Random Musings and Shameless Plugs….

trick or treat

So, we’ve survived another diabetes-inducing Halloween. I had 17 little spooks show up at my door, and once I determined that it was too late to get any more trick-or-treaters, I immediately dumped the rest of the candy in a ziplock and “donated” it to my neighbor. She seemed happy to take it off my hands.

Willpower….can include knowing you’re fighting a losing battle. If it aint in the house, I can’t eat it.

Speaking of willpower (and shameless plugs), over the past six months I have made a commitment to stop participating in the aging process. I have reverted to childhood again—my grandkids love this—my kids hate it—Bonus!

When I was a kid growing up on the farm, we were “green” before the term was in existence. It was not by design as much as it was just the way we, and many other farm families, lived. We raised or harvested 90% of all the food we consumed. We froze/canned/pickled/cured/smoked/and otherwise preserved all of our food for the long winters, while eating out of our livestock and gardens in the summers. It was a way of life. None of us had any food borne allergies or issues that I can remember, none of us were over-weight, and surely none of us were lackluster…that wouldn’t do on a farm—too much work to do.

I began to think about this with more profound interest about six months ago when I didn’t like what I saw in the bathroom mirror. What I saw then was a man with an ever expanding waistline, looking old and tired. I decided to stop this disturbing trend. Hey, I’m still in my 50s. 50 is the new 30, right? Well, no, it isn’t, but I remember my grandfather, my father, and my uncles all still being young and robust in their 50s. So, I decided it was time to ..ahem..take the bull by the horns. There is no magic potion, there is no quick fix, there is only one thing that will work and be sustainable. A change of lifestyle.

Here’s what I have done:

First, I made the commitment to buy as much of my foodstuff from local farmers. Native grown-grown naturally-with no nastiness injected-meats. Beef, pork, chicken, dairy products, including butter, fish, and seafood are all readily available and affordable from your local farmers and fisherman. Yes, yes, I know, it isn’t as convenient as stopping by the nearest “supermarket” on your way home from work—a fact that I’ve concluded is just too damn convenient. But, it is only marginally less convenient to take a ride to Hermon and visit the very nice people at Siberia Farms, or just another mile or two down the road to Newburg, to visit CottonTails, where another family of nice folks will welcome you while you talk farming and buy a fantastic selection of pork products. There is something bucolic about the  ride out to the country, rubbing elbows with these salt of the Earth folk, and absorbing the peaceful easy feeling of being on a farm, and the richness of the flavor of these products, coupled with the pure and natural goodness just cannot be beat. Here’s another fact-one can always trust a farmer, it’s just not in their DNA to be anything other than open and honest. Also, you’ll notice a healthy glow about them…they live right, and they eat right..it makes a huge difference.

Secondly, I now buy locally grown veggies and herbs as much as possible. Pretty much for the same reason. Now, there are times when I will buy organic, because it’s either that or buy the mass produced stuff that I’ve come to distrust, but, it doesn’t have to be organic—what I look for is freshness and HOW it is grown or raised. No chemicals. Period. This has made a huge difference in how I feel. Took awhile to flush all the crap out of my system, but I tell you, this works.

Thirdly, I made a decision to further free them nasty ol’ radicals, and I have deleted some things out of my diet altogether. These include, pastas, breads, flour or processed flour products, sugar, vegetable oils, nut oils, starchy foods, snack foods, sugar based drinks (including juices), sweets, and the like. I have modified my salt intake and then using only sea salt. I won’t say I’ll never eat another potato or hot buttered biscuit, but it will be a rare occurrence, and then only on special occasions. I gave up cigarettes and cigars a few years ago, and I don’t do drugs, except what the Doc has prescribed for mild hypertension, which I believe will not be needed much longer. I also am moderate in my alcohol consumption. Most folks would think this radical change in foodstuff is too hard to do, and cannot be sustained. I can tell you that once I was weaned from these unhealthy food products, I haven’t missed them. I don’t “hunger” for them. I’m also not advocating that everyone follow my footsteps precisely, I do this because it works for me, my metabolism, my degree of physical activity..etc.

I have lost a significant amount of weight in this period and have a goal of weighing in at 180-185 lbs by April of 2016. Slow and steady wins the race. Then, the caloric intake changes slightly, to maintain that weight, rather than losing more. It isn’t all about weight loss, it affects my energy level, the amount of sleep I need to feel refreshed, how I feel about myself, and yes, how I look.

Of course, with this comes increased activity. I have spent a lot of time walking and hiking over the summer, which again affects my mental health as well as my physical health. It feels good to feel good. It’s worth a few sacrifices. I intend to be as physically active as I can even through the c-c-c-old winter months, which I have come to dislike more each winter that passes.

No, I’m not going all crunchy …but I realize that returning to my (pardon the pun) roots, and eating the foods I ate when I was growing up has multiple health benefits and helps me be a very young grandfather and drive my kids nuts. In the end, it’s all about what you put into your body, and what you do to burn it off….

Moving right along..winter is almost upon us. For you folks that live to ride your motorcycles, it means storing your steed for the winter and pining for next Spring. My buddy J.D. Blaine is the owner/operator of PanikSwitch Cycles, over on Main Street in Brewer. This is a good time to consider what your baby needs to be the top dog come spring. The crew at PanikSwitch are talented, trustworthy and honest. J.D is like the local farmer—easy to deal with and knowledgeable about his craft. Check it out. Tell them that Mitch sent ya.

Even though there are many positives about being single at my age, and living alone (except for the cat), and even though I am probably at a place in life where most everything is positive, and I am a happy guy, from time to time I feel like it would be nice to have someone of the fairer sex in my life to, on occasion, enjoy couple time together-go hiking with, to prepare and cook a fancy meal together, have some laughs, enjoy rides in the country-those things that I miss about being in a relationship. So, I joined a couple of dating sites. Ugh. It’s awful. It’s like a job interview or an audition. These profiles come with a list of “you better don’t!” punctuated by another list of “you damn well better” expectations. It seems to me the on line dating machines are much like the crap the supermarkets sell as healthy foodstuff. There is no spontaneity or serendipitous moments on these sites. It’s almost pre-ordained relationships…IF you make the cut. I’ve decided it’s not for me. I’ll take my chances at the old fashion way of pitch and woo.

I wont make any predictions and jinx them, but you gotta love the Pats, eh? A well-oiled machine that seems to be heads and tails above the rest of the league. Poor God-ell… errr… Goodell, he seems to continue his decent into abject stupidity more each week.

One final shameless plug (on this particular post). Everyone wants to have their own “my mechanic”. A person who is straightforward, knowledgeable, trustworthy, and reasonably priced. When I moved to Bangor five years ago, this is one of the first things I researched. I found Kontio’s Auto, out in Hermon. Jeff is all of these things, and has become a personal friend. If you’re lookin’, check him out, you wont be disappointed.

As I mentioned, winter is inevitable, and on it’s way. One of my favorite things to do when it is just too cold out to play–is read a book. Check out “Memories of Shucking Peas”, available on Amazon or Bam, etc. You’ll love it…oops, another shameless plug.

Got your deer yet?

Mitch Littlefield

About Mitch Littlefield

I was born into a large family in the mid 1950s, in Belfast, Maine. My family owned and operated three working farms during my childhood, and the entire family worked these farms. It is these formative years, this family, those farms, and that way of life that is the background for these stories.