2.28.2011

Going Medium Rare

I've had a lot of conversations with myself that have gone something like this:

"You really need to stop eating that. It makes you feel like shit." (usually in reference to refined carbs, dairy, and red meat).

"Yeah, I know, but I just do not want to eat a salad right now."

"How come?"

"Well, for one thing, one salad almost always has to turn into more salad, because when you feel you're strapped for healthy eating options salad ends up being pretty much all you eat. Followed up by steamed or grilled chicken. I find most salads to be soulless and boring, and I don't always have the ingredients on hands to make the kind I'd like to eat."

"What kind of salad is that?"

"Oh you know, some mixed greens and tossed with diced tomato, avocado, bacon, and balsamic vinaigrette. Maybe also some gorgonzola."

"That sounds tasty."

"Yeah. But I can't exactly eat that every day. I just don't dig crunching on a big bowl of vegetables every day. Eventually, I tire of eating them and go right back to the burgers and ice cream because they're familiar and they taste good."

"Even though you always feel like crap after you eat those things? You're like a drunk who keeps falling off the wagon."

"Yeah. Sigh."

"Well what about soup? Soup is good."

"I love soup. But I hate canned soup. I could make a big pot of it to last a couple days, but I tend to tire on leftovers really quickly. Also, there are some vegetables that are healthy but I just don't like eating, period. Like dark leafy greens such as kale."

"So what you're saying is you like fresh ingredients, but you don't like the idea of a big bowl of rabbit food or vegetable soup every day?"

"Pretty much."

"And you'd like to be able to enjoy the health benefits of these foods if they were provided to you in a more palatable way?"

"Totally."

And, for either lack of funding or initiative or ideas to get my diet how I wanted it, I'd usually go right back to the foods that I was used to, even though I know with every bite, they're pretty much killing me. Or I would try to supplement those things through pills and powders and whatnot, never really feeling the same benefits I feel when I eat the ACTUAL foods. I have high blood sugar and am on Metformin. My LDL cholesterol is too high, and I am in a constant state of inflammation in regards to my skin (psoriasis). And I'm usually in various stages of tired. If I don't get hold of this soon, I'm going to have a doctor trying to shove all kinds of pills down my throat, and I DO NOT WANT THAT.

I need more actual vegetables and fruits. In fact, I need my diet to be constituted of them by AT LEAST half. I know this, because the short period of time I have been able to sustain a diet that was mostly vegetarian and particularly low on things like bread and sugar, I have never felt better. And while I can drink a glass of V8 every morning, I'd really need to drink five or six glasses to get any benefit out of it. And there is enough sodium in that stuff to choke a horse.

And it isn't just about me. It's also about the kids. They definitely need more vegetables in their diet, and a couple Flintstone vitamins a day isn't going to make up for what they're not eating every day. They need the nutrients from those colorful veggies and fruits every bit as much as I do, if not more.

The one delivery method that I know works for me--soups and smoothies--has been mostly kept out of reach because I've been lacking the proper appliance for it: a high powered blender. So three days ago, I ordered the family a Vitamix blender.

I've wanted one for about ten years. I would see the demonstrations at state fairs and Costcos and I would watch chefs use them on TV and cooking magazines review them, all the while saying to myself, "some day, I'm going to have one of these machines."

And those who don't know the difference between a Vitamix and a $30 Oster are really missing out. These babies have so much horsepower that you can throw a whole apple into one, seeds, core, stem and all, and it will be ground into a smooth puree in seconds. Pineapple slices with the core? No problem! Unlike juicers, these blenders use the entire foods and allow you to get as much nutrition (and fiber) as possible by breaking down cell walls far more than a typical machine would, keeping the foods in their otherwise uncooked state but leaving them easier to digest.

I've been studying lately the benefits of an increased raw food diet on autoimmunity and other disorders like diabetes. The benefits are so intriguing that I feel, especially armed with the Vitamix, that I can take on this challenge. I'm not looking to go 100% raw right now. It's not a commitment that I feel most people can make overnight, but the idea is to replace as much processed food as possible with whole, unadulterated foods with help from the Vitamix. I feel it will have a tremendous positive effect not only on my health, but that of my husband and kids. My daughter is so excited to try a green smoothie, and I couldn't be more excited about that.

But the idea isn't to just drink smoothies. It makes preparing all sorts of dishes easier, such as nut butters and "milks," salsas, guacamole, soups, and even ice cream (made from any number of dairy alternatives). Also, it allows one to grind whole grains into flour as well as knead bread dough. Also, with my passion for making seasonal fruit butters, I will get a very smooth grind and be able to use the whole fruit with help from the Vitamix in no time flat.

Honestly, I haven't been more excited about something in a long time. Suddenly, I feel like a whole world of neglected natural foods will finally be available to me in a way that I can actually enjoy them. And the more we enjoy these kinds of foods, the more we crave them--in EVERY form. It's a way of eating that is not only easier on the body, but also on the planet. Sure, I'll still enjoy cooked meals from time to time, but I'll feel better doing it knowing that I'm nourishing my body far better than I have been.

For more information on the benefits of raw foods, I highly recommend the documentaries Food Matters and A Beautiful Truth. I was a major holdout on the idea for the longest times until I really started wrapping my head around the science of it. Both films are available on Netflix streaming as well as online. Also check out the Vitamix website for demo videos and testimonials. I look forward to documenting my adventures with it and sharing new recipes here. I also look forward to unlocking my body's true potential and watching it heal itself from the inside out.

I also look forward most of all to the increased mental clarity and the kind of creativity that I know springs forth from it.

No comments:

Post a Comment