Monday, April 8, 2013


I don’t often make raw meals any more.  I did for a while, but my boys didn’t like them that much and they are really quite a lot of work to make.  A lot of work, planning and expensive.  For all that I am willing to make the effort if it is loved.  but if it isn’t then why? 

So this morning I found myself making a raw meal for tomorrow night’s dinner.  Because that is when you have to get started.  I haven’t even started tonight’s dinner, which makes my brain get all twisted, but I still enjoyed it.  Occasionally, having different foods is fun!

So I get in my car to go work out and the audiobook I am listening starts up.  And what is the author dissecting?  The evolution of the processed meal.  How women used to have no choice but to be at home and manage the home and the food and with the invention of the processed meal it allowed women to fully express themselves and not have to spend all their time making food for their family.

Hmm.  I have struggled with this for a while now.  I would rather spend time planning, ordering, purchasing and preparing meals for my family than rushing around and sacrificing good nutrition.  But that is MY (or rather OUR) choice.  I have felt external as well as internal struggle as to whether this is enough.  This time consuming and important job at which I am currently employed.

And that brings me back to this morning.  It feels like some sort of defeat of the modern woman that  I don’t have paid employment.  Since this is such a new option for women.  But I have had plenty of jobs.  And I pretty much hate them all.  So why would I do that?  Just to make money? 

Is it really such a luxury that I stay home?  is it really such a bonbon eating, feet up kind of life?  I disagree.  But until I get paid for it then I will continue to defend this way of life.  And feel good about my role in providing a safe and edible home to my boys.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Do you love roses?

I do.  I remember when I started planning my wedding that I began to hear that so many people don’t love roses.  I can’t imagine.  They are so beautiful, cylindrical, conical, so elegant.  And sometimes, oh sometimes, they smell so amazing.  Like nothing else. 

During that time I began to garden.  I never had before.  A brown thumb that could kill anything.  And for many years I loved gardening.

Now I live in this house that has begun to represent all the hardship of the past few years.  It represents the darkness that grows within my and the literal darkness that disallows gardening here.  The beautiful trees prohibit it.

So I just finished a book (so many things I write about begin this way) and these best friends take walks to admire the roses.  And I realized that in this city of roses that I can’t wait for my partner and friend to be able to join me on walks to admire the roses.  When that will be I don’t know.  But as I run, hurry and rush around life I admire the people who slow down, walk around and admire the roses.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


I have been quiet for a while.  A long while really, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about food, lifestyle choices and emotional eating.  What I came to about six months ago was that I am tired of dieting, of dieting choices, of thinking about foods I do or do not eat because of some reason important or not.  I am tired of spending so much time on why I am not the size, shape, fitness I want to be.  My first memory of being “chubby” was when I was eleven.  That is a long time to be thinking about this.  Yes, it is important.  It is vital.  Really, how can anything be important if you don’t have your health?

But for me, that isn’t the problem.  My health is good.  My fitness is good.  My eating is good.  It is my head-case-ness about eating that isn’t.  And this, unfortunately, hasn’t changed through all the experimentation, the great ways of eating and the interesting lifestyle choices.

So, for the last six months I have just done what I wanted (mostly).  And (mostly) it works.  I am larger than I would like, I am slower than I would like and I eat meat (more than I would like).

I no longer want to be special.  Eat special.  Be different.  I rarely even talk about it.  I tell people I am a librarian, even though my license is about to expire.  I just don’t want to talk about it anymore.

The problem is the problem.  It isn’t solved.  I still eat emotionally, destructively and without regard for my digestive system.  I am still waiting to see when I will just grow the fuck up and stop eating crap.  Desiring crap.  Needing crap. 

I keep trying.  Knowing that life is good.  That things are definitely better than they were.  But that doesn’t help in the moment.  That moment of self hate and painful self talk.

So, I stay quiet.  I have learned people don’t want to hear this stuff.  But ultimately, this is for me.  And when it needs to come out.  And writing it is much better than eating it.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Swim-time musings on friendship

I don’t have a really close group of friends I spend all my time with.  But that doesn’t mean I value my friends any less.  I value my friends for their contribution to my life in each in their unique way.  And even though we don’t see each other all the time I think about you often, send you good thoughts, and look forward to seeing you when it works out. 

So when we make plans I put it in my calendar, look forward to it, and fit it into my schedule.  Now I know you are very busy (as am I) and I know that most people are not as organized/anal as I am, but I do expect people to show up when planned and stick to the plans they make with me.  I get frustrated when things go awry.  What you should know - I get over it so quickly (who wants to live in anger?).

So, please, don’t make me wrong and go away because of this, as then I would not only miss out on our fun outing, but would also miss (out on) my friend!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Where is the Health?

The first time I tried to eat vegan (for a one week experiment) it was an utter failure.  I didn’t have any energy, I didn’t like the food, and having spent the last six months being paleo I certainly couldn’t wrap my health around eating that many grains and losing weight.  At that time paleo was a hugely popular diet.  It still is, but seemingly being vegan has usurped it as the next “it” diet.  I find this INSANE.  And irritating.  And well, because I am a bit juvenile in my food emotions, it makes me want to go eat a bunch of steak.

But really, this abuts a concern I have had for a while.  When considering why you eat a certain way  and for that way to be permanent it really can’t be a way to lose weight.  If you want to eat paleo because you like the energy it gives you and you feel great then you should definitely eat that way.  If you are solely eating that way to lose weight then it is just a diet and one you will eventually rebound off of. 

And that, my friends, is my concern with the vegan excitement out there.  Because I love eating vegan, I think it makes my skin glow, it is good for the environment, the animals and the humans alike.  It is great.  (for many, not all)  But it should NOT be a diet.  As in, a way to lose weight.  It should not. 

Where is the health in eating this way if it is going to make you rebound into another way of eating that will reverse the great health strides you have made.  If you need to lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, lose weight, avoid diabetes and start to eat a vegan diet (begrudgingly) because it is the current craze then that change will not be permanent.  And just another diet.

Today I am thinking in small steps.  No vegan, no paleo, no labels or rules.  I am sitting inside my body and asking it to tell me what it needs.  Maybe in the silence I will let the juvenile out for a dance and eat like the evolving woman I am.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Not My Fight

 I recently started a long term sub position as a High School Librarian.  Filling in during someone’s maternity leave would allow me to get back in the library to decide whether it is something I still want to do and more importantly, TO MAKE MONEY.  You see, my husband works for the State of Oregon and has been furloughed at least every other month for the past three years.  So, we need the money.

When I found out, within weeks of me starting at this position, that the teacher’s union might strike, I groaned.  I am not a union member.  I am here to work.  We have increased daycare costs associated with this decision.  We need me to make money so I can pay for it.  This is not my fight.

As my husband said last night, “This is so something that would happen to you”.  Of course it is.  This is my life.  I finally get a regular job.  I go to work every morning at the crack ass of dawn to a job I don’t like so I can help support our family and they want to take the money away.  This is so my life.

I respect what these teacher’s want.  I am very interested in the process.  I am intrigued to see how it all turns out.  But this is not my fight. 

The press is out front.  The students are inside like any other day.  What will happen on April 22?  We shall see. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Brooke Needs More Food

Every family has ritualized stories told about the members.  My story, usually told by my father, involves me crying on the soccer field at eight when my awesome rainbow colored shoes laces got muddy.  My brother’s story involves him (at three? four?) stating, “Brett NEEDS more food”.  Well, I guess I am channeling my brother, because Brooke needs more food.

You may or may not know that I am working at a school library this spring.  Knowing that I am sitting more I started making food decision based on that.  I made green juices, smoothies and salads for my meals.  All great meals, but just not substantive enough.  Even though I am sitting around I still need enough food to feel satisfied.  Enough food so that I don’t want to snack or eat a huge dinner.  More importantly, enough food to have the energy to workout in the afternoon (a time I really don’t want to be working out). 

Eating enough food is a common topic amongst those trying to lose weight, maintain weight or even those who want to gain weight.  I guess that means everyone, doesn’t it?  Enough is really more complex than the calories consumed because it addresses the mental aspect.  I suspect that is the more challenging and for me, sitting in a library all day, it is making this more challenging than normal.  You see, I am not busy at the library.  I am trying to fill my time and naturally I start thinking about lunch.  When the kids come in with their (rather foul smelling) lunches then I know it will be time for me to eat soon.  When the kids come in with their sandwiches and sodas and cheetos I start thinking about my smoothie.  Which suddenly doesn’t seem satisfying enough.

So today I began again.  I made myself a big ole salad with lots of fun, crunchy foods, a variety of textures, proteins, fats and I believe a whole head of lettuce.  J.  That sounds like enough food.  Maybe too much.  That is a problem I can handle.