I had planned for this post to be another one I’d been working on, but I wanted to get this off my chest and I think Blaise Pacal’s words put it quite nicely. The other day Gillian, Kailey, a few others ladies, and I were discussing the topic of justification. Specifically, the justification of food. It’s funny because this is mostly a food blog, but I don’t label myself as anything more detailed than that. I know that I get tagged a healthy living blog, which there’s nothing wrong with, but I personally don’t see myself as that. I’m just a young woman who likes to share some things that perhaps others can enjoy. I also love to cook things out of scratch, so that means I simply use food that comes from this good earth.
Frankly, I don’t like how the word “healthy” gets used sometimes. Moreover, I don’t like dubbing things as “junk”. If someone wants to “healthify” recipes go ahead, but for some reason it bothers me when people say that. It keeps that mentality of x vs. y going–because this bread is made with apple sauce instead of oil, and a cookie made with butter can get a bad rap. Take out the oil, and that may make a person feel less anxiety. There’s nothing wrong with apple sauce for moisture or for taste, but if it’s done to avoid feelings of guilt I think one should think twice then. Let’s do ourselves a favor and catch ourselves when we start comparing. Instead, let each thing simply be what it is. In the end, what do these ideas really amount to? A cookie may be pivotal because of how delicious it tastes, but as far as the end all be all of someone’s diet… it doesn’t even come close. Granted, perhaps if no one sought out an alternative option for people who can’t digest things or choose a certain lifestyle some of my favorite things probably wouldn’t exist; like almond milk, coconut milk ice cream, some gluten-free granolas, and agave. Now, I know I am speaking in very general terms here but it’s for the sake of not writing a novel. I realize there are some who have diabetes or other dietary circumstances, but I think you know what I mean. I’m discussing the mentality.
I think what has a lot to do with the issue of making food more than what it really is, is the power of words. Sure actions can speak louder than them, but words also have the power to reinforce ideas. I mean that’s why I’m taking the time to write this. Don’t we all start to believe what we tell ourselves? These ideas of right and wrong, what makes us happy, or how things “should be”. How often do you hear people saying something is better because it has less calories, less fat, or less carbs? Sometimes we get bombarded with so much information that we forget to just live. Fortunately, we have the power and choice to step aside from the noise and not let it take over. I like to call this taking responsibility for ourselves.
On my blog when I was focusing on foods that were more beneficial for my liver, I was a little weary of writing about it. The information I was finding during my research was all very interesting, but I was afraid that some would focus on that too much. I know that I didn’t take it too seriously, but I didn’t want it to become what my blog was about. Acknowledging the wonderful benefits that some foods have is such a gift, but it is not my focus. I eat what I think tastes wonderful! I eat things that I would want to share with others if they were sitting right next to me, or pass along a recipe that could bring a person back to another place or time. That’s what I love about food. I don’t feel the need to justify what I’m eating because of its nutritional value or lack thereof. I eat what I like. I like ketchup with mayonnaise, and I like cured manchego. In fact, there’s nothing in this world that can replace the complex flavors of cheese. I like white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. I also like coconut oil mixed in almost everything, and sweet potatoes are just so good. I think olives are gross, nor have I ever really liked fish. I like sandwich bread, artisan bread, and sprouted bread. I think high fructose corn syrup is pointless as an ingredient, but has become an ethical issue and really just exists to give some people a paycheck and save some money. But hey, that’s just me. You are you, and that’s also cool!
Do you ever unnecessarily find yourself justifying why you do the things you do?
On that note, let us enjoy some tasty food, shall we?
Any Chocolove bar I’ve tried has been a special treat. Not to mention, they come with a love poem inside. So you can love the chocolate your eating, and feel loved too!
(Oh how I wish the weather would be warm enough to go out with bare legs!)
I love crystallized ginger, but I wasn’t sure how this would taste. Adventures always involve some sort of risk though! The ginger wasn’t overpowering the dark chocolate, and they complemented each other wonderfully–you get bits of sweet and spicy ginger while the dark chocolate melts in your mouth.
One baby step in making my 15 lb. bag of basmati rice a little lighter–“Project Clean Out” is still in progress!
Hot Rice Cereal with Sweet Fruits and Toasted Coconut
2 cups water
1 cup long- or short-grain brown rice
2 cups almond or coconut milk
1/3 cup maple sugar
splash orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried mango or dried apricots
3 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 tbl flaked coconut, unsweetened and lightly toasted
1 tbl hemp seeds, toasted and lightly salted
1. Bring 2 cups water to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Add rice.
2. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until rice is tender and water is absorbed, about 50 minutes. (Rice can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
3. Mix milk into rice in heavy medium saucepan. Boil until mixture is thick, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium.
4. Add sugar and orange juice, cook until flavors blend, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes longer.
5. Remove saucepan from heat. Mix in vanilla extract.
6. Spoon cereal into bowls. Top with dried mango, medjool dates, hemp seeds and toasted coconut. Enjoy!
I chopped up some medjool dates, stirred in some coconut oil, and also toasted some hemp seeds with sea salt. I love the nutty and roasted flavor that hemp seeds get when you toast them. It kind of reminds me of popcorn actually. Anyway, I had an inkling that it would be a tasty addition to this sweet recipe, and indeed it was.
On the way back from my last trip to Florida I tried these new-to-me chips called “Popcorners“. They were one of the options for snacks on my JetBlue flight, and I was curious about them. I ended up liking them so much that I asked if I could have another bag! Sadly, I had never seen these chips in stores, but I wanted to try more. The people over at Popcorners kindly sent me this funny box filled with all of their flavors! The texture of popped food is so satisfying to me.
After trying all of the flavors, I’ve come up with a list that goes from my favorite to least favorite (but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it!): Kettle, White Cheddar, Butter, Cheesy Jalapeno, and Sea Salt. Now I just want to munch on them! You can find out more about them on their Facebook or Twitter sites as well. Also, their website has creative ways to use their chips in all sorts of recipes!
I was curious as to what they’d be like. They’re great for snacking on, but I wanted to try them with something else.
I omitted the eggs since I’m not a fan of them. Anyway, I have enough for leftovers to have throughout the week!
In other news, I recently went to a casting call for a commercial for Richmond Fashion Week with one of my favorite persons, David!
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I ended up not being chosen to be a part of the commercial, but that’s alright. Just giving things a shot is enough for me sometimes.
Anyway, I’d like to know your thoughts about the beginning of this post.