Tag Archives: Healthy Eating

For the Love of Raw

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What an amazing night for Baltimore! The group of us who organized the event (myself and the two women on the left) accomplished exactly what we set out to do: Inspire, educate, and connect…all with knock-your-socks-off amazing raw food, and a powerful yoga experience. We did it! The response was overwhelmingly and genuinely positive, to the point where we are already reloading for July.

At one point, everyone was asked to say in brief how they got to our Event and why they were there. A myriad of responses of course, ranging from “my wife made me come” to “I’ve been a raw foodist for years and have been waiting for something like this!” But my favorite outcome of that exercise and really the event as a whole is that MOST people were getting their first raw experience.

So what does that mean… It means we gave them the glow! The food tasted so good, and the energy was that powerful that they really enjoyed themselves! It’s a great honor to be a part of what I would consider the Baltimore raw movement! We’re finally taking note and nodding to our neighbor to the North and trying to make a positive impact on Nutrition and whole food availability in this city.

Little by little! Oh, and for any who are wondering, here was our raw vegan dinner menu:
– mushroom ceviche on endive leaves
– guacamole and dehydrated corn chips
– watermelon tomato gazpacho
– micro green and kohlrabi salad with turmeric dressing
– butternut squash lasagna with cashew ricotta
– strawberry rhubarb ice cream with cacao truffle

Yummmmmmm!!!!!!

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really good salmon burgers

 

I’m on my cooked foods goodbye-for-now tour!  I am officially starting my Summer Solstice raw food lifestyle.  Important word here…”lifestyle”.  As you all may recall, I began this blog with my Raw Diet experiemnt over the Spring Solstice.  Two weeks of delicious mayhem.  I loved to hate it.  So much so infact, I’ve stuck with it 80% of the way ever since!  So this time, I’ve made myself a few promises:

  • I will use the dehydrator!
  • I will sprout more grains!
  • I will “bake” breads and pastries!
  • I will enjoy raw fish ceviche

Now if I can successfully do all those things, I have a suspicious that Raw could become my diet of choice!  No promises, to myself or to you, but we’ll see!  I’m excited to go into this as an intermediate this time, as opposed to a beginner like last time.  But for now, with a couple days left before getting started, you have to try these:

really good salmon burgers

Jinji’s Really Good Salmon Burgers

  • 1 BPA-free can of wild pink salmon
  • 1 tbsp light lemonaise (veganaise would be fine)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • squeezes of lemon
  • shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 1 egg white ( I think nut milk + chia could work here if you are vegan)
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Cilantro

Cook lightly in coconut oil.  YUM!

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The Healthiest Places in the World

Are by all estimations part of a very esteemed short list, by no surprise.  Also by no surprise, the good old US of A is no where in ear shot of this list.  So then naturally, it begs the question–what does it take to be the world’s healthiest country, and are we capable of ever joining the ranks.  So let’s first take a look:

  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Iceland
  • Sweden
  • Japan (Major)
  • South Korea

That’s basically in order, according to average life-spans and incidence of disease.  Notice a trend?  Nearly half the list is comprised of Asian countries.  The list is however fully comprised of countries whose focus has been on good water, clean air, and sustainable, organic farming.  In fact, in many articles I have been reading they don’t even decipher between organic farming, and conventional farming, because organic is the standard.  In many cases there are laws in place to protect consumers from GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms), and other dangerous pesticides.  So, ok–check.  Healthy growing practices. 

What else?  I noticed that they all eat clean food as a standard.  There aren’t modified ingredients, few refined foods, and very little processing.  Not only does this protect the heart and waistline, it also protects the air and water quality as well–see point above re: healthy agriculture.  In a couple inquiries I sent out in curiosity about clean eating diets, I was met with raised eyebrows and question marks as to what exactly clean eating is!  Can you imagine?  The concept is so normal, it’s not even a concept!  It’s a way of life.  So high quality, clean food.  Check. 

In Okinawa, it is not abnormal for people to live to see 110 years old.  In fact, it’s normal!  The answer?  Simplicity.  The thing we very ironically seem to have to fabricate, and strive for, and invest huge amounts of effort into here in the States.  They eat a plant based diet full of organic, local produce, they walk, do tai chi and martial arts, and stay busy all day long, promoting restful nights sleep.  That’s it!  This is not new information.  We all know this, right?  Eat well, exercise, do meaningful work and sleep.  Essentially, being kind to yourself.  Check.

To be fair, the food, agricultural and nutrition practices in these regions of the world have survived from generation to generation for centuries.  They believe in what they are doing, and there is no other alternative.  They settle for nothing when it comes to health, and the governments make it a determined mission to protect everyone from anything less.  Admirable!  We try here, but we have so much against us.  It doesn’t feel like we really know how to eat.  We follow fad diets, eat crap, put exercising last, and work to make money, as opposed to doing passion driven work.  Take the Netherlands.  It’s cold there.  Yet, there are few cars and everyone rides bikes.  New Zealand has it easiest–they are in the sun all day long eating kiwi’s and enjoying the freedom of building in a multitude of outdoor activities into daily life. 

So can we get there?  We’ll have to each answer that on our own, as it will take a community effort to achieve country wide healthfulness.  Afterall, it’s our demand that drives the production of all our little nutrition sins.  We can learn from these trail blazing countries though that it starts (literally!) from the ground up.  Good water breeds good soil.  Good soil breeds healthy crops.  Healthy crops breed clean air.  Clean air breeds healthy people.  And of course, healthy crops is the beginning of all nutrition.  We have to take it upon ourselves to care more, and pay attention to what we are doing and certainly what we are eating.  Then, surely, Government policies and regulations will respond resoundingly.  Sorry dairy.  Sorry caged animals.  Sorry corn & soy.  We can take this country back!  That’s a start!

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I Got my Eggs Back!! Post-Raw Diet.

So in my normal diet, that is pre-Raw Experiment, there were two things that separated me from my Vegan neighbors.  First, fish.  And I blame that on a little island toward Annapolis, MD and a guy whose name I’ll never remember, but whose little, itty bitty shack I’ll never forget.  It was just him–an oldish man, with leathery browned skin and permanentaly squinted eyes to go along with his permanent smile.  We had just spent all day on the water, and caught a bunch of Rockfish.  We let most go, except for one for each of us.  After docking and then lugging around our little cooler, we saw the shack, and a sign above it saying, “You bring it, We’ll Cook It!”  Long story short, it was one of the most delicious food experience I’ve had, and the closest to nature I’ve felt. 

This isn’t about fish, but the eggs half of my non-vegan story doesn’t have nearly as pretty of a picture behind it.  They are more more nostalgic.  Pancakes, crepes, (my personal favorite) french toast, omelettes…to name a few.  If along my path I happen to catch a whiff of any of these things, my mind instantly wanders to the best French Toast I’ve ever had–Terrain, in Glen Mills PA, or the best Pancakes–my mom’s on Christmas morning, or crepes–in the kitchen with Barbara learning to make them for the first time.  So eggs, and fish, need to at the very least be options in my diet.  I love them both so much!

Enter Raw Diet.  And “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”.  As of late, “Forks Over Knives”, and countless other media influences to go ahead whole hog (no pun intended) Vegan, and leave my eggs and fish behind.  Well, out the gate I decided I wanted to keep fish around.  I am particular–Wild caught, omega rich, small varieties only–but even as I was eating raw, I also freely enjoyed raw fish.  Egg, obviously not so much. And in fact, a few days after I ended my Raw journey, I ordered egg whites to go along with the Ezekial english muffin, tomatoes and avocado I had brought from home.  Sick.  Sick. Sick.  Was definitely not ready to digest eggs yet, and I was afriad I never would be.  Even knowing it is the least “clean” product I eat, I was sad at the thought of not eating them, and depressed to think of life without French Toast (even though I only have it a few times a year!).

So last night, I decided to revisit the Egg.  I got the most “raw” eggs I could find: Organic, Free Range chickens named Betty and Sue laid them, in green pastures, fed a strict vegetarian diet.  I was ready.  A little coconut oil, separated the eggs, so I would have egg whites only (I figured I’d crawl before I walked), and…….DELICIOUS!  Eureka!!  I CAN eat eggs!!  And so, my diet profile became even more complicated:  No meat, but fish allowed; no dairy, but eggs allowed; mountains of veggies, but raw only and grains always, sometimes cooked, sometimes sprouted; evry meal, at least 50% raw, usually 80%.  Phew! 

Jinji’s Polenta & Eggs with Raw Gravy & Kale

Kale

Stem, and chiffonade; feverishly rub leaves together with lemon juice, a touch of EVOO, cayenne and dash of sea salt

Raw Gravy

1 T almond butter; 2 T water; 1 T onions; 1 portabello mushroom; Poultry seasoning & Braggs to taste…process in food processor until smooth-ish

Then… cook the polenta as you like it, and top everything with cooked egg white!

Enjoy!!

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Wait! Do I Have an Eating Disorder?? …Post-Raw Day 6

Approaching my one-week anniversary of the completion of my epic Raw journey, something VERY interesting was brought to my attention.  Aside from my airplane salad debacle, I also had a Women’s Health Magazine debacle:

Orthorexia
A fixation with healthy or righteous eating

Orthorexics often eat only organic foods, eliminate entire food groups, or refuse to eat anything that isn’t “pure” in quality, says clinical psychologist Sari Shepphird, Ph.D. Unlike anorexics, they don’t necessarily think they’re fat or strive to be thin; some are motivated by a fear of bad health, a fixation with complete control, or the desire to improve their own self-esteem. Ironically, severe orthorexia can lead to malnourishment.

Okay, so here’s what.  No one tells you that your ambition to be healthy, ward off potential genetic diseases, be energetic, feel youthful and look fit would later, somewhere along the way be classified as an [GULP] Eating Disorder.  No one says that the reward for fending off the American obesity epidemic, and avoiding the fats, sugars, and other unsavory abundant delights would be replaced with the scorn of a mid-shelf magazine.  That the few of us who are courageous and creative enough to take the road less traveled, eating clean when we can, indulging here & there when we want to, and trying to raise awareness as we go; our efforts should be minimized and we should be made to feel there must be some kind of ulterior motives to our apparent madness.
Yes, I choose to eat as healthy as I reasonably can.  Check.  I’ve also eliminated meat, most dairy, refined sugars and simple carbs from my diet.  Check.  Certain items, the “dirty dozen” to be exact, I insist must be organic.  I don’t like to eat pesticides.  Check.  But in making what I deem simple adjustments, delicious adjustments!, I enjoy a life full of much more energy, quality and laughter than ever before.  I’m more intuitive, more thoughtful, and I care more about the planet.  Now, am I thin as a result?  Maybe.  I also make sure I sweat a few times a week.  And of course I’m not afraid of being sick, because I am confident I am feeding my body well.  And as for malnurishment–ask the bunch of Kale, Spinach, Quinoa, Wild Rice (yup! I had bloomed wild rice again tonight, this time with a pesto sauce…mmmmm!), Avocado, Oatmeal, Nuts and Berries, Grapefruit and Chocolate I had today if I’m getting sufficient nutrition.
I understand there are folks with unhealthy perspectives on their bodies, and that have toxic relationships with food.  But when it comes to those who are enthusiasts, and who prefer oats to frosted flakes because they want to stay full past 9, at least give us the dignity of letting us dance to the beat of our own colorful, raw drums.  So am I an orthorexic?  I don’t know.  Am I?  Seems sort of like a made up word anyway.  I kind of love being “fixated with healthy or righteous eating”…especially the righteous part.  But in general, I prefer the term, foodie.
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