Tuesday, May 3, 2011

raw food rethink

Okay, I know what you're going to say. Raw food is good for me. It's a gift from our Earth in the most natural form, ripe with nutrients.

But let's admit it: raw food is hard to prepare and hard to eat ALL DAY LONG. Personally, I have a lot of things on my mind throughout the day, and I can't spend every waking moment planning and preparing my meals and snacks. Maybe if it were my life's work to be a chef, or I was a cave woman who had the time to spend on such things, I might give it a better try.

The thing is, I like warm food. It tastes wonderful and it fills me up. Eating cold meals all day long would be torture! Oh, and my husband and daughter would certainly divorce me if that's what I tried to serve.

I've given it a good go - I pick up various recipes in magazines and newspapers, and I enthusiastically prepare and serve them to my family. Usually, however, I get sad looks, or worse, plates of food thrown on the floor.

But the other night probably marked the end of my foray into raw food. I attempted to make a recipe from Gillian McKeith's You Are What You Eat cookbook. I used to enjoy this British woman's take on food when I watched her show on the Women's Network. I soon discovered she was quite loony (looking at people's poo, and commenting on the form and smell of it....yuck!), but her desire for Britain's citizens to eat better certainly seemed heartfelt [on a side note, she seems to have had a nervous breakdown on a British celebrity reality show that aired in 2010 - one too many nuts, perhaps?]

I bought the cookbook years back in an attempt to clean up my eating a bit, and I've certainly found a few winners in there (Aduki Bean Stew is fantastic!). But I recently tried making her "brownies" which are essentially a paste of dates, raisins, nuts and carob powder. First off, I used real cocoa instead of carob, because what the heck's wrong with a bit of chocolate?

My brownies did not look like this
What I wasn't warned about is that when you put a bunch of sticky dates, hard brazil nuts and a cup of water into a food processor, you might not get the smooth paste you're looking for. Instead, you end up with the counter, walls and floors (as well as your face and shirt) covered in a splatter of chocolatey water. It looked like a "death by chocolate" crime scene in our kitchen. I then had to painstainkingly grind tiny batches of the stuff one at a time before I had my "paste." And now, it has to stay frozen in the freezer in order to be "brownies" or it will essentially turn into a big gooey mess.

Being a past employee of an organization that supports individuals with eating disorders, I'm not a huge fan of diets or "lifestyle plans" that advocate only one way to eat. If you're able to stick to a diet that works well for you, hoorah! But the majority of us just end up feeling cranky, bitter and lonely, because really, who wants to invite a food nazi to their dinner party? They wouldn't eat anything!

The best "plan" any of us can ever hope to achieve is to eat a balanced, healthy diet that leaves us feeling energetic and satisfied. This will help us avoid all the disordered eating patterns we've come to adopt because of our obsession with skinny body types and holier-than-thou diets (like when the day after your cleanse...or maybe the day of your cleanse!...you rush out to the local Dairy Queen and down a monster-size brownie Blizzard). Achieving this lifestyle will take more than a book of recipes - it will require mindful eating, stress-busting techniques and lots of physical activity. Because food is really only one part of the picture.

I will enjoy my frozen brownies this week, but I think I'll stick to cooked brownies in the future.

1 comment:

  1. LOL. Reminds me of the time I attempted to make brownies with silken tofu. It ended up a big runny, chunky mess! I won't be attempting those again!


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