns to wear pearls.  she blows her hair dry and covers her true face with "frosted cognac" lips and "mossy dream" eyes.  she stops eating when she's hungry.  she stops moving to the beat of her own drum.  she learns to walk in step.

until she can't anymore.  hunger for blood pushes her to eat to her fill.  the books get set down while she hears her own opinions, her own instincts flood through her mind.  she tosses the thong.  she laughs louder than anyone else in the room.  it's her roar, her power.

and she walks naked into the rain to bathe.

when the mid-summer morning sun shines through silver rain clouds, she rises from her sleep and hears the tickle of the drops on the tin roof.  she smells the earth-mineral-green of the water.  she gasps at how cold it is at it pricks her shoulder, her nipple, her nose. she breaks into a loud laugh.  the water cleanses her of sleep, of sheets, of inside air.  with her feet planted in the earth, her body touched by the wet, and her arms reaching for the sky, she is wild.  she knows who she is.

he watches her through the window, sipping coffee, and smiling.  he disappears for a minute.  he comes back with a towel that he sets wordlessly down near her.

a towel after the rain; that is how to love a wild thing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

how to know...


i've already written about how my body loves me when i eat a certain way (meat, vegetables, some fruit, some nuts, good fats), but is that enough to a cave girl make?

what else about me makes me know that i am just like those women who lived thousands of years ago?  if anyone has seen my feet, they'd know one very strong link.

also, being enclosed in modern society's institutions makes me sick and crazy.  seen a tiger in too small a cage pacing, pacing, pacing...that's me in a cubicle.  seriously, i did the corporate thing and my "team leader" had to call the ambulance three times in a year.  i see through the trappings of society for what they are.  they are traps.  living in step with society is de-humanizing.  it tames a person until there is no wildness left.  and wild, contrary to outdated victorian ideals, is a good thing.  darwin observed that the brains of wild animals were denser/heavier than the brains of domesticated animals.  make no mistake, we have all been domesticated.  it takes a strong person to stay wild inside.

being wild is generally more difficult than being domesticated, so i understand why so many people have      allowed themselves to be tamed and trained.  it is difficult to take full responsibility for your health.  it is difficult to learn to identify what real food is.  it is difficult to move like a wild beast, barefoot and free.  it is difficult to give up the "security" of a comfortable seat on the couch.  but, it is so simple.

being a wild animal means eating what you're meant to eat.  it means moving like you're meant to move. it means sleeping deep and often.  it means running with a pack that is like you.  it means using your brain regularly and being fully aware.

i was reading a book by andrew weil this morning.  he consults with a sleep expert.  the sleep expert tells him that we have "flatlined" in that there is not much difference in our levels of "awakeness" between day and night.  in other words, we sleepwalk through the day and stay on this edge of alertness in the night.

i've watched people, the tame and the trained.  they do things without questioning why they do them.  wake, work, eat, t.v., restless sleep...rinse...repeat.  where is the living?  where is the wild, awake beast?

one way that i knew that i was a cave girl was and is my need to be fully awake in my life countered by my need to be profoundly asleep in my nights.

watch a wild animal, or, a child before the animal has been trained out of her.  when they are awake, they are alert, using every sense to experience the world.  once asleep, they have completely left this dimension.

be awake.  be asleep.  just not at the same time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

how far we've come?



i was rootin' around one of my favorite places to root around (not for truffles under an oak tree by the way).    in a used bookstore i came across a book written by a Dr. Jarvis entitled Folk Medicine: A Vermont Doctor's Guide to Good Health.

And i quote:

"...in relation to chronic fatigue, let us think about the food intake with which we build and rebuild the body.  There are several foods you should avoid eating if you have a problem of chronic fatigue.  Here we may borrow the guidance from the animals.  For instance, birds will not eat wheat.  If a prepared bird food containing wheat is put out for them, they will separate out the wheat and eat the rest.  Farmers in Vermont tell me that if wheat is mixed in with scratch feed hens will not eat it at all or, if very hungry, will eat it last. If there is too much wheat in a cow's ration she will not eat it.  Animals seem to know instinctively that eating is for strength, not to produce weariness and weakness, and that if they eat wheat they will have weak offspring."(italics are mine.)

eating is for strength.  wow, what a concept.  cave girl knows this.  that is why we are to eat. we give the body what it needs to be strong and energized.  of course, food does so much more than that.

it strengthens relational bonds.  it makes someone feel nurtured, even loved.  it defines people groups.

the problem, is that somewhere in history...oh, i don't know...about 10,000 years ago, we started to eat things that produced weariness and weakness AND still had it meet all the other needs.  now, we confuse love with cheesecake.  we confuse relationships with chocolate.  we confuse culture with couscous.

the irony is that human "culture", the universal entity that is the same in northern michigan and southern bombay, western saskatchewan and eastern punta cana, has the same genetic source.  all of the people in the world have one way of eating that will maximize their health.  meat, vegetables, some fruit, some nuts, and healthy fats are the foods that the human animal has evolved to eat.

understand that a slim jim is NOT meat.  ketchup is NOT a vegetable.  calcium fortified orange juice is NOT a fruit.  peanut butter is NOT a nut.  anything hydrogenated is NOT a fat.

notice there are not any grains listed here.  we didn't start eating grains until we settled into cities.  until we began to stop being our "animal" selves.  what i mean by that is when we stopped living according to our nature, our genetics and started planting grasses that we started to eat.  we're not meant to eat cereals or grains (one of which is corn).  we're not ruminants.

the cave girl way of eating was my favorite way to eat as a child.  it was what felt right to me.  breakfast was a huge vegetable omelette or a bowl of vegetable and beef stew.  lunch was usually skipped because i wasn't hungry.  dinner was meat and more vegetables.  on special days, there was a huge fruit salad for dessert.  culturally, we ate rice and beans.  i did that.  but, it didn't give me pleasure.  eating whatever animal that had been converted to a delicacy through the magic of fire gave me pleasure.

i would spend long saturday mornings eating the fruit around an almond and then crushing open the pod with a rock to get to the nutty meat.  i could polish off seven coconuts by the time i was eight years old.  when we would go the sea, the fishermen would bring their catch up to a bonfire and grill it in banana leaves.  figuring new ways to cut an orange to get to the biggest slices in the quickest way was a fun challenge.  mango season turned me into a mangovore.  avocado season found me eating avocado at every meal.  it wasn't turned into guacamole (i'd never heard of that stuff.).  it was just sliced and eaten in its buttery simplicity.  my father's family in the province would send homemade butter from their goats or cows in large jars.  it was white, densely creamy, and melted down my throat with a coffee chaser.

my father taught me to eat butter like a cheese.  hunks of it set on my tongue and allowed to melt.

i ate watercress fresh from the stream.  lime from the prickled tree was squeezed onto mirliton (chayote peppers).  leeks recently freed from the earth would be washed of their dirt in large muddy puddles in the sink and turned into soup.  garlic was added to everything after being creamed into a paste in the wooden mortar and pestle.

i grew up loving food.  i could recognize food.  it was not wrapped in plastic or from a box.  it came from the earth or ate the grass the sprouted from it.

i don't really remember bread until my dad brought home a baguette from the bakery one day when i was about nine or so.  it was a special occasion kind of treat.  but only good if it was barely recognizable underneath a mask of butter.

then, they started to import foods from the states.  farmers and their stands receded into a faded background until they were gone completely.  there was no more butter from the provincial relatives.  there was margarine.  there was chef boyardee pizza.  does anyone else remember that stuff?  the box that you added water to the powder, squirted a sweet red sauce onto it, then shook a cardboard-y "cheese" on top?  i can remember my sister and me begging my mom to buy that happy looking box.  THEN i would be popular and the kids would want to come to my house.  pizza was so foreign, exotic.  doing it all from a box was such an independent notion.  cooking didn't have to be a communal, all day affair.  it would just take twenty minutes and any kid could do it.

except, it wasn't food.  it was something else altogether.  it didn't make me strong or energized.

the cave girl would not know what to do with cardboard or styrofoam trays or plastic boxes.  i don't really know either.   not instinctively, not with my gut.  i know what to do with those things because i've been brainwashed, i've been "educated", i am a modern girl who others think is cool.  but, i am weak and weary when i eat food twice removed.  i want direct contact.  i want to wash the dirt from it.  i want to look the animal in the eyes as it dies so that i can thank it, so that i can understand the true price of being an animal myself who wants to thrive.  i want to watch the fruit ripen on the tree, growing fuller, juicier each day as i walk by it until it falls into my outstretched hand.  it has worked out a trade with me.  i eat it.  its seeds are freed to reproduce.

then, one day, i want to be planted into the ground and return the favor to the plants that feed the animals that feed us.  that is what it means to eat food.  it is to realize that we are food ourselves.  that we do not stand above this earth and its other inhabitants.  to eat is to take part in the death and the life that coexist in everything that eats food and is food.  to eat is to live.  to live is to convert that into strength, into energy.

food is supposed to create strength.  if we eat according to our cave selves, we will create that strength cooperatively with the whole world.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

wierd science



so in the interest of science, i ate a slice of turtle cheesecake.  i know, i know...i sacrifice myself for the truth.  i've been feeling so amazing since i've been eating like a cave girl(which, coincidentally, is the way that i instinctively ate as a child).  i figured that my newfound health  would give me free license to indulge a little bit.  well, not really "indulge", this was all done as a serious experiment, you know.

it went down after a spinach salad with bacon, avocado, and hot bacon dressing.  for those of you keeping score at home, that's bacon on the salad dressed with more bacon.  give me a second...i think i need a smoke just thinking about it.

i was sitting with the tall man on the porch of a little restaurant overlooking a village lawn, boardwalk, and the ocean littered with sailboats puffing up in the breeze.  the sun was shining, doling out the vitamin D with a generosity that played no favorites.  the grass bristled in all of its greenness.  the water rippled like molasses being poured into a pool.  in other words, it was a moment of perfection.

enter cheesecake.  i mean, why not, right?  i feel great, the tall man is looking particularly handsome draped over the balcony (he tends to drape...he is tall, you understand), his hair crackled in the sunlight.  i felt my skin as a diaphanous border between me and everything else.  there's no better time to run a sugar experiment than when life is at its sweetest.

i ordered the turtle cheesecake.  they had one with strawberries but that was careening fairly close to being fruit and cheese and being "healthy".  oh no, i was going for it like i go for most things:  tubes to the tarmac.  the lovely waitress set the slice of creamy sugar and i could almost hear all the flies in a two mile radius change course as their little fly sensors sensed it.  since we are being scientific, the slice was about seven inches long and about three inches high and four inches wide at its widest.  it had a graham cracker crust (made with wheat and sugar...translation: sugar and sugar) with a chocolate layer (sugar) smothered in three inches of cream cheese and SUGAR, topped off with a caramel icing (caramel is made from milk and sugar...you know: sugar and sugar).  at the top end was about an inch border of pecans.  but, i didn't eat those.  they're mostly fat and lord knows that fat and sugar have a hard time occupying the same space.  i wasn't about to go against NATURE here.

about 45 seconds to 5 minutes (scientific accuracy) after finishing the slice of sugar, my arms grew very heavy.  i could feel the sugar pulsing through me like SOME people report marijuana or other highly illegal and inappropriate substances.  my head felt bigger and heavier and at the same time, tethered only by a floating neck as it rose up above me by a couple inches.  later, my speech increased to a velocity that was more squirrel than girl.  my limbs twitched.  the tall man grew concerned.  i had the beginnings of a migraine and my stomach ached.  it was difficult for me to fall asleep that night.  i did feel the crash about an hour and a half later.  i grew lethargic and anxious, lazy but finding it difficult to stay put.  the depression beast started nipping at my heels.  the next morning, it was not fun to poop.  (sorry, all the details...this is SCIENCE!)

that was monday.  it is now thursday.  i have stuck closer to the cave girl way of eating than my own skin.

so, sugar has been SCIENTIFICALLY proven to f$#*k me up!  it is, to me, a drug and a poison.  it now makes SO much sense why i felt so awful most of the time before cutting it out completely.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

cave girl and the city: part 1





the cave girl has been unable to post lately.  i've been trying to do what we are most evolved to do as the human animal.  i've been adapting.  it is essential to step frequently out of one's comfort zone.  it is essential because there are so many parts of ourselves that can never grow unless challenged.  we humans need to experience as many different environments as we possibly can.  that is what makes us who we are.  humans can exist, can thrive, in nearly every corner of the earth.  i do feel the nomadic genes of my ancestors pulling me to travel from and to different places that i can call home.  on the flip side, i can also feel the pull of my genetics to stay where there is plenty.


the 30-day challenge thrown down by www.marksdailyapple.com was undertaken by me in haiti.  (it's in the caribbean.) it is where i grew up.  under the haitian sun is where i learned to seek shade from mango trees.  in the ocean that haiti floats in, i learned to swim, collect seaweed-covered rocks, felt the suction of a starfish as it would crawl up my hand, and discovered that sleeping to the lullaby of crashing waves was the surest path to the wildest dreams.  in the kitchens of haiti, i learned to eat up all the tastes that the cooks around me could imagine.  haitian food!  where spice and sauce and vegetables and meat undergo a metaphysical metamorphosis and becomes deep nourishment that nurtures the body and the soul.  the music of the country taught me how to dance to every other beat that i would ever encounter because the music of the country is pounded out on drums in the night.  drums, different heartbeats, that sank through the veil of my sleep until they could no longer be separated from my own.  and, of course, haiti is the home of my father.  the man who taught me how to eat nearly every part of the cow, how to crush the mango leaves to release the twin fragrance of that tree's particular fruit, how to turn every day into an adventurous celebration of life, and how to march proudly to the beat that is unique to me.  


in haiti, being a cave girl isn't labelled or identified as something special.  at least, for me, it never was.  i've always been a wild thing that thrives like a worm wriggling in red meat.  the only thing that was different was my special attention to not eating grains or legumes.  oh my goddess, this was only difficult when the endless parade of different rice and bean dishes were carried out from the kitchen under my nose.  the spice-scented steam hitting the part of my brain that is nearly as strong as my primal one...the one of habit, the one of culture.  


other than that, haiti is a place where the sun still dictates the day.  when it rises, so does everyone else.  i got most of my "work" accomplished before nine in the morning.  relationships are the salve that heals the other hardships of living.  the food is fresh.  with no reliable or consistent refrigeration, it has to be.  that goat was butchered today, or yesterday at the earliest.  there was a coconut tree in the yard from which i picked my daily milk.  there was also a mango tree, an avocado tree, orange trees, lemongrass bushes, edible, nourishing vines, etc.  the yard was large and invited me to play.  the house is at the base of a mountain, so walking up the street is a hike.  sleeping and eating is understood by everyone as vital to one's happiness, so time is allotted for each.  and one can luxuriate over a two hour nap or a three hour lunch with no strange looks.


and the ocean.  outside of haiti, the only place that i see that color, that depth, that level of healing, is in the tall man's eyes.  when i see that ocean, the oldest parts of my DNA, the oldest little mitochondria, positively vibrate with pleasure.  it is no stretch at all to know, with certitude, that i rose up from the sea once upon a time.  that all life began in the ocean is just too obvious to even have to be stated.  millions of years later, i am me.  still wild and only tame enough to endure an hour of socially approved conversation over a proper meal.  


but these past few weeks, i've been back in the states.  in another place that i call home.  but there has not yet been enough time to let it sink deep into my bones as part of me.  of course, individuals don't evolve, groups do.  so maybe, i never will accept this place into my core.  but, i am adapting.  i may even be starting to love it.  it is just the journey that we all undergo when there is something new.  first comes the elation of newness, then, the shock of differentness, then the familiarity of knowing, then the love as it becomes important.


so, i'm trying to bring the elements from my cave girl existence here to the city while still allowing the city to offer me the things that make it so special.


here's a partial list:


1. the tall man lives here (waddaya gonna do?)
2. i can ride my bike everywhere
3. there are patches of wildness where medicine grows as weeds
4. CROSSFIT!!!  woohoo! (of course, if my performance in crossfit really were necessary to track down a mammoth, lets just say i'd be a very hungry cave girl.)  
5. water, water everywhere!  marshes and rivers and oceans, oh my!  i NEED this like others need...hmmm...i don't even know what other's need that i can compare to this.
6. sashimi tuna at the market...like any day of the week people!
7. my dog, my familiar, my primal inspiration is here
8. libraries and bookstores....the one modern convenience that i drool over.  the smell of ink on paper makes me HIGH!  (i'm not even kidding!  i'm a cheap date.)
9. quiet and privacy.  these are two luxuries that no one can afford in haiti.
10. hippies.  there aren't really any of these in haiti and their trail blazing makes me so comfortable walking down the street barefoot or knowing that i can always find a place where a drum circle is underway.


i am still working out the kinks to living primally, but authentically.  it isn't a gimmick to me.  it is my life that someone else has helped label.  now, i need to live my life with as much honesty as i can.



Sunday, August 30, 2009

twenty 6



B: bacon, sunny side up eggs with extra runny yolks....YUM...fruit
L: peel and eat shrimp, grilled fish cobb salad
D: odwalla green superfood, polish keilbasa with the best saurkraut and caraway

great day today.  i went down to the hotel hot tub this morning to sweat out some of the margarita.  i ate breakfast with teenagers and talked about the latest pokemon/yugi-oh hybrid t.v. show.  then, i went to my martial arts class.  i felt really slow.  it's a post alocohol day for sure.  we ate at a little restaurant on the marsh.  vitamin D from the sun is my favorite supplement to take.  there was a LONG nap involved in the late afternoon.

the boy was outside a lot.  he went skateboarding for a while.  it was good to have his friends around.  it's the last hoorah before school starts on tuesday.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

take a break

25?

i no longer know what day of the challenge i'm on....the whole get enough sleep thing hasn't been a priority lately.

B: iced coffee with cinammon and nutmeg
S: brazil nuts, chocolate
L: steak, spinach, peppers and onion omellette with fruit, double espresso
D: greek salad with anchovies, snapper vera cruz, strawberries with chocolate syrup (HFCS...the first time in nearly a month! YIKES!) and whipped cream, AND the best darn margarita i've ever had
S: more chocolate....wow, maybe someone should stage an intervention!

went to crossfit this morning and grunted and yelled out during the WOD.  what a difference being loud makes!  it felt great to be so cave girl about it all.  took only stairs to the fourth floor, often two at a time.  also, went for a walk on the river in the drizzle.  and falling deeper in love is apparently great for the heart.

the boy spent a lot of time in the pool with friends.  that's really healthy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

are we on twenty-four?

these last few days have been life-changing.  there will be updates.

B:black coffee
S: brazil nuts and blueberries
L: seafood and spinach omelette
S2: trail mix and kombucha
D: smoked chicken with southern style green beans and coleslaw

slammed a tire to pulp and ran.  attended an awesome martial arts class.  got a massage...my muscles practically creaked and crackled.

i'm tired these days because of the stress.  i crave sugar and for the first time this whole challenge, i crave french fries.  but, it may just be because this challenge is a month long and these cravings may come along once in that sort of time span.

Monday, August 24, 2009

vingt


two thirds of the way through the challenge!

after the challenge, this blog will be experiencing some changes in content. there will be daily articles about the cave girl lifestyle and how to best implement it. i will also be writing a great summary of my whole worldview/viewpoint/life choices. yeah, stay tuned for that succinct piece!

B: flash fried flank steak, lox, tomato, garlic and egg scramble with avocado and coffee (this is becoming one of my favorite meals)
L: mixed frozen drink....mmmm...liguor and fruit! what a treat!
D: an amazing spinach salad with pecans, grilled chicken, bacon, red onions, mushrooms, and black olives

i rode my bike for a while, then walked the dog for a nice long time. i was bursting with energy! spent a lot of time outside, shirt off, by the water, with the breeze on my skin. the boy was pretty bad company. the link between diet and mood has been well established and i will be exploring that further with him. i'm really hoping that he makes that connection before i let him loose in the world. particularly this world where noone is really on your side in making the best choices for your health.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

diznef


B: flash fried flank steak with cilantro, pineapple, tomato salsa and some cherries
L: peel and eat shrimp with drawn butter, unsweetened ice tea, jerk chicken with guacamole
D: pork chop with cherry, thyme, red onion confit (inspired by marksdailyapple recipe) with spinach, chocolate

i had a wonderful cave girl kind of day.  i woke up when my body was ready.  i walked, rode my bike, went to martial arts class and ate lunch outdoors, mostly with my fingers.  i did violate a basic cave girl principle when i let my attention lapse and tried to block a knee with my shin.  i now have massive goose egg mid-shin.  

the boy went to martial arts with me, spent time outside playing to catch raindrops in a cup, didn't play any video games today and he was all of a sudden this wonderful human being.  coincidence?  i think not.

take a break

the friday forager

this one is easy at this time of year.  and that is the whole point.  make it easy (but NOT convenient).  convenient implies no effort to me, and that's not what we're after.  effort is good in the search for food.  

these little jewels are simple to find right now.  i'm pretty sure that all you have to do is take a good look around.  if you aren't nursing a plant or two, i'll wager that you know someone who is.  the tall man has been growing a tomato jungle on his side porch for months now.  

when you find a plant, take your time to choose the reddest fruits, pop them off into your hand (it's a good idea to thank the plant...particularly  if it isn't one that you have been caring for), and take them to your kitchen.  of course, you can just use these as a snack right then and there.

i use them as a fantastic base for just about anything.  sauteed with red onions and garlic in a little coconut oil, they make a very quick "relish".  the possibilities are abundant.

if you want to be really zen about the whole thing which in cave girl terms is just being aware and explorative, notice the little stem and its star base.  

Friday, August 21, 2009

eighteen


the waves were great today, but it didn't work out to be on them.  that's  fine with me.  i went to the beach with the tall man to watch the surfers.  after watching, the water was just too inviting.  being in the ocean is like immersing myself in an elixir.  i am always healed.  the homesickness, the culture shock, has been rinsed off of me.  i can bathe in the same water that envelopes the land that i've known as home...home in my bones.  

i can imagine the cave girls that lived thousands of years ago moving from cave to cave, hunting ground to hunting ground, always searching for survival (or maybe just seasonal vacation spots).  how much easier it must have been to understand the interconnectedness of all places when she could count the paces.  how much better she felt each home blending into the next to create a world of home through the flexing of her thighs.  how much intimacy she must have created with each plant, each rock, each fallen leaf through the speaking skin of her feet.  how much commitment she must have felt to the water that she swam in naked and vulnerable.  

so, after the engagement with the waves, i headed to a field where i played with my wolf-dog.  with my skirt dancing in the breeze of our own making, i took in the land with large strides.  it is all the same, this home of mine.  it stretches out in all directions, reaching back onto itself, back in time and forward in my imagination.  i am home always.

this evening, i played tug-of-war with the tall man's akita.  she is beautiful.  she is fully dog in a way that i strive to be fully human.  i felt her strength.  i felt my own.  i was unafraid.  i am a cave girl.

B: coffee, blueberries
L: blueberries, peach, scrambled eggs, salmon, zucchini, tomatoes, red onions, garlic, and avocadoes with a sprinkling of black, lava salt and more coffee
S: a couple squares of....wait for it...chocolate (i know!)
D: hamburger patty with caramelized onions, mushrooms and a salad with blue cheese dressing (stranger danger, stranger danger!!!), with dark chocolate and sea salt covered almonds

the boy is far too teenagered out these days.  the video games and the anime have him completely hypnotized.  i realize also how much time and with what difficulty it will take to change his diet.  setting a goal to change someone else's behavior was probably not the "surest thing".

i've allowed myself quite a bit of rest this week, but i feel very ready to dial up the intensity.  

Thursday, August 20, 2009

diez y siete


B: almond and part of a peach, coffee
L: sashimi and seaweed salad
S: crab meat, artichokes, blueberries, almonds, and chocolate (okay, that sounds a lot more like a meal, huh?)
D:chicken mole with extra guacamole (oh my god...meat AND chocolate????)

felt very non-cave girl today.  spent a lot of time indoors, sedentary, and feeling artificial.

we'll chalk it up to a lapse.  

in other news, my quip for marks daily apple's contest placed 7th.  not too bad...

Be a 100% free-range, organic and wild animal.  Go primal.

The sun has set and I need some deep sleep.  I will be headed out to the waves when it creeps back up over the horizon.  My body will feel the salt water.  I will play with that tall man with the strong arms and gentle eyes.  And I will feel wild again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

sweet sixteen


B: a little pineapple, a little peach, some leftover tuna, leftover chicken sausage, and leftover burger (surf, turf, and coup)
S: chocolate and almonds
L: salad greens with olives, garlic, perppers, and rotisserie chicken
D: plum, ground beef with veg and cuke and avocado "salsa"

i'm absolutely exhausted.  i got to walk a ways when my tire blew.  but, the high point was getting back to my martial arts class after six weeks of absence.  really trying to manage the stress of being in a less than ideal cave girl atmosphere....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

la mitad


i am halfway through the challenge raised by http://www.marksdailyapple.com/ and fifteen days into something ancient.

my sugar cravings are gone. i feel a freedom in my eating that i haven't had since childhood. i can go hours without the panicky jitters that i used to get when i was on the carbohydrate roller coaster. my joints have not ached except for my wrists twice. i sleep better, deeper. my energy is up. apparently, i've lost weight but the only person that weighs me is a nurse once or twice a year when i go in for checkups. i feel that i finally recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror. this works for me. of course, it does, i'm a cave girl.

B: black coffee with a little sugar, cantaloupe, pineapple and a boiled egg
L: grilled chicken, cucumber and cherry tomato dill salad, chocolate
S: almonds, iced coffee with cinnamon (not a great idea...still jumpy)
D: caramelized onions with okra and basil, sauteed spinach with garlic and lemon, seared tuna steaks encrusted with pistachios (SO YUMMY!)

i started school today.  it's so hard to sit inside for hours, especially when it is sublime outside.  i managed to get some steady aerobic exercise in by walking the longest way around to all my classes carrying about 20 pounds of books.  i also took a break from the stuffy inside.  i spread my sarong out on the grass in the asian garden, hiked my dress up around my thighs, pulled it down from my shoulders, dangled my feet off the edge to feel the grass between my toes, and welcomed the sun into my skin.  clothing is SO unnatural!

i walked my second favorite dog this evening before preparing dinner.  after being inside for hours, my body craves activity.  i'm learning to listen closely to what my body says.  eating and moving is becoming more instinctual.  i'm getting wilder by the day.


Monday, August 17, 2009

quatorze


easing back into the pace here.

B: coffee with a little azucar
L: peach, egg scramble with salmon, okra, red onion, bacon, and cantaloupe
S: pineapple, almonds
D: grilled flank steak (nice and bloody....is this cave girl or vampire girl?  sometimes i wonder) with a salsa made from that pineapple, cilantro, and tomatoes from the tall guy with the strong arms and gentle eyes (we need to come up with a shorter alias) garden, grilled asparagus with a dipping sauce made from sundried tomatoes, mayo, cilantro, and siracha, washed down with a little chianti and chocolate elixir from the kakawa chocolate house (www.kakawachocolates.com) 

it was a slow day.  that's what i need right now.  i did carry about a hundred pounds up a flight of stairs.  

mark sisson's book came to my house...finally!   the primal blueprint and the cave girl are getting acquainted.  so far, it's great.