Thursday, February 7, 2008

Food Glorious Food

I've been taking pictures the past few days of some of the glorious (and even healthy) food concoctions I love to eat. I plan to share recipes and tips on how to make them work just right. Instead of posting those pictures and recipes now, I'll just post a photo of my all time favorite food (love those pomegranates!)

I want to explain my way of eating (or WOE as some affectionately call it on the internet. I've never been able to find an adequate label for my WOE. I guess I could be called a raw foodist most of the time(eating only uncooked foods in their natural state -- and optimally eating living foods, which means that nuts, seeds, and grains are sprouted to be able to bring their nutrients out of dormancy and create the optimum amount of nutrients). But some raw foodists are so militant about having to be 100% raw or you're not really raw, I haven't adopted that label. I usually only eat 100% raw for a few days at a time. The longest I've gone all raw was 17 days.

Another label that I could fall under is High Raw. That's when you eat at least 75% raw foods. I probably hit that most of the time. (And the given with High Raw is that the remaining cooked foods are whole, unprocessed, healthy as can be). And I could be called a Vegan 90% of the time -- so maybe I'm a High Vegan? :) But I do like to eat brown eggs from time to time. I pack so many vegetables into my favorite egg concoction that it's super yummy and a great way to get more veggies into my day. (Yes, I'll write up that recipe too). And on really rare occasions, I might have some chicken in soup or something, but I don't really enjoy any meat anymore. The longer I'm away from it, the worse it tastes.

My favorite book on eating is "Eat to Live," by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. He advocates a diet of lots of raw fruits and vegetables, cooked veggies, grains, and legumes, and limited amounts of nuts and seeds. He gives the most scientific support for his WOE than any other book I've read. And it's solid. He also wrote a book called "Disease Proof your Children," which I've read most of and am using as I keep morphing the way my kids eat. My oldest and my youngest have a host of allergies (and asthma) so I'm really mindful of what food I buy for them. I don't want to contribute to their problems.

I also like a book written by Victoria Boutenko, who is a well-known raw foodist from Oregon. She's written several books, but I particularly like "Green for Life." After eating only raw foods (along with her husband and two teenagers) for several years (6 or 7), she started having immense cravings and wondered what was wrong. She sought out the most nutritious food and compared every natural food she could think of and the greens came up far ahead of everything else. She had a hard time eating her greens (and she was probably doing better at that than I do -- I really am not a huge salad fan unless I can sweeten it up somehow with mangos or berries). So she observed monkeys who eat greens throughout the day and found that they would often sandwich a banana pr something sweet between some leaves. So she tried blending up some greens with bananas (after trying to eat a whole bunch of greens in one sitting and failing) and was able to drink them just fine. So she went on to start a green smoothie habit in her life and in the lives of others. So this is primarily how I get my greens now too.

More than anything, eating a lot of raw foods has worked for me because it's the only way I can eat and live medication-free during allergy season without symptoms. Otherwise, I'm a miserable mess. And I'm on medication that doesn't help enough and gives me new problems. So it's a huge boost to my health. Eliminating dairy was the first step and wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.

I'll talk about all this later on, I'm sure, but I just wanted to give the basis for where I am and why I'm there before sharing recipes for things you might wonder why I make when I could just go out and buy something similar from the store. I never thought I'd be into natural foods. In fact, I used to make statements about non-dairy people like "How could they ever live without milk?" (or ice cream, or pizza, just insert your favorite dairy product :)) But since allergy season in this lush part of the land where I live is 5 months in the so-called spring and 2 months in the fall, I had to take charge of my health and do something.

Every body is different and I don't ever tell anyone else they should eat like I do, but I would advise everyone to evaluate how they eat and to recognize that what we eat determines our health in a huge way. It's so intriguing to me that most people don't make that connection. "They" seem to think that diseases come and go, health problems are afflictions that fall from the sky, but we know if we put water into the gas tank, the car won't run well. I think it's up to each of us to recognize how our bodies react to foods and when we find that perfect balance, stick with it the best you can. It's not always easy because much of our society eats what many call SAD or the Standard American Diet, which is devoid of nutrients and full of harmful refined foods. I've walked around stores many times, stunned at how little "I can" buy anymore. There's a lot of junk marketed to the masses. But I really can only fit so much food into my basket or into my mouth each day anyway -- and truly, there's a ton of yummy, healthy food that I can eat if I just release myself from old habits. It's the positive approach to eating that helps me forget the old.

1 comment:

  1. Renee,
    Your comments are fascinating. I'm amazed at your level of understanding exercise and eating. I wrote a longer comment earlier, but it got lost. I'll add more later.
    Favorites: pic of pomegranite, discussion of raw eating, giving up DAIRY!! Remember the milk cow that gave 1/2 milk and 1/2 cream? So good.
    Dixie Southwick