That Spark


A Full Plate

It was barely five in the afternoon when I collapsed into bed: perfectly understandable in light of the long and stressful week. I was, however, bemused to wake up at the late (for me that is) hour of seven in the morning the next day. This was a record high for me. I could not for the life of me recall the last time I had woken from a deep sleep, let alone an uninterrupted block of 14 hours (that darned “change”!). I could vaguely recall hubby trying to wake me up for dinner but I would not budge from my restful slumber. He mentioned that something felt off with the slow cooked casserole I had prepared. As I heated myself up some leftovers for lunch the next day, I quickly understood what he meant…

It was a busy week with a heavy weekend agenda as well. I had been preparing for the Green and White Business Exhibition for quite some time, of course I was drained and under a fair share of stress. The day of the exhibition was exhausting. Are you familiar the “museum walk” and the physical agony which shadows your every step?! With a throbbing back pain from head to toe, I felt as if I was back in Paris after a day’s tour of The Louvre.

That evening we met with hubby’s classmates to plan the upcoming celebration of their sixtieth birthdays’. On any given evening I lack the energy to go out. On this night I felt the desperate need for superpowers to see me through. You see, I have no problem meeting early in the morning, but to meet anytime past eight in the evening is a challenging task. It is never clear if I will be awake and functioning…

Somehow and someway I managed to keep my eyes open until the end. As we returned home I drowsily stumbled straight into bed. The next morning we arose early for the “Plast-o-Fun” mountain biking event. Once again hundreds of bikers from the plastic industry found their way down south to enjoy a sponsored event, a feast for one and all. The weather was picture perfect. Due to generous winter rains, the fields were unusually green with an almost “European” look. Temperate temperatures, vibrant wildflowers and rambling single track were sure to please.

As I desperately tried to sleep off the sheer exhaustion which weighed heavily upon me, the ride back home quickly became a distant memory. Just like a small child, put me in the car and I will go out like a light in a matter of minutes. Regardless, I was relieved to finally make it home. I so wanted to lie down in my bed and rest for a bit. I stumbled into bed at five in the evening. Imagine my surprise as I rose from my “Cinderella slumber” 14 hours later. Was there something more than the exhaustion which fostered my sweet sleep? I really must get to the bottom of this…

The Quest

A week earlier I participated in a foraging quest. Last year hubby and I discovered wild asparagus. Suddenly every time we’re out biking at this time of year we are blatantly aware of its abundance everywhere we bike. As if by magic, a world of plenty is unfolding before my eyes.

Once again I happily discovered a wealth of treats in my path. We collected wild mustard, malva, nettles, milk thistle, lamb’s quarters, English beet, wild fennel, dwarf chicory, naples garlic and many others (not to forget the wild asparagus). We harvested abundant riches, “and it was good”. A succulent feast followed. We tasted our collectables collectively as tasty green shakes and yummy steamed munchables.


I felt the excitement of a child as I discovered the abundant wealth of foragables in my very own backyard. Suddenly I was viewing the landscape with secret lenses; there was oh so much waiting to be discovered.

That spark in my eyes, I wish myself many more sparkly moments like these. This is precisely the feeling which I wish to infuse during my workshops. I love to connect people. It is inspiring to spark wonder, a delight to feast upon the magical powers of discovery. There is little more exciting than witnessing the reflection of a gleam of pure joy or spontaneous laughter as someone discovers something new for the first time. When the sparkly moment is new for all of the members of a group, the spark not only connects a person to self but also person to person, cleverly leaping past religious, ethnical, cultural and social differences.

I was delighted to discover that I was able to communicate with my target audience with a natural ease and a wide smile. My timid reflection of self was but a distant memory.


As always, on Saturday hubby and I spent the morning mountain biking together. After 35 years (this week we passed that mark) our romance continues to flourish. I made frequent tasting stops, delighting to forage now familiar delights. I collected an abundant amount of edible flowers and, of course, wild asparagus.  I felt immense gratitude for the multitude of plenty about me. And to think that just a few days ago I had been almost blind to it…

Foraging can be very dangerous when collecting and tasting unfamiliar plants. On my foraging exploration we learned a few important ground rules of protection.

We made our way with a very knowledgeable guide. Should someone choose to go foraging alone it is highly recommended to use a dual identification system. For example, use at least two different guidebooks.

Proceed With Caution

First, smell the plant. A toxic or poisonous plant will have an unpleasant smell. Take the plant between your fingers and rub it until fingers become damp and sticky. Smell your fingers. If you detect an unpleasant smell, do not proceed any further.

Second, take the damp and sticky plant which you rubbed between your fingers and rub it like lipstick on your lips. Is there any tingling or other strange sensation? If so, do not proceed any further.

Third, chew the plant without swallowing your saliva. Is there a bitter taste? A strange sensation? If so, then proceed no further.

It is wise to wait at least twenty minutes before eating. You may experience a delayed allergic or other reaction.

Our guide, Eliran De-Mayo (integrated nutrition, naturopathic doctor, herbal medicine), declared that there is no such thing as a delicious toxic plant.

For unguided foraging proceed with upmost caution. Do not forage by the roadside or near gardens where in all likelihood the areas have been heavily sprayed.

Don’t go overboard the first time out. Taste with caution. Start one plant at a time. Do not taste multiple unknowns in one sitting. In case of allergies, sensitivities or poisoning it is important to be able to pinpoint the culprit.

Use all of your senses. Don’t taste before smelling and touching. Use your eyes and ears to try to discover possible signs of herbicide and pesticide residue.

Young plants will be more tender, less fibrous, tastier and a better nutritional source.

I implore you to use your senses on every outing, even to the local neighborhood store. So much of our precious time is lost in autopilot mode. Frequently we don’t really listen to our loved ones and merely nod our heads in feigned interest. We get into our cars and go, arriving at our destination with no clue as to how we got there. We cook and blindly reach out for the spice bottle without pausing to read the label. Yes, you guessed it. This was precisely how I ended up spicing my casserole with fennel instead of the intended cumin. No wonder it was off…

Look For Something New

Unlock your autopilot mode and discover with delight many new and amazing things right before your very eyes!

If you have not yet read about the rocky part of my journey, you can read it here.‎

I would like to thank you for your patience in reading this post to its end.‎

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Helenie BeaNiE's 16 Wayz to Navigate Your Health

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