Monday, February 4, 2013

Signs Of Life

Well here in AZ Spring is on "speed dial" and is starting to show signs of arrival. of course this means that 100+ temps are also right around the corner. But we Phoenicians can take the heat, its the cold that seems to impact us most.

I got the majority of my garden seeded last week, and the radishes are already starting to sprout! I still have to erect a few more cages, and plant a few more things in a few weeks but I'm pretty pleased so far with this system that claims to be "fool proof"

It's a bit warmer on the rooftop, with the direct sunlight so things happen sooner than some would expect.. It's really all a big experiment. Lets just say there is a huge learning curve when it comes to learning to garden here. I admit I've become somewhat of a serial killer of plants since my migration to AZ. I feel really bad about this fact. I wonder if plants secretly shriek when they see me coming? Trembling in their little pots?

I've reformed, I promise.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Through Week Two

It's now been a little more than two weeks since we committed fully to consuming a plant based whole foods diet. Reed just mentioned something that got me thinking....

We were chatting and he said how easy it had been for him to completely give up meat and dairy. He surprisingly had not missed either at all! Then he wondered if I was surprised by that? I'll admit I wasn't sure he would commit 100% at first, because I was basing my expectation on my past experiences with relationships in this arena. But, I am learning that you cannot do that! Each relationship is different, THANKFULLY!! I've found a keeper.

He has also shared with me that he has a lot less pain in his knees climbing up the stairs etc, and that's only after two weeks! It makes me wonder, if he is already feeling the reduced inflammation in his joints, how much repairing is already going on inside the body that we don't see? He also seems to be sleeping better. I've noticed a few changes in his face too actually, he looks younger and the puffiness especially around his eyes has improved.

I'm very proud and grateful about how supportive Reed has been with this change we've made. He's not complained once about what I've been making. I appreciate that about my husband. We are very alike in our thinking and ideals, about a lot of things including how we eat and care for our bodies.

Its been somewhat interesting for me to do research on balanced meal planning, and I've come across a lot of really interesting new recipes and food pairings in the process. For example I found an excellent baked breakfast oatmeal that uses sweet potato! Honestly, who would have thought to pair sweet potatoes with oats and chia seeds for breakfast! Someone did and I think is is a marvelous idea!

How about smashing up some russet potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots an onion and a few cloves of garlic with Korean kimchi? I did (see photo below) Let me just say.... Do try! It's YUMMY!

Monday, January 14, 2013

And Here We Grow!

I am super excited! My new planting containers have arrived! I think they are going to work wonderfully for what I have planned!

I took one up to the roof just to see how it sat in comparison to the space. Our house is an "adobe" Santa Fe style so almost our entire rooftop is flat. You're only seeing a tiny portion in the photos below actually. And if all goes well the areas to plant are plenty. I could see enough space to grow more than enough to meet our need, we could have a community garden project! I have big dreams, but for now we will test the method on our roof top deck area only.

It's a large deck, approximately 22 x 14. I would also like to incorporated a peaceful outdoor space to relax. A place all my own that exudes my personality. A place I can light candles, relax, entertain, dine, drink wine, meditate... I think you get the image. My goal is to just have a positive place with a purpose to enjoy. The roof deck is one aspect of our house that we greatly underused. With the sunset/ sunrise views, mountains around and city lights below it is the perfect setting for the space I'm looking to create.

It might be a bit of a challenge hauling the bags of soil up here for the planters but I think it's manageable on my own. Besides, trying to till and remove enough rocks and amend the soil to plant in our area would be MUCH MORE difficult. We also share the neighborhood with legions of cotton tail rabbits, Javilina and Deer. Dining on my garden will not be easy, if not impossible for the critters. So a little trade off of rigging up a water system, and providing a bit of shade in the hotter months seems small in comparison.

I do have reservations about our neighbors above us complaining. We have a tough HOA, and like anywhere a few Codgers. Every neighborhood has "one of those" people. My hope is that whomever that party pooper might be, they don't live in one of the houses above me. I figure if I keep it neutral and pleasing whomever is looking down should not mind seeing some green.

Pretty good view from my perspective!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 Has Arrived!

Here we go! Before me lies another new year, filled with unknown adventures, challenges and personal growth.  I'm hoping to apply much of what I learned in "valuable lessons" in 2012 to make this new year one that will be exceptional!  I have to admit I'm not sad to see 2012 go, but along with some of the more difficult things that took place, I also had some very VERY GOOD come from it!! So 2012 will go down as being one of the more eventful!!

Ok " glowing forward" looking ahead and not back I'm really excited to share what I have planned in 2013!! I don't really buy into resolutions, as they more often only last a few weeks. But after some lengthy talks with my husband we have decided to make a few changes in our own health and lifestyles.

They are;

1: Switch to a plant based, whole foods diet.

We already eat pretty well, and I already tend to eat very little meat. But phasing that out completely is our goal now as a family. We have our own reason for adopting a vegan lifestyle but I don't expect it will always be easy. 

2: Start Growing Our Own Food. 

We live in an arid desert climate, in N. Scottsdale AZ so this will prove to be my biggest challenge. I don't expect to have it all down this year but I'm committed to starting the process. After a lot of research I think my best option is containers. We literally have sand and rock, not soil. We have other challenges too, including local wildlife, HOA, and of course the brutal heat of the summers in the Sonoran desert!

It is my goal to chronicle this journey to an urban garden and eventual self sustainability. It will be an adventure! Right?! But I'm up for a good challenge. 

Now the work begins! I did some research and have settled on a type of grow box that incorporates hydroponics and traditional soil. We also have the trouble of keeping the boxes moist and not over heated with soggy roots. I found this product to fit what I need. It's a start and were going to give them a try.  I ordered 10 yesterday, so we are committed! 

I admit I'm rather excited to get back into a nursery to talk plants! I've always enjoyed that experience. I have always loved planning and growing gardens, so its time I once again find my hobby. It's been too long. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Glowing Forward

This little light of mine... I'm gonna let it shine...

I've gone and done it! Taking a step forward into another direction by creating this new blog! I'm excited as I seek my true passions this year, one is simply writing! I've spent countless hours writing other blogs, but those seem almost a lifetime ago. This is a new year and I am embarking on a new chapter in my life's path so I felt it was an appropriate time to start with a brand new sheet of paper!

There is so much to tell you but it will come in time. For now I will just keep it simple. As my life has progressed and some of my challenges are greater I have been seeking ways to create balance so that I can handle the long working hours I now keep. I am now over 40 and my body, and my patience reminds me that I need to find balance and manage more wisely. Lately its been reminding me in more pronounced ways like a lovely case of SHINGLES! This happened for a reason, and I know my true inner self wanted me to pause and take notice. Trust me you can not ignore shingles..... ever!

Another area I noticed besides shingles was I was having some skin issues, what goes on in our inside often presents itself as rashes or acne breakouts on our skin. You see our bodies are a marvelous creation and our skin, being the largest of its organs is our window to what is going on inside. My skin was letting me know loud and clear that there are issues.

I know that to maximize my energy I need to change a few things and do some "detoxing" in several areas of my life. This thought has been heavy on my mind since my little "shingles" event. I need to care better for myself at this stage. I can not simply stop working so I must figure out ways to create less stress for myself. As Irony would have it I was at the store buying some detox tea before work. I had a few moments of stolen time so strolled down the book isle and saw this brilliant green cover, picked up the book and after flipping through it instinctively knew I needed it. The book is called  The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snider  Reading through I realized it was addressing some of what I am experiencing, so at that moment it confirmed what I needed to do.

I hope you will follow along as I try to tackle the steps in this new chapter of my life "Glowing Forward" to a better place. 

Blessings my dear ones!