FOOD IS LOVE, LIFE AND MEDICINE
“In this earth, in this earth, in this immaculate field, we shall not plant any seeds, except for compassion, except for love.”
Isn’t food love? Love to us from Mother Nature, Life, and the Great, Great Mystery. Love with an infinite possibility of tastes, fragrances, textures, colours, shapes and forms. Love to our palate and pleasure, not alone for the infinite benefits and medicinal properties. Have you ever stopped and started thinking about how our food and seeds have evolved along our own evolution and how they perfected themselves through resilience, just like we did. They are perpetual reminders of the complexity and diversity of life on earth. Seeds have been cherished and transmitted from so many different lineages and traditions all over the world, from generation after generation as they adapted to climate changes and different landscapes. It is just amazing how we can benefit from them today! They truly are precious and of inestimable worth. They are the seeds of life and are directly related to food freedom and to our health. The quality of our food depends on the quality of the seeds and the soil in which they grow. As the new science of epigenetics shows that the environment influences genes, agro ecology and ecological farming, not “industrial farming”, are finally being recognized around the world and by institutions of the United Nations, as the basis for the future of our food. Small farmers produce more, and seeds savings has spread all over the world. Gardens are exploding everywhere! As I sit to eat my food, I remind myself to connect to my breath and feel my emotional state before I start eating. Digestion starts with the brain’s sensory experience of seeing food, smelling food and anticipating food. When we eat unaware and speedily, we trigger the “fight or flight response” and bypass our food’s sensory pleasure. Our digestion shuts down biochemically and neurologically, and therefore our ability to burn our food as fuel, and to absorb our precious nutrients is being altered. When I approach my meal with mindfulness and with an attitude of gratitude rather than with mental preoccupation, I enhance my relationship with food and its beneficial nutritional and medicinal effects. According to John Robbins, the author of The Food Revolution: How your diet can help you save your life and our world: “few of us are aware that the act of eating can be a powerful statement of commitment to our own well-being, and at the same time the creation of a healthier habitat. Your health, happiness, and the future of life on earth are rarely so much in your own hands as when you sit down to eat.”
“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for insects as well as for the stars. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”
~ Albert Einstein
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
One of the seven pearls toward health is eating natural, organic food as much as possible. They are more nutritious as they contain more nutrients and higher mineral contents. They also have fewer pesticides, herbicides and organochlorines, which jeopardize our natural bacterial flora and immune system. Masticate your food thoroughly. Make sure that you have 1 to 2 (ideal) bowel movements per day. Rotate your food. Eat vibrant, colourful food, 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Ideally eat every day, as much as between 3 to 9 cups of green leaves, of sulphur rich vegetables ( (involve hundreds of physiological processes and consist of cabbage family, collards, spinach, onions, garlic, radishes, leeks, chives, shallots, ginger, mushrooms, asparagus), of bright colour of vegetables and fruits (carrots, yams, beets, peppers, red cabbage, turmeric root, berries, peaches, oranges). Eat your vegetables slightly steamed, or raw as much as possible, especially in warm season. Enjoy raw seeds, nuts, seaweeds, sprouts, lentils, beans, grasses, fresh herbs and natural spices as well as fermented foods. Proteins should not be in excess and need to be combined with quality fat or oils for optimum health: olive, coconut, organic butter, and avocados. If eating meat, favor grass fed only. Eating wild fish is preferable, especially those low in mercury and high in omega 3 as salmon and sardines. Average adult requires 30 to 60 gm. of proteins daily, average 40 gm. or 20 % of your diet.
- 4 tsp. organic Tamari sauce
- 1 tsp. raw honey
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
- 1 ½ tablespoons minced or pressed garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh minced ginger root
- 1 large carrot, sliced diagonally
- 2 cups whole mushrooms
- 1 cup asparagus, cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
- 1 ½ cups red and green bell peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini or small summer squash, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 cup scallion pieces, cut diagonally about 2 inches long, green and white parts
- optional: 8 oz organic tofu, tempeh, chicken or scallops
Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. After heating the wok on med-high heat, add the oil and coat the bottom of the wok. Stir-fry the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds or so and then add the carrots. Stir-fry for one minute and add the mushrooms. Stir-fry for a minute and add the asparagus. If scorching threatens, lower the heat and add 3 or 4 tablespoons of stock or water. After cooking the asparagus for one minute, add the peppers and squash and stir-fry for another minute. Add the scallions, and cook for just a couple of minutes. Add the sauce mix and, stirring continuously, heat carefully, just until the sauce bubbles. Remove from the heat and serve on brown steamed rice or quinoa, with tamari roasted nuts, and seasoned chili sesame oil. Serves 4.
SEASONED CHILI OIL
- ¼ cup olive or coconut oil
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- ½ – 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or 1 tablespoon chopped chiles)
- ½ teaspoon roasted Szechuan peppercorns
- 2 slices fresh ginger root (about ½ inch thick)
Gently heat the oil. Add the remaining ingredients, and then remove the pan from the heat. Let the mixture steep, covered, for a few hours or overnight. Strain. Refrigerated, this seasoned oil will keep indefinitely.
TAMARI ROASTED NUTS
- 2 cups of raw nuts (pecans, almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts)
- 3 tablespoons of organic gluten-free tamari soy sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350°F
- Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.
- Drizzle the tamari sauce on the nuts and stir them well.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven for another 5 minutes.
- Turn off the oven. Stir the nuts again and leave them in the oven for a final 5 minutes.
- The nuts will become dry and crisp. Allow them to cool.
- Store them in a covered container for them to conserve their crispiness.
Slightly adapted from “Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant” by the Moosewood Collective. Buddha’s Garden is one of my favourite recipe.
INSPIRATION OF THE MONTH
Dr. Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., is a world-renowned environmental leader and thinker. She is the founder/director of Navdanya Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Ecology. She has received numerous awards, and honorary degrees including the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize. In 2011 Forbes named her “one of the 7 most influential feminists in the world”.
Vandana Shiva: The Future of Food – Part 1
“We need once more to feel at home on earth and with each others.”
~ Vandhana Shiva
Again, I want to thank each one and every one of you for reading my newsletter, for your interest and support. I find myself of service in this big picture of life, where to understand our own health, it is often valuable to understand our place in our surroundings, living consciously, with an awareness of our own nature and of the world around us, how it affects us and how we, in turn, affect nature and the world. My goal is to help each other to make informed choices for ourselves, our families and loved ones. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a guide and facilitator toward empowerment, helping you in developing the necessary tools and confidence to take your health and happiness into your own hands. Furthermore, I want to express my sincere gratitude also for the possibility to share, for each one of you in my life, and for the precious and endless teachings that I receive from each and every one. We are truly interconnected!
In Health, Love and Joy,
“Man surprised me most about humanity.
Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
~ Dalai Lama X1V