Posts Tagged: my new roots

Noshed in a Book: Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own

“I’ve always known that a book will find you when you need to be found…”

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When trying to pin-point how I came about this book, I decided to trace my internet searching steps back to a certain piece or key phrase I had found, but to no avail. The transient nature of a browser search should not be lasting, that might make life a little too convenient.  Thus, all I can say is that I’m grateful I found this book and Kate Bolick’s writing.  Though I am a happily married woman to a very lovable man, this book called out the the independent woman in me that has never been stifled by coupledom.  I don’t mean this as an affront to the love I have for my life partner and our commitment to one another, but more as a compliment to the love I also have for myself and for the person I hope to be. The lifelong assignment of finding out what this life of mine means is a most unique gift and there’s not a day that passes wherein I don’t contemplate how I want to share it, who with, and what drives my mind and heart.  Being cognizant of this, let’s take a look at Kate Bolick’s first book.

Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own by Kate Bolick

“In my early twenties, the “spinster wish” was my private shorthand for the novel pleasures of being alone.  As I grew older, and felt more strongly the cultural expectation of marriage, the words became more like a thought experiment, a way to imagine in detail what it would look like to never settle down.  The word wish is crucial.  A wish is a longing, not a plan of action.  It was perhaps precisely that I conjured such an escapist fantasy, not because I didn’t want such relationships, but because I also wanted to find other avenues of meaning and identity.”

Through honest yet discreet personal accounts, Bolick delivers a book that’s well-worth a read for anyone who’s ever questioned societal norms. It’s obvious from the carefully designed structure of her book that Spinster was a labor of love that flowed from a most genuine and natural place.  Bolick utilizes different women writers–you’ll have to read her book to find out who they are–that she refers to as her ‘awakeners’ to unfold her thesis that a woman’s role in life is that for which she makes it, and the drudgery of societal impressions of marriage should never be a factor in marring your personal and artistic process of becoming a fully developed woman.  What is more, though her text does speak directly to women, I happen to feel that her message could be palatable to any gender.  Bolick embarks on a journey through this book that rarely transcends where she starts, but the text does anchor its message in taking comfort in one’s circumstance while being aware of its impact, be it good or be it bad, on one’s identity.

“The term bachelor girl was coined in 1895 to describe a specific breed of middle-class woman who chose to pursue the  new educational and vocational opportunities opening up around her, which allowed her to live alone and support herself–so very unlike her sister the spinster, who was closely associated with the home, and the working-class women for whom work was an economic necessity.”

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Is it all really just a matter of diction?  What’s incredible about Bolick’s deductions about the term “bachelor girl”, versus “spinster”, is that she establishes the imposed separation of the terms while embracing a generalization that a woman in pursuance of her own life, independent of a man’s financial support, is whatever label she chooses for herself. Bolick does seem to struggle with absolving herself of guilt from passed relationships by qualifying her actions as those which were necessary to lead her on her path of independence.  In this, I feel her concept is flawed.  She posits that a woman must give something up in joining to a partner, yet bases this observation on her own experiences of becoming complacent in the routine of in-practice monogamy and her awakeners experiences.  However, she juxtaposes this idea when speaking about becoming complacent and stale in her single life as well.

“How do you embark on your adulthood when you don’t know where you’re headed?”


 

“It was like looking into the future and discovering that my unremarkable self had somehow become a person of consequence.”

Finally, and what’s most moving about this book, is Bolick’s meticulous and attentive vision of the agony of self-discovery and the joy of finding one’s voice.  She’s able to speak about feminine self-loathing without belaboring the point or projecting an heir of desperation, because, let’s be honest, if there’s one thing women need less of, it’s another voice that harkens negativity.  Bolick’s well earned confidence is why she’s able to conjure a book that would surely have made her awakeners proud, and should make all of her readers grateful.  Reading this book was a pleasure, and more than anything, it helped me understand that’s it’s okay to be joined in matrimony to someone and still have a singular identity. In fact, it’s imperative.

“It never ceases to astonish me how readily we presume to know ourselves, when in fact we know so little.”

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As for edibles, I decided to utilize Sarah Britton‘s The Life-Changing Crackers to touch on the simplistic, yet enriching approach to food Bolick speaks about in her book.  It’s not my intention to imply I think she would have any interest in preparing this cracker, but I do think this recipe represents an alteration in routine, which is just what Spinster speaks about.  So here’s to crackers, life-changing crackers!

  • Because crackers are a wonderful food for writers who are mulling over an idea.  They’re crunchy and can be paired with many a side dish be it savory or sweet treats like Bolick did with her father over lunch.
  • Because crackers remind me of autumn , which reminds me of change, shorter days that lend to hibernation and strength in warming foods that ties back into crackers. 😀

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What are you thoughts on this text?  Did you find that any particular yummy food ideas popped into your mind while reading?  In the theme of changing routines, I am sad to say that the frequency of my posts has lessened as I’m sure you’ve seen, but please know that Connect a Bite is still very special and important to me.  I have started a new and exciting job, and my routine has been sufficiently shaken.  Fear not! Once the dust settles some, I hope to be back in full-force with content!  And with that, I’ll leave you for now.  Check out more Noshed in a Book posts and share some of your own #noshedinabook thoughts with me.  Join me in my next reading selection, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  And remember…bite responsibly!

Healthy Regards,

RAM

 

Thanks Go Out to My New Roots & A Break Away

http://www.jamesmaherphotography.com

http://www.jamesmaherphotography.com

Hi Everyone,

Today I’d like to do something I’ve meant to do for quite sometime, a focused piece on a blogger I follow, who has inspired me or left a sweet feeling in my heart after reading/viewing their blog.  Sarah Britton is just this person and My New Roots is her fantastic blog.  I came across her blog a year or more ago, and the first I saw it, I spent hours rummaging through all of her old posts–from the beginning–because I loved her message so much and what her blog stands for.

As I’ve not come out and said this yet on the blog, 2013 is the year I will call “The Health Trials”,dumdumduuuuummmm…almost as though I’m in a life game, fencing with what ails me.  And because I’m me, I’m going to conquer and get answers!  My New Roots has been such a motivating factor in this plight.  Why is this?  It’s not because she herself–Sara Britton–has made overly confessional posts and twaddle about her life/food/health journey,  it’s because she focuses on diversity in the diet, cleanliness of our pallets–metaphorically–and bursts with helpful recipes that put into action her philosophies.  A woman who truly connects her bites!

Throughout my personal food journey, My New Roots has helped me keep perspective on my greater goals in the ‘food world’, and I cannot say enough about her bravery in reaching for what she wanted in the culinary world.

Enough about what I think, here are a couple of excerpts from her blog that you may find interesting–both are from her ‘fall’ section.

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Below you’ll see sample of A Brush With Health

Dry Skin Brushing is something I learned about last year as I was attending school for Holistic Nutrition. I had never heard of it before then, but the subject surfaced in several of my courses until curiosity got the better of me. Now, dry skin brushing it is part of my daily routine and from this simple act I have seen many positive changes take place…

The skin is the largest organ in the body, and is responsible for one-fourth of the body’s detoxification each day, also making it, one of the most important elimination organs. More than one pound of waste products are discharged through the skin every day! Toxins from everyday soaps, cleansers, antiperspirants / deodorants, lotions, cosmetics and synthetic fibers worn next to the skin, can gather beneath the skin’s surface and contribute to a variety of skin problems and conditions, as well as prevent the skin from breathing. If the skin becomes inactive with its pores chocked with millions of dead cells and chemical residues, then impurities will remain in the body. The other eliminative organs, mainly the kidneys and liver, will have to increase their labor and will eventually become overworked, thus eventually creating disease.

Read more HERE!

In this sample, Whole Food Thinking and Whole Plant Eating, Sarah focuses on eating the entire vegetable, a waste-free message I second!  Beet greens are delicious. 😀

My New Roots

My New Roots

Would it sound strange to buy sneakers without the laces, or a sandwich and throw away the bun? Well, it seems to be in this culture of ours, we’ve grown accustomed to eating just part of a whole food, and tossing away the parts that matter most. We peel our apples, we separate eggs into their respective white and yolk parts, we strip our grains of all their exterior nutrients to make pristine, white everything, and we lop the tops off our root vegetables. Stop the insanity!

Foods are whole for a reason – they are all perfect packages of well-balanced nutrition – designed that way for our benefit. Beets are a perfect example of this. Fortunately, this time of year, you can find them in their whole state, with the delicious green tops attached! It’s like getting two vegetables for the price of one! Here are some other vegetables that you can eat (gasp!) whole.

Read more HERE!

Also, my love and I are taking a vacation to New York and I hope to take hoards of photographs that I plan to share with all of you when I return.  Maybe I’ll even be stirred into yummy inspiration!  I’m more than thrilled at the thought of all the incredible food and food experiences that await us.

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Bite responsibly in the coming October, and I hope to give updates soon!

Healthy Regards,

RAM

 

Copyright 2013 Connect a Bite at www.connectabite.com

Eat Your Way to Stronger Immune System

http://nintendrawer.deviantart.com/art/feeling-sick-61555501

Although it is still hot here in Austin and in general the weather seems to be tumultuous across the states and I gather that with the onset of September comes a cooler breeze and a change in the season.  In an office, work-place, classroom or otherwise, a change in weather is a red flag to me that a large majority of your cohorts and peers could end up sick or convince themselves that they are sick.  Although I’m not a doctor nor a natural practitioner, I have some hints and tips about how I keep myself ‘up and running’ during the worst of times and the best of times.  I am of the opinion that we are (individuals) totally capable of NOT living in fear every time someone comes up with a cold or some other common illness. Our bodies shut down sometimes, but this is a sign they need to.  However, for the most part, we’re capable of keeping ourselves strong and able with a whole foods diet and few pick-me-ups.
(In no particular order.)
  • Kick-butt tea!  I make this mixture in the evenings mostly, but I double up in the mornings when I am feeling a hint of ick or a significant weather change overnight.
           Peel about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of ginger and cut it into manageable chunks.
           Place these pieces at the bottom of your favorite mug or tea-cup.
           Put the kettle on and just before the water begins to boil.
           Pour it over your chunks of peeled ginger root.
           Add  the juice from 1/2 a lemon  and stir.
           Next, add some stevia and as many shakes of cayenne pepper that you can handle.
           Swirl it all together and drink.
  • GAAAALIC.  Garlic is easily one of my favorite things to eat.  Bonus for me and all of you of course, it’s loaded with bacterial fighting goodness and it doesn’t injure or disrupt our bodies’ natural flora like otc stuff .  Additionally it’s anti-inflammatory, which is helpful for times of stress, exposure to radiation (possibly cancer patients) and for women during their menstrual cycle.  I like to mince a clove or two (or three) up and put it on top of basically anything savory that I’m eating.  Raw, lovely and potent.  I also discovered this method recently.
  • Greens galore!  Our bodies’ function best in an alkaline state, and greens are about as alkaline as you can get.  Drinking greencentric smoothies and juices along with green bedded dishes and salads of verde splendor; you will be on your way to a strong and healthy body.  Just remember to chew it up, even if it’s in liquid form.  Producing saliva in your mouth will aid digestion where it starts, in your mouth.
  • Almond me up.  Fights inflammation and works to ward off mean bacteria, almonds should be on your radar.  I like them raw, soaked and eaten over foods, made into dips and sauces and best of all ground up into almond butter.
  • Orange foods.  I knew there was a reason that many orange and dark-yellow tinted veggies pop up during the fall and winter seasons.  The beta-carotene in sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and butternut squash (to name a few) helps protect our most aesthetic organ, our skin.  Without healthy skin and a properly functioning way to excrete toxins through our skin, we’d be in bad shape.  I love to roast carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkin with aromatic herbs and spices.  Pumpkin purée is also extra tasty over some breakfast grains like oats, quinoa, amaranth or millet.  Sweet potatoes also taste great mashed and served with a bit of cinnamon, walnuts and coconut oil.  Try eating these lovely orange veggies with a fat source for proper absorption.
No direct correlation with food, but these remedies are more connected to what you eat than you think:
  • LAUGH and laugh often and with full heart.  Comedic Moments and Films I recommend:
Buster Keaton  – Balloonatic (1923)

Woody Allen – Sleeper (1973)

Maria Bamford – Paula Dean skit (2012)

Lazy Sunday 1 – SNL

Lazy Sunday 2 – SNL

 

  • Liquify!  Drink plenty of water daily–I would recommend an amount, but I believe going off of one’s thirst is the best method, unless your thirst drives you to anything but water–because water helps to flush out excessive waste cells and gunk that builds up in your body.  Water also helps to carry oxygen throughout your body, which will in turn allow you to work at full capacity. H2O works to keep your mouth clean so extra harmful particles and bacteria don’t fester.  There are many more splendid benefits of drinking water for your immune system
  • Sleepy time.  Amongst sleep’s many wonderful attributes, among mammalian species, sleep helps to increase white blood cell count, which equates to a better functioning immune system.  I say, the more we rest, the less stressed we are apt to become.  Stress can lower our body’s ability to defend itself.  It’s all tied together.

I hope some of this will be helpful to some of you in the coming days, weeks, months and years to come.  Remember, all of our bodies are different  If you have any additions to what I’ve stated, please let me know, I would enjoy hearing from you.  Understand that keeping our body strong is something that should and easily can be an ongoing process.  Respecting those around you, the source of your food in connection to its proper season and the quality of its nutrients is an optimum way to keep your body and mind aligned with the earth and its effects on you and those you love.

And remember…bite responsibly…especially right now. ^____-

 

Healthy Regards,

~RAM~