meatless mondays

you aint gonna miss your water 'til your well runs dry
-bob marley
mission espada, san antonio
when the well runs dry

what do you do when your well runs dry?  you know the feeling.  if you're a writer or a scholar, you stare at a blank page. an artist, a blank canvas, a lump of clay. an athlete, your running shoes, unworn. a teacher, a lesson plan, unplanned. a chef, an empty pot.  a gardener, an empty rain gauge. what do you do when your well runs dry?
what do you do when the work you love suddenly becomes a day full of going through the motions?  dragging yourself from one task to the next without that familiar pep in your step, or the sparkle in your eye.  for me, i retreat.  merriam-webster defines retreat as :
1. an act or process of withdrawing especially from what is difficult, dangerous, or disagreeable 
maybe that one
 2. a: the usually forced withdrawal of troops from an enemy or from an advanced position   b: a signal for retreating
not that one 
3.  a place of privacy or safety
kind of that one
4.  a period of withdrawal for prayer, meditation, study,
a whole lot of that one
i was recently struggling with a photographic project on religious iconography, and needed to see things through a fresh set of eyes.  early on a recent spring morning, we headed out for san antonio at 3am, in order to get the good morning light.  after i shot a few rolls, and had a whole unplanned day ahead, we headed downtown, and then to the missions. the alamo is the best known of the national park services' san antonio missions, but to stop after your visit there is to miss the quiet beauty found in the remaining missions, especially on a balmy weekday morning, before the crowds.  we will share more of those photos this week on wordless wednesday.  i didn't set out to find retreat, but i found it anyway.  as i snapped away, a feeling of peace and calm informed my work, which became play, as often happens when one is doing something they love. 

 no one can see their reflection in running water.  it is only in still water that we can see.     taoist proverb
and so it is when we step away from the busy, busy that so often our lives become, to find the source of that which inspires us. 
i pray you find peace, fresh eyes, and still water in that which you find beautiful.

as promised, a recap of the superfoods we've visited over the last few weeks in recipes we've shared, and a little more info about each:
+whole grains
inflammation fighter
whole grains like oatmeal, wheat flour, barley and brown rice are  high in fiber, which calms inflamed tissues while keeping the heart strong and colon healthy. try for two slices of whole-grain bread a day, or two servings of whole grain products.
bone builders
this fiber-rich plant contains more bone-building magnesium and potassium than any other vegetable. it's leaves are also rich in flavonoids and polyphenols--antioxidants that can cut the risk of stroke--and vitamin c which helps maintain the immune system. eat them as often as you can; you can't get too much of this good thing. ripes ones feel heavy for their size and squeak when you squeeze them.
immunity boosting
purported to prevent a range of diseases from cancer to heart disease, one 3.5 ounce serving contains more antioxidant than any other fruit.  drizzle with lemon juice and mix with strawberries for a disease-fighting supersnack.
inflammation fighting
 the 'pina' part of the tasty cocktail, is a mix of vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes which makes it an all around anti inflammation cocktail.  the 'colada' half? well, not so much. helps protect against colon cancer, arthritis, and macular degeneration. have half a cup, two or three times a week.
immunity booster
a root that contains living compounds, such as gingerol, that improve health and, as studies have shown, suppress cancer, particularly of the colon.  chop ginger or grind it fresh, add to salads, marinades, and teas as often as you can.
inflammation fighter
rich in protein and fiber, and high in alpha linolenic omega-3s, which puts them shoulder to shoulder with wild fish in the list of heart-healthy fare, they're a great brain food, too.  shoot for a tablespoon of ground flaxseed per day.
+greek-style yogurt
muscle enhancing
all yogurt provides protein as well as probiotics that keep your digestive tract healthy and your immune system in top form.  the greek variety is thicker, has more protein, and is generally richer and heartier than regular yogurt.  mix eight ounces with fruit or cereal, or use it as a healthy substitute for sour cream.
bone builders
bananas have a high concentration of tryptophan, a building block of serotonin, which creates a calming effect, but their real benefit comes from potassium, the electrolyte that helps prevent calcium loss.  bananas bolster the nervous system, boost immune function, and help the body metabolize protein. one banana packs a day's worth of potassium.
from maggie's farm ricotta, spinach and mushroom crustless quiche
+ eggs
muscle enhancer
the old school of thought was that you should eat egg whites rather than whole eggs in order to get the protein of eggs without added cholesterol.  recent studies have proven that the fat in the yolk is important to keep you satiated, and the benefits fo the minerals and nutrients int he yolk outweigh its cholesterol effect. eggs deliver the most nutrients for the fewest calories and provide the most satiety per calorie consumed. plus, eggs contain choline, a b vitamin that studies have linked to improved brain function. aim for three or four servings a week.
+nonfat ricotta cheese
muscle enhancer
made from whey, this soft cheese is rich in amino acids, which speed muscle recovery after workouts.  a great way to get the protein you need, without the extra calories and fat.
bone builder
popeye was onto something.  a renowned muscle builder, spinach is also rich in vitamin k, which has been shown to bolster bone-mineral density, thus protecting against osteoporosis and reduce fracture rates.  also high in calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium which may help protect the liver and ward off alzheimer's.  a study in the journal of nutrition suggests that carotenoid neoxanthin in spinach can kill prostate cancer cells, while the beta-carotene fights colon cancer.  eat one cup of cooked spinach or two cups raw, four times a week.
immunity booster
mushrooms are rich in the antioxidant ergothioneine, which protects cells from abnormal growth and replication.  have half a cup once or twice a week.
and today's superfood,
immunity booster
the juice from the biblical fruit of many seeds can reduce your risk of most cancers, thanks to polyphenols called ellagitannins, which give the fruit its color.  enjoy a cup a day,

today's recipe, pomegranate syrup, is borrowed from alton brown, one of my favorite 'celebrity chefs'.
enjoy in drinks, salad dressings, marinades, drizzled over vegetables, and delicious as a glaze for pork or chicken.
alton brown's pomegranate syrup or molasses

once you've made it, try this delicious recipe from bobby flay, black pepper with pomegranate molasses glazed turkey...and we'd love to know other delicious ways you put it to use, too!

have a great week, and we'll see you wednesday--

sources:,, usda national nutrient database

1 comment:

  1. who knew healthy food could taste so darn good!


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