This is the view out my window this morning:
To me, very soothing monochromatic beauty. This sets the stage for a peaceful, productive day. This photo reminds me of our clean week diet.
We made it through the first week of Lent quite nicely. The simplicity of the week, with only uncooked food (fruit, veggies, flat bread with hummus and guacamole, nuts and trail mixes). For breakfast we had toasted protein bread and a nut butter to taste (some like peanut, some like sunflower seed, some almond butter). An abundance of fresh and dried fruit, tea and juice.
Lunch was a salad with more fruit, nuts and chopped veggies, some days we stuffed it all in an Ezekiel Bread pita pocket for variety.
At dinner time I would refill the bowls of dried fruits, trail mixes, tangerines, grapes, carrot sticks, hummus and guacamole, chips, and a few sesame seed snacks from Trader Joe's.
No one was ever hungry. But as the week went on we noticed the simple, penitential quality of a diet like this. The sensory input usually associated with cooking was missing, and until this week, we hadn't appreciated that. I didn't realize the comforts associated with the aroma of cooking food in a home, or the texture of cooked food that soothes; how seasoning and spice expands the palate and pleases the body.
We all felt good physically, although I did notice the baby nursed much more and seemed a little more hungry (probably the reason nursing mothers don't have to fast). Fortunately she eats food on her own, so I made more efforts to give her more "real food". She prefers nursing, so now that "clean week" is over, it will most likely get back to the production she is used to.
Last night I made Lentil Stew, and while this would have been receives as a penitential food any other ordinary day in Lent, after our Clean Week it seemed like a feast.
I was able to dispose of two bags every day last week, on average. It worked out to be about half trash, half donations. I am committed to keeping this up, and am very excited about the new open spaces I already see around here.
Here is Melanie discovering the doll house we have in our hallway. One day, years ago, we were cleaning out the middle girl's room, and decided to move out the doll house. It never made it past the hallway, and has gotten played with more there than in any other place it has ever been. Well, now Melanie knows were it is, loves it, and makes a bee line for it whenever she has the chance. The babbling she does while she plays with the dolls is so precious.
She took a few steps this weekend, so we are moving on again. During the decluttering this week, I realized I was caressing the very same baby hats and sleepers exactly one year later. Only instead of looking forward in anticipation of her arrival and getting to put the little hats on a sweet newborn head, I was reminiscing and sniffing the hats for any lingering newborn sweetness. It really is such a cliche, that time flies, but what else is there to say?