The last few months have given me a lot of time to think about my body. It has been a revelation as to how thinking about my body has changed over the last 50 years. I have written about being our own worst critic and being kind to ourselves and others and I try to encourage all my readers to think positively about yourselves. It continues to be a work in progress for me. Growing up and well into my adult life, I spent too much time worrying about how my body looked. It was always in comparison to others. Many hours were wasted thinking I wasn't wearing the right outfits, parts of my body jiggled too much or my cowlicks were sticking up from my hair making me look like Alfalfa. I would scrutinize women, in photos or socially, that I admired and tried to channel their style or attitude. I never stopped to figure out what my own style and attitude should be. It was all rather superficial.
Fast forward to my opening statement about thinking about my body. The dialog inside my head has changed from worrying about how I compare with other women to celebrating that I can run up a set of stairs or carry my groceries into the house or go for a long walk or get through a tough workout. While growing older has come with its own challenges, the reward has been learning to be comfortable in my own skin. Yes, I have aches and pains that have become a part of my life. Yes, I need to remember to adjust my workouts from what I used to be able to do at age 25 to what I can do at age 52. Yes, my body has changed in proportion and shape (gravity is not my friend). But I have come to know that everyone is going through the same aging process and no one is overthinking my journey except me. I alone have the power to make myself happy. If I am not enjoying life, then I need to take a moment to think about something to be grateful for or to look for something to make me smile (yes, cat videos sometimes help). Life is good and my body is allowing me to continue to live a good life. My thoughts are now about how to maintain the body I have, not about how to look like someone else’s body. Wisdom does seem to come with age!
One aspect about myself that I value is I enjoy trying new foods. Jackfruit is something I read about a couple of years ago and have eaten in vegetarian restaurants in Florida and California. Wegmans started carrying a product line that included prepared jackfruit but I have been searching for a plain version so I can do my own thing. A few weeks ago I found it at Trader Joes. The texture is very meaty and it shreds easily, which is why many people use it for barbecue sandwiches. Think pulled pork consistency. I will be trying that soon, but my first recipe I made was for a marinated and roasted dish that I used as a sandwich topper, sort of like bacon. Next up I am going to try it for gyros.
Jackfruit after I rinsed and drained it
recipe from vedgedout.com
1 can young green jackfruit in brine (unsweetened)
1/2 T. liquid smoke (more if preferred)
1 T. Bragg’s liquid aminos
1 T. extra virgin olive oil or melted unrefined coconut oil
2 T. pure maple syrup
1 t. ground black pepper (more if you really like pepper)
1 t. balsamic vinegar
1 t. unsulphered molasses