As mentioned in my previous post, today’s post will involve what I’ve eaten for the past 28+ days, and why–more importantly–the way I have eaten has changed both my digestive/overall health, and how it has changed my perspective on my old consumption habits and the way I plan meals. A little perspective; if you did not happen to catch my last post, something I focused on was listening to your body in a very pure way, hearing out the good and the bad. Moreover, those messages our body is sending us have the tendency to surface in a myriad of ways, and more than likely the pattern we hold in our eating behaviors are a primary contributing factor. Now, keeping all of this in mind, we must consider the degree to which we are conditioned by our previous eating habits based on type, texture and combinations on the plate.
More than anything, what I’ve come to understand (although, perhaps I had fooled myself into thinking I already understood) is a couple of things. Nobody’s body is the same. Duh, right? One woman’s naughty meal is another woman’s normal. I’ve discovered that anything that even ranges close to what’s ‘normal’ for most is not going to fly with my body, but I’m finally okay with this. I uncovered that I too was still a victim of ideals about food combining and texture seeking, when I thought I was immune to those feelings that I once felt. Hedonism is a part of daily life for most human beings, but hedonism in regards to food is an epidemic that’s out of control in many ways. But who am I to judge, right? Thus, from day one of the cleanse, my diet became EVEN MORE restrictive, if that’s even possible (news flash: it is), and I was a mad grumpalump. “Why is something(food) I love and enjoy so much, my enemy? I feel like I’m in a bad gastronomy epic poem that will never end. OH WOE IS ME!” After my incessant self-pity party, I did a wompledywomp dance (my husband has introduced this into our lives when we’re in a funk) and I saw past the culinary blocks I was putting up.
As the days whooshed by, I began to see more clearly what was going on; my body was happier with the way I was eating. It really needed a break from some of the food items I was consuming regularly. What I noticed? The portion size of my meals was entirely skewed, the pace at which I was eating was inconsistent, I was going on auto-pilot and I wasn’t really getting in touch with where MY body was coming from. Yeah, that’s right, chatting my body up. :p Some of you may find this to be ridiculously hokey, please…tell me your thoughts, but I feel quite sure my body was on its soap box with me.
Okay, so finally to the part where I explain what exactly I was eating. Before I do (yes, there’s more exposition), I want to reiterate something I state often on my blog; everyone’s body is different. This is about an outlook, not a formula, so please don’t interpret my experience for a formula. Basically I ate vegetables, fruits and fats (coconut oil, olive, and grape seed oil) with lentils (the only legume I ate next to peas), and brown rice (the only grain I was consuming)…yes rice. :/ I avoided anything processed, soy, corn, gluten, sugars (refined, not natural like fruit), nuts, seeds and other oils. I think that covers it, but I may be leaving something out. Basically, I gave up any typical control I would have, and I let my acupuncture specialist be my guide. This, too, was emotionally cleansing. Now I’m to the part where my perspective started to change. I began to feel GREAT, and I was completely satisfied by my meals. Everything but vegetables was secondary, which is something I don’t think I had ever 100% invested myself in, prior to this detox. I didn’t feel deprived or miserable and I still don’t!
With love and support, I’ve been given the gift of a new perspective on eating, a perspective I couldn’t have gotten by reading another person’s blog, book, or op-ed piece. Nor do I expect or wish for any of you to gain this enlightenment from my blog post. I hope only to instill some positivity into the journey you might be taking, and I aim to be a sounding board for questions and concerns you may have about resources for what you’re going through.
Here are a couple of sample meals:
This was a busy Sunday meal (post cleanse, but representative of how I was eating during):
My favorite part; the perfection that was this grapefruit. It came from the SFC’s downtown farmers’ market. We picked up this lovely gem (that is the grapefruit) from an older gentleman and a young lady who were only selling citrus at a small stand. I scooped away at it with an antique grapefruit spoon my grandmother gave me. I couldn’t resist; grapefruit is one of my most favorite treats. What you will notice behind this yummy pink citrus bliss, is a salad of many colors. It’s loaded up with red leaf lettuce, baby spinach, red bell pepper chunks, garlic stuffed olives, an avocado (yep, the whole thing), and some roasted garnet yam chunks. Then, I topped it off with a homemade dressing, and I was off. Chow-down city.
Hooked on avocado and squash! What you see is half of a roasted acorn squash with mildly wilted lacinato kale and a long grain brown rice medley of garlic, onion, red bell pepper, herbs and spices, all topped with 1/2 an avocado.
Finally, I know transitions of any type are often vexing to some degree, and it is my intention with each blog post to help make your food connections and transitions a little less vexing. Thanks for reading…and remember, bite responsibly.
Often, food and food products in our cupboards and refrigerators is thought of as simply that, food items. However, beyond the customary and conventional use of some things, we find that our usual ideas can be expand into more. DIY and repurposing is all the rave, and I’m here today to comment on what often starts in the kitchen as a consumption ‘tool’ doesn’t have to remain merely for consumption. There is a level of convenience, satisfaction and balance that comes from reusing or finding new uses for consumable items (particularly if they are nearing their ripest, or on the verge of expiring), especially in a world that’s so ridden with waste and debris. Everyday I’m encouraged by the indelible impression something as small as reusing a toilet paper tube can make. All that being said, I’ll just get down to it! After doing a pinch of research and recalling my own remedies, here’s a list of some things you may want to attempt.
What’s That?: (SIDE NOTE: I’m only mentioning a few methods, but know there are a lot more!)
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): It gained popularity in the 1950s as a folk remedy to try. Go for raw (natural)- unpasteurized. Apple cider vinegar is made from apples that are pulverized and allowed to ferment. ACV shouldn’t be pasteurized because this operation will damage or kill the beneficial nutrients and enzymes that are present.
There are a few things that you can do with apple cider vinegar besides the norm: 1) FACE: Mix about 1:8 (acv : water) ratio when you make your first mixture to test how your skin will react. You can increase the amount of acv depending on the strength your skin is able to handle. Some have very sensitive skin and may want to stick to a very low ratio. Additionally, feel free to use this in the morning and at night (although, personally I’d suggest using it only in the evening to not overrun your senses), and do not rub this solution around your eyes. What does this help with? This toner is an excellent natural exfoliant that’s not too harsh and it also helps to balance the pH on your skin’s surface. This pH balancing is due to the malic and lactic acid that is present and lends to antibacterial and antiseptic properties. This also makes for a great aftershave for men and women (especially if you’re suffering from ingrown hairs or a type of razor burn). 2) HAIR: Make a solution of about 1/2 tbs acv and 1 cup of water that you can mix together by repurposing an old toilette bottle (facial wash, shampoo, ect…). For a lovely sheen and added boost to your roots, rinse this solution through your hair after shampooing. I suggest doing this while you’re still in the shower for less mess. If you don’t feel comfortable having this solution being the last liquid to touch your hair, make sure to rinse your hair with cool/cold water, not hot. Warmer water dries out your hair/scalp and disrupts the natural pH balance of your hair. 3) CLEAN: Combine 1/2 cup acv with 1 cup water and shake. This is a suitable disinfectant for tiles, surfaces in the kitchen and so forth. I suggest mixing this solution with a few drops of an essential oil if the scent of vinegar disturbs your senses.
Coconut Oil (CO): Cocos nucifera (coco = monkey face and nucifera = nut bearing), a functional food that bears a tremendous amount of health properties.
It’s a shame to just list a few, but the list of uses (beyond consumption) of coconut oil is extensive, here are some that I find helpful: 1) Wood conditioner: There’s not much to this one! If you have an old cutting board or rolling pin that’s rough, put a tablespoon or so in the refrigerator to solidify it and then use it like a shortening and rub it all over the surface of whatever it is that your conditioning. Let the piece sit for a few hours before you let it come in contact with water. 2) HAIR: Use to clarify roots when your hair has extra build-up or it is feeling extra dry or greasy. I’ve actually slept with coconut oil on my roots over night with a scarf around my hair to keep my pillow from becoming translucent. :p 3) Eyes: Keep a stash of coconut oil with your facial items and use a dab of coconut oil under your eyes and on your neck at night. I think its’ the best moisturizer out there. I can completely see the difference the mornings after I’ve neglected to use this. I actually moisturize my entire face at night with coconut oil, but this is extreme to some people. I can say, as someone who’s had problematic skin, I’ve done this without negative repercussions. 4) HEAL: One last thing, I like to use coconut oil on my wounds and bruises as it helps in the healing and regeneration process. It has the ability to reduce inflammation, which emphasizes it’s medicinal use. Fantastic! Coconut oil is by far one of my favorite things!
Lemon Juice and Lemon Rind: Exact origin is difficult to pin-point (I’ve read an assortment of ideas), lemons are known for their citrus quality and their antiseptic capabilities.
As lemons play a big role in my diet, I think it most appropriate to highlight some other constructive uses: 1)GREASE AWAY: (combo deal); Try using a bit of course sea salt and half of a lemon. Use the lemon’s side and rub it in the course salt. Now take this and rub it over whatever trick y and difficult surface you have; a skillet, pan, stove top, walls and counters. 2) DEODORIZE: After you’ve used up a lemon’s juice in your morning cleanse drink, or over a crisp fresh salad, try tossing the rind into your garbage disposal to keep the blades sharp and the odors scarce. 3) REMOVE STAINS: If your sink is looking a little grimy, no matter how much you scrub, (comb deal) use baking powder and half of a lemon and rub the flat surface of the lemon over the difficult spots in your stainless steel sink. My mother used to say use a little elbow grease, I suggest this. Try this on stone sinks as well.
Okay, these are just a few items to start you out! Keep an out for my follow-up post and many more posts for the season to come!
What creative ways have you been using these items?
And remember…bite responsibly!
This weekend I began thinking about food preparation from all aspects. Rather, what it actually takes to live in such a way where you are relatively sustainable in the kitchen and how one can imbue the importance of self-sufficiency onto others. In the same token, I am not under the illusion that everyone I meet enjoys cooking, execution of food readiness, or the many facets that are involved in pre-consumption, as much as I do. There are many challenges to be faced when it comes to involving oneself directly with meal planning and preparation, so I thought I would narrow down some of the main tasks I try to accomplish every weekend to ease my weekday duties. Granted, when you have a busy schedule these tips are key, but they may not be as necessary for those who have a free-flowing schedule. Additionally, the incongruous nature of a small ‘kitchen’ space or lack of kitchen gadgets can be frustrating and stifling, so I’d like to touch on this as well and offer a few helpful tips. So, as Mario says…”HERE WE GOOO!”
(These are in no particular order)
I know this list may perhaps come off as very obvious for some, but I hope it is a helpful guide for others. Also, know that the above mentioned ideas are not exhaustive and whenever I come up with new tips, I will post them.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I am more than happy to produce personalized detailed plans for any individual upon request.
And remember…bite responsibly.
Healthy and Spacious Regards,
Food is fantastic. I enjoy cooking more than most other tasks, but there are occasions where the love and I both just aren’t feeling the cooking vibe. Perhaps it’s because of over-strained schedules or maybe even a true lack of ambition and creativity that day to come up with a fully nutritious and tasty meal. And though I try very hard to always have my freezer prepared for just these moments, this doesn’t always happen. More importantly, when a bout of supineness kicks in I like knowing there are products I can support that are both quality, conscious and convenient.
Let me begin my first food review with Hilary’s Eat Well veggie burgers because, well…I just ate one last night. Though I’ve tried these burgers once before, and it’s rare that I like something MORE the second time around, these burgers are tasty to the max!
Veggie Burger Breakdown:
My First and Final Impressions and Reflections:
Take Away: So much of our daily routines are centered around eating. I say in recognition of our bodies and their connection to nature, pay attention to where your food comes from and choose Hilary’s Eat Well veggie burger when you’re in a bind. Acknowledge that each aspect of this nourishment comes full-circle with green and cruelty-free commitments.
And remember…bite responsibly!
We as human beings do not feel SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS—as the late Robert B. Sherman said and his brother Richard M. Sherman—100% of the time. Rather our body’s many functioning properties are more like that of a statistical sine wave, but maybe with frequency increasing, so those waves occur more and more frequently until we cannot remember the last time we felt ‘normal’. In fact for many, ‘normal’ is not as ‘normal’ does—to play off of the ever-popular Forest Gump. What is recognized as a normal state-of-being for many people has become so mangled and botched that societies’ vision has acquired cataracts, and we are forced to surgically diminish the cloudy covering over our collective eyes. Yes, our bodies are like fantastic warm-blooded machines and yes we’re capable of feeling better than we do! REALLY!
An associate said something to me this morning that inspired me to write today’s post. But first, a modicum of back-story is in order. The typical office environment has the tendency to lend itself to rolling spouts of sickness. Sickness of all types, but sickness nonetheless. My office is no exception, and thus I will continue with the commentary. The aforementioned individual stated—she has a cold presently—(and I paraphrase) that “it’s astounding that humans have discovered how to split the most itsy-bitsy (does that even cover it?) particle called an atom, yet we’ve yet to truly discover a ‘cure’ to the common cold,” and then my mind was racing. I started to envision what she meant. I think maybe I had an Ally McBeal moment or something similar because I could see the germs attacking people at Starship Troopers size proportions, and these very stoic calm scientists and engineers huddled to indeed split the atom…I digress.
When I began to think of any person—with all of our many resources—resigning her or himself to the notion that a cold could overtake their life, it bugged me. Not that this is what my coworker was doing, but many do. The reason there is no direct ‘cure’ is because we have the power to avoid getting a cold a great majority of the time. Then I started to realize that I too feel a little crummy sometimes, perhaps not in relation to an ‘illness’ per-say, but we all become downtrodden occasionally for an assortment of reasons. Next I thought, if all of the above is true, then why add to the misery by stuffing our bodies full of toxic to semi-toxic and gangly foods and over-the-counter drugs?!
Answer: We do not!
Thereby, I have decided to use what could be taken as a negative chain of thoughts and turn them positive. I have brewd up a list of some happy foods, that can make you feel great, potentially cleanse and even enable a dash of indulgence because let’s be straight, when we’re feeling blue, we all need a little sugar in our bowls…both types :p —thank you Nina Simone.
I would like to call this list (note I often create new words/names) my…
-If you’re feeling a sweet tooth coming on, try adding a bit of Stevia, it’s herbal and for those watching their
waistline it’s calorie free.
-Also, I like to drink lemon water first thing in the morning to boost my body’s happy cleansing properties.
-If you are feeling especially yucktastic, try peeling about an inch or so of fresh ginger root and cutting it into
chunks add a few sprinkles of cayenne and stevia to sweeten.
-Choose gf to minimize clogging your body’s intestines with sticky gluten paste.
-The coconut oil works wonders for reducing stress, and boosting our thyroid along with many other wonderful
benefits all thanks to lauric acid.
-If making them yourself is not an option, though I highly recommend trying Hail Merry treats.
-You have probably heard it before, but it never hurts to hear it again, chocolate contains magnificent party
down antioxidants that are ever-present to help rescue our body from the oxidizing invaders that age us and
make us feel lumpy. Yep, lumpy—I’m not talking Lumpy Princess either. The part most forget is the cacao
must be raw in order to reap its full benefits; again, too many wonderful aspects of this product to list them all.
-For those who question protein in a vegetable-based diet, question no more.
-Quinoa is in fact a complete protein all on its own.
-Avocado is a lustrous fat that will plump your skin and make your hair sheen.
-Garlic loves fighting bacteria and charges your immunal functions. Delicious too!
-If you’re native to TX, try raw pecan butter.
-Celery acts as a diuretic (water retention issues anyone?) and adds that crunch you crave.
-Try adding cayenne for the extra immune body charge
-Oxygen and alkalizing!
All right, of course this list is not exhaustive, but it’s a beginning for everyone, and I hope it is helpful and doable. I will post recipes and explanations soon.
Keep a few more things in mind:
I hope today’s post helps everyone, and you’re able to kick that ick!
And remember…bite responsibly.
Healthy & Happy Regards,