Thursday, September 9, 2010

There And Back Again

Yes, I am aware that 'There And Back Again' is part of the title of J.R.R. Tolkien's book, The Hobbit.  It is also the title of a song by Daughtry - yes, that guy that got voted off of American Idol yet seems to have a better career than that year's winner.

Last night, I wrote about fasting.  Well, I decided that I would repeat my mini-fast today - hence, there and back again.  I think that I might have made a mistake with that choice.  Not a major mistake as I can simply choose to break my fast at any time, but the temptation to eat is a bit greater today.

Yesterday, the girls came home from the library with a bag full of freshly harvested vegetables and herbs.  Their group, Green Children, had planted a vegetable garden for one of their projects.  They harvested everything during yesterday's event.  We ended up with quite a lot of tomatoes, a couple of green bell peppers, some spicy peppers that I don't recall the name of, an eggplant, and a squash.  Additionally, we got some basil and some dill.  Victoria was still in the harvesting mood when they got home so she ran out back to our garden and harvested the two peppers that we managed to grow.

The long, green peppers on the left are from our home garden, the rest are from the Green Children garden.
Bottom tray with the basil and dill
Today, after my VidaCell and deep breathing, I got out the food dehydrator and set the basil, dill, and all of the peppers except the bell peppers to dry.  While I would have preferred to use the basil fresh in a recipe, I didn't have anything planned.  Rather than let it wilt and lose it entirely, I needed to dry it for storage.  The dill I will likely use to make pickles, but that won't happen in the immediate future.  As for the peppers, my plan for the ones I had planted was always to dry them and grind them for use in recipes.  I really wanted to plant them indoors to extend the growing season, but they ended up getting planted in the garden.
Second tray with the peppers

The basil and the dill dried out very quickly (as expected), so I simply removed the lower tray when it was done and left the peppers to continue drying.  To speed the process, I cut a slit into the peppers lengthwise.  I expect the peppers to go overnight before they are ready.
I plan to grind the dried pepper for use in guacamole, pepitas, and a lot of other recipes, so I was thrilled to get some of the Green Children harvest in addition to my own.  The plum tomatoes that came home will be made into salsa either today or tomorrow.  I need to get a couple more ingredients in order to make a good salsa, so it will have to wait until I can get to the store.

Anyway, as soon as I started to pick the basil leaves from the stem, the wonderful aroma began to fill the house.  It was only amplified when the dehydrator started doing its job.  If I can fight off the temptation to eat today after smelling that, I will be doing really well!  I think that this is when the spiritual aspect of fasting really comes into play.  Avoiding temptation through prayer is just one of the benefits.

Thanks to last night's post, I really looked further into the health benefits of fasting.  What I found influenced me to repeat my fast today.  I am really feeling great about the decision to fast, so I doubt that I will have a problem fighting temptation at this point.  As well, I am considering taking it a bit further.  One site that I read talked about a 'juice fast.'  Essentially, the juice fast relies solely on fresh juice from a variety of fruits and vegetables and the fast can span one day on up to 30 days.  The duration of the fast depends on the goals the faster has.  As I do not currently have a juicer, I am unable to follow this juice fast as described.  As well, I would continue to use my VidaCell daily, so it would not be a true juice fast.  At any rate, as I did with my self-designed egg fast, I plan to take some elements from the juice fast and work them into my nutrition regimen.

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