Friday, August 24, 2012

Whole Foods Camping - Take One

It's camping season!  And we're coming up my favourite time of year; early fall.  This is the season of chilly mornings and brisk evenings, of morning tent snuggles, and evening fire huddles.  I love few things more than getting out of city and into the wild, and I especially love camp fire cooking.  

What follows is a recipe for a high-protein, light-weight, easy-to-pack, just-add-water, non-processed, whole-foods, non-perishable, stick-to-your-ribs, no-MSG, quick-to-prepare, (take a breath) delicious red lentil soup.  It's also full of slow-burning,  energy-sustaining, complex carbohydrates -- perfect fuel for a day of hiking, climbing, swimming, kayaking, and general out-door fun.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On Abundance (Fantasies)

a·bun·dance   [uh-buhn-duhns] noun
1.  an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply: an abundance of grain.
2.  overflowing fullness: abundance of the heart.
3.  affluence; wealth: the enjoyment of abundance.

Last week my camera smuggled itself out of the country in the back of a friend’s car.  As a result, I find myself temporarily freed up from photo documenting food, and able to think about other things.  Most recently, I’ve been mulling over the topic of abundance.  It comes up frequently and I feel compelled to flush out some ideas about it, especially as I often feel tweaked by what I hear and read on the subject.  
This post won't be filled with the usual pretty pictures, but I'll throw in a few just to keep it interesting: 

Seven or eight years ago I had a brief stint as a member of a Unity Church.  It was there that I was first introduced to the idea that we live in a world of abundance, but that we often come to it with internal notions of lack.  It is these self limiting beliefs, the story goes, that are responsible for keeping us stuck - stuck in shitty jobs, stuck in poor financial situations, stuck in non-nourishing relationships, etc.  This mindset stops us from “self actualizing,”  impedes our progress, and stands in the way of our personal prosperity.  
Sounds good. I’m listening.  It makes sense that we have to imagine positive relationships as possible before we find them, that we have to believe in ourselves to find fulfilling work.  I watched Stewart Smalley, I know that stinkin’ thinkin’ keeps us down.  Go on....
The abundance philosophy goes on to propose that we can also all experience material abundance (read - material wealth), through hard work and the law of attraction.  Like attracts like.  Think, feel and be abundant, and you will draw abundance into you life.  Not only that, but the universe is filled with infinite abundance; there’s plenty to go around.   One person's gain does not mean someone else’s loss.  That kind of thinking assumes that we live in a universe of lack, and we don’t.  Got it?  We live in a world of abundance.  
I remember being surprised and a little excited by the idea at the time.  ‘Oh, I’ve been operating from a place of lack, I just need to operate from a place of abundance!’ I had always been one who, for example, felt guilty driving around in (someone else’s) expensive car.  Whenever I would pass by poor looking people, I would want to roll down the window and shout, "This isn’t my car!"  I had always felt uncomfortable with wealth inequality, even though (or perhaps because) I myself came from a working class family.  (“Working class,” by the way, is used to denote the class below “lower middle class” which I guess is just a nicer way of saying “low class.”  Jerks.)  Still, being working class, my needs were always abundantly met, and I was always aware of my place of relative privilege in the world.   We were in no way “low class” and while, as my dad would say, we weren’t exactly cuttin’ a fat hog in the ass (western Kansas speak for shittin’ in tall cotton) we had more than enough and we were grateful.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Raspberry Buckwheat Pancakes (Vegan and Gluten Free)

I don't often opt for pancakes for breakfast.  Fluffy and comforting as they are, they're usually big white bland sponges that require a mega slathering of syrup (and in my case, peanut butter) in order to tickle the pleasure centres.  After all, they're really just a vehicle for butter and syrup consumption, riiiiiight?  The refined carb double whammy throws me into a sugar coma and sends me back to bed.  For that reason, I usually reserve pancakes for bad weather weekends when I can roll around in a coffee-stained tank top and elastic waisted pants until 3 o'clock in the afternoon without feeling guilty.

This, friends, is not that kind of pancake recipe.  When contrasted with an old-fashioned pancake recipe, this one has less fat, waaaay less sodium, no cholesterol, more fiber, less sugar, and a comparable amount of protein.  They're sweet and moist on their own, making syrup an attractive addition rather than a necessity, and they actually make for a great afternoon snack.  Throw a few in a baggie and take them on a hike for sustained energy, or make a double batch and keep some in the freezer for easy access.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cucumber Raspberry Spinach Salad (smoothie?)

This one is for a friend who is in the midst of 8 weeks of serious dietary restriction, trying her best to sort out some digestive issues and identify possible allergens.  I've never seen such a crazy list of foods to cut out, have a look:

lettuce, tomatoes, red/orange/yellow bell peppers, (green's okay?  that's crazy) all onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, anything corn related, bananas, apples (what?) strawberries, blueberries, peaches, nectarines, watermelon, cherries, coconut, cranberries, limes, lemons, gluten, yeast, pepper, garlic, basil, (seriously?) oregano, mint, cayenne, paprika, vinegar, mustard, dill... the list actually does go on.