Friday night I went to my good friend Sadie’s house to hang out and do some canning. We had grand plans to make blackberry jam, apple-mint jelly, pesto, and I think there was something else (clearly we never got that far). Let me start by saying that my friend Sadie is absolutely amazing! She has an almost-2-year-old son who, as adorable and wonderful as he is, struggles with sleep. You moms (and dads) out there know that this means Sadie now has a less-than-optimal relationship with sleep as well. Knowing a little about the energy needed to get through those long nights, and the days that follow, makes all the things she does seem even more impressive to me (oh, did I mention she’s also writing her dissertation?). So, when I showed up at Sadie’s house on Friday night and we sat down to a beautiful and delicious, homecooked dinner (I really should have taken pictures!) made from organic ingredients, 99% of which she grew in her backyard garden, I was humbled.
We enjoyed a leisurely dinner, a little Petite Syrah (gotta get those polyphenols!), and some great conversation (including a lengthy discussion about midwives, doulas, obstetricians, cesarean sections, and womens’ intuition). Then, around 10:30pm or so, we figured we’d better get cookin’. Where had the time gone? Ah well, we headed out to the garden in the pitch-black darkness to collect the herbs for our jelly and pesto. It was absolutely gorgeous outside: the stars were dense and brilliant, the night was cool and crisp (you could feel autumn around the corner), and the air smelled of mint and basil. We spent the next several hours making blackberry jam and mint jelly, largely from ingredients foraged from Sadie’s garden and neighborhood. I cannot wait to break into a jar of this blackberry jam! We didn’t get around to the pesto, but I left with a big bag full of fresh basil and wound up making that on Saturday (Thanks, Sadie!).
Some of you may be wondering what the point of this post is, where it fits in to the general health forum we’ve got going here. Glad you asked. My Friday evening with Sadie showcased so many things that I feel are integral to good health. To name a few… Spending time with friends and family. Nurturing good, supportive relationships. Growing and cooking your own food. Eating mindfully. The importance of good sleep. Trying new things (for us that meant apple-mint jelly). I enjoyed every minute of it. And now, days later, I can still feel the benefits of spending that relaxing evening with a good friend.
It’s not just food that nourishes us. Not even close!
What non-food things in your life nourish you? Can you find a way to make room for those things in your busy schedule? Isn’t it worth it?
Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. Do What You Love. Get Moving. Be mindful.