Saturday, May 29, 2010
"When most of us think about food and health, we think in fairly narrow nutritionist terms - about our personal physical health and how the ingestion of this particular nutrient or rejection of that affects it. But I no longer think it is possible to separate our bodily health from the health of the environment from which we eat or the environment in which we eat or, for that matter, from the health of our general outlook about food (and health). If my explorations of the food chain have aught me anything, it's that it is a food chain, and all the links are in fact linked: the health of the soil to the health of the plants and animals we eat to the health of the eater, in body as well as mind. Food consists not just in piles of chemicals; it also comprises a set of social and ecological relationships, reaching back to the land and outward to other people." -Michael Pollan, In the Defense of Food.
another interesting fact...Americans spend 9.9% of their income on food, compared to Italians: 14.9%, French: 14.9% and Spanish: 17.1%. those countries are often touted for having better health than the average American, even though they may eat rich, buttery food. also a study done in 2003 demonstrated that from 1965 to 1995, American slashed their time spent cooking and cleaning up after eating almost in half (in 1995 we spent only 27 minutes/day preparing food for the average American). we spend little time preparing our foods, and little money goes into acquiring those foods, its no wonder out health is diminishing. our food nourishes us, if we eat healthy...we ARE healthy. it isn't just something we have to do. it is something to savor and really enjoy, something to participate in. this is your life. it also stands to reason that the cheaper the food, the quicker the cooking time (i.e. packaged, fast food)...the less nutrient dense the food. the less nutrient dense the food, the more your body wants you to eat so you can find those missing nutrients. and if you keep eating those same foods, you aren't getting the missing nutrients...you are getting calories, more and more calories. hence the new found human oddity, overweight and undernourished.
i imagine it is hard, if you were like me, and eating in a way that didn't feel good...it is hard to not blame yourself. i am always finding something to feel bad about, and blaming myself for eating in a way that didn't support my whole self...super easy to do. but the more i felt bad, the worse i ate. i suppose that is where the yoga came in, to find a new determination. i almost think it is magical the way these months have ordered themselves to flow so well from on to another. i never thought when we first talked about doing this, that it would be so changing and such a positive experience. i just thought it would be fun. speaking of feeling bad, i just had to laugh at myself yesterday. after yoga, i found myself thinking..."Now there was something i was feeling bad about before yoga...and what was it? i need to keep feeling bad about whatever that thing was, if i could only remember it!" needless to say, i never remembered it, so i had to let go of feeling bad about not remembering what i had forget to keep feeling bad about. haha! the mind can be so silly.
I just added a couple netflix movies to finish off food month, as i am also determined to finish the book as well. (38 more pages, easy!) the movies are "The Botany of Desire", i saw part of this on PBS...it is done after another of Michael Pollan's book by the same name. i kept thinking it was on "The Omnivor's Dilemma" but i was wrong if i mentioned that before. and another one i had never heard of before, "How to Cook Your Life" a zen practitioner and cook teaches cooking classes in Austria and California at Zen centers, showing how food feeds our bodies and spirits. we'll see how that one is, but i thought it went along with the food month.
I'll leave you with some new shots of my growing food.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
so, anyway....wow. uranus in aries. i am telling ya. be yourself. don't go trying to make yourself into a round peg if you are a square, you know that old analogy. go full force ahead, just as you are
ok, back to the book. here are some randomly remembered quotes...
-"A diet based on quantity rather than quality has ushered a new creature onto the world stage: the human being who manages to be both overfed and undernourished, two characteristics seldom found in the same body in the long natural history of our species."
-"Only 20% of American children and 32% of adults eat the recommended five daily servings of fruit and vegetables."
-"The sheer novelty and glamour of the Western diet, with its seventeen thousand new food products every year and the marketing power - 32 billion dollars per year - used to sell those products, has overwhelmed the force of tradition and left us where we now find ourselves: relying on science and journalism and government and marketing to help us decide what to eat. Nutritionism, which arose to us better deal with the problems of the western diet, has largely been co-opted by it: used by the industry to sell more nutritionally "enhanced" processed food and to undermine further the authority of traditional food cultures that stand in the way of fast food."
most of the great information is hard to encapsulate into a brief bit here on my blog. you just HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!
ok...so now off to cook some good old regular food for my family. i am sure the kids will learn to love it. :) and tomorrow, payday, hoping to buy a book on Urban Homesteading. wooohooo. i love how much i am learning through doing this blog!
Monday, May 24, 2010
I am working, organizing, packing, planning, and well that is about it. Ian and I go to Geneva on Sunday to look for a house..now that is something to write about.
I guess I just wanted to check in...more later!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Sunday (tonight): grilled veggie salad, grilled chicken with mango-sesame marinade, cream of broccoli soup and strawberry-rhubarb crisp for dessert. (it was so good!)
Monday: pesto pasta and white bean tomato salad
Tuesday: corn fritters and green bean salad
Wednesday: asian noodle salad with chicken and sugar snap peas (using leftovers from sunday)
Thursday: curried lentils and cauliflower
Friday: white pizza with sage, slow roasted tomatoes, and asparagus with peas and green onions
(and one night i'll make an apple tart.)
i didn't get to the farmer's market today. unfortunately. there was yoga with jamie in the morning (we are both still loving it! and loving each other more as a result. it is great to have a common interest that also inspires you in all areas of life), then levi had all-star practice (i am so proud of him!) and i went to the grocery store while he was there. so i only had time to go to the co-op. but we will still get our box from the farm this week and our co-op tries to keep as much local stuff as possible.
as far as the garden goes, it has been pretty hands off this week. we have had rain for a while now, so not needing to water. later this week i will need to be putting up some things for the sprawling and climbing veggies to use. i bet friday, lets hope for sun! i can also use that day to thin the kale and chard. anyone want some starts? :) it'll be fun to menu plan around my own garden one day!
i also saw a book at the co-op that i want to get. just didn't have the extra money today. it is called Food Not Lawns by HC Flores.
http://www.chelseagreen.com/bookstore/item/foodnotlawns and here is another link to a website with great info http://www.foodnotlawns.net/
it looked great and we could really use more and more and more people growing their own food. and it is more than possible, no matter where you live. and if you create a community around it, it shouldn't cost too much. look, i have free starts for the taking and so did my neighbor. and don't forget the weeds! dandelion, chicory, red clover....can be great food or medicine! you know, i just realized that i think the Food Not Lawns is a relation to the organization Food Not Bombs. I ran into Food Not Bombs when we were traveling. in People's Park in Berkeley, CA they would set up and feed anyone that showed up. and we would show up and get good vegan food, and we went once and helped them cook the food as well. i never knew much about their philosophy or ethics, but i think i will continue this thread and see what its all about and how the two are connected.
ok, so i gotta go and soak my beans for the cannellini salad tomorrow night.
oh and just for fun...me and my girls had our first ever "girls night out" last night. we painted our nails and got kinda fancy...we all had on cowgirl boots, super cute, especially because both lily and tallulah's were pink. and we went to central cinema, the place i saw the food movie. we saw Back to the Future and it was sooooo fun! this blog is taking me places i might not have tried and i am loving that!
Friday, May 21, 2010
I am so very excited about what is to come in the next few weeks...can you imagine that 6 weeks from now I will be living in Switzerland...who does that? I never thought it would be me but I am soooo glad it is. Our goal is to see as much of Europe as possible while we are there so I am posting a call out for suggestions on places to go and what to see when we are there. We are flexible to go by train, car, bus, or plane...just want to see everything we can!
oh and my tomatoes continue to grow..that is my exciting gardening news for today!
seeing that movie last night brought me closer to the thought that i have held far far back in my heart...living on a farm. i love living in the city, but if could live anywhere else...it would be a farm. or maybe on the beach. but back to the farm, cause that is where i have been all morning in my head. the movie was called Fresh. www.freshthemovie.com/ i highly suggest watching it. from the gorgeous farm land in virginia to the urban farm in milwaukee, i found it to be moving and inspiring. inspiring enough to have me thinking how i can contribute to this movement...even if i don't end up being a farmer :) cause to be honest, last month i was thinking...."hmmm, maybe someday i'll be a bikram yoga teacher." somehow i need to understand that i just can't do everything. i think it is pointing to my saturn in gemini. but that should be a whole other blog!
oh, and we went to the greatest little movie house. walking distance from where i live, is the Central Cinema. www.central-cinema.com it has booth seating with a little table, and serves food and wine and beer. we had a few small plates....pita with edamame hummus, red pepper jelly and a yogurt dill sauce, meatballs (from a local free range farm), and stuffed mushrooms. everything was great. i think jamie and i will go back for the showing of the Big Lebowski later this month. and after the movie we had a cocktail at Tavern Law in capitol hill. www.tavernlaw.com i had a great drink with tequila and red wine, i never would have thought of putting those togeher! it was called Farewell Romeo, i think.
so...unless i figure out a way to become a midwife/herbalist that lives on an urban farm (and maybe has a beach house) and i write a book about it all...and stay youthful and healthy with my bikram yoga practice!...i guess you'll still find me at Rainbow Remedies pouring herbs from big bags into small mouthed jars and getting allergies from making teas.
now back to the laundry.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
but for now, a picture of my week with my new found inspiration. and the thing to know about me, is it doesn't take much to inspire me to change my food habits, because the guilt i carry for some of my food choices is quite a load. as much as i love crappy food, i just never feel good about it...either in my body or what it stands for and what it supports in the world. i mean...i love candy (sweet tarts and kinda my fave), i love french fries, i love soda, i love mcdonalds, i love pringles, i love stuff that i don't want to love. what a conundrum. and so consequently, when i see and read things that give me something tangible to hold onto in the face of the quick drive through with the yummy burgers and fries and soda...when i see something that gives me the depth of what whole foods, grown with care for the earth and the animals, the depth of what those foods offer...it makes it easier for me to make the choice to drive by, or the think ahead and make our own food to bring with us. and when my husband is on board because he sees it too or i read him a few paragraphs...that is the best, cause then there is less fighting about how i spend ALL of our money on food. i am sorry, but that is one place where we really truly get to vote for what we believe in...where and what we spend out money on. and i want to keep it local, keep it supporting farmers that care more about me than my money. we all need money, and we all make choices based on that...AND i think we can also keep our values and morals in tact, to a certain degree. (wow, caps. twice, i hardly every whip out the words all in caps.)
and so back to my week. i sat down sunday and made a meal plan for the week. then i made my shopping list. then i sent to our farm website and modified the contents of my box to match what i was making. i could try doing that backwards...seeing what is coming in the box and making the meals accordingly, and then i would use more local ingredients. next week! anyway. then i went to the farmer's market, and gathered a few things...and honestly i couldn't get that many things there this week. and then off to our local co-op, Madison Market...for the rest of the list. here is my meal plan for the week:
Sunday: Shrimp Stew, Mediterranean Quinoa Salad and Greek Salad
Monday: Three Sisters Stew (red beans, winter squash that i had still from a winter farm box and corn) and Massaged Kale Salad
Tuesday: Golden Spice Rice (turmeric/cardamom spiced rice with chickpeas, peas and currants)
Wednesday: Mexican Bean and Corn Casserole (the corn part is polenta...mmmmm)
Thursday: Nut Burgers and Grilled Veggie Salad
Friday: Sushi and Tahini Noodle Salad
they are all from a great cookbook....Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair. and everything has been sooooo good. says me. ask my kids and they will tell you that every night has been disgusting. and why oh why is everything we eat organic???? why can't we have food like everyone else!? i want to know who these kids are hangin out with? :) all kidding aside (sorta), i just don't get why they have to fight me on everything....including dinner. i am just hoping that if i keep it up, they will get used to it and shut up and eat it! i want them to be healthy. we used to eat more this way and sometimes i feel guilty that i let our dining room table slip into the realm of the Standard American Diet (SAD.) but then i pick myself back up, dust the gmo's off my fat thighs and start again. ok, my thighs aren't that fat, but i thought it sounded funny. and seriously, the crappier i eat, the worse my body feels and looks. and its not all about vanity, really it isn't, but for me it can be a reflection of the care i put toward myself. and with bikram yoga and whole foods, i feel great.
so, I have been surprising even myself. soaking beans overnight, cooking them in the morning before school. finding time to make everything from scratch and work and clean the house and go to yoga. oh, and water my garden! luckily the rains have been lending a hand there. :) and i feel more energized and less tired. and i know this is one week...life changes, weeks bring different challenges, and as good as i feel about keeping it all together and torturing my kids with all this gross food, i may not be able to do this every week. they might actually get their damn hot dogs and ramen noodles someday. can you tell have absolutely no animosity toward my darling little babies and their addiction to sugar and refined carbohydrates? ah, those sweet little reflections of myself.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Not really sure what to write about....my plants look happy and peaceful. They are growing and I think we should have some yummy tomatoes before long. Did I mention that I don't like tomotoes :)..oh well the girls think it is great to watch them grow. So that is about all in my garden world. It is fun...and really something I would have never done. I am looking forward to my date with Melissa to see the movie...to be really honest I have no idea what the movie is...just have not had two seconds to figure it out but I am sure it will be great. I am just happy to see Melissa :)
Wow..that was some exciting info. Really..things are crazy at my house. Just got back from seeing my baby sister Erin graduate from WVU. How fun to be back in Morgantown..it is so different but yet so much the same. The trip helped Ian and I reconnect and we needed that. Felt nice to be back where it all started and fun to show the kids. We were such babies when we met...we have really grown up together. Living in Switzerland will allow us some much needed family time..traveling around Europe, navigating a new city, and well just being together. We are moving in 6 weeks and I am feeling the crunch. Working on getting the house rented, car sold, cleaning out the garage, working on Visa applications, and getting ready to return in two weeks to look for a house. So many changes.... Here is a picture from our trip!
I guess that is it for now...I will try today to be as peaceful as my plants. I feel like this experience will help me grow right with my tomatoes.
here is what i see when i look out my first floor window.
next blog-night-out...is this Thursday @ Central Cinema. movie - Fresh. 7pm. food and wine available.
maybe we'll see you there!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
i started Food, Inc. last night. inspiring. informative. and much like the book i am reading...in the Defense of Food...sparking the motivation to make more changes in the way i gather my food and what i choose to eat. i have always been one that wants to make these choices, but i find excuses why i can't. like money, time, and certain burger and fries cravings. but i am determined to do it again, make a commitment to healthy eating, to knowing where my food is coming from, more importantly. i mean, it is truly a miracle...a beautiful thing to witness, the growing of food. or in the case of meat, a life has been given for your nourishment. and in the spirit of reverence for those acts of nature, i would like to be more responsible and more conscious about what i purchase as food.
so tonight we will finish the documentary. and this week, i am going to try to make it to Central Cinema for a screening of a movie, Fresh. another food documentary. it is showing tuesday and another night, I'll get back to you about what the other night is. Dina, a night out, perhaps?
ok, at long last...my plants!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, May 10, 2010
Sooo...more importantly..check out these shoes I got to wear to a wedding in June. HOT! I love them...well really I just love shoes and these are smokin! The animal print reminds me of my gram and that makes me smile! These shoes make me feel happy :)! I think I will wear them in the garden!