I love vegetables. There are times when just standing at the counter with a pile of freshly rinsed vegis and my favorite knife can be bliss. I look at their color, smell the bright splash of scent when I put in the first cut and a bit later I have piles of of chopped bits of this, and slices of that and torn shreds of another item. The colors intrigue me and I feel happy.
Then the stress arrives. According to some input based on my constitution and condition: I SHOULD NOT EAT RAW. According to others I should only eat uncooked. Additional sources scorn fruits while others propose that half of what I eat be leafy greens. I should Cleanse my body periodically; I should purify and remove the need for cleansing. I should buy special foods and supplements: I am not treating my body as I should. The input on what “special foods” and “supplements” are varies from year to year, study to study and passionate person to passionate person. (NOTE: the image shows a shapely body, not necessarily a healthy one, but the implication is that heath is slender. BEWARE.)
I look at the pile on the counter and wonder – where DID this come from. What season is it? If it didn’t grow HERE where was it grown? I want affordable food – but what is the REAL cost of my organic out of season fruits and vegetables? How “special” am I that my all green, close to the sun, raw organically grown affordable food should cost the planet the transportation and other unseen costs to get me my salad in the dead of winter? And I worry about the planet. And I think about the need to eat with the season. So then I am back to seasonally, the root vegetables are plentiful. But they are not near the sun and if not organic are the ones that absorb the MOST of the toxins that are used in many farms. YIKES.
Which rule do I violate to feed this body? The local farm fresh rule? The near the sun rule? The raw rule? The organic rule? I look to others as I am confused. Some suggest raw and extracted – NO FIBER??? Others suggest doing a cleanse. Still others suggest eating as ancient pre- history man did. My mind swells in frustration. Back to basics I say. Brahmacharya in this as well; non-greed and non-excess.
(NOTE: you can skip this paragraph if you wish.)
A part of my concern is what do non-bourgeois, non-middle class, non selfie -ed people do? The majority of people who cannot buy supplements to augment certain food choices? Who don’t have enough money to rinse and massage with a food – they have to EAT it? We are so LUCKY to have this problem – where I am concerned about what season to eat from, how to prepare the luxury of my abundant sources of food, that I can have all food groups not just in one day, but in one meal! And, in fact, if the illusion that eating food in a certain way is the slim hipped, narrow waisted woman in the picture above I am forgetting the primary properties of food which is to nourish and, if I am lucky enough, to be shared as the communion of friendship manifest in a meal. Nothing more, not a source of pride or comparison, not a place to go to harm our sense of self or to sabotage our self care and self esteem. This worry over food and the best way to prepare it and what to combine and what supplements to use, and on and on are the luxuries of the HAVES. I worry about the HAVE NOTS. Who with strong opinions can shop for a family of four in the most healthy way with foodstamps? Try it for a week with the Foodstamp challenge and share this list with those who have such limited and prescribed food income? Really! It would be a grace and a help to those who really need this help. (End of rant)
So: what do I do? Back to the cutting board – I admire my vegetables (from multiple seasons and only one half are organic). I proceed to preparing dinner. Some of these lovelies are for a delicious salad (yes RAW) and some are going into vegi lasagna. Yes, cooked. Yes, sauce from a jar (but a really good brand). Yes with dairy products. And with whole wheat noodles, because
I am nothing, if not a “natural” cook.
My food should not bring stress, it should not reduce my sense of self esteem (comparing to others is toxic), it should not cause me to to feel I am failing my body. I also do not want to feel like I am taking more than my share of the world’s resources, or behaving in a way that can harm others.
So I do what I can, and let go of the results.