While I know my body is healthy, I am definitely frustrated about the weight gain…I am still doing a plant based diet which really has me feeling great so I know I’m on the right track. I still have way more energy then I did before my cleanse. However, I seriously need to stop talking about exercising and I need to at least take a walk…tonight Hot Lips got home and took the pups out and I wanted to go with but was busy preparing dinner…which I totally did not take pictures of…sorry about that. I made a pesto sauce using broth instead of oil and nutritional yeast instead of cheese and put it over kelp noodles and topped it off with roasted veggies; squash, jalapeños & onions (from the farmers market) and zucchini & yellow pepper from my back yard (& organic garlic & asparagus from Whole Foods) topped with coconut oil and balsamic vinegar infused with basil, winter savory, rosemary & thyme from my garden. The veggies had enough of a sauce that I didn’t really need the pesto but it was too late by the time I figured that out. The kelp were raw so I I had both raw and cooked components in tonight’s dinner.
While on the subject of food, this weekend is my birthday and we are hosting a BBQ. I’m really looking forward to getting together with friends from the different communities of my life (i.e. neighbors, friends from synagogue, my army wife community, etc). Hot Lips and I love to entertain and it’s been 2 years since we’ve done a big event like this. Last summer I was grieving the loss of my dad so I wasn’t up to entertaining. This year I’ve got all kinds of vegan dishes I want to make plus some fun, patriotic dishes and a cake. I’m thinking this chocolate hazelnut deliciousness. I’ve got ideas for red, white and blue fruit and nut milk ice pops for the kids, some sort of gluten free & dairy free parfait to go in my trifle bowl that I have yet to use, a watermelon ball salad and probably some roasted veggies. Plus whatever my guests bring…..plus some meat.
Regarding the meat issue, I have changed my diet because my body has responded well to my eliminating animal products, not because I am ethically against eating meat. However, even before my cleanse when I ate meat, it was usually from a local, grass fed source. I happen to still have a roast in the deep freeze that I will be cooking to make shredded BBQ beef. I expect I will indulge in eating some meat this weekend. We’ll see how my body responds.
However, I still need to get hot dogs and chicken tenders for the grill (Hot Lips has grill duty). This task may seem easy but trying to remain budget conscious and in line with my integrity has proved to be a challenge. While I have had coupons for Hebrew National family packs of beef hot dogs (we don’t do pork or shellfish at my house), I can’t bring myself to serve my guests food loaded with MSG and nitrites & nitrates….even though I realize that many of my guests might not pay attention to those details, I do…and I don’t want to knowingly serve neurotoxins and poisons to people I care about. I’ve been going back and forth with my friend Jessica about this. Her argument, which is totally valid and makes sense, is get the more budget friendly option since that’s very likely what others are serving in their own homes. Getting all beef hot dogs is a step up from the “mixed meat” ones that include pork which plenty of people will be serving this weekend. Makes sense…and I even had the Hebrew National family pack in my cart with my coupon in my hand…and I couldn’t make the purchase. It means I will spend a bit more but I do know that I serve a gracious G-d who is the ultimate provider and has put these issues of health on my heart. Same thing with the huge bags of Tyson chicken tenders…those didn’t even make it into the cart…The movie Food Inc. was way too informative about how those chickens are raised and I not only don’t want that junk in my body (or the bodies of those i care about) but I also don’t want to give that company my $$. There was a “natural” brand at the wholesale store that claims to be raised on organic feed without hormones but I don’t know anything about what company those chickens come from…and at that point it wasn’t cheaper then Trader Joe’s frozen chicken tenders…so I’m going with those. Not perfect, but certainly a better option. I feel like when it comes to eliminating toxic foods, a Harm Reduction approach is helpful. While this tactic is generally associated with helping people doing illegal drug use, the reality is that wearing a seatbelt in a car is an act of harm reduction…that is to say that you take steps to reduce the amount of harm you are exposed to…if you get in an accident, if wearing a seatbelt, you are more likely to recover then if you are not wearing one and go head first into the windshield….because not getting in a car at all (which would eliminate the risk entirely) is not an option for most people. If we make small, healthier choices with some of our food choices, even if not all of them, we are reducing the harm done to our bodies. I hope this makes sense. I was an outreach worker for several years in Chinatown in Honolulu and that is the main method I used with my clients. I have definitely applied it to my own life in the area of health throughout the various stages of my journey. Feedback about this subject is welcome and encouraged!