Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Fatigue and Food

I had in mind to write about something else today, but I find myself as fatigued at the end of the day as I was when it started. I was up a little past 5AM, I believe Zonker was involved, I went down to the bathroom and came back to bed to finish a little more sleep. My whole right side ached, shoulder to foot.

I turned off my alarm and decided to work from home. The Outback was due back from the mechanic and it would be helpful to have me around when it was finished. I felt hugely fatigued even having gone to bed a little earlier on Tuesday. I also needed some quiet to work on the database I'm building. I drifted in and out of fitful sleep, uncomfortable, it was hard to drag myself back to fully awake a little while later.

Meetings all went far more quickly than usual and I was able to start working on the databases. It has been a long time since I've worked on databases and usually always worked with someone else. I do some research, make progress, stop, do more research, inch forward. That's how it goes. It is tiring and by 4:45PM my eyes and head ached from it.

I got my things together and rode over to Prananda. With the fires in the area the air quality is a bit poor and it has felt more difficult to breath. Sometimes the ride over is very energizing, tonight it was just the way I go to asana practice. I felt fatigued during the practice and by the end my body seemed very heavy.

Made my way slowly up the long climb on Denver. I was thinking how hard these climbs are, but when I finally turned on Ainsworth and could enjoy the flat for a while I was enjoying myself again. Simplistic analogy for the constant changes of life. When it is a climb, when we're having to really work and the breath strains we're often not so enamored of the moment. When there's a nice coast downhill or a flat surface to just enjoy the movement on, then it is easy to enjoy the moment, even wish for it to last longer.

I finally got to CK's flat and was out of breath to the point of coughing, which is how my asthma shows up. I sat on the sofa for several minutes just drinking water and getting my breath back. After a little bit I got up to neti and that helped with feeling like it was hard to breathe, somewhat. The ride here from Prananda is pretty taxing, especially since I'd already felt fatigued starting out. I'm thrilled to be able to do it, but it is pushing a little.

CK made us squash (zucchini and sunburst) sauteed with soy tempeh served along side a grain mix from Trader Joe's. I'd pointed her to this mix of Israeli cous cous, red quinoa, orzo, and split peas and was glad she enjoyed it as much as I do. It was a simple, hearty and very delicious meal. For dessert we had a nectarine and pluot sliced up with some walnuts. The rich, earthy note of the occasional walnut pairing so nicely against the tart-sweet flesh of the fruits. The whole meal is a good reminder of just how simple food can be yet be so completely satisfying. It doesn't need additives or fancy preparation/presentation.

Sometimes I believe this is one of the core things that has gone wrong with food culture in my country. The appreciation of simple food is either lost or considered elitist. Food must be fast, plentiful, and make you feel good about yourself (hence the surge in popularity in "functional foods" containing omega-3 fatty acids, extra fiber, green tea, etc.). If it isn't cheap, it must be fancy to the point of being excessive. And it should taste the same across the entire country.

It shouldn't be this way at all. The fruit we had tonight was succulent and bursting with intense, delightful flavors because it is the height of the season for it. It is whole, complete and perfect. It doesn't need any packaging or additives because nothing truly can enhance it. If I need more omega 3, or 6, fatty acids I'll have more flax or hemp oil. If I happen to need more fiber I have brown rice and more of those delicious fruits and fresh vegetables because that's what is naturally chock full of them.

There are times I worry about our society because the very building blocks of it, the food we consume, isn't truly recognizable as food anymore. Enormous companies spend millions of dollars telling people to eat this way, that it is convenient, economical, and completely normal. I'm left wondering how can we nurture our world when we have let ourselves become unable to nurture ourselves?

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