This garden season has been full of change for me, but change is good, right? If you remember, I rebuilt part of my front garden to help garden with lower pain because of my osteoarthritis condition. Surprisingly I got far more than easier garden conditions – I also enjoyed spending time out there living the life. Many of us were brought up to believe that a garden is only about vegetables and raising your home value, but this year I discovered more than ever that it is about LIFESTYLE. Anti-inflammatory Lifestyle. Living healthier. Living with less pain. Feeling better. Gardens can do that.
I walk every day and think that is critical to my improved health and less pain with no medication experience. However, I believe even more valuable is the time spent outside simply sitting and breathing. Touching the plants. Connecting with fresh air and sunshine. A critically valuable part of lifestyle is eating properly. This year I have gone through a dramatic diet change and have focused on an elimination diet that is dairy-free, grain-free, and sugar-free.
One of my favorite things to do in the garden is to go out on my little patio with the red Fermob bistro set and take a break from my afternoon workload for a snack. Below you see something I snack on regularly which is entirely anti-inflammatory and very healthy – sliced cucumbers, pecans, and dried fruit with iced tea. There is no fancy recipe to making this, simply pick a cucumber off your vine (this season I grew a lovely powdery-mildew resistant variety called Crokdelis F1 from Clause Home Garden) and slice it up on a cutting board. I drink tea unsweetened. At first, it was really challenging because I craved the sweet taste, but now I’ve gotten used to drinking lots of water and an iced tea or two daily and think it has helped me feel significantly better. When I take my snacks outside, I often use non-breakable serving dishes so that I don’t break anything on the cement patio should I drop (I’m a dropper and a spiller). Below you see the snacks with the Jojo Chopping Board, Coco Oval Serving Tray, Diamond Pitcher, and Glasses from Crescent Garden for Home.
Perched on the Fermob bistro set is a tillandsia I discovered from Flora Grubb in San Francisco that last time I was in town. I leave it outside in the spring and summer, then bring it in for winter. I feel particularly attached to the tillandsia because I touch it often. In order to water the tillandsia, I gently place it in a bucket of rainwater and let him soak for a few hours. When I pull him out again it is like I am hugging the little guy; I dry him off, place him on his stand, and he makes me smile. Wellness is more than sweating at the gym – it is connecting with an individual plant, sitting outside in the fresh air, and eating things you have planted and grown yourself. Need a title for this sort of living? Let’s call it an Anti-inflammatory Lifestyle. Or call it happy. Because for me HAPPY is healthy.