Food Unites, Diets Divide
So, you’re a veganvegetarian/raw/pescatarian/kosher/carnivore/freegan/natural eater. Or, maybe you aren’t doing any diet right now, but you’ve declared one of these labels as “you” in the past. Did you ever hear this:
“But, you’re a [insert label here], so, you can’t have this, right?”
“They’re not a [insert label here]. They ate [whatever] for lunch. They’re faking it.”
Maybe you didn’t hear this one, but thought your friends were saying it behind your back (or maybe you said it behind the backs of others).
Why all the hoop-lah over what goes in your body? Why does everyone seem to care as soon as you, for whatever reason, come to the conclusion that your diet needs to change, and adopt one of these labels as your new dietary regime?
I, for one, believe that what you choose to put into your body is quite important. Food is energy, connecting us to our own bodies, to our communities, and to our sacred home, Earth. I believe that one’s own body is the only entity that can decide what is good and what is not-so-good for one’s body to consume. It is important to cultivate a loving relationship with your body if you wish to be able to listen to your body when it’s trying to tell you something.
I object to the idea that there is one dietary regime that is right for everyone; just like most people object the idea that one government regime should rule the world. I reject the strict rules of say, a vegan diet, that people feel the need to adhere to due to societal pressure. Instead of recognizing food as a basic necessity for all life that connects everything and everyone, we get lost in the labels, arguing with one another. There are entire tumblrs dedicated to hating on vegans, just as there are entire tumblrs dedicated to praising a vegan lifestyle. Just like there are entire armies of people fighting and entire armies to fight against them. We all get lost in all the hoop-lah behind labels.
We need to get out of the regime and start becoming free thinkers and self-aware eaters. No diet can tell you what’s ethical or moral or not. Palm oil is not an animal product, but the demand destroys the habitat of this poor orangutan. Just like how the paper for KFC’s cardboard was destroying tiger territory. We have a duty to educate ourselves and make our own decisions, to listen to the mind as well as the body when it comes to eating.
Just as listening to the mind and body are important, so is tuning into the spirit. My resilient spirit, which never gives up hope on peace and unity, yearns to dig my hands in the soil and reap the fruit of my labor. My spirit searches for purpose and meaning in the current tides of change, remembering another time, a time when pleasure and doing what needed to be done were married as one. A time in no time where and when eating is a joyous act of creation and celebration of nature.
“To the extent that people separate themselves from nature, they spin out further and further from the center. At the same time, a centripetal effect asserts itself and the desire to return to nature arises. But if people merely become caught up in reacting, moving to the left or to the right, depending on conditions, the result is only more activity. The nonmoving point of origin, which lies outside the realm of relativity, is passed over, unnoticed.” (The One Straw Revolution, Masanobu Fukuoka)
Our bodies are a part of nature, trying to achieve equilibrium. When we over acidify ourselves with sugar, meat, and dairy, our bodies have to work hard, trying to restore balance. On the other hand, eating living food helps support the body’s natural systems for health. After all, it’s natural to be healthy. Disease and disorder rates haven’t always been this high—in fact, I’m sure at some point they were nonexistent.
Now that we have achieved abundance as humanity, let us work on cultivating our own health so we can prosper together. To me, this means propagating love and generosity with gardens and farms. Collectively acting to co-create a blossoming future, we can remember how to take care of ourselves, each other, and our home, Earth.
real food for you.
interact with your food so you know what goes in it.
a box of almond milk is not real food for your real body.
it’s fake food for robots, made in a factory.
are you real or are you a robot?
i am real. i am also the co-creator of real, an inspiration blog for creators. check it out.
fancy new (old, really) food to add to your farmer’s market list: QUINCE. (move over, kale)
quinces are great, like a pear and an apple, but more sour. and they are fuzzy. what’s not to love?
you can eat this food raw, and i will be experimenting with that more in the future. but, for my first quince experiment, i decided to use it to make a compote. specifically, i want something that i can add to muffins and breads for seasonal flavor and to bind, since i don’t own chickens and won’t eat store bought eggs. therefore, i felt like adding lemon and orange peel, lemon juice, apple, brown sugar and molasses, keeping it simple so i can spice it up later when i bake.
i can also use it as a muffin and bread spread for my fancy afternoon tea time social gatherings. which don’t exist yet, but might have to happen soon, now that i have all this quince compote to eat.
i bet ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, curry, cardamom, pears, honey, and maple syrup would be fun to experiment with. as always, be creative and use what you have.
note: my first video recipe! because i am boycotting youtube due to their compliance with video removal requests from various governments and their overabundance of advertisements, i am using tout, a video platform that’s similar to twitter. they host their own videos, so, after a marketing pitch from my friend who works there, i decided to try it. so far, so good!
vegan pizza with homemade crust and cashew cheese
oh man, i discovered i still have my pizza making skills. whipped up some pizzas with my cousin in eugene, which is pleasing to all, even the flesh-lovers.
i don’t like writing out recipes. developing one’s relationship with food is an intimate process that requires the heart and feeling out what is going to work, what is going to please yourself. yes, you will fail. but you will also succeed in ways you can’t imagine. you will be able to take whatever you have at hand and turn it into something that fills you with joy to eat. you will find pleasure in grocery shopping. at least, i hope you will. going to the market is one of my very favorite activities.
i decided that this instruction needs a video. however, maybe some brave souls will give it a whirl in the meantime.
takes one hour to three hours, depending in you.
proof the yeast. put a package of active dry yeast (2-3 TBS) in maybe a cup of some water that is warm but doesn’t burn your hand (wouldn’t want to kill the yeast). wait ten minutes. i do this in my large dough mixing bowl because i dislike dishes.
add some flour, maybe 2 or more cups. use some cool, local, non treated or bleached or crapped on stuff. the better the flour, the better your dough. add some honey or other kind of sugar. add some oil, maybe olive. add some salt. add some herbs from your garden or pantry. add some sun dried tomatoes or dried fruit if you feel like it.
mix it until it just barely isn’t sticky any more, adding flour or water to adjust.
coat the bowl in flour as you form your dough into a ball. place a towel over it and put it in a warm place. let it rise for half an hour to longer. i put mine in a heated but off oven and i see it double or triple in half an hour. depending on when i want to eat, i let it go longer or not. then punch it, knead it a little bit, and put it back, flouring or oiling the bowl again. cover it, put it back, and wait, half an hour or more.
now it’s ready to throw. make sure to put cornmeal or flour on the pan before you put down the crust. and make sure to move your oven rack down to the bottom so the crust gets hot and crunchy.
soak some cashews. put em in a food processor or blender. add some nutritional yeast (for cheese flavor) salt, lemon, vinegar, oil, herbs, garlic, spices, onion, parsley…..whatever you feel like and have on hand. stop and taste while you make it. you’ll know when it’s good. tahini also makes great cheese. or other nuts.
for this pizza, i spread a dippin sauce with smoked peppers over the crust. then i added dino kale, sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms. then cashew cheese, to protect the kale from burning. or you could add it at the last second. then i added olives and fresh tomatoes.
IT WAS SO BOMB.
it took everyone a very long time to make their pizza third, the crust had time to rise when sitting on the pan. this makes such a difference. the crust was crispy and crunchy on the bottom, yet airy and chewy on top. so freaking good. and then i had a pocket of yummy veggies and creamy cashew cheese with some smokey goodness.
i seriously love pizza.
Trying to eat more blueberries because they are really good for you and your skin! I don’t really like blueberries so putting them in cereal and smoothies is the best option.
Click here to learn more about the power of fruit :)
just because something is vegan doesn’t make it good or healthy. cereals use refined sugar and grains. not to mention general mills and kellogs use genetically modified food and donated to no on 37, the GMO food prop in california that didn’t pass. boycott cheerios!
These aren’t cheerios. They are simple truth organic oats. I do my best to only purchase organic, non GMO products :)
When being sassy backfires.
that’s wonderful, glad to hear it. however my point still stands that cereals in general are not optimal for health. even if they are made with organic ingredients, they are still refined and processed.
also, even if you are buying organic vegan everything, you have to be careful. for example, rice dream is owned by Hain Celestial. “If you buy Rice Dream products, you are supporting Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil, Philip Morris and the worst of them all – Monsanto.” (click on photo for more info)
my point is—be careful. do your research. read the fine print on the label. what are those “natural flavorings” they speak of? what about “tricalcium phosphate”?
i’m not saying i know everything, however i try to join the conversation and spread what awareness i have and question what i don’t think is right.
vegan fruit medley quick bread
i made my own muesli in the cuisinart from oats, wheat bran, walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, chia seeds, figs and cranberry. almond meal from making almond milk would be a good addition. just look in your own pantry.
mixed it with whole wheat flour, sea salt, a touch of baking powder.
added almond milk and some olive oil.
baked it and ate it.
easy and yum.
i love hummus. i love to make it from scratch. here’s one version.
soak some garbanzos. don’t use canned. not only is it way more expensive (for your wallet and for the earth due to transportation weight), but the aluminum from the can is bad from you. in fact, you shouldn’t be eating anything from an aluminum can.
soak them for at least 12 hours. it’s best if you see them sprouting. you can cook them after this, but there’s no need, and you just kill them and loose the nutrients. the flavor will be less strong and the texture will be smoother, though. but, not worth it in my opinion.
take your beans and throw em in a food processor. you can do this by hand, but i highly recommend a food processor or blender. add garlic and lemon juice (or a peeled lemon (the guts are very healthy) (lemon zest would be great, but i like to use the peel for other things). add some salt and rosemary. olive oil is great too. blend it up good.
enjoy. here is my finished product with alfalfa sprouts and pumpernickel bread.
lemon cinnamon apple sauce
i love to make apple sauce. just get some cosmetically challenged apples from the farmers market for cheap and make a huge batch, then can it! easy. i used fuji. this site lists what kinds are good and also has measurements for reference. but i wouldn’t use the recipe. here’s what i did.
what you need
cinnamon sticks (or powder)
brown sugar, maple syrup, or other natural sugar
what you do
chop up the apples. chunky is fine, you’re going to mash them. don’t peel them. or core them. just take out the bad parts and maybe the part by the center top and bottom. people are always getting rid of the most nutritional parts of plants when they prepare them…why? it justs adds flavor and nutrition. i try to eat everything as close to nature as possible. so some seeds and rind and peel—yum!
put the apples in a big pot. put about a cup of water in it. add cinnamon, lemon peel, and some lemon juice. and something to make it sweet. and some salt if you like.
let it simmer for about an hour. just stir it once in a while. when it smells like heaven and the apple can mush, mush em.
eat it straight or put it in a canning jar. if you plan on canning it, make sure the top goes down. i’d recommend keeping it in the fridge…you’re going to want to eat it.
you can use as an egg replacer in recipes that call for binding.
drying orange peels
to make tea. and to smell good. i heard that dried herbs have a higher frequency than fresh herbs. interesting.
it is important to dry the peels on a low temperature. the lower the better. it will take longer, but the hotter it is, the more it hurts the structure of the food. a sun dehydrator would be best, but i used my oven set on 200.
i plan on drying lemon peels from my tree so i can add it to food when there are no lemons. also going to freeze some of the juice.
ever read the back of a carton of plant based milk? usually, there’s a bunch of crap in it. i have yet to find a really pure nut milk. and soymilk is usually made with genetically modified soybeans. so i made some! and WOW, what a taste difference. i used this recipe for measurement reference.
what you need
water (filtered, non fluoride!)
some natural sugar (honey, maple syrup, rice syrup, yacon syrup)
other flavorings like chocolate or spices
what you do
soak the almonds for 8 to 12 hours, or more if you want to sprout them. for me, the jury is still out on weather you need to toss the water or not. some people say it’s dirty. i know it has lots of nutrients, and i heard one time to feed it to plants, so i usually do that.
blend the almonds with four cups water and your optional ingredients.
notice how the almond milk will separate with the fat on top. (i wonder what you can do with that……)
strain the liquid through a cloth to get the almond meal out.
squeeze the cloth so your almond meal is dry. you can dehydrate it and save it or check out my almond lemon poppy chia flax seed muffins, using the almond meal.
finished! so easy, right?
you can add chocolate powder and some sweetener and make chocolate milk :)
the almond meal you will be left over with. don’t throw it away, i promise it’s yummy and easy to use! you already have most of the nutrients in the almond mylk, but this is a great substitute for flour to make recipes without gluten.
almond lemon poppy flax chia seed vegan muffins
i just love to bake. and i don’t like to measure. or eat refined sugar and flour, or animal products. vegan baking is so much more fun, and so much healthier. and, you can always eat the batter! there are so many fun substitutes for eggs, such as soaked and jelled chia and flax. or applesauce. or banana. yum yum yum.
for these muffins, i used this recipe for reference for measurements. have a feeling they got paid by silk almond milk. which is disgusting. silk is owned by dean foods and the organic consumer association is calling for a boycott because they use genetically modified soy. check out my recipe for almond milk, and you can make your own! i also used the almond meal from the almond milk to make the muffins. win win, win. (office fans tumblrs?)
soaked chia and flax (could use any number of things: applesauce, banana, pureed soaked/dried fruit such as date or fig)
lemon, zested, juiced and the rind finely chopped (this helps bind it together and the rind has lots of nutrition! i love to use all the parts of my food.)
walnuts, other nuts, seeds, or dried fruit. or coconut shreds. use your imagination and pantry.
almond meal from making almond milk mixed with some soaked dates. added salt, poppy seeds, flour, and baking soda.
jelled, soaked chia and flax
lemon zest, juice and chopped rind with maple, vanilla, chia and flax
mixing it all together. added some almond milk and walnuts at this point until i liked the consistency.
baked 12 of these babies at 350 until they were golden on top. they remain gooey inside because of the jelled chia and flax. makes em extra yummy.
super delicious dipped in chai tea. or with some fig jam. or honey. or maple syrup. or just shoved in your mouth straight out of the muffin tin.
vegan lavenderdoodle tea cookies
these cookies are delicious. simple lemon sugar cookie, rolled in lavender sugar like a snickerdoodle. they come out so light and fluffy. original recipe here. my version is slightly different, since i don’t use white sugar. i like to reference that recipe for measurements, but i don’t measure out anything. i just go with what feels right.
juice and zest of 1 meyer lemon (they’re more sweet)
jelled flax seeds
honey, jelled flax, lemon zest, lemon juice, coconut butter, and vanilla. whipped up as much as possible. the jelled flax works as an egg replacer.
added the wet mixture to flour, salt, and baking soda. added enough to easily form balls, but not too much so the cookies are fluffy. form the dough into balls and stick em in the fridge.
brown sugar, mortar and pestle, and lavender for making the lavender sugar. i don’t use white sugar, so i used brown stuff. wish i had pure crystalized sugar cane.
lavender and brown sugar
rolling the cookie dough in lavender sugar
baked in 375 degrees for about ten minutes. and then eaten directly off the tray.
so so so yummy and fluffy. love the lemon/lavender flavors.