Nut and Berries



In the 1960’s Yogi bear used to complain to Booboo that he did not want to live on nuts and berries that was why he wanted to take human’s food.  I can only imagine what kind of Velveeta on Wonder bread sandwich and cheese doodles Yogi was getting in the 1960’s picnic hampers.  Today all I want is nuts and berries.  There is no greater treat than a handful of pecans or cashews.  And I think I could live on raspberries, black berries and blueberries if I had an unlimited budget.


Nuts, not peanuts, which are really legumes, and berries, are now in the super food category, meaning that they are the healthiest things you can eat.  My problem is that they are hard not to eat.  Once a nut has passes my lips I naturally want another.


How is it that the idea that living off only “Nuts and berries” was ever a bad thing.  Perhaps it is because if we had to actually forage for our own food you would expend quite a lot of energy just to find, gather and shell those nuts and berries.  It was less about the actual food and more about the amount.


As a child visiting Hom-a-gen, my grandparent’s farm, I spent many hours picking blackberries and cracking black walnuts.  It was a lot of work for a little bit of food. Doing all the work gave me a great appreciation for the small cup of blackberry cobbler after dinner.  Learning to break open the tough walnut shell carefully so that you did not smash the meat was a studied art at the farm.  Children would bore of this job long before they were full from eating nuts.  Eventually the hammers and the burlap bag of dried black walnuts would be abandoned at the old store we used to crack them on in favor of going on the swing that hung from the walnut tree.


Finding, gathering and preparing the food is probably the best diet ever. Having so much food at our fingertips takes away our appreciation of the labor it took to produce it. I have never seen a wheel of Brie in the wild.  It takes an incredible amount of milk and or cream, expertise and time to make a good cheese.  I think that I would cherish it and eat a lot less of it if I had to make it myself.


Next time you want to enjoy some nuts consider eating pistachios in the shell.  Having to do a little shelling will make you appreciate the bounty you are eating just that much more.  And strawberry season is almost upon us.  Picking your own warm berries on a sunny afternoon makes your after dinner berries that much sweeter.


Walking Miracles



Being a tourist in a city is not only fun, but can also be healthy.  While in London Carter and I walked and walked and walked.  Our hotel was four blocks from our tube station and once in the station the actual trains were another good walk underground.  That was just the pre-walk to get to where we would go and really walk.


Carter did not have much sympathy me when on the first day I came up with a pain in the back of my left knee until she too hurt her knee a few days later.  Despite these amateur walker injuries we soldiered on.


We would walk through Green Park to Buckingham Palace and then through St. James Park where there were lots of aggressive squirrels wanting food along with some very forward geese.  We saw one squirrel who literally climbed the pant leg of a man with nuts, trying to get one.  I guess most men have nuts, but this one had one in his hand the squirrel wanted and eventually got.


Even though it was bitterly cold and windy most of the days we were on holiday we kept walking because we just did not have a choice.  The coldest, but sunniest day we were there we took the train to Hampton Court, which is just a short walk from the station across a bridge over the Thames to the Palace.  It was so windy that although we were pushing as hard as we could the wind almost held us in place preventing us from crossing the bridge.  I must have burned an incredible amount of calories that day between the walking and the trying to keep my body temperature high enough to stay alive.


The only times we were not walking was during meals eating.  And we certainly had many wonderful meals.  Carter, having been well trained on varied cuisines, was keen on having Indian, Japanese, French, Thai as well has the British Staple of fish and chips.  I was sure that all this good food was going to be a killer to my weight.

But the walking obvious saved us.  This morning at my trusty home scale I got on with a feeling of trepidation and was shocked to learn that I had not gained one pound, even after partaking fully in two afternoon teas, eating nan at dinner my last night and having toast with strawberry jam every morning.


This is no way gives me pause to think that I can eat like I did this past week at home, even if I gave up my car and walked everywhere.  I know that I have weeks where my body looses weight and weeks where no matter what I eat I don’t loose weight.  Perhaps this week in London was one of the good weeks in my cycle.   It certainly was a good week in my life.