Seasonal Foods

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Paleo Changes You: You Enjoy Nature More



Image result for mimosa tree     I remember that when I was little, I loved being outside. I spent most of my summers swimming because summers in Alabama are HOT! And I loved being outside the rest of the time more, but I loved playing in the dirt, especially after a good rain. Summer rains are the best because there are times when they come and go for days, really soaking the ground and turning the iron-rich ground around here to clay. I had a wagon that was filled with pots and pans, dishes and spoons. I loved creating recipes with clay, mud, colored sand, grass, leaves, acorn, and rocks. My home was out in the woods, and we had three different colors of sand: black (great for chocolate), red (great for strawberry and cherry), and white (great for vanilla). I would make mud pies, cakes, and cookies. I would create beautiful, inedible salads. Mimosas would provide an endless wealth of salad ingredients, beans, pink sprinkles, and coffee. I would make bowls of pine straw pasta covered with red mud and a few rocks. Some things never change ;)

     As I got older, I still enjoyed being out in nature, but I wanted nature to adhere to my rules. I wanted it to be a comfortable temperature. I wanted it to be a bit breezy. A light drizzle or rain was fine, as long as there was no thunder or lightning. I could walk or bike or swim for hours. I would still be walking, biking, or swimming long after everyone else lost interest unless I went biking with my dad. He would take me to this murderous trail to bike, and by the time we were done, I was a puddle of goo who needed a sport's drink and a good nap.

     Then I got into my twenties. Let's just say, things got bad, and I no longer enjoyed being outside as much. I would still go for walks, but I was hot and sweaty and felt as if I was being tortured. I hurt. I just wanted to stay in my climate-controlled nest.

     We've been eating Paleo for quite some time now, and I realized the other day while we were walking the dog in the early afternoon in the middle of August that being outside is not that bad again. I was just chilling out. I even mentioned to the kids how the heat wasn't that bad when the breeze was blowing. We walked about 2 miles, then took a very hot and exhausted dog back to the house. Then I headed back out the door for a few uphill sprints. Later I caught the news warning that we were under a heat advisory. Really? It didn't seem that bad outside.

     I've had more times like that than I've had where I just couldn't take being outside anymore. I still get hot and sweaty. Don't get me wrong. I just don't mind as much and don't feel as uncomfortable when I get hot and sweaty. I've noticed that I get bitten by mosquitoes less, as well. When you are able to feel good outside, you can really enjoy the sites around you. I love watching the sun rise in the mornings before I go to work. There was a time when I would not have even thought it would be possible to get up that early. I go for walks for the pure joy of walking and being in the sun. And while I still have a long way to go to being that carefree child who played in the dirt, I'm getting there. This past spring, I even jumped around barefoot in mud puddles with the kids.