This time of year, people tend to go in one of two directions, eating-wise: Either they double down on their dedication to a healthy diet and forego every sugar cookie, candied pecan, and cheese plate they encounter—or they say some version of “screw it” and dive head first into the buttered mashed potatoes (or cookie platter).
Diet. I shiver just hearing the word. Don’t you? How many have you tried? Most importantly, how many have failed you?
Food is always a part of our life experience. In my home country of Sweden, we socialize a lot around food. In the world of fitness, proper nutrition is vital for making progress and increasing energy levels. As a child, food is a necessity for growth and development, and as we get older, we become more aware of our diet’s impact on our longevity. So why then do we get lost in the middle?
Photo by Wendy Worrall Redal
Is there anything that says “spring” more effusively than a tulip? As soon as colorful bunches start popping up in the grocery store in February, I quit thinking about wet snow, gray skies and winter’s lingering grip. However pretty a bright bouquet of cut blooms is, there’s nothing like surveying row upon rainbow-striped row of these spring floral icons in full, growing glory.
Most people look to a vacation as an opportunity to relax, a respite from the speed, demands and familiarity of our daily lives. Yet often, especially if we’re traveling to big cities or a broad destination such as Europe or Alaska, we end up driving too many miles, cramming our days too full, and ticking off a too-long checklist of “must sees.” We come home needing a vacation from our vacation, struggling with a disconcerting feeling that we only glossed the surface of what we hoped to discover during our time away.
I’m writing from Pergolaccio, a 300-year-old stone farmhouse near the Umbrian hill town of Todi. Here in the center of Italy, it’s unusually verdant after a cold, wet spring. Today, though, the sun is out: warming the breeze, drying the dew, backlighting the rose petals on the arbor, dissolving the blanket of mist that fills the valley below. To the south, ruined castles and occasional villas perch on ridges, beige limestone blocks with red tile roofs, simple windows cut deeply into thick plaster walls.