Thursday, January 31, 2013

Get your Greens...

Greens are often touted as nutritional powerhouses, and they are. Kale is currently being hailed as the superfood superhero at the particular moment, and I couldn't agree more. This does not mean to say that other greens should be avoided. There was a time when I ate so much broccoli just to prove to myself that I could. When I realized I could...I then lost interest. This is a concern of any normal person with a "normal" palate, meaning, someone who has a regular balance of discipline and devilish delight in the diet.

Now this past week, I found the largest, cheapest bag of spinach and Persian cucumbers I could find and decided this was what I'd eat for a week. Nothing much else except for nuts and yogurt, and at night, eggs after my workout. Maybe in between I'd have a protein shake after my apples and tea latte for breakfast, and the occasional banana. But that would be pretty much it. Now I hadn't had any spinach in a very long time, but this monstrous bag was sure to change that, and how. My question was definitely how. ...could I do it? What would I eat and how many different ways would I use the spinach?

Truth is, I haven't done much to it at all, beyond a delicious and refreshing, huge bowl of leaves. It's what I topped them with, that changed my smirk to a satisfying grin: lemon juice, tomatoes, red onion, Bulgarian Sheep's milk cheese, olive oil and aged merlot salt. This ultra-pleasing, sour combination of food made my evening.

I ate this salad with reckless abandon and vowed to make another, just the same.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Cult of Gluten-free and whatever percentage Raw.

Ahhh, the fascinating trend of going raw, juicing and going gluten-free, has infiltrated our lives with some interesting truths about the piety people truly like to believe is happening in their diet, amidst such strong clues to the contrary. Here we are, a population of primarily sedentary, obese individuals living in a Monsanto-opearated food industry, against those who identify themselves with health and wellness, in an effort to fight the good fight against the evil food powers that be...and in the end, another doctor publishes another study, and we are off to find health in the latest trend. It's not new, and some of these diet trends have truly saved lives. But in the case of those who seek optimal balance, we know the truth: it took a variety of approaches, time, trial, error, and maybe some sleepless nights (or nights barricaded in the bathroom), to find out what was best for our bodies. It also took a balance of components in the circle of life, to see that we have many issues in our lives to balance along with the food. To quote Joshua Rosenthal of IIN, food is a sideshow to the issues we truly must balance in our lives to be well.

And so I sit here in a food-induced contemplation, wondering how next to proceed without seeming trendy. I mean, I did buy a pair or two of skinny jeans, so I imagine I am following the trends in clothing. My hair is red and blonde, my nails are sparkly candy apple red, I want a Dodge Challenger or Charger (or maybe even an Avenger). That's trendy. I love green tea and use pink Himalayan sea salt. I think that too, for the moment, is trendy.  Okay so having said that, going soy and gluten-free and saying I am 50% raw vegetarian is the same. I'm current in every way!

All kidding aside, it's a tough walk to cut gluten, soy and sugar out of your diet. I think the toughest thing about it is that as you cleanse, the body starts to cry out for the toxins previously pervading your body. Tonight, I wanted all the foods I hadn't been having, from flour to tofu. For the most part I was successful. It had to be that the last two days, I've been blending my vegetables. I'm using spinach, apples, cucumbers, and whatever other fruit I have sitting around. The funny thing is that I'm not eating more vegetable matter by doing this. It in fact is more of the same, and I find that incredibly interesting.

Back in the day, gluten-free meant you were low carbing, and going raw meant you were probably vegan, which was hugely uncommon then.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Food for Thought

Even though I have been vegetarian for 12 years, I ate heavy, rich meats for 28 years. I think seasons of change best fits my psychological profile. It is interesting how many of us look for that "thing" that works, in fact always works, and we find our justifications for believing it, whether it be scientific, yogic or biblical, holistic or moral. Nothing processes the same way all the time in the body throughout one's life, but I feel that some of our scientific methodologies or otherwise can give a roundabout, general explanation.

 For example, Lactose free milk is working quite well for me right now, and I decided to become gluten-free and stop eating wheat and soy products (soy meats and soymilk were a huge staple). In two weeks, it's quite possible that my body says "okay you are done for the moment with that." At which point, I will probably switch to an almond milk or none at all, as I may not be able to justify drinking the sugar content. 

From a yogic and ayurvedic perspective, it is on point for me to consume these products to balance and soothe my pitta influence, and is also very grounding to me at a time when I'm dealing with many ungrounding, strong forces. I blather on. I feel that our bodies can basically consume anything it adapts to, and there are studies that support it. There are also studies that support the noncomsumption for reasons above that yoga eloquently mentions. This is why sometimes I wished I could go back to not knowing, because I made all of my best food choices when I could just go on intuitive feel, and decided when something was right or not for me to consume. My two cents. Namaste.