Search Results for: accepting haikus

Accepting Haikus & My Plate Photos

As described in Dietary Haiku and Haiku for You, I am always glad to receive an inspired MY PLATE HAIKU regarding food, eating, cooking, agriculture or nourishment. Moving beyond the formal haiku structure is totally fine and any inspired phrase or poetic expression is welcome. I include these in the closing when they are relevant to one of my posts with the writer’s first name. At times I may transform a MY PLATE HAIKU into an Instagram message.

Also, I am eager to receive MY PLATE PLATES. These are a re-visioning of the USDA MyPlate schematic model of the dietary guidelines. These can be pictures of just a beautiful plate, a plate of a beautiful meal or dish that you feel provides loving nourishment to you or to those you care for, or a more metaphorical expression of communal or personal nutrition.

Please make submissions in the comment section or email to

With appreciation, Elyn

My Plate Haikus

Enjoy reading/Lifeseeds Nutrition/Very much.  Amy

Eat food/Mainly plants/Not too much.  Michael (Pollan)

Are we what we eat/Or do we eat what we are/Are they the same thing?  Julie

The farmers’ market/Each egg at the dairy stand/A different color.  Enki

Spread peanut butter/On whole grain sweet dark bread/Raspberry jam-yum.  Barb

Food made joyfully/As a gift of time and self/Feeds body and soul.  Anne-Marie

Deep scarlet red beets/Reveal your sweetness to me/Slip out of your skins.  Elyn

Blueberry bushes/Three children with empty pails/Pluck, pluck, crunch, exhale. Michael

Craving for pickles/And German chocolate cake/My friend is pregnant. Gretchen

Smooth peanut butter/Spread on a peeled banana/Snack time perfection.  Gretchen

Hunger tiptoes in/From bellies, hearts or minds/Feed me now she calls.  Eva

In the dark places/I ask courage to believe/I am beautiful.  Anne-Marie

What’s with my tummy/Expanding and contracting/Like the moon above.  David

Grasses, grain, fruit, wine/Garden flowers produce joy/Kitchen flours bread.  Gordon

Food is medicine/Farmers are doctors, Cooks priests/Eat, pray, eat, pray, love.  Gordon

It is easier/To reprimand the sinner/Than change the system.  Julie

Adirondack lake/Soothes us from the heat–weightless/We float like feathers.  Elyn

Thanks to our farmer/Blueberries kissed by the sun/So much to enjoy!  Crystal

Lagoon watercress/Peppers my tongue/With spring joy.  Roxanne

I often wonder/What did they eat for breakfast?/Those who go and kill.  Elyn

Hearts are not/Just reserved for romance/Every living thing is in love.  Kat

Call any vegetable Pick up your phone/Think of a vegetable Lonely at home /Call any vegetable And the chances are good/ That a vegetable will respond to you.  Frank (Zappa)


I lick your nose, I lick your nose again/I drag my claws down your eyelids/Oh, you’re up? Feed me.  A Cat 
Did you really think/ That you could hide fish in rice?/Oh, the green paste burns! A Cat (from I Could Pee on This and other poems by cats collected by Francesco Marciulian


Peach baskets brimming/Raspberries ripe on the bush/Apples soon to come.  Anna

Pick your own today/Happy kids in wide-brimmed hats/Sweet summertime fruit.  Nan


This entry was posted on August 22, 2011, in . 4 Comments


I scurried around the kitchen. There was dinner to be made. I peeled, chopped, sauteed and simmered. I sweated as the hot summer air mingled with the heat from the stove. I held an icy glass of water against my cheek. I ran the compost out back. I let the cat out. I let the cat in.


Lifeseedlings Posting

My daughter sat calm and cool at the table. She asked me a few questions. She danced her fingers around a little. She called me over to look at some things. Way sooner than the time it took for the meal to be ready and without barely moving a muscle, she created a new portal into the universe for me–by opening an Instagram account for The Nutritionist’s Dilemma. She turned the first MyPlate Haikus into little lovely portraits. She chose nice hashtags and linked this to that. She set the table. She let the cat out.

I am excited about my new Instagram account. There, I hope to highlight the little morsels of collective poetic wisdom that illuminate the experiences of self-nourishment that many have contributed to my blog along with other pearls that I have gathered along the way. The concept is to cobble together a creative and meaningful expression of how feeding ourselves may look and feel. It is a conceptual revisioning of the dietary constructs of the USDA MyPlate model of nutrition. (These messages can also be seen at the bottom of the blog’s sidebar.)

New My Plate Haikus or any other poetic expressions and My Plate Plates are always welcome and will be necessary for me to hold my space in this new environment. For general instructions and examples, please see Accepting Haikus. We will see how this goes. It could be fun.

I’d also like to highlight some of the ongoing work of Michelle Obama to brighten the futures of the nation’s children through nutrition and health initiatives. For the past four years, the First Lady has sponsored a rather competitive Children’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cooking Contest. Winners are chosen from each state and U.S. Territory and are treated to a Kids’ “State Dinner’ at the White House. This year’s event was held a few weeks ago and (spoiler alert) included a surprise guest. The impressive recipes of these culinary kids are also compiled in the Epicurious Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Cookbook. Maybe a child you know can participate.

The Kids’ State Dinner gathering also provided a platform for the First Lady to announce her new anti-big food advertising campaign, FNV Prepare to Be Marketed To which employs the efforts of celebrities and famous athletes to redirect their messaging power toward healthy eating. Coincidentally, this is what I wrote about in my last post, Spring Cleaning, and the NBA Finals.

I am off to start following Michelle on Instagram. And who knows, maybe she might follow me. And you can follow me on Instagram @lifeseedlings, and on Twitter @lifeseedsnutrit.

Thank you for listening, sharing, following and supporting my writing. Please subscribe in the sidebar to receive notice of new posts. Comments and greetings always welcome.

In health, Elyn

(Update 2017: Jason Brown of First Fruits Farm was the highest-paid Center in NFL history, but he walked away from a 35 million dollar contract with the St. Louis Rams to grow food for others.)

(Update 2020: Today, as I reviewed this post, the world learned of the tragic loss of basketball legend Kobe Bryant. To honor his spirit, his fatherhood, how he inspired others, his dietary consciousness, and how he used his celebrity, it is quite apt that I just found this article Kobe wrote for Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move blog on Five Healthy Habits.)

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My Plate Haiku

Did you really think

That you could hide fish in rice?

Oh, the green paste burns! by Francesco\

by A Cat

(from I Could Pee on This and other poems by cats collected by Francesco Marciuliano)

haiku for you

eggs of many colors

Different Colored Eggs  Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

I just had a new culinary experience. Recently, I was able to escape for the weekend to the beach. After a few hours’ drive with more than a touch of slow-moving traffic, my sister-in-law Eva and I arrived in the lovely coastal town of Newburyport, Massachusetts just in time for dinner.

While stuck in traffic we tried to think about where we would eat, but once there we just decided to see where our feet and stomachs would lead us. We found ourselves in Loretta, a small, cozy restaurant in the center of town with an interesting menu. Actually, each dish we shared presented something unusual and delicious, but it was the grilled romaine salad that surprised and delighted me.

I do live a rather small, parochial life, but I’d be interested to know if anyone else has ever had a grilled romaine salad. Fortunately, we were sharing, because most of a full head of romaine lettuce, each leaf brushed in olive oil and grilled whole, arrived before us, draped in a creamy and chunky blue cheese dressing, and adorned with some pickled beets and cherry tomatoes. The grilling of the lettuce lent a delicate smokiness and crispness to each bite that was wonderful. That salad was deserving of a Haiku, which is what I initially sat down to write about.

As you may recall, in my last post, Dietary Haiku, I put out a request for such. I am so pleased to report, that I received four. Now, that may not sound that impressive but they are each so beautiful, and I want to share them with you in hopes that you will see, as I have, that I think I am onto something. I hope you will now be really inspired to compose your own and to send it my way.

In response to the mundane display of the USDA MyPyramid–really just a triangle if you ask me–and now supposedly, The Plate, guiding our dietary intake, I have decided to place one of these Dietary Haiku on each of my future posts. I think you will agree that they are more inspirational and joyful. Soon then, I imagine that this little idea will spread (and go viral) and we will have created a more meaningful message and conversation about food and eating that started right here.

I was discussing this idea with my daughter and her friend at the dinner table tonight, and they raised some good questions. Jonathan wanted to know if the themes had to be positive or could they be negative–like a 5-7-5 syllable format ending with that is so yukky! I said I would encourage everyone to keep the message affirming. Zena wanted to know how we would market or copyright this idea so that we might get rich because someone else was likely to come along and start promoting Dietary Limericks. I didn’t have an answer to that, but if you do, can you please send it to me in lieu of or in addition to your haiku, limerick or another poetic expression of dietary inspiration. Submissions can be placed in the comment section.

So, here are these beautiful poems in the order I received them, along with one of my own. Thank you to the four of you who got it and shared your little gift with me. I will keep incorporating these and hopefully, this collection will grow. Pl

   Are we what we eat

Or do we eat what we are

     Are they the same thing?     

— Julie

The farmer’s market

Each egg at the dairy stand

A different color

— Enki

Spread peanut butter

On whole grain, sweet, dark brown bread

Raspberry jam-Yum!

— Barbara

Food made joyfully

As a gift of time and self

Feeds body and soul

— Anne Marie

Deep scarlet red beets

Reveal your sweetness to me

Slip out of your skins

                                                                                                — Elyn

Thank you for listening, sharing, following and supporting my writing. Please subscribe in the sidebar to receive notice of new posts. Comments and greetings always welcome.

In health, Elyn

Related Recipe: Grilled Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese

Related Posts: Dietary Haiku, Accepting Haikus

Dietary Haiku

japanese maple

Japanese Bonsai Plant      Image by cskk via Flickr

Here are a few things that happened in my nutritional life this past week. First, I had a client come into my office bummed out about being fat. She sat down and immediately pointed to different parts of her body that she deemed fat. Of utmost disgust were her arms and her big belly. They definitely had to go. She quieted a little as she said she didn’t mind being big in the thighs and butt, and she thinks her hubby actually likes her like that. I asked about her eating habits. A number of issues presented, including the fact that her husband is incarcerated.

I asked how she felt about me making some suggestions. Without skipping a beat, she replied that she would think it was none of my business and I should leave her alone. Despite her distress, she was not ready for a change–a common human experience. Most often I find some traction, but I did not try too hard in this instance and gave her space. (She did eventually come back and see me again.)

Next, my very own brother, in a comment on my recent post, Diet for a Small Caterpillar informed me that only a small percentage of people actually care about nutrition. I wanted to protest, but he is my big brother and he does seem to know about a lot of things.

And, then, the very next day, the United States Government, without giving me very much notice, obliterated the Food Pyramid and issued the newest expression of the most up to date dietary guidelines–the USDA MyPlate.

Briefly, here is my initial response to the MyPlate. Though I appreciate the challenge and consider it an improvement, its teaching concept has been around for a while now, so I am surprised it is being touted as something unique and innovative. While hailed for its message to eat more fruits and vegetables, I think that is also old news. It is overly simplistic as our national food icon.

It does not really relate to how people eat breakfast and lunch and is not relevant to how many even eat dinner. It does not align with most cultural cuisines and supposes a basic meat and potatoes dietary structure. My dinner plate rarely resembles it. It evades many deeper nutritional questions about protein, dairy, fats, and digestion. Disconcertingly, right under the plate, it says, “Balancing Calories: Enjoy your food but eat less.” This makes a broad assumption about all eaters and ignores the serious issues of those who may need to eat more for various reasons.

Essentially, this model has convinced me that it is time to abandon such efforts. If what my brother says is true, that few people even care; or as my client suggests, that not everyone wants to hear it, why do we keep trying to promote this short shelf life, stale message with such a stagnant image? Maybe it is time to try something new to spread meaningful dietary practice.

I sometimes enjoy a line of iced teas from a Japanese company called Ito En. On their bottles, they offer a nice little haiku. Haiku is a Japanese form of provocative poetry that provides a sense of sudden enlightenment simply, intensely and directly. The bottle I now hold says: ten heron heads blow as pampas grass in the morning fog. Lovely, even though it doesn’t stick to the 5–7–5 traditional haiku structure. Maybe because the tea is distributed in Brooklyn or because it is a form that is flexible. Gazing at this bottle, I am inspired to suggest that we should develop Haikus with various themes to promote nutritional messages with greater nuance. Or, perhaps it would be more American to create some jingles. This could employ many creative artists, and I am sure their output would be funnier or more beautiful than anything produced by our governmental agencies. Michael Pollan’s missive, Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants, could be turned into a catchy dance number.

Just as I was about to declare the week a washout, one other thing happened. On Friday, I was at one of the three schools where I work with the School-Based Health Program. It was my last visit before summer vacation. I prepared a little healthy snack for the kids I had met with during the year and called them down individually to say good-bye. The message I try to instill in these young children is that they each have an amazing and wonderful body. They are all smart enough to choose to care for their bodies in various ways and can make many decisions for themselves about what and how they choose to eat.

In this closing session, I asked these adorable nine to thirteen-year-olds, what have they been paying attention to based on things we had previously talked about. Without much explanation, they each understood this vague question and all had at least a small answer. Some had big impressive answers. My dimming faith was ignited once again. So, maybe this is the relevant dietary inquiry–What are we paying attention to? There is a lot to choose from in this crazy, nutty, nutrition world.

What message would inspire you or what do you think we need to hear? Is the truth of the matter that our governments’ policies are incongruent with an appropriate dietary promotion or our personal experience as eaters? What are you paying attention to?

Please allow yourself a creative moment to pen your own dietary haiku, jingle or other poetic expression and send it along in a comment. Let’s see what emerges.

Thank you for listening, sharing, following and supporting my writing. Please subscribe in the sidebar to receive notice of new posts. Comments and greetings always welcome.

In health, Elyn

Related Posts: Your Pyramid; Diet for a Small Caterpillar; Haiku for You; Accepting Haikus

My Plate Haiku

Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants. by Michael (Pollan)

dear you, the readers

It has been one year since I first birthed my blog.  One intention, many fears, countless hours and fifty posts.

Having mothered my blog through its infancy, I now must ponder its future as a toddler-staged blog which I call a blogger. My little bloggler is learning to stand on its own and is getting fed some nice comments and words of support. But, mothering a bloggler raises new developmental issues and it is important to have a philosophy of care. Sometimes, one must look for support and feedback from others in order to persevere.

Honest Tea Cap

Honest Tea cap

So, my dear subscribers and readers, as the days grow shorter and as those of us up here in the northern climes prepare to go inward and grow pensive, I ask you for a moment of your time in the form of a click on the “like” box, a few words in the “comment” box, a share of a post, a decision to subscribe or to follow me on Twitter, a submission of a haiku, or a message in an email to let me know what you think.

Are my writings of interest, is there a resonance in the stories, is my exploration of the experiences of real eaters meaningful for you? Are my musings too long or convoluted in their message; do they not offer the hands-on suggestions and answers that we so often seek in this vast landscape, or, are they, as my brother recently told me, intriguing but rather depressing? And if they are, might they also be, as I hope, a bit funny.

Are there topics you would like me to address more, was I remiss in not discussing National Food Daylike Michael Pollan did, should I post more photos of my cat Chico? Have I not discussed menopause enough– which really, I still plan to do?  Am I too cutesy or not cutesy enough? Would you care to know that today I ate a nice nori roll for lunch and that I tried a new flavor of Honest Tea that I really liked called Heavenly Lemon Tulsi–tulsi being another name for Holy Basil which you should really check out? And, while sitting outside on this unusually warm November day, I ventured some deep gulps of the mineral spring waters that flow freely from the fountains that immortalize my nearby town? Would it be good if I included some recipes like many other food bloggers do? Should I change my template or alter the background color? Am I too pink or does my cynicism tinge the blog a light shade of tan?

Should it matter to you that this week I worked with a 41-year-old woman who weighed 78 pounds? And, then, immediately following, a 39-year-old woman who weighed 310 pounds? That a woman at my daughter’s crew event told me that getting her house ready for the real estate agent to show was so stressful, that she needed three scoops of ice cream at Friendly’s? That yesterday, a nine-year-old told me that she feels different from everyone else, and trying on clothes that say Plus Size in the store is very embarrassing? That next week I will see a two-year-old who weighs 65 pounds? Or, that a mere few hours ago, a beautiful 18-year-old college student shared with me that being thinner than 100 pounds would make her less ugly than she already is and that she has never loved her body?

It has been a number of years now since I ended my subscription to Mothering Magazine and I am certainly feeling a little lost without it. So, any input, advice or inspiration would be greatly appreciated. Gotta run. Time to put the little bloggler to bed.

Thank you for listening, sharing, following and supporting my writing. Please subscribe in the sidebar to receive notice of new posts. Comments and greetings always welcome.

In health, Elyn

my plate

My Plate Haiku

Grasses, grain, fruit, wine

Garden flowers produce joy

Kitchen flours bread.

By Gordon