After a tough on my tight muscles vinyasa practice, I went to lunch with Candice, my favorite yoga instructor in Chicago, hands down. We went to the Bourgeois Pig, one of my favorite Lincoln Park haunts. With iced coffee and a hummus plate, Candice and I sat down to catch up on what we’ve been up to. We got to talking about a cleanse she recently did where she, gasp, ate real food. No gluten, no dairy, no soy, no caffeine, no alcohol, no processed food. My first reaction was, “What did you eat then?”. Answer? Real, whole foods. As in, food in it’s original form. Not an imitation of a food- the real, unprocessed thing.
I’d like to think I have a fairly healthy diet. I was a vegetarian for a few years but if we’re being honest, I think that was mostly just to piss off the carnivore I was dating at the time. Growing up, we never ate cows or pigs so I steer clear from that as I just don’t care for it. I read an article 5 years ago about blood and other gross things in cow’s milk so it’s been strictly Silk for me since then. I sort of eat meat now. I love fish and sliced turkey. I actually started eating meat again just so I could have Subway turkey subs. I still eat a lot of soy though. Those geniuses at Morningstar Farms can make anything out of it. I fed Ryan a soy buffalo wing once and he totally thought it was a chicken nugget. Don’t ask him though; he’ll totally deny it.
Anyways. After my conversation with Candice about all the additives and fillers in food, I came home and did some sleuthing through my kitchen. There is something called Xanthan Gum in my veggie burgers. And instant coffee. I had coffee this morning, thankyouverymuch- I never said it was okay to put it in my veggie burger, my primary protein source for the day. My Special K crackers? Yeah, they have eggs in them. Because eggs sitting in my cupboard doesn’t make me wildly freaked out. A few other ingredient readings later and I signed up for Farmer Tom’s.
I will now pick up a bushel of whatever is local and in season from a pick-up location at a business near where I work. Produce is pricey in the city and, sometimes, kind of disgusting- yes, I’m talking to you, Dominick’s and those gross-o strawberries and tomatoes you sent me home with last week. Farmer Tom’s is a Community Supported Agriculture program guided by principles of responsibility, sustainability and “deep reverence for the earth and all life.” With Farmer Tom’s, I’ll have a big box of fresh, from the ground, not shipped across the country produce that I can make meals with that haven’t been sitting in my cupboard for 2 months. I’m not going on a cleanse by any means but this is my vote for more conscious eating and living. I hate days that end where I don’t feel I was actively participating in conscious decisions. Why should I come home and schlep together a meal with Xanthan Gum and all these other preservatives that I would never consciously choose to go in my food? Plus, I think it will be fun to go “Ok. I have a box of squash, radishes and watermelon-go!”. Or it could be a hippie-dippie disaster. Either way, I am going to be cooking more which will be helpful on our wallets, trying out new recipes and possibly meeting some new veggies and fruits.
Get your favorite recipes ready. When I get a box full of turnips or copious amounts of acorn squash, I’m going to need your great-Aunt Mildred’s neighbor’s recipes for squash frittata. Or whatever.