Namaste, and welcome. Thanks for stopping by.
I’m working on a good picture of me, but I didn’t inherit the photogenic genes in my family, so that makes a good picture difficult to obtain. Mostly my pictures look like mug shots. Here’s my favorite picture of me getting up close and personal with an alpaca. They are friendly and curious creatures. I could play with them all day. Cee and I have talked about retiring and raising them, but that isn’t going to happen. Too far down on the bucket list.
I love old cars, and love taking pictures of them. Some of my greatest “selfies” come from getting caught in the reflection. Here’s my self-portrait with a wide angle lens, and another one with a hubcap reflection. I’m the person on the left in the red shirt and blue jeans.
I did have my fifteen minutes of fame when one of my car photos was featured on the US television show, American Pickers. They were looking for a tiger tail promotional item that gas stations used to put out, and they found one of my photographs on line. They wanted to use it, and listed me in the credit roll.
I wrote about why I wanted to start this blog in my primary blog, 61 Musings.
My body has taken a beating for fourteen years as my better half battled her way through chronic Lyme disease. Living under the stress of an illness that is life threatening takes its toll on you, believe me. The caretakers aren’t immune from the effects of the disease. Last year we found a cure, and hope, with healing Qigong.
I was so amazed with what Qigong could do for someone so ill that I enrolled in a Qigong teacher’s training course. I’m now through my first year of training, and have already made many changes to my lifestyle. The change for 2014 and beyond is to improve my eating.
Qigong comes from Taoist practices. The philosophy of the Tao is that we become one with our self, each other and all of nature. We practice moderation in thought and action, selflessness (because we are all part of the greater Self), plus ideas of balancing our lives (living with Yin and Yang), the cycles of nature (yin and yang balance each other and complement each other in cycles) and living in harmony.
How does this translate into the changes I’m making in my eating? First of all, it means I’m going to learn to cook and then learn to cook respectfully. I’m going to open myself up to the joys of cooking so that my food is filled with good qi (energy) and flavor. I’m going to listen to my body and only cook and eat food that my body appreciates.
What my body is telling me now: I know I’m allergic to seafood, so none of that. I don’t like the smell of raw beef, so that is out. I don’t like the feel of raw chicken, so that is out. The last couple of times I tried to eat chicken, my throat swelled up. I only eat organic chicken, so I took that as a signal to eliminate the meat. I love seeds, nuts and beans, so moving to the vegetarian end of things makes sense for me. I need to make friends with vegetables and spices. Sobha is going to help me learn that. I love milk and eggs, so while I enjoy vegan meals, I don’t embrace the lifestyle. Taoist practice doesn’t have restriction on foods, only on the way foods are prepared and combined. Since the emphasis of Qigong is health, it uses food as part of a daily wellness regime. Grains, not vegetables, are the staple of Taoist nutrition, so I’ll be including more dishes like Congee going forward.
Qigong is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qigong is similar to yoga, and probably about as old, predating written history in China. It involves movement and poses that strengthen and stretch while aligning the movement of energy (qi, pronounced chee) throughout the whole body. When Qi flows, we are healthy. When Qi gets reduced, we get ill. When Qi stops flowing, we die.
Qigong has made miracles in Cee’s like, and in my life. For Cee, qigong has stopped the ravaging of Lyme and allowed her to think clearly and become healthier. (Lyme is like other chronic illnesses like Fibromyalagia, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, etc., leaving a person with pain, no strength or energy, and a foggy mind.) She now has a future.
In my life, qigong is reversing the effects of Post Polio Syndrome. I had polio as a child and was diagnosed with PPS in 1989. It can make little things like walking, breathing and swallowing difficult. It gets worse with age. Changing my diet and losing weight will make a big difference to me. Practicing qigong keeps the other effects reduced and, I believe, will eliminate them entirely.
The recipes we will be featuring on this blog will be nutritious. That means they might also take a little time to prepare, because the prep time is when the love goes into the food. So if you’re looking for fast, fatty and sugary, you won’t find it here. What you will find is aromatic, savory dishes with layered flavor and full of things that are good for your body.