Lessons from a 150-Square-Foot Cabin

Hello again. I’ve missed you.

I’ll catch you up on my goings on at some point but for now I really just want to tell you about my weekend. On Friday, Mark and I packed up some clothes and food and took the ferry to Orcas Island. About a month earlier I’d gotten the message from my soul that I needed to get out of town, so I looked through my Chinook Book and found a coupon for Doe Bay Resort & Retreat on the west part of Orcas Island. Although we were both a little leery of being without TV and internet for a couple days, we agreed that it would probably be good for us. It was.While we were there, we cooked our own food, took walks and drives, hunted through the shops in Eastsound, played board games (on our iPads, but whatever–that’s a matter of portability), read books and enjoyed each other’s company unlike we’ve really ever been able to: completely free of distractions (and our darling dog).

The abode was simple to say the least. One parks in the parking lot, walks 500 feet, up some stairs, and onto a darling little wrap-around porch. Opening the door one then steps into the room where there is a bed, many windows, a small table with two chairs, a space heater, a small countertop with a dorm-sized fridge underneath, a two burner gas stove and a tiny sink. Adjacent to the kitchen is a closet which contains the toilet and shower. Had we brought more stuff, or had the room been set up inefficiently (the space, I must say, was used most impeccably) it would have felt crowded I’m sure. However, as it was, with the windows open to a field, garden, trees and a framed view of the ocean, we felt as though nothing would have been more than enough.

I love coming home to our 700-square-foot apartment and being blown away by its roominess. What I don’t love, as much, if feeling suffocated by all my stuff. The day after we got home I set to work formulating a path to minimalism and simplicity: reading blogs, getting rid of stuff I haven’t used in awhile, recycling, donating, eliminating piles and clutter. I’m like on the war-path against crap.

More updates to come.

The view from our cabin.

Let’s talk some more about crap.

You know how much I think about food and how, what goes into my body, ultimately effects who I am as a soul-bearing person and also the environment in which I live. It occurs to me that there are a number of similarities between my body and my apartment, in this respect. If I’m feeling lame, then I eat lame food, and my apartment gets messy. If I’m feeling awesome, I good whole food-based meals, and I pick up after myself. What about when I’m in a funk? The words “fake it ’til you make it” have gained a lot of meaning for me in the last few years. Think about how much better you feel when you decide to smile when you feel like frowning, or laugh when you feel like groaning. It’s the same with food and taking care of your home but everything works in concert together. I think that, for me, when I’m feeling sad I need to feel sad for awhile and then when I’m tired of feeling sad then I need to sack up and will-power myself out of it. I am NOT an expert at doing this, yet, but I believe that it is true, and possible, and, for me, that’s a great place to start.

And while we’re on the subject of great places to start: I went to a naturopath doctor today for the first time in my life. I was due for a physical and looking to explore my options as far as healing my skin, mood, respiratory system, and digestion. Other doctors–NICE doctors!–never gave me satisfying options for changing my life to be one of more health. It was always, take this, use this cream, maybe you’re just going to always be stuffy. And, maybe I am just always going to be stuffy. But I won’t be satisfied with resignation until I’ve really tried everything.

So, as a response, my new doctor with whom I am IN LOVE suggested an elimination diet of the most common irritating foods. It seems, from what she’s said and what I’ve read, that these are the foods/food groups that people tend to be negatively affected by whether it’s because they are allergic, intolerant, or just sensitive.

Here’s what I need to eliminate–100%!!!–for 3 weeks:

  • Dairy (not too hard, since I’ve been trying to do that anyway)
  • Corn (yikes)
  • Soy (I haven’t been drinking soy milk or eating tempeh/tofu but holy COW is soy snuck into nearly everything!)
  • Refined sugars (lame, but, whatever)
  • What and Gluten-containing grains (big time sad-face)
  • Eggs (again, I love eggs, but don’t really eat them anymore)
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits)
  • Alcohol (oy vey)
  • Chocolate (BOOOOO)
  • Food additives (no problemo)

I bargained with the doctor about caffeine: she said “we could come back to it.” Which I am interpreting as “yay coffee!!!” and refuse to allow it out of my life. I should say, though, that I would willingly give up literally any other food and have never felt worse as a result of coffee AND, finally, I really don’t have that much: 1, maybe 2 cups a day. (A cup is 20 ounces, right?) I kid. Sort of.

Anyway, after giving me a sweet website to reference and some helpful handouts she sent me on my way and said “see you in a couple weeks!” A suggestion was to keep a journal of what I eat and how I feel. Particularly, what symptoms go away/improve. So, since none of the symptoms I’m trying to address (itchy skin, congestion, mood) are gross or inappropriate to talk about in public, I will do DOUBLE-DUTY and keep track of my progress while providing you with a window into my experience, as well as some (hopefully) tasty anti-inflammatory recipes. Hooray! Let the challenge begin.


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3 Responses to Lessons from a 150-Square-Foot Cabin

  1. Clare says:

    I did the elimination diet years ago and at the end of those two weeks I felt better than I ever remembered feeling. I need to get back to the no gluten especially. I could go on and on about this! but will just say I look forward to hearing about your experience.

  2. Pingback: More Food Than I Know What To Do With (Days 3-8) | eat food.

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