Garden Prep

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I am itching to plan our garden! I have IDEAS that is causing my husband to narrow his eyes at me several times a day. I’ve been thinking about what we eat on a day-to-day basis and how we can plant a lot of those meal ingredients in our garden. Some tried-and-true foods we plant every year are:

Potatoes, Corn, Tomatoes, Radishes, Zucchini, Carrots, Peas, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers, Onions (red, white & green)

We also have a small raspberry bush that yields a nice little bowl of raspberries per season, although it is slowly getting bigger. Besides enjoying them fresh, I’m going to see if I have enough to make a jar of jam. Our oldest son adore PB & J on his toast in the mornings.

Some foods I’d like to add to our garden this year are:

Kale, Arugula, Beets, Green Beans, Sweet Potatoes (Yams), Leeks & Turnips

I’d love to add more to our garden but I’m pretty sure my husband would start sighing at me while repeatedly narrowing his eyes at me. I don’t know what his problem is, I’m the one that maintains the garden!

Our attitude toward planting things in the earth is very spur-of-the-moment. Very little planning is involved and it’s usually based on where things were planted the previous spring. But this year I want to be a bit more deliberate on where we place things, simply because some items do better (or worse) when placed around others.

More gardening/food talk to come later!

Until Next Time,

Caleigh

Canadians

I love to talk to people because I feel that everyone has a story and these stories often showcase the curated talents that create amazing communities. There are so many talented people out there, and we all experience the same range of emotions despite endless different outcomes.

Just as vast as the Canadian landscape, the people who live in this country are varied and no less important than the other. It is my wish to publish interviews with different Canadians to celebrate the joy of living in this amazing country of ours. Please feel free to follow along!

Category – Construe

One of my very favourite things to do is to lounge in a comfortable spot and read. Like a lot of people, I love to soak up the written word, all subjects are fair game for my eyes, regardless of the source. So this category, Construe, is devoted to sharing what I’m reading, whether it be a new book or an old favourite magazine. Hopefully, if you follow along, you’ll be inspired to read something new!

Category – Cozy

Like most people in the world, feeling cozy is a goal of mine. I always want our home and our extended spaces (camper, boat, etc) to feel comfortable and inviting, not only to us but our friends and family.

There are a plethora of ways to achieve that cozy feeling, and I am going to use this category ‘Cozy’ to share my ideas and materials that I use to enrich my life and the lives of those around me with that warm and fuzzy feeling. Please feel free to follow along, if you wish.

Category – Construe

For as long as I can remember, one of my absolute favourite past times has been to lounge in a quite spot and read. I love to soak up the written word, all subjects are fair game, regardless of the source. So this category, Construe, is devoted to sharing what I’m reading at the moment whether it be a new book or an old favourite magazine. Hopefully, if you wish to follow along, you’ll be inspired to read something new!

Category – Celebrate

There are some people out there who don’t really care about holidays and other occasions, and who don’t particularly want to mark them with any special treatment. I am definitely NOT one of those people. I have an individual helium tank in my basement ‘just in case’ we need to blow up balloons, for goodness’ sake.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no stylist. I’m not about things looking ‘perfect’ (I despise that word) or trendy. The celebrations I throw are reminiscent of my parents’ shindigs, where friends and neighbours got together to have a meal and play cards afterward, well into the wee hours of the morning. I grew up watching my parents entertain, although that specific word was never used (and possibly abhorred) because to them, it was just getting together with friends to have a good time.

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I love making an effort to celebrate the big and little occasions because, simply put, I feel incredibly grateful to experience them. It comes from a place of joy as well as an effort to stop and appreciate events, because it certainly feels to me that time is flying way too fast.

This is my effort to record our celebrations, from birthday parties to holidays, and everything in between. They’ll be filed under the obvious category ‘celebrations’. Please feel free to follow along, if you wish!

Category – Cook

One major area of my life I want to change is food and my attitude surrounding what I eat.

I know, I know, how original. But hear me out.

I have always struggled with highly processed “food” and the things I affectionately call ‘edible food-like substances’ have almost always treated me poorly. Most of them give me heartburn and make me break out in blemishes (this is something I desperately wish I knew back when I was in high school), and they are designed to be insanely easy to overeat, which makes me gain weight.

When I eat real foods that are not highly processed, portion control becomes easy because I don’t feel the need to overeat since the meal is nutritious and deliciously satiating. My skin clears up, inflammation falls to the wayside and my energy skyrockets.

My problem is two-fold: my desire to please others is debilitating and I live in a particular area where fresh and minimally-processed foods are difficult to access, especially during the winter months. How I’ve decided to tackle these problems is two-pronged: I need to believe that my health is more important than what other people think of me and what I do, and I need to become an active participant in growing and accessing fresh and minimally-processed foods. I need to think outside the box. Just because something has been done a certain way for a long time doesn’t mean that it’s the only way.

People are very defensive about food and their choices regarding what they choose to put in their mouths. In 2011, as an experiment, I decided to go grain-free to see what would happen. When I announced my intention there was a huge backlash from friends, family and co-workers. A mixture of horror, concern and derision filled almost every conversation I had. ‘Why would you do such a thing?!’ asked so many people. ‘How will you get your fiber?’ asked many others. ‘The government says you need grains, and you should support farmers.’ insisted many. Nevertheless I persisted and ended up losing 40 pounds and dropping 2 dress sizes. My skin cleared up, my energy sky-rocketed, I felt fantastic! But, alas, slowly and surely I let the people around me dictate what I should eat and my good habits dissolved in the face of the ‘everything in moderation’ approach.

I dislike the word ‘moderation’ so much. People don’t even know what they mean when they say that, beyond the intention that having a treat once in a while is a good thing. And in theory it could be true, IF WE WERE ROBOTS. I don’t know about you, but I am not a robot. I don’t have the time nor the inclination to measure and remember how often I treat myself to junk food. I just don’t. And I know there are apps out there that can do it for you but my whole point is I don’t want to live a life where I need to worry about how often I treat myself for being ‘good’. I would rather live a life where food is delicious fuel and junk food is a not a term in my vocabulary. The argument so many people tried to give me back in 2011 that ‘It is not healthy to deprive yourself’ didn’t make any sense to me. Deprive myself of what? Pimples? Cellulite? Massive weight gain? I don’t want those things and you think it’s not healthy that I don’t want that? Who’s the crazy fool now?

Ok, I’m getting angry. Take a breath, Caleigh.

Here’s my point: People are nuts. People have a strange way of creating justifications for just about anything. People in groups are both helpful and dangerous, depending on the situation. But I can’t worry about people I can only worry about myself (and my family but, c’mon, I have to take care of myself in order to be able to take care of others).  So here’s the gist: I am going to concentrate on eating fresh, local, hopefully spray-free food and I am going to be aware of how I react to other people’s responses, because as an emotional eater, I tend to fall face-first into a mug of brownie when I’m feeling, well, anything.

Let’s be clear here, I’m not a foodie, or a snob. If I enter someone else’s home and their chosen meal is hot dogs & kraft dinner, I’m not going to be all like, “Are the buns made from local wheat and ground at the neighbor’s mill? Is the cheese made from the local monastery? I can’t eat it if it’s not.” I am so not that person. I will always choose to sit down and eat a meal that someone else prepared. Maybe I’ll offer to bring something as a second option, but I will never deride someone else’s effort.

I will write about my adventures with food as a series under the category of ‘Cook’, please feel free to follow along!

Until Next Time,

Caleigh