It’s 1PM, and I’ve eaten a salad and stew today. Vegetables (and fruits) included, in rainbow order: red onion, strawberries, beets, cranberries, carrots, sweet potato, onion, avocado, arugula, spinach, cucumber, celery, white radish. Probably not entirely in the obvious order — the strawberries were in the salad and the cranberries were in the stew, plus the salad was for breakfast and the stew for lunch — but I am so tempted to run to the store and buy some blueberries just so my rainbow could include blue. I suppose it doesn’t really include purple, either, but red onion could count as purple.

Yesterday I wanted stew, so I went out and bought stew meat but I didn’t read any recipes first. I got home and started reading but I didn’t have all the ingredients for any stew that sounded interesting, so after looking for a while, I got annoyed and decided, eh, stew. Isn’t the basic premise of stew — you know, in a historical romance novel sort of way — to soften tough meat while making limited food stretch to feed many? It can’t really be all about the rules.

So I made stew. I browned some beef in a little bit of bacon fat, and while it cooked, I chopped vegetables. Carrots, celery, onion — but then, hey, I had some beets to use up. And I need to eat more sweet potato, I know the nutrients are good for me, but I’m tired of the taste, so stew’s a good way to hide it. Two cups of chicken broth, a half cup or so of balsamic vinegar, a couple teaspoons of Italian herbs, a couple pressed cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, some salt, dump everything into the crock-pot and walk away. Until about a hour before it ought to be done, when I added a bunch of spinach, purchased at the farmer’s market on Wednesday, and a handful of frozen cranberries. Why cranberries? Because the most interesting recipe I found — which I couldn’t follow, because I didn’t have the other ingredients — was for a stew with cranberries in it.

beef stew with cranberries

It was delightfully weird. I’m not sure what made it quite so pink, whether it was the beets or the cranberries or maybe it was both, but it had a sweet tanginess that went so well with the taste of meat. The dogs got a tiny taste of it last night and today, when I was eating lunch, Zelda kept putting her paws on my knees as if to remind me that she should not be forgotten. I let her lick out my bowl while I gave B a little bit of the broth in his own bowl and both dogs licked their bowls until every last speck was gone, plus three more licks on each spot, just to make absolutely sure.

Even the contrast of textures worked. The sweet potatoes got mushy, of course, like they do, but the beets stayed solid and the carrots were somewhere in between. Combined, it was a little of everything.

I think I’ve made myself hungry again. I’m really not, though — I just want to go eat again because it’s such a fun meal. So instead…well, I ought to go write.

The last few days haven’t gone well on the writing front. The combination of yoga every day, walking every day, writing every day, sticking to AIP every day… on Thursday, I hit my limit. I was tired, deep-down, had-enough, fed-up-with-everything sort of tired. I went off the diet, ate things that I wasn’t supposed to, didn’t do yoga, didn’t write, and then yesterday, surprise, was really quite sure that I was coming down with something. Today I’m feeling okay, though, so I am trying to get back on the plan.

It may be that the morning pages were the instigation. They’re supposed to unleash your creativity, inspire you to let the words flow, but I’ve used them this week as self-analysis, my own internal psycho-therapy and … ha, my old therapist would be pleased that I just caught myself intellectualizing. I wanted to say that it’s interesting, but that’s not how I feel about it. I feel… I think hurt is the right word. I keep letting the words go and I’m so damn mean to myself. Seriously, I would never talk to another human being the way I talk to myself when I am just spewing forth. I think I’m getting worthwhile discoveries from it, but I seriously need to cover my walls with positive affirmations to counter the unkind self-talk that simmers just under the surface. Or — and this is probably really what I need to do — work on where all that negativity is coming from and see how I can heal it. That, however, sounds like a huge life project, so perhaps I’m just going to go back to doing yoga and writing every day. Including the writing sprints, which truly fell by the wayside in the past week. I should be somewhere in Week 3 of my Write Plan, but I haven’t even reminded myself of what week 3 includes. Oops.

Wow, this blog post really wandered away from my rainbow topic. Oh, well, it’s words, it’s writing, and now that my fingers are warmed up, I think I’ll go stare at one of my files for a while. This morning, half asleep, Meredith started talking to me, so maybe the short story is going to come first. I think it really is starting to get somewhere. I hope so, anyway!