This and that

I should be cleaning the cat boxes. Tiger and Shadow would both appreciate the gesture, though I would like it if they would learn to clean it themselves. I should also be reading and editing Rahab's first draft, but I'm tired. So I figured I would ramble here for a few moments about this and that. Rebekah came in the Large Print hardback edition last week. I am always surprised and pleased when a new version of a book arrives on my doorstep. Sometimes it still seems surreal.

My editor sent me her comments about the first novella in the Loves of King Solomon series, also last week. Thankfully, she liked my foray into first person and enjoyed the story of Naamah. (As yet untitled - but many ideas have been bandied about.)

My line editor - the one who goes over the manuscript with red "track changes" - emailed me today that she's read Rachel and had some kind and positive things to say about it. I will receive galleys to edit mid-June, which is perfect timing for me.

In the meantime, life is busy! We had two weekends where we traveled and unfortunately, for me, too much activity or stress and my fibromyalgia flares. I get rather discouraged when that happens. Anyone with chronic illness knows the feeling. I've been seeking help for this for over ten years and everyone has a different theory on what causes it and how to treat it. None of which work except to mask symptoms for a time.

But, discouraged or not, I bounce back and try again. (Call me stubborn.) I'm not a scientist and won't find a cure for all people, but I know my own body well enough to know what works for me. So I've been reading about fibro and food and holistic ways to help myself.

Lots of people suggest a change in diet, but the problem is none of them agree with each other. Some say Paleo is the only way to live. Others suggest eating raw vegan. And there are a million versions of everything in between. One thing is certain – the traditional American diet I grew up with, that I raised my kids on (in between bouts of trying the latest health kick) is not working. Is there even a connection between what I put in my mouth and the pain I feel?

I could understand food causing allergies or intolerances, but pain?

One of the books I'm reading now suggests this is so. The author recommends a vegetarian diet.

So, okay. I've been thinking about this for a long time, and it seems like I'm worse on the weekends when we eat out a lot. Processed food, refined sugars and flours - they are hard to pass up! (I love cherry pastries from Panera!) But not enough to hurt over them.

Friends of mine are into drinking green smoothies as a way to get the good veggies we need. One sent her recipe of coconut milk, spinach, berries, and a little stevia, so I tried it. Now it is my favorite meal of the day - minus the stevia - I don't like sweeteners. I've mixed it up and added broccoli, carrots, kale, banana, and super green powder to her original recipe. I started looking for vegetarian restaurants and ordered a cookbook on eating raw food. Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make  sounds like it will have some good recipes in it. And I found a website that has a whole list of smoothies to make from their super food powders. I made a cacao banana strawberry smoothie for a snack today. Yum!

I know, I probably sound like I'm obsessing about food, but what I'm hoping for is a solution to chronic pain and maybe even help the distress signs of aging. (People say eating raw helps their skin too.) Well, it's only been a week or less since I began this journey, but I can say that despite a thoroughly gray and rainy day, I felt really good today. I haven't felt this physically good in a long time!

So maybe I will have to become a vegan. Meat doesn't hold much appeal for me anymore. I made chicken last night and barely touched it. I would much rather eat veggies and fruit and nuts and seeds. I'm avoiding most grains and soy where I can too. Eventually, perhaps I'll find what works for me. And perhaps inspire some of you who also suffer to try changing your eating habits to what is on the outer edges of the grocery store and avoid the processed food in the middle.

Nothing much else to talk about as this seems to be taking a lot of my time these days. I'm having to learn a new way of cooking or not cooking - just eating differently. I'm beginning to think that God did give us food as a tool for healing and for living with a healthy body – or at least as healthy as our body allows for as long as God gives us here.

Next time I go out with friends for dinner, I hope they don't mind if I skip the bread and meat. Pass the sweet potatoes and quinoa and spinach, please!