Ranger Kathryn's Arches

July 28, 2011

Whoa! A diabetic vegan birthday

My 55th birthday ended with a few dear friends googling “diabetic vegan dessert” and then creating a birthday menu to share together. After the spinach/zucchini/black bean enchiladas, green salad, and corn on the cob, out came the “goodness in a small sphere.”  Instead of birthday cake,  we had ground nuts, bits of dried fruit, and organic peanut butter rolled into balls and topped with unsweetened coconut for a touch of loveliness. Yummm!

Cheers! Thank you, Snow and Livja, for the dessert and beverage!

Had this event happened two months ago, it would have looked like a standard American birthday menu with one small substitution: brownies for the typical cake. Diagnoses like diabetes have a way of re-setting our normals. It takes a little getting used to, but with the help of thoughtful friends the transitions become easier.

I get asked regularly why I’m making the switch to a plant-based diet if it is not what the American Diabetes Association promotes. My answer is found in the book, The China Study, by T Colin Campbell. I’ll write a future post about this, but essentially a plant-based (aka ‘vegan’) diet has startling salubrious effects on many chronic diseases, from diabetes to heart disease to cancer.

My ultimate goal is not to co-exist with diabetes, but to reverse it with diet and exercise and other lifestyle choices. This, of course, requires a more extreme approach than the standard ADA one-size-fits-all regimen. Yes, I am taking an oral med which helps my pancreas with its insulin production; I’m also tackling this challenge with my typical gusto and passion, seeing it as an adventure in learning what my body can do if I give it my best effort.

May 19, 2011

I found everything but raptors

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 5:31 pm
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Found this stone tool buried in a wash. Wonder what the drilled hole is for?

For the second day in a row, I had gotten up and dressed at 0420 to attempt a Breeding Bird Census but been rained out. Sighing, I realized that any day in a national park — even with inclement weather or sleep deprivation — is a good day.

We have a saying in my house about each day being a new treasure hunt… and it is. Today’s treasures:

  1. Copious amounts of broken bottles, bowls, plates, and rusty cans and pans in a wash nobody’s been in for eons. These looked like cowboy artifacts from the mid-20th century.
  2. A stone tool 97% buried in the wash where I was walking. Its smooth surface and milky texture alerted me that it was something “other,” so I extracted it from the sand and found what resembled a mano (grinding hand stone) with a hole drilled in one end. I have to ask the archeologist what this is.
  3. If I can't have my Minnesota lilacs, aromatic Cliffrose will certainly suffice. Note happy expression.

    Cliffrose in full bloom. This is a handsome plant with such an intoxicatingly beautiful aroma that I walk by one and am stopped in my tracks and must bury my face in the blossoms and breathe.

  4. Finding how fast I can sprint when a lightning storm arises suddenly and I’m 0.6 mile from my truck. I did not let that big backpack slow me down.
  5. A cottonwood tree outside my window alive with new birds at sunset: Western Tanagers, Wilson’s Warbler, Bullock’s Oriole.
  6. Discovering that my Columbia rain jacket is designed perfectly and functions superiorly in rainstorms.
  7. The spinach-zucchini-black-bean enchiladas I improvised for supper for my sweet guests. Vegetarian cooking is a delight.

What did I NOT find? Raptors of any sort. There’s always tomorrow…

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