|as you eat, the next meals are growing all around you.|
|1000 cranes. it's worth mentioning, all photos by della(7) and kalina (5)|
|a sour pea...yummy.|
Raw, vegan, local, fresh. All in the dead of winter on a frigid snowy day. Walk through the doors at Turtle Lake Refuge's in town location and that's what you get... all tucked away in a back alley in a residential neighborhood. Peel off your layers and sit in the sunny, plant filled dining/sprouting room and wait. There's no ordering. They just bring it on. A bright green drink, (almond) milky spicy chai, salad, zingy ginger carrot soup, raw and vegan pesto pizza that defies description and even dessert...raw brownies with a cherry chia icing. It changes daily. The kids love it...the fresh and the green. There is a guitar and singing. (For a fun video about TLR go here.)
Did I mention that this is all free?
Thank you, Katrina! It is Turtle Lake's 13th birthday and she celebrated by offering Durango a beautiful and free lunch. Normally, it's by donation and this is still a great gift for such rich, whole food. Do try it, if ever you come our way!
Are you wondering about me and the whole 30? Of course you are. Those last few days were dark, I tell you. I was feeling overwhelmed with desire. Overwhelmed? Desire for what? I think you might be surprised. When all was said and done, the thing that I missed the very, very most was the feeling of luxury that comes at the end of the week with the Friday night meal and it's accompanying glass of wine.
There was no proverbial letting down of hair or kicking off of shoes, because there were so many food details to be accounted for. It was easy enough to grill a nice steak and bake some sweet potato fries and toss together a hearty caesar salad, and at first we were all roses and sunshine in our discipline and devotion, but by day 20 I was weary in my devotion. I am not a big drinker. I got it all out of my system in college. I really like one glass of wine or one cold beer, and about halfway through the second one, I'm done. I quickly came to realize that in our fairly spartan life, we (Matt and I) have very few pavlovian cues signaling 'time to chill'. The glass of wine is just that. I don't particularly love the taste and I can't tell a five dollar bottle from a vintage one - it's just the act of opening and pouring and taking a deep breath and sitting by the fire and looking at my sweet husband and accomplice and being done with the week, if only for an hour or so. (Because we're never really done, you know.)
So I missed four lousy glasses of wine over a thirty day period. Without deep longing or despair I also missed potatoes and beans and thought it silly that they weren't allowed, but I now fully understand why they aren't. They are both foods that can be overdone. When one cooks beans, one cooks a huge pot and eats them all week in a myriad of combinations because they are hearty and filling and cheap. Same with potatoes. They can sidle up to most any meal in one form or another, and I never grow weary of them. They are both excellent filler that would have taken the place of lots of other greener more vegetal choices. TMI, I'm guessing, but I did miss them..french fries, in particular.
What else? If there had been a bar of dark chocolate tucked up in my top shelf hidey hole, I'da nibbled at it like a rat. Otherwise, the missing sugar posed no problems.
All in all, it was wonderful and absolutely shifted the way I see food. Before the the whole 30 I was bored with food. Cooking, cleaning, making sure the whole family is fortified, is never ending and I was worn low with the effort. The whole 30 peaked my senses and taste buds and calibrated my nutrition habits. I am forging ahead with it, after a nice little respite. I have amended it just a bit, to make it more sustainable long term. You knew I would. I knew I would.
Here it is. Sunday thru Thursday, I'm all business. No grains, no dairy, no potatoes, no beans, no sugar, no wine, no nothing. Only vegetables, fruits, and meat. On Friday and Saturday, I am a reasonable, normal person who may or may not have pizza or some fries and yes, a glass of wine and a twinkle of whatever lovely dessert is being offered. So there.
I have been blown away by the number of folks who have joined me on this! Always feel free to chime in with comments and complaints and lamentations. This has brought to the light many of my lurkers and I have loved hearing from you!
Be well, everyone!