Our idea of what constitutes "food" in American culture has become so skewed that it is almost unrecognizable. Our supermarkets are packed with products whose ingredients include unpronounceable chemicals, dyes, bacteria, and growth hormones. They are irradiated without our consent and contain GMOs.It's time to bring back FOOD. Pure unadulterated organic RAW food.This blog is a documentation of my continuing journey on a plant-based lifestyle.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Fruititarian Without The Label
Ok, I feel like I need to clarify some things from my "rant" yesterday as well as some things about myself.
1. While I may whine about not being able to indulge in raw gourmet all the time like most raw foodies I actually feel better this way. Nuts can be very heavy and for someone who has had a long time suffering with feeling bloated, I do not enjoy that heavy feeling. After eating nut heavy dishes I always crave fruit anyway. The fruit + fat combo = fermentation = badddd!
2. I've been eating a modified fruititarian diet for the past year now. It began in France two summers ago. In France there are no flax crackers, chocolate chewies, or spirulina pie (things I used to eat everyday from Lifethyme which was near my university, The New School, in the beginnings of my raw food transition). And the French idea of salad is either a small bowl of plain greens or greens piled high with lardons and oeffs (ham and eggs) slathered in a mayo/butter dressing. Needless to say, I gave up eating in the cafes early on. During the day I ate mono meals of bananas and coconut. I began making my own salads at night with an entire bag of lettuce, 1 whole english cuc, 1 red/yellow/orange pepper, sundried tomatoes, raisins, mushrooms, and 1 whole avocado with a very simple dressing of orange and olive oil -- no salt, no spices. I snacked on whole baby pineapples, mangos, and baskets of strawberries as well as some organic dried fruit from the spice shops in Les Halles section of Paris. Very simple. My digestion was fantastic. My skin (for the first time since going raw) was glowing with no blemishes. I had tons of energy which was totally essential as Kev and I walked EVERYWHERE plus our usual exercise. I left for France weighing around 125lbs and came back a toned 115 lbs. I tried to maintain the same lifestyle at home, but Europe is so far ahead of us when it comes to food quality that it was almost impossible. I yo-yo-ed back and forth between fruititarian and high fat raw gourmet for much too long. And it wasn't until this past March that I think I finally gained control over my health. It's been a slow learning process.
3. Right now, I think I am just going through a phase. Driving across the country from NYC to CA was a very strange transition for my normally active body. I went from doing Bikram yoga everyday plus walking maybe 5+ miles all over the city to sitting in a car for 8 to 9 hours at a time. Plus, eating in the car and then that food just sitting in my stomach. It totally compromised my digestion. Now I have finally found a balence. I walk as much as I possibly can, go to the gym every other day, and do Bikram everyday. The more active I am the better my digestion is. They say that your skin is a clear sign of the internal health of your body. Since I have begun eating a blended diet, more fruit, green smoothies, and incorporating Vitamineral Green my skin has totally cleared up. I always blamed Bikram and the excessive amounts of sweat for my bad skin. Tisk tisk.
4. First and foremost, I am a chef. That will never change. I will always love food; it's been my passion since before I could reach the counter. The desire to create delicious food for those around me will never die. And, I will always have sentimental emotional ties to the foods of my past and the urge to create raw food that is reminicent of the staples of my childhood. Am I going to eat it every day? No. Will it be the basis of my diet? No. However, to deny myself small pleasures like going out to raw restaurants just because it doesn't fit the mold of my typical fruititarian diet is crazy!
5. Fruitarian or raw gourmet, taste must never be sacrificed! I grew up watching old school Food Network with Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse and even Julia Child on PBS. Before I was a raw food chef, I was simply, just a chef. I ate meat. I made pies with regular refined white sugar. I used to pretend that our kitchen in Stockton was the studio for my own television show and I would demonstarte for my "audience" how to make the perfect plum reduction for leftover steak. When you begin this way, taste, is perhaps the single most important element of any food that you create because when you are dealing with raw food or even vegan skeptics they don't give a rats ass how healthy your food is.
6. Even the best of chefs like Gordon Ramsay will tell you that food should be simple and easy. It should not be a complicated mess of 20 ingredients and spices. The best dishes are typically the ones that come together in minutes and whose ingredients number no more than five. If you apply this to the raw food lifestyle it becomes much more managable. I went through a phase where I felt I had to create these elaborate dishes every night for dinner in order to achieve optimal health, when in fact, it was quite the opposite. Screw the super foods that cost 25 dollars per oz. Not to be a negative nancy but I bought into that stuff in the beginning too. From personal experience, it made no difference when my hair was falling out or my horomones where so f-ed up that I stopped getting my period and ovulating. What did work? Well, exactly what you would think - the reason why we all become raw foodists in the first place - RAW FOOD. Green smoothies, lots of fruit, lots of greens, fresh herbs , and healthy fats like avocado. Plus, Vitamineral Green...totally Vitamineral Green...because unlike everything else that shiz actually works.
Oh, while I am on the topic of simple food. Gordon Ramsay, a ten mischlin star chef with restaruants on just about every continent, makes a broccoli soup. Want to know what's in the soup? Broccoli boiled in sea salted water, strained, food processed with the sea salted water added back into the broccoli. Nothing else. Food does not have to be complicated to be good.
Ok, so, I think that is it. I'm a modified frutitarian who dabbles in the raw gourmet because that is what makes people happy. And I want nothing more than for people to enjoy my food.