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Monday, February 21, 2011

Eat to what?, Rewards, Isa's Lentil Pie & Mango Tango

Eat to Live. Eat to what? Wait a minute, Dr. Fuhrman, I think you mean eat to reward ourselves, or maybe eat to celebrate, or eat to console or eat to fill ourselves to compensate for something desired yet not attained. Eat to LIVE????

Funny, as I've been reading Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book Eat-to-Live, it wasn't until about the 3rd chapter that I went, oh, wait a minute, I get it...EAT TO LIVE!!! My brain is always going about 10 different directions and it isn't until I grab it by its cerebral collar, slap it around a bit and get it to focus that the simple and profound has a chance in hell at registering.

How far we have come from that simple concept in the industrialized, codified, mechanized modern move-at-the-rate-of-nano-seconds western world. Where else would millions (and really it's billions) of dollars be spent on REMOVING calories from food and creating processed food-type substances to ingest so as to not absorb nutrients to LOSE weight when so much of the world is literally starving?

Or, in what I think has got to be the most ridiculous waste of resources of the last 50 years, set up factory farms, crowd cows into them, feed them corn that will make them so sick they can die if you don't slaughter them first, grow this corn on thousands and thousands of acreage and as a variety that is inedible to humans unless processed further (mostly into high fructose corn syrup), and feed this corn-fed, inhumanely treated cattle to humans, now placing them at risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and all the rest of the 'modern' diseases plaguing the westernized world. For more on the insanity of the rewards/regulations for the modern farmer, high fructose corn syrup, our current corn crop-yellow dent #2, and how corn farming came to be in its current state, watch King Corn, ---here is part one of an interview with the filmaker.

Eat to Live. We simply have got to learn that eating is not a panacea for all things, and that what we put into our bodies matters and is probably the most important thing we can do for ourselves, for our families and for the health of our planet. Right now, most Americans eat when they are happy, eat when they are sad, eat to reward, eat to entertain, eat to just plain eat. As a child, how often did you hear, 'well, you were good so we'll stop and get an cone of frozen bovine lactation...I mean, ice cream'. Or, 'let's go celebrate your good grade card, and go out to eat', etc.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have a place for the family celebration and certainly the sharing of vital nutrients and enjoyable foods has its place, but things have gotten WAY out of control and we are literally eating ourselves to death. Eating - to - Death.

We need a reality check and it is exciting to see the revolution that is underway; some of us are not waiting until we get a reality check that is too extreme to do much about.

I am one week now on Dr. Fuhrman's 6-week program. It was not much of a jump to tweak my whole-foods vegan plan to his simple program. About all I had to do was cut the whole grain/high starch veggies to the one-cup/day allotment and boost my consumption of veggies, raw and cooked and add the minimum one cup of beans per day. I had a hard time incorporating that much food for the first couple of days, but I lost 3 pounds last week, so am THRILLED! My numbers are moving again. Thank you, Dr. Fuhrman....I am eating to live.

Speaking of numbers, I hit one, several weeks ago and had promised myself a 'reward' when I hit this particular number on the scale. I didn't decide what the reward would be, but told myself I could splurge on something I wouldn't normally get for myself. I think that part of breaking the habit of food-as-reward is setting up new incentives, both tangible and untangible. Here is what I got for myself:

I have a thing for pens and had misplaced my old ink pen years ago, so thought I would get a new one. Fun and definitely something that is a bit of a splurge (even though I only spent $20. on it!).
I tried a few new recipes last week and am behind on putting them on the blog. I've been going thru Isa Chandra Moskowitz's "Appetite for Reduction" as I have mentioned before. I decided to make Isa's Upside Down Lentil Shepherd's Pie and the recommended Cauli-pots to go with. I followed Isa's recipes nearly to the letter (except omitted the oil and used porcini mushrooms) and especially liked the de Puy lentils (French lentils) that she recommended. Those are tasty. I am not a mushroom person, but my husband is, and he did enjoy this meal, so much so that I did not get a chance to take a picture of the cauli-pots....he chowed them all down! That is a WONDERFUL problem to have here as I am highly motivated to have him on this food program. I did enjoy the Lentil Pie, but was thinking that the next time I make it, I would add a bit more liquid and some thickener (either corn starch or whole-wheat flour wisked in some liquid and then added) as I think having it more as a stew would be nice. The cauli-pots were good, but I think adding some celery to the cook pot with the potatoes and cauliflower or even just a few more potatoes would be a nice alternative. Recipes follow.

Upside-Down Lentil Shepherd's Pie, from Isa Chandra Moskowitz "Appetite for Reduction".
2 t olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, chopped (1.5 C)
1 zuccini, diced small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t dried tarragon
2 t dried thyme
1/2 t salt
several pinches freshly ground black pepper
1 C carrots, peeled and diced small
3/4 C du Puy lentils (French lentils) rinsed
3 C veg. broth
1 T Worchestershire (or 1 t tamarind & 2 t soy sauce, or 2 t soy sauce, 2 t tomato paste & 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice---I used this last option)
1/2 C frozen peas
1 recipe Cauli-pots
Saute onions in oil (I used water) until translucent, about 4 mins. Add mush, zucc, garlic, tarragon, thyme, salt and pepp; saute for 5 more mins.
Add carrots, lentils and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 25 mins, stirring occasionally. By this point, the lentils should be tender and most of the broth should be absorbed. If that hasn't happened yet, then cover and simmer for a bit more. Conversely, if the broth has evaporated and the lentils are not soft, then add a bit of water and simmer for a bit longer.
Once the lentils are soft, stir in the Worcest. and peas. Let sit for ten minutes or so for maximum flavor. Taste for salt.
To serve: Scoop a cup of Caulipots into a bowl and serve a cupful of lentils over it.
Caulipots (Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes):
2 russet potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (about 1.5 #)
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets (1# or about 3 C)
1 T olive oil (I replaced with a bit of almond milk)
2-4 T vegetable broth
1/2 t salt
several pinches of freshly ground pepper
Place potatoes in pot in enough cold water to submerge them, making sure there are about 4 inches of extra water on top for when you add the cauliflower. Bring the potatoes to a boil. Add cauliflower and lower heat to simmer. Simmer 15 mins, until the potatoes and cauli are tender.
Drain in colander, return to pot and mash with potato masher (note: I did use potato masher, but also ended up using a hand mixer to try to get them a bit creamier). Add olive oil (I used the nut milk), salt, pepper and mash a bit more. If needed, add another 2 T of broth. Taste for salt.
(Note: I think this will be a fun base to play with and add more veggies, cooked carrots or any number of foods.)
I've been having just a wonderful love affair with Viv, my Vita-mix Blender. (More on Viv and her super powers to come in a future post). My husband and I used to love ice cream, but with going no-dairy and not wanting to eat the processed, vegan versions, we haven't had anything even remotely like it. Viv to the rescue. I just toss in some water, frozen mango (Trader Joe's has a good sized bag of these reasonably priced) and add whatever other frozen or fresh fruit I think would be good. I've done raspberries, strawberries, and the version pictured below, is frozen strawberries and a fresh banana added to the mango. I set Viv on high and in about 2 minutes get a lovely way to incorporate more fruit into my day. For a creamier 'tango', use nut milk. (If this seems dangerously close to being another food reward, just remember that we need to eat-fruit-to-live! So what if it's scrumptious!).

Sue, definitely eating-to-live, in Ohio

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