Today, we decided to get out of the city, and so we rented a car, packed it with friends, and headed out to the desert. Here in winter, there is a period of a little over a month where parts of the desert sprout up with tons of little red flowers called “kalaniot”. I’ve wanted to go see them for years, and today was the day.

So after driving for about an hour and a half, we arrived at a forest in the middle of the desert (such a very strange concept but it’s real I swear). And we found ourselves a tiny clearing surrounded by wild flowers, set out a blanketm and proceeded to have a glorious picnic.

Traditional picnic foods such as coleslaw, assorted sandwiches, and potato chips are all chock full of sugar. But where there’s a will there’s a way, and we were determined to have a delicious picnic. So we made a non-traditional egg salad by boiling a bunch of eggs, chopping up tomatos and carrots and tossing with salt and olive oil (it was surprisingly yummy), packed up homemade rye sourdough bread (made by the boyfriend and it was soooooooooooooooooooooo good, I promise to post the recipe soon), threw in some amazing olives, almond butter, and some late season strawberries.

My friends aren’t used to eating sugar-free, so suffice it to say I was a bit concerned that they might not be satisfied with our makeshift picnic. These fears were quickly allayed when they couldn’t stop talking about how good everything was and didn’t leave any leftovers. Not everyone is going to be supportive of a lifestyle change as drastic as this, but if you explain it to your friends and provide them with yummy treats, they’ll most likely do what my friends did and support me. During the last few days I’ve been experiencing major sugar cravings (walking down the street all by myself the other day and I came very close to walking into a shop and getting a milkshake, only just barely managed to walk away) it’s really nice to know and to see the support of the people who matter to me. It makes all the difference in the world and helps me keep the mental strength to stay the course.

After stuffing our faces we went wandering around looking for the kalaniot (which we found in abundance) in fields that were more reminescent of the hilly English countryside rather than a desert.

We even made a few new frenemies (of the cow persuasion): we tried to be their friends, they tried to charge us, we ran away. (I remember reading somewhere that cows kill more people each year than sharks do, so why take the risk of playing chicken with a cow.) All in all I think we parted on mutually happy terms. I really do think that the baby cows we saw were on their way to say hello when the lead bull took a disliking to the boyfriend and tried to run him down.

All in all it was a beautiful day, filled with good friends, good conversation, and good sugar-free picnic food. It was really nice getting away from the city for an afternoon and experiencing the nature, which was truly stunning.


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