Saturday, December 27, 2008

Food For Thought

As the new year approaches and millions resolve to "lose weight" or "eat right" they may want to consider Michael Pollan's advice: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Here's his New York Times Magazine article, "Unhappy Meals: 30 Years of Nutritional Science Has Made Americans Sicker, Fatter and Less Well Nourished. A Plea for the Return of Plain Old Food."

It's a longer article but definitely worth the read! Pollan articulates simply what has become such a complex issue for consumers (the eaters and the spenders) and so lucrative for the "food" industry AND the U.S. "Healthcare" system - What is food? How existential!

For more of Michael's works, visit

Wishing peace and good health in 2009!

P.S. My resolutions:

More Veggies and Home Cooking

More Dancing

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Makin' Sweet Love

It's been a while since I've cooked a meal. My side of the fridge had been empty for months. I used to have a weekly ritual of shopping at Whole Foods, filling the cart with a rainbow of colors from the produce aisle, and prepping food for a week's worth of cooking. I took a very long break and got lazy. I ate out a lot. I enjoyed it. And I feel a little guilty about that. I have also been overcoming the guilt that comes with daily Starbuck's stops by rationalizing "it's the holiday season" and "I haven't yet bought a coffee maker" and "the coffee at work can't compare to the delectable starbuck's white peppermint mochas." I can last on one all day. Bad. Yum. Sinful. Sold!

As we approach the New Year, I should start practicing what I preach. I resolve to eat my veggies, go green with juice, consume whole foods, and prepare my own meals. And...lighten up on Starbuck's.

Even though it's a lot more work and it's not always as exciting as eating out, thinking of daily cooking and food preparation as a form of self-love is motivating. It's healthier (usually) and tastier (usually). It fosters a closer relationship within the food chain and usually yields more knowledge of what it is you are actually consuming (sans additives, pesticides...)! It also allows for a creative side to emerge! Even the Dalai Lama advocates it in his Instructions for Life: "Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon."

Do it with the lights on. Use music to get you in the mood. Buddy up and do it with someone!

Chopping. Stewing. Juicing. Blending. Smelling. Tasting. Touching. It's time to get to know your food!

Recipe for Love Soup:
(Measurements are of your discretion)
* Chop onions and garlic; sautee in olive oil
* Add vegetable stock (low sodium) and a small can of tomato paste
* Mix until the tomato paste disolves then add a can of canned tomatoes (diced)
* Add 1-2 bay leaves and basil
* Mix. Simmer.
* Add chopped celery and carrots. Mix. Simmer.
* Add cannelini beans and let the stew stew.
* Add pasta.
* Feel the love!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Still Thankful

Thanksgiving is over and it's already time for the next holiday. Forget the fact that the radio stations were playing christmas tunes weeks ago and that stores were well-stocked with trees and trimmings right after Halloween! Next! Thanksgiving never gets the recognition it deserves. Maybe it's because there's not much spending involved when compared to its neighboring holidays.

I have a love/loathe relationship with this time of year. I love the twinkly lights, the vacation and family time, and the white peppermint mochas at Starbucks. I loathe the endless hustle and bustle and self-inflicted stress of getting the "right" gifts.

After running around for a week, gearing up for the next holiday I realized (yet again) the need to slow down. You know, smell the roses? Relax. Unwind. Be thankful.

Here's my belated "What I'm thankful for" list:

Loving family
Supportive and fun friends
Family pets
Shelter from the cold
Abundance of food
Access to affordable and quality healthcare (when I'm thankful, I'm thorough!)
Good doctors
Health; Able-body
The opportunity to have traveled this year
My iPod

And just in case I've missed anything, I'm starting a daily gratitute journal (no worries, I won't be recording it here!). I think it will be helpful in slowing down and appreciating what I have. So often we strive, hope and sometimes fixate on things that are out of our control and reach. I don't always recognize what I've got. And I don't want to have regrets later, having missed an opportunity to appreciate something when I had it.

"Be thankful for what you have: you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on the things you don't have you will never have enough." Oprah