My own kind of foodie

Breakfast splurge at Sucrose in St.Charles, Mo.

Country life vs. city life for sure. I’m a forever foodie – but maybe not in the traditional sense? It’s not always about aesthetics but often about nourishment (as in my new fascination with foraging wild foods) but today, in the big city of St.Louis, it’s about splurging on some higher sugar and fat than I would ever have at home. But still, made in house daily by a small, local business.

While some might call me picky, persnickety or snobbish when it comes to what I ingest – that’s their prerogative! I am picky because I care about certain issues like where my food came from, the possible ethical issues tied into the procuring of the food (Ex. Coffee and the workers involved, dairy and the cows and factory farms involved), the packaging of the food and its environmental impact, the corporation who owns the establishment vs. supporting local businesses etc!! I generally enjoy this process – it makes me feel empowered and I feel health is one of the highest priorities. Without it, we can’t do anything else, right?! And remember, WE LITERALLY ARE WHAT WE EAT!

Over the past years – since starting the Zero Waste Lifestyle and realizing how good it felt (perhaps surprisingly) to be deprived sometimes – I have redefined what my daily eating intake looks like. I no longer eat three meals a day, I don’t snack in between the meals I do eat, I stay hydrated with water, I don’t eat unless I am feeling hungry, I look at my eating seasonally – saying goodbye to blueberries, tomatoes and cantaloupes etc in the winter. For over a year, I have been practicing intermittent fasting – meaning I go as long as I can overnight not eating. I shoot for at least 12 hours and easily go 14 or 16 hours a few times a week. Suffice it to say, I am working on my durability! Remember, IT’S OKAY TO FEEL HUNGRY sometimes! In fact, it’s good for us! Our bodies were designed for feast and famine, but when’s the last time you’ve experienced famine?! And this is where some fun challenges come in for me. I can hold out and find a local cafe over fast food. I can eat only what I find at a farmer’s market and create my recipes from that – rather than driving all over town looking for specific ingredients that may be out of season or in disposable packaging. I am not addicted to coffee, so I will hold out for my ethically sourced, rain forest certified cup and pass up the Folgers.

I would like to end by acknowledging that I am a privileged, white woman who has enough money (& a vehicle etc) to make some of these – what some may deem – elitist choices. I still stand by the fact that there is a way for all people to have some of these same choices and to embrace the Zero Waste Lifestyle, but it may take education and some sort of external help, guidance or initial monetary investment to get there. The truth is getting back to nature and learning about the plants around us holds all the answers. Living simply and letting go of the perceived standards of living, which are guided by consumerism, will be our salvation. It’s not about choosing and paying for organic food, it’s about putting some seeds out in your backyard or in your windowsill. It’s about researching what all the different “weeds” are surrounding your apartment complex or in the field across the street and then consuming them! It’s about cutting back on your meat intake – saving money and packaging – and being nourished by extremely affordable dried beans, legumes and fresh vegetables or eating the meat you hunt (deer, anyone?!) It’s not about only being able to afford Folgers coffee, it’s about finding some Yaupon Holly from a friend (in the South and Midwest) and harvesting North America’s natural caffeinated beverage!

Talk about bringing things back to local!

I know I’m an optimist. I’m a believer. But simplicity is the key. Less is more. Excess will be the death of us. The priority of comfort will be our downfall. Embrace discomfort. Become durable.

Extra little references/thoughts:

Marie Kondo has a new Netflix show helping people to downsize and keep only the material things that bring them joy. Based on her book, “The Magic Art of Tidying Up”. Remember – when cleaning out, donate your belongings and recycle everything possible before sending to the garbage!

A reminder for those who would consider themselves to be followers of Christ (& everyone else too!): Jesus had no belongings. For all accounts, he was a homeless, shoeless, dirty, long haired Middle Eastern hippy who preached “its easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.” And this is why Jesus is my homeboy, for reals. But why, in a country that is majority Christian, are we ACTUALLY ruled by the economy and consumerism?? I hear Christians talk about the Bible passage that says “you cannot serve two masters,” and Its references as man or government vs. God. I ask you today to contemplate replacing “man” with words like the economy, materialism, money, or excess food and see how that strikes you. Contemplation = good.

Now, amen and namaste’ y’all!

Countrygal Citygal

Advertisements

A Thanksgiving Prayer

In our home, we hold hands before meals and in silence, we offer up our own prayers, in the way we want, to whom we wish. I do a lot more meditating than I do praying, mostly because I feel words are often to small to express the complex thoughts/emotions I’m experiencing and that it’s better to sit in stillness and quiet and stay on the “receiving end” of things. When hearing other’s prayers, I often hear the same sentiments – especially around this time of year. Dear Heavenly Father, bless this food that we are about to receive and bless the hands that prepared it. This is a wonderful statement, but there is so much more I feel is missing. I don’t really think anyone in my extended family spends too much time wondering what kind of prayer I would pray if I was ever the one to say it out loud, and I’m not even sure I would have the courage to say all of this in that setting. It’s emotional. It’s messy. It’s ugly. It’s not traditional. It is in fact, the shadow side of this Thanksgiving Day. It is the other side of the “yin yang” that makes it all complete. I feel it’s necessary and it makes me feel so much better to put it out there – bravely, courageously – embracing it all. Not just the food. Not just the pilgrims. Not just the tryptophan, the parade and football. This is what I came up with and pray it will all my heart.

 

A Thanksgiving Prayer by Holland LeDelia ~ November 22, 2018

Mother/Father God,

We kneel down before you now in humility and gratitude – overwhelmed by the goodness and by the abundance that we are lucky enough to receive from you daily. On this day, may we enjoy and be thankful for the nourishing food, the animals that gave their lives, the people that prepared the meal,  and the company with whom we share it.

May we remember that the collective path we took to get here as Americans was fueled by greed and ego. We coveted, lied, cheated, stole and murdered. We remember now the Indigenous People. We ask forgiveness for the sins of our ancestors and we pray that new ways of reparation will be shown to us, so that we may actively care for the Native People now and work to heal what we’ve so badly damaged.

As we enjoy this excess, may we remember those who are not experiencing abundance and those who are barely surviving. They are around the world, across America, and in our town – all around us. May we not take for granted what we have and we pray now for opportunities to help and serve those in need. Give us the awareness to see these opportunities and the drive and energy to take them! To care for God’s people with and open heart and without judgement.

Mother/Father God, we ask to be taught MODERATION. Teach us to live in harmony with nature, animals and our fellow humans. Teach us – on this day of plenty and everyday – to take only what is necessary. Lead us away from greed, gluttony and fear that there is “not enough.” Help us to stay present, mindful and thankful everyday that we receive this gift of life. Help us do our best to contribute positively to others’ lives – helping them in any way we can – to become present, mindful and thankful.

We pray this now to the God of our own understanding. Amen.

 

 

 

 

Half way through the challenge!

This gallery contains 5 photos.

Here we are, already half way through our time on the island this time around. The weather has been beautiful and as I type this from my kitchen table, I have breeze blowing through the screen doors and a lovely view of the Pillsbury Sound–a place where the Caribbean Ocean meets the Atlantic. We are … Continue reading

St. Thomas Take 2, Zero Waste Challenge Week 1

This gallery contains 4 photos.

I arrived back “on island” this week (after being away for 8 months) and immediately started making decisions about the Zero Waste Challenge or ZWC, for short. As ideas started to become realities, it was time to set up some hard and fast rules. As we already established, J (my partner) and I are both … Continue reading

Pumpkins aren’t just for decorations…

This gallery contains 9 photos.

While they are still in season, go out and get a few pumpkins and make your own pumpkin puree! (Since the one you got in October got all carved up and turned into a Jack–O–Lantern for Halloween). There are many types of these delicious and nutritious fruits (technically it’s a fruit) to choose from–some are … Continue reading

Count your blessings! (Plus…making your own sauerkraut!)

This gallery contains 1 photo.

I not gonna lie…this week has been pretty amazing. About a week ago I had a private dance party with myself while watching (and singing along with) one of my favorite bands, NO DOUBT, when they were on the Jimmy Kimmel show. It was awesome. “You got me feeling hella good so I’m gonna keep … Continue reading

It’s the perfect time for canning tomatoes.

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Ahhh summer. The time of endless fresh vegetables and farmers markets. This is the perfect time to take advantage of fresh local delicious tomatoes! The Heirloom varieties are my favorite. Always jump at the chance to get some Cherokee Purples, Yellow Valencias, Brandy Wine, German Stripe, Ananas Noire, Early Girls, or Arkansas Travelers. As a … Continue reading

Thanksgiving: Food, Fun, Meditation…

       So many interesting events of the last few weeks. Thanksgiving happened. I had a wonderful experience with my good friend, Karley, and her family down in Baltimore. Karley is my own little guru…constantly introducing me to new ways of thinking, yoga events, books, etcs. She told me about “The Power of Now” by Eckert Tolle, which is a book that I can definitely say redefined my life. With her family, we held hands before every meal and silently cultivated gratitude, went to yoga class, and even sat together one evening for a meditation. This was such a nice and unique experience. I am grateful for all the family/friend situations I encountered growing up–they are wonderful experiences–but they are all very similar. When I first met Karley doing a show together in TN, I just loved talking to her and hearing all about her life growing up and how different it was from mine. We have been friends ever since (almost 4 yrs later) and got to be roomies (again) in NYC. Just the other day she finally got me to leave my Queens apartment and come to the upper west side in winter time (which is something I rarely do) to visit her yoga studio, World Yoga Center. (check them out at worldyogacenter.com). I attended one the best mediation classes I have ever experienced with WYC’s founder, Rudrani. The room and people were filled with such a wonderful energy and I was able to quit my mind and body for a little glimpse into peace. Rudrani leads the group in a way that is perfect for beginners as well as experienced meditators over the course of an hour and fifteen minutes. I was back the same time the following week. This time we did some chanting, which is something I want to do more of and have little experience with.

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha. Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha.

A very powerful chant to Ganesha–remover of obstacles!! Chanting helped me to easily clear my mind and stay focused. I love how the vibration of these words and sounds connects us all to each other and to ourselves and to the world around us. OM–meaning the sound of the universe! The sound that is a combination of all sounds. It is a form of music, and as we all know, music can release tension and set us free! My favorite part of meditation and any energy work I’ve done over this past year, and sometimes when I am very focused in yoga class, is connecting with my loved ones who have passed on. I can feel them around me and sometimes even see them in forms of light. It is a very sacred place where we can be connected again and I am very thankful for this gift of communion I am learning to cultivate.

And thanks again to my luminous friend, Karley.

And back to Thanksgiving.  Of course, lots of good food and different family recipes sampled this year. Shain and I hosted a mini celebration at our house, preparing a Guy Fieri variation from Food Network! Shain made turkey cordon bleu for the meat eaters and an even more terrific Veg option created with grilled pablano peppers stuffed with cheese, tofurky ham, wrapped in filo dough! I made a green bean casserole from scratch–topped with baked shallots, and healthy twice baked potatoes–made with greek yogurt and low fat cheddar cheese. And the healthiest possible apple pie.

I made my pie crust (always using less butter than called for) and then added a bunch of chopped walnuts to the filling.

***I just read an idea that I am going to incorporate in to future pie crusts…replace 1/2 flour with 1/2 of chopped nuts of any kind. It will give your crust a different flavor, take out some carbs and replace with a healthy fat. Use anything you think will taste good with your pie, ie. walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, etc.!

I was very proud of myself for not overindulging! I think we should all take time to think about what a holiday’s true meaning is before resorting to what it has become. It is actually a little sickening to me to think about how Thanksgiving is like a big gorge fest and Turkey massacre Day. It is truly not okay for everyone in the US to have a day of gluttony while so many in the rest of the world live on less than 1/2 cup of rice per day. I like to think of the holiday as first, a day to reflect (as we should be doing daily) on our many blessings, second, a day of spending time with family and/or friends, and third, a day of cooking up delicious AND wholesome foods that have perhaps been passed down through the generations. In this way, I keep the holiday holy for myself.

Note to self: I will not be consuming ANY turkey next year. For the past two years I have eaten a bite and remember each time that I actually do not like Thanksgiving turkey and I do not like to be a part of the great yearly Turkey massacre.

And lastly, add pumpkin to whatever you can while it’s still in season. (Yes you could used canned but a simple pumpkin puree is worth working for!) Try these Pumpkin BAM-Cakes! (A “bam-cake” is a word Shain and I created, meaning: pancakes that have protein powder!)

1 Cup Flour (perhaps wheat or a mix)

1 Tlb organic sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 ground cinnamon

a little freshly ground nutmeg…if you like

1 scoop of plain or vanilla protein powder

Combine these in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together:

2 egg YOLKS

1 C milk (perhaps soy, almond etc)

1 C pumpkin

2 Tlb smart balance oil

Then beat the two egg WHITES and fold into batter for added fluffiness.

Pour batter into hot skillet that has been sprayed with olive oil–making giant, silver dollar or medium sized BAMcakes! When bubbles start to form on top, then flip. ENJOY!

Here are two pics of the way I enjoyed two days of these BAMcakes. Once with a side of tempeh bacon and once topped with cooked apples and homemade whipped cream and a side of moningstar veggie bacon. Please note that vegetable are missing from these plates, so drink your V8!

Peace and love~

Citygal

How to’s of healthy crepes + homemade vegetable soup & mexican cornbread!

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Bonjour there! Today I’d like to share with you the recipe for the crepes I made this week. These are actually healthy compared to most other crepes you may encounter. A Crepe, for those of you who may not know, is defined as a thin, delicate pancake and it is YUMMY. Here is my super … Continue reading

I moved to NYC! And making homemade yogurt…(My blog is SO predictable!)

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Hello out there…I did it! I made the move today! I am back in NYC after two years back home in Arkansas. Holla! It was all bittersweet, as always, with a million emotions and thoughts flooding my last several days in Jonesboro. Pros and Cons constantly coming to me, but when I arrived, all was … Continue reading