Friday, May 15, 2015

Farmer's Markets For Real

Before I go into the details of my new diet, farmer's markets and my three-day getaway to Santa Ynez, let me toss in this April sunset.

And now, after that appetizer of tinted sky, here's the rest of my story. I've been on Dr. Mark Hyman's Ten Day Sugar Detox Diet (similar to the Paleo Diet) for the past nine months. After catching his special on PBS, I decided to try his protocol. It's tough and rigid: no sugar, no wheat, no starchy carbs, no dairy.

Being thin to begin with, keeping my weight up has been difficult. But the diet balances my blood sugar and makes me feel more energetic. This has inadvertently led me to shopping at our farmer's markets. In the past, visiting a farmer's market was something I did for the joy of capturing colorful photographs: grapefruit and radishes piled in picturesque stacks; jars of honey with sunlight illuminating their burnished nectar; orchids too and multi-colored bouquets of ranunculus, carnations and roses sparkling in plastic bins.

My new habit of shopping at farmer's markets began unexpectedly on a three-day getaway to Santa Ynez. There, one afternoon, after exploring the winding roads of Figueroa Mountain and enjoying the pastoral landscape of Santa Ynez Valley with its oak dappled rolling hills, I drove to the heart of the city, and proceeded down highway 246. There I ground to a halt and wound up going nowhere in a traffic jam. It turned out that the congestion was due to the Solvang farmer's market. Rather than sit in my car with a trusty Chihuahua staring at me with large amber eyes, and watching the stoplight change from red to green and back to red again, I decided to park, stroll through the quaint streets of Solvang and peruse their farmer's market.

At the market I was smitten by a box of ripe tomatoes shimmering in the afternoon sun. Without a nick or flaw, and in a rich shade of vermilion, they may have been the most beautiful tomatoes I've ever seen. I purchased three of them, and when I returned to Santa Barbara two days later, I was already regretting that I'd bought so few. I inhaled those tomatoes; soft and succulent, they were the nightshade version of ambrosia.

Once home, I began to dream of them and wonder how I might find more. This urge took me to our Santa Barbara farmer's market, and set me off on a new quest. There, I found fine tomatoes, but no match for the godly globes from Santa Ynez. In the meantime, I also found exquisite veggies straight from the fields still damp with morning dew, and I began to realize that it makes sense -- now that I eat so many vegetables -- to choose from the freshest and the sweetest.

Then there are the live musicians playing everything from bluegrass, to classical, adding rhythm, melody and beat to the experience. There are toddlers too, nibbling on juicy apricots, and a whole scene unfolding before me with its myriad photo ops -- which in between bagging my veggies and filling my rolling cart -- beckons the black little camera slung over my shoulder to join the festival and click.

Stay healthy and happy my delightful friends -- savor your days.

I will return in two months on July 15th.

Until then, my warm regards,     ~    Anitra


  1. There's just so very much to look at here. You have a way of combining colors, objects, backgrounds with human interactions that is truly absorbing. The clip the woman playing a hammered dulcimer creates a cadence for your tableaux and ends with the man complimenting her and comparing the instrument's operation to a Glockenspiel. These clips are delightful, as are the still photos of color and relaxed activity. Thank you for this pleasant journey to and through the farmers' market!

    1. Geo welcome!

      Delightful to see you here. And leave it to you to know that that glorious instrument is a hammered dulcimer. Yes, coming across the woman and her celebratory music was a special gift. And that you are in tune enough to decipher the man's mention of the Glockenspiel, shone light on a detail I hadn't noticed myself.

      Your presence is always a treat.

      Thank you Geo for your kind words.

      My good wishes to you and Norma, ~ Aneet

  2. Hello Aneet!

    I hope you will forgive me for being at a lack for words, but it is only because I am absolutely awestruck by the beautiful pictures in this post. Santa Barbara county seems to be an unending parade of beautiful colors.

    I hope all is going well with you and the projects you are currently working on.

    Best wishes and fondest regards as always,


    1. Joseph, hello, hello!

      Yes, things are moving right along and going well. I surely hope that you are finding joy and value in your days. Thank you so much for your kind words. I know what you mean in speaking of the unending parade (of colors.) Sometimes when I put together a post, I almost can't believe what I am seeing.

      After making this post, I attended another farmer's market, and I wound up taking photos and videos that compel me to make yet another farmer's market post. Whether it pans out or not remains to be seen, as there is always so much to draw from. There is an unending quality to beauty and even astonishment when actually looking around and taking it all in.

      Thank you so much, Joseph, for sharing your words with us. Sending you my warm regards,

      ~ Aneet

  3. Jonathan ChesterMay 19, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    Hi Anitra,

    So interesting to hear about your new diet. For quite some time I have known about the new thinking concerning sugar, how it is such a culprit in underlying cause for many diseases. For me, I have recently gone back to juicing on a daily basis. Organic and non-GMO oranges, apples, lemons and carrots (not together) make up my produce list for most of the juicing. I guess there's no room on this diet for Trader Joe's dark chocolate? What's the biggest difference you see in 9 months staying away from sugar? I know Dr Mark Hyman say's all forms of sugar in his book is bad but I just couldn't understand why the sugar that naturally occurs in fruit would be bad for you. It is a fact though that proper nutrition can get and keep people healthy!

    I remember the last time you visited Solvang, you came home with a custard strip. The photos are really great! It's like you're right there listening to the musicians.......only thing missing is my drums and Lawrence Welk conducting all of us.

    Beautiful picture of of health to you on the diet!

    Jonathan :))

    1. Jonathan, hello, hello,

      So nice to hear from you. In the past you've mentioned health and diet. I have the impression that you are a health conscious person, or at least someone who explores diet and health.

      I have been following diet and health together since Adele Davis' book "Let's Get Well" in the Sixties. Sugar has long been a culprit in the world of natural healing.

      I can't explain the science behind it, but anything that raises the blood sugar beyond a certain degree and destabilizes the body's relationship with insulin, has the potential to create damage. This includes fruit and starchy carbs (according to this diet.)

      Diets come and go. What was THE dietary rage yesterday, over time often proves ineffective. But I was fascinated with this new diet, and wanted to give it a try. What I've found is that it's given me more energy and more stable blood sugar.

      Yes, the custard strip. Oh my. The fact is, I wasn't going to stop in Solvang this time. I mean what a place to go when one isn't eating sugar! Every person on the street is eating ice cream and fudge, and every other shop is a bakery. If not for the traffic jam, I would not have stopped, and when I did -- walking through those sugar laden streets and dreaming of danish pastry, custard and chocolate, in my austerity, I was truly on the verge of tears.

      Delighted you like the photo Jonathan. It's true, it would have been dandy to have you in one of my clips playing the drums.

      Always a delight to hear from you. Best of health to you as well.

      My fond regards, ~ Aneet

  4. Jonathan ChesterMay 20, 2015 at 8:53 PM

    Hey Hey Aneeeeet,

    Just wanted you to know that your impression of me is correct. I have always been health conscious for as long as I can remember! I work out daily, play sports and juice organic produce. Yes, I have my challenges trying to keep my diet clean but sometimes those sugary desserts win out! I felt bad that you were on the verge of tears with all those bad influences around you in the form of bakeries but it seems like you won the battle!

    Every photo you take is incredible but then again, how can the world's most beautiful woman ever take a bad one? In this particular picture of you, I couldn't help but to notice your eyes, very much like your beautiful Mom. I've always felt that you have her eyes.


    Jonathan :))

    1. Very interesting to know that you are so health conscious. It's a broad field, and I think holds many useful tools. I wanted to mention that on my diet, some fruit is acceptable. But the low glycemic type, like berries, and only 1/3 cup at a time.

      As to those welling tears, I truly wasn't tempted by the sweets. The diet has been very effective in getting over them, but in being there in the midst of all that yumminess, it was like the end of Casablanca: watching the one you love walk away, and there is nothing you can do. Actually, it was a rather remarkable experience. One of a kind :) Perhaps I should write about it in more depth.

      What beautiful words you have given me. Thank you, and now that you point it out, I too can see a bit of Mom's eyes in this photo. Very observant.

      Health, wealth and happiness to you Jonathan.

      Sincerely, Anitra

      PS: It's going to be a late night tonight (the end of Letterman.)

  5. Hello Anitra,
    Enjoyed your post as always.
    A special thanks for the last entry of the timeless beauty!
    She looks so familiar!
    Oh well, I know her from somewhere...

    Keep smiling,

    1. Terry,

      Hello. Always lovely to see you here. Hope your life is rolling along at a perfect pace, and that you immersed in creative endeavors. I appreciate your kind words and your delightful take on things.

      My good wishes, ~ Aneet

  6. Oh my goodness, I do think I shall enjoy re-reading this entry! Madame and I have been on the road and I've been away from the electronic world for awhile-- hence my delay in noticing your update. We catch our breath briefly and set out again for a few more days of travel. Then it's back for some lazy time! The theme of the day being food and diet, I must say my appetite has been whetted and I shall savor this meal when the running is done. Ah, Anitra, Farmer's Markets! I remember one in Monterey with all the fresh treasures of the Salinas Valley...

    1. Hello Louis,

      Lovely to see you and to hear of what you and Madame are up to. It sounds delightful. Being on the road, exploring and playing it all by ear is one of my favorite things to do. Being away from the electronic world too is a fascinating realm to rediscover. Some of us can remember a world before Al Gore's illustrious and all consuming pastime was invented.

      I too am spending much needed time off line.

      My guess is that you are taking wonderful photos along with imbibing in culinary delights.

      So nice to hear from you Louis; it's always a pleasure to read your words. Sending you my fond regards,

      ~ Anitra

  7. Once again I so enjoyed your pictures & post Ms Ford. As I told u on your last month, I spent my birthday sailing up the Columbia River with a friend for her annual company party. It was a gorgeous day in the NW that day. Currently Oregon is having the most beautiful weather. Too hot for some but I have been enjoying it with daily walks. Looking forward to your next post as always. Cheers to a summer of fun, happiness & many more farmers markets!!
    Warmest Regards,

    1. Ah Riche!

      Hey, hello! So nice to have you pay a visit. Glad to know that your days are unfolding nicely. I enjoy remembering your lovely birthday experience. Today, in my neck of the woods it is (of all things!) RAINING! Such a rare experience here, and completely unexpected.

      Sometimes it can be fun to have an excuse to stay inside. Thank you for you delightful words Riche, Again, it's lovely to see you.

      Wishing you a sweet summer; I know you will find the beauty in yours.

      Sincerely, ~ Anitra

  8. Hi Anitra
    How are you? love this post as it hit home. I have Juvenile Diabetes, and Sugar is my mortal enemy! I've been battling this disease all of my life, I have finally given up on Cheese which i just love. But since cutting all dairy I feel much better. I spent 4 months living with my Son in Andorra while he trained with his Ski team. Those mountains are spectacular! The farmers Market here in South Florida only opens on Sunday is that the case in Santa Barbara? love your beautiful Photos, as always they are inspiring.I'm so glad to be back on this most wonderful Blog. I trust that you are well,and have abundance of good health Roger

    1. Roger, hello, hello!

      It's super to see you here. Things are good with me; I hope they are good with you as well. From the sound of your comment, it appears that they are.

      I am surprised to hear of your Juvenile Diabetes. You have traveled far and had much success in sprite of the obstacle. You know first hand how important diet can be, and how strongly it affects our well being.

      I m delighted to hear that your son is skiing in Andorra. You must very proud. It's great that you were able to spend a long stretch of time with him.

      To answer your question: Santa Barbara has several farmer's markets throughout the week, so we have various locations and options. I'm so happy you like this post and found inspiration here Roger. I too am happy for your presence.

      Wishing you happy and fulfilling days, ~ Anitra

  9. I love the first outfit!

    1. Tanya,

      So good to hear from you. Delighted you like the first outfit. It was a treat to see in the midst of a more casual environment. The back of the outfit was equally fetching: cut-out at the midriff as well.

      Thank you for your comment, ~ Anitra