Quote of Inspiration

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Atilla and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Monday, October 25, 2010

Figs 10 & 11

This week I'm attempting two figs. First, I am not eating processed food for one week. I feel this is the perfect time to do this because since coming home from Paris, I've eaten nothing but junk. Well, that's not exactly true. I've eaten some good food, but I've complimented it with handfuls of dodgy stuff like bunny crackers, Honey-Nut Cheerios, Dairy Queen Blizzards, and peanut butter filled pretzels. It's been a binge. I have gained about 6 lbs. I am bloated and feel sluggish.

So.....I am going to attempt a week w/out processed food. This means no store-bought bread. No crackers or cookies (unless I make them myself). No candy. Nothing out of a box, unless for some reason I chose to make pasta. Then, I think I'll go with the dried stuff. But, the point is to stop eating all this stuff filled with junk and chemicals.

I'm not sure if I'll lose weight. I hope I'll feel better. I hope I'll sleep better. I've already done it for over 24 hrs. and I have to say, it's not exactly hard, but it does require some thinking and planning.

For example, I usually eat toast in the morning. I eat healthy bread (Milton's), but it's processed and, thus, is out. So, for the past two mornings, I've eaten oatmeal with pure maple syrup and berries.

For snacks, instead of eating handfuls of crackers, a bowl of Grape Nuts or a bite at Starbucks, I've eaten hard-boiled eggs and fruit.

For lunch, I've been eating home-made turkey chili with salad - home-made salad dressing (which is so much better anyway).

Last night, I ate salmon with mango-salsa and a glass of wine.

Now, I'm not out in the back planting wheat and corn and hoping to harvest it by Friday so I can eat some toast. I do realize that packaged/processed food can have a place in a healthy diet. But I also think an occasional detox from all of it does a body good, and I've always wanted to see if I can do it, if it will be difficult, and if it will be worth it.

So far, I've nearly eaten and had to clearly avoid the following: Honey-Nut Cherrios that my kids had spilled on the floor (yes, I was considering eating handfuls of them while I was helping the kids to clean them up), chocolates from See's candies (why do they give you samples?), a Smarties roll that my son got at gymnastics today, Goldfish crackers and leftover pasta my kids didn't eat (it was a Lean Cuisine, which they love and which my daughter always finishes by saying: You cook so good, Mommy).
I weighed in yesterday at 138.6 (for those of you following my other blog, you'll know what that means). I'll weigh in again this coming Sunday. I'm not trying to diet. I'm just getting rid of the processed junk. Home-made junk is totally acceptable.

Whew.....it's going to be a long but hopefully good week.

The second fig I want to tackle is sewing something by hand. I've thought about this for a long time, because I have this idea that sewing stuff makes you a better mom and person as a whole. I'm not sure why that is. I just have images in my mind of loving mothers in cozy houses whipping up adorable children's confections and quilts on their sewing machines, the foot pedal humming softly against the sound of children frolicking outdoors.

I know. Really, I have no idea where I get these ideas. I certainly wasn't raised with them.

Well, I have a sewing machine, which I bought so that I could make my sister's daughter a quilt. That quilt turned into a total fiasco. I was pregnant at the time, and the machine kept jamming, and I kept crying and my husband kept coming over to me and asking me (begging me) to give it up, buy a quilt and be done with it. But I was dead-set on that quilt, and when I finally finished it (you can't imagine the angst), it was not even usable because the damn thing was about to fall apart simply as I handed it over to my sister.

So, I put the machine away and swore it off. Then, I thought that maybe I could be a partial domestic goddess and go all 1872 on everyone and hand sew.

So, it's on my list. I would love to hand sew a quilt, but I also know my limitations, and so I'm going to start small..........very small.

Here is what I plan on making:


Wish me luck. I am glad my husband is gone, because I suspect that something will go wrong here: I won't be able to properly cut the felt, my needle will break, etc., etc. Sigh. Then again, it could be a blast and then everyone I know will be getting tooth fairy bags for Christmas, and it will be my signature gift: tooth fairy bags and a bottle of booze.

Wish me luck...........



  1. Wow. I have a good friend here that tries to eat as little processed food as possible. She gets home ground flour from a vendor at the farmers market. My Mom used to grind wheat and then make homemade bread. I wonder if they do that for you at Whole Foods, if you didn't want to buy the wheat and a grinder.

    And, you don't want the corn anyway. The same friend is very invested in grass-fed meats. We really don't realize how much corn is in our food.

    Anyway, I made Natalie a dress last year for her birthday. It was tough, I honestly should say that my MOM ended up making that dress, she helped me so much. Those tooth fairy bags are super cute. Reminds me of my friend's Etsy page... (http://www.etsy.com/shop/busylittlehands). Sorry for the plug, but she makes some fun stuff.

  2. Hi there, I am the friend Brooke mentioned. I highly recommend buying a bread maker. I have a bread man and it takes about 5 minutes to load the ingredients in and have fresh wonderful bread. I use Whole Wheat flour and honey from the farmers market to make honey wheat and the whole family loves it. I also recommend loving your food processor, hummus is just a can of chick peas, tahini sauce, garlic and olive oil...one minute in processor ad you are all set.
    My favorite is Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls,
    3/4 cup pecans
    3/4 cup dates
    2 tbsp natural peanut butter
    3 tbsp 100 percent cacao (near baking chocolate)

    Use grater attachment to grate cacao bar and then put all ingredients in the food processor. Make into balls put on wax paper in closed container in fridge. The kids will love it and we do as well!!

    Good luck with your week hope it sticks for life. Some things like pretzels I will never make, but so much is doable.

  3. Sarit - I can't wait to make the peanut butter balls. I need to pull out the food processor and make hummus as well. Thanks for the ideas. Your etsy store is adorable. I LOVE the shapes book.


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