Small town Minnesota, Snowstorms, A cat, and Diet restrictions

By | March 3, 2010

I left Dennis’ house on a Saturday morning and drove the few hours to small town Minnesota, to my older sister, Andrea’s house. As an unexpected surprise, my mom and all my sisters were there for the weekend. It was fun to get all the girls together one more time before I really left on my trip!!

All the girls in my family, from oldest to youngest, including my mom. (Aren’t we a happy looking bunch?)

Sisters, finally smiling!
I wasn’t sure exactly how long I was going to stay at Andrea’s, but the weather pretty much decided it for me. Sunday and Monday had winter storm warnings in effect, and the thought of driving through blowing and drifting snow across the plains of North Dakota kept me hunkered down just where I was. Being in absolutely no hurry, I simply waited out the blizzard, until driving conditions improved. (Below is the long driveway to the house, with the barns in the background.)
This is their adopted cat, a furry old thing, kept outdoors, no matter what the weather. It (he? she? I’m not sure) has found that by sitting on a skinny porch post, it can look in the window of the house and see what’s going on inside. Although this spot is not sheltered from the wind or the cold, and seems uncomfortably small, the cat would sit there for hours, only leaving its perch if someone should open the door of the house. Then, quick as a flash, it would dart to the door and try to sneak inside.
This picture is taken through the window, as the cat would never stay on the post when I went outside to photograph it.
Finally, one more winter scene from a walk I took in the bitter cold.
It turns out that it was a good thing I decided to stay longer, and not just because of the weather. I had been muscle-tested the week before to determine what foods might be negatively affecting me, as far as causing mood swings, sleeplessness, restlessness, etc. and had a long list of foods I was supposed to avoid. The idea was to continue the restricted diet for two weeks, and then gradually add foods back in, noticing how they make me feel. From that, I’m supposed to make the determination of whether or not I want to keep that food in my diet or completely eliminate it.
I started my diet at Andrea’s and she not only helped me figure out foods and meals I could eat, but she also helped me go grocery shopping to get a few things for on the road.

Some of the things I am restricted from include: pork, beef, corn (including high fructose corn syrup, cornmeal, cornstarch, etc.), white flour, sugar, white potatoes, most dairy, yeast, cabbage, chili powder, pistachios, and peanuts. This was initially a little depressing for me, because I like bread, peanut butter, red meat, french fries, brownies… I could go on all day, listing foods that were suddenly on the “no-no” list. I have never been on any sort of diet before, so it was all new to me. (I take that back, slightly. One time, I think in about 7th or 8th grade, I went four months without eating chocolate. Think Hershey’s candy bars, chocolate milk, chocolate pudding, chocolate chip cookies, hot chocolate…. Pure torture! Don’t ever try it.)

Some of the things I can eat are plain yogurt, chicken, turkey, red potatoes, all other nuts, fruits, and most veggies. From this list and by racking our brains, we were able to come up with appetizing-sounding alternatives, and things didn’t seem so bad. The other hard part, though, was trying to figure out how to carry this diet out while traveling. It’s one thing if you have your own kitchen, complete with stove, fridge, and dishes. It’s another if all you have is a cooler in the back of your car and two tupperware containers.

One thing I ended up doing was buying bulk ingredients to create trail mix. Almonds, cashews, pecans, coconut, dried apples, raisins, sunflower seeds, banana chips. All went into a huge bowl, got mixed around, and doled out into sandwich ziplock bags, to be munched on during any sugar low. The great thing about this kind of trail mix is that it’s not only delicious by itself, but it also makes a great topping on salads, in oatmeal, or mixed in plain yogurt! (I bet it would also be good on ice cream, but I can’t have any right now.)

By mid-morning on Tuesday, I had packed all my things in my car and was ready to go. Finally, on the road, going solo where I’d never gone solo before, next destination: Glendive, Montana.


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2 thoughts on “Small town Minnesota, Snowstorms, A cat, and Diet restrictions

  1. Anonymous

    Beautiful photos ev! Hopefully the trip is still going well and you didn't hit too many snow storms! (We are getting rain like crazy here!) ~Norah

  2. Kathleen H

    Hi! The pictures of you and the girls I love! Just wanted to let you know I am following your travels and love your writing! Please come couchsurf at my house!
    Kathleen (mom's cuz)

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