Friday, December 15

Challenging Food Prejudices Being a Natural Food Connoisseur

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Several years ago, I started an interesting project to challenge what I called my “food prejudices.” I noted that many people would not eat what they did not like. First, cauliflower. I found that steaming it was my best approach, topped with some sort of dressing or spread, and this was aided by some feedback from a lady.

I started out in life a vegetarian and eventually challenged this too. Eating meat was never something I wanted to do because of personal sensitivity toward animals. I really still feel for animals but I do have to confess how well I feel after eating turkey. As a child I had had too many beans and we could not afford nuts all the time so turkey and chicken did give me a wonderful protein and B vitamin boost.

Each food has different properties and I found this out over time. I found that my muscle twitching and frequent urination could be improved with parsley, a handful a day. In the realm of meat, pot roast and turkey created sound sleep and vivid dreaming. Green cabbage or snap peas created the most wonderful bowel movements.

Each food, besides its medicinal properties, has specific colors and shapes. How pleasing it is to the eye, and also to the taste buds, to eat a purple potato! Yellow potatoes almost taste like they are already buttered. Yellow watermelons have a richer, fuller taste, in my opinion. Tomatoes can be purplish, yellow, and even green and still be ripe. Lettuce can be speckled or splashed with red patches and dots. Froellenschluss or speckled troutback is the latest endeavor. Radicchio is a reddish-purplish salad green with a bitter taste which goes together well with vinegar dressings. Bitter greens are needed for cleaning of the liver and other body organs.

Instead of walking out of the supermarket with just one thing every time that I shouldn’t have, I committed to buying at least one item each time which was different, but not processed food per se (although sometimes I did, if the ingredients were excellent quality), but trying different vegetables, tubers, and vegetable juices. The result was amazing with health. After awhile I could tell the difference between how I felt when eating one item or another item. Take onions for instance. You’d laugh but I developed onion cravings. Isn’t that better than an addiction? How about a corn addiction?

With multiple allergies, I couldn’t just pick up a cookbook and make something out of it. So, whatever foods made me feel good, I recombined them in unique ways every time. Maybe corn with red bell peppers and onions. Maybe corn with sprouted sunflower seeds. Purple potatoes and yellow onions. Yellow onion and heirloom tomato sandwich, with a bit of black pepper sprinkled on the tomato halves. The point is that you don’t have to use a cookbook to come up with something tasty. People ask me what I cook, and really, it varies every time. Millet and corn would make a good combination. Kidney beans, carrots, onions, and garlic in a crockpot are a combination to die for, on top of Sesame Ezekiel Bread, toasted. Instead of white sesame, there is a rich black sesame that even strengthens kidneys.

When you look back at the rut that many people are in, you have to wonder how they do not get bored with their food. I wouldn’t say this for all people, but for many, the routine is the same. Spaghetti seems to be a mainstay for some. But, with possible celiac, evidenced by only two grains I could tolerate, I had to get more creative and write off the spaghetti, as much as I loved it. I would still eat mashed potatoes any day, but decided to get creative and get past the artery-clogging butter and the allergen of certain kinds of milk. One could use goat milk to make the mashed potatoes creamy, or even buttermilk.

This is the fifth year of trying different foods, one by one every shopping trip, sometimes two by two, or four by four, depending on how brave I am. Sometimes I make mistakes and wish I hadn’t been so brave. There was the time I bought some canned fish. I don’t remember the kind. It may have been anchovies or something. I took one spoonful and my stomach went in reverse. Even my cat, who is the first one to spot the deli turkey after I brought it home, took one whiff and took off, into a corner, and refused to touch it. I gave the second can of this expensive $3.39 fish to a neighbor in the building.

All in all, however, the experimenting with different kinds of foods has helped me to uncover allergy patterns, eat more greens, improve my health. It has made me amazed at how many foods there are actually are in the natural world. (I would extend caution with processed foods. There are many toxins out there.) It has given me some unique experiences like eating bison meat that was available next to the turkey and fish. It has helped me to challenge lifelong vegetarian thinking. Neither vegetarians nor omnivores are necessarily wrong. They are filling the same need in a different way.to

The experiment continues. What’s next – blue corn? Blue corn tortillas. It’s fascinating.

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