Friday, February 17, 2012

birthdays are fun, getting older? hmm...

About this time every year, I really start thinking about my age and about my mortality. Not so much in gruesome terms, more like a startling afterthought, as in oh! forgot that for a moment. As much as I think, talk, and write about health and diet issues, I often forget that we are all transients on earth.

Obviously from my morose verbiage, I'm guessing one can tell my birthday is coming up, February 20th to be precise. I love birthdays---I think. It could be more like how I love giving parties and celebrating holidays. It's mostly the idea I like. The actuality, not so much. I love looking forward to birthdays, for sure. I love giving myself permission for little indulgences that I might forgo other times of the year. Yesterday for instance, I spent half the day at a spa after having breakfast with my daughter, Kristen, and followed all that with pampering from my hairdresser, Michelle. This whole day thing was a first for me.

Yes, the little indulgences part of birthdays is not the rub. The getting older part? It can't be all bad. It has it's good points. Compared to the alternatives, older is better. As I mulled this post over in my mind, I thought of talking about my age, my specific age in years, as part of a whole picture, full disclosure sort of thing. A this is who I am kind of thing. Then I remembered something my sister, Beverly, shared with us recently. She said a spiritual leader and teacher who we both respect said one should never tell her (or his) age. Not to be secretive or deceptive, not to pretend to be younger or older, but because we limit ourselves and others enough as it is. We label and define even without meaning to do so much of the time. He said not to add yet another meaningless bit of data to that limiting mess. So I am not talking specific numbers.  I may stop that entirely. For much of my life I have felt the need to reveal more than was needed, probably more than was wanted. For now I'll refrain and rethink those habits.

I will say, for me this is a significant birthday in many ways, my age being only one of them. In recognition of this, my daughter is planning a small celebration with my family. We met yesterday to talk about what we might do and what we would serve. As she started with a list of favorite party foods that we've loved and served over the years, I realized I could no longer eat any of those dishes. Wow! Times have changed. I now control everything that comes into my kitchen and as a result, everything that comes out of it. I focus on good foods I can eat and enjoy and all but forget about the rest. I tend to forget that not everyone cooks or shops the way I do. Not even those very close to me. Of course, if this were a party for someone else, I'd just eat first and no one would notice. Since the birthday celebration is for me, it feels a little different. We have worked it out, I think. Works well for me, anyway.

I love grilling or broiling shrimp even for cocktails. These are from US Wellness Meats.
So far we're planning lemon chicken sate with Sunshine Sauce via Well Fed, lots of beautiful fresh veggies like asparagus, cucumber, sugar snap peas, red peppers, grape tomatoes with a dairy-less dip as yet to be determined. We'll also have rare, grilled steak strips or chunks, shrimp in some form, baba ghanoush, mixed olives, our marinated mushrooms, fresh fruit, and a couple of versions of almond flour crackers. Did I mention this is a very small party? Well, my family is not all that small, but if we didn't overdo the food, we wouldn't recognize ourselves.

On what I find an interesting note, Kristen often says she's afraid to cook for me, even before I knew I had major dietary issues. She is especially hesitant to cook in my kitchen. I don't think I'm that picky, but we never know those things about ourselves, do we?


  1. I have always LOVED my birthdays, just like Christmas I build up this anticipation and then the day after the reality sets in. As I get older and watch my parents/in laws age I am much more aware of my mortality...kinda scares me to be honest, which is why we need to indulge occasionally, and enjoy every nanosecond of every single day!
    Have a wonderful Birthday! xo

    1. I'm right there with you on the indulgences and enjoying every day. My food indulgences stay on the healthy side, but they're indulgences just the same. Thanks for your comments and the birthday wishes.

  2. Today is my actual birthday. Yesterday we had a small party, so today I'm remembering why I don't like to drink very much. Too bad I didn't remember this yesterday, though I was at home and being tired and a bit run-down now are the only repercussions, I believe. We served sunshine sauce and chimichurri from Well Fed, as well as sesame almond flour crackers from Elana Amsterdam's classic Almond Flour Cookbook.


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