I don’t know what to eat!

This is a complete departure from my usual blogs about quilting and sewing. But what has prompted this post is utter frustration about what to eat! There is so much expert “advise” out there about what is healthy, what is not; what will make one live a long, happy existence, or kill us in short order; what is sheer poison, or and what is good for the body, and even for the mind. It is totally baffling, not to mention confusing.

For a while I’ve been following the “Paleo Diet,” because even though is is somewhat restrictive–forbids grains, legumes, sugar, and dairy–the science behind it made sense to me. It also promotes eating healthy meats, fats and all plants. You can read about it here.

However, there are many valid arguments for vegetarianism, for shunning beef and meats of all kinds; or veganism, which of course rejects ALL animal products. Their arguments against eating meat are both science-based as well as conscience-based. The latter is much harder to argue against, since it makes a valid point about the mis-treatment of animals, as well as the negative effects on the environment caused by the raising of animals for slaughter.

I recently read several articles about the dangers of consuming “phitates,” compounds found in many foods, including all nuts–a staple, by the way, of the Paleo diet–as well as grains, seeds, nut butters and legumes.

There are two points upon which all studies and food gurus agree: (1) the need to stay away from processed foods, also known as “dead foods,” or “frankenfoods” and (2) fruits and vegetables are good and should be eaten in abundance. Everything else seems to be an utter contradiction, depending on which strain of thinking one follows.

So you see, there appears to be no clear guidance, no consensus about what is the REAL diet us humans should follow. Fat is good, fat is evil; carbs are OK, carbs are bad; meat (unprocessed, raised humanly) is healthy, meat of all kinds is unhealthy; grains are good sources of fiber, hence good; grains contain the much maligned “phitates,” that impair the body’s absorption of certain minerals, but have also been found to be anti-inflammatory, protect against cancer, cardiovascular disease, and lower glycemic load in certain foods. So, phitates=good, phitates=bad. Hence, nuts and grains=good, nuts and grains=bad. And so it goes.

There is something to be said about eating a balanced diet, with small amounts of “poison”–whichever side of the fence one may be on. So I think that from now on I will dismiss everything I’ve heard pro or against any type of foods–except, of course for the obvious injunctions against processed foods and refined sugars, as well as inhumanely raised animal meats. From now on I will just follow my common sense and my instinct. I cannot make myself crazy thinking about what one should and shouldn’t eat. I just hope my body knows enough to help me figure out what to eat to stay healthy and live a “long and happy life.”

Slow Stitching During Recovery

After knee surgery a few weeks ago, I thought the perfect project for me to tackle would be
hand project that I could work on while recovering, since I would not able to sit at sewing machine for a while.

While I was at QuiltCon last February, I had the great opportunity to meet one of my favorite quilt designers, Victoria Findlay Wolfe, who has published several patterns, books, etc. So I decided to buy a set of templates for her “Victory Block,” a very fun project that I thought would be perfect for hand piecing.

I’ve been collecting vintage fabric for while, waiting for just the right project. When I saw these templates, and what one could do with them, I knew I’d found it.

So here I am, relishing the experience of hand piecing, which in a way is the perfect interpretation of Slow Stitching. I believe there is even a “movement” called “the slow stitching movement.”

So far I’ve completed 6 blocks, each block about 9 inches square. I’ll probably piece a total of 9 blocks, which will make a nice 9 x 9 square throw quilt. Since this is a hand project, ultimately the quilting will be done by hand too.

I find this method of quilting (and piecing) quite relaxing, just what I need to regain my sanity after the grueling and painful days after surgery.

Recovering

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My Newest Challenge – Or, Am I a Sucker for Punishment?

Another year, another challenge. I received the fabric for the 2017 Riley Blake Challenge a couple of months ago,

Riley Blake fabric

so I got busy with my design. True to the spirit of the challenge, which it’s all about improvisation, I did my best to put fabrics together with no preconceived idea of the design, and this is what came out. The circular shapes that float in front of the horizontal motif suggest bubbles of exuberance, and the dynamic diagonal line, of a striking black color, adds movement and somehow connects the circles to the rest of the composition. The mountains in the back suggest a far off landscape that may be a nod to the mountains that surround me.

My 2017 submission

Now all I have to do is WAIT. Yes, wait and see if the Powers that Be deign to accept my submission and grant me the opportunity to actually show the quilt at the next event so that I can stand the chance–albeit small–of being considered for an award.

Do I sound skeptical, even pessimistic? Perhaps. I guess this is what multiple rejections do to a person. Which is what might explain the title of this post. But at the end of the day, am I doing this for my own artistic pursuit, or for a reward? After all, isn’t it better to do things because we enjoy the process, instead of for the recognition that takes the form of a somewhat arbitrary reward? I think so.

So stay tuned. All will be revealed soon enough.

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