EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides

Do you ever find yourself asking just how “bad” it is to buy a certain fruit or vegetable that is not organic.  Which produce is the most heavily sprayed, and detrimental to ecological and personal health?   I certainly support eating the highest quality, cleanest foods available, grown with the most environmentally-sound practices.  Soooooo, if I’m in a large city, or a rural area in the summer, chances are I have more options than in a rural area in the winter. And eating food that is less than ideal is much better, most of the time, than eating no food at all!

Here is a link to this year’s research on pesticide levels in non-organic fruits and vegetables:  http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php

The research was done by Environmental Working Group. EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.   Check out their web-site: http://www.ewg.org

Delicious Dieter’s (or Sick Person’s) Soup

It’s true that this soup could help your body shed a few pounds.  It’s also true that it might provide awesome nourishment if you’re feeling a bit out of sorts.  AND, you just might find that you love it when you’re A-okay and your perfect weight.

Deborah Madison states in the intro to this recipe:  “While making it I thought, You’d have to be sick to eat this — no salt, no butter, no oil — or on a very determined diet.  But it fools you. By the time you stir in the garlic, ginger, lime, and white miso, you have quite a robust soup. And besides, when you’re sick, you don’t want salt and fat and all of that, nor do you want it when you’re dieting. What you want are flavor and vigor, and this soup has plenty of both.  But I do add a few drops of roasted sesame oil to each bowl for an extra boost of flavor.”

Deborah also notes that the original recipe is from Rainforest Home Remedies by Rosita Arvigo and Nadine Epstein, and “the essential idea remains true to the original.”   ENJOY!

4 cups chopped Green Cabbage
2 small Celery ribs, diagonally sliced
1 small Onion, thinly sliced
1 medium Carrot, thinly sliced
12 cloves Garlic, 6 sliced and 6 finely chopped
4 TBS grated Ginger
1 Chili, seeded and diced
Juice of 1 Lime
1/3 cup White Miso
Few drops of roasted Sesame Oil

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a soup pot. Add the cabbage, celery,
onion, carrot and sliced garlic. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Stir in the chopped garlic, ginger and chili and turn off the heat.
Squeeze in the lime juice. Add the miso directly to the pot or
dissolve it first in a cup with a little of the liquid, then pour it into
the soup. Taste and add more if needed. Serve yourself a big bowl
and feel better. If you’re feeling fine and want a bit more flavor,
shake a few drops of sesame oil into the soup.

Healthy and Decadent!

A Birthday Gift from a Dear Friend

It is my personal mission to demonstrate that healthy and decadent is not an oxymoron! Who wants to eat healthy if it means yucky or bland-tasting food. Seems like most of us have experienced enough lack in our lives, and it’s time to really enjoy the food we eat!

I wonder if you’ve had the experience of eating a fresh, unsprayed, crisp apple – right off the tree…

Have you ever tasted a sweet, juicy carrot just pulled out of rich garden soil (after rinsing it off, of course)?

What about those delicious sugar-snap peas, right off the vine?

Or a handful of wild berries along a hiking trail?

The more I began to eat foods as they grow in nature…..the easier it became to let go of eating stuff that no longer supported my well-being.

Until 2 years ago, every time I ate chocolate, I felt sick, and developed any number of unpleasant bodily responses to the processed ingredients in most chocolate. Then I discovered that not all chocolate is created (well…processed, really) equal! Stay tuned for more on healthy, decadent desserts!

Mango pie

Mango pie with coconut crustThis was my first (but not the last) mango pie I experienced.  I learned about the pie at a raw foods workshop I attended.  Here’s the recipe:

Mango Pie with Coconut Crust

Crust

  • 3/4 – 1-1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 – 1-1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts or raw walnuts, unsoaked
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pitted Medjool dates, unsoaked

Place the coconut, macadamia nuts or walnuts, and salt in a food processor fitted with the S blade.  Process until coarsely ground.  Add the dates and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs and begins to stick together.  Don’t over process.  Press crust into a pie plate dish.

Mango Pudding

  • 1-1/2 – 3 cups chopped fresh mangoes, about two mangoes
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped dried mangoes, cut into pieces, soaked 10 minutes and drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced kiwi, blueberries or blackberries for garnish

Place the fresh and dried mangoes in a blender and process on high speed until smooth.  Pour the mango pudding into the pie crust and garnish with the kiwi and/or berries.  Chill in the refrigerator (optional).

What is Food, Anyway?

food n. 1. nutritious substance, esp. solid in form, ingested to maintain life and growth. (Oxford Desk dictionary and Thesaurus, Second Edition)

The other day I heard someone say that, for them, food is purely functional……we need to eat in order to live.  That got me thinking! As a Food and Wellness Coach, and someone who had a lot of “food issues” (allergies, etc.) earlier in my life – how do I see food….really!  I’m certain that  my relationship with food is much more than purely functional, unless I include vibrant health, exquisite beauty, miracles of nature, decadent pleasure, and plant intelligence in the realm of function.

As for the definition of food – “esp. solid in form” – perhaps it’s time to acknowledge water as an essential “food”!  As a young student, I remember learning that while humans could survive for some impressive lengths of days (maybe weeks) without food, we would surely perish within a short time without water.  It was many years (and lots of suffering) later that I really learned the essential life-sustaining nature of water. How can we pretend to relate to water as other than an essential food for humans – and all life!  Who is it that said “WATER IS LIFE”?!?