Is it sad that I was tossing a 6 lb. free weight back and forth at my desk while reading this article? Probably, and I can relate to a lot of the authors experiences … except the going to the gym 2 times a day and working out at odd hours in the middle of the night parts. Whew, I’m not that bad. However, I do get a little anxious if I have not been able to exercise for a few days and utilize hotel gyms when on vacation. I don’t consider that obsessed, why not exercise when I can and it’s not interfering with plans? Exercise is more a stress reliever for me, sweating to a new playlist is therapeutic after a tough day at work, it helps me clear my mind and sleep better for possibly another stressful day.
Came across another interesting raw tidbit today in this article:
I also went on a raw foods diet to try to heal myself through nutrition. It worked. That was seven months ago. I am living a different lifestyle now and it has affected my art.
I would say that is very true for me as well. Raw or not, preparing food with whole ingredients has given me a new respect for food and the art of creating good, flavorful dishes from it, something I just never got from dumping cans into a slow cooker or following directions on a box of Hamburger Helper. Experimenting and prepping food in the kitchen has become one of my favorite hobbies.
After watching the 2nd episode of One Big Happy Family, I have to admit that I’m starting to like the show. The family is funny and have an unusually great relationship with each other, especially considering they have two teenagers. I will keep watching and hope their drive for a healthier lifestyle is as strong as their drive to maintain a healthy relationship. One show I have not gotten into this season is The Biggest Loser. I watched a majority or last season so I’d have something to talk about with co-workers, but the lifestyles the contestants live on the show is so extremely different from their daily life and diet that chances for success after the show are pretty slim and to me provides minimal helpful diet and exercise information with the crazy workouts the contestants have to do. I am enjoying The Goode Family from Mike Judge about a hippie-ish family of presumably vegans – at least the dad is, trying to do everything politically correct.
Anyway, one practice I really like about many raw foodists is minimizing food waste, utilizing as much of every ingredient as possible, a practice I’ve been utilizing more in the recent weeks and was further reminded of at the raw class I went to over the weekend. That super hard, chewy core of a pineapple is not only edible, but packs a lot of nutrients and fiber that shouldn’t go to waste. However, it’s nearly impossible to eat raw because it’s too tough and chewy, I’m sure my teeth, or digestive system, couldn’t handle it in whole form. Good thing I coughed up over $600 for a Vita-Mix :-) I now preserve that core in a scrap produce container in my fridge to toss into my smoothie the next morning.
At a Costco Vita-Mix demo, the presenter tossed an entire red pepper into it for a sauce stating the stem and seeds have nutrients too and you’ll never know they’re in there after the Vita-Mix purees them. So I’ve been tossing in the entire pepper for marinara sauces and pepper soups and it’s true, the flavor is not altered and I saved time not having to cut up the pepper first and separate the seeds. Guess I can save the stem and seed parts in the scrap container as well when I julienne just the outer part for salads.
When the jicama rice was made in the raw class, the instructor used a nut milk bag to separate the juices from the shredded jicama, she saved the juices for the class to sample and noted they were worth saving as well for smoothies. Also I had a batch of fresh kiwis to use up quick and just threw one, skin and all, into my smoothies – tasted great, no bitterness, and it saved me time in the morning not having to peel them and throw out the peel. I love little time and waste saving tricks like that and will continue to look for more to streamline food prep time.
While visiting family for Thanksgiving, my MIL criticized my cooking habits for using expensive ingredients such as organic produce and nuts. But the reality is my grocery bills have hardly gone up and are going down as I master buying just what I need for the week and not waste what I don’t. While I was visiting them, I saw them pay quite a bit more for fast food and processed ingredients only to waste a lot of it dumping leftovers, only eating half at restaurants, etc. She was definitely spending more than me and not getting the same quality.
Growing up, that was something my dad was strict about, he did not like food waste and encouraged us to put on our plates only what we can eat. It seems less important today with an abundance of cheap food, but it’s still very important for healthy eaters buying pricier whole foods with a shorter shelf life. Of course, many raw ingredient scraps can be composted, something I’ll be looking into when my backyard is not a mud pit and I can start garden planning for the Spring.